Thought Catalog

The Different Types of Relationships There Are

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The Relationship for Show

The Relationship for Show is characterized by the union of two individuals who are in possession of such large and well-known personas that their reputation often precedes them. Said reputations are likely to be of the quality of “party girl,” “person who often breaks social conventions so as to (but not for the purpose of) be(ing) seen as ‘intense,’” or “highly and loudly knowledgeable about niche interests,” such as, for example, independent film or next-wave fashion. Further, the parties in this type of relationship simply recognize each other as Cool and are attracted because a) Cool is highly valued and b) because they see union as a vehicle to up their level of Coolness. Indeed, the two people in the Relationship for Show find each other almost by some self-organizing principal of reality, nature, society or culture; friends of the two are likely to affirm upon hearing of their newfound relationship, “oh, that makes sense,” or “heh, not surprised at all.”

The Relationship for Show is easily defined as a cliché, shallow entity that’s based more on exploitation than on love – in it, both parties hardly know each other and fail even to attempt to establish a lasting emotional connection. Instead, they use each other’s social personas to boost their own social personas in a masturbatory loop that ends only when one finds someone that possesses even more Cool than the current partner.

  • Most likely to be spotted at: Conspicuously making out at the most relevant house party, dive bar, or music show
  • Disagreements often arise over: Which party to go to and who’s allowed to tag along
  • Relationship most likely to end when: One finds someone cooler

The Intense Relationship

The Intense Relationship starts off with a bang and ends in a small-scale war. The commencement of this union usually occurs unexpectedly, suddenly, magically and passionately: one night, everything is boring, the same, the usual, etc., and 12 hours later, everything is vibrant, unexpected, delightful and literally forever-changed. The parties in the Intense Relationship seem, to each other, to come out of nowhere; they may have been around each other for a long time, yet just never noticed, or they may see each other once, and the rest of the story will be burned into their minds, remaining there until death. The Intense Relationship is excellent and crazy, and those in them are known to neglect everything – work, school, personal relationships – in favor of complete immersion in the world of their love. And indeed, Love is established quickly and without question, and as such, there are – for a time – no hesitations, awkward silences, misunderstandings, or sexual hurdles. Everything is incredibly smooth, as if the two individuals have become a singular entity operating only on a shared, unconscious feeling that can exist only between them. But inevitably, the same feelings that allowed such an extreme amount of emotion – recklessness, carelessness, lack of emotional barriers – are those that cause the Intense Relationship’s downfall, and the two are eventually observed going down in a screaming, violent, fiery rage, never to speak to each other again.

  • Most likely to be spotted at: Staying up all night having sex and intense conversation
  • Disagreements often arise over: Any instance in which one must go do something without the other
  • Relationship most likely to end when: One expresses the slightest hint at a need for a tiny amount of space, after both have consumed a considerable amount of alcohol

The Never Ending Relationship

Everyone seems to know someone in the Never Ending Relationship; it’s characterized by a simple feeling – often by those witness to the relationship – of “never going to end,” despite the fact that those inside the relationship are miserable, unsatisfied and could, in fact, find someone that would make them happier. It’s also likely to be of an On-Again/ Off-Again nature. The individuals in this type of relationship are most likely to stay with each other, despite their unsatisfactory condition, because a) life without the other seems terrifying and/or b) Single Life seems terrifying. This is because they have gotten so used to each other’s company that a strong bond of codependence has formed, and as such have come to rely on the solace and comfort of, for example, not being subject to the rigorous standards one faces in the dating scene, having someone around when lonely, or even relying on someone to pick up after you. Often, the love that once existed in the Never Ending Relationship is replaced by a symbol of Love. This symbol of Love becomes Enough, and what is valued, and so it becomes their trophy for living a normal and successful life, which is perhaps one of the most important ideals one in this type of relationship can achieve.

  • Most likely to be spotted at: Out to dinner, having nothing to say to each other
  • Disagreements often arise over: Extremely trivial situations that involve blaming, bickering and bitterness
  • Relationship most likely to end when: One of them dies

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    • http://twitter.com/anewholiday Max Shipley

      i'm trying to hear about some of these bonus relationships if you end up doing another article!

      • http://someharddrugs.blogspot.com Carolyn DeCarlo

        please, i need the bonus relationships spelled out for me. only you can do it, BSG!!

    • Jess

      so true, so true.

    • lucy

      nice.

      i want to read something you write about how when you're single you long for a relationship and when youre in a relationship you long for either being single or a better relationship.. idk bro man i'm just feeling anxious i just want to relate to something

    • inflammatorywrit

      This is the first time I've actually identified with one of these “Different types of…” relationship related articles. Intense relationship right here, party of two.

    • http://brianmcelmurry.blogspot.com/ Brian McElmurry

      word son

    • soulunsold

      HAHAHA the “WTF” relationship! You've nailed it.

    • http://miller-david.com david miller

      reading the 'This relationship is not likely to end' note at the end seemed to activate momentarily transcendent feelings.

    • We Must Revolt

      Please continue

    • http://twitter.com/chandeeliers Ng Lay Peng

      I am in the WTF relationship. Haha. Very very well put.

    • http://profiles.google.com/mollyburkett molly burkett

      the Intense Relationships made me laugh. because its' so true. so horribly horribly true…. anything that comes out of nowhere disappears just as fast. i also like to call it the BUNGEE JUMP. you dive headfirst and it's exhilarating and then…. oops you're back where you started. wait. bungee jumps don't bounce back. they just hang there until someone like, lets them out of their harness. this just gets more and more appropriate…

    • Meleea

      I really like your blog. I have to do this blog for class and I decided to do mine on relationships. If you want you could check it out.
      http://meleeaw.tumblr.com
      . I've done mine so far on friendships and domestic violence.

    • NKT

      I really liked this article and found it hilarious, but I especially liked how you were able to discuss relationships outside of gender boundaries. It was cool to read about the dependent person in a gender neutral position, instead of making fun of the prototypical “clingy girlfriend.” Refreshing.

    • ariel

      “The Alternative Vegan Commune Relationship”  this made me lol.

    • http://www.facebook.com/kristi.warner2 Kristi Warner

      I would love to read about these bonus relationships! I’ve had an intense relationship come about through internet dating between vegans. And another of the same that came out as a dependent/independent. Loved reading these – so true and put a smile on my face as soon as I identified with each.

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