Deccan Chronicle

The rise of situationships'

Deccan Chronicle.| AJULI TULSYAN

Published on: October 30, 2023 | Updated on: October 30, 2023

Deepika Padukone's open relationship revelation sparked a debate, but offers an alternative to traditional love

Ranveer Singh and Deepika Padukone. (Image by Arrangement)

Ranveer Singh and Deepika Padukone. (Image by Arrangement)

In the ever-evolving landscape of modern relationships, the term ‘situationship’ has emerged as a notable and popular dating trend among the younger generation. This unconventional approach to romance gained significant attention after Deepika Padukone openly admitted that she and Ranveer Singh were in an open relationship or situationship. Their revelation sent shockwaves across social media platforms, with many internet users expressing their opinions, some of which were mocking in nature. However, amidst the online debates and discussions, it has become clear that situationships are not just a fleeting celebrity trend. Recently, Jhanvi Kapoor and popular content creator Kusha Kapila engaged in a candid chat programme where they discussed ‘situationships’ as an enjoyable and stress-free way to meet new people. Their conversation shed light on how this dating style has gained traction among the youth, offering an alternative to conventional relationships.

What exactly is a ‘situationship’?

It’s a term used to describe a connection between two individuals that falls somewhere between a traditional romantic relationship and a casual fling. In a situationship, there is often a lack of formal commitment, allowing for more freedom and flexibility. These arrangements can range from close friendships with occasional romantic encounters to something more consistent, yet without the official label of a boyfriend or girlfriend.

The appeal of situationships lies in the freedom they offer. They provide an avenue for individuals to explore romantic connections without the pressures and constraints associated with traditional dating. This flexibility is particularly attractive to young adults who are focused on personal growth, career development, or simply wish to experience different facets of life without the baggage of a full-fledged commitment.

Tinder, a popular dating app, conducted a survey that revealed an intriguing statistic. It showed that an astonishing forty percent of young women who date prefer situationships over other dating options. This preference suggests that the concept of situationships is not only a passing fad but a shift in how relationships are perceived and pursued in the modern dating landscape. As society continues to evolve, so do the definitions and expressions of love and connection, and the emergence of situationships is a clear testament to this ongoing transformation in the dating world.

Lack of stability

A situationship involves limited responsibility. Partners do have an emotional connection, but it’s compartmentalized. When they’re together in person, the emotional connection exists, but when they’re apart, partners have their freedom. Partners enjoy the benefits of a fun, stress-free relationship without a major emotional commitment, provided both partners are on the same page. However, while both partners may agree on these dynamics when they enter the ‘situationship’, one person might grow to want more, while the other may prefer the status quo. The lack of stability, absence of room for expectations, and no space for commitment may lead to stress and disappointment. Having a partner who is not committed may make you feel less valued or deficient. The impact on mental health can be immense for the person wanting more. Some people often find themselves in these types of relationships, and self-worth can become a significant struggle.

— Dr Savita Date, clinical psychologist

Personal stance

As an individual, I don’t understand ‘situationships’. However, if two people are comfortable with such an arrangement and have thoroughly discussed it, then they should go ahead and do what feels right for them. Nevertheless, I do believe there might be some issues with it. Most of us humans tend to be territorial. How can we be absolutely sure that this particular decision won’t cause emotional or mental baggage in the future? This uncertainty can significantly impact our behavior toward our significant others. In my universe, ‘situationships’ simply don’t exist. If anyone even looks at what’s mine, that’s a sure way to go blind, honestly. I made the decision in my early twenties that I didn’t want to kiss a million frogs before finding my prince. It feels like a waste of time to me. In my opinion, ‘situationships’ sound like a recipe for disaster, especially from a mental and emotional perspective as a woman. It’s not my cup of tea.

— Sharon Rhea Fernandes, (29), actress

Strong commitment

I do not prefer open relationships. I’m a firm believer in the ‘one woman man’ notion. How does it even make sense to call it a relationship when you are sharing yourself both physically and mentally with someone other than your partner? It should rather be termed as ‘friends with benefits’. I believe one should stay committed to their partner because having a pure, committed relationship is always going to be an infinitely more beautiful feeling than any other type of ‘ships’.

— Harshit Maheshwari (25), actor

Relationship dynamics

Open relationships, which are based on clarity and self-awareness, can be a valid choice. Whether they are ‘good’ or ‘bad’ depends on one’s perspective. Love is about freedom, growth, nurturing, and happiness. Sometimes, it’s unrealistic to expect all of these from one person. It’s okay to explore until you find a compatible partner. The success of open relationships also depends on factors like age and mental state. Despite the freedom they offer, they come with complexities. Even the most progressive individuals may grapple with emotions like possessiveness and jealousy, adding burdens to daily life. The decision to engage in open relationships is deeply personal. I choose to focus my energy on one person, aligning with my values.

— Riya Singh (25), model and MBBS student

Expert’s take

Contrary to popular belief and expectation, open-ended relationships tend to be way more unstable, insecure, and stressful. In a peculiar way, it seems like patriarchy has come full circle, where women are now imitating the previous behaviour patterns of men in relationships.

The choice is often confused with:

a) Keeping options open in case a ‘better’ deal comes along.

b) Avoiding the responsibility of commitment while fully enjoying the privilege of freedom.

c) Biding time until their parents find a suitable alliance, until they secure a different job, until they complete their education or project, or until they relocate.

d) Seeking the feel-good aspect of having a relationship rather than remaining ‘single’.

— Sujata Ameya, couple’s therapist & relationship coach

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