So I spent the end of 2002 and the first 8 months of 2003 involved in a relationship with a woman. It wasn't exactly normal. We weren't officially dating, and we weren't sleeping with each other, but neither of us were dating others. I wanted to date, and she was needed to be single and learn things about herself.
Round September, I came to the realization that I needed something out of the relationship that I wasn't getting. That I needed the clarity of actually dating someone. And a whole bunch of other things that come from that. So I stopped waiting for her and started looking for someone else.
I haven't found someone else yet. And my relationship with her has been up and down. We tried to be friends. That didn't work out so well at first. Mostly because we both were trying to pretend that we never dated. We each had bunches of spurned and jealous emotional issues. We are friends, but we couldn't just treat each other as if we hadn't been involved. Not that kind of friendship. At least not at first.
One of the differences between us is that I tend to be a very public person. I'm not sharing my innermost self, but I will tell you what's going on inside. She's not. I've mostly kept quiet about the whole thing in deference to her sensibilities. The funny thing though, was that even people who didn't hang around either of us much knew. I'd get instant message from people who had no idea what was going on between the two of us asking me why didn't I ask her out? They thought there was chemistry that the two of us (especially me) didn't recognize ourselves. But I digress. I wrote very little about this during the last year, though the perceptive folks could have figured it all out.
I'm still not going to name her, even though everyone seems to know. But I am publicly going to say I was in love with her. To say that our officially non-dating but still almost dating relationship existed. Enough that I've decided to use the nomenclature of
ex-girlfriend. Because fucking ain't the only arbiter of what's dating and what's not. Since I've always tended to use an expansive definition of the word
date it cheapens my recent relationship to say we weren't dating. When a 2 month bout of fucking one girl in 1996 qualifies her as a girlfriend, the year I spent in love with someone deserves the title as well. Even if the form was non-traditional.
The relationship has changed how I will date as well. I don't know if it will be for the better or not. I may look back at this period of my life and cringe at how I've responded to this heartbreak. I waited a year because I thought I might be able to have the perfect relationship. And I've always tended to be serially monogamous. I don't exactly see that changing, but I've come to the conclusion that until a woman and I decide to be exclusive to each other, I will not spend so much energy focusing on one person. This will be somewhat difficult for me, as I also still believe in not being in competition, nor putting someone in whom I am interested in competition with others. Although my goal is to have an exclusive relationship with someone, I don't want this to push women who are interested to compete to see who can become Mr. Rat. Like it's that much of a prize anyway. So I'll struggle to balance pursuing dating women with not putting them in competition. See how that goes.
I'm trying harder not to be so easily scared off and deterred by people who don't fit my perfect model of a girlfriend. It means I may bring someone home for fun and fucking without the guarantee of a relationship. Like I said, I may look back and cringe at my
loose ways. But you only live once.