Romantic relationships in the 21st century

This year I discovered what a situationship is. From the outside looking in, it’s easy to say – “if we’re not exclusive after 4 months, I’m walking away”. But in reality, that’s easier said than done. You grow used to the way it feels sleeping next to them, the way their hair falls over their face, the way they say your name, and the way they hold your hand as you walk down the street. You hope that if you are more patient and give it more time, they will realise how great you are. So, you give them another chance. When they forget to call or cancel a plan, you make excuses for them because you want it to work out. Why are relationships like this in the 21st century?


A boy I was recently seeing saw an elderly couple walk into the restaurant we were eating in and said “I love seeing elderly couples together”. We started talking about how complex dating is these days, and how it’s rare that people commit to a single, loving relationship for a very long time. We are presented with more options than ever, with the ability to swipe someone away in a second, and delete them from our lives once we’ve gotten what we wanted. Reliability seems no longer important, communication appears to be no longer a priority, honesty is long gone. But beyond these, there’s one main thing that situationships are based on: a lack of commitment.


People give us many different reasons as to why they won’t commit. While on the surface it seems like they are just wanting to lick as many ice-creams as they possibly can, they’re ‘not ready’, or they are confused, there are really only two reasons. Either they don’t actually like you that much, or they’re scared. If it’s the second: they’re scared that they’ll be rejected, scared that they’ll get their heart broken, or scared that their love won’t be reciprocated. So, they choose the easy way out of pushing people away first, and closing their heart off to avoid any pain. The problem with that is, pain is a constant. It will always be there. Opening your heart and being vulnerable takes courage, because it requires you to accept the possibility of pain. Vulnerability is strength, it is not weakness.


It is difficult to accept that someone may never come around to being in a committed relationship with you. And I know it’s tempting to give them more time, but please understand that you do not have to live on someone else’s terms. Your time is valuable and you are worth more. Choosing to move on is the hardest part. But once you have decided, you will feel empowered because you chose yourself. The last part to get past is the distraction phase. Because there are so many other options out there, it is easy to distract yourself with someone new. And while this can be okay for a while, the pain will not just fade into the background. Feel the pain. Listen to John Green.


The below playlist is one that I’ve cultivated to reflect feelings of: “I am attached but he / she doesn’t feel the same; screw this, you suck and I’m moving on; I can love myself better”.

In summary, an “it’s complicated” playlist:

  • Password Change: Olivia Dean
  • urs: NIKI
  • the 1: Taylor Swift
  • august: Taylor Swift
  • Reason To Stay: Olivia Dean
  • Backburner: NIKI
  • Give In: Vera Blue
  • i’m too pretty for this: Claire Rosinkranz
  • Jaded: Miley Cyrus
  • what would you do?: Tate McRae
  • Healing: FLETCHER
  • Be My Own Boyfriend: Olivia Dean
  • Pick Me: Wafia
  • Man’s World: Joy Crookes

Stay strong.


Kait x

Cover photo by Ivan Samkov