'Situationship breakups are just as hard as "real" breakups. Here's why.'

This article was originally published in The Lonely Girls Guide newsletter. You can subscribe right   here

How to get over a breakup.

The 7 things I did to get over my relationship.

The 5 stages you go through after a breakup. 

Since Kelly Clarkson’s 2004 breakup masterpiece ‘Since You’ve Been Gone’ was released -and let’s be honest, probably way before that - we’ve been inundated with articles, books, self-help guides and unsolicited mum advice on exactly how to get over our failed relationships

We are flooded with information on exactly how to cope through heartbreak and rightfully so, since it’s something we all go through - AM I RIGHT, LADIES?

Actually, no. Not all of us have experienced a breakup because not all of us have experienced being in a relationship (definitely not talking about me, I currently have like 14 boyfriends...)

Watch: Horoscopes and dating. Post continues below.

Video via Mamamia

Some of you might think my lack of romantic experience is lucky because I haven’t felt the intensity of heartbreak before. Wrong. The annoying thing about being single is that you still experience all the crappy things that people in relationships experience. 

The crappiest of them all being heartbreak. 

In fact, I think single people who are actively dating experience it worse than people in relationships as it is an ongoing feature in their lives. 

That, and the fact that I’ve had three friends tell me that breaking up with someone they’ve dated for a few weeks hurt more than breaking up with the person they were in a relationship with for years (such amazing news for me!)

So it’s the ‘situationship’ breakups that are the hardest to navigate.

In case you aren’t aware, a ‘situationship’ is basically an unspoken relationship. You’ve been dating someone for a short time and you’ve started getting feelings for them. 

You think you might be able to see a future with them and you might’ve stopped dating other people - however, neither of you have verbally confirmed any of this. You’re in dating limbo. And it sucks. 

Some situationships lead into beautiful romantic relationships while others (read: mine) lead to the hell of breaking up. 

Em breaks down the four stages of grieving a situationship on The Undone. Post continues below.


After my years (yes, years) of situationship experiences, I’ve noticed some distinct patterns I go through when getting over this form of breakup. Here are the four stages of grieving you go through when getting over a situationship:

1. The Explanation Dinner

Okay, so you know when your friends tell you they’ve broken up with their partner and you act surprised and sad and have to be a good listener? 

Well, with a situationship, it’s different, because often you have to tell your friends or family you’ve broken up with someone they didn’t even know you were dating. 

It’s confusing, I know. Here’s a little example of how I explained one of my recent situationship breakups to my mother over dinner:

Me: I’m sad.

Mum: Why? 

Me: I broke up with the guy I was dating.

Mum: You were dating someone? 

Me: Yes and we broke up.

Mum: Oh, Okay. :( 

Me: :(

Mum: ...Dessert? :) 

2. The Acquaintance Attempt 

The world is forever divided on whether or not you can be friends with an ex - I wouldn’t know about that. 

But let me tell you right now you definitely CANNOT be friends with your ex-situationship. Mainly, because you both realise that the only thing you have in common is that you just wanted to date each other.

3. The Dating App Surprise

Okay, it’s time to get back on the horse. You’re dating again! Huge deal, I’m so proud of you. It’s been a few months since you broke up with your situ and there they are, in your face, with a freshly revamped dating profile. 

What are you going to do? I think we both know you’re going to swipe right… right?  

And because this grieving schedule applies to both parties, they’re going to swipe right as well and SURPRISE you match with them. 

The circle of dating app life. Now what? You’re going to send them a message along the lines of “haha, what a coincidence” and they’ll reply “haha, so true” and that will be the end of the conversation and now their profile is going to live on in the archived section of your app which will haunt you FOREVER. 

Do yourself a favour, and do not match with your ex-situ.

4. The Unfollowing (their pet account)

The time has come. There is NO reason for you to be following the life of your ex-situ's Jack Russell on Instagram. Do you really need to know that Sundays are for beach walkies? No. No you do not. 

This also applies to your ex-situ's side hustle accounts, art accounts and that time they made a music account but stopped after one post because they were unsure about the direction it was heading in.

Congrats. You’ve made it to the end. Now go forth and claim your situ-heartbreak because it is AS important as a serious relationship heartbreak and you are allowed to grieve the potential of what could have been.

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