Oh My...Relationships Have Changed
I wonder what it was like in the 1950s when someone asked about the 3 types of relationships. I imagine the words were pretty self-explanatory and one didn't have to dissect a relationship. It was pretty standard.
It seems like every decade the list gets longer. In the 90s they added Asexual and homosexual and at the turn of the century, causal and long distance relationships.
Now it is 2019 and I can't keep up. Does a boyfriend or girlfriend really mean just that? And a friend has so many definitions now. It doesn't just mean we have a healthy, platonic relationship with boundaries. It is exclusive of sexual or family relations. As years have passed, if someone says he or she has a "Friend" you may need to ask them to define “Friend”. It could mean, a friend with benefits, kickin it (sexually), hanging out (sexually), hooking up, knocking boots or just a platonic non-sexual friend. It is so confusing, people are ghosting one another. Nobody wants a label. Even if it is a platonic, healthy, non-sexual relationship. Basically, someone trying to truly be a friend.
Relationships in any form is not a one size fits all anymore.
Here are the most common relationships:
1. Monogamous Relationships
Monogamous relationships tend to be the first one people learn about as they are the most traditional or conservative and usually easy for anyone born before 1990 to understand. Those in monogamous relationships only have one sexual/romantic partner at a time. Most people who enter into "traditional" relationships and marriages do so because they want only one partner.
2. Open Relationships
In a way, open relationships are a hybrid of many relationships. An open relationship allows both partners to share physical intimacy with anyone they want, they reserve their emotional intimacy for each other. So each person can have as many sexual partners as they want, but only one romantic emotional partner.
3. Family Relationships
A family relationship can be defined as any combination of affiliation. By marriage, adoption, and guardianship. In some cases, common law is considered a family relationship. It does not have to be a blood relative and a family relationship includes, an extension of ancestors, uncles, aunts, and cousins.
4. Long-Distance Relationships
A long-distance relationship is pretty self-explanatory, as they only occur when partners have a long amount of distance separating them. Due to the lack of physical intimacy caused by the couple's physical separation, some choose to open their relationship while they live far apart. While the "long-distance" part of this relationship type is often temporary, some couples choose to live happily ever apart indefinitely.
5. Casual Sex Relationships
In a casual sex relationship, both partners agree to have sex with each other on a regular basis — and that’s it. No Emotional Involvement - two people meet up just to have sex. Those in casual sex relationships can be physically and/or emotionally intimate with other people as well. But they have agreed to be ok with it. Sex relationships can also be "exclusive" — meaning neither person sleeps with anyone else — without the emotional connection.
6. 'Friends With Benefits' Relationships
A "friends with benefits" relationship is similar to a casual sex relationship, but with one important difference — an established, platonic friendship. Often, "friends with benefits" relationships begins when two friends agree to act on a mutual sexual attraction. Outside of the sexual relationship, the partners behave purely platonically. Usually, 'friends with benefits' relationship ends when one or both partners start to date someone else.
7. Polyamorous Relationships
When someone is polyamorous, that means they have more than one romantic relationship at a time. Often, polyamorous couples have a primary partner, a secondary partner, etc. Others treat every simultaneous relationship they are engaging in as perfectly equal. The key to any successful relationship, but especially polyamorous ones, is honest and effective communication between all parties involved.
8. Homosexual Relationships
A same-sex relationship is a relationship between persons of the same sex and can take many forms, from romantic and sexual, to non-romantic homosocial relationships. The relationship can be monogamous or an open relationship. The term is primarily associated with gay and lesbian relationships.
9. Asexual Relationships
Some people are asexual, meaning they don't experience sexual desire or attraction to others, but they still want to participate in a romantic relationship. While asexual people often choose to date each other to create a purely asexual relationship, this is not always the case. When an asexual person and a sexual person enter into a relationship, it can take a few different forms. The couple can choose to be completely sexless, or the asexual partner can "compromise" by engaging in sex occasionally under certain circumstances, or partners can experiment with "pseudosexual behavior," such as cuddling.
This relationship is more common than you think. Mainly because it is a make-believe relationship with one-side. One partner is romantic and the other partner is in it for their own personal non-romantic needs. A pseudo-relationship is quite possibly the worst kind of relationship. It is usually a five- or six-month period in which a person is involved with someone who will not commit but continues to string him or her along anyway with terribly unfair mixed messages.
Urban Dictionary defines a “situationship” as “a relationship that has no label on it…like a friendship, but more than a friendship, but not quite a relationship.” A couple in all the aspects of being together but they are afraid of the responsibility and pressure that come along with the label “boyfriend” or “girlfriend.” One or both partners want a relationship or at least a better definition for what they’re doing, but they’re afraid by asking, he or she may lose a friend.
12. Best Friend/Platonic Friendships
The defining characteristic of friendship is a preference for a particular person. However, different people may have distinct definitions of and requirements for friendship. It's also a close relationship between two people marked by feelings of care, respect, and admiration. Non-Sexual.