9 Types Of Situationships And Their Signs

Friendship | | , Mental Health & Psychology Enthusiast
Updated On: December 28, 2023
types of situationships

A crush you stole glances at or a colleague you instantly bonded with, over beers and office talk. Your ex who keeps coming back or the one who got away. The types of situationships in dating are innumerable. We’ve all had a fling that could have been something more. But either fate or the people themselves kept it short-lived. You may not even know that you are in it till it’s already over.

What Is Considered A Situationship?

There is no strict definition of a situationship. It’s a relationship that you are unable to define or put a name to. Here, two people can be friendly, sexual, or deeply in love, but they are not a couple. Unlike a relationship, there are no responsibilities to bear here. You can be as free or as committed as your heart desires. Moreover, you are free to choose the extent of the situationship and elongate it or snip it short if you want.

Despite the uncertainty, situationships provide a sense of comfort. Especially in the modern era, where there is no time to figure out our own feelings. Situationships become a safe realm where there are no questions asked and no strings attached.

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9 Types Of Situationships And Their Signs

As there are tons of relationships, the variety in situationships is as diverse as well. There is no fixed length or predetermined course. They often begin and end randomly. For a lucky few, it can continue for a long time and turn into an authentic friendship or romantic relationship. You might already be in some form of situationship, without even realizing it.

Do you have an acquaintance you like to make out with at parties or a friend who tags along with you to family gatherings? We’ve all had these relations with blurred boundaries. They just tend to happen, often without actively seeking anything. Here are some common situationships and signs to look out for!

1. Romantic situationships

It’s a situationship of romantic nature, just a step behind a committed relationship. There exists a deep connection between the lovers. They are smitten with each other but just can’t admit it out loud. This could be the first few months of dating, where emotions run high but the fear of commitment keeps chasing you. Or you are too shy to admit your true feelings. To turn it into a relationship, you need to have the talk, where you define and convey your love and give the relationship a chance.

  • You are stuck in the courting period. You go on dates and have long chats, but things haven’t progressed toward love
  • You are unsure if you want to officiate it, yet or ever
  • You both sync well together. Intimacy and sexual gratification are off the charts
  • Your friends think you are perfect for each other and want you two to be an item

2. Friends with benefits

Popularized by YA movies, it’s a concept as old as time. People are sexual beings and thus it’s only natural to seek this pleasure. To satisfy these urges, they indulge in different types of situationships with their friends. As evident by its name, when friends just want to get laid, they become friends with benefits. There might exist an emotional connection between them, but it isn’t necessary.

According to friends with benefits rules, They get easy access to sex without the complications of being a couple. As wonderful as it might sound, this situationship can easily become messy. If one person starts to fall for another, it can end up in broken friendships as well as heartbreak. It can be ended mutually by either cutting off, remaining friends, or becoming a couple.

  • Your situationship extends to sex only. No commitment, no jealousy, only fun
  • There is intoxicating chemistry but no future beyond the bed
  • You are friends by the day and sexual partners by night
  • You love them, but not more than any other friend

3. The drunk situation

Alcohol allows us to drop our inhibitions and makes us much more frank and open. While some crib and cry when they are drunk, others become lustful. And, hence begins a drunk camaraderie. This often starts as a mistake that people tend to ignore when sober. However, it’s better to address the issues when it becomes a weekend routine. Setting some safe emotional boundaries and making it an FWB situation works better for both.

  • Most often, the only time you remember each other is when you are drunk
  • The situationship usually swings between drunk sexting to drunk sex
  • You might also spill your heart out to them when you are sloshed
  • They can be an acquaintance, a friend, or someone you are attracted to, without a scope of romantic attachment

Related Reading: Getting Drunk On Dates Vs Staying Sober: What’s better?

4. Digital types of situationships

Nowadays, we are more connected to our families and friends on the internet than in real life. It only makes sense to delve into an online relationship. Social media is the perfect getaway to mingle with people without revealing yourself. Most digital situationships begin and end online. People often stay anonymous throughout it. However, for a few lucky individuals, it can bloom into something more.

  • They could be your best friend in the whole wide world, but you’ve never met them
  • The extent of your intimacy ends at sexting and midnight chats
  • You don’t know much about their life besides what they show you
  • You probably have never talked to their friends or family
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5. Just crushing forever

The most innocuous types of situationships include crushes. It revolves around wooing each other without explicitly flirting. It isn’t always romantic in nature, but people tend to daydream about the other. It doesn’t mean it’s any less fun than falling in love too fast, it’s usually the first step of it. In some cases, it’s even more exhilarating. The attraction is usually based on physical attributes and sexual allure.

  • You are still swinging in the highs of sneaky glances and hidden smiles
  • The highest extent of this situationship is light banter and sexual flirting
  • It could be purely one-sided as well, without your crush having any clue of your feelings toward them
  • You are either afraid to ask them out or you just want to keep the situationship limited to admiring them from afar

Related Reading: How To Woo A Girlfriend? What Does It Mean To Woo Someone

6. Your go-to savior

A peculiar form of situationship is when two people rely on each other for everything but aren’t romantically involved. Their relationship is purely based on convenience. You both do each other favors, either socially or financially. It’s a trope imposed time after time by romcoms. From Sandra Bullock pretending to be Ryan Reynolds’s girlfriend for residency in The Proposal or the recent movie Holidate. Unlike the films, this situationship doesn’t necessarily end with a happily ever after.

  • You only hit each other up on special occasions
  • They are your date to office parties and friend get-togethers
  • You bring them around to keep your family off your back
  • You might flirt or indulge in sexual activities sometimes, but there is no scope of a relationship

7. Anti-forever type of situationships

This situation can often be a tragic love story. It exists when two people are happy together but have a set expiration date. The reasons could vary from practical implications to being star-crossed lovers. If you and your partner are already aware of your impending breakup, then this might be your situationship. Your future together is so uncertain that it holds you back from committing to each other. In these situationships, you find the right person at the wrong time.

  • You might love them but just can’t stay together anymore
  • A breakup is against your wish, but a necessity
  • You spend all your time together because you want to have the most of it while you still can
  • The reason for the breakup could be one of you leaving the country or your family’s disapproval of your relationship

8. Toxic type of situationships

Some relationships are full of betrayal and mistrust. This is why it’s not even appropriate to call them one. These types of situationships in dating usually have one person who likes/loves the other more. You could be in this toxic relationship space with someone who refuses to commit yet keeps stringing you along. They lie, cheat, and leave you wondering if it was ever real. It’s better to quit these situationships as soon as possible.

  • Your friends and families urge you to drop them
  • It’s one-sided, unrequited love where the other doesn’t reciprocate the same feelings
  • They run away from any serious talk about you two and never profess their feelings truthfully
  • They might be two-timing you

Related Reading: Situationship – Meaning And 10 Signs You Are In One

9. On and off, and on again

We all have an ex that we just can’t stop loving. You try to stay away but repeatedly fail to do so. The breaks are usually shorter than your time together, but another breakup is always around the corner. It involves lots of unresolved conflicts but a deep connection.

People tend to seek comfort in the person they have a long history with. This leads to toxic situationships where broken-up or divorced couples keep coming back to each other and they get stuck in an on-again-off-again relationship cycle. The patch-ups are usually sexual and temporary. The reason you can’t make it work long-term could be due to a lack of interest from one party. Or it might be because both of you are afraid of commitment.

  • You go for months without contact and bounce back together every once in a while
  • You can’t label it a relationship or make it public because you know it will end sooner than later
  • You usually don’t tell your friends about them until it’s already over. This is because your friends will urge you not to repeat the same cycle
  • The lack of permanence could be because of physical or emotional distance

Any relationship which you can’t describe or name easily can be termed as a situationship. There are situationships in dating, friendships, and even with strangers. The length, intensity, reciprocity, and after-effects of such a situation are specific to each person. It’s on you to keep it as simple, healthy, and hassle-free as possible. Try to acknowledge your emotions and communicate them. Make sure you are safe and enjoy your heart out!


1. Why are people in situationships?

People can stick to a situationship when it makes them feel good, but they are afraid of labels. They might still be waiting for the one and just want to have some fun on the way. Situationships can be highly addictive as well, the liberty to stay without any commitment is refreshing.

2. How long should a situationship last?

Different types of situationships can last for different time periods. There are no hard and fast rules regarding the length. You can stay for as long as you like, and leave whenever you want. Since there is no commitment except mutual understanding, your situationship can last for a week or years.

3. How to end your situationship?

While you may not commit to your situationship partner, you do owe them a decent closure. Having some set boundaries during the situationship and a clean end works best for both parties. You don’t want to leave the other person hanging, or hurt their emotions. It’s better to end it with a clear indication and a detailed talk. Make sure you don’t leave any room for doubts and convey your thoughts firmly.

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Readers Comments On “9 Types Of Situationships And Their Signs”

  1. I realize that I am late to the party, but my situationship is rather unique. I am in my late 60s and divorced. My girlfriend is in her mid 60s and widowed. We have two completely antithetical lifestyles, but she needed some help on her ranch when she had hip surgery, and I gladly assisted, moving in and doing chores for her. We fell in love but were unable to become intimate due to my size problem. Eventually, she got better, but she wanted a cowboy, which I am not, and this led to a lot of fights as I failed to meet her expectations. We broke up but continued to do some things like hiking together.
    We started talking more and more about why our relationship failed, and it really was that we were both pretty set in our ways and unwilling to change to the other’s. That is when we discovered situationship. It seems to be the perfect solution. We can remain emotionally attached and continue to work on becoming physically intimate without having to progress toward a resolution of a relationship. We both realize that we do not have a stranglehold on the other, but we relish the time we have with the other. I think situationships may be more fitting for the retired crowd than for the younger ones trying to find out if they want a family.

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