This is a random, quick little post, that I don’t think matters all that much, and maybe doesn’t even need an explanation, really.
But, I just wanted to clear something up, because I keep kind of dancing around the idea of sort of dating (because there were things about our interaction that were kind of relationship-y, and it’s all part of the abusive relationship element), but I try to never actually use the word “dating” about him. And it’s sort of pedantic, and it’s sort of dumb. But because I’ve been kind of a stickler about it, I thought I’d talk about why here.
For one thing, I don’t usually use the word dating at all, period, full stop. Even when I describe my two different kinda real, grown-up (basically anything after high school) long-term-ish relationships, I practically never say, “I dated him [or other him].” I usually say something like, “when I was with him,” “my time with him,” “I loved him,” “this man I was with” – blah blah blah, something like that. I rely on the word “with,” usually.
But, I wouldn’t think it was weird at all to use that term about either of those guys. If I heard them they said they dated me, I wouldn’t even bat an eyelash. And if that word happened to fly out of my mouth about them, I also wouldn’t think it was weird.
Anyway, outside of them, I don’t usually use the word to talk about anything super casual. If I’ve been on one or two dates with somebody, I don’t personally say I’m “dating” them. That, to me, feels off. To me, if I say I’m dating someone, it means, I’m dating them – I am actively with them in a way in which we’ve done more than just test the waters with a date or two, or a couple of weeks of sleeping together. We’ve started settling in. We’re actively on the road to being together – or, really, by the time I’d personally say dating, we probably are like “officially” together.
And I know people are different about this. Some people go on one Tinder date and will say they’re dating the person. That’s fine. You be you.
I have one friend in California that I went on two dates with, and once when we were talking, I was like, “How’d you know that about me?” And he was all, “Don’t forget I dated you.” And I didn’t push glasses up my nose and say, “Ahem, sir. Actually, by the standards of the Aurora De Lucia dictionary [blah blah blah]…” I get it. He was using short hand for the fact that we’d been on two dates, and it was all fine. I really don’t care, because these tiny things don’t usually grate on me. Like, who on earth cares about something so dumb like a tiny word like this of if you “dated” or didn’t. We’re not in court. We don’t get to become the semantics police up in here.
Except when it comes to sexual assault guy.
In my mind, it’s pretty clear we didn’t “date.” We were “friends” [I guess – even that is iffy, looking back on it, but I’d say friends is correct] who happened to sleep together for literally just a few weeks (less than a month!), kind of trying it out, seeing if it stuck. We went on one actual “date,” and even that was just an apology dinner that he took me on because he’d [shocker] been exceptionally awful to me. After the way he’d treated me, an apology dinner was the least he could do. I’d almost expect a nicer dinner in that circumstance from just a run-of-the-mill, not-sleeping-together friend. So, that hardly even counts, tbh. To me, personally, that doesn’t add up to “we dated.” We didn’t. I do not look at it that way.
And I couldn’t always get a handle on how he saw things. Sometimes things would sound one way and then a different way. There were a lot of confusing things about things he would say at various points.
So, we had this [like, one of a trillion] “end” or “closure” talks or whatever. And I asked him, because his phrasing was always kind of confusing me, if he would consider me as someone he “dated,” and he said yes. And then when the conversation turned to if I agreed [and you gotta read this in like super kind, nice Aurora voice], “Well, I mean, I wouldn’t say that…” And he was like, “Well, we each get our own narrative!” And as per usual, he got a little upset with me (because when was he not?).
And he was big into this idea that we each got our own narrative – and to him, it didn’t matter if they were wildly different from each other – almost as if he didn’t have any care in the world as to what the truth is. And, I understand that all relationships (of any kind) have some degree of disagreements. Sometimes each party will think it was the other party’s fault, etc. But I feel like usually there is at least a general kind of base truth that everybody agrees on.
And I guess I at least appreciate that for once at least he said we could have our own narratives. For once, it wasn’t like, “This is it. This [whatever this – usually lie is] is the truth, period.” He was at least allowing me the small idea that I could actually have my own “narrative” (even if he vehemently disagreed with it).
But because he just became so intense about like, “We dated! We did,” I became just extra adverse to it. He dug his heels in, in a way, like it was almost as though he enjoyed watching it kind of hurt my feelings as he had total disregard for my point of view of anything.
So, for anyone who happened to wonder why I don’t use that word about him, there you have it. I barely every use it anyway. I usually don’t care much one way or another (as I know people use it differently), but with him, it felt like just another one of 50 billion ways to try to take away my power and be some kind of main Official of Truth – even if he was almost never telling what the truth actually was.