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Types of relationships

A relationship means different things to different people, and what makes one person happy could make another unhappy.

What sort of relationship do you want to be in? Marriage is important for many people, for example, but not everyone wants to get married. Some couples want to live together and spend a lot of time in each other's company, while others prefer to give each other more space.

Everyone manages relationships in their own way. It's important to make sure that you and your partner want the same kind of relationship and have similar expectations.

Committed relationships

Being in a committed relationship means deciding together on the rules of the relationship and accepting them. It normally means being loyal and ‘exclusive’ to each other. You don't make out or have sex with anyone except your partner.

Commitment isn’t just about sex though – there's also emotional commitment. This means being honest about your feelings for each other, and trusting each other in all areas of life. It’s likely that you're in a committed relationship if you've been with the same person for a long time, made a mutual promise to be faithful, shared a room or a home, established close financial ties – or if you're married.

The easiest way to find out if you've managed to pass the commitment test is to have a talk about it with your partner. Evaluate what both of you want from the relationship and from each other. This honest and open discussion should show the level of commitment you have towards each other.

Open relationships

Couples who are in open relationships allow each other to date or have sex with other people. It means they're honest with their partners about sleeping with other people and ideally don't see it as a hindrance to their relationship.

There are different reasons why couples might agree to open relationships. Some people really believe in loving more than one person at the same time. Some are looking for the closeness of a steady relationship without giving up the thrill of new sexual experiences with other people. For others it could be because of lack of sexual compatibility, or living far away from each other. Or maybe they’d really prefer to split up, but because of circumstances – children, family, money – they choose to stay together but have other relationships too.

Some couples who find open relationships work out well for them. But many run into problems. It seems like an appealing idea at first, and you think you’ll be able to cope with the emotions. But in reality there’s no avoiding it: you end up feeling jealous. This can damage the whole relationship.

The best thing to do before entering into an open relationship is to have a long talk about it and share your concerns and insecurities. Then it might be good to test the waters by seeing how it goes for an agreed period of time before making the final decision.

Live-in relationships

In some cultures, it's okay for couples to live together without being married. In Kenya, live-in relationships aren't a socially accepted norm, but more and more young, urban couples are choosing to live together anyway.

Partners may choose to live together without getting married for various reasons. It could be because they want to maintain their single status, or because of financial reasons or because they're gay and can't marry legally.

Many people also use live-in relationships to find out if they're comfortable living together before they get married. 

Live-in relationships need a lot of commitment and many couples who live together don't see themselves as any different from married couples. Many countries in the West give long term live-in relationships the same legal status as marriages in case of separation.

Married relationships

Marriage is a legal union between two people, and also signifies social acceptance of the relationship. In some cultures two people can only start living together when they're married.

The decision to get married could be made by couple, or their families could also be involved. When the couple falls in love first it's called a 'love marriage', and when parents and families set everything up it's called an 'arranged marriage'. Many marriages involve elements of both.

A marriage is usually celebrated with a wedding, and married couples often celebrate their wedding anniversary every year.

Hi Joseph, Unfortunately if she won't love you back you have to respect her choice however difficult and allow yourself to move on. This is tough but there is little you can do to make her love you, she may already be in a relationship already. Check out this article;- https://lovematters.co.ke/love-relationships/meeting-someone/saying-no-and-dealing-with-rejection
If u find aguy telling u he loves u and want to marry u but he is busy with his work no meetings ,wen u ask when awe getng married then he say wait lwill tell u maybe next but l dont we the month is that guy serious with u or u quit
I see my love not working becouse my love is far away even we stayes for a month without meeting ad italked with her but there was noresponse am thinking for a divoce should i
Am in love with this girl.And when we make love,she complain thats am hurting her.she says that my tool is big and it hurt her.what should i do?
Am in love with this girl.And when we make love,she complain thats am hurting her.she says that my tool is big and it hurt her.what should i do?
Sun, 10/26/2014 - 19:42
I have been in a relationship with a woman 17yr older than me and never slept together in 1full yr we hv dated. Is it normal to be inlove were there is such a gap
my bf n i hv bin dating for a yr nw...we prmd nt to hv sex til marriage..bt hs nw insisting dat we must hv sex...my religious beliefs dnt allow me to do so...both of us love much...itold hm to tek hsleave...bt nw i just realised dat i want hm back so badly bt amnt ready to hv sex wd hm...wat do i do?am hurting....nampenda sana
Hi Jane, first of all, don't let him pressure you into having sex. It is your choice, and if you don't want to, don't do it. But sometimes, sex is such a big thing that people break up over it. it happens, even though it's sad. Have a look at this article, it answers your question, but from the man's perspective: http://lovematters.co.ke/news/love-without-sex
is sex so dire to pruve dat u lov a guy..at first olmost all guys appear sweet n gentle n flirt alot..majority prms to wait for u to hv sex wd dem in marriage....then they suddenly change....aaaah yis dis so?u date a guy....follow so dip in love wd hm...onlyfor hm to demand sex b4 marriage....he leaves n uend up so heartbreaken...love hurts....
i have a girl who is my best friend i have been with her for 2 yrs and she want to come home to know ma parents and home and don't know how to do help me can i agree her to come
My bf has another girl with 2 children. He usually tells me that he lavs me more than the wife that nowadays he does not have sex with her bcoz of me but me make lav 2gether. I really lav the guy so much lyk he does 2 me plas the children. The problem i have with him is when he is @ home n i call him he talks with me lyk another person n not his wife 2 b. Or is it that he has not teld the wife about me. What can i do do i ask him to talk to the wife about me or not.
Esy, I'm sorry to tell you, but most men will not leave their family for the 'other woman'. He might promise, that the chances are high that it will never happen. So if you are okay with that, no problem, but if you are looking to have a relationship with him, don't get your hopes up too high!
I agree love matters, I was going through the same problem my guy that I decided to dump him.. I realized that he was jus using me for sex, like why treat me indifferently while in the house with her then treat me sweetly when ts only me nd him!!
Thank u for the advice. The problem i still have is that this guy have promised me many things, he says he will marry me as a 2nd wife, he has promised to do any shopping and give me pocket money for my university studies next yr and in the next 2 yrs he will buy 4 me a car that i will be going with to school. He has also promised to start any bizines i want. So should i trust him or not. Am really confused n i dont want to break my heart by leaving him n starting a new relationship with another person.
Hi Esy, do you trust him, and think he is being truthful? Has he ever given you those things he promised? Do you love him? Do you want to be a 2nd wife? Do you see a future with him? Try to answer these questions, and any other ones you may have. And make your decision based on that. Good luck!
Thank for the good clue u have given me. At list i have something in mind. Just giving him time come next yr to fulfill his promises coz i trust him. If he has not then i will just accept that he is not good for me and move on. Thank u 4r the good advice n God bless
Y is it that the guys i have dated in my life (the previous guy before breaking up and the current guy now) have their wife n children. They all love me so much that they promised to marry me as 2nd wife. Or is it that its God's plan? Is it good to be a 2nd wife am really confused. Should i stop loving this current guy or not coz he has introduced me to some his family member and his friend to be the futer wife come 5yrs time coz now am still studing. Should i marry him?
Hi Fay, you are the one who is bringing yourself into these situations. Why do you have relationships with men who are already married? Is this really what you want? Sorry to burst your bubble, but even if they claim to love you, few would actually take a second wife (and, would you really want to be one?), and others will just keep on telling you they love you and they will leave their families, but they never will. Think about what you want, and make your decisions based on that.
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