Toxic situationships often lack clear communication and defined expectations, leaving you in a constant state of anxiety about where you stand with your partner. You may constantly question their feelings, intentions, and commitment, fearing that you might say or do something that will push them away.
These types of relationships often lack clear boundaries, commitments, and labels, which can lead to confusion and frustration. While situationships may seem convenient at first, they can quickly turn toxic and leave you feeling unfulfilled.
The lack of clarity and commitment can cause anxiety, uncertainty, and insecurity, leading to feelings of loneliness, depression, and low self-esteem. People in situationships often struggle with understanding their partner's intentions and expectations, leaving them with a constant sense of unease and stress.
The undefined nature of situationships can make them singularly hard to recover from, says Jessica Alderson. As she says, “in situationships, there's often a lack of clear boundaries, commitment, and labels, making it difficult to know where each person stands”.
Since there is no clear line or boundary for what a situationship should be and how one should handle it, it can result in emotional and mental trauma, just like it does during a breakup but worse.
How long is a situationship supposed to last? Situationships can last for a few days, weeks, months, or even years. Just like in other relationships, there's no expiration date unless one or both of you choose to end the situationship and move on.
"If you're experiencing heartbreak from someone you weren't in a relationship with, it's really heartbreak over the loss of a fantasy – a wish, a longing, a projection that you had about them, a hope, rather than the person themselves," Dr Ben-Ari says.
But these types of vague relationships can be more than just confusing to the people involved—in fact, experts say they can sometimes have a profound impact on a person's mental health, leading to feelings of depression, anxiety and deflated self-esteem.
In a situationship, there's typically no discussion of the future. The connection is superficial: Though you and your partner may spend time together, or may even be intimate with each other, you may not have developed a deep emotional connection.
It's been three months or more. Three months is more than enough time to know if you want to commit to someone else. You have an idea of who each other is at this point. If they still “don't know” what they want or what they're looking for, it's in your best interests to walk away.
It's a red flag if they force you to prolong the situationship after months of dating. It's a red flag if they disregard your feelings about the situationship. It's a red flag if they make you feel bad for wanting more from the relationship after countless dates.
No. A situationship can be a lot of fun and allow you to discover what you can tolerate in a potential partner or relationship. But it's important to remember that while you might not want to label it a 'real' relationship, the people who enter it are real and so are the emotions that come with them.
“People who tend to gravitate towards situationships are those who want the emotional connection and intimacy with a partner in a compartmentalized way,” Romanoff explains. “They may have emotional presence and connection in person, but when apart, they also have freedom outside of a committed relationship.”
While it may share some similarities with a friends-with-benefits relationship, the two terms do not mean the same thing. A friends-with-benefits relationship is when friends engage in casual sex without taking on the commitment aspect of a relationship. A situationship, on the other hand, lacks a formal label.
Going no contact is only helpful for you to move forward. The no-contact rule will not make your situationship want to commit to you. Full stop.
Over the years I've seen clients in a variety of situationships that serve a purpose in their lives for a time. Some of my clients find themselves in long-distance situationships, and these relationships can be quite powerful, with the parties involved staying in touch for years.
Less than a relationship, but more than a casual encounter or booty call, a situationship refers to a romantic relationship that is, and remains, undefined. "A situationship is that space between a committed relationship and something that is more than a friendship," explains psychotherapist and author Jonathan Alpert.
Unlike being in a relationship where you might have set dates and plans, a situationship is spontaneous and lacks consistency. You might see a person many times one week and then not see them again for a few weeks. "
A situationship can definitely become a committed relationship if both parties are willing to move it in that direction. Like in any dating scenario, if one party wants to move forward and the other does not, it's not getting off the ground.
If you find yourself in a situationship, consider it a huge red flag because this is not a partner that is willing to commit — or maybe you're the partner unwilling to commit. A situationship is usually one-sided, ambiguous, and the ultimate stagnation in your journey to find a companion for life.
Breadcrumbing, also known as “Hansel and Gretelling”, refers to leading someone on by contacting them sporadically and without the intention of entering into a relationship. Breadcrumbers are not usually interested in commitment; their aim is to receive attention and feel attractive and popular in the dating world.