~Monday, March 19, 2007

The most awkward conversation

Jack's room was hot. We were sprawled perpendicular on his bed with our faces in front of his open window. Jack was naked and exposed, enjoying the fresh air, and I tucked the blankets around me; it was the perfect analogy for our personalities. Jack stared out the window while I watched him.

"You like to overlap girls."

"What?"

"You like to overlap girls. Always have another one lined up before you get rid of the last one."

"You have no basis for that. You may have a feeling, but you have no basis."

"Well there was the new girl to your ex-girlfriend that you just told me about, and then there's... You know what I'm going to say."

"What?"

"You know."

"What?"

"New Orleans."

"Oh." Jack paused, presumably searching for an answer, "I don't stop talking to other girls after one date with someone. I'll date around until I decide to concentrate on one girl." He laid his head sideways in his arms and looked at me, "Do you date only one person at a time?"

"Oh God no." My eyes widened at the fervor of my response, "I mean, I haven't, though, with you."

Jack corrected his chin in his arms and stared out the window again. "You don't have to say that to me. If you want to go out with someone, you will." He paused, "If you don't want to, you won't."

I hated his response; it seemed too nonchalant. Too apathetic. I made the fish face, opening my mouth to say something, then closing it again while debating if I really wanted to be that girl.

"I've bothered you."

"No." Open mouth. Closed mouth.

"What?"

"Nothing." Open mouth. Closed mouth.

"Tell me."

"It's just." Open mouth. Closed mouth. "Are you concentrating?"

Jack chuckled, probably at our ability to have this conversation without the real words. Relationship. Commitment. Doom. He stopped staring out the window to look at me again, "Do you want me to?"

I nodded, wide-eyed. He has a way of always getting my feelings before announcing his own.

"I believe we are single until we talk about it otherwise."

"I completely agree."

Jack paused again, "I haven't been seeing anyone else. I'm pretty happy here."

"Good answer," and I kissed his forehead.

"Is it?" he genuinely asked.

I rolled from my side facing him to my back. "I wish I was wearing a clown nose."

"I have no idea what that means."

"To lighten the mood."

"Oh. It's not needed." Pause. "I get pretty slow moving from this point forward."

"What point?"

"Whatever point we're at. I dunno."

"I'm so confused."

"I don't know what I'm talking about."

"Are we," long, drawn-out pause, "dating?"

He chuckled, "I thought that was obvious."

"Can you just explain it to me like a two-year-old? I'm not pushing, I'm just trying to clarify."

"I don't want things to get too much more serious."

I. Fucking. Hate. Men.

"We have to have some pretty serious talks before anything else can happen," he continued.

It was too late. I already heard it: I don't want to get serious. I know how hard this has been for you with the panic attacks and the crying the first time we had sex (I failed to mention that, but yes, I got overwhelmed and cried while he was inside of me. Nicely done.) I know how vulnerable you are, but I just want to have a good time, which probably makes you feel like a cheap conquest.

"There's so much about you that I don't know," said Jack.

The second part of his answer clicked in my mind: serious talks. I have so much fun with Jack. We laugh and kiss and play video games. We tease and hold hands and drink gin and tonics. He says things like, "I'm making room in my life for you." But these serious talks, like what is my attitude towards marriage, are absolutely painful for me. My beliefs are rather personal and I have a hard time expelling them to others; I'm a fairly secretive person. But I also understand that in order to have a meaningful relationship, one has to talk about these things. And now he's conveying that it's my beliefs that will make or break us. It's too much pressure on something I already don't feel comfortable with. Perhaps I should at least give him the credit of taking things seriously.

"There isn't a label for us that I like right now." he finished. When I didn't respond because my head was filled with the above, he said, "You're upset with me."

"No, I'm not."

"Yes, you're upset with me."

"Really, I'm not. I wanted an answer and I got one."

"You know, if you want something, you can just ask."

"I wish I was wearing a clown nose."

"Yeah."

15 comments:

Vince said...

Life can be a self-fulfilling prophecy.

You can still shape it yourself if you want.

Scorpy said...

Sarah, guys are pretty simple creatures and we don't always try and label events in our life... We often say things just for the sake of answering because we know you want to hear something and we probably haven't thought it all the way thru yet. We approach relationships differently and try not to get ahead of ourselves, we act nonchalant because sometimes we think you wants us to be that way...we are diffrent creatures and I personnaly would not READ too much into his repsonses. I once made love to a girl that cried, for much the same reasons that you did, and I felt an overwhelming attraction and conncetion to her because she had trusted me enough to be a part of her life. Take care hun and I'm sure everything will be fine...Just take it slow :)

Phil said...

I was so chuckling and impressed with myself that I'd made it into Sarah's lingo until I read the rest of the post.

WTF?

Maybe it's defintion confusion.

I always assumed that part of dating means I want to find out more about you. Those conversations he mentioned are a part of dating not a prerequisite to dating.

My head hurts.

:-) sweetheart.

M said...

what's with guys not wanting to get too serious? What's wrong with commitment? What do they think is going to happen anyway - the end of their "omg fr33dom"? What do they get with their "omg fr33dom" that's so good anyway? Sex with supermodels? Yeah right - I've never heard of so many confirmed bachelors on the net complaining about their lack of sex lives ( more like OMG SINGLE GET ME TO RSVP.COM QUICK! rather than omg fr33).

If they want their "omg fr33dom" then they should go travel in the Amazon jungles for a while or trek Mt Everest - you know actually do something worth being FREE for.

I hope your boy Jack comes through with the goods - maybe he is one of those people that 'needs time' in order to sort their relationship self out. But this is what it comes down to - one important question: Are you happy with casual?

I can relate to the being private thing.

M said...

ooo nelly, I'm all feisty today!

Kate said...

wow. i think i'm more confused than you are.

Blue Soup said...

Well, it looks to me like you're dating. But that's me just making you even more confused. Be careful mate, he strikes me as the kind of guy who likes all the confusion - that may mean that he is a head fuck. Or he's just a nice guy and I am really distrustful. Best of luck. ~**Awaiting your next update**~ xx

Vinca Pervanche said...

Sarah, I've just read the past few "Jack" posts together and I've come to a conclusion: It's not that he's not looking for anything serious, it's that he IS looking for something serious, and he thinks that you're not or you're not ready for that. I was like that once.

Walter said...

So, there's no AC at Jack's place?

Jen said...

Very confusing. I have to agree with vinca though. Everything you have said about Jack has pointed to him wanting something a little more serious but has been waiting on you.

*hugs* I hope it all works out!

Sarah said...

Vince- I think I'm going to have man-up and start participating in these talks without freaking out. We'll see.

Scorpy- He was actually pretty great over the whole crying thing. He admitted later that it scared him, but only after he realized that it wouldn't happen every time.

Phil- I think it stands that we are dating, but are not exclusive until he figures out if I'm a psychopathic loony or not.

The next time we have this convo, I'm definitely painting a bunny nose and whiskers on my face :)

M- This comment made me laugh so hard, I'm printing it out and hanging it up in my cubicle. Hee :)

Kate- Yeah, it's getting a little tricky. He seems genuine, but there's a lot of double talk.

Blue Soup- Yeah, we're definitely dating, but we're not exclusive. That's what I got out of it. I'm not necessarily pushing for the commitment thing, but I wanted to know after he makes all these "you can date others if you want" comments. It made me wonder where he stood or would like to stand.

Vinca Pervanche- I think you are partially right. I think this whole I need to know you more before we jump means that he does take this stuff seriously, and he has made comments that he knows I'm afraid of commitment (even though I've never just come out and said it), but I think also he is genuinely afraid of it too, and I have no idea why.

Walter- His roommate's room is cold so they leave the heat on. :)

Jen- I wondered why after all that, he said if I wanted something (ie to be exclusive) I should just ask. Ha, and in the end, I didn't. So maybe he is right about me.

a giRL liKe mE said...

A few weeks after we met, my b/f told me he didn't want anything serious.

I swallowed the lump in my throat, held onto all the sanity and patience I had in me, and said "Let's just see how it goes, huh?".

A year later, we made an offer on our first house.

James said...

I don't get how you can not be exclusive and yet be sleeping together. Different worlds?

Sarah said...

A girl like me- Yup. That's the angle I'm going for.

James- Must be a cultural thing. In the States, the main practice is to date many people at the same time, including sleeping with them.

That's it. I'm moving.

dont eat token said...

I just burned my soup because I was very involved with your very talented writing.







He doesn't know what he wants two months from now. His thoughts on being serious have no bearing on how you both will feel in a couple months. He's not getting in a cheap fling with you, he likes you and is curious to see what happens next.

Happy dating!

 

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