How to Completely Half-Ass an Important Conversation

As many of you might have guessed from my last post, I had recently been contemplating making things official with the guy I’ve been dating for the past month or so. (Woah, exciting!) As a bit of a recap, over the course of the past five months I’ve gone from being depressingly single after being abandoned without explanation to going on three dates with three different guys in a single weekend to becoming happily monogamous with someone I really like. That seems like a natural-ish progression of events, I suppose.

Anyway, that’s not really my point here. My point is that for the past week or so, I’d been thinking about the inevitable conversation that I would have to initiate in order to state my intentions that I had no desire to see anyone else and how I hoped that he didn’t either.

That’s kind of a difficult conversation, especially if:

  • You’re the type of person who gets nervous or anxious about simple things, such as scheduling a doctor’s appointment over the phone or not submitting your taxes properly.
  • You’ve already talked about the elephant in the room: why you’re both online dating, the craziest online date you’ve been on, how many relationships you’ve been in, etc.
  • It appears from every angle (how much time you spend together or how “dates” have smoothly transitioned into “hanging out and staying over”)  that no conversation is needed, despite the presence of social norms which allow you to see other people until you’ve strictly made it official.

I think I go against the grain in that once I go on a few dates with a guy I like, I don’t actively try to see or meet other people, in the hopes that dates will transition into a relationship. If I wanted to pursue other options, I would — but I never do.

I thought about ways I could begin the conversation (“So, I was thinking about deleting my OkCupid account…” or “I’ve been assuming we’re exclusive, I hope I’m right…?”), mulled the details of the situation over and over (and over) again, picked friends’ brains about what I should do, agonized and made myself nervous, and last night finally decided to man up and do it.

We made some really healthy thing for dinner (mom, he’s seriously getting me to eat vegetables) and afterward sat on the couch finishing a bottle of white wine. I had just about worked up the nerve to start the conversation, but my brain wasn’t connecting to my mouth and I literally could not vocalize anything I was thinking. Then, we decided to watch stand-up comedy on Netflix. At some point during a really bad joke, I managed to open my mouth and say “I like you.” (Genius! That’s a great start!) He responded in kind (awesome!) so I took a deep breath and I informed him that I had a question. The conversation went as follows:

Me: So, I’ve been thinking about this for a little bit… I was wondering if I could tell my friends you’re my boyfriend…?

Him: (After a few seconds during which I’m fairly certain he smirked at me) You may.

Me: Okay, cool, because like, they’ve been asking who I’ve been spending all of my time with and I didn’t really know what to tell them and yeah.

Him: Okay.

Him: This isn’t the alcohol talking, is it? (Earlier, I had informed him that I was starting to get tipsy — mistake, because I’m the worst drunk ever and he’s… not.)

Me: NO! Of course not.

Him: Okay, good.

That’s all there was to it. We went back to watching our stand-up comedy like nothing had changed. Which, to be honest, nothing did change. I’m glad about that too, because things are pretty great right now. And, once again, I got myself worked up over nothing.

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