Have you ever encountered a profile on a dating site with the “I want a companion, not a relationship” status on the bio?
What about you? Do you prefer companionship or a relationship?
Now, before you get all defensive and close this page, hear us out. A “companionship” isn’t always the same as a relationship. These terms are different in that one involves feelings of affection, love, and intimacy, while the other involves something more interesting, which is quality time.
Knowing the differences between these two is essential because it could help you understand the nature of your connections with people in the future and even improve communication.
If you are confused about what connection to pursue between companionship and a relationship, then keep reading.
What is companionship?
Human beings are social by nature; we are the most social of all animals. Even the strongest or most introverted people are prone to feeling isolated and lonely and crave human interaction. This is why we feel lonely when we have no one to talk to or be with regularly.
Companionship is often confused with friendship, but it runs deeper than friendship.
We can define companionship as the state of spending quality time with someone you have a natural bond with and with whom you have truly connected. A companion may be a relative, friend, co-worker, etc. Sexual activities are rarely involved in companionship.
Having a companion in life guarantees someone to spend time with, go to fun places with, try new adventures with, have a listening ear for, be loyal to, and so much more. It goes beyond our normal surface-level friendships because the affection is strong and long-term.
What is the importance of companionship?
Companionship improves our physical, emotional, and mental well-being because it
- Encourages mental stimulation
- Promotes positive thoughts
- Prevents loneliness
- Provides a sense of stability and security
- Improves social skills
- Provides an avenue for support and comfort
- Reduces stress, depression, and anxiety
- It helps you learn empathy and compassion
- Motivates you to participate in physical activities
What is a relationship?
Relationships play a huge role in our lives. As a human, the relationships you form with others improve your social skills, which are essential for your emotional and mental well-being.
We can define a relationship as the connection between two or more people. When most people talk of relationships, they usually refer to romantic relationships. However, a relationship can apply to many different kinds of connections, including friendships, family relationships, acquaintances, professional relationships, etc.
A relationship involves a deeper level of commitment and frequency than companionship. It’s characterized by feelings of love, passion, intimacy, care, support, and love. This is typically the case with people who are in a romantic relationship.
Whatever the nature of a relationship, all relationships require effort to work. But they are worth it.
Benefits of relationships
Relationships have some pretty amazing benefits, including:
- Emotional support
- Social support
- Shared experiences
- Boost self-esteem
- Less stress
- Provide the opportunity for growth
- Feeling valued
- Improve communication
- Make you a part of something bigger than yourself
Companionship vs. relationship: what’s the difference?
Here’s a breakdown of the differences between a relationship and companionship.
A relationship involves some form of exclusivity. Exclusivity allows people to explore a deeper level of commitment, which allows them to form a close and deep bond. This is where the parties involved agree to focus on one another and not date other people or explore other options. The main aim is to be committed to each other in a monogamous relationship.
Companionship allows people to spend time with or do stuff with others. Because there is no aspect of unfaithfulness since it is not necessarily romantic or sexual in any way (with some exceptions.)
Level of compromise
To maintain a relationship, you need to have a healthy compromise. This compromise allows you and your partner to find a middle ground for both of your needs, wishes, or preferences. It brings you closer to each other and builds trust. For example, you may need to split up housework or take turns participating in each other’s hobbies.
Compromise, on the other hand, doesn’t require this level of commitment. Companions simply need to be there for each other and spend quality time together when necessary.
In a relationship, each partner has their expectations. Reasonable expectations are healthy in relationships, as they can help shape the dynamics and set the tone of a relationship. Your partner may expect your commitment, trust, affection and appreciation, respect, empathy, a satisfying sexual connection, etc.
On the other hand, companionship is more casual. Your companion is not expecting you to call them every few hours to check on them. But you should do this when you are in a relationship.
How long do they last
One of the unfortunate things about a relationship is that it can end. The common reasons for breakups are cheating, poor communication, jealousy, finances, bad sex, etc. The average relationship lasts about two years. But many factors can influence how long it lasts, such as age, commitment, communication, etc.
However, in companionship, deep friendship remains. Companions can even spend a significant amount of time apart and still hit it off instantly after seeing each other. This is not always the case in relationships. Most relationships are unable to recover after a break.
While in a relationship, you need to pay attention to your partner’s needs. This requires a lot of effort to keep it going. You must provide love, empathy, patience, compromise, loyalty, and understanding to make it work. In addition, marriage and kids are often pieces of the puzzle.
Companionship is effortless. A relationship can end if you fail to offer certain things, but companionship doesn’t depend on these to thrive.
Relationships have goals that ensure that partners are on the same page. Relationship goals are the experiences, aims, or lessons couples plan to achieve- marriage, kids, buying a house together, going on vacations, etc.
The goal of companionship is to be present when your companion requires you. You don’t need to discuss school with your kids or plan for the future. You meet, hang out, do fun activities together, and enjoy each other’s company.
We hope this article helped you understand the complexities between companionships and relationships. A companionship is defined by closeness or familiarity, whereas a relationship, particularly a romantic one, is defined by intimacy and attention. In a companionship, you just need to be in each other’s presence. But there’s more to a relationship.
Knowing and understanding the differences can help you know what type of relationship to pursue. Whatever kind of relationship you are seeking, honesty and communication are essential. One of the most important things you can do for your happiness is to find someone who wants the same thing as you.