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What is a Situationship? Why Must You Know About It?


“Pyar Kiya toh darna kya jab pyar kiya toh darna kya?” From this “pyar” to “Mere saiya ji ke se aaj maine breakup kar liya”, love and relationships have been ever evolving just like the natural course of the universe. This Valentines day Kausalya Suharika R explores the new revolution in the dating game called, “Situationship”

Situationship is a fairly new term coined by Carina Hsieh, Ex-Senior Sex & Relationships Editor at Cosmopolitan Magazine. 

Even as there is an over dose of love messages and proclamations of undying love as February 14 approaches, there is an increasing number of youngsters, who are getting into a relationship where they are involved but not committed. To define it vaguely Situationship is more than casual dating and less than a completely committed relationship. It is a situation when the couples set their own rules, and boundaries where personal spaces are protected. It helps in exploring a relationship before becoming serious. Yet it is fraught with confusion, and heart ache in many cases.

Love in the age of Situationship:  

  • Situationship is a bonding between two romantically interested individuals without any future plans of being together forever. 
  • The couple involved don’t even describe their relationship.
  • It is more than friendship but less than a committed relationship. 
  • They do not call themselves boyfriend/girlfriend, they are not committed to each other, not confined to any characteristics of being a serious couple. 
  • Situationship is simply said- a romantic relationship with no serious feelings 

Speaking about Situationship, Founder of MindYourPhantoms, L. Jay Chandra Raju, said, “In my opinion situationship may or may not be romantic, it’s basically being in a relationship mostly romantic that lacks commitment, associated norms and expectations. It’s more like being in a casual relationship with no guardrails, but potentially some questions on where things are heading and the reason why situationships are so popular nowadays is due to the rise of online dating and cross culture curiosity.” MindYourPhantoms is a platform that has been helping students on meta cognition and brain activity.

Rise of Situationships in India could be the result of rapid rise of online dating and social media connectivity. Social media availed everyone from being a stranger to a familiar friend by basically bonding over similar opinions. Anyone can become friends with anyone irrespective of distance. This has brought more exposure to different kinds of people, leading to different experiences. These experiences could be bad or good. To get to know each other and try to avoid the bad experiences, people resort to these ways of temporary companionships, called Situationships. Although it seems like courting, it is not. 

How do you think the “Situationship” impacts relationships?

“It depends on your level of maturity.  It has its own pros and cons. Sometimes there is an urge to feel close to and experience intimacy with others which is a basic human need and, in some instances, it is much healthier for both parties to satisfy that need without feeling like they have to make commitments that aren’t aligned with their needs or wants. And also you may be more free to prioritize your life without necessarily needing to check in or run things by your significant other the way you might in a more defined relationship,” said Jay Chandra.

This differs from person to person, a complete individual choice, where no outsider is involved. This gives freedom like no other – Freedom to choose. One may experience some challenging emotions if the Situationship is not aligned with your values, or your needs and wants. And being in an undefined relationship can prompt some individuals to doubt and second guess themselves, and this uncertainty can extend to other areas of life like marriage. 

Jay Chandra opined, “Relationships these days seem fragile because breakups and divorce don’t have as much stigma as even a decade ago. The situation is much better and in the face of abuse (not just physical or sexual but also verbal and emotional), leaving the person is considered reasonable. People don’t consider forever to be a compulsion anymore. You can try your best but if you’re getting hurt beyond a point, it’s acceptable to leave today. That really gives you the opportunity of choosing to find someone who’s more suited to you.”

“Women, just like men, don’t want to adjust anymore. But it’s hard because men show their disapproval with silence and women by talking. So if there’s any issue between the couple, they have no idea how to communicate. Men don’t take the effort and women don’t want to be called desperate, which they definitely would be, if they continue to pick a fight their significant other doesn’t want to discuss.” He adds.

“While one segment of youth are loving Situationship, the other are highly disapproving of this calling it a trend brought in by “fickle minded” people,” says Sanvi(name changed), a working professional from Delhi. She said that she has seen friends who went through Situationship, but although one party of them is happy, a relationship  which lacked certainty seriously hurt the other one in the relationship. This leads to depression in many people leading to bad psychological effects. She stated, “Situationship is a “⁠selfish” form of relationship where compassion, sympathy,  love and friendship have no place.”

Some youth, like Arjun from Guntur, think that people can do whatever they want, but they should be ready to face the consequences as well. “I support freedom but for what cost?” he said. He feels that Situationships, when maintained under the exact limit, can save people from a lot of trauma; A trauma that a serious relationship causes.


Are You Prepared for Situationship? Commitment versus


Basically human beings are social beings, for everything small or big, everyone is dependent on someone, and when it comes to emotional bonding, it is inescapable that one depends on the other. And, Situationship allows men and women to be emotionally and physically involved without being committed – and it is often one of the partners who is not committed.

If a person decides to be in a Situationship, it could be because of any reason, such as a past trauma or being scared of commitment or family pressures, the person he/she wants to be with in Situationship should be in 100% alignment with this, if that’s not the case, which in most cases is the case, then there starts the trouble.

Situationship or any temporary emotional bonding is not for all. Life is so precious and giving time to someone is the best thing one can offer, so, doing something with 100% conscious mind is necessary. Young adults and emotionally weak ones better not to try such relationships full of uncertainity. So, how you know if you are fit enough to do something like “Situationship” is what a certified therapist or an expert that you trust can say. 

Going by the trends however, young Indians are increasingly leaning towards this and the number of people not interested in getting into commitments is on a raise. Dating app Tinder’s 2023 report based on a survey saw a 49% increase in members, who added this relationship intention to their profiles, and over 1 in 102 young singles said they prefer Situationship. Evidently this situation is bound to stay and thrive.

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