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How To: Understand Situationships

Seeking to understand Situationships? Then this is the column for you. This piece explores the purpose and value of situationships and the effects they have on their very vulnerable victims.

Step 1 – Understand what a situationship is.

The dreaded term ‘situationship’ is rife in our dating generation, but what does it actually mean to be in one? That was a rhetorical question, as I’m here to explain it to you. A situationship occurs when two people are associated with each other; mentally, physically, sexually and everything in between, but are not exclusively in a relationship, despite having the exact same characteristics. Each person’s ‘situationship’ will be different, I know of situationships that have booked holidays, met family, exclusively dated only each other, but still fail to attach that label of ‘in a relationship’ (trust me, I can relate to this one). On the other hand, there’s situationships that resemble ‘friends with benefits’, random texts and nights together that stir up feelings of some sort and that result in attachment. Both of which are fine, and completely normal, however it is important to understand what you are getting yourself into. It is important that you recognise the difference between a situationship and toxic attachment.

Step 2 – Understand why they are common.

Situationships are common in our generation because they challenge the conventional properties of a relationship. They consist of all the fun parts and avoid all the difficult parts, it is seen as the perfect balance of commitment and freedom. Another obvious reason is that it is so common nowadays for people to go through break ups and divorce, it is understandable that this embeds negative emotions into people and their association with relationships. The list is endless as to why situationships are common and that’s because everyone is different, but I personally think that there are 5 main reasons that situationships occur so frequently: 1. Fear 2. Doubt 3. Selfishness 4. Insecurity 5. Past Experiences

Step 3 – Understand how long is too long.

So, how long is too long? There comes a time in every situationship where you need to decide when enough is enough. Whether you are unhappy with the lack of progression, or you feel like the situation isn’t benefitting you anymore, there has to be an end. This end could be an end of the situationship and the start of a relationship (I’m living proof it CAN happen and be successful) or you can purely just decide that moving on is what is best and you let go of the uncertainty. If there is no progression after the one-year mark (maximum!) then there probably never will be, in which case you’re hanging around aimlessly just waiting to be let down. I know what you’re thinking, one whole year?! And whilst it does seem like a very long time, when you’re invested in someone and emotions are involved, it really does fly by (especially if the situationship is on and off). This is when you have to weigh up your logical brain and your emotional brain and either stick around or say adios.

Step 4 – Understand your feelings.

Being in a situationship can make it hard to navigate and validate your feelings, especially if one person feels more strongly than the other and if both parties don’t communicate properly, it can become very toxic very quickly. It is so easy to get confused when it comes to the differentiation between love and lust, what you think you might want at the time, doesn’t always correlate to what you need in the future. We all love a good romance; however romanticizing toxicity is not the same. Boundaries are not a sign of weakness, they’re a sign of strength and self-respect. Everyone deserves to be understood, respected and appreciated; don’t settle for less!

Words By Evie Trodden


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