I hate sharing a bed. I dated a guy for years and still resented our slumber parties. Part of me felt, and still feels, like I should like it - all girls like cuddling, right? And part of me loves the closeness. But still, my space, it’s sacred, it’s mine and the older I get, the more I want to reserve that level of intimacy for more serious relationships. Relationships with people who know the name of my first pet, where I was born, my middle name.
Last night I had a date with Mr. Sweet Thang, a real date with the dinner and the movie and the awkward goodbye. Unfortunately, the goodbye took place this morning, instead of last night at a reasonable hour as I had planned.
It was a very enjoyable date - one of the most enjoyable I have had in quite some time. He amuses me with a sort of profound toilet humor that is half underscored with intellect and half with immaturity.
It is because of this humor that he was invited back to my messy apartment after the movie. Well, that and because he invited himself. We sat on my couch and drank red wine and chatted about life and relationships. It was lovely. (It seem somewhat wrong to describe sex jokes as lovely, but still.)
I like Mr. Sweet Thang for a variety of reasons but mostly because I don’t feel like I have to pretend around him. He sets a standard for honesty to the point of obnoxiousness and it easy to be relaxed, to just be me.
So laying there in the dark, wishing I could just fall asleep, and instead stressing about work and life and obligations, I felt terribly guilty. Guilty for being dishonest, guilty for doing something that wasn’t really what I wanted and guilty, because regardless of the fact that there was no pressure, I felt like I had put myself in a position where I felt obligated to go back on my word. Which is something I really, really hate.
“It is the slut defense,” he had said earlier as we were sitting on my couch. “When girls start accusing you of being slutty and they make a big show of telling you that you aren’t getting any, it is then I know for sure that I am.”
I wasn’t so sure about that part of it but as he made a play for a slumber party I felt a familiar sense of uneasiness that I hadn’t experienced in quite sometime.
I once dated someone who referred to me as a ‘weak willed woman.’ He claimed I had said it first, and while that may have been true, I loathed that he called me it all the same. He would push for something and I would give in. And then it would be my fault. Because while I might not necessarily have wanted anything, I didn’t really not want it either.
So I ended up laying there in the dark, testing the boundaries of intimacy, of my ability to stick to my word, and I just felt a little sad, and guilty because this poor kid had no idea. It might not have seemed like that big of a deal to him but it was to me and instead of just saying so and sticking to my guns, I just went along. As I had joked earlier in the evening, “It is easier to just go with it than argue about it.”
I have told my friends over and over again that I am happy to just do my own thing and this is true. I am finally getting to a place where I am comfortable with me and I suppose at some point that means getting comfortable with me in the context of other people. But before that can happen, I guess I need to get okay with needing boundaries and space and the feeling of saying no.
I am not sure what tomorrow will bring but that guilty feeling will not be part of it. I hope.