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Interpersonal relationship

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Interpersonal relationships are social associations, connections, or affiliations between two or more people. The study of relationships is of concern to sociology, psychology and anthropology.

Types of interpersonal relationships

  • Kinship relationships, including family relationships, being related to someone else by blood (consanguinity). For example, there is fatherhood or motherhood. Kinship relationships can also be made through marriage. For example, there are father-in-laws, mother-in-laws, uncles by marriage, or aunts by marriage.
  • marriage and civil union.
  • If the partners live together, the relationship may be similar to marriage, and the other person may be called husband or wife. In Scottish law they are so regarded by common law after a time. Long term relationships in other countries are often called common law marriages, what is not quite correct as they have no special status in law. Mistress is the term for a female lover of a man who is married to another woman. She may even be an official mistress (in French maîtresse en titre); an example is Madame de Pompadour.
  • Soulmates may feel themselves bonded together for a lifetime; and may be sexual partners but not necessarily.
  • levels. appearance. similarity. proximity.competency.complementarity.recipricity. disclosure


The discovery or establishment of common ground between individuals is a fundamental component for long lasting interpersonal relationships. Loss of common ground, which may happen over time, may tend to end interpersonal relationships.

For each relationship type, essential skills are needed, and without these skills more advanced relationships are not possible. (For example partnership needs the skills of friendship and teamwork skills).

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