A “situationship’ is kind of like a casual relationship and can look and feel very much like a relationship and has many of the things that relationships have but it remains “undefined” as dating or officially a relationship. It’s just two people who like each other and enjoy each other’s company, communicate regularly and meet occasionally for a date and/or casual sex. A situationship may or may not be exclusive but it’s also not “boyfriend/girlfriend” commitment. Some people in situationships even live or move in together because it’s convenient financially or temporarily, but with the understanding that it’s a situationship and not a relationship. And since situationships are not a dating or officially a relationship, the end of a situationship is technically not “a break-up”.
Because situationship are often to fill a short-term need or convenience, they’re full of uncertainty, especially if one person catches feelings or develops and attachment. Sometimes, situationships develop into a full fledged relationship, but most of the time, they remain undefined until one person decides the situationship no longer fulfills their need or isn’t convenient anymore.
Here are 10 signs are very likely, definitely in a situationship.
1. It’s Open
Example: You both have agreed that you like each other and spend lots of time together but you also have agreed to seeing other people (keep your options open).
2. It’s a fill-in
Example: You just moved to a new city and trying to meet new friends, you meet someone, the chemistry is good, one thing leads to another and feelings develop but neither of you thinks it’ll last (or wants it to last).
3. It’s superficial
Example: One or both of you just got out of a long-term toxic relationship, you like each other a lot but one or both of you isn’t necessarily looking for a ‘serious’ relationship (just yet).
4. It’s convenient
Example: You’re living or studying abroad, maybe even living together but there is no serious discussion or plans as to what happens once your study is over, and you go back to your respective countries.
5. It’s what-it-is
Example: You met someone you really connect with but one of you is soon relocating. You have decided that a long-distance relationship will not work but you continue to see each other for the time you have left together.
6. It’s better than nothing
Example: You’re doing all the things people in a relationship do except for investing effort in making the relationship work long-term. It’s like you are keeping each other around to avoid being alone (single). You know it and they know it too but neither of you wants to talk about it because it will upset the status quo.
7. It’s ambiguous
Example: You met online or through a dating service and hit it off. Things seemed to be going well but for a while now it is unclear if you are a in ‘relationship’ or broken up. It’s been a long time since you last saw each other in person, and all you have going is a text here and an email or phone call there. They are not completely gone, but they are not ‘there’ either.
8. It’s suspicious
Example: You’re with someone who is separated from their spouse (or in the process of divorce). They say they want to spend the rest of their life with you; but want you to keep the ‘relationship’ secret until after the divorce. It’s been months (even years) and yet they still haven’t filed (or signed) the divorce papers.
9. It’s awkward
Example: You’ve been actively dating for months and it’s like you are already boyfriend/girlfriend, but not quite yet. To your friends, family and work mates, you refer to him or her as “my friend” because you don’t know what to call them.
10. It’s toxic
Example: You’re in an on-and off-again relationship and in-between you date other people. It’s been that way for years, and it’s clear nothing is ever going to change.
In short, if someone asks you if you are in a relationship, and you answer, “It’s complicated”. It’s most likely that you are in a situationship not a relationship (yet).
But just because “It’s complicated” doesn’t mean it’s doomed. Some situationships develop into full fledged relationships with the right environment that allows for trust, emotional safety and emotional security, and love to grow and flourish.