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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?

Comments

Hi Awino, having sex during your periods has no negative effect, infact it can help relieve some of the pain during periods. There is however, a small chance that one could get pregnant and for this reason it is important to use birth control. Check out the following article;- https://lovemattersafrica.com/our-bodies/female-body/sex-during-your-period-top-five-facts

Hi Awino, having sex during your periods has no negative effect, infact it can help relieve some of the pain during periods. There is however, a small chance that one could get pregnant and for this reason it is important to use birth control. Check out the following article;- https://lovemattersafrica.com/our-bodies/female-body/sex-during-your-period-top-five-facts

Beckie
Mon, 10/29/2018 - 02:55 pm
Hi, I like the article but I have a problem with my relationship. The guy am dating now used to live with a certain girl who is now carrying her baby but the guy doesn't want to break with me claiming that he loves me more than her, but on my side I want to quit. Can you help me with this though I love the guy and we promised each other marriage. Help please??

Hi Beckie, there is nothing wrong with him being with you and you can still have a great relationship. It just means that he has a child with his ex and he will need to discuss and agree on how he participates in raising their child. Also, he needs to be clear with her about the nature of their relationship moving forward. This doesn't have to affect your relationship especially now that you are committed to each other. 

Florence nzembi
Wed, 10/31/2018 - 06:02 am
We HV one kid with mie lover,but the guy is forth year student in university ,he ussualy suggest am his wife,bt the guy the time akona pesa uwa anakuwa different ,,nikimwitisha pesa ya matumizi yatoi kila tym usema hana ,akiwa om kutuma pesa ni gumu akirudi chuo kutuma kidogo kitu,memvilia kwa muda mrefu lkn nikaamua kumliza ameamua nn kwan juu atumi pesa ya matumizi ya mtoi ,akaniuliza kaa uwa namlipia fee,pia akanijibu atamlea mtoi akamaliza chuo ,swali ni ukweli uyu ako serious ama nitafute kwingine juu mi sina love na mwingne

Hi Florence, siwezi kukuambia kama yuko serious but it is important for you decide whether you want to wait for him to finish school before he can participate in the raising of your child. Also, do you both want to be together or you want to be together for the sake of the child you have together? If you want to be together, take time and talk with your partner about what this means and how to go about it especially now that he still has to complete school. All the best. 

Jackson
Thu, 11/01/2018 - 06:09 am
I have a girlfriend we met in a hotel and start a relashionship.we have now 2 years since then when I call she receive my calls and also we do charting to each other telling that she loves me each and evry day now when it comes dating she always been postponing we have met only once now, how can I trust her? or do i have to left

Hi Jackson, do you live in the same town? Have you talked to her about this? It is important that you raise this concern with her so she is aware before deciding to breakup. Find a good time and talk about this, let her know the importance of spending time together which helps to make your relationship strong. If she is till unwilling to spend time with you after this conversation, it maybe time to break up. Have a loom at the following articles;- https://lovemattersafrica.com/love-relationships/happy-relationships/being-in-a-relationship

https://lovemattersafrica.com/love-relationships/happy-relationships/tips-for-talking-to-your-partner

Hi Christine, so sorry about this but he has left and even moved on by starting another relationship with someone else. Have you reached out to him to find out what all this means? He clearly doesn't want to be with you. This is tough but you have no control over the choices of another person, this was not your fault. All you can do now is to also move. Have a look at this article with tips on how to cope with a break up;-  https://lovemattersafrica.com/love-relationships/breaking-up/coping-with-a-break-up We wish you all the best.

Hey Dan, yes you can be attracted to two different ladies but you have to take time and think about who you really want to be with between the two. It helps to think about what one wants in a partner and then choosing between the two ladies the one who best represents who they want to be with. Also, that you are attracted to a person does not mean you want to be with them or that the feelings will last. Love will last, while just an attraction usually fades away quickly. Check this out;- https://lovemattersafrica.com/love-relationships/meeting-someone/is-it-love

Jayden
Sun, 11/04/2018 - 08:17 am
I was in love with a girl whom we stayed together with,, i real loved her so much and we promised to wait for each other and marry after our campus education,then one day she told me she wanted a break to focus on her studies, because i cared for her needs i allowed it to have a break, lately i usually see her with a guy we're staying with at the plot and she is not talking to me nicely,,, of late she slept out this weekend and am like the world is not the best place, advice please

Hey Jayden, we are so sorry about what’s happening in your relationship. If you are still living together with your girlfriend, it is important you address what is going on and what you have observed. You need to know if she is interested in being with you or not. This way you will be able to make a decision on how to proceed. If she is no longer interested you will need to accept this and move on, if she’s still wants to be with you, you will both have to agree on how to proceed moving forward. We wish you all the best. Have a look at the following articles for more information;-

https://lovemattersafrica.com/love-relationships/relationship-problems/how-can-i-know-my-partner-is-cheating-on-me

https://lovemattersafrica.com/love-relationships/breaking-up/knowing-when-to-break-up

I have a question,I'm 20 yes old and my niece is 17.We are both attracted to each other.When we are alone she keeps on asking when I'm I going to say it because she is waiting for it.Yesterday she kissed me and said that she cares about me,please help.
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 longtime he is scared of losing me but I dont want to have sex this early in relationship... what do I do?

Hi Dory, your lover’s concern is that he may loose you and sex will not address this fear. He has a legitimate concern of what will happen to your relationship when you start living away from each other. It is important that you talk about whether or not you willing to get into a long distance relationship. This is important since your relationship will change greatly if you choose to go ahead with the long distance relationship. Lastly, if you are not ready to have sex be honest with him, let him know you are not ready. You should only have sex if you feel you are with the right person and you feel it is the right time. Remember to use protection to prevent unplanned pregnancies if you do choose to have sex. Check out the following articles for additional information;- 

https://lovemattersafrica.com/making-love/how-soon-is-too-soon

https://lovemattersafrica.com/love-relationships/happy-relationships/long-distance-relationships

Hi Marto, Love is an intense feeling of deep affection towards another person. Love is warm, it is kind and patient. Love is forgiving. Love is a feeling of a deep romantic or sexual attachment to someone. Check these articles for more information on what love is;- https://lovemattersafrica.com/love-relationships/a-simple-question-with-infinite-answers

https://lovemattersafrica.com/love-relationships/does-true-love-still-exist

Hi Dorcas, relationships are build on trust especially when partners are in a long distance relationship and physically apart for long periods of time. If you feel there are any reasons that may make you not to trust that your partner is faithful to you, talk a bout with him so that together you can address the issues. Have a look at the following article for more information;- https://lovemattersafrica.com/love-relationships/happy-relationships/long-distance-relationships-dos-and-donts

Plz. There is this guy that wants to marry me. I love him but I don't know if he feels the same way. He calls once in a while but gets angry easily, if he is offend him, he won't tell me my offense rather he tells his sister to ask me why i did that. Plz is it right for him to act that way and what should I do. I have apologized but he stopped calling to know how am doing.

Hi Jane, have you talked with him about these issues? This maybe the right place to begin, communicating with each other frequently and also being open to each other especially when one feels there is something wrong in the relationship. It is only by communication with each other that you will be able to address the issues you have. Do find a good time and talk with your partner about your concerns to get to know what could be going and for you to also agree on how to proceed. Check out this articles for additional tips;- 

https://lovemattersafrica.com/love-relationships/relationship-problems/jealousy-and-other-problems

https://lovemattersafrica.com/love-relationships/happy-relationships/tips-for-talking-to-your-partner

Maryann Rita
Wed, 06/19/2019 - 09:14 pm
How do I know who truly love me. Men that I love shows little interest on me. But those that shows more interest on me I don't like them that much. How do I know my true life partner? .

Hi Maryann, it appears clear to you who loves you and who doesn't, those you love and those you don't like as much, you can only be with a person who wants to be with you. In the same way you will know when you meet the one. Having said that, not all relationships will last a life time. At times you can do your best a relationship will still not work, all you have to do when this happens is to move on. Lastly, just because one relationship didn't work doesn't mean the same will happen for the next one. Check out this article;- https://lovemattersafrica.com/love-relationships/breaking-up/coping-with-a-break-up

Hi, if you want different things in the relationship and there is no way to find an acceptable middle ground for both of you, breaking up maybe the option so that you don't lead him on for a long time only to break up with him later. Have a look at the following article;- 

https://lovemattersafrica.com/love-relationships/breaking-up/knowing-when-to-break-up

https://lovemattersafrica.com/love-relationships/breaking-up/how-to-break-up

mr kenule
Thu, 07/11/2019 - 03:15 pm
We spent 4years in distance relationship,,4Times sexs in 4years,we are calling chartting ,time to get married ,find out that she is pregnant,with unknown person,an I paused,after putting to birth,the baby die,now am confused,to continue,or to forget,pls advice me,

Hello Kenule, if she was pregnant with another persons child it means at some point she cheated on you. What you need to think about is whether you are willing to  forgive her and trust her again. Also, does she want to get back with you after all this. This is a decision only you can make so take sometime and think about these issues and then make an informed decision. Have a look at the following article;- https://lovemattersafrica.com/love-relationships/breaking-up/guide-to-recovery-for-the-cheated 

I am in a very difficult situation. I started dating a girl and then she came to my house a number of times we ad fun. One weekend as usual she came but she with many clothes I thought se was traveling somewhere I didn't know she ad come to live with me. I have waited for her to leave but she is not. It not that I don't love her but we had just dated for about 4 months. Now we are like married but I was not ready for this commitment. I want her to leave but I don't want to break up wit her. She is still in college, please help me how to deal with this situation.

Hi Juma, this must be difficult. The best way to approach this is to be honest about your discomfort with this situation. Let her know how you feel about her including the fact that you wanted to grow the relationship before getting married or moving in with each other. Since this is something you had not discussed, find a good time and express your concern about where your relationship is and what you want moving forward. If you still love her, let her know that you are not breaking up. Expect that she may not be happy about this decision but be clear about what you want and firm. All the best.

Amelina
Wed, 08/07/2019 - 11:20 am
Hey i hv my bf nd he has many gal who are hiz friends nd bt he says am the special gal in his life so is there any possibility that he might cheat me with his friends? help me coz am afraid

Hey Amelina, it is difficult to predict the future, however if you have concerns about how your boyfriend is relating with other girls in his life, do talk to him about this. Let him know about your concerns according to what you may have observed. Find a good time to have this conversation with your partner, remember not to accuse him of cheating but rather to raise your concern about how he relates to his female friend. Check out the following article;- https://lovemattersafrica.com/love-relationships/relationship-problems/jealousy-and-other-problems

Hi Ify, frequent fights in a relationships may indicated deep seated dissatisfaction in a relationship. It is important that you and your partner talk about what could be causing the dissatisfaction in your relationship and the address the issues to reduce the quarrels. Having said that, it is normal for partners to disagree from time to time, how they choose to resolve the issues is what makes the difference. Have a look at the following article;- https://lovemattersafrica.com/love-relationships/relationship-problems/fighting-dos-and-donts

Can I marry my aunt's husband's step-grandchild? And the relationship between my aunt and my father is, my aunt's great grandfather and my father's great grandmother are children of the same parents.

Dear Bry, it is challenging to give a blanket answer on this issues because different cultures will have different rules inline with whom you can marry. Some will not encourage a marital relationship between people who have any family relationship, while others will infact encourage marriage among cousins. I suggest you speak to a senior member of your extended family to see what they think. They should be able to advice you accordingly considering the cultural issues that are likely to arise. All the best.

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