“What are we?” “Are we exclusive?” “So can we see other people?”
The age-old game of truth or dare in the dating world today has taken on a completely new meaning. From swiping right on dating apps to navigating the murky waters of ‘situationships,’ Gen-Z faces a unique set of challenges in the quest for love and companionship. While the game remains about doing silly things and being vulnerable in front of new people, it gets more complicated when one approaches relationships with a blend of both scepticism and openness. Seeking authenticity in an age of carefully curated online personas is like journeying through a hall of mirrors. We crave meaningful connections that align with our values and aspirations, but the dare lies in being willing to share your authentic self while being mindful of the potential risks. The dare is not just about trusting another person but also daring to trust one’s instincts and navigate the nuanced world of emotions that come with it.
The truth is that relationships evolve organically, navigating a spectrum from casual to committed, but before this comes the variety of relationship structures based on the degree of involvement, like just dating, friends with benefits, being in an open relationship, etc.
Enter the term ‘situationships’, a concept that encapsulates the ambiguity of modern-day dating. Whether it’s sharing a pizza at 2am or debating the existence of extra-terrestrial life forms, situational relationships thrive on the quirkiness of the undefined. It’s a dance of emotions set to the beat of an eccentric playlist, where ‘complicated’ is not just a relationship status but a badge of honour. Labels? Who needs them when you can embark on a journey of adventure without the weight of relationship expectations?
But I think I now understand that this grey era called a situationship was born out of fear. The fear of being either more or less involved than the other person. The fear of losing is one of the pros of being single. The fear of losing feelings upon the advent of adverse circumstances or someone more attractive. The fear of having to make sacrifices and compromises and still ending up hurt. The fear of losing ‘something’ in the quest for ‘everything’.
While a situationship can help some people focus on personal growth, circling in such a holding pattern may not be for everybody. So, fellow love explorers, it’s time you communicate. Establish clear expectations and ensure that both of you are on the same page regarding the nature and future of your connection.
Also, whenever you are ready, an eye-opening Tumblr post for me includes the words, ‘People are meant to be a burden’, as humans rely on each other to support one another, and it’s not a bother, it’s our purpose – to love and be loved in return. So if you ever think you are being annoyed, just remember that it’s going to be better and that all of us are sailing in the same boat.