Neither boyfriends nor friends nor fuck buddies: what is a ‘situationship’, the non-relationships that torment those who flirt in the 21st century | Beauty | S Fashion


Warning for romantics and fans of Disney love stories: this topic can generate anxiety, cold sweats and tremors, since what concerns us today are relationships that no longer believe in happy endings or end in partridge banquets. When in 2005 Facebook allowed users to clarify that they were in “a complicated relationship,” few imagined that these types of couples, far from being the exception, would begin to become common over time. Tinder’s 2022 Year in Swype report indicated that young singles were already talking about dating situationships, a casual bond agreed upon by both parties, as a state of valid relationship. A year later, the Oxford dictionary was responsible for once again emphasizing that these types of relationships are more fashionable than ever, noting that the term was the second that best captured the trends that defined 2023.

What is a ‘situationship’ and what are its bases?

“The term merges the words relationship and situation, so it can be translated as being in a situation. It is a way of relating in which something exists, but, at the same time, nothing exists. There is sex, but not a relationship. We meet, but it’s not a date. A situationship It’s a yes, but no,” explains Eva Gutiérrez, author of If it is toxic it is not love. The enemies of ambiguity will also be disappointed because, as can be seen, it is an anglicism that is not very concise and seems to be intended for the subjunctive and perhaps. “In this type of relationship there is no room for labels such as a couple or courtship, because there is no commitment. They are relationships based on immediacy, the same one we live in our society. Let’s not forget that we are in the era of having what I want here and now. We live in it right now, to the second, and if I don’t like it, I throw it away in a single click. We are in the culture of having lost patience. “Why would our way of relating be different,” she asks.

Tinder saw a 49% increase in members who added this new relationship intention to their profiles, and more than one in 10 of the young singles surveyed said they preferred the situationships as a way to have a bond with less pressure. The embrace of these relationships that separate friendships from romantic love stories was immortalized in 2009 on the big screen, in 500 days of summer. The protagonists of the film maintain a non-relationship in which he wants a stable partner, while she makes it clear at all times that she prefers a type of partner that today would fit perfectly with the definition of situationship. However, back then there was no term that defined the type of relationship she was looking for. There is a scene that illustrates quite well the topic we are discussing today and the relationships it defines. In the car, on the way to the movie theater, he asks her one of those scary questions: “What are we?” She responds with an elusive “what does it matter?”, and then tickles him and laughs, creating a space of intimacy in which he feels safe even though his response has not been at all what he expected. I expected. In fact, later his friends try to force him to ask the girl directly if they are dating (which is what he longs for and what he believes they are), but he claims that they don’t believe in labels. That moment is the one that best clarifies that the reason why he does not want to raise such a question is that he knows perfectly well that her answer would mean the end of the relationship. situationship.

“It is vital to know if both of you are pursuing the same goal and if you are at the same point, because if one of the parties falls in love and wants something more and the other does not, it is time to stop and ask yourself if this type of relationship is worth it.” . For me, the most important thing in any type of relationship is to ask yourself how it makes you feel. Does it make me feel good, at ease? Or, on the contrary, maybe I start to feel uneasy, worried, unseen, insecure… It is very important that you stop with yourself and review how the relationship you are living is making you feel so that, if you see that this type of relationship can harm yourself, you put an end to it as soon as possible and thus avoid suffering,” says Gutiérrez.

But are these types of relationships really an excuse to run away from commitment? Eva Gutiérrez explains that precisely what defines these couples is the lack of commitment, because unlike traditional relationships, situationships They are not formal nor do they have an official title. “The common denominator is the lack of clear labels and commitment. There is no clear definition of the relationship, so you may not know if the other person is meeting more people at the same time, or if he only calls you at specific times, like when he is bored at home, for example. For her part, Flavia dos Santos, a sexologist who collaborates with Gleeden, a platform for extramarital encounters, does not necessarily believe that this type of relationship is a way to avoid commitment. “Even in the situationships you need to have it: you have to schedule a time, choose a place to meet, be available… It means not pigeonholing yourself into a single way of experiencing romantic encounters; flee from a single possibility.”

The advantages of non-relationships and how to know if you are in one

When assessing the positive points of this type of relationship, it is common for the figure of the fuck buddy to emerge, which Dos Santos considers less positive. “The situationship It is better than a fuck buddy, because it gives you the opportunity to find coincidences with the other, to exchange and share moments that can be enriching for both parties. Although it may seem too superficial, I think it can be the bridge to a stable relationship. When you have a fuck buddy, there is nothing but sex,” she explains. The psychologist and sexologist Ana Lombardía considers that this type of relationship can be useful and interesting for a time, when, for example, the couple has just met and is seeing if it fits. “In this way, it allows us not to rush into a relationship that may not suit us or for which we are not ready. It is important that this situation does not last too long over time, or that it does not chain a situationship with another and with another eternally, but rather it is the natural step of the moment of starting to know someone,” he warns.

The dating specialists at the AdoptaUnTío app, in which the use of the term situationship It shot up last summer to reach 15%, they have prepared a description of four symptoms that allow you to identify if you also have one.

Close, but not very

“Those involved can become exclusive with each other, but they do not usually think about a future together. It is rather a system without couple obligations,” they explain.

Short notice plans

“The situationships They are quite casual and you have to let yourself flow. This is why if the two parties plan to do something together, it won’t go beyond the next few days or weeks at most. The situation is so ephemeral that it would be risky to buy tickets for a festival six months in advance,” they say.

Presentation to friends

“People who have a situationship They agree that it’s not the best and they’re also not sure if it will ever turn into something more. Making introductions would imply defining the other person as a friend or boyfriend,” they warn.

Type of appointments

“It is true that couples who are in this type of relationship meet and make plans, but not as romantic dates. They are more about meeting up to watch a movie on the couch and whatever comes up. The regularity of this type of meeting is not specified by either of them,” they indicate.

Finally (without partridges in the way), we must remember the importance of not ignoring emotional responsibility, which means recognizing and assuming that our actions cause emotions in the people with whom we interact. “We must be aware of the implications that come with the links we establish with other people. The million dollar question is what your goal is in a relationship without labels and if it is the same as the other person’s. If you have different objectives, things can get very complicated,” says Eva Gutiérrez.

The psychologist and sexologist Ana Lombardía makes an important clarification as a final touch: “We must also remember that the fact that we like someone, even that we love it, does not mean that we have to or can be with that person. Liking someone is the basis, something that has to be taken for granted, but everything else that we build around is going to be essential. “Love and attraction are not enough.” And, for that reason, neither Summer was a malevolent woman nor a robot (as the protagonist of the film comments in a scene), nor is anyone who does not want a normal relationship being cruel, as long as they have let the other person know. what you want, seek and need.

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