I’ve matured since the whole ‘I can be a one night stand’ person and evolved into a ‘I can be a friends with benefits’ person because I’m obviously still drunk from all the girl’s nights out. It’s ok to reach this point if it has been a respectful amount of grieving time or the equivalent of 48 bottles of red wine. How glorious it feels to be carefree and adventurous with this micro step forward to ‘Friends With Benefits.’ It looks super fun. All the laughing, talking, booze and the sex. Of course its fun. Because this is a temporary fantasy world where everything is ok. Like Harry Potter 1-3. Then shit gets real.
Spoiler, it doesn’t end well. It never ends well. But you convince yourself every single time, each journey down the rabbit hole that it’s going to be fine. And then when it’s not fine (and it’s never fine) you pinkie swear never to do it again. Then we fast forward to what your future self is going to tell you 3 months down the track: “you are stupid and you caught feelings. You are a feelings person and you are stupid.”
My delusion to strike up a deal, an agreement of sorts with an attractive suitor always pans out the same way. This contract stipulates that you may text each other at ridiculous hours of the night to see what each other is doing. Soon you will be doing each other. It’s another sexcapades fantasy. The love child of Sex and the City and Mills and Boons. This agreement for the uncool, awkward ‘feelings’ girl is reduced to my 17 step program.
Meet attractive man through mutual friend/work/dating app
Have amazing night with attractive man
Talk about amazing night with attractive man with friends over coffee
Talk in graphic details of amazing night with friends over drinks
Text attractive man at dumb o’clock to come to your house
Repeat step 5 at least 3 more times
Text attractive man in the daylight
Lie to your friends about how detached you are to the relationship
Your friends know you are a liar and tell you not to text him anymore
Try to get rid of feelings with wine
Tell everyone that you are 100% single and TOTALLY FINE WITH IT
Go on tinder.
Enter crazy lady stalker zone
He stops writing back
There is a step before crazy lady stalker zone. Step 14.5: The Conversation. This is when you accept you have grown feelings and you need to define the relationship (in order to prevent step 15… look it’s really more of a flow chart). This conversation can only be brought up if you’ve shared at least 4 daytime activities together e.g. Looked at each other in the eyes stared into whilst vertical and clothed. Also, you’ve endured the month of the lies in which you tell yourself that you don’t need to define anything.
“I don’t want to be in a relationship yet anyway” – Lie.
“We are just seeing where it is going” – Lie. You know exactly where you want it to go.
“I’m happy with what we are doing” – Lie. Only your vagina is.
“I’m loving being single” – Lie. You’re day dreaming about the Hunter Valley.
I found that I was the one who always wanted this conversation whilst the other was hoping that it never got brought up so they can continue in non-definition land. Non definition land is a magical place where you hold hands under tables, kiss whilst no one is looking, go to work on 2 hours sleep getting butterflies everytime you picture all the things they did with their face to your lady parts the night before. Basically the conversations of non-definition land go like this
My ACTUAL conversations go like this:
A – Hey, what do you think this is?
B – What?
A- This, what we’re doing.
B- What do you think it is?
A- Well I like you.
B- I like you too.
A- Do you want to be like, exclusive?
I say exclusive because that’s an adult word that adults use in adult conversations. The subtext of me saying this is, lets be boyfriend/girlfriend. Actually asking someone if they want to be BF/GF feels like being in year 8 and asking someone out on MSN and then not talking to them at school the next day. I hope the word exclusive prompts them to suggest defining the relationship. I am stupid and wrong.
B- Well I’m not doing anything with anyone else.
A- Neither am I.
B- Do we need to define it then? We know what we are.
A-I guess not.
That clever arsehole.
Not only can I never bring up the conversation again without sounding clingy, intense and weird but now it’s more confusing than ever as to what the hell we’re doing. The next logical step is to convince myself that I’m happy with the outcome of the conversation.
But I’m not. I hate it. I hate it so much. I hate it so much I’m going to bang you again right now. I hate it so much I am going to leave straight away and not stay the night because I know you want to get a good night sleep for your important plans the next day. Hate it. But I’ll call you tomorrow. If anyone sees my dignity, could they return it?
After the first serious conversation of my non-relationship the future is now as Robert Frost describes it, two roads diverged in a yellow wood. The road less travelled by is a gooey and romantic road. You’d start staring at each other a lot more and picturing each other in not just naked settings. Like dinner in public places and ponder meeting each others families.
The other road is a weathered and cluttered Bondi-to-Coogee type road where the relationship will become a series of carefully constructed fizzle tactics to make it end. The desired outcome of the fizzle plan is that you will get sick of their fizzle bullshit and call it off first. This way they don’t have to put their big boy pants on and use some communication skills and simply say, ‘I’m not feeling this anymore’ or ‘I’ve lost interest’ or ‘I’ve started talking to someone else and we should end this’.
However there is a problem with the fizzle plan. It has the potential for the other party to begin to question their entire existence and more than likely suffer a slight mental breakdown. Crazy lady stalker bitch kicks in and you start thinking ‘if they don’t like me no-one will and I’m going to die alone.’
I am at the junction. Now I must go deeper. I must go deeper into the relationship until he loves me.
I start to sense that something is wrong and slightly off so I go from level 2 of crazy and leap frog to about a 7 or 8. First off I make a mental pact not to text first. 3 hours later I text first. I keep checking my phone to see if he’s texted back making excuses that i need to check the time. Why I feel the need to convince myself of this when I’m alone is probably just a self preservation thing.
An hour later he hasn’t replied. I turn my phone off and on just in case, just to be sure. I go for a run. 3 hours later he hasn’t responded, I go onto to Facebook chat to see when he was online last because maybe his phone was off and he hasn’t seen the message. Online 14 minutes ago. Guess I’ll go for another run.
I turn up to functions looking effortlessly fabulous and mention in conversation that I’ve just come straight from work. Then I spend the entire night talking to other people. He does the same. Curve ball, I throw myself at him at the end of the night and he obliges. This is the low point. Trying to use sex to bring him back. As if we have been married for 20 years and we’re trying to get the spark back. It’s bushfire season in my life, a strict no spark policy is following me around. I’m being fizzled out. The relationship continues in this mediocre and soul destroying manner until I feel ready to bring up the conversation once more. I am beating a dead horse. And also I am stupid. I am met with same response as before but with a new sentence tacked on “stop making things complicated.” At this point it all gets too much, the relationship ends and I drink more wine.
Realistically it is the least complicated conversation in the world. Seriously, we had it right in Year 8. Circle yes or no and pass the note back. We make it complicated by not being honest about how we are feeling.
The bottom line is, if two people like each other then it’s easy. It works and no one feels shit about themselves. If you find yourself making 16 excuses for the reason they haven’t called, didn’t visit, won’t define the relationship then run because they don’t like you. Never let it get to the stage where their lack of interest in you defines your worth.