Defining the Relationship…

In casual texting conversation today, Anne referred to me as her girlfriend. She was bragging about a test she had done okay on (and way better than the rest of the class) and was really happy that all her hard work despite burnout had payed off, and she said:

“It’s a good thing my girlfriend is a counselor because…”

And I think I stopped reading at that sentence because my head was spinning. I feel like a 14 year old girl with her first crush. I mean, whoa.

And yet.

Um.

Whoa.

Girlfriend seems like a too-good-to-be-true title for the mere 2 months I’ve known her. It feels important, regal, but also like…responsibility, and to just not fuck this shit up, you know? Because I’m not looking to break hearts, but this is also all so…new…and I sometimes catch myself during the day being like ‘oh yeah, you’re not monogamous, you’re not straight, you have a girlfriend.’ Gulp. Am I open to the task? Can I be trusted with another heart when I’m sometimes not the nicest person in the world? Am I ready to settle down?

Whoa Polly, you might be saying (don’t you hate it when bloggers just ASSUME what you might be saying or thinking as you read along? I sure do…) to take a breath, slow down, it’s not THAT BIG OF A DEAL. But yeah, it sorta is. Because like, sure we’ve talked about how we’ll probably date for 20 years or so (not just something I think, but other people in my life see our connection and roll their eyes and say ‘um, yeah, you’re gonna be that old couple still in love and talking about Victorian literature), so it’s not just a woo woo 14 year old “ohmegherd let’s get married!” to the other freshman kid in class…but still…dating…titles…it’s all so…serious!

It brings me to this whole conversation I had yesterday over on the post What’s In a Name where we were looking at how language shapes feelings and things like ‘primary’ and ‘secondary’ can cause hurt feelings. And Anne is in a sexless platonic marriage set up for her to have a girlfriend as her ‘primary’ (only?) sexual partner. And I’m in long-time monogamous but now a budding polyamorous marriage where my husband has been the ‘primary’ emotional and sexual partner. And so while our goals for staying married to men and having a girlfriend are the same, I can’t help but wonder if our need or desires for what each other can fulfill is the same? And after two solid in-person dates, and texting and sexting multiple times a day, I’m still not sure I’m ready yet to call her my girlfriend.

So the convoluted…am I her girlfriend? Do I want to be her girlfriend (yes!) but am I ready right now (yes? maybe? what does it even meeeeaaaaan?!) Can I be her girlfriend but not have her be my girlfriend, yet? questions linger in my mind.

And then…what does being a girlfriend mean…for her…for me? Does it mean monogamy? Will I have the same level of communication with her that I do with husband Keith? What if I kiss another girl, or guy, is it cheating? What if she wants monogamy and I am just not sure yet but don’t want to lose her because she’s so damn awesome?

So many thoughts. So many feelings. So much advice is needed…

But girlfriend. That felt pretty good overall. Despite the mini-existential crisis I’m having in blogoworld…

 

 

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3 thoughts on “Defining the Relationship…

  1. I remember my “first” truly poly relationship (it was only last year, after all!) and the first time that she (a married woman who was herself new to poly) called me her boyfriend. These terms have such a strong connotation, that it’s hard not to feel that giddiness, I agree!

    Ultimately, the labels don’t change how we feel, I don’t think. You still love her, she still loves you. If the term girlfriend didn’t even exist, you would still love each other. You could call each other flivver hobbits if you wanted to (that’s just a but of gibberish my phone came up with) and you would feel the same.

    So yay for the excitement you’re feeling! Rejoice in that! So happy for you! 🙂

    1. THANKS!

      Yeah, the label isn’t necessary and doesn’t change how we are acting or loving. I’m excited to talk with her about it on our date, maybe get some of the fears around what it ALL MEANS out of the way in person 🙂

      I think I also have an issue with ‘girlfriend’ initially because she is mine, but since I’m not totally out I feel this need to be careful or have some dumb code for how to refer to her in public with non-safe people. I honestly think that’s most of my hesitation with the whole label!!

      It is a nice feeling to have with her, though 🙂

      1. I do love the new love (yay for NRE!!!!) It sucks we live in a world where we have to worry about who knows out “outness” on various areas of our lives. Hopefully we’re moving towards a future where that won’t be the case! 🙂

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