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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 Peter, it seems both of you are playing mind games with each other. You both want the same thing but are not sure how to go about it. She just might be playing hard to get. If she genuinely loves you as your friend said, all you need to do is pursue her but don't be too aggressive as you might scare her off. I hope it all works out.
I was in a male male female three some with a freind. He has a really huge dick and she enjoyed him much more than me. Really moaned for him and begged for more of him. Now i have an enferiority complex. How do you please a woman when you hava small dick?
Wasonga omondi
Fri, 01/29/2016 - 05:34 am
Am regreting why am in this r/shp, evry now and then break ups occur, its very expensive and needs much Communication, when i dnt communcte to her, i just feel stressd up vry much. .
Hi, am married but have been seeing a lady who is a single mum of two very lovely girls for over a year now. She's just recently told me that it can't work because am married and that she's not ready to get into a serious relationship right now but I love her very much! What do I do to have her?
Hi Ramo, you need to make a choice about what you want. Do you want to have her as a second wife or do you intend to continue cheating on your wife or do you plan to leave your wife for her. Take time and think what you want and the implications of every decision that you make.
Hey am in a long distance relationship for 2yrs away frm each other buh 2 other yrs we were in Nairobi still dating nw those r 4yrs an my guy wants to add 1yr more then he comes back to kenya is there possibility of us to marry each other buh we stil love each other so communication huwa juu advice me
Kisha 24
Sun, 10/23/2016 - 09:54 pm
I have a friend of mine called Raymond I had known for 2 year but later as we kept talking we started feeling each other after a period of time we had sex for the first time bt after that day we continued having it whenever we felt like, hmmmm the guy had a girlfriend n I also had a boyfriend but just because I had started feeling Raymond too much I broke up with my guy..... Am now stuck some where and I need your help because Raymond blocked me on Facebook that his girlfriend told her to block me but we what's app, Raymond says he loves me and I love him too but he has a girlfriend what should I do because could he be just using me.... I've tried letting him go but I've failed he is always the first person to call each morning, he care, he gives me everything I want it's like we are friends with benefits but I can't do it any more am hurting my self by continuing with this
Hi Kisha, It sounds like you already know what you need to do. The problem seems to be how to do it. Here's an article on how you could do that .
Tue, 11/08/2016 - 03:08 pm
Hi..... I met a guy 3 months ago n I really love him n he loves me too the problem is that he wants Romance n promised he would never demand for sex bt im not comfortable with that....I tried talking to him abt that bt he said I don't care about him..he told me the relationship is over bt after some days he called n told me that he never meant it n that he still loves mh n that he got most of the influence from his friends bt unfortunately we don't talk like we used to we don't see each other n I feel he has been ignoring me because he doesn't reply my messages....his friend tells me that he still loves bt Im afraid he doesn't anymore...I've tried to talk to him bt I don't have the courage to call him or text kz I fear he might not want to see me or talk to me......please help kz I still love him
Hi Cate, That is a difficult question to answer. But all you have to do is take time and think about the events that have happened and decide how they make you feel and what you think about them. Take time to decide what you feel is right by you and then make a choice on the way forward in that relationship.
cdy babie
Sat, 11/12/2016 - 10:54 am
Hi,I am in love with a married guy from within my vicinity,we have shared alot and am contented in him,he loves me and I do also love him,we enjoy and make time together but the problem is that we sometimes do things restrictly due to his wife getting to know about us,am afraid of this whole thing but I also don't want to lose him,what do I do,should I leave him or still hold on for second marriage?is it fair?
Hi there, That is a good question that you have asked is it fair? What do you feel about it? Are you willing to become a second wife and does he love you enough to make it legal and official? These are just some of the questions you need o be asking yourself before you decide on your next move.
Hi my name is jully
Fri, 11/18/2016 - 05:30 pm
I was in a relationship seven months ago,after gettn pregnant he broke up with me claiming that he was nt ready for it..he even says he got a wife I'm confused he says he loves me and abt the baby he does not want to hear abt it..after two months of brkup he is there asking abt the kid and I'm already done with him. What should I do?
Jully, If you have moved on then you should think about making your life better. If he wants to take care of the child its up to you to decide if you will let him. Its good you learn how to separate your relationship from that of him and the child. Unless you are willing to become a second wife then you need to concentrate on your life.
phillip coutinho
Sat, 11/26/2016 - 05:56 pm
hi,l have agirl bt i see lyk she cheating on me ed i see lyk he dn,t love me bt she tel me dat she love me...wat kan l do plz help meeeee
Hi Bettie, All relationships depend on how both partners work through it, whether its a long distance relationship or not. Communication is one of the most important factor to consider. Read more about long distance relationships here .
Sat, 12/17/2016 - 09:09 pm
plz me n dis guy luv each oda very well n he kips saying he loves mhe m 17 he is 21 plz can it lead to marriage also he wants to know if m a Virgin oda gals r jealous of mhe and dey now hates mhe cos m dating him plz should I tell him am a virgin
Hi Blessing, Relationships are about a lot of things and it takes a lot of work to make a relationship work. You are still young and have time to learn about this time. Learn as much as you can about each other and enjoy each others company and grow as a couple and hopefully when both of you are ready you can discuss about marriage. Being a virgin is a good thing and you should decide whether that's something you want tot share with him or not depending on what you would like to achieve from your relationship.
Tue, 12/20/2016 - 06:14 pm
Hi my boyfriend doesn't like saying I love you, I complained about it the first time he didn't change, I complained the second time and even accused him that all he wants from me is sex, he said he doesn't believe in saying that he believes in proving it which he isn't even proving, am Contemplating on breaking up but am confused
I broke up wid my guy sum months ago, bcos he can't assist me in anywayand he's demanding wat I can't give him yet dats d reason I decided to quit d relationship. he has apologise dat he wants us to come back dat he will change nd wait till am ready but am nt convinced... anytime I think he has gone and finally decided to move on, he will appear again nd I myself am scared to fall in love again cos I dearly loved him. oda guys are coming around me but I just want dem as friends but whn we became friends they gradually begin to fall in love wid me....but I don't feel dat way for dem and it's making it look as if am being blunt nd don't have heart...pls wats ur advise on dis cos right now am kind of confuse nd I don't want to do anything dat will make us enemies in future.
Hi Eve, You need to give yourself time to heal and move on before you are ready for another relationship. This article will give you some insight .
Hi been in this relationship for five yes now ,been blessed with one baby boy and now pregnant for our second child who is also a son. We have been having problems with my hubby since i lost my job that he even decided to call it quotes and leave me us.he didn't carry all his staff so at times he comes to pick a few and goes. He's been cheating on me for the last four yes now sleeping out and even charting with women till very late we have talked till we involed our parents from both sides but everything seem to get worse kindly advice.
If you know your partner well and have had a close, long-term relationship, you can often tell when something’s not right. You might notice that they’ve begun spending a lot more time at work, they have less time for you and your family, start taking calls in private, and seem less committed to doing things with you. Maybe they're paying attention to their looks, and they appear confused and detached. When you ask them if anything's wrong, they shrug off your question. Finding out that your partner’s been cheating on you can be a traumatic experience. It can seriously damange the trust between the two of you and could even lead to a break-up, separation or divorce. You might spend days, weeks or months wondering what you did wrong and why this happened. But don't blame yourself - take some time to calm down and think about your relationship. Whether you want to stay with your partner depends on a number of things. Is your partner willing to go on? If they are, what will it take for them to regain your trust? Will your trust in them ever be restored? How can you start rebuilding your relationship? The answers may not be simple, but give these questions some thought and it might help you decide on the right path to take.
kelvin james
Mon, 01/16/2017 - 05:42 pm
Thanks to you I have learnt a lot from this n its my hope that the site should be shared on all social Media for our young people to read
Tue, 01/17/2017 - 08:53 am
Pls Am Been Dating A Guy 4 3yrs I Love Him Dearly Bt He Find It Hard To Cal Me Bt Normal Cal Anoda Gals Each Time I Complain He Gt Angry Wit Me Nd We Ave Been 2geda 4 3yrs Wht Can I Do
Hi Elly, Cyber sex is where you have erotic conversations online or the internet, look at each other on a webcam, or even masturbate for each other. Check out the following article for more information on Cyber Sex including safety concerns;-
My husband fell in love with his workmate,it made me hate him alot that i even lost sexual feelings for him.He's now back to me coz the workmate was transferred but I don't feel him at all.What can I do??
Hello Ritah, I can imagine the betrayal you must have felt. It is however human nature to be attracted to another person other than your committed partner for various reasons. What makes the difference is if a person chooses to act on those feelings. You didn't say if he cheated... Whatever happened you need to decide if you are going to forgive him or not, this will determine how your relationship will proceed from here. Can you trust him like you did before? Think about this and make a decision on how to proceed. we wish you well.
Wed, 05/17/2017 - 09:34 am
Hello am Eve , Have been in a close relationship with this guy for almost 2 years but he doesnot talk about his feelings towards me but I just see by his actions that he is into me...Does he really love me or he's just scared of something!?
Hi, It has been said that actions speak louder than words but sometimes actions maybe misleading. You may need to try and find out from him what his actions mean. Let him tell you exactly how he feels toward you this way there will be not confusion. Two years is enough time for one to know exactly how they feel toward a person.
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