5 Signs You’re in a Situationship 

What’s a situationship? Let’s first define what it is according to the highly credible Urban Dictionary: When people take part in a relationship, but out of fear of making things serious or messy, do not label it, leading to said relationship, ironically, becoming more serious and messier.  

In lesser words, it’s a new term for what we consider casual dating. And in today’s culture where dating––and imminently hooking up––has become easier and more accessible, it might be something you’re aware that you’re in, or completely oblivious to.  

Here are five C’s or signs that you’re in a situationship: 

1. It’s Convenient  

Ask yourself: Do you go out of your way, or does he go out of his way for you? If the answer is no, then your relationship is based on convenience: whenever you’re free or when you both just happen to be in the same place at the same time. Meeting halfway could be the solution to this, but if you want to get serious with this person or see if he’s serious about you, you’ll plan. He’ll set aside time. He won’t fit you in when his schedule is open, and you won’t call him when suddenly plans fall through with your girlfriends. You’ll prioritize each other. Otherwise, you might be getting false hope and that will cost you, which leads us to point two.  

2. It’s Costly 

Many think that relationships can be handled casually, as long as you both define from the get-go what your expectations are. The truth is no relationship can ever last for long if it doesn’t have a next step. A potential future. So, what does this cost you? Time. Situationships can be a waste of time and your patience. They can also cost you your peace. Never discount your emotions or what your gut is telling you. As much as we think we’re in control, our hearts know different. Check with yourself: Is the investment in this situationship worth the cost of your time and emotions?  

3. It’s Compromising

Now, there is good compromise: meeting halfway, finding middle ground, but then there’s compromise where you simply lower your standards to fit someone else’s bill. We audaciously think that we can look over things like beliefs, values, or even behaviors because of our attraction to someone. Most situationships will have the people involved compromising on what they truly desire in a relationship. You have to set some ground rules for yourself, and some boundaries for the other person. If you’re becoming too physically and emotionally available, then you’re essentially compromising your worth which leads to point four.  

4. It’s Commitment-Free 

All the perks of a relationship without a commitment? Sounds like a great deal! Until you realize you’re someone’s answer to a good time with no follow through. Today’s society is all about instant gratification. Is he suddenly calling to ask you to come over because he has nothing better to do? You’re a booty call. And are you just texting him because you ran out of things to scroll online? He’s filling a void for you. But a situationship is basically the answer to commitment issues. All the benefits without the work. Without the intention of going deeper and committing. And…

5. It’s Cause for Concern  

It’s cause for concern. Plain and simple. Relationships that go unlabeled or undefined become seriously confusing and anxiety-inducing. And what’s even more difficult is that there isn’t one person to blame in the situation. You both––subconsciously or not––signed up for it and are now reaping the liabilities of it. And that’s only if both of you desire something more. The worst case is when it’s one-sided: you sign up for a situationship, but the other person doesn’t want more. If your version of a situationship is the promise that casual could lead to serious, but his version is that a situationship is just sex and someone to hang out with, this is not good for you. Until someone is willing to define exactly what they want, you should hold off from giving them anything they want. 

So, if you’ve checked even three out of these five signs that you’re in a situationship, it’s time to reevaluate. Here are five things you can do:  

1: Communicate with this person and clearly define the relationship. Either you’re moving forward or you’re ending it now. (And no, it doesn’t count to be “just friends” –– we know that ugly cycle.)  

If you both decide you’re willing to commit, then great! If not, break it off and… 

2: Create a list of non-negotiables for the person or relationship you desire. This could be traits, beliefs, values…things that you absolutely need to see in the other person and are a dealbreaker if the case is otherwise.  

3: When you do meet someone who could be a match, take your time and assess them. Go through the five C’s here and see if they’re unchecking them, meaning: they make plans, they prioritize you, and they’re willing to commit. (Note: it’s okay to be single for a while!) 

4: Set boundaries and don’t let anything compromise those. Communicate those boundaries from the start. It’s important the other person respects what you’re willing and not willing to do. And vice versa, respect theirs.   

5e: Set goals and timelines. It sounds like a job, but a relationship does require work, and you should check in with each other on what the next steps are. Where do you both see yourself in the next year or five years? You may be afraid to say you’re looking for “marriage,” but you don’t want to be with someone for five years expecting a proposal when they’re not looking to get married.  

Dating should be fun and purposeful. It should never be at the detriment of your emotions, mental health, or hormonal stability (aka stress). Whether we admit it or not, we’re all looking for something more: deeper connection, stronger intimacy, security, and a love that can stand the test of time. Simply put: situationships are not for the long-term, but even in the short-term, situationships may impact how you view yourself and distort the meaning of a real, healthy relationship.  

And you deserve a real, healthy relationship.  

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