Are you in a “situation-ship”?

Choma- I’m guessing you know what a relationship is, but have you ever heard of a “situation-ship”? If you feel confused about where you stand with the person you like, you may be in a situation-ship. Here’s everything you need to know about it, and how to move forward.

What is a situation-ship?

A situation-ship feels like an “almost” relationship for people who are stuck in it. For one or more reasons, you and your “partner” don’t clearly say you’re in a relationship. This leads to a “situation-ship”.

How is it different from a normal relationship?

A situation-ship may kind of seem like a relationship, but it isn’t really one. One of the main things that makes a relationship happen is exclusivity- meaning that you’ve committed to your partner and they’ve committed to you. Situation-ships on the other hand, usually don’t have that commitment in place.

Another way in which a situation-ship is different to a relationship is the lack of a title. You don’t refer to one another as “boyfriend” or “girlfriend”, and if someone asks if you’re dating you don’t say “yes”.

The last way to tell the difference is if you aren’t really communicating like a couple would. They don’t know much about you and your life, and vice-versa. You hang out from time to time and that’s pretty much it. If a relationship is warm and comforting, then a situation-ship can feel distant and cold a lot of the time. Though, this isn’t always the case if you’re in a situation-ship with someone you feel close to, like a friend.

What’s wrong with it?

Look, Choma- you know best what works for you. If you enjoy being in a situation-ship with someone, that’s ok. However, here are a few things to keep in mind about situation-ships.

Because of the lack of commitment and a “relationship” title, it’s a lot easier to get hurt or hurt the other person. Think about it- if you’ve caught feelings, having this grey area can really make you feel insecure and hurt- especially if you find out they’re flirting with or seeing someone else. That’s why it’s important to communicate with them and make your expectations clear.

Another potential issue is that, if you’re being intimate, you’re putting yourself at a higher risk of catching a Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI) since you guys aren’t exclusive. Remember that you’re sharing your body with someone, who may be sharing their body with others- you don’t know what they could potentially be passing onto you.

Getting out of a situation-ship.

If you’re tired of not knowing where you stand with the person you’re seeing, you can get out of that situation by simply communicating with them. Speak to them about how you feel, ask them how they feel and whether they would like to have a proper relationship or not. This may seem a bit scary to do, especially if you don’t want to scare them away, but at the end of the day you deserve someone who is serious about things, and will respect you and be committed to you.

Most people will find themselves in a situation-ship at some point in their life, so don’t let it get you down. If you’re in one and happy with it, then that’s fine (just remember to prioritise your happiness and insist on protection every time you have sex). But if you aren’t, then this is a good time to think about what you’re looking for in a partner, setting your standards and sticking to them.

For more advice, read a few of these related articles:

What should I do if my partner won’t commit?
Does your relationship make you feel better or worse?

Types of relationships to leave in 2018

First date tips if you’re looking for a serious relationship

Remember, if you or a friend need advice or help, you can contact me here on Ask Choma, send me a Facebook Message, a Twitter DM, or a WhatsApp Message (071 172 3657).