10 Smart English Words & Phrases for Describing Relationships

Relationships with friends, co-workers , boyfriend/girlfriend and family are very important components of our lives. In life we end up meeting variety of people and build relationships with them which are often good and at times bad too. So how do we describe relationships? In this English Speaking lesson we will look at some vocabulary to describe the relationships.

Best of friends –

You are best of friends with someone when you are extremely close and friendly with that person.

Example – John is best of friends with Patricia.

Not on speaking terms –

When you are angry or upset with someone and no longer talk to that person it means that you are not on speaking terms with that person.

Example – I am not on speaking terms with Adam.

Friends with benefits-

Two friends who share a sexual relationship with any emotional bonding are known as friends with benefits.

Example – Many people these days have friends with benefits.

Inseparable –

People who are inseparable have a very close relationship and spend most of their time together.

Example – Aaron and Sam are inseparable these days.

Intimate –

A very close personal relationship especially a sexual one.

Example – She shares a very intimate relationship with Peter.

Platonic –

A very friendly and affectionate relationship not involving sex.

Example – Their relationships is purely platonic.

Bromantic –

Very close friendship between two straight men.

Example – Adam and Tom are absolutely bromantic.

Illicit –

A relationship which is not accepted by the law or the people.

Example – She has an illicit relationship with a married man.

It’s complicated –

This relationship status can be used for the people who are very confused about their type of relationship they share. May be it is a long distance relationship or may be its a very brittle relationship then it can be described as complicated.

Example – My relationship with Shane is complicated.

One way relationship –

When one person puts everything and try to make that relationship work however the other person is least interested then it is considered to be a one way relationship.

Example – I hate these one way relationships, it just upsets me too much to see only one person putting in all the efforts.

So hope these English phrases are helpful to you to describe different types of relationships you share with people.

Complete Lesson Transcript : –

Hi friends I'm Niharika and welcome back to a new lesson. Well in today's lesson we are going to look at some phrases that would help you to describe relationships. Now in life we end up meeting a lot of new people and we tend to build relationships. Now at times the relationships are really good and then there are really bad relationships as well. So how do you talk about it? How do you describe it? That's what we are going to learn today. Now here I'm not just talking about romantic relationships but relationships with your friends, with your co workers or boyfriend, girlfriend, husband, wife or even your family. So come on let's dive into some phrases that would help you to talk about your relationship with someone. 

The very first one that I have for you is best of friends. Now when you are best of friends with someone, it means that you are very close to that person and extremely friendly with that person. So you are close and you are very friendly. So I have a friend of mine, with whom I share an absolutely fantastic relationship because we are very close to each other. We share our feelings, we share our secrets and everything and of course we are extremely friendly. So, I am best of friends with her.  If you so friendly and so close to someone, then use this phrase to describe this relationship. 
The next phrase that I have for you is not on speaking terms. Now you know in life, we meet people with whom we had a good relationship but now because of some issue, you had a fight, you had an argument and you do not see that person anymore. Like you don't talk to that person anymore because may be you fought about something. You are angry; you are upset with that person. So you are not on speaking terms with that person. So when you are angry or you're upset, then the best phrase to describe your relationship is that you are not on speaking terms. So like I used to be best of friends with John, but now because of some issue, we are not on speaking terms. Okay, so that's how I describe my relationship with John, fine.
Let’s have a look at another phrase which is friends with benefits. Now what do you think this means. Now friends with benefits are actually two friends who are into a sexual relationship but without any emotional bonding. So it's just you know they are sleeping around but they do not have any emotional attachment. They are not committed to each other. It's just for fun, that they are friends. Okay, so fiends with benefits are two people. So two people in a sexual relationship without being emotionally attached. Remember the movie friends with benefits; well that's what this phrase is all about.
Let's have a look at another term which is inseparable. yes, there are people who are absolutely inseparable. Like it's just impossible to separate them. They spend all their time together because they are very friendly. They are very close and like spending time with each other. So like for example, I have these two friends of mine, and every weekend I see them hanging out with each other and they are absolutely inseparable. So it means they are very close to each other and extremely friendly, right.
Let's have a look at another term which is intimate. Now intimate is when you are intimate with someone or you have an intimate relationship with someone, it means the relationship is very personal. Especially again you have a sexual relationship as well and you are very fond of that person. So it's a very personal relationship. For example, Patricia has a very intimate relationship with her friend John. Okay, so that's how you can use the term to describe a relationship.

Another one, platonic. Well this relationship is purely platonic. So platonic actually means a relationship where there is a lot of affection, okay a lot of care for each other. But again, there is no sexual bonding okay. It's purely friendly relationship. So absolutely a platonic relationship. It is a very affectionate and caring relationship okay. 
Then we have Bromantic. Look at them, they have an absolutely Bromantic relationship. So what do you think this word really means? Well you may have also come across the word bromance.  Now both of these terms are slang terms and Bromantic or bromance is actually a very close relationship between 2 men. Between two straight men, okay. There's no attraction, physical attraction towards each other, it's just friendship. So Bromantic or bromance is a very close friendly relationship between two straight men. Yeah, well there are men who can be best of friends as well, right. So either you can use the term best of friends or you can say, they have such a Bromantic relationship, alright. 
And then we have illicit. Now an illicit relationship is a relationship that someone has which is not acceptable by the law or by the society or by the people. Uh, like for example, someone who has a relationship with a married man, the woman is single but she is dating a married man. Well definitely it's not going to be appreciated by the society or even by the law. So it's a very illicit relationship. So that's how you describe this relationship which is not acceptable by the people. Okay a relationship which is not acceptable by the people, by the law or by the society. Alright, that's an illicit relationship.
And then we have, it's complicated, yes well the face book relationship status. Many people have updated it as complicated. So what is, it's complicated. What is this status? What does it really mean? Well you know there are times when you are into a relationship with someone but probably it's not a great relationship. Maybe it's long distance> may be you fight too much with that person and it's not always very rosy. Okay, it's complicated. You can't really give a perfect term like, you can't really say that we are best of friends or we are inseparable or we have an intimate relationship. You just don't know, you are way too confused about this relationship. So a perfect term to describe this kind of a relationship is, it's complicated. So if someone says, hey what's going on between you and Patricia and you really don’t know, you are confused. maybe you don;t get along with her. but you are still dating her. So you will say don't even ask, it's complicated. Okay, so that's how you can use this term. 
And then the last term that I have for you to describe a relationship is a one way relationship. So a one way relationship is again between two people but wherein only one person is putting all the efforts to make that relationship work and the partner or the second person in that relationship is least bothered. He or she is least concerned about this relationship, then this kind of a relationship can be described as a one way relationship. Like I have a very close friend of mine who really takes in all the efforts to make her relationship stronger, to work it out with her partner. But then the partner seems to be not interested. So it's definitely a one way relationship, where only one person puts in efforts and the second person is least concerned about it. Okay, so these are some 10 phrases that you can use to describe your relationship. Let me also know if you are best of friend with someone or if you have an intimate relationship or even an illicit affair. I’ll be back with a new lesson, till then you take care and have a great day.

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