I met the guy I’ve been sleeping with over two years ago and we still see each other on a regular basis. However, even though we’re pretty close, I’m pretty sure we’re not actually dating. Here’s why.
We’ve never talked about where things are going. When we’re with each other we act like we’re a couple, but we’ve never had a conversation about the future. Neither of us wants anything serious, or at least I don’t, and given the fact that he’s never tried to pursue anything deeper with me, I assume he doesn’t either. I’m not really sure how we’ve been seeing each other for so long without having had some kind of talk about what we’re doing, but I think we both like that we don’t have to.
I’m not in love with him. If I had feelings for him, this whole arrangement would be impossible. I really like him and enjoy being around him, but after two years of seeing him at least a couple times a month, I have no uncertainty about whether or not I’m falling for him. I’m very attracted to him but definitely not in love.
He’s not in love with me. Funnily enough, it’s a relief to be having sex with someone who cares about me but isn’t in love with me. I know he really loves spending time with me, but he feels similarly about me to how I feel about him. Love is not in the picture, and it makes our time together light and fun without ever getting too serious or emotional.
We’re not exclusive. We’ve never discussed the particulars of our arrangement but I know he sees other people just like I do. I’m not looking for a committed relationship but I do enjoy dating occasionally. However, even though we’re seeing other people, I wouldn’t say we’re in an “open relationship” either because that implies some sort of primary relationship, and he and I aren’t serious enough for that.
There’s a lot of affection between us. After two years of spending time together, it’s clear that we both really like each other and love our time together. Whenever I’m bored or needing some social interaction, he’s the person I call even before my friends. It helps that our sexual chemistry is pretty powerful, but we also just get along really well. Being together is easy.
We’re definitely not friends with benefits. We didn’t start off as friends and we don’t confide in each other the way friends do. Our sexual compatibility is the defining characteristic of our connection, not friendship. We’re more like sex with a bit of friendship on the side, if such a thing exists.
It’s all about convenience. Yes, we like each other, but there’s also something to be said for being extremely comfortable with someone sexually. If you’re not interested in having a steady relationship but still want to have sex, you usually have to endure a succession of casual hookups of varying quality after uncomfortable dates. It’s a lot of work. Having someone I can rely on for excellent sex without any first date awkwardness is a luxury.
We go out but we don’t “date.” We go out to dinner occasionally when we don’t feel like getting takeout or cooking, but we always split the bill and we never have those romantic candlelit dinners with lots of prolonged eye contact. We chat about things that have nothing to do with our relationship and generally have a great time without seeming to get emotionally close.
We’ve only met each other’s friends incidentally. Usually when you’re dating someone, you reach the point when you’re introduced to their friends. It’s a rite of passage in any serious relationship, but we’ve only met each other’s friends when we happen to run into them when we’re together. We never introduce each other as boyfriend or girlfriend and none of my friends take him very seriously.
I still refer to myself as single but I kind of feel like I’m lying. Even though it’s clear that we’re not “together,” I still feel weird and secretive when I tell people I’m single, as if I’m lying or betraying him. When I’m out on other dates, I have a secret fear that we’ll run into him and things will get awkward. I don’t feel possessive about him but I don’t think I’d want to see him out with another woman either.
We take it day by day, and that’s exactly how I want it. While I always imagined I’d be in a serious relationship at this point in my life, our arrangement is actually exactly what I want right now. I’m very independent and have a busy and fulfilling life, and I’m not ready to make someone else a part of that in any meaningful way. Being able to have good sex on a regular basis with someone I like and am comfortable with is kind of the best case scenario for me.
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