Peer Review: Yes or No?

I’ve always considered myself to be open to new things. I’m quite adventurous when it comes to certain things, but last night I had to draw the line.

So essentially the thing that I stopped, or rather hope that I stopped, wasn’t going to be adventurous for me, but instead would have been a heart’breaking situation. I’m sure you’re thinking: “Good on you for stopping it then, well done”. And I agree, I’m glad I stopped it. What I’m not crazy about is the fact that I felt the need to.

Long story short, there was this fuckboy that I developed feelings for, like strong ones in a short period of time and it ended a couple of months ago. Said fuckboy was introduced to me by two friends of mine, a couple. This couple is in an open relationship of sorts and we’ve experimented with each other – all for science of course.

Remember the fuckboy? Well he’s rather gorgeous and as much as my feelings for him have waned, I do still have a weird little place for him in my heart. Ew, if anyone ever asks, I don’t have one of those and feelings are for losers, kay? Anyway, I saw fuckboy for the first time in about three months last night, along with my science partners and other friends. Of course, as soon as this beautiful man arrives, my subjects of investigation wander off with him. He’s mighty fine, they’re mighty into research and I got mighty jealous and maybe a little bit sad.  I went off to find another friend to see if my feelings were justified, she of course, being as amazing as she is, said they were and told me to speak to the instigator of all forays into science.

I spoke to him and it was uncomfortable. Picture telling someone just how much you were hurt by their friend, for the sole purpose of asking them to not sleep with him, but at the same time telling them to tell you immediately if it were to happen, just so you can torture yourself over it for months to come if it ever did happen. He did tell me that he’d respect my wishes, even though he thought stuff like that doesn’t bother me – he clearly has never read any of my posts.

Well, I guess we’ll see what happens. At least cards are all on the table, but hopefully fuckboy wont be.

 

To Fuckboy or not to Fuckboy …

The title really does say it all, but I guess I’ll fill up this post with some more meat. Punny.

Recently I got involved with a guy who I knew was a fuckboy from the get go. We banged on the first night after both having made out with multiple other guys in front of each other. So maybe I’m not painting myself in the best light here either. Just thinking back to that night and actually every encounter we had after that, it’s shocking that I was ever under the impression that we could be a couple.

I was kind of head over heels for this boy, he is gorgeous and charming, but most of them are. He didn’t treat me particularly well, but maybe that’s kind of what was great about it – he wasn’t trying very hard. He wasn’t clingy or annoyed that I didn’t text all the time. Jokes, I actually did most of the initiation when it came to texting or doing things, I think he invited me to do things maybe three times. One of those times was a dinner at his house where I met two of his siblings and then spent the night, something he later said was too ‘real’ and felt too much like I was his boyfriend. He did however introduce me to his friends as his ‘boy’ the previous evening at a party. Damn, this boy really is a classic fuckboy hey.

Anyway, I’ve fallen into this FB trap before, funnily enough with a boy that made out with the most recent one only a week or two after we met, while we were out together. I make absolutely great decisions.

Some friends have decided that maybe, just maybe I might be an FB myself, which honestly I didn’t enjoy at first. I struggled with the concept at the same time that I had to struggle with just being “broken up with” by the boy mentioned above.

It took about two weeks to really get over this boy – we only hooked up for a month – but by the end of the two weeks I had also accepted being called a fuckboy myself, not because I actually think I exhibit the classic qualities, but because I think maybe we all have a little of FB in us.  And is that such a massive issue? I’ve treated boys like this one treated me, and thought nothing of it. It’s only now that I actually developed feelings and had my heart semi crushed that I realise it’s absolute bullshit. That being said though, we’re all probably just a bit broken from a previous experience or what the general gay community seems to value above all else, sex. How do we build real relationships or even casual ones when we don’t really know what’s socially okay?

The question remains, to fuckboy or not? To get with one and risk actually developing feelings even though you know it’ll end in tears, or even to be one when you risk just destroying your relationships and gaining a reputation that’s difficult to shake. There is no real answer here, and you should know by now that I never really have one, I pose questions to the world at large hoping that I’ll learn something from my own writing and maybe learn to not be the worst, by spotting the worst in myself through my experiences with others. Deep.

Non-Scene

I’ve spent my entire gay life as a non-scener, someone that doesn’t go to gay bars, clubs, pride parades and the like regularly. I’ve often wondered what it would be like to be one of those sceners, what it would be like to hang with my fellow gay guys and just be comfortable in my own skin and my own community. Somehow, every time I come close, it blows up in my face and I’m left feeling meh.

There’s something that happens to me when I’m in a room with a bunch of gay guys. I feel small and, as my ex boyfriend so eloquently described me, underwhelming. I’m not a gym bunny or a bear or a rich older man or a teenager that everyone is scrambling to get drunk and in bed. I’m kind of nothing in the gay world right now. I’m a student with a pretty normal, average body, alright hair and nothing else of particular note. I mean I’m pretty tall, but even that seems to not be in at the moment.

Have I passed my prime, or will the attention come back if I just change everything about myself? Or should I just wait until I graduate and can tell people I’m a doctor? That seems a bit pretentious but maybe worth a try and then worth the wait.

The essence of this post is really something that I think every gay man -and probably some of you others but this blog is aimed at gay men – experiences, maybe more often that we’d like to admit to anyone, even ourselves. We feel inadequate. We feel like we’re never attractive enough, fit enough, rich enough, stylish enough, extra enough, or too extra, too fat, too skinny, too boring, too tall, too short and the list just goes on, doesn’t it? I wish I could complain about this and be super unique and could cry about how no one understands. the reality is that it bothers so many people that reading this is probably boring, you’ve seen this all before, just like I have.

I find it incredibly protective to my self worth and image to just be a non-scener. Let’s just stay away from our triggers and become hermits that stay home and have pizza while watching series and smoking cigarettes and drinking wine. More than anything, let’s avoid going to gay venues and running into specific people that make us feel shitty. Fuck those guys.

 

A Guy

Hello… It’s me.

I haven’t written in so long that I haven’t even had the chance to make that horrible, now outdated, reference. There it is anyway. You’re welcome.

I’m that guy and I hate it.

I met a guy on Tinder about two days after a friend of mine told me that he liked this guy. Let’s call my friend Red and the Tinder guy, well let’s call him Tinder Guy.

So Red tells me over coffee that he met a guy on Tinder that he likes, but that doesn’t like him back. Or maybe that’s not true – they work at the same company so maybe they met there but somehow Tinder came up in the conversation? I’m not sure. Anyway it’s also not true that the guy doesn’t like him – he likes Red but isn’t physically attracted to him I guess. It’s complicated, but the tone of their texts seems pretty flirty to me.

So at first Red doesn’t want to show me the guy in question or tell me anything about him because apparently I’m his type. He then eventually shows me Tinder Guy’s picture and damn, he’s pretty fine. I resolve to not actively seek out this man – that would go against the rules of friendship and I’m not that person. I’m a grownup now after all.

Two days later I match with Tinder Guy. I must have swiped right before Red told me anything. Before I even have a chance to think about it, he sends me a message. So we chat a bit, he asks for my number and we text on another popular messaging app.

Problem. I’m enjoying the conversation.

So I told Red that we’re chatting and he says it’s all good since nothing was going to happen with them anyway. I know this is bullshit though, since I know Red and I know how I would feel. At the same time I also feel like I can pursue this very attractive and rather charming (in texts at least) guy since there was never a romantic connection between him and Red. This does feel like a bit of a dilemma, but we haven’t even met for coffee, so I still need to see where this goes before I question my morality and the possibility of me being an absolutely shitty friend.

Like I said, we haven’t met. We’ve been chatting for maybe two weeks and I’m writing my reproduction block exams on Monday and Tuesday, so the timing has not been ideal for a first date. First date? Do we even date in 2016? I’ve been single for about two years, so I’m unsure how this works. I have been out with guys though, it has not been a completely dry two years, don’t feel sorry for me now.

Anyway, the idea of a first date is freaking me out a little. I’m already nervous about it even though we are yet to formally decide on a time and place.What will I wear, will I be embarrassing, do I remember how to be charming, have I ever known how to be charming?

All these thoughts and more.

Confession Time

Here I go again, into territories that are not so uncharted. I spoke previously about an ex that I was thinking of seeing again, but I swiftly and skillfully avoided reconnecting. After considering all the variables at play, I realised that I just wasn’t up for a first date with someone that I had had at least twenty dates with before.

I’m happy with my decision to let it slide. Instagram is still around, so I get to see his ever more attractive face from the comfort of my own home, without having to worry about the inevitable repeat of whatever went wrong in 2013.

I’ve been minding my own business and enjoying my break from varsity these last two weeks – no boys, not in any serious way at least. There has been some flirting with guys whose numbers I already posses, and I visited an old acquaintance two weekends ago. Other than that, just me, series and Stephen King, and friends and family of course.

Last night I got a text from a guy that I hadn’t seen in months. He told me he was bored and I suggested we go out. He said he didn’t want to, which I found odd after a text out of the blue, simply claiming to be home and bored, but whatever. I was going to let it go and continue my movie binge watching, when I got an even weirder text from him. He led with “Confession Time” and proceeded to tell me that he used to like me a little. I mean, I knew he used to like me since we went out once or twice when I also thought that I used to like him.

I’m not sure why we saw each other so few times. Actually, as I typed that last thought, I remembered. He was still hung up on someone and I was still hung up on someone else. Sometimes I wonder if I still am…

He’s two years younger than me, which isn’t usually something I’d go for, but he’s attractive. Portuguese, dark, great hair. The age thing is a bit of a problem, because he says things and sometimes maybe does things that are a bit young. Is that really an issue though? Can’t that just be fun? I’m thinking that maybe it bothered me more than it should have.

Something else that kind of irritated the crap out of me was that he would wear shorts and sneakers, Nike of course, when we went out. That’s all good and well for a daytime thing, but not when we go to drinks and a movie at night and to a nice cocktail place.

The last thing that really annoyed me about him was that my best friend didn’t like him. She met him once, for like 20 minutes, but how could I date someone that doesn’t get along with a friend. Not only would I get constant shit from this friend, but the boy could never come out with us. Even if I was the only one to know about the dislike, it would be awkward – I would have to watch fake pleasantness and, in the slightly paraphrased words of Nicki Minaj “phony bitches would  front they chum-chummy”.

Why even write about some kid who messaged me out of the blue for a quick, random and slightly awkward chat? Well, because I’m seeing him tonight. We’re going to see the movie that I was meant to go and see with the re-return from the first part of this post.

I’m unsure if he told me that he used to like me to find out if I ever liked him, which I didn’t admit to last night, or if he wanted to know if we could possibly still happen. Otherwise he may have just felt like telling me for no particular reason – simply to put it out there and let me know that those feelings are in the past.

It doesn’t matter all that much since I have no idea if I have any feelings for him somewhere hidden within. But, having said that, what if I do? I should not have agreed to and encouraged the idea of the movie tonight, but it’s the last installment in the Hunger Games franchise and I really want to see it.

So I’ve essentially set myself up for an awkward evening where neither one of us is going to know if it’s meant to end in a kiss, a hug or a business-like salute from me and a very confused wave from him.

 

 

White Noise

Last weekend I was contacted by a previous regular hookup of mine. It had been a while since I had ventured into the land of subtle lighting with anyone, so I agreed to go to his place on the Sunday evening.

Usually I would go over and we’d exchange some meaningless chatter for a few minutes, less than 30 minutes I’d say, but this time was different. This boy, he happens to be two years older than I am and taller than me but I’ll refer to him as a boy ok?, leads me to his bedroom and we both lie down. Instead of chatter he looks at me and starts telling me about the guy he had recently broken up with. I had no idea he had been seeing someone so I was shocked and didn’t have a heartfelt response ready – anyway, I had something else on my mind and was never planning on being his emotional support that night.

I felt like the right thing to do was humour him and let him tell me some things that he needed to get off his chest. It couldn’t go on for more than a few minutes, right? Wrong. He told me that he had been seeing this guy for a year and a half – this was worrying, I hadn’t even known this boy, my hookup, for that long. Of course I felt like I had to bring this up. He assured me that he only saw me when he and his long term boy were on the rocks every now and again. Is that even okay? Shouldn’t I have been informed of the situation? A simple ‘Hey, so my boyfriend and I are taking a break, you cool with that?’ isn’t too much to ask is it? This especially bothers me since I do not want to wedge myself into these things. I try to stay out of typical gay community drama as much as possible – well, unless I stand to gain something that’s really worth the drama.

So after this lovely shocker, I’m actually ready to leave and not turn back as I walk off into the moonlight. Instead, I’m kind of trapped because I’ve only been in there for about 5 minutes and my apparent new best friend wasn’t showing signs that he had any plans to either stop talking about his love life or to undress any time soon.

The chat ended up lasting about three hours, no jokes. He told me that he was in love with this guy, but he’s my age, so probably too young to understand love and that screwed it all up. I was indignant at that, but couldn’t argue about the naivety of the very early twenties. Let’s call the guy I went to see A, just to rule out some ambiguity. So A tells me that he is planning on moving into an apartment block closer to campus, I think that might have happened since I saw him actually. Not only does he ask me to help him move??? but he also mentions that his ex used to stay in this block. I assured him that all would be well since the ex had moved out, but I was also clearly very busy so I couldn’t help him move.

I don’t even really know what to say here. Clearly it’s a bad idea to move into the same building your ex used to stay in. A went to visit this ex there countless times and the ex’s brother still lives there. Lying about it working out fine was the only way for me to actually get around this topic. Telling him I couldn’t help him move… I don’t think I need to justify that.

I won’t mention specifics about the rest of this long rant that I had to sit through, I think I made my point.

What I do want to mention is how awkward it is to go over with one thing in mind and instead being told how the love of his life is no longer there. I mean, we still got around to hooking up, but what on earth is the world coming to?

 

 

Slim Pickings

It happened. I passed my prime, and I spoiled it.

So not much was happening on the dating front – the re-return had inevitably gone stale, even though he texted me again first, and the extended play, well he was always out of my league.

So tonight, it’s now two-thirty am, we went to Babylon, the very same gay club that I’ve mentioned before. The night started off slowly, the place was pretty empty, but it got full by midnight. My friends kept urging me to hook up with someone, and I kept saying there was no one that caught my eye. Lies. There were many potentials, but none of them seemed interested at all. I’m shy when it comes to club hookups, and I’m also not really keen on the whole one night stand idea, but come on, usually at least one or two guys try to hit on me.

I’m 22, which means the sweet spot for a gay social life has passed me by – the sweet spot being from 16 to 21. Our fresh faced younger “straight” friend, who I’ve always suspected, got free drinks and guys wanting him to leave with him. He’s 21, but with his perfect face and care-free demeanor he could pass for 17.

I’ve always known that gay years don’t exactly correspond with the normal passing of time, and I knew that if I wanted to settle down, I’d have to do it sooner rather than later, but hell, I never knew being 22, and by some accounts a catch, would translate as me leaving the party alone every night for the rest of time. I mean sure. I can still hook up on Grindr, or Tinder or whatever, but even those desperate guys seem content to only speak to me for one day and then forget about it.

I even skipped the traditional McD’s after a night out and am planning to run until I puke tomorrow, because I’m terrified of not even being attractive and young enough for a casual night of, well, you know.

I’m currently convinced that all those forever alone memes were created not only for me, but for all the old and decrepit gays out there that are older than 21.

Is this the end of my sex life and the end of my search for someone to spend my life with? It might sound melodramatic, but I looked banging tonight, and no one seemed to care.

The Re-return

I have this feeling that I’m going to have the option of re-returning to an old.. flame? Let’s call him that for now.

See, the re-return is the action of re-dating someone, be it a full fledged ex or even just someone who you vibed with for a while. I’ve always had a a strict no re-return rule – if things didn’t work the first time, there must have been a reason, and that action likely to repeat itself.

So the possible re-return, we’ll call him Designer, is a guy I met the year after I graduated from high school, in what I’m now calling my gap year. I dated someone else for a good portion of that year, and I met Designer after we broke up. He was attractive, sweet, funny and the nicest guy I had met in a while. We hit it off and started going out, sort of.  We saw a lot of each other and met each other’s friends, so I guess you can say we were dating.

In the very early stages, before we were really anything to each other, we went gay clubbing with some other friends. gay clubbing is almost always a mistake, a mistake with great music. Anyway, so Designer made out with someone right in front of me and that pissed me off. I should have called it off then and there, but if you’ve read anything I’ve posted before, you know I’m a sucker for punishment. So my response was to go make out with the same guy later that night. The things you think are a good idea when you’re young and slightly inebriated. We became exclusive that night.

We went strong for a while, but he worked full time, and I started my medical degree the next year, a little while after we started seeing each other. He was also not out yet, and we know how I feel about that – he’s out now though at least. I started seeing less and less of him as time went on and eventually we decided to end it, whatever it was.

I saw him out now and again, as happens in this city. With a population of more than 4 million and more than 7 million in the greater Jo’Burg area, you’d think I’d run into fewer exes when I go out. I ran into him again this year, in early May, when we were celebrating my birthday at the same gay club where we both made out with a handsome stranger that night many years ago. I got pretty crunk that night, it was for my birthday after all. So we made out, this designer and I.

It was good, but it was meant to be a one time thing. He texted me the next day and we chatted a bit for the next few days. The conversation fizzled out as it always seems to, until last week that is.

I wake up one morning last week to a text with a picture from one of the first times we went out way back when. I sent back a laughing emoji and mentioned that my hair was horrible back then, which is completely true by the way. He responds with a picture in which I’m trying my best to blue steel and pout and smolder all at once. It was terrible, but he followed the picture with a heart-for-eyes emoji. This made me smile and right there Id decided the conversation wouldn’t fizzle out so quickly this time.

We’ve been chatting since then and we plan to meet up some time to catch up. This follows my exes and ohs post, both because it seemed like a good follow-up and because somehow all of this is happening at once.

From what I’ve told you here, it may seem like I’m basing my opportunity for a re-return on very little. That’s because I’m scared he may read this in the future and the less I say about it, the better.

I do however feel like the opportunity is real. The question is just, have we changed and matured enough in the last three years for it to work this time, or am I setting myself up for disaster by even considering this?

Exes and Ohs

When a relationship ends things tend to be a little awkward. If you do the breaking up then the other party inevitably hates you for a period of time, even if they still love you. That seemed like a juxtaposition, but I’m sure many people have experienced this very weird emotional position – an example that I experience all the time is my folks, they annoy the hell out of me sometimes with their old-timey views and lack of understanding of things happening around them, but of course I still love them. When I’m broken up with, or even when I break up with someone, I feel something similar to this. I just can’t really go back to the person after I cool down and say sorry, I love you. But can you, after a cool-down period, go back and give them a a different kind of love? Can exes be friends?

Usually I’d say no. I’m fantastically good friends with some girls I dated way back when in primary school, because I have since come out, and anything in primary school can’t actually count when you’re in your twenties, right? Right. There are, however, no guys from my past that I’m actually properly friends with. I’ll see some of them out now and again, or send or receive a text from one if we need to discuss something specific. But friends? No, I still refer to them as ‘my ex’, not ‘my friend’.

This past weekend I had yet another birthday party with a theme – ‘Squares and Drapes’. If you don’t know what that theme entails, it’s from some Johnny Depp movie made in 1990. Anyway, I didn’t know what to wear and one of the very few people I knew was going to be there, was an ex. I sent him a text the morning of asking what I should wear, what I really wanted to gauge was if it was going to be an awkward evening or not. Turns out we’re fine now, almost two years after we broke up. I’m sure it helped that he’s been in a year-long relationship with someone new, even if it’s long distance. He seemed happy and we got along just fine.

The only hiccup was when I had to explain why I did not go to his birthday party a few months ago, even though quite a few of my friends ended up going. I said it was because I felt like I was the obligatory invite, the guy you invite because you feel like it’s the right thing to do – it’s the absolute worst when they actually end up coming. This explanation was mostly true. I also just didn’t feel like a room full of attractive gay guys when I’ve really been letting myself go for the last six months or so.

So that went well – we’re still not going to be in the business of inviting each other out to coffee or clubbing though. Still just ‘my ex’.

Now, some people may or may not remember Ben from at least two of my other recent posts. We vibed for like a month, that’s no time at all. I developed a semblance of feelings very quickly though, possibly just because I hadn’t had any for anyone in quite some time. Well whatever the reason for my ridiculous affections, they were there. Now it’s his birthday this coming weekend and lo and behold, he’s having a party. It’s Halloween themed – apt. Not only because it’s Halloween on Saturday (also JHB gay pride that day by the way), but because I’m terrified of going. I’ve been checking the Facebook event and many of my friends are going. So is Gaysian, from my extended play post.

The reason I’m terrified, is because we were never friends and we were never together, but we kind of broke up. We haven’t texted in weeks and it’s awkward when we run into each other, unlike the ex that I saw last week. I don’t want to go and be awkward and I don’t want to not go because then it’s obvious that I’m not going because I dread seeing him. Is it obvious?

Anyway, he invited 150 people. He’s personally told me that he dislikes some of the people on his guest-list. Am I one of those people for real this time? The one that you feel you have to invite to be polite, but secretly you really hope they don’t come.

What’s the right move here? Do I go because my friends are going, do I go because I want to show him that I’m over it, or do I not go and risk being the guy that can’t be friends with a whole group of people because of one failed relationship attempt with a member of said group?

Did I burn a bridge here? Or if I haven’t burnt one, am I risking doing just that?

Label It

This is something that intrigues and confuses me, and it has for a long time. I posted about coming out just a few days ago, and although I didn’t really feel like telling my own story, I tried to convey that I’m all for coming out and being gay and being happy. But is it really that easy to label yourself and then just live with it?

At my university, we have an annual event called the Medics Pub Crawl – it’s pretty fun I think. I’m not really sure, since the goal is to be off your face even before you get on the bus to the first destination. At last year’s pub crawl, as is my tradition when going out, I mingled with many groups of people and not just my everyday group of friends. So on one of the buses between venues, I sat with some girls in my class. We were all pretty well socially lubricated at this point, so things got a bit flirty as they often do. They all knew that I was gay and I knew that they all knew, so it’s all good if we flirt a bit. No harm done. Except that I ended up almost making out with the one girl, but picked her friend instead. This caused some friction there apparently, oh well. Anyway, the one I chose is taller than me, has beautiful blonde curls or waves or whatever and has a banging body. It just happened, and it was fun for both of us I hope.

Later that night, at the last venue, I spot this super tall guy who is also in my class. I had never really spoken to him before that evening, but I had always assumed that he would swing both ways. So we’re on the street and I approach him and attempt to chat him up, and it works. Did I mention that he’s taller than me and had brown curls or waves or whatever? The reason I’m drawing this comparison is simply because sometimes it’s true that you have a type, but can your type resonate with you regardless of gender?

For me the answer is almost always no, but after a few drinks I enjoy making out with girls. I assume it’s just because I enjoy making out and it doesn’t really have anything to do with sex or gender, as long as there’s some level of physical attraction.

The reason for the backstory was really so I could mention the tall guy. Let’s just call him J. J is a vegetarian and looks like a hippy sometimes and like a hipster other times. He’s a model and a medical student, so he checks a lot of boxes and leaves many other boxes blank.

My sometimes socially awkward friend doesn’t make out with too many people when she’s drunk, instead she asks questions and brings up things best forgotten. I mentioned earlier that J and I didn’t really speak before we kissed a year ago, well now we’re in the same group of friends, so we speak rather often. At a party last weekend the awkward bestie asks him about his label. He responds, quite casually I might add, that he isn’t sure what he is. He likes girls but he could also easily make out with me again right there and then. I responded that it would not be that easy, just because I didn’t know what to say.

The akward bestie, I think that’s what I’ll call her from now on, seemed unsure how she felt about this, purely from a ‘what box in my head is reserved fir this’, kind of perspective. I tried to come up for J and said not to label him, he’s clearly not at either extreme of the Kinsey scale. I felt very cosmopolitan and forward thinking for saying this, but then I started really thinking about it. I think I may need labels. I think society as whole may function better when we can label things. I tried to imagine dating not J, but someone like him, someone who didn’t really know what they wanted.

I’ve been struggling with simply the idea of dating a bisexual man. I don’t know why it’s such a weird thing for me, I hook up with guys and girls but have no emotional or romantic attraction to girls so I’m not quite identifying as bi. Should it bother me that a bi man could just as easily leave me for a woman as for another man? Probably not. What does bother me and I feel like it may be more justified, is that a bi man can never be at the same comfort level with my girl friends as I am, there’s a possibility of sexual attraction there. I’m the jealous type, so maybe that’s what’s shining through here if we’re being completely honest. So did I just decide that the ‘Bi’ label is an exception? Do we want labels, but ones that say something concrete, like ‘I want a girlfriend’ or ‘I want a boyfriend’ rather than ‘I’m single’?

Back to the J situation. If you’re unsure what you want, and you date a boy for a year just to realise that you really want to marry a woman instead, is that fair to either of you? If you don’t want the world to label you, that’s probably completely okay, but maybe you should have a label tucked away in your mind just for your own personal use?

Obviously I can’t really come up with a concrete solution to the problem of labeling, and maybe there isn’t a problem at all. Maybe it’s all much of a muchness and every situation warrants a complete evaluation by itself.