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Relationship of Convenience: What It Is & Why People Get Into One

Being in a loving relationship is a great feeling. How can you be sure that it’s real on both sides, and not just a relationship of convenience?

When you’re really in love, it feels like you’re floating on air. Truthfully, you never really know what someone else’s intentions truly are. You might be in a relationship with someone who tells you that they love you, but how do you know they really do? Is it possible to be in a relationship of convenience and not know it?

I don’t wish to make you paranoid here, trust me, that’s the last thing I want, but I’m just pointing out that for some, a relationship of convenience is what your partner needs at this point in their life. For you however, it could be the real deal.

A one-sided relationship

A one-sided relationship of convenience is not a healthy union. I should point out that if both partners are happy with being in casual relationship, i.e. there is no solid intention of a future and you’re getting out of it what you both want, then go for it.

If you’re planning a future of happiness and contentment and your partner is not really looking beyond the next few days, you’re possibly heading for heartbreak central in the long term. [Read: Signs of indifference in a relationship that could point to a real drift]

What is a relationship of convenience?

There are many different types of relationships which fall under this umbrella category. A relationship of convenience can be for a legal issue, e.g. when someone needs to marry a citizen of a certain country to stay there. *I’m not advocating that’s right, I’m simply pointing out it happens!*

A relationship of convenience can also be because two people don’t want to be alone. They don’t necessarily want to be together in the long term, but right now, they want someone to be able to do regular relationship things with, like going out and sexual fulfillment.

Again, just make sure both sides are on the same page. [Read: The 12 new relationship boundaries all new couples should draw]

The pros and cons of a relationship of convenience

Everything in life has good points and bad points. For some people, the very idea of being in this type of relationship isn’t something they want to entertain. For others, the idea might be totally appealing. It’s a personal deal and something to consider carefully.

The pros of being in this type of relationship are:

– Someone to do relationship things with

– No strings and no commitment. There is no specific future plan, you’re simply living in the moment

– A lack of loneliness

– A support network without the relationship demands placed upon it

– Ideal for those who simply don’t want a serious relationship at this time in their life

– A way to gain sexual fulfillment for both parties

The cons of being in a relationship of convenience are:

– Developing feelings for your casual partner

– Relationships of this type aren’t meant to last forever

– You’re missing out on meeting someone who may want a genuine relationship with you

The biggest problem is a lack of real communication. Both parties really need to be on the same page. If either person changes their mind, or if feelings develop, a conversation must take place. This can be difficult to do, and the partner who develops those feelings might feel embarrassed or scared to “rock the boat.” If this happens, hurt is on the horizon.

If two people genuinely don’t want a relationship, then this type of union is perfectly fine, provided regular communication on the subject takes place. But relationships have a habit of creeping in, especially when sex is involved.

In the end, whenever one partner starts to feel more than the other, and if the other person still doesn’t want the same type of relationship in the future, it’s time to walk away. [Read: The steps to better communication in a relationship]

Are relationships of convenience ever healthy?

Relationships never fall under static rules. What suits one person doesn’t suit another, and there isn’t a defined explanation of ‘normal.’ What is normal to one person is completely abnormal to another, and totally unacceptable! In so many ways, this very fact is what makes the world so interesting. We’re all different and have vastly different views as a result.

Consider what you really want and where you see yourself in the future. Do you want a long term relationship, a genuine, two-sided relationship based around love and respect? In that case, is a relationship of convenience right now something you should be entering? Is it going to block the way for Mr. or Mrs. Right to come towards you?

Of course, maybe you don’t want a relationship at all, maybe you’re perfectly happy to be single and you don’t ever see yourself with the 2.4 children and white picket fence. All that is perfectly fine too. If the other person is on the same page, a relationship of convenience could give you the perks, like sexual satisfaction and companionship, that you might otherwise lack, while maintaining your independence.

Is it healthy? This varies from person to person.

What do you both want?

For someone who is easily hurt, someone who attaches themselves to others and develops feelings easily, especially when sex is involved, then you have to conclude the a relationship of convenience in this case is simply playing with fire. It’s not unheard of for a man or woman to enter into this type of relationship with hopes that it will develop in the future.

The thing is, if the other person wanted it to develop into something, they wouldn’t be putting the idea of a relationship of convenience on the table in the first place!

On the flip side, if you’re someone who really doesn’t want to be defined by a relationship, someone who never sees themselves as part of an ongoing duo in the traditional sense, then a relationship of convenience could be a healthy option.

It all comes down to the person and what they really want. [Read: 10 rules for a casual relationship to keep it casual]

The relationship red flag

There is one anomaly I need to address here, which is actually a huge red flag. What if you’re in a relationship which isn’t supposed to be for convenience? But it’s ended up being that way for you. What if you were in love with this person once, but you’ve been together for so long that you now don’t feel the same. Your wants and needs in life has changed. In that case, are you sticking around for convenience?

That is a totally different situation, and one which needs to be addressed.

Never stay in a relationship just because it’s comfortable and convenient. Only stay because it’s what you truly want. Whether it’s the ‘regular’ type or a relationship of convenience. Stick to the origins, and be true to yourself.

[Read: Why you shouldn’t ignore these 17 relationship red flags]

A relationship of convenience can be a good choice for some couples, and a terrible choice for others. It all comes down to personal choice. Communication is the vital step towards ensuring that you both stay on the same page.

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