Ah, the commitment-phobe. Seems like every girl is getting herself one these days. Not only is dating hard enough in this world, but there are guys out there who are afraid of the dreaded “label.”
A lot of my female friends are in these pseudo-relationships that seem to be so up in the air, all they can see is grey clouds to come. Never mind the fact that they are incessantly wondering where the relationship is going, the boys they’re dating are more than happy to string them along indefinitely.
Some might ask, “Why do you people always need to know?” Why is it so important to know if you’re dating, together, or just “talking”? It’s even worse when exes hook back up again; riding the midnight sexy time for however long before anyone stops to ask what’s up.
If you don’t need labels yourself, that’s fine. If you’re buying the illusion that not labeling things “really takes the pressure off,” that’s cool too. It’s only when people use it as a cop-out to not take any responsibility for one another’s feelings that I see a problem. All too often a guy can keep a girl in the palm of his hands, telling her that yes, we’re dating – but no, he’s free to flirt with that hot bartender from Sophia’s and you’re supposed to be okay with it.
If you’re in a similar situation and wondering whether or not waiting will make it worth all this turmoil, the answer is yes. He’s just that great. In the meantime, you can cope by following my advice.
Don’t ask any questions. Remember, you don’t want to scare him. His feelings about this relationship is what matters most, so you’re not allowed to ask, “Where is this going?” or “What are we?” because you don’t want to push your luck. You should be honored that he did you a favor by even “seeing” you (whatever that means), so walk on eggshells. It’s a sign of a future healthy relationship.
If you do make the mistake of asking one of your inane questions and he gives you a hard time about it, that’s when you’re being naggy. How dare you think you have the right to know where all your time is going? Just because he’s looking for better options doesn’t mean you have the liberty to question it. I mean, we get it: you feel like you’re wasting your time and trust me, you probably are. Just don’t make a huge fuss about it because it’s so unattractive.
Put his needs first. The best excuse I’ve heard a guy use to not be with a girl he was seeing for a year was that he needed time to “discover himself.” Although it was true that he hadn’t graduated college yet and he “just” got out of a relationship (more than a year ago), he was perfectly capable of seeing, having sex and talking on the phone every night with this girl.
So what did he do to discover himself? Did he work day and night to resolve this one obstacle that hindered from being with the love of his life? Unsurprisingly, he did absolutely nothing – our little Siddhartha here was buying time and excuses. When the poor girl finally saw she was being tricked and ended it, he didn’t come running after her. He let her go, which proved he had no real intentions of being with her anyway.
Never make it seem like you care. So it’s been five months of dinners, hand holding and maybe even a few sleepovers (now with more heavy petting) here and there. And he still hasn’t asked you to be official yet? Who cares right? Besides, asking and wondering to be official sounds too high school, this is college now. Isn’t it all about free roaming and being commitment free? If it applies to pay-as-you-go-phone plans tailored for drug dealers, of course it would work for you.
The way girls should see it is that they’re all crazy clingy. And when a guy tells you that you’re being needy, you have to believe him. Maybe you are demanding too much, maybe you should just enjoy the ride, maybe you should just act like you don’t care.
The one small problem here is that you do. You care and you can’t help it because this is your life being toyed with, after all. Sure you can keep up the façade that you’re not bothered by the fact that he doesn’t call you his girlfriend after months of seeing you, but it still irks you. So you’re going to trudge through all this pain and mind games even though it should be simpler than this. And I don’t want to sound like a bad movie here but when you’re good and the guy is good, being together is actually supposed to be that easy.
LYNN LA thinks she wrote this column about two years too late. She also doesn’t like it when people string along her friends. If you know where she’s coming from, e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.