Friday, June 18, 2010

How to Do a Relationship . . . Backwards

My relationship started out typically enough, I suppose. Boy meets Girl; Boy and Girl become friends; Boy dates other girls. Slightly less typical were the next stages: Boy neglects Girl because of school/current girlfriend/etc. and Girl gets angry, but things eventually smooth out. Girl develops a crush on (and is rejected by) Boy's Best Friend. Finally, Girl and Boy graduate and move to different cities.

Then, Boy's girlfriend breaks up with him.

This is the point at which, in any ordinary Boy-meets-Girl story, Boy and Girl suddenly discover they have been perfect for each other all along and start dating. Or maybe they try out casually dating and discover that they are a perfect match. However, for R___ and myself, there was no instant enlightenment, nor did we have the opportunity to "date casually," seeing as we lived in cities 4.5 hours apart. Instead, we started communicating more regularly over the internet and visiting one another under the pretense of being friends. Which we were . . . for a little while.

I don't know if I would necessarily recommend the following chronology to anyone wishing to start a relationship, but this is what led me to where I am today:

Note: insert bouts of worry and elation wherever applicable.

  • We find excuses to invite one another to visit.
  • I begin sacrificing sleep to stay online at night a little longer.
  • We make out . . . and then reassure one another that we have no interest in dating.
  • We find excuses to invite ourselves to visit.
  • We sleep (literally) in the same bed.
  • I stay up even later to talk online at night. I am now averaging 4 hours of sleep per night.
  • He finally forces a confession of out of me. I am more worried than relieved.
  • We establish that we dating long-distance is not an option and therefore leave our "dating status" contingent upon whether or not he gets a teaching position in NYC. Now I am more relieved than worried.
  • We hold hands in public for (probably) the first time.
  • He gets the job.
  • He moves in . . . for the summer . . . .

And the final misplaced step in this relationship progression:

  • He takes me shopping to ask for my input on his clothes.

I was pretty much flabbergasted when he asked me to take him to Macy's last weekend. If my opinion on clothing matters to him, you know this is serious. Proves there is no real reason to go by the book, right?


Chris said...

Oh relationships. What a tizzy.

Brent said...

Best to not worry over such things; beyond whichm R_ needs all the help he can get with clothes

Gordon said...

Oh, the book. I have to imagine very few people actually follow the book too closely. What is perceived as the typical trajectory must be only the path integral, the version to which everyone's highly idiosyncratic trajectories average out.

Incidentally, from Boy meets Girl to Boy takes Girl to Macy's, how much time elapsed?

Neen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Neen said...

This made me laugh and smile because parts of it reminded me so much of how Joe and I started out:

We were friends (who met through the magic of a university peer to peer file sharing network) for about a year before we started dating. But he had a girlfriend and I wasn't about to wreck their relationship. We moved back to our home cities for the summer and talked for HOURS nightly online. He and his girlfriend split up, and I tried like hell to keep my feelings secret, but he too "forced a confession out of me."

And then finally after months of coy hand holding and secret affection...One fateful night after watching the hopeful candidates for VP of the US debate one another (romantic, I know!), we decided to take a chance on the whole dating thing.

It'll be six years this October. :-)