A situationship can leave us questioning our worth, our value, and if we’re even lovable.
What does it mean to be in a situationship?
Situationships are becoming a trend
Why is this becoming a trend now? “Culturally, our expectations of relationships has changed; people are getting married later in life, and many people are eager to explore relationships in a less structured way without pressure to commit, as they prioritize self-knowledge and developing as individuals,” says Saba Harouni Lurie, a licensed marriage and family therapist practicing in California.
On the one hand, removing the pressure of putting parameters on what the relationship is and isn’t can be freeing – as long as both parties are okay with leaving things open. On the flip side, not knowing where you stand can be detrimental, especially if one party wants more of a commitment. “This vagueness often leads one person to feel uncertainty, anxiety, frustration, resentment, helpless and sometimes even depressed,” Alpert says.
Situationships can be toxic
While experts say situationships can have their temporary benefits, they can quickly move into harmful territory if one partner starts to want more. “When both people are not in sync on the nature of the situationship, anger and resentment can arise over time,” says Carla Manly, a psychologist practicing in California. “This can manifest in toxic behaviors, such as passive-aggressive actions, anger outbursts and toxic communication.”
Not to mention, moving on from a situationship can result in unresolved feelings, since there’s nothing to technically break off. And depending on how long this situationship lasted, having it end without it ever amounting to any kind of commitment can be hard to process. “A deep sense of regret can come from spending your time — sometimes months or years — in a relationship that is stagnant,” says Manly. “Many people lament having invested a great deal of time, effort and even money is situationships that proved to be fruitless.”
How long does a situationship usually last?
Do situationships ever turn into relationships?
What are the rules of a situationship?