The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry. I am the mouse in this metaphor, Spontaneous Guy is the man, and the plan is to have “The Talk.”
Per Dr. Diana’s instructions, I carefully crafted a strategy to initiate the exclusivity talk with Spontaneous Guy. We had plans on Friday night to go to a friend’s rooftop party together, spend the night at my place, and take a long walk along the Brooklyn Waterfront on Saturday.
In my mind, the scene of our “Talk” played out in pitch perfect rom-com fashion:
A warm Sunday afternoon, 4 p.m., Brooklyn, New York. A young couple hold hands as they walk along the water. The girl leans over the railing. They laugh as the man tells a joke.
Girl: Let’s stop and sit on this bench for a minute.
Spontaneous Guy: Sure.
Girl: I’ve really been enjoying spending time with you the last few months. How about you?
Spontaneous Guy: Yes, I have too. So much. Let’s stop seeing other people. Let’s be boyfriend and girlfriend.
I was hoping for an easy and painless talk where Spontaneous Guy took initiative and claimed me as his woman.
Here’s how our talk actually went:
A rainy Friday night at 2 a.m. A young couple fights drunk East Village bar hoppers for a cab on the Bowery. They finally snag one. Once safely inside the cab, the guy pulls out his iPhone to check Facebook. He laughs.
Me: What’s so funny?
Spontaneous Guy: A girl I used to have a thing with just tagged me in a photo. I look ridiculous.
Me: You always look ridiculous. Just kidding. You’re sexy. Was it that girl you were dating for six months when you lived in Seattle?
Spontaneous Guy: I wouldn’t call it dating.
Me: What was it then?
Spontaneous Guy: I don’t know, neither of us wanted a relationship. She was going her way and I was going mine.
Me: I don’t get how you could date someone for so long with no purpose.
Spontaneous Guy: I know you don’t.
Me: Are we dating?
Spontaneous Guy: I don’t know, I’m still trying to figure that out.
Me: Well, let’s figure it out. I think we’re dating, do you?
Spontaneous Guy: Yes.
Me: So, do you wanna be my boyfriend or what?
Spontaneous Guy: Whoa, you used the “B” word! (With a strange accent) Boyfriend. (With a different strange accent) Boyfriend. (Morphing into a chant) Boyfriend, boyfriend, boyfriend.
Me: What are you, 12? Well, do you wanna be my boyfriend? Just you and me? Should we do this thing?
Spontaneous Guy: (Nuzzling his face into my neck) Yes, ma’am.
So, yeah, that was it. Spontaneous Guy became my boyfriend in the back of a cab at 2 a.m. No unicorns or fireworks, just Taxi TV and a cacophony of horns honking. Not the glamorous rom-com scenario I was envisioning, not romantic by normal standards, but to me, it was perfect.
We were stuck in traffic on the Manhattan Bridge for a while, so the conversation continued. He expressed his concern about not knowing if he had his own life and his own issues figured out enough to join his life with someone else’s. Basically, he’s nowhere near ready to talk long-term, serious partnership. But neither am I, yet, so that’s okay.
I repeated what he said without getting emotional as Dr. Diana taught me. He kept looking over at me to see if I was getting upset. The fact that I wasn’t seemed to put him at ease. I expressed my intention for the future, to have a long-term committed partner in my life. I explained that I would be unable to continue dating someone for a long period of time unless he wanted the same thing. Talking about that felt too “intense” for Spontaneous Guy, so I suggested that we wait a few months before going there. We agreed to revisit the conversation at a later date.
We paid the cabbie and emerged from the cab boyfriend and girlfriend … at least for now.