Having time alone often leaves individuals thinking they want to be in a relationship, but are you looking for someone to keep you company or a partner to grow a life with? How do you find a relationship that meets your needs? Let’s discuss the differences between companionship and partnership.
What’s the difference between companionship and partnership? Well, companionship often looks like…a desire to spend time together, someone to go on adventures to new places with, loyalty, someone to hang out with and meet others, someone always up for some fun, someone to provide comfort and a listening ear, and ultimately unconditional love. A companion is…a dog. I just described your relationship with your dog.
If you are looking for this, check out your local animal shelter and find a furry friend to be your new companion! No, seriously. Research shows, an animal can be a great companion and can ease a lot of the symptoms of loneliness, depression, anxiety, and ultimately provide a meaningful relationship with another living creature.
Now on to partnership. So how does that differ from companionship? Partnership requires all of the above and then some. A healthy partnership has shared values, parallel goals, and mutual support. Partnership brings with it a reliability. Ultimately, it is a well oiled machine that runs on love and a whole lot of communication.
Companionship and partnership are two very different types of relationships. A dog makes a good companion. A spouse makes a good partner (or at least they SHOULD).
Whenever someone acknowledges that they are looking for love, there is an unspoken question of, “Are you looking for a date or a life partner?” Some individuals enjoy being with someone for the convenience, but have no long term goal for their relationships. That is perfectly okay, but all parties involved must be on the same page.
When looking for a partner, one must consider the long term pros and cons (not just the convenience of having a plus one to that upcoming wedding). Partners build and grow together. It involves commitment, and an ability to assess challenges and be willing to work to meet common ground.
Now a partnership can also be a companionship simultaneously, but a companionship does not always lead to a partnership. So be wary of which comes first. Asking the right questions in the early stages can help with identifying if the person across from you is looking for the same thing.
A few questions to help you out when meeting a new potential companion/partner…
5 Questions for a First Date
- Where do you see yourself 5 years from now?
- Have you been in a long-term relationship before?
- What was your role in your last relationship ending?
- Do you enjoy being single? Are you comfortable being single?
- Do you feel pressured by [family/friends/society] to be in a relationship?
These questions may help you navigate the intentions and mindset of a potential romantic suitor. Try answering them for yourself as well to see if you are truly looking for a partner or a companion. If you find yourself feeling the need to delve deeper into your personal needs, desires, or romantic history, try seeking out a therapist who may be able to help with that deeper understanding of your needs. Need a way to keep track of your goals and thoughts through the therapy process, purchase the Healing Journal! If you would like to schedule an appointment with Lee, book here!