By: Will Wavvy
Dear Relationship Playbook
Been seeing this guy after getting out of a long, complicated relationship. We’ve known each other for the longest but decided to step out and hook up. It has been purely sexual and both of us are satisfied with ‘that” part. But I feel I need more. We discussed where all of this was going and I told him that I am not looking for a relationship but companionship, someone to go to the show with, out to eat, etc… he believes that companionship is a relationship…. I know companionship (friendship) is a type of a relationship but does it mean that there is “relationship / relationship?”
“Is there a difference?”
Simply put, “No”, there is no difference.
Society has brainwashed people to believe what a relationship should look like, how each person should act and behave (based on gender roles), how often you should spend time together, and other preconceived BS. A relationship isn’t a pre-determined set of rules/guidelines based on a specific label – a relationship is whatever the people involved make it out to be.
When you were only friends… it was a type of relationship.
When you became friends with benefits… it was a type of relationship – albeit a purely sexual one.
And having a part-time companion is a type of relationship, no matter what type of fancy label you put on it.
When you remove away all the hoopla and sugar coating, what you’re saying is you want a “man”, but only when you’re lonely. In theory it sounds great – you get the occasional benefits of having a man without the expectation and commitment of having one “full time”. The thought process is one of the major reasons why some women seek out marry/attached men. And if this is what you really WANT and not just using it as a smokescreen to avoid another “long, complicated relationship” – then that’s your choice and right to do so. However, I think that just like you ended up needing more out of your sexual relationship, chances are that at some point you’re going to want more from your part time lover.
Instead of focusing on the irrelative semantics – the label you put on what you two would be doing – you need to focus on the detailed specifics of what your “companionship” would look like for the both of you.
The most important question to ask is does he even want anything more than a sexual relationship with you? You have to be very clear about this. He can say he’ll try the “companionship”, just to keep getting some ass, and it’s rare for these types of relationships to be anything more than sexual, but you never know. If he wants more, then you two need to be very specific on how it’s going to work:
How often do you expect him to be your “companion”? Once/twice per week? Whenever the mood strikes you, etc.?
How would you feel if you wanted him and he wasn’t available?
Is this specifically about what you want, or will you be available to him when he wants a “companion” as well?
What if he wants a different “companion” to keep him company when you’re not available?
These are just a few of the questions you two need to discuss in an open, honest dialogue and from there decide what you’re going to do. Neither one of you should agree to things that you know you don’t want to do in hopes of getting the other to change their mind. Furthermore, you know that feelings and circumstances change (hence the reason for this letter), so you two need to have this conversation often and make sure you remain on the same page. Just because one/both of you are OK with something today, doesn’t mean you’ll be OK with it tomorrow.
Does asking these questions and having the conversation sound like a “relationship”? Of course it does, because it is. The same principles work for all types of relationships. Just remember that the TWO of you define what’s OK, and what it looks like. No one else.
If you have any life/relationship challenges you’d like answer to, email them to: firstname.lastname@example.org