What Do You Mean When You Say Boyfriend?

  I met a guy the week that I first moved here and we've been sort of unofficially dating since then; he's a good guy, but like most of the men that I know has a few quirks... I like to think that I am the sort of guy that just rolls with the punches 99% of the time, falling flat on my face the other 1%; about a week ago I started the fall, catching myself just before I hit the ground. The problem now: I'm almost thinking that I should have just watched the ground approach, hit it fast and lay a while before getting up; reasoning and logic have failed me.
  This all began when my I made the error of referring to the guy that I am seeing as my boyfriend--I just sort of figured that the spending of time together, the holding hands in public places, stolen kisses, dinners in, time spent together on days off, etc., had elevated things to this point. We'd talked about sex and what we both liked and disliked, we'd talked about our families and friends, we'd introduced each other to our friends, we'd slept together and coped with our respective floral morning breaths, I'm hoping that you get the idea. One night at one of the local watering holes he introduced me to another of his friends, a guy that works in the same industry as I; we started in on a discussion of food and drink, soon talking like old pals. My date excused himself to socialize with other friends and my new friend and I resumed our conversation. Later in the evening the three of us sat down to shoot the shit and share a cocktail; our new friend decided to make a point to the homophobe that was sitting behind us by asking us to pucker up for a smooch; I looked my date square in the square in the eye and asked, "Is it ok if your friend kisses me? We're trying to make a point." I was met with a bemused look and no reply, so his friend did indeed kiss me; not a peck on the cheek, nor a sloppy wet passionate kiss, just the standard smooch on the lips you'd get from grandma or a favorite aunt.
  Fireworks. Not the good kind. Suddenly I'm amidst a shit storm of emotion culminating with the words, "Why are you, the person I am "with", kissing my ex-boyfriend!?"
  Quick recap here: a) said guy was introduced as a friend that you sometimes met for drinks; b) did I not just ask you if this was ok (and did you not just give me a stupid smile and shrug your shoulders); c) as kisses go, this was definitely the garden variety, which you've just witnessed... Seriously?
  Conversation ensued, promoting me to state that we'd have to agree to disagree on any point that either of us was trying to make. I am often the immovable mountain meeting upswelling tide, especially when I've not had the chance to cool my head, nor am I able to get in a word edgewise. I bid my date goodnight and off I went. A day later, both sides a lot calmer, we had a discussion: in a nutshell, the person I am with gets very jealous very easily and he thought it inappropriate that I be in the situation I'd placed myself in--with his ex no less. I asked two questions: 1. Why was your ex simply introduced as a drinking buddy; neither he nor you saw fit to clue me in to this little detail... 2. If you are prone to jealousy, should I worry about this type of reaction every time I interact with a friend or person I meet while out; god forbid I should hug someone or give a friend I've not seen in a long time a smooch and bring the ceiling down on myself (and the innocent unsuspecting bystander)...
  I told my guy that I could see his point of view, but I would not cede my points; I asked if he could see the logic in what I was stating. In the end, we chalked it up to a learning experience, stating that there needed to be better communication between the two of us.
  These past few weeks have been different; we agreed that we should slow things down a bit, spend more time apart and focus more on what we wanted out of our relationship--where we wanted it to go. We still talk (text actually) to each other numerous times during the day, we still meet up for dates and hand holding and sleep-overs, but there's a sort of pall that wasn't there before. It's almost like the batteries are draining and you can't get to the store for new ones--you just cope with the dimmer light and the slower music. We had dinner together last night; simple fare with an inexpensive bottle of wine and the Food Network in the background. We talked about our week thus far and what was going on in our lives; I mentioned that I'd had dinner with a friend the night before, that we'd gone to a vegetarian restaurant I'd not been to and we should try it. I was asked how I met this friend, being truthful I mentioned we'd met on Grindr; my factual response was met with a wall of silence. Plodding on, I asked what was wrong.
  "You know I get jealous."
  "I'm not allowed to make friends I guess. It's ok for you to state that you're going out with friends you've just met, but the reverse isn't true?"
  "I'm being a hypocrite aren't I?"
  "Yeah. You are."
  "What do you mean when you say I'm your boyfriend?"
  "I mean the guy that I'm dating, the guy that I hang out with, talk to about 36 times a day, sleep with, you know, the guy I'm with. What would you like me to call you?"
  "I think you call someone boyfriend when it's serious, like after you've been dating for a long time and you're thinking of moving in together."
  "I'd say if that's the case then you have moved from boyfriend to partner. You're not my partner, you are my boyfriend, at least that's how I see it. Would you prefer I call you something else?"
  "I'm not sure."
  I guess the jury's still out.

1 comment:

  1. This post begins to sound more like the daily journal the therapist recommended I keep. Parsing the vagaries of the heart seems to be the quickest way for me to gain equilibrium. I've never tried posting it before, however, for all the world to see. You go.