When you’re getting to know someone new, whether romantically or casually, it’s not always easy to know where your relationship stands. Are you casually dating? Is it more serious? Are you becoming committed to each other? Or is it a friends with benefits situation?
Being in a state of limbo can be confusing, since you have yet to define the relationship. If you’re not sure what your relationship status is, you might be in a situationship—an undefined romantic relationship. Unlike a friends with benefits situation, there can be feelings involved in a situationship, but the terms of the relationship and the end goal of the relationship are not defined.
Wondering whether or not you’re in a situationship? Here are 10 signs to look out for:
1. You haven’t defined the relationship (DTR)
In the age of hookup culture and casual sex, it can be hard to know exactly where you stand with someone. If your relationship hasn’t followed the classic timeline of courtship followed by emotional intimacy, it can be difficult to guage your status. The best way to find out? Have the “what are we” talk. (Just make sure the timing is right.) If you haven’t defined the relationship after seeing each other for a while, or your partner avoids talking about it when you bring it up, it might be a sign that they don’t want to put the relationship in concrete terms.
2. No consistency
If you’ve been seeing someone for a good amount of time but have no idea when you’re going to hear from them or see them, it’s definitely a sign of a situationship. When you’re in a relationship, you should be able to depend on your partner to respond to texts, keep plans, and make time to see you. If it’s not happening, you’re probably not in a serious relationship.
3. No talk about the future
In a relationship, there’s typically a plan for your future together in some capacity. They don’t have to be long-term plans, but they do involve a future time frame, whether it’s something to look forward to in a few weeks or even a year down the line. A total lack of future plans signals a lack of commitment, and therefore a situationship.
4. They say they aren’t serious
If your partner says that they aren’t serious, or “aren’t looking for anything serious,” then you should take them at face value. Even if it feels like you’re in a relationship on your end, it’s important to listen to what they have to say in order to save yourself heartbreak down the line.
5. You don’t meet the friends
At a certain point in any relationship, you are bound to be introduced to the friends (and eventually, family) of your partner. If you’ve been seeing each other for a while and have yet to meet them, it’s a sign of a situationship rather than a relationship. If things are getting serious, your partner will make the effort to include you in activities that involve friends and family.
6. Surface level connection
A lot of time, people that are in situationships don’t have a deep emotional connection. If you realize that you’re mainly just a hookup for someone and they avoid any deep conversation, you’re not in a relationship. While this can happen at the beginning of a relationship, there’s a natural progression that occurs, and if it doesn’t happen, you’re likely in a situationship.
7. Seems to be based on convenience
In relationships, people often plan when to spend time together. In situationships, invites tend to be last minute and kind of random. Committed relationships involve making time for each other, and a lack of planning shows that situationships are really based on convenience more than anything else.
8. Lack of date night
Are you only meet up to have sex, or do you make other plans? Do you see each other during the day or make dinner plans? If you’re never going on dates, you’re most likely in a situationship, not a relationship.
9. You are anxious to hear back from them
There shouldn’t be a high level of anxiety in any healthy, romatic relationship. You should be feeling secure about your connection, and not be worried about where you stand or whether or not you’ll hear from them. A little anxiety (and a lot of butterflies) are normal in the beginning, but that should grow into comfort. If you’re constantly feeling anxious, you’re likely in a situationship.
10. They’re seeing other people
If you are seeing someone who is seeing other people, it’s a sign that you are in a situationship.
Agreeing to an open relationship is one thing, but if you’ve found out your partner isn’t exclusively seeing you and it’s upsetting, then you’re not in a relationship. It’s important to talk to your partner about where you stand and whether or not you should stay in the situationship.
If all the signs point to the fact that you are in a situationship, but you don’t want to be, it might be time to simply move on! Without commitment, it’s hard to turn it into a healthy, committed relationship. The best thing you can do is talk it out and see if you’re on the same page. You deserve a relationship that makes you happy, and if a situationship isn’t it, then it’s time to move past it.