A situationship is that space between a committed relationship and something that is more than a friendship,” explains psychotherapist and author Jonathan Alpert. “Unlike a friends with benefits or relationship, there isn’t consensus on what it is.
Non-committal relationships are so common, it seems like a new Urban Dictionary term for a casual something-or-other is coined every single day. First, there was “booty call.” Next: “friends with benefits.” And now: “situationship.”
A situationship is essentially a relationship that hasn’t been defined. So anything that precedes the DTR (define the relationship) conversation but follows the initial first few dates.
Considering all these labels are (ironically) used to define otherwise label-free relationships, what’s the deal?
“Online dating apps have created this paradox of choice,” says Christie Tcharkhoutian, PhD, LMFT, a senior matchmaker with Three Day Rule in Los Angeles. “We have so many options, it’s hard to commit to that person in front of us because when they go to the bathroom, we can just swipe.” (Guilty as charged.)
Sometimes, having undefined relationships is totally cool. It can be fun, sexually satisfying, liberating even. Plus, a situationship “gives you time to get to know somebody without feeling pressured to make a decision,” Tcharkhoutian says.
“A situationship is a romantic connection that in most cases serves a short-term need in one or both partners but may or may not evolve into something more stable or meaningful,” said Damona Hoffman, a dating coach and host of the “Dates & Mates” podcast.