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  • The Merge

Love in the Time of Situationships: A Guide to Modern Dating

Updated: Feb 25, 2023

Time of Situationships

When it comes to dating in today's modern world, there are a wide variety of different kinds of romantic partnerships that people can look into, ranging from serious, long-term relationships to situationships that are casual and do not require commitment.

Not all forms of partnership are created equal, and in order to select the type of partnership that will serve you best, it is essential to have a solid understanding of the distinctions between a relationship and a situationship.

Putting Relationships and Situationships into Perspective

Before we delve into the positives and negatives of each variety of partnership, it is essential that we first establish what we mean when we say "relationship" and "situationship."

A partnership between two people that are committed to lasting for a significant amount of time is called a relationship. In most cases, it involves a high level of emotional and physical intimacy, in addition to a mutual understanding of each other's aspirations and plans for the future. Relationships are able to take on a variety of configurations, from monogamous to open, and can include any number of people of either gender.

A situationship, on the other hand, is a form of partnership between two people that is less serious and does not involve any commitment. It may involve emotional or physical closeness, but it typically lacks the distinct boundaries and commitments of a traditional relationship. This type of relationship may involve emotional or physical closeness. The length of time spent in a situationship does not determine whether it is an exclusive or non-exclusive relationship.

In simpler terms, a situationship can only be considered a relationship when you intend it to be so. While you may share intimate moments, it's not mandatory for you to be involved in family gatherings or perform duties such as doing laundry. Situationships provide the freedom to indulge at the moment and forget about them as soon as they pass. However, anyone with experience in situationships would testify that it's much harder to maintain than it appears.

These types of relationships aren’t new but we finally have a word for them. Urban Dictionary defines situationships as more than a friendship but not quite a relationship.

The Pros and Cons of Being in a Relationship

Being in a committed, long-term relationship offers a number of advantages. One of the most significant benefits is the feeling of emotional security that comes along with being in a committed relationship with someone who cares about both you and the future you build together. This can provide a sense of support and stability that is difficult to find in a situational relationship.

In addition, relationships typically involve more open communication as well as a greater sense of values and objectives that are held in common by both parties. This can help to cultivate a greater sense of partnership and teamwork, as well as a deeper level of emotional intimacy between the people involved.

However, there are cons associated with being in a relationship as well. One of the biggest challenges of being in a relationship is the need to navigate complex issues like trust, jealousy, and disagreements. In addition, it can be challenging to keep the spark that initially attracted two people together alive over the course of a relationship, particularly if new obstacles appear over time.

The Pros and Cons of Being in a Situationship

Additionally, there are many advantages to be gained from situational relationships. One of the biggest advantages of a situationship is the freedom it allows - without the constraints of a traditional relationship, you can explore your own needs and desires more freely. This can be particularly beneficial for people who are not ready or interested in committing to a long-term relationship or who are still trying to figure what they want.

In addition, situationships have the potential to be less stressful and more chill compared to traditional romantic partnerships. There may be less pressure to communicate or spend time with your partner on a consistent basis if there are fewer expectations and commitments in the relationship.

However, there are drawbacks associated with being in a situationship -- the absence of defined limits and obligations is one of the most difficult aspects of being in one. This can lead to uncertainty and miscommunication, as well as a lack of emotional security. Additionally, without the structure of a traditional relationship, it can be difficult to maintain a sense of trust and intimacy with your partner.

Another significant problem with situationship is that people and situations change, and the boundaries of a situationship become increasingly blurred as they do. One partner might end up wanting more time and commitment when the other has none to give.


Although situationships have its own sets of disadvantages, it does not mean that people should completely avoid situationships.

“There are many cases where two or more people would get together to get one or more relational needs met, without jumping into a full-fledged romantic relationship,” according to Ben Goresky, a Vancouver-based relationship coach.

According to Goresky, everyone has needs, whether they are for sex, security, social status, companionship, mental stimulation, or spiritual connection, and people can enter situationships to exchange these.

Sheleana Aiyana, Goresky's wife and relationship counsellor and author of “Becoming the One: Heal your past, transform your relationship patterns, and come home to yourself,” said that people sometimes find themselves in situationships due to where they are in their lives. Perhaps they've just broken up and want to connect but aren't ready for another serious relationship.

Situationships work best when the parties involved understand the terms and boundaries.

In recent years, situationships are gaining popularity. Millennials are well known for their aversion to commitment. The rising popularity of dating apps in the last decade has made it easier for millennials to find themselves in situationships resulting in them mastering the art of avoiding commitment and what we call a traditional relationship.

Because, why bother when there are plenty more swipes in the dating app sea?

These modern dating methods provide more choices of partners which makes it even harder to commit to one person, especially when most of the dating apps are so throwaway.

Much like fast fashion, the concept of dating has become something like 'fast love' where one can easily avoid having to deal with baggage or heartbreak.

Choosing the Best Partnership for You

The decision between being in a relationship and being in a situationship comes down to the individual requirements and preferences of each partner involved. A traditional relationship is probably the best option for you if what you're looking for is emotional stability, a long-term commitment, and a profound sense of intimacy with another person.

On the other hand, if you value freedom, independence, and a more casual connection with others, a situationship may be a better fit.

It's important to remember that there is no right or wrong choice when it comes to romantic partnerships - what works for one person may not work for another.

The single most important thing is to maintain open and honest communication with your partner throughout the entirety of your relationship. This includes being honest with yourself about what you want from the relationship as well as with your partner.


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