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Relationship of Convenience: 30 Signs, Pros & Cons & Why People Like It

Everyone wants to be in love and live happily ever after. But what if you find yourself in a relationship of convenience? Here’s all you need to know.

relationship of convenience

You might be in a relationship with someone who tells you that they love you, but how do you know they really do? Is it possible to be in a relationship of convenience and not know it?

When you’re really in love, it feels like you’re floating on air. Truthfully, you never really know what someone else’s intentions truly are. 

You shouldn’t be paranoid here, trust us, that’s the last thing we want. But for some, a relationship of convenience is what your partner needs at this point in their life. For you, however, it could be the real deal. [Read: How to know when you’re in love – 50 signs you can’t ignore]

People go into relationships for so many reasons. Of course, we all wish to experience genuine feelings of love for each other. Sometimes it’s not the case.

People feel lonely and just want to have someone. Other people want the status of having a partner. Do you see signs of a relationship of convenience in your life?

Now, we’ve all had these moments where we just wanted to be with someone without really caring about who the other person was. 

A one-sided relationship

A one-sided relationship of convenience is not a healthy union. If both partners are happy with being in a casual relationship for the now, i.e. there is no solid intention of a future and you’re getting out of it what you both want, then go for it. [Read: 30 Signs of a one-sided relationship and how to fix it before it ends]

But if you’re planning a future of happiness and contentment and your partner is not really looking beyond the next few days, you’re possibly heading for heartbreak central in the long term. [Read: Am I being taken for granted? 25 signs, how it starts, and how to fix it quickly]

If you think that you’ve met a person who you could really build a future with, and they’re just in it for the company or something else entirely, it’s never going to be what you want and you’ll end up wasting your time. 

What is a relationship of convenience?

There are many different types of relationships that fall under this umbrella category. A relationship of convenience can be for a legal issue, e.g. when someone needs to marry a citizen of a certain country to stay there. This isn’t necessarily right, but it does happen! [Read: How to tell if you’re in a low-key relationship or a secret affair]

A relationship of convenience can also be because two people don’t want to be alone. They don’t necessarily want to be together in the long term, but right now, they want someone to be able to do regular relationship things with, like going out and sexual fulfillment. 

Again, just make sure both sides are on the same page. Communication is vital!

Do relationships of convenience work? 

In a nutshell, a relationship of convenience means that you’re not going to have all of the aspects of your relationship *and life* as fulfilled as you should. Your partnership isn’t going to be passionate, and you might just even find it downright boring. [Read: The 12 new relationship boundaries all new couples should draw]

And being in a boring relationship with no passion might work for some people. They genuinely might not care. In fact, it could be better than being alone for them. And if both people in the partnership feel that way and are fine with it, then it can work.

But if one or both of you are not okay with a stagnant, uninspiring relationship, then it won’t work. In that case, you will constantly be feeling unfulfilled and find yourself yearning for more.

If you stay, you will be unhappy. So, it’s best to muster up the courage to end it and find a person who you will be genuinely happy with.

The pros and cons of a relationship of convenience

Everything in life has good points and bad points. For some people, the very idea of being in this type of relationship isn’t something they want to entertain. [Read: 32 Steps to move forward in a relationship if you’re lost and confused]

For others, the idea might be totally appealing. It’s a personal deal and something to consider carefully.

The pros of being in this type of relationship are:

1. Someone to do relationship things with

2. No strings and no commitment. There is no specific future plan, you’re simply living in the moment [Read: 11 delightful things I learned from no strings attached]

3. A lack of loneliness

4. A support network without the relationship demands placed upon it

5. Ideal for those who simply don’t want a serious relationship at this time in their life

6. A way to gain sexual fulfillment for both parties

The cons of being in a relationship of convenience are:

1. Developing feelings for your casual partner

2. Relationships of this type aren’t meant to last forever

3. You’re missing out on meeting someone who may want a genuine relationship with you

The biggest problem with a relationship of convenience is a lack of real communication. Both parties really need to be on the same page. [Read: Lack of communication in a relationship & why it signals the end]

If either person changes their mind, or if feelings develop, a conversation must take place. This can be difficult to do, and the partner who develops those feelings might feel embarrassed or scared to “rock the boat.” If this happens, hurt is on the horizon.

If two people genuinely don’t want a relationship, then this type of union is perfectly fine, provided regular communication on the subject takes place. But relationships have a habit of creeping in, especially when sex is involved.

In the end, whenever one partner starts to feel more than the other, and if the other person still doesn’t want the same type of relationship in the future, it’s time to walk away, no matter how much it hurts. [Read: How to date casually without getting attached – 25 must-follow and hurt-free rules]

Are relationships of convenience ever healthy?

Relationships never fall under static rules. What suits one person doesn’t suit another, and there isn’t a defined explanation of ‘normal.’ What is normal to one person is completely abnormal to another, and totally unacceptable! 

In so many ways, this very fact is what makes the world so interesting. We’re all different and have vastly different views as a result.

Consider what you really want and where you see yourself in the future. Do you want a long-term relationship, a genuine, two-sided relationship based on love and respect? [Read: How to find the right person for you when you’ve given up hope]

In that case, is a relationship of convenience right now something you should be entering? Is it going to block the way for The One to come towards you?

Of course, maybe you don’t want a relationship at all, maybe you’re perfectly happy to be single and you don’t ever see yourself with the 2.4 children and white picket fence. All that is perfectly fine too. 

If the other person is on the same page, a relationship of convenience could give you the perks, like sexual satisfaction and companionship, that you might otherwise lack, while maintaining your independence. [Read: Healthy relationship – 27 signs, qualities, and what it looks like in real life]

Is it healthy? This varies from person to person.

The clearest signs you’re in a relationship of convenience

How can you tell if you’re in a relationship of convenience? There comes a moment where you have to be real with yourself and dig deep to figure out what you want from your life. Okay, of course, you can date a guy or a girl, it’s not hard finding someone to be with.

But you don’t just want anyone. You want someone you connect with, and someone you genuinely love and who loves you back. So, it’s time to start figuring out if you’re in a relationship for the right reasons or not. In the long run, if you’re just with someone to pass time and vice versa, it’s not worth it.

So, let’s take a look at the signs of a relationship of convenience. That way, you can decide whether or not the relationship you’re in is right for you. [Read: 20 signs your friend with benefits is falling for you and is in love already]

1. You have a gut feeling that something isn’t quite right

You feel something is off. Listen to your gut, it will never steer you too far wrong! If you just have a feeling that they’re after something other than love, you have a right to be suspicious. 

You know when you love someone. Okay, yes, there are some scientific things you feel when you’re in love, but on the other hand, you just know that it’s love. 

One of the clearest signs of a relationship of convenience is that you don’t feel that. You feel an emptiness and that isn’t love. [Read: How to split the casual from real love]

2. They’re not there for you when you need them

A partner who genuinely cares will be there for you when you need them. However, if your partner never is, you have to wonder why. 

Neither of you goes out of your way for each other. You don’t seem to make any sacrifices for each other. But when did you ever hear of love not being about sacrifice? If it’s real love, of course, you’re going to make sacrifices!

3. You don’t make each other a priority

Sure, you spend time together, but you’re not going out of your way to see them, and they’re not going out of their way to see you. [Read: How to start living life on your terms]

If you have plans, they may ask you along, they may not. And when it comes to your plans, you don’t change anything to make time to see them.

4. You haven’t been introduced to their family and friends

There are many reasons why you might not have been introduced to their nearest and dearest yet, but if it’s been a while and nothing is changing, it could be a sign of a relationship of convenience. 

5. You don’t see their family or friends

Even if you’ve met their family and friends, you don’t see them. Well, they don’t see yours either. Basically, you keep your personal lives separate.

You don’t see their family, and they don’t see your family. If you can avoid a family dinner at their parent’s house, you do so. [Read: 16 signs you’re clearly not ready for a serious relationship]

But why? If it’s love, wouldn’t you want to be next to your partner? Don’t you want to be supportive?

6. They don’t seem to connect with you completely

When someone doesn’t care completely and they’re in the relationship for something else, they’re never going to totally ‘click’ with you. You’ll feel it. [Read: 20 signs he doesn’t want a relationship with you and just wants some fun]

7. They often mention one particular subject a lot

If they talk about money a lot, could it be that they’re with you for financial gain? Not always, but it’s possible! 

If they talk about sex a lot, is that what they’re after? If they talk about social status? The list goes on. 

8. The relationship is on and off

You have been on a couple of breaks before and maybe you realized that dating sucks. So, what happens? You get back together again. 

However, it’s not because you actually miss each other. It’s just because you’re not into dating. You don’t want to be single and have to deal with the small talk. Plus, the sex is regular, so why would you waste that? [Read: Why you shouldn’t invest time in an on-off relationship]

9. You don’t really talk about the future

When you’re in love, you are planning your future together for the next twenty years. That’s what love makes you do; it makes you do crazy things. 

You don’t even plan what you’re going to eat for dinner though, do you? Marriage? Moving in together? Yeah, those subjects have never even crossed your mind.

This type of relationship doesn’t really have a future and if it does, it won’t be real. If neither of you talks about the months and years to come, is it because you can’t see them happening? [Read: How to fall out of love when you see no future]

10. They’re not that interested in what you have to say/what you think

If your partner doesn’t really care about your opinions, feelings, or thoughts, is it because they’re not really that invested for the right reasons?

11. Your relationship doesn’t really go anywhere

Relationships all move at different speeds but if yours doesn’t seem to be going anywhere at all, will it ever get moving? [Read: Stagnant relationship – Has your relationship come to a standstill?]

It’s not even moving backward, it’s just not moving anywhere. It has become stagnant. You have a routine, it’s comfortable, but there’s no progress. 

A relationship that’s healthy should be progressing. There are always moments where the relationship hits a plateau, but for the most part, couples make future plans to keep things going.

12. There is a distinct lack of passion

When there is no emotional connection, the passion isn’t alive and well. In that case, what is the point in staying? [Read: 27 signs she’s not interested in you anymore and is getting bored]

13. You basically live separate lives

Couples grow together. It doesn’t mean they’re always by each other’s sides, but there is a certain amount of togetherness. If you’re living separate lives, it’s probably because it’s a relationship of convenience.

14. You’re often left cold

In a relationship of convenience, one partner is likely to be left cold much of the time. That could be emotionally or sexually. How fulfilled do you feel?

15. People have questioned your relationship before

Okay, people talk and it doesn’t always mean anything, but if more than one person has mentioned that they think you’re being used, you have to take it seriously. [Read: 21 big signs he’ll never marry you and you’re just his maybe girl]

16. All your friends are taken

Sometimes we feel pressure when all of our friends are in relationships. You and your partner all have friends that are already coupled off, and, well, you being together makes things easier. 

There’s no scrounging around on a Friday night to find someone to go out with. You don’t have to be a third wheel, everything works out.

17. Everything is easy

Too easy. There’s no flirting, no chase, nothing. You give them the bare minimum, they give you the bare minimum. Everyone is just investing the basics into the relationship. [Read: The 9 relationship stages all couples go through]

This isn’t what you do if you’re serious about someone. If you want someone, you give them everything, not 1%.

18. You don’t say the three magic words

You don’t tell each other ‘I love you.’ Even though you have been together for a while, those words have never escaped your mouth. 

Probably because you’ve never thought about your partner like that. You don’t love your partner, if you did, you wouldn’t be able to hold those words in. [Read: When should you say ‘I love you’ for the first time]

19. There’s no compromise

When you’re in a relationship, there’s a lot of compromising. You and your partner are the exceptions and manage to not compromise on anything. It sounds great at first, but it’s not. 

You might as well be single if you’re not willing to compromise. If anything, this just shows that you aren’t in a relationship for the right reasons.

20. You make your own decisions

And so does your partner. You don’t sit down and talk about things, making decisions together. This is what healthy couples do. [Read: The signs it’s time to say goodbye – even if it’s hard]

They sit down, talk about serious things, and make decisions together. Sure, they may argue along the way, but the point is they’re making decisions together and respecting each other’s feelings.

21. Cheating doesn’t seem so bad

When you hear about people cheating on one another, you don’t feel bad. In the beginning, you would be shocked and saddened. Now, you don’t see it as something bad. And that isn’t a sign of love, that’s a sign you need to move on.

What to do if you find yourself in a relationship of convenience

As we said earlier, some people are perfectly fine with being in a relationship of convenience because they think it’s better than being alone. And if both of you feel the same way, then there is no need to do anything about it.

However, you might want to talk to your partner to make sure you both are on the same page. [Read: Should we break up? 35 sign it’s over and past the point of no return]

On the other hand, if you are not okay with being in a relationship of convenience, then you should start by talking to your partner. Do both of you want to try to make the relationship more exciting? Are you willing to put in the effort to make it work?

If both of you want to work on the relationship, then you should try to figure out how to make it more inspiring and exciting. Come up with things you can do together to get the spark back.

However, if only one of you wants to work on it, then it will never get better. Any relationship takes two people to make it better. [Read: 24 Sad signs of an unhealthy relationship that ruin love forever]

And if neither of you wants to work on this relationship of convenience, then you should make your exit plan ASAP. Why should you stay with someone who you don’t want to be with anymore, and they don’t want to be with you? That doesn’t make any sense.

The relationship red flag

There is one anomaly we need to address here, which is actually a huge red flag. What if you’re in a relationship that isn’t supposed to be for convenience? But it’s ended up being that way for you. [Read: Why you shouldn’t ignore these early warning 34 relationship red flags]

What if you were in love with this person once, but you’ve been together for so long that you now don’t feel the same? Your wants and needs in life have changed. In that case, are you sticking around for convenience? 

That is a totally different situation and one which needs to be addressed.

Never stay in a relationship just because it’s comfortable and convenient. Only stay because it’s what you truly want. Whether it’s the ‘regular’ type or a relationship of convenience. Stick to the origins, and be true to yourself.

[Read: How to recognize true love when you feel it]

No one wants to see these signs of a relationship of convenience in their life. You want to be with someone because you truly love them, and they love you. So, what’s your relationship status? True love or just something to pass the time?

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Nicky Curtis
Nicky Curtis
Having stumbled from one relationship drama to another throughout her 20s, Nicky is now somewhat of a guru in the crazy world of life and love. Telling it how i...
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