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Situationships & Swipe Culture

Relationships often defy traditional labels in the modern world, and there’s a lot of uncertainty when it comes to dating in general. It can be both exhilarating and perplexing.

Let us begin with a relatable scenario, whether you're a keen listener, a fly on the wall, or one of the partners involved. Two consenting individuals are at a gathering, enjoying some finger food, and engaging in a delightful conversation. Right then, the dreaded question gets tossed into the mix of all things light and pleasant - “So, what are we?”

Welcome to the world of ‘situationships’, where relationships are fluid and undefined, brewing a concoction of freedom and confusion.

What is a situationship anyway?

It is an undefined, uncommitted relationship, which is more than a friendship but does not quite qualify as a committed romantic partnership.  A connection that stays a realm beyond traditional labels, often leaving those involved in a state of ambiguity. Unlike a straightforward relationship, a situationship has no defined goal or direction. Instead, it’s marked by its fluidity and often, a lack of long-term commitment.

What makes situationships so common nowadays?

The exponential increase in situationships can be attributed to various factors, thanks to the digital age that has transformed how people meet and interact, with apps and social media exerting a significant influence. 

Here are a few reasons why situationships are becoming more common than ever:

Convenience and flexibility

One can’t overlook the fact that online dating offers unparalleled convenience. It’s a lot easier to swipe, match, and start conversations with multiple people simultaneously than one might imagine. This convenience can lead to casual connections that don’t necessarily evolve into serious relationships.

Fear of Commitment

For some, the thought of committing to one person can be daunting. Situationships offer a quick fix and allow individuals to enjoy companionship and intimacy without the pressure of long-term commitment.

Exploring options

With so many potential partners at one’s fingertips, the desire to explore multiple connections before settling down has become more common than ever. Situationships keep the door open for new options to come in.

What makes situationships complicated?

While it's true that situationships offer freedom and flexibility, one cannot possibly discount the challenges they present for the partners involved.

Emotional ambiguity

The ambiguity in boundaries and expectations can lead to confusion and emotional turmoil. One person might develop deeper feelings while the other remains non-committal, causing an imbalance. This makes for a classic case of not being on the same page, thereby, leading to indefinite and uncomfortable inconsistency for either or both partners.

Communication issues 

As we’ve thoroughly established, effective communication is the foundation of a strong and tall relationship. In situationships, the absence of clear labels can make it difficult to have honest conversations about feelings and future expectations. Misunderstandings and assumptions are bound to create tension and sometimes even frustration.


The uncertainty of where the relationship is heading can be incredibly stressful. This can fuel feelings of insecurity regarding one's role and significance in their partner's life, ultimately contributing to anxiety and dissatisfaction with the overall dating experience.


What makes navigating situationships easier? 

Effective communication runs deeper than just mere conversation, extending into genuinely listening, being open and expressing feelings honestly, preferably without the fear of judgment. It becomes simpler by spending time with the person and articulating one’s thoughts, no matter how calming or intrusive, instead of leaving things unsaid and hoping they will read your mind.

Having open conversations

It’s essential to discuss what both partners expect from the relationship. Asking a few fundamental questions about what you’re both looking for - whether it’s something casual or if you're both willing to take things to the next level -  is imperative.

Setting meaningful and well-drawn boundaries

Putting into words what’s acceptable and what’s not and discussing the prominent dealbreakers makes a world of a difference. Clear boundaries help prevent misunderstandings and ensure both partners respect each other’s needs.

Being honest with yourself

Reflecting on your feelings and needs can be super helpful. Tuning into your innermost instincts about the situation can bring you a fulfilling experience. The more candid you get with yourself about this matter, the smoother your journey toward authenticity in modern dating will be. Are you truly comfortable with the ambiguity, or do you feel the need to be in a more defined and committed relationship?

A comforting way to look at your ‘situation’ would be to see your love life as a dynamic, ever-evolving story. There’s no single, correct, one-size-fits-all way to craft your narrative. The power lies in being honest with yourself and your partner, ensuring that each chapter is written with authenticity, mutual understanding, and respect for the partner. Embrace the twists and turns, have those meaningful conversations, and have faith in your journey.

It helps to remember that this experience has more to teach you than just finding the right path. It is also about carving out your unique way forward. Every journey is an opportunity for growth and self-discovery, and there is never a predetermined destination. So, set sail with confidence, communicate openly, and enjoy the adventure — your personal happiness is out there, ready for you to discover.

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