A situationship is an undefined romantic relationship that lacks the commitment and labels of a traditional monogamous relationship.
It’s a gray area where two people are more than friends, but not quite in a committed relationship. While this can work for some, it can also lead to confusion and dissatisfaction for others.
Situationships can happen for a few reasons; perhaps both of you aren’t ready for commitment, or still unsure about each other.
For instance, you might think, “I enjoy spending time with him or her, but I don’t want to be tied down in a relationship right now.”
Or you may feel that there’s a strong connection, but you’re unsure if it could withstand the pressures of an official committed relationship.
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However, as time passes, you may realize that your needs and desires aren’t being met and that’s when you may decide to walk away from the situationship.
You may find yourself wondering if there’s something more fulfilling out there or if the uncertainty surrounding your “relationship” is causing unnecessary stress.
But what if you want to stay friends with your ex instead of burning all the bridges and never talking to each other again?
Is it possible to walk away from a situationship while still staying friends?
How to End a Situationship and Stay Friends?
1. Assess your feelings
Before making any decisions, take time to evaluate your emotions and figure out whether ending the situationship is truly what you want.
Reflect on why you initially entered the situationship and what may have changed since then.
For example, you might think, “When we first started hanging out, I wasn’t looking for anything serious. But now, I want a committed relationship, and I feel like our current arrangement is holding me back.”
2. Consider their feelings
Remember that your partner has feelings and emotions too. Try to empathize with their perspective and consider how they might react to your decision.
3. Be honest with yourself
If you genuinely want to remain friends after ending the situationship, make sure that’s what you want and not a way to hold onto the person in case you change your mind later.
For example, ask yourself, “Am I comfortable with the idea of them dating someone else? Can I genuinely be a supportive friend without harboring any romantic feelings?”
4. Choose the right place and time
Find a comfortable and private location to discuss your thoughts and feelings with your partner. Avoid having this conversation in public or during a social event.
For instance, invite them over to your place for a quiet evening or suggest going for a walk at a park where you can speak without any distractions.
5. Be direct and clear
When talking about walking away from the situationship, be upfront about your feelings and intentions.
For example, you might say, “I’ve really enjoyed spending time with you, but I’ve realized that I’m looking for a committed relationship, and our current arrangement isn’t fulfilling my needs. I really care about you and would like to stay friends, but I think we should keep our relationship platonic.”
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6. Listen to their response
After sharing your thoughts, allow your partner to express their feelings. Practice active listening and avoid interrupting or becoming defensive.
For instance, if they say, “I’m disappointed, but I understand where you’re coming from,” you can respond with, “I can see how this might be disappointing, and I appreciate your understanding.”
7. Be prepared for various reactions
Your partner may be surprised, hurt, or even relieved by your decision. Be ready to handle any emotional response and provide reassurance when needed.
For example, if they are upset, you might say, “I know this is difficult to hear, but I want to be honest with you about my feelings. I hope we can work through this together and remain friends.”
8. Set boundaries
After ending the situationship, it’s essential to establish clear boundaries for your new friendship.
Discuss what activities and behaviors are appropriate moving forward, such as limiting physical affection and avoiding topics that may cause romantic feelings to resurface.
9. Give each other space
Allow for a period of distance and limited contact to help both of you adjust to the change in your relationship.
This can help prevent any lingering romantic feelings from clouding your newfound friendship.
You might suggest taking a break from hanging out one-on-one for a while, focusing on individual interests, or spending time with other friends.
This space will give you both the opportunity to process your emotions and gain clarity about the future of your friendship.
10. Offer support
Let your former situationship partner know that you’re still there for them as a friend and are willing to provide emotional support during the transition.
For example, you might say, “I know this is a big change for both of us, but I want you to know that I’m here for you if you need someone to talk to.”
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11. Be patient
It may take time for both of you to fully process the end of the situationship and adjust to a platonic friendship.
Practice patience and give each other the time needed to heal and move forward.
This might involve allowing for periods of limited contact, providing a listening ear when your friend needs to vent, or simply being understanding if they experience moments of confusion or sadness during the transition.
12. Avoid jealousy
Inevitably, one or both of you will start dating other people. To maintain a healthy friendship, it’s crucial to avoid jealous behavior and support each other’s new relationships.
This might involve showing genuine happiness for your friend when they find someone new, asking about their dating experiences without judgment, or even offering dating advice if they need it.
13. Don’t force the friendship
If it becomes apparent that maintaining a friendship isn’t feasible or healthy, be willing to accept this and let go with grace.
Not all relationships can successfully transition from a situationship to a platonic friendship, and that’s okay.
14. Respect each other’s boundaries
Once you’ve established boundaries, it’s crucial to respect them and not push your ex into uncomfortable situations.
For example, if your ex doesn’t want to discuss their dating life with you, honor that request and avoid bringing up the topic in conversation.
Similarly, if physical touch is now off-limits, be mindful of maintaining personal space and respecting their comfort levels.
15. Be prepared for setbacks
Transitioning from a situationship to a platonic friendship can be challenging, and there may be moments of confusion or frustration.
If one of you experiences a momentary relapse of romantic feelings or struggles to adjust to the new boundaries, have an open conversation about it and work together to find a resolution.