In today's world dating has become fluid — young adults don’t want black and white labels for every relationship they get into. There are multiple types of relationships that one can be in. One of the now-popular ones is a ‘situationship’, which is like an informal arrangement that goes beyond the conventions of an exclusive relationship.
For many young adults, it seems to be the perfect in-between, offering them emotional presence and connection in person, but when apart, also giving them the freedom of not being in a committed relationship. This makes situationship the new commitment-lite alternative to a traditional relationship.
According to Tinder’s recent Year in Swipe report for 2022, there has been a 49% increase in members embracing a situationship as the new relationship intention. This trend ultimately reflects a desire for flexibility and freedom amongst the young adults today. Over 1 in 10 surveyed young singles said they prefer situationships as a way to develop a relationship with less pressure.
Also Read: How to discuss mental health with your date
Here are the top reasons why young adults are adopting this trend:
1. Situationships are the ideal compatibility test without the whole commitment pressure
2. It can help experience intimacy, build communication and foster transparency from the get-go.
3. With situationships, you can skip any unnecessary drama since there are no set expectations to meet.
4. They offer more flexibility, there are no obligations or the constant need to keeping checking on each other.
5. You can move on from a situationship more easily, since you’re not as emotionally invested.
Now that we know why we are witnessing young singles owning situationship as a valid relationship status, these are a few tips that can help communicate your intentions in a situationship with your partner.
Talk about what you're looking for early on: Be upfront. The 'what are we?' talk that you so dread, is what will help set your expectations right from the beginning, so don’t be afraid to have it. Situationships at their best can be empowering and offer more autonomy and freedom but misunderstandings occur when the communication isn’t clear.
Check in with each other regularly: Even if things are going great, it's important to check in with each other every now and then about where things stand. Situationships, by their very nature, are pretty fluid so things can change quickly without much warning. Check in with your partner to avoid any surprises or misunderstandings further down the road. Also, it'll help keep the lines of communication open which is always a good thing in any relationship
Be honest about your feelings: Being honest hits different! If you catch yourself getting attached and wanting something more just say so! The worst that could happen is that they don't feel the same way and things end sooner than they would have otherwise. But, at least, you would have had the chance to pursue something more if that's what you really want .
Don't be afraid to walk away: Sometimes, no matter how well you communicate your intentions, things just don't work out the way you planned. And that's OK! If you find yourself in a situationship that isn't working for you, don't be afraid to walk away — but communicate it clearly.
The opportunity for exploration, no commitment and the ease of moving on — all of this makes situationship an ideal choice for young adults who want more control over their lives and their relationships.
Dr. Chandni Tugnait is a life coach and Tinder’s relationship expert.
Also Read: 5 ways to talk about consent