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8 Different Relationship Labels and What They Mean

Relationship labels
Flickr: Allison Mcdonald/Sujeiry Gonzalez.

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8 Different Relationship Labels and What They Mean

Whether you’re a side chick or a partner these 8 different relationship labels will tell you where you stand and what he means.

When I was in graduate school I took a nonfiction book writing class. My final project was to write a book proposal. I had yet to develop Love Trips: A Collection of Relationship Stumbles. At this point in my life there was only one star in my love story – Elijah.

Still, I was obsessed with the ins and outs of relationships. So I wrote my book proposal on different relationship labels. In other words, What Relationship Are You Really In, Girl?! It was a working title. Though the book was never released (I never pitched it or self-published) I still have my notes.

Hold on to your titles, women. Here are the different types of relationship labels that are used today.


This label has been around for centuries and it’s not going anywhere. It’s self-explanatory. You are his girlfriend. He is your boyfriend. You hang out, spending weekends together. Your are a couple. But do you plan for the future? Do you think as a “we” versus “me”? If you do, your relationship is at a higher level. You are more than his girlfriend; you are now his partner.

Partner (or Wife)

This man is your ride or die. He’s your BFF, soulmate, and comrade. You consult each other when making decisions. You talk about how you’re spending the holidays (your mom’s again? Damn!) and how to raise your future children (spanking or no spanking?). This is the man you plan to spend your life with and vice versa. You are his right-hand woman. You are his partner whether or not he’s put a ring on it.

Jump Off

According to Urban Dictionary (the best source for these kind of terms), a jump off is a woman who is a casual sex partner of “dubious sexual practices.” Damn. Urban Dictionary used the word dubious – how fancy. In laments terms, you are down for whatever whenever with no strings attached. You are just sex. Nothing else. In other words, “a hassle-free fuck.” Urban Dictionary is pure poetry.

The Backup

The backup is a woman who is “on the hook” or “on the shelf,” as I like to call it. She’s a woman who has a lot to offer, and the man knows it. That’s why he doesn’t just tell her he’s just not that into her. He is into her. Sometimes. She’s a good woman and he can’t stand the thought of losing her, even if he may never commit. This video says it all.

Booty Buddy

A booty buddy is similar to a jump off only there may be a history there. A booty buddy is often an ex, a friend, or (if you dare) a coworker ala Eliza Doolite and her ‘Sup’ guy on “Selfie.” So it’s better than a jump off. Not by much but at least this guy will talk to you in between thrusts. And not always in a dirty way.

The Side Chick (or Mistress)

White guys call her mistress. Latinos call her la otra. Street dudes (or rappers even as soft as Drake) call her a side chick. The side chick is just that – a woman on the side. She isn’t a man’s back up. A back up has some hope of being the official girlfriend or partner some day (usually when the man she’s waiting on is done playing the field). The side chick rarely becomes a man’s girl or partner. There’s exceptions to the rule, but don’t bank on it, mistresses.

ALSO READ: 5 Conversations That You Should Have When Dating

E-Relationship or Text Relationship

If you’ve watched MTV’s “Catfish,” you know that plenty of people have e-relationships. That is they fall in love and only communicate virtually or via text (in that case, it’s a text relationship) with people they’ve never met. This relationship rarely gets offline. Because it’s usually a big fat lie.


You talk to that cutie all of the time. He smirks. You giggle. He hugs you. You rub his back. Yet he’s never asked you out. You’ve never even kissed! This is the classic scenario for a flirtationship – a relationship that is only for flirting purposes and isn’t a relationship at all. I’ve been in a flirtationship before. He was a coworker that I looked forward to seeing and flirting with daily, hoping he’d ask for my number. (That work number does not count!) He never did and I discovered he had a girlfriend. I was in a flirtationship  and didn’t even know it. You can quote me on that.

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Sujeiry is a natural storyteller, dynamic radio show host and the proud CEO of She's been at this digital media and content creation game for 15 plus years and pours her heart and soul onto - the only site for Latinas on all things love. After realizing there was a void in the love/relationship Latina media market, she took matters into her own hands and became the go-to sex and relationship expert on Latinx platforms. The former sex and relationship expert on works diligently and passionately to encourage women of color to be their authentic selves as they navigate all things love.


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