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For people with Down syndrome, family members, caregivers and professionals.

Relationships Visual

June 2024 | Katie Frank, PhD, OTR/L - Occupational Therapist, Adult Down Syndrome Center

Relationships Visual opens in new window


What is a relationship? 

A relationship is a connection between 2 or more people. 

We can have relationships with many types of people. 

We can have relationships that are romantic and relationships that are not romantic.


  • Girlfriend

  • Boyfriend

  • Wife

  • Husband

These are sometimes called "romantic partners." 

Not Romantic

  • Friends

  • Family

  • Children

  • Teacher

  • Supervisor

  • Bus drivers

  • Coaches

  • Support staff

  • Acquaintances

  • Doctors and nurses

What does it mean to be in a romantic relationship?

  • You are only romantically interested in your partner.

  • You do not flirt with other people.

  • You only have one romantic partner at a time.

  • You have both agreed to be in a committed relationship.


Do I need to have a romantic partner?


It is ok not to have a boyfriend or girlfriend!

It is ok if you do not feel ready to date yet. 


Sexual Health and Relationships resources

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We offer a variety of resources for people with Down syndrome, their families and caregivers and the professionals who care for and work with them. Search our collection of articles, webinars, videos, and other educational materials.

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Please note: The information on this site is for educational purposes only and is not intended to serve as a substitute for a medical, psychiatric, mental health, or behavioral evaluation, diagnosis, or treatment plan by a qualified professional. We recommend you review the educational material with your health providers regarding the specifics of your health care needs.