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Sex + Relationships

Let’s Talk About Situationships

Have you ever been involved with someone where your “situation” has encompassed everything that a relationship does but is not quite a relationship? You and this person are more than friends, but you are also not officially dating them. Maybe you guys spend every second of every day together, you have lowkey developed feelings for them, or you might even be intimate with them, however, you guys have yet to define the relationship or DTR. You might just be in a situationship. 

Urban Dictionary’s top definition of the term “situationship” is, “Let’s just chill, have sex, and be confused about the fact that we are not together but have official emotions for each other”. This definition rings true for so many of us, especially while dating in college. I have experienced pseudo-relationships similar to this without even knowing what it was. It is a weird gray area between feeling like you guys are dating but not dating that makes situationships so confusing. If you feel like you might be in a situationship but are not quite sure, I want to give you guys some tell-tale signs of a situationship and how you can navigate them.

couple embracing outdoors
Justin Follis | Unsplash

There’s No Title

The number one, tell-tale sign of a situationship is the absence of a label. Say you have been seeing someone consistently for a few months and you guys talk, spend time together, or hook-up regularly but you have not discussed what you guys are. Asking the age-old question of “what are we?” can be terrifying. People often think that if they just stick it out, it will somehow change later down the line when in reality that rarely happens.

You Regularly Have Sleepovers But Never Go Out

There is something about staying the night after hanging out or having sex that makes things feel like they are more than they are. If staying the night becomes a regular thing, it can be especially confusing. You might even leave a toothbrush at their place and feel like you have moved in. Your relationship is comfortable – a little too comfortable, but still not comfortable enough to go out in public.

Often people in pseudo-relationships will avoid going out on dates or just doing casual things in public because it gives the impression that there is something more or serious between them. Staying home and keeping it casual is usually the agenda for situationships.

You Haven’t Met Each Other’s Friends

Your friends know all about this person you are spending so much time with, but none of them have met them. They viewed the juicy messages between you two, or have maybe even given you advice about them, but no one other than yourself knows who they are. Likewise, you never met their friends either. Maybe their friends have come up in conversation, but you’ve never been formally introduced to them. You might not know the types of people they surround themselves with.

Introducing someone to your friends can be a major step in any relationship. Your friends are the people you share similar interests with and hang out with day in and day out, so introducing someone to your friends is a big thing. Situationships often avoid this in fear of making the relationship official.

You’re Kind of Exclusive

What sets situationships apart from friends with benefits is that there is an understanding that there is more to it than just hooking-up. In friends with benefits, both partners know the basis of their platonic relationship is just sex; nothing more, nothing less. You are not tied to each other and it is cool for you to see other people while you are hooking up with that person.

In a situationship, there is no clear, distinct line between you two. You both kind of have feelings for each other and neither of you is seeing anyone else. You are well aware of how confusing your circumstances are and that there should be some kind of label on it, but for some reason, neither of you want to initiate that “what are we” conversation that could ruin what you guys have. Nevertheless, having that conversation is important. You don’t want to be stuck in that cloud of confusion forever.

Everything boils down to communication as it is key when dating. In cases where you sense yourself catching feelings or know you will, putting your intentions out on the table early on is important. You want to say what you mean and mean what you say so that there is no confusion. Labeling a relationship, whatever that label may be, will help guide your head and heart so that you do not find yourself in a situationship. So, be brave and break the ice so that you can have a clear, distinct understanding of what you and your partner are.

Krystal Draidfort

West Chester '20

Krystal is a senior at West Chester University majoring in Communications Studies and minoring in Nutrition and Dietetics. If you can't find her at the gym or hanging with friends, you can find her listening to her favorite podcasts or binge-watching her favorite lifestyle Youtuber's. Post-grad, her goal for the future is to obtain a job in digital marketing or public relations.
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