Relationships are complicated. That's often an understatement. Friendships and romantic connections involve multiple people with multiple sets of wants and emotions. It's difficult to balance them all without hard feeling, but what does someone do when they're somewhere in-between?
The infamous term "situationship" is used for that fickle phase between friendship and relationship. Sometimes it's a step to a relationship. Sometimes it's a crush that shouldn't turn into more. Other times, it's just hard to let go of a former flame. Despite the narrative, here are three simple steps to deal and hopefully meet some middle ground with that semi-special someone.
Step 1: Realize the problem.
We usually get into these sticky situations by accident. Something happens and someone feels something. Being in a "situationship" is different than being "friends with benefits," because there are no rules. There have been no verbal communication about the series of events. It just kind of happened... Once you realize something's up, that things are out of their ordinary flow, it's important not to skip the next step. Don't be rash, but don't hold back either. Just take a minute.
Step 2: Think about what you want.
So, you've realized you're in an interesting situation. Great, now you want to fix it. Awesome, but discovering what is it that you want is a bit more tricky.
Traditional "pros and con" lists are not advisable, no matter how many rom-coms and TV shows suggest so. It doesn't take on the weight of each contending element or have enough sophisticated thought. Make sure not to just use your head. Love and relationships are not always rational, but that doesn't make them any less real. Consult your emotions and take time to think deep into yourself. Think more into the general consequences, rather than pitting them against each other. Is it overall worth it? Is it what you really want?
It's important to note that the answer doesn't have to be yes. If you don't want a relationship, don't get into one. And if you do, think about what you want out of it. It's more complicated than just a "yes" or "no" answer. Have that all figured out before you make the approach. It will help you both in the long-run.
Step 3: Set a plan.
Who? What? Where? When? Why? How?
Figure out how to bring up the subject. Maybe just come out in say it the next time you're chilling at their place. If directness isn't your forte, send a text that you need to chat (but not in an ultimatum doom way). The seriousness of the approach all depends on your feelings and your current relationship. Only you know how to proceed. That's what makes listening to yourself and planning so important.
Step 4: Talk about it.
Yes, this is possibly the most daunting, but if either of you is feeling unsure about your current situationship, it needs to be done.
It's important to remember through all of this that it's not just your feelings and wants you have to be concerned about. Yes, go for what you want. Pursue your own happiness, but not at the expense of others. Communication is the only real way to hold onto your friendship while pursuing or pushing away from a romantic relationship.
Sit down in front of each other. Don't just text or Snapchat. Create a human connection with the other person, no matter the response.
Step 5: Come to a conclusion.
Don't let all your hard efforts be all for nothing. Don't just shrug it off and hope to hash it all out another day. If it's something that's been bothering you, you deserve closure and solace, whatever that may be. If you want to move forward into a romantic relationship, say so. Explain yourself. State your feelings.
If you don't want a relationship, it's important to make sure to have this "Define the Relationship" talk as well, to make sure you're both on the same page and that no one is getting hurt. It's the only way to keep the friendship going. Honesty and respect are always important.
Step 6: Move Forward Accordingly.
Now that the big scary deed is done, you can both move on with your lives. The credits have rolled in your movie, but there's still a life after the fact.
Hopefully, a reasonable consensus has been made. Maybe you had your Clueless moment. Maybe you didn't. The most important part is that you can now move forward and focus on other things in life. The weight of not knowing is off your shoulders and you can enjoy your relationship, whether romantic or platonic.
The concept of a "situationship" is universal. Things can get tricky when having multiple people, opinions, wants and feelings in the mix. However, as long as you communicate and remember your own needs, everything should be fine. You'll get through this. There's always more after the credits roll.
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