Don’t be fooled, a “situationship” is not dating

Illustration by Steck Von.

Imani Thaniel, Contributing Writer

Wait, are we dating?

Many people have asked themselves that question. It’s one of those moments when you like someone, but there’s confusion about the status of the relationship.

Believe me when I say I’ve been there. This confusing and mind-boggling “relationship” is none other than a “situationship,” a relationship with no label. It has all the perks of a real relationship without being established.

In a situationship, you’ve usually been told by your friends that what you are doing isn’t the best thing for you, and it will only make things worse if you keep having sex. But then your friends take a second look and say, “But you’re in college, and you’re having fun.”

Pick a side, please.

If you have been a part of a situationship, you know there are red flags that go up each time you are with the person. A couple of red flags include not putting a title on the relationship, avoiding talks about the future and not spending time with each other in public.

According to neuroscientist Nicole Prause, situationships are becoming more common because society is beginning to shift away from marriage and committed relationship to those without a label. Younger generations are straying away from the “headaches” of committed relationships and the possibility of rejection. Prause said it best when she said, “People want to remain free of being rejected.”

I was part of a situationship not too long ago. He was my ex-boyfriend of two and half years. We still loved each other and wanted to stay connected. We usually only met up at night, we didn’t hang around our friends very often and we refrained from talking about our relationship. This was great for a few weeks because I believed we might get back together. But the harsh reality was, we were no longer in a committed relationship, and I had to make a choice. My options were to be silent about how I truly felt and continue to have him in my life — or speak up and let it go.

Well, I chose the latter.

I used to ponder and tear apart my brain for hours trying to find answers and felt so hurt that I regretted everything. I realized I can’t hold hostility toward myself, or him, because we were in it together, and forgiveness overpowers all regret.

If you’re grappling with a situationship, there will come a day when you will not be afraid of rejection, and the feelings of confusion and doubt will subside.

Having a situationship, or even a relationship, cannot fill a void or end fear. Only realizing your own power can do that.

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