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defining it as romantic, passionate, or casual

Unraveling your relationship: defining it as romantic, passionate, or casual

The word “relationship” is used a lot these days and it’s seen as having a universal definition. But in reality, it covers many different types of human connections, whether romantic or not. It’s likely that two people don’t have exactly the same understanding of what defines a relationship.

Understanding Relationships

There are different kinds of relationships, from family and friendships to romantic ones. Relationships can be positive or negative, and they can have varying levels of emotional closeness and commitment. Some people also practice ethical non-monogamy, which means having multiple partners with mutual consent. In addition to these basic types of relationships, there are more complex ones like work relationships, teacher-student relationships, and community or group relationships. These different types of connections can sometimes overlap – for instance, someone could be both a colleague and a close friend to another person. Within each category of relationship, there can be many variations. For example, there are co-dependent friendships, sexless marriages, and toxic family members.
When it comes to romantic relationships specifically, people use different terms to define their connection with themselves and others. This includes various labels that individuals use to describe the nature of their romantic involvement with others in relation to themselves.

Committed Relationship

Being “in a relationship” generally means committing to a long-term romantic bond with someone. This kind of committed relationship involves both people agreeing to continue their connection into the foreseeable future, spending time together, working on their bond, and maintaining their closeness. In traditional monogamous relationships, this commitment also includes being romantically and sexually exclusive to each other. However, in non-monogamous relationships, exclusivity is not required.

The Meetings

Spending time with someone on purpose to get to know them, have fun together, and be romantic is called dating. Sometimes people go on dates to see if there’s potential for a longer-term relationship, or just to have fun without any expectations for the future. This is also known as casual dating.

The Situational Relationship

A situationship is a romantic relationship that hasn’t been clearly defined. It’s kind of like a mix between a serious relationship and casual dating, but without any labels or commitment. In general, situationships involve more emotions than friends with benefits, but there aren’t explicit romantic feelings or long-term commitment.

On the other hand, casual relationships involve regular dating and engaging in romantic or sexual activities without expecting the relationship to last long-term. These types of relationships are usually more temporary and can be exclusive or non-exclusive. People in casual relationships like each other and are attracted to one another, but there isn’t necessarily intense emotional connection or a desire to deepen the relationship.

Casual Sex Relations

– Casual sex is when people spend time together mainly for sexual relations.
– They may meet regularly or just have sex once and never see each other again.

Ethical Non-Monogamy

Ethical non-monogamy is a broad term for any relationship where people can have multiple romantic and sexual partners at the same time. This includes polyamory, open relationships, and other types of relationships involving more than two people. Ethical non-monogamous relationships can be casual, committed, open, exclusive, reserved for encounters or sex only, or a combination of these categories. People in these relationships may or may not use labels like boyfriend, girlfriend, or partner to describe each other.

In psychology, the relational framework looks like this:

– Empty love: commitment only
– Romantic love: passion + intimacy
– Infatuation: passion only
– Consummate love: passion + intimacy + commitment.

Defining Your Relationship

When it comes to dating and relationships, partners need to be clear about what they want and be on the same page. It’s important for them to communicate openly about the type of relationship they’re looking for.

Questions to ask to define the relationship with the other person

What do you expect from this relationship? Are you looking for something casual and immediate, or are you more focused on the future? Perhaps you’re unsure and just want to explore at the moment. Are you seeking a long-term relationship? If so, do you see potential here? Are there any other people involved? Do romantic feelings come into play? Are you interested in exploring these emotions, or do you prefer things to remain casual? How often do you want to spend time with and talk to your partner?

Choosing not to address these questions means making assumptions rather than uncovering the truth.

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