Woe Is Me! “My Situationship Ended Because I Wanted a Relationship. Why Do I Feel Guilty?”
Woe Is Me! is a series in which The Swaddle team indulges your pity party with advice you’ll probably ignore.
“I was in a situationship with a friend, but I’m confused right now. On the one hand, I’m totally against commitments. But then, I realized I’m very much committed to this relationship with him. I felt so troubled by this that I told him we should either commit to a relationship, or end this. He refused to do either. But I walked away anyway. Now I feel guilty. We had promised not to put too much effort into this and ask for more, so he didn’t do anything wrong here. What should I do about this?”
— Moving on
AB: You have no reason to feel guilty; often, you can’t control feelings, especially in a situation like this. I think you made the right move to walk away — you were honest with your friend and gave him options, and he made his decision. The tenuous nature of situationships can lead to similar levels of intimacy as “proper” relationships, but without the certainty of them. While, yes, you both agreed not to become serious about this arrangement, you developing feelings wasn’t your fault and neither is it his fault for not having them. There is no reason to blame yourself, since you were honest and communicated directly with him. Really, as someone who has been in a similar situation, him begrudgingly agreeing to a relationship without any actual interest or enthusiasm, might have been a worse outcome. Rest easy knowing you don’t have to deal with that uncertainty anymore!
DR: You caught feelings, he didn’t. I know it sucks, but it happens. The best course of action for you now is to direct your efforts at moving on. If you had carried on with him despite being aware that you wanted more out of this than he did, you’d have done yourself a huge disservice, and set yourself up for even more heartache down the line. Instead, you took charge of the situation and advocated for yourself. It takes courage, and I commend you for that. Now, it’s time for you to end the situationship unless you want to indulge in emotional masochism, and deal with repressed trauma in therapy years down the line after realizing how it’s creating issues in your future relationships, too. His refusal to end it means nothing. It takes two yeses and one no to determine the fate of a relationship — the same applies to a situationship, too. I’m glad you walked away!
AS: You don’t need to feel guilty about walking away because you knew what you wanted. Like you said, your friend wasn’t wrong for not wanting to commit, and neither were you for realizing later that you want something more from this relationship — irrespective of what the initial understanding between you two may have been. You can take your time to come to terms with it, of course, but your best bet is to focus on letting this go and moving on. Trying to keep a relationship — or even situationship — alive, where both of you are not aligned on what it means to you, is doomed to not end well.
QG: Hey, you lost me at situationship.
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