When I told my f*ck buddy I wanted more from him, I surprised myself. He wasn't even my type. I had picked him up at a bar last April because I thought I was only going home with him for the night.
After we f*cked that April night, drunk as all hell, he took me to brunch the next morning. We were sitting across from each other at a cafe when I realized just how much I didn't want to be there.
“So when can I see you again?” he asked me as I stuffed a croque monsieur into my mouth.
I laughed in my head. This dude thinks I'm going to see him again? Yeah, no. But when I got up to go to the bathroom, he sneakily took my phone and put his number in it. And I did see him again, and again, and again. He's just going to be my steady f*ck, I decided. Because what's life if you're not getting steadily f*cked?
He was supposed to be my rebound. My safety blanket. The thing to distract me from the thing that was causing me pain. I had just gotten out of a relationship, dammit, and a good, old-fashioned one-night stand was all I needed. It was all I wanted. I was going to use the f*ck buddy as a defense mechanism; I didn't want to get hurt again. My ex-boyfriend had broken me enough, that was for sure.
But before I knew it, I'd known my f*ck buddy for six months. Then a year. And we grew on each other, the way your co-workers grow on you because they're your low-key family. You know how all the little things about them mysteriously become endearing because they're humanizing? Like the way they chew louder than they have to, or the way they wear clothes that are too small for them but try to pull them off anyway? Those little things bring you closer.
That's what happened to me and him. Unnecessary drama, blowout fights, unanswered texts, too many texts, drunken confessions, my sass, his stubbornness, my inability to cook, his desire to teach me, us sharing pieces of our pasts with each other that we'd stuffed down so far we were surprised they even came up in conversation -- all those things brought my f*ck buddy and me closer, too.
“My sister is acting weird again,” he said one day while we were lying in bed. It was a Saturday afternoon. "Pride and Prejudice" was on in the background, and his hand was resting on the crown of my head.
“How so?” I said, looking up at him with wide, intrigued eyes.
As he told me the story, I empathized. And I no longer wanted to just f*ck. I wanted to talk, too. I have a sister, I get it...
When I realized he was beginning to get to me, I confronted him with my feelings at a dingy bar in my neighborhood.
"Would you ever consider ... you know ... us?" I asked, tipsily grabbing his collar and pulling him in closer.
“I can't. I ... I'm almost there,” he said. He wasn't looking at me. “But I'm just not there yet.”
I was incredulous. How did I end up being someone's fool when he was my fool first? I'd had him under my spell. It wasn't supposed to be this way. But something flipped, and I started to care about him when he wasn't in my bed: about where he was, what he was doing, how his day went. And this person I kept around to distract me and nothing else was suddenly a real person.
Our sexcapades were the closest thing to an actual relationship. Only ... hadn't I signed up to be the girl who just f*cks because I wanted the exact opposite of a relationship?
I played the role of that girl well. Come f*ck me, I texted him once, during an evening I was feeling especially horny and lonely. And there he was, waiting on my doorstep, like a loyal dog who'd found his way home. Six months in, I was no longer inviting him over for the sex. I was inviting him over for the cuddles and companionship. But I'd never tell him that.
Almost-relationships are the plague of our generation. You already knew that. I thought I could be the exception to the rule, the girl that got the guy by changing his mind, but I was just the rule. He was an accident, but accidents happen. Bet you already knew that, too.
Because the thing about almost-relationships is they hardly ever start out intending to be almost-relationships. They start out as really good f*cks, which leads to persistent f*cking (because you can never have too much of a good thing), which leads to spending almost all your time with someone who used to want to make you die.
Complacency becomes comfortability. Sex replaces loneliness. And I didn't want to be alone.
I encourage people to have f*ck buddies. You're only young once, I tell them. Do it before you shrivel up, settle down and get boring. And I stand by that. But if you're someone who cares too much and loves too hard, you'd be better off sexless, albeit on your own.
So I ended it with my f*ck buddy. His persistence-turned-disinterest taught me something: The chase isn't worth the crash. I'll still flirt. I'll still go home with strangers. I'll still sit in the back of an Uber and exchange numbers with the guy I'm pooling with for the night -- but I'm also swearing off almost-relationships for good. Being almost-loved hurts more than not being loved at all. Being in a casual relationship gave me only stress.
Because all those almost-relationship moments aren't real moments. They're illusions. For every moment he spends letting you in, he'll spend three pushing you away, and then you'll realize that just because he shared all those little moments being vulnerable with you doesn't mean that he wanted to make those moments his and yours. They were only his. You didn't want anything, but then he f*cking found you, and there were two of you, and you noticed you missed being one-half of a twosome, but you two were never a "we" and no moment was ever an "ours."
And one day, while texting him to “come f*ck me,” you'll stop mid-sentence and realize you kind of respect what it means to call something "ours."