What on earth is a situationship I hear you cry! Honestly, why is dating so complicated these days? I swear back in my twenties it was way more straightforward than it is now. All these different terms and phrases and ways people go about dating. Just understanding the dating landscape can be exhausting. Let alone the actual dating part!
A more destructive and potentially toxic trend that’s emerged over the past few years is the situationship. Described as a romantic or sexual relationship that is not considered to be formal or established. It’s not friends with benefits because there are emotions involved from at least one of the parties, maybe even both. Some might call it playing it cool, taking things slowly or just going with the flow. But when things aren’t really flowing anywhere and one of you isn’t feeling very cool, then you probably need to ask yourself if you’re stuck in a situationship?
10 Signs You’re In A Situationship
Avoiding The DRT
So far you’ve avoided having the DRT (dreaded relationship talk) so the relationship hasn’t been defined. You aren’t quite sure if you’re officially in a relationship, casually dating or just a bit of fun. The “talk” hasn’t been had so as not to rock the boat or cause a shift in your current status quo, but then it goes on for too long and becomes awkward. If you are both serious about this relationship, then there should be no boundaries around discussing it. If you aren’t communicating your wants and needs, then ask yourself if the other person even cares about them?
You’ve No Long-Term Plans in the Situationship
Most couples make plans for the future, be it a week, a month, or a year in advance. They plan to go out at the weekend or where to go on holiday in the summer. But if you’re in a situationship you may find that the only plans that are ever made are with an hour or so notice. You may not even know when you will see the other person next. Or at all for that matter! You may feel like you’re the last-ditch option when all his mates have other things to do on a Saturday night. Girl, you are way better than an option! If he isn’t planning at least a date more than three days into the future then you probably aren’t part of his long term plans. Suggest making a dinner reservation for next weekend and see what his reaction is. It’s hardly like you’re proposing marriage is it?
And When You Do Go On Dates…..
The lights are usually out. Not that I mean you date in the dark, but usually under the cover of darkness and not so public. Or they aren’t proper dates, i.e. planned for. More of a last-minute dot com drink at a pub out of the way somewhere before home to sexy time and maybe a grown-up sleepover. Try suggesting making arrangements for next weekend and see what reaction you get.
Because There’s Always An Excuse
If you’re in a situationship then there won’t be any consistency to if or when you see or hear from the other person. They may go for days or even weeks without contacting you and even then, you may only get the emotional booty call. Because there’s no consistency then you know you can’t rely on them if or when you need them. And if it’s mainly you doing the contacting then chances are you aren’t even on their mind very much. But they’ll always have an excuse. Because work is always soooooooooo busy. Yawn. Their life is just so damn busy. Because it’s all about them. The saying “if you want it, you make time for it” is very true when it comes to dating.
Now granted they may have a work project going on that keeps them super busy, but it won’t be indefinite. Or life stuff comes up. But nothing lasts forever and unless they are a secret undercover agent or Prime Minister or something that does require you to work 24/7 then I’m guessing they aren’t that busy at all really. More avoiding commitment or any form of intimacy (with you). Does he text you rather than call? Texts can be impersonal if you aren’t really invested or want to involve your emotions.
Once over we called this blowing hot and cold. Now, it’s just disrespectful.
All So Mundane
Another downside of a situationship is that you can’t really have very deep and meaningful conversations. You don’t really communicate your values or beliefs so as not to put the other person off. It also means that most of your conversations are going to be quite mundane and probably a bit boring. All very superficial. Or about sex. If his idea of communicating with you is to sext you then throw a curveball and see how he reacts. Does he quickly swerve the conversation back to sexy time or does he want to hear about your day from hell and hideous boss from hell? How interested is he in getting to know more about you and your life? Does he know how many sugars you take in your tea?
Who Are Your Friends?
Most men are dying to show their new woman off to their mates. It’s just a bloke thing. And if we are truthful, we women are the same. Granted we are most likely to have Facebook stalked every photo he’s ever posted and already sent the best ones to the girl’s WhatsApp chat group. But if you’ve been in this situationship for a few months and you’ve not met any of his friends or family, then start to ask why. Do you only go on dates alone? Have you integrated into any part of their life at all? Or are you kept in the dark (literally)?
Being private is one thing and totally understandable. Being secretive is a whole other ball game. Which is it?
Never A Plus-One
Has he asked you to his works Christmas party or his mates’ wedding as his plus-one? Attending any social event when there’s a plus one is excruciating for single people. It’s like hell on earth with a wedding cake. So, if you have a chance of actually having a plus one then you’re going to take that opportunity and hold it tight with both hands. If you aren’t getting the plus one invite, then you aren’t being shown to the world, as a legitimate couple. Go back to the point about being integrated with their friends and family.
No Investment In A Situationship
I don’t mean financial here. Like you don’t need to think about a joint mortgage after three months or buy a puppy together. But time is your biggest commodity and if at least some of their time isn’t being positively invested into you, especially early on, then is this really going to be a long-term investment? If you feel like you’re the one making all the effort and doing all the arranging perhaps just stop doing that for a week or two and see what happens. It may be obvious that the other person cares for you and it’s not just sex, but if the effort isn’t there then you’re likely to be stuck in this situationship for some time unless you take action.
Where’s The Evidence
So, you’ve been doing the dating thing for a few months, and you might even be Facebook friends. But is both your relationship status still set to single? Does he like or comment on your photos? Are there any photos of you together? Even just daft at-home selfies? You may also ask yourself at this stage what he may be hiding or if he’s seeing other people. Not engaging on social media can be a sign that they don’t want to give the game away as to who they are seeing. Which could be in the multiples. And because you haven’t had the DRT then you don’t know if you should be Facebook official or if he’s also friends on there with the other people he’s casually seeing or hooking up with.
I once dated someone for a while that would never have photos taken together or so much as like any of my Facebook status updates or photos. Yep, he had something to hide.
Confused By Your Situationship
If you’ve established that you’re in a situationship but you’re still confused by how you got there or what to do now, then be honest with yourself about what it is you want from the other person. Do you see yourself living with them? Marrying them? If you’re still young enough, having children with them? We all crave connection, we’re only human after all. But an empty connection is probably just going to make you feel even worse and lonelier than ever.
Or a situationship might be ideal for now given where you are in your life. If that is the case, then it’s important to communicate that to the other person. It’s very cruel to leave someone dangling not knowing where they stand and if they are in a relationship or not. Be a grownup and have that DRT but make it clear that all you want right now is casual, no pressure. Not no strings. You still have a responsibility to not treat them badly.
And if you’re still confused and find yourself answering with “it’s complicated” when asked about your relationship, then the answer to your question is, yes, you are in a situationship. And if you don’t like it then you need to pull up your big girl pants and move on from it or take it to the next level. Limbo land is not a nice place to be. Not knowing where you stand can leave you with feelings of rejection and questioning your own self-worth. Let’s not get to that point.