I Have a Boyfriend: Cue Freak Out

I have a boyfriend.

I have a boyfriend.

I have a boyfriend.

I have a boyfriend.

I have a boyfriend.

Nope, no matter how I say it, it feels weird. I don’t know how to have a boyfriend. I have been single for so long it became part of my identity. With that suddenly gone, there’s a bit of a re-evaluation of who I am. I don’t know how to be a girlfriend. These are things I never considered in my search for love.

Is my boyfriend going to hold my hand and hail cabs for me from now on?
Is my boyfriend going to hold my hand and hail cabs for me from now on?

From where I sit today, I am someone’s girlfriend. I better figure out who that girlfriend is.

She is someone who had an imagine of her future love imprinted in her head for years. “I’m waiting for the man of my dreams.” This was a truth she never spoke aloud, afraid to utter words so grossly cliché.  Like so many women, she disregarded scores of men with, “they aren’t my type”. The ones she gave a chance, sometimes for several months, were all “her type”. So why weren’t they worth her time?  After four years of dating in New York with no serious relationships, she was becoming increasingly aware of a glaring fact: “I pick the wrong men.”

Then one summer, a man came along. He certainly wasn’t her “type”, yet there was something about him. His eyes sparkled and his smile was sincere. One night in late August they danced like no one was watching until humidity got the better of them. Then they spent hours staring at the stars. There was something about the way he looked at her. She felt beautiful in his eyes, in a way she never had before.

She had rules. #1: No dating boys born in the 90s. He missed this cut-off by two months. #2: No newbies. He had just moved to NYC, just graduated college. This was obvious from first glance.  His long brown hair reached far down his back. He wore tye-die shirts that made her nostrils flare with judgement. All the shorts he owned were too big on him, sometimes he even wore a kilt. A tattoo inked on each tricep and two small hoops pierced into each earlobe. This wasn’t the person she saw herself with.

He was persistent, she couldn’t help herself. She enjoyed every minute they spent together, their conversations burrowing farther and farther below the surface. His constant kindness started slowly eroding her preconceptions. He had so much that so many before had lacked. He was passionate, had a better handle on his career than many 30 year olds, and carried a fierce sense of loyalty. She had always thought herself “chill” and “go-with-the-flow” by nature, but next to him she seemed next to neurotic.

She had never considered herself a shallow person, but now the thought plagued her constantly. Here was a man who genuinely cared about her, who cared if he looked like a hippy cliché? She was all about clichés, wasn’t she? She shuddered one night when he showed up for a date wearing a “drug rug hoodie”. “It’s comfortable!” he claimed. “It’s hideous,” she replied, praying they wouldn’t run into anyone she knew. Many New York women have ended budding relationships over smaller offenses. It could have been the deal breaker. Would have been the deal breaker had it not been for a truth that was becoming clearer every day. She liked him. She might hate his clothes but she certainly didn’t hate the person wearing them.

You could get away with it in college, but here in NYC no one who wears a “drug rug” gets laid. No one. Not even Barney Stinson.

It took four months for her to finally call him her boyfriend. He had made it known that he wanted her to be his girlfriend in half that time. She couldn’t do it, not ready to let go of her single self, her life alone. A life she had struggled to be content with and become quite fond of. She was honest. She made up imaginary boyfriends instead of committing to a real one. He was patient and understanding, content to wait as she fretted over misgivings.

I am someone’s girlfriend. I have a boyfriend who is worth my time. It’s already the longest relationship I’ve ever had- we’ve been dating since December. Maybe since September, if you count our first this-might-be-a-date as a date. He’s never had a relationship last less than a year. I keep thinking it’s going to end, because they always have before, and even catch myself in moments of self-sabotage. At least I know I’m doing it? I know I’m scared. But I also know I deserve something good, something real, something wonderful. Maybe this is it. Finally. Which is terrifying and terrifically exciting all at once. Two feelings I’m not used to feeling. I’m out of my comfort zone- I’m someone’s girlfriend. It’s a learning process. Here’s to seeing just what kind of girlfriend I’ll be.

Have you ever been single for so long it felt strange when you became attached? Or the other way around, which is no doubt more difficult and painful, coupled so long you had to learn what it was like to be single? I’d love to hear your experience. It may help me as I embark on mine! I need reassurance I’m not the only one who’s had difficulty with the transition. I always thought it would be easy- how silly that seems now!

About New York Cliche

NYC lifestyle blog by Mary Lane. Events, adventures, epic mistakes, dating, life, humor. A 20-something trying to make it (and make out) in the city of dreams.

26 thoughts on “I Have a Boyfriend: Cue Freak Out

  1. Well I was in a 12 year relationship that ended and I had to learn to be single. Now I have been single for 8 years and only just now pondering the possibility of maybe considering doing something to change that status. I found the transition to being single a lot easier – you get your own space and time and head back again, I missed physical intimacy (hugs and physical contact other than sex) but that was about all 🙂

    The concept of dating again TERRIFIES me 🙂

    1. how interesting, having never been in a long-term relationship I can only guess what the opposite adjustment is like. Thanks for sharing this perspective! Good luck with the next transition-only it (when?) you’re ready 🙂

  2. How Exciting – just take it one day at a time!!! One thing I did different with my husband was date and develop a friendship the first 3 to 4 months of dating – he is my best friend and travel partner – love that:) Have Fun With It too!

  3. It’s been 2 years since the last time I dated a guy. So yeah, I’ve been single for 2 years. I guess it haven’t been so long yet compare to some people out there who have been single a lot more longer than I have. I find it much easier to be single; I got time for myself, freedom, and the most important thing is there’s no ’emotional dramas’. Well to be single or not to be single it actually is in our hand. There is no harm in trying for another relation but if your luck is not giving you favor and you can’t find the right partner, it’s better to be single for a while rather than sticking with a wrong partner.

    1. Oh wise words, how much I agree! I think being single for so long is the best thing I’ve ever done for myself. I love(d) being single. Now I’m figuring out the balance- there’s gotta be one! Thanks so much for reblogging!

  4. He sounds like a great guy! I’m happy for you. I know it’s ironic that I’m telling you not to worry (seeing as how I worry most of the time, except when I’m sleeping), but I think you should just focus on the present and enjoy being with him.
    I’ve been single for a long time now that it’s hard to picture myself with anyone. I’m going to try dating again soon, though.

    1. You’re absolutely right. I’m doing my best to live in the moment- it’s going well. Being happily single is great! It’s the best place to be in when you wanna start dating again. Then you’re only going to be with someone you really, truly want to be with. Summer’s the best season for dating IMO- good luck getting back in the saddle, to speak the cliche 🙂

  5. Beautiful!! I can certainly understand how surreal this is…and then you end up with the same (wonderful) person a year later and you don’t really know how you functioned before them. ENJOY!!!

  6. I dated my current boyfriend for about two months before he told me he considered me his girlfriend. I probably looked like I swallowed a lemon.

    10 months later, things are going great but for whatever reason I had a difficult time declaring my relationship status.

  7. So last night my now boyfriend asked me to be his girlfriend. I said yes and freaked out internally. Thank you this is exactly what I was thinking.

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