Most people tend to end up in a situationship before they ever get into a relationship. That, inherently, is not a bad thing, but when the other person wants to remain in a situationship instead of defining the relationship, it becomes a problem. There is no problem in getting to know someone, but things start to turn around when you feel like you aren’t single, but you aren’t in a committed relationship. It’s that level of uncertainty that allows miscommunication and unmet expectations to creep their way into your head. No one enjoys feeling anxious, especially when the source of that anxiety and stress comes from someone you like.
Being in a situationships is like a grey area between more than friends and a committed relationship. Are they talking to other people? Are you? Are you talking about a future together or not? It all comes down to your comfort level. Situationships aren’t bad, but they shouldn’t last forever. So they aren’t a red flag per se, but it’s when, after a good while, things aren’t progressing forward. This isn’t some stagnant place to just be left in when you could be with someone who truly wants to be with you.
Thanks to Tinder, Bumble, Hinge, and all the other dating apps out there in the world, courting seems to take place almost entirely online. At least at first, anyway. But we call this “matching” and “talking,” which is us as a generation rebranding courting. And our new version of courting is much faster. We think we can get to know people much quicker thanks to the internet. We can get a basic understanding of a person’s interests, but can we get to know them?
People will match as many people as they can and stop talking to just as many after horrible pick-up lines. But once you dwindle your matches and start talking, what happens? People start to “vibe,” but that grey area is when they set themselves up to hurt.
Not everyone is looking for the same thing on dating apps. Some people are looking to hook up, and some are looking for a relationship. But it can feel so awkward to ask someone what they are looking for at the moment. The last thing I want is to find someone who I start to click with only to find out they want something completely different than I do. That’s how I get hurt. So be clear about your intentions from the start and make everyone’s life easier.
Make your intentions clear
This might sound super cringe, but as someone who has been played a few times, it’s a habit I developed. If I match with someone or meet someone I click with, I try to make it clear that I don’t play games. That I am enjoying getting to know them, and if things keep going well that I would like to take them out on a date at some point. I don’t sound robotic when in practice, but just letting them know where I stand clarifies what I want. How can I expect people to understand what I’m expecting unless I communicate it? If what you expect and what they want match up, you know you can move forward; otherwise, you might want to take a hard look.
Long-term situationships are faux-relationships. It lets us fill that void of wanting to have someone in our lives without really having anything worthwhile. It lacks substance. If that is what you want, then have it, but make sure that what you want and what the other person wants match. Communicating expectations lets you know early on if things are worth pursuing. If you’re going to take things slow and get to know each other, make sure to have that conversation. You deserve to be in a healthy relationship with someone who makes you happy, not using you as a placeholder for the what-ifs and maybes that might come along later.