The Real Problem Between Sex, Love, And The ‘Almost’ Relationship

Flickr / Chris Redman
Flickr / Chris Redman

I both love and hate so many aspects that are such a huge part of this generation. For example, I love that technology makes it easier than ever for us to connect, but it also makes it harder than ever to make meaningful connections, particularly face to face. One gripe I have that seems to be such an integrated part of this generation is the problem of the “Almost Relationship.” Let me explain what I mean by this.

I’ve known some beautiful, intelligent, amazing women in my life, and many of them have been faced with this issue. Let’s see if this applies to you. You meet a guy, you’re intrigued by him. You like him a lot. He isn’t easy to deal with, but it seems worth it to you. Perhaps you have baggage or issues of your own that you’re wanting to work through while you’re with him, you helping him with his issues and vice versa. You spend a lot of time together, maybe he even introduces you to his friends, which you take to be a great sign. You text back and forth all the time, and he is affectionate with you, calling you endearing names. You get to the stage where you want to ask what this is, what you’re both doing with each other.

Is it a relationship? You don’t quite know the answer. You’ve had sex, been intimate, shared meals. Maybe you bring up the question to him, or maybe he brings it up himself. Either way, what he tells you is that he doesn’t want a relationship. This confuses you. Maybe you think, “But it was going so well!” and you wonder how he could come to this conclusion after all the time you’ve spent together. You also feel like you’re getting mixed signals. After all, if going out on dates, taking care of each other and having sex isn’t a relationship, then what is?

Maybe you’ll ask him at this point what he does want, and why he doesn’t want a relationship. Maybe he gives you answers, maybe he doesn’t. Maybe you fight, you have misunderstandings. Maybe he tells you that you’re just friends, or friends with benefits, or that he’s so messed up that he couldn’t possibly have anything to offer anyone. You go through stages of being angry, then forgiving him. Then soothing him. Then trying to help him with his anxiety or his panic attacks, or his disconnect from his emotions, or help him get over his ex. You wonder to yourself, “If he doesn’t seem to be after other girls, why doesn’t he just admit he wants to be with me, or that we’re together?”

Because in his mind, you’re not. Because in his mind, he has all the power. Because in his mind, he’s getting something he wants, and he’s giving you something you want, even if you’re left unfulfilled. Because in his mind, what you are both doing with each other is “good enough” for now, particularly until he finds something else. Maybe his voice is sexy and drives you crazy when he leaves you voice mails at midnight, asking you to come over. Maybe he makes you laugh. There could be a thousand reasons why you continue to devote so much time to him, even though he says he doesn’t want a relationship, or tells you directly that he doesn’t want to be with you. Maybe you think you can change him, or change his mind.

I love that in this day and age women can be more free with their bodies sexually, admitting that they need a physical connection with someone, that they enjoy that type of intimacy. Unfortunately, I think this still leaves most women so much more vulnerable than men in this scenario and more likely to get attached after being intimate. We want to think sometimes that we can keep it casual, but how many times have you found yourself at an impasse trying to separate sex from love?

This is a huge downfall of the modern era. Women should be able to be as free as they like with their bodies, as long as they understand that sometimes they will grow attached, and have to be prepared for the possibility that the men they want to be with won’t want to be with them. If you are one of these women, just know that not everything is meant to work out or line up. Fall for the person who says, “Yes. I want you. I want to be with you” and is willing to prove it. TC mark

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