Dating and Relationship Advice

"Situationship" is the buzzword in the dating scene these days — from friends-with-benefits to almost-partners, it's not uncommon for us to find ourselves in the grey zone of relationships. However, even being able to decipher whether you're in a "situationship" can often be challenging.

So what exactly constitutes a "situationship," and how do you identify being in one?

According to Oxford Languages, a situationship is "a romantic or sexual relationship that is not considered formal or established." However, those who have been in situationships know there is much more to them than just a simple definition.

Often, there is a lack of consistency in a situationship. Because you're not in a committed relationship, you often do not — or cannot — hold someone to expectations that you want them to fulfill. Instead of being able to count on the person to meet up once a week, you may find that your meetups are more sporadic or last minute. You may also find that the person doesn't have trouble blowing you off since finding excuses to get out of certain situations becomes part and parcel of the relationship.

You may also find a lack of planning when it comes to anything related to the future. Since you're aware that you're not in a committed relationship, you may feel awkward even thinking about raising plans for something a few months down the line. While proposing the idea of a dinner with friends who will be in town three months from now might be natural in a committed relationship, you may feel like bringing this up in a situationship is asking too much of the other person.

So, now that you've established that you are in a situationship, how do you navigate all of this?

The first thing to ask yourself is whether you are genuinely okay with all the terms that come with a situationship. Although some people might find the lack of consistency to be anxiety-inducing, others might indulge in low-stakes relationships and even enjoy the absence of regularity. If you fall into the former category, however, you need to be honest about whether the situationship is truly right for you.

You should also remind yourself that every relationship is an emotional negotiation between the people involved. So, if you're unhappy with your situationship, you should not feel compelled to accept terms you are discontent with. Remember that relationships evolve over time, even if you might have agreed to a situationship at the start. You are allowed to change your mind. And ultimately, you get to decide whether you are comfortable with the terms of the relationship at every stage.

You hold so much power — the worst thing to do to yourself is to go along with the terms someone else has established because you feel that rejecting these terms might cause you to lose them.

If the person you're seeing is unwilling to discuss, compromise, and meet you halfway, then they're probably not someone who is healthy to keep around in the first place.

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