It’s been a long while since I’ve been fortunate enough to sport status “In a Relationship.” I’d tried not committing. I’d tried retrosexing. I’d had a few one-night stands. I’d tried turning to the Internet. But I was always coming up short.

About a month ago, I found myself in the middle of something that looked like a relationship, felt like a relationship, functioned like a relationship, and for all intents and purposes, was a relationship. This new guy was boisterous and funny; great job, great dancer and could talk to anyone about anything. He was the confident, self-assured man I’d been looking for. We went home together after running into each other in the unisex bathroom at the bowling alley. I fell into the lane earlier that night, and took a shot of whiskey to ease my embarrassment. The rest was downhill from there.

Since that night, we’ve had an epic island camping adventure. He introduced me to his mother, his sister, and multiple members of his extended family. A clerk at a gift shop in the Old Port thought we were married. He didn’t even care if I wrote about him in my blog. Things were going really well, until recently, I decided not to go to a party with him which I had previously committed to… and we had our first disagreement.

Yes, he waited over an hour for me to get off work so I could go with him. I was tired, and not mentally prepared for working a room of 200 people, drinking and staying up all night. I changed my mind, and he was now raising his voice to convince me to go. The next day, he did not return my call. All day. He was upset with me, I was upset with him, but we needed to talk about it. It was a huge red flag that he went off the grid.

This incident forced me to initiate the “State of the Union” conversation. I asked him if he wanted to see other people, which is a sneaky way of making him tell me if he wants me to be his girlfriend. His response was surprising: he was into me, he didn’t want to see other people, but he liked the independent, carefree nature of his life, and didn’t want to be in a relationship. Unless of course, I need him to be my boyfriend for us to continue hanging out, i.e sleeping together?

To quote Liz Lemon, “This is a deal breaker.”

I can’t be with someone who would just rather not commit to being with me. If he wants to be single, look no further. I’m great at being single. No more showing up at my job unexpectedly and coming home with me. In fact, no more staying over unless you’re invited over and no more public displays of affection.

Everyone seems to be happy single and independent. No one is boyfriend-and-girlfriend anymore; We’re all just “hanging out.” Everyone is a commitment-ophobe. It’s cowardly, and it seems my whole generation has this problem. Relationships are a lot of work and hardly ever easy, and it is a risk, because it’ll hurt real bad once it’s over. I get it.

But what everyone seems to be forgetting is that you can’t fall in love if you’re just “hanging out.” Not to get all wax poetic about this, but love! It’s such a fantastic pursuit and so hard to come by, why pass up the opportunity? There’s nothing greater.


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