The Pros & Cons of a Situationship

Written by Dating Expert and Coach
Rikki Dymond

“Situationship” is a relatively new term to describe an old phenomenon in the world of dating. It’s a “relationship” that is somewhere in between friends with benefits (based around sex with no strings) and a committed relationship (clearly defined/ building a future together).

The Urban Dictionary defines a situationship as: Let’s just chill, have sex, and be confused about the fact that we are not together but have official emotions for each other.

The difference between a situationship and friends with benefits is that in a situationship, the boundaries around what people expect and want are not clearly defined. In a friends with benefits situation, it's clear that you are only meeting up for sex; in a situationship, the lines are blurred because not only do you have sex, you spend time together like a couple in a relationship.

So, what are the pros and cons of entering a situationship?

Let’s start with the positives!

If you are someone who's enjoying single life or doesn't have time to commit to building a mature romantic relationship, but still want to feel the closeness and connection with someone, a situationship could be ideal for you as it gives you the best of both worlds. There’s no pressure, commitment or expectation to show up in someone’s life (like meeting friends and family or attending social events with them). The key to having a positive experience here is to enter a situationship with someone who feels the same and isn’t looking for a committed relationship.


  • Low time committment
  • No expectations
  • Readily available sex

But what about the drawbacks?

The biggest issue with situationships is that one person usually catches feelings. More often than not, people who are interested in casual sex are either emotionally unavailable or are using the other person to fill a void while waiting for a “better” option to come around. So, if you decide to enter a causal relationship hoping that it will develop into more, there is a very high chance you are setting yourself up for heartbreak.

In a situationship, women are more likely to develop feelings due to the hormones that are released in the brain during sex. Women get surges of oxytocin (otherwise known as the love and bonding hormone) that release during intimacy. Oxytocin decreases levels of stress and anxiety and makes us feel more trusting, empathetic and connected.

Men, on the other hand, release dopamine (the pleasure hormone) so they get all the physical feels without the emotional ones.

For a man to invest emotionally, he has to be open to a relationship and see a potential partner’s value. Men value things they have to put time and energy into receiving (like courting and dating), not things that come easy or without effort.

When one person has the expectation of a good time with no strings, and the other starts to want something more than casual, it’s a tough place to be.


  • No commitment or future potential
  • No love and support
  • Potential to develop unreciprocated feelings

So, what do you do if you’ve entered a situaionship and have fallen for the other person?

The best thing you can do is be honest with yourself and talk to them about what you want in the beginning — casual or committed — so that you can be on the same page right from the start.

And if you thought you wanted something causal and end up falling for someone, be open about this too. Know that it’s better to end up without them than it is to be stuck in a situationship where feelings aren’t reciprocated.

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