Let’s talk about situationships. For anyone who doesn’t know, usually, a situationship is a relationship between people who are basically in a relationship with each other but there is no official title placed and it requires little to no commitment. So basically you are more than just friends but you haven’t established the relationship. A situationship can be different depending on the people involved and the rules established by both sides.
For the most part, situationships don’t usually end well. From my own experiences and from what I’ve witnessed from my friends, someone in the relationship always benefits more than the other. Someone also tends to get hurt more than the other.
There are a number of reasons why people choose to be in a situationship. Commitment issues, abandonment issues, self-esteem issues, or the simple fact that they do not want to be “tied down”. Situationships are very common in college because many people are busy with school and work and believe that they don’t have the time to fully commit to another person. Many people in college have normalized situationships because of this but what they don’t talk about are the negative effects these relationships can cause.
The simple fact is when you’re spending a certain amount of time with another person and you are being intimate with this person feelings are bound to develop. As much as you don’t want to have feelings for this person or you’re not ready it is still likely to happen. That is one of the major issues with these types of relationships. Neither person involved wants to discuss these feelings so they go along with the casual relationship until one person can no longer handle it. The hard part about it is there is no commitment so it is extremely easy for issues to occur. You are jealous but you’re not allowed to be, you want to know what they’re doing but you feel like you don’t have a right to know, you don’t want them to see other people but you guys still don’t have that title, and these problems can go on and on.
Some situationships turn into committed relationships and some are fine the way they are. If you’re not looking for a full commitment and a situationship works for you there is no shame in having the type of relationship that you want, as long as that is communicated and established between both partners involved. Put simply, they either work or they don’t. Everyone has their own emotions and their own experiences and the only person who decides what is best for you is you.
I am a woman and from my own experience, being in a situationship caused me more harm than good. There is a strong stereotype that women are more emotional than men which is not completely true. Men and women process emotions differently but women are stuck with this false narrative of being overly emotional and clingy. Just because you are a woman and you are not happy with the terms of a situationship or something casual does not mean you are too “emotional”. Anyone involved in this type of relationship has the chance of getting hurt and it is not fair that women get more backlash than men when they are not okay with a casual relationship. No one talks about how hard it can be to be in this type of relationship regardless of your gender. It can make you feel crazy, it can cause a lack of self-esteem and it can even make you feel lonely or lost. Something that many people in situationships experience is false hope; hope that maybe one day this person will want to commit to you or that you can possibly change this person to match the parts of them that you have romanticized in your head. This might not happen for everyone but in a lot of cases, people stay in these relationships hoping that one day it will turn into something real. But many people don’t realize the toll this can take on your mental health. The fact that this person won’t commit to you can cause you to start second-guessing your self-worth and wondering if the problem is you. Usually, you are not the problem, and when someone tells you they are not ready for a relationship they are telling the truth and will treat you accordingly. It can also cause you to feel less than or start to invalidate your emotions because after all it’s not a “real” relationship and you guys weren’t ever actually “together” right? Wrong. No matter what the title of the relationship was your emotions are real and justified. The hard part of a situationship is knowing when it is time to end it, whether that means making it official or walking away from the situation for your own good. If you are not happy and it is hurting you more than it is helping you, it is okay to choose you and remove yourself from the toxic situation.
The point is, no matter who you are, your self-worth and self-esteem are important. How YOU feel is important and if you feel like you are not getting what you deserve then that’s all you need to know.