Q: Dear Amie, I'm really confused about the relationship I'm in with a guy which doesn't seem to be going anywhere. Have you watched MAFS? I feel like I'm dating Mitch. We seem to fit together so well when we're together both in and out of the bedroom but getting him to admit we're in a relationship or make any plans beyond next week is frustrating me. My girlfriend says I'm in a “situationship”. What should I do?
Ouch! Yep, your friend is right. Much like Mitch and Ella from Married at First Sight, it very much sounds like you’ve found yourself in a situationship.
For those new to the term, a situationship is essentially the no man’s land that exists between friends with benefits (FWB) and a committed relationship. While FWB is a mutually understood to be a no-strings-attached situation whereby two people hook up casually, without the emotions, a situationship involves people dating and having the feels for each other, without any formal commitment.
Now, a situationship isn’t all bad news - if you’re both on the same page.
A situationship can be a great middle ground for a pair of lovers who want to figure out if they’ve got what it takes to work as a couple, without any of the pressures and strings that can come with commitment. But if one of you is happy being in a situationship (like King fuckboy Mitch), while the other one of you wants to start planning for the future, then feeling like you’re in a seemingly endless situationship has the potential to be hard, hurtful, frustrating and leave you wondering if you should wait until your beau is ready to commit, or if he’s just keeping his options open.
Ultimately, the only way to get out of a situationship, is to communicate.
Talking about stuff is the glue that keeps a relationship together. If the guy you’re seeing repeatedly dodges the important conversations, then that’s a sign of immaturity and a big ole red flag.
Be upfront and tell him what you want. What does commitment actually look like to you? For some, it’s about being content with a label, and for others it’s looking at a future of marriage, babies and a mortgage. Tell him what your expectations are with the relationship and ask him what his expectations are. Does he want a future with you? Is he happy to just keeping having fun and see what happens? Is that enough for you? Or do you need more than that?
Having these conversations will make it clear whether you have compatible relationship goals. It might also give you an idea of his feelings and experiences with commitment in general. Ask him what worked and didn’t work for his past relationships. Maybe he’s had an experience that broke his heart and left him reticent to rush into another relationship? Maybe he’s never been in a committed relationship? Maybe he just doesn’t want what you want.
By asking these questions, you might not get the answers you want. But it means you won’t have to keep guessing.
Alternatively, question your own fixation with commitment and just let the relationship be what it will be, without slapping a label on it. Maybe the relationship needs time to just grow. Taking off the pressure might lead to him deciding on his own terms that he wants to be in a long-term relationship with you. Or not.
If you want commitment and he flat out doesn’t, then end it.
Ultimately, you’ve got to do what’s best for you. Relationships only work when both parties are on the same page, and trying to make a Mitch peg fit into an Ella hole will only do your head in.