Vocabulary word of the day: UBC (Uncommitted but committed): An uncommitted relationship with no “title”, where the two people involved have sex seemingly exclusively but have the unspoken option of seeing (having sex with) other people
I have been avoiding covering this topic for the longest time…but it’s been a prominent practice in my life that has been driving me absolutely crazy for the past few years so I probably should address it. I am back and forth between weight loss and dating topics these days, and I know it sucks but let me explain. I never had to worry about these things before and I’m freaking out!! I’ve mentioned that I’ve always been either plus 30 pounds or minus 30 pounds. I simply enjoyed the slim moments and mourned during the fatty fat ones. Now that I’m closing in on death’s door (turning 30) I have to actually take care of myself and get my weight under control. So, now that I’m dating I need to get that under control, as well. I never thought I would have to worry about it because for some lame reason I expected to be MARRIED FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE! Anyway, all that to say that I am a struggling ball of anxiety when it comes to dating and because of the new “uncommitted relationship” trend, I’m fucking things up big time.
What is the UBC relationship? Honestly, it’s a Godsend for people like me who are free spirited and indecisive, but what it really is: a modern dating cop out. Maybe around 20% of single 25 and olders aren’t interested in relationship titles but the remaining 80% are full of shit or trying to play it cool (you can quote me on that statistic). It’s old-fashioned peer pressure! “Oh, he hasn’t really given us a title or called me his girlfriend but we hang out all the time and I’m cool with it because he doesn’t have time for anyone else.” (-_-) I don’t know much, but I do know the culmination of dating books, guy advice and life experience tell me that when a person likes you they want to lock it down. If I want to be with you, your penis is mine and it better not even face the direction of another woman. Why would I be ok with you spending all your time with me but still technically a free agent and able to sleep with other women? No, I’m showing up to the draft, I have a jersey with your name on it and you are on MY team! BUT, most people preach about UBC’s and have opinions on it, warn against it and blah blah blah, but I’ll just tell you how I’ve been on both sides of it and if you can identify with any of these scenarios maybe my experiences will be of some warning to you.
Where There Is A Flame Someone’s Bound to Get Burned
So I think we all know that almost immediately after my separation from my husband, I rekindled a romantic involvement with someone from my past. We spent time together, we fell in love, we came, we saw—he had a girlfriend. As painful a revelation as this was, my desire to make things work with the new father of my second child and my blinding love for him made me try my best to work things out. So you would think walking around pregnant with someone’s child and being madly in love with each other would make up the ingredients for the perfect committed relationship…yeah, not so much. What it was, is that I was in love, I needed someone to be there for me while I was pregnant—and yes, I wanted sex, so who better to give it to me than the one who impregnated me in the first place? My emotions were high after all we’d been through and my self-esteem was at an all-time low. I even had men trying to date me while I was pregnant but I chose to stay in a sucky UBC thing with my child’s father because I was hoping that things would work out and eventually blossom into an actual relationship.
What it blossomed into was a shameful and oh so stupid part of my life. I allowed someone completely into my soul and body without laying basic groundwork. He came to spend time with me and rub on my pregnant belly, while texting other women he was having romantic relationships with. It tore me apart. No woman should ever have to feel that way—but I take responsibility for my part in it. It was a stupid situation and it wasn’t fun and it wore down my self-worth. We would spend time together but I couldn’t be his friend on any social media, much less tag him in a picture. I lived in fear of visiting where he lived because I knew I would run into some woman he was involved with, or have to face an awkward introduction “This is my friend…mother of my daughter…” It really was just awful. In the beginning, pre-pregnancy, I was a little pleased with the situation. I was just getting over my ex-husband and I wasn’t sure if I should be involving myself with anyone and I just wanted to be free. I wanted a companion and someone to love but I didn’t want the harrowing title of “relationship”. Of course, as circumstances unfolded it was clear the “How Stella Got Her Groove Back” fling was going to come crashing down, hard.
Years later we eventually did try to be together as boyfriend and girlfriend, but at that point it was mainly because we were sleeping with each other and we didn’t want the other sleeping with someone else. Some men have a thing about possession, and they want to get you into these UBC relationships, but what they really mean is that they don’t want to be committed to YOU, but expect you to be faithful to them. I’ve been a fool for love plenty of times, but I don’t like double standards so while I was in this UBC I always talked to other dudes and kept my options open (except for when I was pregnant). Anyway, needless to say we didn’t last. I think what makes dating so tough nowadays is that temptation is always there because people don’t have boundaries anymore, and even less people have self control. I couldn’t stay in a relationship and build trust with a person who continued to hang around and correspond with ex-girlfriends and women he had previously been involved with. I know there are women that can, and kudos to them, but I needed more security—and apparently without it I fall apart. There is no security in a UBC situation.
Hello Irony, My Old Friend
Sooooo, I’m trying to think of how to explain how it makes sense for me to be on the cusp of another UBC relationship, but there is no real logical reason. I guess things started off with two things: 1. My realization that I am open to getting married again and I would like to settle down at some point in the future. 2. Falling madly in like with an awesome guy with whom things won’t seem to work out with! This guy and I were maybe lightly involved at the most, and I did my best to leave things open for him, but women often make fools of themselves waiting around for men who turn out to not be that interested in them in the first place. I waited around for the last guy and missed out on some great things because of it. I can’t allow myself to gamble like that again. So, on the scene walks another guy 8 years my junior, a little rough around the edges but comes in a pretty package and is saying all the right things. He’s infatuated with me just the way I am and wants to be my boyfriend. I cannot commit.
This is insane! This beautiful boy so full of life, he thinks I’m strange and he wants more of it, he wants to own it—and I just can’t allow myself to go there with him. I have one million excuses as to why it can’t work but at the end of the day I have to ask myself if I’m just being scared. It absolutely sucks to be the person implementing a UBC relationship. However, I feel the best thing I can do is just remain completely and brutally honest with him about why I’m not ready to take things to the next level. I had an honest conversation with him and let him know that my heart is not completely in it and I don’t know if it will ever be. I’m unemployed right now; I’m focused on taking care of my babies, finding a new career and my writing. I’m introverted and not used to spending so much time with someone and it’s taking me awhile even to adjust having someone in my space. Finally, I am actually interested in marrying again so I have to ask myself if I should be spending time with a 21 year old. For me, it has nothing to do with wanting to have crazy sex with a bunch of different guys but more to do with just being indecisive in general.
I can whisper this to you all: I did not tell him that I have feelings for someone else or that I AM in fact, terrified! My horrible truth is that the twisted and broken part of my heart truly believes that a UBC relationship is the best way to make sure a man never cheats on me. If we are not officially “together” anyway then I can just up and leave if I find out he slept with someone else or found someone else. AND, it’s not considered cheating because it wasn’t locked in in the first place. This is why the blog is called Embrace the Crazy, because clearly my thought processes are not that normal. I know firsthand that an uncommitted but committed relationship does not personally work for me, yet I’m kind of in the middle of one!!! That is the definition of insanity—but I absolutely can’t pretend that I know what I’m doing. The only thing I really have going for me is my honesty. At the end of the day at least I can say that I never led anyone on and I’ve been uncomfortably upfront about where my heart is so that anyone who wants to involve themselves with me will know that they’re dealing with a fairly messed up individual.
I hardly have any constructive advice on this topic, which is another reason why I’ve avoided it so long. However, I do know that as a person that is all over the place in thought and action, the uncommitted but committed relationship definitely works to my advantage at this moment. It doesn’t test me or challenge me to make any final decisions and it’s really just a cop out that helps to perpetuate my fear of something real. The inner me doesn’t like relationship titles, I like to be free in everything I do and if I didn’t have my moral foundation and my children to be an example for I would probably just live with the man I fall in love with and never get married again. But what I’m doing now is not the same thing and it honestly makes me feel a little guilty. My emotions are split. I have to get my life together and I am not sure what I want or even what I should want at this point.
I should be committed…