Healthy relationships make our lives positive and happy and these 4 types of relationships help us become who we are. Learn more about how to maintain healthy relationships below!

The 4 types of relationships. Image by truthseeker08 from Pixabay
The 4 types of relationships. Image by truthseeker08 from Pixabay

A relationship is a bond that connects us with the people around us. Have you ever thought about the different types of relationships you have in your life and how each of these relationships affects you? Relationships define who we are, and a positive relationship will help you thrive, while a negative one can suppress you.

To become a successful person, you need to find balance in all your relationships. Respect, loyalty, proper communication, and honesty are key traits of a positive relationship. We form relationships with different people throughout our entire lives, and some are more common than others.

1. Family Relationships

These relationships exist from the moment we are born and include our parents, grandparents, siblings, spouses, children, and other familial relatives. These are the people we see every day growing up and offer us guidance, support, love, and discipline.

Family relationships are usually lifelong and are the backbone to all your other relationships. Most have strong relationships with their family members and look up to elders for love, support, guidance, and advice. Our parents and older relatives teach us discipline and set boundaries for us. We learn to love and care from what we receive from our families. This helps us to grow as a human being.

But some families face a lot of turmoil and have an unstable environment. People that grow up in such an environment tend to be emotionally unavailable when it comes to other relationships and can be loners.

I have a friend who grew up in an unstable environment. His dad, man in his late 50s, has a young son from his older son’s best friend’s ex-girlfriend. Did you follow that? Throughout our friendship, I’ve noticed my friend has issues forming attachments to other people and has a tendency to fall into “dead-end” relationships as a form of self-sabotage. We tend to emulate what we see in our parents, and having a parent with boundary issues can negatively impact the way we form our future relationships.

2. Friendship Relationships

Friends are the people that are not your blood relatives, but you maintain a close relationship with them. You cannot choose your family members, but you can choose your friends and control the type of relationship you have with them. These relationships either stays with you throughout your life or fades away as time passes. Good friends support you, while bad friends can trap you in poisonous relationships.

Friendship level varies differently as you grow up, and it’s normal to be closer to some people than you are with others. These relationships are two-way streets, and genuine friendships mean you are there for each other through thick and thin.

I know a person who has difficulty talking to new people and making new friends. He was bullied as a child and faced betrayal from those he had considered friends. This caused him to lose trust in others and struggle with emotional vulnerability, even fifteen years later.

My closest friends I have known since Grade 1, and although we don’t get to spend much time together now, as life keeps us busy, we still make sure to stay close. I think of them first whenever I need someone to talk to because they are the people who keep me grounded and allow me to be a confident person.

3. Acquaintances

Acquaintances are the people you know and meet regularly, but are not as close to you as your friends are. Acquaintances are the people we know from school, work, the neighborhood coffee shop, or anywhere else we encounter other people.

We have minimal contact with acquaintances and know very little about their personal lives. While your friends and family might struggle at times to give you advice, sometimes a stranger’s perspective on things can be helpful because they don’t know you or your situation as well. You have no personal attachment to them and might not ever see them again, which allows you to be honest in a way you might not feel you can be with someone who knows you better.

As time passes, this relationship can turn into a friendship and broaden your network. Always be polite and respect your acquaintances and maintain a harmonious relationship. One of my work colleagues turned into a great friend the more time we spent together outside the office and that relationship has turned into one of my most treasured friendships.

4. Romantic Relationships

Oh boy! Do I even need to describe this type of relationship? It’s the one you have with strong and passionate feelings for someone else. You are attracted to them physically, mentally, and emotionally, and is a relationship built on love, loyalty, honesty, trust, and mutual respect.

This relationship is the closest one you can form with another person because they combine the four previous relationships into one. The two people in a romantic relationship want to spend time with each other as much as possible, share similar interests, and have a strong bond between them. Romantic relationships grow stronger with time and often include marriage and children. Romantic relationships are very important for us because they become the focal points of our lives.

Even romantic relationships go through trials and tribulations. Strong relationships can withstand any issues through communication and compromise, but not all relationships have compatible partners. Romantic relationships don’t always last and can end for a multitude of reasons.

These are the 4 types of relationships we form with others, but did you know there is a fifth relationship considered by some to be the most important of all? Yes, you heard right, and that is the relationship you have with yourself.

When we talk about relationships, it’s always between you and other people, but have you ever stopped to think about the one you have with yourself? Having a good relationship with yourself is a building block for the four types of relationships you have with others. A healthy relationship stems from the ability to value yourself, know your strengths and weaknesses, and respect yourself. It directly impacts the health of your other relationships, and the insecurity that comes out of a negative relationship with yourself can be damaging to everyone involved.

During your lifetime, you will have many different relationships with many different people. Keeping a good relationship with yourself and others is key to having happy, healthy, and long-lasting relationships with others. How have your relationships impacted you? Tell us about it in the comment section below!