There are many different types of relationships you will run into over your dating years. Some of them are fantastic bonds that will shape and change your romantic future, but others are painfully irritating reminders that the game of love has many faces.
So if you are wondering what kind of relationships are there, the article shares an account of 25 types of relationships that you might encounter in your life.
Moreover, we also reflect on what is compatibility in a relationship, what is a perfect relationship, and some relationship skills you can learn to form a healthier relationship.
Compatibility in a relationship
Relationship compatibility is not black or white. “We love all the same things!” does not necessarily mean that you and your partner are meant for each other.
On the contrary, happy couples report that they enjoy diversity in their separate hobbies, tastes, and professional pursuits.
So when we say it is important for a couple to be compatible, what we mean is that they should share several compatible points on the compatibility spectrum.
If you are looking for the best relationship compatibility here are some things you must consider
Examine your past relationship types
Ask yourself if you are ready to open up to a new relationship
Identify what you need in your partner in order to form an intimate bond
Pay attention to your feelings
Seek someone who can meet your emotional needs
Have reasonable expectations
Test the relationship out for 90 days
What is a perfect relationship?
A perfect relationship is just like love. it has a different meaning for different individuals. However, one thing that is evident in any perfect relationship is that it consists of individuals who invest their time in the welfare of their partner.
Such In a perfect relationship the couple’s:
Are committed to each other’s happiness
Respect each other
Work through their issues quickly
Are honest with each other
take the time to do things that nurture their love
enjoy doing together
Are attracted to each other
maintain the type of trust required for a healthy relationship
The attributes of a perfect relationship are never ending and ever changing but one thing that remains constant is that such a relationship can be achieved with a combination of passion, intimacy, and commitment.
Relationship skills you can learn
Relationships evolve and change over time. So in order for us to cope with the changing needs, it is essential that we adapt and learn new skills to conquer the setbacks and challenges and build a good relationship.
Following are some essential relationship skills that you can learn to evolve with your relationship.
Being open to feedback instead of instinctively defending against any criticism
Spending time together, taking chances and trying new things
Allow your partner to really know you to achieve mutual understanding
Being honest is an essential part of a relationship
Being optimistic is a notable relationship skill and life skill for that matter
Respect is a quality in a relationship that allows you to be open and honest with your mate
Couples who support one another are more content in their relationship
Learn to share mutual trust to feel safer both emotionally and physically
Maintain individuality to nurture other important relationships
25 Types of relationships
Here are the 25 different types of relationships between people you will cross paths with, whether you like it or not.
1. The first
Your first relationship is a special one, even if it didn’t feel like it at the time. The first serious romantic relationship you have sets up the path for how you are in relationships to follow.
It teaches you what you’re good at, what areas need improvement, how you communicate, kiss, how you trust and how faithful you intend to be. Your first relationship is the beginning of everything.
2. The rebound
Different types of relationships all have their own unique set of circumstances, but none quite as complicated as the rebound. The rebound occurs when you are freshly out of a serious relationship and are still nursing bruises.
Your self-esteem is shot and so you pursue a relationship with someone new way too fast. You’re essentially filling time with someone to do date-like things with until the real deal comes along. This is unfair to your partner and to yourself.
3. Controlling relationship
A controlling relationship is not a fun one to be a part of. Often going hand in hand with jealousy, a controlling partner wants to monitor your social media and electronic devices.
A study concluded that the characteristics of a controlling individual includes strong need for social interest from others, expectation that others will include him in their social groups and activities, low internal proneness to conflicts, and internality in the area of the interpersonal relationships
In such types of relationships your partner may even demand proof of where you are at any given moment. They may try to control who your friends are and how much time you spend with other people. This is an unhealthy, damaging relationship.
4. Clingy relationships
Being a clingy partner often stems from insecurities. You may not feel good enough for your mate or have dealt with broken trust in a former relationship that has carried on to your current one.
This can lead to a barrage of text messages to your partner that you think seem sweet but are actually overbearing and a little annoying. Spending time together is key to maintaining a strong bond as both friends and lovers, but spending time apart is equally as important.
You need to maintain your sense of self by pursuing your own friendships and hobbies outside your relationship.
5. Too independent
Opposite of the above types of relationships, there is such a thing as being with someone who is too independent. If you are in a serious relationship and your partner is too independent to regularly spend time with you or to consider your opinion on important matters, this can be problematic.
6. The open relationship
Also known as a non-exclusive type of relationship, an open relationship is an intimate relationship that is sexually non-exclusive.
An open relationship implies having more than one sexual partner. In such a relationship the partner agrees upon engaging in different types of romantic relationships or sexual activities outside their relationship.
7. Experimental relationship
Such types of relationship start out when you are trying to break the cycle and try something new. It can also be considered as a dating relationship where you are exploring options that you have never considered before.
An experimental relationship allows you to see yourself from a different perspective and even influence what you look for in your future relationships.
8. Toxic relationship
When you’re in a relationship you should feel special, secure, and happy. These types of relationships are just the opposite. A toxic relationship seems great at first and then your partner’s true colors begin to show.
Signs of a toxic relationship include passive-aggressive behavior, physical or verbal abuse, excessive criticism, the feeling of walking on eggshells around your mate, and a severe lack of getting back what you’re giving to your partner.
What’s worse is that a toxic relationship drags down your self-worth, which makes it harder for you to leave. Moreover a study even found that people with low self esteem are the most subjected to such relationships.
9. Held by grief relationship
Such types of relationships are based on the concept that ‘misery loves company. In this relationship, the partners come together because they have a shared sense of loss or grief.
Their pain has brought them together as they needed someone to share their pain with. Such relationships usually fall apart as the pain begins to subside.
10. Opposites attract
Many couples find themselves in a relationship with someone who they have fun with, love, and want to spend their life, but they have little to nothing in common.
No shared hobbies or no common beliefs. Instead, their common bond is each other. This relationship can be a blessing. The opposite characteristics of both parties tend to balance the other one out and better each other.
11. Scripted relationship
Some types of relationships happen not because you like somebody, but because you feel like you should like that person. Take the good one paper relationship, for example.
You don’t necessarily have feelings for this guy, but he’s handsome, sweet, has a good job and makes you laugh. He’s total marriage material. So you date him anyway.
These types of relationships are usually a good one. You have a great time together, he treats you well, and your friend and family absolutely love him. But there’s just something missing; a little spark that reminds you he’s just not the one.
12. Career-oriented relationship
A relationship where career takes precedence over everything else. Such a relationship thrives when the couple have a mutual agreement to contribute towards each other’s career goals and not create any liabilities.
13. Unhappy relationship
In an unhappy relationship the couple have reached a point where they are unhappy and don’t have the will to look for ways to reconnect with each other. In such types of relationships the couple usually stay together for anything other than love.
It could be financial reasons, they might stay together for their kids, or due to social pressure.
14. Long-distance relationship
If you’re looking for types of relationships that are only for the brave, look no further than the long-distance relationship. You will promise yourself that it’s no big deal to live far away from the love of your life and that you guys will be the ones to succeed!
15. Validation relationship
If your partner time and again seeks your validation for their physical attractiveness, intellect, social status, sexuality, wealth, or some other attribute then you are in a validation relationship.
In such types of relationships an individual is constantly looking to shore up their self-esteem in areas where he or she has felt inadequate or doubtful.
16. Insecure relationship
If your partner is constantly looking for inconsistencies in your behavior, your loyalty or your interest towards them then you are in an insecure relationship.
In such types of relationships you can only go so far to make your partner believe in your intention but beyond a point, you can’t do much but let go.
17. Sacrificial relationship
Making sacrifices in a relationship can be attributed as the very definition of true love. Many times the sacrifices that you make for your partner can have a positive impact on your relationship.
However, if your partner expects you to give up or give in every time you might soon find yourself in a relationship where there is an imbalance of power. A sacrificial relationship is the perfect example of unconditional love gone wrong.
A study assessing the positive and negative effects of sacrifice in a relationship found that for those individuals whose partners provided less social support to them, the more they sacrificed, the lower marital satisfaction and the higher depressive symptoms they reported.
18. Asexual relationship
In such types of relationships the couples are not sexually attracted to each other, but are attracted to other people and might even be sexually active outside of their relationship.
Usually, such a scenario is brought on by boredom from a sexual routine.
Also watch: 7 things asexual people want you to know
19. Complicated relationship
A complicated relationship is one where a couple is unable to resolve a conflict or fix an issue and are stuck in a trick limbo.
The partners are aware of what is troubling their relationship but are not sure how to deal with it.
20. Just in it for the sex
Call it friends with benefits, call it physical attraction, or just admit that you’re just in it for the sex. Sometimes you have chemistry with a person that is undeniable but you know in your heart that this person is not relationship material.
This usually turns into a relationship where you are just using one another for sex.
21. Love-hate relationship
With equal parts love and equal parts hate, in such types of relationships the couple are madly in love but at the same time can’t stand each other.
The drama that comes with such a relationship can be fun at first but overtime it starts to mentally and emotionally deplete you unless you resolve your issues.
22. Mature relationship
A mature relationship is one with a relative lack of judgment and a relatively few nonnegotiable rigid expectations.
Usually associated with people over 40, when their needs have changed or evolved, in such a relationship people usually move away from predetermined scripts in which the response to anyone will be more or less similar.
23. Feels more like friendship
Opposite of the above, there are some types of relationships where you end up feeling more like friends than lovers. This person is the first one you would call for a fun night out and you spend enough time together that you finally started dating.
You always have fun together, but when it comes to getting cozy you’d rather not.
24. Trophy relationship
Such types of relationships are considered as a status symbol or else it gives you something materialistic in return.
The premise of a trophy relationship is greed where a person is either a gold digger or looking for a trophy partner.
25. The one
Finding the one is like getting a burst of butterflies in your stomach constantly. You have finally met your match – the person you want to spend the rest of your life with.
You know you’ve found the one when you talk seriously about your future together, you receive positive reinforcement, you have fun together, you sacrifice for one another, you plan a future, you have trust and open communication, and you agree on the big things in life. And finally? You make one another better.
Finding the one is the most satisfying of the relationship types out there. Just remember that you have to go through a few dud relationships to find the right one for you.
Our relationships are connected together through us and are the reason for many things beautiful. These relationships give meaning to our lives and who we are. The better we understand them the better our chances for attaining peace of mind
The language we use to describe different types of relationships changes over time, and sometimes depends on your culture, belief system, and location.
Taking time to understand different types of relationships can help you clearly communicate about your status, history, and values.
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.