There are so many different kinds of sexual relationships that a man and a woman can have with each other. They range from one extreme to the other – from a committed monogamous relationship to a sexless friendship.
Personally, I don’t like putting labels on relationships, especially in the beginning, because it places unnecessary limits and destructive expectations on them that can prevent a relationship from evolving naturally. Also, many relationships can’t easily be defined because they are a combination of types.
There are many other possibilities…
Long Term Committed Relationship – Monogamy
Many people desire the monogamous relationship – you and your partner fall in love with and only have sex with each other. This is the most accepted and familiar relationship type. It’s the goal of many people that are actively dating. But until you and your lady really get to know one another and have a strong enough emotional connection (love) to fully commit to each other, you will likely have one of the other kinds of relationships…
You go out to dinner. You talk and flirt over drinks. You watch movies and take walks. Some people like to date simply for the entertainment value. Going to a party or trying out a new restaurant can be a lot more fun when you’re with someone that you think is cute and interesting, especially when there is the possibility of having sex later. Dating is often looked at as a courting process and the precursor to the committed relationship. Some people prefer to date only one person at a time. Others prefer to date multiple people at the same time until they find the right one.
This is very similar to the long term committed relationship, because it’s based on trust, connection, friendship, fun, sex and love. The big difference here is that the relationship is not monogamous. You both can casually date and have sex with other people. This is only possible if both you and your partner are good at communicating with each other and don’t have issues with trust and jealousy.
Friends with Benefits
It’s very similar to casually dating, in that you do fun things with your partner, but there is a difference between friends with benefits and dating. The FWB relationship has little to no expectations of commitment attached to it, and it always involves sex. There is not the “possibility” of sex at the end of the night – it’s assumed. Sex is a big part of being friends with benefits, but so is the fun, social aspect.
The fuck buddy relationship is primarily based on sex with little emotional attachment. The social aspects of this are minimal. Maybe there is some sort of fun beforehand, like a drink, but it’s more of a formality that often takes place in private and is considered foreplay. Fuck buddies can involve a friendship, but it’s not necessary. You and your partner meet repeatedly with the sole purpose of having sex. The fuck buddy relationship may take place in secret because it’s not socially acceptable.
One Night Stands
There is no friendship or emotional attachment in the one night stand. It obviously lasts only one night with no intention of ever seeing each other again. It’s based purely on sex with a stranger. One night stands can be enjoyable and rewarding, but only if both people know what they are getting into.
There is no sex and very little potential for sex going on here. Two people have a platonic relationship based either on social fun or an emotional connection, but the attraction simply isn’t there to take it further. Occasionally a friendship can turn into something more, but that is the exception rather than the rule.
(There are a few other less common sexual relationship types, like polyamory, but the ones above are by far and away the most common.)