What is a situationship?
Well it’s a grey area… you are not quite single, not quite dating, not in a partnership, yet it is more than just a friendship… It’s just a ‘situation’ that develops between two people.
Does that add confusion – yes of course it does! It is an almost relationship, with relationship benefits, yet none of the mutual love, respect and commitment.
Sometimes a situationship is mutually benefitial, born from convenience, but usually if we look deeper, one or both of the parties have fears around commitment, or don’t feel they are worthy of having what they really want, so they settle for less.
I found myself in a similar position during a busy period of my life, running one business, launching a second, studying part time, parenting… I was dating when I really didn’t have the time or energy for it. As luck would have it, I met someone that was just as busy as myself – yet it is never about luck is it… as we generally attract what we are. I was busy, he was busier. I was lacking clarity at the time on what I was looking for in a partner, mostly because I wasn’t really looking for one.
I was hoping that the relationship would gradually build, but after the excitement of the initial first few dates, it was just not progressing as a relationship should. In fact it barely changed status at all in 10 or so weeks of seeing each other. When I suggested we take outings together, have Saturday night dates, or meet each other’s friends, the subjects were side stepped. Text messages took abnormally long periods of time to respond to.
When I tried to dig deep and find out more about who he was, questions were left unanswered, and there was a distinct lack of ability to discuss feelings… even though I was enjoying the time we were spending together, it started to become apparent that I had fallen into a situationship.
After removing myself from that situation, I made the decision to take time out to focus on myself and to not put myself back out there, until I was clear on what I wanted and I could make space in my life, to receive that.
So what does a situationship look like?
It is not dissimilar to a friends with benefit scenario, except in the case of FWB, there is usually a mutual agreement, and a definition of what is. If you find you have been seeing someone for several months and you are not talking about your relationship, there are no titles within your relationship or you are questioning what it is… you are most likely not in a relationship, hence where the situationship comes into play.
It may feel like you have someone to spend time with and sleep with, yet it doesn’t have the commitment of a fulfilling, loving relationship. Perhaps you have a great texting relationship, and while it may be comforting to have someone to send nice messages to, it really is just a false sense of security.
How do you know if you are in one?
There may be talk of just ‘seeing where it goes’ when asking what this is. It can feel inconsistent, up and down and most likely you don’t know where you stand. Conversations stay mostly in the present, there is not a lot of getting to know you type questions, asking about your family or what you were like as a child. It’s not deep, they don’t open up a lot about their life or have the ability to really want to connect soulfully. There is no future talk of places to go and things to experience together, often there are no suggestions of meeting family or friends. There is a lack of wanting to show you off, and no sharing of photos together on social media. You may also find yourself spending a lot of Saturday nights alone – you are not a priority.
Sometimes both people involved are happy with the status quo, but usually it is a lack of commitment on one side, yet you stay hoping it will develop into something more. Often one person develops feelings for and becomes attached to the other, then heart ache can arise when realising there is no possibility of a real committed relationship.
Don’t get me wrong, there will be feelings on some level, after all, they like you enough to spend time with you and share a bed with you, they are just not loving or committing to you. The connection may be alive physically, but lacking emotionally or mentally. Sometimes it may just be a boost to their ego, to be involved with someone like you.
Why do you stay?
You can become scared to let go of the little connection you have in a situationship, if it ends, you have no one. Deep down you may feel you are unworthy of finding just what you want, and don’t fully trust and believe that you can have healthy love and real connection. You might hold fears of going deep, opening up, allowing yourself to be vulnerable and really being seen by another, so you settle for surface level interactions.
Situationships hold you back from happiness, as you are not able to attract the relationship you really want, while your energy is focused on this situation. You are basically not emotionally or energetically ‘available’ to find love with another, and it is sending a message to the universe that this is what you accept for yourself.
Where to from here?
A relationship should add value to your life, not take away from it. If you are spending more time worrying or stressed about what is or isn’t happening, this situation is not adding value to your life…. it is taking away from your self esteem and your inner security.
A good starting point is to be super clear on what you do want for yourself, when you know what it is you are looking for, you know what to accept. It is also easier to stay within you boundaries, when you have clarity on the type of relationship that you seek. Remember that what you allow will continue and it is up to you, to choose what is best for you.
In any new experience asking the other person, what their intentions are, will soon show you where you stand. It shows confidence to be able to state what you are looking for, and you are then able to check to see if it is congruent with what they are wanting.
When he (or she) is choosing you, you will know. There will be a level of consistency, you feel like a priority, dates are planned, contact is often, feelings grow, friends and family are met, future activities are spoken about. It is just the natural progression of a committed relationship.
Remember, you deserve to be the main meal, not the side dish…
Ps. Reach out and chat, if you feel you need help in this department. I can help you to become clear on what you do want, take action to make it happen and build your confidence in the process!