Oh, my love (time): What forms of relationships are there?

Love – is one of the great mysteries of humanity. Books, films & dating platforms sell us love or the search for love as the great, often kitschy gesture and the key to happiness. It also works so well because many people want a firm and long-term love relationship. And why not? Love is indeed one of the greatest feelings. Every person deserves love – and as much of it as possible!

As different as the feeling of love can be perceived, just as diverse are the forms of relationships these days. In order to bring order to all the confusion, I have compiled the most common forms of relationships for you (no guarantee of completeness):


Let’s start with classic, monogamy. Everyone knows it, most western socialized people have grown up with it or the classic monogamous image.


Relationship, sexual and emotional, with only one exclusive partner. According to the classical meaning, for life, but of course, this model is also possible for a limited period of time.


The counterpart to monogamy. The terms polygamy & polyamory are often used synonymously, but there are differences in the definition of the terms.

Meaning & differences

According to the definition of the Austrian social scientist Stefan Ossmann, polyamory means the consensual relationship between more than two people, equally, starting from an emotional love and intimacies over a longer period of time. The term is composed of poly (several) and Amor (love). Its origin goes back to the queer-feminist environment of the 1990s in the USA. Today, however, it is no longer found only in this environment and country.

Polygamy (polygamous marriage) is to be distinguished from polyamory. Here, a person leads a marriage or marriage-like relationship with several people at the same time.


Of course, as everywhere with the former forms, there is not only black and white. A kind of hybrid between monogamous and polygamous/polyamorous can be found in an open relationship or marriage. For many, this is THE relationship trend (all online dating platform users know what I’m talking about 😉).

The open relationship is often defined as emotional monogamy, i.e. emotional fidelity but sexual freedom. This ideally happens as a mutual decision within this monogamous partnership. Rules, framework conditions & leeway are also defined here as always by oneself and within the central monogamous relationship.


Let’s move on to the long-distance relationship, which probably does not need the most complicated definition. The partners neither live in the same flat nor in the same place or country.

The term LAT, on the other hand, refers to a “living apart together” partnership. This is not based on emotional distance, but on spatial distance.

In this form, the partners do not move in together, even after a long-term partnership. The LAT relationship, therefore, differs from the typical long-distance relationship only in that the partners could also live in the same place or even on the same street, but each has its own four walls as a place of retreat.


Natalie Portman & Ashton Kutcher (Friendship Plus, 2011) or Mila Kunis & Justin Timberlake (Friends with Benefits, 2011) have brought this type of relationship into every living room and thus also into the minds of many. The hybrid form of friendship, affair, and a little bit of relationship offers the appeal. Often, a close friendship results in the occasional sex, i.e. the plus. The advantage of this form of relationship is definitely the already existing familiarity of the participants, which is never a bad thing when it comes to sex. By definition, there should not be any obligations or feelings, and the friendship should not change.

And finally, the relationship that we should all care and worry about the most:


Self-love is probably the relationship that is the hardest to achieve & needs the most work. As you are often the most critical of yourself, it is often hard to love yourself as you are, with all your quirks, flaws, and weaknesses. Yet it forms the basis of happiness, joy, and success. Not only people without a steady partner should take care of their relationship with themselves. It is also a good basis for every type of relationship. As Oscar Wilde tells us, “To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance.”

Good News! Self-love can be learned and trained. So, to conclude, here is a mini-guide to self-love:

  • Look at yourself in the mirror and say to yourself “I accept and love myself as I am!”. An overcoming? No matter, practice makes perfect.
  • Thank yourself. Not only for the things you have but also ESPECIALLY for yourself for a good decision or the completion of an important to-do.
  • Give yourself breaks. Recognizing your own needs and acting on them strongly influences self-love.
  • Give yourself a present. In the spirit of Miley, “I can buy myself flowers”. Gifts don’t always have to be material, a day/weekend of rest and relaxation is just as nice a gift. Psst. Our yoga offer and individual spa treatments are a great way to do something good for yourself.

In conclusion, love is love, in whatever form it takes. As long as everyone can find and live in the form of a relationship that best suits them and their current life situation, we are all happy. 😊

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