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

Being in a loving relationship is a great feeling. But, how can you be sure it’s real and not just a relationship of convenience?

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. [Read: How to know when you’re in love: 50 signs you can’t ignore]

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 a 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] If you think that you’ve met a person who you could really build a future with, and they’re just in it for company or something else entirely, it’s never going to e what you want and you’ll end up wasting your time.

What is a relationship of convenience?

There are many different types of relationships that 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!* [Read: How to tell if you’re n a low key relationship or a secret affair]

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. Communication is vital! [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 [Read: 11 delightful things I learned from no strings attached]

– 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. [Read: Lack of communication in a relationship & why it signals the end]

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, no matter how much it hurts. [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 The One to come towards you? [Read: How to find the right person for you when you’ve given up hope]

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.

Signs you’re in a relationship of convenience

How can you tell if you’re in a relationship of convenience? Assuming that you’re someone who doesn’t want a half in-half out relationship, you’ll want to know the signs so you can figure things out and get out before you become too attached. [Read: 13 signs you’re emotionally attached and falling hard for someone]

#1 You have a gut feeling that something isn’t quite right. Listen to your gut, it will never steer you too far wrong! If you just have a feeling that they’re after something other than love, you have a right to be suspicious.

#2 They’re not there for you when you need them. A partner who genuinely cares will be there for you when you need them. However, if your partner never is, you have to wonder why.

#3 You haven’t been introduced to their family and friends. There are many reasons why you might not have been introduced to their nearest and dearest yet, but if it’s been a while and nothing is changing, it could be a sign of a relationship of convenience.

#4 They don’t seem to connect with you completely. When someone doesn’t care completely and they’re in the relationship for something else, they’re never going to totally ‘click’ with you. You’ll feel it. [Read: How to recognize a soul connection when they walk into your life]

#5 They often mention one particular subject a lot. If they talk about money a lot, could it be that they’re with you for financial gain? Not always, but it’s possible! If they talk about sex a lot, is that what they’re after? If they talk about social status? The list goes on.

#6 The relationship is on and off. Many relationships have hiccups but you don’t tend to notice other signs along the way. If you can nod along to a few other signs and this one too, that’s a pretty strong pointer towards a relationship of convenience.

#7 You don’t really talk about the future. This type of relationship doesn’t really have a future and if it does, it won’t be real. If neither of you talks about the months and years to come, is it because you can’t see them happening? [Read: How to fall out of love when you see no future]

#8 They’re not that interested in what you have to say/what you think. If your partner doesn’t really care about your opinions, feelings, or thoughts, is it because they’re not really that invested for the right reasons?

#9 Your relationship doesn’t really go anywhere. Relationships all move at different speeds but if yours doesn’t seem to be going anywhere at all, will it ever get moving?

#10 There is a distinct lack of passion. When there is no emotional connection, the passion isn’t alive and well. In that case, what is the point in staying?

#11 You basically live separate lives. Couples grow together. It doesn’t mean they’re always by each other’s sides, but there is a certain amount of togetherness. If you’re living separate lives, it’s probably because it’s a relationship of convenience. [Read: 12 real reasons why couples drift apart over time]

#12 You’re often left cold. In a relationship of convenience, one partner is likely to be left cold much of the time. That could be emotionally or sexually. How fulfiled do you feel?

#13 People have questioned your relationship before. Okay, people talk and it doesn’t always mean anything, but if more than one person has mentioned that they think you’re being used, you have to take it seriously.

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? [Read: Stagnant relationship: Has your relationship come to a standstill?]

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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Nicky Curtis
Nicky Curtis
Having stumbled from one relationship drama to another throughout her 20s, Nicky is now somewhat of a guru in the crazy world of life and love. Telling it how i...
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