The terms that describe modern relationship situations just seem to get longer every few months - dating, chilling, situationships, hanging out, casual relationships, friendship-with-benefits.
These are some of the different emotional, sexual and romantic permutations one keeps hearing of.
Of these, situationships have to be the most confusing and exhausting.
The Single Woman Blog calls a situationship “a romantic involvement between two people which include, but not limited to, frequent dating, house visits… parent meeting… friend sharing, sex... lots of sex, and the catching of feelings by at least one person.”
Situationship vs Friendship-with-benefits
Both relationships are less than a committed romantic relationship, of course.
However, what sets this relationship apart from a friends-with-benefits relationship and other similar ones is the absolute daze it comes with. Unlike a friends-with-benefits relationship wherein both partners know that they are only on a platonic plane and sex just comes as part of the package, a situationship offers no such definition.
With a FWB relationship, you know your limits, what’s acceptable and what could end the relationship. In a situationship, you have nothing; just a perpetual feeling of emptiness.
That cluelessness is the biggest trait of a situationship. And this is not about finding yourself in a situation out of ignorance.
You know what’s going on. You know it’s not how it should be. You know there’s meant to be labels somewhere, and that something ought to be defined – but there’s always a reluctance, a fear of the unknown. You worry that any attempt to seek clarity could disrupt what you have and send every shaky illusion you've placed your hopes on tumbling down like a house of cards.
In a situationship, you don’t really feel single, but you also don’t feel like you are in a committed relationship. And it is the knowledge that you're getting less than you desire, and the helplessness you feel to even try to change it that typifies a situationship above everything else.
It’s always advisable to clarify things earlier on in the relationship. If you have not done so and you find yourself already involved in the uncertainty of a situationship, it’s never too late to ask the 'what are we question.
It’s far better to know you’re not wanted, than being suspended in a cloud of possibilities that could eventually lead to agonizing disappointment.