The Rise of the Situationship

Dr T J Jordan
4 min readApr 4

As we navigate the shifting nature of human connections, we find that not all our “relationships” have the quality of shared emotion.

Photo by Pietro De Grandi on Unsplash

By Dr T J Jordan

Once upon a different century, we humans relied on “husband” and “wife” to convey the ultimate message of connection and commitment. But then we woke to the fact that many important relationships exist in worlds where these terms don’t fit. And that many marriages never embodied the ultimate intimacy in the first place.

Our evolving forms of connection challenge our ability to come up with appropriate terms. But without labels, we can’t effectively communicate the nature of our interpersonal connections. Labels create meaning and define expectations.

We struggle for labels in a world where we fight against labeling. But we don’t tolerate ambiguity well, so we attempt to disarm it with labels. We despise that ambiguity can put our interpersonal connections at risk — as well as that the assumption of being firmly connected can deprive us of opportunities for something more.

In this era of interpersonal evolution, we have found that “situationship” most closely describes some of our connections.

Is the sun setting on intimacy?

As we grow more materialistic, valuing our educations only insofar as they lead to monetary benefits, are we also devaluing intimacy in our relationships?

We have devised “friends with benefits” to suit a hookup culture where trading orgasms is a new form of connection but one without “strings.” The value here is transactional sex. For better or worse, the privilege of “carnal knowledge” has become a token that is traded among friends with benefits — but one without the benefit of “knowledge” when we remain emotionally disconnected.

And while marginalized groups fight for the…

Dr T J Jordan

Passionate about sexualities, masculinities, relationships, intimacy, mental health, CPTSD , animals, growth, psychology, and exotic locations.