How to avoid your next hookup becoming a situationship

7 July, 2023 / words by IALH Editorial Team

Written by Kelle Salle

Image via Pinterest

Single life looks different for everyone. Some single people are looking for love while others aren’t looking for anything serious at all. If the latter applies to you, then you might have hooked up (or considered hooking up) with someone. Hookups aren’t complex – both parties usually go into it knowing exactly what they want and most times, they don’t plan to see each other again. However, if you’ve found yourself hooking up with the same person more than once, it can be easy to end up in a situationship. A situationship is a relationship that doesn’t have a label on it.

It can feel like a friendship which can lead some people to believe that they are in a relationship but it isn’t a relationship because one or both parties don’t know where they stand. If you want to know how to avoid your next hook up becoming a situationship, we’ve got you covered. Ahead, Professional Matchmaker and Dating Expert Mandy Mee provides some insight.

What is the difference between a hookup and a situationship?

A hookup is a level of physical intimacy between two people who are not in a committed relationship. It tends to involve a form of sexual intimacy without the intention to establish an emotional connection or a relationship. While hookups can be short-lived or occur over a short period of time, a situationship can last a long time due to a lack of clear boundaries, commitment or defined relationship goals. When two people engage in activities that couples would engage in without putting a label on things, they are in a situationship. There are many reasons why someone might find themselves in a situationship such as one or both parties being unsure about their feelings or an unwillingness to commit.

How can you avoid your next hookup becoming a situationship?

The key to avoiding your next hookup becoming a situationship is to establish clear expectations and boundaries from the get go. Here are some steps you can take:

Date with intention

Before engaging in any sexual or romantic activity, take some time to reflect on your own needs, intentions and relationship goals. Be honest with yourself about what it is you’re looking for – whether it’s a casual fling, a committed relationship or something in between.

Be honest

Talk to your potential partner about your intentions, expectations and boundaries. Be clear about what you want and assess if your expectations align with theirs. Talk about emotional involvement, exclusivity and how often you would like to communicate. Before anything happens, ensure you are both on the same page to avoid any misunderstandings.

Be aware

Always pay attention to your actions and behaviour and ensure they coincide with the expectations and boundaries you’ve put in place. Mixed signals can create confusion and lead to situationships.

Check in with yourself

If you find yourself developing feelings or wanting more from the hookup, have an open and honest conversation with the other person about it. The idea of discussing any feelings you may have developed might be daunting, but it is the best thing to do in the long run because you don’t want to prolong the situationship.

Assess compatibility

While hookups can lead to situationships, they can also lead to a committed relationship. If you feel yourself developing feelings for someone you’ve hooked up with (or are hooking up with), don’t be afraid to assess compatibility. Do you share common values, interests and goals? Reflecting on this can help you determine if there’s something more. Do keep in mind that there are no guarantees a hookup will turn into a relationship, so always communicate if you want to take things to the next level.


IALH Editorial Team


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