6 Types Of Common Relationships And Their Mental Health Impacts

Last Update on November 24, 2022 : Published on November 25, 2022

Relationships are an essential part of our life. Relationships are our own social network which gets us going and maintains our overall well-being. We all have different types of relationships with a wide range of people like friends, family members, colleagues, and more.

The idea of “being in a relationship” is not only limited to romantic relationships. Per psychology, it can be associated with a bond or attachment one person has with another person. To be in a relationship can also be referred to as an emotional attachment or bond apart from commitment or physical intimacy.

In psychology, there are different types of relationships. In order to understand the relationships more accurately, we can start by understanding the different types of relationships.

In this blog, we will be exploring six different types of relationships and their mental health impacts. Such a briefing on different types of relationships can help us in forming better relationships, setting boundaries, and more.

So, let’s get started!

6 Types of Relationships

A relationship can be defined as a connection or bond between two people. Per psychology, relationships can be either negative or positive. Basically, there are four different types of relationships such as family relationships, friendships, romantic relationships, and acquaintanceships.

But there can also be different subtypes of these relationships. So, we have outlined 6 different types of relationships based on the mental health impacts.

  • Friendships
  • Acquaintances
  • Family relationships
  • Sexual relationships
  • Romantic relationships
  • Work relationships
  • Situational relationships

1. Platonic Relationships

The bond or connection with friends is referred to as a platonic relationship. It includes an intimate and close bond without romance or sex. Such relationships are generally based on closeness, understanding, fondness, respect, support, care, honesty, and acceptance.

Platonic relationships can occur in the opposite and same sex as well. Platonic relationships can be seen with a classmate, colleagues, partners, volunteers, and others.

Such types of relationships are important because they provide a strong social support network which is important for overall well-being. Moreover, such relationships help us in protecting from a range of mental health-related issues like depression, anxiety, and more. They can also help us in boosting our immunity.

2. Romantic Relationships

Sometimes, platonic relationships change over time and drift into sexual or romantic relationships. Specifically, romantic relationships are characterized by attraction and love for another person. It can also involve commitment, infatuation, and intimacy.

According to psychotherapists, there are three main elements of love: intimacy, commitment, and passion. These three elements can have a high impact on mental health.

With time and passion, people develop a deep level of emotional understanding and intimacy which helps people to live life happily and positively. It can also help them in growing stronger every day.

Overall, romantic relationships are important because they help in emotional bonding, the development of a positive self-concept, and great social assimilation.

3. Co-dependent Relationships

A co-dependent relationship can be referred to as a dysfunctional or imbalanced relationship wherein one partner emotionally, physically, or mentally relies on the other partner. It is quite common to find mutually co-dependent partners. However, they enact co-dependency to take care or receive care.

There are various characteristics of a co-dependent relationship: one partner acts like a giver and the other acts like a taker, one person avoids conflicts to deepen the relationship, and more.

Co-dependent relationships are not the same and they are unique in their own characteristics. They can also vary in severity. We can have co-dependent relationships with our parents, children, colleagues, friends, partners, and more.

Co-dependent relationships are not good for mental health because they are needy, have a sense of entitlement, and the other partner always has feelings of emotional dissatisfaction.

4. Casual Relationships

Casual relationships involve dating relationships generally with sex and without expectations. Casual relationships do not involve any type of commitment or monogamy. However, I feel that this term is unclear and could have different meanings to different people.

Psychology defines casual relationships in situations like booty calls, sex buddies, one-night stands, friends with benefits, and others. Such relationships can be varied on the levels of contact, amount of personal disclosure, and degree of friendship.

According to psychology, if the casual relationship is marked by consent and discussion, it can have various sex-positive benefits. But, if it is non-consensual or non-discussed, it can lead to serious mental health issues like depression, loneliness, and more.

5. Open Relationships

An open relationship can be a non-monogamous and consensual relationship wherein partners can be connected with multiple partners. When both partners agree to have sex or connect with other people under certain limitations or conditions, it can be referred to as an open relationship. Such open relationships are highly seen in gay, bisexual, or lesbian people as compared to heterosexual people.

Such relationships can provide benefits like sexual freedom but they can also have pitfalls like emotional pain, jealousy, and loneliness.

6. Toxic Relationships

Toxic relationships are the type of interpersonal relationships that undermine or threaten your physical, emotional, or psychological well-being in a certain way. Such relationships can result in feelings of being misunderstood, humiliated, ashamed, and unsupported.

Toxic relationships can be seen among family members, colleagues, romantic relationships, friendships, and others. Toxic relationships generally revolve around competitiveness, blaming, controlled behaviour, dishonesty, disrespect, jealousy, passive-aggressive behaviour, stress, and more.

If someone is constantly negative, insecure, critical, or unkind towards you, it can also be referred to as a toxic relationship. Toxic relationships can have a serious stool on mental health. Such relationships often lead to depression, stress, and loneliness. Moreover, it can also have physical health impacts like the risk of developing cardiovascular issues.

Toxic relationships can also be abusive; therefore, it is always important to create boundaries and protect yourself physically and mentally.

How to define your relationship?

Based on the above-mentioned factors, if you are also looking here to define your relationship, you can try answering the below-mentioned questions:

  • Do you feel romantically taken with each other?
  • What kind of hope or goals do you have for each other in the relationship?
  • Do you both love spending time with each other?
  • Where do you see this relationship going?
  • Are you or your partner currently involved with other people too?

Defining your relationship helps in getting on the same page or exploring what you or your partner want from the relationship. Defining the relationship can be performed on all types of relationships.

It can also be used to develop an understanding and setting boundaries and expectations in your relationship.

Build a Healthy Relationship with these Tips

Irrespective of what relationship you are defining, there are some tips that can be implemented to secure your connection or relationship with the person. Here are some quick tips that you can try to build a healthy relationship:

  • Keep showing gratitude and appreciation
  • Always opt to have open and honest communication with each other
  • Show affection and care
  • Establish mutual respect
  • Implement active listening
  • Always show your support and encourage each other
  • Spend time together
  • Establish healthy boundaries
  • Be empathetic towards each other

I always say that communication is the key to establishing a great relationship. Along with this, trust, reciprocity, and honesty can also be helpful in establishing a healthy relationship. It helps in providing mutually beneficial and extended support to each other.

I hope this blog helps you understand the 6 types of relationships and their mental health impacts. For more such content, connect with us on all social media platforms.

Thanks for reading!

About The Author

Aayushi Kapoor
Aayushi Kapoor

Aayushi is a Content Creator at Calm Sage. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Food Technology and a Master's Degree in Clinical Nutrition. Her constant interest in the improvement of mental health, nutrition, and overall wellness embarked upon her career as a “full-time educational writer.” She likes to make an asynchronous connection with her readers. Her mantra for living life is "What you seek is seeking you".

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