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‘Eh hindi naman tayo’: Situationships explained

by Joyce Remo

SITUATIONSHIPS are often defined as romantic relationships that do not require couples to vow exclusivity and commitment to each other. 

This Gen Z term is usually associated with casual dating, where individuals who are involved in a situationship don’t feel the need to put a label on their emotional connections.

READ: #Situationships: Break down my walls, but don’t cross over

While most situationships are typically temporary in nature, there are couples who have plans to level up and have already moved past their once label-free relationships into committed ones.

An example are Jireh Reyes, 25, and Shaira Santiago, 26, who initially agreed that their set-up would be nothing more than a fling, until they both developed strong romantic feelings for each other that prompted them to step up their relationship.

They are one of three situationship couples who sat down with republicasia for an exclusive interview, with the objective of defining the notion of this non-committal relationship.

Meet the couples 

Shaira and Jireh started off as workmates before setting up an agreement in 2020 to be each other’s partner without bearing the commitment of an official relationship. As they would later recount, it did not stay this way for long. 

The second couple is Sean Daniel Loquere, 23, and Poleen Torres, 22, who met in a local train station. 

According to Sean, Poleen stood out amid the long queue of girls at the platform because of her height. Later that day, Poleen sent Sean a Facebook friend request randomly and that’s when the pair started talking with each other.

The third couple, 22 year-old Irish Catudio and 23-year-old Zoilo Ryss Cabritit, matched at a dating app in December, which sparked their current situationship.

Their brand of situationship

Chaotic is how Sean and Poleen describe their brand of situationship. As per the pair, being in this kind of relationship set-up brings a variety of challenges including trust issues.

“Chaotic kasi syempre, parang kahit na may napag-usapan kayo na exclusive kayo, kasi parang hindi ka sure kung talagang nagi-stick with yung ka-situationship nyo or ka-MU mo dun sa napag-usapan niyong exclusivity,” Poleen said.

Irish, on the other hand, just enjoys the moments she shares with her partner Zoilo.

“Parang seize the moment lang, gano’n,” Irish told republicasia.

Parang wala kaming pressure sa isa’t isa, so kung masaya kami dito, ‘yun na ‘yun.”

Irish Catudio

However, she clarified that just because they are happy with their current situation doesn’t mean they are not considering pushing their situationship forward.

“Kung pwede naman, kung magwowork naman, eh ‘di pwede naman pong ilevel up, para gano’n,” she added.

Meanwhile, Shaira believes that situationships provide comfort and convenience without the responsibilities of commitment.

“Pwedeng emotional or physical siya [na] relationship, pero hindi kayo committed sa isat isa,” she said. 

Advantages

One key benefit of being in a situationship is the freedom that it provides to couples. This liberty ranges from being able to do what you want and the capability to meet and talk to other people. 

“Hindi mo kailangang magpaalam sa every move na gagawin mo. Hindi mo kailangan palagi mag-ask ng permission,” Irish said. 

However, this can also depend on the agreement that couples have established at the beginning of the relationship.

Jireh believes it is not right to meet with new people when one is already involved in a situationship, even though this set up allows people to entertain others aside from their current partner.

“Doon mo mae-experience siguro to talk with other people kasi nga hindi naman kayo in a relationship. May makilala ka pang iba pero sasalain mo rin. Pero it’s a bad thing kasi pagsasabayin mo silang dalawa”

Jireh Reyes

Another trump card that situationships possess is the fact that individuals will have the opportunity to get to know both their partners and themselves without being pressured to take the next step forward.

“Mas nakikilala mo yung sarili mo. Kasi yun nga, kumbaga parang yung consent mo, parang free ka pa rin. Free ka pero at the same time, may connection ka sa tao,” Shaira said.

Sean also said that through situationships, one can guarantee that their partner is the one for them.

“Do’n mo marerealize na talagang hindi talaga kami pinaghihiwalay nito,” he said. “Malalaman niyo na parang talagang siguro nga talaga meant to be kami nito.”

Disadvantages

Unfortunately, there are also drawbacks to being involved in a situationship.

As per Jireh, one of the disadvantages he experienced was being unable to reveal his set-up with Shaira to other people, especially their workmates.

“Talagang kailangan niyong i-hide yung relationship nyo to other people,” he said.

Sean, on the other hand, said that there were instances when Poleen asked him why they were arguing over things when they were not in a relationship. He felt hurt that time, said. 

Parang umabot sa point na, ‘bakit ba natin to pinag-uusapan, hindi naman tayo.’ Parang biglang napunta dun yung conversation, then wala akong nasabi nun. Parang moment of silence talaga yun”

Sean Daniel Loquere

Poleen also said that when inside a situationship, people can be confused about the things they can and cannot do.

“It’s really a big struggle, kasi minsan hindi mo alam kung saan ka lulugar, paano ka gagalaw, paano ka kikilos. Kasi baka pag too much yung pinakita mong concern or care or what, magpull back naman. Para kayong nagpapakiramdaman, yung moves, or ginagawa niya, calculated,” she said.

Commitment issues

Poleen and Sean also shared one of the biggest factors that prevents them from leveling up their relationship — commitment issues.

According to Poleen, this commitment issue stems from the betrayal that both of them committed in the early months of their situationship.

“Siguro to keep it simple and short, parehas kaming may ginagawa, behind each other’s back” she said. “Halimbawa, may kinakausap, pero hindi alam ng other party, ganun. Tas nagkabunyagan ganun.”

Despite this, the couple still plans to take a leap of faith and put a label to their relationship envetually.

Zoilo also shares the same struggle, as he fears things with Irish may not go as planned.

At first, syempre kasi may takot ka sa commitment na baka ano, baka gano’n nga, hindi maganda ‘yung mangyari sa inyo in the future”

Zoilo Ryss Cabritit

But he still believes that time will be able to help take away this fear.

“Pero habang tumatagal naman, pagka nagbobonding kayo eh nabibuild din naman ‘yung interest,” he said.

Leveling up

Jireh and Shaira no longer have these concerns. As far as the two are concerned, their situationship has reached the next level.

According to Jireh, his jealousy towards Shaira’s other “talking stages” people was the trigger that pushed the relationship forward.

Seloso kasi ako, nalaman ko kasi may kausap siya. So yun, para daw hindi ako magselos, eh ‘di hindi niya kinausap yung isa, tapos yun, kami na”

Jireh Reyes

Shaira confirmed this, saying that at first, she encouraged Jireh to also talk and meet other people in dating apps. But his peskiness compelled her to finally put a label to their situationship.

“Ang kulit kulit nito. Natuluyan tuloy,” Shaira jokingly said.

The couple will be celebrating their second official anniversary this year.

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