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Culture > Entertainment

Is New ‘Bridgerton’ Season About A Situationship?

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 UCF chapter.

Dearest Gentle Reader, part one of ‘Bridgerton’ season three drops on Netflix on May 16th. Before it comes out, here’s a recap of the relationship between our two characters sharing the spotlight this time around, and why I’d call them a Regency-era situationship. So queue up “Best Friend’s Brother” by Victoria Justice, and get ready to dive into a lot of stolen glances, stumbling over words, and miscommunication. If you need a refresher on where these tentative lovebirds stand, check out our recap of seasons one and two.

Disclaimer: spoilers below for seasons one and two of ‘bridgerton

“Bridgerton” Season Three Official Clip, Netflix

friends to lovers? more like situationship to official

Lady Whistledown herself is our focus this season, and based on the trailers, we’re in for quite the ride. Since season one, it has been made very clear to the audience that Penelope’s interest in Colin is either not reciprocated, not noticed, or ignored…pretty brutal if you ask me. Our girl was going through it in the first two seasons, so much so that there are edits and compilations of her being ignored by her one and only, Colin Bridgerton. As comical as Colin’s obliviousness is, it does hurt to see another girl suffer the brunt of an actively failing situationship for 16 episodes.

Penelope Featherington Being Ignored by Colin Bridgerton for Two Seasons Straight, YouTube

“you miss me but you’d never court me. is that correct?”

Situationships are often referred to as sexual relationships without a formal commitment but, they’re also defined as “a relationship that is more than friendship but less than a committed relationship,” which is almost exactly how Luke Newton, who plays Colin in the series, describes it. In an interview with Bustle Magazine, Newton said “There’s always been that romance between them, mainly from Penelope’s feelings. It’s gone over Colin’s head. When I was anticipating how the show would be written, I thought, Is it going to be platonic, and then suddenly they’re together?” At the end of season two, and in the teasers for season three, Colin seems to want Penelope around but makes it clear that he’s not interested in anything official. Regardless of whether you think Colin was or was not aware, this relationship is hitting the qualifications for a situationship. Here’s what Women’s Health says are qualities of situationships, and how “Polin” fits the mold.

There’s no natural evolution or growth

Even though this season hasn’t come out yet, based on how the book series progresses and interviews with the cast, it’s looking like these two lock it down. Their relationship progresses extremely fast, especially considering Colin’s heart-shattering comment that he, “would never dream of courting Penelope Featherington,” soon after telling her that he knows she will always care about him.

There’s someone else (or multiple others) involved

I’m looking at you, Marina Thompson. Even though she did nothing wrong, Marina’s presence in Penelope and Colin’s relationship caused a lot of drama in season one. Colin was so interested in Marina towards the beginning of the season that he abandoned Penelope multiple times, causing a rift between him and Penelope, and Penelope and Marina. Marina tried to get Penelope and Colin together later in the series, but his obliviousness won the battle once again. In response to “if you would simply open your eyes as to what is in front of you. Then you might see that there are those in your life that you already make happy.” Colin says, “And who would that be,” before seeming completely shocked that she suggests Penelope.

More on Marina’s plotline in What Happened to Marina Thompson in ‘Bridgerton’

You only make short-term or last-minute plans

This one’s a little harder to bring into the Bridgerton universe, but illustrates the question we’re all asking: do they ever have formal plans? The audience is never fully sure what these two are doing off-screen, but I doubt its taking on the “ton” with their weekly lunch date. Colin’s seemingly constant international travel was an interesting move for his character, but there’s nothing like your desired love interest bailing to another country before cell phones and social media. As much as this benefited him, it has increased the miscommunication between these two, especially with the trailers and clips confirming that Penelope’s still upset about his commentary from last season.

There’s no consistency

Colin Bridgerton, who in season one, was bending over backward for Marina Thompson while also being Penelope’s “best friend,” is now concerned with why Penelope isn’t talking to him, as of the season three teaser. He keeps jumping back and forth between wanting to talk to her and trading her out for other friends. This could be written up as normal scatterbrained friend behavior, but this seems like peak situationship.

You’re getting anxious

No expectations and no commitment doesn’t mean no anxiety. Relationship expert Abby Medcalf says “You know you’re in a situationship when you feel anxious because there’s uncertainty, ambiguity, and ambivalence.” Penelope seems chronically worked up over Colin, especially in the earlier episodes. This season is switching up this dynamic, and in the clips we have on the new season so far, it looks like Colin will be the one worked up over Penelope. The anxiety surrounding this relationship is something they can hopefully shake once they have a conversation explicitly stating their feelings for each other.

Also, in the clips we have, it doesn’t look like Eloise is very supportive of this match either, adding another layer to the stress on these two. Imagine disappointing your sister and your best friend at the same time while also trying to marry your best friend: yikes.


The room has become rather tense, has it not?

♬ original sound – Bridgerton – Bridgerton
Bridgerton Netflix via TikTok

By now, it’s pretty clear that these two are sitting in situationship territory. Sadly, we have to wait until part two releases on June 13th to see if these two actually make it out onscreen. For those of you that resonate with this relationship, best of luck to all the Penelopes hoping their Colins will pull it together this season, and always remember, even wallflowers can bloom.

Emma is a writer for Her Campus UCF. She is a junior at the University of Central Florida studying Writing and Rhetoric and Political Science. She is passionate about social justice issues, the impact of interpersonal relationships, film, and the star of the show: themed playlists. You can probably find her with a good outfit having a good time, reading, or at a hockey game.