This post is a response to a request from a friend *insert twitter shout out here*
A fair number of men and women might find themselves in what many people might call “a situation”. It’s quite possible that either you or someone you know has found him or herself in the midst of the same. The predicament is so prevalent that there have even been several references to the same in pop culture.
Just so that we are all on the same page, a situation would probably be most succinctly as a relationship without titles, though any man or woman in a situation would tell you that it is seldom as straight forward as that. I though I would try something different and deal with the subject from 3 perspectives: the woman, the man, and the outsider. Just as a warning, I’m going to talk about the motivations of all parties before I talk about the fallout…so stay tuned.
When a woman finds herself in ” a situation with a man”, it can end up being a bit of a shock to her. I’d argue that women find themselves in a situation for 3 reasons, none of which are mutually exclusive:
1- She wants to have all of the benefits of a relationship with none of the drawbacks.
2- She thinks agreeing to be in a situation will help her hook and keep a man she wants.
3- She has assumed that his actions toward her meant that they moved into the couple phase…even though they didn’t speak about it.
In a time where women feel like they are just able to do all the things that men do, the first reason should not come as a huge surprise. Some women feel that having a man that will play house with you without the emotional investment that comes from being in a committed relationship is the best of both worlds. Nine times out of 1o though, this woman has also had a relationship that was a source of great pain, and having a situation can be a way to lick her wounds but still have the company of a man. Please don’t read this to mean that this is just some random “you will do for tonight” kind of thing because it’s not that at all. That brings me to reason number 2.
Though it may evolve into more that the two having decided to be intimate, possibly even exchanging gifts and spending lots of time with each other, the woman who comes into for the first reason will be more than happy with that. The woman who finds herself in “a situation” for the second reason has a plan. She wants this man, and thinks that having some of him is better than having none of him. Little by little, she’ll worm her way into his heart. We might call that a case of selective understanding. This woman doesn’t believe the man meant what he said when they had the conversation about what their relationship was. She agrees to this because this is her in. Maybe she thinks he’s afraid to commit or love, and that she is just what he needs to get over it.
Reason number 3 could also be a spinoff from reason number 2, but it can also stand on its own. While the woman who thinks this is her in feels that the time he spends with her, the pipe he lays and the gifts he gives are the things she needs to groom him to do for the “situation” to transfer into a full-fledged relationship, woman number 3 simply got caught up in her feelings. We have heard various forms or spin offs of the adage “Seeing is believing” and woman number three is the personification of the same. When the situation started looking relationshipish, she decided the couple had jumped into a relationship. It’s a pretty straight forward mistake. There is no doubt she got caught in her feelings, though a couple of things might have helped her get there. Maybe her friends started asking her about her “man” and she really stepped back to look at the situation, the shoe fit. Maybe the physical intimacy and the emotional intimacy of giving gifts made the original understanding between the two parties a little fuzzy. Maybe she started thinking that a man doesn’t want to do boyfriend things when he doesn’t want to be a boyfriend.