By: C. Nash 4 the People
Dysfunctional marriages that manage to last for 30, 40, or 50 years and even longer seem to be an American tradition that is almost extinct in practice. The 80s and 90s introduced the commercialization of mainstream divorce to the masses and things haven’t been the same within our family structures since. The dating scene has been morphed and manipulated as well since the prize of marriage no longer seems like such a desirable goal for people like it was 15 years ago. As a culture of people under 40, we have become jaded to the whole fantasy of marriage. I have heard about people who get married more than twice and I think to myself: The magic just can’t be the same every time. The residual effects of increased divorce rates over the last 20 years or so have caused plenty of unintended side effects for those people still in search of their perfect relationship. Now we have the rise of Situationships.
On the horizon of relationship land, you have Situationships growing in popularity every year. How did the youth and young adults manage to go from dreams of wanting to spend their life with one person, having a house with a few kids to wanting a fly condo with a view downtown, vacations a couple times a year, bottle service on the weekends and maybe an expensive pet? Of course we can blame the Internet for exposure to the relationships of others as well as making it easier to date anywhere in the world from the comfort of a college dorm. I personally believe that we just got too relaxed with our attachments to other people. It has become much easier to spend quality time with a person without having to put up with the things you don’t like. Also, having a mistress is not reserved exclusively for men anymore. “Side N*gga Nation” has influenced plenty of women to be ok with having a sidepiece. The climate for a traditionally honest relationship is rough these days.
The culture among the age group of people 21-35 has shifted in so many ways and it is still evolving. Music is continuing to influence us to cheat in our relationships. However, music does not make you forget to put a title on your bond and clarify some understanding with your partner. I feel like anybody that has dated in the last 5-10 years has had some type of complicated relationship with no title, but plenty of good memories that forced him or her to ask the questions such as “Is this my friend Is this my lover? Or can it be both? What if it’s really neither? Do I love them? Do they love me like I love them?”. If you can relate, you’ve been in a Situationship before. This is not necessarily a bad thing, just be aware that your relationship is not traditional so you might not want to hold the relationship to the same standards of your “Old School we gon’ be together forever” relationship.
With the presence of so many social media apps and outlets to connect you to people that you might otherwise never meet, our connections with other people are happening at a significantly high rate. Perhaps higher than ever. What you can do if you ever find yourself in a Situationship is effectively communicate immediately. Figure out the expectations of your partner. Figure out if they have any complaints or preferences before resentment, or some other unintended emotional response, ruins the bond that you both share. Most importantly, make sure you are getting your fair share out of the deal. It is never too late to negotiate the terms of your Situationship contract. Who really cares if bae isn’t exactly your boyfriend or girlfriend? Maybe they just aren’t the boyfriend or girlfriend type, but you still think they are pretty special. Maybe they just fit into your life very neatly right now and you enjoy having them around. What is really so bad about that?
This is just something to think about when you reflect on your relationships with others. We can easily fall into a casual relationship with some serious undertones that creates some real emotions within the bond. Today’s social climate just makes it easier than ever to have serious relationships between two people that never formerly “got together”. Good timing and consistency allowed for a serious bond to form and once the conflict arises, a Situationship is born. The Situationship could be something that happened on accident, but that doesn’t mean it can’t purposely become mutually beneficial for everybody involved. Take the time to work on these like it’s a puzzle, because it is.