I think Ben thinks I’m trying to be his girlfriend, and it might be freaking him out. This blog post is my way of telling him I’m not trying to be his girlfriend, because I’m too immature to tell him directly.
You might be thinking he and I are terrible at communicating. We are.
We’ve had sex six or seven times and are still too chicken to tell each other how we feel about each other.
So Brad asked Ben for me today. Instead of talking about his feelings in the moment, Ben said he didn’t know what he wanted for the future. He said growing up, he was never given the space to think about his needs and wants, he made his decisions based on what his mom needed and wanted. Now he was trying to figure out what he really wanted out of life.
Tonight he told me he realized one thing he doesn’t want ever again is a “serious relationship.” I’m not going to be a smart ass and pretend I don’t know what he means by “serious relationship.” He means he doesn’t want to fall into the trap where two people entangled, enmeshed and codependent upon one another.
So here’s where I respond indirectly to his indirect concern. (We’re both Scorpios, so we have similar weaknesses):
I’m not trying to be your girlfriend, Ben. The one commitment I can make to you is that I will never make any commitments, and I wouldn’t want you to either. I don’t want any promises, or even predictions, about what the future will look like.
I don’t want you to take care of me. And I don’t want to take care of you. I don’t ever want to end up in the same position I ended up in with Brad again – barefoot and breastfeeding a 4-year-old in the kitchen. I don’t want to do your laundry. I’m sorry I started to. I don’t want to wash your dishes – except when I feel like it, because you always do nice things for me.
I don’t want to move into your bedroom. I want you to have your own space. I’m looking forward to having my own space someday. I don’t want a permanent “open invitation” to your bedroom. You’re free to tell me you’re not in the mood for visitors anytime. I don’t want you to pretend you feel a certain way about me or promise to feel that way forever.
I don’t want any labels for each other – other than “Ben – that guy we live with, who makes my heart race from time to time.”
I just want to be near you from time to time. I want to see you laugh and smile. I want to hear your weird jokes that always leave me waiting for the punchline. I want our eyes to lock. I want to have stupid, meaningless debates with you and laugh about how mad you get when we get too distracted to finish Scrabble.
I want to feel that nervous energy I get when you stand too close to me in the kitchen. I want to lie on the couch longing to reach out and grab your hand and beg you not to leave me home alone with a 4-year-old on a Friday night, but act like I don’t even care. I want to pretend to be strangers in the night with you and play a different pair of strangers in the day – the kind who play coy about what happened the night before.
I want to keep you at arm’s length the majority of the time, but occasionally to let our bodies and souls merge and fuse in temporary, but infinite, oneness.
I hope you don’t think that’s too much to ask.