Love is complicated, and most people have awkward, unpleasant, or complex relationship experiences throughout their years in the dating field.
The good news? Just because somebody else did it, doesn’t mean you have to follow in their footsteps.
While most relationship types contain life lessons of what you do and do not want from a future mate, some of these relationships are complicated and can cause an irritating itch that is better left unscratched.
It seems hopelessly confusing and makes us wonder why is love so complicated, why are relationships so complicated, and what is a complicated relationship?
To help you understand the meaning of complicated relationships, here are 8 complicated relationships that you should try and avoid.
1. Friends with benefits
This is a complicated relationship that most people in college had a brilliant opinion about. “Hey!” They’ll say. “I like this guy, but I don’t want a relationship.
Let’s have consensual sex with no strings attached. What could go wrong?” The answer is everything!
This ambiguous physical relationship is a curse to both parties. It seems super cool and casual, carrying on as friends while hooking up with no strings attached.
But inevitably, someone is going to get feelings for the other and want something more. You give with no expectations and are basically someone’s plaything until something better comes along.
Plus, once one of you ends up in a new relationship, your friendship is 100% doomed.
Even a qualitative study indicated that a majority of its participants were unwilling to partake in a complicated relationship such as ‘Friends with Benefits’.
2. The secret relationship
There are many reasons for having a secret relationship, and none of them are good ones. Perhaps you are dating outside your race, and your family is unaccepting of interracial relationships.
This a classic example of what a complicated relationship means.
More reasons include that one of you is married and you are having an affair, you are working together, your friends or family don’t approve or think this person is good for you, and the list goes on.
Living with a secret relationship is unpleasant and unfair to all parties involved.
This relationship is fully sustainable if you live close enough to drive to one another and plan on moving in together down the road.
But, if your relationship requires constant plane tickets and drastically different time zones, the result is probably going to be a jumbled mess.
Long-distance relationships are hard. Sure, technology makes it easier, but snuggling up with your boyfriend over facetime while you watch the same television show is great, but nothing beats spooning together in person.
You don’t get to see your partner often, and you lack the bonding that comes from physical touch. This charm between you can also lead to jealousy and straying eyes.
That’s not to say you can’t make a long-distance relationship work, but it certainly takes a certain personality type to have the patience for it.
4. The married crush
Having a crush on your friend’s husband is possibly one of the most complicated relationships you will ever encounter, especially if you begin having an affair.
You are putting his marriage in jeopardy, as well as your friendship with his wife.
Similarly, pursuing a crush on your wife’s friend is also a no-go. Flirting with your wife’s friend is disrespectful on all counts. Firstly, you are married.
How is the friend supposed to react to you coming on to her? She doesn’t want to ruin her friendship with your wife by seeking out an affair or yell at you and risk making things uncomfortable when you all hang out.
This is one complicated relationship that is best left avoided.
5. Pretending to be someone you’re not
There is a certain level of play-acting that happens at the beginning of any relationship. Sure, you’re being yourself, but you also want to impress the person you have feelings for.
Naturally, you’re going to be on your best behavior and show interest in some of the things they like, even if you have no personal interest in the matter.
This is great for getting to know one another at first, but pretending to be someone you are not isn’t sustainable in a long-term relationship.
You can’t fake your personality for years. You will not get any satisfaction out of this relationship.
Furthermore, it isn’t fair to your partner to trick them into thinking you have plenty in common and then flip the switch on them once things get serious.
Do you tell her everything and risk being turned down and losing your friendship, or do you push it to the back of your mind until it festers and you begin to resent your friend?
Neither choice is appealing. Unless it turns out that your friend shares your romantic feelings, your friendship is basically doomed. Good luck.
7. Circumstantial love
Circumstantial love is definitely a complicated relationship that is hard to break away from. After all, it’s just so convenient!
If you are in circumstantial love, it may be because neither of you can afford to live alone, one party if being taken care of by the other, one party developed a serious illness or had a traumatic incident happen, and the other party feels too guilty to leave.
Whatever the circumstance, circumstantial love is problematic.
8. The “Comfortable” relationship
The comfortable relationship occurs when two people are perfectly fine staying together. You don’t have an abundance of chemistry, but your sex-life gets the job done. You generally like the person you are with.
The problem? There is no love or passion in your relationship. Instead of viewing your partner as your best friend or your first choice to spend time with, you’re simply together out of convenience or from the fear of being alone.
Have you been through one or more of the relationships listed above? If so, don’t feel bad. Remember, you have to go through a few complicated relationships to get to the good ones.
If you feel disconnected or frustrated about the state of your marriage but want to avoid separation and/or divorce, the marriage.com course meant for married couples is an excellent resource to help you overcome the most challenging aspects of being married.
Sylvia Smith loves to share insights on how couples can revitalize their love lives in and out of the bedroom. As a writer at Marriage.com, she is a big believer in living consciously and encourages couples to adopt this principle in their lives too. Sylvia believes that every couple can transform their relationship into a happier, healthier one by taking purposeful and wholehearted action.