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Students struggle with ‘situationships’

For students at Ohio University, and almost everyone everywhere, the concept of a “situationship” can often be very confusing. The term branches from the idea of not labeling a relationship or connection between two people. 

The lack of a concrete definition can make it hard for anyone to truly know its meaning, leaving almost everyone to have their own definition of the word, which is often very different from someone else’s. This can also lead to a lack of communication between the two parties in a situationship. Lack of communication may lead to one party wanting more while the other party is simply looking for someone to spend time with. 

Overall, situationships can often be confusing for many, and students at OU aren’t shy in sharing their confusion and dislike for a term used so frequently, despite it having no real definition. 

Roman Kimball, a freshman studying environmental science and sustainability, said situationships often involve a lack of communication and may stem from commitment problems on one or both parties’ ends. 

“I feel like a lot of people nowadays are scared of commitment for some reason,” he said. “Maybe they've had a bad experience with something that makes them scared of commitment, but I feel like if you have a genuine connection with a person, you shouldn’t be scared of moving from what someone would call a situationship to a relationship if you genuinely like that person.” 

Zoë Blankenship, a sophomore studying journalism, said she thinks the two types of people in situationships are often people who are afraid to ask for clarification about commitment or people who don't want to label the connection they have. 

Blankenship said she believes communication is crucial no matter the status of a connection. 

“I feel like you definitely need communication no matter what kind of situationship you are in, whether that’s one that could turn into a relationship, or you’re just hookup buddies, or just like best friends or something,” she said. 

Kendal Akers, a freshman studying media arts production, said although situationships often feel like gateways to relationships, they can often be very complicated. She said people often lack communication skills and are unable to explain what they are looking for when it comes to situationships. 

Ending a situationship can often feel just as painful as ending a relationship, although the sadness may not be as validated because of the lack of label. Akers said the end of situationships may also come more abruptly. 

“I have personal experiences with them where it feels like we’re building up a relationship and then the other party cuts it off … almost like ripping off a bandaid,” she said. "I think it’s interesting how normally I feel like it's a simple process but now it’s much more complicated.” 

Chloe Jividen, a sophomore studying anthropology and Spanish, said she thinks people's desire for situationships may often stem from feeling the need to be connected with someone no matter what and not necessarily taking the time to be independent and alone. 

“Most of us desire intimacy with other people,” she said. “We want to be wanted, we want to be needed, we want to connect with other people, but things like being raised on social media … the idea that we spend so much time trying to find people, we’re sort of lost on the idea that things can just happen to you.” 


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