Casual Commitment

Situationships: More than friends, less than a relationship

· Updated on September 27, 2023

In the realm of modern dating, a new term has emerged: the “situationship.” But what exactly does it mean?

In this post, we will delve into the concept of a situationship, exploring its unique dynamics that lie somewhere between a committed relationship and a casual friendship.

What is a situationship?

A “situationship” can be defined as a romantic relationship that lacks commitment and the associated norms and expectations. It is a space between a committed relationship and something that is more than a friendship. In simpler terms, it’s a casual, undefined, commitment-free relationship.

Characteristics of a situationship

Here are some key characteristics to help you identify a situationship:

  • Undefined Status: The relationship is not clearly defined. It exists somewhere in between a casual hookup and a committed relationship.
  • Lack of Commitment: There is no commitment involved in a situationship, making it different from a typical relationship.
  • Physical Intimacy: Physical intimacy might be a part of the situationship, but it does not necessarily mean commitment.

Situationships in the LGBTQ+ community

Situationships are not exclusive to heterosexual relationships, they are also prevalent within the LGBTQ+ community.

According to a report published in the Social Psychological and Personality Science journal, 85% of same-sex couples began their romantic journeys as friends, often leading to situationships before evolving into defined relationships.

These undefined relationships can be particularly complicated in the LGBTQ+ community. The societal norms and expectations for same-sex relationships (or lack of them) can also contribute to the prevalence of situationships within the community.

The good and the bad

A situationship can be a good fit for someone who is not looking for a committed relationship at the moment. However, it can also create confusion and emotional turmoil as one or both parties may develop deeper feelings and desire for a more formal relationship.

This unique dynamic also brings up the potential for blurred boundaries and unequal expectations. One person may see the situationship as an opportunity to casually date others, while the other might view it as exclusive.

This lack of clarity can lead to hurt feelings and misunderstandings.

How to navigate a situationship

It is essential to communicate openly about your feelings and expectations. Some tips for navigating a situationship include:

  • Establish boundaries: Discuss and establish boundaries that are comfortable for both parties. This can prevent misunderstandings and potential hurt feelings.
  • Be honest: Communicate your intentions and expectations from the start. If one person wants something more serious, it’s best to address it early on rather than prolonging the ambiguity.
  • Check in regularly: Regularly checking in with each other can ensure that both parties are on the same page and prevent any misunderstandings or unmet expectations.
  • Know when to walk away: If one person develops deeper feelings and desires a committed relationship, it is important to know when to walk away from the situationship. Continuing in an undefined dynamic will only lead to pain and frustration.

If you find yourself unhappy or unfulfilled, it might be time to re-evaluate the situation(ship).

Ending a situationship

If the situationship is causing more stress than joy, it might be best to end it. Remember to be honest and communicate your feelings openly but kindly. Ending a situationship can be difficult, especially if there are strong emotions involved, but it can also be a necessary step for personal growth and finding what you truly want in a relationship.

Situationships can be confusing

A situationship can be a confusing and emotionally complicated dynamic. It’s important to recognize that even though a situationship may have some aspects of a committed relationship, it still lacks the commitment and clarity of a true partnership.

Whether you’re in a situationship or considering entering one, it’s crucial to be honest and communicate openly about your intentions and expectations. And remember, it’s okay to walk away from a situationship if it no longer serves your happiness and well-being.

Be mindful of your feelings and constantly reassess the situation to ensure that you are making the best decisions for yourself. Relationships may be complex, but ultimately, we all deserve clarity and fulfillment in our connections with others.

Keep these tips in mind as you navigate the complex world of modern dating and find what works best for you.

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