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© Love Matters | Rita Lino

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.

Related: Signs you're falling in love

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 the 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.

Related: How to establish healthy boundaries in  relationships 

Did you learn something new?

Love Matters
Thu, 09/12/2019 - 06:29 pm

In reply to by Darasimi

Hey Darasimi, it actually does happen in some cultures. Clearly though, this is something not acceptable to you and we appreciate that.

No sane man would jus wake up one day and begin a journey without having it in mind to make that journey. He has a picture of wat his/her journey will look like.... People don't just do things without a clear picture of wat they want....
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;-
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
Mon, 10/20/2014 - 01:16 pm
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
Geoffrey, trust is important, but difficult to show. Be as open as possible, and communicate well. That should show that you are trustworthy!
You know, been single is sometimes good but my dear it's never good at all... Give a try to it, open up your heart and mind. Look for someone not too far or close to you and maybe it will work out for you both.. Best of lucks.
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 - 07:42 pm
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
Hi there, age is just a number, and love doesn't care about that number. Whether you are 3, 7, 15 years younger or older, it doesn't matter. What matters is the love and the relationship between you.
my bf n i hv bin dating for a yr nw...we prmd nt to hv sex til hs nw insisting dat we must hv religious beliefs dnt allow me to do so...both of us love much...itold hm to tek 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
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