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July 3, 2013 at 8:00 AMComments: 3 Faves: 0

More than Boyfriend and Girlfriend?

By Jeany Miller More Blogs by This Author

A Loaded Question

My boyfriend recently posed an interesting question to me: “Do you think we’re more than boyfriend and girlfriend?” he asked with an intent look on his face. This question sounds completely ridiculous, I know, but he meant it in all seriousness. Despite this, I couldn’t help the smile that spread across my face. In the back of my mind, I understood what he was really asking: Do you think we act like we’re married, although we aren’t?

At this point, a little background information might be helpful. He was married for almost 25 years to the love of his life. His ex-wife is stunningly beautiful, gave him three children, and, when she wants to be, is the most charming creature imaginable. When she told him she wanted a divorce, he was devastated. This occurred five years ago, their divorce was finalized more than a year ago, and he is still quick to remember the pain that he was caused throughout the process.

So, the likelihood that he’ll ever marry again is slim to none. He was already married once and had a family he adored, so he doesn’t need to do it again. Despite his lack of desire to re-marry, he wants the comfort and security marriage can bring. In other words, he wants us to act like we’re hitched without the actual formality.

In-Betweeners

The way I’ve described this situation might make it sound more negative than it is. I told you all of this just to lay the groundwork for what I’m about to say. I don’t think we’re more than boyfriend and girlfriend. I don’t think it’s possible to be more than that unless a couple is married. A special category does not exist for people like Brad and me - one in which two people live together, confide in one another, and attend most social functions as a couple. But we are not married, and even though many people think we are, this doesn’t change our situation. So we are boyfriend and girlfriend, period.

Of course, he doesn’t agree. His argument is that he treats me as more than a mere girlfriend, and that our relationship has progressed beyond the “dating” phase. While that may be true in a sense, Brad would never introduce me to another person as “my girlfriend with whom I live and treat as a wife.” If he did, I'd probably turn and run as fast as my legs could carry me.

Despite the different ways in which we see our relationship, this brings to light an interesting point: A couple is unequivocally together in one of two ways; they’re either dating or married. And dating does carry a much lighter connotation than marriage. I’ve noticed that, when I introduce Brad as my boyfriend, peoples’ eyes glaze over just slightly, and their posture is not quite as erect as if I’d said “husband.” It’s as if they’re saying, “Oh, he’s just your boyfriend, and that doesn’t count for much.” Maybe they’re right, because marriages fall apart every day, which means a non-committed relationship like ours could end in a New York minute.

At my age, I never wanted to have a boyfriend. I thought for sure I’d be married with kids, dogs, the whole nine yards. But I’ve learned life doesn’t follow a blueprint, and it’s better to roll with the punches than to fight and resist them. So, for now, I’m somebody’s girlfriend, not somebody's wife. And, until the powers that be invent an in-between category that denotes more than dating but less than marriage, I’ll likely remain a girlfriend for quite some time.

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3 Comments

  • I cannot help but get the vibe that you aren't too happy about this. I know you say you are, but I think deep down you may be settling for happiness. If I am misunderstanding, then forgive me. I just think when I read this: "Why are you two together?" Do you enjoy another's company? Or are you just happy to be what you are? If he wants marriage, but not the title that comes with it -- then does that mean you are not fit enough for marriage? His reasoning makes no sense, and if it was my situation I could not help but be a tiny bit hurt. But maybe that is because I would like to be the title I am to someone, not another title that I am not. I hope this makes sense.

    Do you want marriage? If so, then facing the fact that you could be single from him in a "New York minute" makes me think maybe the thought has crossed your mind from time to time.

  • A thought: Maybe it is just that he may be wanting to be sure? Or waiting a period of time in terms of his kids feelings. Maybe he is unsure of himself? 25 years is a long time to go and to start over. I remarried at 48, but the divorce really shook me in terns of not have stability and fed my insecurity as far as where it all went wrong. If he is doing everything else but popping the question, I'd say hang in there, he's probably teetering on it.

  • Another thought! If you're just boyfriend and girlfriend - why live together? Why not just be a girlfriend that "when you have time" you go on a date with your boyfriend as appose to doing all of the house work for the two of you! Plus having to prepare all the meals and do all of the laundry for two? I know I know, it's this trial period people like to test to make double darn sure the two of you are compatible.

    I'm just saying!

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