But labels do not a truth make, and even if we’d fallen into calling each other girlfriend, boyfriend, partner, significant other or whatever, there’d be no point if both of us didn’t enthusiastically mean it. ” I asked, gesturing with my finger between him and me.After enduring a nearly five-year lesson that someone being your “boyfriend” doesn’t mean he’ll treat your feelings with care, this truth felt particularly fresh..“Hey, so can I get your opinion on something? It was as if I’d asked him a deeply personal and embarrassing question at Thanksgiving dinner.And if I’m being honest, I purposefully posed the question in what I thought was the least loaded way possible (I am a Cancer; we do not show our cards). Ultimately, all I received was the insight that he thinks I’m “totally great” and a lot of feeble nonsequiturs that didn’t make much sense beyond showing me he is wholly unready for me.The truth was evident before he even said it: “I hadn’t really given much thought about it, honestly.” Judging by the rattled look on his face, either that was true or I was watching him struggle through a conversation he’d been actively avoiding. I was disappointed but also relieved — relieved because at least I knew what we were now, and disappointed because in learning all that, I realized I was more emotionally invested than I’d originally anticipated. I don’t begrudge him any of that at all, though I do wish I’d spoken up sooner when things started feeling more serious than casual.
He was scruffily cute and had an indistinct accent that pronounced tomato as A few days later, I received an Instagram DM from him asking if I’d like to hang out sometime. Our rapport was less flirtatious than it was friendly.
At one point, a “showtime” performer on the subway presumptuously referred to me as his girlfriend and I glanced at him, mortified, only to see him gently suppressing a smile.