I don’t know about you, but I’ve definitely found myself in a situationship a time or two.

It goes a little something like this: You meet someone and you quickly get caught up in how he makes you feel when you’re together, and soon, the questions arise.

Is he seeing anyone else?

What are we? 

Am I his girl? 

Are we exclusive? 

Should I call him my boyfriend?

While there’s an easy way to find out the answers to these questions–just ask–when it comes to matters of the heart, some folks just aren’t that logical, or brave.

So, to save you some time, and hopefully a little heartbreak, Sharon and I complied a list of signs that make it clear that you’re in a situationship with bae, not an actual and factual relationship.

Ready?

#1 You only hear from him after 10pm

Unless he works the swing shift or has some other kind of demanding job, only calling or texting during “booty call hours” says one thing–he doesn’t see you as relationship material.

#2 You’ve never actually gone out on a real date

You: Bae, we going out on Friday?

Him:

If the only time y’all hang out is for Netflix & Chill, I don’t care how many movies you’ve almost seen together, he ain’t your man. If he can’t plan a date (you know, where he picks the restaurant for dinner or the activity), then he’s only with you until he’s ready to plan some actual ish for somebody else he plans on being with for real for real.

#3 It takes him hours, or days, to call or text you back

If Barack can check in with Michelle while he’s holding the nuclear codes and running the free world, surely your dude can respond to the “Good morning, handsome,” text you sent 8 hours ago. The harsh truth? He just doesn’t want to.

#4 He goes to couples outings (weddings, family reunions, housewarmings) without you

If you were really his one and only, you’d get an invite to functions with family and friends. But since you’re not actually in a relationship, you have to hear about his aunt’s bomb mac & cheese, or his boy’s margarita-making skills his after he’s already eaten himself into a food coma.

#5 He never asks you anything deeper than “WYD?”

Does he care about your day? Your dreams? Your goals? Your ambitions? Your fears? If a man is interested in really getting to know you, he’ll ask deeper questions than, “WYD?” “Can I come thru” or “What u wearing?” If you’ve been kicking it for a while and you haven’t gotten the least bit deep, then he’s not in it for the long haul.

#6 The sex is great….but it’s the only time you really “connect”

Sometimes it’s hard to think straight after being thoroughly pleased in the bedroom, but if that’s the only time you and bae really connect and are affectionate, then that’s all it is. Flings are cool if that’s what you want, but if you’re looking for something deeper you won’t find it with someone who isn’t invested in more than getting his.

#7 He refuses to give your “thing” a title

If you ask bae, “So…what is this?” and he goes on to tell you titles make him uncomfortable, he’s not your man. Perhaps he’s a little gun shy or reluctant to make a commitment, but if you want exclusivity and he doesn’t, it’s time to rethink your situation.

Listen, there’s no shame in having fallen victim to a situationship before; lord knows it has happened to the best of us. But knowing what you want (and being honest about it) + realizing that all attention isn’t necessarily good (or enough) attention will help you sidestep something that kinda sorta looks like a relationship if you squint real hard and suspend your common sense so you can actually be ready and open for what you want.

Need more help figuring it all out? Read Demetria Lucas D’Oyley’s Don’t Waste Your Pretty.

Have you ever been caught up in a situationship? How’d you figure it out?