Outline of relationships

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The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to interpersonal relationships:

Interpersonal relationship – association between two or more people; this association may be based on limerence, love, solidarity, regular business interactions, or some other type of social commitment. Interpersonal relationships are formed in the context of social, cultural and other influences.

Essence of relationships[edit]

Main article: Interpersonal relationship
  • Social relations – relationship between two (i.e. a dyad), three (i.e. a triad) or more individuals (i.e. members of a social group). Social relations, derived from individual agency, form the basis of social structure.
  • Social actions – acts which take into account the actions and reactions of individuals (or 'agents'). According to Max Weber, "an Action is 'social' if the acting individual takes account of the behavior of others and is thereby oriented in its course" (Secher 1962).

Types of relationships[edit]

Membership in a social group[edit]

Social group – consists of two or more humans who interact with one another, share similar characteristics and collectively have a sense of unity.[1] By this definition, a society can be viewed as a large group, though most social groups are considerably smaller.

  • Dyad – group of two people. "Dyadic" is an adjective used to describe this type of communication/interaction. A dyad is the smallest possible social group.
  • Triad – group of three people. Less stable than dyads because two will tend to unite against the other one.

Family membership[edit]

A table of relationships displays the relationships amongst relatives.


Peer group membership[edit]

Peer group

Organization membership[edit]

An organization is a social group which distributes tasks for a collective goal. There are a variety of legal types of organizations, including:

Community membership[edit]


  • Citizenship – membership in a country or nation.
  • Neighbor – member of a neighborhood.
  • Member of society – a society is a body of individuals outlined by the bounds of functional interdependence, possibly comprising characteristics such as national or cultural identity, social solidarity, language, or hierarchical organization.

Intimate relationships[edit]

Intimate relationship

Professional relationships[edit]

Relations (relationship activities)[edit]

Relationship formation[edit]

Main article: Mating

Human mating is the process whereby an individual seeks out another individual with the intention of forming a long-term intimate relationship or marriage, but sometimes for casual relationship or friendship.

Sexual relations[edit]

Dysfunctional relations[edit]

Abusive relations[edit]


End of a relationship[edit]

Reasons for ending a relationship[edit]

Theories of interpersonal relations[edit]

Relationship characteristics[edit]

Aspects of relationships include:

  • Attachment in adults
  • Attachment in children
  • Interpersonal attraction – force acting between two people that tends to draw them together and resist their separation, which leads to friendships and romantic relationships. It is distinct from physical attraction.
  • New relationship energy (NRE) – state of mind experienced at the beginning of most significant sexual and romantic relationships, typically involving heightened emotional and sexual receptivity and excitement. It begins with the earliest attractions, grows into full force when mutuality is established, and slowly fades over months to years.

Stages of a relationship[edit]

  • Stages presented in George Levinger's relationship model:
    1. Acquaintance
    2. Buildup
    3. Continuation
    4. Deterioration
    5. Termination

Feelings and emotions[edit]

Sexual orientation[edit]

Relationship partners[edit]

Terms for partners in intimate relationships include:

Relationship management[edit]

Relationship intervention[edit]

Lacking an intimate relationship[edit]

Romance and Intimacy[edit]

Main articles: Romance (love) and Intimacy
Courtship –
Romance –


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Social Groups." Cliffsnotes.com. Accessed June 2011.
  2. ^ http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hypergamy
  3. ^ Аугустинавичюте А. (1996). Социон, или Основы соционики. Соционика, ментология и психология личности, 4-5. (In Russian. Title can be translated as Augustinavichiute A. (1996). The Socion, or Socionics Basics. Socionics, Mentology, and Personality Psychology, 4-5).