The Dating Exchange: Third Date

By: S. Davis

Here’s our first two dates if you wish to catch up. Let’s go…

Lucy: You say you’re conflicted; what do you miss about being involved?

S: I miss…hmm…that was a good kickback question, Lucy. I miss kissing more than anything else. After that it’s mostly the little things like smelling her perfume on the bed sheets and the scent of her hair. I have a deep appreciation for the maintenance women undertake in tending to it. Waking up with a face full of it from my girl is always welcome. Conversing for hours in bed is another one I’d add to the list.

I’ve always been conflicted about relationships because half of all marriages/relationships fail. Personally, it seems like a good way to waste a shit-load of time only to hate one another, get divorced, fight over the innocent children caught in the middle and the bullshit that is alimony (for either party). Paying a tax for a relationship’s dissolution is wild. Look I’m not against the idea of being involved because some people really do hit the romantic lottery but it’s so rare. Do the others not as fortunate to be blessed with a lot of luck even have a chance at longevity? I don’t believe in their viability when factoring all the sacrifices needed to ensure a relationship remains fruitful.

Relationships work, for a select few. I’ve always been more comfortable dating several women – or dating one casually – over being committed to one. I like my freedom and I don’t want to feel suffocated or held back. I’m not jaded at all. Each time I was committed I held close to heart that it was going to end; whether that meant death or breakup. So many people have this idea that a successful relationship has to lead to the altar. I vehemently disagree. There are times that they just run their course. I believe that and move forward when it ends. Eventually an exceptional woman will come along and it will be fun…until it’s not – and I’ll end it. I look forward to my next relationship – mostly – but I’m not viewing that person through a lens of perfection.

Isn’t it funny how all the people coupled up in your life live through you now? It’s funny because there are other times when you’ll probably get chided for being single. (I do now and it makes me laugh.) My friends go crazy over the stories I bring back from Europe. Besides regularly scheduled time in the sack, is the loss of that companionship you once had a big hurdle for you? Is that the secondary part of a fwb deal that appeals mostly to you? Is that what you meant when you stated, “friendship will help to fill some small missing part of me, even if it’s just a little bit”?

Lucy: I whole-heartedly believe relationships take work, but how much work is normal for a successful relationship? No-one really knows…

S: I sure don’t.

Lucy: Every relationship is different, some work, some run their course yes, but it all depends on the individuals involved. As for your comment “I held close to heart that it was going to end”, that brings me to this saying “what you feel, you attract. what you imagine, you create.” so maybe having any expectations, good or bad, right from the start is a recipe for disaster. Then again, it would probably most likely just prepare you for any outcome, so I’m divided on that.

S: Good point. It was (sort of) a self-fulfilling prophecy but I wasn’t being negative about the relationship at the time, I don’t think. I think I was just accepting that it was ending.

Lucy: I was honestly shocked at how many details the coupled up people in my life want! They tell me where to find men, where to go on dates and yes I do get the “poor you” for being single and they want to set me up with a friend of a friends brother or cousin, but I honestly think it’s just so they get more stories out of me!

S: Haaaaaaaa! I know the feeling.

Lucy: Who said anything about regularly scheduled time in the sack!? If anything it’s more “scheduled” now being single! Organising dates and times to meet for dinner at such and such restaurant at 7pm with the hope that it will lead to sex. Yes the loss of companionship is quite a hurdle for me, I have friends and family that I can talk to about mostly everything, sure, but I was in a 10 year relationship and I didn’t hold back saying anything, embarrassing and all! I would have to say yes that is definitely one of the reasons that fwb is so appealing to me. And yes that is what I meant, I don’t expect to open up completely to a fwb but it’s appealing to at least let someone in at least in some small way. I feel like it will help me with my “healing”, otherwise I fear I will close off all of my emotions and my heart to everyone. Nobody likes a bitter bitch!

S: Don’t you close your heart to me, Lucy, ha. I understand completely how you feel though. Having someone definitely keeps the heart warm and it can aid in the healing process. You’ve been through a great deal lately so don’t be too hard on yourself.

Lucy: What’s the difference between a relationship and a fwb deal? Is it just “love” that separates them? As well as the titles of “boyfriend”, “girlfriend”, “wifey”, “bae” or whatever else tickles your fancy? I’m curious because I’m starting to think these situations will inevitably build more feelings and end up failing. Or maybe that’s me just being scared and already trying to run away!

S: Boundaries. A fwb must be armed with some whereas a relationship has none. If someone finds themselves falling in love with a casual acquaintance, there’s a high risk of heartbreak. That’s why you try to limit the frequency in which you spend time that person unless you have complete control of your emotions. In contrast, communication is paramount to ensure the other party has the same level of control over theirs. If love develops then it’s no longer a clean-cut fwb agreement any more. It’s not.

Your intuition about the inevitable failure rate is 100% correct when you factor in the building of real feelings. There’s no way to avoid them from materializing forever. Familiarity, companionship, sexual chemistry, etc; begins to form a bond. A fwb can only last for a short blip – weeks, months – and then it’s time to move towards another person or just find true contentment in being single (without actively dating anyone).

These arrangements begin with an end date in mind, either discussed between both parties or one already has an exit strategy. There’s no other way to navigate it. It’s meant to be temporary. Think of it as a rest stop or a layover (on your way to LA). It is not a final destination, just a detour on your way. Keep that in mind. You don’t need to be scared and run away, silly, ha. Just understand that it’s supposed to be temporary.

I’m not sure if you’re looking ahead but have you given any thought to being truly single? As in just focusing on Lucy without having sex? I know you want the companionship (with sex) right now but how much longer into the future would you want flings and casual encounters? Have you considered taking the time to just enjoy being comfortable in your own skin? Focusing on the woman in the mirror, thinking about what you want for your next chapter.

Lucy: I feel like I already royally screwed up my fwb situation, we didn’t set any boundaries!

S: Oh man, ok, let’s hear it all.

Lucy: Last night walking around the city after we went to a whisky bar he held my hand, and I let him, and enjoyed it (insert awkward, confused face).

S: (Inserted)

Lucy: I’m not sure what we’re doing but I’m having fun, so that’s all that counts right?

S: If you’re enjoying it, Lucy, then just ride the wave. You deserve it. Don’t beat yourself up but understand that you’re entering emotional territory that may cultivate bonds you may or may not be ready for. If you’re comfortable and he’s treating you with respect, there is nothing wrong with the happiness you’re feeling.

Lucy: I gave thought to being single as soon as I realised I was happy being single! I didn’t expect to meet anyone; I was just having fun, chatting, flirting, etc. This guy just sort of came out of nowhere, and now I’m just going with it to be honest. I am just focusing on myself first, I have my priorities in order still, he’s just like a bonus on top of me just being me, being happy with who I am. It is what it is for now, I feel like this guy is still a bit hung up on his ex, I’m just a rebound and no doubt it will end sometime in the near future, so in the meantime I’m going to enjoy it while it lasts, and not expect anything to come from it.

How many fwb have you had? And when they inevitably ended; how did you feel?

S: Answering that question could be rife with all kinds of reprisals. Ha. How many? The line becomes blurred due to the fact that feelings ruined every one of them. Let’s just say that it’s been several as the majority of the women I’ve dated have been casual in nature. When I’m entering a partnership labeled with the fwb tag, I don’t feel anything at its conclusion. I’m robotic that way. I know what to expect from the start and I know it’s going to burn out in the near future.  They’re solely based on sexual chemistry so I had no emotional attachment at all; I don’t allow myself to build or yearn for a deeper connection. Once they expired, I went on with life as if nothing happened because in my mind nothing really did. It was just a lot of sex; hopefully it was of the top-notch variety. From that point the only inconvenience revolved around recruiting a new fwb because eventually I’m going to desire another woman – and NO man wants to lose access to consistent sex. Most women make that shit hard to nail down – literally – so tracking down a replacement is a chore.

Another date coming soon.

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One thought on “The Dating Exchange: Third Date

  1. REDD March 8, 2016 / 1:02 am

    As always your words life experiences i love

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