Thursday, November 29, 2007

"What's The Real Deal?"

This was sent to Aunt Babz via email...

Dear Aunt Babz,

I met Kate during a trip to L.A. this past March. We met while in line to be in a television show audience. (Actually, it was the Ellen show!) We ended up chatting for hours while in line. Anyways… I was in town with my family just for the weekend, and she was living there for work for a few months. She ended up offering my family & I a ride to the airport the next day.
We had exchanged phone numbers and sent texts to each other asking ‘how are you?’ and whatnot (nothing much at all) over the course of the rest of the spring, and then the summer. More and more texts were exchanged, and in August, right after she broke up with her girlfriend, she randomly invited me to her house in Austin for a pool party. (Luckily I can fly for free because my mom works for American Airlines).
At the pool party, we all ended up drinking, and that night, Kate asked me to sleep in her bed. We ended up fooling around, but did not have sex. She initiated it all. We cuddled and sleep together in her bed.
Over the course of the next few months, I began visiting nearly every other weekend. We began calling each other several times a day, and having very long phone conversations…sometimes going on as long as two or more hours. I even had my mother put her on her flight benefits list so that she could fly for very cheap.
One night, after fooling around, she asked if I was sleeping with anyone else. I told her no. She told me she wasn’t either and hadn’t been.
In October, she invited me to her cousins’ big Halloween party in Louisiana. We flew together there, slept in her cousins’ spare bedroom bed together (cuddled, no sex), and had a wonderful time in general.
When she drives me to the airport, sometimes she puts her hand on my thigh or hold my hand. She never kisses me goodbye, just hugs.
We still talk every single day, and when we aren’t on the phone with each other, we text a lot.
Now here is the PROBLEM. One day, I texted Kate and told her that I regretted not having kissed her when I said goodbye at the airport (thinking that she’d say something to the same effect back.) She responded by saying that I could have kissed her, but that she is NOT on the market for “something serious.” I responded telling her I really like her, or something like that.
In November, Kate invited me to an early Thanksgiving dinner at her family’s house (a week prior to the real Thanksgiving). I said yes, and in turn, invited her also to my family’s Thanksgiving. I ended up going with her, and I met her parents and sister and all that jazz. She turned down my invitation because she had to go to her grandparents for the real Thanksgiving.
One night we were fooling around and she said, “You realize I’m going to have to stop.” (Meaning she wasn’t going to have sex with me, just fool around only). I told her this is something we should talk about. I asked her what “serious” means to her, she said “no commitment” and “more recently, I guess, no sex.” (Her and I do fool around quite heavily, and make out, and all that kinda stuff, but never have actually had full-on sex with each other.)
I asked Kate the next day if she would prefer to just be friends (and I mentioned that we aren’t always very “friendly” with each other, meaning that we go above and beyond that…). She said that “friends is best” and that lots of times when people drink, they fool around. And that’s another time, every single time we have ever really fooled around, we have always have some amount of alcohol before that. We aren’t usually DRUNK, just have lower inhibitions.
Kate’s best friend / cousin who I’ve met and hung out with many times as well, told me that Kate adores me, but isn’t really ready for a relationship. And that I should “give her some time.”
Kate and I still talk EVERY SINGLE DAY, MULTIPLE times a day. AND text like crazy. We call to tell each other anytime anything funny or big or serious happens in our lives. We plan trips together, and talk about what sorts of things we should do in the future, (example: camping, Europe trip, etc).
One time we had a conversation and she said that she does not want to sleep with multiple people, and she just wanted to make sure I knew that. She asked me if I was into that, and I said no.
She just claims that in the past she has “jumped into relationships” and is “opposed” to doing that again. She said she isn’t ready for one right now. She says that I’m “adorable.” She kisses me and holds me whenever I sleep over. She asks me big deep questions and shows a serious interest in my life and my dreams and goals, etc.
BUT I have heard her say many confusing and conflicting things. Once when she was drinking I heard her say, “IF I was single…” Yet another time, I overheard her say, “I’m not REALLY in a relationship.” And still another time she told me that a friend asked her if she had a girlfriend, and she said no.
I am SO CONFUSED. I thought after four months of visiting her, sleeping in her bed, meeting her family, talking to her several times daily, confiding in her, kissing her, fooling around with her, holding her while she slept, etc. we were girlfriends… But I guess I’m wrong?
If she says “friends is best” should I tell her that when I visit again, I cannot sleep in her bed, nor make out or fool around with her, or anything like that? Should I ask her what “girlfriend” means to her?
I am falling in love with her and I thought she felt the same, and she tells me four months into dating that she is not looking for anything serious. But I think that everything I have mentioned above is enough criteria to be considered her girlfriend, no? Except the sex part. But we DO fool around heavily, and nearly have sex all the time. To me, sex is extra. A relationship is more about the connection and the emotions. Or maybe that’s just me.
I’m SO confused and I would REALLY appreciate any advice you could provide.
Thanks SO much.

Dear Alexandra,

So far, I feel you've been extremely patient, possibly, more than most. But I get an over all feeling, that some serious head games are being played here. Control and manipulation, also come to mind.

Kate may very well have really good reasons, for her behavior but it still doesn't sit well. It's quite possible that Kate has been seriously burned, in the past and feels the need to wear an Asbestos Suit? I mean, we have to respect her feelings and I believe you have but none of this has been very fair to you and it's got you in knots. It must be terribly difficult to go through the motions and emotions, thus far, you've had to endure.

At this juncture, in this game, I ask you, truly, what do you have to lose, if you open up a bit more and reveal the truth to her? The truth being, telling her that you care for her beyond friendship. The truth is also that she's sending out mixed signals, in the name of friendship.

I've been very close to girlfriends, in the past. I have found myself, in a similar situation where we crossed the line, usually, under the influence. Of course, it quite often changed the components of our friendship, as it always will.

Even if Kate doesn't mean to be manipulating, she most certainly is and shows clear signs of being very controlling. She seems, to keep you at arms length, pulls you close and then pushes you back. She's either a very messed up individual, for whatever reason or she's calculating and is methodically orchestrating this whole scenario. Only you can answer this question???

Taking Back Control

Just as there are different levels of love, there are also varying degrees of friendship. But quite honestly, you have to ask yourself, really, do good friends mess around, as you have? Sure, shit happens but over and over? No, most friends do not sleep together, even if it's only everything but the actual act of orgasm. Honestly, I do believe if you took a poll and you asked people if friends mess around, they'd say, "NO." Of course, ever person and every friendship is different and there are no rules which actually define your relationships. Only you can define friendship and I do believe you'd not be writing me, if you weren't perplexed and looking for that friendship definition, yourself.

I have the distinct feeling that Kate has many secrets. I am not implying that she's deceptive or out and out dishonest. However, I do feel she has conveniently omitted parts of her life or rather reasons for her behavior. Although it's not unusual for someone to want to take things slowly, to be cautious and even to make the statement that they don't want to get into, "something serious," I think it's high time to take back control.

Alright, you can stay in limbo land forever or you can ask yourself, "Do I really want to play this game?" As I said before, you have nothing to lose by revealing some or all of your feelings and emotions, at this point. You certainly do not have any semblance of a real relationship, if she can't even say you are her girlfriend. Being her girlfriend doesn't commit you to forever but it does say what you mean to each other. Is it not time for some definition here?

I always tell my clients, the best way to communicate some of your deepest emotion is on paper, by writing a letter. If you feel this is too impersonal, I recommend crib notes, when you make the call. I would simply say, that at this point, you feel she wants a commitment from you by asking you if you are sleeping with anybody? What if you said yes, you were sleeping with other people, would that upset her? In turn, it is within your right, to ask for some definition as to how you both really feel. It doesn't have to have a "Serious," label, to command some definition, either. I mean you can tell her that you are not asking her to marry you, it's just that you really care about her, enough to ward off any other relationships, out of loyalty to what? Is it loyalty to friendship? If it is just friendship, you do not commit to that person. I think she has, in so many words and innuendo's, asked you to commit, yet holds you at bay. You know it too, don't you? Tell her you're not asking her to move in or marry but you feel she owns your heart. Now, what will you do with my heart?

She must care for you or she'd not invite you to family affairs and so on. Beyond the friendship, you've behaved as a couple, when it's been convenient for her. I think it's safe to say, you have a right to definition and simply stated, you ask her, out and out, if she cares enough to let you in on her big secret; Her real feelings.

On the flip side, she may be struggling with Lesbian situations? It's a possibility that she will not go all the way because she might think it's wrong? There's a lot of religious junk, people can often go through, in their struggle to be true to themselves. I as well as my own son, have struggled with the ramifications of a gay lifestyle and so on. Is it wrong? Is it against what God wants for me? Having said this, I must say that I believe that God made us, he knows our heart and being gay is as natural to us, as it is to hetero's. I think the problem, as far as religion goes, is in the blatant deviance. I do not feel God likes us just going out on Friday and Saturday nights just to hook up and score. But that goes for everybody, not just the Gay community. So, ask yourself, is this a possibility, that she is having a hard time to grips with her sexuality?

I think you need to communicate and have a serious conversation, making it clear that you care, enough to question the magnitude of your relationship. Tell her, it's time to show her cards and although she owes you nothing, you care enough to ask, "What's The Real Deal?" You owe it to yourself, remember this!

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