It seems like everywhere, you can find someone either looking for love or trying to figure out if the love they’ve found is real. That’s probably thanks to Foreigner and other power-ballad bands, but mostly, the entirety of the ’80s.
All relationships aren’t equal, and (incredibly nosey) science has finally found a way to categorize the boundaries, committed-ness of your love, and the happiness and rewarding sensations you feel into specific groups for our subjective judging pleasure.
Bless you, science.
Three relationship scientists — and yes, that’s their actual job, so you know they know what they’re talking about — studied approximately 400 unwed couples in their mid-twenties to determine if there was any definability to determine the outcome for happiness and whether they’d be headed for marriage, and found out that yes, there is.
Based on responses to questions gauging how committed they each felt to one another and how they felt about their significant other, Steven Ogolsky, the lead researcher, determined that while there may be many types of people, there are just four specific categories that each relationship can fall into.
He even gave us easy ways to find out where we fit and how to weigh our own relationships against the others, which, according to the internet, is all anyone ever wanted anyway. Let’s just dive right in and figure out which is which, and where the likelihood of a happy marriage in your future falls, shall we?
Without further ado, here are the four types of relationships you might find yourself in:
#1. You’re conflict-ridden but oh-so in love.
Also known as the on-again, off-again couples. If you’re this type of couple, then you might even make the Stock Exchange dizzy with your up and down, back and forth relationship. Your commitment to one another varies as you go — one minute hot, the next cold.
Conflict pushes you apart, but then passion drives you right back into each other’s arms. When you’re together, you’re really together, but when you’re not, you’re definitely not. Still, there’s a certain definable magnetism that keeps pulling you back to the person you’re crazy for, despite the obvious bumps in the road of your relationship.
This type of crazy, passionate romance may not exactly be doomed for failure, but according to Ogulsky, it “may not be sustainable in the long-term.” It can be pretty hectic to keep a relationship when you never know from one day to the next what might happen.
If your commitment level to your partner falls when you’ve had an argument, then you’ll need to examine where you’re at and make better decisions if you want a lasting relationship with that person.
#2. You’re all about the drama, drama, drama.
Do you and your partner find yourselves often in the middle of some new issue or problem? Do you often make spur of the moment decisions based on issues outside of your relationship? Do you spend more of your time with your own friends, doing your own things without really consulting one another or trying to do things as a couple? Then you’re in a dramatic relationship, and my, my, the waters are choppy.
According to Ogolsky, “These couples have a lot of ups and downs, and their commitment swings wildly.” What does that mean, exactly? Well, if you’re the sort of person that focuses on the negative and allows other factors outside of your relationship to drive your opinion of your partner, then you’re going to be focused on other factors around you, not your S.O., which can make you both more likely to fight as well as to break up.
“It’s not unlike when the transmission goes out on your car, and then your starter goes out. You begin to see little things eroding, and you start to see the relationship in a negative light, and soon you give up,” Ogolsky says.
If you’re in a dramatic relationship, you might want to rethink the decisions you’re making, and fast, because people in these relationships are two times as likely as the others to break up.
#3. You’re both social butterflies.
Does your perfect night out involve your significant other and a bunch of your friends that you all share together? Does social activity become a hub of your relationship because you do it together rather than separate and go your own ways? Then you and your partner could have a socially-based relationship that’s strong because of the people and things you share together.
According to Ogulsky, “Having mutual friends makes people in these couples feel closer and more committed.” You’ll end up being a pretty stable couple with high levels of happiness and friendship because your partner is also someone that you enjoy going out and hanging out with.
This is good news for you, because in the long-term, you’re sharing things that will make your relationship more likely to last.
#4. You’re focused on your partner, and it shows.
You love spending time with your significant other. You do everything together, share hobbies and fun times alike, and that special bonding time actually makes you more likely to have a significantly happier relationship in the future.
You’re not going to let outside sources influence the decisions that you make, and you’re more likely to talk out your issues with one another and be more thoughtful moving forward. Do you relish time with your partner, and make sure that you’re putting each other first? Then you’re lucky to be in a partner-focused relationship which, according to the study, was overall the most satisfied!
The purpose behind categorizing these relationships is to help you recognize where you’re currently at and where you want to be.
It can make you think about the longevity of your relationship in its current state and how you can either keep moving it forward with good decisions or how you can better it by aiming for positive goals together.
So, no matter what type of relationship you’re currently in, know that your happiness and commitment to one another ultimately depends on the two of you — and don’t accept anything less than fantastic!