I was never given the manual on this.
You know, “The Girlfriend Manual”.
I was never told how many days I wait before I call you ‘official’, before I move you to my phone’s “favorites”, before I see something at a store and mentally bookmark it as a gift I want to buy for you later.
I was never told if I’m supposed to draw your name with hearts on my notebook, steal your jacket to wear, if I’m supposed to change my Facebook profile status, or put “#blessed” as the caption of every photo of us.
I don’t know the appropriate responses or have the scrapbooking material for “The Story Of Us” and I don’t know where to get them.
And then, of course, there’s the rules.
If I make you dinner, I’m revoking all my feminist powers. If I lean over to kiss you at a stoplight while it’s red, I’m too touchy-feely. If I agree with you, I have no opinion of my own, but if I disagree too much, I’m mean and bitchy. If I call you daily or, heaven forbid, text you two times in a row before you respond to the first one, I’m clingy. If I make you a mix cd, I’m cheesy. If I make you pay, I’m old fashioned. If I ask to split the check, I’m not grateful and am insulting your job and manhood. If I offer to pay, I’m emasculating you. If I buy you clothing, I’m too mothering. If I introduce you to my parents, I’m moving too fast. If I don’t introduce you to my parents, I’m not interested at all. If I like what you like or try to understand your interests, I’m trying too hard. If I don’t like what you like, then we have nothing in common and are doomed to fail. If I ask who that girl was, I’m jealous. If I don’t ask who that girl was, then later on I’ll be told I “should have seen the signs”. If I talk to other men that aren’t you, I’m a flirt. If I don’t like your friends, I’m a horrible person, but, if I try too hard to “bro” out, then it’s fake. If I get excited and call you my boyfriend and enjoy spending time with you and actually maintain a somewhat traditional stable relationship, then I’m a sucker and just “one of THOSE girls”, but if I’m not interested in a relationship, then there’s something wrong with me.
So it’s a bigger society issue, I guess. This really is a bigger, more in-depth blog post that I should take more seriously. I should really investigate culture’s laws for “women in relationships” or the way pop culture tells you to be a “girlfriend” or the constant criticism of young women that makes growing up or raising a daughter in this twisted world seem terrifying, but really, I just wanted to say that I’m glad I never got the manual.
Because, from what I can tell, you haven’t read it either, and that puts me at ease.
So, you do you, and I’ll do me, and we’ll figure out ‘us’.
And I ‘ll try to stop writing about it so often, because, that’s probably something girlfriends do.