I find that sometimes I get this odd feeling in my stomach. I’d describe it as a mix of apprehension, discontent, and pizza (there’s always pizza!).
There is a man involved. I like him a good amount. I am fairly certain that he likes me some amount. But we haven’t done that thing that needs to be done. I know that it can’t be put off any longer. I send that text, you know the one I am talking about.
“So what are we doing here, exactly?”
There are two ways this could go. We could mutually agree that we have something romantic and decide to call it a relationship (oh I can barely contain my glee!). Or he could say (read lie through his teeth) something awkward like “What do you mean?”
He did it, the second thing. He asked me the awkward, lying “What do you mean?”
I wanted to give him the benefit of the doubt. There was a plethora of things that I could mean (not really, but love makes you a little delusional, or perhaps it is the possibility of heartbreak that does).
I try again.
“I mean I am not sure what we are doing with each other. How would we *cringe* define *I’ve said it* our relation?”
Wait, I let it fall too hard on him, with the scary, big words and everything. So I continue speaking.
“We have been hanging out a lot. We speak to each other almost through the entire day. Neither of us have been trying to date other people. So I was wondering what this was..”
“How do you feel about this?”
HE was supposed to answer. I brought up the tough question, he had to give the tough answer. That’s how this worked. Did this man not know anything?!
Alright, so be it. I’d give the answers as well. At this point, you can’t blame me for feeling like one of those teachers who try hard to help a weak student pass a grade.
“I like you. Like, I have feelings for you,” I said.
“I guess I can’t say that I don’t have feelings for you either.”
Either? My sentence sounded nothing like his. Not to mention the double negative. What do double negatives even MEAN? Is it a way of saying I don’t agree with you but I also don’t disagree? Okay, that was it. I was going to have to push this fella’ out of his oh-so-comfortable no man’s land.
“So what do we DO?”
“Let’s see where this goes, I guess.”
I should have been asking myself why he needed to do so much guessing. This was a relationship we were talking about, not Cluedo. But I did that other thing. I jumped for joy and believed that this meant we would soon begin dating.
Nobody said the R word!
We were open about liking each other and being exclusive for the next few months, but he didn’t like saying that we were in a relationship.
“We are what we are, it’s best not to label it,” he decided. When he used the term ‘label’, the liberal in me caved. Yes, one mustn’t label. So that gibberish went on for a few months.
But I wanted to name it. No-man’s land made me uncomfortable. So one day I called it what it was. A relationship. And I, his girlfriend.
I am guessing there was some amount of earth shattering shock that passed through the man, but he quietly regained composure and resounded my views. Yes, we were in a relationship. Oh wow! Being proactive indeed does get you things (and people) that you want. I needed to try this out more in life!
I was a real dimwit
With hindsight, it’s hard to tell if I was right or a total moron. (I know, ‘with hindsight’ sentences are supposed to have epiphanies follow it and not confusions, but I am a confused human.) For various reasons, as relationships sometimes do, ours came to an end.
From the beginning of this article to this point, we were together for eight months before we decided that it would be best we broke up. That was when he said it.
“I didn’t even want to get into this relationship. I knew it wouldn’t end well. But you forced me to name it.”
What?! Was he serious? Yes, he was.
There was another odd feeling in my stomach now. Shame, guilt, and if I were to be honest, pizza.
I didn’t mean to force him into a relationship. I wouldn’t even say that I cajoled him into it. I did the only thing I knew how to. I said the truth, called it what it was. Except, I realized, the spectrum of ‘what it is’ has splayed wide open and revealed a hundred other options. I still felt comfortable with black and white relationships, but there were people out there who preferred an egg-shell tinted exclusive romantic interest who wasn’t their girlfriend. Yeah, I know, how silly!
I can’t say that I didn’t find the entire episode absolutely tiresome.