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What is the Purpose of a Relationship?

August 30, 2022

Friends making a heart together with their hands

Introduction: What is the Purpose of a Relationship?

People are social creatures by nature. We are wired to seek out companionship and form relationships. But why? What is the purpose of a relationship?  Why do we seek them out? What do we hope to gain? 

In this article, we will explore the different purposes of relationships and how they can affect our lives. We will also discuss what happens when the purpose of a relationship changes or is no longer fulfilled.

Family together on a beach discussing the purpose of a healthy relationship

Defining Relationships

A relationship is a mutual connection between two people. The purpose of a relationship is typically to provide companionship, love, security, and emotional and physical support for each other. A good relationship is built on trust, communication, and respect. Without these things, a relationship will not last.

So what is the purpose of a relationship? It really depends on the type of relationship you have with someone. But ultimately, all relationships serve to improve our lives in some way, whether it’s making us happier, healthier, or more successful.

Friends gossiping together on a beach about the purpose of relationships

Types of Relationships

There are many different types of relationships, and each one serves a different purpose. For example, some relationships are based on mutual respect and understanding, while others are built on trust and shared values. And still others are founded on passion and physical attraction. Thus, different types of relationships serve different purposes. Some relationships are meant to be temporary, like a summer fling. Others are more long-term, like a college roommate or a coworker.

Some examples of relationships are friendships, parent-child relationships, romantic relationships, business relationships, and cooperative relationships (think co-parenting!). Many relationships are a combination of different kinds. We will now explore some examples of relationships more in depth. 

There is no need to wonder about the purpose of a relationship among friends during Friendsgiving


Friendships can be very important to a person’s life. Friends can be people you know from school, work, or church.  A good friend will listen, care, and support you through hard times. Moreover, good friends are honest and trustworthy. So, friends are people you can be yourself around. Often, you may share common interests and activities with your friends. Friends typically like to do things together, such as play sports, go to parties, or just hang out. 

So, what is the purpose of a relationship with a friend? Well, the purpose of a friendship is to provide companionship and support to each friend. Friends typically have a strong emotional connection with one another. 

Mom and dad teaching daughter to ride a bike so their purpose is to teach


A family relationship is one of the most important relationships that you will have in your life. This is because it is the foundation of your social support system. It is also a primary source of love and security. Moreover, it is with your family that you form your attachment style which will ultimately affect all of the relationships in your life. But, you still may wonder what is the purpose of a relationship with family? 

The purpose of a family relationship is to provide love, security, and emotional and practical support for one another. Family members should be able to rely on each other for help when needed, and be there to celebrate the good times together. Family members typically have a strong emotional connection with one another. In order to maintain a strong family bond, it is important to keep communication open and honest, and to show care and respect for each other. Family relationships are important because they help us feel connected to others and help us learn how to love and be loved.

Mom teaching daughter to ride bike and have fun
Negative Relationships with Family

However, not everybody has the best relationship with their families. And, that is okay! Negative family relationships can teach us about what not to do in our own relationships. They can also provide an opportunity for growth and healing. Moreover, we can learn how to set boundaries when we experience negativity due to our family. No matter what kind of family relationship you have, it is important to remember that it serves a purpose.

Blushing because of her relationship

Romantic Relationships

Romantic relationships are some of the most important connections we will have in our adult life. But, what is the purpose of a relationship? Well, a romantic relationship is defined as a close, personal connection between two people who are attracted to each other and share similar interests. Thus, the purpose of a romantic relationship is to provide love, companionship, and support to each partner. A romantic relationship can be a source of happiness and fulfillment, but it can also be a source of stress and conflict.

There are many different types of romantic relationships, including friends with benefits, monogamous relationships, polyamorous relationships, and open relationships. Each type of relationship has its own set of rules and boundaries. Relationships take work and effort from both parties involved. If both partners are willing to put in the time and effort, then the relationship can be a rewarding experience.

In sum, there are many different types of relationships. And, we found out that the answer to our question of, “What is the purpose of a relationship,” varies. But, overall, the purpose of relationships is to provide us with a sense of belonging and love.

Male friends on a hike discussing the purpose of a relationship

What is the Purpose of a Relationship: Theories on the Purpose of Relationships

Having established that there are several types of relationships, each with its own unique purpose, we can now delve into the theories and how they relate to you.

So, what is the purpose of a relationship? There are many theories out there that attempt to answer this question. Some believe that we form relationships in order to fulfill our innate need for companionship. Others believe that we do it for the sake of procreation. And still others believe that we form relationships in order to learn and grow as individuals. Moreover, there are other folks who believe that relationships are meant to provide us with support and companionship. There is no one answer that is right for everyone, but it is important to think about what you want out of a relationship before you enter into one.

What to Look for in a Relationship

Hence, if you are looking for a relationship that will provide you with support and companionship, then you may want to look for someone who shares similar interests and values as you. It is also important to find someone who you can trust and confide in. Relationships like this can be very fulfilling and long-lasting.

But, if you are looking for a relationship that will help you grow and learn more about yourself, then you may want to look for someone who is different from you in some way. This can be a great learning experience, especially if you are with someone who is more experienced or has a different background.

Friends all together in a circle having fun

The Challenges of Relationships

All in all, a close relationship is one of the most fulfilling things a person can experience. But what does it mean to have a successful relationship? How do you know if you’re in one?

People in healthy relationships feel supported, safe, and free to be themselves. They can express their thoughts and feelings openly without fear of judgment or criticism. They also feel comfortable setting boundaries, communicating their needs, and resolving conflicts in a constructive way.

However, relationships aren’t always easy. They require time, effort, and patience from both partners. It’s normal for folks to go through periods of ups and downs. What matters is how they handle these challenges together.

Couple having difficulties in their relationship

Relationships Evolve

If you’re wondering if your relationship with your partner, friend, or family member is on track, ask yourself these questions: Are we able to communicate openly with each other? Do we trust and respect each other? Are we able to resolve conflicts calmly and respectfully?  Do we have fun together?  Are there any patterns in our relationship that might be unhealthy or destructive

If you answered yes to these questions, then your relationship is probably healthy. If you answer no, then it is likely that your relationship is not a fulfilling one – or worse, is an unsafe, unhealthy one. Take a moment to yourself to evaluate if the relationship is worth continuing. If it is, then reach out to your partner/friend/family member and communicate your concerns. If you do not wish to continue the relationship, then take the steps to terminate it. Communicate your unsatisfacation and why you no longer wish to have them in your life. 

In sum, the purpose of a relationship may evolve over time – and that is okay. Your romantic relationship that once served the purpose of providing you with a sense of belonging and safety may shift into a relationship that calls you to advocate for yourself and set your boundaries. All in all, the purpose of a relationship may change, and while it may be difficult to accept, it is important that we adapt. 

Family having fun together is the purpose of their relationship

Conclusion: What is the Purpose of a Relationship?

What is the purpose of a relationship? That’s a question that we all have to ask ourselves at some point. Whether we’re starting a new relationship or trying to figure out why an existing one isn’t working, it’s important to know what we’re looking for.

Relationships can provide us with love, support, friendship, and so much more. Furthermore, relationships are an essential part of life and can help us to feel happier and more fulfilled. But they can also be difficult, stressful, and even painful. It’s important to remember that relationships are not always easy, but they are always worth it.