A Tinder date that went really well
Dear Luv Doc,
My boyfriend and I have been going out for five months. We are both recently divorced from long relationships and we hooked up through a Tinder date that went really well. The sex is really great and we really like hanging out with each other, but because of our pasts we are both a bit gun-shy about making a commitment. Last week before he went out of town on a three-week business trip, he told me that he doesn't mind if I hook up with other guys while he is away. What he doesn't know is that I have no desire to hook up with other guys – mainly because I am really into him. Now I am not sure if he is truly trying to let me have my space or if he's subtly telling me he plans on hooking up with other women. I don't want him to feel like I am smothering him, but I am not OK with that. I want him all to myself. Should I tell him that or would it only make things worse? – Home Alone
As much as I would like to pontificate about how open relationships are ultimately doomed endeavors, I know there are people out there making them work; people who are much more evolved and self-assured than me; people who have achieved some sublime state of Zen detachment that I can't even fully comprehend.
Good on them! Maybe someday one of them will coax the hurt, needy, frightened child out of me and lead him into a state of constant bliss. That might be really cool: a happy acceptance of the universality of humanity – a sort of enlightened take on the crass old adage, "hole is hole," or the equally crass corollary, "pole is pole." I sincerely doubt that is going to happen, however, as it clashes strongly with my existentialist, emotionalist philosophy.
Yes, I know we're all just a bunch of annoying meat puppets hurtling around at 67,000 mph on a modestly sized planet, orbiting an adequately sized star in an average galaxy – one of roughly 100 billion, give or take, and for all we know our universe may be one of another trillion completely unremarkable universes ... or ... just maybe ... our whole universe is just some rationalist mindfuck hard-wired into our (and let's be brutally honest about this) relatively infinitesimal brains to keep them from exploding from trying to truly contemplate the godhead.
Personally, I ain't got time for that shit ... and I certainly don't have enough weed. Fundamentally for me it comes down to this: The beauty of human existence is that by some impossible miracle or mundane inescapable probability, we get to choose what's important. We get to choose what we care about. We get to make horrible, ghastly mistakes and amazing achievements. We get to make no goddamned sense whatsoever or occasionally be stunningly intelligent. None of that happens without some sort of animus, and in my tiny little pea brain emotion is the fire in the existential carburetor.
So generally, when somebody honestly tells me they don't mind something, it means they don't give a shit. It's cool to not give a shit about any number of things as long as you at least care deeply and fervently about one thing. Otherwise, why even roll out of bed in the morning?
Look, I understand that maybe you've both been burned by making commitments in the past, but that doesn't mean you should be afraid of the future – especially when the future is what you make of it. You should begin your future by letting this guy know what is important to you. It sounds to me like you don't need or desire the freedom he's offering, and maybe he's offering that freedom to you because he wants it for himself. If that's the case that's something you need to know to make an informed decision about whether you're willing to risk the pain of another breakup. So yes, you should tell him very clearly how you feel. He might surprise you.