Are you in a relationship

10 Telltale Signs You're in a Situationship, And Not A Relationship

When you are in the early stages of getting to know another person, or sleeping with someone, it can be hard to know what your exact relationship is. Are you not so serious but on the way to becoming more committed? Are you in a friends with benefits situation where you have both agreed to put your feelings aside? Or are you in a kind of limbo that has you a bit confused? If you are confused about your relationship status to another person, you might be in a situationship. A situationship is basically an undefined romantic relationship. Unlike a friends with benefits situation, there can be feelings involved in a situationship, but the terms of the relationship and the end goal of the relationship are not defined.

It’s important to know the signs of a situationship so that you can recognize if you are in one sooner rather than later. Understanding your status as a situationship can help you avoid investing too many emotions into the connection.

Here are a few signs that indicate that you might be in a situationship:

1. You haven’t defined the relationship (DTR)

In the age of hookup culture and casual sex, it can be hard to know exactly where you stand with someone. When relationships don’t follow the classic courtship then dating followed by emotional intimacy then physical intimacy timeline, it can be hard to know what your sexual partner thinks about your relationship.

An easy way to find out what your relationship is to one another is to have the “what are we” talk, but it can be hard to know when this kind of thing is appropriate. Ask the question too early and risk seeming too eager and scaring them off. Have the talk too late and end up on a totally different page than they are... If you haven’t DTR yet, and you have been seeing this person for a while, it might be a sign that you are in a situationship not a relationship.

If your partner avoids having this talk when you bring it up, it’s another indication that they do not want to put the relationship in concrete terms.

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2. No consistency

If you have been seeing someone for a significant amount of time, but never know when you can expect to hear from them or when you will see them next, it’s a sign that you are in a situationship. In a relationship, you should be able to count on your partner to respond to your texts, keep up with planned activities, and make time in their schedules to see you. If this is lacking with your current partner, then you are probably not in a serious relationship. Consistency can also relate to their level of investment in the relationship.

When you are in a situationship, your partner may feel super hot and cold. One minute they might seem like they are totally invested in the relationship and then next they may act as if they could take it or leave it. This lack of consistency is an indication that they also don’t know the terms of the relationship, which makes it a situationship! Defining the relationship from the early stages can help you both manage expectations about the relationship and understand how to act. If you don’t do so, this leads to a lack of consistency.

3. No talk about the future

In a relationship, partners tend to plan for the future together in some capacity. The plans don’t necessarily have to be long term, but they do involve some sort of future time frame, whether it’s something to look forward to in a few weeks, or months or maybe even a year down the line.

Talk about the future can involve meeting the family, going to an event together, or even talking about future logistics like moving, getting a pet together, etc. etc. A total absence of talk about the future is a sign that your partner doesn’t see a long term future together. This lack of commitment is a sign that you are in a situationship. If you try to bring up the future with your current partner and they dodge the question or give vague responses, this is another sign that you are in a sitautionship.

4. They say the aren’t serious

If your partner says that they aren’t serious, or ‘aren’t looking for anything serious’ then you should take them at their word. Even if it feels like you are doing couple-y things like date nights, and even if you feel like you have an emotional connection, if they say they don’t want something serious then they do not want something serious!! Listening to people when they say this and recognizing that you are in a situationship NOT a relationship will save you a lot of heartbreak down the line. It can be difficult to keep your feelings out of it when you feel as if someone’s words aren’t aligning with their actions, but it is important to take people at face value and listen to them when they talk about the status of your relationship.

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5. You don’t meet the friends

At a certain point in any relationship, you are bound to be introduced to the friends (and eventually, family) of your partner. If you have been seeing someone for some time, and have yet to meet anyone that’s important to them, then this is probably a sign that you are not in a relationship. If things are getting serious, and your partner is ready to start making you a priority in their life, they will start to introduce you to people that are close to them. This can be through group outings or even inviting other couples along to date night. If your “relationship” isn’t progressing in this way, then you should take it as a sign that you will likely never meet the friends... If you make the suggestion to introduce your partner to your friends and they are apprehensive or avoidant in any way, then this can also be a sign that you are in a situationship.

6. Surface level connection

A lot of the time, people that are in situationships don’t have a deep emotional connection. If you find that you are mostly just a hookup or a booty call for someone, and that they avoid any deep conversation, then you are in a situationship, not a relationship. In the early stages of a relationship, the connection can also feel surface level as you are getting to know each other. The distinction here is that in a relationship you progress past this phase, whereas in a situationship you never see below the surface.

This surface level connection can be due to the fact that you don’t have much in common. It can also be due to the fact that one or both of you is keeping the connection superficial. If you find that your partner swerves any conversation that involves vulnerability, it’s a sign that they are not interested in forming a deeper emotional connection in the relationship.

7. Seems to be based on convenience

While some people may argue that most relationships are based on convenience, after all most people date people in the same city, in similar friend groups, etc. etc., situationships are REALLY based on convenience. In relationships, people often plan when to spend time together. In situationships on the other hand, invites tend to be last minute and kind of random. In relationships, partners often go out of their way to make time for the other. In situationships, people normally make spur of the moment plans based on their free time, hoping the other person can make it work. This lack of planning shows that situationships are really based on convenience more than anything else.

Ready to move on from your situationship? Our qualified relationship coaches are ready to work with you to help you set personal goals, connect with yourself and find the right relationship. Get started for free, no strings attached!

8. Lack of date night

If you are trying to figure out whether or not you are in a situationship, a good rule of thumb is to ask yourself whether you ever hang out with the person you are seeing outside of the bedroom. Or during the day time. Or in the presence of other people. If you are only ever over to have sex, or you’ve never gone on any dates, then you are probably not in a relationship. Lack of one-on-one time with someone outside of the bedroom can indicate that you don’t have a deep emotional connection or that your partner does not want to have anything more than a surface level connection. If you try to plan a date night with your partner and find that they object to the idea or give you some kind of push back, then this is a sign that you are in a situationship. It is important to note that some situationships do involve dates, but these dates are normally less public and less planned than relationship dates.

9. You are anxious to hear back from them

No healthy relationship should be based around anxiety. When you are in a healthy relationship with another person, you should feel secure about your connection to your partner. Sure, in the beginning stages of a relationship you might have some butterflies about dates and spending time together, but you shouldn’t feel anxious about whether they will respond to you or accept you.

Because situationships are so undefined, they are often a cause of anxiety for people. Afterall, it can be very difficult to feel at ease if you don’t know where you stand with someone. If you are not an anxious person, and your relationship to someone else is creating anxiety for you, then this is a sign that you could be in a situationship.

10. They’re seeing other people

If you are seeing someone who is seeing other people, it’s a sign that you are in a situationship. That is, unless you have already talked about your relationship and decided that you are going to be open, but if that is the case, you probably aren’t reading this.... It can be painful to find out that the person you are seeing is not being exclusive, especially if you assumed as much, but because the situationship is so undefined they aren’t necessarily doing anything wrong. Talks about exclusivity can often elucidate whether you are in a situationship or a relationship.

Situationships aren’t necessarily a bad thing. In fact, they can be great for people that aren’t ready to commit to a full relationship, but are still looking for emotional and physical connections. They are also great for people that are interested in exploring relationships with multiple other people and are open to polyamory. Remember that situationships are not necessarily a bad thing, but they are not everyone’s cup of tea. And they can be confusing and frustrating for people that are looking to pursue a relationship, but aren’t getting anywhere with their partner. If all the signs point to the fact that you are in a situationship, but you don’t want to be, it’s time for you to move on.

It can be very hard (virtually impossible) to turn a situationship into a relationship, unless the less committed person has a sincere change of heart. It is not totally unheard of for this to happen, but it most likely will not. If all the signs are there that you are in a sitautionship rather than a relationship, you should be honest with the other person about what it is you really want. Perhaps they are on the same page and have just been giving you the most mixed signals of all time. Or, perhaps you have been reading the signals correctly and it’s time to move on. Talking about the status of your relationship and finally having the DTR talk will give you clarity on the situationship and hopefully allow you both to move on, on good terms!

Even if your current partner is not interested in a serious relationship, there are plenty of other people out there who are! Don’t waste your time on a partner that causes you anxiety and doesn’t prioritize you. There are plenty of people who are looking for a relationship and will be happy to commit the time and effort it takes to be in a healthy, defined relationship.

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By Caitlin Killoren on Jul 05, 2021

With a degree in Psychology and over a decade of experience, Caitlin has made improving people's relationships both her career and her passion. Her work has been featured in publications like Bustle, Well + Good, and Goalcast, and she currently resides in Austin, Texas with her husband and giant fluffy dog, Remy.

Signs You're In A Relationship

1. You've actually met the friends you see on his Instagram that you stalk religiously. There is a distinct difference between meeting his friends (even if he does introduce you by name only or as his "friend"), and knowing who all his friends are because you're on his Instagram 24/7 and he tags them in his photos. 

2. You go on dates before 10 p.m. to actual places with people in them. His grody room does not count and anything after 10 p.m. is just a hookup and "come over to my place around 11" is not a date, people, come on. 

3. You regularly eat full-scale meals in a public place with breakable dishes. If you've moved past bars and Starbucks runs, and actually eat at nice places with cups that aren't made of paper, and this happens more than once every few months, that is not typical fuckboy behavior and that's a good thing.  

4. He's opened up to you about some very real shit. People don't open up to people they don't care about. They just don't. So if he feels close enough to you to tell you about his parents' divorce and how he was picked on in seventh grade, he obviously feels closer to you than to Sara Who I Saw Naked Once. 

5. He's listened and been empathetic when you opened up about some very real shit. It's one thing for someone to open up to you, but if he can also be receptive and kind and comforting when you're feeling vulnerable and sharing something that is hard for you to share, these are the building blocks of intimacy, my friend, and they do not usually show up in FWB situations. 

6. You've asked him if he was sleeping with anyone else and he said no like it was weird that you asked that. If he doesn't make a dumb joke and dodge the question or say something like, "Eh, not really," that's a good sign. But if he straight-up answers with, "No, are you?" he's in this and hopes you're in this too. 

7. You talk as much as two junior high girls with unlimited texting plans. Is it because your genitals touched a few times? Probably not. It's much more likely that you actually love talking to each other and are kind of becoming best friends, which is basically the key to any awesome relationship (aka more than sex friends). 

8. You don't even ask each other what you're doing on the weekends because it's implied that you'll obvs be booing up. If your plans are more "OMG, we have to go to the botanical gardens Friday. Wanna meet at 8?" instead of "Hey, just seeing if you're around on Friday and would maybe want to get together?" you guys are legit. Also, I'm sorry I said booing up. I regretted it immediately. 

9. He's taken care of you when you're sick and didn't worry that you'd infest his body with your nasty germs. Would I make out with a hookup who was sick? Haha, no, I would never even be within 10 miles of his house if I could help it. Would I make out with a boyfriend I cared about who was sick? Have and would again. 

10. His family knows ~*who you are*~. If he routinely tells you that he told his mom this hilarious thing you said the other day, that means she knows who you are and generally most guys don't tell their moms about Kristen Who I Sext on Fridays When I'm Kind of Drunk.

11. You actually want to see him all the time. Because you have fun together and he makes you feel like you're 16 again, instead of just wanting to see him because it's midnight and no one on Tinder is hot. 

12. He doesn't ignore your texts like he's the President of Busyness. If anything, he replies right away most of the time because getting your texts seems like his favorite part of his day, which is very cute. 

13. He knows your Starbucks order by heart. And occasionally surprises you with your half-caff soy cappuccino with three Splendas even though he feels that to be an excessive number of Splendas. 

14. He's actually met your friends who totally think he's your boyfriend because it's so obvious. When your friends don't think he's sketchy and actually like him and could tell from a mile away that he's your boyfriend and super proud to be so, spoiler: He is your boyfriend. Congratulations/have a nice marriage.  

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Lane Moore

Lane Moore is an award-winning comedian, actor, writer, and musician based in New York City. Her first book, How To Be Alone: If You Want To And Even If You Don’t became a #1 bestseller and was praised as one of the best books of the year by The New York Times, New York Magazine, NPR, Good Morning America, Fast Company, Marie Claire, and many others. Moore also gave a TEDx Talk based on the book, called How To Be Alone. Her comedy show “Tinder Live!” is regarded as one of the best comedy shows in New York City and has been praised by The New York Times, Entertainment Tonight, CBS, Time Out New York, and New York Magazine. She has a monthly sold-out residency in NYC, and also tours rock venues and colleges worldwide. As an actor, Moore plays Kelsey on HBO’s Search Party, and has a recurring role on Rooster Teeth’s What Do You Know? and had a memorable role on season 5 of  HBO’s Girls. She also frequently appears on Comedy Central, Vh2, MTV, truTV, and IFC shows. As a musician, Moore is the front person and songwriter in the band “It Was Romance.” In her time as the the Sex and Relationships Editor at Cosmopolitan, she won a GLAAD award for her groundbreaking work championing diverse, inclusive coverage. Moore also hosts the live streaming comedy show How To Be Alone on Twitch, which she calls “PeeWee’s Playhouse for lonely adults.

I am in a relationship, but I like the other person — The Village Belarus

Psychologists, experts of the treatfield service analyze the situation in which you, being in a relationship, are very interested in another person.

Julia Baba


Elott Reyna On Unsplash

Candidate of Psychological Sciences, Certified Gestalt therapist

Psychologist, Family Psychotherapist


005 Anton:

Our nature is to try, seek and learn new things. We are constantly making choices, although we may not even be aware of this process. If you look at three-year-olds, they constantly act through curiosity, and already with age, social norms and morality begin to limit us. Interest comes from the desire to satisfy the lack of something. That is, if we are already in a relationship, and we start to like someone else, most likely, we are missing something.

Natalia: Even if we are in a relationship and love a partner, this does not mean that our eyes are closed. There are a lot of interesting people around, and it's normal that we look at them - this is the regime of openness to the world. Our psyche is arranged in such a way that we notice those things around us that correspond to our needs. If I'm full, I don't pay attention to grocery store windows or restaurants, but as soon as I start to feel hungry, I notice buns everywhere. Something similar happens in relationships: when a person from our environment stands out from the general background and becomes special for us, this means that in a certain way he falls into an important need for us. nine0003

Even if we are in a relationship and we love our partner, this does not mean that our eyes are closed. Therefore, in this sense, interest and sympathy for other people is something that we do not receive from a partner. And that's okay. For example, my boyfriend is very cool, but not interested in medieval literature, and I adore it, and the other guy is so interesting to talk about this topic. nine0003

It's another matter when we don't get much from a partner - then the question arises: are we good in general in these relationships? For example, if a partner is cold, we may be constantly drawn to warm people. Then it’s worth considering: maybe I’m just cold, hungry, and this relationship doesn’t suit me?

And there may be another option: in a romantic partner, we are looking for satisfaction of a need that a mature person can satisfy on his own. For example, I fall in love with someone who looks at me with enthusiastic eyes. This look is so pleasant to me that I begin to fantasize about how good it would be for us to be together. This may be a sign that I do not know how to admire myself and that I have problems with self-esteem. nine0003

Very often falling in love at first sight is connected with traumatized points of our personality. If a person falls into it very accurately, we fall in love, but not with a real person, but with the gift that she gives us. You can test yourself and ask the question: “What attracts me to this person, how well do I know him, how much do I fantasize about him?”. If there are more fantasies than real connections, this may indicate that there I am looking for the satisfaction of my hunger.

What to read on this topic:

Gary Chapman The Five Love Languages ​​

Robert Johnson We. Deep Aspects of Romantic Love

Sue Johnson Hold me tight. 7 dialogues for love for life”

Or there may be another option: in a romantic partner we are looking for satisfaction of a need that a mature person can satisfy on his own

Anton: Those who consider themselves monogamous people and forbid to want another person even in thoughts, inflame this desire even more. According to psychoanalysis, the more we forbid, the greater the desire. This can manifest itself negatively in a relationship with a regular partner, for example, in the form of tension, fading of sexual desire or irritability. We unconsciously begin to react in such a way as to alienate a partner or partner from ourselves and feel freedom. nine0003

But if I notice and recognize my desire, then I can make a choice, guided not by a ban, but by awareness. I need to understand how valuable relationships are for me, whether it is worth risking them for a date with another person. And then there may be several options for the development of events:

1. I understand that relationships no longer bring me joy, that this is just a formality. I may decide to build them with a new person.

2. My relationship is valuable to me, so I choose to stay with my partner and work on the relationship. nine0003

If I still want to keep the relationship, but the feelings for another person embrace and intensify, besides, they are mutual, then a frank conversation and legalization of relations with this person can help. We must admit that I have sympathy, and set limits beyond which we will not go - for example, beyond conversations and light flirting. It removes the ballast of tension and uncontrollable desire.

Saying you like someone else is risky: it can cause jealousy, anxiety and insults

Natalia: If there is a feeling that the relationship is alive and important, you need to honestly talk with your partner about what is missing in them. Telling that you like someone else is risky: it can cause jealousy, anxiety and insults. Therefore, it is better to first understand your needs.

During the period of falling in love, a person attracts us sexually, and when the couple has been together for a long time, the excitement of falling in love and strong excitement falls and passes into the middle zone. Sometimes people perceive this cooling as the end of a relationship, but in fact this is a normal process: a couple in a long relationship cannot constantly experience a high level of arousal. Discontent can manifest itself in other areas as well. If you tell your partner about this, and he or she responds, the couple has the opportunity to revive something in the relationship. And then sympathy and falling in love with another person will simply end, because the need will be satisfied. nine0003

First you need to understand what I lack and what I can get with another person

Anton: Now we have more freedom in relationships, we no longer need to live together in order to survive. We try relationships with different partners, and the more often this happens, the more we understand that the ideal does not exist: there is no crazy love for life. When falling in love passes, a crisis begins, I want to go further to look for what is missing with another person. But, looking back at our experience, we can see that many times we have already walked, searched, tried. This gives an understanding that, probably, it’s not about specific people, but it just happens to everyone, so you need to choose to work on relationships. nine0003

First I need to understand what I lack and what I can get from another. If I understand that my partner will not be able to realize these goals, I should find out - on my own or with the help of a psychotherapist - what keeps me in this relationship? And perhaps what holds is more valuable than what is missing.

Here's an example: a girl meets a caring guy, but at some point she starts to like her colleague - aggressive, domineering, rude. She may be attracted to the firmness and confidence of a colleague, because he knows what to do, but her caring and gentle boyfriend is indecisive, does not know what is best, and she wants decisions to be made instead of her. If a girl chooses an overbearing colleague, at first she may be fine, but due to the fact that he is not capable of tenderness, she will begin to miss care. nine0003


Divide the sheet into two columns: “Ideal relationship” and “My real relationship”. In the first column, I need to write down what I would like to receive from a partner in an ideal relationship and what I would give / give to him. I advise you to put this list aside for a few days, so that later you can look at it with a detached look and follow your feelings. In the second column it is necessary to describe the real relationship: what I receive from the partner and what I give. Then compare these two columns: what I don’t get, but ideally want, makes me sad and angry, or can I turn a blind eye to it? It is worth dwelling on the points that evoke strong feelings and talk about it with a partner. It may also turn out that we receive enough, but we give a lot, so we feel dissatisfied. nine0003

Let your fantasy run wild and imagine how your relationship would develop with another person you feel sympathy for. Note how the pictures of these relationships evoke feelings. It is necessary to understand what kind of state this is, what happens to me when I am with another / another in my imagination. These feelings are the key to what we lack. For example, if I feel calm and peaceful with this person, maybe I am an anxious person and I need someone who will constantly reassure me. Then it is worth working with anxiety, it is better to go to psychotherapy. Or such a fantasy may be due to the fact that my partner is too emotional and constantly screams, and I get tired of it. nine0003

September holidays

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Life is often not like a movie love story. Even if you have found the one and want to associate life with him, from time to time you can feel sympathy for other people. Sometimes a harmless feeling develops into a strong desire, and you find yourself at a crossroads - to leave or continue? nine0003

Your relationship is not doomed if you like someone else. This is just a sign that it's time to change something or listen to yourself. How to do the right thing and not hurt anyone's feelings? We asked psychologists this question.

Master of Psychology, practicing psychologist

Personal website

We can like other people when we are in a relationship, and this is absolutely normal. A beautiful, well-groomed girl attracts attention, and it is pleasant to look at her. There is nothing wrong with your boyfriend paying attention to beautiful girls. Just like you might like the look of a guy walking by. nine0012 As a rule, we are attracted to what we have in ourselves, or those qualities that we do not like in ourselves.

You should not tell your partner about this. It is important to understand and understand for yourself what need is behind your interest. Excessive attention to another can show what is missing in your relationship. For example, openness, lightness, sense of humor. What did you like most about the other person?

It is worth abandoning the idea of ​​an ideal partner - one who satisfies all needs. nine0142 For example, he may not like skiing, but for you this is a matter of principle. Maybe you should find a company for skiing, and leave time for romantic evenings with a partner?

You can behave naturally with another person you like. And inside yourself to explore your own feelings next to him. What are you like next to him? What thoughts and experiences arise?

Think about what you like about your current relationship? Are you getting what you want in your relationship? Do you feel loved, valued, important to your partner? Why did you choose your boyfriend? And he you? How valuable is your relationship with him? These questions will help you understand and understand whether it is worth continuing the relationship with your current partner. nine0003

If you want to keep your current relationship, but feelings for another person capture you, and it turns out that they are mutual, then a frank and honest conversation with this person will help you. It is worth recognizing that there is sympathy, but there are also limitations beyond which you will not go - for example, beyond conversations, or light flirting. This will relieve tension, strong desire and fantasies about unfulfilled relationships.

Psychoanalytic psychotherapist

It's okay to like others when we're in a relationship, but it's always difficult. At the same time, we are all looking for calmness and an explosion of emotions, constancy and disturbing unpredictability, stability and conflicting feelings. We do not find it in one person and look at others. We want to get everything once and for all - to combine the opposite, mutually exclusive, but all our life we ​​cope with contradictions and changes.

At your age, no matter how trite, contradictions are not the second, but your main "I". You go through a period of life when you learn to deal with these contradictions. And love is the most important, but painful, on which we are all doomed to learn. nine0003

Whatever you decide, it's okay. Nobody knows the future! We dream, we imagine, we hope, but we don't know. We predict from previous experience, but even then we are mistaken. So trying is inevitable. Experience helps, but it is far from always obvious, we do not always remember it and recognize it, we often do not see repetitions and “step on a rake”.

Therefore, almost always, in order to understand, realize, rethink something, you need someone else, to talk to someone. Speak! This is an opportunity to think. Tell me! This is an opportunity to hear. No matter what they answer, you will hear better and understand yourself. Give yourself time to think, to comprehend what you did not find and what you are looking for.

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