I think Bike Girl is finally over. She wants to move in and I don’t want her to. Years ago I swore off cohabitating with a woman, and although I think I’ll break that “rule” eventually, it won’t be for Bike Girl. She’s just inside the lower bound of the age range I’d consider, but she reads younger in a lot of ways and is too immature for me.
I don’t think she’s ever met a guy with definite boundaries before. The more she invests in me, the more I pull away, and the more she invests. For the last couple months that’s been driving her crazy. I think she thinks I’m playing some kind of game with her, and if she can just find the optimal strategy, she can win.
Except that’s totally wrong. I’m not playing a game, I’m living my life. And my life has a bunch of features that most people’s lives don’t have. I don’t want to “advance” the relationship towards cohabitation and, eventually I suspect, kids. It is very hard for someone who thinks in terms of games to interact with someone who doesn’t. There is a negotiation component to my work and there is not a negotiation component to Bike Girl’s work.
She’s already threatened to break up with me before, and I said, “Okay.” I don’t think she expected that.
I’m occasionally seeing someone (a few someones… they’re like comets, swinging back in for a bang…) from the non-monogamous scene, and if I can see the chick from the scene once or twice a week, that would be fantastic. Since late September or early October I’ve been seeing Bike Girl around every other day.
The likely outcome from here is that Bike Girl and I keep having occasional sex (most girls will indulge in relapse sex with an ex because it doesn’t “count”) until she finds her next guy. I don’t think she has an active branch swing planned, but with chicks you never know for sure. I’ve never looked through her phone or attempted to invade her privacy and in my view if she thinks she has a better offer, she should take it.
It’s an attitude not a lot of guys have. I didn’t have it in my early 20s. It took time to develop.
I think Bike Girl learned a lot from me. I taught her about photography (a couple of pics she took may end up on future dating profiles, if or when I use online dating again), cooking, and how to think about career. She is smart but unfocused and has reached an age where “smart but unfocused” just reads as “unfocused.” A kid can get away with having potential. An adult must convert potential into achievement.
One day, if I cohabitate again, it will be with separate bedrooms. Sleepovers will be a choice. Too little distance extinguishes the erotic spark. Women press for smothering togetherness then act surprised when that act extinguishes their libido. It makes them complacent. As guys, we have to learn how relationships work and how to lead.
I talk a big game in the paragraphs above, but I feel melancholy. I like Bike Girl. But I also don’t want to waste years of her prime childbearing life . I’m kind of glad she is making the right long-term choice for herself. I feel the temptation to fold and hang onto her, even as I know that’s the wrong choice for her and for me. She is fun in bed and has a personality that works with mine, in this stage of our relationship.
I also wonder if she will keep pursuing open relationships and other women without me pushing for it. I don’t think so but give it a 33% chance.
I find myself wondering when I’ll start my last new relationship. Right now I have this powerful sense of déjà vu. Been there, done that, doing it again. It makes me feel old. Sometimes I feel very young. Not right now. Right now, I feel like I’ve done this too many times. I know the steps too well. I need a different dance. How can you tell the dancer from the dance?