It is important to understand the situationship psychology because relationships have evolved and are getting more complicated by the day. Gone are those days when people would get to know each other first, then date then enter into a courtship then get married, and only then do they engage in sexual activities.
Now relationships happen in reverse. You might sleep with a guy, meet up often, and stay together but not be in a relationship. Or you hook up first, get to know each other along the way, and only make the relationship official months later.
Situationships are common. According to stats in Glamour, 34% of the people have defined themselves as having been in a situationship.
Table of Contents
- Situationship meaning
- Situationship Psychology
- Situationship red flags
- Why do guys get into Situationships?
- What happens in a Situationship?
- Are Situationships toxic?
- What causes Situationships?
- Types of situationships
- How to deal with a situationship?
- How to get over a situationship
A situationship has qualities of a normal relationship, but the partners don’t define the relationship. It is also not a casual relationship or a fling or a hookup, because it can be long-term in nature. It is also not a friend with benefits, because the boundaries in a situationship are less clear.
Why would a normal person choose a situationship over a relationship? So here is the situationship psychology.
Sometimes you do not choose to be in a situationship, a situationship relationship just finds you.
Maybe you met someone who likes and you meet up and one thing leads to another. And you become so used to having them in your life and talking often. But you feel like if you can define the relationship, you will jinx it.
The problem with situationships is that you have two people who are not being honest with each other. The guy might like a situationship because it means no commitment. While the woman acts like she’s cool with the arrangement, but deep down she is hoping for more.
So as time goes on, when her expectations are not being met she becomes frustrated but continues to stay in such a relationship because she is blinded by love.
Some choose a situationship because they want the perks of a relationship, but don’t want to feel like someone owns them.
Some are not comfortable with hookups and a situationship satisfies their sexual urges without feeling like they are just being used.
But what we seem to forget is that we are humans, there are feelings involved and intentions can change as time goes by. One of the parties might catch feelings and complicates the situationship further.
And even when expectations are not being met, it might not be easy to end a situationship. One will miss the illusion of a relationship when they try to come out of a situationship.
Situationship red flags
1. You haven’t defined the relationship
Signs you are in a situationship and not a relationship is when you have not defined the relationship. You haven’t had the talk about whether you are an item or not.
Even if you ask your partner to define the relationship, it is a topic that they are not interested in entertaining. They might even just laugh, change the topic or ask you why you want to ruin a good thing because labels have a tendency of ruining a good thing relationship.
2. There is no consistency
If there is no consistency in meeting up and communicating, it is a situationship red flag.
If it is normal for you to spend an entire week without texting or calling each other, even when you are not mad at each other, then what you have is a situationship. Normal couples who are in a relationship communicate often and even meet on a regular basis.
3. Your partner is available at his terms
Situationships can often be one-sided. When you want to see your partner or want to spend time with them, they might not be available for you.
But when they want to see you, you always avail yourself because you never know when they will be available for you again.
You want to be careful if you are in this type of relationship because it can be a situationship red flag.
4. They have said they don’t want anything serious
If your partner has already said that they are not looking for anything serious, but you still continue to act like you are dating, then what you have is a situationship.
Even if you can be sleeping together and doing activities that normal couples do, know that it is not a relationship until he changes and tells you that he is serious about the relationship and wants you to be his girlfriend.
Read more: Signs he wants you to be his girlfriend soon.
5. There is no talk about the future
If your partner does not talk about the future that includes you, he does not even talk of the things that you should do months from now, it is a situationship red flag. When a guy says things like “we should” in his future plans it is a sign he is serious about you.
6. There is an expectation of exclusivity yet no official commitment
If it seems like your partner expects you to be exclusive, yet they are still dating other people and they have not defined your relationship, it is a situationship red flag.
7. You don’t meet their friends
When you are in a relationship for months, as a minimum you should meet their friends, and as time goes you meet their family members.
But if you have been together for a couple of months and still have not met their friends, it is a situationship red flag. It means they are not into you or there is an official girlfriend that they have already introduced to their friends.
8. There are no planned dates
If you never officially go out on dates, you only meet at your place or his place, it can be a sign you’re in a situationship.
Normal couples plan their dates and even meet in different types of settings. If you feel like you have minimal say or when you suggest that you should do something special, your person always brushes you off or says next time, it is a situationship red flag.
9. They don’t do anything for you on special days
If you are dating at the time of your birthday and they don’t even do anything special for you and they don’t seem to be bothered by it, it’s a sign of a situationship. In a relationship, your boyfriend should give you a gift or take you out on your birthday, even if you’ve only been dating for two months.
10. You can’t have deep conversations
If it feels like you can’t really have deep conversations with them, you can’t really be vulnerable around them and they can’t be vulnerable around you, then you’re in a situationship.
11. The woman made the first move
If you made the first move as a woman and you are assuming that you are a couple because he has agreed to sleep with you, that is a situationship red flag.
Guys love it when women throw themselves at them, it makes their job easier because to them you are just a hookup buddy who will always be available when they need servicing.
Why do guys get into Situationships?
1. To meet their sexual urges
The main reason why guys get into situationships is for $ex. They want to be able to sleep with a woman at anytime without chasing or impressing her.
They know that with a situationship, $ex is just a phone call away. But women are also smart, if a guy says straight up that he just wants to hookup, the woman will refuse. So situationships make it easier for men to cheat without having to put in much effort.
2. They want freedom
Most women, once you define the relationship, they start to control the guy and guys love their freedom. So guys prefer not to bind themselves to a relationship so that they can be free to do whatever, with whomever.
3. Relationships are too demanding
Relationships often come with expectations. A guy is expected to spend on a woman, expected to be faithful, spend quality time together, meet often, and even report movements. But in a situationship, there are no expectations, everything is free-flowing.
What happens in a Situationship?
Everything that happens in a relationship can also happen in a situationship besides that there is no DTR (defining the relationship). So the couple communicates, meets up, kiss, sleep together, and even does other activities together. Some even fall pregnant in a situationship, but the guy will still not commit.
Are Situationships toxic?
Being subjected to a situationship, while you were hoping for a relationship can become toxic for these reasons:
1. It keeps you from meeting the right person
The problem with a situationship is that it keeps you from being with someone who will truly love you, and not someone who will just be with you for their convenience.
2. It affects your self esteem
Being in a situationship can be damaging to your self-esteem because you give someone the power to treat you however while your own relationship expectations are not being met. You allow yourself to settle for less just so you do not feel like you are single.
3. It becomes manipulative
Even if you can see that your partner is dating other people or they are not treating you right, your partner might just say we are not in a relationship, so you cannot dictate what they can and cannot do. So in a way, it is verbally and emotionally abusive and gets worse with time.
Read more: 15 signs of an unhealthy relationship
What causes Situationships?
1. Fear of loneliness
If one has been single for a while and there is someone showing interest in them, they might settle for a situationship because they are tired of feeling lonely.
2. Recent breakup
Some breakups or divorces can cause people to settle for situationships. They don’t want something serious but want someone to hang out with and take care of their sexual needs. And maybe they might even be treating it as a rebound relationship.
3. The need to cheat
Some guys just love to cheat, so they pursue situationships, just so it can be easy for them to get sexual pleasure.
4. Dating unavailable men
Dating someone who is unavailable like a married man causes situationships because the married man cannot fully commit since he is already committed to his wife. So both or one of the parties opts for a situationship.
Types of situationships
1. Codependent situationship
When one is in a codependent situationship, it means that they are with their partner most of the time. People even think that what they have is a normal relationship. But the relationship has not been defined, it is free-flowing. They might even have moved into the guy’s place, but there is still no DTR.
2. Casual situationship
This is simar to a casual relationship, the partners don’t meet up or talk often, but when they do, it is mostly sexual.
3. Open situationship
Open situationships are similar to an open relationship. They are both free to date other people but the relationship is still not defined.
4. Long distance situationship
This is similar to a long-distance relationship, the partners are miles apart and sometimes visit each other, but the relationship still does not have a label.
How to deal with a situationship?
If you have noticed that you are in a situationship relationship, yet you were hoping for more, this is what you have to do:
1. What do you want from a partner
Ask yourself what you want from your partner? What are your expectations in a relationship?
- Do you want commitment or you only want someone to be intimate with when he is available for you?
- Do you want a normal relationship and be able to safely say you are dating, even post it on social media, introduce them to your close circle and be his or her number one or you just want a sexual partner?
- Do you want to feel loved or you just want to occasionally feel like you are in a relationship?
2. Visualise the future
A year or two from now, what would have changed, and what are you hoping to achieve? Do you think your situationship is aligned with your long-term plans?
If your partner gets married to someone else and still wants to continue with the situationship, will you still be fine with it? Are you fine with being someone’s side forever? What if they choose to ignore you or end the situationship?
3. Ask him what his intentions with are
If you want to deal with a situationship it is important to have the talk. Ask him what his intentions are with you. Where the relationship is going and when he plans on making it official.
He might try to brush you off or get angry, but don’t fall for his diversion tactics. If he can’t give you a straight answer, it is a sign he will never make you his girlfriend.
4. Tell him what your expectations are
After asking him, tell him what you want in a relationship. Tell him that you do not want a situationship but an exclusive relationship.
5. Ask if your expectations will be met and when
Ask him if he will be able to meet your expectations and for him to give you a date so that you know how long you should wait.
6. Take a break
Tell him that you think it is best if you take a break while he thinks about the future of the relationship.
During this time, please cut off all communication and activities until he comes to you with a positive response.
7. Move on
If he still cannot commit to you, please read these tips on how to move on from someone you love.
How to get over a situationship
Not happy about your situationship and want to break free?
1. What advice would you give to someone in a situationship?
If you had a child or a sibling who was in a situationship, what advice would you give to them?
2. Make the decision to move on
Decide that you want to break free from this cycle of situationship and there is nothing and no one that can change your mind.
3. Tell your partner it’s over
If your expectations are not being met, tell your partner that you want out of the situationship.
4. Break all contact
There will be plenty of days when you wish you can text, call, or meet with them. If there is really nothing that attaches you to them you will have to stop all forms of communication with them. Do not send them any texts, whether good or bad, just disappear from their radar.
If your ex keeps on bothering you, tell them politely not to contact you, but if they continue, it is best to block them.
Being in contact with a person that you are trying to let go of creates false hope that the relationship can still work. Avoid being friends with them until you have healed and have zero expectations of a relationship.
5. Delete their contacts
You will have to delete their contacts from your phonebook, and also delete them from your social media accounts. If you memorised their contacts you can think deleting is useless, but the brain will eventually forget if you don’t dial or see the number.
I can also attest to this because I have forgotten phone numbers that I thought I would never forget and I achieved this because I have not called them in a very long time.
6. Stop fantasizing about the future
What makes breakups difficult is the memory of what could have been, which is mainly based on the lies created by the brain. The brain creates an image of a happy family or couple goals, whilst during the life of the relationship, the good days were countable. Accept that this person is your ex for a reason.
7. Commit to yourself
When you are in a relationship it can be easy to lose focus. Women especially, let go of the things and people that mattered to them. But breakups are a great way to find yourself again. Use this time to self-reflect, commit to a hobby, upgrade your studies, write a book or a song or even start a blog that makes money.
This is the time to invest in yourself and do all the things you have always wanted to do. You can also reinvent your image and rekindle those relationships with friends and family that you had neglected.
Work on becoming that great person that you will be proud of, your kids will be proud to have as a mom or dad or the nation will be proud of.
8. Know that there is still someone out there for you
The saying that there is plenty of fish in the sea is true, but it definitely won’t be the same fish as the one you caught the last time. Also, note that in life there is not only one person for you.
Have a fresh perspective when you feel ready to get back into the dating game. And this time around please don’t settle for a situationship, communicate your expectations earlier on.
Situationship vs friends with benefits
The expectation in friends with benefits is clear, they both know that it is a hookup arrangement. But in a situationship nothing is clear, it is often confused for a real relationship by one of the parties.
How long do situationships last?
Situations can even last for months until the party who feels like their expectations are not being met decides to end it. Some people don’t mind keeping the situationship alive for years, even if they happen to get married to someone else because it means they can cheat easily with you.