You are seeing someone. (At least you kinda think so). You are at least happy to have what YOU define as some type of relationship. However…you KNOW deep down inside that the “relationship” you are in is not really what a relationship is supposed to be. Something is missing…your relationship feels wobbly…like your relationship vehicle is running on 3 tires instead of 4….that sorta thing.
Well, you are in some type of “ship.” But it's not your ideal relationship. Which is it then?
You tell me. Here are 7 ideas as to what it could be:
This is one of the really dangerous ones…because it feels like a relationship. You know…the passion is high when you meet up but the relationship is not official. Or maybe you can only talk at some time of the day and the person makes you feel like they are doing you a favor until they need something from you.
The thing is, even you are confused about what you want out of this situation. Not sure if you want an actual relationship or if you just need passion in your life.
They meet like 70% of your “list” but the 30% they don’t meet are things that were supposed to be deal breakers for you.
Or maybe the relationship was strong but since you both pissed all over each other, and have major unresolved issues (trust, insecurities, infidelity) and don’t feel like “starting over,” you “KIND OF” stay together because, well, a foolish man you know is better than a good man you have to put yourself out there to find; and a woman who wants you once in a while is better than trying to go out there and “convince another woman you are worth her time.”
Here you will find arrangements like “The Ex with Sex.”
SITUATIONships are probably the most frustrating and for very good reason.
Oh, yeah. You swear you guys like each other. Neither one of you has actually come out to say anything or, maybe you have by virtue of how much time you spend together or spend communicating, but it’s still not super clearly defined.
Even your friends know you guys like each other and when you do communicate, it’s a cosmic experience.
The only problem is, this has been going on for ages. Some FLIRTATIONships are so bad that if one person were to start “talking” to someone else, the other person and their friends would be offended! But neither comes out to say anything.
It’s like they both call shotgun for riding in the front seat of each other’s hearts but neither actually get into the car.
She likes him but she tells him this huge reason why she can’t be with him right now…and he eats it.
But she still uses him for company, dates and her self-esteem…and/orhe gives her the “I am about to ask you out” vibe for ages and uses the attention he gets from her to make himself feel like the man. He never asks her out officially because he knows or thinks that once she starts getting to know him, what she finds will quickly erode the attraction she feels for him that he is enjoying.
This relationship status is NOT “complicated.” It’s not even a relationship to start with.
Similar to FLIRTATIONship, ATTRACTIONship is when you have two people who are obviously attracted to each other. The difference is with ATTRACTIONship, they don’t actually communicate and none of their friends know about the other. NO. This is a secret “knowing” -- mostly between each other and each other alone.
So much so that one or both of them holds back from other relationship opportunities in hopes that this one may pop off sometime in the future.
This is a deep one. It gets worse.
Because neither one comes forward, it just sits there and it sits so long that even when the possibility of a relationship is no longer there, one or both of them uses the other as the “standard” for future relationships. GET IT??? Even in future relationships, they are looking to find or recreate “the one that got away” (even though technically the other person was never theirs).
ATTRACTIONships are messy!
This is the one that is most, well, I don’t even know the word…let’s just say I can see both sides of the story.
One person is basically just a solution to a problem and that solution is what the “ship” anchors on.
Ok, so in this type of “ship” someone or both of them are meeting an important non-love related need for the other. This is one that can get borderline depressing and even dangerous when LOVE is NOT in it.
So, they are in a relationship but one is totally dependent on the other for accommodation, employment, immigration status, and stuff like that.
Now, there is absolutely nothing wrong in helping to meet each other’s needs and there is nothing wrong with one person shouldering more of an area than the other. That’s what relationships are about. Being there for each other.
So what’s problem? The absence of love.
When there is no real love or feelings for each other in this type of situation, the following can ensue:
- That provider’s value hinges on their ability to meet that need
- The dependent is resentful for being well, dependent.
- The person meeting that need can really acquire the god-syndrome
- Physical and/or emotional abuse is never far away
- One person can start to feel used
- Gold diggers are rampant here
It sounds great at first glance. But, careful. This one is sneaky. Everyone should want a relationship where there is partnership. That’s not what I am talking about here.
Here, two people mutually agree that they want to help each other without necessarily being exclusive to each other.
Unlike a FLIRTATIONship, ATTRACTIONship or even SOLUTIONship, here no one feels taken advantage of because they are both on the same page, and their feelings (even though not ALL the way committed) are at least defined (and properly so too).
Here you will find “friends with benefits,” “open relationships,” and OGBC (On Going Booty Calls).
It’s an arrangement that does not involve full commitment but where both people are happy with that.
The problem is that it starts off feeling like the best arrangement ever where you can eat your cake and have it, too. But after a while, it starts to feel shallow and the same people who were excited about being “together but not committed” are now looking for depth.
You just KNOW deep down inside that they are going to change.
You’re not even married yet but they treat you badly, disrespect you, treat you less than you deserve. Everyone around you knows it but, deep down, you just know they will change and you have the ambition of being the catalyst for that change.
You feel like if you just get them to change that ONE area, they will be perfect. But that ONE area is a major area.
What you have…this desire to change them…is simply an AMBITION. Be very careful.
The reason why AMBITIONships are so dangerous is that you will get sucked into staying just to prove yourself right and others wrong. In other words, because it can feel embarrassing to come out and say, “Yes…you all were right, this person is a waste of my time,” we stay in the relationship trying to change this person.
Have an honest conversation with yourself and especially if you are not married, do something about it.
This looks like a PARTNERship on the surface. But it is anything but enjoyable for the people in it.
A perfect example is when exes who share a child and who want to maintain some form or family structure for their child/children go to the park together and may even do some couple or family things like syncing their calendars not because they really want to but because it’s a transaction, i.e. scheduling who will pick up the kids from school this week.
Or the case of a couple who was renting an apartment together, they break up but then have to continue living together for a while until the lease is up.
Or maybe work lovers who break up but still work together.
This is even worse when the relationship is not over yet but where the relationship building is on fire and everyone is emotionally running out before the building comes down.
TRANSACTIONships suck because the person you are transacting with is probably the source of your pain and having to “transact” with them often gives you a constant reminder.
So, there you have it, all sorts of “ships.”
You know, love is funny. It's quite possible to be smart, emotionally mature, rich, confident and still find yourself in one of these types of “ships.” Who are we kidding right?
But, you see, finding yourself in one of these is not the problem. The reality is that even good relationships go through periods of funky “ships.”
The important thing to know though is that “YOU CAN DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT” …whether that means working things out with this person or saying “deuces” and finding new roads.
Tobi Atte is a certified Neuro Linguistic Programming Practitioner, motivational speaker and the writer behind IJustMetMe, a lifestyle website for young adults who need a good dose of daily inspiration to tackle tough life issues. Tobi is also the author of the new book How to Make Sure Your Values are Aligned: A Guide to Avoiding Relationship Frustration. For more on relationships, motivation, fresh perspectives on faith, personal improvement and more, read/learn more at www.ijustmetme.com, watch him on YouTube HERE and download his free e-book HERE.