friends with benefits and alanis morissette

So last night my old friend that i’ve known since i was 15 came over. it was the first time i’ve had sex in like 8 months. is that too much information?

our relationship, and i use that term without definition, has been sporadic since i met him 8 years ago. we lived in different states for 6 of those years. we visited each other sometimes, like after one of us broke up with a significant other. otherwise we hung out when we were both back in our hometown area, for the holidays.

in some ways i feel like i can tell him absolutely anything and be totally myself around him. in other ways i feel like we never talk about the most basic things–like whatever our relationship is. or what we’re looking for.

i can’t tell if it feels healthy or not. i love being with him and i don’t think i want a boyfriend right now, but i can’t help to feel “girly” emotions for him. and this morning when he left, i couldn’t help feeling a little sad. and confused. but also really alive.

so i blasted jagged little pill in my car and screamed out all the lyrics and drove to dunkin donuts.

it feels healthy because i’ve known him so long. it feels healthy to have a long friendship with someone, even though it’s a weird and complicated and sometimes painful one. it just feels healthy to maintain friendships like that. it makes me feel less out of control, less transient. seeing him, and just knowing he exists, makes me feel more secure. like a lighthouse, he makes it easier to figure out where i am.

but he also feels like an illusion sometimes. like i can’t quite see the line between who he is to me and who he really is.

what feels potentially unhealthy about it is that i think i might depend on the idea of him too much. when i was feeling really crappy about my life and going through a break-up, i thought about him. i texted him. and it made it easier to get through that break-up. i worry that he’s a crutch that i lean on emotionally, but the crutch has no foundation.

but then again our connection feels real. i still remember in high school, the way he looked at me across the lunch table, his eyes staring straight inside me. we have something like clairvoyance with each other, being able to read each others minds. and after months of not seeing or speaking to one another, we realize we happened to watch the same obscure movie or tv series, even though neither of us watches much tv or movies.

but days like today i have to remind myself that there’s no real commitment involved.

i love the freedom of intimacy without definition. but it’s hard to see where the line is sometimes. it’s hard to tell if i should be protecting myself more or regulating my feelings more. because what if im more attached than i realize. what if i only think im attached and if i was actually in a real relationship with him i would hate it. what if i’m not trying hard enough to find someone else because i always have him to fall back on.

but it still feels healthy. it’s like practicing buddhist non-attachment or something. enjoying someone and feeling close to someone, but recognizing that you don’t own them.

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