Finding Your Limits in a Situationship
By Elizabeth Barrera
It’s the warm and cozy time of the year: cuffing season! Quite a few relationship thoughts arise during this time - and more frequently now than during others. Blame it on the holidays, or trying to stay warm at night, but the thoughts are very present. Some of us are stuck trying to ignore our subconscious as it’s screaming “idiot” till we come to some sort of epiphany, mainly because of the way we're approaching a relationship. Or perhaps it’s the second glass of wine and soft R&B playing in the background that’s reminding us that maybe, just maybe, our situation has come to the end of the road. Either way, the voice in the back of our minds speaks to us at all moments, whether we try to suppress it or not.
I’m surrounded by quite a few people involved in situationships, too many to count for that matter. They all tend to follow the same storyline too: he’s making a million excuses as to why he can’t commit, but he still tells her he has feelings for her. Sounds like a legit f*ckboy, right? It’s the same never-ending story. Too many of my girls are deciding to not feel because that’ll lead to disappointment in the long run. Others are going onto hoe-phase number two to excel in the no-feeling sensation. And still others are giving their all to one guy who just can’t seem to commit.
It hurts to see them hurt themselves like that. But I think what hurts even more is that they, myself included, know what the best thing to do is but refuse to walk away. I can think of a million reasons why they decide to stay, but I can think of a million and one more as to why they should leave. One reason to stay can be for the sake of comfort and companionship. We don’t want to walk away from something painful, but familiar. Or perhaps, we’d rather hurt than feel nothing at all.
Recently, I had time to think about my actions and the people I was allowing into my life. Call it coming of age round three, or straight up old, (or my housemate knocking some sense into me) but time really does give us the opportunity to see more, grow, and learn. After I took some time to reflect on my personal life, I decided to make a commitment to myself. I created a plan (that hopefully works for me). This plan included a timeline, boundaries, and a whole lot of honesty with myself.
Love can be complicated. It’s not always black and white, and it’s not always easy. You’ve got The Notebook, Love and Basketball, Love Jones, Friends with Benefits, Think Like a Man, etc., to prove it. Yes I know, they’re all dramas and completely unrealistic, but as hard as it is to believe, it does happen and it does work out sometimes. Regardless of the complexity within love, there are also limits we all have and can't ignore. They’re telling instances and actions that teach us our breaking point. Sure, love can sometimes be pretty difficult. But it shouldn’t break you down over and over again, and it shouldn’t disrespect you, taunt you, manipulate you, demolish you, or play with you.
I’ve never been 100% transparent about my personal stories, as I like to spare the details to the public eye, but maybe one day I will. For now, all I can say is that I’m also possibly messing up my personal life because I’m hung up on one person. And maybe you are too, and that’s okay...for a while. But you’ve got to know when to walk away, because if you don’t, you might miss out on a good person - yourself.
The only time a man is worth bending backwards for is when he’s willing to make just as many sacrifices for you as you are willing to make for him. He’ll do whatever it takes to keep you, if he really wants you. He’ll forgive and be empathetic. If he truly loves you, you’ll know, and you’ll feel it deep in your heart. He’ll tell you and he’ll show you. It won’t be a repetitive cycle of pain, lust, and a rollercoaster of emotions lying between love and hate.
I’d be lying if I said I never stuck around even after I didn’t see or feel any of that. Why do I stay? I’m not sure. It could be the companionship. The familiar face and touch. The familiar rollercoaster. It’s knowing that you don’t necessarily need him, but you want him more than anything you’ve ever wanted before. It’s the passion, the desire, and the tummy twirl. Some call it stupidity. Others call it being in love. I call it both.
And that's why I stay.
If you’re on this situationship boat and hanging on to the last bit of hope, then I’ve only got a few things left to say to you. Be patient, have faith, be honest, but most of all, be real with yourself. Set a timeline, create boundaries, and communicate with your situationship partner. If they still can’t give you what you need and their time is up, then babygirl, you need to be strong enough to walk away. Don't extend your timeline. Instead, block his number, delete him from social media, and pray. That’s all you can do. Because you have more dignity and self-respect than becoming a woman who forces herself into a place or situation where she’s not wanted. And that in itself, is stupidity at its fullest.