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Situationship: the twilight zone between dating and a relationship

By Ilona Mosejeva Feb 8, 2015

“The place where our strange relationship stood had no frames nor rules. I woke up next to him, we had the most peaceful and comfortable breakfast. The most natural goodbye as we’ve been together for ages. The truth was, we weren’t. We were not together and we did not know each other for a long time. However, I did not panic and there was no feeling of weirdness.”

I recently heard the term “situationship” – the apparent term for that strange in between place where two people are not dating nor in a relationship… they’re just that: in a situation together, and they have to decide to go one way or another.

Dating is the first step to getting to know a person and getting an idea of whether or not you want to continue seeing them.

If you are stuck in this twilight zone and cannot figure out how to get to the next level, here is a list of a few possible scenarios that could be stopping you.


She/he is just not into you.

Simple as that. If a person truly does like you, you will be somewhat of a priority. It is not that hard to adapt if that is what you truly desire. Harsh, but true.

Lily, 23, shares an experience she had during her first year at Kingston University. It’s a story of a girl who wanted commitment, whereas her partner was not very keen on introducing her to his friends or taking their “situation” very seriously.

“When we first met it was just fun and getting to know each other whilst fooling around a little bit. Then I decided I wanted a little bit more from the situation so I constantly kept asking him if we could at least admit we were seeing each other as most of my friends knew about him but none of his knew about me apparently. So it stayed like that for a while, we ended up doing couple things, you know? Going to the cinema, having dinner together and staying over at each other’s halls but he still wasn’t willing to admit that we were a couple.

Soon it became too much for me and I had a bit of a breakdown and within two weeks he decided to end it. To begin with I knew it was for the best but thought maybe we could try again at whatever we were, until he decided to tell me some of my flaws and listen to people who had no idea about how I felt or what I thought. So in the end it became very bitter on my part as I felt completely used and that all I was worth was being kept a secret.”


Emotionally unavailable.

You need to consider if the person you are dating is giving as much as they receive from you. Sometimes people are just not emotionally ready for something as big as a relationship. You need to decide whether or not they are worth waiting for.

Phillip, 21, shares the situation where he felt he was not ready for anything serious:

“I remember dating this person once. I think I only dated her to try and get over having a massive crush on one of my friends who was already with someone. So I was dating her and it was all well and nice, but I wasn’t feeling anything. Nothing. She fell way deeper into it than I did. So I purposefully backed off until she broke it off with me as I didn’t have the balls to break up with her.”


Right person wrong time.

There are times in life when you need to concentrate on the things that no one else will do for you. It can be a degree, a career, time which you need to invest in yourself or any other continuous situations that keeps you in a twilight zone. Even if a person seems perfect, timing can sometimes be a deal breaker.

I was in a situation where a man was very caring, tender and sweet. I was sure that one day he would be the perfect husband. Yet somehow I doubted that he could be my other half, especially at a time when I needed to invest all my energy and time into my goals, hobbies and plans for success. We both gave each other that piece of romance and yet we were both free to seek for other priorities in life . I felt I was ready for love. But just not yet.


Hope is the key in dating. However, relationships require hard work. Couples need to understand and accept each other. No one is perfect. It is a creation of art that takes time, which can sometimes be hard.

Sometimes the person might not be on the same page as you. Both of you either need to decide if you want to persist with what you currently have or whether you should go different ways. Being stuck and endlessly wait for someone else to commit is almost as tiring as being in a relationship.

If it doesn’t work out, my suggestion would be to embrace your loneliness. Understand what you want and what you need. Recognise what gives you shivers and how you want to be treated. And if you ever get stuck, don’t be afraid to ask a person where she or he is heading and if they see you beside them. Why waste your time on a dead end relationship when you can concentrate on other better things?

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