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Top 10 Types of Relationships — Which One is Right for You?

Updated on September 17, 2018
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Owner of MommyDaddyKids and mother of two, Meagan is passionate about her family and sharing real-life advice with everyday people.


Are You In the Right Relationship?

Relationships should be easy and fun. They should make you happy. You should want to spend time with your significant other. This only happens when you’re in the right relationship.

Being with somebody that’s not right for you is like trying to make a square peg fit into a round hole. It will never work and hopefully you don’t waste your entire life before you figure that out. Unfortunetly, most of us have to go through many bad relationships before we find the one that makes us happy.

Learning about the most common types of relationships can help you determine which one you think would suit you best. Once you understand what kind of relationship you want, you can look for a compatible partner.

1. Your First Love

It’s arguable that your first relationship is the most important. It might not be the best or the most serious but it sets the bar for every relationship that follows. People learn a lot about themselves during their first romantic experience — what they like, what they dislike, what they want, what they don’t want, etc. — and grow as individuals.

When you fall in love for the first time, you believe you’re with the only person you'll ever love. You might try to keep the relationship intact even after you both know it's not working. First relationships are bitter-sweet because if you grow in different directions, you have to say good-bye to your initial love.

This is the category that most high-school sweethearts fall into. They meet in school during their teenage years and never want anyone else. However, it's not uncommon for people to break up, live separate lives, and reconnect again later in life when they are more compatible.

2. The Rebound Relationship

True to its definition, the rebound relationship is one in which either party is getting over a recent break-up — especially a particularly hard one. They immediately grab another girlfriend or boyfriend because they’re trying to replace what they lost, what they miss.

“Rebound: to bounce back after hitting a hard surface” - Websters Dictionary

There are several reasons these relationships typically end in disaster,

  1. The person never mourned what they lost because they moved on too quickly.
  2. They bring most of their baggage into the next relationship, and the couple does not have a fresh start.
  3. They never gave one another time to figure out if they really were compatible before rushing into a partnership.
  4. There are no true feelings between the two parties.
  5. One person has legitimate feelings while the other is just nursing old wounds.

Rebound relationships are unhealthy for everyone involved. Sometimes people do grow to love the person, but it’s more likely they will realize their mistake and move on.

3. The Codependent Relationship

Some people have dependent personalities and need others to help them make choices in life. Without the help of a trusted person, these people would stand in place; frozen in fear of making the wrong choice.

When we date a person with a dependent nature, we take on the role of the decision maker. This can become tiresome because it doesn’t always feel like a partnership. You end up feeling responsible for your partner in ways you should not have to be.

Codependency is unhealthy because one or both parties rely so greatly on one another that they don’t believe they could ever live apart.

4. The Clingy Partner

You might think, “what’s the difference between codependency and clingy?” They are similar on the surface, but a deeper look shows how they differ from each other.

Clingy people get stuck somewhere in the middle of codependent and controlling and are often labeled one of the two. Their behavior comes from insecurity that likely stemmed from other relationships or childhood. It’s normal for partners of a clingy person to feel like they are being smothered — with affection.

Does your boyfriend/girlfriend send numerous texts a day confessing their undying love for you? Do you ever feel like you need a break from them because they never give you space? If so, you’re likely in a clingy relationship and need to discuss with your mate how this makes you feel before it pushes you away.

5. The Controlling Relationship

Because of its nature, this type of relationship is perhaps the most complex. Most people don’t even realize they are with a controlling person until it’s too late, and by then it’s hard to leave.

People with dominate tendencies like to know what their partner is doing all the time, and will even stalk their companions phone and social media to achieve this. It’s not uncommon for someone in this type of relationship to feel like they need permission to do something.

Controlling people can be abusive, but not all of them are. This is why some people question if they are in a controlling relationship because, “they don’t hurt me.”

If your significant other controls aspects of your life they shouldn’t or makes you feel you cannot do things you want to do, you should consider the possibility that they are controlling you. Counseling can sometimes resolve the issues, but these relationships are extremely unhealthy for everyone involved.

6. The Shared Problems Relationship

This is a relationship that stems from two people having the same issue and connecting with one another through this problem. You see this a lot with addicts. They connect because of their addiction, and their whole relationship revolves around that. The “issue” is not always addiction. It can be anything that two people might base an entire relationship around, and it's extremely common when two people have suffered through the same tragic event.

Eventually, the relationship breaks down when one or both parties seeks help for the condition. As soon as the thing that bonded them is out of the picture, they find they never really had anything in common.

7. The Uncommitted Relationship

Commitment is scary, and some people cannot handle being loyal to just one person. When two people share this feeling, they may opt for an open relationship. However, there are typically rules that govern how that works between them and their other lovers. At the end of the day, two people in an open relationship are still committed to one another, but some relationships lack commitment of any kind.

Being with someone in a relationship like this is hard because you never know if you’re coming or going. The future is always in the air and hazy, and you won't ever get a solid answer about it. If you are okay with this, this type of relationship might work for you.

8. The Parental Relationship

Do you ever feel more like a parent and less like a lover when you’re with your significant other? When two people are not equal in their maturity, they tend to fall into relationships such as this one. The dynamic of these relationships is simple — the more mature person takes over the responsibilities, and the other person is taken care of.

There is normally one person who handles all the financial decisions, reminds the other of responsibilities, and doles out the chores. Sometimes, they might even feel like they have to chastise or punish their partner when they’ve acted inappropriately. There are people who enjoy this type of relationship, but most people find it annoying.


9. The Toxic Relationship

Everyone has experienced one of these relationships at least once in his or her life. These relationships are a ying-yang balance of passion and anger, chemistry and resentment, love and hate, and it’s amazing — until it’s not.

It’s easy to identify when you’re in a toxic relationship because you’re angry as often as you’re happy. These relationships don’t normally change and result in bad break-ups because the involved parties allow the hatred to spread too far.

10. The Healthy Relationship

As the name suggests, this relationship is the one we all hope to find but rarely ever do. It's wonderful, and the two people involved cherish one another enough to be equal partners in all things. There is trust, loyalty, commitment, passion, romance, and an amazing future.

Sometimes we think we've found "the one" and it ends up being one of the relationships above in disguise. When you find your perfect relationship, you'll know it.

Your Relationship Status

Have you been in most of the relationships above?

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© 2018 Meagan Ireland


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