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Navigating Situationships: Understanding Attachment Styles and Building Lasting Connections

Ever wondered: 'Am I in a Situationship'? Here are some signs that you might be.

When Dorothy was magically whisked away to Oz in that all too familiar iconic film, she looked at her dog with both concern and confusion, and uttered that classic line, “Toto, I have a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore.”

But despite its fictitious storyline, one can’t help but draw parallels between the wacky world Dorothy encountered while on her quest to find The Wizard of Oz, and the modern dating scene, where that similarly bizarre landscape has become far too grim of a reality for many of the singles who are still searching for a meaningful connection.

And as society has advanced, so has the proliferation of new terms and phrases, especially those within popular culture. Enter in – ‘The Situationship’. Yes, as if we didn’t already have enough ‘ships’, right? Relationships, Friendships, and Courtships – oh my! And for those seeking a truly fulfilling partnership with a mate, this situation is something you’ll clearly want to avoid. So, let’s look at three ways to that you can try to establish whether you have indeed boarded the wrong ‘ship’.

1) Situationship vs. Friends with Benefits (FWB)

In case you were wondering exactly what a situationship entails, it is considered a relationship of a romantic or sexual nature that is not necessarily established or well-defined, as a more traditional, monogamous relationship would be. Now, you may be thinking, isn't that just a newfangled way of describing a friends with benefits arrangement? Believe it or not, there is actually a marked difference between the two. With an FWB, the two people involved typically start as platonic friends that eventually engage in sexual activity - while a situationship is like a close cousin to the hook-up that tries to sound less offensive.

2) Consistently Inconsistent

A majorly visible sign you’re in a situationship is there is absolutely zero consistency. This means that your significant other may express interest in you one day, and then practically forget your name the next. The communication is usually subpar at best. If plans to hang out are made, they’re most likely done at the last minute - or even as an afterthought. And unfortunately, inconsistency generally hints at the fact that the person is probably seeing someone else other than you; or at least, setting their sights elsewhere.

3) You’re On Pins and Needles

Sometimes, looking inward and examining your own behaviour provides greater clarity than simply observing the actions of others. Translation: how does the conduct of the person you’re with in this situation affect you? Do you feel a heightened sense of anxiety when your calls and text messages go unanswered for prolonged periods of time? If so, this could be your body’s way of trying to tell you that the situation you are in is neither healthy nor sustainable. Loving relationships should never leave you feeling anxious, paranoid or empty.

Understanding Your Attachment Style

Examining your attachment style can provide valuable insights into how you approach relationships. These styles can influence your perception of relationships and impact your ability to form meaningful connections.

  • Secure Attachment Style: Individuals with a secure attachment style feel comfortable with intimacy and seek emotional closeness. They have healthy communication, trust, and are generally satisfied in their relationships. In a situationship, individuals with a secure attachment style might recognise the lack of consistency and communication as red flags, leading them to seek healthier connections.

  • Anxious Attachment Style: Those with an anxious attachment style often crave closeness and reassurance but may also exhibit insecurity and fear of abandonment. In a situationship, individuals with an anxious attachment style might experience heightened anxiety when their partner's responses are inconsistent or when they feel ignored. This can negatively impact their emotional well-being and indicate an unhealthy dynamic.

  • Avoidant Attachment Style: Individuals with an avoidant attachment style tend to value independence and distance themselves emotionally. In a situationship, they might be comfortable with the lack of commitment and limited emotional involvement. However, deep down, they may desire a more meaningful connection, which could lead to dissatisfaction or feelings of emptiness.

Tips for Breaking Free and Building Meaningful Connections

Secure Attachment Style:

  • Recognise your worth and set standards: Understand that you deserve a healthy, committed relationship.

  • Communicate your expectations: Clearly express your desires for a committed relationship and open communication.

  • Seek support: Surround yourself with friends and loved ones who value and support you in finding a meaningful connection.

Anxious Attachment Style:

  • Reflect on your own needs and insecurities: Work on building your self-esteem and self-worth.

  • Set boundaries and communicate your needs: Clearly express your expectations and boundaries to your partner.

  • Focus on self-care: Engage in activities that boost your confidence and reduce dependency on external validation.

Avoidant Attachment Style:

  • Reflect on your emotional barriers: Recognise and challenge any fear of intimacy and commitment.

  • Explore your desires and fears: Take time to understand what you truly want in a relationship and address any fear of dependency.

  • Consider therapy or counseling: Professional support can help you explore and address the root causes of your avoidant tendencies.

Although challenging, finding a meaningful relationship doesn’t have to feel like searching for a needle in a haystack - especially when technology has afforded the modern singles of today with a plethora of options - making the journey a whole lot easier by taking out the guesswork.

Remember, building meaningful connections takes time and effort. Embrace the journey of self-discovery and personal growth as you seek relationships that align with your desires for love, commitment, and emotional fulfillment. By understanding your attachment style, recognising the signs of a situationship, and applying the tips provided, you can create the foundation for healthier, more meaningful connections.

Looking for a healthy relationship? Do you want to join an private members-only dating community that matches compatible attachment styles?

We are currently accepting applications. Apply to join REDDI today!


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