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6 Common Relationship Traps To Avoid

February 22, 2023 admin
What is a relationship trap?

Modern dating  can feel like a minefield at times. The rules are changing faster than you can keep up, not to mention the dating landscape. Online dating, dating apps, hook ups, breakups, covid dating, masks on masks off, video chats, coffee dates, ONS, FWB, catfishing, scams and the list go on.  You’ve asked yourself “why is it so hard, what happened to good, old-fashioned romance?” 

Dating in 2023 is more confusing than ever and in an attempt to keep up you may find yourself falling into a relationship trap that lasts for years and ruin your chances of real love.


6 dating/relationship traps to avoid in 2023
  1. Textationship; you’re in a penpal relationship
  2. Situationship; seeing someone but not defining the relationship, keeping options open
  3. Singleship; in a relationship with independence
  4. Hopeful entanglement; you are seeing someone who is in a relationship with someone else
  5. Convalescenship; you are staying in a relationship because its too hard to leave
  6. Xenolationship: you are stuck somewhere inbetween the friendzone and first base. The other person is giving you all the positive signals but not taking things to the next level

In an attempt to keep up with dating in 2023 you may find your self being more vulnerable to falling into a relationship trap that’s hard to get out of. Spotting the early warning signs of an unhealthy relationship can be daunting as you are caught up in the hope and promise of what could be.  Today I’ll go over the 6 hidden relationship traps and big pitfalls to avoid, such as textationships, situationships, singleships, romantic entanglements, xenolationships and convalencenships .




If you thought people were already hooked to their phones, wait until you hear about textationships…

A textationship is essentially a phone-based relationship…

True, most relationships currently begin online, but a textationship is fundamentally different because the relationship is unlikely to progress beyond the texting phase. That means you could waste years intoxicated by a fantasy that will never come true and miss out on your real-life fairytale.

So, how do you distinguish between the beginning of something amazing and the feared textationship?



5 Telltale sign you’re in a Textationship


  • Conversations seem to be light on substance yet heavy on sex

Textationships, like social media, entice you with small doses of dopamine. That something in the scenario is compelling enough to keep continuing, which is usually the imagination of what might be on the other side. As with most fantasies, the lust you describe exists only in your head, which explains why there has been so little action and so much talk about having sex.



  • They never make plans with you

Meeting in real life kills the fantasy, therefore a lack of planning suggests that they are content in their dream world. 



  • They rarely ever pick up the phone to talk

Do you know how frustrating it is to try calling someone who was just online 5 minutes ago and get no response? Unfortunately, some people just engage in textationsips for the sake of validation, which means they’d prefer to stick to a simple “good night” text than deal with someone over the phone.



  • They tell you very little about friends and family

This should serve as a huge warning sign. Someone who doesn’t talk about themselves, their loved ones, and their social circle isn’t being entirely honest with you. This is usually because they don’t want to emotionally invest into a real relationship, and the convenience of a textationship satisfies all of their needs.



  • They speak of the future that never happens.

Conversations are devoid of content. They seem content to live in the now and have no urge to pursue things further. When you ask them what they want they talk about a future with you in it but it never happens. This may suit certain people, but if you’re searching for something more and the texting goes on and on without proper dates this is a major red flag.

Don’t get me wrong, textationships serve a purpose for some people, but it’s no secret that a genuine connection requires a real life relationship.  It is possible to develop real feelings for someone you have never met and you can end up after months or years with nothing to show for it. 



Three easy ways to get out of a textationship

💡Have a cut off time for a first meeting

💡Don’t spend more time texting than you do talking

💡Don’t accept false promises without actions.




To put it simply, a situationship is that space between a committed relationship and something that is more than a friends with benefits. Which as you know can be INCREDIBLY confusing and often leaves you wondering things like:

  • Where do I stand?
  • What are we? 
  • What are their intentions?

So what draws people into a situationship?

As a society our views on relationships have changed. More people are ditching age-old traditions like marriage, and many of them are eager to explore relationships in a less structured manner. Rather than falling to the pressures of commitments, people have become more focused on self fulfillment.



7 indicators of a situationship
  • You are more than friends with benefits

When you are together everything is great but when you aren’t your are left wondering when you’ll hear from them and when you’ll see them again.



  • They constantly tell you they don’t want a relationship

They maintain from the beginning they don’t want a relationship and find ways to remind you even if you haven’t asked.  


  • Plans are rarely made or are made at the last minute.

You don’t make plans in advance and they won’t commit to saying yes to an invitation in advance. Catching up is a last minute arrangement but it is often not only or sex.


  • They avoid labels and conversation about where you stand

There is no category you fall into and no willingness to discuss if you are “going anywhere” you are left in the dark. You have no idea if they are seeing other people or what the boundaries are.


  • Disconnection on an emotional level

They are not someone you can rely on if you are having a bad day. There is no emotional connection or deeper communication.


  • Things are not progressing

Nothing has changed since when you first met, the relationship has not evolved and you don’t feel like you know them very well. They don’t want to get to know your friends or family and keep you separate from theirs.


  • You don’t discuss the future.

They don’t talk about what they want in the future and you have no idea if they ever want something more serious down the track. Things start to feel onesided which causes you to feel anxious.

As you can see, finding your feet in the world of situationships is like snorkelling in a swamp. You never know where you are or where you’re going but that doesn’t have to be a bad thing…

If you want to play the field and evaluate your possibilities, it is best not to make any commitments. In fact, since the pandemic, more and more people are dabbling with situationships. Furthermore, Hinge discovered that there are 12,000 users (34%) engaged in situationships. 

However, if you want a proper relationship, you will have to take the plunge at some point.

Although situationships seem confusing at least they provide some sort of connection whereas this next pitfall is the easiest way to isolate yourself from the world of love…




Unlike the previous traps, this one is entirely focused on you. There is no one else to blame, and there is no room for speculation…

We all know a bachelor who won’t settle down

Or a friend that loves her career more than ANYTHING!
AND there is nothing wrong with that!!

Although such choices are uncommon, they are not intrinsically wrong. The issue is that even with the major promotions, wild vacations, and insane adventures, at some stage it can start to feel that something is missing…

Being independent and choosing to be single for a period of time is a healthy way to discover who you are and what you want. 

The truth is, it all boils down to balance, just like everything else in life. Sure, you should pursue your aspirations and desires, but at the end of the day, we are built to love, and the longer you are in a relationship solely with yourself as the only key player the less likely you are to let someone else in.

How you live your life is completely up to you however a singleship can only sail so far before it needs a crew member to share the journey with. Human connection and relationships have long been associated to quality of life and life expectancy.

Although, it does seem a lot easier than dealing with the headache of the following drama packed pitfall…



Romatic Entanglements

No, I’m not talking about Jada Smith… Specifically…

However, if she immediately comes to mind, you’re on the correct track as romantic entanglements are all about love triangles and affairs.

Other than the obvious implications of a romantic entanglement, they can be detrimental to your mental health. 

In fact, confusion, guilt, division of love, constant pressure, and loneliness are common emotional responses to being in an entanglement. All of these are understandable responses. 

So, if you’re wondering what to do if you’re currently in an entanglement, keep the following recommendations in mind…


How to solve an entanglement in 3 simple steps
  • Analyse where you fall in the entanglement.

Ultimately, there are  two types of romantic entanglements: the “Competitive” and the “Love Dilemma.” There are two people in a competitive love triangle, and they are both trying to win the third person’s undivided attention. Whereas, one’s feelings are torn between two suitors in a love dilemma.

Someone’s imagination can create a love dilemma if they fall in love with someone they’ve never met or romanticise an ex-lover from their past.

It’s possible you didn’t sign up for the part you play in the competitive love triangle. Although you may feel helpless in the face of your partner’s adultery, your decision to remain in the relationship represents a conscious decision to play the victim. Being truthful to oneself in this regard is crucial.



  • Entering into an affair

Falling for someone who is already in a relationship or having a long term affair behind your partners back never ends well. The relationship starts with broken trust and that carries on through the entire relationship.

You can waste years of your life accepting the crumbs from a an affair partner. They go home to their house and family while you are left alone with your dog. Birthday, Christmas and special events are never yours to enjoy and the promise of “soon we will be together” keeps you hanging in for something that may or may not happen.

Even if your affair manifest into something more and they leave their partner to be with you it’s unlikely you’ll be able to enjoy the new level of relationship as they deal with guilt, shame and the backlash of exposing the affair.

The longterm success of an affair relationship is a rocky road, trusting someone who betrayed their partner their partner to be with you carries forward trust issues. 



  • Examine the role of the entanglement in your life 

Even if the purpose of the connection you chose is not beneficial, it still serves a purpose in your life. Knowing your motivations for taking part is essential. Ask yourself if it’s helping or hindering your ability to focus on other relationships and life choices. You may benefit from talking things through with a trained therapist if you’re having trouble seeing how being in a love triangle fits in with your needs emotionally.

Realistically, romantic entanglements rarely end well for all three players. Whatever position you play in the triangle, part of your needs will always be overlooked. Some people, for instance, have carried on an extramarital romance with a married partner for as long as ten years, during which time they missed out on having children…

In addition, the long-term impact on everyone’s mental health must be considered.



What are the long-term effects of a romantic entanglement?

Not only can the shock alone trigger severe PTSD but it can trigger something just as dangerous that Dr Ortman calls Post-Infidelity Stress Disorder (PISD)

Sadly, that is just the tip of the iceberg and as well as increased depression and anxiety, romantic entanglements can have damaging effects on the brain…

For example, more oxytocin and dopamine are produced by the brain when we’re in love, and cheating can disrupt the circuits that control their release resulting in hormonal imbalances. 

It should come as no surprise that a relationship built on lies is destined to cause pain. However, you wouldn’t believe the amount of people that are caught up in some form of romantic entanglement. 

Although the previous dating traps appeared to be completely impractical, our latest pitiful is the polar opposite, but that doesn’t mean it’s healthy…



Practical Partnerships or Convalecenships

So, what is a convalecenship?

In a nutshell, a convalecenship is a practical relationship where you’re simply sticking around for other reasons than love. It could be the  security it provides, whether that’s psychological, finacial or even physical. It could be for family or parenting reasons or religious beliefs. Whether many people care to admit it or not, the vast majority of people have stayed in a relationship for longer than we should have simply because it was easier than leaving.

Arguably, relationships built on love also provide the same security and convenience so how can you differentiate between the two?

Ultimately, couples in love genuinely look forward to spending time with each other whereas, couples who are only together for practical reasons often have completely separate lifestyles, making any time they do spend together miserable for both partners. Sadly, when they’re separated, they feel relieved and don’t give each other much (if any) thought…

Love, however, is tricky and its manifestations take many forms. So, to avoid any ambiguity, I have compiled a set of the most blatant red flags.


6 red flags the indicate a practical partnership
  • Your lives are essentially separate.

Yes, you share a kitchen, a bathroom, and a bed… Unfortunately, neither of those things is where your interests truly lay. Even though it hurts, you know the spark has gone out and your shared future goals have diverged.



  • You feel unfulfilled

Some of your needs just aren’t being addressed, whether sexual or emotional. Even after discussing the issue with your lover, you still feel unfulfilled.



  • They don’t listen to you

Have you ever felt like you were speaking to a brick wall? Or do you think their smiling and nodding is an attempt to keep you quiet? The truth is that once they stop paying attention to what you’re saying, things don’t seem promising.



  • Everythings hot and cold 

On the good days, you’re reminded of why you two came together; on the bad days, you begin to doubt your initial impressions. You’re clearly only together for convenience, as evidenced by the fact that you probably had a few breaks and realised the grass is not always greener. The thought of going back into dating in 2023 (link to blog) is too overwhelming



  •  You are putting others needs before your own

You feel guilty for ending the relationship as your decision doesn’t just affect you. Having children or a sick partner can lead to feelings of guilt and shame so staying for others feels more important than putting your own needs first.



  • There is a noticeable lack of enthusiasm

Whether you’re missing that emotional connection or passion, a relationship without romantic enthusiasm is destined for darkness. You 

Fortunately, all hope is not lost, and if both of you are willing to work, the relationship can be resurrected. Contrary to popular belief, many couples are content with a practical partnership, so if that’s what you both want, go for it! 

At the end of the day, like everything else in relationships, it all comes down to honesty and communication.




Not to be confused with a situationship, the friendzone or a friends with benefits. This relationship can be the most confusing of them all. (Xeno meaning strange, different, foreign) You have no clue what the “Two” of you are but it feels like it could be breaking into something super special or maybe not.

Commonly this happens when you have been crushing out on someone who suddenly seems to be interested. Often someone out of your league or who isn’t your normal type.



5 signs of a Xeno-ationshi
  1. They spend time with you and make forward plans as if you were in a relationship
  2. You know all about their family and friends who all seem to know about you
  3. They are affectionate towards you and flirt openly with you, although no real intimacy has
      taken place. 
  4. You pick up vibes that they are interested but when you try to arrange something romantic they suddenly become uncomfortable and suggest an alternative arrangement.
  5. Neither of you talk about dating other people but they act jealous if you show an interest in anyone else and or you feel jealous when someone is paying them attention.
  6. They say things like “you know how I feel about you” without ever telling you how they feel. If you try to bring up the subject they quickly find a way to avoid it.
  7. You both do little things for each other and with each other to show you care and also fight like a married couple

The only way out of xenolationship is confront the other person with a confession of your feelings. Developing ongoing feelings and creating a fantasy around a person who doesn’t reciprocate your feelings has the exact same affect as any heartbreak. The longer you stay in a xenolationship the harder it is break from and the deeper your feelings become.


To conclude…

Finally, relationships come in a variety of shapes and sizes, each with its own set of challenges and rewards. It’s critical to understand what you want and need from a relationship, whether you’re in a Textationship, Situationship, Singleship, romantic entanglement or practical partnership. 

Understanding your own needs and boundaries is essential for cultivating healthy and fulfilling relationships. It’s also critical to communicate openly and honestly with your partner or potential partner, as well as to respect their needs and boundaries. 

By understanding the various types of relationships and what they entail, you can approach them with greater intention and find the type of connection that works best for you and your dating personality. Keep in mind that every relationship is unique, and what works for one person may not work for another. 

The most important thing is to find a relationship that brings you joy and fulfilment, and to stay true to yourself throughout the process.



Louanne Ward  x


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