Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

What the f—k is a ‘situationship?’

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Sofia Meija

Dating apps, social media and technology have all had a lasting impact on society, especially when it comes to dating. For many, what is meant to be fun, exciting and eye-opening has become something dull, repetitive and disappointing. What happened to chivalry and basic communication? What is “ghosting,” why is it so common and what in the world is a “situationship?”

Dating has transformed greatly over the years. Even 20 years ago, dating looked quite different compared to today. Traditional first dates were still common. Hookup culture was rarer and the term “ghosting” did not exist. An Ipsos poll found that 49%, nearly half of Americans, feel that dating now is worse than dating 20 years ago. A study done by the Pew Research Center says that 75% of Americans have found it “very/somewhat difficult” to find someone to date and 67% say that things in their dating life are “not too/not at all well.” What has changed?

For many, dating has become more challenging because of technology, dating apps, increased risk and fear of commitment. Dr. Tirrell Degannes, Psy.D, explains that one of the hardest parts of dating is knowing what you want. Many people are not certain of what they are looking for, but this does not stop them from meeting or dating people. Have you ever been in a situation where you have said to your friends, “We are basically dating,” when talking about a potential romantic partner, yet the relationship label never came? Most people can say yes to that. 

Another reason people are straying from casual dating is the increased risk of danger. According to the Pew Research Center, 57% of women and 35% of men have experienced some kind of harassment when dating. This causes many individuals anxiety about going out and meeting new people or trusting those we are considering as potential partners. 

The introduction of dating apps has also caused a shift in the dating scene. Although they were created to help singles find more people online, they have been the cause of many issues in modern dating. For instance, catfishing, frequent rejection, increased risk and run-ins with phony, dishonest profiles.

With dating apps and online dating, “ghosting” is also a common issue people run into, causing many teens and young adults to be dissatisfied with contemporary courtship. With new technology and a shift in social patterns, casual and even serious relationships often end abruptly and brutally. It seems that people are less serious about being in committed relationships, and it has become easier to escape them. With the block button being so easily accessible, people who follow patterns of forming casual connections and breaking them find it easy to drop off the face of the earth. It is fairly common for people to form romantic connections and get “ghosted” completely for no apparent reason. 

In addition to this strange pattern, younger generations complicate casual dating. They often feel the need to label every relationship, from “serious relationship” to “situationship” to even “imaginationship.” Adolescents are over-complicating and over-labeling everything. What makes a relationship fall under a “situationship” depends on the person; typically, it means there is no official relationship label. However, oftentimes, these relationships are simply non-exclusive, casual dating, but they have been attached to a ridiculous, immature label. As for “imaginationships,” those tend to be traditional, run-of-the-mill crushes. 

Younger generations can break many of the cycles that have formed in modern dating. By ridding ourselves of the need for labels and holding off on casual dating until we have a set goal in mind, we would already be fixing issues. 

Dating is meant to be a fun learning experience; it is not meant to make us live in agony because we got ghosted by our three-month-long “situationship” or make us swear off committed relationships by the mere age of 20. But after all, this might just be the way younger generations handle dating — the way we learn. However, if we keep it up, we will further encourage our delusional thinking and continue to make modern dating torturous.

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About the Contributors
Luna Infante, Assistant Opinion Editor
Luna (she/her) is a second-year student at UTSA, majoring in communications. Luna enjoys journalistic and creative writing. With communications, she plans on pursuing a career in journalism, hoping to one day be the editor-in-chief of a magazine. She has been with The Paisano since Fall 2022. Apart from writing, Luna’s interests include dancing, being around people, and hanging out with her cat, Arlo.
Sofia Meija, Graphic Artist
Sofia (she/her) is a 3rd year Marketing major with a minor in Film Studies. She is passionate about creating creative SFX makeup, film and fashion. Her hobbies include painting, playing with her dogs, baking, cosplaying and arts & crafts. Outside of school, she works at Thirteen Floors as a makeup artist. She joined the Paisano in Spring 2023.

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