Situationships are part and parcel of dating in today’s day and age. For one reason or another, more and more millennials are shying away from the commitment and labels that come with traditional relationships, opting instead for situationships or casual dating experiences.
Ending a situationship can be tricky because, after all, there are no labels or boundaries around your relationship to being with. In this guide we will explore what a situationship is and how best to go about ending one.
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Let’s start out by defining what exactly a situationship is… well, a situationship is actually pretty difficult to define because its very nature abhors labels, boundaries, and definitions.
Some might define a situationship as a “relationship” that exists between two parties where there are some mutual benefits, like sex and company, without the added pressure and boundaries of traditional relationships.
Some people are able to find ways to make situationships work for both parties where there’s mutual understanding, shared expectations, and little to no relationship pressure.
While there certainly are benefits to situationships and casual dating, there are definitely some red flags to be aware of as well.
While this sort of encounter or style of dating might sound ideal, even enticing, to some, the problem with situationships are, well, many to be honest – from poor communication and occasional lack of respect and consideration for the other to blurred boundaries, and feelings of depletion and insecurity.
Situationships can have a variety of pros and cons, the below-mentioned factors, however, are red flags that signal it’s time to move on.
Jealousy certainly might pop up from time to time in any healthy relationship. However, if jealousy begins rearing its ugly head more often than not, it’s unhealthy. Unfortunately in a situationship jealousy may become a pressing issue if one party’s developed feelings for the other, while the other is still enjoying the benefits of being in a situationship.
If you’re feeling jealous more often than not, talk to your partner. If you’re not on the same page, move on for your own mental health and well-being.
If either party in a situationship or relationship feels their needs and wants aren’t being met, or feel neglected, it’s time to reevaluate the situation. Always make sure that your well-being is taken care of and, if not, walk away before it starts taking a toll on your mental health.
If you develop feelings for the other person and want more than what they can or are willing to give, it might be time to walk away.
Unfortunately, you have no control over the way another person feels, but you can protect your heart by choosing to put yourself first and walking away when you need to. Find someone who can give you what you want and need, as the saying goes, “there are plenty of fish in the sea.”
If a situationship starts impacting things you prioritize, like family, friends, school, health, or work, negatively, it’s time to move on. Don’t let something that’s likely to be temporary affect the pillars and foundation of your life.
Open communication, physical intimacy, trust, respect, and kindness are hallmarks of a healthy relationship. Whether you’re in a committed relationship, in the early stages of dating someone, or in a no strings attached affair, these factors should always be present. If they’re not, you’re likely in an unhealthy relationship.
Sometimes, situationships get to a point where they’re no longer mutually beneficial and one person is more invested than the other. This can lead to jealousy, insecurity, one of the parties feeling unheard or unseen, and a host of other, negative emotional and mental issues.
Knowing when and how to end a situationship is key to your health and happiness.
Knowing yourself, and what you want and don’t want are vitally important factors in a relationship. Take some time for self reflection and figure out what your goals, values, and needs are. Establish what you want in a partner.
Once you’ve done the internal work you’ll be better equipped to determine whether a committed relationship is what you want or if a casual relationship better serves you and your needs.
If a casual relationship/one night stand/undefined relationship is not what you’re after, be brave enough to end things with the person you’ve been seeing. Listen to your gut and follow your heart.
If you’re no longer enjoying the benefits of your situationship and the cons have begun outweighing the pros, be honest about it with the person you’re seeing. Talk about the way you’re feeling and why you believe you’d be better off walking away. You have nothing to lose!
If your partner suddenly wants more from you emotionally than what you’re willing or able to give, chat about that too.
At the end of the day, you need to look out for yourself and your emotional well-being. If something isn’t working for you, convey the message, whether in person, over the phone or via text.
Once you’ve made the decision to walk away from a situationship that no longer serves you and is no longer good for your mental health, be firm in your decision.
You need to set and communicate clear boundaries between yourself and the other party, for your own well-being. If the circumstances weren’t serving you, accept that you deserve more and allow yourself the space to find that.
It may be tempting to rekindle the situationship from time to time, especially if you miss their company or the sexual relationship you had, but a breach in boundaries will only make issues more complicated. Avoid falling into this trap.
It’s important, in any relationship, to check in with yourself from time to time and evaluate where you are both mentally and emotionally. Ask yourself if you’re happy with the way things are going. Do you feel heard and seen? Are you both on the same page and mutually respectful and understanding of each other?
If you find that you’re no longer in a good place, move on for the sake of your own happiness.
A situationship breakup can sometimes, surprisingly, be as difficult as going through a breakup from a serious relationship. Perhaps, emotions got entangled in your situationship or you genuinely enjoyed each other's company and realize you will miss that.
So, it’s important to prepare yourself mentally for what’s to come. It’s not all doom and gloom, though. If you feel like ending the situationship is in your best interest, you have a lot to look forward to in your future.
Once you’ve ended the situationship, spend time focusing on important aspects of your life, like your work, school, fitness, your kids, and friends. Having healthy distractions will help you move on more easily.
However, be cognizant that you don’t use these distractions as a way of avoiding your own emotions. It’s important to recognize, feel, and work through your emotions as they arise, without allowing them to run your life.
When boundaries aren’t respected after a breakup or the temptation exists to continue talking to each other, it’s best to cut all ties. Oftentimes healing only happens once all ties have been cut and you’re able to move on. Block him on all social media and delete his number from your phone so that you’re not tempted to keep tabs on his life.
It’s totally normal to feel exhausted, emotional, and depleted during or after a situationship. Lean on friends and family during this time for their support, advice, and guidance because they have your best interests at heart.
If the situationship was toxic, and you’re struggling with things like acceptance or low self-esteem, you might even need to talk to a professional for help.
Speaking from experience, casual dating can be a lot of fun and more often than not, it only lasts for a brief period of time in your life before you find the one and become happily entangled in a more serious relationship.
So, while you can, have fun dating around and meeting new and interesting people. Going on casual dates with other people can also help you move on from a toxic situationship. Download a dating app and get swiping, you never know who you might meet along the way!
Unfortunately, along with the rise of situationships has come poor communication and ghosting. Ghosting refers to someone cutting off all communication without explanation. Ghosting can lead to feelings of insecurity, anxiety, and confusion, all of which are unpleasant and unfair for anyone to have to endure.
If you’re in a situationship that you want to walk away from, you’re probably wondering whether or not, and why, it’s actually necessary to have a conversation with the other party when you weren’t in a “real relationship” to begin with.
Experts suggest that regardless of the status of your relationship, it’s important to put your ego aside and have a conversation when boundaries change in a relationship- whether it means things becoming more serious and more committed, or ending things.
So, as far as possible, avoid simply ghosting someone. Instead, communicate your feelings in a clear, concise manner that’ll give the other party some sense of closure.
When a situationship comes to an end, it’s tempting to look back on it as a waste of time. Avoid doing this. All relationships add something to our lives, even if they just come to teach us valuable lessons.
Look for those lessons, learn from them, and go into your next relationship with clearer boundaries, expectations, and communication.
Moving on from any relationship can be difficult. Sometimes, we need help from professionals to guide us through the dark and lonely days post-breakup. Attending therapy is likely to give you deeper insight into yourself, your relationships, and why you might be attracting certain types of people into your life time and time again.
If you’ve found yourself in a negative cycle of attracting people who aren’t on the same wavelength as you are into your life, therapy might help you to break this cycle. There really are a host of positive outcomes that will likely come from going to therapy.
Be easy on yourself and take things one day at a time after walking away from a situationship. Some of the ways you can look after yourself include:
Let’s face it, the dreaded conversation ending a relationship is never nice. You’re probably wondering what to say or how to say it to soften the blow. Here are some suggestions:
Ending a situationship is difficult because there were never boundaries or labels to begin with. When you’re in a real relationship, or a conventional one, with labels and boundaries, ending it means those labels no longer exist and you’re free to do and behave as you please.
However, in a situationship, these boundaries and labels never existed and you were always free to do as you wanted. Verbalizing the end of a situationship might be difficult and awkward to do, and oftentimes is what causes people to ghost a situation.
Over time, feelings between two parties may begin to develop and a situationship definitely can turn into a committed, romantic relationship. It’s important to remember that for a healthy relationship to develop, both parties need to be on the same page, there needs to be open and honest communication, boundaries need to be set, and there needs to be shared expectations.
Don’t simply remain in a situationship in the hopes of it becoming something more serious if that’s not what your partner wants. Put your happiness first and go after what you truly, deeply, want and need. If that’s something your partner can’t give you, it’s time to walk away.
In short, situationships last for as long as one allows them to or wants them to. There are no rules here. Some may carry on for weeks, months, or years. As long as a situationship is mutually beneficial and both parties are happy, there’s no reason to end it.
While ending a situationship might not follow the conventional ways of ending a normal relationship, it can still feel the same as a breakup for some. Depending on the time spent together and the emotional investment, calling a situationship quits can have a big impact on a person’s life and emotional well-being.
Situationships certainly have become a norm in today’s society. In fact, most people have been in one before, whether intentionally or not. And, if you haven’t encountered one personally yet, you can bet your bottom dollar you will soon enough, especially if you’re making use of dating apps.
Situationships certainly can be sticky to navigate and while there are many downsides to them, there are a handful of positive aspects as well.
Arming yourself with the above-mentioned information will help you to end and move on from a situationship that’s no longer healthy. Always make sure you and your emotional well-being remain your top priority in relationships.
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