The situation of situationships.

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Rewind to a year and a half ago, when my now fiance was my....boyfriend? lover? uh, what? Ah, yes... Perhaps you’re familiar with the feeling. You are “with” someone, but it’s not official. It appears to be official, but there has been no communicated agreement. Apparently, these days this is called a “situationship.”

These type of relationships get a bad rep. I can understand that. The lack of uncertainty can be confusing. The assumption is that in situationships,  the person doesn’t take you seriously. We all fear the dreaded words of rejection, “you’re not my girl.” Are they only using us? Are they afraid of commitment? While I can empathize with that idea, I don’t believe it to be entirely true. Before my boyfriend became my actual boyfriend, we did the situationship thing for a while. Naturally, I had no problem with it. I was never in a rush to be committed to anyone. We were on the same page about where our relationship was going. Then I let the Internet get into my head.

I remember the dark, scary night that I scrolled through twitter. A shiver ran up my spine as I read some women’s relationship advice, “why buy the cow when the milk is free?” The bitterness and misdirection popped out of my phone screen and grabbed me by the neck. I gasped loudly. Oh no! Was I booboo the fool? By the end of it I was entirely convinced that I was stupid. We had already established our feelings for each other, but I still felt insecure. How could I know if he really planned to be with me one day? The other ladies said it would never happen. I gave away too much milk. He was obviously playing me!

So why did I end up staying with him? Well, I grew up and gave myself a reality check. I seriously examined the relationship. There are two things you need to consider when assessing your “situationship.” 1. What kind of person are they? 2. Have we discussed our future? 3. Am I okay with taking things slowly? If you answered #1, they're generally a good person who is genuinely interested in you, #2? Yes. And #3? Yes! Then congratulations! You officially have nothing to worry about because guess what? Situationships are literally just a fancy (insecure word for dating).

When you are dating someone, especially exclusively, it’s perfectly normal to feel as though you’re already in a relationship. You share your time, heart, and mind with this person. You are constantly bonding and developing feelings for them, just like in a stated relationship. That’s actually okay. It’s a good thing because it means you click. Our instant gratification world makes it seem like we have to do everything quickly. Of course we think that if we aren’t serious in two or three months, there’s nothing there. Frankly, that’s silly. Relationships take time to develop. If there’s a spark, give it time to turn into a fire. I’m not saying you have to wait if that’s not your thing. I am saying you don’t have to rush the process because of fear and popular opinion. .

My boyfriend and I dated with no label for seven months before we decided to be official. Every minute of it felt real, yet people were telling me it wasn’t. Which raised the question, what does “real” even mean? Is our connection defined by whether or not I have the word “girlfriend” stamped on my forehead?  I think not. I even think that had we continued dating with no label, i would’ve been okay with that. We should understand that terms like “boyfriend” and “girlfriend” are all just a matter of describing who someone is to you. If you and your significant other know who you are to each other, a label isn’t always necessary. As adults, we should be practicing good communication and honesty, so that “no title” isn’t a reason to question yourself. We cannot let our insecurities and doubts win and ruin a good thing. You are not a cow and spending valuable time with someone isn’t “giving away free milk.”A good person would never throw “you’re not my girl” in your face. You don’t have to believe that taking it slow means taking advantage. I wouldn’t be engaged today had I listened to that objectifying advice.

If you’re in a situationship right now, don’t sweat it. Embrace the season you’re in as you create memories and get to know this person. Whether you end up making it “official” or just going with the flow, these moments are ones you can’t get back. Stop stressing and enjoy them. When done the right way, the most confusing thing about situationships are deciding on an anniversary date. Now that is something to stress about.

Olyvia

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