When the love of her life shows up with a girlfriend, Tia decides it’s time to put herself out there.
Expectations of dating apps are low, so it’s a surprise when she instantly connects with handsome photographer Nate. He’s everything she’s looking for; he makes her feel safe, seen, and desired.
Tia assumes they’re on the same page – the only catch? They’re yet to have The Talk.
In a generation that’s normalised competing over who cares the least, can Tia overcome her fears and lay her cards on the table, in the pursuit of something real?
Merky Books have published their first ever rom-com this summer.
And gosh, did I have a time reading it.
I laughed. I shouted.
I had to close the book at certain points and sit there like Kaavia Wade and really just deep how triggered I was.
Set in South-East London, we’re introduced to Tia, who’s waiting for the love of her life to return home from his time abroad. She’s sure that something will develop between them after constant texting and unspoken flirting ‘thing’ they’ve had for each other for years.
That is until he walks in with a girlfriend.
Heartbroken, Tia signs up to a dating app and soon meets Nate. Things are going well until the first red flag appears and suddenly, it looks like they might need to have ‘The Talk’.
This book made me laugh because if this is not the most accurate representation of Black British dating culture…I’m not sure what is.
It is, unequivocally, a mess.
This book really showcases how everybody is scared to commit and just how accessible everybody has become because of social media.
I discuss with my friends what the issue is with dating right now…pretty much every other week. And truthfully, I think there’s a multitude of reasons that I will not bore you with. However, I do think in this book you really delve into the lack of intentionality – not on Tia’s part.
And a fear of really putting your feelings on the line.
If you’re not reading this book and relating to Tia’s dating life in some kind of aspect, then you’re winning at life and clearly meeting all the right men.
I was flat-out cracking up on the train when she described her internet dating experience and even the way she talks about her parents.
“To her, that was the scariest thing about whatever they were: the lack of labels and expectations meant that this person to whom she’s opened to… could just vanish without owing her a damn thing.”
Meeting someone and baring your soul to them, letting your guard down and making all these plans and promises for them to disappear months later…is truthfully so terrifying. Vulnerability is meant to be beautiful.
And when you find someone who opens up to you too…it can be.
Love is one of the most sought out emotions in society. bell hooks really delves into detail in her book ‘All About Love‘. It’s natural to desire companionship and an emotional connection with someone.
So you can only wonder why it’s so damn difficult to connect with someone if everyone is searching for the same thing?
The Situationship will undoubtedly show you why. If anything it just reveals how ridiculous it is.
Also, it’s always so baffling to me when those toxic men are confused when you finally decide to exit a situation. Like sir, you brought me to this point? This is on YOU?
And to all those intentional men…we adore you. Keep doing God’s work xx
“You’ll be less scared of life’s unpredictability when you know you won’t be facing it alone.”
Realistically, I think this fear of the Talk and unwillingness to be vulnerable and open with the person you’re dating is something we all need to sit down and dissect. Loving openly is beautiful. Humans are emotional creatures and to deny yourself the chance to be so open feels wrong. If anything, it’s the most brave thing you can do.
I realised that showing love despite fear is incredibly courageous. It’s something I’m trying to practise not just romantically but platonically too.
I saw this tweet the other day and I think it perfectly encapsulates my thoughts:
Aside from the romance, there’s also a storyline about Black hair and workplace discrimination running adjacent to it. Tia works as a journalist and is constantly having to deal with micro-aggressions that will make you want to scream.
Realistically, we have all been Tia or know a Tia. We’ve all, at some point, witnessed or experienced micro-aggressions and had to fight for our voices to be heard.
Which is why I loved how the author ended this book. It felt like the best decision for Tia.
The pop culture references only add to the relatability of the book and it is something to bare in mind. Some people hate being reminded of real life in books – trust me, I hear it. I only like it when it’s done well or fits the plot.
This was one of those times.
You can tell every reference was thought out and felt very natural to the storyline.
All in all, The Situationship is so incredibly relatable that you’ll have so much fun reading it. I can’t say you won’t be triggered at certain points because if you’re a Black woman living in London…you definitely will be.
But you’ll also find comfort in knowing this experience is universal and we’re all going through it.