What I Learned from My Long Term Booty Call

Lovelies,

The most bizarre relationship I’ve had with a man wasn’t even a relationship. We were friends and possibly still are, I think.

Until recently, I was not too interested in committed relationships. Besides their astronomical rates of failure and their limiting potential, I found them burdensome because I was a jaded commitment-phobe. Even when my interest in someone went beyond the carnal, I found ways to avoid commitment.

This is why sexual friendships like the one I’m about to describe were my preferred method of getting laid. Arrangements like that are supposed to allow you to, ahem, sin together in the safety of a platonic relationship. They don’t trap you into a social contract.

In this one, I never felt so connected to the person that I couldn’t walk away but I did grow close enough to them that I wouldn’t stay away.

Here’s the abridged version of events:

  • We met in 2017 and formed a “no strings attached” bond.
  • We repeatedly fought and made up because we were both too lazy to sleep with other people.
  • Two years of such shenanigans culminated in me asking if he wanted to date (I promise it wasn’t just because I was bored),
  • He refused the million-dollar offer but we carried on a sexless friendship
  • Like clockwork, we had another fight and months long radio silence ensued
  • S[he] be[lie]ve[d] a.k.a. we made up but he neglected to mention he had a girlfriend.
  • Lots of fighting.
  • We made up again.
  • One last hurrah
  • Sexless friendship (the present)

If that sounds like an unhealthy rollercoaster, it was. Here’s what I learned from it all:

1. The freedom of a temporary situation is a comfort zone
The burden to hold yourself accountable to the bonds you share with others intensifies the longer you hope a connection lasts. When we can see the end coming from a mile away, we feel freer and safer in our non-commitment to those bonds.

2. It’s all right to want to be genuine friends with the person you’re sleeping with

I often disliked how much I enjoyed his company because it felt like a one way ticket to disappointment. Ultimately, I wasn’t wrong but I have since realised I was wrong to be annoyed that I’d made a friend. It’s not a failing to want people you like to be your friend.

3. Actions speak louder than words

Apart from excuses for lateness and other white lies I use to function in society, I try very hard not to be dishonest. I often take people at their word because I expect to be taken at my word.

It’s taken me longer than it should have to realise that what people tell me they feel isn’t necessarily true. Behaviour is a better indicator of their thoughts than words. In the same way, my actions also speak for how I feel. Just because I want to convince myself of something, doesn’t mean it’s true.

4. Rage quitting on a relationship before it’s over probably means it’s not over

When we fought, I would often bail in anger. That’s probably why we made up so much. By the time we’d be reforming our tenuous association, I’d forget whatever it was that had annoyed me.

In stark contrast, when I abandoned other friendships (even platonic ones) I did so with a sense of closure or I had already begun to deal with the end of the association before I’d announced it. Eventually, I did this to him too. When I decided to stop our carnal relations, I’d already started coming to terms with their conclusion.

5. No good can come from knowing someone better than they know themselves

I find friendships with people who aren’t in touch with their emotions difficult to navigate. I live my life with emotional honesty and find kindred spirits in those who do the same. He was not like this. I often found myself needing to exercise patience because after all, we ought to love people for who they are and not what we want them to be. I don’t regret extending that patience but I also never want to see myself in such an arrangement. I have found it too exhausting and the older I get, the more I realise there are plenty of people who value introspection and self-truth – there’s no benefit to me to invest in bonds with people who can’t or won’t.

6. Sometimes you won’t even notice yourselves using each other as emotional punching bags

For all the emotional honesty I’m claiming, I still have blindspots. Most of the times when I took out my shit on him, I wasn’t aware I was doing it. It’s easy for provocation to become a justification for being a bad friend. I learned that friendship and respecting another person are actions, not just thoughts.

7. Love isn’t as loaded as we think it is and it’s not that hard to earn

Almost all my friends are people I didn’t expect to love. My default setting is to keep other people at a distance but every so often I meet people who my heart makes a place for. I hope it’s obvious that I love this man.

I didn’t take to loving him too well when I first realised that I cared so much. It wasn’t just because I had briefly yearned for him (I mentioned that I asked him out, right?), it was also because there was a lot about him that I didn’t like and felt stupid for forgiving.

Ultimately, I had to accept that I cared about him so that I could understand why I tolerated some of his antics.

8. Just because they’re there, doesn’t mean you really want to be with them

I felt so relieved when he declined to date me. I’d made a decision tree beforehand and knew this would be the likely outcome of asking him out. I also knew I was just lonely and, okay fine, bored but I asked anyway so that I would never wonder “what if.” I also wanted to force myself into contending with my complex feelings about him.

Ever since, our friendship hasn’t steered toward the romantic. It deepened in other respects but if there were any doubts that I love him but I don’t want to be with, there aren’t now.

4 thoughts on “What I Learned from My Long Term Booty Call

  1. You know that line on killing me softly? “I felt he found my letters and read each one aloud”
    You just described a situation I was in for a long time😰

    Interesting read

    Like

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