9 examples of unconventional relationships that work.

Just like there is no right way to live a live, there is no right way when it comes to relationships. Love is not one-size-fits-all. Relationships are as unique as the individuals in them.

Here are nine examples of healthy intimate relationships that don’t follow conventional rules. With honesty and informed consent, all of these are OK:

  1. You and your partner can openly and honestly choose to have physical affection with other people (from cuddling to sex) sometimes, either together or separately.

  2. You and your partner can be deeply in love while also exploring emotional intimacy with other people. It is possible to be in love with more than one person at once and have it strengthen all your relationships.

  3. You can live with your partner for companionship but choose not to have a sexual relationship with each other. One or both of you could “outsource” sexual intimacy, or one of you might choose to remain celibate. Whatever works for you is OK!

  4. You can choose to live without your partner, either alone or with other people (room mates, close friends, family), while still being in a committed relationship with your partner.

  5. You can choose to be your own “primary” partner, though you’re in relationships with one or more people. That means you make all of your major life decisions with and around yourself, not with or around your partner(s).

  6. You can choose to live with more than one romantic partner.

  7. You can choose to have friends with benefits for the longterm. If that works for you, that’s fine as long as you’re being honest with your lovers that this is your intention.

  8. You can choose to be with someone who shares your gender identification or does not identify with the gender binary.

  9. You can choose to have a power dynamic in your relationship, during sex or all the time (BDSM/kink), as long as you and your partner are giving informed consent.


If traditional relationships aren't working out so well for you, don't worry. You're completely normal. Many people feel the way you do!


Download my free DIY (Design-it-Yourself) Relationship Guide and start creating a customized relationship around your authentic needs and desires.

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