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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UNT chapter.

Navigating College Dating in the age of “Situationships”

When talking about dating, we’ve all heard one of our friends say they’re in a “situationship.” Or you may have found yourself in a weird, emotionally intense, unofficial relationship, and Urban Dictionary told you it’s a “situationship.”

According to Google, a sitautionship is defined as “a romantic or sexual relationship that is not considered to be formal or established.” I feel this definition is a bit too simple to explain this phenomenon. In my opinion, situationships are relationships that two people fall into when one or both of them want all the benefits of a relationship without the “pitfalls” of commitment. It often results in a toxic relationship filled with confusion, arguments, and sometimes jealousy.

Unfortunately, most people can’t tell when a relationship has devolved into a “situationship”. Most just go with the good feelings and sweet nothings without considering the repercussions of it. Especially when you’re young and live in the age of hookup culture, it’s so easy to get into one. Matter of fact, it’s become the norm! I say this as someone who has “been there, done that,” a million times over. After all of these experiences, let me advise you on navigating dating in the age of “situationships.”

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Set Intentions! And ask about theirs!

The biggest mistake I made when starting to date is not setting proper intentions and not asking others their intentions. Sometimes the lack of doing is due to a fear of ruining the vibes or just wanting to take it slow, but it’s best to know if you’re on the same page. Sitautionships, I find, are a result of two people liking each other but having totally different intentions. Someone usually ends up settling or secretly wishing for more. Discuss early on what you want from the connection.

Discuss Exclusivity

Are you exclusive? Do you want to be? It’s something you and your partner need to agree upon. And whatever y’all decide, you and your partner must be completely okay with it. There can’t be room for jealousy. If they want only you and you want to explore, that may cause a riff.

What’s your label

I know so many discourage using a label because “it’s too much pressure” but that in itself is a red flag. Labels allow you both to be on the same page. Even without a label, you’ll find your self labeling it anyway so might as well discuss it and agree on one.

Set Boundaries

It’s totally okay to want something casual, but make sure you’re setting boundaries so it doesn’t go further than that. For example: no dates or no meeting friends/family. Causal situations shouldn’t get relationship benefits. If you want to be in a relationship or date, communicate what you expect of them.

Know when it has gone too far

If those boundaries start to get crossed, sometimes we may not notice because we like them, or we’re just having so much fun. At a point, however, you need to know when the relationship has evolved into something else. As soon as you notice, you should be discussing this with your partner and see if a label change is required. If they do not see issue with being in a grey area, red flag! This could lead to some serious confusion. Stress the importance of being on the same page.

Know when to end it

Sometimes, somethings just don’t work out. If it starts to become toxic or confusing or they’re dodging these serious conversations, it’s time to go!

Never settle! Always choose you!

Fashion Design student at UNT! Louisiana born, Texas raised. Passionate about all things fashion, beauty, and politics.