11 Different Types Of Relationships — And How To Know Which You’re In

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There are many different types of relationships. No two relationships look the same, but sometimes, labels and categories can help us understand better.

Your connection with your sexual partner, for example, is probably not the same as anyone else's. However, it can be useful to understand each other's boundaries.

Are you two in a committed, exclusive relationship or are you friends with benefits and allowed to hook up with other people? Or perhaps, is your relationship an unhealthy one that needs to come to its end?

Just as there are different types of couples, there are different types of relationships between humans.

Basic Types of Relationships

There are four basic types of relationships: family relationships, friendships, acquaintanceships, and romantic relationships.

Then there are also several sub-categories within those main four, including professional/work relationships, teacher/student relationships, community or group relationships, place-based relationships (neighbors, roommates, and landlord/tenant relationships), enemies/rivals, and relationships to self.

Your romantic relationship type depends on many things — the people in it, your experiences so far, your characteristics, etc.

Read through the list of relationship types below to determine which kind you're in.

11 Different Types of Romantic Relationships

1. Independent Relationships

Being independent is not bad for you. However, being in a serious relationship requires compromise and sacrifice. Independence is not the quality that you are looking to show off.

Sure, you and your partner need to be independent up to a certain level that allows you both to function without each other, but total independence in the relationship is never a good sign.

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2. Codependent Relationships

In a co-dependent relationship, you and your partner can't seem to function without each other. As mentioned before, independence is a quality that everyone should possess.

Not being able to stay away from your partner can cause problems in the other areas of your life, like your social life and your relationships with your friends and family.

3. Dominant/Submissive Relationships

A relationship where you control your partner or they control you is only a good thing in the context of consensual BDSM style relationships.

But outside of the bedroom, this type of dynamic may indicate a lack of independence, understanding, and trust. And we all know that all of these things are the basis for a healthy relationship.

4. Open Relationships

Entering the modern ages, open relationships allow you and your partner to see other people outside of the relationship.

If you and your partner are a part of this kind of relationship, chances are that one or both of you are not ready to be emotionally involved in the relationship.

5. Changing Relationships

This the couple who tries to adjust to each other by changing their routines, interests, style, hobbies, and even friends. In simple words, they change themselves for their partner.

There are no two same people on the Earth, which is why relationships require compromise and acceptance.

A relationship is no place for you to change your entire personality just for another person to like you!

6. Toxic Relationships

Toxic relationships occur when a couple is attracted to and even love each other, but there is no compromise or understanding.

You seem to have different opinions and interests which lead to different arguments and problems, but you still feel attached to the partner.

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7. "Just For Now" Relationships

A "just for now" relationship consists of two people not looking for anything serious.

They are looking for a fun and temporary partner, probably to adjust and heal after the end of a long-term relationship or a bad breakup.

8. Best Friends Relationships

This is a relationship where both are comfortable talking and connecting, but there is a lack of intimacy.

Sex is an important part of every intimate relationship, and a relationship without sex is doomed to end at some point.

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9. Sexual Relationships

Compared with the previous type, the sexual relationship consists of two people who are clearly looking for sex and nothing deeper.

There is no place for any deeper connection.

They're more like sexual partners than two members of a couple.

10. Long Distance Relationships

Everyone knows about long-distance relationships. In most cases, they end in a moment of desperation because you are unable to see and communicate regularly.

11. Truly Compatible Relationships

We left the best, most perfect relationship for last! This is a picture-perfect, healthy relationship based on understanding, trust, and true love.

It consists of two people who are ready to make sacrifices for each other as well as love and respect each other.

This kind of relationship is what we're all looking for. And luckily, many people have already found it.

Being in a relationship isn't always easy, and not everyone is as ready as they seem to be or think they are.

Before entering a relationship of any type, you first need to get to know yourself and your potential partner.

We hope that you found yourself in some of these types of relationships we're not going to lie — we hope that all of you found a truly compatible relationship!

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Donna Begg is an expert editor, mentor, analyst, and researcher.