Emily “Gynomite” Gordon, a therapist licensed in two and a half different states (come on New York!), answers your burning questions about love, family, relationships, and icky icky feelings. My inspirado for this segment comes from this question that was asked of me recently:
I am in a rut with this guy who has been a friend of mine for a year or so. He and I work together, along with all of my other friends. We all go out at least two nights a week, and on those nights, I end up making out with him at the bar, which usually leads to drunken sex. The thing is, we NEVER talk about it, we just go to work the next day and make small talk as usual. I would love for us to actually start dating, but am resigned to the fact that this may be the only way I can really have him. What do I do?
You correctly described what you are in as a rut, and not a relationship, and by god is it a well-treaded rut. My first clue is that alcohol is also invited to the party every time. Random hookups with a good friend aren’t necessarily a bad thing, unless one of the people involved wants to change the nature of the relationship. The key to any intimate relationship is communication, which is what you and Captain Bootycall boy don’t have. And yeah, I know it can de-sexify things in a heartbeat, but it’s beyond necessary.
So I can understand wanting to hook up with him, but why do you want to date him? I don’t know about you, but often when I’m at a petting zoo or whatever, I’ll hold out my hand full of feed for the woodland creatures, holding my breath, hoping that I’m the chosen one, that somehow a deer will look at me and be like “this one is special, let’s go make friends with her!”. They get close, and maybe sniff my hand, and I’ll feel lucky that they did. Lucky! Can you believe feeling lucky for just having barely an interaction with a creature like that? (Am I being obvious enough here?)
What you need to do at this point is sit down, alone and clear-headed, and think about what you are really getting out of your interactions with this guy. It helps me to write things down….I’ll wait. Ok, you ready to compare lists? I’ve got on mine physical attention and drama. Now let’s make a list of the things you want out of a relationship, with this guy or anyone. If the only overlap on those two lists is physical attention, it’s time to shit or get off the pot with your part-time lover. Let him know where you stand and where you would like to go, and leave it in his court to decide what he wants to do from there. You may lose a hook-up, but you’ll lose a lot of heartache too.