Home Love & Relationship 19 Types of Relationships You’ll Have in Life

19 Types of Relationships You’ll Have in Life


There are numerous types of relationships for those with a romantic partner. Many relationships last a lifetime and fill each lover with bliss and beauty. Other relationships seem to bring negative events and emotions. Some are filled with passion and burn out within weeks, while others still simmer slowly for decades. It is beneficial to understand the variety of relationships that exist in the world.

For those who are interested in learning how to establish and nurture a lasting relationship, it is important to understand how compatibility and respect support this goal. Born from compatibility and respect, love is the bond that holds a relationship firmly together.

Other people may be seeking advice regarding their current relationship. Perhaps a timeline will provide information or a guide to a successful relationship. Any relationship may be improved, though it may require constant attention and work.

Additionally, there are those who may be trying to determine a way out of a poor relationship. Simply put, a relationship that makes someone feel negative instead of positive is a poor relationship. It may be helpful to understand what kinds of relationships exist and are available to search for.

Regardless of the current situation, it may be difficult to determine the future events of an existing relationship. This article will not reveal the future of any relationship, but it may give information regarding the direction, hurdles, and end of a relationship.

Types of Relationships

What follows is an extensive list of the various types of relationships. Real life is much more complicated than a simple list, so a reader may find themselves existing in numerous types of a relationships at the same time. This is to be expected, as it would be rare for a relationship to be perfectly defined in a paragraph.

1. Unattached Relationship

Unattached relationships are defined by the lack of strong connection between the two partners. Conversations may be short and without substance. Many of these relationships seem to exist on the phone or computer more than they do in real life. This may be a sign of a lack of physical, emotional or intellectual attraction. It is also possible that the relationship does not have fertile ground to flourish, such as between people who live in different cities or countries. Shyness or lack of confidence may also be to blame. For those who want an unattached relationship to grow stronger, attempt to spend more time together in person.

2. Smothering Relationship

When one or both partners constantly seek attention, the relationship may be called smothering or needy. While these relationships often bring emotional joy to the individuals, they may also cause important matters to be dropped. This is most common in the early stages of a relationship, though lifelong relationships may this kind of relationship. Strong physical, emotional or intellectual attraction is present. To prevent one partner from leaving because they feel smothered or that their partner is needy, take a day or two away from each other. This will help intense feelings normalize and become more stable.

3. Balanced Relationship

It is important for individuals in a relationship to feel comfortable living their own life. They should also understand that their partner wants to spend time together. At the root of a balanced relationship is respect. Time for friendships, family and the self is important for a healthy mind. On the other hand, being physically, emotionally and intellectually supportive is the most important aspect of a respectful relationship. When balance is developed, the relationship will begin to grow in a way that supports the needs of both partners.

4. Asexual Relationship

A relationship that exists without sexual attraction or intercourse is common between those with strong emotional and intellectual bonds, but a lack of physical attraction. That is not to say that physical attraction does not exist, but it is not the main focus on the relationship. An asexual relationship may also exist because the individuals, for one reason or another, are not interested in sexual engagements. Situations exists where both partners want to be sexually active and are sexually attracted to each other, but emotional or intellectual reasons prevent encounters. If this is the case, then a conversation is required to determine the cause of an emotional or intellectual hurdle.

5. Carnal Relationship

On the other hand, relationships that are entirely focused on sex exist as well. These relationships are often affairs, flings or random encounters. Generally, strong physical attraction exists without the support or emotional or intellectual compatibility. Of course, many relationships based around sex are between partners with strong emotional and intellectual attachments to each other. For those who find that their partner is too interested in sexual encounters, a conversation regarding the needs of emotional or intellectual stimulation may be beneficial.

6. Intimate Relationship

A relationship that is balanced regarding physical interaction is the most commonly accepted type of relationship. While asexual and carnal relationships can be successful and enjoyed by their mutual partners, intimate relationships are much more common. In an intimate relationship, sexual and physical needs are balanced with the emotional and intellectual needs of each individual. In these relationships, all forms of attachments are explored. Many people will be seeking a relationship that is balanced in this regard, as few people are seeking the extreme of either end of the physical spectrum.

7. Apathetic Relationship

Emotions, often misunderstood, can be difficult for some people to manage and decipher. To protect themselves from emotional suffering, many people choose to become apathetic in their relationships. In this kind of relationship, one or both partners choose to reduce their emotional attachment to their partner. This often will develop a cold and uncaring relationship. These relationships are often found between people who have had problems with infidelity in their current or previous relationships. For those with a partner who is unwilling to share their emotions or show emotional attachment, a conversation regarding trust and respect is required.

8. Jealous Relationship

Other relationships are plagued by jealously and fear. In relationships that are ruled by jealously, a tainted form of emotional attachment is present. When a partner prevents the other from spending time with friends, family or in solitude, they are projecting their fear of loss onto their partner. This is often caused by the fear of being alone or being cast aside. The majority of the time, this is caused because there are concerned about infidelity. Extreme cases of jealousy may be a form of abuse, so it is best to nip jealousy in the bud before it has a chance to bloom. Fear and a lack of trust may be mollified by a clear and honest conversation about respect and compatibility.

9. Stable Relationship

Emotional stability is born of trust. The strongest relationships are those where both partners respect the emotional freedom and security of their partner. One does not need to be so unconcerned with their partner that they support them visiting a friend of the opposite sex alone, but they should not be worried about a holiday gathering for work. A stable couple will give each other time to visit their family or to take some time to themselves. This all said, it is important to understand that each person wants to be loved and cared for. Empathy, compassion and kindness develop a strong structure that supports the emotional connection between two people.

10. Dismissive Relationship

When emotional and physical connections are strong, yet problems still exist, the cause is often due to a lack of intellectual respect. Many people find themselves dismissing or being dismissed by their partner as unintelligent. Intellectual gaps may cause someone to feel as though they are not compatible with their partner. For those who find that their ideas and thoughts are not being listened to, the best option is to have a conversation about the problem.

11. Dependent Relationship

Sometimes a partner acts as though they are incapable of caring for themselves. This is a sign of a lack of intellectual confidence, and it often manifests as dependency. That partner may see themselves as less intelligent and therefore less valuable. Becoming clingy may be the only action that they are willing to take to ensure that their partner does not leave them. However, dependent relationships often turn into dismissive relationships. For those with a dependent partner, it may be best to help support the intellectual development of the partner. Taking a class with an underachieving partner will help to strengthen the relationship.

12. Symmetrical Relationship

When each partner contributes equally to the intellectual compatibility of the relationship, the relationship often flourishes. For those in a relationship with a partner who is equal in this regard, most problems are put aside as irrelevant. This develops greater respect, which creates a stronger emotional attachment. Balanced, intimate, stable and symmetrical relationships are the strongest types of relationships.

Specific Relationships

1. Controlling Relationship

Relationships that have a lack of intellectual and emotional balance may develop into a controlling relationship. A lack of respect and excess of ego may cause one partner to attempt to control the other. Often times, this person views themselves as more intelligent and are emotionally distant. Their controlling behavior may also be a manifestation of their fear of infidelity or loss. In turn, they may become unfaithful or uncaring. For those who are in a controlling relationship, the best option is to leave the relationship as soon as possible.

2. Hidden Relationship

Hidden relationships, such as affairs, are often subdued and harmful to those involved. During an affair, each person has some sort of loss or lack of input. For the cheater, they are splitting their attention between two people and harming both of them. For the supporter of the affair, they are unable to have a full and transparent relationship with their partner. Sadly, the person being cheated on may have no idea what is happening, but realize that their partner is distant and uncaring.

3. Abusive Relationship

Regretfully, some people choose to abuse their partner. This can manifest as emotional, intellectual or physical abuse. For those who are belittled, ignored, struck or any other form of abuse, the only option is to leave. In serious cases, such as physical abuse, speak with law enforcement officer for your own protection. The people who are willing to abuse their partner may also be the same kind of person who would stalk or abuse their ex.

4. Friendship Relationship

Friends with benefits often choose to develop a physical relationship with someone that they may not be willing to develop a long term relationship with. They may also be unsure that they want to establish a relationship with someone that they could serious damage a friendship with. However, these forms of relationships almost always turn into regular relationships. It is best to view this kind of relationship as a stepping stone to a more serious relationship, as the emotional and intellectual connection is already developed.

5. Fling Relationships

Flings and other short term relationships exist as well. In these relationships, strong physical attraction leads the two individuals together. These can turn into strong and lasting relationships, but most often end as quickly as they began. For those who want a relationship of this style to last, it is best to have a clear conversation about the ideas and goals of the future. It may be best to simply enjoy what life sends you way and allow it to fade with a friendly wave.

6. Long Distance Relationship

Long distance relationships can be difficult to keep together. Strong emotional and intellectual connections are developed due to a lack of physical intimacy. If longer than a year, these relationships often fail. However, those that survive this test are often lifelong. Attempt to communicate every day in a variety of ways. Write letters, send messages, speak on the phone and see each other on video chat to ensure a strong relationship.

7. Successful Relationship

Except for abusive relationships, all of these relationships can turn into a successful relationship. Built upon mutual respect and compatibility, a successful relationship is lifelong and filled with joy. Develop the emotional, intellectual and physical attachment to ensure strong connections. At any point that there is an issue or concern, it can be overcome by a direct and honest conversation.


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