What is the Difference Between Family and Relatives?

Humans have a wide range of social ties. First and foremost, there are your blood relatives – those you were born to or who were born from you. The tie or relationship between a husband and wife or spouse is one of the most significant. 

It is difficult or impossible to survive without family relationships because they are crucial to a person’s wellness or upbringing. These bonds to the family are endearing but sometimes challenging at times.

In difficult, stressful, and delicate times, one needs the support of family or relatives.

Their moral support and comfort are pretty helpful in boosting one’s self-esteem and dealing with sadness and agony.

The difference between family and relatives is that relatives are connected to us by blood or other legal or biological causes. In contrast, family refers to a group of relatives who usually live together.

Let’s study the basic definitions of family and relatives below:

What is Family?

What Is Family

A family is two or more people connected through marriage, birth, or adoption and typically reside in the same household.

According to sociologists, the most fundamental social group in human society is the family.

People closely related by blood, such as parents, siblings, uncles, aunts, and cousins, is referred to as a family.

Family is your close family. Children of siblings’ parents. Family is important, but so are grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and other relatives.

Not all families are biological. The people in your life want you to be a part of them. The individuals that value you for who you are.

Family is made up of those who are truly there for you, know you, will return the favour, and genuinely want what’s best for you. I mean individuals who will push you to grow and challenge you.

Family is not always blood. These are the people in your life who want you to be a part of them. The individuals that value you for who you are.

Categorization of Family

Family is split into two categories:

  1. Immediate Family 
  2. Extended Family

The members of an immediate family are parents, kids, siblings, and spouses. Grandparents, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, and cousins make up an extended family.

Immediate Family Vs. Extended Family

Immediate Family Vs Extended Family

The comparison between immediate family vs. extended family are given below:

Immediate Family

The people that are directly linked to you are members of your immediate family.

For example, consider your parents and siblings as members of your natural immediate family. Later in life, your spouse and children can be added to the immediate family.

Someone who is a family member and is in close proximity to you is considered an immediate family member. Your parents, siblings, spouse, and kids are typically regarded as immediate family.

Extended Family

The opposite of an immediate family is an extended family. Father, mother, children, and potentially spouses and grand kids are typically considered to be immediate.

A person’s extended family often consists of their parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and occasionally their spouses.

These individuals, who reside in diverse places, gather for holidays or other special occasions.

Your extended family comprises all your relatives besides your own family, such as your grandparents and more distant relatives like cousins, aunts, and uncles.

Who are Relatives?

Who Are Relatives

Blood relations are what we call relatives. Now, in addition to your blood relatives, you may also have other relatives living with you, stepparents, or parents who are not your biological siblings.

Individuals who you can relate to because of your blood relationship are known as relatives. Everyone in your family – your mother, father, grandparents, cousins, brother, sister, aunt, and uncle – has a common ancestor. If you go back long enough, we are all connected.

Husbands and wives can be relatives by marriage.

Relatives are the connections God offers in the form of a one-plus-one offer. Relatives are significant in our lives.

Having relatives creates a sense of happiness and family. Thus, having them is preferable. It’s possible to have more fun if your family is huge.

For example, if you have 13 or 14 cousins, you can have much more fun than if you only have one sibling.

Instead of these items, family members can celebrate with you, and occasionally they offer support while you’re struggling. But I caution against putting too much faith in your family.

It is preferable to live with more family than alone.

Types of Relatives

There are two types of relatives

  1. Relative by blood
  2. Relative by marriage

1. Relatives by Blood

Relatives By Blood

These are the blood relatives: parents, kids, siblings, half-siblings, grandparents, grandkids, aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, nephews, etc. These are all considered as a relative by blood.

2. Relatives by Marriage

Relatives By Marriage

The following are examples of relatives by marriage: spouse (husband or wife), mother-in-law, father-in-law, daughter-in-law, son-in-law, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, stepchildren, step siblings, etc.

Difference Between Family and Relatives

The differences between family and relatives are given below:

Both family and relatives are similar terms. They slightly differ from each other.

The difference between family and relative is that any group of people closely related by blood, such as parents, siblings, uncles, aunts, and cousins, are referred to as a family.

In comparison, a person who is related to someone else by blood or marriage is referred to as relative.

Family and relatives’ significance in your life is determined by the role and relationship they actually have with you. A person can occasionally be a family member before being downgraded to a relative.  At that moment, though, they may become a family member again.

A relative is someone you are connected to through marriage or blood. Those who attend the family reunion are relatives.

People who are related to you through blood or through some type of formal agreement or extended connection that you are aware is based on your family name or other family ties are considered to be relatives.

What are the Differences Between Family and Relatives?

Highlighting the main differences between family and relatives in the following table:

A family is a group of individuals made up of two parents and their kids who live as a single entity.Those who are related through blood or marriage are called relatives.
Families can be divided into two groups: immediate family and extended family.Relatives can be defined as those who are related by blood or relative by marriage.
Usually, a family lives together.Not all relatives reside in the same household.


Family and friends are two crucial aspects of our lives. Typically, our relatives, whether related by blood or by legal means, make up our families.

Difference between family and relatives is that family refers to a group of relatives who normally live together, whereas relatives are persons who are linked to us by blood or by other legal or biological causes. In everyday speech, the terms “family” and “relatives” refer to the members of the extended family, such as the grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins, respectively.

Continue Reading: What is the Difference Between Friends and Family?

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