Earlier this year, I realized that I hadn’t been single for more than 24 hours within the past decade of my life, so I decided to take the leap and find myself by being single. This was a good idea, hypothetically. But realistically, it was not. The best thing that came out of the break-up was ending a dead-end relationship, and everything else was lonely and miserable. And as a college senior who is moving to New York City next summer (hooray), I realized that the only option for me was situationships, and they are literally the worst.
Just like everything awful, the idea was made by millennials. Different from open relationships, poly relationships, flings, etc, situationships are situations that seem like relationships but aren’t. Going on dates exclusively and hanging out multiple times a week kind of sounds like a relationship, right? Apparently not. It’s just that without the commitment. Isn’t exclusivity a commitment? Apparently not. It’s just dating without the future, but it’s not dating either. In other words, it’s somewhere between friends with benefits and a boyfriend/girlfriend.
I think part of what’s shitty about situationships is that you’re clearly into each other, that you’re exclusive, going on dates, and being cutesy, but it still seems like a competition on who could care less. Texting first is desperate and cringe. Showing interest is repulsive. And God forbid you catch feelings! What does that even mean? Since when was romantic attraction something to be avoided like the Bubonic Plague? Is it contagious?
And what’s up with the exclusivity? If you aren’t dating, isn’t it essentially two people making a no-dating pact? Weird. It feels like both of you know that you’re not each other’s first choices, so you just keep each other as a placeholder until something better comes along. And how dehumanizing is that? Am I not good enough? What makes me less than relationship material? Is it because I’m an airhead? Or the 10 pounds I fluctuate between? Am I too crazy? Too ugly? Not fashionable enough? And if they wanted a quick f*ck, why are we going on dates? Fleshlights are 50 dollars; won’t they get the job done?
You may be thinking, you can choose to be in a situationship or not. But I’d argue that most people don’t voluntarily go into something as ambiguous as a situationship. No one wakes up one day and goes, “How do I do everything in my power to cater to an emotionally unavailable man’s needs?” That shit is dehumanizing. Because pretty enough to have sex with but ultimately disposable and replaceable is the worst spot to be in, and I think that’s kind of what I became. Situationship after situationship with men and women who only view human interaction in a transactional way made me a bitter person. And I’m not the only one — people all over the world post about their frustrations with modern dating.
And that’s when I realized that instead of playing the ‘cool girl’ who didn’t care, I had to be more honest with myself and others. No one in these almost-relationships were bad people. It’s just what they wanted. Do I think that it’s a healthy thing to want? I don’t think so. But that’s up to them. I never had to participate in it, and I should have backed out as soon as the ambiguity started instead of becoming a borderline femcel. Speaking of borderline, my psychiatrist told me I might have that. That might explain this article.
Anyway, situationships are the worst, so we should keep our heads up.