Grey Areas, or That Small Middle Sliver in a Venn Diagram

Bet you thought I was gonna post about NY passing gay marriage huh? Well, I’ve already espoused my views on that topic in a post you can read here, but I will say that I am pretty thrilled for those who this law affects. Everyone deserves safe sex and expression of pure love. I stamp it. Go head kids, put a ring on it!

Today I am thinking a lot about grey areas, or undefined relationships. In my own life, these kinds of relationships are the norm. I have only had three boyfriends my whole life. The first one, I broke his heart. Sweetest kid I’ve probably ever dated. Not an auspicious start. The second one was slightly more complicated, but again I was the heart breaker. The third was one the real douzey, when we were long distance and talking about forever and pretending to almost be engaged. In this last case, I got completely blind sided, shattered, toe’ up. Think about the worse case scenario and then double it, and thats about where I ended up.

The thing is, I was never really the girlfriend type. I have always valued my freedom more than any one person’s affections. And to this day it seems to me that labels and statuses just raise the stakes unnecessarily. Also, becoming monogamous or exclusive seems like a really arbitrary step. There are so many ways to show someone to care about them, this one particular limitation just doesn’t feel important to me. I’d rather someone choose to show up because they want to, not because they aren’t allowed to date or hook-up with anyone else.

That being said, I find that I am less and less confident in these sorts of relationships (which, since b/f #3, are all I really engage in. I won’t give you the exact amount of time it’s been since I was wifed up, but trust, it’s been awhile.)  I think that maybe when I was young, I had all that naive optimism and confidence that comes with an absolute lack of heartbreak. I should maybe mention that I’ve been in love exactly four times, and only one of those was a boyfriend, and (you guessed it) it was that last one that broke my heart. Maybe ambiguity is easier when you are young and distracted and just, more carefree. I think also it should be noted that when I was just a kid, these kinds of relationships were the exception and not the norm. Other girls my age wanted boyfriends, and I went to a small school where one kiss meant boyfriend/girlfriend (and all manner of alternative relationships were taboo.) Now it seems that everyone my age is over traditional exclusive dating, and that despite an overwhelming desire for companionship and intimacy, everyone wants to stay single.

I think this is where I start to get itchy. I still firmly believe in keeping the pressure off and options open, but with everyone being so cautious it’s hard to read how people are feeling. And feelings do happen, and they matter, and they are beautiful. And what fascinates me is that everyone I talk to wants the same thing, but people will actually end relationships with people they really like if they think it’s getting “too serious.” But really, what good is that? Wouldn’t it be better to talk it out, see if you can’t set perimeters that everyone is comfortable with before just disappearing. Or better yet, why set limits at all? Why not just float together for a little while, see how it starts to take shape, try and listen to how you feel and not worry about how the culture says relationships should develop or the bullshit accepted rules. Because at the end of the night, its just you and them in a room, enjoying being close. I for one just want to see what happens next, to ‘let go let flow’ and maybe even fall in love and not worry about those details that other people deem relevant. I want to pick and choose what goes in that middle section of the venn diagram, I want to feel out which shade of grey feels most comfortable. It’s not about updating a facebook status or PDA or espousing rules. It’s about being sure of one’s feelings, and trying to be with people who will work with you to find that perfect shade. This will only work, though, if we all swallow some pride and feel despite fear and talk to each other like friends. It only works if we allow ourselves to care for one another and act in a considerate manner. Otherwise, we just become reckless and destructive, and that perfect shade of grey will be forever elusive.

Maybe its just me, but that’s probably why this is the second movie coming out that’s written about grey areas. I’ll be interested to see how this one turns out… Slash I just can’t wait cause I love J Time. Enjoy.


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