Multiple Personality Disorders within a Relationship Part 1: Personalities

Keith Lim
3 min readFeb 18, 2024

Our eyes opened for the first time, the light shined into our vision and we see. We see our mother, the person that gave life to us, the person who’d we build our first relationship with.

We go back home, and we grow ever slowly. Started eating, walking, running. All while our mum and dad was there. Our relationship strengthen as time goes by. Yet the role that we have, a child, in that relationship seems to stay stagnant, it seems so hard to move away from it. We grow up into young adults, and slowly hit our mid 20s and 30s. Yet there are still times when it feels like the role of a child is presumed and unshakable from it. As if we’re stuck in the role that we’re given at the genesis of the relationship.

As we navigate through society, there are roles that we would have to take up. As we are growing up, a lot of these roles are sustained for a long time within a relationship.

For example, your relationship with a teacher. It’s a student-teacher relationship, and a lot of times, the relationship stays coherent even after graduation.

Or maybe your relationship with your mother, where your mother continues to be the caregiver even after you have left the your home and have started your own family.

Or maybe you’re the mother who feels the need to treat your kids as kids, even after they have turned 30.

We’re so stuck on the role that we have put ourselves in at the start of the relationship that we often time fail to understand that a relationship is dynamic, not stagnant. It’s like life itself, when it change and grow, it blossoms. Like life itself, a relationship should and will undergo entropy for it to grow into one that is robust and colorful.


The idea of uptaking multiple roles, though sounds familiar, may seem foreign to some. This is because roles are an abstract concept that is not labeled physically. People don’t walk around with a label hanging on their relationship, to remind the participants in the relationship of their place. And therefore, the path of least resistance is to assume ourselves as the role that we initially have. However, if we’re able to more clearly understand the roles and relationship that exists, it equips us with the ability to identify the role we’re uptaking at a certain time in the relationship.

Care-giver — Care-receiver

A care-giver relationship is normally a relationship between a mother and a child. This relationship focuses on a participant providing care and love to a participant who receives it.

Protector — Protected

A protector — protected relationship is often seen between a parent and a child. The protector provides protection that spans across physical, mental, emotional, financial, and spiritual.

Teacher — student

The teacher — student relationship is often seen between a teacher and a student. The relationship involves the participant who is the teacher, providing wisdom and knowledge to the student.


The friend relationship exists between any individual who develops a form of connection. Friends usually provides companionship and comraderie.

Leader — Follower

A leader and follower relationship is often seen between a figure of authority and their subordinate. This relationship involves the authority figure guiding their subordinate towards a direction.


A lover relationship involves two individuals who are romantically involved with each other. This relationship involves intimacy between both participants, and usually involves a lot of passion.


An enemy relationship is the exact opposite of the lover relationship in that instead of intimacy, it is on the other spectrum and involves a lot of hostility.

These are the common personalities that exists within a relationship. As mentioned in the previous section, a relationship is dynamic, and a participant in the relationship can uptake many roles. Think about a relationship that you have between you and another person. What are the relationship roles that you have with them?

In the next article, we will discuss about the relationship journey between a child and their caregiver and how the personalities evolves and changes over time.