what_type_of_relationship_inside.jpgRead through the items below. Keeping your current partner and relationship in mind, complete the statements using whichever one of the three options seems truest to you given the situation described. Keep track of which letters your answers fall under.

1. Even before my partner and I became exclusive, I knew we had (or will have) a chance for a future together because:

a. I just get so turned on whenever I’m around him—our chemistry is fantastic!
b. He’s an ambitious and successful person in his field, and people look up to him.
c. He’s always encouraged me to think about my goals and go after my dreams.

2. The biggest perk I get from my relationship right now is:

a. The hugs, the kisses, the long and hot embraces, and more. I am an incredibly satisfied woman.
b. When other girls find out that I’m with him, they look up to me and envy me for being so lucky.
c. I feel like I’m more of “who I really am” when I’m with him, and there is no need for pretenses.

3. When I want to “show off” my partner, I:

a. Just invite family and friends to meet him. They all instantly agree on what a major hunk he is.
b. Invite people to see the new house/condo unit/car/jewelry he’s given me. He treats me like a princess and loves to shower me with gifts.
c. I don’t really feel the need to show him off. Our families and closest friends know we’re partners in every sense of the word.

The statements above aren’t meant to be a quiz. Instead, they will help you start thinking about what attracts you to your partner and what makes you choose to have a relationship with him. Now, based on your answers, you might find that your relationship falls into one of these three categories:

1. Mostly As = Fun and Pleasurable

You can’t get enough of the fun flirting, the intense making out, and the wild and passionate sex. This kind of relationship can be incredibly satisfying to your ego and to your body.,But, chances are, you also tend to have equally passionate fights, fights that are most often triggered by insecurity and doubt, While you enjoy the drama that this relationship brings to your life, at the back of your mind, you know that all these passionate feelings will eventually burn themselves out. And despite all the fireworks between you, your fight-and-make-up cycle will soon start to feel boring and predictable. Unless you start cultivating the other (perhaps less exciting) parts of your dynamic as a couple, then it’s very likely that your relationship will die a very uneventful death,

2. Mostly Bs =  High Status

You are getting a lot out of this relationship: respect from other people, envy from other girls, and—especially if your man is the generous kind—everything and anything you could ever want or own. But deep inside, you feel the pressure to keep up appearances. You may find yourself realizing that the things you thought would make you happy aren’t really as important as you thought they would be now that you have them. And sometimes it may bother you that your partner doesn’t seem to know or understand the “real you.” But then you can’t really blame him, can you? Because you may not be sure you know who you are yourself.

3. Mostly Cs = Shared Growth

You have moments of extreme passion, and you also have moments when you’re so proud of him you want to announce to the world that you’ve found your very own Mr. Right. You may sometimes be bothered by the thought that your relationship isn’t as intense and passionate as you think it should be, that your relationship isn’t at all like what you see in movies. But what makes you stop comparing your relationship with those other couples is the fact that, with him, you truly feel safe, appreciated, supported, and loved for who you are and for who you can become. You know he’s not perfect, you know your relationship is not perfect, and you know you’re not perfect. But that’s totally okay because you believe in each other and you’re both committed to seeing each other through the challenges life and love can bring.

So Which Kind Really Lasts?

I’ll give you one guess. And if you picked the shared growth relationship, then you’ve chosen correctly.

The reason why this kind of relationship has the potential to bring you true happiness is that it’s based on shared values and a commitment to each other’s growth. Because even though you’re already a couple, you still need to recognize each other as individuals. And this “shared growth” kind of relationship allows you, your partner, and your relationship to grow.

News Flash: This Valuable Insight Isn’t Really New

Sometimes we get so excited by the latest new thing that we tend to forget about the truths that have always been there because they’ve withstood the test of time. You might be surprised, but this concept of there being three kinds of relationships actually originated from Aristotle! He was the first to introduce the concept of a soul mate. But here’s where we got it wrong: we started to believe that our soul mate was somewhere out there, walking around looking for us, and that if we didn’t find him and got married to someone else, we’d be miserable for the rest of our lives.

On the contrary, Aristotle’s definition of a soul mate is much a simpler and far less stressful concept. For him, a soul mate is someone who nurtures your soul.

You won’t be sexy forever, and anything you own can be gone in an instant. But if you can find at least one person who sees you for who you really are and has decided to commit to you, warts and all, then you have just increased your chances for building the kind of love that lasts.

Read the first part of this series:
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(Photo by pedrosimoes7 via Flickr Creative Commons)

Aileen Santos is a certified Relationship Coach who helps single men & women find and keep the love they need. Email her at aileensantos(at)gmail.com to reserve your slot for her women’s relationship coaching program for women called
“How To Find The Love You Need” this February 13, 2011. You can find out more about her on her Facebook page.

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