7 signs you are in a situationship, not relationship

In the modern day, to be in a romantic relationship doesn’t always mean you have to be seriously in love. It doesn’t even require a label! Some may be in a situationship – which is not exactly the same as friends with benefits or being in a serious relationship. You should know the signs of situationship if you have doubts about the ‘situation’ with your partner.

To know more about situationship, Health Shots reached out to psychotherapist, life and business coach Dr Chandni Tugnait.

Couple in bed
Are you in a situationship? Image courtesy: Adobe Stock

What is a situationship?

A situationship is a term for the stage of a relationship where the partners are neither seriously in love with one another nor simply dating, says Dr Tugnait. It is a relationship between two people who are not officially in a romantic relationship, yet still have feelings for each other. This kind of relationship involves emotional connection without official labels.

It may have some similarities with friends with benefits kind of a relationship, but the two are not the same thing. When it comes to friends with benefits, it is more about friends having casual sex. As for a situationship, it is an ambiguous and not-so-clearly defined status of being in between single and taken, says the expert.

Situationship and mental health

A person’s mental health is impacted by all the relationships in their life. A situationship has both positive and negative sides, like any potential relationship.

Being in a situationship can allow you the freedom to keep seeing the person you want to, but without having to make any serious promises and commitments. It can also work as an in-between fun stage, where a couple can be free of any responsibilities towards each other and have the space and time to think about the future without any pressure. When things are going in a positive direction of exploration, a person’s mental health also remains in this positive spectrum allowing them to have proper balance in life without feeling much pressure and being in a satisfied state of mind.

Unhappy couple
Uncertainty about the future of the relationship can make you anxious. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock

However, the uncertainty surrounding the status and future of the relationship can provoke feelings of anxiety and unease, leading to potential distress, says Dr Tugnait. People might have low self-esteem issues and question their self-worth when confronted with the absence of a formal commitment. The lack of clear boundaries and expectations may hinder effective communication, exacerbating feelings of isolation, jealousy and loneliness.

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Signs you are in a situationship

There are some common signs that indicate you are in a situationship. Here are some of them:

1. Uncertain relationship status

Being unsure of your relationship status is one of the most blatant indications of a situationship. Although they spend time together, are intimate with one another, and express their emotions to one another, neither party has formally classified their relationship as exclusive or committed.

2. Limited emotional bonding

While there may be some emotional closeness in a situationship, it is mostly less intense than in a committed one. Sharing more intense feelings or talking about the future together could cause reluctance or hesitation, notes the expert.

3. Insufficient time together

There might not be a regular pattern of meeting up, and arrangements might be made intermittently or at the last minute.

4. Lack of future plans

In a situationship, conversations concerning the future of the relationship can be unclear or avoided entirely. The parties concerned might be reluctant to form long-term alliances or plans.

5. Minimal social interaction

Unlike in a formal partnership, friends and relatives may not recognise people in a situationship as a pair. The couple might keep their relationship mostly hidden from others and refrain from any public demonstrations of devotion.

6. No effort to define the relationship

In a situationship, neither party usually makes any effort to specify the nature of the connection or debate its future course. This uncertainty may cause both parties involved to become frustrated and confused.

7. Avoiding major discussions

Discussing issues or disagreements about the relationship might be complex in a situationship. Lack of commitment may cause people to feel uncomfortable discussing difficulties, which might result in unresolved problems.

If you find yourself in a situationship, it is critical to recognise these signs because they may affect your emotional well-being. Communication is essential if you want a more committed relationship.

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