Thursday, April 2, 2009

Ignoring advice

If there's one thing that I'm great at, it's ignoring advice.  I've gotten some fairly mixed and varied tidbits and suggestions since my breakup with Jason in January... things from "you should date as many people as possible" to "you should sleep with as many people as possible" to "you should distance yourself from Jason to avoid being hurt again" to "you should stay away completely because he's controlling you."  I appreciate the thoughts, but I haven't taken any of your advice.  Look on the bright side, though: I always leave open plenty of opportunities for "I told you so."

I certainly haven't been seeking out dates or casual sex, so I've completely ignored that advice.  Neither of those things are Travis.  And I certainly haven't distanced myself from Jason.  I'm not sure if a day has gone by since we broke up that we haven't talked at least a little.  It was important to me that even as I lost a boyfriend, I kept a friend, and I've succeeded.

One of the more unexpected conclusions that I came to is that I have no problem with the idea of "friends with benefits."  I was against it at first as being no different from casual sex, which I do have a problem with, but now that I have the context of having had a relationship, I can clearly see a difference, and it's hidden somewhere in that word "friend."  Of course, the word "friend" is quite imprecise, but the conclusion that I came to is that Jason is a close friend, and he still meets all of my selective criteria for someone that I'd want to have sex with: friendship, respect, trust, caring, and a deep attraction.  A stable courting relationship should encompass all of those things, but right now I feel that I don't require that person to be a boyfriend.

So we went for it.  A month or so after the breakup, we decided to give friends-with-benefits a try, with the condition that it would end immediately if either one of us felt that it was negatively impacting our friendship.  (I didn't intend to keep secret this development for my own evil intentions, but I did want to respect Jason's privacy, so I waited until I had the go-ahead to post.)  So far, it hasn't; I'd say that if anything it's improved our friendship.  It's a very good excuse to see each other in person from time to time.  At first I questioned the wisdom of going through with this given how much it hurt to break up in the first place, but I decided that I didn't think that whether or not we're still hanging out occasionally was really going to affect how I feel next week too much if he tells me that he's fallen for someone new.

And so far, it's been enjoyable.  A couple weekends ago I picked him up at home Friday night and didn't take him back until the wee hours of Monday morning.  We spent the whole time together, playing World of Warcraft, watching Futurama, and enjoying a host of other more interesting activities, accomplishing roughly nothing that was productive and generally just being extremely lazy.  (Best temporary roommate ever?)  I could use more weekends like that.  Maybe it was artificial, or superficial, or some other badficial, but it was the happiest I'd been on a weekend in about as long as I could remember.  Right now, I'm glad I've been ignoring your advice.

Currently listening: Duffy—Rockferry

1 comment:

Louise said...

I had a great experience with my "friend with benefits." After all, it's someone you already have things in common with. My one word of advice is just to be careful - if one person's feelings do become greater than the other's, it can lead to a lot of hurt when it ends. Till then, enjoy it.