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

by Joyce Remo

WHERE could a homeless heart go when there is nowhere for it to stay?

This is what Calliope, not her real name, often asks herself whenever she would get involved in this new trend of romantic relationships called situationships.

Situationships defined

Situationships are undefined and label-free romantic connections that don’t require couples to fully commit themselves to their partners. Often called casual dating, two emotionally unavailable people come to terms of seeing each other with no strings attached. 

This dynamic is usually temporary in nature and often involves individuals who are either not ready for the serious things or people who want to explore first before taking themselves off the market.

With situationships, people can date others without bearing the commitment and all the associated norms and expectations of a relationship. They are given enough time to get to know somebody without feeling pressured to take a leap of faith and push the relationship to the next level.

According to experts, situationships can be rooted from online dating culture. Due to the presence of almost unlimited options in dating apps, people find it difficult to commit.

The catch is not to catch feelings

While situationships can be fun and cool because of the fewer restrictions and other sexual and emotional benefits, relationship expert Abby Medcalf, PhD, said a dilemma occurs when one “catches feelings” for their partner when they are not supposed to.

Developing real romantic feelings while inside a situationship can be pretty devastating and could ruin the connection itself.

This scenario may also lead to feelings of doubt, sadness, and even heartbreak, especially when the two people involved in a situationship aren’t on the same page.

“You start to feel rejected because the person doesn’t want you fully,” said Medcalf.

Calliope, a 22-year-old college senior, shares the same experience.

In an interview, she told republicasia that she had been caught inside situationships twice and it was a rather horrible experience.

“When you’re in a situationship kasi, literal na malabo yung connection ninyong dalawa,” she said. “Mayroon kayong mga bagay na pwedeng gawin na traditionally ay exclusive for committed couples, say for instance, intimate touching and all, pero bawal makaramdam ng kahit an ounce lang of selos kasi that’s outside the agreement.”

Blurred lines

One clear thing about situationships is that it is never clear.

According to Calliope, she felt clueless about “what to give and what to take” because there were blurred lines between what she can and can’t do while inside the situationship.

“I wouldn’t say it’s not thrilling and liberating because it definitely is. But during the two situationships I had, I always felt kind of clueless, like parang nangangapa ka what to give and what to take kasi parang kayo na hindi,” she said.


While navigating through situationships, she realized that being in this kind of set-up could be convenient, but one is always bound to get hurt when the chapter reaches denouement. 

“Ever met someone that smelled like a hurricane, strong and destructive, you’re well aware she would crush you once it reached your shores, but invited her anyway? That’s how situationships are to me,” Calliope shared. 

“You know you’re bound to get hurt when the chapter ends pero tumuloy ka pa rin kasi nga convenient at exciting,” she added.

One key takeaway that Calliope learned from situationships is that it’s like breaking down someone’s walls to get to know them, unravel their complexity, understand their edges and frailty, only for this person to step away.

“‘Yang situationships, parang ‘break [down] my walls and not cross over’ yung theme. Kasi you will try to get to know every single fiber of each other only for the both of you to go your separate ways,” she said.

There is usually no relationship evolution in situationships and these connections are fated to end when one gets bored or the other finds another prospective lover to pursue.

While Calliope does not highly recommend getting involved in situationships, she said it is okay to try and experience new things.

“Hindi ko siya highly recommended but you can try,” she said. “Malay natin, regardless of the no-catching-feelings agreement, there would be one person who would be willing to cross over your broken walls.”



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