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What’s it called when you don’t want to romantically claim someone as your own, but don’t want anyone else to have them either? Mental illness.

It’s about time we acknowledge just how ridiculous and childish “situationships” are. For those who aren’t familiar with the term, a situationship is complicated romantic involvement. Urban Dictionary defines it as “a relationship that has no label on a friendship but more than a friendship but not quite a relationship.”

It’s basically when two people take part in relationship-like activities while “dating,” but without the title or commitment of an actual relationship. Some go on numerous dates and end up being introduced to families as a “friend,” while others choose to keep it strictly physical, no emotions or frou-frou things involved. Either way, it’s a complicated situation filled with unwritten rules and confusion. If you feel like you’ve walked into one of these things, you should do yourself a favor and grow up.

What is the point of a situationship anyway? Why would any of us willingly pursue such relations that have no clear guidelines or shared desires for where things should go? You can’t technically cheat because you’re not exclusive, but you’re expected to act as a girlfriend or boyfriend, without the actual title of being one, even if only during certain encounters and moments. It doesn’t take more than a couple of “dates,” or just Netflix and chill moments on someone’s couch, for you to realize you’re going nowhere. So why stay on the ride? 

More than likely one of the two parties involved ultimately catches feelings, and the unspoken “no strings attached” agreement suddenly becomes obsolete. Slowly, more and more disagreements commence, and before you know it, you’re asking yourself the dreaded “What are we doing?” question that you already have the answer to. But all in all. you’re expected to keep your cool as best as you can, because whatever emotions you are feeling you supposedly don’t have a valid reason to share since “technically,” you’re both still single.

It’s exhausting.

Whatever happened to just being honest and open from the beginning? Situationships can be avoided if people just said what they wanted and made it clear. If you want to casually date, then say and do just that. If you are only looking for a serious relationship, say that and seek out that instead. Whatever you choose though, don’t try and be flexible to keep someone else interested. Don’t involve yourself with a bunch of unwritten rules and unnecessary uncertainty only to bring more confusion to your already confusing dating life.

What I believe is wrong with situationships is this idea that you are supposed to abide by some imaginary code out of respect for the other person, when there is no real commitment to respect in the first place. It’s not like you have vows, a relationship title to reference or a shared desired outcome. Instead, you have a so-called “understanding” that doesn’t need to be explained to the outside world, but in all honesty you could use a brief explanation of yourself.

Do yourself a favor and don’t readjust your wants and plans to accommodate someone who’s just fine with coasting in confusion. It’s one thing if you’re young, immature and have no idea what you want. But if you are mature enough to have a clear idea of where you see yourself and what type of person you hope to see yourself with, why settle? Trust me, it will save you a lot of time, energy and sanity.

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