Dating vs. Pseudo-Dating

Relationships are just going to be the theme this week because that is what is on my mind. Next week, I promise, I’ll have other things to talk about (I have a mental list that has been growing). I just have to gush a little right now because, after so much pseudo, it is beyond refreshing to have something real. To have something mutual. I cannot help but celebrate the beauty of actually dating over pseudo-dating. Here are all of the little things that I’m reveling in so far:

There is No Question about What’s Going On

When all of those other relationships started, I never knew what those guys were after. They were clearly attracted to me, they got attached to me quickly but it was hard to determine the nature of their interest. While all the women in my life would be like ‘Men don’t text dialogue all day with women they don’t want to date’ or ‘Guys don’t just leave voicemail stories for girls they aren’t interested in’ or ‘Having an eight hour long conversation is pretty serious, no guy would do that if he doesn’t want to date you.’ These things were always debatable. Our relationships were always more emotionally intense, time consuming and possessive than a normal friendship but it was never clear if they were moving towards romance. I never even really knew if I actually wanted something romantic with them. I was as confused as our relationships were confusing.

In this relationship, there is no debate. We’ve both been obviously attracted to each other for a while (though he definitely fell for me first) and, since our initial text dialogue, we’ve been honest about what we want. I’ll admit that I sort of set this tone of honesty but he’s proven to be just as forward and frank as I am. It’s incredibly refreshing.

You Each Own Your Attraction

None of those other men in my life would ever really own their attraction to me: “I just like talking to you.” (That’s why you practically stalked me, cause you could tell I would be an amazing conversationalist?!) “I just really admire you, like a mentor.” (Really? Who sees their mentor cry and kisses them on the forehead?!). Even though they always initiated our relationships and set the tone, they ultimately made it out that any attraction was simply on my side. I wanted to be like “Honey, I’m a great reader of attraction and I saw it in your damn eyes so give me a break.” But you can’t force someone to own their attraction when they’re set on denying it. I couldn’t point out these things and, until I was ready to throw in the towel, I had to hide my attraction as best I could.

This man owns his attraction to me. And so I’m able to wear my attraction to him (being coy doesn’t really suit me –plus, my eyes totally give me away).

You Don’t Have to Consciously Maintain Your Distance

While those guys would definitely invade my personal bubble, I never felt like I had permission to do it back: “Why are you sitting so close to me?” (Um…who was just invading my physical space like fifteen minutes ago?! I’m pretty sure it was you). Besides maybe initiating a hug when we said goodbye, I had to keep my distance. It was frustrating that I couldn’t just be comfortable being close to them. That I had to create artificial space between myself and the few men I’ve been comfortable enough to not want at arms length (when most men enter my bubble I either physically withdraw or internally cringe, these men are a rare exception).

I don’t have to worry about that now. I can stand close to him. I can put my hand on his arm. Etc. I’m able to be at ease. There is no need for me to constantly police my sense of comfort.

You are Wanted for You & Vice Versa

Most of the men who have been attracted to me have never really wanted me. It wasn’t even just that they didn’t want to date me. They only wanted aspects about me. What I could give them. How I made them feel. They’ve wanted me to guide them, to entertain them, to inspire them, to make them feel alive, even to love them. They wanted to wear our intimacy like a badge of honor. But they never wanted to give me as much as I gave. They never simply wanted me for me as just me. In all of my human-ness. Even that first guy I went on a date with after getting back from NYC would fall into this category. I could tell that I couldn’t ever have been more than a concept for him (frankly, that was the biggest turn off). For me, those men were always projects. I consented to the nature of our relationships because I wanted to save them, to mold them, to help them become the men they could be. But I’ve had enough of that.

I can tell that I’m not a concept for this one. I’m just me. Beautiful, radiant, ridiculous and needy me. He wants our relationship to be about us instead of about him. He isn’t asking for more than he’s willing to give in return. I don’t want to help him become the man he could be, I just want to be with the man he is.

All of these are refreshing changes. Breaks from what had been my norm. They are the signs of the start of something undeniably healthy and good. Don’t think that these are all the reasons that I like him. I’ve refrained from gushing about all the aspects about him and about our interaction that make me rather wild about him (If this works out, maybe I’ll tell you about them in the future). These are some of the pros of exchanging pseudo for something real. An exchange that can be frightening (and hard to believe will actually happen) but is entirely worthwhile.

2 thoughts on “Dating vs. Pseudo-Dating

  1. Yay for Lindsey! I can’t wait to see you, and share the stories of our dating lives post-high school. I am so glad to hear that things are off to a great start with this new lucky guy!

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