I have more questions than answers when it comes to the male brain. But let’s start small today, class…
What’s the deal with “labels”? How does one little word cause so much tension and strife? And, my most important question—is that all that’s keeping us apart?
As you’ve gathered by now, I don’t have the best luck when it comes to relationships. In fact, my friends have been trying to convince me for a long time to write a book about my adventures in dating. And I just might. Sometimes I feel like I’m on a hidden-camera TV show. But I don’t have any money or fame to show for it.
When you hear that one of the common roadblocks in my dating life seems to be labels, you probably think that I must be asking too much. But here’s the thing: I’ve never brought it up before. I’ve never asked “what are we?” and I’ve never asked to be someone’s girlfriend. Yet, it always becomes a problem, even if I try concertedly not to make it one.
It seems like guys convince themselves that us girls are going to try to catch them in our little female webs. I don’t know about you, fellow ladies, but I don’t have the time or patience to spin silk into a trap—or whatever the heck it is spiders do.
I have a perfect example from today for you. Yes, TODAY! A guy reached out on a dating app a while back. We’ve talked here and there in the last couple of months, but both would take absurd amounts of time to respond in between. We finally moved the conversation to text, where I quickly learned (with a little prying, of course) that he wasn’t interested in finding a girlfriend. What was he on the app for, then?
I responded that while I respect and appreciate his honesty, I’m not interested in just hooking up.
“I’m not either,” he replied.
I asked him to clarify: what is it that he’s looking for, exactly?
“Someone to eat good food with, travel with, and do activities with.”
I immediately told him I was confused. The activities he was describing sounded very girlfriend-y.
That’s as far as we got.
That’s obviously a small example—luckily, I didn’t invest much time into it before I realized we were on different pages. But I’ve had scenarios where I’ve gotten in deep and played the role of the girlfriend…without the guy ever wanting it to lead to that status in words.
Recently, I ended things with someone because after weeks, he said didn’t want a girlfriend—or to be exclusive—anytime soon. I mentioned that I never asked for that….but he claimed he “knew that’s where I’d be going.”
So, what is the deal with labels? If guys are going to expect girlfriend behavior, why are they so afraid to call it what it is? Is this something men grow out of? I’ve tried dating older guys, younger guys, and guys my age…but so far, they’ve all been in pretty much the same headspace.
I’m not even 27 yet and I’m tired. Poor Carrie Bradshaw had to deal with this until her late thirties!
At least she had an amazing NYC apartment and a ridiculous collection of Manolos.