Back in the day, becoming official was pretty simple. It was like, “Hey, want to get a milkshake? Will you wear my letter jacket?” and then BAM — relationship. Now there’s this grey area before you have “the talk” called a situationship. It’s a no man’s land of uncertainty where you’re definitely more than dating but you’re not quite at the boyfriend/girlfriend stage. The worst part is that many couples get stuck here and end up crashing before it can ever progress further. Sound familiar? Chances are if you have dated in modern times, you’ve been in this position. If you’re unsure, here are some signs you’re in a situationship.
You’re not even going on dates anymore. You’ve been seeing each other so long that the dinner and movie nights out have transitioned to Netflix and chill and you’ve made noticeably less effort into getting gussied up to see each other. You hang like you’ve been together for a long time, but there’s still a massive elephant in the room. You know you’re in a situationship when you’re out of the honeymoon phase but you still don’t know how to introduce each other to the people in your lives.
You have no title. When someone asks you what you are, you reply awkwardly with responses like “we’re still just seeing each other” or “we’re taking it one day at a time and going with the flow.” The flow has not yet been interrupted to define what you actually are or intend to be. You’re definitely more than a friend and would be offended if you were described that way, but being called a “girlfriend” would just seem weird (but welcome) at this point. Sorry, it’s a situationship.
You avoid discussing the future. Talking about your long game in life, the five and 10-year plan and relationship goals are practically taboo subjects. You don’t know where you stand and you avoid discussing it at all costs. When the future does come up in your situationship, it’s quickly brushed aside and the topic is changed before things can get any more awkward.
You make future plans without thinking of them. If you actually do discuss upcoming events, trips, or plans for your career and possible moves, you don’t factor them into the equation. It’s like it doesn’t even cross your mind that your decisions may affect them and you may need to rejig your plans a bit to make sure they work for both of you. It’s a clear sign of being in a situationship.
You have feelings, but not love. You care about the person but you haven’t broken the barrier to truly let your heart be involved fully. It could be because you don’t really trust your connection just yet or because without an official title, you’re just not sure if your situationship is going to fizzle out and die. It’s all about self-protection.
You still attend events solo. Weddings, Christmas parties, birthdays… all attended alone. You don’t ever exercise your right to your plus-one and it isn’t that you haven’t thought about it, it’s just that you’ve convinced yourself that you’re not there yet even though you’re there in every other way. This is one of the most depressing parts about being in a situationship.
You’re not dating anyone else. It’s as if you’re exclusive to someone, but you’re not really. Your relationship needs are being met by one person, so you’re not dating anyone else even though there’s nothing holding you back from doing so.
You have sleepovers routinely. You don’t just leave after sex; you actually spend the night and probably even have coffee and breakfast together in the morning. You might even have a toothbrush at their place. For all intents and purposes, you’re acting like you’re in a relationship, but since neither of you are calling it that, you’re still firmly in situationship territory.
Texting is your primary form of contact. And it’s pretty casual. There’s no routine “good morning, babe” wake-up, but rather just small talk until you make your next plan for Netflix and chill. This is not a good thing.
You haven’t met their friends. Your close-knit friends know that you’re seeing someone and have been for a while, but have never actually met them. One of the biggest signs you’re in a situationship is when you’re clearly acting like you’re together but you’re still kept out of certain aspects of the other person’s life.
You have no pictures together. You haven’t taken any pictures together or haven’t posted anything to social media alluding to any sort of idea that you’re in a relationship. That’s because you’re not, of course, and it kind of sucks.
You’re both playing chicken. You’re basically in a standoff and each of you is avoiding bringing up the actual status of your relationship likely because you’re both scared of what might happen. Either you’ll both agree to move forward to the next phase, or one of you will back out. Eventually, one of you is going to need to break the ice and it’ll make or break whatever has been happening. Or you can just keep going as is, that’s totally cool too. At least now you know what to call your situationship.
How to get out of a situationship
Make your desires clear. You can’t exactly complain about being caught in a situationship when you’re not speaking up about the fact that you want out. If you’re looking for someone to be in a proper, official relationship with and build a life with long-term, your partner isn’t a mind reader — you’ll actually have to come out and say so.
Set some boundaries. If you mention that you want to be in a real relationship and your partner is cool floating along in your situationship and “going with the flow,” something’s gotta give. While giving ultimatums rarely leads to the result we want, sometimes it’s the only way to either move things forward or make a clean break. Speaking of which…
Get out if you have to. If there comes a point when your partner isn’t willing to budge and the situationship life just isn’t for you anymore, you know what you have to do. Never be afraid to walk away when something’s not serving you anymore. There’s someone out there who will be more than happy to make things official.