I’ve been thinking about relationship categories lately, trying unsuccessfully to find a place between “friends with benefits” and “boyfriend/girlfriend” that isn’t bullshit, and I came across a somewhat well-written article:
I managed to read this while not actually making a jerkoff motion, as I do whenever I come across anything that’s in praise of friends with benefits or claiming that we’re no more a hookup culture than we were 50 years ago.
Data doesn’t soothe if it conflicts with your actual feelings, or especially if you’ve seen yourself fall into the shitty, but less-likely scenario. Here’s the reality of uncertainty; I’ve found an essay and a song that perfectly capture how they feel. (I’m obsessed with Mitski right now, so it was only a matter of hours or days before I found an excuse to use her music to illustrate heartbreak).
I’m sure I’ve posted this before, but it’s one of best god damn things I’ve ever read.
Guide To Vague Relationships
A vague relationship basically feels like a real relationship, only it’s harder to tell when it’s okay to cuddle.
Vague relationships can last anywhere from 0 to 8 years, but are usually just a few months long.
You can have a vague relationship with your co-worker, your friend, your friend’s brother, your brother’s friend, your co-worker’s brother, your brother’s co-worker, your friend’s brother’s co-worker, or your brother’s co-worker’s friend – but not your brother.
Vague relationships are vague because their boundaries are never discussed.
Their boundaries are never discussed because one participant thinks that makes things more “exciting.”
More “exciting” means it’s acceptable to pursue other relationships and sleep with other people.
Sleeping with other people is fun because sex is like TV.
Sex is like TV because it is visually stimulating and mentally engaging for short periods of time.
Vague relationships have lots of sex, but no commercials.
Recommended to have on hand at all times
Full-length mirror. This is the most effective and thorough tool for confirming your attractiveness.
Birth control. This can be in the form of pills, condoms, or good intentions.
A pet. Pets are reliable sources of affection. Generally speaking, the larger the pet is, the more affectionate it will be (excluding horses).
Average lifespan of a goldfish: 0-18 months
Average lifespan of a hamster: 1-3 years
How to Enter a Vague Relationship
Get introduced to an attractive friend of a friend, co-worker, brother of a friend, etc. Anticipate having a boring conversation. Feel surprised when the conversation turns out to be interesting. Make each other laugh.
Spend enough time talking to discover you have enough things in common to have sex that night. See each other once a week, then a few times a week. Make sure he calls you more than you call him.
An Important Equation
[(Sex)+(every time you see each other)] * [(Genuine Interest)/(uncertainty)]
Time – discussion(“Official Commitment”)
“Should I ask about his ex-girlfriends?”
No. It is important to avoid the word “girlfriend.”
Sample Introductions to Friends
“This is my co-worker, Frank.”
“This is Amy, my friend.”
“My co-worker, Amy.”
“I met Frank at work.”
“Frank, my friend. We met at work.”
“Amy knew my brother from high school, actually.”
“Oh, my brother introduced us. He and Frank work together.”
Nice Thing to Overhear
“I’ve actually never had as much fun with a girl as I do with Amy.”
Four Steps to a Wild Thursday Night
Text him, “I’m bored, want to come grocery shopping?”
Wait a few hours before concluding that he probably read “grocery shopping” and thought “sweatpants” and possibly “marriage,” which is why he hasn’t responded.
Swallow one Xanax bar and walk to Whole Foods.
Tomorrow morning find three different kinds of lettuce and organic “Tea Tree Tingle” shower gel in your refrigerator.
A hamster is the subject of an experiment about reinforcement. When the hamster is hungry, it can press a button to receive a food pellet. If the hamster is rewarded a food pellet every time it presses the button, it will know to press the button when it is hungry. If the hamster is never rewarded, it will feel hungry all of the time and learn that the button is not associated with food pellets. If a food pellet is only sometimes rewarded to the hamster, it will press the button all of the time, never sure of when its hunger will end.
Average lifespan of a cat: 12-15 years
Average lifespan of a horse: 25-30 years
“Is it okay to daydream about camping together and maybe getting trapped in a cave and needing to subsist on crickets and dirt until we find this really pretty, bio-luminescent ‘cave pool’ filled with good-tasting fish and the water is warm enough to swim in and I accidentally get pregnant and when he delivers my baby he has the same look on his face as Clive Owen in Children of Men when he delivers the baby?”
Bad Thing to Overhear
“No, I’m not seeing anyone.”
If you do have to break down and have a conversation with him about this “thing it is that you’re doing,” know that you have approached the end of your vague relationship, because you will be attempting to define it. A good place to have this conversation is your living room. A bad place to have this conversation is the parking lot outside of P.F. Chang’s, before you’ve even sat down to dinner. When you get out of the car, the least appropriate-seeming thing to see is a faux-marble, grimacing Chinese lion.
Your Solo Cirque du Soleil Act
Try to hold yourself from behind
Average lifespan of a human: 80 years
This is a convenient and affordable one-stop shop for all of your small pet’s needs, but try to avoid walking near the “Adopt a Cat” room with floor to ceiling glass. This room should especially be avoided when there are no other people around, so it’s easy to stare at the neon stickers that advertise, “I’m a Snuggler!” and “Loves to Play!” Try not to think about the one fluorescent light that stays on all night after the employees go home.
“Is the meaning of life to get excited about someone, genuinely feel interested in what he says, try to make him feel interested in what you say, make your bodies touch a lot, then ‘mess up’ somehow, have a long discussion where you ‘talk about a lot’ but don’t actually talk about anything although you tell yourselves you’ve reached some kind of ‘resolution,’ see him less at parties, write things to him and regret it, cycle through desire and hatred towards him but sort of feel unjustified for feeling anything towards him at all, try to get interested in other things or people, have long stretches of time of just sitting in your bed, looking out the window and wondering how it got to be so late, crave physical contact, crave someone validating your existence by showing interest in you, maybe get drunk by yourself a few nights and fall asleep in the bathtub, wake up, and go to work the next day?”