What's A 'Communicationship' And How To Know You’re In One

Communication is key...isn't it?




1. Constantly calling and texting.

2. Never actually dating or going anywhere… literally and figuratively.

3. Waste. Of. Time.

While doing my casual scrolling through Instagram, I stumbled upon a post from one of my girlfriends introducing me to the term "communicationship," and it made me almost throw my phone. If the word is new to you, it's time to get familiar. As its name suggests, a communicationship is what happens when you get all of the words (sometimes in the form of love-bombing) of the start of a romantic connection and none of the action.

You meet someone, either online or IRL, who constantly texts and calls. That someone never passes on an opportunity to declare how much they miss you, or to shower you with adoration and digital affection. In every sense of the word, they seem interested in you except they haven't taken any of that interest beyond the confines of your phone or computer screen. Despite plans to make dates and see one another, dating them seems to be just that: constant communication.

And you could almost write them off as a catfish had it not been for the fact that you’ve probably seen them in person.


The promises of what could be and their promises of what will be are what keep you wrapped up in the potential instead of the reality. You essentially find yourself falling for the person without any major effort on their part because of the depth of the emotional and mental connection you two are building. While there is always cause for concern with any gray area that seems to present itself between a committed relationship and an uncommitted relationship, a communicationship takes that lack of clarity in romantic relationships a step further.

A communicationship, in my opinion, is worse than a situationship.

In the case of a situationship, all that’s missing is the title and commitment. You may not know what things are or where they’re going, but at least you have some kind of human interaction besides talking over the phone. With a communicationship, you are forever limited to unlimited calls and texts, along with empty promises and a plethora of compliments.

Communicationships typically end with you challenging the person’s declarations and calling them on their shit. However, in some instances, that can be tricky because they will try to use reverse psychology to make it seem as though you’re the reason why things haven’t gone anywhere. And this is done to make you feel guilty, in hopes of keeping you around. Because after all, if it were up to them, they would keep it going until they either got bored, or someone else caught their attention.


And since we’re on the subject of catching their attention, while we may never get to the root of why communicationships don’t make it past the telephone, one could assume that you may not be the only one. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, sis, but they could have someone else and are only using you to test the waters without actually getting in. This is because to some, it’s not "cheating" if all you’re doing is talking.

So now that we’ve unpacked communicationships, I want to leave you with a few scenarios and how to immediately shut them down if you ever find yourself in one. Feel free to use any one of them at your convenience.

1. The “I Miss You” Text

Them: Babe, I miss you.

Me: Miss is an action. Now what are we going to do about it?

2. The “You Just Forgot About Me” Text

Them: Damn, babe. I see you just forgot about me.

Me: Well, if you feel as if I’ve “forgotten” about you, then maybe you should make yourself a little more unforgettable.

3. The “I Need You”

Them: Babe... I need you.

Me: What you need is to stay true to your word.

In short, communicationships are a total waste of time and should be cut off immediately following the first broken promise. The person for you will have actions that align with the sweet nothings they whisper in your ear. Never subject yourself to kind words and half-ass gestures without any action behind them. You’re better than that sis and worthy of so much more.

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That memory came back to me after a flier went viral last week, advertising an abstinence event titled The Close Your Legs Tour with the specific target demo of teen girls came across my Twitter timeline. The event was met with derision online. Writer, artist, and professor Ashon Crawley said: “We have to refuse shame. it is not yours to hold. legs open or not.” Writer and theologian Candice Marie Benbow said on her Twitter: “Any event where 12-17-year-old girls are being told to ‘keep their legs closed’ is a space where purity culture is being reinforced.”

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I grew up in an explicitly evangelical house and church, where I was taught virginity was the best gift a girl can hold on to until she got married. I fortunately never wore a purity ring or had a ceremony where I promised my father I wouldn’t have pre-marital sex. I certainly never even thought of having my hymen examined and the certificate handed over to my father on my wedding day as “proof” that I kept my promise. But the culture was always present. A few years after that chocolate-flavored indoctrination, I was introduced to the fabled car anecdote. “Boys don’t like girls who have been test-driven,” as it goes.

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