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Situationship: What is it and how to transform it into a relationship?

What is a situationship?

A situationship is a romantic or sexual relationship that lacks clearly defined expectations, boundaries, or commitment. 

It may involve emotional intimacy, physical intimacy, or both. But the participants may not be explicitly exclusive or committed to each other. 

Situationships are often characterized by ambiguity and uncertainty. And also a lack of clear communication about the nature and expectations of the relationship. 

It can be seen as a “gray area” between a casual hookup and a committed relationship.

Basically it is when none of you are sure whether you’re in a relationship, as you’ve never talked about it. And you still meet up or even hook up at times. Maybe even spend time chilling. But you don’t introduce each other to your friends as your ‘boyfriend’ or ‘girlfriend’. 

Does it make sense? No? Well… it is a quite confusing thing to be in a situationship. As usually there is no clarity of what is going on and neither of you are bold enough to define it or ‘have the talk’. 

What is the difference between a situationship and friends with benefits?

A situationship and a friends with benefits relationship can both be characterized by a lack of commitment. And a casual approach to sex and intimacy. 

However, there are some key differences between the two that are worth exploring.

A situationship typically involves a romantic or sexual connection between two people who are not clearly defined or labeled as a couple. 

There may be some level of emotional intimacy or connection, but the relationship is not exclusive or committed.

 In a situationship, there may be some uncertainty or confusion about the nature of the relationship. And there may be a lack of clear expectations or boundaries.

In contrast, a friends with benefits relationship is typically characterized by a clear understanding that the relationship is based on casual sex. Without any expectation of emotional commitment or exclusivity. 

The ‘friends with benefits’ relationship is often based on an existing friendship. And there is typically less confusion or uncertainty about the nature of the relationship. 

While emotional intimacy may develop over time, it is not typically a central part of the relationship. And both partners are free to pursue other romantic or sexual connections.

Overall, the main difference between a situationship and a friends with benefits relationship is the level of clarity. And understanding about the nature of the relationship. 

While both types of relationships can be casual and non-committal, a friends with benefits relationship is typically more straightforward. And less likely to involve confusion or uncertainty about the expectations and boundaries of the relationship.

How is a situationship different from a relationship?

Here are some pointers as to how is a situationship different from an actual relationship: 

  1. Commitment: A situationship typically lacks a formal commitment. Whereas a relationship typically involves a commitment to exclusivity, longevity, or other defined expectations. Many times the commitment comes after a discussion between the two partners. Or clear gestures and signs that they are committed to you or the relationship. 
  1. Communication: In a situationship, communication about the nature of the relationship may be unclear or ambiguous. Whereas in a relationship, communication is typically more explicit and open. 

When you’re in a situationship, either you, or your partner, avoid talking openly about what’s going on. You might get along very well. But you still tend to avoid the actual discussion about whether you’re in a relationship with each other… Or just a ‘friends with benefits’ kind of thing. 

When you’re in a relationship, you clearly talk to each other about it. And maybe also put in some boundaries and limits of what you accept in a partner and what not. You also tend to have a clear understanding of the fact that you’re in a relationship. Either by saying it out loud, or by calling each other ‘my boyfriend’ or ‘my girlfriend’. 

  1. Expectations: A situationship may lack clearly defined expectations or boundaries. Whereas a relationship often involves specific expectations around things like communication, time spent together, and fidelity. 

Although in a relationship there might be some specific expectations that shouldn’t put you off from entering one. Just because you might be limited to one partner, it doesn’t mean that you will also lack adventure or passion with said partner. Feeling loved and being loved is a wonderful thing. And you don’t have to be with a lot of people in order to feel loved over and over again. 

You can be with the same person for 30 years and still feel loved every day! 

  1. Longevity: Situationships can be short-term or ongoing, whereas relationships often involve a long-term commitment.

Usually situationships are short-term. Because most often one of the two people will either be too confused for too long and that puts too much pressure. Or maybe one of the partners ends up wanting more than just a situationship filled with insecurity and confusion. And they might want to progress to a relationship. Or simply looking for someone else who they are more compatible with. 

However, there’s nothing to say that once you’re in a relationship it is bound to last longer. But it does carry the presumption that you are interested in a long term connection, rather than just a fling. 

  1. Emotions: Situationships may involve emotional intimacy and physical intimacy. But the level of emotional involvement may not be as deep as in a committed relationship.

Most people that are in a situationship don’t allow themselves to get too emotionally involved or attached. As they realize that it is not stable and it can crumble at any point. As there isn’t any real commitment or agreement for a commitment between the two partners. 

Whereas in a relationship, people tend to open up more and allow themselves to get attached to their partner. Even love them  and learn how to love their partner as well. 

Overall, the main difference between a situationship and a relationship is the level of commitment. And the clarity of expectations and boundaries. 

In a situationship, these may be unclear or undefined, whereas in a relationship, they are typically more established and explicit.

How do you know if you are in a situationship?

It can be challenging to know if you are in a situationship because, by definition, the relationship lacks clear expectations and boundaries. 

However, here are some signs that you may be in a situationship:

  1. Unclear relationship status: You may be unsure of where you stand with the other person. And whether you are exclusive or not. Should anyone ask you whether you are together or not you’re confused about the situation. And not clear on what’s going on. 
  1. Lack of defined commitment: You may not have had a formal conversation about the future of the relationship. Or established any expectations around it. You see each other once in a while. You might behave like you’re in a relationship when you’re together. But there wasn’t any clear discussion about it, nor about any boundaries and limits. Not even a conversation whether you should see other people or not. 
  1. Ambiguity about plans: Plans for the future may be uncertain or undefined. Leaving you feeling unsure about your place in the other person’s life. 

You might talk about future plans… but not include each other in them. 

For example if your situationship partner is planning a holiday, or even a party but they’re not inviting you to go with them. 

Or they might invite you to a short getaway. But only if there’s nobody else from their group who might see you two together. 

  1. Limited communication: Communication may be sporadic or lack depth, leaving you feeling unsure of the other person’s feelings or intentions.

All the discussion might be around what they’re career plans are. And maybe future personal plans too, but without including you in them. Or without even asking your input or opinion about it. 

  1. No public display of affection: There may be a lack of public displays of affection. Or the other person may avoid introducing you to their friends and family.

As mentioned above, they might try to hide your situationship and even if confronted by others. They might deny that you two have something going on. 

When someone is truly interested in being with you in a relationship, they are not afraid to show you off to the world. 

  1. Limited time spent together: You may only see each other occasionally, and plans may be made last minute.

A lot of things that you do in a situationship are just casual. No clear defined label as to what this is. No clear limits. And they might also get offended if you try to steer the discussion around relationships and commitment. 

If they only make time for you when they’re bored… you know this is not something serious. 

Whenever someone likes another person they WILL make time to see them often. And also to profess their love and commitment. 

Anything else is a …situationship not a relationship! 

If you are experiencing several of these signs, then it is possible that you are in a situationship. 

However, the best way to know for sure is to have an open and honest conversation with the other person about your expectations. And the nature of your relationship.

It might not be easy, and it might also mean that the situationship will end. 

But we all deserve to be loved and not dragged along in an unfulfilling situationship. 

How long do situationships typically last?

The length of a situationship can vary widely depending on the individuals involved and the circumstances of the relationship. 

Some situationships can last for weeks or months, while others may go on for years. 

It’s essential to remember that situationships are inherently ambiguous. And lack defined expectations or commitments. So the duration of the relationship may be less defined than in a committed relationship.

In general, situationships tend to last as long as both parties are getting what they want out of the relationship. 

If one person develops stronger feelings or wants more commitment than the other, the situationship may come to an end. 

On the other hand, if both parties are content with the situation, the situationship may continue indefinitely.

It’s worth noting that situationships are often temporary. And may not be a long-term solution for people seeking deeper emotional connections and committed relationships. 

If you are looking for a committed relationship, it’s essential to communicate your intentions. And seek out partners who share your goals and values.

Can situationships turn into serious relationships?

Yes, situationships can turn into serious relationships, but it’s not a guarantee. 

One of the defining characteristics of a situationship is the lack of clearly defined expectations or commitments. So there may be uncertainty about the future of the relationship. 

However, if both parties are open to exploring the possibility of a more serious relationship, it’s possible that the situationship could evolve into something more.

To turn a situationship into a serious relationship, clear communication is crucial. 

Both parties should be honest about their feelings, intentions, and expectations for the relationship. 

If both individuals are interested in taking the relationship to the next level, they can work together to establish clear boundaries, expectations, and commitments.

However, it’s important to recognize that not all situationships will lead to serious relationships. 

One or both parties may decide that they are not interested in pursuing a deeper emotional connection. Or external circumstances may prevent the relationship from progressing. 

It’s essential to approach situationships with an open mind. And be prepared for the possibility that they may not lead to a serious relationship.

Most often it happens that one of the individuals involved in a situationship, either wants a deeper connection and a committed relationship, or they might just fall in love with someone else. And entering into a relationship with that person. 

As there is no commitment in a situationship, it is easier for an individual to just leave and start a relationship. 

There is also the case when two people start off having a situationship. Until they get to know each other and realize that they’re actually super compatible with each other. 

Then wanting to commit to each other and to having a serious relationship. 

However I would urge you to be cautious if you’re planning to enter a situationship with a person with the hope of it turning into a relationship. As this is not always the case. And the other person might still leave in the end… Or they might end up hurting you because they’re reasons is totally different. 

What are 7 ways in which you can turn a situationship into a serious relationship?

If you’re in a situationship where you start having deeper feelings towards the other person and want to progress to a committed relationship, here are some ways you can do that: 

  1. Define your intentions: Be clear and honest with yourself and your partner about your intentions for the relationship. If you are interested in a serious relationship, communicate this to your partner.

Be ready for any outcome. They might agree with you. And they might also disagree and leave. Be ready to accept either outcome. 

  1. Have an open and honest conversation: Schedule a time to talk openly and honestly about your feelings, expectations, and intentions for the relationship. Listen to your partner and be open to compromise.

Be ready to ask a few questions that can help you understand what it is that the other person wants and expects of your ‘connection’. Is it a situationship? Is it a relationship? Would they be open to progress to a relationship from a situationship? If not then why and is there anything you can do to help them change their minds? 

You can also ask them what it is about a relationship that puts them off, or scares them? 

By understanding all of these about a person, we can have an idea if they would still be the right person for us. And also if there is genuinely something that we can do to help them feel more comfortable. And  also secure in a relationship. 

  1. Establish boundaries: Define what you are comfortable with in the relationship, including emotional and physical boundaries.

One of the main traits of a relationship are boundaries. If they agree to be in a relationship, you might want to let them know what are some boundaries you are comfortable with. And what are some that you’re not comfortable with. 

Things like loyalty, time spent together, likes and dislikes are some other things that you might want to discuss as well. 

  1. Communicate openly: Be open and honest with each other about your thoughts, feelings, and needs. Communication is crucial in building trust and emotional intimacy.

If you want to be in a relationship then you have to actually behave like you’re in one. Communication is crucial for any type of relationship, but more so for a romantic one. 

So being honest about your feelings, expectations, desires and wants is very important when you’re talking to someone about progressing from a situationship to a relationship. 

One thing to remember is that being rude is never acceptable. Even if the other person might not have the same desires or expectations. Or even if they might not want to progress to a relationship from a situationship. 

  1. Spend quality time together: Make an effort to spend time together, and plan activities that you both enjoy.

People in a relationship usually spend a lot of quality time together, especially at the beginning of the relationship. 

So if you want to progress to a committed relationship, you might want to start spending more time together. Getting to know each other better and at a deeper level. 

If for any reason the other person is avoiding it, it might just mean that they are not ready to progress to a relationship. Or that they have no intention of ever doing that. 

  1. Get to know each other’s friends and family: Introducing your partner to your friends and family is a sign that you are serious about the relationship.

This is another way of signaling the other person that you are seeing the situationship leading to something more serious. 

If they avoid the situations where other people are present. And where you can label that the situation is between the two of you… It might be a sign that they don’t want to progress to a relationship. 

However, if they start doing the same thing, it might be a sign that they too are ready to graduate from situationship to a relationship. 

  1. Take it slow: Building a serious relationship takes time. Be patient and allow the relationship to develop at its own pace, rather than rushing into things.

Depending on the other person’s background and previous experiences, it might take time for them to get used to you and then to be in a relationship. 

So don’t rush and let things unfold naturally and without putting any pressure on you or your partner. 

Remember, not all situationships are meant to turn into serious relationships. It’s important to respect your partner’s feelings. And be prepared for the possibility that they may not want the same things as you.

How do you establish boundaries in a situationship?

Establishing boundaries in a situationship can be challenging since the nature of the relationship is often ambiguous and undefined. However, if you still feel you need some boundaries in your situationship, here are some tips for establishing them:

  1. Determine what you want: Before you can establish boundaries, you need to be clear on what you want from the relationship. Take some time to reflect on your needs, expectations, and boundaries.

Make a list if it helps you get clearer. Understand what a situationship really is and what it can become. And then determine what your boundaries would be. 

  1. Communicate your boundaries: Once you have identified your boundaries, communicate them to your partner. Be clear and direct about what you are and are not comfortable with in the situationship.

Although usually in situationships there aren’t clear boundaries, you can still both agree on some of them. 

  1. Be consistent: Once you have established your boundaries, stick to them. Consistency is essential in building trust and establishing healthy boundaries.

There is no point in setting up boundaries if you’re not going to stick to them. Being consistent with them will tell your situationship partner that you’re serious about them. And that they mean a lot to you. 

However, prepare yourself for the case when your situationship partner might not agree with your boundaries. And with the outcome that that might lead to. 

  1. Respect your partner’s boundaries: Boundaries are a two-way street. Make sure to listen to your partner’s boundaries and respect them.

You cannot have your own boundaries in place and not respect your partner’s. 

Although this is a situationship, respect should still be on both sides. 

  1. Reevaluate regularly: Situationships can evolve quickly, so it’s important to reevaluate your boundaries regularly. Check-in with yourself and your partner to make sure that your boundaries still align with your needs and expectations.

Communication is key for any relationship. But when it comes to situationships a lack of communication is usually the norm. 

However that doesn’t mean that you cannot change that and just be clear about the things you can be clear about. 

  1. Be open to compromise: Relationships require compromise, and situationships are no exception. Be open to negotiating your boundaries to find a mutually acceptable solution.

If you are ok with being in a situationship then you must understand that there will be times when you will still have to compromise on certain things. 

Either when it comes to the time spent together or the things you can or cannot do together. 

You cannot have the same expectations from a situationship as you would from a relationship. 

Remember, establishing boundaries in a situationship can be challenging, and it’s not always possible to get everything you want. The key is to communicate openly and honestly with your partner and prioritize your emotional and physical wellbeing.

What are 5 benefits and 5 drawbacks of being in a situationship?

As with anything in life, situationships have a good side and a… not so good side. 

So here are 5 potential benefits and 5 potential drawbacks of being in a situationship:


  1. Freedom: Situationships often lack the constraints and expectations of traditional relationships. Allowing individuals to explore their feelings without feeling tied down.
  1. Flexibility: Situationships can be more flexible than committed relationships, allowing individuals to pursue other interests and opportunities. Maybe even other partners.
  1. Lower stress: Since there are no defined expectations or commitments, situationships may be less stressful than committed relationships. And less pressure to be a good partner, than in a relationship.
  1. Learning experience: Situationships can be a learning experience, allowing individuals to explore their emotions and desires. Without the pressure of a committed relationship.
  1. Emotional support: Although situationships lack the commitment of traditional relationships, individuals in situationships can still offer each other emotional support and companionship. 


  1. Lack of clarity: The ambiguity of situationships can be frustrating and confusing, leading to uncertainty about the future of the relationship. 

What relationship do you ask? Exactly! It’s a situationship where you’re always confused… 

  1. Emotional risk: Situationships can be emotionally risky, especially if one person develops stronger feelings than the other.

At which point you can either gather some courage and have a discussion about progressing to a relationship, or even break it up. 

But is it even a break up if you’re not actually in a relationship? This is a discussion for another time…

  1. Limited intimacy: Situationships often lack the emotional and physical intimacy of committed relationships, which can be unsatisfying for some individuals.

Depending on what it is that you’re looking for in this situationship, and what your needs are to make you feel happy and fulfilled and loved… You might end up being frustrated if you feel you’re not getting enough intimacy. 

And this too can be sorted with a good old… talking session with your situationship partner. 

  1. Lack of support: Since situationships lack the commitment of traditional relationships, individuals in situationships may not have the same level of emotional and social support.
  1. Potential for miscommunication: The lack of defined expectations and commitments in situationships can lead to miscommunication and misunderstandings. which can be detrimental to the situationship.

Again, this might be a good time to have a discussion about desires, wants, needs. And potentially talk about progressing the situationship to a relationship? 

It’s important to remember that every situationship is unique. And the benefits and drawbacks will vary depending on the individuals involved and the circumstances of the relationship.

How do you navigate situationships when one person wants more than the other?

Navigating a situationship when one person wants more than the other can be challenging. But here are some tips that may help:

  1. Communicate honestly: It’s important to communicate openly and honestly with your partner about your feelings and expectations for the relationship. Be clear about what you want from the relationship and listen to your partner’s perspective.
  1. Set boundaries: If you want more from the relationship than your partner, it may be necessary to set boundaries to protect your emotional wellbeing. Be clear about your boundaries and stick to them.
  1. Be prepared for rejection: If your partner does not want the same things as you, be prepared for the possibility of rejection. Remember that it’s okay to have different expectations for the relationship. And it’s important to respect your partner’s feelings and decisions.
  1. Take time for self-reflection: If you find yourself wanting more from the relationship than your partner, take some time for self-reflection. Think about what you really want from the relationship and whether it’s worth pursuing.
  1. Consider ending the situationship: If the mismatch in expectations is causing significant emotional distress consider ending the situationship. Remember that your emotional wellbeing is important and that it’s okay to prioritize your needs and feelings.

Remember that navigating a situationship when one person wants more than the other can be challenging. And it’s important to prioritize clear communication and respect for each other’s feelings.

How do you end a situationship?

If you find yourself in a situationship and are no longer happy, you might want to consider ending it. 

If you’re wondering how to best do that, here are some that may help:

  1. Be honest: Honesty is key when ending a situationship. Be clear and direct about why you want to end the relationship, and avoid making excuses or sugar-coating the situation.
  1. Communicate in person: Whenever possible, it’s best to communicate in person rather than over text or phone. This allows for a more personal and respectful conversation.
  1. Be respectful: Even if the situationship was casual, it’s important to be respectful when ending the relationship. Avoid insulting or belittling your partner and focus on expressing your own feelings and needs.
  1. Set clear boundaries: When ending a situationship, it’s important to set clear boundaries and stick to them. This may mean cutting off communication or limiting contact to a minimum.
  1. Take time for self-care: Ending any relationship can be emotionally challenging, so it’s important to take time for self-care. This may include spending time with friends, pursuing hobbies, or seeking support from a therapist.

Remember that ending a situationship can be challenging. But it’s important to prioritize your own emotional wellbeing and to be respectful of your partner’s feelings.

How can you avoid getting hurt in a situationship?

If you want to continue being in a situationship, and want to avoid getting hurt, here are some things that you might want to do: 

  1. Be clear about your expectations: Be clear about what you want from the relationship. And communicate your expectations with your partner. This can help ensure that you’re on the same page and can prevent misunderstandings down the line.
  1. Set boundaries: Setting boundaries can help protect your emotional wellbeing in a situationship. Be clear about what you’re comfortable with and what you’re not, and communicate these boundaries with your partner.
  1. Focus on the present: Try to focus on enjoying the present moment rather than worrying about the future of the relationship. This can help you avoid getting too attached or investing too much emotionally.
  1. Take it slow: Take your time getting to know your partner and avoid rushing into things. This can help you make more informed decisions about the relationship and reduce the risk of getting hurt.
  1. Trust your intuition: If something doesn’t feel right, trust your intuition. If you sense that your partner is not being honest or genuine, it may be best to end the relationship.

Remember that situationships can be complex and there are no guarantees that you won’t get hurt. However, by being clear about your expectations, setting boundaries, and trusting your intuition, you can help protect your emotional wellbeing and make informed decisions about the relationship.

Whether you want to be in a situationship, already are in one or want to get out of it, the key things to remember are that you have to openly discuss what is it that you want, don’t want and what are the areas you are ok to compromise on. 

Very similar to being in a relationship, but without the commitment and promises that come with being in a relationship. 

Setting expectations from the very beginning will help you not get confused or hurt later on. 

I hope this article has shed some light on what a situationship is and whether you should consider it or not! 


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