signs you're in a situationship

6 Signs You’re in a Situationship–And How to Handle It

No, it's not friends with benefits.

The correct answer to situationships? Communication. After all, it’s still a relationship.

Related: Heartbreak Anniversary: 8 Spots to Breakup with Your Not-So-Special Someone

Imagine this scenario: You and someone not-so-special have been spending a lot of time together, enjoying each other’s company, and even going out to the occasional dinner date. At this point, you share inside jokes, a Spotify playlist, and dive deep into the craziest conversations at three in the morning. While it sounds like the typical dating stage, there’s a plot twist: You’re ‘not dating,’ and you’ve never explicitly defined your relationship.

In the tangled web of contemporary relationships, a new term has sprouted to encapsulate the territory between casual dating and full-blown commitment: situationships. Characterized by their blurry nature and the absence of well-defined boundaries, these ‘relationships’ can throw individuals into a whirlwind of emotional entanglement. Best believe, we’re all a bit confused.

If you’re wondering whether you’re in a situationship, scroll through the signs that might indicate you’re stuck—for better or for worse.

What is a Situationship, Exactly?

The world seems to invent new catch phrases for casual connections almost daily. From the classic booty call to the trendy friends with benefits, and now the latest addition: situationship. But what’s the scoop behind this term, and how is it different from talking stages and FUBUs?

A situationship is often likened to a friends-with-benefits setup or FUBUs, where physical intimacy is involved without the expectation of dinner dates or post-encounter contact. Now, the distinction lies in the possibility of mimicking a couple’s behavior while still avoiding commitments—a situation that goes beyond friendship but falls short of a long-term, committed relationship.

Picture this: It’s when you’re casually chatting with someone (but not consistently), making plans on the fly (typically at night), and the romantic connection lacks a clear definition. Yes, there might be moments of cuddling or hand-holding, but there’s no introduction to the parents or distant dreams of ‘settling down.’

Signs You’re in a Situationship

Consistency? What’s That?

In a real relationship, you can count on a consistent connection with your favorite person. Situationships, on the other hand, lack predictability. You might spend every waking moment together one week, only to shift to a no-contact act the next.

Last-Minute Plans

Couples in committed relationships plan their lives together like they’re mapping out world domination (well, almost). In situationships, the agenda is more like, “Hey, wanna grab a coffee in 20 minutes?” Sure, they might whisk you away on a 3AM road trip, but don’t hold your breath for holiday breaks or invites to the family reunion.

Mum’s the Word on the Future

While your late-night convos might cover everything from aliens to secret talents, there’s one topic that’s MIA: the future – especially your relationship’s future. It’s a simple equation: no plans for the long haul? No need to talk about it.

Third (or Fourth) Wheeling

A major red flag? Discovering your partner’s intimate or romantic rendezvous with one or more people. Even in open relationships, it’s all about those clear-cut boundaries. Unfortunately, situationships aren’t renowned for their openness, so brace yourself for these revelations via the gossip grapevine, social media scrolls, or worse, unexpected face-to-face encounters.

Stuck in Situationship Traffic

If your relationship feels like it’s stuck in its own little traffic jam with no natural progress, that’s a classic sign you’re in a situationship. And if your situationship seems to be extending longer than the Lord of the Rings trilogy without any commitment talk, that doesn’t mean you’re ‘getting there.’ Take cues—perhaps one of you isn’t ready for a real relationship.

Actions Speak Louder

When their actions scream, “I’m not that into this,” it’s time to listen. Sometimes, words don’t tell the full story, and if they’re not showing signs of wanting to get serious, consider it a neon-lit sign.

Here’s How to Handle the “Relationship”

If you’re content with the current state of things and want to maintain that, take a moment for some self-reflection: Am I genuinely game with this situation? Embracing the nebulous nature of relationships can be a blast—it brings fun, satisfaction, and a taste of liberation. A situationship provides the freedom to explore a connection without the pressure of making a definitive decision. But remember: setting clear boundaries is non-negotiable.

At the same time, don’t sideline your own needs just to keep the peace or please someone else (and don’t count on them catching feelings either—it’s not always a given). If you’re craving more, it’s time to speak up. Begin by expressing appreciation for the good times, highlighting what you like (or love) about them, and then throw out the big question about where this train’s headed. But hey, be ready for any curveballs—they might not actually be in the market for something serious right now.

The answer is all about communication and putting yourself first. Don’t let your situationship hold you back from finding what truly works for you.

Continue Reading: No Date? No Problem: 11 Solo Date Ideas to Manifest More Self-Love In 2024