How to Define Your Relationship and Why It's Important


Last Updated: November 21, 2023

Relationship Advice

Learning how to define your relationship is a crucial step in feeling more grounded and empowered in your sugar dating life. Whether you’re looking for something casual, long-term, platonic, or otherwise, talking it through with a potential partner will mean that you’re both happily on the same page!

So, let’s clear up the relationship confusion!

Why is it important to define the relationship?

The sugaring community is all about moving beyond traditional definitions of romance and dating. So, isn’t “defining the relationship” a bit counterproductive?

Actually, talking through your expectations and desires with a potential partner isn’t supposed to be limiting. The idea isn’t to force your relationship into a box, but instead, to have an open, non-judgemental conversation about what would make you happy. This way, a potential partner can be crystal clear about what you expect to receive and offer during the time you spend together.

Another reason you’ll want to define your relationship even within the sugaring community is that it can help to prevent misunderstandings. Now that sugaring has become more mainstream, there have emerged many different styles of relationships. So, it can be helpful to talk about whether you’re interested in something monogamous, monogamish, no-strings-attached, virtual, or whatever form of sugaring appeals to you.

First, you need to define your ideal sugar relationship


The best thing you can do when entering the world of sugaring is think about what you want to gain and what you’re willing to offer in a relationship. This is something that happens in all kinds of relationships, including traditional ones, but in sugaring, it’s all stated explicitly to avoid confusion and disappointment.

So, give yourself time to think about what kind of sugar relationship you want. Here are a few common styles to get you started:

  • Standard SB/SD. In a standard SB/SD, you and your sugar partner will take on the role of sugar baby and sugar daddy. This kind of relationship is typically ongoing and involves regular dates as well as gifts and experiences provided by the sugar daddy. Some standard SB/SD relationships evolve into romantic dating or marriage, but most will remain in the realm of sugaring.
  • Friends with benefits. FWB is a type of sugar relationship that is defined by a friendly connection between partners. The extent of the friendship needs to be discussed within the relationship.
  • Long distance. It’s absolutely possible to manage a sugar relationship from a distance. You may only see and interact with your sugar partner while they’re in town, or you may have an agreement to continue the relationship virtually when you’re not together.
  • Platonic. A platonic sugar relationship is defined by the absence of physical intimacy.
  • Short-term. You may have a relationship that lasts just as long as your vacation in another city. And even though this kind of relationship has a set timeline, it’s still helpful to define it so that you and your partner have reasonable expectations and can fully enjoy the set amount of time you have together.

Next, it’s time to have the talk

As you can see, there are many different ways to define a sugar relationship. And, once you get clearer about what kind you want for yourself, the easier it will be to learn how to define your relationship with potential partners. Here are a few tips for having the conversation:

  • Have the talk as soon as possible. In traditional romance, this talk usually takes place after the initial courtship and early dating phase. But in sugar relationships, the script is a bit different. It’s actually better to define the relationship earlier on while you’re talking about expectations and benefits.
  • Be curious and non-judgemental. Asking open-ended questions such as “what is your ideal sugar relationship” and “what do you look for in a partner” is a good way to start off the conversation. Even if you don’t necessarily like what you’re hearing, don’t get defensive or argumentative. All information will be helpful in deciding what kind of relationship you want or even if you want to move forward.
  • Be honest and firm. You’ve already done the hard part of deciding what kind of sugar relationship you want for yourself. So, don’t shy away from putting it into words. Just as you gave your potential partner the space to discuss what kind of relationship they want, they should be open to hearing how you want to define your relationship, too.
  • Use “I” statements as much as possible. How you frame the way you talk about your ideal sugar relationship is important. Instead of saying something like, “You will need to take me shopping at least once a month,” try framing it as, “I am looking for a partner who will take me shopping at least once a month.”
  • Don’t be afraid to clarify. Asking follow-up questions to clarify what your partner is saying may feel awkward in the moment. But it’s much better than walking away and wondering whether you fully understand your relationship. So, don’t shy away from asking for more detail by saying, “I just want to make sure we’re on the same page. Can you explain that further?” or “Can you provide some examples that can help me understand exactly what you’re looking for?”

What to do if the talk doesn’t go your way


One of the reasons why people fear having the conversation about how to define your relationship is that sometimes, you might hear something you didn’t want to. Maybe you and a potential partner are polar opposites when it comes to what you’re looking for. And, true: that can be disappointing.

So, if you feel that you’re not able to come to a middle ground that works for both partners, what should you do? Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Don’t force it. Sugar relationships should always be comfortable, supportive, and satisfying for both partners. If you get the sense that you’re just too far away in terms of your expectations, there’s no reason to bend over backwards to make it work.
  • Don’t feel bad. Don’t blame yourself for not being willing or able to fulfill the expectations or desires of a potential partner. They’ll find someone who checks their boxes, and so will you! No need to feel guilty about it.
  • Keep it friendly. It might become clear from your conversation that you and a potential partner are essentially on different planets. And you may even be a little upset about that fact. But, as much as you can, keep it friendly and professional. As we’ve mentioned, there is an ideal sugar relationship for everyone and this community is about allowing people to explore their options without judgment. So, if someone is not for you, let them go without a fight. You can be honest about why you’re not willing to pursue a relationship with them without being rude.

Now you know how to define your relationship!

All that’s left to do is to have the conversation for yourself! You’ll feel so much better and more in control once you get comfortable with telling potential partners what you’re looking for. So, be brave! It will pay off!

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