Relationships are tough, but it’s worse when you’re in one of those ‘situationships’, you know?
Where it’s not a relationship, but more than a friendship. I grew out of it organically and the person and I have remained friends.
But here’s why I stayed till the end instead of walking away when I could have.
He was (is) the kind of guy I’d consider my type if I had one. Tall, with a charming smile, a great sense of humour, intelligent, and good with his hands (not in that way, you perverts – he worked on bikes and cars in his spare time; okay, maybe in that way too).
I found too many things about him ridiculously attractive. For some reason, he was attracted to me too.
One problem: if we dated it’d have to be long distance. The dumbass realised he liked me when I had already moved back to Malaysia from Australia.
Regardless, we planned a trip together in which we’d meet up and just enjoy each other’s company – no strings attached.
Why did I subject myself to that when I knew it would just lead to heartbreak and grief?
There were actually many reasons.
The first was personal growth and development. I grew a lot as a person during this. It was tough, but I was taught a lot about myself, my limitations, what I liked, what I didn’t like.
It was like being in a relationship – but not quite.
Because I actually had the freedom to be myself without any toxic crap.
There weren’t any labels. We just were. We were best friends on Snapchat, we messaged each other every day, we tagged each other in memes on Facebook on the daily, we made memes about each other.
It was basically a relationship of sorts – not anything like your traditional relationships, but something nonetheless.
I was still free to explore who I was while having a partner of sorts who was able to lend a listening ear and sound wisdom. It certainly helped that we were always good friends and that our solid friendship was the foundation of our situationship.
Maybe it’s inaccurate to say that we were more than friends. We were always friends – we were friends who were romantically inclined towards each other, but who just couldn’t date due to our circumstances. However, what we had made for a low stress relationship.
Similar to a friend-with-benefits relationship, the situationship is highly flexible and adapts itself to each person’s convenience.
We felt no jealousy because we knew what the situation was like between the two of us. We flat-out knew it was a situationship.
We updated each other on our good and bad dates, our daily goings-on, the awful sex we had with that one date, the good sex we had with another, the time one of us got matched with someone who believed in the restorative power of essential oils…
Although it definitely isn’t for everyone, I felt that the situationship I was in caused a growth in my emotional maturity.
I started to recognise that relationships, whether transient or permanent, all have validity to them.
I appreciated his constant digital companionship (which I still have, because we will always be friends first and foremost), I was grateful for our occasional silly debates, I treasured our quiet moments.
Just because he’s not The One doesn’t mean he should ever mean any less. He was there for me through some of the hardest times of my life. He kept my spirits buoyant when I was despondent.
I think it would be terribly unfair to discredit the huge influence he had on me and how much I felt for him to pigeonhole him as a mere situationship.
So I flung myself into it.
I decided to live my life to the fullest without any regrets.
I went on that trip with him and we spent a bit more than a week together in each others’ constant company. Despite not having seen each other for months, we fit together comfortably.
I threw caution to the wind. I held his hand, cuddled him in his sleep, kissed him like we were dating.
And yes, I had my heart broken. I cried the last night we spent together (while he was asleep, of course). I knew we would never date. But I didn’t regret a single second I spent in that weird limbo zone between dating and not-dating.
When we parted after that trip, I knew that the situationship had ended. It had truly run its course. We were going back to our countries, cities, lives, and the people we would eventually date and love and maybe even settle down with.
Regardless, I think a little part of me will always love him.
For more articles on dating, read Reasons Why You Regret Breaking Up With Your Ex (And Why You Shouldn’t Get Back Together), and Long Distance Relationships: Bitter Reality or Sweet Fantasy?