If you’re facing challenges in your relationship, there’s no shortage of advice out there for you. Friends, family, podcast hosts, best-selling book authors, and Instagram poets all have ideas about how you should think, feel, and act in order to better understand your partner and be understood by them. But there’s another resource you might want to consult about how to show up in your relationships: one of the world’s oldest health systems, Ayurveda.

Ayurveda is based on the mind-body connection and the concept of doshas, or energy archetypes. Each of us is born with a combination of the three doshas—vata (air and ether), pitta (fire and water), and kapha (earth and water)—in varying amounts, although there is typically a primary dosha that influences most of your decisions and interactions, including how you react when your relationship hits a rough patch. (To find out your unique blend, take the quiz.)

Understanding your dominant dosha—and that of your romantic partner—can bring empathy as well as balance to your relationship. This in turn brings harmony to the everyday and helps you evolve as a couple, since a committed, long-term relationship needs some creativity and spontaneity (vata), passion and purpose (pitta), and stability and comfort (kapha).

If your primary dosha is vata…

What you bring to relationships

Vatas are airy, a little ungrounded, and love the thrill of adventure and starting something new. If your dominant dosha is vata, you’re probably always the one in your relationship coming up with new places and experiences to explore together.

Vatas enjoy being loved on—you probably like surprise text messages, hugs, and physical displays of affection. You show your better half love by finding unique ways to remind them of your enthusiasm for being in partnership, such as leaving notes on the mirror or making their lunch for work.

Your ideal partner

Vatas benefit from the grounding nature of homebody kaphas and the take-charge personality of pittas—archetypes that encourage a relationship to move along and develop into something more serious. Connections with these grounding doshas create balance and a foundation that can keep the relationship stable over time. If your partner is also vata-dominant, remember to make compromises.

Be mindful

Since vatas love beginnings, you may notice that you have an itch to back out of a relationship when things start to get serious and predictable. If you notice this feeling, ask yourself if you’re listening to your intuition or if you’re just bored or scared.

See also: Feeling Spacey & Ungrounded? Your Vata Dosha May Be Out of Balance

A couple with their dog in the snow
(Photo: Getty Images)

If your primary dosha is pitta…

What you bring to relationships

You’re likely determined, organized, and know what you want out of your partnership. Because you like to always have a sense of direction, you don’t like to play a relationship by ear. Knowing early on what your love interest would like from you—whether something long-term or a fling—helps you relax around that person.

Your ideal partner

Vata-dominant partners help a pitta embrace spontaneity and release perfection. A grounding, kapha-dominant mate can balance out your drive to achieve by encouraging you to spend time together without the need for any purpose beyond being in each other’s space. If both of you are predominantly pitta, take time to listen to and respect the other’s opinions—even when you do not agree. Knowing when to drop a disagreement is key.

Be mindful

Your fiery nature can make it hard to acknowledge when you are wrong, make a compromise, and relinquish control in a relationship. But remember: You can’t have everything your way all the time. Doing anything that does not require planning ahead can help you learn to go with the flow and find balance in your relationship—whether that means agreeing to a last-minute movie, a weekend getaway, or even scheduling a day off to be spontaneous!

See also: How to Spot the Symptoms of a Pitta Imbalance—And Feel Better

If your primary dosha is kapha…

What you bring to relationships

Kaphas are very much the cuddle bunnies. You likely want to stay home, watch movies, and love on your partner—and feel loved in return. Your grounding nature helps remind your partner to slow down and revel in the benefit and comfort of everyday moments that might otherwise be overlooked. Because you are a natural nurturer, you accept your partner exactly as they are and are considerate of their needs.

Your ideal partner

A vata-dominant partner can help you to get out of your comfort zone and experience all the world has to offer. Similarly, someone who is predominantly pitta will encourage you to find something that stirs your passion and fire or brings you movement and drive. Just make sure they don’t push you too far—there are times when you should try new adventures, but other times you may need to stay back and encourage your partner to have fun without you. A fellow kapha-dominant partner can feel great—someone to stay at home with you!

Be mindful

You want to be noticed and appreciated in your relationship—and who doesn’t? Communicate this to your partner; otherwise you may feel undervalued and perhaps burned out in the relationship. Nurturing kaphas can act more like mother or father figures than partners in a relationship; if you notice this tendency in yourself to give but not get what you need, be certain to speak up when you feel like you aren’t getting what you need in the partnership.

See also: How Ayurveda Can Help You Cope With Loneliness


About the contributor

Sahara Rose is a best-selling author and host of the Highest Self Podcast, called “a leading voice for the millennial generation into the new paradigm shift” by Deepak Chopra. Connect with her @iamsahararose.