Before you find “the one,” you’ll date a bunch of other ones. Only the truly lucky find a great relationship—built on compatibility, mutual respect, and sexual attraction—early on.
Most of us have to have all the other types of relationships, to understand what a functional relationship should look like.
Here are 14 types of relationships you will almost certainly have before you find long-term happiness.
In this relationship, you or your partner (or both of you) cannot function without the other person. You feel anxiety and depression when you’re not around one another. Other areas of your life suffer. You’ll often do out of the ordinary things to keep this person’s love—like cancel a trip you planned years ago with friends, to stay with this person, or give up a great job to have more time with your partner.
You’re a “power couple.” Or at least, you think you are. What you really are is this: two people who do not know how or are not willing to compromise and sacrifice for the relationship. You always put yourself ahead of your partner, and visa versa. You’re both highly focused on your careers, or your own separate social lives. You essentially just meet up when it’s convenient for both of you. But love is not a priority.
At one point, unfortunately, you’ll date someone who controls you. He will set all the rules for the relationship, and you will follow them. Something about this person makes you spineless. You don’t even see how ridiculous his rules are, such as a rule that you not go out with friends without him, or that you stop talking to your male friends, or that all holidays are spent with his family instead of yours. You’ll be under a spell that will be clear to your friends, but for some reason not to you. And you’ll feel great anxiety around ever speaking your mind or demanding something from this person.
You, and possibly the other person involved in this relationship, have just gone through breakups and need love to cover up the pain. This relationship almost never works out because it is built on the fear of facing the reality of your recent breakup, rather than focusing on this new person and whether or not they are compatible for you. So it is fragile.
We all get a little new age at some point and give this relationship a try. In this relationship, the two individuals are emotionally committed to one another, but are both free to sleep with other people. This type of relationship mostly only works when both parties aren’t that emotionally invested in one another. And for this reason, it usually ends anyways.
You really want love, you meet someone who really wants love, and so you’re willing to make a lot of changes for it. You change the way you talk, dress, think and socialize for him. He does the same for you. You actually have zero interest in one another’s passions and hobbies, but you attend all related event and feign interest. You look happy to the outside world, but it’s actually the most exhausting relationship you’ve ever been in.
Okay, the previous relationship is the second most exhausting relationship you’ll ever be in. This is the one that will leave you feeling emotionally, mentally and physically immobile. The toxic relationship is one in which you and your partner have an extreme attraction to one another, but have such drastically different morals, opinions, or integrity that all you do is fight. You bring out the worst in each other. But you can’t stay away from each other. You’re always on edge in this relationship. It’s like being on a drug: the highs are very high, but the lows leave you incapacitated.
It’s fun for now, but you wouldn’t make plans for the future. You couldn’t claim anything is wrong with the guy. You enjoy having sex with him and spending time with him. But that real umph isn’t there—that can’t live without him sensation. But it’s easy, and it’s a good distraction for a while.
Everything is great except one thing: you and him do not feel like having sex with one another. It feels like kissing your cousin. You can have a fun day, connect on many levels, but when it comes to the bedroom, your blood runs cold.
You’ll also have the opposite to the basically friends relationship: the purely sexual one. When you call or text one another, it’s almost always to spend time immediately. You’re mostly in the bedroom together. You have great sexual chemistry, and for some reason never feel compelled to explore your chemistry in other areas.
At one point you will date a rich or insanely handsome man, because you’re just intrigued by what life is like with that guy on your arm. You’ve seen gold diggers who seem happy with filthy rich gentlemen, or your giddy friend who is always with a model. So you give it a go. If you’re an emotionally sound person, you typically can’t carry this one on for long. You crave a real connection.
GOOD ON PAPER
You’ll date one guy because you should. Everybody—your friends, your family, complete strangers—think this guy is perfect. He’s handsome, he has a great job, he has a good sense of humor, he is kind, he is totally marriage and father material and he treats you like a queen. But again, the umph factor is missing. He doesn’t excite you. You can have great conversations, but a certain inexplicable connection just isn’t happening.
During one of your romantic phases, you’ll try out a long distance relationship. You’ll tell yourself yours will be the one to work out. And you’ll love going to visit him—it will feel like a vacation every time. But eventually, you’ll realize you don’t want to move to him, he doesn’t want to move to you, flights are getting expensive and you’re tired of missing out on what’s going on with your friends back at home.
You probably will not realize it the first time you get into one of these, so we’ll give you a freebee. But at one point, you will develop an intimate, emotional connection with a man who is already in a committed relationship, or when you yourself are in a committed relationship. Nothing physical ever happens, but you share secrets with this person, you get anxious when you’re going to see him, and if you think about it, your or his partner wouldn’t really approve of it.
Curated by Erbe