4 Stages To Go From A Toxic To Spiritual Relationship

Steffo Shambo

Updated on Aug 11, 2023
love relationships dimensions

Today, you’re going to learn how to go from toxic relationships to spiritual relationships. In this article you’ll find exclusive content from world-renowned spiritual teacher, Eckhart Tolle. Previously, this information was only available through his paid courses.

I created this article with the intention to spread this powerful information far and wide. So listen up! Make sure you stay tuned to the end as well. You’ll receive practical recommendations on moving from an addictive to an enlightened relationship.

Toxic or true love?

The modern world is rapidly evolving with all its advances in technology and western comfort. And so, we as humans place special emphasis on how we identify via our minds.  

Defining who we are has become more important than ever before. We bring this strong mental identification of who we are when trying to relate to our intimate partners. This causes us to have relationships that are not rooted in being.

But instead, we have two headstrong people, with mentally constructed ego’s, trying to relate to each other through their minds. This is the reason why relationships today are so problematic and full of friction, arguments, and heartache.

Eckhart says that relationships have never been as difficult as they are now. This is because the earth is going through a purification phase and moving into a new brighter era.

We need to understand that relationships are not here to make you happy or fulfilled – they are here to make you aware and conscious. If you are not able to accept this, you risk the disillusion that a partner will come and save you.

1) The physical level of love relationships

The Physical Level is the very first dimension of your love relationship. Here, you find yourself drawn to someone because you are attracted to their physical appearance. 

This is a fleeting sexual attraction that can’t be sustained for long by itself. It’s a matter of days or weeks before that initial attraction fades. 

It’s a superficial feeling of love that only concerns the outsides of someone. At best it may lead to a one night stand but will never go deeper.

2) Emotional level of love relationships

Falling in love on an emotional level is the honeymoon phase. Here, everything is felt at a deeper level. You find yourself high on love! 

The emotional level is the passion and lust of the sexual center. Also known as Swadisthana Chakra in Yogic circles.

A common depiction of this is the fiery temperament of the Latin lovers. The sex is hot and steamy, but on the other extreme, the drama and bickering are frequent and fierce as well.

It feels really good to experience emotional love, but don’t kid yourself. This is a hollow love that stems from neediness, codependency, and the need to have someone. It comes from the false belief that someone will complete us.

Our ego screams: “make me happy”. Those are the exact 3 words that will make you unhappy.

And so, the love relationship you were hoping for turns into a love-hate relationship after a while. If you stop loving your partner after a breakup or divorce, was it really true love then?

Think about it.

If one moment you love your spouse, but the next you hate them, is that really love? If love turns to hate, it was never love to begin with, Eckhart teaches.

If you attack the one you love with violence, any kind of violence; physical, verbal, or emotional. It is a sign of ego attachment and not love.

Love has no opposite.

When the initial seduction and peacocking crumbles and you see the real person behind the painted picture of the “perfect” one.

When the real person with their imperfections of fear, pain, neediness, and lack comes to the surface.

The spark you felt during the honeymoon phase fizzles out. And there comes a point where your partner fails to meet your needs. Or rather the needs of your ego.

These feelings have been there all along but were covered by the emotional love relationship.

Look at it as a form of addiction. It feels good being high on drugs, it feels great when you are on it, but when it wears off? You’re left exposed and all the pain comes rushing back.  

But now even stronger than before.

And the worst part is that you now look at your partner as the cause of these feelings. This leads to you projecting and attacking this pain onto your partner. 

In turn, it may or may not awaken your partner’s own anguish, thereby, countering your attack. 

Eckhart says: “This pattern is sneakily used by the ego to induce your partner to change their behavior. So you can use your partner to get your needs met and cover up your pain.”

All addiction starts with a need to cover up and not feel pain. But ultimately, all addiction ends in more pain. 

The start and end of any addiction, therefore, are rooted in pain. It does not matter what kind of addiction you deal with; alcohol, sex, social media, “love”, relationships, or a person.

Understand that a romantic relationship does not cause pain, it simply brings out the pain and unhappiness that is already within you.


Boost your confidence, master your sexuality, and find your purpose.

So you can reignite the passion in your relationship or attract your perfect woman.

3) The mental level of love relationships

The mental love relationship is focused on communicating and inner thoughts.

This works by talking about and agreeing on values, ideology, and concepts. It is an important part of learning to find common ground with each other and builds a strong foundation.

But as with all things, relying heavily on mental connection isn’t enough. Endless processing and consistently “talking it out” on a mental level can lead to suffocation of the relationship.

Feeling a mental connection implies you are attracted to the person’s mind and intellect.  Or rather you are attracted to the projection of an image of who this person is. 

It is a mental fantasy of what you picture your ideal relationship to be like in your mind’s eye. But an image of the other person in one’s mind is not always an accurate representation of who they are. 

Mental attraction and mutual agreement on values and life goals at this stage are great. But without any depth to it, your mental connection will sooner or later turn dry, dull, and passionless.

4) Spiritual level of love relationships

This fourth and final level – the Spiritual level is where you’ll find the possibility of true love. This is where you’ll find a long-lasting relationship. 

This is the gift of the masculine principle in all of us, to the feminine principle in all of us.

Relationships as Sadhana. 

Make your relationship your Sadhana – a part of your spiritual practice. Work on, and decide with your partner to make your relationship a spiritual relationship.

When you find your relationship is not working and instead is bringing out the madness in you and your partner – be HAPPY. It’s time to finally put in your practice and heal the underlying emotions.

 7 practices to spiritualize your relationship

Here are 7 practices to start incorporating the spiritual dimension into your relationship:

1) Connecting to a greater meaning and purpose beyond yourself:

  • Sense the universal intelligence beneath the surface of life
  • Be mindful of your background throughout the day
  • Silently observe your thoughts and behavior
  • Deeply immerse yourself in the present moment

2) Accepting what is:

  • Observe repeated patterns of the mind that resisting what is.
  • Differentiate between the ego’s interpretation of the situation, and what is really happening.
  • When you finally accept what is, you will experience joy, peace, and love.

3) Eye gazing with your partner:

  • Sit in front of each other and look into the others’ eyes
  • Breathe deeply in and out from the heart center
  • Divide your focus between your own experience, and that of your partner’s

4) Transfiguration:

  • Look into the soul and heart of the other – go beyond physical appearance.
  • Sense the essence of that person, and the Divinity in them.
  • Behold and adore your partner as you would the most exquisite piece of art.
  • Don’t get distracted by the mind; let go of criticism, analyzing, and overthinking.

5) Observe emotions: 

  • Observe your emotions, but don’t react to them. 
  • Understand that you are not your emotions.
  • In every moment be aware of your inner state: feel the anger, jealousy, defensiveness, the urge to argue, the need to be right, the inner child demanding attention, or emotional pain. 
  • Observe these feelings from a distance and understand the reality of the moment, these feelings are not who you are. 
  • When an emotional trigger occurs, see it as an opportunity for healing to take place.

6) Conscious Communication:

  • Communicate honestly as things come up – instead of shelving them for later. 
  • Practice NVC – expressing how you feel without blaming the other.
  • Accusing, defending, or attacking will merely fuel the ego. 
  • Giving space to others and yourself is vital; love can’t flow without it.

7) Disengage with your Ego:

  • The ego is made of mental patterns of construct, opinions, past pain and hurt, trauma, and beliefs. 
  • Beyond the ego lies the enlightened relationship.
  • If both you and your partner can dis-identify with the mental patterns of the ego, then you can experience the bliss of a spiritual and enlightened relationship.
  • This is a love that has no opposite.

Unconditional love

And beyond everything, the most important aspect is the inner relationship with yourself. Because avoiding relationships to avoid pain is not the answer – the pain is there anyway.

“Three failed relationships in three years are more likely to awaken you more than three years on a deserted island being alone.” – Eckhart Tolle

You MUST be able to stop judging yourself. Stop putting yourself down, lacking in self-confidence, and feeling hurt by past trauma. Because if you judge yourself – you will unavoidably judge your partner. 

If you want to spiritualize your relationship and make it work in the long run, you need to be able to accept your partner exactly as they are. Without having to change them in any way.

When you’re able to do this, you immediately move beyond your ego. Past all the mind-games and addictive behaviors. There are no victims or perpetrators any more. No accuser or accused. 

This is also the end of all codependency – being drawn into someone else’s unconscious patterns, and thereby enabling it to continue. You will then either separate in love or move ever deeper into the now – together, into being. 

It’s important to understand that love is a state of being – your love is not outside, it’s deep within. You can’t lose it and it can’t leave you. It’s not dependent on some other body or form.

In the stillness of your presence, you can feel your own formless and timeless reality. You will feel the divine consciousness that makes your physical form shine and come alive.

You can then feel the same life, in every other human and creature. You look beyond the veil of form and separation. This is the realization of oneness. This is LOVE.

And this can only flourish if you’re free from mind identification and the pain body.

Video: Four dimensions of love relationships by Eckhart Tolle

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Steffo Shambo

Steffo Shambo

Men's Tantric Relationship Coach

I am the founder of The Tantric Man Experience™, a pioneering transformational coaching program for men. With over 1500 hours of certified tantra training in India and Thailand and 7 years of experience helping hundreds of men worldwide save their marriages and reignite passion in their love lives.

I have over 8 million views on YouTube and have been featured on VICE and Newstalk Radio for my life’s work - helping men unleash their full masculine potential.

My holistic FLT method seamlessly integrates ancient tantric philosophy with my modern expertise in relationships, sexuality, dating, and men’s health.

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