~Thursday, December 22, 2011

Mini-DTR

Things with Abraham have been great. He's been gentler in recent weeks, a sign I take as letting his guard down. I see it in a look he'll give me or how he'll press his head against mine while watching TV.

At first when I asked the girly questions (like, "Were you happy that I came home early?"), he responded with "I'm not playing your games." Now he'll play along. When I asked what physical qualities he was attracted to, he answered, "Brunettes" and continued to describe me. He's loosening up.

We were lying in his bed one night. I had asked for pictures of him, so he held up his phone as he scrolled through his Facebook profile and narrated for me. As he scrolled down I saw those little three words:

Abraham is single.

It's been there. It was there when I Facebook stalked him months ago. But seeing it again with the way I felt about him now sat uneasy with me. He is single. We haven't had the conversation. But he wasn't single in my heart.

He put the phone down and we switched into sleeping positions. I rolled over and pulled up the covers to my shoulder. Abraham grabbed my hips and pulled them to spoon me.

"Your butt isn't as cold as it used to be," he murmured.

"That's because it's 70 degrees outside despite it being December," I answered.

"No, I mean your butt was colder this summer."

I laid in silence for a moment. So he knew. He was wrong about the summer part—we had been doing this since September—but he knew that it's been a spell.

I wanted to open my mouth and tell him to delete the damn single status from his profile, but I knew it wasn't the time for it. December is a funky month for us. He's going out of town to spend all of Hanukkah with his family. I'll be here. Then he'll be home for a few days, and then it's New Years... schedules will be really inconsistent for the next few weeks. It's not the time to commit to consistency.

***

A few days later and we're repeating the routine, only we're in my bed now. We had both been drinking at our respective parties and had met up afterward. I Love You, Man was on TV.

"Who's your best friend?" I inquired.

Abraham said a name. To my shock, it was a name I had never heard. And because I had been drinking and Wednesday's uneasiness was still in me, I couldn't let it go.

"Does he know about me?"

"He knows I have a special friend, but that was two months ago."

There's that timeline again. He knows! Then my brain stopped. Special friend? What is a special friend? At the time, I was convinced it meant bed buddy.

Abraham was not going to call me his bed buddy, even if it was two months ago! I went from uneasy to agitated.

"But I'm not anymore, right?"

Abraham squirmed. He squirmed the exact same way he squirmed when I asked if we were going to go on a proper date back in September. "I'm drunk and tired," he attempted.

"Good. Then you'll be honest. I'm not anymore, right?"

"Drunk!" he moaned.

"I never do the girl thing, so let me do it now."

"I like you because you never do the girl thing."

"What am I to you?"

"I don't like labels." He paused, "Do you need a label?"

I didn't. I wanted to wait and get through the holidays with no pressure. This wasn't the right time. I was happy with the status of our relationship, label or not. "No," I admitted. "I'm just wildly offended by the term 'special friend.'"

"I didn't mean it offensively," he said genuinely. Maybe "special friend" meant just that, not bed buddy. "I'm sorry," he repeated. "I didn't mean it in a bad way."

"I feel like I'm your girl," I said. "How do you feel?"

"I agree with that."

I paused, "You know labels are going to happen eventually?"

"Yeah, I'm just trying to put it off as long as possible," he laughed. "I'm not going to make this easy on you," he teased.

I smiled. He already admitted future defeat. It was enough for me.

Guys think they have all the power with the label, but they don't. Abraham's already in a relationship. We talk every day. We see each other several times a week. We keep medications for the other person at our places. These are the things that boyfriends and girlfriends do. I laugh at his attempt to control things with a label. As we say in the South, bless his heart.

Abraham isn't a commitment-phobe. He doesn't look down on women. He's just immature. Green. I don't think he's done this too many times before. His last relationship was years ago, probably in his mid-twenties. He's made a lot of comments along the way that things are new for him.

He isn't hesitating in being with me, that's the difference. And as much as he squirmed through the mini-DTR, I know he was secretly pleased with the result. For the rest time we were awake, he kept referring to me as his girl.

"I'm happy," I said.

"Good."

16 comments:

Breeza said...

Yay!

Anonymous said...

Not amused with this creature. Children play the label game, not men.

Maura said...

Happy you're happy. Did he take you on that proper date that you oh so deserve?

bonda84 said...

Defining a relationship seems so much harder than it used to. I'm glad that you got some idea of an answer though. Even though we hate to admit it, sometimes labels can mean so much.

Anonymous said...

This fairytale had better not end, cus I LOVE it.

Anonymous said...

Have you guys at least established that you're dating exclusively?

Sarah said...

Yes!

freckledk said...

Don't worry about the DTR words - they're just words, after all. I'd be happy that you are together and use one another's actions to judge the state of your union.

Sounds really, really good, Cookie! Very happy for you!

Anonymous said...

My now boyfriend did the same thing. You are right, men think they have the control over the label. My boyfriend wasn't ready for a lable in the beginning but we were spending all our time together, talking every day, and doing couple things. For all intents and purposes we were already a couple and a term like boyfriend or girlfriend was not going to change anything. Men are funny. Although I must admit I was mad because I wanted to the label. I'm happy you are happy! Merry Christmas Sarah!

treacle said...

:)

Anonymous said...

Labels don't equal commitment, which is pretty evident by our divorce rate and how prevalent cheating is. Still, somehow they manage to make people feel more secure, and whether we admit or not, come weighed down with a ton of expectations.
I don't like them either, and I'm not a child or playing power games. I'm also female.
The freedom of growing together without the pressure and expectation of labels is a beautiful thing. Granted, it's good to know no one is sleeping around, but beyond that, what is wrong with just enjoying things as they are? Maybe Abraham is content enough with how things are now not to need a label. Maybe not. Either way, smacking a label on his Facebook won't change much. Whatever happens will happen, whether you're Facebook official or not.

Sarah said...

That is very articulate and eloquent. I feel the same way. Thank you for reminding me of this.

Bathwater said...

I not a fan of applying a label on someone before it is right. Not applying a label becomes hard to explain after a while though.

Anonymous said...

Sarah, it seems like you're getting quite a bit of pressure to DTR from friends. Could Abraham be under pressure to "meet a nice Jewish girl", and could that be playing into this?
I could be wrong, but it doesn't feel like much of a stretch that he might feel like he should work out that issue in his mind/heart before committing, so as not to be unfair to you.
I just wondered if that might play into things and if you two had discussed that at all.

The Singleship said...

Generally I think you can tell more about the relationship from words and actions and how you treat each other than from an arbitrary label. It seems like you are both happy with where you are and that's what's most important!

Miss Devylish said...

Like. xo

 

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