The Ultimate Guide to Situationships

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Are you in a relationship limbo? If you’re nodding yes, then you may be stuck in the murky and ever-growing world of situationships. A situationship is an undefined sexual or romantic arrangement. It sits somewhere in the middle of the spectrum of a committed relationship and casual dating, but the fact that there aren’t any expectations of monogamy or exclusivity is a defining factor. Essentially, a situationship isn’t quite a friend-with-benefits arrangement, but it’s not a committed romantic relationship, either. This lack of clarity and structure makes navigating these unique ‘relationships’ tricky. But understanding the key elements of situationships can help ensure you stay on track.

Situationships get a bad rap, and not without good reason, but they can be positive, too. At their best, they can be a source of companionship, human connection, and great sex. This generally occurs when both people are on the same page and aren’t looking for anything serious.

At their worst, situationship can be full of ambiguity, uncertainty, and mixed signals. This usually happens when one person wants more than the other and can lead to feelings of hurt and confusion.

When it comes to situationships, communication is key. It’s important to establish boundaries with your partner and make sure that you both understand what type of relationship you are in and aspire to have. This will help alleviate confusion and hurt feelings later down the line.

10 signs you’re in a situationship

So first, how do you know if you’re in a situationships? Here are ten common signs.

1. You lack clarity.

One of the biggest signs you are in a situationship is that you haven’t labeled your relationship. In other words, you’re not really sure what you are to each other, and you haven’t defined your relationship. This can be tricky when someone asks you what you are. Situationships are generally seen as more than one-off hook-ups but less than a full-on relationship.

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2. Your communication isn’t consistent.

One day, you might be getting along great, and then suddenly, you might not talk for a week. A lack of consistency is usually caused by one or both people being uninvested in the relationship.  This can lead to a lack of trust and an overall feeling of instability. If you don’t think someone will be there for you and you don’t become integrated into their life, it’s hard to form a true connection.

3. You see each other when it’s convenient.

You see each other when it’s convenient for both of you, and there’s no real effort involved. If you both happen to be free on a Tuesday night, you’ll get together at the last minute. But you don’t plan trips away weeks in advance. Sure, people in committed relationships make last-minute plans, too. However, if you only see each other on a whim, you might be in a situationship.

4. You don’t talk about the future.

If you’re in a situationship, you don’t discuss plans for the future. You don’t feel the need to talk about where the relationship is going or what it could be. A key characteristic of situationships is that they lack long-term commitment. This could be because it’s too early on in the relationship. Or it could be because one or both of you want to commit for whatever reason.

5. You haven’t met each other’s family and friends.

If you haven’t introduced each other to your friends or family after a reasonable amount of time, it can be a sign that you don’t see the relationship as part of your future. This isn’t a surefire way to determine whether or not you’re in a situationship, though. Some people don’t feel the need to meet family and friends until the relationship is more serious.

6. You don’t talk about your feelings.

Not talking about feelings and expectations is another tell-tale sign that you may be in a situationship. When vital aspects of communication and vulnerability are lacking, it can make it hard to form a meaningful connection. Building an honest, sustainable relationship requires a certain level of trust and communication.

7. Your connection revolves around sexual chemistry.

Situationships are often primarily fueled by sexual chemistry and physical attraction. If most of your time together is spent engaging in sexual activities and you rarely spend time getting to know each other on a deeper level, it’s a sign that you’re in a situationship. There’s nothing wrong with enjoying casual sex as long as you are both on the same page.

8. You don’t feel a strong sense of connection.

If you’ve been together for a while, at least in some sense, even if you’re not official but don’t feel connected to them, it’s likely because the relationship lacks emotional intimacy. A deep connection requires many different aspects in order for it to work, and emotional intimacy is key.

9. You don’t prioritize each other.

If you never seem to prioritize each other, it can be a sign that there is a lack of investment. If you aren’t willing to sacrifice certain things in order to spend time together, it’s a sign that there is a lack of commitment. At the end of the day, if you are excited to see someone, you will make time for them, and vice versa.

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10. You’re not sure how you feel about each other.

If you haven’t discussed how you feel about each other, it might be because of a lack of communication or connection. This can be a sign of a situationship. It may indicate that you are avoiding having open conversations about what you want out of your relationship.

Even though the word ‘situationship’  may have negative connotations, it doesn’t mean that they are innately bad. It also doesn’t mean that all situationships are doomed to fail. If two people are getting what they want from the situationship and they are both happy with the dynamic, it can be a healthy situation.

7 tips on how to deal with a situationship

If you find yourself in such a situation, here are some tips to help you deal with it.

1. Be honest.

Honesty is essential to making a situationship work. Speak openly and candidly about how you feel and what your expectations are at different points in your relationship. And yes, your expectations are allowed to change! This helps to avoid confusion.

2. Respect each other.

Whatever labels or commitments you decide upon or don’t decide upon, try to ensure they are respected by both parties. If one person wants to end the situationship, that’s their choice, and as long as they’re respectful about it, their wishes should be taken seriously.

3. Accept your true feelings.

It’s easy to get caught up in the moment and let your emotions take over. But it’s important to make sure that you accept how you feel about the situation and the other person. It can be easy to pretend that your feelings aren’t that strong. But you have to be true to yourself. Otherwise, it’s a recipe for disaster.

4. Don’t be afraid to talk about it.

It’s natural to feel a bit scared or vulnerable when it comes to talking about your relationship status. But if you want the situationship to work or even progress into something more, then open discussions are necessary.

5. Acknowledge that your feelings might change.

It’s perfectly normal for your feelings to change over the course of a situationship. Just because you entered into it with no intention of wanting a committed relationship with someone, it doesn’t mean you’ll feel the same way three months from now. And that’s okay.

6. Keep communication open.

Situationships may not always last forever—but no matter how long yours does last, make sure communication remains open between both parties involved. That way, if anything changes down the line, nobody will be surprised or left out of the loop when transitions occur in the relationship.

7. Set boundaries.

Establishing boundaries is key for managing any type of relationship, but especially a situationship where there may not be a clear label or definition yet for it. Establishing boundaries can help you and your partner feel more secure, protect each other’s feelings, and ensure that everyone involved is comfortable with the arrangement you have.

These tips will help you navigate a situationship with more confidence and less stress. Ultimately, the key takeaway here is that it’s essential to be honest with yourself and the other person. That way, you can have healthy and honest conversations.

How to handle a situationship

If you find yourself in a situationship, you should remember to take a step back from time to time to think about what you want. If you’re happy, then it’s fine to continue as you are.

However, if you want to take your situationship to the next level, you’ll have to communicate this. You might be cautious about doing so because you fear scaring them away. But it’s a necessary risk you’ll need to take.

If the person you are in a situationship with says they don’t want to move things forward with you, it’s better to know now because you’d only have ended up feeling even more hurt further down the road.

Of course, it could be that they are on the same page and they also want to progress the relationship. It’s certainly possible for situationships to blossom into committed relationships.

Either way, knowing what you want and setting clear boundaries are positive steps toward protecting your mental health. Plus, they will only respect you for doing this, whatever the outcome.

How to have the situationship-to-relationship conversation

When you are ready to have the conversation, choose a time when you both have the headspace to talk things through. Tell the person you are in a situationship with how you feel about them and what kind of level of commitment you are looking for. Try to be as specific as possible.

Once you’ve said your part, let them know that it’s okay if they need time to think. This conversation may have come as a surprise to them. If so, they might need time to process their thoughts and feelings. This isn’t a bad sign. In fact, there’s a good chance it means that they are taking it seriously.

When they are ready to discuss, listen carefully to what they have to say and be prepared for different responses. In some cases, it’s a simple yes or no in terms of whether they want to progress the situationship in the same way as you. In other cases, it will be more of a two-way discussion, and you might have to try to figure things out together. 

Most importantly, be honest about what you want and respect their opinion. If the two of you don’t match up exactly in terms of what you want from each other and a relationship, it doesn’t mean that it can’t work. It just means you will need to talk through your different perspectives to see if you can find a compromise that works for both of you.

It’s not always possible, but you have the best chance of figuring things out if you’re open and vulnerable. Yes, it can be scary, but it’s necessary in order to protect your happiness in the long run.

What to do if they don’t want to progress the situationship

In some cases, you may be looking for the same kind of relationship long-term, but you might be on different timelines. This alone doesn’t mean that you have to end things. If you are ready for a relationship now, but your situationship partner isn’t there yet, you’ll need to decide if you’re willing to wait for them.

If you’re unwilling to wait, you should explain this to them respectfully so you can both move on. However, if you are willing to wait, the best thing you can do is honor their needs and give them space.

However, you should stay open to dating other people. It’s never a good idea to force someone to do something they aren’t ready for. At the same time, if someone isn’t committing to you, you shouldn’t cut off other options.

How long should you wait?

If they aren’t ready to progress the situationship and you decide that you are comfortable giving them more time, you’ll need to decide how long you’re willing to wait. Everyone has their personal limits, so you’ll need to evaluate your feelings and decide what feels right for you.

One of the most important signs to look out for when you’re in this position is whether your situationship partner is taking steps to build your connection and integrate you into their life. Momentum is key here.

If you’re going to wait, even if they aren’t ready to be in a committed relationship now, you should still feel a sense of momentum. For example, they might start introducing you to their friends or making plans in advance. You can use your intuition to guide you on this one.

On the other hand, if there’s no change and they aren’t taking any steps to move things forward, then you might want to think about moving on because there’s a good chance that you will end up wasting your time.

FAQs about situationships

Let’s take a look at some of the most common questions people have about situationships.

What are the benefits of situationships?


The main benefit of a situationship is the flexibility in terms of the commitment level that comes with it. This means both partners have more freedom and exploration if they choose not to define their connection into something more serious. When situationships are dealt with in the right way, they can bring positivity and enjoyment to people’s lives.

In some cases, it can allow people to get to know each other in a more casual way before making big commitments. Sometimes, the pressure of expectations of a committed relationship can negatively impact the connection between two people, and so having a situationship can help build trust and understanding first.

Are there risks associated with getting into a situationship?

Yes, there are some inherent risks to getting into a situationship due to its ambiguous nature, which can lead to confusion and hurt feelings if expectations are not clearly discussed from the start.

This is why it’s so important to be honest with each other and set clear boundaries in order to ensure that both parties remain on the same page. If communication breaks down, it can lead to issues such as one person feeling taken advantage of or misreading intentions.

Is it ok to be in a situationship?

Situationships can get a bad name because of the ambiguity and lack of commitment associated with them. It can be difficult for some people to understand why someone would enter into a situationship with no intention of making it something more, or even if they do eventually make it something more, the timeline for that is often unclear.

But it’s important to keep in mind that if both parties involved are honest with each other and are genuinely enjoying the arrangement, then you shouldn’t worry about what other people think.

Is a situationship a hookup?

No, a situationship is not necessarily a hookup. One of the primary differences between situationships and hookups is their level of commitment. Whereas a hookup tends to be a one-time physical encounter with no real expectations or strings attached, a situationship involves two people engaging in a more intimate relationship without defining it as anything further. Ultimately, situationships typically involve a level of familiarity.

Another difference between the two is that typically, a hookup centers around just physical intimacy, while situationships tend to involve other aspects such as emotional connection, feelings, conversations, and text messaging. Hookups are often seen as purely recreational, whereas a situationship can have deeper implications, especially if both people decide to take things further and develop it into something more serious eventually.

Are situationships toxic?

While situationships can have the potential to be toxic, it largely depends on the individual circumstances and how you both interact with each other. Factors such as communication, trust, expectations, honesty, and respect play a crucial role in whether or not a situationship is healthy.

As we’ve discussed, it comes down to two people being honest and open with each other. This helps to ensure that both parties are on the same page.

How long should a situationship last?

A situationship should last as long as both people are happy with the arrangement. This could be anything from weeks, months, to years. If you are both benefiting from your situationship and you are communicating openly on a regular basis, it can make sense to continue. 

If either of you starts to feel unhappy or are no longer on the same page, you should reassess the situation.

Another scenario to consider is if you are looking for a relationship but not with the person you’re in a situationship with. Staying in your current arrangement can sometimes delay you from finding the right person. This is because you can end up getting some relationship benefits from the situationship, which can reduce your motivation to find someone else.


Final thoughts on situationships

Ultimately, it’s possible to have a healthy, enjoyable situationship. When this is the case, you can have something that feels like the best of both worlds—the comfort of a long-term partnership and the freedom of being single.

At the same time, situationships are notoriously difficult to navigate. So, you should know that you’re not alone if you’re struggling to make sense of your feelings or if you’re unsure about how to progress in the relationship.

If you enjoyed this post, you may also like our blog about 15 Signs He Wants to Define the Relationship, 11 Undeniable Situationship Red Flags, and Situationship Psychology.

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