Stopwatch in the name of love
I met a guy a little over seven weeks ago. Days later, we were hanging out constantly, sharing life stories and sleeping together. I began to \\\”fall\\\” but didn\\\’t say anything about love because he didn\\\’t. Finally, on a trip, we had a talk about how we felt. I explained that I wouldn\\\’t have slept with him more than once if I didn\\\’t see a future for us. He said he couldn\\\’t begin to think of \\\”love\\\” for many months and isn\\\’t very verbally demonstrative anyway. He basically wants to see where this goes and thinks I\\\’m kinda nuts for \\\”moving so fast.\\\” Yet, every boyfriend I\\\’ve had said he loved me within a couple weeks of sleeping together. I feel sleazy for sleeping with a man five days a week and never saying more than \\\”Have a nice day\\\” afterward. Am I headed for disaster?
There\\\’s falling in love and there\\\’s trying to have yourself shot out of a cannon into it.
Too bad human emotion doesn\\\’t run on a bus schedule: \\\”Let\\\’s see … two weeks, you love me, seven weeks, you let me measure you for your cage.\\\” Out here in the confines of the real world, loving somebody takes actually knowing them, otherwise, what are you actually loving? Hmmm … perhaps how well they fit into your plan to retire from dating and settle down with that special anybody?
The way you put it — \\\”I wouldn\\\’t have slept with him more than once if I didn\\\’t see a future for us\\\” — that thing down there must only look like a vagina; it\\\’s really a crystal ball. Seven weeks in, you know him, really, really well — just not well enough to have even an inkling of his approach to relationships: waiting until he develops some depth of feeling for a woman before committing to more than dinner plans for week eight. In other words, the guy seems to be looking for something real, as opposed to something real fast. Jeez, what a jerk!
Midway through a seven-week sex marathon, it\\\’s a little late to inform a guy of the house rule: Only the first bagging is free. If sex that may turn out to be, well, casual, rather than formal, leaves you feeling gypped, you should end dates with a long, steamy handshake. Since you\\\’re a bit beyond that now, the thing that should be giving you pause is not what\\\’s probably a sincere \\\”Have a nice day,\\\” but how you bought into all those week two \\\”I love you\\\’s\\\” from boyfriends past. After all, if saying \\\”I love you\\\” means two people have a future together, how come you and all those other guys seem to be having a future apart?
This guy doesn\\\’t sound like he\\\’s cold, withholding or scampering off to the bar to \\\”Have a nice day\\\” with your replacement. Why push him in that direction? It\\\’s understandable that you feel a need for \\\”security,\\\” but you can\\\’t contract out for it; it has to come from within. Also, lobbying to hear those \\\”three little words\\\” may cause you to miss those other three little words, \\\”Are you cold?\\\” Or, those 14 little words, \\\”How about I come over this weekend and sand and refinish your hardwood floors?\\\” (You say tomato, he shows you a tomahto … and who\\\’s to say the talkier way is right?) It\\\’s OK to be looking for love, but for best results, remember to actually look, and not like you would for a suitcase nuke that\\\’s about to take out Cleveland.
Talk to the handcuff
My girlfriend of eight months gets mad when I make plans with friends and tell her afterward. Even if I invite her along. She\\\’ll say, \\\”How do you know we didn\\\’t have plans? Or, that I wasn\\\’t going to take you to dinner?!\\\” Most of her friends are married heterosexuals, so I guess she\\\’s used to couples planning everything together.
—Very Independent Woman
\\\”How do you know we didn\\\’t have plans? Or, that I wasn\\\’t going to take you to dinner?!\\\” This hurts my head. When somebody wants to take you out, there are ways to let you know. Some ways — e-mail, phone call, text message — are more effective than others: mental telepathy and screaming, \\\”I hate you, I hate you!\\\” as you\\\’re going out the door to meet friends. Your girlfriend probably got together with you, in part, because she admired your \\\”Very Independent\\\” spirit. Now, it seems she\\\’s confusing \\\”Very Independent\\\” with \\\”Very Independent From Her.\\\” Gently inform her that nobody gets dibs on every moment of your life, but from now on, you\\\’re setting aside a regular date night that always belongs to her. The bottom line: You care about her, and love spending time with her; you just don\\\’t want to feel like you\\\’re serving it.