Are you sleeping together, but not together together?
In the ever-evolving landscape of modern dating, a term has emerged that pretty much perfectly captures the complexities and nuances of being in a ‘not-quite-relationship’. Enter the ‘situationship’ – a word that reflects the blurred lines and undefined parameters that have become omnipresent in modern dating. But what exactly defines a situationship? Why is it becoming more prevalent? And how do we navigate one? Let’s explore together (but not too together).
Defining a situationship
A situationship differs from a traditional relationship in that it is usually a somewhat romantic connection, but without clear definitions, labels, or commitment. It's a liminal grey area where two people are more than friends, but less than an official couple. While situationships may involve emotional intimacy and physical affection, they generally lack any official titles or commitments that come with relationships. You likely won’t have to meet any family members, for example.
Why are situationships on the up?
There are so many reasons we are opting for situationships at the moment over committed partnerships. One reason could be as simple as - well, we can. We are constantly growing, evolving our ideologies around everything to do with dating. Why not experiment with a less serious, less structured, less monogamous version of traditional dating?
Full blown relationships for some can be taxing and terrifying, so a situationship can be perfect for busy people or those with fear of commitment; emotional and/or sexual connection without the red tape. The convenience of dating apps has also made it so easy to meet people, creating an almost overwhelming amount of dating options. Rather than being paralysed by indecision, a situationship’s ‘no commitment’ philosophy can give you the foundation to enjoy the best bits of dating someone, and the freedom to ethically explore outside that relationship.
Navigating the situationship
It’s easy to enjoy the hedonistic perks of situationships, but critical to remember that you’re still dealing with another human being with feelings. All relationships, irrespective of commitment, require and deserve communication and transparency. Discussing your expectations, boundaries and goals for the dynamic is a great place to start.
It’s good practice to have regular check-ins with your situationship to make sure you stay on the same page. Feelings can - and often do - change, and discussing them openly in real time is crucial to keeping a good thing nice and healthy.
Remember that all good things must come to an end. Situationships are one of the harder dynamics to maintain long-term; they tend to ultimately go one way or another. And that’s okay! If one person starts to develop stronger feelings than the other, or the arrangement is starting to cause more harm than good, it might be a sign to reevaluate the Ts and Cs of your arrangement, or consider parting ways with respect and kindness.