Sunday, 10 February 2008

When is a Relationship not a Relationship?

First of all, I'd just like to say a massive thank you to readers new & old who left such lovely comments on my birthday post. I did feel quite brave coming out with a photo, and I promise it's never likely to be repeated! I had a great birthday, thanks all.

Secondly, as promised, there's some things I need to get back to, because I've not posted here as regularly as I would have liked. I've been busy with all sorts, but I'll try to get you up to speed.

Right. Where to start. Right. Erm. Well.


You'll remember that I walked away, right? And you'll remember also how that went, right? That despite my promises and oaths, I walked right back, about half a nano-second later? Right.

Well, after Christmas, we had a bit of a talk. Or at least I did. Because by now, I was so certain as to how things went, that despite his presence, I decided to hold both sides of the conversation. I am nothing if not helpful.

Me: I know what you're going to say. You're going to say that you never meant for any of this to happen. You don't regret it happening, but you don't want to hurt me. You would never do anything to hurt me, and that's why it can't happen again. But you're not sorry and you enjoyed it. But you don't want to hurt me. And you just don't see me in that way.

He at least had the grace to laugh.

But, in an extremely sly move, and most unexpectedly, he had changed the script (although he told me it was a damn good effort.) You see, I've been here before with him, and I said that unless we did something about it, then I didn't think I could rule it out that it might happen again.And he said that he didn't think he could, either.

Then he said he didn't want to rule it out.

Now readers, if you are paying attention, you will note that this is something unexpected (To me at least. But you are probably quicker on the uptake, and decidedly more realistic). You see, although he doesn't want to rule out the possibility of us spending the odd night together here and there, he doesn't want anything else. At least, not from me.

This is not where I expected my life to be. At some point, I was meant to have moonlight and roses, champagne and dancing. I think I maybe need to check my Amazon order again, because something has gone awry.

So I did the only sensible thing. I told him that I wasn't interested in half measures. That I deserved better than that. That I deserved someone who wanted all of me, as a person. And I told him to stop being so damn cheeky. Did he think I was some cheap bit of skirt?

Did I fuck.

I laughed, and told him OK, that we'd see how it goes. Then I giggled a lot, because frankly, this is so out of character from my usual self that it is like an alien invasion.

And it's going really well. I think I'm more surprised than anyone.

But when I was talking to Belle about it, she doesn't seem to get the crux of the matter. God bless her, she's had a lot on her mind of late, so I can understand her confusion. You see, WE ARE NOT DATING. At all. We are not in a relationship. But she's not getting it.

You might be able to settle this for us.

This is how it goes. We talk to each other, and then we suggest a time that we might like to go out. We work together, so it's usually after work. So we make an arrangement in advance. He asks me if I'd like to stay over, and if I would, then I take an overnight bag, which is infinitely easier than before when things just 'happened', and I had to borrow shower gel, shampoo, toothbrushes etc, and wear the same clothes to work 2 days running. Not a good look, if I'm honest.


Then we go out for a drink in town, have a laugh, like always, chat about rubbish, like always. Have a meal, then go back to his home town (far posher than mine, in a very nice part of Birmingham). Have a couple of drinks there. If we haven't had a meal in town, we'll pick up a takeaway, then go back & watch ER. Then, well. You don't need all the details.

He was disappointed, I think, that I couldn't stay over the night before my birthday, so I'd wake up with him. But I had other plans. On Monday, I had some exciting news, so we went for a drink after work. Then I stayed over in an impromptu fashion. On Thursday, we'd planned to go out for my birthday, which we did & it was lovely. Had a meal, went to the cinema, went back to his house (with my overnight bag this time). Friday, we went out for a drink with loads of people from work.

I had approximately 12 vodkas too many, on top of the 6 or so that were OK, and was feeling a little bit the worse for wear. He didn't ask me if I wanted to stay at his house.

He told me that I had to.

Because he was worried about me getting home by myself. It's a long way, for goodness sake, I'm a woman on my own, and IT'S NOT SAFE, YOU ARE STAYING. (I might have taken a swear word or 20 out).

When I have had a little drink, I've been known to let the feisty side of me come out. This was one of those occasions. I was really stroppy with him. Did he not trust me to get home? Did he think I was some pathetic woman? He'd let me go home like this before, what's changed? Did he think that now, especially now, that I wasn't so damn careful of the boundaries that we'd set up, that I was looking for him to rescue me?

And do you know what he did then? He agreed. But he still said it wasn't safe. But that he was just being protective. Maybe a bit over-protective, he said. When we got to his house, I sat on the sofa & sulked. Then I cried. Then I went to bed, to stop the room spinning. I don't think we spoke until the morning.

Surely to god, none of the above is how couples go on with each other? Where is the moonlight & roses? Where is the champagne? No candles?

Belle told me that it sounds very much like a relationship to her.

But then I played my trump card.

We're not going out with each other. Because he hasn't asked me out.

So there.


Manic Mother Of Five said...

Lovely Tina, I am totally torn here....... Yes, I have to agee with Belle, it does sound like a relationship but not necessarily a HEALTHY relationship...... Has a distinct smell of the gentleman in question having you as and when he wants and then having a clear conscience when he moves on to someone he does want to date. And then, you sound happy, he is obviously looking after...... Fuck me, I just don't know.... Just don't let him hurt you or he'll have me and the five to deal with. OK!

Casdok said...

I am a bit confused!

aims said...

How old did you say you are? Oh right 40.
And him? Don't know if you have said.
But dear Tina. This is quite a game - and you are getting a little old for games. Sorry.
You are exactly at the age where you deserve the champagne and roses - and everything!!
You especially deserve to be asked out.
Perhaps a peek at our comments is what he needs.
I know you're hoping the games will turn into a real relationship - but is he enough of a real man - that doesn't play games?
Here's something a lot of women are finding out. It's the geeks that are the treasures!

Swearing Mother said...

Non-relationships are when you are still too polite with each other to say what you really mean, or swear, sulk or shout "fuck" loudly. Proper relationships contain all of the above and more.

I don't really think there's a regular and/or continuous place for wine and roses in a proper relationship anyway, unless someone has dropped an almightly clanger and needs to apologise, or if it's Valentine's day. You can buy those things and it can all still mean nothing. A proper relationship is when someone sees you, drunk, tired, fed-up and crying with snot bubbles and a red nose, but still stays with you and loves you just the same. Sod the roses, they fade, but a proper relationship will last longer than that if you're lucky.

Any road up, hopefully you seem to be working stuff out, but taking the scenic route around coming to a conclusion as to whether your guy is seriously falling for you or just enjoying your company on an occasional basis. As for him not asking you out, maybe he thinks that bit is academic now and you've moved on from that stage. Or alternatively, he hasn't got a clue how you feel.

Basically,I think I'd take each day as it comes and if there are too many days and nights with not enough commitment coming your way (if that's what you want, and I guess it really is), you know your own answer. I think there will come a time when you want to know whether or not you are a couple, or just two people who enjoy each other's company now and again and then only you can work out how you feel about the answer you get.

Hear endeth the lesson on love from Swearing Mother: (and what the fuck do I know anyway, I've just spent the whole weekend yelling at my husband, poor sod).

menopausaloldbag (MOB) said...

Oh belated birthday wishes dear Tina. You sound like you had a good one. As for yer man - I'm with SM on a lot of what she says re the real relationship thing. It's about real life and maybe that is what you have here with him but he's slow to commit or to say the words. Who knowS, but as long as you are having fun and your heart skips a beat when you see him than take things one non date at a time1

Mid-lifer said...

Have nominated you for an award m'dear!

Crystal Jigsaw said...

I think you are doing pretty well at 40. Having a fella who you can see occasionally, no smothering or telling you what to do sounds damn good to me.

Crystal xx

Katherine and Pippa, said...

I don't know that asking anyone out is relevant.

It sounds a good relationship if you want sex and no commitment with a nice guy.

But if you do.......then I don't know.

The last casual relationship I had was an awful long time ago, but I'm still with him. And the number of times he bought me flowers is probably in single figures.

We all have different expectations. If this guy isn't your Prince Charming, or even Nice Bear, I hope the real one turns up for you. K

debio said...

I'm with the real life relationship and 'it's not all champagne and flowers' bit - but only up to a point.

There is nothing romantic about sweaty socks, farting in bed, tears, snotty noses and the whole gamut of emotions both men and women display; let's face it, even if you're wildly besotted with someone, some aspects of human behaviour are not, well, just not appealing.

If the way you are being treated becomes not what you want then so be it; but, by God, if he's not to be the love of your life, take hold of the good bits and return to your own sanctuary counting your blessings.

But what do I know?

Love your 'six of the best' btw!

aims said...

Sorry ladies - I have a regular marriage too and put The Man through hell before he even popped the question - yet 11 years into the relationship and he still brings me flowers on a regular basis and presents weekly - just because he wants to. He does the cooking and is cleaner than me. I treasure him and know he might be one of a kind...

belle said...

Well, my lovely, I've held back from commenting because I wanted to see what others would say ... still standing by our phone conversation ;o)

Tina said...

MMOF, he's a brave man if he messes with you!

Casdok, thank God. I keep thinking it's just me. If there's anything you need me to clear up, I promise I'll try. Or get Belle to do it.

Oh Aims, I'm sure you're right. But I'm not packing my games away just yet.

SM, you're a wise woman. And your husband is lucky to have you.

MOB, am I glad to see you again! And my heart does still skip.

Mid-lifer, thank you! Shall be over in a jiffy!

Crystal, I think you and I are on exactly the same page here.

K, welcome! If there is better, I'm not sure I'll be ready for him.

Debio, lovely to see you again. I like the idea of taking the good bits to my sanctuary. It's a good way of looking at it.

Belle, you are as stubborn as I am, and I expect nothing less!