It had been two weeks since we started dating. At least, I think we were dating. We kissed and hung out a lot. That’s called dating, right? At 18 years of age, I should have had a better grasp on things like this. I guess this is the price I paid for giving up on love a few years back.
How do you know when you are ‘official?” When do you get to call the person you are spending time with your boyfriend?
Pondering this question, college-TK developed a foul-proof plan. It was brilliant and it would work!
When it comes to relationships, no one wants to come off as desperate or needy. No one wants to be the first to give in or the first to fall. My plan would make sure that D would have to give in first. I would make him say it first.
I called my best friend from high school who was attending a college a few hours away from my own. She needed to come visit me. I missed her like no other and I needed an excuse to bring up the question. A date was set, and I was ready.
One night, while D and I were hanging out in my dorm, I mentioned that my friend was coming to town and that I’d like him to meet her.
I asked, “how should I introduce you? Like, should I call you my friend?”
D responded, “what would you call me?”
My foul-proof plan was fouled! It laid grotesquely dismembered on the ground. My own question had turned on me.
This was one of those moments where seconds went by like hours. I could put myself out there, say what I really wanted to say and have the world crash before me. My mind went into overdrive as I tried to devise an answer that wouldn’t peg me as the one who gave in first.
Those thoughts took half a second. During the other half second, I decided to throw caution to the wind. If the man didn’t feel the same way I felt, then where was this relationship headed?
“Well, I mean, I would like to call you my boyfriend, but that only works if you think of me as your girlfriend. Is that what you want,” I said, avoiding eye contact so I could be sure to deliver my answer with an air of dignity.
I confess, I don’t remember exactly what he said to this. It was probably some typical D response like “that works for me.” I’d also come to learn that he’d routinely flip all my questions around so I had to answer them. It happens all the time.
There it was: boyfriend and girlfriend. Those precious labels never meant more to me. Almost five years later, those labels continue to persist.
Also, my friend liked him, which was an added bonus.