A situationship is the kind of situation that can’t quite be labeled a “relationship” but is definitely more than friendship. They are confusing and uncomfortable because neither person knows where things are headed or how the other person feels. Here are a few signs that you might be in a situationship, and how to get out of it.
You’re not exclusive. Some couples are totally happy being open. It works for them and they know where they stand. That isn’t a situationship. In a situationship, you’ve never had the conversation about whether or not you’re in an open relationship. Neither of you feels like you’re in a position to bring it up, so you continue waiting to see when the other person will make the first move. The easy solution here is to break the cycle of silence and be the person to start the conversation.
You tell your friends that you’re “not dating.” You know you’re in a situationship when you’re hanging out with someone all the time but automatically deny that you’re dating them when you’re friends ask about it. This is probably a defense mechanism. You don’t want to admit that you want to formally date the person, so you preempt any pity that your friends might have for you by pretending to be way too chill for a traditional relationship.
You don’t leave things at each other’s houses. You might take your toothbrush over to his place when you’re spending the night, but you take it with you in the morning, if you’re staying overnight at all. It’s not something that you think about doing, but it would feel weird if you left it there. Subconsciously, you know that you’re not integrating into each other’s lives.
You don’t know how he feels about you. Lack of clarity is a major sign that you’re in a situationship. You know that he’s attracted to you and that he keeps coming back, but beyond that, you have no idea whether he’s developing feelings for you or couldn’t care less about who you are on a deeper level. The best way to break the stagnation of a situationship is to throw caution to the winds and address things directly. The worst thing that can happen is that you end up parting ways, but at least you’ll have clarity.
You never go places as a couple. If you have a wedding or birthday to go to, he’s never the person you bring as your plus-one. Instead, you bring friends or go solo. If you do end up somewhere together and people ask if you’re “together,” you both deny it, maybe after a split second of awkward silence.
The future never comes up in conversation. Situationships are a state of limbo. You never discuss where things are headed or what you want. It’s not that you don’t have thoughts about it. You may want to take things to the next level or let things slowly fade out. Either way, neither of you is talking about it. Long-term plans, such as trips or events, exist in a purely hypothetical realm, never certain until a few days before.
Sex is the main event. You rarely end an evening together without sex, and when you do, it feels like something’s missing. Because the most consistent and reliable part of your situation is physical, you think of sex as the most meaningful part of your time together. This is an indication that everything else about the relationship is uncertain at best, and probably emotionally exhausting.
The idea of bringing up your relationship status with him makes you uncomfortable. One giveaway that you’re in a situationship is when you feel nervous or reluctant to talk about defining it. This suggests that you’re either worried he won’t want anything formal, or you realize that deep down, you don’t. While being in an ambiguous sexual relationship may be frustrating, you’re not ready to confront an alternative.
It’s all about convenience. You don’t put effort into seeing each other. If one of you is tired or busy, you don’t hang out. You don’t plan more than a day or two ahead because something might come up. In other words, seeing each other is low on the priority list. The value you get out of the relationship lies in how easy it is to slide it into your life whenever there’s time.
You don’t want the pressure of a relationship but you’re still unsatisfied. Not everyone needs a formal relationship to be happy. Some people love being friends with benefits or having a casual sex buddy. But if this is you and you’re still not happy with the relationship, then you’re probably in a situationship. Situationships are, by nature, unsatisfying because of their ambiguity. Neither of you knows where you stand. Talking about it is the only way to know. Tell him what you’re looking for, even if it’s just a reliable source of no-strings-attached hookups.
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