Short term vs Long Term Relationships

As arguments go, it’s certainly a long-running one. Is it better to have a series of short-term partnerships, where you never have to fret when one grinds to a halt because you know the next one is surely just around the corner? Or do you forget about the flippancy of one-night stands and put your heart and soul into striving for a meaningful relationship?

People will get into relationships for all manner of reasons. And when it comes to comparing the two, it isn’t necessarily an either/or argument either. Prior to embarking on a long-lasting partnership, it’s common for either partner to have experienced a run of short-term affairs. There are pros and cons to both sides of this eternal equation. But seriously, which is better, short term or long term relationships?

Short term vs Long Term Relationships

The benefits of the short term

The obvious benefit of the short-term option is the lack of strings attached. This type of get-together is preferred by the younger generation, although certainly not exclusively. For students, away from home, and with an extensive pool of potential talent at their disposal, but several years hard study ahead, there are obvious benefits for enjoying purely physical encounters, with no regrets and the freedom to flirt with multiple partners. Commitment is something that can come later on in life, once they have been awarded their qualification and have settled down to a rewarding career.

On the other hand, no one can state any one particular ‘fling’ might not necessarily develop into something more meaningful. Many a one-night stand has been the prelude to a much more fulfilling relationship.

People are drawn to short-term partnerships because they don’t have to commit wholeheartedly. If the sex is mutually enjoyable, then why muddy the waters with all those relationship issues, such as trust, and opening up to one another? Not to mention the moral aspect of remaining faithful and practicing monogamy.

The drawbacks

Anyone whose love life involves a series of shallow one-night stands can suffer from a lack of self-esteem, whether they are aware of this or not. It can become habitual to seek out casual but ultimately meaningless encounters. If there is an imbalance in the partnership, this can be especially troubling. Perhaps one of the parties is comfortable with the lack of commitment, while the other is secretly yearning for their blissfully happy but transient time together to lead to something longer lasting.

This can create a degree of emotional stress, as the people involved are never 100% sure of where they stand. It takes a particularly decisive, and somewhat soulless, person to submit to a life of neverending short-term encounters without allowing for the possibility of actually falling for someone.

Another issue with short-term affairs is the health side. When you are embarking on casual sex, you are far more exposed to sexually transmitted infections or unwanted pregnancies. Again, these are issues which can lead to mental health conditions. All in all, short-term relationships come with considerable baggage.

The benefits of the long-term

Long-term relationships draw people together, providing emotional stability. Once couples decide to forsake the casual get-togethers and commit, they are entering a new phase of excitement and maturity. Free from the trauma and drama of short-term encounters, they can enjoy their time together, planning for a future that might even involve marriage or children.

At this point, the parties will definitely be far more happy than their casually intimate acquaintances. As for the physical side? When love rather than convenience becomes the driving factor, the sex will become infinitely more pleasurable.


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