There’s this dude in my life, I call him Dudeguy, whom I really adore. But for a variety of reasons, it’s not going to work, and yet, when I decided I was going to Spain, after a year of not speaking to him, I really wanted to see him. I reached out to him, he met me with suspicion at first, but moments later it felt like we had never stopped seeing each other. This is a typical interaction for a situationship.
Situationship is a cutesy term that my peer group has created for relationships that are not neat. One of the most high profile instances of an entity trying to recognize this is Facebook’s, “It’s Complicated,” relationship status. “How are things between you and So-and-So?” “It’s complicated.“
Situationship comes into play where you are in a relationship with someone, that is, you see them every now and then and interact with them, like any other semi-consistent relationship one has with another person, but it’s not defined. It’s not…real. It’s the Schrödinger’s Cat of relationships. The relationship is at once, alive and dead, until it becomes defined. At which point it either can’t sustain itself and is destroyed, or it lives on.
Sorry to bring out the quantum mechanics to talk about relationships, but I don’t know about y’all, but that’s how my brain works.
In the case of Dudeguy and I, our relationship seemed to have potential when I first met him. We were on the same page for a while, and then suddenly we weren’t. But we didn’t stop pretending like we were. Both of us have ended things, put an end to our limbo several times over, and yet, we keep on keeping on as if… as if it were real. My friends are sick of hearing about it, so I’ll tell you.
Situationships are awful. They don’t feel good. They’re this awful mixture where you get some of what you want while getting a boatload of what you don’t. They can be torture for both parties. It can be full of unrequited love on one side, impatient intolerance on the other, or a tug of war between two people of who could care the least. You can do without this person, so why bother?
Situationships are perfect. Because they’re made for people who don’t know what they want. Or they’re great for people, two people, who want to see how far they can take it. They’re wonderful for relationships that want to remain, even as forces pull them apart.
I’ve known Dudeguy for maybe……..five years? And every time I see him feels like the last, and maybe one day it will be. I am, on one hand, looking forward to to that day, and on the other, cursing it.
I had always wanted more from Dudeguy, and have literally been settling for less. Some days I was settling for less while also hoping for more, which, if I may add, is the absolute worst way to spend your time in a situationship. Situationships are for YOLO people, and not MODTDIMWIAFIWWCBBTFE (Maybe one day the decisions I’m making will influence a future in which we can both be together forever-ever?) people. Most days, I’m the latter person.
Who am I kidding, I’m always the latter person.
But I had never put my life in any kind of hold for Dudeguy. When he was around I was working on myself, when he was gone I was working on myself. I’ve had advisors lower their voices and approach me with apprehension as they asked, “Are you in a relationship now? Women in relationships typically regret this opportunity, or don’t go after it, or never commit to it…”
“No, I’m single,” I’d say proudly, and they’d exhale, “Great. I don’t want any issues later on!”
I’ve never had a boyfriend. Not for lack of trying, mind you, but this is something I still have to claim since I myself, have never been claimed. I don’t know how that feels. That’s just how it is.
However, I really like Dudeguy. And I wish things weren’t this way. I wish things were defined, I wish I could enjoy all of him, and not just the pieces we share between us. I wish I could share what makes us us with everyone else. But if this part were completely true, I wouldn’t be in this situationship… would I? If I knew what I wanted, and believed in that, I wouldn’t be settling for a second less than what I felt like I deserved.
And this, my friends, is what makes a situationship thus. If you truly want to get out of one, like the Honorable Erykah Badu once said,
My best advice for moving on in a relationship is you gotta go all the way through it, you know? If you’re not — if you don’t want to let go yet — keep on calling and getting hung up on him. Keep on following him around and getting embarrassed. When you get tired enough, you’ll evolve, I promise. But you gotta go all the way through it. You gotta get your weave snatched out a couple of times. You gotta keep moving, go through it. You’ll evolve. It’ll happen.
In the meantime, situationships are perfect for people like me who don’t have the will not to be in one. My will is strong, I’m stubborn, and according to Dudeguy, I can hold a grudge…but at the same time, my will has a limit. A limit of about a year or so.
And so, after a year of not speaking to Dudeguy, I reached out to him. I wanted to see him. I wanted to hold him. I wanted to hear his voice. I wanted to be around his humor.
Only to deprive myself of it once I go to Spain.
Maybe when I come back, we’ll pick up where we left off. Maybe not. All’s fair in a situationship.
That was a lot to write, I need some wine. Have you ever been in a situationship? There’s good stuff there, right? Or is it all bad? Lemme know what you think in the comments below.