This is the one thing you need to avoid if you want a relationship, *not* a situationship

Don't let this quasi-relationship trend get the best of you, especially if you're looking for something serious

a couple about to embrace while outside next to a brick wall
(Image credit: Thomas Barwick/Getty Images)

Wondering how to avoid a situationship?

While we can't be there to wave the red flags, we can provide you with insight from matchmakers to help make dating in 2023 seem less daunting—starting with this quasi-relationship phenomenon that's gaining popularity.

But we'll admit, a situationship isn't always easy to detect: you and your semi-significant other do what every other couple would do...minus the formalities. In a situationship, proper introductions haven't been made to fiends and family, words of affirmation aren't in the conversation and official statuses remain ambiguous. You're together, but not quite together.

It can get frustrating, but there are ways to avoid getting swallowed up by the phoniness when you're really after a serious relationship. If you want to get out of dating limbo, you'll have to take the experts' advice. 

How to avoid a situationship, according to dating experts

The one way to avoid a situationship is to be honest, not only with the person you're seeing but, far more importantly, with yourself. If you know what you're after, you shouldn't settle for anything less. 

"If you know in your heart that this isn’t the right situation for you, you must follow that feeling," says dating coach Rikki Dymond. "Sometimes those hard decisions come with guilt (especially if you care about the other person), but remind yourself of what you want, need and desire—and that you are worthy of having all of those things!"

There's no need to sacrifice, friends. You should be able to have what you want from a partner, and if you can't get the basics, perhaps you're not with the right person.

Rikki Dymond
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."

In a situation like this, no pun intended, communication is key. The only way to move forward or to change the course of a relationship would be to have a discussion about the current status. How could you possibly know what someone else is thinking about said situation(ship) if you don't ask? You can never assume.

If you do want to get out of the informal phase of your connection, the only way to do so is to speak up. But that's not to say if you've reached this point that the relationship is doomed. If you explain to your partner that you need something more serious than a brief fling, he or she could possibly be open to it—and feel the same way as you.

The Hunting Maven's Julia Bekker notes that any romantic situation can change for the better, provided an issue is raised and both parties are receptive to making changes. This is something she noted while discussing mid-mute dating, a trend where someone silences their partner's notifications during the week and only chooses to get together over the weekends.

"I think there are red flags or red lights that could turn into green lights and green flags in a conversation, but it depends on how the conversation is received and what happens after," she previously told us. "See the action of them putting more effort."

But should the effort towards finalizing that romance be for naught, then you'll know that it's time to end the situationship and look for a partner that's on the same page. It doesn't need to be mean, it doesn't have to get messy—it just has to be candid about your wants. 

Remember to embrace that Main Character Energy! You got this.

Danielle Valente
Digital News Writer

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.