Ryan O’Connell is a New York-based writer. He likes shoegaze, the Olsen Twins, and figuring out why people do the things they do. Oh, and he tweets. Check back each Thursday for his latest Call Your Boyfriend column. (You KNOW you have a question. Send it to Ryan.)
Welcome to a special honesty-themed edition of Call Your Boyfriend! Why the theme, you ask? Well, because ever since I started doling out advice to you folks, I couldn’t help but notice some similarities amongst all the questions.
“Hey, I’ve been seeing this guy for a long time but we have no title. Should I ask him what we are?”
“Hey, I really like this guy and I think he likes me too but I don’t want to look crazy by telling him how I feel!”
Instead of just repeating the same answer over and over, I decided to highlight a few of these questions and be done with it! So read on if you are in ANY TYPE of grey area zone with the person you are sleeping with (or want to be sleeping with) and need some clarity. Chances are, your answer lies in here.
After this, let’s agree to move on to other very important topics, like dry-humping and rimjobs. Deal?
I’ve been dating this guy for over 7 months. We see each other during the weekend, I sleep over at his place, he cooks for me, I cook for him, he lets me wear his clothes, we watch movies together, and he takes me out to dinner. He never tries to do a booty call, which I feel happy about. BUT we don’t have a title, and I don’t know if I have to ask him now or wait a few more months? Once he told me, “You can call me any name you want because I’m not your boyfriend!” What does he mean by that? I’m confused. He’s a nice guy, and I really want to have a real thing with him, but I’m thinking that if I ask him “What are we?” I might lose him. Please, I need advice!
Geez, you’ve been dating for seven months and this guy is STILL afraid to put a label on your relationship!? That’s not good, babe. That’s not good at all. It seems like this dude is a classic textbook commitmentphobe. He wants all the perks of a steady relationship with none of the responsibility. When he tells you things like, “You can call me any name you want because I’m not your boyfriend!” it’s because he…doesn’t want to be your boyfriend. He’s probably too cowardly to have a real discussion with you about it, though. So instead, he’ll just drop little truth bombs here and there to put the onus on you to figure out what the deal is.
I don’t care how many times this fool has taken you out to dinner or introduced you to his friends. If he’s not capable of being in a committed relationship with you, he’s a waste of your time! If someone was still jerking me around after seven months, I would give them a piece of my mind and say, “Hey you! What we’re doing here is called a relationship! I know, I know. It’s just soooooo scary to really like someone and cuddle with them on Sunday afternoons and have the feelings actually be reciprocated. Oh, the horrors! But guess what? It’s happening! And if you can’t admit it, you’re just a big giant baby. See ya!”
Here’s the thing: you should say that to him. Seriously. He deserves it for stringing you along for seven months. Don’t hold back! HONESTY TIME. These people who act like they’re your one-and-only and then freak out when you actually, you know, want to be in a relationship with them are THE WORST. Screw ‘em. Life’s too short to waste on these jokers.
Hi Ryan, so I met this guy and we went out for coffee. One thing led to another and we ended up in my room, fucking. Ever since, he comes over and we watch movies or whatever but the night is not over until we sex. Recently, he seems to be showing interest in something more, and we have a lot in common and we text a bunch and make plans to do stuff, but he never seems to follow through. Is it my place to ask him if he’s seeing/hooking up with other people, and also would it be too soon to ask him what we are, if anything?
~ Confused & horny
When I read this question, my first instinct was to ask you, “Well, how long have you been hooking up for? If it’s only been like three months, I would wait!” I feel like I’ve given that answer before (literally 75% of the questions I receive are some variation of this one). And you know what, ignore all my past answers: I think it’s time for a different approach.
While it may sound a bit insane and forward to be like, “WHAT ARE WE?” after a few casual hook ups, it’s FAR CRAZIER to just keep on being intimate with someone without any clear definition or title. WHEN did all of this non-dating become so socially acceptable? When did we become so TIMID? If you’ve been hooking up with someone on the regular and you two seem to have chemistry, it is your RIGHT as a human being who’s wired for love and companionship to be like, “What the hell is happening here?”
I cannot stress how important it is for you to understand this. It will save you a lot of time, energy, and potential heartbreak if you just communicate. By choosing not to, you become a part of the problem and not the solution. Your willingness to keep sleeping with someone without any assurance that it could turn into something substantive is a huge reason reasons why assholes do things like this. It’s because they know they can. They know people are petrified of coming off as clingy, so they take advantage of the resulting silence. They sleep with people, they give them tiny birdshits of hope, and then they disappear.
So speak up. Tell this person what you want. If he’s not interested in taking it a step further, don’t bother sticking around.
Recently my friend set me up with a guy, and we had a pretty good time talking and getting to know each other (at least, we did in my opinion). After the date, he told my friend that he found me “nice” but “wasn’t sure if he wants to take things further.” He hasn’t texted, and it’s been more than a week. I don’t want to let this guy slip away because it’s been so long since I found someone interesting who I want to keep in touch with. Should I text him to hang out, or move on?
Since we’re on the theme of honesty and communication, let me just go ahead and be honest with YOU.
No. The answer is no, this guy is not interested in you. When he told your mutual friend that he wasn’t sure he wanted to take things further with you, what he really meant was “I don’t want to take things further with you.” I know that sounds harsh. No one likes to hear it when a crush doesn’t like them back. But trust me: as someone who has dealt with A LOT of rejection from boys, it’s better to know from the jump so you can just move on, rather than spend buckets of time pining over them and wondering.
Something I’ve learned through all these years of putting myself out there and getting shot down is that it’s OKAY for someone to not like you. Really, it is. It doesn’t mean that you’re grotesque or terrible. It’s just that, well, this person didn’t pick up what you were putting down. I’ve been on dates with guys who were perfect on paper. I found them cute, charming and nice. They’ll be great dads one day! But, for some inexplicable reason, my penis was like, “No.” I don’t know why. I just didn’t feel sparks. It wasn’t them. It wasn’t me. It was a muddle of chemistry or pheromones.
So maybe that’s what happened with you and this guy. Or maybe not? Whatever the reason is, my advice is to drop it like it’s hot, don’t text him, and move on with your life. You only do a disservice to yourself when you stick around, haunting your erstwhile date like a ghost. Go ahead and feel the pain that accompanies every rejection (you’re human, it’s okay to get bummed out!) and then, once you’ve wallowed for a bit (but just a bit!) shake it off like it’s a swarm of ticks. You’re on to bigger and better things, babe.