Atoke’s very beautifully written Elastic Heart series inspired me to write this because it brought back memories that were hitherto bad, but now seem silly to me.
I will admit that I was very naïve. A late bloomer and I had little (and made no attempt to seek significant) dating or general life experiences. I have had not one, not two, but five (5) very annoying situationship heartbreaks. At every stage, I thought I had learnt my lessons, but found myself digging myself into the next situationship hellhole. Every single one even more stupid than the previous one. There was a difference between my own kind of situationship and being a side chick. I was more in the friend-zone.
Surprisingly, I have never been a side chick intentionally. I have never had that “he’s going to choose me” ideology. It all boils down to laziness, because I have never been much of a fighter. Also, I believe that a person whom you’re in a situationship with is not necessarily a bad person. It is your responsibility to engage in certain oversight activities, from the very first form of contact you have with them.
This is my summary of red flags and the signs that can make you vulnerable to a situationship. They are from my own experiences and it may be different from the others, but I think someone can still learn from mine.
- You made the first move or you relied heavily on your friend’s match-making skills. This could set the pace for who makes the most effort.
- You are either bored, lonely, horny or have not been in a standard, defined relationship in a very long time.
- You have or at one point in time had a crush on them. You are shy around them, cannot look them in the eye and this could mean you’re not confident enough to be logical around them.
- Situationships mostly thrive in long distance circumstances, either as a result of being bored or lonely (or both).
- The first few days of talking, they want to know everything and so much about you within very little time. He uses this to know exactly what to do and what you want to hear. This is a popular entrapment mechanism, because you’re trying to impress your crush. You will find that you enjoy talking about yourself and experiences at any opportunity you have. This is the point you start catching feelings. This is when they know you like and enjoy their company.
- Preferring to use instant messaging or “extra cool midnight calls”. I have had a deep thought about it but I have no logical explanation for why this happens.
- The major topics you find yourself discussing are pop culture and sexuality. Nothing serious. At this point, you know what is coming, but you cannot come out of the woodwork with a “what are we?” question, for fear of changing the normal “fun” mode of interaction.
- They are using words that seem like love but is not actually love. You will hear things like; “I miss you so badly” and “Any time I listen to this song I think of you”.
- Delivered messages: Takes forever to reply. 6 dialled calls: 1 missed call that rang for 15 seconds. This is the heartbreak activating agent.
- You find it difficult to say ‘no’ to them or ask them for things.
Case in point 1; you’re travelling to Nigeria and your baggage allowance is 3 times beyond the limit but you’re taking more than 1 minute to decide if you should help them deliver some things to Ibadan.
Case in point 2; you have exhausted your data chatting with them, but find it difficult to tell them, for fear of coming across as coyly begging for recharge card. You think if you ask for a favour you will “chase” them away.
My dear BellaNaijarians, those are the major red flags I am able to remember from my own experiences. I believe if you are experiencing more than 5 of these, you are a primary target for a situationship. I have grown wiser and past my experiences but I would like to read from how other people with different experiences identified red flags they fell for.
Photo Credit: Pablo Hidalgo | Dreamstime.com