The Student Newspaper of DePaul University

The DePaulia

The Student Newspaper of DePaul University

The DePaulia

The Student Newspaper of DePaul University

The DePaulia

Situationship epidemic: Limited love in an online age

MJ White

When I consider limitless love, I often think about the euphoric scenes of “The Notebook,” a movie adapted from a romance novel by Nicholas Sparks. Noah, a handsome, aloof young man, tirelessly pursues a love interest, Allie, while navigating through the flows of a turbulent love affair – until he finally wins her heart.

These romantic gestures are typical of an era where love was pursued with relentless determination. This contrasts with today’s complex dating scene, where the term “situationship” has emerged as a buzzword, almost animating ambiguity while courting in relationships.

I believe that situationships exist in the gray area between casual dating and committed relationships. They’re characterized by the absence of labels, freedom from expectations, and often, an undercurrent of uncertainty about the future.

Being an old-school lover holds a charm that surpasses the connections of today’s dating scene. There’s something beautiful about the act of courtship, where romance isn’t just an option but the foundation of a relationship built by a guy who’s genuinely interested. 

Monogamy stands as a testament to the depth, commitment and security that come from dedicating your heart entirely to another. 

It is not true love if you have options. However, choosing the same person, over and over again until you get it right is.

Because of dating apps, endless prospective partners are just a swipe away.. Dating apps are handicapping society to navigate romance with minimal commitment. This cultural shift raises the question: do people genuinely know what they want in the age of options?

I don’t think so. The internet makes everyone believe that the cuter, more handsome, richer, candidate is more worthy.

Dating apps like Tinder, Hinge and Bumble offer endless choices. They turn the search for love into something resembling online shopping. The lines are blurred between seeking genuine connections and casual encounters, fostering an environment for situationships to bloom.

Karlie Finn, a senior at DePaul, shares a personal account of a situational experience. She met a guy at a party and what started as casual, evolved into something more defined.

“We weren’t looking for anything serious,” Finn said. “But something just clicked.” 

Despite initial challenges like jealousy and insecurities, Finn and her partner found themselves committed, establishing trust and a deeper connection.

Now single, Finn looks back without regrets, but she appreciates the lessons she learned from navigating modern dating.

The emotional landscape of situationships can be highly complex. The absence of clear expectations often leaves room for ambiguity, leading to misunderstandings and heartache.

It’s a reminder that while the freedom to define our relationships on our own terms can be liberating, it also requires a level of emotional maturity and communication often overlooked while chasing romance. 

Lisa Holmes, a 57-year-old professor of film studies at DePaul, offers a seasoned perspective. Married for 26 years and a witness to the relational dynamics of her students, children and peers, Holmes has seen it all.

“Situationships aren’t a new phenomenon,” she said, “They’re just more visible now.” 

According to Holmes, the core struggles of maintaining a relationship relate to communication, compromise and commitment, but they remain unchanged, whether in a marriage or a more loosely defined connection.

“People should pursue what makes them happy,” Holmes said, reflecting an open attitude towards the evolving landscape of love.

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