Okay. So here's the situation: Boy meets Girl. They date, enjoy themselves, date some more. Feelings grow, bonds develop, they realize they don't want to date anyone else. They have a conversation in which they agree that they want to keep dating, they're only dating each other and no one is going to date anyone else. Therefore they're boyfriend and girlfriend right?
Colour me slow kids because I got schooled on twitter the other day. There I was, minding my own business, thinking that the standard path to relationship status went like this:
talking -> dating -> relationship (which =boyfriend and girlfriend).
Little did I know there’s an extra little step in there called “exclusively dating” that goes between just dating and actually being bf/gf.
So let me get this straight: I’m dating a man who is not my boyfriend; during which time I’m free to date whomever else I choose. We have a conversation in which we agree that we will no longer be free to date other people, and he’s still not my boyfriend?
That doesn’t even look right. So I took it to the twitterpoll. I asked “If a man & woman are dating & agree that neither of them can date anyone else, does that mean they’re boyfriend and girlfriend?”
Many of the women who responded said yes it’s the same thing. Or it amounts to the same thing. But the vast majority of the men said no it’s not. It’s an “arrangement”, it’s “the precursor to relationship status”, it’s a “probationary commitment”. My timeline was filled with all manner of explanations of the difference between exclusive dating and boyfriend and girlfriend. And although the explanations seemed reasonable enough, something was niggling at me. Until my girl @JC_GoodLife broke it all the way down:
“they want you to put your pussy on ice for them”
As my girl Nick would say, #boomPOW.
As more and more responses from men came in with phrases like “dating without commitment” and “minimal obligations” and “don’t have to feel guilty for not attending family functions” I began to realize what I already knew: Exclusive dating is a bunch of bullshit.
What it basically amounts to a man stripping a woman of her freedom to pursue, date, or fuck other men, with no commitment or title to compensate for it. He’s safeguarded against another man supplanting him while securing the right not to do anything he doesn’t want to do. She’s not free to see other people but he’s not obligated to claim her or consider her in his decision-making process because she’s not his girlfriend.
I’m calling bullshit so loudly on this principle that I’m fucking hoarse.
Check this out: I’m free, Black, and over 21 with neither chick nor child to tend to. I have a lot of freedom and I cherish it to the very depths of my soul. So if I’m giving up my freedom, please believe you are making some kind of commitment to me in return. I wish a motherfucker would try to lock me down while preserving his out clause. I wish he would.
Look you guys know me and you know I wholeheartedly support the notion of non-exclusivity. I absolutely believe it’s possible to happily fuck, date, or be in a relationship with someone sans sexual exclusivity. So there’s really no need to manufacture obligation where none exists. If you’re not ready to be in a relationship, that’s fine. But you have to accept the natural consequence of that – which is you are leaving yourself open to the possibility of getting stole on. That’s just the way the game goes. In order to safeguard against that possibility, you have to make a commitment to the person and accept those pesky obligations that come along with it. It’s one or the other. But this funky exclusive dating horseshit with its attendant grey area is not the move. It basically amounts to putting the pussy on retainer so you don’t have to search for an available hole to push your hard dick in.
Near the end of the twitter discussion the other day I asked “why the fuck would I agree to exclusively date someone who is not my boyfriend?” The answer is I wouldn’t. And neither should you. Because it’s bullshit!
Who feels me on this?