No, I’m not his girlfriend.

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Before I fell asleep, stoned and happy from orgasms, but also frustrated, I got a bit sucky.

Before I could stop myself I blurted out “are you my boyfriend?”

There was a moment of silence that playwrites would call a “beat”.

Backed into a corner, Tony’s first response was “I’m not sure, I suppose so?”

That wasn’t exactly the overwhelmingly positive response I was looking for. I also realized, even stoned, it was a very dumb question. So I tried to verbally back off a bit, explaining a friend had asked me and I didn’t know how to respond; didn’t know if he thought of himself that way.

He said he didn’t like labels. He found they complicated things.

I retorted that they only complicated things when expectations or definitions were different.

Then he said “but we are doing okay, aren’t we?”

It wasn’t the first time he asked me that. Of course we are, I told him. And I let it go.

But I haven’t let it go. Not because I don’t think he likes me, wants to be exclusive, and wants to spend time with me. But because it’s a sign of where his head is at. He’s not ready. I am. I am trying to let things be.

With very limited success.

0 thoughts on “No, I’m not his girlfriend.

    • He’s content to have things be as they are… seeing each other regularly and being exclusive. He’s comfortable talking about doing things in the future. However, I don’t think he’s yet in a place where he’s saying “I’m totally ready for a relationship” yet.

  1. I think the question is: what does that little annoying nagging voice in your head telling you? It’s the only voice that won’t lie to you…

    And I sometimes hate that little voice with all my heart.

    • Oh yes I’m well acquainted with that little voice and if you’ve read some of my past stuff you will know it’s my journey to ensure I listen to it.

      So far I think he’s been cautious but does quite like me. My gut has always known his relatively recent split could be an issue. I haven’t gone looking to find a problem that is just in my head. And it could impact him to a greater or lesser extent. What is become clear is the extent…

      • I haven’t read your past stuff, so I apologize for that… I sometimes stifle my little voice, just as I did recently with this last guy who told everybody he was my boyfriend, yet. Ah fuck, I have a blog post regurgitating in this comment! 😉

        • Gosh please don’t apologize!! I’m pleased you are here 🙂

          It is VERY hard to listen to that voice – and to make space for it to even speak!! It has been a long journey for me, so I have great empathy for you.

  2. Relax. You are being impatient. You are happy, you have been happy. You like him. He likes you. He sounds happy. You are making me anxious Ann. Seriously. I am feeling physically anxious. Either it will all be fine or it won’t work. Enjoy the journey. Boyfriend/girlfriend label doesn’t really mean too much. The relationship you have does.

    • Thank you Julie – I needed to read that. I agree the label doesn’t mean a whole lot – but I do wish there wasn’t the reluctance. I guess the thing for me that is shifting is a bit more worry about whether and how his pace and reluctance will end up being too little.

          • It actually reinforces my outlook Ann. I recognize it in you. (takes one to know one) Trust yourself. You got this. You want me to repeat my original comment? You are happy. He seems happy. Let it evolve. Or are you trying to sabotage yourself?

          • I don’t think I’m a saboteur. If I am its a very deep seated emotional thing.

            I suppose I’m struggling with whether I’m just worried or if I do have a real gut feeling about where this is going to go. I don’t want to get my heart broken again. Caution can be a friend and an enemy, I suppose.

          • My takes one to know one comment was about the worrying. I do the same thing, sadly I have also managed to teach my daughter as well.

            Sabotage was actually a late thought, and I kinda meant it tongue in cheek.

            Yes, it is difficult to be brave enough to expose your heart, especially after it has been damaged. (I don’t like to think of it as broken) It hurts and it isn’t fun, and it is a risk. I am hardly one to be giving this speech, as I am terribly gun shy these days. You are right, caution can be both. There is the cause of your worry. It is justified, but shouldn’t push you over the edge. Be patient. I think you will be pleased with the outcome.

      • “I guess the thing for me that is shifting is a bit more worry about whether and how his pace and reluctance will end up being too little.”

        But you have been comfortable with the pace. You are both busy people. Sure, you want to spend more time with him. You like him. He likes you too. His reluctance? to what? Call you his girlfriend? Refer to himself as your boyfriend? Maybe the label makes him shy away, but his actions sure point to exactly that relationship.

        • You are quite right. If his actions weren’t saying the right things, then this would be a different story entirely. Like Andrew, for example, when I was beside myself trying to figure out what he really felt about me.

  3. It’s so hard to know when to push and when to fall back. It’s a delicate balance. That’s true that things aren’t necessarily complicated when you want the same things.

    • It’s so true! I am doing a pretty awesome job being all chill about this, compared to my usual approach. But I also recognize I have needs and wants and these are completely valid as well!!

  4. It is so frustrating when you meet someone that you have real potential with, but they just aren’t in the same place as you are, ugh. I don’t envy you one bit, Ann!

  5. You are smart and intuitive. That little voice in your head is an extension of that. My experience has always been that if I have to ask the question the answer is always No. For me, life is too short for ambiguity.

    • Thank you John. And yes that voice is a good one to listen to. I have always known he is in a different place – much newer out of his relationship – but wasn’t sure how it would manifest and if / when it became an issue. I’m hoping how I feel right now is transitory but my gut tells me I may continue down a path of wanting more and him not being able to reciprocate. Timing is everything.

      • I have been in that position and it sucks. Ugh! You want to shake the person and say “Can’t you see what a good thing you have!” And then it turns to anger as all unfulfilled expectations do. And make no mistake expectations are completely justified when the heart is involved. Anyway, I don’t mean to come across so strongly it’s just I’ve been in similar spots and I feel for you.

  6. Hm… I always feel like someone’s reluctance is telling, but I’ve not had good forays into serious dating. My bias talking I guess. If exclusivity is obvious, what difference does a label make? I always see it as an excuse to bail if things aren’t suiting the other person. Again… Just my bad experience talking.

    • I hear you!! I mean, it’s been over two months. We are exclusive. He’s open to planning things (as much as his work allows, which is not just a BS excuse) and it’s not like I’m pushing him to see me.

      Everyone else seems to call him my boyfriend. I’m not terribly fussed about the title but it’s almost worse that I asked because now I say hey, why the reluctance? Just nerves?

  7. In regards to ‘labels don’t mean anything’, well this is true, if for both involved, labels don’t mean anything indeed. However, when there are different expectations from each of the parties involved, I believe that’s a different story.

    I think it was not wrong to ask him because this was something that was in your head. After all, you were honest with your feelings. I am like that too. And I’d rather have my answer than ‘wondering’.

    I agree with what everyone else said about Tony and you being in different places. It’s obvious that he seems to like you a lot but he’s not ready yet for a relationship.

    Your answer to my previous comment now makes even more sense. I completely understand how you feel now.

    Once again, I wish you luck for whatever happens next. Whatever your decision is, what really matters at the end of the day, is to be happy.

    • Thank you Yessica. I don’t have the time or energy to have much more of a relationship these days either, which is why it’s been okay with me so far (for the most part). If he wanted to spend a lot more time with me then it would be stressful to me right now.

      But I guess what it comes down to is I would still like to know that emotionally we are aligned…and I’m just not sure of that. This is where I need to focus on his actions, which are positive. I guess I can’t help but think I’m seeing the light at the end of the tunnel…and it’s the train.

  8. Argh! I feel for you, I truly do!
    I just had a similar (yet different) conversation with The Dancer. It was different simply because we’re not in the same place as you and Tony are. He had always said that he wasn’t looking for a relationship. But I am having trouble finding my balance in this. What can he stand, what does he want, where do *I* stand and what do *I* want?
    He felt the need to reiterate yesterday. Or was it already two days ago? It doesn’t matter. I am happy that he knows what he wants, and I told him I was fine with that for now, though I am looking for more and may eventually disappear if I find it…
    There is a little voice in my head telling me “if you keep doing this, you will not find Mr Right” and then there is the other, bigger part of me, that tells me that he is right, let’s just enjoy what we have for noe, who cares about the rest.
    And it is difficu;t to decide which one I want to follow.
    Sigh! Did I just write a post in your comment section? 😉

    Well, Big hugs to you. Things will find their resolution, one way or the other 🙂

  9. I think to women, labels DO mean something. Men know that. It could be that he is uncomfortable just yet being put into a box labeled “boyfriend”. If you are happy with the way things are, just be. Soon enough he will know whether or not he wants that label. He already knows where you stand. Sometimes it’s hard for us to just be.

    • You are so right, Gina! I don’t need the label and am pretty okay with where things are, I’m just craving some assurances from him but I know he’s not ready to give them. Or he doesn’t feel that way. It’s hard to know, but I’m working on focussing on what his actions tell me.

  10. Limited success indeed. I don’t blame you. Different timetables. And… Maybe I’m being overly protective of you but to me it sounds like he may be holding back a bit. You sure he’s exclusive?

    • I’m genuinely touched by your overprotectiveness. Thank you 🙂
      I don’t think he’s a liar. I’ve wondered a couple of times about the exclusivity thing, but on balance I think he’s being honest with me.

        • I was actually wondering the same. I remember vaguely that Ann and Tony had mentioned that they were not seeing anyone but I don’t remember the reason: If my memory is not tricking me, I think it was kind of an automatic/spontaneous reaction, such as : None of them have even time to think of being dating other people at the moment. Not because it was a specific conversation about exclusivity but maybe I missed that topic :/

          • We did have a specific conversation about it, and at the time we said neither of us were seeing anyone else (nor engaging with anyone else online) and we weren’t going to. He said he hadn’t emailed anyone or responded to anyone online since he met me.
            I asked him again more recently and he confirmed it again. The only thing that I find weird is he said he still goes into the POF site to see who has said they are interested in him. He says its just curiosity but I’m not comfortable with that. I didn’t say it, though.

  11. I understand your situation cause I’ve been there. I think I said this before but I’ll say again, I don’t think tony is in the same place as you in the way he thinks about dating. You’ve done a load of online dating, you’ve put yourself out there and connected with a lot of guys, you are looking for something serious and supportive, and you want to invest your time in one person that you can have that with. For you to give up dating others means that you know that you are giving up loads of opportunities for connections with others, who may possibly provide things that you want. My sense about Tony is that he is inexperienced with online dating and dating in general and he does not realize that you are making a big sacrifice to date him exclusively. He’s not thinking about what things mean to you, just what is convenient for him. If he was really invested in forming the relationship, he would easily call you his girlfriend. I doesn’t sounds like he has the time or inclination to meet a lot of women right now, so it’s convenient for him to just see you when he has time. It definitely sounds like he likes you, I’m sure he really enjoys your company, but I think you’re feeling anxious because you’re investing your energy into something that may not be what you want. I personally think that a sensible thing might be to set a time limit for yourself (like a certain number of months) and at that point tell him what you are looking for in a relationship and ask if that that is something he might be open to having with you at some point. It may be better to at least clarify where you stand than keep hoping for something that’s not going to happen

    • I just read Will’s comment and now yours and have to say it’s one of the reasons I love having a blog and you guys to help me and confuse me 🙂

      I like your idea of a timeline. It will help me give him some time, and me some time, but also make sure I don’t get dragged along as someone convenient, just to have him turn around in 6 months and say goodbye because he’s found someone he wants a “real” relationship with (or some such equivalent).

      I do know, based on the conversation he and I had over dinner a couple of dates ago, that he doesn’t know how to articulate how he feels or what’s next. So asking him to tell me will be futile at this point.

What do you think?