‘together●ish: Navigating Through Ambiguous Relationships (Part 2)

More Than A Title

Part 2. Let’s get straight into it…

ti·tle

1. a name that describes someone’s position or job.

People looove saying titles don’t matter. (Maury voice) The test results are in, and they determined that was LIE! Titles give clarity, duties, expectations, ownership, and most importantly… rights.

My interaction with people at work is different, based on their title. My level of trust for certain professionals is greater than others, based on their title. The way I interact with my mother vs my sister is different, based on their titles. Titles are the framework of interaction. They imply certain levels of trust. They give rights were there would otherwise be none.

If I wanted to sell my car right now, I couldn’t. The best I could do is trade it in. Although I am making payments, maintaining maintenance, and have it in my possession. I do not have the TITLE. Therefore, I do not OWN it, it is not really mine, have virtually no rights as it pertains to it. I think over past “situationships” and the events that happened within them. One particular instance comes to mind…..

Bathroom Basketball

I had been talking to this guy for a cool little minute. We were spending tons of time together, having great conversation, gaining depth, and I was definitely catching feelings. However, things had not become physical just yet. He was always more than a gentlemen, and I was refreshed that he was not in a rush to know my favorite position. He was … soft with me. Unfortunately, prior to this interaction I was unsure of what that felt like…that it was a possibility.

One night, I came over to fall into a series of events that was just settling into a routine. I curled up next to him on the couch, got a drink, picked a movie, and the night was off. Nothing interesting here. Things didn’t go left until midway through the movie, when I got up to go to the bathroom. I entered the bathroom in the dark, peed, and washed my hands. Afterwards, I realized I had to blow my nose. I did so, balled up the tissue, and did my best Kobe attempt for the trash can. I missed. I walked over, reached down, grabbed the paper, and made eye contact with the trashcan. (cue dramatic dun-Dun-DUN) THERE WAS A MFN CONDOM WRAPPER IN THE TRASHCAN!!!

When I tell you the breath left my body. Weak. So many thoughts crossed through my mind. So many feelings. Seeing why he could seemingly be so “patient.” I was pissed, hurt, embarrassed, and for some reason …ashamed. Just when I was about to storm into the other room and check his ass, it dawned on me….We are not together. This one sentence that passed through my mind like a digital marquee, changed everything. I may have had negative feelings about what I saw, I may not have liked it, I may not agree with it…But at the end of the day he was a single man, and guilty of no crime. I was not his girlfriend. I had no title. Therefore…I had no rights. Just hurt feelings and an opinion.

Unsure of how I was going to use the information I had just stumbled upon, and very much still processing. I went back to the living room, and sat back down on the couch. However, this time I did not return to snuggle position, I did not return with the same energy. My countenance had changed.

Totty Hall

There is something about the safety and security of a title. It reminds me of how I felt when I got my 1st apartment after college. I had been so accustomed to moving my entire life in and out multiple times a year. I got to the point where I didn’t even bother to decorate because I knew I would have to take all of it down in a few months. I knew it was temporary, and I treated it as such. But when I signed that lease, got my first set of keys, and closed the door beind me for the first time…it was mine. I did not know if I was going to renew my lease once, 3 times, or ever, but it was mine. I customized it, decorated, kept it clean, and made sure the maintenance was up to par.

I feel the same way about relationships. Now there is an appropriate place and length for the talking phase. It will be different for everyone. Yet, there’s something about “talking” for months and months and MONTHS that gives me a dorm room feel. It is temporary, it is indecisive. There’s no need to really invest emotionally, or get too deep because (shrug) I’ll probably be moving on in a few months. But a title will give you the security to invest, to explore the depths, and hang some pictures on the wall to make it your own.

Once you get to a certain point, either you’re in or you aint. Period! Either you want to get to know this person in a way that can only be done through exclusivity, or you don’t. But instead of admitting this. Instead of treating people like undersized fish that don’t meet our standards and throwing them back, we hold them hostage. Using them as nothing more than place warmers until something better comes along.

PTSD

Male or female, we are all scared of being hurt. We are ALL scared of being played, embarrassed, or reliving a feeling of when we were. We are all scared of posting someone and now you got DMs of someone coming to you as a man or a woman. But that’s the crazy thing about love… you gotta give it 100% every time, and if you’re not ready to do so…you’re not ready.

“We live in a generation of, not being in love, and not being together
But we sure make it feel like we’re together
‘Cause we’re scared to see each other with somebody else “

Drake is the Morgan Freeman of the millennials, narrating the subtlety of moments that were only feelings but never words. We LOVE love and won’t admit it. We are so scared of being hurt, terrified of ending up like our parents, and mortified of being alone. The fear is paralyzing. It pours emotional concrete over our feet and strips us of our right to movement. We are 30,000 feet in the air with the seat belt sign on.

So instead of taking chances, instead of tailoring our behavior to what we want and not the other way around, instead of giving 100%, instead of investing… we settle for the gray. We settle for ambiguity. We settle for having possession of each other, but no rights. We settle for being nothing and going no-where. We settle for warm bodies and empty hearts. We settle. We believe the lie that something is better than nothing. We believe the lie that this is normal in today’s society. We believe.

I believe everything in life is cyclical. From platform shoes and tie die, to real music and relationships…everything comes around again. So I am less concerned with what we settled for or what we believed. My question is….what have we learned?

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