Being in a committed relationship means deciding together on the rules of the relationship and accepting them. It normally means that you are loyal and ‘exclusive’ to each other. You don't make out or have sex with anyone other than your partner.
Commitment isn’t just about sex though. It could also mean emotional commitment. It means being honest about your feelings to each other. Trusting each other in all areas of life. It’s likely that you're in a committed relationship if you've been with the same person for a long time, or promised each other to be faithful, or shared some space together (a home or a room), if you have close financial ties – or if you're married.
However, the easiest way to find out if you've managed to pass the commitment test is to have a talk about it with your partner. Evaluate what both of you want from the relationship and from each other. This honest and open discussion should show the level of commitment you have towards the each other.
Couples who are in open relationships accept and allow each other to date or have sex with other people. It means they are honest with their partners about sleeping with other people and ideally don't see it as a hindrance to their relationship.
There are different reasons why couples might agree to open relationships. Some people really believe in loving more than one person at the same time. Some are looking for the closeness of a steady relationship without giving up the thrill of new sexual experiences with other people. For others it could be because of lack of sexual compatibility, or living far away from each other. Or maybe they’d really prefer to split up, but because of circumstances – children, family, money – they choose to stay together but have other relationships too.
There are couples who find open relationships work out well for them. But many run into problems. It seems like an appealing idea at first, and you think you’ll be able to cope with the emotions. But in reality there’s no avoiding it: you end up feeling jealous. This can damage the whole relationship.
The best thing to do before entering into an open relationship is to have a long talk about it and share your concerns and insecurities. Then it might be good to test the waters by trying how it works for an agreed period of time before you make the final decision.
Long distance relationships are when the two of you aren’t living together because you live in different places. This means you can’t see each other so often. If you live in Mumbai and your partner lives in Bangalore, you're in a long distance relationship.
Relationships can go long distance because of many reasons. It could be because your partner has found a new job in a different city or country or because you've started at a university far from home.
Today, long distance relationships are becoming more and more possible because of modern forms of communication. Emails, chats, video chats and social networks make it very easy for people to stay in touch while in a long distance relationship. Read more about why long distance relationships work so well.
Before you enter into a long distance relationship, it might be a good idea to think about how your relationship will change because of the distance. For one thing, there’ll be long stretches with no kissing or holding hands or sex. Also you won't get to see and talk to each other in person for long periods of time. It would be great to test it out for a while and see how it works out before making a final commitment.
In some cultures, it's OK for couples to live together without being married. In India, live-in relationships aren't a socially accepted norm, but more and more young, urban couples are choosing to live together anyway.
Partners may choose to live together without getting married for various reasons. It could be because they want to maintain their single status, or because of financial reasons or because they're gay and cannot be legally married. Many people also use live-in relationships as a test before they enter into a married relationship.
Live-in relationships need a lot of commitment and many couples who live together don't see themselves as being any different from married couples. Many countries in the West award long term live-in relationships the same status as marriages in case of separation.
Marriage is a legal union between two people. It also offers social acceptance of the relationship between the two partners involved. In some cultures, like India, marriage is a social requirement before two people start living together.
The decision to get married could be made just by the couple. Or it could be that their families and relatives are also involved in the choice. The ones where the couples fall in love first are labelled as ‘love marriages’ whereas the ones that involve parents and families setting it up are called ‘arranged marriages’.
A marriage is often celebrated with a wedding and married couples consider their wedding dates to mark their marriage anniversaries.