We’ve all seen the articles, and most of them are pretty accurate. You know, the “Why We Don’t Break Up Because We Were Never Together” type of things. I’m guilty of it, myself. I “dated” a man exclusively for two years but I was never his “girlfriend,” therefore he is not my ex and therefore I wasn’t able to really grieve the loss of that relationship because it “wasn’t a relationship,” but come on, ladies and gents, it was.
I’m also guilty of putting someone else in that same position. I was exclusively seeing someone for months, he would sleep at my house most nights out of the week, we talked every day, had consistent sex and participated in other intimate activities but I was too scared of the ultimate commitment I thought “girlfriend” was tied to.
So, whenever we spoke of it, I insisted I would not be his girlfriend. This way, when I left I had the clear conscience of leaving with no strings attached because: we were never dating. We were, though, and what I did was take the easy way out.
That all being said, my real confusion is what just happened to me last night. It makes me wonder where we draw the lines of intimacy now, and what in God’s name brought us to this point? Let me set the scene:
I have been sleeping with a man for a few months now on and off. We have previously “dated” but that’s not really of issue. (Or is it? I don’t know because I have no idea what is going on with the rules nowadays!) So last night we hung out sober, and on our own, for more than just a booty call, for the first time in a very long time.
The night consisted of talking, watching TV, cuddling, kissing, and eventually sex, leading to even more cuddling, deeper conversation and I ended up staying the night. All this was comfortable and fine and I don’t think either of us woke up feeling like “Oh jeez we just crossed a line somewhere in there and have entered new territory.” Nope. Totally comfortable.
Where the discomfort came was when he walked me to the door in the morning and we both had that awkward second of “are we kissing goodbye?” I decided in a split second that no, we were not, and said goodbye and walked out. Why did I decide this? Because somewhere along the line I have been lead to believe that out of all the things that had just transpired between us, kissing goodbye is what would push it over the line of friendly hook up to me expressing that I wanted more or thought it was more than it was and that is apparently unacceptable.
That alone is strange to me but another thought occurred to me as well; what if I did want more or what if I did think it was more? When did it become unacceptable to ask for what we want? Why is it better for me to settle for something halfway instead of at least asking for what I really want or making the first move for it. Then, in terms of if I thought it was more already- what is wrong with acting on that feeling if it’s going to lead to a conversation about the expectations, feelings, and boundaries of both parties?
When and why did it become the norm to hide all feelings, extinguish all want and need for more than just a hook up, and deny any need to discuss the situation? I think the why is more important than the when.