Depth doesn’t depend on constant physical closeness.
Disclaimer: This post is for dedicated single women who aren’t into long-term, live-in relationships. I by no means want to offend those in happily monogamous relationships, and this is based on where I am right now in my relationships and sex life. So please, no “well that isn’t true for me!” bashing. I get it.
For a very long time, I had a boyfriend, but he wasn’t my lover.
Now, I don’t have a boyfriend, but I have at least one lover, and would love to get more. (If I didn’t have such high standards…Oh well. A girl’s gotta have a code.)
Boyfriends are nice, I guess. They pay half the rent and half the food, and they’re here even when you don’t want them around. They keep your bed warm…every night. They compliment you on your cooking…most of the time. They sometimes make you breakfast. You do stuff together once in a while, like going to an art gallery or a whale watching tour. They love you, hopefully. That’s a nice one.
But they can also be demanding, and domineering, and sometimes they don’t listen to you. Sometimes they create more problems than they solve. Sometimes they’re just annoying or dirty or whatever their flaws are. Sometimes they stop fucking you, and then you end up with a roommate with whom you’re sharing a bed and sometimes take showers with. (Everyone has flaws. I know I can be annoying and demanding too, no worries. It’s just nice not to impose those flaws on anyone full time, either.)
And, being happily single right now, I want nothing to do with a live-in boyfriend. I’m all for deep relationships, but I’ll invite you in my bed only if I feel like it. Depth doesn’t depend on constant physical closeness. And so I’ve been thinking about how lovers are better than boyfriends. Here are my conclusions.
1. THEY DON’T LIVE WITH YOU
This must be the best thing about lovers. They don’t live with you. Of course, that’s important if you’re the kind of independent woman who doesn’t want to necessarily live with a man full-time. Some people want to live with their partner(s), and that’s all fine with me.
But God, isn’t it nice to just get home to your cat, put on your fat pants and fall asleep on the couch with a bottle of wine? Without having to worry about someone else being around, asking you things or wanting to talk with you? ISN’T IT AMAZING TO BE ABLE TO NOT TALK TO ANYONE IF YOU DON’T WANT TO?
I love not living with someone. I love the quiet of my apartment on a Tuesday afternoon while I’m working. I love that I’m not worrying about his laundry or his dinner or whether he thinks the bathroom is clean enough. I love to just worry about myself, thank you very much.
2. LOVE STILL HAPPENS
In my mind, having a lover (or many lovers) doesn’t mean you’re just getting sex. (LOVE-R. LOVE IS INCLUDED.) I have loved many of my temporary partners over my lifetime. Not living together does not equal no love. On the contrary. You can love just as much, and have just as meaningful times, even if they’re not with you full-time.
Love is about caring, and listening, and sharing experiences. Love doesn’t have to be attached to living together, or marriage, or children. Love can be just love, and you can set the conditions for it, just as you set the other conditions for your life. You love your friends, yet you don’t live with them. Or most of them anyway. The same with lovers.
Love is not a function of physical closeness. Love can exist under many different conditions.
3. THE SEX WILL BE GOOD FOR LONGER
It happens to the best of us: After a while, the sex becomes routine, stale, or non-existent. It happened to me in a committed relationship.
Now, since I don’t deal in absolutes, I know that some committed couples have awesome sex for their entire relationship, and that some lovers have terrible sex even from the beginning. But in my experience, the sex you get from lovers (when vetted properly) is more likely to stay interesting for a longer period of time, mostly because you don’t end up getting bored with each other as quickly. There is still some mystery. You still feel like every time you have sex is a special, one-of-a-kind moment. And that matters.
This probably has to do with living separately and having different experiences that you can then bring together in the bedroom once in a while. Personally, I want to bring my A-game with lovers so they’ll stay interested and keep coming to my bed. In a committed relationship, this desire often falls by the wayside because you are secure in the relationship. They’re always coming to your bed anyway.
4. TIME SPENT TOGETHER IS MORE MINDFUL AND MEANINGFUL
Compared to the attempts I had at having mindful, meaningful time with my ex, I find it much easier to do so with lovers. I don’t see them every day, and any time together tends to be precious, because we all have busy lives. I put away the phone, turn off the TV. I am fully present, undistracted by dishes or groceries or whatever else would be on my mind if we lived together.
And there’s also the advantage of being able to do different things with different lovers. Love art galleries? Find one who does as well. Love biking? If the art gallery guy doesn’t bike, you can always find a biking guy. It’s like friends, really: You have friends who love coffee and friends who love shopping. You never expect a single friend to like all the things you like.
I love giving my focused time to the people I love…when I am ready to. This way, I can put all my other worries and concerns aside and have truly mindful, meaningful time with my lovers, instead of constantly searching for a way to do it when your idea of “quality time” is watching TV while playing on your iPad. (No, no, I’m not bitter at all…)
5. YOU CAN ALWAYS GET MORE
All right, sure, if you’re into polyamory, you can always get more even if you have a boyfriend. But I’m talking to the single lady right now, the one who isn’t looking for a long-term, committed relationship.
Lovers are awesome because you can always get more. You can get one (or two) for everything you like. One guy for oral. One guy for rough sex. One guy for cuddling. One guy for intellectual conversations. One for…whatever you need. And you can pick and choose based on your mood of the moment. You’re not tied to a single person who may be good at some things but bad at others. You can get whatever you want, whenever you want. (Well, if you have a well-appointed male harem, that is.)
This freedom is something I never would have sought without my three sexless years. You never realize how important sex is until you don’t have it—and now I want it all and I want it good. And I’m pretty OK with the fact that not one single person can give me everything I might need. And if one drops off the map? Well, there are plenty more around.
Anabelle Bernard Fournier is a freelance writer hailing from Victoria, Canada. She loves to read, cook, and fantasize about getting a pet to keep her company during the day, and who will let her take hundreds of cute kitty pictures.
This originally appeared on The Story of A. Republished here with permission.