Thursday, March 21, 2013

"And... Have you figured out that we're a couple?"

Ok. So... I have started this entry several times... Trying to figure out how to tell this story.
Is it funny? Is it poignant? Is it a complete shift in my perspective? Did it make my brain hurt and make me sweat profusely and then laugh at myself that I am so slow to figure all this out? Is it silly and small?

The answer to all of those questions is simply, "yes."

Sometimes BJ gets a text from his daughter that freaks me out.
Apparently, she'd been trying to figure out how to ask this question, but couldn't find the words in person... So she asked in a text, "Why don't you call Jen your girlfriend? She basically is."

We were walking through a museum at the moment. He laughed out loud at the text, so I naturally asked him what was so funny. He showed me the text.

My throat got tight. My head started to spin. My chest felt like it was going to cave in on itself and I'm pretty sure all of the oxygen left the room. Or at least I lost the ability to USE the oxygen in the room.

I talked to BJ. I talked to my mom. I talked to my sister. I talked to several friends trying to explain what I was feeling... and listening to them tell me things like,
"Of course you're a couple, but if you wanna call it something else, that's fine."
"It's okay to be scared, but that doesn't change the way things are."
"Take your time, you both seem comfortable with the process you are in."
"I love you, and the label doesn't matter."
"You're an atypical couple, and you can define it however you want."

This afternoon, my sister, my mom, and I stopped to visit my brother on the way home from a baby shower. Jeff said something that prompted me to tell the story of BJ's daughter's text.

Do you know what Jeff's response was?

"We've been wondering for a while when you guys would figure out that you're a couple."

I laughed. I blushed. I sweated (is that the proper usage of that word?) profusely. I was glad I brought it up, and I also just wanted to go home and take a shower.

And somehow, in the simplicity of that statement, there was a shift in my brain.

When I told BJ what Jeff said... do you know what his response was? He chuckled, and said, "And?"

And, what?!?

"And... Have YOU figured out that we're a couple?"

Why is it that everyone else figured it out before I did? But. Yeah. I think I have.
(Jeff, apparently HE has known it for a while, he was just waiting for me to catch up. Apparently Robyn and I have way more in common than we ever knew. :)

So, my next question is, what do I call him?
Boyfriend sounds lame.
Lover is inaccurate.
Friend is still my favorite label, but it doesn't completely describe the relationship.
Roommate definitely doesn't describe the relationship.
Partner (or even Life Partner) feels accurate, but confuses other people. (I tried it at a party this weekend. I was told I was one of those "crazy feminists" who probably wouldn't take my husband's name if I got married. I told him that when I WAS married, I didn't take his name, and I'm such a crazy feminist that I don't even believe in marriage. The conversation with him ended about then. Maybe I shouldn't base anything on that dude's opinions or reactions.)

So, I am now taking suggestions.
What do I call the man I live with and love? The man I am planning my future life with? My closest friend, roommate, confidant, coworker, and fishing/riding/hiking buddy? How do I describe the relationship without going into the details of how we got here?


  1. The truth is, no label really describes any relationship fully. When I say that Robyn is my wife, that denotes the legal status of our relationship, but everyone has their own idea of what a wife is, what a wife does, what a husband does and what a marriage is.

    I think whatever you are comfortable with is what you should use. It will never fully describe the complexities of your relationship, and that's okay. The purpose of the label is just to use shorthand to refer to someone who is really important in your life. If people want to fully understand the relationship, they can ask questions beyond the label.

    1. Very true, and as shorthand, I can use whatever label best describes what I'm trying to say in the moment...

  2. Have you tried "In a relationship" or "It's complicated" on for size? Regardless, having a friend you love and care about, who loves and cares about you can be a wonderful thing, no matter what you call it. Or don't call it.

    1. I haven't tried either yet. (This is all fairly new to me.) I'm not a big fan of "It's complicated," just because one of the things I love about our relationship is that it isn't complicated...
      and I agree. Wonderful. No matter what I call it or don't call it.

  3. Oh, and for the record, I was telling Jared about you and I referred to BJ as "the boyfriend she doesn't know she has." You're welcome to use that one if you want.

    1. This made me laugh out loud. I don't think I could get away with using it though... "The boyfriend I don't know I have," doesn't quite have the same ring to it...

  4. Personally, I like partner. My husband IS my partner... in life, in parenting, in finances, in all aspects of our life. Don't let someone with a bad attitude change your mind on how you define your relationship with someone!

    1. Yeah. Rereading what he said to me, I realized that if he's going to call me a "crazy feminist" five minutes after I met him, he may not be the kind of person I want to take advice from.

  5. So we looking for serious or more funny titles, I like when introducing him you say, Hi this is Todd, THE MAN WHO.... instert various things here, CHANGED ME FOR EVER, or HELPED FINE ME, or MAKE ME HAPPY, or now getting more silly... actually nothing came to mind for silly but i know it's there somewhere... FOUND IT, the man who, IS A BROTHER FROM ANOTHER MOTHER, as jeff said, THE BOY FRIEND I DIDN'T KNOW I HAD OR EVEN REALLY WANTED, or WHO IS THE MASTER OF DISASTER, that's more of a burn on yourself cuz your the "disaster" but also doesn't fit cuz he's not your master but those are just some thoughts.