11 types of relationships: understand each one of them

In this article, we’ll delve into the details of these and other types of relationships, analyzing the challenges and benefits each presents. Get ready to broaden your perspective on the vast universe of relationships and, who knows, discover new ways of relating that you may never have considered before.

1. Monogamous:

Monogamy is the most common and socially accepted type of relationship, where two people are emotionally and sexually committed to each other, excluding relationships with third parties. Monogamy has historical and cultural roots and is often associated with fidelity and loyalty (Conley et al., 2013).

How to live this kind of relationship?

Living in a monogamous relationship requires dedication, commitment and open communication between partners. By choosing this type of relationship, both individuals agree to be exclusive to each other, both emotionally and sexually.

For this exclusivity to be maintained and the relationship to thrive, it is important that there is mutual trust, respect, and a continual effort to nurture the emotional connection between the two.

In addition, it is essential to face life’s challenges together, share dreams and goals, and invest in personal and joint growth, which strengthens the bond and enriches the experience of being in a healthy and lasting monogamous relationship.

2. Polygamists:

Polygamy is the practice of having multiple spouses, which can be divided into two subtypes: polygyny (one man with multiple wives) and polyandry (one woman with multiple husbands). Polygamy is culturally accepted in some societies but illegal in others. Anthropologist George Murdock (1967) analyzed the prevalence of polygamy in different cultures.

How to live this kind of relationship?

Living in a polygamous relationship can be a complex and challenging experience, which requires a high degree of communication, understanding and mutual respect between those involved.

For polygamy to work in a healthy way, it is essential to establish clear rules, share expectations and responsibilities, and ensure that all partners are in tune with the values ​​and goals of the relationship.

It is also important to consider the cultural and legal context in which the relationship is embedded, in order to deal with possible prejudices and challenges that may arise along the way.

3. Polyamorous:

Polyamory involves maintaining multiple affective and/or sexual relationships, with the consent of all those involved. In polyamory, there is an emphasis on establishing deep emotional bonds, open communication, and honesty (Sheff, 2014).

How to live this kind of relationship?

Living in a polyamorous relationship requires a conscious and responsible approach, based on open communication, mutual trust and respect for the needs and limits of each person involved.

This implies establishing clear rules and agreements between partners, cultivating empathy and understanding for each other’s emotions and perspectives, and being willing to face challenges such as jealousy and managing time and emotional resources.

In addition, it is essential to practice self-awareness and self-care, ensuring that everyone involved is satisfied and supported in the multiple affective and/or sexual connections that characterize this form of relationship (Sheff, 2014).

4. Open relationships:

In an open relationship , the couple agrees to allow each other to have sex with other people, but remains emotionally committed to each other. The research by Moors et al. (2014) suggests that couples in open relationships tend to have high satisfaction and effective communication.

How to live this kind of relationship?

Living in an open relationship requires emotional maturity, open communication and mutual trust between partners. Both must establish clear limits and rules to ensure respect for each other’s needs and feelings.

It is critical to maintain an ongoing and honest dialogue to address any concerns or insecurities that may arise and to adapt the rules as necessary.

Furthermore, empathy and understanding are crucial to deal with the emotions involved and ensure that the open relationship is an enriching and satisfying experience for both partners, always preserving the emotional commitment that unites them.

5. Relational anarchy

Relational anarchy is a type of relationship that distances itself from traditional norms, seeking the individual freedom of each partner to build affective connections in a non-hierarchical and non-prescriptive way.

In this approach, there are no predefined rules or rigid social expectations, allowing those involved to decide how they want to live the relationship. Unlike monogamy, where there is exclusivity between two partners, in relational anarchy each individual has the autonomy to explore relationships according to their emotional and sexual needs.

This form of relationship requires open and honest communication, as well as respect for each person’s limits and choices. Relational anarchy values ​​the spontaneity and individuality of each person involved, promoting a flexible approach free from external pressures, seeking to build truly authentic and respectful connections.

6. Long-distance relationships:

Couples in long-distance relationships maintain their emotional bond and commitment even though they are geographically separated. Studies show that long-distance couples can have similar emotional satisfaction and intimacy to couples who live together (Jiang & Hancock, 2013).

How to live this kind of relationship?

Living in a long-distance relationship requires a conscious effort by both partners to maintain emotional connection and commitment despite geographic challenges.

To be successful in this type of relationship, it is essential to establish open, honest and frequent communication, using all available technological resources, such as video calls, messages and social networks.

It is important to plan regular visits whenever possible, set clear goals and expectations for the future, and develop a solid foundation of trust and mutual support. In this way, couples can cultivate satisfaction and emotional intimacy in a long-distance relationship, facing together the challenges that this dynamic presents.

7. Casual Relationships:

In this type of relationship, the people involved do not assume formal commitments and focus on temporary sexual and/or emotional satisfaction . Grello et al. (2006) examined the effects of casual relationships on individuals’ emotional well-being.

How to live this kind of relationship?

To live a casual relationship in a healthy and satisfying way, it is essential to establish clear and open communication from the beginning, ensuring that both parties understand and agree with the non-committal nature of the relationship.

This implies setting boundaries, respecting the needs and desires of the other and, above all, being honest with yourself and your partner about the expectations and feelings involved.

In this way, it is possible to enjoy temporary experiences of emotional and/or sexual connection without causing misunderstandings or disappointments, allowing each person to feel valued and respected within this unconventional relationship context.

8. Asexual relationships:

In an asexual relationship, those involved may have a deep emotional connection, but have no interest or participation in sexual activities. Asexuality is a recognized sexual orientation, and Bogaert (2006) analyzed its prevalence and characteristics in his research.

How to live this kind of relationship?

Living in an asexual relationship requires understanding, communication and mutual respect between those involved. Both partners must be aware of each other’s needs and desires, and set clear boundaries to ensure the relationship is satisfying for both.

This means addressing emotional and affective issues with sincerity, as well as seeking out activities and experiences that strengthen the emotional connection, such as spending quality time together, sharing interests, and offering emotional support to one another.

Maintaining an open and honest dialogue is critical to ensuring the asexual relationship flourishes, allowing partners to celebrate the depth of their emotional connection without the pressure of sexual expectations.

9. Colorful friendship:

Colorful friendship is a relationship where friends are sexually involved without assuming affective or exclusivity commitments . Bisson & Levine (2009) investigated the factors that influence the success of these relationships.

How to live this kind of relationship?

To successfully live a colorful friendship relationship, it is essential to set clear boundaries and maintain open and honest communication from the beginning.

Both parties must agree on expectations and rules, such as the frequency of sexual encounters and the handling of emotions that may arise. In addition, it is crucial to respect the other’s feelings and autonomy, adapting to changes and reassessing boundaries as necessary.

By doing so, those involved can enjoy the physical intimacy and camaraderie of colorful friendship without compromising the existing friendship or creating misunderstandings (Bisson & Levine, 2009).

10. Codependent relationships:

In this type of relationship, partners develop an excessive emotional dependence on each other, often resulting in dysfunctional and harmful behavior patterns.

Codependency can be characterized by the need for control, low self-esteem, denial of problems and ill-defined personal boundaries. Beattie (1987) is one of the pioneering authors in the study of codependency and its effects on relationships.

How to live this kind of relationship?

Living in a codependent relationship can be challenging and often harmful for both partners. To deal with this type of relationship, it is essential that those involved seek to develop self-awareness and assertive communication skills.

Furthermore, it is critical to seek professional support, such as therapy or counseling, to address the underlying issues that contribute to codependency.

Both partners must work together to establish healthy boundaries, promote emotional independence and strengthen self-esteem in order to transform relationship dynamics and create a more balanced and healthy connection with each other.

11. Long term relationships:

These are relationships that persist over many years, usually involving a lasting emotional and sexual commitment between the partners.

Studies have shown that couples in long-term relationships can face specific challenges, such as maintaining satisfaction and emotional intimacy over time (Levenson et al., 2014).

How to live this kind of relationship?

Living in a long-term relationship requires dedication, open communication and adaptability.

To maintain satisfaction and emotional intimacy over time, couples must strive to nurture mutual connection, cultivate respect and understanding, and find ways to continue to grow together, both individually and as a couple.

This includes sharing interests, tackling challenges together and celebrating achievements, as well as establishing a safe space for expressing vulnerabilities and emotional needs.

In addition, it is important for partners to continue to get to know each other and rediscover each other, adapting to the changes inherent in life and the passage of time, in order to keep the relationship vibrant and enriching for both.


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