Types of Relationships

Relationships can encompass a broad spectrum of human connections. There are four basic types of relationships: family relationships, friendships, acquaintanceships, and romantic relationships. People may have multiple relationships that fall into each of these categories, with varying degrees of closeness and intimacy.

In healthy relationships, people support each other and respect one another’s boundaries. They prioritize spending time together and enjoy each other’s company. They also set aside time for their hobbies and interests. They don’t allow work or outside commitments to interfere with their relationship and they communicate respectfully, letting each other know what is important to them.

When people feel supported by their loved ones, they are more confident and self-assured. They can take risks and pursue their dreams knowing they have a solid base of support behind them. Positive relationships add meaning to life and reduce depressive symptoms.

A romantic relationship is a more intimate connection than a casual acquaintanceship or friend. It includes romantic and sexual interaction and emotional attachment. People in a romantic relationship often commit to one another, such as by marriage. They may also choose to be nonmonogamous, which means they don’t limit their partners to a specific number of others.

Regardless of how committed you are to your partner, there should always be room in your relationship for growth and change. Whether they offer constructive feedback, challenge your comfort zone, or encourage you to try new things, your partner should be supportive of your individual interests and goals.