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What are the Different Types of Relationships?

What are the Different Types of Relationships?

Updated on Sep 12, 2023

Reviewed by Julianne Cantarella, MSW, LSW , Certified Relationship Coach

Types of Relationships - Different Types of Basic, Romantic Relationships

Are you looking for types of relationships? Perhaps there are so many different definitions of relationships that you’re confused? 

Or, you want to identify the type of relationship you have with a certain person?

Well. you reached the right place because this think-piece is the cheat sheet to all types of relationships one can ever have. 

Furthermore, if it’s about romantic relationships, I’m so happy that you’re curious about your desirable type of relationship before hastily jumping into one.

Interestingly, your last committed relationship might not be the same as your current one… even though you can’t notice any apparent difference… because human beings and their combinations are unique.

Curious? Let’s dig right in…

Basic Types of Relationships

Humans are the most social animal in the world and socializing results in many relationships other than the existing relationship by blood. 

In fact, people who socialize are less likely to die prematurely before 50. 

There are many other benefits of relationships on the immune system and mental health, so invest in as many healthy relationships as possible like these…

1. Family relationships

This includes your parents, siblings, relatives, your partner’s family and relatives, children, and their families.

However, family relationships aren’t bound within the blood. If you grew up with foster parents, they’re your family too.

So, family relationships have three pillars: blood, adoption, and marriage.

Your family relationships can be sweet or sour, and you might even deny them. However, you can’t ever erase family relationships.

2. Friendships

Simply speaking it’s your relationship with your friends.

The people you meet through different phases of life… aren’t related to you by blood, support you unconditionally, and teach you the right way of life without demanding anything in return are friends.

The definition of friends is quite complicated because of every person’s unique needs in a friend. However, some say that friends are the family you choose yourself.

3. Acquaintance relationships

An acquaintance is a known face amidst a crowd; but you don’t know them enough for being friends.

It can be a classmate whose name and face you know or even talk a bit. However, you hardly know anything about them, so there’s no intimate relationship with them.

For instance, you travel to-and-fro work or school and there’s this other person who you meet daily on the commute.

You discuss where they’ll get off, where you catch the bus, and other casual things.

You can also describe it as a superficial friendship where there’s no depth.

4. Sexual relationships

As the name suggests, a sexual relationship deals with your sexual desires only, and these might or might not develop into intimate relationships depending on both sides’ intentions.

The sexual attraction is the driving force of sexual relationships. Sexual partners in a sexual (only) relationship have sex and move on without any feelings for each other.

Many people look down on sexual relationships outside their romantic relationship, however, it’s nothing shameful as long as it’s consensual and you’re clear about your intentions.

5. Romantic relationships

Romantic relationships are a mixture of physical attraction, sexual attraction, and emotional intimacy.

You might not have the sexual component in these kinds of relationships from the beginning but there’s hope for it.

And before any physical intimacy, romantic partners usually develop emotional intimacy.

As you notice, there’s a proper route to romantic relationships, and sex, though important, stays on the back burner until both are comfortable.

6. Professional relationships

The relationships including your coworkers, seniors, and juniors in your employment organization, or any other organization that deals with your organizations are called professional relationships.

This kind of relationship is based strictly on work, useful skills required by the organization, and productivity.

Professional relationships are formal and civil towards each other and usually aren’t continued outside the professional stage to avoid any complications.

However, some coworkers become good friends or even lovers while at work.

7. Neighboring relationships

This kind of social relationship eventually develops when you live around one another.

You see many people who reside around your house (neighbors), in your house (tenants), or even in your room (roommates).

You might not talk to them regularly but not talking with them at all isn’t possible because human beings are social creatures.

Whether it’s a jammed pipe or simply socializing, neighboring relationships are quite helpful when you’re distressed and in need of immediate help.

8. Rivalry relationships

Rivalry or enmity is the opposite of friendships where the relationship stems from malicious hatred against each other or harmless competition between two people.

So, the extent of rivalry depends on the two people involved in this relationship and their history.

The rivalry might also be between two organizations like school soccer teams or businesses.

Here the members in the institutions don’t have anything personal against each other and engage in healthy competition only.

9. Self-relationship

The common types of relationships that strike your mind always include another person(s).

However, the most important one is the relationship with yourself where you nurture your mental health.

The way you look at your failure and motivate yourself, even when the world shows its back to you, matters. The world might not accept you, but you must.

If you abandon or disrespect yourself for failure, the world will do a double-take. If you see yourself in a positive light, the world will learn to accept you differently. 

10. Situationship

A situationship or situational relationship is the casual sexual or romantic engagement between two people before they become official or label their relationship into something serious.

There’s no commitment to each other… the two people might or might not have feelings for each other but they never communicate about it.

11. Teacher-student relationship

The relationship of teachers or a mentor in any field with their pupil, mentee, or followers is defined as a teacher-student relationship.

There is no definite rule that says a teacher must be older than a student to guide them.

Any person becomes a teacher from their abundant knowledge about any subject or aspect of life… the person receiving the knowledge from them is the pupil.

A teacher is the second guide in a student’s life after their parents.

12. Community relationship

You might have a community relationship based on your religion, caste, ethnicity, race, gender, politics, or even lifestyle.

Unity stems in a community due to their common interests, thoughts, and opinions, which might differ from another community with differing beliefs.

Community relationships help you nurture your love for the common interest.

For instance, a religious community helps you soak in the religious texts and rejoice in your religious beliefs.

On the other hand, a political community helps promote your preferred political party, its promises, and activities for the local’s welfare.

But, if you’re interested mostly in the romantic ones, let’s check…

45 Types of Romantic Relationships

Romantic relationships are 50-50 responsibility and investment of both sides… or at least they must be. 

However, sometimes, they don’t follow the ideal definition of romantic relationships… and then came various other forms of romantic relationships.  

Also, your romantic relationship type depends on what you both give and take from the relationship. Can’t wait to find out your type? Let’s quickly dive in! 

1. First Relationships

You’ll never forget your first relationship… it might leave you with good or bad memories… but most of all you learn a lot about your boundaries from your first romantic relationship.

You probably had your first hand-holding, first kiss, or even the first time you bunked class with your partner.

If it didn’t leave a good aftertaste, you might hesitate to acknowledge that it was one of the most educational relationships in your life. You found your shortcomings and strengths in it.

2. Independent Relationships

In an independent relationship, both partners are independent to do what they like. Each of them encourages self-growth and doesn’t depend on the other to meet their needs.

However, there must be a balance, else it will strain the relationships. Any romantic relationship requires a hefty amount of compromise, trust, and loyalty.

If you and your partner forget how to depend on each other when you need to, that can ruin the bond. You might forget how or when to stay beside each other.

Too much independence might wash away empathy from you or your partner, so always practice it in moderation.

3. Codependent Relationships

When you or/and your partner depend on each other too much for your daily life, that’s a codependent relationship.

In this type of relationship, you always seek your partner’s approval and praise to feel good about yourself. Your pride depends on your partner’s feelings.

You forget your sense of individuality and sacrifice yourself completely to the relationship.

Though initially you feel great about being the reason for your partner’s happiness, the real issues begin when your actions don’t make them happy or they don’t return a desirable amount of praise and approval.

In the long run, codependent relationships either don’t last or become too bitter.

4. Monogamous Relationships

In this kind of relationship, you bind yourself with only one partner at one time. This is socially the most common and accepted relationship.

For conservative people, this structure is a must for any romantic relationship.

Entering a relationship with a second person in a monogamous relationship is unethical because you promise your entirety to one person.

There’s romantic, emotional, and sexual exclusivity in completely monogamous relationships.

Usually, monogamous couples follow a step-by-step rule for their relationships.

When they find their special person, they know each other while dating and later decide to settle down for a lifetime with one person.

5. Ethically Non-monogamous (ENM) Relationships

As the name describes, this is the opposite of monogamy, i.e., you can have multiple romantic or sexual partners at once… but with the consent of all partners, which makes it ethical.

Ethical non-monogamy is not one entire kind of romantic relationship, it’s an umbrella term that includes different types of romantic relationships with multiple partners.

This is far from acceptable or normal to conservative society which disadvantages the ENM community. Many people practicing ENM lose their job because their workplace finds it immoral.

However, most ENM relationships are legal in the USA other than polygamy.

6. Open Relationships

In an open relationship, you and/or your partner can have sexual relationships or date outside your primary relationship with each other’s consent. Open relationships fall under the ENM umbrella.

Due to the consent factor, this kind of relationship doesn’t equate with cheating.

People begin an open relationship for different reasons, but sustaining the primary relationship needs honest communication.

Sometimes two people might not be ready to exclusively commit emotionally and choose this relationship structure to feel they’re in control of their independence.

Or, it’s when two partners have mismatched sex drives, they open their relationship to keep both sides happy and healthy.

7. Polyamorous Relationships

Another relationship under the ENM umbrella is a polyamorous relationship, where you can be romantically, sexually, and emotionally involved with multiple partners at once with everyone’s consent.

Since the romance factor is included in polyamory, maintaining these relationships are hard.

But if the person practicing it knows how to distribute enough time and energy to all sides, they can work out well.

8. Friends with Benefits

When you and your friend decide to hit the bedroom together, without any romantic connection, to satisfy your desires only, it’s a friends with benefits (FWB) arrangement.

Some compare FWB with no-strings-attached (NSA) situations but it’s not the same. In FWB, you still have the friendship intact after the casual sex.

Depending on your circle, you might see each other regularly and stay connected even when it’s not about sex… which isn’t the case for NSA.

In FWB, one or both have a chance of falling for the other and complicating the situation.

Usually, when one catches feelings, the arrangement dissolves and things get awkward even among mutual friends.

9. No Strings Attached (NSA)

NSA is when you engage in a sexual relationship with someone with who you aren’t even friends with. You never hit each other up, other than when you need to release sexual energy,

There’s no commitment, no promises, or even exclusivity. You both communicate what you desire, what’s off-limits, have fun and leave.

Never begin an NSA with a friend because it’ll only lead to complications later.

Also, people in NSA have multiple partners to ensure that one of them is available whenever they’re in the “mood” and avoid falling for each other.

10. Adjusting Relationships

There’s no guarantee that you’ll fall in love or marry a person who has identical likes and dislikes.

But if you love each other, you’ll adjust to each other’s lives and feel content to make things work.

Adjusting relationships are built on your and your partner’s effort to adjust or compromise with each other’s interests, lifestyles, connections, or any kind of taste.

You don’t completely become each other’s clones, but blend into each other’s lives, and stretch your horizons for the better.

It’s a healthy relationship as long as nobody forces the other. Also, it helps in personal development as you know more things about the world.

11. Toxic Relationships

Everyone can’t compromise with a person with different or conflicting views. It needs a certain amount of dedication, love, faith, and loyalty to build a relationship where you don’t feel resentment.

When two people in love can’t agree to compromise, or can’t reach any middle ground about their conflicting opinions, and focus on their selfish needs only… it becomes a toxic relationship.

Usually, the differences lead to insulting each other, attacking each other’s weak points, focusing on fights about the issues yet never resolving them. 

There might be lots of controlling behaviors, blaming, or even secrecy. However, the two people can’t break up from each other because of some attachment.

12. Abusive Relationships

In a relationship, if one partner abuses the other physically, sexually, emotionally, psychologically, verbally, or any other way, it’s an abusive relationship.

If you’re a domestic abuse victim, call National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1800-799-7233 or 1800-787-3224 for 24/7 assistance, or call 911 for immediate danger.

Never stay back in a relationship where your partner tortures you. Seek help from loved ones or even an abuse victim’s shelter. Record the abuse in journals or video for legal actions later.

You might stay back hoping for a better future or to raise children, but these situations always lead to fatal situations, so never compromise.

13. Dom-sub Relationships

In this type of relationship, between you and your partner, one takes the charge (dominant), and the other gets controlled (submissive). The kink factor is high in this relationship structure.

Dom-sub relationships cross the bounds of healthy relationships when the structure reaches beyond the sexual aspect of life. Controlling outside the sexual life implies a toxic or abusive dynamic.

You might think it’s normal for your partner to take charge in your relationship because it’s their nature, but it can later impact your dignity and confidence.

Also, your partner might have trust issues and isn’t protecting you from anything. Such relationships never last because of the toxicity.

14. Love-hate Relationships

Love-hate relationships are about extreme sexual passion for each other, but lack of empathy for each other outside the bedroom.

The relationship is fun and satisfying only due to the sexual heat, but overall, it’s a toxic one.

One or both partners might think everything is fine with their relationship because they still desire each other.

Also, shows with these kinds of relationships are always available in all parts of the world which warps teenagers’ notion about healthy relationships.

Usually, these relationships never last long due to the lack of emotional intimacy.

15. “Just For Now” Relationships

“Just for Now” (JFN) is a type of casual dating where you both are in a relationship for a short period.

However, both parties must be clear about their intentions for this relationship before they begin one.

Whoever thinks of having JFN only must clearly explain the conditions like there won’t be any attachment or long-term commitment.

When either of you isn’t honest or transparent about the long-term intentions, someone’s feelings will develop and get hurt from the arrangement.

People practice this kind of relationship usually to heal from a bad breakup from a serious relationship.

16. Pastime Relationships

In pastime relationships, you know you both are quite compatible in many ways, but you live more in the moment. You believe that dreams of a future with them will not come true.

It’s not completely a casual relationship because you’re serious for the moment, but it’s not a long-term relationship either.

You both know that life will take you to different places and neither of you can compromise with your life goals for the relationship.

Usually, people break up from these relationships on good terms without any hard feelings.

17. Fun Relationships

You have a fun relationship when you or your partner only focus on the fun side of dating… like enjoying all kinds of things.

However, you both keep the serious stuff at bay, like meeting friends and family members.

Spending time with each other and bonding is a higher priority than binding each other into a contractual relationship.

You don’t want to name your relationship even when you’re serious about each other because that’s how you like things.

Fun relationships can work out only after both sides put forward their honest opinions about their expectations from the relationship… so communicate well to avoid hurting feelings.

18. Best friends Relationships

In this relationship, you and your partner are like bros. You share everything in your life from joy to grief, from shame to anger.

You never hide anything from each other, there’s complete transparency between you two. However, the intimacy is emotional only.

Your relationship lacks physical or sexual intimacy which makes you like best friends rather than romantic partners.

Of course, romantic relationships never mean that you must jump into bed right after you start dating. Or, that romance can happen with a sexual partner only.

The world might say that your relationship won’t last because of lack of sex, but sexual desires depend on one’s feelings.

If you and your partner eventually grow comfortable with this topic, it’ll be fine.

19. Long Distance Relationships

When you and your partner are geographically distant due to job, school, or other reasons, it’s a long-distance relationship (LDR).

This kind of relationship usually takes a heavy toll on both partners even if they’re honest and loyal to each other.

The lack of physical intimacy, communication through texts and calls only, and even the mismatching time zones make working things out hard.

If you’re in an LDR, don’t lose hope just yet… it can definitely work out if you both can create a common goal, i.e., the end of the LDR.

Since you can’t continue LDRs for a lifetime, make goals of settling in each other’s city and let your fate do the magic.

20. Perfect Relationships

In a perfect relationship, you and your partner are completely compatible in almost all manners. It’s a healthy relationship where both of you trust and understand each other.

Sometimes people refer to such relationships as true love. However, you’re not compatible because you’re carbon copies… it’s because you make sacrifices without even registering it as a “sacrifice”.

Everyone wants this relationship but hardly finds it. The secret to finding a perfect relationship lies in two people who aren’t perfect but want the best for each other and themselves.

You build a perfect relationship when you both show true gratitude for even the smallest things you do for each other.

21. Imperfect Relationships

When you know about the flaws of your relationship but let it be and accept things how they are, that’s an imperfect relationship. There are no complaints even if you dislike something.

Depending on your relationship situation and the imperfections this can either be something good or bad.

For instance, you might not like how your partner works till late, but accept the fact that they’re a workaholic and work makes them happy – that’s good.

But, if your partner ignores your basic necessity to feel loved and cared for or neglects you, yet you put up with it, that’s a dealbreaker.

22. On and Off Relationships

This is a common relationship where the couple breaks up and patches up multiple times. I’m sure you know at least one couple who’s like this.

Such couples part ways because of the downside of their relationship. However, soon after the breakup, both parties feel lonely, grieve, miss the benefits of relationships, and decide to patch up.

People around such couples feel confused as to why they notice each other’s goodwill only when they lose each other.

They take major relationship decisions on a whim which decreases the chances of a healthy or long-lasting relationship.

23. Rebound Relationships

This kind of relationship works as a confidence booster. You might feel that you’re inadequate and don’t deserve a healthy relationship or even happiness because of a past encounter.

Perhaps your previous relationship was dysfunctional and it sucked out your energy, confidence, and dignity.

You begin this relationship with doubts; however, this relationship brings out the best in you.

Your partner makes you feel good, validates your feelings and you feel this is love.

Soon after you regain your lost confidence and understand that you only admired your partner because they fulfilled your desires to be loved. You never really loved them back and stayed for the gains.

You heal and pass on your sufferings to another person.

24. Grieving Relationships

You might find someone with similar trauma or painful experiences, sympathize with each other, and seek each other more frequently for comfort.

Since you can both understand each other’s pain, you feel that they’re your perfect match and this connection is love. Initially, the bond feels great,

however, once your grieving is over, the relationship may lose its spark.

However, that’s completely fine because you can still work out this relationship if you develop feelings with time.

25. May-December Relationships

When a couple has about ten to fifteen years of age gap irrespective of their gender, it’s a May-December relationship.

Definitely, both partners must love each other but there are lots of differences.

Two people from two different decades will have different tastes, opinions, perspectives, and expectations from a relationship.

Since the older one has seen the world longer, they are more knowledgeable, and sometimes the older one might disregard the younger one’s perception because “They’re yet to see the world”.

Some toxic people use age as a weapon to oppress their partners.

The age difference also demands compromise in planning children, earlier retirement, and other interests.

26. Complicated Relationships

Relationship issues are normal, even for non-romantic relationships. However, when a couple doesn’t know how to deal with the issues or resume healthy dynamics, that’s when the complications begin.

Relationship experts always emphasize communicating to solve issues; however, you also need the desire to compromise for your partner and forgive them.

People turn a relationship complicated when they ignore the issues waiting for each other to bow to one’s wishes. Usually, these relationships turn toxic in the long run without couples’ therapy.

Therapy can help them learn better ways to communicate, express, and address relationship issues.

27. Insecure Relationships

When doubt instills in a romantic relationship, it becomes an insecure relationship.

Say, you lead a regular life where you have friends, family, coworkers, and other social relationships.

However, your partner doubts that you’re cheating on them in the name of socializing.

You try convincing your partner of the importance of relationships beyond romance about longer life expectancy, regulating blood pressure, and even stronger immune systems.

But your partner thinks these are excuses for your infidelity and promotes a lack of social relationships for their peace.

Slowly, you understand that your partner’s insecurity is their issue and you can’t ease them with anything.

Insecurity never results in long-term relationships because of the shaky foundation.

28. Emotional Relationships/Affairs

These relationships include your emotional entanglement with someone else outside your romantic relationship. It’s also called emotional cheating.

This happens when you emotionally bond with someone else who isn’t your partner.

Say you share important info with them even before your partner, or make excuses to hang out more with them.

You think it’s only socializing; however, you cross the lines the moment you prioritize the other person over your relationship or your partner.

Different people define affairs differently… So if your partner doesn’t mind you emotionally bonding with someone else, this won’t be a big deal in your romantic relationship.

29. Cohabiting Relationships

At some point, couples move in together even without getting married. It seems fun and jolly in the beginning because of the exciting things you do together.

Doing chores, buying groceries, coordinating with each other… All of these are a big deal and take time to learn. And it’s fun until you don’t learn everything.

When a couple under the same roof learns everything about each other, knows how to coordinate well, they can still lose the spark… because of a lack of thrill.

That’s when couples lose feelings and stay together (cohabitate) like roommates instead… This is called a cohabiting relationship.

30. Dissatisfying Relationships

When two people in a relationship aren’t happy but decide to stick with their relationship for the sake of their children, parents, financial dependency, or even hoping for a better future soon.

The partners stay in the relationship without any love and suffering because of other reasons – that are more important than their own happiness. Usually, it’s common in older couples with children.

They deny their current situation and insist on continuing the relationship and ignore the hard truth.

31. Distracted Relationships

This kind of relationship is the opposite of pastime ones. You believe your relationship will work out because of your strong feelings for each other, despite where you go.

However, with time, distance, work pressure, or even kids’ responsibilities your relationship takes the backseat.

Your promise to make the relationship work becomes the promise of keeping the family together. Many think it’s one and the same but your priorities change from your partner to others.

Though it isn’t particularly bad – initially – things take a worse turn when either partner feels neglected.

32. Experimental Relationships

When you and your partner get bored of the daily humdrum of regular relationships and seek various exciting possibilities in your relationship, it’s an experimental relationship.

It usually includes taking new paths about your relationships together. You might even try out things society labels immoral and understand your true self and desires.

Your perspectives about life change because you learn new things about your choices.

33. Mature Relationships

A romantic relationship where you both might be over 40 and are happy as long as your specific rigid demands are fulfilled is called a mature relationship.

Mature couples don’t nag each other unless their demands are unmet.

These demands don’t include love, emotional support, or sexual satisfaction. It revolves around the needs people have with age.

34. Asexual Relationships

An asexual relationship is a relationship where you and your partner both decide to bond emotionally ONLY, without any sexual component.

The health of an asexual relationship depends on the partners and their thoughts about the lack of sexual component in the relationship.

If you and your partner mutually decided on the asexual component, it’s healthy. However, if one of you feels dissatisfied or hurt from it, it can lead to a separation.

35. Allosexual Relationships

The sexual component in an allosexual relationship is compulsory and important. It doesn’t imply that you won’t have a romantic or emotional factor in your relationship.

The term “allosexual” is used to imply that the partners neither practice celibacy nor restrain their sexual desires. It sets them apart from asexual relationships.

36. Scripted Relationships

It’s a scripted relationship when you aren’t interested in a person yourself but date/marry them because it’ll make others happy.

Usually, this happens in arranged marriages where the groom and bride give in because their families force them and they don’t have anyone else in mind.

Such couples try their best to not inconvenience each other… however, either the passion of romance is completely missing or grows later in the future.

37. Last Resort Relationships

Some people give themselves a deadline for getting married. You join hands with a close friend and promise them that if neither of you gets hitched by some deadline, you marry each other.

Well, this seems quite romantic onscreen because two people always fall for each other, but it never happens in real life.

Either of you will develop feelings for the other and get disappointed when the other finds their partner. This is a disrespectful way to begin a relationship.

After all, why compromise with someone who doesn’t love you?

38. No-breathing-room Relationships

If you and your partner always do the same things together and never spend any time apart because that’s what a healthy couple does… this is your type.

It’s not that you’re insecure, but you don’t know how a relationship works, and you also need a me-time to cherish each other.

Enjoy your personal space sometimes instead of forcing yourself into liking and doing everything together to make the relationship live longer.

39. Trophy Relationships

When you date someone because they’re well-established in their life, can support your materialistic needs, or can make your dreams come true, that’s a trophy relationship.

Usually, gold diggers get into this kind of relationship more.

Also, with time a gold digger might truly fall in love with the loaded person… but it completely depends on their possibilities of being in a relationship… even if the person loses all the assets.

40. Transactional Relationships

This is similar to the trophy relationships but it goes two-way. Both you and your partner are in a symbiotic relationship where you gain something from each other.

Usually, such relationships begin with contracts or arrangements instead of love. You two might not be there for the money but for other gains too.

For instance, your grandparent will hand over the family business only if you marry this person. And that person is in dire need of money for whatever reason. You two satisfy each other in some way.

However, nothing’s wrong with this kind of relationship if you love each other too.

41. Domestic Partnership

The domestic partnership was popular back when same-gender relationships were looked down on or were illegal.

So, homosexual couples used to live together under the same roof without getting legally married.

Since the partners hid their relationship from society, homosexual relationships during that time were either quite loyal or unfaithful.

Since a person can’t ever publicly raise their voice because of the illegality, people got away from cheating on domestic partners.

However, some domestic partners deeply in love learned to strengthen their bond because of their common secret.

42. Courting Relationships/Courtship

Courtship or dating includes any romantic relationship where you see a person with the intention of marrying them or committing to them for a long term.

However, the meaning of dating differs in different cultures, people, and relationships.

So, whenever you begin dating, always communicate your expectations from the relationship to avoid hurting either side.

43. Engaged Relationships

In this relationship, you and your partner have publicly undergone a ceremony to marry each other in the near future.

The ceremony involves ring exchange or even other jewelry depending on the culture, which marks your future promise.

44. Civil Partnership

Civil partnerships bind you with your partner legally and you enjoy the union benefits of your state only. The benefits, rights, and protections differ from place to place.

Also, the benefits aren’t as much as married relationships.

45. Married Relationships

Two people begin their married relationships after holding a social ceremony where they take an oath to protect and love each other for eternity.

It also has a legal aspect, as married people have special legal benefits.

The definition and benefits of social and legal marriage depend on culture, country, religion, and so on.

Though there are so many different types of romantic relationships, Psychology simplified them into…

7 Types of Relationships according to Psychology

Summary: Sternberg defined relationships into seven types based on different combinations of passion, intimacy, and commitment.

As per Sternberg’s triangular theory of love, relationships psychology has three basic constituents…

Passion: it embodies sexual attraction and excitement

Intimacy: it constitutes a physical, emotional, or spiritual connection

Commitment: it includes the promise to stay and grow the relationship and yourself together.

Depending on these pillars of love, Sternberg defined relationships in 7 categories…

1. Infatuation (just passion)

You idealize the other person in infatuation. There’s no true bond because you don’t understand or accept the other person’s flaws.

You feel infatuated towards a person who you don’t know properly and aspire to create an intense passionate bond with.

There’s no intimacy or commitment in such relationships.

2. Friendship (just intimacy)

In friendship, you only feel pure intimacy with the other person. Sexual or physical intimacy is absent when it’s friendship only.

You don’t expect anything in return but feel a sense of unity that attracts you towards them.

3. Empty love (just commitment)

When you’re in a relationship with a person, stay committed to them, but there’s no intimacy or passion in the relationship.

This is the usual case for mature relationships where they lose passion and intimacy, or arranged marriages where they begin with commitment only.

4. Romantic love (passion and intimacy)

In romantic love, you feel a strong sense of attraction or passion towards your partner, and you desire their body and soul. The intimacy is high in the relationship, but there’s a lack of commitment.

Or, you and your partner didn’t yet communicate about a long-term commitment.

5. Fatuous love (passion and commitment)

People in fatuous love are bound with a passion only, there’s no emotional bonding (intimacy). The couple promises each other a lifetime’s worth of love based on sexual attraction.

Since there’s no intimacy in this relationship, with age the bond might break sooner or later. Though sex is an important part of romantic relationships, it doesn’t last forever.

6. Companionate love (intimacy and commitment)

In companionate love, couples are like companions. They promise to stay together, they have emotional intimacy, but there’s no sexual or passionate component in the relationship.

It might be because the couple isn’t ready to bond sexually, they abstain, or can’t due to physical issues.

7. Consummate love (passion, intimacy, and commitment)

Lastly, couples in consummate love have all the components of a relationship’s psychology. For some, it might be the fulfilling relationship they always dream of – the ideal one.

There’s passion, an emotional bond, and a secured future filled with love. People hardly achieve this form of relationship.

Despite having all the components, some people can’t keep all the factors constant.

Didn’t label your relationship yet? Find it too confusing? Let me tell you how to…

How to define the type of your relationship?

If you’re not sure what kind of relationship you’re in, define together with your partner with these simple 5 questions.

Learn what you desire from each other if you don’t have such conversations.

Also, exchanging your views will help you understand what will happen in the long term. 

If you decide against it, that simply implies you don’t want to find the reality of your relationship… or you already know the bitter truth.

Reassure yourselves with these quick questions…

1. What type of commitment do you want from your current relationship?

A. Long-term commitment

B. Unsure

C. Casual, no commitment

2. Do you want a long-term commitment? Do you feel this is the one?

A. Yes, Yes

B. Yes, No

C. No, No

3. How many people are you dating?

A. One (monogamy)

B. I intend to date someone, haven’t confessed (infatuation)

C. More than one (nonmonogamy)

4. Do you have romantic feelings for your current partner?

A. Yes

B. I intend to

C. I prefer not attaching

5. How frequently do you talk or meet one another?

A. Whenever we can

B. All the time

C. Only if we need sex

From this quiz, if you answered mostly A’s, you’re up for a serious relationship. If you mostly pick option C, it’s a casual fling and you want to keep it that way.

However, mostly Bs imply that your relationship and feelings are still open-ended. You still need to think more about it and communicating can help you.

Also, if both of your answers are similar, you’re on the same page. If there’s a distinct difference in your answers, address the differences and sort it out such that nobody compromises too much.

Don’t be afraid to define or label a relationship because it just shows your true feelings… you’re not getting married right now.

A word from ThePleasantRelationship

Whether it’s a social relationship, or a romantic relationship, all relationships in your life are important because they define what you want from your life and what you can give it back.

It also shows you your weaknesses, teaches you life lessons. Every relationship in your life teaches you to be a better human. 

Also, before entering a romantic relationship, always communicate your expectations from each other to avoid hurting or misunderstanding each other. 

Human beings made the labels in this list… and honestly, relationship dynamics or types can become more than a hundred in the near future… so, never let simple terms confuse your relationship.

Be honest and transparent with your emotions and intentions to make it successful.

Are you interested to know more about ‘Biromantic’ then click here?

Are you interested to know more about ‘Passionate Vs Companionate Love’ then click here?