In the land of post-grad life I’ve been attempting to build my focus and procure something I haven’t had in awhile- a healthy monogamous relationship. In college there’s hooking up and on the rarest of occasions there’s dating. Usually “dating” is reserved for religious people and the rare “nice girl” so, it’s really just a land of limbo and games. I thought that the real world would be different. But, it seems that limbo wears a new name now: “the grey area.” Or at least that’s what I found out this morning as I choked back tears, apathy, feelings and attempted not to vomit while I had the most hungover non-DTR-DTR of my life.
So you go on real dates a couple times a week where he pays for everything?
Now you’re getting to know each other and you keep wanting to see him and he keeps asking you out, score! Three dates is the formula for wifed up bliss in SATC, right? You can smell a relationship on the horizon, but don’t get ahead of yourself now, you’re still just getting to know one another.
So you didn’t sleep together for a solid couple weeks of real, legitimate seemingly adult dates and you talked about it beforehand?
Because you’re used to shitty college guys who use you for sex, so you wait. Then, he makes you feel comfortable and is willing to wait to have sex. Then, you tell him that you’re over hookup culture and shitty guys and ask for reassurance and he gives you that and more.
So he says he didn’t want the first time he had sex with you to be drunkenly?
Wow, in the land of college that sure as hell would be more than a compliment. Guess he likes you and actually wants sex with you to, like, mean something? Is this what the real world feels like?
So he invited only you and his best friend out to celebrate his birthday?
Wow, we haven’t even had sex yet and he’s clearly trying. He likes you enough he wants to see you on his day of birth, but don’t read into it. He probably just wants birthday sex. But, alas on your period, so looks like a birthday blow-job. His dick has neither length nor girth so it’ll be a piece of cake (wish it were actually a piece of cake and not a penis, sigh).
So he texts you at the end of the day to let you know he indeed has not forgotten your existence?
Well, there’s some consistency here. He maintains interest and keeps touching base when you aren’t seeing one another. It seems like he’s trying to get to know you better. Good sign, right?
So you’ve been seeing one another for over a month?
Made it over the first hump! Over a month and he’s still taking you on dates. Still making effort. Maybe this could lead to a relationship.
If any of these sound even remotely familiar then you know they’re the building blocks to monogamy. Dating, seeing one another regularly, communication, consistency, effort, affection. But, if it looks like a relationship, feels like a relationship, smells like a relationship and tastes like a relationship, is it a relationship if you don’t say “We are boyfriend and girlfriend, let’s be monogamous?”
If you learn anything from reading my blog, know that monogamy DOES NOT EXIST unless you both state out loud and agree that it exists. Know that no guy, no matter what the signs are, is definitely your boyfriend and even if the signs point to the fact that he basically is your boyfriend GOD FORBID you bring up that cold, cruel word “monogamy” because it will make him squirm.
That’s what I learned, yet again, this morning. As I was told, there’s a “grey area” that exists between hooking up and “dating” in the real world. Well, no fucking shit. I know relationships don’t happen overnight. I know it’s never a guarantee that going on dates will lead to a relationship. In the “real world” things are different than in college, but to me it sounds like just giving a new name to the same story.
Let’s just play it by ear, let’s see where it goes, I’m not sure if I want a girlfriend right now, I can’t guarantee you that that’s where this will lead. They’re all empty, meaningless string alongs. Followed by a cold goodbye, a peck on the lips, the slamming of a car door. Tears threaten yesterdays mascara and your roommates ask if you need a hug and you don’t even know what you need because you didn’t get broken up with, but you also received no resolution. So, you float on into limbo land, unsure of what to do and feeling just as empty as you did when you were deeply assimilated into hookup culture. Alone, but not alone. Dating, but not in a relationship. Having sex monogamously, but not officially stating that you are monogamous. Same old bullshit, but now it’s called the “grey area.” Whoever said dating in the real world was easier never tried dating a grad student.