Hovering in a state somewhere between ‘hooking up’ and ‘in a relationship’ is a scary yet common prospect for many people in the dating scene. For those in this situation, it is normal to wonder if there is ever an ideal time to lose your ‘cool’ persona and risk losing everything just for a label. What if they don’t feel the same way?

Although you know there are feelings (this isn’t just a casual hook up), you may find yourself just carrying on with this façade on a daily basis, not confident enough in the situationship to have ‘the conversation’, but not confident enough to walk away.

There are few things in life that can make you feel as stupid as crying over a partner you can’t even call your partner. When you don’t feel entitled to your emotions, and no boundaries have been set, you may have put yourself into a situationship.

Here is how to determine whether you are in a placebo masked as a relationship:

You don’t have a title

You are tired of the awkward silence and mumbled responses when you’re both asked what you guys are. You either end up saying things such as “we’re taking things as they come”, or the dreaded “we’re just friends”, which can be insulting to say the least and can make you feel like you have been a booty call for the last few months.

Your friendship groups don’t mingle

If you don’t hang out with each other’s friends, it shows you are not quite committed and not a solid unit. People in a relationship tend to be very keen to introduce friends to their partners in order to seek approval. It signals exclusivity, and as a couple in a situationship, there is simply uncertainty.

Texting is your main form of contact

Small talk is usually your go to, and sending memes back and forward. You don’t see the need in phone calls and enjoy a flexible, digital relationship, and you can’t get angry when one person reads but doesn’t respond straight away.

You have no pics of them on social media

Does your Instagram look like that of a singleton? It might not be how you view yourself, but to the outside world, no pictures of yourself and them might raise eyebrows. “Didn’t you go away for the weekend? I didn’t see any photos!” You may be protecting yourself from embarrassment if it doesn’t work out, and simply posting food pics and selfies is certainly less complicated for the are we/aren’t we situationship-ers.

You’re going solo to events

If you get invited to a wedding or a family party, do you contemplate asking him for a long time and eventually decide it will be less stressful just go alone? You ask yourself if you two are in that place yet, but have no idea whether you ever will be.

You avoid talking about the future altogether

In case you come across as clingy and ultimately because you have no idea where you stand, you steer clear of future fantasies. Those in a secure relationship will often share their five year plans and aspirations early on, yet those in a situationship swear off any talk of marriage, children and relationship goals altogether – those are taboo.

If you are stuck here in the grey area of situationship, it could be time for one of you to bite the bullet, find out what you are and create some boundaries to avoid any confusion and hurt. However, if you are happy with there being no label, then now you know the scientific term for what you are, and can carry on in this half way bubble.