Driving through unfamiliar territory, we finally arrived at our destination. The building was rustic yellow with warm lights zigzagging across the patio. Plants paved the path to the entrance – which was a tall, brick archway.
I was impressed that he had remembered how much I loved Italian cuisine, but even more impressed that he knew of a restaurant as nice as this one.
We sat across from one another, eyes glancing over the menus.
“So, this is a date?” I asked.
“No? I’m just taking you out to dinner,” he said abruptly.
I laughed it off. It only slightly hurt. I mean, it’s not like we were cuddling in his bed – stuffed animal between our arms – barely an hour before coming here.
We discussed our favorite colors over a plate of pasta, and by the time we had finished eating, we had discussed topics of much more depth — like each other’s future goals and dream jobs.
It was then when I realized that we both shared the same values and morals. And, for a split second, I had a glimpse of our future.
He paid, although my feminist-self offered, and we walked out of the restaurant, hand-in-hand, giggling over the jokes we had made at dinner. I turned the radio on in the car, and, as I leaned forward to switch the station, I looked over to witness him leaning in for a kiss — lips already puckered.
I smiled so big, giddily kissing him back.
How was this not a date?
Yes, he made it clear that he did not want a label. And, at first, I had agreed with him. I had recently gotten out of a relationship and had sworn that I wasn’t looking for anything. But then we bumped into each other at the gym and 40 minutes later we were still standing there catching up. Not to mention that he had returned to the summer job that I’ve been working at for the last five years, and, well, this summer we just clicked.
After relaying the night to my girlfriends– detail for detail — we came to the same, godforsaken conclusion: that he and I are in a “situationship.”
I think it is safe to say that a situationship differs from friends with benefits. FWB is strictly just sex without feelings or emotions attached. And it typically never ends well, because one person involved almost always catches feelings. On the other hand, a situationship is a little more complicated. It’s less than a relationship, but it has feelings involved — making it more than just sex.
While no two experiences will ever be the same, when it comes to a situationship, there are a few key traits that everyone can look out for.
The “What are we?” moment:
You are not exclusively together because there is no label. He’s also not talking to anyone else — to your knowledge. But you do everything, and I mean everything that a normal couple does. You hold hands, have FaceTime dates, nap together, call each other pet names, go to the gym together and hook up; and you don’t leave immediately after.
Oh and don’t forget, you might get posted on their Snapchat story every once and while, but never on Instagram. It’s way too official. And, according to my coupled-up sources, an Instagram post is the official statement announcing, “we’re going steady.”
It seems as though social media has a chokehold on relationships everywhere, as if to say: once you’re on their page, you’ll know you’ve made it.
The lack of communication:
There is no consistency in communication and I’m not referring to the deep conversations that are held at all hours of the night.
To put it simply: texting. Normal couples have a constant conversation, despite long hours in between responses. Situationships don’t have that luxury.
Couples will have three conversations on three different social media platforms — at the same time — whether it’s texting, Snapchat messages, Instagram DMs or over TikTok. Situationships communicate only on Snapchat because of its quick and convenient use for holding short conversations.
Through diagnosing my situationship, I realized that he and I do not text. I get it.
He has five classes and he rows for the crew team. However, we both attend two different colleges, and a text here and there would make me feel like he hasn’t forgotten about me — like I mean something to him.
In most cases, you’re probably lucky to receive a FaceTime call every other week — assuming there are no interruptions like rowdy roommates or previously made plans for the night.
Not meeting the parents:
Individuals will avoid having their parents meet their situationship partner at all costs, it seems. There’s just too much uncertainty and questions that can’t be answered for the family to meet them. Maybe it’s all too overwhelming.
If anything, keeping the family and situationship separate will save you from the discomfort of holiday-dinner-couple questions. You know, the ones asking where your boyfriend/girlfriend is, questioning if you’re ready to take the next step and get a place together and wondering why you’re always at their place if you guys “aren’t serious.”
Wait until it is truly official for the parents to meet them; it’ll save you the awkwardness.
Wondering how long this will go on:
The situationship period should not last longer than a month — two at most. Hypothetically speaking, the situationship could last forever. If they are not looking for commitment and you are, then it will drag on and on in hopes it’ll turn into a relationship.
I like to be optimistic, though. If you both like each other, then why waste your time? Put the label on it and try out a real relationship. If it doesn’t work out, then it doesn’t work out. But at least you tried– and had fun doing it.
It’s ironic, really, that I just wrote the previous paragraph, because I could never say that to him over text or in person. I wouldn’t want to scare him off before I got the chance to be his girlfriend. But if he comes across this article, my chances may already be ruined. If they aren’t though, then post me on Instagram, soon. I am over this situationship.
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