Love Labor's Lost

volumes of mis-adventures

The “Almost” Relationship

Moving on from what was, finally realizing that you are the same person you were before someone smashed your precious heart and soul into little pieces, may be hard, but we all do it. We all get back on that proverbial horse and gallop through the fields into the sunset with the wind in our hair and realize, life is quite dandy and has so much to offer (while secretly poking pins in the voodoo doll of the above mentioned individual). We may be hurt, we may be bitter, but the time comes when you can smile and laugh about it all, and then you meet someone new and there are new things to look forward to all over again.

Have you ever noticed how it’s always in the most unlikely of places that we meet interesting people, and unlikely places always bring forward the most rewarding experiences? Since my last dating experience, I haven’t really met anyone new, it was only a month ago, and school has been time-consuming, to say the very least, so on this lovely November afternoon, let’s take a trip back to an earlier dating time, which has given me more perspective on what Silly Putty (see douchebag post) did, and, in reality, what I have done as well.

I have had two “almost” relationships. Let me elaborate. An almost relationship, seems pretty self-explanatory, but for those of you who are unsure, it’s when you’ve gone on a few dates (no less than 3) and you get to a point where you begin to ask questions (in your head or otherwise), and then you want to ask questions of the one you are currently seeing; what’s happening? Are we exclusive? Are we dating? Are we hanging out? What’s the dealio yo!? A girl can drive herself insane with the monotony of these cycling and never-ending contemplations. So, eventually your mind feels bloated and you reach a verge and you want to have “the talk.” Basically meaning: let’s completely over-analyze the last few dates and figure out if I want to spend any more of my valuable time seeing you in a romantic setting. I have had two of these situations: one conversation on AIM, and one text conversation (clearly, I’m anti-confrontation, and anti-let’s-do-this-in-person-and-see-how-awkward-of-a-situation-we-can-make-this). Needless to say, the reason it’s an “almost,” and not an actual relationship, is because those conversations never end in: “I would really like to waste more of my precious time with you.”

I’d like to share my first experience with an “almost” relationship, let’s call him Marty. I met Marty at a social, pajama themed if I recall, and truth be told, and in retrospect, it seems silly to wear your PJs in public and think it will actually attract someone. Nevertheless, pigtails in hair, and flannel panted, I went to this social expecting to be there for an hour at the very most. Instead, I stayed the entire evening. Looking around at the empty bar, completely enjoying Marty’s company, and yet extremely bewildered by how it got so late, I frantically told Marty it was a pleasure meeting him, but I had a paper due in the morning that I hadn’t finished yet (surprise, surprise) and I had to be going. He quickly asked for my number, and there began the adventure leading up to my first “almost” relationship. That was the first month I went over my texting limit, the first time I made out with a guy on a second date, the first time I went on a third date, and the first time I realized I didn’t want to be in a relationship.

I wouldn’t say that Marty was overwhelming, or suffocating, or even uninteresting, because actually he was the opposite of all these things, but after a date that I suavely maneuvered from dinner to lunch, and after a thanksgiving break of ignoring phone calls, I realized, that Marty wanted a relationship, and I only wanted a friendship, his attention, and maybe a piece of his music collection, because this boy new his underground hip-hop like no one I had ever met.

He initiated “the talk,” I mean he would have had to because, after all, I was dodging him like bullets in an old western film. He IMed me one fine evening, and we started talking about finals, the next semester, music, the break we had just returned from, and then he asked, quite frankly, “Are we exclusive?” Exclusive? I thought for a second. That word, in and of itself, is quite heavy. I was a senior in college and I had never been exclusive with anything. I didn’t exclusively like one sort of music, drink, pizza topping, or subject. The concept of being exclusive, weighted with the constraints and chains of not doing a multitude of things, and in this context, what could be a serious relationship—an all encompassing forever type of situation, was in fact overwhelming, and way beyond my ability to process. As a senior in college, I had more pressing things to think about like: my future, a newly acquired major, and a yet to be decided career path. An exclusivity byline from a guy I had met just a few weeks prior, seemed ridiculous. Unsurprisingly, I told him I didn’t really want that or see any viable reason for it, and that was it, he never texted me again, blocked me on IM, and hasn’t spoken to me since (which is a shame, because I really want to ask him about the hip-hop coming out of Minneapolis these days).

I think what we can all come away with from this fairly common situation is that we have to do what we know is right for us, despite what it might mean for anyone else. We need to be selfish in our lives, because we are the only ones that know, certainly, our best interests. No one wants to be a bitch, asshole, douchebag, or any other profane adjective, but it happens, and in the end we have to live our lives. It’s better to rip the band-aid off at the beginning, than decide to sign the exclusivity clause and then shoot a person through the heart. Always be straight forward even when it pains you, because if there is anything I learned, it’s that I was wrong to avoid Marty, and I should have told him before Thanksgiving break that I just wanted to be friends, because maybe then I would have had a shot of being and having one.

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