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Reverse Relationship Meta Query

  • I know, I know. This question has been asked 1,000 times. I’ve read every answer. Still can’t figure it out.

    I have two CPTs, one for banks and one for bank accounts. One bank has many bank accounts.

    On the bank account CPT, I have a relationship field that ties bank to banks.

    On the bank single page, I need to list out all bank accounts associated with that bank.

    Can anybody point me to or offer a clear explanation of how to do this? Thanks.

  • You must use WP_Query to query the “accounts” post type using a meta query to query by the “bank” relationship field.

    // simplest form
    $args = array(
      'post_type' => 'accounts', // replace w/your post type
      'posts_per_page' => -1,
      'meta_query' => array(
          'key' => 'bank' // replace with your relationship field name
          'value' => '"'.$post=ID.'"', // global post ID of current post
          'compare' => 'LIKE'
  • Thank you for the reply. This is exactly the code I’ve been using with no luck. Curious if it matters what return format I use for the relationship field.

    I should add that the code doesn’t work even if I hard-code the post id.

  • Are you using a relationship field or a post object field?

    Does the field allow multiple selections or a single selection?

  • A relationship field, and it doesn’t allow for multiple selections.

  • So, that shouldn’t matter.

    Just to double check…

    The relationship field is located on the account PT editor page?

    This relationship page is not a sub field of a group, repeater, or flex field?

  • Correct on both accounts. The relationship field is on the account CPT and points to the Bank CPT. It’s not a sub field, group, repeater or flex field.

  • Please provide your code including the context in which it is used, in what file the code is added.

  • The code is part of the bank CPT single-post template. I’ve tried many iterations, but here’s where it currently stands:

     * Template Name: Bank Review Test
     * Template Post Type: banking
    add_action ( 'genesis_before_entry_content', 'banking_data');
    function banking_data(){
        $post_id = get_the_ID();
        $accounts = get_posts(array(
            'post_type'         => array('bank_accounts','money_market_account','checking_accounts'),
            'posts_per_page'    => -1,
            'meta_query'        => array(
                    'key' => 'bank_relationship', // name of custom field
                    'value' => $post_id, // matches exactly "123", not just 123. This prevents a match for "1234"
                    'compare' => 'LIKE',
            if( $accounts ): 
                <?php foreach( $accounts as $account ): ?>
                            <?php echo get_the_title( $account->ID ); ?>
                <?php endforeach; ?>
            <?php endif;

    Note that the 3 post types all use the same ACF relationship field that points to the bank CPT. I’ve also tried hard-coding the post ID with no success.

  • okay, how is it not working, is it returning unrelated posts or is it not returning any posts?

    This line in your code

    'value' => $post_id,

    should be

    'value' => '"'.$post_id.'"',

    the double quotes are important, see the comment in your code. ACF stores a relationship field as a serialized array of post IDs as string values. Searching for just a 1 without quotes would return 1, 12, 21, 123, 312, 321, 67549145, anything with a 1 in the post ID. Also, a serialize array stores the length of the string, so it would also return all posts with a post ID whose string length contains the post ID that you are searching for.

  • It’s not returning anything, and a var_dump of $accounts returns an empty array.

    Also, I had been using the double quotes in past iterations and it doesn’t solve the problem. I’ve added them back into the code per your comment above.

  • I’ve looked into this and I can’t see any reason that it should not be working, unless it has something to do with using get_posts() instead of WP_Query(). My next step would be to try switching to WP_Query().

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