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The Connection

‘Just be straightforward from the beginning;’ looking at situationships

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What do you call a conditional relationship with poor commitment and communication?

The term situationship has recently been a trend on social media, prompting students and faculty at Cosumnes River College to express frustration about their own experiences with the relationship trend.

A situationship is “a lack of consensus on what a relationship actually is, so the situation itself determines the relationship, rather than the people,” according to an article in USA Today.

Dr. Daniel DuBray, a communications professor, said a situationship is also known as an infatuated relationship, typically lasting from a few months to 18 months.

“I think people like situationships because they are flexible, because there is no commitment,” sociology professor Donnisha C. Lugo said. “So, you have this flexibility of being able to connect with someone in a close intimate way, but also the freedom to go out and meet other people.”

Lugo said situationships could impact the people who carry stronger feelings in the relationship. Self-esteem can be affected, making the person feel like they’re not good enough, she said.

Sienna Heredia, an 18-year-old sociology major, spoke about her situationship experience and how she felt being the one that carried stronger feelings.

“The highs were very high with him and the lows were very low,” Heredia said. “I think that it impacted me, like my self esteem got very low. I felt that I wasn’t worth a relationship.”

DuBray said for a situationship to work, the parties involved require clear communication and boundaries.

Liliana Mendoza, Puente Project counselor, also said that it’s important to continually communicate where both parties stand so that there’s a mutual understanding since feelings can change at any time.

Mayra Ramirez, an 18-year-old psychology major, said communication was not clear in her own situationship.

“He would never communicate with me, I would always do it. I would force him to communicate with me because he would just shut himself down,” Ramirez said. “And so that’s why this has never worked out.”

DuBray said to watch out for red flags, an example being if one of the parties involved attempted to control the relationship.

“Then the other person is, you know, basically giving into that other person’s control and then that’s when it can get rather one sided,” DuBray said.

DuBray said situationships are not necessarily doomed as long as both parties are honest. He said this type of relationship has been around for decades, but the recent popularity of the term might be due to social media and dating apps.

DuBray said relationships are more accessible with technology and could have contributed to the popularity of more causal relationships.

Heredia said dating has become less traditional.

“So it’s just like, ‘Oh, this isn’t my girlfriend. This is just someone I go on dates with and sleep with and hang out with every day and to talk to every day,’” Heredia said.

Situationships could be beneficial for people who don’t want restrictions and are still exploring relationships. On the other hand, it can become problematic or hurtful when there isn’t communication, according to an article in USA Today.

“Just be straightforward from the beginning,” Ramirez said.

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    Dan DuBrayFeb 15, 2024 at 8:07 am

    Valencia Luviano,
    Well done on the article on situationships!

    Reply