I know some people say that if you love the other person, relationships are not work. Bullshit. Relationships are work. Unless the person is your twin or you’re a mindless idiot, you’re not going to want to do everything that the other person wants to do at the exact same time in the exact same way. But I do think all the fussing and fighting are not necessary.
When my friend said she wasn’t up for the demands of being someone’s lover, she was being real. Sex is a crucial part of that intimate connection, so if you know from the get go that you’re not interested in or able to provide sexual favors, then let somebody know up front. I joked the other day about considering celibacy with a young lady I’ve been talking to. She freaked out and accused me of misleading her. I thought it was kind of funny but she was right. When you start talking to someone with the idea that you’re trying to get into something romantic, sex is a part of the package deal. Nobody, outside of asexuals, signs up for a lifetime of handholding.
My friend admitted that at this point in her life, she wanted occasional companionship but that was it. At one point in my life that’s all I wanted too, but because I was super attracted to this last woman, I gave in and gave her what she wanted—a girlfriend. It wasn’t what I wanted and clearly we are not together now, but the consequences of me not being honest with myself and trusting my gut were painful. Now I know not to shit on someone again by being dishonest.
So are you really ready for a relationship? In order to know that, you have to know yourself—know what you want, know what you’re able to give and express that honestly and clearly to the other person. Doing that self-inventory is the best thing you can do for someone. I’ve had someone articulate clearly to me that she was not up for a relationship but wanted to continue to spend time together. Did I like it? No, but in the end, she was honest and that was the kindest thing she could do for me because she gave me the choice of saying no and moving on.