My girlfriend C and I have deep, productive coughs, and probably pneumonia. So, rather than dinner and barhopping and general running amok, we decide to finally get around to seeing Black Swan.
We bought online tickets — her for herself and her boyfriend YF, and me for myself. I eventually added YM, as we do see movies together regularly.
We arrived late, 30 minutes before show time — and I was pretty annoyed — so we ended up sitting in the orchestra section of the theater, way too close to the screen. Despite that, we had a great dinner, great wine, and watched a great movie.
After, we walked across the street to our neighborhood bar. I go there at least once, if not twice a week. It’s an upscale wine bar, which turns tvs on only when there are sports on, and plays really interesting music, which gets dancier as the night goes on. It’s one of the few places in town I feel comfortable going alone. YM decides he wants to go home, so he leaves before we cross and I hang out with C and YF, which has happened at this particular place many many times.
C and I split a good Malbec, YF drinks beer, and we check our social media to see what FM is doing. The four of us often socialize together. Little double dates, though FM and I are not openly dating, but YF and C both know we’re sort of together, though they also have been with me and PR and FM in hunter mode. I might have told them it had happened again since we’ve been living together. They certainly don’t know I sleep in his bed as often as my own.
Anyway, FM is out and about in a different part of town adjacent to where we are, and then all of a sudden, C says, “yeah, he’s on his way.” I had been hoping to leave at that point, but FM’s imminent arrival meant we were staying, which was perfectly fine. When FM arrived, he didn’t see me, though he looked, as he was looking for a group and not me sitting solo as C and YF were outside smoking.
They were outside for a while and C let me know that FM was angry and drunk. Awesome . . .
I went outside to join him, and he tipsily told me about his adventures and why he was never returning to a certain bar again. Fine. I listened, agreed, and then we went back in.
We were drinking a bit, as we do, C drinking a bit more than I was. FM insisted, after our wine was done, that I drink a cocktail that he ordered for me. It was fun, as the four of us have vacationed together, dined together, and hang out together regularly, and we always have a good time.
We got home and were sitting on his bed and started making out and then got into a weird thing that ended with him telling me to leave and to turn off the light. I wish I could remember what we’d said or the nature of the fight. It was not a fight so much as tension and I said something and he was angry and I left. But really, I just went to wash my face and go to the bathroom. I had always intended to sleep there, as he had also intended, so I got ready for bed and came back and climbed back in next to him.
We of course started kissing after he gave me a last jab of whatever we were fighting about. We laughed about just how often we end up in bed together, and at the collection of my clothes and nightgowns that are collecting on the sides of his bed. This morning, something was at my feet and I teased him about his boxers being wrapped among the sheets. Except it was my nightgown from two days before.
We had another moment of tension and I can’t remember if it was related to the fight or not. I said to him, I was tempted to send you a message that began: “I’ve had just enough to drink that I really want” [that was all I wrote]. I thought better of it, and put the phone away, but I retold it to him a little incorrectly. We had been sitting across from each other on the side of a tiny cafe table and we’d been there for a good 20 minutes. But when I said it to him later, in bed, I said, “right after you arrived . . .” as I was trying to differentiate when we were inside, as opposed to when we were outside an hour or two later.
But, I misspoke, and I got a lecture, and I reacted poorly, so he reacted poorly and then we got into an interesting conversation in which we actually discussed our relationship. We discuss our relationship every day, of course, but this was a little different. Because our relationship has zero to do with any relationship we’ve ever been in before . . .
He said he was angry I would have sent a text when he first arrived because it could have distracted him before he figured out essentially if there were anyone there worth pursuing. So weird for him to say, but that’s completely in bounds for us. I have often been around when he’s been hitting on women, and he was with there the night PR and I showed up (although we were very much not together then [for a whole four days], and he tagged along with us to PR’s show and then hung out while I kissed PR. So, he’s well aware that I am with someone else, and he’s been cool when we’ve all been together. He pays attention to make sure I am okay with the level of public affection from PR, but he’s okay that I am dating someone else who he interacts with.
The nature of our discussion was what is in bounds and what is out of bounds. For me, it is in bounds for us to sleep together at night when we are already in bed together or if we are sort of curled up on the sofa. Other than that, I don’t think about it. I don’t make passes at him unless I’ve gotten some very strong indications through comment or body language that he’s open to it. Like, if I am curled up on the sofa and his hand is on my bare calf, then I might climb onto his lap and make out with him. But that’s very rare.
Anyway, the lines he started drawing were fascinating because they were lines I would not have thought about crossing. He’s not my boyfriend, so I don’t curl up next to him, I don’t hold his hand in public, I don’t kiss him while we’re sitting together at a bar. I don’t do any of the things I would do if we were together-together. We are not, and I try to maintain those lines for ourselves as much as for anyone else. It would be easy to make out with him in public. It would be easy to curl up next to him when we’re together on a sofa. But I don’t.
So, when he said, you could text me something suggestive, I thought — and said — no I couldn’t. That’s outside the bounds of our relationship. He thought it was fine, as long as it wasn’t a distraction. Meaning, if he were on a mission or on the prowl, it would be outside the bounds, but if he were not, it would be okay.
For me, all of that is too complicated. I prefer bright lines. But this night was all about blurring our carefully cultivated lines. We ended up in bed together and discussed the idea of morning sex. It’s something he says he loves. It’s something I always love, but he’s so grumpy in the mornings, that I often get up and go about my day, even when we’ve spent the night together. But he was quite strong about it, saying, I am always interested, even if I am grumpy, so whatever. I decide I will spend the whole night in bed with him. In the morning, when I awaken an hour before he does, I grab a book and read. And it’s lovely actually, with the winter light streaming into his room and I read and wait. And we end up talking and fooling around and it turns out to be a lovely morning.
I am always convinced that every time may be the last time. He’s finally acknowledged what I already knew, that despite his statements to the exact opposite: that this is not sustainable and will not last beyond our relationships with other people. Technically, I am dating PR right now . . . and I mean only very technically, as I’ve not seen him in 2.5 weeks. I might date BFD again. There are other potentials. But I know that if I have a boyfriend we’re done. FM had denied the same, but he finally admitted last night that when he had a girlfriend, we were done.
I told him last night that I always think every night could be the last because I know that at any moment, I may end up in a relationship. He is a little further away. He’s chatting with women he’s met, but not dating yet, where I am actually dating. But still, our little idyllic home will change as soon as one of us is exclusive with someone else.
We admitted that we’re actually in an exclusive sexual relationship now. But it’s not sustainable.