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Thinking Out

Marissa Alexander

Straight Talk: Decoding Situationships and Placeholder Status

Go left for the foggy-time-wasting-love junction or swerve right onto the well-lit boulevard of relationship clarity.
Never be confused about the status of your relationship.

Let's talk about clear intentions because aint nobody got time for ambiguity. Not every relationship is a one-way, all-expenses-paid ticket to the altar, but those “What Are We?” and “Where Is This Going?” questions should be filed under "Things You Should Never Be Clueless About”.

If you're in a relationship, you should know if you're cruising on Friends With Benefits Freeway, hooking up on Side Street, moonwalking around It’s Complicated Circle, or skipping up Soulmate Highway headed towards Wedding Bliss Boulevard.

A man can sense marriage potential early, but he will need time to confirm it. Physical and sexual attraction can happen instantaneously. True love and the decision to commit takes time, but it doesn’t take a lifetime. If a guy can’t commit to public coupledom after months of dating, let’s call this thing what it is - a situationship. Sure, there's some excitement and an occasional rush mixed in with the tantalizing uncertainty, confusion, and chaos, but it ends there.

If you’ve been in a relationship for some time and your guy is as clear as a foggy windshield, you’re in Placeholder View - the land of emotional limbo where you’re good enough to keep around, but not quite THE one. You’re navigating without a map or GPS. Expect nothing but potholes, u-turns, and deadends. I’ve been a placeholder. It was like being an understudy or a standby in a Broadway play - you know you’re not the star but you wait and hope for a chance.

Now, let’s talk about what clear and intentional might look and sound like. When a guy is serious he will dress and play the part. How he makes his intentions known depends on his communication style, but, in the end, actions are always louder than words.

The Talk

  • “I’m not juggling anyone else; I’m seriously into you.”

  • “I’m not here to be your buddy.

  • “Will you be my lady - the VIP in my life.”

The Walk

  • He introduced you to his family and you aren't filling in as "a friend."

  • Weekend plans have a healthy blend of 'we' and 'us'.

  • You are his plus-one for weddings, birthdays, and barbecues.

  • He talks about the future, and you're in the picture.

Experience taught me this: Boundaries are your BFFs. Set them before you need them. Three months is a reasonable timeframe to know if it’s love or just a fling. Don’t be afraid to ask the big question - “What are your intentions with me?” A man with pure intentions won’t be offended or dance around like a confused chicken. If he gives you a cryptic answer, that answers your question, and it’s time for you to switch lanes and take the next exit.

Alright friends, that’s a wrap. Whether your relationship is for a season or forever, you deserve one that’s clear, strong, and fulfilling. In the voice of my Aunt Vera: You are fabulous because, uh, you’re you!

~ Marissa


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