Surviving a situationship—much like the connection itself—can be tricky.
With a situationship, there's plenty of grey area and unknown territory that you don't get a chance to romantically explore. You get to enjoy all that comes with an intimate connection, but a lack of labels stops you from taking things to a more serious level.
Though it's a trend that can quickly lead to dating burnout, it is possible to make this murky situation less stressful. Let the experts explain it all.
The keys to surviving a situationship
You're diving in! You're seeing someone but still not quite in relationship territory. Here's what you need to do if you believe you're in a situationship.
1. Understand the situation
No pun intended, but assess the situation from the get-go. Is your partner looking for something short-term, or developing something serious? In situationships, it's likely the former. Narrow down the basics before things get going.
"Knowing and understanding the very definition of a situationship can set you up for ‘survival," said Dr. Callisto Adams. "Know what your boundaries, expectations, and needs are. If you believe your boundaries are being respected, expectations and needs met, and dignity respected, then you’re on for a successful exploration of situationships."
Dr. Callisto Adams is well-versed in the latest research and theories on masculine and feminine psychology and has a deep understanding of the primitive biological design that shapes our contemporary lives and romantic connections. She is the proud founder of Hetexted.com, and author of Texting Beyond Basics: Electrified.
2. Be realistic
Let's say you've met a match but know they might not potentially in it for the long haul. You might not be in it for the long haul. Perhaps it's all just a temporary case of wanderlove. Whatever the case might be, take off the rose-colored glasses and see the connection for what it is, not what you want it to be. Dating coach Jacqueline Fae is all for practicality.
"Make sure that it is a real romantic relationship and be realistic about it," she previously told My Imperfect Life. "Sometimes it's not and it might not really go anywhere—and that's OK. Make sure you're on the same page before you invest your time and energy."
Jacqueline Fae is the CEO & Founder of I Deserve Love and author of several books, including her latest, Attracting the Love of Your Life: 30-Day Manifestation Guide, as well as The Faery Matchmaker. As a celebrity matchmaker and love expert, she services clients from their 20s through their 80s in the pursuit of love. Boasting 85,000 followers on Instagram, Jacqueline, a former actress from LA, is also a hypnotherapy expert and ultimately found her passion as a love manifestation expert. (Photograph courtesy of Ken Burden)
3. Communicate clearly
The only way to get on the same page with someone is to express what you're looking for. How are you supposed to know that the cutie on your morning commute is only looking for a summer romance if he or she doesn't say it, and vice versa? Candid talks weed away matches that don't work well.
"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 told us.
Maria Sullivan is a dating expert and the vice president of Dating.com.
4. Don't change your values
Regardless of whether you want something to last forever or only until next month, that's totally fine. Do what works for you, and do not switch up your ideals in favor of someone else's choices.
"Now, if [your match] acts the opposite of what you communicated despite them being aware of what you told them, then you know what the right thing to do is," Dr. Adams noted.
5. Know when it's time to move on
The thing about situationships is that they're temporary. Should the connection not be progressing the way you'd like, know when it's time to call it quits. Do not hold out in hopes for something that likely will not happen.
"If you know in your heart that this isn’t the right situation for you, you must follow that feeling," dating coach Rikki Dymond told us. "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!"
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."
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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