What Exactly Is A Situationship?

In this edition of dating terminology you never thought you'd need to know, we're looking at situationships. If the name doesn't give it away, it's a situation that's also, well, a "ship." The definition of the word situation is fairly vague because a lot of things can be situations. It can be a site, a position, a place, a combination of circumstances, a state of affairs, and so on down the list (via Merriam-Webster). When it comes to dating with zero commitment or the intent to evolve into something serious, having a situationship is pretty much the best set-up one can have. It's basically just having a "thing" with someone.

"[Having a label on every relationship] puts undue pressure on the pair because they feel obligated to establish themselves as something," Mayla Green, the relationship advisor and co-founder of TheAdultToyShop.com, tells Cosmopolitan. "Friends with benefits? Committed and dating? Rebound relationship? There was always a reason for every union. If I could have just been with someone without labeling it, you'd never know how it would have evolved. Maybe friends will suit us, perhaps a romantic relationship. It seems way more casual to just go with the flow!"

But the problem is knowing if it's a situationship, something more, something less, or something that the Internet has yet to create a word for in this complex dating world. You could guess — guessing is always fun — or you could examine the signs and hope that maybe you're right in figuring out what you're in.

How to know you're in a situationship

A big sign that you're in a situationship is that the relationship you have hasn't been defined, nor does it have a label. There's also a pretty good chance that you only get together at the last minute (hello, booty call), you both might be seeing other people, you don't talk about a future together because there probably isn't one, and your connection is more about sex than emotions (via Healthline). You also might be confused because you're not sure how you're supposed to feel or if you should feel anything at all.

"[A situationship is] like you're playing house by pretending you're in a relationship, but with no real consistency, dependency or reliability," Samantha Burns, a dating coach and author, tells HuffPost. "You might go out on a date, Netflix and chill, or go grocery shopping together. It can be a confusing and nebulous time in the relationship, full of uncertainty about what you are and where it's going."

It's the type of relationship, if we can call it that, which is perfect for certain times in our lives and not so great for other times. It's all about what you're looking for out there in the dating world.

How to know if a situationship is right for you

If you have zero time for and interest in commitment, then maybe a situationship is exactly what you need.

"In a situationship, you may be more free to prioritize your life without necessarily needing to check in or run things by your significant other the way you might in a more defined relationship," Saba Harouni Lurie, L.M.F.T., tells Women's Health. "Because you're not making a decision to build a life with your situationship partner, the choices you make are yours alone, with a few exceptions regarding choices that could jeopardize someone else's health."

But you have to know that this is what you're in and there's no room to catch the feels. Once that happens, you no longer have a situationship; you have a mess. And that mess can take its toll on your mental health because situationships can leave you questioning your self-worth — you're good enough to sleep with but not date?

If you realize you just can't swing the situationship, the best thing you can do is be honest about your feelings to yourself and the person you're sleeping with — and get out (via Verywell Mind). Of course, if the other person in the situationship has feelings too, then you can move toward a relationship, but if they don't, then, in the name of self-esteem and to avoid a broken heart, it's best if you take your leave. Situationships aren't for everyone, especially the hopeless romantics of the world who are holding out for Mr. Darcy.