This is exactly why your three-month situationship break up really hurts your heart
And some expert advice on how to actually get over it
Situationships are, quite simply, a head fuck. You text all day, you spoon, you meet their parents. But what actually are you? A couple? No. A big fat nothing. Because you’re just two emotionally unavailable people who are too scared or too proud to put a label on it.
Yet, when situationships end (usually around the three month mark), they ignite a unique type of heartbreak. You miss the great sex, the excitement when they’d finally texted you back, the nudes, the voice notes, and the love they implied when they kissed you on the forehead.
Genuinely, the pain of a situationship ending is a sickness like no other. And people on Twitter and TikTok have said they’re still mourning their not-quite-relationships THREE YEARS after they came to a close. (Seriously, why did everyone get traumatised in 2019?)
So, in case your poor little heart is still in tatters, we’ve spoken to the dating experts on how to actually identify if you’re in a situationship and, most importantly, how to actually get over one when it inevitably ends:
Why do situationship break ups hurt the most?
According to dating expert Callisto Adams, situationship break ups hurt the most and take the longest to recover from because of what could have been: “It leaves the partners wandering around with a lot of questions that cannot be answered,” she says. “But it also leaves them paired with an incomplete, unexplored, and perhaps unrealistic, idea of one another.”
“It’s about the lost potential as well,” she adds. “But it’s more about the fact that the situationship is ending before ‘the good part’ is entirely consumed. It leaves one or both partners wanting more but unable to get more.
“It’s similar to a kid seeing a nice toy at the shop but not being able to take it home,” Callisto continues. “We didn’t explore it enough, we got slightly familiar with it, and we liked it a lot, now the idea of it lingers along with the countless questions of “What if?” and “How would it look?”.
How do you get over a situationship?
Let yourself feel sad
This might sound counterproductive but Callisto says it’s important to process, rather than bury, our emotions. “It’s okay to feel sad or upset when a connection breaks off, so let your body and mind have the symptoms they need to have to process this properly,” she says. “Observe yourself while you’re feeling the emotions. And once you feel you’re ready, get up and decide for a change.”
Stop romanticising the past
They were not as hot or interesting as you thought they were and none of your friends ever liked them anyway. So, Callisto recommends to stop looking back at the situationship through a “pink filter” and instead (when you’re ready) “make the decision to move forward, to see the situation as it was, not as it would or could be.”
Invest in yourself
All of that time you spent wondering if they’d text back or come round this week can now be reinvested into your own interests. Yup, we’re going full Eat, Pray, Love for this process.
“Read, watch movies, and documentaries,” says Callisto. “Practice activities you love, invest time in yourself, hang out with people you love, or even talk to your therapist about it,” she continues. “That’s a way to let go of the situationship and the stress it could be causing you. It’s a way to move on.”
So, what are the signs you’re in a situationship?
After hearing about the total agony of getting over a situationship, it’s understandable if you’re now desperate to avoid one. So, the red flag signals that you’re heading towards a situationship and need to dip ASAP are:
You do couple things but aren’t a couple
They’ve gifted you the girlfriend experience without ever making you their girlfriend. You meet their friends, you walk their dog, you bake cakes on rainy days. Fun! Well, stop taking wine for their mum and flirting with their dad every time you go round because if they haven’t made it exclusive by the end of month three they probs never will.
“You’re in a situationship if you do the lovey-dovey activities and practices that couples do, but both or one of you is hesitant or even reluctant to have the ‘what are we?’ talk or to use the relationship tags such as ‘girlfriend’ or ‘boyfriend’,” warns Callisto.
You never have speak about your feelings or expectations
They’ve pissed you off, you say nothing. You think they’re adorable, you say nothing. You don’t like that they didn’t text you enough while they were out, you say nothing. Because, despite speaking every day, this person is not your boyfriend and they don’t owe you anything– agony.
Callisto explains: “In situationships a lot of things are left unsaid and undiscussed because they feel awkward since none of the partners feel like they’re entitled to an explanation.”
You never have the ‘what are we’ chat
Define the relationship? You’d rather die. “There’s no label, there’s no willingness to discuss things on a deeper level, and there’s confusion as to where things are heading with this connection,” Callisto says of the situationship warning signs. So, if that’s you, please, run before it’s too late.
Featured image credit via BBC.
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