An Unjustified Title

I can’t tell you how often I’m compared to Carrie Bradshaw. It’s practically an everyday occurrence now. While I’ve been home, my mom has even introduced me as her daughter, Lindsay New York, who writes just like Sex & the City. I am a fan of the show and of the first movie (second one wasn’t for my age bracket) and I do take it as a compliment, but I’d like to think I offer a more realistic view of a writer than someone who writes one column a week, lives in the UES in a fabulous one bedroom with a closet full of clothes and shoes that total up to way more than her rent.

But I digress.

This trip has given me the big ol’ dose of relaxation that I needed, some quality family time, and fun adventures with Mr. Possibility. It’s also challenged me to accept that fact that I’m in a relationship. You see, it took some encouragement and several months for me to admit to the blog that Mr. Possibility had become more than a possibility. Each time I’d see a friend who reads this blog, they’d ask: “So when are you going to say that you’re not…well, single?”

I’m going to meet everyone’s accusations and refer to S&TC, but I’m with Mr. Big on this one – I don’t like the word “boyfriend.” It just sounds way too…young. And referring to Mr. Possibility as my boyfriend just doesn’t have the ring to it that I’d like it to. And unlike Carrie, I’m not witty enough to respond cleverly and deem him my manfriend, nor do I like the sound of that either.

And this week has been full of introductions. Though it may seem like a big step to bring him home to meet the family, it was more a matter of convenience – there was a wedding I wanted to go to, I wanted him to be my date, and why would we waste money when we could stay for free? The decision was simple and the vacation has been pretty seamless…except when it’s time to claim him and really give him a title.

Why am I so timid about it? Why does it feel odd sliding through my lips? Isn’t this what I wanted? I did start writing this blog because I had obsessed about needing and wanting a boyfriend. So now that I have one, why does calling him as what he is seem so out of character? When asked by my friends, my family, and friends-of-the-family about my boyfriend, why is my initial reaction to dismiss him?

I think it boils down to some pretty huge differences that have happened over the course of this step-by-step journey to self-love. First and most importantly, I’ve done a lot of growing up, a lot of forgiving, a lot of detoxing, and a lot of re-evaluating my wants, my needs, and my fears. I’ve really learned more about myself and accepted myself for all that I am in the past nine months than I have in my 20-something years on this planet. And so now, though I have a boyfriend, though I do care about him tremendously, he doesn’t feel like the end all be all. He doesn’t make my sun rise and he doesn’t balance my orbits. He’s part of the light in my life, but not the light of my life.

And then there’s how much our story differs from relationships I’ve had before – in ways I’ve described and in ways I’d never dream of putting on these pages. We developed a friendship, we grew romance at a steady, relaxed pace. We took the time to get to know one another and we let things happen instead of forcing them. We didn’t rush, we didn’t overanalyze, and we didn’t place pressure where points could burst. We treated whatever it was that we had with care and in return, whatever we had turned into whatever it is now.

But I don’t want to scribble his name on notebooks. I don’t feel like I always have to hold his hand when we’re walking. I don’t have to tell the whole world that he’s mine for him to be mine. It’s not about being together as defined by traditional standards or by Mr. Zuckerberg’s updates that makes me comfortable with him – it’s just being around him that puts me at ease. And of course, the exclusivity factor is nice, too.

It’s not that we’re too old to be labeled as boyfriend/girlfriend, it’s just that I don’t think those terms are justified anymore. They are used so often and so haphazardly that they seem careless and insincere. I think partner is the preferred title. Because he stands by me, I stand by him. We’re friends and we’re more, but more than anything, we’re partners. We get each other, we get along, and we get what it takes to keep us going.

And introducing him as “Mr. Possibility” instead of “My boyfriend, Mr. Possibility” is better because it shows that we’re partners, that we’re together, without using the same word I’ve used since kindergarten. I mean, isn’t it time to switch it up? To grow up? To be a partner and not just another gf?

I think so.




8 thoughts on “An Unjustified Title

  1. I totally hear you on this one – my boyfriend and I evolved our relationship the same way and I think that’s why it has worked. From the moment we met I was determined not to overthink, overanalyze or place expectations and worries on our relationship and just let it unfold however because that is always what I did before and it never worked (and lets be honest, girls just do that in relationships). I decided I had more important things to worry about and if it didn’t work out it wasn’t meant to be and I would be ok anyway because I had other things going on in my life to focus on. Here we are almost 8 months later and it’s the happiest relationship I have ever been in! Coincidence? I think not. We didn’t fret about defining our relationship – ok, can I call you my boyfriend now? When’s our anniversary date? etc. We just didn’t bother with any of that – I just started calling him my boyfriend to people at some point bc it was easier. As long as you are both clear that your relationship is exclusive than the other stuff really doesn’t matter.

    • Right, Kim. At some point a title is required, and there is no more romantic title to be bestowed with than to be the boyfriend/girlfriend. Because when that person holds that title, its special, and unavailable to anyone else. And privileged. It says you can walk up to that person anywhere, take their hand, or give them a hug or a kis on the lips in front of Pastor or Pope or Grandmother, and everyone happy about it.

      You gradually spend more time together until there is no one else you would rather spend time with to do anything. And it sure makes you happy, doesn’t it ?

  2. I don’t know Linds. Manfriend suggests he’s primarily there for sex for you, which is inadequate and incorrect. Boyfriend says he is special in a way that makes you feel special, and he is part of you night and day. “Partner” either says the two of you live together full time as husband and wife but are not married, or you are both gay and don’t want anyone to know, or simply its short for “sex partner”, and you’re back to being FWB, not a good thing to tell people.

    Boyfriend says he is special to you, and you both care about each other, and youhave fun together outside the bedroom, and he’s NOT available to other women at the wedding. If he’s JUST your wedding date, others can try to grab him and you won’t care.

    If you want him off limits, and people to know , he’s your boyfriend.

    • I agree with Larry on this one. The term Manfriend is silly because he sounds like he’s only legitimately contributing to your sex-life. Partner is an obnoxious term. I hate it; it only reinforces how America has forced us to see gay and lesbian and transgendered couples. He’s not your partner if he stakes an emotional and life-changing stake in your life. If you want to call him your partner, play poker or go into business with him or something equally unemotional but don’t have a relationship with him.

      Mr. Possibility sounds like he’s your boyfriend. It sounds like you’re trying to get around that term. If he’s important to you, he is and he is that term. I doubt HE’s having a debate calling you a girlfriend… Just sayin’…

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