Transitional relationships occur when a person has left what was a serious relationship and is not immediately looking for that someone special. But in the meantime, if they happen upon someone they can get along with reasonably well, and can basically tolerate, then they will stay with them until someone better comes along. Thus, the relationship is a transitional relationship and "will do" until they find someone else they want to have a special relationship with.
Why would someone be willing to settle for "just" someone when they know there is no hope of the relationship ever progressing past a certain point? It's simple … they do not want to be alone.
Why would a transitional relationship be appealing to anyone? Because a person might have been involved in a long-term relationship, or one that was of a shorter duration but very serious, only to see it end. This particular person wants to be in another serious relationship at some stage, but in the meantime, they certainly do not want to rush into anything. This "interim" relationship solves the problem for them.
How do you know if you are in a transitional relationship (even if the obvious signs are not enough proof)? Here are a few guidelines to show if you are in a transitional relationship. If any of these apply, you're in one:
1. You're in it just for the intimacy. There is nothing of substance in the relationship. You just like being with them for fun stuff and then at the end of the "date" you are really done with them until the next rendezvous. There are no emotional ties whatsoever.
2. It involves someone you already knew. This could be a friend, a close friend, or even someone you have had a previous relationship with. Again, you are only interested in what you can get out of this particular relationship when you are around them. You have absolutely no desire to follow this through for any significant period of time.
3. The person you are with now … is just like you. They are also only looking for a transitional relationship. It makes perfect sense to both of you really, since now each of you knows exactly what they can expect out of the relationship, well in advance; then no one has to get hurt.
4. This person is not really someone you would be proud to introduce to your family or any of your friends. That's why the details about the relationship, and often, even the existence of the relationship itself, are kept secret to most. Neither one of you want the attention: especially from family members and close friends.