“I just ended a three-month situationship after six months. For the past four months, every couple of weeks, I’ve been trying to figure out how to get out of it. We have chemistry and attraction but I’m not getting my needs met. He’s withdrawn, inconsistent, and avoidant. Every time I break up with him, he comes back with everything I want to hear – he’s going to change, he’s going to get better – but his actions never match his words. How do you deal with somebody who consistently tells you he wants to be with you but isn’t stepping up to commit?”
If you’ve found yourself in a number of situationships, this is your wake-up call. This study notes there are TWO primary advantages to casual sex.
- There’s no commitment!
- You get to have sex!
If those aren’t the top 2 things you want from your love life, you’re willingly entering into an arrangement that does NOT serve your long-term interests. Especially given that two of the primary downsides to casual sex include:
- Developing feelings
- Causing negative emotions
Kind of makes you wonder why anyone would do this at all. Yet open-ended relationships that start with sex and end only when she summons the courage to cut it off are exceedingly common. Here are four reasons you may accept a situationship when what you REALLY want is to be loved.
- Emotional Investment: It’s easy to get emotionally attached to a man even if the relationship is undefined – especially if you have a history with emotionally unavailable men. If you’re such a woman – maybe your father wasn’t around, maybe your Mom dated lots of iffy men – inconsistent relationships feel NORMAL. So does sleeping with guys, keeping your fingers crossed, and hoping one of ‘em turns out to be a good one. If this has never worked out for you, it may be time to stop all situationships.
- Fear of Being Alone: I get it. Being alone sucks. Life is better shared – whether it’s restaurants, travel, sex, or just someone who checks in occasionally. I liken situationships to being in an ocean, looking for something to keep you afloat. When you find some driftwood, you cling to it for dear life, even though driftwood is at best, a temporary placeholder. Too many women – out of fear of loneliness – stick tight with their driftwood guys, not even realizing there are perfectly good boats that will provide better shelter. To be fair, this IS a nice piece of driftwood.
- Lack of Clarity: Sometimes, you might be unclear about what you want from a relationship or might not have communicated your desires and boundaries. Next thing you know, you have all the trappings of a relationship – spending time together, emotional intimacy, and physical intimacy – but without clearly defined labels or commitments. This works for him because he DOESN’T want a defined label. The question is why do you accept these terms when they don’t work for you?
- Low Self-Esteem: This is at the root of any situationship. You may know you’re brilliant, hot, and accomplished but if you don’t believe you deserve a committed relationship and think this is the best you can do, you will continue to accept situationships – even though they never pan out.