Types of Romantic Relationships

To find love as opposed to lust, we coin relationships based on what we hope to achieve. Relationships have a new trend, focusing on sexual gratification than emotional contribution. Relationships vary in longevity, and for several reasons, many online members are looking for short-term flings. However, people are seeking a long-term partner for marriage.

This online dating trend opened doors for liberated, open-minded people online to find similar-minded people in their vicinity. Several individuals knew of a few types of relationships, mostly traditional, serious dating. Still, with online dating and open-mindedness, relationship types have increased. So, whether you are lustful or seeking love, the internet is the proper platform, with personals on decent websites, for short-term flings, or long-term unions.

Types of Relationships

List of Different Types of Relationships

Relationships can be broken down into various lists, but there is a list of the overarching types of unions. These range from personal and private unions to liberated, new-age relationships. Some are traditional couplehood, while others take on risqué, somewhat taboo approaches. Let's examine the various types.

Family relationships

These are unions between father, mother, siblings, and the extended family, with blood and non-blood unions integrated. For example, we have siblings, parents, cousins, aunts, and uncles. Non-blood relationships include aunts and uncles through marriage. Also, there are new types of families whereby same-sex marriages are legalized, and parenting is slightly different. Adopted kids make up cute families, whether they fall into a regular, man and woman family parenting type or same-sex marriage.


Buddies come in different shapes, sizes and personalities. Most individuals develop friendships from early childhood, and some develop into late adulthood. These friendships are built on trust, loyalty, and plenty of fun times. Like-mindedness is a major part of friendships, whereby you spend more time with people with similar interests. Some friends develop relationships transitioning at some point to romantic unions. These can turn to long-term unions and marriage with the luckiest couples living happily ever after. Some friends become best friends forever, or BFFs, stemming from childhood to adulthood.


These can be individuals who barely know each other, drinking buddies, or social pals. Acquaintances usually meet at parties and spend less time discussing personal issues and more social aspects of life. Most of this couplehood is based on mutual groups, where meets occur because a mutual friend hosts a party or is involved in a certain type of social event. Acquaintances do not have loyalty or trust between them. Usually, work or business is carried out based on trust in a mutual friend. These relationships are the weakest in terms of bonds, but they can lead to sassy and romantic flings.

Romantic relationships

The most sought-after relationship, a romantic relationship, is based on physical and emotional attraction. The loyalty and trust built in the relationship are reciprocated, in theory anyway. This is the case with most romantic relationships, which start as a friendship for the luckiest couples. Romantic relationships are mutual understandings that individuals remain committed to each other, with no outside romantic entanglements. Strong romantic couplehood withstand moments of infidelity, but many fall under pressure, ending up in divorce. The best examples of romantic relationships started as acquaintances, led to friendships, finally becoming romantic unions. It is also the foundation for a successful, long-term marriage.

These are general definitions of couplehood types, but there are narrow definitions of relationships based on parties' needs, whether sexual or emotional. Moving away from physical relationships, let's look at the types of relationships in the family.

Types of Relationship in Family

This is a broad context that we can narrow down to blood, and non-blood relationships, whereby we have relationships with in-laws falling under non-blood unions.

Father, mother, and siblings

This is a nuclear family, with a father and mother plus siblings, male or female. This traditional form of family is constantly experiencing changes, and presently, there are newer types of relationship dynamics. For example, countless single mothers/fathers raising kids and dynamics now include gay couples raising children. Here, we see a shift from traditional family relationships to contemporary, open-minded approaches to raising families.

Cousins, aunts, and uncles

These relationships are extended family unions, and they include brothers and sisters to your mom, dad, and children of uncles and aunties. Such couplehood grows as aunties have more kids, and other family members are introduced, making room for third and even fourth cousins. Most of these relationships fall under blood relationships. A brother or sister from a direct aunt will be a first cousin. The second and third cousins are brothers and sisters from aunties, not necessarily close to blood couplehood.

Relationships through Marriage

These fall in the non-blood category, and they include in-laws, such as brothers, sisters, mothers, and fathers. The father and mother-in-law can become profound parenting figures, especially in more dominating cultures. Non-blood relationships sometimes involve marriages, whereby cousins not too closely related can intermarry. It may still be frowned upon, but it happens often.

Same-sex marriages

This couplehood does not involve blood unions and is nothing short of untraditional. Here, you have a man to man unions or women marrying women. With same-sex marriage legal in a few states, the relationships are non-blood. Members of the family are adopted, and cousins, aunts, and uncles will have no blood relationship. With same-sex marriages, kids are not siblings per se, but they are still raised lovingly.

The best type of relationship

The best unions have immovable foundations. These relationships are built on trust, adventure, meaning like-mindedness, and pure love for one another. The best relationships are not always reciprocal. For example, friends caring for each other without expecting payback or siblings are reaching out for comfort and varying degrees of help. The perfect relationship does exist, revolving around the following.


Boredom kills every relationship, from friendships, acquaintances to romantic unions. Couples who go hiking, mountain climbing, bungee jumping, and all types of adventures end up with fun-filled, happy relationships.


The best relationships are built on trust. Find someone you can trust with your life, and they may become a long-term partner, marriage-wise. Without trust, there can be nothing long-term. Creating a bond filled with trust seals the deal, and losing trust is always a deal-breaker.


Even friends have a form of intimacy between them. This can be hugging, cuddling when things go awry, calling each other and crying over the phone, and handing each other tissues. Intimacy helps keep a relationship in check. If you cannot be intimate with friends, who can you get intimate with?

Types of Relationships – Psychology

Professionals have specific breakdowns of relationship types, and psychologists break them down in terms of the psyche. Simply put, you could fall into any of these categories based on personalities, disposition, and traits.

Aggressive relationships

One partner is outwardly and outright dominating while the other remains submissive. This couplehood is be based on a mutual understanding or a controlling aspect of one partner. The submissive or accommodating partner is almost always feared what will happen next. These relationships inevitably end up in tears or separation.

Active and passive

There is a getter in the couplehood and a partner who sits and watches. The passive one could be timid, shy, or lazy while her/his partner is the opposite. In this case, opposites attract, and both parties, including the active one, are okay with the other's lazy traits. It works because the active partner has a streak for helping others. This nice trait, as it were, keeps them forever on their toes, ensuring stuff gets accomplished while their partner enjoys the fruits of their labor.


Sometimes called parallel existences, these two are seldom together emotionally or even physically. To elaborate, they seem like they are single. They rarely sit for coffee to discuss anything, nor do they ever end up arguing. Their lives head in opposite directions and always end quietly. Parties to these relationships never know how they got to dating, and indeed how the relationship ended.


Both parties accept their flaws and strengths. Additionally, they care enough to ensure their partner isn't falling behind in their career or personal endeavors. Because they have caring traits, they almost always seek to please their partners. If things get boring, dull, or stale, both parties try to bring life back into the couplehood. Keeping the fire burning is the mantra in this type of couplehood.

Types of Companionship

Companionship remained closely related to relationships because it all boils down to the same thing. Having a bond that lasts long term is the perfect form of companionship.


These are the best companions. They can be with you through thick and thin and sometimes have no idea why they are friends. With these companions, there is little payback or reciprocity.


We often meet strangers offering great companionship. Thus it should not be a surprise that acquaintances offer good companionship. Usually, acquaintances give great company and companionship because we know less of each other to judge. This type of companionship can last for eons because no one knows which buttons to push, to start a fight, or get favors in return


Here, you could have best friends with benefits, lovers occasionally meeting for one-nighters or those with strings attached. The strings could be emotional entanglements, kids, or finances. It is the strongest form of companionship before marriage. Presently, it is the most common form of companionship because there are no strings attached, or the strings can easily be broken.


Last but not least is family, beginning with parents, siblings, cousins, aunts, and uncles. These individuals offer long-lasting, genuine companionship based on trust, loyalty, and mutual respect. It is the longest-running form of companionship, dating back centuries ago and one that will continue for years to come.

Author: Jennifer Lorusso
Jennifer Lorusso is a recognized dating and interpersonal relationship expert. As a woman with Psychological degree, she utilizes both her whole life training and her incredible life experiences to serve her readers. She is known for her approachable manner and empathetic abilities. She trully believes that everyone can find true love as long as they believe it is available to them.
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