The 5 Types of Relationships

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What kind of relationship are you in? Are you sailing the high seas onboard a luxury cruise liner? Or are you barely staying afloat in an inflatable dinghy? In this week’s episode, we dive into the 5 types of relationships. What kind of relationship have you boarded? More importantly, what kind do you want?

To get my relationship check-in mentioned in the episode, message me “relationship check-in” on Instagram. You can find me at @alyssapatmos.

This is episode 52 of the Make it Mentionable podcast, and I’m rooting for your relationships.

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Alyssa Patmos 0:04
This is Make It Mentionable. I’m Alyssa Patmos and this is the show about being human in a world that encourages us to be robots.

I invite you to join me as we journey through the mess, the magic and the mania in between.

Because what we can talk about, we can manage.

This honest conversation extravaganza includes free flowing conversations and high doses of vulnerability to remind you that you aren’t alone. No topic is off limits, and episodes are designed to leave you smarter, aka more self aware than when you came.

I am so glad you’re here.

This week’s question: what kind of relationship are you in?

Hello, Hello. And welcome back to another episode of Make It Mentionable.

I’m your host, Alyssa.

And this week, I have a really fun episode for you.

And it’s going to start with the question, What kind of relationship are you in?

And I’m not talking about a monogamous relationship or an open relationship or a committed relationship, talking about the actual ‘ship’.

So this is a thought that’s been incubating for me for a while, but I was in Hawaii last week with Geoff.

And it reminded me of of this kind of metaphor that I’ve been painting for a long time.

And that is, what kind of relationship are you in?

So we were walking in the sandy beaches of Hawaii and a storm had come through and washed away a huge part of the beach recently, and there was a ship just totally washed ashore, rusted out, but it was it was big. It was not like a little dinghy or a canoe. I mean, it was it was a bigger boat. And it was it was washed ashore.

And it started getting me thinking again about this question, what kind of relationship are you in.

The Five Different Types of Relationships

And so there are five different ones I want to talk about today.

And maybe you’ll be able to see which kind you have.

Type #1: The Inflatable Boat

So the first relationship, the first type of relationship you can be in is like an inflatable boat.

So these are, you know, often used for emergencies, or to get from place A to place B relatively quickly if there’s a short distance.

The problem with them is that they can flood easily.

They’re they’re not super, super sturdy, so you have to stay balanced.

They can need to be patched if it gets a hole in it.

But it’s nimble, and it can move quickly.

So do you have an inflatable boat?

Type #2: The Bay Fishing Boat

The second one is a bay fishing boat in this episode.

This episode is fun to do, because I had to Google and do research on the types of boats before before I could record it to name.

I had like images in my head and I needed to be able to name what they are.

So the second type of relationship you might be in is like a bay fishing boat. And these boats are designed to help people fish in some a shallow waters.

And and in terms of a relationship. It’s it’s shallow, it’s kind of solvency like you stay at the top maybe if you’re casually dating someone and it’s just like not really going anywhere.

You don’t feel like you’re building a foundation, like you might be in a bay fishing boat. That might be the type of relationship you’re in.

And is that what you want long term?

It’s kind of like it serves a purpose helps people fish, but it’s it stays in that surface level and that shallow are part of the water and maybe you want to go deeper.

Type #3: The Speedboat

So maybe your type of relationship is a speedboat, where you’re both sexy, it’s sexy, it’s fast, everything moves quickly. But again, how much depth is there? Speed boats don’t go a ton below the surface, but they sure do know how to move quickly and sometimes that can be passion filled and super fun. And is it really what you want?

Type #4: The Sailboat

Alyssa Patmos 4:31
The fourth type of relationship you can have is a sailboat and these more of it is under the water goes a little bit deeper.

It can navigate some tough waters but it takes a ton of handling and managing and it depends on the winds of the time.

So it’s not smooth sailing all the time.

And sometimes it takes a lot to be able to like hoist the sails and know which direction to move so that you can not fight the wind and you Go with it and to be able to stay afloat in the middle of storms.

So your relationship might feel like a sailboat.

Type #5: The Passenger Cruise Ship

Or the fifth type of relationship you can have is a passenger ship, like a cruise ship, where a large piece of it is, is underwater, it can navigate the depth, there is a foundation there, there are numerous depths, there are different levels and dynamics to the relationship.

And it has the space and capacity not only for baggage, and luggage, but to carry other people and relationships and parts of ourselves.

And if you get into rougher water, there is enough motor power to to help you stay upright.

And I love this metaphor, because so often we we think about relationships and like we have this idea of what we want, but we don’t always know what’s in front of our face, or what we’re tolerating or what we need to not be tolerating or what we what we want.

What kind of relationship are you in, and what kind do you want to be in?

And when you can think about it in this simple way of like, okay, what type of ship do I want?

Do I want maybe at some points, you just want to be boat, like you just want to have fun, and you’re not really looking for more.

And so like you’re signing up for that speedboat. That’s great, but recognize it for what it is. It’s a speedboat, it’s not meant to carry 200 people to take you on a cruise to the Mediterranean.

And so if what you’re really looking for is a sturdy foundation, to sail the season to navigate conflict well, and to to feel supported.

And like you have this this safety vessel that helps you traverse the waters, you’re likely going to need a passenger ship. And maybe if things are like so tumultuous, you’re navigating tough waters right now.

And you, you feel like it’s like any given day, you might be walking on eggshells, and you’re not sure what’s up, like maybe you’re in a sailboat. And it doesn’t mean that it has to stay at that level.

But we have to have awareness around what kind of ship we’re in to one know its strengths and to know its weaknesses.

Changing Your Relationship Without Changing The Other Person

And then to know if we actually want to change the ship.

And changing the ship does not always mean you have to change the person, you don’t have to leave the person to be able to transform the relationship, but it starts with an awareness of what kind of ship you’re actually in, in the first place.

The Importance of Relationship Maintenance

And then comes the piece of how are you taking care of the ship? Because I used to have a boat or timeshare to boat.

And, and how you clean it matters. Because if you if you come off from being in the lake or whatnot, and you don’t dry off the boat and towel it down and clean it like right after you’re you’re done being in the water for for the day, it’s much harder to clean.

It’s so much harder to clean the next time you get there. So are you doing routine check ins in your relationship?

How Geoff and I Maintain Our Relationship

Geoff and I do a relationship check in every six weeks and it’s this.

We go through this set of questions that I came up with and we refined together like a year and a half ago.

Are you doing maintenance?

Are you allowing both people to be heard so you can check in what what needs fine tuning what’s working? Well, what is is on the fritz at the moment. And then with bigger ships, you know, can get barnacles attached to them things can attach to the under surface of them.

And if you don’t inspect it, if you don’t take the time to take care of it like that problem can get worse, it can fester. It can grow, can attract more of the same things.

Paying Attention to What’s Under the Surface

And so are you paying attention to what’s underneath the surface and opening up the space to have conversations and talk about that. That’s another thing that the relationship check in can help with.

Alyssa Patmos 9:12
So in this short little episode today, I just wanted to pose what kind of relationship are you actually in? Are you in a dinghy? Inflatable Boat? Are you in a bay fishing boat kind of like skirting around the surface of the water? Is that working for you right now? Are you in a speedboat? And that’s the kind of relationship you’re you’re in right now. Are you in a sailboat? Or do you have a passenger cruise ship?

Getting the relationship you want starts with recognizing who you’re giving your time to right now if you’re dating and if they’re capable of boarding the same type of ship that you want.

And if you’re in a relationship and things are going great, then awesome. What you appreciate, appreciates.

When I was in Hawaii, that that was so reinforced for me because in Denver on our patio, you can’t see a ton of stars. But in in Hawaii, I could see so many more. And the thing about stars is, when you take the time to appreciate them, you can see them.

But as you spend more time appreciating them, you start to see more because your eyes adjust and adapt.

What You Appreciate, Appreciates

So taking the time if you were in this passenger cruise ship, and that’s exactly the type of ship you want to be sailing in with your partner, then take the time to appreciate it because what we appreciate appreciates.

But if you recognize Oh, hey, I really want I really am looking for that cruise liner, I’m really looking for this passenger ship that I’m going to be able to to rely on and navigate tough waters with it starts with one recognizing that you wouldn’t want it, recognizing if you have it, or if you don’t, or maybe there are areas where your relationship feels like a cruise liner. And then there’s other areas where it feels like a freaking dinghy.

Bringing awareness to that allows you to have a conversation in a different light without necessarily needing everything about the other person to change or even needing to be a different person.

A relationship is this entity that happens when two people come together. And when you can treat it as such, when you can view it as this other thing that’s special. There’s a lot of room to to fine tune it and make choices for what your relationship can look like. So are you in a dinghy? Are you in a fishing boat? Are you in a speedboat? Are you in a sailboat? Are you in a passenger cruise liner? And is the ship you’re in the one you want to be in?

That’s what I’ve got for you today. If you want my relationship checking that Geoff and I do every six weeks, we’ve been doing it for almost two years. Then go ahead and message me. Come message me on Instagram. I’m @AlyssaPatmos and just message me ‘relationship check in’ and I will send it over to you directly. Thank you so much for tuning in. This is episode 52.

And if you want more in between episodes, sign up for The Peel, my weekly newsletter with perspectives so fresh, you might just change your life. Okay, see you next week.

You’ve just finished listening to another episode of Make It Mentionable with me your host Alyssa Patmos.

If you’re looking for more in between episodes, then sign up for The Peel. It’s my free newsletter that gives tips for how to navigate whatever life dishes and it’s also the place where I share the juiciest of the stories. To check it out, head on over to Thank you so much for tuning in. And I’ll see you next time.

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