The year is 2016. I’m a younger, naive, skinnier version of myself. I started hanging out with this guy that I met who I thought was interesting, smart, and it didn’t hurt that he was super handsome. What started out as some great conversations and mutual flirtation quickly turned into something…more.
He said he wasn’t in a place where he was ready to date, but he didn’t want to stop seeing each other. Foolishly thinking that that was going to change, I stuck around. As I’m sure you can guess, our situationship ended up being very messy.
What Is A Situationship?
A situationship is what happens when you get involved with someone and there are no clear boundaries. Unlike a “friends with benefits” situation, where you know you shouldn’t catch feelings, there is that emotional attachment in a situationship. It’s a romantic relationship for certain, just without the rules that come with being dating someone. As you can imagine, this leaves a lot of room for people to end up hurt, which someone always does.
So, what are the reasons a guy might keep you at arm’s length and leave you both in that situationship zone?
He’s Pushing For “Friends With Benefits” Status
Now, we already said that situationship is different than FWB, and that is true. But, an FWB situation is probably how a lot of situationships begin. If you find yourself catching feelings for your FWB, and he claims to be as well but doesn’t want to move the relationship forward, you’re probably going to end up in that murky area.
He’s Not Sure About The Relationship
One reason he might keep you in that weird in-between space is that he isn’t sure about the direction of the relationship. This could be because both of you aren’t communicating properly, but it could also be because he isn’t sure if he wants to be in one at all.
He’s Still Seeing Other People
If you met online or in a bar, or even if you started as friends, it’s possible that the person you’re involved with isn’t ready to settle down or even stick to hooking up with one person. The most frustrating part? You’re not his partner, so rather than leaving, do you just deal with it?
He’s Hung Up On An Ex
We’ve all been there. Sometimes we date someone and that relationship was a roller coaster of emotion that just makes you scared to even start again. But there is a chance that if you’re stuck in a situationship, it might be because he’s just killing time, or worse, trying to make his ex jealous.
He Thinks Things Will Change
I’m sure you’ve heard this one before, “I don’t want things to change.” Well, let me ask you this: if you’re doing relationship things, have relationship benefits, but aren’t technically in a relationship, what changes if you decide to make things official? Spoiler alert: probably nothing. So it’s likely just an excuse to not be held accountable the same way a boyfriend is.
He Wants To Take It Slow
Not every person who you’re going to be in a situationship is putting you there because they’re malicious or they know they don’t want to actually date you. It’s not unheard of that someone holds off from locking things down because they want to be sure of the decision they are making.
He’s Only Looking For Instant Gratification
It’s entirely possible that he is being a jerk and just doing what he feels he needs to do to get laid. If he knows that you’re going to be around if he puts in the bare minimum, believe that he is going to do it.
He’s Got Commitment Issues
For a combination of any of the reasons above, or just because they’re allergic to commitment, he could just be dragging his heels because being tied down isn’t his thing. But it would just be better if he was up-front about that never changing instead of creating such an intense gray area.
Not Sure If You’re In A Situationship?
If you’re still not sure if you’re in a situationship or not, there are some telltale warning signs that you should consider red flags if you’re looking for something more serious.
He Never Sleeps Over
If you two are hooking up but he never spends the night, or he never invites you to spend the night, that is probably a sign that things aren’t as serious as you might think they are.
You Never Go On Proper Dates
Think about it. Does he ask you on proper dates? Doesn’t have to be fancy, but do you two actually go out to be seen in public together? Or does he make last-minute plans to stay in for Netflix and chill?
He Gets Weird When You Bring Up The Future
If talking about your future and what is going on between you two is something that makes him squirm, it’s probably safe to say that he isn’t thinking that there is anything between you two that is going to turn into anything.
He Doesn’t Involve You In His Life In A Real Way
When you start seeing someone, you’re not all up in their life right away. But if you’ve been in your situation for a while and you’ve never met his friends, and he has no intention of introducing you, he might not be serious about anything with you.
So Why Does A Guy Keep You Around If He Doesn’t Want To Date You?
The real, golden question. If someone doesn’t have any intention of being with you in a real way, why keep you on the hook like that? Do they know what they’re doing, or are they as unaware as you are at times?
He Needs Emotional Support
It’s possible that you offer him some emotional support that he needs and isn’t finding elsewhere in his life, especially if he is struggling with a bad breakup, commitment issues, or just the general pressure of life.
He Likes You…Enough
It really could be that he likes you and likes being around you—he just doesn’t like you enough to make a future with you. Or, he likes you enough to want to see where it might go, but not enough to be sure if he wants to commit to a full-blown relationship.
He Doesn’t Want To Be Alone
For some people, being in a gray area with someone, no matter how complicated it gets, is better than being on their own. Some people just aren’t capable of being happy with their own company.
You’re Having Sex With Him
Let’s be real, men are often not that complicated. If the two of you are hooking up, there is a good chance that is enough of a reason for him to stick around if you’re not putting too much pressure on him to define things.
He Doesn’t Want Anyone Else To Have You
Yes, ladies, it’s possible that he’s just a selfish person and likes your attention and therefore does not want to see it given to anyone else. It might not always be that malicious, but it really is worth questioning why things between the two of you might not be moving forward and if you’re going to be alright with things how they are.