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Why love, sex is no longer exclusive

 Why love, sex is no longer exclusive (Photo: iStock)

Naomy is a Millennial. She is also in a situationship (a romantic relationship that is, and remains, undefined).

She has been going to the gym for years, dedicated to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Little did she know that her workout routine would lead her to a connection that would both excite and confuse her.

It all began when she noticed a familiar face at the gym. A friendly smile, a shared nod of acknowledgment, and before they knew it, Naomy and her gym buddy became inseparable.

The two started grabbing post-workout smoothies, going on weekend hikes, and even attending fitness classes together.

Their bond grew stronger with each passing day, and over time, their friendship evolved into something more.

For two years, Naomy and her situationship partner acted like a committed couple. They showed up for each other, supported each other's goals, and even introduced each other to their close friends. They laughed, they cried, and they shared moments of vulnerability. Deep down, they both knew there was something special between them.

However, they have never crossed the threshold of saying those three little magic words, "I love you." Fear and uncertainty keep them from leaping into a full-fledged relationship.

They are worried about the potential risks and complications that might arise if they made their feelings known.

Naomy and her partner cherish the comfort and ease of their situationship. They may be scared of jeopardising what they have built and fear the potential heartbreak that could come with defining their relationship.

So, they continue to dance around their unspoken feelings, enjoying the benefits of their connection without officially committing to a label.

They hold hands, cuddle on the couch, and share intimate moments, but the weight of unexpressed emotions looms over them.

Deep inside, they wonder if their feelings are mutual, if they both long for something more, but the fear of rejection or the possibility of changing the dynamic prevents them from taking that leap.

And so, Naomy and her partner continue their situationship, unsure of what the future holds. They enjoy the moments they share, relishing in the connection and intimacy they have built. The unspoken 'love' hangs in the air, silently acknowledged but never verbalised.

Back in the day, committed relationships were like a marathon. Baby Boomers and Gen Xers (Generation X) would tie themselves to their partners, pledging everlasting exclusivity.

It was all about building a life together, complete with white picket fences and 2.5 children. Marriage was the grand finale, the ultimate seal of commitment.

However, Gen Zers (Generation Z) are changing the script. They are all about embracing flexibility and independence.

Welcome to the world of Gen Z. The generation that is sitting comfortably in the grey area and has embraced situationships with open arms. These masters situationships know the delicate dance of intimacy and independence a little too well.

A situationship can be defined as two individuals embarking on a journey together without a clearly defined destination. Based mostly on physical attraction, this vast ocean of possibilities does not care for traditions, labels, and commitments.

Values that we have held dear to our hearts for generations before us have been tossed aside as they opt to just coast through whatever it is they feel at the moment and wherever it may lead.

The rules are fluid and the boundaries are adaptable. If you want to master the situationship like a Gen Z pro there are important unspoken rules to follow.

Commitment comes with a serving of personal growth and self-discovery. Forget the white picket fences - Gen Zers prefer to build their unique paths and redefine commitment to suit their individual needs. It is like a choose-your-own-adventure book, with a different ending for everyone.

Back then, casual sex was treated like a forbidden fruit. Baby Boomers (people born from 1946 to 1964) and Gen Xers had to navigate a minefield of societal judgment and wagging fingers.

Women were labelled all kinds of derogatory names for engaging in casual sex. Pregnancy outside of marriage was taboo, the children born from this were called bastards and single mothers were seen as the last pick.

Purity until marriage was considered the standard and engaging in casual sex was like being a secret agent on a mission, one was always wary of being caught and branded as socially unacceptable.

Fast forward to Generation Z, and they have become sexual superheroes! They have grown up in the era of sexual liberation, they do not associate sex with shame, and options for casual partners are readily available.

Dating apps have transformed the game, making casual encounters as easy as ordering pizza. Gen Zers embrace personal pleasure and exploration, unapologetically enjoying their version of a sexual buffet.

In the past, intimate relationships were like a cosy blanket of emotional connection and trust. Baby Boomers and Gen Xers sought lifelong partners who would be their emotional support and share their vulnerability. This partnership was about building a life together, with joint bank accounts and Sunday family dinners. Boundaries were clearly defined within the traditional relationship box.

Fatuma, a Gen Z had been in a situationship for two years. Together with her friend, they lived separately in the same apartment complex, and their connection quickly grew into something more than just neighbours.

They spent countless nights talking, laughing, and exploring the city together. It was an unspoken agreement between them that they were more than friends but had not committed to a traditional relationship.

Their connection had grown strong over time, filled with shared adventures, deep conversations, and moments of intimacy. While they had not officially defined their relationship, they both felt a strong bond and had invested a significant amount of time and emotions into each other.

One day, Fatuma woke up to find a text message from her situationship. Her heart skipped a beat as she eagerly unlocked her phone to see what he had to say. However, as she read his message, her excitement turned into shock and disbelief.

The text read, "Hey Fatuma, I have been doing some thinking, and I think it is best if we end things between us. It has been great, but I think it is time for me to move on. I want to focus on myself. Take care." Fatuma stared at the message, unable to comprehend the sudden and cold end to their two-year connection.

Confused and hurt, she immediately tried calling him, but he did not answer. She sent him numerous texts, pouring her heart out and begging for an explanation, but there was no response. Days turned into weeks, and still, he remained silent, leaving Fatuma in emotional turmoil.

Unable to find closure, Fatuma decided to focus on self-healing. She surrounded herself with supportive friends and threw herself into work and activities that brought her joy. She gradually began to rebuild her life, though the pain of the unresolved matter lingered.

As time passed, Fatuma realised that she deserved better than a situation where someone could dismiss her feelings and leave her hanging without explanation. She channelled her energy into personal growth and finding her happiness, vowing to never let herself be treated that way again.

"I did not consciously choose to be in such a relationship, I just saw all my friends in some variation of the same and thought it would be fun. Looking back, I would not do it again. If I am going to date they have to be clear that they want me wholly," she says.

Generation Z looks at intimate relationships differently. To them, intimate relationships are still about emotional closeness, but they come with a twist. Gen Zers are all about personal growth and self-fulfillment

They communicate openly, explore non-traditional relationship structures like open relationships and polyamory, and value trust and emotional connection above all else. It is like they have turned intimacy into a high-wire act, balancing vulnerability and individuality with grace.

It is a generation that is rewriting the rulebook! They have embraced the wild world of romantic relationships, blurring the lines between casual dating and committed partnerships.

Labels take a backseat to open communication about desires, boundaries, and expectations. It is like they have turned relationship definitions into a modern piece of art - abstract and open to interpretation.

Their journey is all about the search for falling in love with themselves first. They are about individual happiness, personal growth, and finding authentic connections.

Companionship and stability are still on the checklist, but they also prioritise self-discovery and exploration. It is like they are on a journey to find love that is tailored to their unique desires and aspirations. They are rewriting the rules, flipping the script, and creating their adventure in the pursuit of love.



This is the foundation of any successful relationship. Discussing your expectations, boundaries, and desires eliminates confusion and ensures you are on the same page.


Take pride in your independence and value your individuality. Do not be afraid to stray from the thousands of years of carefully placed societal norms that other generations have had to live by.


In a world where millions of options are at your fingertip, everybody feels replaceable. Numerous Apps have given this generation an option that the Baby Boomers who typically wed for life did not have - options. They have mastered the art of online communication, making them more likely than your recently widowed grandfather to land a date from online apps. Letting your partner explore is an important aspect that one has to be aware of when entering into this agreement.


While situationships may not come with an official label, they still involve emotional intimacy. Express your feelings and expectations but be ready to expect rejection. Note that the other person could be showing the same commitment to multiple partners; however, transparency helps maintain emotional clarity and avoid misunderstandings. Respect boundaries.

Generation Z typically has a high sense of emotional intelligence and can comprehend the complexities of human emotion because they are the generation that has taught the world to speak up. However, in this agreement, they tend to revert to the prior generations that tell you to keep your feelings to yourself.

The boundaries themselves may be shaky and unstable but they exist, just as in any relationship, you must discuss what is comfortable and what is off-limits. Giving too much, or exposing your true feelings might be a breach of boundaries.


Situationships are fluid. They go with the tide. You can go from feeling like you are on top of the world, to feeling like you have the weight of the world on your shoulders and having no one to share it with, why? Well because you do not rely on each other that way. But the excitement of the situationship comes from the endless possibilities that come with it. Embrace the unpredictable nature of the journey and be open to adapting or pivoting.


Generation Z knows what it feels like to miss out on opportunities such as college graduation due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Because of that, they are eager to explore different connections without feeling tied down. Be daring, push the envelope without ripping it open completely, and create memories, but always remain true to your heart and your feelings enough to walk away.

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