Dear reader, if you’re confused about your relationship status with another person, then you might be in a situationship. No, there’s no need for you to start panicking right away because this happens to lots of people out there (including myself).
Being in an undefined or uncommitted relationship has become a thing. It can be hard to know where all this is heading when you are in the early stages of dating.
Do you both want to be in a committed relationship? Are you okay with being friends with benefits? Do you know what you want at all?
Damn, these questions can confuse even the strongest of spirits. No wonder people had to come up with the new dating term ‘situationship’ to define all this madness.
But things don’t have to be that complicated. You’ll find out all you need to know about this type of relationship and what to do if you’re in one below. Also, we’ll spice it all up with some quotes that perfectly define the essence of a situationship!
Ready? Then let’s get to it!
What Is A Situationship?
Here’s one simple situationship definition: A situationship is the space between a committed relationship and something that is more than a friendship. It is an uncommitted or undefined romantic relationship.
Urban Dictionary defines it as the following: “A relationship that has no label on it… like a friendship but more than a friendship but not quite a relationship.”
If you want an even simpler definition: It’s when you’re neither HERE nor THERE.
You’ve been seeing each other regularly for a couple of weeks, months (or even years?), and you both know that it’s not just about sex.
You have so much fun together, meaningful conversations are a part of your hangout routine, but you still haven’t (or you have no idea how to) define all that.
You want to avoid the DTR (define the relationship) conversation at all costs because you have no idea how to approach it. You also want to avoid being in a one-sided relationship.
It’s when you know that the struggle (situationship vs. relationship) is real.
Is A Situationship Bad?
A situationship is not necessarily bad, and it all depends on both partner’s expectations of their relationship (or the thing they have at the moment). Look at it this way:
If one partner wants to define things and (secretly) desires to be in a committed relationship while the other partner doesn’t want the same thing, then their situationship is a bad thing.
If both partners are on the same page, but they just need more time to get out of a situationship and define things, then it’s not that bad.
It all depends on both people’s expectations of the thing they currently have. Being in such a relationship doesn’t need to be bad if it’s only a transitional phase toward something defined.
How Long Do Situationships Last?
Believe it or not, these relationships can last for months (or even years), and there are usually two possible outcomes:
- It can be a transitional phase.
- It never moves forward.
This type of relationship can be a transitional phase to a committed and defined relationship, or it will never move forward.
One (or both partners) will initiate the DTR (define the relationship) conversation, or one or both partners will decide to move on. There’s no grey area here. Wait, there is. It’s staying in a situationship.
How Do You Know If You Are In A Situationship?
If you haven’t defined the thing you have yet, then you’re in a situationship. Wait, I have better examples.
If you’re feeling anxious about being on the same page as your partner, you know you’re in an undefined relationship or an almost relationship.
Also, if you’re having trouble sleeping, eating, etc., then you secretly wish to be in a committed relationship with your partner but are afraid that they don’t. Therefore, you’re in a situationship.
That’s what happened to me recently. I refused to initiate DTR because I didn’t want to pressure the guy I was dating, so I waited for him to take the first step.
Well, he didn’t, and we continued being in an undefined relationship until I decided that it was time to move on. Here’s how you’ll know if this is happening to you:
Signs You’re DEFINITELY In A Situationship
You haven’t put a label on your relationship (yet)
If you haven’t defined the relationship, then you know you’re in a situationship. Talking about the meaning of real situationship…
There are multiple reasons for this “phenomenon.” Perhaps you’re dealing with an emotionally unavailable man or woman, or they’re not interested in anything serious at the moment.
You don’t make plans in advance
You don’t make plans in advance, but you’re making love and not just having sex. This is probably one of the most complicated sentences in the universe, but that’s just how this type of relationship works.
Irregular meeting frequency
In times of dating apps, lack of consistency has been trending. This is especially true for millennials who find themselves frequently in undefined relationships.
Last-minute or short-term plans have become routine. You know it’s less than a relationship, but still, it’s more than a casual encounter or booty call.
Lack of emotional connection
Every official and healthy relationship is based on a strong emotional connection. If you’re having surface-level conversations, this is a telltale sign that there is no connection or exclusivity.
Learning about the other person’s life, dreams, goals, etc., helps partners connect on a deeper level. If they don’t, then they get stuck in a situationship.
They might be seeing other people
When I was stuck in an undefined relationship with a guy, I constantly asked myself: Is he a player? I was looking for clues on social media that this might be true, and I was right.
Christie Tcharkhoutian, PhD, LMFT, a senior matchmaker with the Three Day Rule in Los Angeles, describes this online dating thing followed by commitment phobia as the following:
“Online dating apps have created this paradox of choice. We have so many options, and it’s hard to commit to that person in front of us because when they go to the bathroom, we can just swipe.”
And that’s how you end up in an undefined relationship. You might secretly prioritize them, but they might be seeing other people because you haven’t defined anything.
They haven’t introduced you to their friends and family
If your “new relationship” consists of Netflix and random hookups, then you know you’re not in a real relationship.
The same thing applies if they haven’t introduced you to their friends and/or family. Ladies, being too busy is just one of the many excuses men use to get away from commitment.
You feel anxious and confused
Are you okay with being someone’s half-girlfriend or half-boyfriend? If not, then, of course, you’ll feel anxious and confused.
This type of undefined relationship can greatly influence a person’s mental health and quality of life (speaking from experience). Don’t be ashamed to ask for help from psychotherapists and relationship experts.
There’s no discussion about future plans
There’s no discussion about the future, traits of a good girlfriend or boyfriend, or anything else linked with real relationships.
The only discussion you have (with yourself) is while thinking about the red flags in this undefined thing you have.
What To Do If You’re In A Situationship
If you’re okay with being in such a relationship, then continue doing what you’re doing. If you’re not okay with being in an undefined relationship but want something more, then don’t follow situationship rules.
Honesty is the best policy. Tell them that you want to be their legit boyfriend/girlfriend. Tell them you’re interested in a long-term relationship and not situationships.
If you’re both on the same page, then you’ll easily make a transition to an official relationship. Before having a conversation with them, think about whether you’re unconsciously sabotaging your relationship (or, should I say, the undefined relationship).
If you’re interested in defining your relationship, but they aren’t, then walking away from a situationship and cutting off all communication is the best option (and probably the only option).
Regardless of if you’re in a situationship or not, these quotes will help you better understand the concept behind an undefined relationship:
- “A ‘situationship’ is not a relationship. Excuses about limitations and obstacles are just a lack of courage and commitment. Those who truly want to be together, find a way to make it happen.” – Anthon St. Maarten
- “Situationships: let’s just chill, have sex, and be confused about the fact that we are not together but have official emotions for each other.” – Unknown
- “A man who is truly interested in a woman will find an endless number of reasons why he must see her. A man who is just playing around or confused about his own feelings will find an endless number of excuses why he didn’t show up.” – Charles Orlando
- “Staying in a situation where you’re unappreciated isn’t called loyalty; it’s called breaking your own heart.” – Unknown
- “I don’t know why we all hang on to something we know we’re better off letting go of. It’s like we’re scared to lose what we don’t even really have. Some of us say we’d rather have something than absolutely nothing, but the truth is, to have it halfway is harder than not having it at all.” – Meredith Grey
- “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me 200 times…we are probably in a situationship.” – Unknown
- “Never make someone a priority when all you are to them is an option.” – Maya Angelou
- “People aren’t even dating anymore, just talking, catching feelings, sleeping together, and ending up in situationships.” – Unknown
- “If you’re brave enough to say goodbye, life will reward you with a new hello.” – Paulo Coelho
REMEMBER: Situationships Can Become Relationships
Situationships don’t have to be complex or frustrating if both partners know what they want. With that being said, conversation is key when it comes to taking things to the next level and entering the realm of real relationships.
And here’s some extra help (given that I’m feeling generous today): 5 Bulletproof Ways To Turn A Situationship Into A Relationship.