5 Signs You're Not Over Someone You Unofficially Dated, Because Situationships Can Be Frustrating
Being in a situationship is truly a mixed bag. On one hand, it can be frustrating if you really want to DTR and have a solid answer to the infamous "What are we?" question. But on the other hand, the ambiguity often feels worth it if it means you get to hang out, cuddle, and sleep with your crush. It's easy to cling onto the latter — until things go south, that is. Not having DTR'd can eat you up inside. Even if you're trying to stay unbothered, you can typically spot a few signs you're not over someone you unofficially dated.
All signs will typically come back to one thing: a lack of closure. Closure is never guaranteed, no matter what kind of relationship is ending. But it's difficult when that relationship is undefined. Casual dating, exclusive dating, and even FWB scenarios have structure, expectations, and boundaries — whereas situationships don't. Sometimes, says Julie Wadley, dating coach and matchmaker at Eli Simone, it's not even about the partner label. But a clear and mutual understanding of what the relationship is definitely needed. Moreover, Wadley continues, "It's hard to get over [a situationship], because it never really 'started.'”
Here are five signs that you're still stuck on your undefined ex and here's what you can do about it.
1. You still carry anger or resentment from how it all went down
Unfortunately, it's easy to feel taken advantage of or betrayed when situationships go south. "When you don't set out the rules of engagement, you walk away feeling cheated and no one wants to feel cheated," Wadley says.
Still, it's important that you work through your emotions. "Staying in negative feelings will not help," dating and relationship coach Céline Sauvet explained to Elite Daily. "Each relationship teaches us what we need to improve in the next one: boundaries, more self-love, et cetera. Do not blame yourself or your partner too much. See what happened, as hard as it is right now, as a life lesson."
2. You actively push away anything that reminds you of them
Another sign you're not over your situationship is that you're "vehemently avoid[ing] things that remind you of them," Wadley says. Just because you burn all your pictures and mute them on Instagram doesn't mean you've actually moved on.
"Denial is a part of the grieving process, and the end of a relationship really can feel like a death of sorts. Trying to skip over how you feel or distracting yourself from your feelings is only a temporary solution," dating coach Diana Dorrell told Elite Daily. Again, it's important to address your feelings — instead of glossing over them — so that you can truly move on.
3. You find ways to stay connected to them
On the other end of the spectrum, you might cling onto any connection you have with your ex-bae. This can look like a number of things in practice: lurking their social media, hanging out in their social scene, or staying friends with their family.
With the last one in particular, relationships expert April Masini told Elite Daily that a breakup has to be "civilized" in order for that work. "If you are using your ex’s family to try and get back with your ex, or if you're using your ex’s family so that you don’t have to face the fact that you’re not with your ex anymore, and you’re actually single, that’s not healthy for you," Masini said.
4. You're not seeking closure from the situation
"You have not clarified what happened, what went wrong, or your role in the breakup," Wadley explains. It's tricky because your situationship could have just fizzled out, without a formal ending. Be that as it may, it's worth reaching out to discover why things ended the way they did.
"You owe it to yourself to understand how you got into it, whether you are OK with it or not, and what you will do in the future to either avoid it," Wadley says. "Or, set your own rules of engagement when entering in the next one."
5. You find reasons not to move on
Touching base with your ex-bae about what went wrong can be helpful. But whether or not you get that explanation from them, you still have to be the one to close the book on your situationship. "Since the relationship is undefined, the person doesn't actually owe you closure," Wadley explains.
And because of this, it's up to you to get the ball rolling on moving on. Debra Fileta, a relationship coach and author, put it like this: "If relationships are like doors, you've got to get good at learning how to recognize and close the bad ones." And when you close that door, stay committed to closing it. "Don't allow yourself to try and crack that door back open; to sit, and struggle, and question for longer than you need to, because that often leads to deeper hurt and pain," Fileta continued.
It can be easy to get lost in the what-if's and mourn the all the lost relationship potential. But if anything, see the end of your situationship as dodging a potentially unhealthy relationship. "Be glad that you didn't get more invested in that person before you saw them for who they really are. Lose all communication with them and close that chapter," Wadley told Elite Daily.
It's important to know that situationships and flings aren't all evil. Sometimes, it's nice to just feel what you feel, live in the moment with someone, and figure out the rest later. Still, hashing out what you and the other person are looking for and what your expectations are (early on) can help prevent things from coming to a bitter, slow end.