For the better part of this year, a "friends with benefits" situation had a certain appeal to me. It allows you to be physically intimate without having to attach any meaning to it. It gives you the company without needing to put your heart on the line. Straight comfort minus the emotional vulnerability. And for someone who was ready for one thing but not the other, subscribing to the "In order to get over someone, get under someone else" philosophy sounded like a pretty tempting deal.
Too bad I'm not wired that way. The act still holds too much value for me to give it up at the drop of a hat. While I can admire and sometimes wish I had that carefree attitude the Samantha Joneses of the world possess, I know I'd inevitably catch feelings for the guy. A blog buddy recently said to me, "I think it's wrong to try and force yourself to be as free as others. If you've made it this far in life - and for young people these days that's a long way to go - while still having some solid intimacy concerns, then good for you. You're smart enough to know that heart goes with mind and mind goes with body. It's all connected...as much as women try and pretend to be like men." So I've stopped saying I want something casual when I know I wouldn't be able to handle it.
"I want something casual" is simply my way of keeping any interested guy at bay. "Something casual" means things will never progress, disappointments will never occur and this will never hurt. "Casual" means I can check out when the alarm bells ring. I'm still not even sure what scares me so much. Trusting perhaps.
Yet since A. and I started dating (and it took me several dates before I finally stopped calling it "hanging out"), it's been nothing but fun and sweet vibes from his end:
- Music's been major so far. He's introduced me to bands I've never heard of. We'll quietly sing to each other. He invites me to his friends' gigs. He'll pull out his guitar and play the only three chords he knows over and over just to make me smile and laugh. The cherry on top is when he hands the guitar over and teaches me those same three chords...over and over.
- He invited me to his company's holiday dinner Tuesday night. Talk about "Eek!" But I was actually excited to be his date for this event. I even started to get sick on Monday, but managed to fight through it and make it to the dinner. After I arrived, he took me around and introduced me to each of his coworkers. I had the loveliest night. (He's quite engrossed with the wine menu in the pictures below.)
- He's not afraid to stop and kiss me in the middle of the street even though he knows it makes me want to bolt. Though to be honest, I've taken a liking to sticking around.
So note to self: just trust...and enjoy.
Images: Daily Drop Cap by Jessica Hische, flickr.com