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Situationship: 5 Signs You’re in a Situationship

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Situationship: 5 Signs You’re in a Situationship

Written by MasterClass                  Last updated: Nov 8, 2022 • 3 min read

A situationship is an undefined romantic relationship between two people. Learn about the pros and cons of this arrangement and some guidelines for getting out of one if you’re unhappy.


What Is a Situationship?

A situationship is an uncommitted, undefined romantic relationship between two people—meaning that those in this type of relationship have not established what they are to each other. While it may share some similarities with a friends-with-benefits relationship, the two terms do not mean the same thing. A friends-with-benefits relationship is when friends engage in casual sex without taking on the commitment aspect of a relationship. A situationship, on the other hand, lacks a formal label. A situationship can be temporary (like if you just started going on a few dates with someone and it’s too early to place labels on the relationship), or it can sum up the entire relationship.


5 Signs You’re in a Situationship

There are several telltale signs that you might be in a situationship, including:

1. You deal with inconsistent behavior. Inconsistency is a common trait of situationships. You don’t know when you’ll see or hear from each other next.

2. You don’t use labels. Situationships lack definition by nature, so you and your partner likely haven’t sat down to discuss whether you want to be in a serious relationship.

3. You have no long-term plans. There is not much progression in situationships, so you may not talk about the future often or at all.

4. You haven’t made it exclusive. Since you haven’t defined the relationship, you and the other person involved might be seeing other people.

5. You lack an emotional connection. In a situationship, you likely don’t have deep discussions. Instead, you may have a more physical- or surface-level connection than an emotional one.

Pros of Being in a Situationship

Being in a situationship isn’t necessarily bad; it all comes down to personal preference and what a healthy relationship means for you in your current stage of life. Pros of this arrangement include:

  • You can see other people. If you want to see other people, you have the option.
  • You have independence. Since you aren’t in a serious relationship, you only have your own wants, needs, and schedule to consider.
  • You have no commitment. You can have fun with the other person, enjoy their company, and be intimate with no-strings-attached.

Cons of Being in a Situationship

Situationships come with a few cons, including:

  • You could end up heartbroken. If you develop feelings in a situationship and the other person doesn’t, it can lead to conflict and heartbreak.
  • You deal with ambiguity. Situationships may leave you feeling like you’re in limbo, questioning your relationship status, which is unsettling for some.
  • You lack stability. Since you aren’t in a committed relationship, the other person is not a consistent source of support, and you likely don’t make regular plans with them.

How to Get Out of a Situationship

If you find yourself in a situationship when you don’t want to be, follow these steps to get out of it:

1. Evaluate your situation. The first step to getting out of a situationship is to understand whether you’re actually in one. You may simply be in the early stages of a new relationship that only requires you to communicate with your partner what you want.

2. Understand why you’re unhappy. If you feel your relationship isn’t progressing the way you want, consider why you’re unhappy. For example, if you have a purely physical situationship, perhaps you want to look for something deeper in the future. Outlining exactly why the situation does not serve you will help you avoid it moving forward.

3. Decide what you want. Determine whether you want to be in a real relationship with the other person and whether you want to date them exclusively. Decide what outcome you want and why, so you can communicate that to your partner.

4. Communicate with the other person. Tell them what you want and how they can meet your needs. Be open and honest with them, and hear what they have to say in response.

5. Move forward. If you end the situationship, move forward confidently and think about how to avoid a similar situation. Now that you understand your needs, you’ll be able to communicate them upfront to potential partners.

6. Talk with a relationship expert. If you find yourself in a pattern of undefined romantic relationships that negatively impact your mental health, consider speaking with an expert or a relationship coach to help you break the cycle.



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