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The Sassy Guide to Situationships & Getting Down to Relationship (DTR)

All you need to about situationships

You can’t stop thinking about them–your toothbrush is in their bathroom, and all your friends are waiting to hear about your next date. But you’re “going with the flow” and haven’t put a label to what you’re doing together yet. Most of us have been in a situationship.

However, we might all feel differently about it. Whether you’re frustrated and waiting for your partner to have the talk, or are wondering if you have to take a next step at all, or you’re just comfortably marinating  in some fiery new relationship energy, Aunt Sassy’s Down to Relationship (DTR) guide has got all you need. Like her self-care products, it's been carefully curated for some TLC, so keep reading, bestie! 

Defining a Situationship

In simple words, a situationship is, “when it’s more than friendship, but less than a relationship.” Some call it the period before getting DTR. A situationship is also not the same as being friends with benefits (FWB), a sneaky link, or a textationship, and differentiating between each one can help get a clearer idea of what it is. 

FWB vs Situationship: In an FWB, while partners may be friends and have emotions for each other that are based on their friendship, they may decide to keep things less romantic, while also engaging in physical intimacy

In a situationship, partners may have romantic feelings for each other that they're comfortable exploring while engaging in physical intimacy.

Sneaky Link vs Situationship: A sneaky link is typically a person you’re not “supposed” to be seeing. For example, if you’re getting cozy with a friend’s ex, and your friend and most of your circle doesn’t know. (If you’re a sneaky link, we’re not judging, but we hope you’ve carefully considered the emotions of everyone involved!)

A situationship may not be as secretive and partners may be more comfortable talking about who they’re with. 

Textationship vs Situationship: A textationship is a dynamic which is primarily text-based, where partners share emotional and/or physical intimacy. There may also be an understanding that the partners are satisfied with keeping things text-based. While a textationship could be considered a situationship, situationships generally include a focus on also spending in-person time together. 

Relationship vs Situationship: In a relationship, partners tend to prioritise each other as part of their primary circle, may make important life decisions with each other in mind, and are “official”–most people in their lives may know about their relationship and their close ones may also be in touch with their partners.

While monogamous relationships often associate being exclusively intimate with one person as necessary, this may not be so in non-monogamous relationships. In a situationship, partners may be much less committed and involved in each other’s lives. As M, a twenty-four year old, non-binary content writer, who’s monogamous says,

“Every relationship may start with a situationship, but not every situationship is a relationship in the  making.”

It’s important to remember that these labels may be more nuanced based on partners’ experiences and interactions with each other, and connections between people may not always fall into the definitions that we prescribe for them. 

Knowing What You Want

Before having a conversation with your lover about considering a relationship, it’s vital that you reflect on what you want. This could include figuring out your emotional, physical, and other needs, whether you want to be monogamous or non-monogamous, and if and how your priorities would change if you’re getting DTR.

A lot of the rhetoric on the internet can be dismissive of situationships as a valid form of connection. However, situationships can have both pros and cons.

Pros: A situationship comes with less expectations to give first priority to your partner and more space to focus on yourself, and other aspects of your life. It can also allow you more freedom to date other people you might be curious about. 

Cons: You may feel like some of your needs aren’t being met enough, and the uncertainty of whether you’re moving towards a relationship or not, may be anxiety-inducing–especially if that's something that you desire or expect.  

While it’s very okay to not have all the answers, it can be useful to introspect by yourself and communicate your thoughts to your partner. You can also always get your hands on a personal massager like the OG for some of that post-nut clarity (*wink wink*). 

R, a cis-het man who's 24 and single, shares how one can deal with the uncertainty of situationships better:

"I have realized that it's important to state your expectations very clearly as soon as you realize what you want. Letting the other person know helps, since it can encourage them to be honest about their intentions as well. Hopefully, none of us are toying around with each other. "

Evaluating Your Communication 

For any kind of attachment to be healthy, it’s vital that partners have conversations and try to create arrangements that are mutually satisfying–much like the arrangements that you can make using our pleasure pillow UP, to get frisky while being comfortably positioned. (Aunt Sassy thinks about everything, boo!)

A few characteristics to evaluate the nature of your communication with your babe could be: how safe you feel to bring up topics that are critical to you, how affirming and consistent the nature of your talks are, and how open and transparent you’re able to be with each other.

A good indicator of the strength of your communication as a duo could also be the way that both of you were able to settle a previous argument or conflicting opinions. Afterall, the success of a relationship is determined by the ability of partners to engage in repair after rupture.

If the forms of communication that you currently engage in are mostly positive and both of you are open to unlearning and learning, it could mean that you might be ready to go the DTR route, if you choose to.

Also Read: Smooth Talking Your Way to Pleasure

Assessing Your Playtime 

Pleasure can be one of the most powerful aspects of a relationship, and considering your dynamic with your playtime partner, is crucial in evaluating the nature of your bond. Some questions you can ask yourself are:

  1. As lovers, are you able to prioritise both of your satisfaction? If your partner does not take interest in your pleasure, you’re better off without them, darling! Our full body massager LIT does more than lip-service and is going to take you on a journey filled with toe-curling O’s that you deserve.  
  2. Does your partner try to satisfy you, but isn’t well informed about safe-pleasure practices? While most of us haven’t been equipped to know enough about safe pleasure practices, and many couples figure it out together, you’re allowed to have your preferences about engaging with partners who are well informed. 
  3. How does your partner make you feel about your body? They should be making you feel safe, desirable and affirmed. 
  4. How does your body respond to them? While some of us may not be able to read and feel the signs that our body might be sending us when we’re with a lover, making the effort to pay attention to any observable indications, both positive like feeling relaxed, or negative like discomfort or “icks”, can be significant information that can serve you in your analysis of your situationship. 

Bestie Vibe Check 

A trusted bestie who knows you like no other, is a patient listener, and has offered support with evaluating your previous partners, can come to your rescue when you have rose coloured glasses on and are fuelled by raging love hormones.

So tell them about your situationship, even those bits that you’re a little embarrassed about but are okay with sharing, and think about what they have to say. Getting a bestie vibe check can help you stay accountable to picking partners that meet your needs.

M elaborates on the importance of this, "Passing the bestie vibe check is very important and I cannot emphasise it enough. If my besties sense something is off or dodgy about my partner, I sit down and have a whole video call with them to break it all down and understand things better."

Also, examining if your partner shares similar values to your besties and others in your primary circle, or even people that you look up to, can be a strategy to gauge your situationship, and how you would like to proceed. Another bestie vibe check that can help you make a decision is how your partner gets along with your full body massager.

Your partner and your vibrator should to be a team, working together to guarantee you full pleasure!

Approaching the DTR Question

Whether you've figured out that your situationship buddy is the person of your dreams, or you find yourself having second thoughts about them, Aunt Sassy's proud of you for doing all the important reflection! Now it's time to have the talk–whether it’s you or your partner that’s initiating the conversion, try to ensure that both of you are in a comfortable environment.

P, a 24 year old and single cis woman, working as a marketing specialist, shares how she'd like her partner to approach the DTR question:

"If you take initiative to plan a date and have that conversation with me, I think that's when I'd feel like, 'Yes okay, it's happening!'"

Stay true to what you feel and express what you need, but also be prepared to take “no” as a response. If you want to continue being in a situationship, be sure to explain why, so your partner has the clarity. Offer your romantic prospect the space to express themselves too. 

Depending on how the conversation goes, you can decide mutually if you’d prefer to continue being in a situationship, evolve to a relationship, or separate ways if that seems most appropriate.

So, who's twenty-five, a psychologist, and a cis woman in a relationship, explains how she proceeds if both partners aren't on the same page, "I used to bend my ways so I can fit as per the expectations of the other person. Now, it's different. If we feel the same way about each other, that's great. If not, then we can take a step back."

If you decide to continue being together, whether in a situationship or relationship, also be prepared to have more, “so what are we” conversations, because attachments can be dynamic and ever-changing–but that’s also what makes them beautiful! 

Now that you’ve got all the insight that you need, we hope everything between boo and you works out for the best. Although situationships can sometimes be hard and confusing, Aunt Sassy encourages you to make real connections that might fall outside the norms of conventional relationships. And as always, we wish you the best of pleasure! 

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About the Author 

Anna (she/they) is a queer and neurodivergent. They have always been curious about pleasure and conversations around it (and wanted to found a condom company when they were 12, because of Global North misinformed panic that the climate crisis is a consequence of overpopulation–they’ve learnt better now). They wish to contribute to a world where everyone can enjoy access to pleasure, safely and shamelessly. 

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