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In the modern dating world that has sort of normalized mixed signals and nonexistent labels when it comes to relationships, it boggles our minds where we stand with the person we’re dating (or “not dating”). That’s why it pays to know and define the type of relationship you’re in so that you won’t find yourself in the middle of a drama chasing someone who is not on the same page as you are.

They say knowledge is power. Well, knowledge on the types of relationships can give you the power over unnecessary heartbreaks and the ability to help you become better in your existing and future relationships.

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Explore all you need to know about relationships and its different types!

What is a romantic relationship?

A romantic relationship is one where both parties feel love, lust, care and affection for each other. People who are in romantic relationships can see and feel each other’s dedication to what they have because it is often intentional and unmistakable.

Traditionally, most romantic relationships are between a man and a woman but overtime, man-man and woman-woman romantic relationships have proven to genuinely exist. Enduring affection and love in romantic relationships that surpass the test of time, external forces and even personal issues of the parties result in lifetime companionships and most commonly…marriage.

People who are in romantic relationships are generally characterized to be happier than those who are not. This is mainly because according to science, people who are in healthy relationships, release more of love and happy hormones like oxytocin, dopamine, and serotonin which increase during sexual intercourse and other intimate activities like hugging and kissing. That’s why everyone is crazy about love! It can give you such a natural high!

How to Start a Romantic Relationship

Once you’re ready to take that leap of faith with someone you genuinely and undoubtedly like, it’s time to start a relationship. Don’t overthink it because it’ll come to you once the right person comes. Here are some small yet effective tips when starting a relationship:

  • Open yourself up to the other person.
  • Be genuine. Don’t play any games.
  • Allow yourself to know the person and accept him/her without judgment.
  • Discover what about him/her you’re really attracted to.
  • Determine the characteristics of your ideal partner.

👉 If you want to know more about how to start romantic relationships, follow this link: Starting A New Relationship!

How to Define the Relationship

This might be one of the most delicate and awkward parts when you’re starting a new relationship with someone. Traditional courtships are no longer the standard for modern relationships. You can become someone’s girlfriend or boyfriend without the actual question (Would you be my gf/bf?) being asked but it certainly does not mean that it’s okay to be in the dark when you’re in a relationship with someone.

Defining where you both stand in your relationship is important for the relationship to survive and continue. Your expectations depend on the definition and type of your relationship. In other words, you both need to be on the same page and you both need to know that you’re on the same page. That’s just how relationships work.

In order to define your relationship status with someone, you need to know all about the different types of relationships. Study them all and see how they differ with one another. Don’t be afraid to explore them if you want to. It’s the only way to know which type you’ll be comfortable with. Or if you’re already with someone right now, try to see under which type your relationship falls under.

1. Poly Relationship

Gone are the olden days of monogamy, poly relationships have pretty much been more common as the years go by. It’s mostly based on the concept that humans are free to love whoever and however many people they love.

Most traditionalists still don’t believe in this type of relationship because they view it as infidelity but the modern and liberated lover sees it in a positive way. Basically, they believe that we are capable of loving more than one person at the same time.

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What is a poly relationship?

Poly relationship is a type of relationship wherein a party or both parties are in intimate and loving relationships with many people all at the same time. Sure, it may sound impossible but this type of relationship is made possible with both parties establishing certain rules and guidelines to make things work for them.

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It is a non-monogamy that raises the notion of free love for all. No two poly relationships are exactly the same as people have different needs so your relationship with your primary partner might be different with your relationship with another partner.

Can a polyamorous person be in a monogamous relationship?

Yes. Someone who used to be a polyamorous lover could definitely be in a monogamous relationship. If anything, this modern world has taught us that things and people could change and adapt. It all depends on how strong your relationship is, how good you communicate with each other and how secure you are with yourself and your partner.

It won’t be easy. It’ll take a whole lot of effort from both parties, not only the polyamorous person. You will both need to adjust to each other and be open about your feelings, needs and wants. You also need to understand that you both have different pasts but at the same time, be present with each in order to make your relationship work towards your future.

🤓 Suggested read: Polyamorous Relationship: Everything You Need To Know

2. Open Relationship

This type of relationship is also a type of non-monogamy relationship and has recently become a lot more common in western countries. It’s usually confused with poly relationships because they both have some similarities but at the same time, they’re also very different from one another.

As discussed, poly relationships involve people who have intimate and loving relationships with more than one person at the same time. When you’re in poly relationships, you see each partner as of equal hierarchy and importance with one another. You fall in love with all of your partners.

What is an open relationship?

An open relationship is the result when people in monogamous relationships seek more experiences and have sexual needs that can’t be satisfied by their monogamy. They both then decide to seek out other sexual partners while keeping their primary relationship with one another.

In other words, parties in an open relationship have sex with more than one person and they both consent to their partner having other sexual partners. It’s going to be very hard at first but a lot of people who make it work actually attest that they have never been happier and more secure with one another. Mainly because their needs are satisfied in every way without them feeling guilty about it.

Are you currently in an open relationship or do you want to be? Follow the link to know more about Open Relationships before you start one!

3. Long Distance Relationship (LDR)

Long before the pandemic swept the entire world and made pretty much everyone endure long distance relationships with our loved ones, LDRs have already been very common, especially with soldiers and sailors deployed abroad leaving their wives, pen pals who write to each other from across the world and even those people who just met online through Facebook, Instagram, Tinder, Omegle and other social media platforms!

They say that long distance relationships don’t survive in the long term but some LDR couples made it and proved that distance could really make the heart grow fonder. But of course, like all types of relationships, LDR is not for everyone.

What is a long distance relationship?

A long distance relationship or commonly known as LDR is a type of relationship wherein the partners are not physically together or live near each other. The couples in LDRs don’t see each other in person for long periods of time and just make use of mail, e-mail, online social platforms, online messengers, and video calls in order to communicate with each other.

These people who continue to make their LDR work do whatever they can in order to spice up their relationship despite the distance between them. Both parties look forward to their bittersweet reunion in the near future which fuels them each and everyday that they’re apart.

Are you in a long distance relationship that you badly want to work? Follow this link and learn about the ways on How To Make a Long Distance Relationship Work!

4. Codependent Relationship

It is normal for a party or both parties in a relationship to need each other. Heck, the whole point of loving someone is to be there for them when they need you. However, there are couples who, after such a long time of being together, one (codependent) has become sort of a provider/caretaker and the other one spoiled by said provider/caretaker in the relationship.

The reason for the codependency is that one party has become too comfortable and used that his/her partner will always be there to love, please, take care, and save him/her. It might sound positive but too much of anything is bad enough.

As a person, each and every one of us should be able to stand alone when life needs us to. Having your whole life and whole world revolve around another person will lead to you not being genuinely happy and content as an individual. The caretaker/provider will soon realize that he/she is always trying to prove himself/herself in order to gain his/her (codependent) partner’s love.

What is a codependent relationship?

A codependent relationship is a dysfunctional type of relationship wherein one party (codependent) has forced the other party to constantly work for his/her affection, expectation and approval. The other party doesn’t even realize it because it seems like he/she is under a love drug by the codependent partner.

It’s dysfunctional because for love to be true, both partners in a relationship should be equals. You both make each other happy, you both provide for each other, you both save each other. In order to achieve that balance, you should both be complete on your own. You don’t complete each other because each one of you is already complete all on your own. That’s the only time you can give unconditional love to each other. It takes two to tango in love.

How to Be More Independent in a Relationship

In order to be more independent in a relationship, you should also take time to discover yourself without your partner. Indulge in some quality Me time, go watch that movie alone, read that book you’ve always wanted to read, enroll in that class you’ve always wanted to take. Do the things you love for yourself.

Knowing yourself more and discovering your hidden potentials will let you make a path for yourself without consideration of other people’s opinion. Chase those dreams for you. Once you’ve become comfortable in your own skin and independent enough, you’ll see that it’s going to be a healthier and more complete version of you that you’re going to take into your relationship with your equally independent partner.

5. Dom and Sub Relationship

If you did not live under a rock for the past decade, then you most probably have heard about Mr. Christian Grey and his unusual love story with the beautiful Ms. Ana Steele in EL James’ trilogy of the Fifty Shades of Grey. Ladies all over the globe went crazy for the BDSM (bondage and discipline, domination and submission, sadism and masochism) relationship.

For the rest of you who didn’t know, Mr. Grey (dominant) had a set of rules to satisfy his sexual desire and attraction to Ms. Steele (submissive). Ever since the book and movie went out, this type of relationship, which has been a taboo for far too long, has been the subject of the more modern and open-minded society of today.

What does dom and sub mean?

Basically, a Dom and Sub Relationship is a sexual relationship between two consenting adults wherein the Dom (Dominant) has full control over the Sub (submissive) who should do everything and anything the Dom says, as if they’re on a roleplay. Any disobedience on the part of the Sub would mean punishment for him/her.

The form of punishment has been agreed upon by the two even before their sexual roleplaying has commenced. The punishment and roleplaying they do were meant to bring pleasure to both parties.

Included in the rules between the Dom and Sub are also each other’s limits. They usually agree on a safe word in case either of them feels like the other person (usually the Dom) has gone too far.

In order to make a BDSM relationship like this work, both the Dom and Sub should express their consent to each other, openly and honestly communicate their expectations, limits and boundaries and at the same time, play the roles as best as they can in order to please one another.

🤓 Suggested read: Date Night Ideas: Spend Quality Time With Your Partner

6. Toxic Relationship

Not all kinds of relationships are emotionally, sexually, and entirely beneficial and healthy. Some relationships become too dysfunctional to the point of no repair. People involved in this type of relationship become irritable, depressed, unhealthy and unstable because instead of lifting and inspiring each other, they instead drag each other further and further down.

Those who are traumatized by toxic relationships sometimes even avoid relationships in general afterwards. If you’re in one, the best thing to do is observe and seek out the signs, and eventually get out of it before it’s too late for the both of you.

What is a toxic relationship?

A toxic relationship is one wherein partners don’t support each other, partners who ignore conflicts and just let the wound fester, partners who instead of inspiring each other, become each other’s competition. These relationships also have no element of respect and honest communication between the parties involved.

Signs of a Toxic Relationship

In order to see the early signs of a toxic relationship, you should be aware of what to look at. If any of these toxic behavioral signs are present, try to think of ways on how to open it up in order to save the relationship but if it’ll come to a point where respect has left the room, you should, too.

  1. Your partner does not let you decide on your own.
  2. Your partner gives snide but seemingly innocent comments about you.
  3. You are not sure whether he/she is complimenting or insulting you.
  4. Your partner is not interested in anything or anyone outside your relationship.
  5. Your partner has made a gap between you and others.
  6. Your partner easily gets angry at small things and makes it a big deal.

However, these signs could then be followed by positive and redeeming actions to “make up” for the previous bad behavior so it becomes a sick pattern of negative and positive actions that would make you go into a vicious cycle of fighting and making up. If the relationship is beyond repair, you should decide for yourself that it has to end.

👉 If you don’t want your relationship to be toxic, follow this link and learn How to Have a Healthy Relationship!

7. Casual Sex Relationship

Online Dating Apps and the liberated mindset of the youth of today who give so much importance on their sex life more than aiming to have meaningful relationships have paved the path for the normalization of casual sex among today’s society.

If in the olden days people believe that you should only have sex with the person you’re in love with, well, that rule has pretty much been thrown out. Nowadays, people have sex for the sake of satisfying man’s carnal desires. Sex just for the sake of sex. No biggie. No attachments. Hence the birth of “friends with benefits”, “no strings attached” and “sex with an ex”.

This type of relationship is called Casual Sex Relationship. People who are involved with this are not looking for anything serious and are just looking to have fun and explore what the world has to offer. There is no emotional attachment, commitment and/or familiarity. They fuck. They don’t make love. It’s basically the death of romance.

Can casual sex turn into a relationship?

Unknown to some, casual sex can actually turn into a real relationship if and only if the parties have been together for more times, you are actually compatible with each other and unintentional emotional attachments have been created between the two of you whether you like it or not.

Just like any matters of the heart, a little something could be something more… if either, and then eventually both, of you realize you like each other more to the point that you would like to see each other for more than just the sex part.

Relationships are supposed to be simple in their very nature. As long as you two connect, respect and love each other enough to surpass all trials, you’ll be blessed. It’s just that humans are far more complex. We all have differences in our attitudes, beliefs, cultures, principles, needs and wants. That’s why we have curated these different types of relationships to match us… oh, well, whatever floats your boat!

👉 Are you looking for some awesome conversation starters for you and your partner? Here are some awesome Questions For Couples!

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