Types of Relationships & How Do You Know Which Is Yours?

Types of Relationships IMingles

We continually try to see our relationships through various lenses in an effort to better understand, manage, or disentangle them while striving to make the connection: Is it about me or is it about him? Is the tension that has been there over the past few weeks just a stress-related blip or is it the beginning of more serious issues? Would she do X if I do X or will he do Y if I stop X?

But taking a step back to view the bigger picture is frequently helpful in order to really understand the state of the union.

Relationships can take many different forms. No two relationships are alike in appearance, yet occasionally, labels and classifications can aid in our understanding.

Different Types of Relationship

1. Independent Relationships

You can benefit from independence. But compromise and giving up are necessary for a committed partnership. You’re not trying to flaunt independence as a virtue.

Certain levels of independence are necessary for you and your partner to be able to function independently of one another, but ultimate independence within a partnership is never a healthy sign.

2. Competitive/Controlling

Whoever wins the argument, whose norms and standards we adhere to, and whose career is more significant are all contests for power. There are many conflicts that swiftly escalate into contests for dominance and the last word.

A struggle for control between two dominant personalities is frequently characterized by inflexible beliefs about how things should be done, success criteria, and what constitutes a successful existence.

These couples eventually separate after becoming tired of fighting, one ultimately gives in, or both decide to establish their own territories that they are in charge of.

3. Codependent Relationships

You and your partner appear to be unable to function independently of one another in a codependent relationship. As was previously mentioned, everyone should be independent.

Problems in other aspects of your life, such as your social life and your connections with friends and family, can result from being unable to separate yourself from your partner.

Codependent relationships can take on many different shapes, but the main thing that separates a healthy interdependent relationship—where two people can rely on one another without giving up on themselves—from a toxic codependent relationship is the degree of equality between partners in terms of needing and supporting or giving and taking.

It should be noted that there is a notable lack of consensus over what constitutes a codependent relationship, so assessing whether or not any specific relationship is or is not truly codependent remains highly arbitrary.

4. Aggressive/Accommodating

The power disparity here is based on sheer power rather than on caretaking. The other partner accompanies more out of fear than out of passivity when one partner is obviously in charge. There is some genuine dispute, but it won’t last long because of the imposing partner. In addition to physical violence, there is emotional abuse as well.

5. Dominant/Submissive Relationships

Only in the context of BDSM-style consensual relationships are partnerships where you dominate your partner or they control you acceptable.

This kind of interaction can sometimes, but not always, be a sign of a lack of independence, comprehension, and trust outside of the bedroom.

6. Disconnected/Parallel Lives

Both disagreement and connection are in short supply. Both of them have routines, so they operate automatically. They don’t have many interests, and their connection seems to be more like that of roommates than that of lovers.

7. Open Relationships

Open partnerships, also known as consensually non-monogamy relationships, are ones in which one or both parties are “authorized” to have romantic or sexual contact with others who are not in the relationship.

There are many consenting adults in open relationships, and studies have shown that there may be important advantages, including enhanced pleasure in couples who have problems with sexual incompatibilities.

The key is getting both sides’ approval and being open and honest about any potential jealousies.

8. Accepting/Balanced

The couple might function as a team by enhancing one another. They each actively appreciate and acknowledge the positive aspects of the other. Both have each other’s backs and are really interested in assisting the other in becoming who they want to be. When a relationship becomes stale, they are able to breathe new life into it. They are also capable of finding solutions to issues rather than just ignoring them.

9. Toxic Relationships

Although not always abusive, a relationship that makes you feel worse than it does better is often seen as toxic.

Whether you are in a toxic relationship or not mostly depends on how you feel about yourself in that connection.

Feeling in control? Do you feel heard and valued? Are you experiencing either physical or emotional abuse? If the answer to these questions is yes then it’s time to take control of your own self-esteem.


Relationships are based on patterns, with each person feeding off the other. If you change yourself, you change the pattern, which may affect your partner and the relationship. If you require assistance, seek counseling with the aid of friends and family so that you can make progress.

You don’t have to accept the offer that is made to you. It’s conceivable for things to change. And if not now, when?


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