Identifying the 6 Fundamental Types of Romantic Relationships and How to Define Your Own

dentifying the 6 Fundamental Types of Romantic Relationships and How to Define Your Own

Identifying the 6 Fundamental Types of Romantic Relationships and How to Define Your Own

People use the term “relationship” so often these days that it’s generally believed to have a single, universal meaning. This is incorrect. In fact, however, the term “relationship” covers such a vast array of different types of human relationships, both romantic and nonromantic, that it’s very unlikely that any two individuals would have exactly the same idea of what constitutes a relationship. So, here’s a quick reference guide on the fundamentals.


What is the definition of a relationship?

A relationship may be defined as any kind of affiliation or connection between two or more individuals, whether intimate, platonic, positive, or negative in nature. In most cases, when people refer to “being in a relationship,” they are discussing a specific type of romantic relationship characterized by emotional and physical intimacy, some level of ongoing commitment, and monogamy (i.e., members of the relationship do not have this type of relationship with anyone else). Couples may have many different kinds of love relationships; from marriage to casual dating to ethical nonmonogamy, there are many different kinds of romantic partnerships.


Ties may be divided into four categories: familial relationships, friendships, acquaintanceships, and romantic relationships, to name a few. Work connections, teacher/student partnerships, and community or group relationships are all examples of more complex kinds of interactions that may be found in society. Relationships of various kinds are often intertwined and overlap with one another; for example, two individuals may be coworkers as well as close friends in the same organization. Moreover, there are many variants within each category, including codependent friendships, sexless marriages, and toxic family members, among others.



Relationships may be classified into the following categories:

Relationships inside the family, often known as family members or relatives



Relationships with women

Relationships at work or in the professional sphere

Relationships between teachers and students

Relationships within a community or group

Place-based connections, such as those with neighbors, roommates, and landlord/tenant partnerships, are examples of interpersonal interactions.

Enemies or competitors

Relationship with oneself There are many different types of romantic partnerships.

Various relationship categories are used to describe people’s connections with themselves and with others, but the following are some of the most fundamental kinds of romantic partnerships: asexual relationships, heterosexual relationships, and interracial relationships


1. Relationships

Intentionally spending time with someone to get to know them better, have fun together, and enjoy being romantic is referred to as “dating.” It is possible to date in order to determine whether or if there is the possibility for a more long-term relationship, or to date just for the sake of having fun without any expectations for the future, which is referred to as “casual dating.”


It’s not universally agreed upon what degree of commitment is indicated when two individuals declare that they are “dating.” The phrase is used by some individuals only when there is already a definite, committed relationship in place, while others use it to indicate that they are just investigating to see if there is relationship potential.


2. A long-term commitment to one another

Generally speaking, when used in the context of couples, the word “in a relationship” refers to being involved in a committed, long-term love engagement. The term “committed relationship” refers to a partnership in which two or more individuals have agreed to remain in a relationship for the foreseeable future. In agreement, the two will continue to spend time together, focus on developing their friendship with one other, and nurture their partnership in the future. People who are in committed relationships may choose to use identities such as boyfriend, girlfriend, or partner to communicate their connection to others outside of their circle of friends.


According to conventional monogamous partnerships, being in a committed relationship also implies that a couple would be romantically and sexually exclusive with one another—that is, they will not have any other romantic or sexual partners apart from one another. Neither exclusivity nor monogamy are needed in nonmonogamous partnerships.


In a committed relationship, marriage is one of the ways in which a couple publicly promises to be together and establishes a legally binding partnership.


3. Relationship that is not serious

It is possible for two or more individuals to be in a casual relationship while dating, spending regular time together, and participating in romantic or sexual activities—but there is no expectation that the connection will continue into the future. Generally speaking, these kinds of relationships are more temporary and short-term in nature, and they may or may not be exclusive in nature.


Generally speaking, people in casual relationships enjoy and are attracted to one another, but there may not be a strong emotional connection or a desire to develop the bond between them. A casual relationship may not be as interwoven into each other’s lives as a committed relationship, while individuals in committed relationships may consider themselves to be life partners with one other. In most cases, they will not refer to themselves as boyfriends, girlfriends, or partners.


4. Sex on the sly

When two or more individuals spend time together mainly for the purpose of having sex with each other, they are said to be in a casual sex relationship. They may have sex with one other on a regular basis, or they may just have sex with each other once and never see each other again. However, although they may be attracted to and enjoy one other’s company, neither of them is looking forward to developing an intimate connection with the other. It’s common for there to be no emotional connection, or for the relationship to be purely platonic or friendly, as in a “friends with benefits” scenario.


5. Situational awareness

Undefined romantic relationships, often known as situationships, are those in which the parties have not stated their intentions clearly. There are many similarities between this relationship and a committed relationship, a casual relationship, or dating, but the people involved have simply chosen not to label it—usually on purpose, either to avoid making things too complicated, because they are still figuring out what they want from each other, or because they are too afraid to bring up the “DTR talk” (aka a conversation defining the relationship).


Situationships, on the whole, tend to be more emotionally involved than a friendship-with-benefits scenario, but they lack the express romantic emotions and commitment that characterize a committed relationship.


Despite the fact that some individuals thrive in relationships without labels, situationships are more common because the two people involved aren’t on the same page about what they want or because it is assumed that the relationship would be short-lived enough that it won’t matter.


6. Nonmonogamy as a matter of ethical principle

It is a wide umbrella word that refers to any relationship in which individuals may have many romantic and sexual partners at the same time that is ethically nonmonogamic. Polyamory, open partnerships, relational anarchy, and a variety of different kinds of relationships involving more than two individuals are included in this category. Casual, committed, open, exclusive, dating-only, sex-only, or any combination of these types of relationships are acceptable in ethically nonmonogamous relationships. People in these relationships may use terms such as boyfriend, girlfriend, or partner to describe one another, but they are not required to do so by law.


According to psychology, there are seven different kinds of relationships.

Known as the Sternberg’s triangle theory of love, one popular paradigm for understanding and analyzing romantic relationships in psychology emphasizes three key components of love: passion, closeness, and commitment. While passion and intimacy are characterized by emotions of excitement and desire, commitment is characterized by feelings of closeness and connection, and commitment is the continuous choice to remain in and nurture the relationship. A couple may find themselves in one of seven distinct kinds of partnerships depending on whether of these three components are present:


Infatuation is just a matter of emotion.

Friendship is defined by closeness alone.

Love without commitment is called “empty love.”

Romantic love consists of two elements: passion and closeness.

Fatuous love consists of two elements: desire and commitment.

Companionate love is defined as follows: closeness with commitment.

Consummate love consists of three elements: desire, closeness, and commitment.

This connection paradigm, which was developed by psychologist Robert Sternberg, Ph.D., and his colleagues during the 1980s and 1990s, has been verified by research conducted in 25 different nations.


What it means to define a connection.

When it comes to dating, romantic relationships, and sex, it’s critical for partners to be open and honest about the kind of relationship they want and to ensure that they’re on the same page about their expectations.


Listed below are a few questions you should ask each other to help define your relationship:


What do you hope to get out of this relationship? Do you want something simple and on the spur of the moment? Something a little more forward-looking? Not sure what you want to do yet and simply want to look around?

Is a long-term relationship something you’re searching for? If that’s the case, can you see any potential here?

Are you spending time with other people?

Is there something romantic going on here? Are we interested in delving further into those emotions, or do we want to keep things a little more laid-back?

Do we wish to speak and see one other on a regular basis?

While these questions may seem daunting or overly serious at times, opting to ignore them just indicates that you are choosing to create assumptions rather than hearing the reality about the situation at hand.

While these questions may seem daunting or overly serious at times, opting to ignore them just indicates that you are choosing to create assumptions rather than hearing the reality about the situation at hand.



Shadeen Francis, LMFT, a sex and relationship therapist, previously told mbg that “people create commitments [and] expectations even when there are no labels attached.” “Simply because you are not discussing the parameters of your relationship does not imply that you do not have one.”



And keep in mind that just because you’ve defined your connection doesn’t imply you have to get into a serious or committed relationship with that person. It is just a matter of clarity when it comes to defining the connection.

As relationship therapist Shena Tubbs, MMFT, LPC, CSAT-C, once said to mbg, “Some individuals may prefer not to label their relationship because they are scared of getting tied down too soon or at a position where they feel imprisoned.” “However, it is important to realize that you have complete autonomy over your own actions in any relationship in which you find yourself, and that you are the one who is responsible for expressing what you need, what you desire, and what you do not want. So, if you find yourself in a situation where you are unable (or do not want) to date one person exclusively, you should express this to your partner so that [they] may decide whether or not it is a good fit for them.”

You’re Getting Divorced…Now What? is written by a divorce attorney and published by a publishing house. Having seen the detrimental effects of cryptocurrencies on relationships firsthand, Sandra Radna is well-versed on the subject matter. When assets are kept secret or acquired without the permission or knowledge of the other spouse, “crypto usually has a negative impact on relationships,” she says. For example, “If money is lost due to an unauthorized cryptocurrency purchase, it is understandable that this might lead to conflicts in the home.”

Financial infidelity between spouses may be caused by cryptocurrency. Spending money, having credit or credit cards, having hidden accounts or stashes of money, borrowing money, or otherwise accumulating debt without the knowledge of one’s spouse, partner, or significant other is considered financial adultery in most jurisdictions. The impact of financial infidelity was investigated by academics at the University of Indiana in 2019. They came to the conclusion that it “has the potential to be as harmful to relationship health and longevity as sexual infidelity,” because disagreements over money are also a primary cause of divorce.

The same is true, according to Sandra, who reports that she is increasingly encountering clients who have been victims of financial adultery using cryptocurrencies. According to her, “in my practice, I have encountered failure to disclose the acquisition of cryptocurrency as a problem that broke the trust of a spouse and resulted in divorce when combined with other factors that damaged trust in the marriage.” Most crypto investors seem to be aware that their actions may have a negative impact on their connection with the cryptocurrency exchanges. An article from Tech Domains describes how “60 percent of cryptocurrency investors believe their belief in or investments in cryptocurrencies have had a detrimental effect on their personal relationships,” according to the report.

Nobody believes it is a foregone conclusion that trading or investing in cryptocurrency would have an impact on their personal lives. Finally, Emma came to terms with Cristiano’s business dealings. Despite this, there are certain disadvantages, including the fact that the cryptocurrency market is never completely closed down. It’s as if neither of us had a shut-off button, she says at the end of the article. They are often up until 3 a.m., according to Cristiano and his partner Elizabeth. In addition, they speak about cryptocurrency a lot in their personal life. 

Because we’re both so absorbed with work for the most of the day, and because we don’t operate on a traditional nine-to-five schedule, it’s difficult to turn off the conversation about it. Not only have Cristiano and Elizabeth avoided financial ruin, but they have also avoided losing their relationship with one another as well. At the moment, the only thing they are missing out on is sleep.

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