Empowerment Series: Certified Life & Relationship Coach, Sheila Decoster Shares with AW, the 3 Things to Know About Situationships

We can all agree that navigating the dating world is complicated. Rules of engagement, commitment, and relationships can be confusing. It’s essential to go into dating knowing what you want out of a relationship and partner. If you are missing that piece of the puzzle, it can lead you to slide into situations that are not necessarily good for you. One of these is situationships, easy to get into but tough to detach yourself from.

AW had the opportunity to speak with Sheila Decoster about the topic. The Certified Life and Relationship Coach has a Master’s Degree in Psychology and wealth of knowledge on the subject of relationships. The founder of Alpha Women’s Guide began the service to fulfill her purpose in life, helping women bring out their full potential. She explains that you can’t find true satisfaction without mastering the art of self-worth. Sheila explains how this kind of relationship can be detrimental to a woman’s emotional health.

situationship is a romantic relationship that is not defined or is uncommitted. Occasionally, partners remain in the relationship for convenience. This does not mean the situationship does not have some or all the properties of a regular relationship. To the contrary, it is possible to share an emotional connection but the trap is living in the state of limbo it requires. These relationships don’t allow you to build the security that most normal relationships provide.

How does a woman know, she is in a situationship? What are the main characteristics of this type of relationship? These relationships can deceive you into believing you are in a committed relationship. You may be going out regularly, meeting his friends or family, speaking on a regular basis but you do not have a label demonstrating his commitment. You will likely be introduced as a “friend” instead of girlfriend. He may describe you as fun, easy going, flexible or the girl that goes with the flow! If you enter into a physical entanglement assuming commitment, you may be surprised. A promise of exclusivity in bed does not signify he is coupling with you. Things can get confusing, so if you start asking yourself questions like “I see potential but what are we? Where is this relationship going? Are we boyfriend/girlfriend?” it can be daunting. Honestly, it could make anyone feel terribly unhinged.

As a relationship coach, do you find most of your clients to be men or women? Are there noticeable differences in the way men and women handle situationships? All my clients are women. Men attend some of my workshops to learn about how women think but it’s women who come for assistance in untangling themselves from these complicated situations. Women often struggle with self-worth, it is a major reason for falling victim to these situations.

In what ways are these relationships unhealthy? These relationships lead to miscommunication, people not being clear on boundaries. You may place all your eggs in a basket without knowing his values or belief system thinking he is “the guy.” Unknowingly, cheating yourself out of meeting other potential suitors that can be better suited. In other cases, lack of commitment can entice a partner to feel he is free to date around which has potential to affect your emotional or physical health. Situationships tend to be easier to terminate, no warning or consideration for you is warranted.

What are the 3 most important things to know about this type of relationship?

  1. The only way to get a clear head is to stop the sex. Chemistry with certain people is inevitable and powerfully moving. Eliminating the physical piece helps to limit releasing endorphins that sometimes fog our thinking.
  2. If you don’t know what you want from the onset, you may find yourself accepting whatever is given to you.
  3. Going with the flow implies you are not setting standards. Don’t give someone else the power to set the tone for the relationship. You have a right to voice your needs. Have the courage to hold an honest conversation about expectations.

What advice can you offer to women who are unhappy with their status and want to exit a situationship? Stop sleeping with the guy! It is the only way you will know if he is really into you.

Is there a mantra you would like to share with women trying to navigate the confusing world of dating? “If you are not willing to lose dates then you are not ready to date.” Don’t fear rejection or losing a guy, stick firmly to your standards.

It is normal to want to be part of a relationship. There is nothing wrong with wanting a partner to share your most intimate thoughts and moments. But remember, you deserve someone that cherishes you enough to give you the title that lets everyone know you are special to him.

We have different needs, what works for one person may not for another. Take charge, decide what type of relationship you want and accept nothing less. In the past, I’ve allowed myself to be blinded by my desire for a relationship. Going with the flow dragged me on a path of uncertainty resulting in unhappiness. Make sure the situation you are engaging in, is in your best interest. If you are both in agreement with the terms, you can lessen the chances of getting hurt.

If interested in hearing more about situationships, a special podcast episode called “The Problem with Situationships” will be available at Alpha Women’s Guide on Saturday, August 8.

AW is grateful to Sheila Decoster for sharing her dating tips with AW. Remember, don’t be afraid to ask questions and set standards because you are worth it!

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