It might seem like ending a situationship isn't terribly challenging, but don't let the informality fool you. Even though this style of casual dating comes with all of the perks and none of the labels, it is certainly ripe with emotion.
"In my opinion [situationship breakups] are equally difficult, and can potentially be even more difficult, as there’s the possibility of more uncertainty, which can leave a lot of room for overanalyzing post-breakup," says Eva Gallagher, a resident dating expert at Plenty of Fish.
If you're ready to move out of the quasi-relationship phase and take your love life in a new direction, titles and all, without the headache, there's one thing to note before putting the kibosh on your situationship.
Eva Gallagher is a dating expert at Plenty of Fish, a Match Group dating app with personalized connection options that help "create the same magic online that you would IRL."
What to never to do when ending a situationship:
Yes, you've enjoyed acting like a proper couple—dinner dates, nights on the couch, intimate moments—but you want some certainty, which you are 100% entitled to. Even if your partner is not ready to give you a commitment, that does not mean you can simply bow out—ghosting and fading into the abyss are not options.
"Communication is considerate in any partnership, regardless of the level of commitment, so it’s best to make your level of attachment clear if you want to be considerate of the other person’s feelings," Maria Sullivan, a dating expert and vice president of Dating.com, says about ending a situationship. "It is best to let the other person know if and also why you are not interested in continuing. Communicating is helpful in ending the situationship in a healthier way."
Perhaps this will put your partnership on a new trajectory. Maybe it'll end things entirely. No one knows for certain what will transpire, but they do know it's always better to come from a place of compassion, even if you weren't receiving the same.
Eva Gallagher adds: "Think about the nature of your situationship and how you would feel if you were in the other person’s shoes, would you want to be given a polite heads up that they were no longer interested in carrying on? Having difficult conversations is part of any relationship, and it will help you grow as a person and give the person on the receiving end an opportunity to reflect."
Plus, won't you feel better knowing you gave the connection as much closure as possible? It could be a lot less emotional but tackling the issue head-on. (But feel free to blast Adele, regardless!)
Maria Sullivan is a dating expert and the vice president of Dating.com.
How to end a situationship:
While the process might not be fun, and you might feel inclined to sing your favorite breakup songs at karaoke, the dating experts have provided a few tips for making this romantic transition a little easier.
1. Be selfish—it's okay
Being honest with your partner and yourself is the only way to get what you truly want out of any connection. If you thrive on a close-knit, committed partnership, don't settle for one that you cannot invest in.
"Remind yourself of what you want, need, and desire—and that you are worthy of having all of those things," says dating coach Rikki Dymond.
Rikki Dymond is a dating coach and Flirtini dating expert. Her mission is to "help women reconnect with themselves and use their natural feminine energy to bring forward mature and lasting love."
2. Shift your focus
Rather than focus on the dating game, turn your attention to what makes you feel alive.
"Do the things you love, heal and grow and fill your life with people and activities that elevate you," Dymond adds. "As you shift focus and start to see good things come into your life, it will confirm your decision and help the feelings of guilt slip away."
A little "me time" will confirm what works for you and the non-negotiables you need from someone else. Think of it as a way to strengthen your next relationship.
3. Let heartbreak guide you
Letting go is never easy, especially if you truly care for someone. Though a little wallowing over a breakup is more than welcome (just ask Lorelai Gilmore), let those negatives shape how you want to move forward.
"I think the only difference is what you learn from the ending and what you take from that situationship or relationship and apply or un-apply next time," Gallagher says.
Need a TV show recommendation? Maybe a few decor tips? Danielle, a digital news writer at Future, has you covered. Her work appears throughout the company’s lifestyle brands, including My Imperfect Life, Real Homes, and woman&home. Mainly, her time is spent at My Imperfect Life, where she’s attuned to the latest entertainment trends and dating advice for Gen Z.
Before her time at Future, Danielle was the editor of Time Out New York Kids, where she got to experience the best of the city from the point of view of its littlest residents. Before that, she was a news editor at Elite Daily. Her work has also appeared in Domino, Chowhound, and amNewYork, to name a few.
When Danielle’s not writing, you can find her testing out a new recipe, reading a book (suggestions always welcome), or rearranging the furniture in her apartment…again.
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