Together but not Together

I was just sitting down to lunch with my friend T when I get a text from my mom.

“Do you want to go see ‘Wicked‘ in October?” she asked.

To which I of course emphatically replied “YES!!!”

Of course I want to see “Wicked”–this is par the course for sure.

My mom then replies “OK. Do you think your friend will want to come?”

…and here is where I’d like to pause.

Judge me if you must: I have a new friend. Well, not a friend friend. A friend. You know what I’m talking about.

And my mom…I guess she knows now not to leave me to my own doings with guys and friends, because she has been trying her best to include him in things even though we have not been friends long enough for him to be included.

So I reply “I don’t really think that’s his thing. I’ll see if one of my girlfriends wants to go.”

So I told my friend T about the show and asked her if she wanted to go and she replied “You might have a boyfriend by then, girl.”

To which I replied, “…I don’t really think that’s what he and I are doing.”

“Even if you do everything else like a couple?!” she exclaimed.

“Yep,” I said. “I like this how it is. Why change it?”

“Until he starts to date someone else,” she said.

And I shrugged. Because if he wants to date someone else, what will a title do about that?

Maybe my perspective on relationships is a little skewed, but ever since I was a prepubescent girl, I have always wanted to be together but not together with someone.

In fact, that’s how I fell in love with my first love. We would talk on the phone every night. We went on a couple dates. He would have girlfriends. I would have boyfriends. But we both knew what it was between us.

I have a hard time with “shoulds,” and that’s what a title-bearing relationship is to me: an ass bag of shoulds. It’s the difference between renting a car and owning a car. Of course you love your rental–what’s not to love? I get to ride it till the wheels fall off, I get to stunt–get the make and model and color I want (and I did, bt-dubbs), and I get to take it back immediately if it starts acting up. Not. My. Responsibility.

So if I get the floors vacuumed, that’s my choice. If I choose to lovingly hand wash that bad boy and turtle wax it, that’s my choice. If I decide to take it for a tune up or an oil change, that’s my choice. Those are my choices that I make because I’m enjoying the ride and I want to keep stunting.

But they are not my obligations.

I told my friend T, “You know the minute he asks me to be his girlfriend I’m going to get mad at him, like ‘Remember 3 days ago when I texted you and you didn’t reply for four hours?? I’m your girlfriend now and I have the right to demand what the hell were you doing!!!'”

And we cracked up because it’s true.

Right now, he and I have no reason to fight about anything because we have no expectations of each other. Any nice thing he does for me is a treat. And if he doesn’t [insert random trivial thing that will end up being a relationship landmine], that’s fine too. Because I wasn’t even thinking about it. Because I don’t expect anything from him.

Right now, it’s working because it’s working. Neither of us has any sort of end line in site that we’re trying to pull the other one toward. He and I are just a steady stroll on the beach, kicking through the water, enjoying the breeze and the salt and the spray.


3 responses to “Together but not Together

  1. I think that is a great plan. If you just allow yourself to just be casual, then you have no reason to fight about things because there are no expectations and it is just easier not to have to wonder about things.

  2. thanks! i like it right now…I was thinking that on the other hand though, the thing about rental cars is that no matter how much you like the car you know you have to eventually return it. so that’s a thing you accept in these types of situations as well

  3. When my lifetime love came along, it wasn’t long before I knew it. I wondered then how I had been settling for facsimile relationships without realizing that nonbe of them was the real thing.
    This is not to disparage your current relationship or arrangement. If this is what you need and want right now, then that is how it should be.
    All I am saying is, if you meet someone who is right for you long term, it might be a different story. Until then, hey, do what is working for you!

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