10 Telltale Signs You're in a Situationship, And Not A Relationship

When you are in the early stages of getting to know another person, or sleeping with someone, it can be hard to know what your exact relationship is. Are you not so serious but on the way to becoming more committed? Are you in a friends with benefits situation where you have both agreed to put your feelings aside? Or are you in a kind of limbo that has you a bit confused? If you are confused about your relationship status to another person, you might be in a situationship. A situationship is basically an undefined romantic relationship. Unlike a friends with benefits situation, there can be feelings involved in a situationship, but the terms of the relationship and the end goal of the relationship are not defined.

Situationships aren’t necessarily a bad thing, they can be great for people that aren’t ready to commit to a full relationship, but are still looking for emotional and physical connections. They are also great for people that are interested in exploring relationships with multiple other people. Even though situationships can be fun and easy, it’s important to know the signs of a situationship so that you can recognize if you are in one sooner rather than later. Understanding your status as a situation can help you avoid investing too many emotions into the connection. Here are a few signs that indicate that you might be in a situationship:

1. You haven’t defined the relationship (DTR)

In the age of hookup culture and casual sex, it can be hard to know exactly where you stand with someone. When relationships don’t follow the classic courtship then dating followed by emotional intimacy then physical intimacy timeline it can be hard to know what your sexual partner thinks about your relationship. An easy way to find out what your relationship is to one another is to have the “what are we” talk, but it can be hard to know when this kind of thing is appropriate. Ask the question too early and risk seeming too eager and scaring them off. Have the talk too late and end up on a totally different page than they are... If you haven’t DTR yet, and you have been seeing this person for a while, it might be a sign that you are in a situationship not a relationship. If your partner avoids having this talk when you bring it up, it’s another indication that they do not want to put the relationship in concrete terms.

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2. No consistency

If you have been seeing someone for a significant amount of time, but never know when you can expect to hear from them or when you will see them next, it’s a sign that you are in a situationship. In a relationship, you should be able to count on your partner to respond to your texts, keep up with planned activities, and make time in their schedules to see you. If this is lacking with your current partner, then you are probably not in a serious relationship.

3. No talk about the future

In a relationship, partners tend to plan for the future together in some capacity. The plans don’t necessarily have to be long term, but they do involve some sort of future time frame, whether it’s something to look forward to in a few weeks, or months or maybe even a year down the line. A total absence of talk about the future is a sign that your partner doesn’t see a long term future together. This lack of commitment is a sign that you are in a situationship.

4. They say the aren’t serious

If your partner says that they aren’t serious, or ‘aren’t looking for anything serious’ then you should take them at face value. Even if it feels like you are doing couple-y things like date nights, and even if you feel like you have an emotional connection, if they say they don’t want something serious then they do not want something serious!! Listening to people when they say this, recognizing that you are in a situationship NOT a relationship will save you a lot of heartbreak down the line.

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5. You don’t meet the friends

At a certain point in any relationship, you are bound to be introduced to the friends (and eventually, family) of your partner. If you have been seeing someone for some time, and have yet to meet anyone that’s important to them, then this is probably a sign that you are not in a relationship. If things are getting serious, and your partner is ready to start making you a priority in their life, they will start to introduce you to people that are close to them. This can be through group outings or even inviting other couples along to date night. If your “relationship” isn’t progressing in this way, then you should take it as a sign that you will likely never meet the friends... If you make the suggestion to introduce your partner to your friends and they are apprehensive or avoidant in any way, then this can also be a sign that you are in a situationship.

6. Surface level connection

A lot of time, people that are in situationships don’t have a deep emotional connection. If you find that you are mostly just a hookup or a booty call for someone, and that they avoid any deep conversation, then you are in a situationship, not a relationship. In the early stages of a relationship, the connection can also feel surface level as you are getting to know each other. The distinction here is that in a relationship you progress past this phase, whereas in a relationship you never see below the surface.

7. Seems to be based on convenience

While some people may argue that most relationships are based on convenience, after all most people date people in the same city, in similar friend groups, etc. etc., situationships are REALLY based on convenience. In relationships, people often plan when to spend time together. In situationships, invites tend to be last minute and kind of random. In relationships, partners often go out of their way to make time for the other. In situationships, people normally make spur of the moment plans based on their free time, hoping the other person can make it work. This lack of planning shows that situationships are really based on convenience more than anything else.

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8. Lack of date night

A good rule of thumb is to ask yourself whether you ever hang out with the person you are seeing outside of the bedroom. Or during the day time. If you are only ever over to have sex, or you’ve never gone on any dates, then you are probably not in a relationship. While some situationships do involve dates, they are normally less public and less planned than relationship dates.

9. You are anxious to hear back from them

No healthy relationship should be based around anxiety. When you are in a solid relationship with another person, you should feel secure about your connection to your partner. Sure, in the beginning stages you might have some butterflies about dates and spending time together, but you shouldn’t feel anxious about whether they will respond to you or accept you. Because situationships are so undefined, they are often a cause of anxiety for people. Afterall, it can be very difficult to feel at ease if you don’t know where you stand with someone. If you are not an anxious person, and your relationship to someone else is creating anxiety for you, then this is a sign that you could be in a situationship.

10. They’re seeing other people

If you are seeing someone who is seeing other people, it’s a sign that you are in a situationship. That is, unless you have already talked about your relationship and decided that you are going to be open, but if that is the case, you probably aren’t reading this.... It can be painful to find out that the person you are seeing is not being exclusive, especially if you assumed as much, but because the situationship is so undefined they aren’t necessarily doing anything wrong. Talks about exclusivity can often elucidate whether you are in a situationship or a relationship.

If all the signs point to the fact that you are in a situationship, but you don’t want to be, it’s time for you to move on. It can be very hard (virtually impossible) to turn a situationship into a relationship, unless the less committed person has a sincere change of heart, which can totally happen, but most likely will not. If all the signs are there, you should be honest with the other person about what it is you really want. Perhaps they are on the same page and have just been giving you the most mixed signals of all time. Or, perhaps you have been reading the signals correctly and it’s time to move on. Talking it out will give you clarity on the situation[ship] and hopefully allow you both to move on, on good terms!

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