There are many different types of relationships, and two people (or more) can decide what type of relationship best meets their needs and who they want to have a relationship with.
You might hear people referring to their boyfriend or girlfriend as their partner or companion, which might lead you to wonder what the difference between a partner and a companion is.
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Companion is usually used for less serious relationships such as a friends-with-benefits type of arrangement.
A companion could be someone that a person only spends time with occasionally without plans of entering into a more serious relationship.
What is a partner?
A partner is someone in a more serious relationship, and many people use the term “partner” and “life partner” interchangeably.
People usually refer to the person they’re in a serious, long-term relationship with as their partner.
Here is an overview to help clarify the different relationship terms that might cause confusion.
A fuck buddy is synonymous with friends-with-benefits, and this term is often offensive to many people.
People in this type of relationship simply agree to have sex together, with no strings attached.
In other words, a fuck buddy is someone with whom a person strictly has a sexual relationship without expecting any romance or a commitment.
There are many reasons why two people might agree to enter into a friends-with-benefits type of relationship.
One of the main reasons is that one or both people may have just recently ended a serious relationship and they don’t want to go without sex while they take the time necessary to grieve.
Another reason why two people might agree to such a relationship is that one or both people have been hurt in a previous relationship and aren’t ready for something serious – but they still want sex.
Every couple describes their relationship differently, and some friends-with-benefits may very well describe their bed buddy as a companion.
While friends-with-benefits normally don’t hang out and spend time together outside sex, considering their bed buddy a companion is likely not an appropriate description, but this term is still used at times.
Sure, it is certainly possible for platonic friends to consider each other companions.
A companion is a person that spends time with another person, and their time together doesn’t have to be romantic in any way.
In fact, some people hire companions for elderly people so that they have someone to spend time with.
Partners are not always involved in romantic relationships and could be dance partners, tennis partners, or any number of other non-romantic partners.
However, when referring to a dance or tennis partner, a person will usually specify what type of partner they’re referring to, rather than just referring to the person as their partner.
Simply using the word “partner” will cause many people to automatically believe that the person is speaking of a romantic partner.
Usually, when a person refers to a partner, they’re referring to their romantic partner, but the word companion is usually not associated with the description of a life partner.
The word “companion” is too general. Anyone can be a companion to another person, and it usually has nothing to do with romance.
“Companion” is more of a casual term, and the average person will never refer to their significant other as merely a companion.
It is uncommon for platonic friends to refer to each other as partners.
Unless the two platonic friends are partners in sports of some sort, they will usually just refer to each other as friends or buddies.
The word “partner” is intimate unless it’s used to describe a work partner or some other type of official partnership.
It totally depends on the people involved, so there is no one way to answer this question.
If someone prefers to be a partner to someone else, then being a partner is better for that particular person than being a companion.
However, someone else may not want to be referred to as someone’s partner and prefer to be considered a companion instead.
This answer will completely depend on the two travelers, as some may prefer to be referred to as travel companions, while others prefer to be called travel partners.
Other people may use the two terms interchangeably since both terms can be used to appropriately describe this type of relationship.
You could ask a room full of people who travel together if they prefer to be called companions or partners, and you would likely receive different answers from each duo.
Married people probably refer to their significant other as their husband or wife, but essentially, they are husband and wife, partners, and companions.
Married couples have vowed to spend their lives together, and that means that they have vowed to provide a lifetime of companionship for each other and they’ve also vowed to be partners.
You will rarely hear married couples referring to their spouses as companions or partners, despite the fact that they’re companions, partners, and much more.
Some people prefer to live alone, with only the companionship of their pets.
Pets can make wonderful companions for people, and therapy dogs can even save their owners’ lives and keep medical conditions in check.
Multiple studies show that dogs, cats, and other pets can make excellent companions and can be very therapeutic in a number of ways.
People who hang out with others as strictly friends for companionship can certainly develop feelings for each other.
In fact, some of the most loving and committed relationships actually start out as companions or friends.
Being platonic companions, in the beginning, is a great way for many people to get to know each other and can be a prelude to falling in love.
This completely depends on what type of relationship the person is looking for.
If a person seeks a romantic, long-term, committed relationship, then they might seek a partner.
However, if the person merely wants a friend to hang out with and have fun with, then a simple companion is what they should seek.
This will totally depend on the type of relationship the two people have because some companions are closer than partners are.
Most people would believe that partners are closer than companions, but every couple has different levels of closeness as well as different ways of defining their relationship.
Hopefully, this overview has provided you with a greater understanding of the differences between companionships and partnerships.
Even though a companion and a partner can be very similar, they also describe other types of relationships.
Regardless of the type of relationship you’re currently in or would like to find, hopefully, you will be completely fulfilled for many years to come.