The reason situationships usually rarely ever turn into healthy committed relationships is because the foundation of the connection is built on quicksand. Anything built on relationship insecurity and unresolved wounding leads to emotional unavailability–and emotional unavailability is actually the thing that drives situationships to run a muck in today's dating climate and go unchecked.
If you’ve ever found yourself in a situationship, it’s one of the most painful relationships to be in because it’s not a REAL relationship. These relationships are never clearly defined, and you do not have any clarity about where things are going. Communication is frequent, it feels like a relationship, but it’s not actually a relationship-it’s just a state of confusion with another person.
Situationships can be dangerous because you start to lose yourself in what feels like a connection, but really it’s just a reenactment of attachment wounding with another person. You find yourself disowning your standards and complying with what the other person wants to maintain, which feels like a connection.
These types of relationships are the hardest to walk away from because, deep down, they are not relationships, they are addictions that feed on our deepest wounds. They make us question our entire sense of self and reinforce the idea that we have to prove and alter ourselves for love.
Healing from these types of relationships requires you to turn within and explore what made you a match for this type of connection to begin with. The only way that we can heal from situationships is to heal our relationship with ourselves.
If you are contemplating walking away from a situationship or if you just recently walked away from one, here are some tips to get you started on your healing process so you can attract more meaningful relationships with people who are a reflection of your heart rather than your wounds.
Refrain From Abandoning Yourself for Connection
As social beings who long for a sense of connection and belonging, we tend to adopt OTHER people's standards to avoid the discomfort we feel in standing on our own. We fear the thought of ever having to stand alone in relationships, especially if the other person's values and standards do not align with our own.
But when you’re clear and confident about what you desire, you won’t wait months and years for someone to make up their mind about you.
Emotionally available people don’t stick around waiting for other people to become available. They accept people for who they are and move accordingly. Knowing that you want a relationship and sticking around waiting for someone to make up their mind about you is unloving to yourself. The first step in your healing is becoming more confident and honest about what you desire so you can attract individuals who want the same thing.
Explore Your Connection to One-Sided Relationships With a Licensed Professional
I don’t think anyone really desires to be in a one-sided relationship. Still, sometimes when we have unresolved childhood wounding around abandonment, rejection, and feelings of unworthiness, we tend to recreate those same relationship dynamics in our adult relationships.
In a recent tweet, I wrote:
Our relationships are a reflection of what we believe is possible for us. Suppose all we ever experienced in our lives is one-sided relationships. In that case, we will tend to gravitate towards those types of relationships in adulthood because we subconsciously know our role in those relationships.
Deep down, it looks a little something like this:
“Growing up, I learned that relationships tend to be unloving, chaotic, and confusing. In order to maintain a connection with others and ensure my survival, I usually have to appease people and disown my standards/boundaries to keep the peace and gain their approval. Even though this person I’m in a situationship with reminds me of a familiar dynamic, I'll override the anxiety I’m feeling in the relationship and call it love because all I’ve known love to be is chaotic, one-sided and dysfunctional. Therefore, this anxiety that I’m feeling with this person must be love.”
Those words are my own experience with love and where I used to be when I navigated love from a hurt place versus a healed place as I see it now. It could be helpful to sort out your childhood and relational experiences with a licensed professional so they can help you get to the root of why you may be relating to an insecure place in your relationships.
Take the Medicine From the Experience and Hold Yourself Accountable
Low-quality experiences are meant to be transmuted into wisdom. Look at experiences like these as opportunities for growth by answering the following questions:
- What did you learn about yourself from this experience?
- What parts of yourself did you deny, hide or disown to be with this person?
- How can you ensure that you will not do that again when you’re building new connections with people moving forward?
- How can you alchemize this heartbreak into wisdom?
Acknowledge That You Actually Are Going Through Symptoms of a Breakup
Just because you may have convinced yourself that a label doesn’t “mean anything,” it does not mean your feelings were not real. Relationships are not light switches, and we pay the price when we treat them as such. Your feelings are not a toy, and you should not let anyone treat them as such, including yourself.
Allow yourself to grieve what you had with this person until you can get to a place of acceptance around what happened in the connection and why it ended the way it did.
Closure is not something we seek in another person, closure is something we give ourselves.
Get Your Life Together
Go outside, get in touch with friends you may have disconnected from, and get in touch with your support system. Right now, you need to be around high-quality relationships that pour into you and fill you up.
Never stop dating yourself, even if you get into a relationship with someone else in the future. You are always supposed to create a life for yourself outside of being in a relationship with someone else. That’s how you maintain a strong sense of self, so why not work on strengthening that muscle in the here and now?
Understand That Other People’s Choices Have Nothing To Do With Your Innate Value
Someone not choosing you or not wanting to be in a relationship with you does NOT mean you weren't "good enough" for them. "Enoughness" is a stronghold that has had many people in a chokehold for decades.
If you poured me a glass of water, I could say, "That's enough," and the glass could be half full.
If I poured you a glass of water, you could say, "That's enough," and the glass could be filled all the way to the top.
Enoughness is all about perception!
People only value what they perceive themselves to need. If someone does not perceive themselves to want a relationship with you for whatever reason, it is because they do not perceive themselves to need what you have to offer, and why even be with someone who does not want or cannot handle ALL of you?
Release yourself from the shackles of not being "good enough" in someone else's eyes. You are not them, and you have no idea what their values are.
Remember, sometimes the person NOT choosing you is the blessing.
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Featured image by David Espejo/Getty Images
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