The discussion about internal and external relations usually concerns the question of what kind of relations exist. In this paper, I take up another question, namely whether external relations can become internal and internal relations become external. My starting point is the concept of a “relational collapse” formulated by the Soviet and Ukrainian philosopher Avenir Uemov. I try to develop his idea, distinguishing two senses of internal relation, based on the concepts of ground and essence. As I argue, internalisation may consist either in the groundation or the essentialisation of relations. Contrary to Uemov, both of these processes seem to be reversible, so we should also introduce the concepts of ungroundation and accidentalisation of relations. These four concepts form the framework for a general theory of internalisation and externalisation of relations. This framework seems to be particularly useful for the analysis of certain problems in social ontology.