The Beatles once famously wrote a song called Love is all You Need, and indeed, one of our basic needs as human beings, apart from basic biological needs and the need for security, is our need to love and be loved in return.
It is our birthright. We all hope for the best and dream of finding the right person we can call a soul mate, or even more, someone whose flame will burn just like ours, making our lives finally complete. On our path to finding love, we define what love is in different ways, as we all are unique and handle our need for love differently, but ultimately we are all looking for the same thing – love as it is, unconditional and true. There are many love relationships we form throughout our lives, and no matter how different we all are, what kind of lifestyle we follow or what kind of music we are into, for example, there are certain romantic bonding patterns , certain types of relationships, which we, and many others out there seem to experience.
No matter how positive or negative these love experiences are, being aware of these 11 different types of relationships can help us understand not only others, but ourselves, and ultimately can serve as lightning experiences, helping us grow and understanding what love, in its essence really is.
1. Pragmatic relationship (Relationship is a rational choice)
This is one of the most common relationship types out there, and it is based on the belief that the relationship is a good choice. It is about being rational and doing the right thing, because it is a smart thing to do. The variations of this kind of bonding are many, but typically it involves marrying or pairing up because it is time to get married or to be in a serious relationship. Alternatively we see the other person as a good match to our status or perceive them as a ‘’catch’’, even though there are no deep feelings or connection established. There can be a sense of a certain compatibility, such as intellectual, material or religious, which may not arouse any emotional feelings, or passion.
2. Codependent relationship (Relationship is a drug we need to take to survive)
This is the type of relationship where two individuals create a union which is similar to addiction. Love is a substance they need to have at any time, in order to function properly. Usually, one partner is the addict and the other co-dependent, who will sacrifice everything in order to make the other person happy, although both of them are ‘’love-addicted’’.
Co-dependent partners engage in a relationship that gives them false security and comfort. Partnerships like this destroy the sense of self, as there is no I, but only us. The only identity is that of the relationship, and these kinds of relationships are emotionally destructive, toxic, covertly one-sided and can sometimes be abusive.
3. Independent relationship (‘’I’’ before ‘’us’’)
Contrary to the previous type, where the actual partnership is the centre of attention, the independent type of relationship may represent a modern-relationship cliché. Both partners put themselves, their goals, ambitions and personalities first. This type of relationship can function if it is based on true equality and a common goal of independence, but what is distinctive about it is the lack of commitment and willingness to adapt to one another if that demands too much of a compromise for one or both partners.
4. Sweet romance relationship (In love)
This is a pure romantic love relationship, as seen in movies and accompanied by a certain sense of idealism, and not necessarily based on true compatibility.
Two people fall in love, and guided by gentle feelings and romanticism, build a relationship. This bonding is based on genuine feelings towards each other and a desire to make a relationship work. However once the feelings wear off, the partners may resort to only remaining committed to each other, or they may drift apart.
5. Open relationship (us + others)
The open relationship is another cliché of a modern relationship and there are a few sub-types. The most common one is where partners are emotionally committed to one another and may have established a serious emotional bond, but both approach the relationship with a sense of liberty and give each other the freedom to have sexual relations with other people. Just like the previous type, it demands equality and similar motives, but what is different is that there is usually more dedication to the relationship as an entity.
6. Lustful relationship (I really want you)
This kind of relationship is characterized as passionate, deep desire for one another, to the point of obsession. It can be based on strong passion and lust, but is often accompanied by strong emotions. It is one of the most common types of relationships out there and likely there are many who have experienced it at some point. This kind of relationship carries a strong energy, but as time passes and the ecstasy diminishes, the relationship can feel insufficient or lacking in some way, ultimately leading to breakup.
7. Casual relationship (Nothing serious )
This is a no-strings-attached type of relationship and it is all about being free from serious commitment. Partners experience uncertainty and the thrill of a new relationship, without serious attachment. It is all about fun and not so much about adapting and growing. The longevity of this kind of relationship depends on both parties, as it can be temporary, but it can sometimes become something more than just a fling.
8. Toxic relationship (Walking on eggshells )
The toxic relationship is probably one of the most draining experiences an individual can have. The main themes are passive-aggression, jealousy, controlling games, extensive criticism, lack of healthy communication, feeling uneasy or trapped in a relationship. It can produce the sensation that one must walk on eggshells to avoid possible confrontations.
This type of a relationship often feels like being in prison and usually one partner gets the worst of it. In order to keep the peace and maintain what one’s concept of love , the lesser partner sacrifices many things, including self-esteem, defined identity and ultimately mental health.
9. Commitment only relationship (When passion and love are gone)
This is a rather passive relationship and it has some of the characteristics of the pragmatic relationship. Both lack love and passion, but the only difference here is that the commitment-only relationship was once a passionate relationship, but it has lost its initial spark. Partners are together because of the pure desire to keep the partnership going, because of commitment and dedication, and (especially if children are involved) there can also be a distinct feeling of responsibility towards one another. This type of relationship can frequently be a result of a once lustful relationship and is based on shared history and time spent building a relationship. This relationship, however can also survive based on good general compatibility.
10. Rebound relationship (Relationship after the relationship)
When ending a love relationship, especially one of the serious kind, many seek a new relationship shortly afterwards in order to fill the void and deal with negative breakup emotions more easily. This is known as a rebound relationship. Undealt-with emotions from the previous partnership can easily find a way to emerge as the first relationship impacts how one feels and thinks. In most cases it is a transitional relationship. But not all are doomed to fail. No matter how long these interludes last, their main purpose is to serve as a tool for healing from previous experience, as it makes one feel loved, wanted and appreciated again.
11. Soul connections (Soul Mates, Twin Flames and Karmic Partners)
There are certain types of relationships where we feel a connection on a much deeper level, so deep, so powerful that it is hard to explain, almost as if we know deep down the other soul was meant to meet with ours.
These soul connections are divine gifts and are something we hope to find every time we start a romantic relationship – this is what we are hoping for when looking for love. But it is much more than that. Some connections are there to teach us a lesson, one that we need to learn in order to evolve into who we are supposed to be.
Sometimes, the lessons that hurt the most are the ones we remember, the ones that finally push us to face what we have been avoiding. It may force us to put in the real work, on ourselves and on how we treat others. Once that lesson is learnt, the relationship has served its purpose. Both parties must go their separate ways and begin a new path.
In next week’s article we will delve deeper into the great power and impact soul connections have in our lives. There are different types of soul connections such as karmic partnerships and past life connections, soulmate relationships or twin flame relationships, all intended to help us grow, learn and become who we truly are, by connecting with another soul. What all have in common is the joy they can bring but also the impetus they provide to cause a spiritual awakening that pushes us out of our comfort zones in order to become more of who we are deep within ourselves as individuals.
The next article on soul connections will reveal the immense power they have, as well as the way they can leave us bereft when they end. Partners may feel almost as if they were meant to meet so that they can leave a significant mark on each other’s lives – the relationship usually becomes an important part of one’s personal history, whether it ends or not. And a relationship of this magnitude that ends can leave you in need of the healing strategies found in Heartbreak Triage.