Situationships Aren't All Bad, Tbh. How To Determine If It May Be What Works For You

If you're someone who longs for connection, but isn't ready to be someone's partner, navigating the dating scene can be tricky. But what if there was a way to enjoy a no-strings-attached kind of relationship without the pressure and commitment that comes with it?  The arrangement you're looking for exists, and it's called a situationship. 

Situationships are a type of romantic or sexual relationships that are more serious than a friendship, but not as committed as a committed relationship. In other words, it's similar to a fun fling but with more feelings attached to it. Essentially, you're able to enjoy the romantic and intimate aspects of a relationship, such as a walk by the beach or candle-lit dinners. However, you do not have to worry about bringing that person's wedding to your cousin's wedding as your plus one.

Situationships have a bad rep for being toxic, mainly because some people believe it's an excuse to avoid defining a relationship. However, many people who are new to the dating scene or fresh out of a relationship can greatly benefit from these types of setups. Plus, there are ways for you to navigate a situationship, tailored to your needs. Here's how to tell if it may work for you.

You appreciate independence

If you're at a place in your life where chasing your own goals, such as your career and education are a priority, the flexibility of a situationship is right up your alley. It removes the pressure of having to meet your partner's expectations, whether through time commitments or other obligations. This can be great if you're still figuring out what you want and plan to date casually, or if you just got out of a serious relationship.

Since situatinoships are all about not defining things, they can be tailored to each pair's specific needs, whether it's sex or romance. And it's not all just young, single people who can benefit from this. Some research suggests that starting a low stakes relationship after getting out of a more serious one may help you regain your confidence. It offers you a chance to better understand who you are, what you want as well as what you don't want – all qualities that are important for if and when you're ready to get married again (if that is what you want).

You're okay with unpredictability

One of the perks of a situationship is that it gives you more to time to grow comfortable with someone before putting a label on it. However, be aware that a situationship can always turn into something more serious if one party involved starts needing a stronger commitment. If you're not clear with communicating that upfront, lines can easily become blurred when one person develops feelings.

Per Vice, relationship counselors say that a situationship arrangement can only work if both people have a clear understanding of expectations and boundaries. For instance, if one of you has a goal to be married one day and the other doesn't, you both need to make sure you're comfortable with the fact that the other person will eventually move on. This also means being okay level of uncertainty about your status and recognize that both your feelings may change over time. 

You also need to be aware that there may be a time where you start to feel jealous, even if you and your situationship aren't exclusive. As research published in SAGE journals highlights, the closer your relationship and the more important your partner becomes to you. If you feel like you are strong enough to manage those feelings, then it's possible this could work.

Signs a situationship is not for you

While a low maintenance arrangement like a situationship can be great for exploration, If you are someone who struggles with jealousy and codependency, then it may not may not be for you. And that's totally okay! Similarly, if you're hopeful that your situationship will turn into something more serious, it is best to leave it all together. You'd be doing yourself and the other person a disservice by not being honest about your intentions. If you're at a stage in your life where you're quite guarded and you find it difficult to communicate honestly, you may want to stick to casual dating or focus on yourself and your mental health.

Remember, you do not need to be in any kind of relationship you do not want to be in, and you should most certainly not be in one if you are only doing it to avoid being alone.. Ultimately, as long as all boundaries are communicated openly, situationships can be a healthy way to explore the dating world.