The other day as I was on lunch at work, I scrolled through all of my friends’ Snap Stories and went through the mostly useless burning garbage fire that is the featured stories from publications like Buzzfeed, Brother, Daily Mail, Refinery 29, and Cosmopolitan. Cosmo’s big story was this wonderful little article about the “Situationship” and how it’s quickly destroying the modern American dating life faster than the discarded floor trimmings of a Great Clips that is Donald Trump.
I could point out the mundane problems of this article from things like changing the first name of every goddamn person who has a quote despite the fact that they’re listed with only their first names to declaring relationships with labels as “legitimate”. But then I’d have a blog two paragraphs long and basically no real substance. And accidentally get hired by Cosmo in the process.
Instead, let’s discuss my real issue with this whole thing; veiled blame on men for putting women into these types of relationships, and women for feeling “tricked” into going along for the ride.
As a self-proclaimed emotionless She-Demon, I’m obviously very qualified to talk about relationships and feels and caring about and for other people.
Let’s clear some shit up first. What exactly is a situationship? It’s like a relationship without admitting there are feels. It’s like dating without the label. It’s like fucking around with one of your best bros and just kinda coasting without really planning to do much about it. But the spin Cosmo puts on it leaves a very negative connotation to the whole thing, and basically blames men for not wanting to be in committed relationships…it basically just blames men altogether to be quite honest.
“The hope of something more is always there, dangling like a carrot over every late night “U up?” or shitty 3 a.m. meme you read too far into.”
Here’s the thing though: it’s not just dudes that get themselves into these non-relationships. Women do as well. And the best part about a situationship is the fact that you are relatively free to do whatever the fuck you want without the typical pressures relationships have to offer. You can go on dates without calling them dates. You can go grocery shopping, put together IKEA furniture, pick out each others’ clothes. You can stop by when they’re having a rough day and just talk shit out. Get down with your bad selves in a crowded theater and go back to their place to watch terrible Netflix documentaries over a shared pint of Ben and Jerry’s. Without having to meet their parents, change your status on Facebook, get involved in claiming them as property/being jealous in public, answer questions about when you’ll move in or get married.
The only thing you have to worry about in a situationship is this: feeling those feels and wanting to do something about it. Getting pressure from friends who want the two of you to become an actual thing so they have an easier way to explain what exactly you two are. The outside pressure can ruin the internal mechanics of the situationship if you aren’t careful. And while it may be difficult to express how you feel to the other person, there may come a time where you simply can’t ignore it any longer and have to do something about it. The trouble arises when you feel afraid that speaking up, speaking your mind, will essentially put an end to all that great fun you’ve been having the whole time.
Cosmo does a great job in portraying the women in this article as helpless and lost, shredding themselves to pieces with self-doubt and “will we, won’t we” dreams until they’re sleepless and trying to get relationship clues from a Pepe meme in the middle of the night. #notallwomen. This purports that men are inherently in control of these situationships while the women secretly pine away, and that can’t always be the case. Granted, yes, the writer comes from a subjective platform as she miraculously realized she had been in a situationship for years without knowing what to call it. But there’s a clear way to get away from that shit if it really bothers you, male or female: you grow a pair and you talk about it.
Because here’s the thing. People apparently can’t go back to the way things were once feelings have been admitted. It’s hard to ignore the fact that someone could think about you in a way that you certainly do not think about them. And to have a situationship build up over a period of years just to be dashed away by a single moment of “What are we now that you know I like you, like you” kinda sucks ass.
You have to come to terms with the fact that perhaps it’s better for your mental health if you admit those feelings instead of concealing them like Elsa. Or if it’s easier to lie to yourself and let the good times roll, that’s your choice as well. The beauty of a situationship is that everything is your choice; you can choose when to enter into one, when it’s gotten to be too much, when you need to essentially take the next step, when shit is sour and you need to take a step back. The only downfall of these relationships is the fact that they rely on little to no communication of what exactly the parameters of the relationship is. The other person could be sleeping with as many people as they like and you could be under the false assumption that y’all are basically married now. Or you could both be entirely monogamous without realizing it and just floating in the ether until one of you has the nerve to actually fucking say something about it and get it over with.
I’m convinced situationships could potentially lead to great, long lasting relationships and here’s why. In an actual relationship, the romantic feeling aspect of it all is what comes first. You have the feels, you date. Shit goes sour, you break up, and you never have to really see that person again because there was no past relationship in which to build a platonic friendship to begin with. A situationship builds in reverse. There’s a stable friendship before the fuckery begins. In reality, you could just go back to best bros at any moment if you had the ability to use your words to communicate.
And I get it, that’s hard. I’m not entirely blameless in this because let’s face it, I’d rather shrug and go “I’m good” than admit more complicated emotions than anger, hunger, lust, and derision. But coming to terms with that is essentially what bothers me almost as most as this obvious little fact: labeling everything is not needed and pigeonholing yourself into “traditional” “relationships” can do more harm than good if you aren’t comfortable with the dynamics they represent. Just because there are emotions you can’t express doesn’t mean you have to jump into anything you clearly aren’t ready for. And I say clearly because if you’ve put yourself into this “situationship” and want to climb back on the Good Ship Boyfriend/Girlfriend that’s your own damn fault.
Cosmo makes it seem like y’all are getting Stockholm Syndrome and that just isn’t the case. Everything in this world is a choice. If a relationship is your bag, make that choice. If it isn’t, make that choice. Don’t let Cosmo tell you the standards of how two humans (or more if you’re into that) should relate to one another. Because they’ve been wrong before. Clearly, my horoscope said I would have a “verbal Mercury making a perfect aspect to stabilizing Saturn, which could shift my perspective on relationship matters. A breakthrough Thursday will help me refocus my financial realities”. I have no idea what the fuck that even means and why planets are talking but I’m pretty sure my focus on finances are strictly food-based. You couldn’t refocus that with a nuclear bomb.