How To End A Situationship: 11 Expert Tips

Dating experience | | , Writer & Editor
how to end a situationship

This age of endless swiping on dating apps and social media overload has given rise to numerous fluid relationship variations, one of which is situationship. If you find yourself in one, it’s critical to know how to end a situationship with grace and without hurt because impermanence is the defining feature of such fluid connections.

In this article, we delve deeper into the concept of a situationship and offer tried-and-tested tips on walking away from one, with insights from relationship expert and counselor Dhriti Bhavsar (Master’s in Clinical Psychology), who specializes in relationship, breakup, and LGBTQ counseling.

What Is A Situationship And How To Know You’re In One?

What exactly is a situationship? This question may have baffled you at least once in your life. This is exactly what a Reddit thread too aims to explore. One Reddit user had a simple answer to the question. They defined situationship as, “Anything more than a friendship and less than a relationship,” adding, “The main factor is a lack of exclusivity.” And we agree. The whole idea of a situationship is rooted in fluidity and the fleeting nature of relationships. But how does a person know if they’re in a situationship?

what is a situationship
There will be tell-tale signs that you’re in a situationship

How to know if you’re in a situationship

Now that we have the answer to “What is a situationship?”, are you confused about whether you’re in one? What are the sure-shot signs that you may not be in love or your so-called friendship may actually be a situationship? According to Dhriti, these are a few telling signs you’re in a situationship:

  • No label: Dhriti says, “One of the sure-shot signs of a situationship is not having a clear label on the relationship.” So, you may not have any fixed obligations toward each other
  • No clear communication: Do you see no concrete future plans yet? Dhriti says, “If neither person involved has clearly spoken about the terms or future of the relationship, it could very well be a situationship. People in committed relationships are bound to plan long-term.”
  • Lack of commitment: One clear sign of a situationship is when you have zero commitment toward each other. Dhriti says, “In such cases, the people involved in the relationship are free to date other people.”
  • No set boundaries: A situationship may have unclear or shifting boundaries. Dhriti explains, “Not knowing what is okay in the relationship, or how much you can ask for or expect from the relationship, is a dangerous place and hints that it’s not a relationship but a situationship.”
  • No emotions: Limited emotional intimacy and lack of vulnerability are both signs of a situationship. Dhriti says, “There may be certain things you just don’t share with each other, and that’s normal. But if your entire relationship is about hiding your true feelings or not giving each other the chance to be emotionally vulnerable, it is definitely a situationship. After all, if you’re in a committed relationship, it can’t survive on surface-level involvement.”
  • No certainty: Feeling stuck in the relationship is another major sign of a situationship. Dhriti says, “Being unsure of what the other person wants from it, or where they want to take it, is a sign that yours isn’t a relationship but a situationship.”

Related Reading: 9 Signs You Are In A Dead-End Relationship

11 Expert Tips On How To End A Situationship

Being in a situationship, by definition, means that you’re not together for the long haul. So, as you wade into this undefined territory of relationships, it’s only wise to go in armed with the knowledge of how to end a situationship. You see, the truth is, no matter how well we can compartmentalize our relationships and label them according to our whims, we are, in the end, humans with real emotions and feelings. And because we aren’t robots, neither can our relationships be robotic. So, if you don’t know how to get out of a situationship, it may leave you emotionally fraught.

To elaborate on the pain of ending a situationship, here’s an example of how traumatic it was for a Reddit user: “I (27F) have been in a “serious” situationship for nearly 7 months with a (26M). We had a talk about exclusivity and agreed that we only had feelings for each other, but he was hesitant to fully commit to a relationship for a number of reasons. I stupidly believed I could change his mind over time. Even typing that out makes me feel like a fool, because I know I should be pursuing someone who has no doubts about how much they want to be with me. As someone who has been stuck in several situationships in the past, I desperately need some words of comfort to get through ending it. I know it’s the right thing to do, but the heartache is unbearable.”

To help you deal with such pain, Dhriti has collated a few tips. So, here’s how to move on from a situationship gracefully and without hurting either party:

Related Reading: 12 Completely Valid Reasons To End A Relationship – No Matter What the World Says

1. Acknowledge and understand your feelings

If you often wonder how to get over a situationship, well, Dhriti says, “It’s absolutely necessary for both partners to stop being in denial and accept the fact that they are both hurt that the situationship is about to end.” And we agree. The first step to deal with any pain is to acknowledge your emotions, no matter how negative they are.

2. Jot down your needs

If you’re clueless about how to move on from a situationship, Dhriti advises, “You should take time to introspect and identify your needs and expectations in the relationship.” There should be absolute clarity about:

  • Why you’re ending the situationship
  • What is lacking in the connection

Related Reading: Should I Break Up With My Girlfriend? 12 Signs You Should

3. Opt for open and honest communication

One take on how to get out of a situationship is having a clear conversation. As with all other issues in relationships, there’s no alternative to a clear heart-to-heart talk. So, Dhriti advises, “Communicate clearly with your partner about your needs and expectations. Be accepting of the other person’s needs and expectations as well.”

Do you enjoy being in situationships?

4. Don’t be desperate for a relationship

Just as getting over a situationship is important, so is not clinging on to just about anything to help you move on. It’s crucial to understand that getting out of a situationship does not always mean getting into a relationship. Dhriti says, “Sometimes, it’s better to walk away from someone who can’t provide what you need, rather than waiting for them to change and growing resentful of yourself and them in the process.”

Related Reading: I Am Desperate For Sex But I Don’t Want To Do It Without Love

5. Focus on self-care activities

getting over a situationship
Getting over a situationship can be tough

The answer to how to get over a situationship lies in prioritizing self-care and personal growth. Dhriti says, “To get over any type of situationship, remember one little thing: you should focus on filling your own cup before you pour into someone else’s.” Here are some ways in which you can do just that:

  • Splurge on a spa day
  • Groom yourself and deck up
  • Spend a day with your best friends
  • Go for a solo trip
  • Eat healthy
  • Exercise daily
  • Focus on hobbies you love, such as dance, pottery, gardening, or music

6. Set healthy boundaries

Here’s another take on how to move on from a situationship, and this one’s probably one of the most important tips to deal with a situation like this: setting boundaries. Dhriti says, “You must have clear boundaries in place if you’re serious about getting over someone with whom you were in a situationship. Boundaries help you manage your expectations and see the other person for who they are, not through the lens of who you want them to be.” Knowing when to walk away and realizing when your boundaries aren’t respected are also important.

Related Reading: 20 Tips On How To Stop Wanting A Relationship

7. Look after your own mental health

Dhriti says, “If there are any fears surrounding abandonment and rejection popping up, which are keeping you stuck in this situationship, look at where they’re stemming from. Then orient yourself to your current reality.” To deal with such situations, you may also consult a counselor or therapist and consider going into therapy. If you’re looking for professional help, Bonobology’s counseling services are here for you.

8. Keep in touch with your social network

When trying to figure out how to get over a situationship and deal with the loneliness that follows, find support from friends and trusted individuals who know you through and through. Dhriti says, “Having social support during such trying times makes them much more bearable than going through such phases all by yourself.”

stories about breakup and loss

9. Stay optimistic

Dhriti says, “It’s important to stay optimistic regarding relationships and not let your experiences with one situationship define how you feel about relationships going forward. Each relationship will be unique, with its own unique challenges.” So, be prepared to face new relationships with confidence, without giving in to pessimism or cynicism.

Related Reading: Will I Ever Find Love? 10 Reasons To Be Optimistic

10. Be patient

Dhriti says, “Remember to be patient with yourself and your partner. It can be challenging to navigate your way out of a situationship.” Don’t rush into anything. What’s equally important is that you don’t end up:

  • Indulging in a blame game
  • Being sarcastic with them
  • Ending things on a bad note
  • Ending things abruptly, with a fight

11. Decide if your situationship can materialize into something more

Yes, getting over a situationship and moving forward is not child’s play. So, before ending things for good, think over the possibilities of getting back together and taking things to the next level. It’s crucial that you have clarity about whether you wish to leave or stay. In case you think you have a good partner and would like to give it a shot long-term, don’t hesitate to do so.

Related Reading: Is Unconditional Love In A Relationship Really Possible? 12 Signs You Have It

Dhriti says, “Be willing to invest in the relationship if you want to take it forward. You will have to work on building trust and friendship within the relationship, prioritize open communication, and give enough time and energy into the relationship.”

At the same time, knowing when to walk away is also important. So, don’t force yourself to do either.

Key Pointers

  • What is a situationship? A situationship is a new-age relationship concept, which explains a situation when two people are not exactly in a relationship but share a bond that’s more than friendship
  • Some signs of a situationship are lack of labels, lack of emotional involvement, no set boundaries, etc.
  • Do you have no idea how to get over a situationship? A few tips on how to end a situationship gracefully are: acknowledging your feelings, being patient, jotting down what’s required in the relationship, and staying optimistic

Ending a situationship — an ‘almost a relationship’ connection — can be just as hard as ending any other relationship. Nonetheless, it’s always better to walk away from half-hearted connections such as dead-end situationships that don’t bring you peace of mind or happiness. 

We hope our article helped you know more about situationships and their signs. And we also hope you’re no longer struggling to figure out how to end a situationship. Remember, you can always decide to put in extra effort and stay back, but what you need to decide is whether that decision is coming from your core or due to the need for some external validation. After all, knowing when to walk away is equally important. 


1. How do you know when to end a situationship?

You know it’s time to end a situationship when it’s causing you emotional turmoil and anxiety instead of bringing you joy. You should let go when you want something long-term and concrete instead of a situationship with no labels.

2. How long can a situationship last?

A situationship can last as long as the two parties involved want to make it last. But more often than not, situationships are short-lived, as they don’t offer much in terms of emotional connection or attachment.

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