Dating in digital times have birthed so many new rules and new vocabulary. One of those, which is now memorialized in a song by rapper Fabolous, is the situationship. Defining what a situationship is (or isn't) is intentionally objective. But a broader definition is a relationship in which both parties are not monogamous or committed, however they are clearly sexually interested in one another. They spend time together and do things that one would expect a couple to do. However, they are not a couple until it's specifically communicated and agreed upon. Sometimes people find themselves in situationships with no clear goal because they missed pertinent red flags along the way.
- Physical attraction is the driving force. Although it can happen, relationships that are based solely on the adulation of physical attributes seldom last. There are a lot of attractive people in this world. You can't be in constant competition mode to hold someone's attention.
- The person is a right-fighter. So much conflict can be avoided altogether if people accept that fighting to be right is annoying and cumbersom. Nobody wants to be in a relationship with someone who turns the littlest thing into an opportunity to say "I told you so".
- No real friendships. By the time you reach a certain age, the friendships you have hold a high priority in your life. Maintaining solid friendship requires loyalty and transparency. You can't trust someone who is making friends and changing friends every year.
- For men: If the women you're dealing with has a surplus of male friends, that's indicative of her not really knowing how to say "no" to guys she has no interest in. Men and women can be friends, but that comes with the caveat that they both know neither is in the other's friend zone. If your girl has male friends who are holding out hope on coming out of the friend zone, that poses a huge problem.
- For women: If the guy you're dating doesn't have any sisters or close female cousins, he should at least have 1 quality female friend. Females friends offer up perspectives and exhibit qualities that are impossible for a man to find in his homeys.
- Disconnection from immediate family: We can't pick our families. Sometimes your relatives are worse than enemies. But if your partner is basically an island to him/herself, that could indicate some level of emotional unavailability. On the other end of the spectrum, not having a strong connection with family might render a person clingy and codependent in every relationship he/she gets into.
- Obsessive behavior: Are they constantly staring down at their phone, excluding work? Or constantly in the gym? Or constantly wanting to be in the club with bottles? No matter how you excuse it, obsessive behavior can be dangerous. When your focus is being poured into one thing, it doesn't allow you to find a balance to enjoy life outside of that. Dealing with a person who exhibits obsessive behavior will eventually lead to you being resentful.
- Bad tippers: Until the US has a uniform policy on wages for those in the service industry, millions will have to deal with people who don't respect the percentage of proper tipping. When a person is a bad tipper, that speaks volumes about their lack of respect for waiters, hostesses, bartenders, and others who work in the hospitality field. It's a character flaw.
- Pride issues: Whether it's refusing to apologize, compromise, or empathize, pride will kill a relationship before it ever gets a real chance to grow. A prideful person is a selfish person.
- Unresolved problems with exes: Not every breakup is going to be clean. But if the person you're looking to get into a relationship with never takes responsibility for their past relationships ending, you should be concerned. Nobody's perfect and there's no honor in being the bad guy/girl. If the person tells you that "all my exes were crazy, mean, unfaithful, abusive" or anything that resembles an example of passing the buck, remember who the common denominator in that is.
The best thing we all can do in order to find the relationship material is to take our time. So many of us rush into relationships out of fear, convenience, or just plain stupidity. Eventually, you get emotionally exhausted from having to dust your heart off. We don't always pick the right person. However, we can have a much higher success rate in getting into relationships if we notice the red flags during the situationship.