I have always been a "dating for marriage" girl. It's a concept that has been drilled and killed into me by every woman in my family.
And while that may still be the goal for most, I think I'm starting to realize that it may not necessarily be for me. At least, not right now!
In case you have been living under a rock somewhere, a situationship is basically you and another person doing couple things without being an official couple. It's a concept that is celebrated among men and hated among women. I used to hate it too... Until I got in one.
I've only been in one serious relationship in my twenty-something years of life. Once I got over that heartbreak, I tested the waters to see what other fishies were out there. Each and every time I threw out my cast, I came up empty handed.
Each. And. Every. Time.
After I promised myself to give myself a break from men, an old college friend and I reconnected on Twitter and exchanged a few innocent DMs. After a couple of weeks, we graduated into exchanging numbers and started a platonic texting friendship. This eventually matured into an actual friendship and we started hanging out. As expected, I caught feelings and shared it with him.
He expressed that the feeling was mutual but he wasn't seeking a relationship, mainly because we would be long distance. We agreed to let whatever happens happen, and three years later, our situationship is still going strong.
Now I know, three years is a long ass time to be emotionally invested in someone without the promise of a relationship. Trust me, I've had several pep talks and coming to Jesus moments with myself about whether or not I was stupid for allowing it to happen and even more so, accepting not having a title so willingly. When I expressed my sentiments with one of my homegirls, she simply asked: "If you're happy right now, then what does it matter that ya'll don't have a title?"
And that was a question worth answering.
If I'm happy, in this space, then why am I worried?
My lil' boo has been more supportive, encouraging, motivating, and loving than any man I've ever been committed to or dated. In the past three years, random girls haven't called my cell phone questioning me about him, ex-friends haven't popped up pregnant with "my man" being the father, and I haven't had a need to utilize my fabulous FBI skills to investigate his social media; things I constantly did it in my past.
My situationship is no different than anyone else's relationship. Since bae and I are long distance by a few hours, we make communication a priority. FaceTime plays a big role in how we communicate, as well as texting each other funny social media videos and memes. Even though we're long distance, we're still close enough to see each other, so we try to see each other at least once a month, although we usually see each other more than that.
To ensure we have the best time possible, we take turns planning dates. Bae is a big basketball fan, so I surprised him with tickets to see his favorite team. He knows I love movies, so for the next date, he planned a movie night with all of my favorite movies, snacks, and wine! We celebrate birthdays with each other and holidays with each other's families. This is what works for us!
To make sure bae and I stay on the same page, we keep three things at the forefront of our foundation: communication, respect, and fun. Relationships alone can't function without communication, and it's even more true for situationships. We talk about how we're feeling, we remain very open with each other, and we listen to each other. We respect each other's feelings and time, and make sure that our time spent together is filled with laughs and good vibes. And don't get me wrong, just because it's a situationship doesn't mean we don't go through usual relationship issues.
We fight, argue, and disagree on trivial things like what restaurant we're going for dinner, as well as big things like him forgetting something I told him months ago. But we always work it out because we are open and honest with each other. If I'm not feeling something that's happening, I let him know and he does the same; and that's key.
Dating society has placed this stigma on women especially, that if you and a potential partner aren't mutually exclusive after dating for four to six months, then your time is being wasted and you should move on to the next. Society frowns upon situationships because usually for the woman, she gets nothing in return.
But I, along with several other women [Oprah and Cassie] are a testament that that myth isn't true. There is nothing wrong with situationships, especially if both parties involved are on the same page about how to handle them.
That being said, situationships truly aren't for everybody, and I'm still navigating through emotions to figure out if it's for me, but for where I am now, I feel at peace and I am enjoying what I have with who I have it with for as long we decide to continue to be partners. I'm glad that I don't let society play me into thinking that this isn't an acceptable option when seeking compatible companionship.
To all my beautiful queens out there, stop letting people tell you what type of relationship to be in! If you want a relationship, get one. If you want a situationship, be in one. If a friends-with-benefits scenario is more your speed, then so be it. But make sure that whatever your decision is promotes your happiness above anyone else's.