Bawling your eyes out, having sleepless nights and loading yourself with tubs of ice cream – heartbreaks are never easy. Gone are the days when people cherished long-term relationships as today’s dating scene is all about a casual arrangement termed ‘situationship’. Sounds familiar? Well, it’s like a ‘friends with benefits’ setup wherein you’re intimate without commitment. These ambiguous romantic partnerships start off on the most perfect note – you spend your weekends and holidays together, ditch work for them, go out together for crazy drinking sessions and even share your good, bad and ugly sides during several therapeutic late-night conversations. But as fate would have it, the expiry date comes soon when one of you simply decides to call it quits. Strangely enough, the lonely state of getting over someone you never dated hurts more. If you’re also going through a situationship breakup, it’s time to give your aching soul some rest!
While you never intended to catch feelings for your situationship, you did and that’s okay! Give yourself time to grieve, go through the mourning phase and simply let those pent-up emotions out! But once you’re done sobbing your heart out, don’t sulk in mundanity and bounce back on your feet pronto. Don’t worry, we’ve got your back. To ease your situationship breakup journey, we’ve listed some effective tips that’ll help you heal and move on.
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Effective tips to help you deal with a situationship breakup
Acknowledge and grieve
Acceptance is the first step towards moving on! Stop giving yourself fake consolations like ‘it wasn’t real anyway’ and ‘I saw it coming’. If you’ve deeply invested your time, energy, and emotion in this situationship, call it a breakup if it feels (and hurts) like one and process it accordingly. Evading your feelings will only build angst and resentment, and you don’t want that!
Additionally, letting out your emotions is very important, so don’t be a romantic rebel. Just because it wasn’t an actual relationship, doesn’t mean you can’t mourn their loss. No label can define the intensity of your connection, so if you want to ugly cry, do it. You’re allowed to feel what you’re feeling and processing everything is the only way to move forward. No shortcuts here, folks!
Your friends and family are here to help
There’s no better way to shed your bottled-up stress than venting about it. Trust your close entourage to be your cheerleaders in this low phase, because who else will? If you have that brutally honest friend who tells you when your dress is looking trash or when you have lipstick on your teeth, why not have them give you genuine, unadulterated advice on things that really matter?
Now’s not the time to get embarrassed by your ‘situationship’ tag and worry about what people will think. Having the right set of people is a powerful elixir in times of relationship distress. Their thoughts will give you the much-needed clarity to move on.
Cut ties with your situationship
Ever heard Dua Lipa’s New Rules? If yes, now’s the time to implement the song’s message and NOT let him in! Reaching out to them once things are over will put you back into the toxic cycle and honestly, how many times do you want him to tell you that he doesn’t want anything to do with you? Harsh, but that’s what it is. Whether you got closure or not, giving the other person that sadistic satisfaction that you’re yearning for them isn’t helping.
They had their chance with you, and they blew it. Be kind to yourself. Unsend that lowkey-desperate text, don’t go through with that impulsive urge to call, or even better, block their number. What’s meant for you, will come to you.
Don’t blame yourself
It’s common to get into a self-deprecatory mood after a situationship breakup. It can bring up old wounds and feelings of not being ‘good enough’ but know that relationships coming to an end are rarely a reflection of your self-worth. Remember that you too deserve the love and empathy that you’d give someone else going through a similar situation, isn’t it?
When a person cuts ties with you or ghosts you, it’s mostly because they’re battling their own demons/insecurities, or they simply lack the maturity to be with you. Don’t ever think you’re not enough. You were just entertaining someone who could never handle your beautifully imperfect self.
Keep yourself busy
It’s okay to take days off to only sulk and whine about your state of affairs. However, making it a lifestyle is the worst thing to do! You’ve invested so much in the other person, and now’s the time to do the same for yourself. Gone out on a solo movie date? Explored the city alone? Cooked yourself a hearty meal? Self-love manifests itself in so many things, and it’s never too late to work on yourself. After all, singlehood isn’t a death sentence.
If you’ve got the time and money, enrol yourself in a dance or a cooking class, join a book club, learn a new language or just reconnect with your old friends. And before you know it, you’ll have moved on. You can even create a vision board defining your short and long-term goals, enlisting things you wish to accomplish but were putting off. Stack it at a place in your room where you can clearly see it, so you don’t fall astray.
Don’t go looking for rebounds
The fate of rebound relationships isn’t all great. If you often find yourself in these draining situationships because of a lack of boundaries, it’s time to step back and re-evaluate what you want from your romantic partner. If you take your unhealed self from relationship to relationship, you’ll end up feeling more emotionally drained and empty.
There has to be a detox period where you figure out how and who you want to be in your next relationship. Ask yourself if jumping into another relationship will help you heal or if is it just a momentary escape from your current dilapidated state. The goal is to not bring the baggage from your last relationship onto the new one.
Reflect on the good and the bad
Once you stop feeling a ‘lump in your throat’ or ‘pit in your stomach’, it’s time to think about your takeaways from this bitter situationship. Did you lose your sense of self, were you settling for the bare minimum? Did this person really make you feel good, or were you just gloating over the idea of having them?
After having this conversation with yourself, ask yourself ‘What do you want for your next relationship?’ ‘What values matter to you? Emotional connection or physical attraction? What boundaries will you and your next partner have?
Getting as specific about the kind of partner you want to attract and how you want to be in your next relationship will help you establish fruitful connections that you won’t lose your mind over!
We hope these tips help you navigate your situationship breakup. This too shall pass!
(Hero image credit: Rafael Barros/ Pexels)
(Feature image credit: Maryia Plashchynskaya/ Pexels)
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- Why is a situationship breakup so hard?
The lack of clear boundaries and commitment in a situationship makes people more anxious, uneasy, and fearful. When these relationships end, they trigger feelings of grief, rejection and abandonment.
- Do situationships hurt more than breakups?
Even though situationships don’t offer the security and exclusivity that relationships do and are considered to be more ‘casual and laid-back’, going through a situationship breakup is definitely hard.
This story first appeared on Lifestyle Asia Hong Kong