It’s the space between unison and individuality. The first time you pick up a FaceTime call with your bonnet on because “it’s time” or it was too late for you to take it off. It’s making him dinner since he can’t cook and you know, living like a bachelor is seldom healthy. It’s being unsure what to do for him on his birthday because you don’t have to do anything. It’s too soon to meet his family, but somebody has heard about you. They know about you. You’ve told someone about him.
The problem is well, it’s gray. You’re forced to move by calculations, structured gestures and timed progression. What if it’s too soon? Well, what if it’s too late? There’s no title in whatever it is y’all do – except friends maybe but I’m sure your friends don’t slurp you up like a bowl of Campbell’s at. Maybe they do though, but I can’t relate. Anyway, the problem with the gray area is nobody knows where they’re going unless of course the answer is nowhere. I spent 3 years in the deepest of gray areas while in undergrad and I was happy, but always confused. Most days I felt confident it was just me, but the gray area didn’t grant me the right to ask or really care because we were nothing. This person recently described me as “his” during that time, but that’s another story for another day. The gray area was perfect for my life at the time – I was free (technically) and there were no obligations. THAT my friends, is what keeps the gray area afloat, no obligations.
It’s their graduation? So…
It’s Valentine’s day? So….
Technically, neither of you owe each other anything. You have to enter the gray area being okay with that. You have to accept that without a concrete conversation determining if your gray will turn to black or white, time doesn’t mean anything. So, “talking” for 8 months is meaningless unless either of you have made it clear and agreed to “talk” (date) exclusively.
I should mention that this gray area I’m talking about isn’t a fu*k buddy relationship, meaning there is an interest beyond sex. Eventually comfort kicks in and vulnerability. For me, that man became my best friend, and I was his. He knew I liked my water room temp and what I preferred on pizza. I told him everything. He knew the best and worst of me and still accepted alllaadis. It was the first time I knew and loved who I was while having someone on my side. As the friendship develops, the gray area doesn’t feel so bad because you think you’re just being a good friend. Tread lightly, sis. He ain’t yo man.
I’ve never been a “what are we?” woman. I can honestly say anytime it’s come up, a man brought it up (and it’s likely I skedaddled soon after). I’ll be 25 this year and while still young and bomb af, I think living in the unknown is …not for me anymore. Sure I’m open to dating (several people maybe??), but I think I’ve exhausted the energy I had to be someone’s confidant for well, nothing. I guess the point of this is gray is on a spectrum. Always be clear about what you’re doing and the messages your behaviors send. It’s all downhill after the first time he takes the condom off to be quite mf honest.
If you don’t know what you want, and you’re figuring life (and yourself) out, the perfect gray may be for you. My only advice is if that’s not applicable, you’re going to have to talk about it. Be clear about what you want, and be able to accept the outcome if the person you’re being gray with can’t provide it. You’ll go your separate ways, or bring him (or her) home next Thanksgiving.
You’re still lit af though, either way.
Peace, love & Lil Wayne,