Feb 5, 2024 - News

😰 Situationships are on the rise

A box of Valentines Day candies called sweethearts situationships.

A new type of Valentine's candy pays homage to the nebulous relationship status. Photo courtesy of Spangler Candy Company.

Seven years since the term "situationship" was coined in Cosmopolitan, the concept has not only gone mainstream but turned into a desired outcome among some singles — and spawned new merch.

Why it matters: Situationships are a reflection of modern dating culture, in which romance and commitment have been supplanted by convenience, variety and disposability, Axios' Jennifer A. Kingson writes.

Catch up quick: A situationship is a variation on "friends-with-benefits," in which you've gotten physical but haven't defined where things stand.

Driving the news: With Valentine's Day approaching, the maker of Sweethearts Candies issued boxes of "Situationships" conversation hearts with blurry messages on them — the better to reflect the lack of commitment in many of today's couplings.

The other side: "A situationship is a particular kind of hell for most people," says Nancy Jo Sales, a journalist who writes dating columns for The Guardian — and wrote a book about her personal experiences with dating apps.

  • Situationships are a form of "dating limbo" that's "mostly driven by men," adds Sales, who has researched the topic extensively and explored it in an HBO documentary called "Swiped: Hooking Up in the Digital Age."

💭 Kim's thought bubble: If you find yourself in a nebulous entanglement, strike up a conversation with your ... err ... the person you're seeing and make sure you're on the same page.

  • It's better to know if your dating goals align now than coping through heartache at Juniors Tavern six months later.
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