6 Complicated Relationships That Are Easy to Fall Into

A couple in a complicated relationship kissing with their eyes closed.

“It’s complicated.” We’re all aware of the Facebook relationship status, and, of course, the Meryl Streep/Alec Baldwin film. But what does it mean?

Complicated relationships are not only diverse in what they actually mean but they’re also more the norm now than a good ol’fashioned uncomplicated relationship. Think about it: situationships seem to be the name of the game in the dating world today until someone finally decides to leave the situation or step up to make it official.

So which complicated relationship are you in? Because if you’re not officially a couple, I hate to break it to you, but your relationship status is probably complicated.

1. Friends With Benefits (FWB) Dating
Well, this one is pretty clear. You’re both friends who are horny and who have decided that it’s okay to sleep together without strings attached. The only drawback to this is the longer you reap the “benefits,” the harder and more complicated it will be to stop because inevitably one of you will catch feels and/or fall for someone else, and then you can pretty much kiss your friendship good bye.  

2. The Situationship
You’re not technically a couple but you both act like it. You sleep together, hang out together, and are each other’s emotional support systems but you’re not a couple. This is usually because one of you is hesitant to label what you’re doing. Maybe they’ve just gotten out of a relationship, maybe they don’t want to put their eggs all in one basket—but whatever it is, you’re stuck in a situation that has little chance of becoming official. 

3. The Secret Relationship
Maybe you work together or maybe one of you is involved with someone else, or even married. Whatever it is, you have to keep your relationship hush hush. While there’s a certain excitement to a secret relationship in the beginning, there are a few huge drawbacks. Mainly it prevents you from developing true intimacy because you can’t be open about it and date normally. Also, if you’re keeping it a secret, it’s probably because it will damage relationships with other people once its found out, and lastly, it can make you feel bad about yourself. Hiding something as significant as a relationship can make you feel insecure, stressed, and fearful, which doesn’t bode well with the other connections you have in your life. Besides, you’re worth being in a relationship that can be shared with the world.

4. The Comfortable Relationship
This is neither good or bad, but something about it does feel off. Chances are you’ve been together for a while and fallen into a comfortable rhythm with each other. The spark has been dimmed for some time, and you’re more like roommates than lovers. You’re not growing together, you probably spend more time apart than anything, but you stay together out of convenience. Maybe you’ve got a mortgage and/or kids, or maybe you’re just too scared to be single again. Whatever it is, you’re remaining stuck in a rut and you’re not your best self and neither is your partner. Yet you stay because…well, you tell me why.

5. Ex Sex
You’re technically broken up, but you still hook up all the time. Or at least whenever one of you is feeling lonely. If you’re not hooking up, you’re still in constant contact with one another, and you probably have a dozen excuses as to why you need to still be in each other’s lives. The truth is, one of you, or both, is having trouble letting go, and until you rip off the bandaid, you run the risk of never fully releasing and grieving the relationship, and having a mishmash of confused feelings. Not to mention it will become a jumbled mess whenever one of you decides you want to date other people. Because technically you can but then you’ve got this ex in your life, and just try to explain that arrangement to a new partner without it becoming a “thing.” Sheesh.

6. Not in a Relationship… Yet
This is the grey area when you just met someone. You like each other, you text, you talk, and you might even see each other occasionally, but… you’re not in a relationship. Yet. You’re still feeling each other out. Maybe one of you needs to be a little more certain than the other. Whatever the reason is, you feel like you’re in a relationship, and it’s probably going that way, you just gotta let it cook a little. One of you is probably more anxious than the other about the title, but letting things play out will hopefully land you in official status rather than a dreaded situationship.

If you’re in one of the above complicated relationships, it’s best to take the time to ask yourself: is this something you really want? You should never settle for crumbs when it comes to your heart. Life is complicated enough; ask for clarity and certainty, and you’ll no doubt find it when the time is right.

Brianne Hogan

Freelance Writer

Brianne is a Canadian freelance writer who’s been writing about dating and relationships longer than any of her relationships. She applies a “do what I say, not do what I do” approach to her articles, and believes you can find Your Person mostly when you aren’t looking. So enjoy your life, and eat lots of cheese (at least that’s her motto). Her byline’s been featured on Thrillist, The Huffington Post, HelloGiggles, Elle Canada, Flare, Awesomeness TV, among others.

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