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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?

Sat, 05/20/2017 - 03:24 pm
Am in a r/shp wit a guy going to lik 18mnt..nd dat was after i finish frm school..i accept to kip a date wit him..cos I love a distance later fall in love wit him after finishing my first degree..he told me his past and I did too.. told him no sex till marriage processing for anoda school...can I dressed up in front of him weneva he came to pay a confused
Hi Bamise, Men are visually aroused, they aroused by what they see. Dressing up infront of him will only arouse him which may lead to you having sex before that wedding night. You may need to think about how to manage his visits so that you don't end up having sex when you are unprepared, remember there is the risk of getting pregnant.
Tue, 07/04/2017 - 10:55 am
Hi am married and my husband has never cheated on me but he has soo many girlfriendswhom are just friends till he at times flirts with more oftenly with them..This makes me uncomfortable even though i tell him about it he keeps on doing it does it mean he doesnt love me anymore
Hi Marion, This can be frustrating especially if you have talked about it. I can't tell you if he stopped loving you, but maybe you need to be let him know what this behavior is doing to your relationship and more importantly how it makes you feel. Perhaps if recognizes that this behavior is putting his relationship at a risk he will take steps to change this. We wish you well. Check out the following articles for more information:-
There seems to be a conflict in what he told you and what you observed. What can you here is to let your partner k ow what you observed and have let you know what kind of relationship he has with the other lady to the point she is ok referring to him as sweetie perhaps even in your presence after which you can make a decision on how to proceed. Check out the following article for more information;-
I met a lady two weeks back and I asked her if its possible to be in a relationship with her, and accepted, now after that two weeks when I text her she don't reply and when I call her, sometimes she answers sometimes she ignores.... It is a working relationship or its because we haven't move far??
Hi John, Communication is essential toward building a strong relationship especially at this very early stage of your relationship. Have you asked her what makes her no to respond you to your texts and some of your calls? Talk with her about this so you can find a way forward, it may just be an issue with her schedule and when you call. Once you get to know you can make a decision on how to proceed. It may also help to talk about your expectations in the relationship. All the best.
Thu, 07/20/2017 - 07:55 pm
In which way can a Man stay away from Masturbation or can do away with that.And is it good to do that when your partner is not well satisfying you.
People in relationships also do masturbate and there is no medical effect associated with masturbation. It can be a challenge if a person overdoes this or when one replaces intimacy with their partner with masturbation. What's important is why do you want to stop? I imagine that your partner is not unwell always. But you can begin by avoiding triggers that lead to this and filling up your leisure time with other productive activities. Check out the following articles for more information:-
Fri, 08/11/2017 - 02:22 pm
Am married and really love my husband but recently I got a man friend whom I feel so close to and open to. He listens to me when I talk and advices me more. We talk on phone frequently and I feel good after talking to him. Do you think I can develop love for him and should I stop this relationship?
Chenille, You seem to be developing feelings toward this man friend already, this is why it feels good after you have talked, you feel very close to him and you talk frequently. You have to think about what it is you are missing or lacking from your marriage which is what you are getting from this relationship. This person listens, gives you advice and seems to be always there for you. This is likely to affect your marriage. You have to think about what is important to you, what relationship do you wish to keep and then choose that. While you can have man friend it is important to have boundaries and a clear definition of what the relationship is or about so that when this changes you are able to stop it so you can safe guard what you believe is important to you. We wish you well.
Wed, 08/16/2017 - 01:57 pm
I was in relationship where we loved each so much until it reached a point we had sex with him but later after he went back to work.He posted a photo of another gal on his Facebook account and he said that he going to marry her but he says that he loves me and want to stay with me.can I trust him anymore
Hi Damnel, Your partner seems to have chosen another person for a long term commitment, he even shared this publicly. Perhaps, he needs to share with you what this meant. It maybe challenging for you to have a relationship with him committed to another person. Talk about this and then decide how to proceed.
Sat, 09/02/2017 - 04:07 am
Hy..I had a gal whom we loved each other 4now 4years bt lately av found her cheating on me with another guy whom they even sleep together,,bt wat annoys me she still insists me back by insisting that it was a wat do I do am just fed with love
Hi Motchez, It does hurt when a partner cheats on you and things may not be the same after one partner cheats. You need to think about whether you believe her, whether you are willing to forgive her and whether you can trust her like you did before. If you dont feel you can do these things it is time to break up. Think about it and make an informed choice. Check out this article;-
Thu, 09/07/2017 - 05:30 pm
Am in a r/ship.tis guy promises to marry me when the tym comes but for sure I don't understand him.there is no communication btn the one who normally calls .his family do ask me what our plans since the guy is much older.he can not invite me to his house...but once I go to visit him he gives me promises about gud marriage a head.plz help me what can I do
Hi Bonnah, Have you shared these concerns with your partner? Communication is essential for a relationship to work well. While promises are great, he may need to also let you know when he hopes to move things forward. Talk to your partner and let him know what your expectations are, also have him let you know what his palns and expectations are so that together you can agree on how to proceed. Check out this article;-
Hai i hv women whom i call m wife but i hv not married her but we hv produced two children but her parents most spaceilly the father they don't wants us to get married but i promised when i was conning her when u agree to be wi m i will marry he what should to fuilfill my promise
Hello Solo, Do you know why the parents don't want you to marry their daughter? You may want to begin by finding out what their reasons are and perhaps finding a way to address those reasons. You can also approach a close friend or relative to the parents to help you talk to them. Lastly, there are children involved who will likely hurt if the relationship breaks for this reason, the two of you as parents need to make a decision about your relationship and also in the best interest of your children.
Hi Joy, Are you in a long distant relationship? Have you shared your expectations with him? Aside from taking spending time together is important toward growing and making the relationship stronger. Talk to him, let him know what your expectations are so you can both agree how to proceed together.
Dnt judge
Thu, 10/12/2017 - 07:39 pm
Hi im dating this guy for 6months i lv him alot n dnt wanna loose problem is tht his staying with sum1 and dnt knw hw to get out of that relationship as his nt happy n dnt hv feelings for tht woman anymre n thy hv a kid u think he will make a decision soon abt who he really want n whom make him happy?wht should i do?
Hi, He is the only one that make this decision. If he has no yet made made it, it's difficult to tell if and when he will. Perhaps you need to share with him your concerns and your fears about your relationship with him. Talk about what is its future and when this will be.
Hey Concerned Baby, It is a good thing that you love each other, alot. Talk to your partner about your expectations in the relationship and have him also tell you what he expects in the relationship. It is also essential to have honest and open conversation in your relationship, this way you can talk about anything, including those difficult topics and find a solution without hurting each other or the relationship. Check out this article;-
Sanele (JHB)
Sat, 10/14/2017 - 08:56 am
Helo admin im 35yrs old staying with my baby mama,bt early this year iv met someone tht i truly love and admire cant go a day without thinking of no longer hv feelings for baby mama i even spend more time even slp ova @my new girlfriends place..problm is i dnt knw hw to get out of relationship with baby mama because she havent give me reason to b angry.sometimes i just think of packng my stuff n go stay with my new gf.i love my new gf alot n dnt wana lose her she meet all d qualities tht i was looking for in a woman.wht should i do plz help.
Hello Sanele, You need to be honest with your baby Mama about what is going on and the fact that you no longer have feelings for her. Waiting for to give you a reason to break up may not happen soon, meanwhile you are cheating on her. I know this is a difficult conversation but you can't have them both. You need to be honest, clear but not cruel with the baby mama and also think about how you will participate in raising your child. Check out these articles;-
There is a guy in Facebook that's always says that's he loves me and even me hve started falling in love do you think this relationship can work?because he promise to come back and see me next year

People meet in different of place, where relationships also begin and can go on to build strong relationships. There is nothing wrong with you exploring this now that you both have feelings for each other. As you plan to meet for the first time, be sure to pick a time and place that you are comfortable with and you can also consider bringing a friend along to this first date. It is possible for you to have met on Facebook and go ahead to have a great relationship. Check out the following article;-

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