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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.

Read also: 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.

Did you learn something new?

Hi irene, it's actually quite normal that happens. it seems like you are not completely over your ex. Take some time to think about what you want. And what you need out of a relationship. Are you getting it in your current one? If not, it may not be the right one for you. Or maybe you are glorifying your relationship with your ex? Why did you break up? Could he give you everything you needed and more? Think it through, take your time!
Been dating a guy fo a year now .I love him very much but the problem is everytime am nit with him he complains alot.he thinks am sleepng around with guys but am not ,i have given him any reason to doubt me coz have been very open with him.a week ago i went to my home place he accused me of sleeping with another until he threatend to get himself somebody to sleep really pissed and i dnt know if he slept with another person.i tired of silly stress and am thinking i should just move on but then again i love him.what am supposed to do coz i know hes so insecure..

Hi there, it really depends with what busy means for a person. However, if a person loves, they will also create time for their partner. If you feel your partner is not creating time for you, to talk to them so you can agree on how to create time for the relationship. Rem,ember, when partners don't spend time together they end up growing apart which may lead to a break up. Check out this article;-

I have a lady whom i love alot but she has a bf and i really need her for me,sometyms she sound gud to me but other tym she just tell me that she loves his bf,what should i do?
it's not à cmmnt , but à request i have à lady whom she had dériver à kid 4me but from day 1 had never loved her, how can i do? Then at thé same tyme there is other lady whom lyke 6months we're dating am very comftble with she s there 4me i mean she mean evryting 2 me but i fear coz' i knw she has someone there plizz advise me how 2t doo thank u in advancee
Izaal, sorry, we really can't help you make a decision. You have to figure out what you want and who you want to be with. In case you decide against the first one, you need to remember that, even if you leave her, you are still responsible for the child. Have a look here, it might help you:
Benard Psalm
Sun, 11/30/2014 - 07:55 am
I fall in love wit a girl bt after 1 of yr relan she drops me.Frm then ma lyf hv nt b easy especially wen her image comes to my memory,wat can i do?
Lucy, congratulations! Being very wet is a really good sign, it means you are very aroused and your chances of getting hurt during intercourse are very low. As for your boyfriend, he needs to understand that this is a sign of him doing things right- so instead of complaining, he needs to be happy!
hae i av thz lady i luv so much we prmsd each atha that wen she finishes high school we wil get married n i waited kz i luv her,bt since she finished high school she has told me to wait fo her to finish college then we wil get married,is she criuz,do i wait for her again or do i move on?
Hey Rey, have you shared this feelings you have with her? Have you told her it makes you feel insecure? Also, keep in mind that education is really important for women. She might not mind you taking care of her, but it's always a good idea to finish your education before getting married. And, if she has just finished high school, she is still pretty young. She might not be fully ready for marriage yet. So don't give up on her yet, but do discuss it with her and make your decision based on that.
I was once married but now am singie mother with one kid.Am dating a married guy.when we r 2gether he treat me nicely.but some time when we r to meet he refuses to come and after waiting along time ,he can't take my cals but he only affords to text and say am with my wife seriously.l iove him very much .i dont want to be married all i want someone for sex and who can treat me well.Now is one month no cals no anything
leenco ibrahim
Sat, 12/27/2014 - 04:44 am
I like best nd You have been the most important things to do with the help of a new one. It has been the best way for me. The only thing that is not a problem with the same time as well as other than a few of my life and I am going out to the right place to live in the future .The best way to get the job done with a lot of fun.
Aww, Kevin, we would love to be able to tell you, but we can only give you a few pointers. Only time can tell if it's true love. Try to find someone who you feel comfortable with, who has at least some similar interests, and a similar approach to life and love. Spend time together before starting a relationship, be honest and open, and build trust. Good luck!
Wed, 04/15/2015 - 03:23 am
am in love with a man,,he was married with two kids..they part ways with his wife one year ago now here i am he's planning to marry me nd am also ready for him..will this work or we juz wasting tym nampenda zaidi
Tue, 05/05/2015 - 04:29 pm
we have dated for one month with my lover and he wants us to bond using sex since we are going to different places and for a long,,,he is scared of losing me but i dont want to have sex this early in relationship,,,what do i do?
Cutiez, you have to talk to him about it. One month is a short time to be dating, so if you need more time, that's totally okay. But talk to him- explain that you are not ready and that this doesn't mean you don't care about him.
melanie njoki
Tue, 05/26/2015 - 09:22 am
hi love matters,i hv bn in a relationship wth ths guy 4 lyk 2years now,i found out that he was cheating and we broke up,i had started moving on wthout hm despite all the love that was there,after like a month of being away 4rm hm he suddenly texted nd started giving me lots of apologies saying that he cudnt take it any longer and that he still loved me i resisted at first and it went on 4 lyk 2 weeks so i just forgave him,now the problem is while we had broken up he met samwan else
Hi,l have aman friend for over 8yrs now. He gives support to me and sms me at night and midnights. We break up for few Yeats but now 2yrs back. I have no kids to him neither with other guys. Im so faithfull to him and promised to Settle me ahome somewhere. But he hucked my email account and found that i have love chats online to another man. He is now acting AS he withdraws from me. Though we have adistance relationship.Nairobi and kakamega. Pls hell.
Edu, have you talked to him since? It's understandable that he is upset, but then, you have reason to be upset, too. Talk about it, figure out if and how you can get over it.
I am in love with a girl and we have promise to marry each other but our parents insist that itz impossible since we share one ancestry,thiz hurts me dearly ,advice plz
Thu, 09/10/2015 - 01:24 pm
I have this guy who has been my crush for 2 years now...we've never really met cz he went overseas to work...we've been keeping in touch,he's tells me he's single..I know he's attracted to me too but he told me we should meet first then get to know each other well first before we can date,he's a nice guy....he calls me these sweet names,we chat it possible for us to have a relationship cz I'd really love that...he's a Muslim and I'm a Christian
Sun, 09/13/2015 - 10:01 pm
Hi beautiful healper, i got an issue i don't know what to call it .there is this guy we have been together he always looking for romance and promised not to ask for sex .but he doesn't call maybe he calls once after 2 weeks to say can we meet and he now stopped meeting saying that i need to study for my finals .he is saying we will be back together after that i think i love him do you think he loves me too cause he says so but i don't get it ..thanks
Hi there., i have this issue that i had a friend i loved her but i feared to tell because she was my best friend.Now it happened that she told my friend(sam) that she loves me but i pretend not to note,then when i approached her later she rejected me. So what should i do and i love her very much??
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