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What Is A Situationship? The Newer, More-Complicated Friends With Benefits

"What's the definition of a situationship? Why do they have such a bad reputation? Are you in one? Why do they typically go wrong?" 06.25.24

photo of two people being in a situationship

What Is The Definition Of A Situationship?

A situationship is defined as an ambiguous romantic or sexual relationship that lacks the expectations, labels, and boundaries a typical relationship has. So basically when two wonderful people come together and decide they want a relationship, but they don’t want anything serious or messy. So they avoid putting any labels on it, which ironically leads to a more serious and messy type of relationship. It’s more than “friends with benefits”, but less than “going steady’. It’s like that space right in between ‘makes sense’ and ‘I don’t get it.’ Great, so you’re confused too?

If you’re here it’s either because you’ve heard the term enough times where you we’re finally ready to look it up, or you yourself, have found yourself in one. To be clear, they aren’t all bad, just highly confusing, a little stressful, and little difficult. It takes two very specific types of people to make it work, otherwise someone is catching feelings which ultimately leads to someone getting hurt. Why? Because someone always catches feelings. And it's totally normal, because we’re human. Feeling is what we do. But to be naive and say otherwise is...well it's naive.

It’s Worse Than Friends With Benefits

a couple laying in bed smoking Friends with benefits is pretty clear cut. There are no emotions, no cute stuff, pretty much “just give me sex and I’m out". Personally, this is better in my humbled opinion, because there are specific boundaries. You won’t expect anything because from the get go it’s been carved out that there will be no emotional attachments involved. The -ship is strictly physical, fulfilling a natural desire. You can therefore protect yourself.


The Importance Of Boundaries And Knowing Oneself

Boundaries help us make sense of life, they allow our mental health and moods to adjust and for us to create expectations. Remember one's expectations and one's moods have a direct correlation. Our happiness is derived from how our expectations are either met or not. Without boundaries it’s easy for us to get burnt out from chronic stress. We become exhausted from constantly wondering where we're at or where this is all going. They help keep our relationships healthy.

Ask yourself the questions, know yourself better, and if you find the answers to all of them don’t align with you then it’s probably time to dip.

Questions To Ask Yourself | Is It Right For You?

- What Do I want from this?
- Am I currently happy?
- What type of person am I? Do I like to be more calculated or spontaneous?
- Is there actual potential for this to go somewhere?
- Am I a jealous person?
- Do I love them?
- Can I walk away from this without regret?
The questions may seems straight forward but we often times forget to sit down and actually put our mind to it. It's easier to just let things continue on in their ambigious way. Why ruin a good thing right? It'll be fine, you'll see. Just stop worrying about it.

photo of a guy braiding a girls hair

How We Introduce Them (Or Don’t)

One of the main rules is never introduce them into your other social settings. Obviously friends and family start to catch feelings and enjoy their company, and then this just starts to overcomplicate your life. Mom starts asking why you haven’t brought so and so around again? They were so nice. What have they been up to…and then you have to explain to your mom they are just this person I'm using for sex and nothing more. Fun.

What happens when we do run into someone we know while we’re out. And we have to introduce them. Well with FWB you can just say hey we’re friends, the situationship comes back to that messiness. Hey this is...right.

Situationships Lead To Stress and Confusion

Everyone is different. Some people can just go with the flow and keep a super open mind, while others are more structured in their lifestyle. If things start to get lopsided with efforts or time invested it can start to get confusing and stressful. We want to feel our efforts are reciprocated and that the other person cares. They are showing they are emotionally invested but they don't want to fully commit? Is it something wrong with me? Why don't you want to just make this official then? We both get along so well, the sex is good. So why not? This is predominantly why situationships get such a bad wrap, because they so often go sour when questions like these come up.

a couple holding hands out

My Bias On Why They Are Bad: We Crave Security

I love sex, hanging out, and being highly confused so obviously the situationship is totally right for me. Sex always leads to emotions. Prove me wrong and you're a sociopath. This is why friends with benefits rarely works out. Someone always gets attached. A situationship typically has everything a regular relationship has but the label and direction.

Relationships give us a form of security, when life goes to sh*t we can relieve some of that stress through our partner and knowing we have something constant in our lives. We can rely on them. When something goes wrong we reach out to our partner because they are someone to talk to. But when something goes wrong and you're in this ambigious relationship, you might feel bothersome by reaching out and asking for help. This is when things start to get tricky.

When everything else is spontaneous and out of our control then atleast we have something in our lives that's not. This helps us cope with the stress. This could just be me personally. I also feel like empty sex is just depressing in the end. We have the ability to love as humans, we aren't just animals. Again, everyone is different so you have to decide what is right or wrong for you. Are you for or against the situationship?

a couple taking a bath together





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