Are Situationships Always A Bad Thing? Relationship Experts Weighs In

Labels carry weight and assumptions. That's why some modern daters prefer hiding behind a smokescreen of hazy sub-labels to avoid being associated with the expectations of being called "lovers" or "partners." That's understandable. It might still be too early to discuss your relationship status when you've only gone on just a few dates. So, what does it mean when you want to be in a relationship but you're not sure if you want to call it a relationship? That's when you find yourself in a situationship.

Technically, a situationship is a romantic partnership that falls into the murky territory between a committed relationship and a casual one. It's an arrangement that you can conveniently step out of when it ceases to be mutually beneficial. There's still the thrill of the chase and the physical or emotional enjoyment of each other's company — just without any promise of a future together. While some people might feel comfortable with the lack of social expectations implied by this vague definition, others might not like the lack of emotional investment it involves. 

Some might say that situationships are for those who are too immature to be in real relationships. But are they always a bad thing? To help you find out, Glam exclusively spoke to Sameera Sullivan, a relationship expert and matchmaker, and Chris Gillis, a personalized relationship and image consultant, for more insight.

Situationships offer more freedom and flexibility

According to Sameera Sullivan, a situationship can be a good thing, depending on the expectations of those involved in it. "Situationships can offer flexibility, freedom, and a low-pressure dynamic," Sullivan tells Glam exclusively. "They allow individuals to explore a connection without the constraints of traditional labels and commitments."

Sullivan goes on to add that people who prioritize independence and personal growth, or those with lifestyles that don't vibe with traditional partnerships, might be suitable candidates for situationships. 

Echoing the sentiment, Chris Gillis tells Glam exclusively that situationships are a good fit for people who see relationships as an old ball and chain. With situationships, daters can tend to their personal endeavors and engage in self-discovery while exploring romantic possibilities without the constraints of a traditional relationship. "Situationships can work well for individuals who are in non-traditional relationship structures, such as polyamory or open relationships, where multiple connections and varying levels of commitment are accepted and agreed upon," Gillis says.

You'll learn how to date in the moment

There's an inherently fun side to situationships. Their transient nature teaches you to stop worrying about whether the person you're seeing is spouse-material and just focus on having a blast together at your own pace. The problem with dating in the name of searching for a lifetime partner is that it can make you so preoccupied with the future that you forget how to live in the now. When you're in a situationship, you don't discuss or let yourself get stressed by serious stuff like savings, housing loans, or wedding expenses. 

If you're the type of lover who prefers leaving your expectations at the door and seeing where life takes you, you'll enjoy being in a situationship. "Some individuals may prefer to live in the present and enjoy the companionship, intimacy, and connection that situationships offer without the expectations and pressures associated with a committed relationship," Chris Gillis tells Glam in our exclusive chat.

It's no exaggeration to say that a situationship allows you to experience all the highs of being in a relationship sans the lows. Plus, situationships can be therapeutic when you're going through life transitions, such as a breakup or a career change, Gillis says. They can temporarily satisfy your social, physical, and emotional needs and make you feel more optimistic about your future.

Mismatched expectations can wreck situationships

Although situationships have perks, they can become problematic when the people involved no longer see eye to eye. "If one person in the situationship desires a committed relationship with a clear future and the other person is not interested in anything beyond casual dating, it can lead to significant emotional distress and frustration," Chris Gillis tells Glam exclusively. Perhaps those involved were not clear about the parameters of their relationship from the beginning, or one party started changing their attitude down the road. No matter the reason, it's hard to keep any relationship going when those involved don't want the same thing.

The only way to fulfill each other's needs is to communicate them. "It's important for both individuals to openly communicate their desires, expectations, and boundaries to ensure everyone is on the same page," Sameera Sullivan says in an exclusive interview with Glam. You should walk into a situationship knowing what you're signing up for. 

Many situationships exist for the temporary exploration of romantic potential; you're not building anything together so nobody is supposed to make sacrifices here. When your view of the relationship begins to shift, let the person know. If you have feelings for someone else, exiting is just one call or text away. If you have developed strong feelings for each other, you can also communicate honestly about possibly turning your situationship into a relationship.

Situationships are not for everyone

If you're the type of person who craves emotional availability and security in romance, a situationship is not for you. The charm of a situational relationship lies in its convenience and unpredictability. That means you can go from dining every night together and chatting every hour to being ghosted. And yet, you can't expect or demand any explanation. That's why a situationship is not for everyone. "If one or both individuals in the situationship consistently feel unsatisfied, unfulfilled, or unhappy with the lack of commitment, it may be an indication that the situationship is not meeting their needs," Chris Gillis tells Glam exclusively.

When you start feeling uncomfortable about your situationship, ask yourself why you wanted it in the first place. What is it about a committed relationship that you shy away from? If a situationship makes you feel lonely, does that mean you should give a real relationship a shot? These questions can help determine if a situationship is right for you. You should also talk with your partner. According to Sameera Sullivan, in an exclusive Glam interview, it is vital to regularly reevaluate the arrangements of your situationship to ensure that it matches the expectations of those involved.

If solutions don't work out the way you want and you continue feeling unhappy, leave the situationship. It will not be easy, but it's a waste of time to be in a relationship that doesn't serve you now and won't in the future either.