If you’re currently in a situationship and you’re losing your mind, you’ve come to the right place. This survival guide is going to help you keep your sanity and ultimately get you exactly what you want from your situation. 

In a March 2022 survey by The Knot, it’s noted that 27% of Singles Are in Situationships. That’s a nice little chunk! 

Situationship Meaning 

Maybe you’re familiar with Carrie and Big from Sex and the City (A recent obsession of mine, please watch and let’s discuss). Carrie and Big had the perfectly imperfect situationship; it was beautiful, pitiful and tragic all at the same time. 

However, a situationship is more than just a trendy term, it’s a reflection of our ever-evolving approach to lasting love. In a world where labeling is the most logical thing to do, situationships open the door to a big web of uncertainty.  

Whether you’ve gladly slipped into one yourself or you’re deep in with your head barely above water, there’s a way through. Let’s explore what it really means, the psychology behind it, and whether these ambiguous bonds can evolve into something more substantial.

black couple in a situationship holding hands on bed
Photo by Alex Green

The Psychology Behind Situationships

Situationships are often born out of a blend of convenience and/or the need for emotional support. While it’s cute at first and immediately fills a void, if both parties are not on the same page with future plans, things can get sticky. According to a study published in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, people in situationships often experience heightened anxiety and emotional instability because of the inherent uncertainty in these arrangements.

There are two types of people who enter these kinds of relationships. 

  1. The person who fears commitment and prefers to play it safe and keep their options open. And sometimes they’re okay with the exclusivity of their relationship, they’d just prefer not to put any titles on it or set any boundaries. This kind of person enjoys the companionship and emotional support of a partner, but they’re not open or willing to sacrifice their independence for the sake of a traditional relationship structure. 
  1. Then there’s the person who does want a committed relationship but is so enamored by the other person that they’re willing to play Russian roulette with their heart and hopefully in the future, something substantial will come of the connection. This person is usually the person that gets hurt the worst. And if you clicked on this blog post, this person is probably you. 

But not to worry babe, I got you. Grab your favorite sparkling water, a handful of lightly salted pistachios and hold on tight. It’s not going to be easy, but it’ll be so worth it. 

man and woman near waterfall relationship goals
Photo by Nandhu Kumar

Situationship Survival Guide

  1. Write down all the things you want for your life. Write down all the little details you need and want from a relationship. 
  2. Reflect on your list above and determine if these things are non-negotiables or nice-to-haves. (Be as honest as you can on this part, it’s crucial if you want to go into the next step without resentment)
  3. If the person you’re in a situationship with is not a good fit for you based on your non-negotiables, you have to let it go. I’ve learned over the years that once you let something go that doesn’t fit, God has the piece that fits perfectly beyond what you could imagine. It’s on you to make room for it. 

The Break Up: How to Know When it’s Time to Call it Quits – The Nerd Bae

How do I know if they’re a good fit or not?

It’s simple, Luv. Just ask the hard questions and don’t be afraid of conflict. Examine your non-negotiables and confidently let your partner know what it is that you need from the situation. I know how it feels to want to avoid asking the hard questions. It opens you up to the possibility of your partner being on a completely different page than you; ignorance really is bliss. On the flip side, your partner might be willing to oblige your requests. 

What happens if my partner is happy with the situationship and wants nothing to change?

The best you can do is empathize with your partner and try to gain a better understanding of their fears around commitment. In doing so, you get a clearer picture of a path forward for the situation. After that, it’s on you to make a decision. 

Stay Honest and Communicative

Honesty has always been the best policy. Being honest with yourself as well as your partner will be rough at first but will ultimately get you what you need. Sweeping uncomfortable conversations under the rug will only prolong the inevitable.

Do you want to live a life of what ifs? And settling for less than exactly what you want and what God has for you? That’s seriously not the move sis. Obviously pray for discernment and understand that’s what is meant for you will not miss you. 

black couple disappointed with problems in relationship
Photo by PNW Production

The bottom line is that you have to be bold, confident and be prepared to walk.

Here’s the hardest part. After you’ve checked in with yourself and your partner, you’ve expressed your needs, listened, empathized and you’ve come to the conclusion that the situationship is making you lose your mind, it’s time to grow some balls and step. Your heart, mind, and soul 10 years from now depends on the choices you make today. Sit and think about that for a second and self-evaluate. 

If after you’ve done your evaluations with your future self in mind, you find that there are more pros than cons in being your situationship, then by all means rock out with bae and live your best life. Who knows, maybe down the line things will change (I’ve seen it happen), that’s a risk you may be willing to take. 

However, if the cons outweigh the pros and you’re constantly fighting for your life, that may not be the best risk to take. 

Keep in mind that all situationships are not created equal. The only thing that matters is the vision you have for your life and the choices you make to bring that vision to life.  

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