This is it. Today, this anniversary (if that’s what I have to call it), this is the longest I have ever been in a romantic relationship with another person, ever. Even longer than when I was married (which will sound sad to some of you, but totally predictable to everyone else, including myself).
Three years may seem like peanuts to some of you, but for me, it’s a looooong time. You people who have been in relationships since high school just mystify me. Choosing to be with the same person every day, learning less and less new stuff about them all the time, and going back after every argument because you made that commitment can be hard.
Such is a longterm relationship, I guess. I wouldn’t know, this is my first time.
But again, I know that 3 years isn’t much to a lot of you, and that the 10 years I was dating before Graham was much longer. I also know that the number of boyfriends and breakups from that time must seem staggering/exhausting/useless to those high school relationship havers out there, but even then, I think they made a lot of sense. From those breakups, I learned that people are not always hardly ever kind, fair, or even correct about anything. People will continue to talk about the breakup (my internet stalkers have told me so). People will smudge details and change the story and there’s really only one way to set them straight.
And I can, because I’ve held on for three years. I have the authority.
* Just because I’m not that into you, that doesn’t mean I’m a bitch. I don’t see why personal preference has anything to do with antisocial behavior. This is the same as calling a guy an asshole if he doesn’t like you as much as you like him. Just deal with it gracefully. Am I in love with you? No. Are you going to pressure me into forcing distance using mild to verifiable bitchness? Likely.
* Just because I’ve had sexual encounters with people other than you, that doesn’t mean I’m a slut. What is this, Saudi Arabia? Why the premium on virginity? Wise up, smarty pants. If I’d never been with anyone before you, I wouldn’t know half the cool tricks I do now. There were people before you, and if you keep this up, there will definitely be people after you.
* Just because I call you twice a week, that doesn’t mean I’m a psycho. Believe it or not, it’s socially acceptable to communicate with the person you are dating more than once a week. If you can’t handle that, tell me up front so I know what an unavailable prick you are.
* Just because I expressed emotion once, that doesn’t mean I’m needy. The emotion probably didn’t even have anything to do with you. I could have been venting about my job, my family, or even some jerkoff who road raged me that day. I don’t need you to offer a solution or even care deeply about it, I just want you to listen because you happen to be sitting nearby. I do the same thing with people at the bus stop and they don’t complain nearly as much as you do about it.
* Just because I don’t want to meet your parents/kid/priest, that doesn’t mean I’m cold. Okay, maybe I’m a little bit cold. Historically, I don’t develop good rapports with parents/kids/priests, and I see no reason why we can’t keep our mutual social engagements limited to friends who drink alcohol.
* Just because I asked you to get me a beer when you were going up to the bar, that doesn’t mean I’m after your money. I get free beer from work, bitch. Your trip to the bar was just more convenient.
* Just because I have tattoos and curse a lot, that doesn’t mean I’m up for any perverse sexual activity you can think of. I’m fairly GGG, but I also have a “no piss, no shit, no vomit” rule that I tell you up front. No amount of time or hassling me is going to change that. And if role play is involved, I prefer to stay within the same age range, planetary origin, and species.
* Just because I know other dudes, that doesn’t mean I’m cheating on you. I’m loyal to my homies, yo. Within the first year (or, okay probably, more) of our relationship, their opinion beats yours and they will absolutely kick your ass at my bidding. They are MY dudes, and they will take better care of me than any man I date.
* Just because I talk to my female friends, that doesn’t mean we’re all the same. You might think one of them is a slut and the other is a “man hater” (but get over it, because no one likes Andrew Dice Clay). I am my own person and I can make up my own mind. However, their opinion means a lot to me, so tread lightly. Like my dude friends, they’ve been here for longer and take care of me.
* Just because some of my female friends are hot and/or slutty, that doesn’t mean they’re going to bang you. Or your friends. So stop trying unless you want to get dumped.
* Just because we break up, that doesn’t mean you can fit me into any of the following categories:
1. The Slut – the one who will do anything to hook up with you again because of her all-consuming sex drive when possessed by the thought of your mighty penis.
2. The Booty Call – does anyone call them that anymore? Anyway… it’s called breaking up, dude. That means what we had is broken. I’m not crafty enough to fix this kind of shit, so quit texting me at 1:30am bar time to see what I’m up to. The answer is going to be either sleep, alcohol, or sex, and none of those has anything to do with you.
3. The Nutjob – No, idiot, I’m not stalking you. I had no idea you were here and I’m not dressed in my fat pants and hey, this is St. Louis, and it’s kind of small and I’m not going to stop going to one of my favorite bars just because you might happen to be here, too. Could it be that I happened to be out tonight to begin with? Go sell crazy someplace else.
4. The Lovesick One – I did not love you. Ever. In fact, when you said you loved me that time because you thought I was sleeping, I actually heard you but I pretended to be asleep. AWK-ward!
5. The One That Got Away – Bitch, please. We had an all right time, but what we had was not all that special. Again, I did not love you. We will not get married someday. In fact, if anyone thinks of me getting married or having kids ever, let me know and I’ll punch myself in the crotch to prove how serious I am about that not happening. Not every relationship has to be some grand romance. Once you accept this, you’ll start having more fun and stop getting avoided when I see you in public.
6. The Matchmaker – If we’ve slept together, I have zero interest in hooking you up with someone else or providing relationship advice. First, I think I’m awesome and if you broke up with me, well, you clearly make terrible decisions. Second, nothing I say is going to influence your libido at all. You’re going to sleep with her no matter what, so don’t pretend like my opinion really matters. Third, any opinion I do provide will always be assumed provided due to ulterior motive. Which I don’t have, so don’t ask.
7. The Dumbass – So you broke up with me to be with her? No shit. Look, I’m not stupid, so don’t treat me like I am. I knew at least suspected what you were up to the whole time, which is why I didn’t put up a fight when it happened. I have other things to do with my time, and I’m just glad you’re no longer wasting it.
8. The Best Friend – I have enough friends. I’m not in the market for new ones.
* Just because I wrote this, that doesn’t mean it applies to you.
…But it does apply to Graham, so I think this nearly-perfect photo distillation of our relationship is appropriate.