The situationship crisis

Photo courtesy of Blake Israel

With the most romantic day of the year looming near, those of us lucky enough to have a partner are surely in full panic mode. But what if your panic isn’t being caused by last minute chaotic shopping trips to raid the Walgreens teddy bear aisle? 

Maybe instead, you’ve been calculating whether or not you should get your situationship a heart-shaped token of your love and admiration. 

The heavy dilemma could be making your brain go haywire as you calculate all the possible answers and resultant outcomes. 

Are you tired of the incessant back-and-forth going on in your head over the right answer to questions like “What if a gift is too much?” or “What if I get them something and they don’t get me anything?” or rather “Should I even address the dreaded date at all?” If you’re desperate to make a decision before it’s too late, I’d argue that the answer to the question is a simple and hard “no.” 

On the high totem pole of relationship statuses, the “situationship” ranks dead last. The status can only truly be defined as undefinable since anyone can define it on their own terms. 

Perhaps the best way to explain the notorious “situationship” status is by comparing it to the also notorious Bermuda Triangle. 

They’re both unchartable, enveloped in a shroud of mystery, the obsession of fanatics and those who enter rarely ever leave in one piece. 

Even still, an unlucky victim may be able to recognize their unfortunate entry into murky “situational” waters by the common characteristics that compose it. 

A key aspect of the situationship is a lack of commitment from at least one party. 

The omission of commitment can be clearly established or conveniently never mentioned, but in order for a situationship to exist, there can be no outright understanding of commitment, as this would make the relationship legitimate, and we certainly can’t have that! 

Commitment is also often disproportionately upheld. One member of the situationship may cut contact with all other romantic interests as soon as they met their “partner,” while another member may see no reason to close the gates of their DMs. Seems unfair? Well, they were never really together in the first place! Non-committance in the situationship creates a breeding ground for unreliability. 

The trademark show of unreliability is ridiculously, and sometimes even offensively, long reply times. Sure, you may let an hour of being left on delivered go unpunished or maybe even three. 

But suddenly you may find that six, seven and upwards of eight hours have gone by since you hit send! A “Good Morning” text may finally receive a response at dinner time or even the next day. 

You may not realize it, but the unreliability within your situationship could be creating an obsession. The reminder that your message has yet to receive a response could have you compulsively checking your phone every ten minutes hoping to see a notification from your loved one. 

Then, the glorious moment arrives! They’ve finally responded and you’re instantly catapulted onto cloud nine and in love all over again, nevermind the fact that they’ve allowed hours to go by until finally deciding to acknowledge your existence. 

Suddenly, it’s almost like you become addicted to that feeling of intense happiness from finally getting the thing you’ve been waiting so long for. 

The result is twofold. First, you begin to chase gratification that comes at unpredictable intervals, if it is to come at all. 

Not knowing when satisfaction could arrive could place you in a constant state of seeking your situationship’s attention and validation. 

Second, you begin to fill the void of distance generated by your situationship with romanticization. You’ve created your dream partner in your head delusionally and you incorrectly assume it to be the flawed person in front of you.

So if you’re still trying to decide if you should get your situationship a Valentine’s gift, maybe you should just do yourself a favor and block them instead.