If you've been agonizing for weeks (or months) if you're together or not, then it's likely you're in a situationship. We're discussing why situationships are so prevalent in modern dating, why people stay in these types of relationships even when they know they aren't right, and how you can get out to find the equal committed partnership you deserve.
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BONUS: Are you in a Relationship or a Situationship?
00:00:01 - 00:05:03
The Dateable podcast is an insider's look into modern dating that the Huffington post calls one of the top ten podcast about love and sex. On each episode, we'll talk to real daters about. From sex parties to sex droughts, date fails a diaper fetishes and first moves to first loves. I'm your host Yue Xu, former dating coach turned dating sociologists. You also hear from my co host and producer Julie Krafchick as we explored this crazy dateable world.
Hello Friends, welcome to another episode of the dateable podcast. We are so happy to bring you another episode with just Julie and I we always like spending low quality time just the two of us with you all joining us in this party for two. This episode is a topic that I feel like we talk about quite a bit in the community and we talk about it casually, but we haven't had a formal episode on it. So I'm glad that I'll give credit to Julie. She's like, we gotta do one about situationships. People want to talk about situationships. It's so true. We were kind of thinking about what would be a good topic and that is what came to mind because in today's world, situation ships are so prevalent. Yes. Maybe we can start by defining what a situation is. So the definition that we found was a romantic or sexual relationship that is not considered to be formal or established. So typically there is no DTR conversation to find the relationship. You are generally feeling ambiguous about what is happening. When you have to ask yourself what is this and you're probably not even asking the other person, maybe you got the group text on blast. Analyzing their every move, you're probably not the situation. But a situation ship is still a relationship. I think that's still important to understand because you are in relational dynamic with someone else. It's just not clearly defined as in boundaries and what it is exactly that you're doing. Yeah. And generally, the two people are not committed to each other. Right. Or at least not formally committed to each other. Is this like describing everybody out there right now? I feel like so many people are like, yes. That's me. I feel like it. I think there is a difference, though. This isn't in the formal definition. But I think at the early stages when you first start dating, then I wouldn't describe that as a situation. When you're probably like a month in and you're just going on one day to week or something, that to me is early stage dating. Just try to get to know each other. I personally think a situation ship is when, you know, more time has gone by and things continue to be ambiguous. There's no sign of progression. Maybe you're not even going on for a multi. Right. That's someone's inviting you over to their house a lot and maybe it's very last minute plans or groupings. I think all that that isn't as formal dating with the end goal being a relationship, I think it's okay that early dates wouldn't necessarily be a relationship from day one or committed relationship from day one. I think you said it very clearly when you have to ask what is this? That is a symptom of a situationship on a first date you would have asked what is this? Yeah. Just be like, we're a day today. We're trying to get to know each other. We're trying to see what the baby is the 5th time you've hung out. You've maybe met two of their friends and then they introduce you as their friend or something. And then you start questioning what the hell is this? Or it's like 6 buds to be here for them every month and it's not consistent or even if it's consistent, but whatever you try to bring up a DTR, they kind of shy away from it. I think that's another side. Yup. Or you just let something go on forever and ever and don't bring up DTR or set boundaries and just assume that the other person is going to bring it up. That's also a very interesting situation and they're done that guilty. Well, that's a good segue. I was going to ask you, I have you been at a situation ship because I certainly have. Haven't we all? This is just one of those situations like ghosting, where everyone has experienced it. I feel like every dating stitch that I've been in between relationships has been a situation ship. You go from relationship to this layover of situationship land and then you go to your destination of a relationship. The one that can I can really pinpoint exactly was one of those situations where you go, yup. That's a situation ship. I remember that challenge we did where I had to go on Tinder and ask guys if they were opposed to hooking up.
00:05:03 - 00:10:01
Do you remember that? Oh my God. We're back to season one for anyone that's coveted by seriously fucking season one. It was season one. Yes, it was season one. We were back in the day, or maybe the challenge? No, the challenge was initiated in season one, but you did it and in season two. That was still we're hitting 7 years ago. So it was a while ago. Damn. Also, yes, for anybody who just caught that Julie reminded me this morning that we're going on 7 years. I still have 6 years in my videos. I thought we were 5 going on 6, but you're right, it's 6 going on 7, holy shit. So much older and richer than we thought. Anyway, this situation ship in particular, we did that challenge. I sent out, I don't know. Hundred some messages on Tinder to randos, saying, would you be opposed to hooking up? And there was one guy that had a very normal response because most of the responses were not normal. One guy I remember this one responds was I'm not opposed to hooking up but I gotta go the mall and get shoes first. Are you available later? I was just like, wow, cool. Thanks for thanks for penciling me in, dude. But this guy in particular said, I wouldn't be opposed to anything in life, but I'm curious why you're asking the question. So we had a good banter back and forth. And this was right around Valentine's Day. And we went on a date, I think it was like two days after Valentine's Day. Wonderful first first date together. He did reveal on his first on this first date. Something very interesting about him because we were talking about where it's the most memorable place you've been to. And he said, Antarctica, on my honeymoon. And I went, what? And he said, yes. I am recently divorced, but I went on a honeymoon in Antarctica 7 years ago. So that sets the tone a little bit. He was recently divorced, actually still going through his divorce. I was just thinking about this on my way driving home today. We went on 7 dates crazy. That number 7 again. And it was a very defining moment on the 6 date. I had a sleepover at his place. He told me about his parents. He told me about his life goals. We made plans for a future hangout. And I slept over and we kind of played house for the night, and the next morning I woke up and I felt so empty because I just felt like he was not able to give me that. It was a fantasy I was living in. So I remember so fondly on our 7th date, I went into it asking him, I said, I really want a relationship where I'm the entree and not just the appetizer or a side dish. Are you able to give that to me? And he said I'm not able to give that to you at this time. And so we broke up that night. That is the worst DTR I've ever heard. Well, listen. I've never been good at DTR. I'm never claimed to happen. But this was just, this is cringey. This is so cringey. Well, I think it's 'cause you knew. I mean, you kind of were setting it up that way. You knew, and I think a lot of times in our gut, we do know. And I'm thinking about what to buy. I can think of a few different examples that are slightly different that I would define as situation chips now. I think what I have these, the word situation, did it exist? Or they would have made it a lot more easy to define it. But one was I've mentioned him on the podcast and on again off again like Friends with benefits that was someone in my social circle. I don't think we ever went on a real date ever. Yet we saw each other every weekend because we were always going out with friends and any time I would try to get away. He was there. So that was that piece. That being said, now looking at it now, it was clear that it was for him a hookup of Friends with benefits. When it was in a way, it's not a situation. That's very funny. That is a defined state, but in my mind, I didn't want it to be that. I wanted it to be more. That's what it became a situation. And I think sometimes this ambiguity may not actually be ambiguity. It might just be that the expectations and reality don't align. Yes. I think that's term situation ship does give this idea of conflict. Like your internally conflicted about something. If you're just unsure about somebody or you're so exploring the relationship, you win and say, oh, I'm in a situationship. The situation ship is obviously you want something more. And you just haven't quite done it yet. Right. They're not giving it to you or they're it's clear that they're not on the same page, but you're not ready to throw at the towel. I think that's a big piece. The other example that I would point to that's a little different was I mentioned on my episode last week where UA interviewed me.
00:10:01 - 00:15:00
Such a fun episode. It really was. And on again, off again ex-boyfriend, where we definitely were very defined in certain periods, and then there were certain other periods that maybe were a little looser defined, and we hadn't decided that we were going to move into a relationship again, but we were, you know, hanging out as friends, but as you know, that becomes more. And it wasn't, I knew it wasn't a Friends with benefits situation or anything like that. But we also weren't like, let's give this another try at this stage. So there were definitive periods that we gave it another try, and then there were some periods mixed in, that it was a little grayer, a little looser, and I would call that a situation too. So many different faces of what a situation could look like. And we talked about some of the signs. You could look for if you are in a situation ship. Here's the biggest sign is you know you're in a situationship. Okay. You don't have to ask am I in a situation? You know when you're in a situation. If you're asking your Friends, if you're asking your Friends, what this means, yet you're not asking that person, you're in a situationship precisely. Yes. If every time you go out to brunch, all you're talking about is what this means and what that means with this person, you're in a situation. Bingo. We should have one of those flow charts where it's like if this then situationship and basically everything just points to, yes, you were in a situation ship. Why do we think everyone has been in a situationship? Why is this so prevalent in today's dating culture? I mean, I think for a few reasons, one is that people we called it relationship chicken. People don't want to show their cards. They don't want to be the first person to say that they want something more or to ask for commitment. That's why the DTR is so scary for a lot of people is because if the answer isn't what they wanted to hear, then it almost symbolizes that they're a failure or their ego is being crushed in this. And I personally believe that until you're ready to put your ego aside and not give a fuck then that's when you can actually start to have those authentic conversations and the situations prevail because neither party ever wants to talk about what's happening because there's a fear that it'll end because it's not the news that we want to hear. Exactly. In the situation ships that I've been in, I can wholeheartedly say I was just testing the other person on their interest level. And so by testing someone, I don't initiate anything. I'm waiting for them to initiate conversation ask me out, show me that they're interested. But if I'm not showing any interest on my end, how do I expect someone else to step forward for me? Right. So basically, I was just waiting for science experiment to happen when I was putting no ingredients. In this test tube for anything to happen and I think in that situation I was talking about that night when I asked for something more. He was actually very thrown off by the conversation because we never talked about us for those 6 dates proceeding and all of a sudden I was like, let's talk about a relationship. By the way, I want the whole shebang. He was just so surprised by the conversation. Okay, well, I can't give you that. And so it makes a lot of more sense, but I think it's perpetuates itself because to me once that happened and made me more closed off to the next person I met, thinking that I was going to get hurt or be bamboozled in my eyes. That's what happened. And then you just end up retreating even more. That relationship chicken, even more. I'm not going to show any more interests. I'm going to close myself off. Right. I think a lot of it too is our generation lacks communication skills because this isn't something we've ever been taught in school and a lot of us have put off relationships to further career or move to a new city or invested ourselves kind of thing. And I think sometimes having these conversations, I don't even want to say sometimes often times having these conversations is very daunting. We hear all the time from people saying, I don't want to have a DTR. It feels like I'm asking for the world from this person. But we always say it doesn't need to be that way. It can just be a simple conversation that's more in passing. It doesn't need to be this. We need to talk, you know, like this big thing. But I think that's a big piece of it too, is that we bottle things up for so long that when it finally comes out, it comes out. I want the whole odd type away. Opposed to just seeing what page the other person is odd in a natural conversation.
00:15:01 - 00:20:08
Yeah, like the DTR doesn't have to be one climatic conversation of professing your love to someone. I think the DTR should be discussed along the way. You know, when you feel like you want to define something or says some boundaries or to understand or to clarify, you DTR and then you just keep on DTR ring until you get to a committed relationship where you don't. I mean, we've heard people even say that they don't want to ask what someone's looking for because it feels too much. And I actually think the best time to get a gauge of where someone's at is before you really start dating date one or so because then it's not personal. Of course people, you know, sometimes we'll say they want something in the same way or vice versa. So it's never a 100% because they said it will happen, but I think when you take yourself out of the equation and just ask, what is important to you in life? Where do you want your life to go? It doesn't need to be a formal conversation. It can just be more in passing. I think that's a really great time to get into someone's mindset of where they are. The fucked up part about situationships is that we stay in situationships because of the unknown. Because we're doing the guesswork, it makes him more exciting to try to be mind readers, but that is the very same thing that is keeping us anxious, right when you don't know when they're going to text back, why haven't they returned your messages? You don't know if you're still seeing them on Thursday, even though you said you were going to see each other on Thursday. It's one of those things you self perpetuate and you get yourself in this deep dark hole of anxiety. So I feel like let's dig ourselves out of there and sometimes when you have to question chemistry, is attracted to this person because they are aligned with my core values, or I might attract it to them because I don't know anything about them and they're keeping me guessing. I think there's a few reasons why that happens. I think a big piece of it is sometimes and I can speak to this personally, so I'm sure a lot of people have been here is that you feel like you're ready for a committed relationship. But your actions speak otherwise. I remember when I was in that situation I was talking about earlier with the Friends with benefits my best friend being like, are you sure you want a relationship? Because if you really did, why would you be doing this? So I think sometimes we think we're ready and we're really not if we're entertaining these more these wild card situations, right? Yeah. So I think there's that piece. The other piece is actually behavioral psychology term for it is the present bias, and that means that whatever is in front of us current day actually seems better than what's in the future because we can't see our future selves. It's really hard to imagine. Let's say you're with this person, for instance. And you know they aren't the person. You know they don't treat you well. You know this is no future with them. Yet you feel drawn to keep hanging out with them. It's hard to see you with someone that treats you better. Maybe a year down the line or three years down the line because it almost feels like it's not you in that case. It's this mysterious version of you that is a figment of imagination at that time. And I actually think that's why situation chips are so dangerous too is that every second we're in the wrong relationship it means that we can't be in the right one. But with this present bias, it feels better than nothing. And some of that could be that we just can't see into the future because it's unknown. I mentioned this on the episode that I did with you last week is feels better to talk about someone than no one or it feels better to be with someone than no one. And it's almost short sighted, but it also explains it with this bias. Well, our brains are just really screwed up, traumatized kids. We talked about how the brain is evidence seeker, not a truth seeker. So when you are lonely, let's say take that as an example or when your friends are asking you if you're still single. Your brain is looking for evidence of you not being single. So if you are in a situation ship, you can talk about that person, even though you haven't spoken spoken to that person or define the relationship with the person. And I think that is the biggest danger of a situation. It's the relationship you created when you aren't in contact with each other outweighs your actual real relationship and then your mind spirals. Fantasy. Yep. You have this metaverse of a relationship. And then you have the real version of real world universe relationship and they don't always coincide with each other. And to me, that's when I've been in very dangerous situationships. I couldn't get out of because it just felt so much better to talk about the fantasy of the relationship than to face a reality of the situation.
00:20:09 - 00:25:03
I am actually thinking of another situation. Here we go. I feel like they're all starting to roll in, right? As we get the conversation started, but there was one. There was a guy met on match dot com and I think this was early match dot com date. This was probably like 2010 years ago. And I remember, you know, we had a really great first three dates that felt very formal. It felt like it was progressing in the right direction. And then all of a sudden he became super unavailable. And our primary mode, he would email me from work all the time. It wouldn't even be text message or phone calls. But in my mind, I still thought this was something. I would talk about it with friends. I would, you know, I would try to date other people because I think I knew deep down it wasn't a real relationship, but it would always come back to comparing it to this person and maybe I would see him once a month if even in person. We worked and lived down the street at each other. So why we had a communicate through email all the time was beyond me, but it was because he didn't want a real relationship with me, right? He wanted a situation shit because there's probably some benefit he was getting from it too, that he felt that he had someone interested. There was a tension. I think a lot of people like the attention at the end of the day. Yeah, it's called a convenience ship. You do it when it's convenient for you. Exactly. And keep the door right. There's limited effort. Exactly. And then he met someone that he got married to. Like, a week later. Right, exactly. That's the fucked up part because you think you start reason it in your mind that, oh, he's just not ready for a relationship. He's just too busy or whatever. And then you find out that, no, it actually just, you are not meant to be together. There's someone else out there. They're just a distraction for them. So when you think it's a good time to end a situation. I think when you know it's not going anywhere. And this can take longer to recognize in some situations than others. I mean personally, if I was to redo any of my situationships, I just mentioned, now that I know all the things I do, I would have just been a lot more direct from day one. And rather the way I look at it is even if the answer is no, I don't want to be in a relationship with you or no, I don't want to work to see if this could be a relationship. I'd rather know now opposed to do something that's 6 months later, a year later, like getting strung along, it never having those conversations because I was afraid to. And that would be the one thing I think if I could do anything about dating life differently, it would be that not just hope for this magical day when they're gonna bring things up but just take much more control. So I would say if I was to advise people that are in situation ships, don't be afraid to have that conversation. Just do it ASAP. If you're thinking, you might be at a situation, put it on the table, and what that putting it on the table might mean different things for different people, depending on the situation. If you've been in and out of each other's lives for 6 months or more, I think you could put something a little more drastic on the table of what are we doing here? If it's relatively newer than I think it could be more like, I'm looking ultimately for a relationship. What are you looking for? You know, like the variation can really be different based on the situation, but having something and seeing how they react, I think, is step number one. It's about being aligned on what you are both looking for and also controlling the narrative. When we get stuck in situationships, we let external factors control the narrative and we're just sitting ducks waiting for things to happen, but a time to get to get out of situation ships like the example that I gave, the night that I felt more feelings for him because I found out more about his family and was in his home, I should have addressed it right there. I should have said, I'm sorry to have feelings for you. I know you're currently going through divorce. Are you open to a relationship down the line? It doesn't have to be today, but are you open to it down the line? Right, that there's no pressure there, but at least I would have said something and taken control of that narrative. Instead, I bottled up those feelings, and this episode is brought to you by the new weekly podcast baby or bust, hosted by fertility doctor and former fertility patient allure shaheen MD, baby or bus features fertility experts and patients who bus myths shatter stigmas and provide encouraging best practices to help anyone trying to make their baby dream come true.
00:25:04 - 00:30:03
The show addresses the numerous questions that people struggle with, but might be too scared or uncomfortable to ask, what topics that we've also covered on one of our episodes, which include when to see a fertility doctor. Surrogacy, malefactor infertility and family building for the LGBTQI plus community. Doctor shaheen is a double board certified reproductive endocrinologist, founder of the center for recurrent pregnancy loss at Pacific Northwest fertility and associate clinical professor in the o-b-gyn department at the University of Washington. Follow baby or bus on Apple podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you're listening now. This episode is brought to you by athletic greens with the unpredictable environment these days I was looking for a way to optimize my immune system and make sure I was doing all that I can to keep healthy. And I kept hearing about athletic greens. So I had to check it out for myself. And y'all, it is absolutely living up to the hype with one delicious scoop, you're absorbing 75 high quality vitamins, minerals, whole food source super foods, probiotics, and adaptogens to help you start your day right. I just mix a scoop with water and drinking the morning to replace my regular coffees. And I love that it supports better sleep quality and recovery. It's cheaper than getting all the supplements separately and it's recommended by professional athletes. Now is the time to reclaim your help and arm your immune system with convenient daily nutrition. To make it easy, athletic greens is going to give you a free one year supply of immune supporting vitamin D and 5 free travel packs with your first purchase. All you have to do is go visit athletic greens dot com slash dateable. Again, that is athletic greens, athletic, GR, ENS dot com slash DAT, ABL E to take ownership over your health and pick up the ultimate daily nutritional insurance. Magically, that he had the same feelings and then it all burst by the time that I made that very cringey entree comment, which I still regret to today. But that is something I learned when I went into my current relationship was because he was also going through divorce and I asked him flat out. I have feelings for you. Are you open to love in a relationship down the line? And he said yes, so. Well, it makes for good podcasting that you said that. So the journey before we get into it, let's hold that thought for a few messages. This episode is brought to you by murad skin care, a line of clinically prevent cruelty free products that meet the meticulous standards for safety efficacy and care you'd expect from a doctor. Some of my favorite products have been the invisible scar resurfacing treatment, which I've seen some results from, even in just first week, and I also love the Vita CI's dark circle corrector because has this beautiful gold pigment to it so it reflects light while it's working on my dark circles it visually hides it too. Founded by doctor Howard murad, who is a board certified dermatologist and trained pharmacist who is recognized around the world as a visionary for his unmatched scientific innovations, mirad also launched a digital magazine and podcast called well connected by murad, connecting the dots between science and wellness. You can find Meera's line of skin care products as Sephora, Ulta and murad dot com. You can find the digital magazine at well connected damira dot com and the podcast while connected by murad wherever you listen to podcasts. I think we've been addressing a lot when you really like this person, but you feel like the feelings aren't mutual or it's not defined. So I think there is very much that's probably the most common situation. But then I think there's another breed of situationship that maybe both parties are into it, but they both know deep down this isn't the right fit, but they still propel it forward because of some of the things we talked about earlier that it's better than no one or they can't see into the future to a better partner. So they're sticking with what they've got in front of them. So I think this one's interesting too. And I think the biggest piece of this is knowing what your ultimately looking for in a partnership and taking the time to really get in tune with yourself, putting this person not putting them as the center focus of it, but just more of generally what is it that I want and where do you see that you're not aligned with this person? And can you have conversations that either can show you that maybe you just don't know if you're aligned or you're definitely not aligned? I think the second you see that you're not aligned again, this is easier said than done because especially if both parties really want to keep going with this. It's so essential to break free from it because like we said every second you're with the wrong person, you can't be with the right person. I met a woman recently who's been in a 15 year situationship.
00:30:05 - 00:35:16
Damn, he proposed, and she did not accept the ring, but did not break up with him either. And when I asked her, how she would describe him. He said, she said, he's basically like my cousin. So now our inside joke is you're dating your cousin. In that situationship, I asked her flat out why are you still with him? She said, for many reasons, a satisfies my family's pressure to be with someone satisfies societal pressure to be with someone. I don't feel so alone, even though we don't see each other that much at all. And I feel safe in this world to have someone around. And then my next question was, do you believe there's someone better out there for you? And she said, absolutely, yes. That is what you were saying to Julie is every minute you spend in a situationship is preventing you from being with someone who is a better fit for you. She knows she's just delaying that fact and that person could be right around the corner, but they can't. They're not going to be around the corner for that much longer. So we have to understand these doors when you close one door another one does open, but you have to close that door first. That's really fascinating that she actually still believed it yet wasn't making moves to get out of it. But I think a lot of times we don't believe that. I think for me when I've been in situationships, it's because I did not but I believe this was maybe the best I could do at the time where I wasn't fully worthy of a relationship. And sometimes that's not even consciously that you're aware of it. I think sometimes I was lucky in retrospect, you're able to see it. If you are in a situation ship, maybe it is having the hard conversations with yourself of what is really the root of why you're continuing to let something continue because some of it could just be that self esteem or the self love that's needed to move you to really see that this isn't the right person for you. A major takeaway that stuck with me for so long ever since we've done that episode was when we interviewed doctor Gladys Otto and she said your relationships are a reflection of your relationship with yourself. So when you allow yourself to be in a situation ship, what are you really saying about how you view yourself and your self worth? I think there is a lot to be set there. You're afraid to confront what it is that you really want. What it is that you deserve and also you're afraid to see that there is better for you. You deserve better than this. So think about that quote because when you turned around on yourself, then maybe it will help you sort of surface out of this. Yeah, I think there's also the societal pressure to be in a relationship that's a big piece of it. And personally, I think when I learned to be comfortable being single and not feel that I needed someone in my life, there were so many years that, for me, I didn't have someone real with my life, but I had someone all the time. And it made me feel validated. It made me feel like there wasn't something wrong or I was an outsider. And I think until you can get comfortable being single, that's when you'll have less, I guess you would have less patience for these things like these situation ships that really aren't real. I think so many times it comes down to, well, I could go out with them on a Friday night or stay at home. But what if there's another alternative that you could do something else freaking awesome about a Friday night? So you're not accepting plans out of lack of, but more that you want to do something. Yeah, yeah, that's a really great way of putting it. How do you find how do you find a partner who enhances versus just being an alternative? You don't ever want to just be an alternative to someone's Friday night plans. You want to be the one enhancing their Friday night plans. And we all deserve to be with that kind of person, right? So what that would happen when a situation ship resurfaces after you've ended it. They come back. They're like, yo, guess what? I missed you. I'm ready to do this. Let's keep this thing going. This is the hardest because it's so much easier to walk away from something when they're pursued as a coming back. Full throttle at you, right? I think it's maybe it's having a prepared text message that you've saved in your phone. That says, you know, we already discussed that this isn't the right fit, not what we're looking for. You know why I'm not responding. Or just not responding. It depends on the situation too in yourself. I know for me, sometimes it's hard not to respond, so I'd rather just respond and be blunt of like we've already had this conversation. We already know how this results. Let's not go there again, but everyone is different. Also journaling and maybe remembering the reasons why you got out of this situation because sometimes when you're lonely and it's been months, you kind of just remember the good and don't always remember the bad and then as soon as you re-engage the bad comes back at false steam.
00:35:17 - 00:40:02
And it's also how they come back. If they come back and they just want to keep doing the same things over again, they want to just hang out, then that just means they just want exactly what you two had before. There are no changes. But if they do come back and say, I am serious now and I have a different mindset around you and I I think that it's worth a discussion because it reminds me of our episode with Jesse and Cassie from what was that episode called? Is it the right time or the right person? I think it's from two seasons ago. They were in a very long term situation ship basically fuck buddies. Yeah. Then they became friends. And then they were flirty. And on a solo trip, he realized that Cassie was the one for him, and he professes love, and she was like, hold up, buddy. How? If that is the case, how are we going to do this? And they had a very pragmatic discussion around logistics. How are we going to build a feature together? And here they are, what two years later married with a kid. So, you know, I think everybody deserves a second chance, but it's how they approach it, and then you've got to ask, okay, and then how are we going to do this differently this next time around? I'm so glad you brought that up because I agree. I think it's not what they're doing coming back. It's why they're coming back and how they're going to implement it. And just the talk is, you know, it's nice to hear that someone misses you. Yes. All of that. But I've been here too many times that it's great for a month and then the same issues. Come back. I loved what Jessie and Cassie did or were Cassie did for Jesse was be like, okay, this sounds great, but what is the plan here? How is it going to be different? It needs to be different. There needs to be whatever the problem was needs to be resolved. It is a lazy thing to fall back to what you've always been doing. It takes a lot more courage, effort, and time to make a change. So I think with situation ships, always question. This is a change that's about to be made, or are we just reverting back to what we used to do? So, okay, so the person's come back. You've made the conscious decision, so there's nothing to do that's gonna go down. It's the same old shit. How do you actually move forward and stop having situationships and having real committed relationships where you're an equal partner, this person thinks that you are as great as you think they are? Yeah. Raise your hand if you're if you want the answer to that. I had to think about this for so long 'cause I was in situationship after situation ship and I was pulling out my hair trying to figure out why that was my pattern of behavior and it finally dawned on me because I was waiting for things to happen. I was not taking things into my own hands and controlling the narrative. I think all of those situation ships I was in could have been avoided if I had addressed my feelings the day I felt them and established my feelings with the partner I was with, and also to talk about expectations and values and what we're looking for. You know, like the shit that matters in a relationship versus the waiting by the phone. Oh my goodness. It's a rainy night. I wish my situation ship would call me, but no, I'm not gonna call them because right. Then I would lose like fuck that. Who cares? Well, I definitely remember you being very different with that. And I think a lot of it comes down to gender dynamics too. Of course, Ben heterosexual, we're talking here. Heterosexual men can certainly be in situation chips too, not saying that they can't. But I think a lot of it is because women have been told that men are supposed to make all the moves. They're supposed to ask for the dates. They're supposed to text first. They're supposed to say, I love you first, or ask for the DTR. All the steps along the way, historically have been men driving it. And it's almost seen like, am I going to be seen less valuable if I'm the one doing this? But it's freaking 2022, and all we've learned from this is that it basically doesn't give us what we want. So why would we in theory, if we wanted equal partnership, why would we be afraid to have these conversations? Right. All it's doing is setting us up on equal footing from day one and I feel like all the men that I know and talk to feel like it's so attractive what a woman does this, especially if they're into them, of course. If you're into someone, you're never gonna say, oh, I wish I was the one to bring it up first.
00:40:03 - 00:45:03
That's so such a turd off. I think it would just be like, I'm so thrilled they brought it up, or if they weren't feeling the same, it's an opportunity for you to realize that now. Yes. Opposed to 6 months later when you were both a totally different pages. Yes. But yeah, a lot of it comes from the way that the relationship advice we've been given from the rules, the cosmopolitan and all that shit that's really fucked us over the years. Oh, I know. And we have to unravel it all and unlearn it. And change the whole dating dynamic and culture. I mean, that's why we do this podcast because just Julie and I alone have learned so much about how to do dating differently. And I feel like what I've learned from situationships is that for relationships to grow, you have to water the plant and you have to tend to the plant. Situation ships you let the plant die and then at the end you are surprised why the plant wasn't healthy. Because nobody was watering it. It was sitting back waiting for the other person to water the plant. So the watering the plant is my metaphor for DTR ing, but again, it's not that you just do one grand gesture of a DTR, and then you get your answers. I think you just have to keep watering the plant, let the other party know your feelings, let them know what you expect in communication, something as simple as what's your texting style, even the beginning of dating will help you so much later in the relationship. If you find out that they don't like to text, they don't write novels, they don't check their texts every day. Hallelujah, that answers so many questions just by that alone. So let's just keep watering the plant and then you'll have a healthy plan at the end. I love that analogy. I do want to resonate again on this concept, the dating is the biggest reflection of yourself in the relationship you have with others is the relationship you have with yourself. Because I think a big piece of situation is that you don't deserve better or can't do better or whatever other reason is in your mind that relates back to you and how can we shift it to think that we are a freaking catch at someone would be so lucky to be with us and then when someone isn't showing those signs instead of trying harder to make them like you, you don't want to be with them because you don't want to be with someone that doesn't want to be with you. I think when you can turn the tables into asking, does this person like me to do I like them or does this person make me feel good? Like all of this stuff that is a reflection of what you actually deserve and want and a partnership, then it makes it a lot easier to walk away from things that are clearly either not going anywhere or that just you know are not the fit in your core. And a lot of times it is listening to your gut. I know for me, when I've gotten in trouble, is it's because I didn't listen to my God. I knew it, and I tried to justify it, some other way. And I think that is the danger of being in the fantasy. I so have been there and also I've been guilty to be part of conversations over brunch with girlfriends, where you know your girlfriends in a situation ship. And you want to call them out so bad, but you don't want to be the one to call them out. But this is when you know your friend is in a situationship is that they keep defending the person they're with. Like, oh, I haven't heard from him in two weeks, but I know he's really busy and the last time we hung out, I talked to his mom on the phone. You know, something stupid like something that just keeps dangling the carrot in front of her. And those moments you're like, come on, come on, stop being stop being the person who keeps defending. The person you're with. That's not your responsibility, and I know I've done that too to keep defending someone. And I think when you're in a situation is different because you keep again, your brain keeps looking for evidence, so it's seeking evidence that this person is so into you and they want to be in a relationship with you. But check back into reality and know that, okay, no, that's actually not the case. They've actually said they don't want to be relationship or they haven't called you in days and it's not consistent. Come on, like you know listen to your gut, you know when you're in a situation and you know when you're defending them too much. Yeah, writing things out. I think it's extremely helpful, especially when you have the revelation that this isn't the relationship that's right for you, what you just said. How could you actually instead of finding evidence what way or another, just write straight up what's happening? And then is this the relationship I want, right? So I think that's one piece of it. I think the Friends is a good litmus test too. I've had so many friends that will say stuff and talk all about this other person.
00:45:03 - 00:50:07
I ask have you talked to this person? Yeah, yes. And the answer is always no. And it's like, I don't know. I'm not this person, and I think the best relationships and the most secure relationships you don't need your Friends advice in them. Because you are just talking directly to your part, right? And that's ultimately what a partnership is, it's not the speculation and investigation. That's the difference between a situation ship and a actual real committed partnership. Well, when you talk to your friends, what you're doing is you're asking for validation. That is it. Oh, I'm looking for real advice. So if validations what you need, you need to seek that from your direct partner and not from third parties who have no relationship to the two of you and who can not comment about someone they know nothing about. Yeah, and digging a little deeper why do you need this validation? What is it about it? How can you relate it to yourself and we don't say that to make it be like that you're doing everything wrong and dating, but at the end of the day we are the common denominators and the only people we could actually fix ourselves. UA and I talk to people all the time and I'd say the number one reason people are single that don't want to be is because they're fixated on the wrong. Yep, yep. So what are our takeaways here if you find yourself in a situation ship? One is how do you alleviate the situation? So one way we talked about is addressing this with your partner directly. There's no need to ask for a vice anywhere else and be very forthcoming and direct about your feelings, address it as soon as you start feeling those feelings. And write things down that will keep things more objective so you can live more in reality versus the metaverse of fantasy. What other takeaways can people do? Yes, I'd say change the narrative of what do they, what do they want or what are they doing to what do I want? What am I doing about this? I think seeing yourself as that main character. As that person that someone's only so lucky to be with, will really shift your tolerance level for inconsistent behavior essentially. So I think that's a big one and then you know what is fantasy and what is reality that is a big important check. Oh, hell yeah, definitely write those in two columns. Is this a fantasy? Yeah, that's that I'm living in or is this reality I'm living in? I met someone who says she has a life is too short list. So basically, people she doesn't want to talk to, goes on the life's too short list. Situation she doesn't want to deal with. She goes on the life's too short list. I feel like situationships can go on the life's too short list. Life is too short for us to go from situation to situation. Let's get rid of it and find even if they're short relationships. Let's make them meaningful intentional relationships, not these ambiguous whatever this is you want to call it. I think the motto to live by is I'd rather know. Yeah, you know, I'd rather do where this is going, what this person thinks about me, if our feelings are mutual, then to live in this state of ambiguity. And even if that means getting quote unquote, rejected more. Learning to say that isn't rejection, it's actually helping propel and speed up by a process of finding the right person 'cause I'm not being stuck with the wrong people. You're collecting information. It's fantastic. We're going to wrap up this episode, but we do have announcements. Yes, so season 14 is right around the corner. We will be launching season 14 on February 16th. We have another fabulous bonus episode in the works for next week. So have no fear, but we'll be back full steam ahead for season 14. Still can't believe we're all 7 years 7 years and also don't forget we still have the 22 day dating app reset challenge that's underway. We are closing that very soon. This is a 22 day self paced challenge where every day you get a tip or a hack or a challenge or a task to basically help you slay online dating and by the end of the 22 days you'll be using the dating apps completely differently. And as part of this challenge, you also get a full comprehensive dating profile review by Julie and I we've seen so many profiles that we can tell you what is working and what isn't. So get on that soon 'cause that's coming up. That's we're closing that real fast. Yes, we are set to close it originally on Valentine's Day, but UA and I actually have been very overwhelmed by the amount of submissions for profiles.
00:50:08 - 00:52:40
So we may actually be closing it a little earlier. TBD we're still figuring it out. So if this is something that is top of mind for you, you've been thinking about it. Get on it today because you don't want to get shut out of this. We're probably not going to launch this again for a bit. So finding your person dot com slash apps and you can sign up for the challenge. We've heard really great things for the people that are in it currently. So looking forward to spreading the world with boards that know the gospel. Just remember to follow us on Instagram at dateable podcasts. We're also on YouTube, also under the name dateable podcast where everywhere under the name dateable podcast. Nobody else can take that name from now on and that's where you'll find all the announcements and also you can have a direct line to us if you want to DM us with anything you want. And in return we just ask for you to give us 5 star ratings in Apple podcasts, maybe just leave a little love note. We always appreciate that that is exactly what helps us get good guess good content and just bomb ass shows for you all and we want to keep doing this might be the 7th year and the 14th season, but we want to keep going. We're going to keep this train going and going. That's up to you all. This is our rebirth. Oh, yeah, this is our Reaper. What? Feel like we should change our logo to like a Phoenix or something. The vapor of dateable. Okay, well, we're not rebirthing right now. We got to go. But thanks so much for joining us on this bonus episode. We'll see you next week. We're gonna wrap this up. Dateable. The date of podcast is part of the frolic podcast network, find more podcasts you'll love at frolic media slash podcasts. Want to continue the conversation? First, follow us on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter with the handle at dateable podcast. Tagas in any post with a hashtag stay dateable and trust us. We look at all those pose. Then head over to our website dateable podcast dot com. There you'll find all the episodes as well as articles, videos and our coaching service with vetted industry experts. You can also find our premium Y series where we dissect analyze and offer solutions to some of the most common dating conundrums. We're also downloadable for free on Spotify, Apple podcasts, Google Play, overcast, stitcher radio, and other podcast platforms. Your feedback is valuable to us, so don't forget to leave us a review. And most importantly, remember to stay dateable.