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Wellness > Sex + Relationships

Navigating Situationships in College: Figuring Out the “What Are We?” Zone

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Queen's U chapter.

It’s time to dive into the complicated realm of situationships. If you’ve never been in one yourself, I’m sure you’ve heard the term being thrown around by your friends. You know that confusing time when you’re not quite dating but you’re clearly more than friends? This article is intended for dealing with this love dilemma. We’ll go through how to spot warning signs, what to expect, and how to deal with emotional ups and downs. Prepare to be given some straightforward advice about setting boundaries, taking care of yourself, and finding a way out in midst of all this confusing chaos.  

What the Heck are Situationships Anyway?

If you’ve found yourself stuck in a situationship, don’t worry, you’re not alone. Situationships occur when you hang out with someone a lot without really knowing where it’s all going. It’s as if you’re stuck in a grey zone of ambiguous relationships. You’re basically walking the dangerous waters between friendship and romance. It’s like trying to follow a path through thick fog; you can’t see where it’s going, and it may be scary. There might be chemistry, affection, and emotional ties in a situationship, but the formal labels and direction of the relationship are unknown. It’s not quite casual dating, but it’s also not a committed relationship. As a result, it’s critical to understand what you’re entering into and how to handle it.

SPOTTInG the signs

How can you tell if you’re in a situationship? If you look closely, the indications are quite evident. Is your interaction disjointed? You may be texting one day and then be completely quiet the next. It’s as if there’s a subconscious agreement to keep things under wraps. Do you keep the affection low-key in public? Do you avoid public demonstrations of affection, when you do the complete opposite in private. Is it lacking a label and plans for the future? It’s as if the future is a huge question mark, and you’re both avoiding discussing it.

Recognizing these signs is crucial because it helps you understand what you’re dealing with. It allows you to see whether you’re both on the same page or if one of you is hoping for something more while the other is content with the current status.

Let’s Talk Expectations:

Alright, it’s time for some real talk. Communication is your secret weapon in situationships. Get those expectations out in the open. Sit down with your partner and have an honest conversation about what you both want and where you see things going. This might lead to some tough decisions, like whether to take things to the next level and define the relationship or whether it’s time to cut ties if you’re not on the same page. It’s always better to have these discussions sooner rather than later.

They might be intimidating, yet they are essential for clarity. Knowing where you both stand allows you to make informed choices regarding the future of the two of you. Having those expectations on the surface can help you manage your situationship more effectively.

Buckle Up for the Emotional Ride:

Situationships can mess with your emotions big time. You might find yourself on a roller coaster of feelings—uncertainty about where you stand, moments of jealousy when you see your situationship with someone else, and the constant worry about getting hurt. It’s crucial to be self-aware and proactive in taking care of yourself.

Prioritize your well-being above all else. Don’t let the situationship consume you. Take time for self-care, whether it’s through mindfulness exercises, pursuing your own hobbies and interests, or simply having some “me time” to recharge. Lean on your friends for support; they can provide valuable insights and a shoulder to lean on when things get tough. Maintaining a strong social network can help keep your sanity intact as you navigate the complex emotional terrain of a situationship.

Seeking Clarity and Moving Forward:

Finding clarity in a situationship might initially seem like searching for a needle in a haystack, but don’t lose hope. Take a moment to reflect on what you truly want from the situation, and make sure you consider your long-term goals and aspirations as you’re doing this.

If the situationship isn’t aligning with your relationship goals, it might be time to move on and seek something more fulfilling. Trust your instincts. If something doesn’t feel right or isn’t making you happy, it’s okay to explore other options. On the flip side, if both you and your partner are feeling a deep connection and desire for more, you might decide to take the plunge into a committed relationship. Follow what feels right for you and your heart.

Remember, situationships can be a valuable learning experience. They can teach you about your own desires and boundaries in relationships but they can also be hurtful if you’re not careful. It’s all a part of the journey towards finding the kind of connection that truly fulfils you.

College relationships are often a tornado of misunderstanding and emotion. But don’t worry… you can get out of this situation by recognizing the warning signals, having the required conversations, dealing with your emotions, setting some boundaries, and watching out for yourself. Alway ensure that you stay loyal to yourself, make decisions that make you happy and allow you to grow, and remember that you are not alone in this wild world of love uncertainty.

Laura Pesce

Queen's U '24

Hello there! I'm excited to be part of the Her Campus team as a writer. Currently, I'm a fourth-year poli-sci student at Queen's University, which means I'm quite immersed in the world of politics and its various aspects. However, I enjoy balancing my life with other activities. Whether it's hiking through challenging trails, skiing down slopes, or simply getting lost in a good book, I find these experiences essential for a well-rounded life.