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OP-ED: Let’s Not Label This Nebulous Sexual Relationship


Kissing Couple Relationship Love Kiss Romance

What are we, you ask?

That is certainly a difficult question. I could tell you that I am happy you asked, but that would be lying, so I will not say that. The trouble with difficult questions is that they are difficult to answer. However, I posit that we avoid this difficulty by never answering the question.

I love our undefined, nameless relationship. I love that we share constant angst over where this is going. I love the feeling that one of us could walk away suddenly and we would never talk about this again. I love that our repeated sexual liaisons have not crossed the threshold into emotional intimacy.

Labeling whatever this is would ascribe boundaries, responsibilities, and expectations to us. I, for one, would prefer that this nameless, confusing blob of a relationship be defined only by reciprocal sexual attraction and a shared terror of being alone.

These vague hookups are one of my favorite winter traditions. United in our agoraphobic desire to avoid the cold and mild seasonal affective disorder, we found each other. But some things are best served seasonal. It would certainly be strange for us to be sipping white hot chocolate under the mistletoe in March. And it would be really strange if this continued past winter break.

You might think that I’m suggesting this to you because I’m a small, scared man with a deep aversion to intimacy. You’re not wrong. But that is another label I’d prefer we never use.

I once saw a decorative throw pillow that said “Silence isn’t empty. It’s full of answers.” Perhaps the best answer to what we are is silence.