Are You in a Situationship?

If he's somewhere between your boyfriend and casual lover, you might be in a situationship.

If you’re in your twenties or thirties, then you’ve definitely been in a situationship. I know that I’ve had several and the arrangement (or lack thereof) has either been totally convenient for the time or a completely confusing mess. A situationship defines a nonexclusive and/or non-committed relationship between at least two people. You guys don’t refer to each other as your boyfriend/girlfriend, but you see each other on the semi-regular for dates, hangouts and of course, hookups. In many cases, these aren’t people you’d bring around to your family or to a wedding, but your friends know about them and they fall under the always ambiguous friends with benefits umbrella.

Situationships are weird because they’re tricky to label. In my personal experience, when I’m in a situationship and I’m talking about this person to my friends, I’m not sure whether to refer to them as my boyfriend, my f-buddy or my friend. Because honestly, a situationship doesn’t really fall into any of these categories. They’re by nature, very confusing, and the top rated Urban Dictionary definition defines them as “Let’s just chill, have sex, and be confused on the fact that we are not together but have official emotions for each other.”

Situationships have the potential to work out for both parties, however, communication is key and you need to be on the exact same page with your partner. For instance, maybe you’re getting out of a long term relationship and want something that’s uncommitted but still consistent. Or maybe you’re polyamorous and you have a secondary partner that you’re dating, but not monogamous with. However, the expectations need to be balanced from the jump. Many times situationships go wrong because one party wants a relationship that’s more traditional, but isn’t forthcoming about it. Then there are the situationships start off on mutual terms, but along the way you got feelings or realized you weren’t comfortable with them seeing other people. Or maybe you were only looking for a short term situationship, but it’s lasted far longer than you’d intended and now you’re not sure where to go from here. These are all very real possibilities and unfortunately, it’s very common for a situationship to end in disappointment for one or both parties.

In order to maintain your situationship, you need to ensure that both you and your partner want the same things, if not, maybe this isn’t the right arrangement for you. You need to know what you want and what you’ll accept (and won’t accept) from a partner. Just because this isn’t a committed relationship, that doesn’t mean that your priorities go out the window. You also need to ensure that your situationship is healthy and established on honesty, trust and respect. Even though this person isn’t your boyfriend/girlfriend, you deserve to be treated with decency—which means no lying or cheating.

One of the most important factors to a sustainable situationship is honesty within yourself. So many of us lie to ourselves about what we want just to please the person we’re interested in and this is extremely dangerous. You cannot get your hopes up that this person with change their ways and fall in love, because 9/10 times, if they’re upfront about wanting something casual then they usually stick to that. If you want a relationship, don’t settle for a situationship. I don’t care how hot, talented, kind or amazing this person is, because they’re not going to give you what you want and you deserve to be with someone who’s on the same page. Trust me, there are plenty of eligible singles out there who want what you’re looking for, you’ve just got to put in the work to find them. It might not happen on the first date or first 10 dates, but if you’re approaching the dating world with an open heart and an open mind, you’ll find what you’re looking for eventually.