Yours, Mine, and...Do We Have an "Ours" Anymore?

After an adventuresome day of trying to get back to DC, I finally made it home late Saturday night. Since then I've been unpacking, resting up, and making long to-do lists for the week. Blogging was at the top of the list! 

SCL picked me up at the airport and made me one of his delicious pizzas for dinner. Part of me really hoped he'd stay over with me (since the break-up, I think we've slept in the same bed twice), but he doesn't even have a toothbrush here anymore. His stuff is completely cleared out of our apartment. It's finally beginning to hit me that he's not living here anymore. And in a few weeks neither will I. 

Yesterday we went on a short bike ride and then he, after I asked, took me over to his new place. It's pretty nice--he's got the small basement of the house to himself. He still has a little bit of unpacking to do, but it's definitely where he lives now. Without me. I could tell that he was comfortable there--he has a place to work and a place to play his piano. (He even played for me, which he never does for anyone!) It's quiet and big enough for him to have his own space. It's exactly what he wanted. 

So much will change with this move--our morning coffee ritual, brushing our teeth together, sharing the little things that happen during the day. The separation is hurtful, especially because I still don't know what it is we're doing. I still want some clarity about the relationship. Are we "together"? Are we boyfriend/girlfriend? I still think of him that way, but I don't know what he thinks. When I ask him about it, he says he doesn't know. I know that labels don't define a relationship, but I want to know what we're doing. 

He mentioned casually that his whole family is getting together next weekend. In the past I would've always been invited, but I didn't even ask about it. I'm not sure even what his parents know or think. Why does this bother me so much? I know it's about what's going on between the two of us, but I feel weird thinking this is some kind of secret for him. I never thought I'd have to define a relationship again, especially not the one I have with SCL. 

4 comments:

  1. You guys are definitely entering a new dimension of your new relationship. It'll take some getting used to but I think it's for the best for now. Still I know it must be tough to deal with, especially with things so tentative now.

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  2. i know people always say they hate labels, but giving some definition to a relationship...if not immediately than at some point...is how we humans know where we belong, our role and where we are heading.

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  3. Labels are only important insofar as what they reveal about the emotions behind them. When a guy agrees to commit to you and make it "official," it means he wants to have a more serious relationship. While the "boyfriend" moniker might not be important in and of itself, the fact that he wants to be with you does, and that's what the label represents.

    When a guy, particularly one you've already dated for a long time, puts a question mark on your relationship, I think that just puts a big question mark on how he feels about you and whether he wants the same things that you do. And when the answer seems to keep being "I don't know," for months, I guess what I would start wondering is how long you can maintain a relationship on your own more serious, committed feelings and his kinda sorta maybe lukewarm ones.

    I guess...my question(s) to you is(/are), do you see some point at which ambivalence will no longer be enough from him? Is there a point at which you will demand a commitment, or are you content to let this sort of meander along until it either becomes a committed relationship again or until it goes up in flames and it's clear it's over?

    My advice, as a girl who's been in this position several times, is to push him a little. I wasted so much time in so many relationships where the guys only felt so-so about me. And other times, I was in relationships with guys who only treated me so-so because they thought they could get away with it. I worry about you, because you seem to have almost no boundaries with SCL. You clearly know what you want, but when he doesn't measure up or give you what you want...granted I can only go from what you write here and I don't know everything about your relationship, but it feels like in some ways he's doing just enough to get by, so he can stay in this sort-of-relationship with you, which is comfortable and I'm sure provides support. And I feel like in some ways, you're just sort of letting him, like you're afraid that if you push too hard you're going to scare him off and squander an opportunity. An opportunity which sadly may be more fantasy than reality or possibility.

    I mean this kindly, and I hope it comes off this way. I'm not always the best at conveying tone on the internet. I just...I've been there before. I think it's important to think about what you want and need, and to be more forceful about communicating those things to him and actually demand something back from him. Not only because you need to do what is best for you, and if he's not the guy for you, then you need to know so you can move on. But also, maybe what he needs is some strong incentive to be more serious. When you broke up, he seemed to have some concept of the value of what he'd lost. But if you allow yourself to fall back into the same patterns where you demand nothing of him, while giving everything to him, he's going to take you for granted again.

    Sometimes demanding something, pushing something, when it's something you truly want and very sincerely need in a relationship is the healthiest thing to do. I think it's the most important skill to learn if you want a healthy relationship. If he cares for you, he'll respond positively to your wants and needs; he'll want to give you those things. If he doesn't...I'd re-evaluate whether he's worth keeping around.

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  4. Thanks to all of you, especially to Katie for your thoughtful response. You are right: I am letting him define the relationship right now and accepting whatever it is he'll give me. I have thought that I was giving him what he said he needed--time and space. But I'm not sure how much is too much. I've been so busy with work that I hadn't given it much thought until now, but right now I don't feel very satisfied with how things are going.

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