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Dating Mr. Unavailable is Unavoidable

This article was originally posted here: http://www.letters-to-oliver.com/

Unripe fruit is like unavailable love; it just isn’t good. -Angela

Ah, unavailable love.  Wonka’s illustrious golden ticket to never ever-moving from emotional exchanges and passionate sex to an actual committed relationship. I really wouldn't know much about this, being the commit and break-up if things aren’t completely in my control type. This being the case, a week ago, I end up on a road trip with a newly ex’d ex that we had planned prior to the split. This guy happens to be the most fun thirty-year-old man-child I know, if not the most fun person I know, period.

Our destination involves a music festival and kayaks in a remote mountain community.

While gaining, then losing elevation on the road to the middle of nowhere, we drink coffee(whiskey) while he rehashes the “I don't want a girlfriend” talk, which was the one prolific topic of conversation that ended the relationship in the first place. To use the word redundant would be boring.

The fun part, about the 6.0 version of this conversation, is the way we actually have it. Weirdly, it involves physical touch. Such as, grooming each other’s misplaced hairs while listening deeply with eye contact. As if we’re both protagonists in the grandest most toxic love affair since Micky and Mallory Knox, and I haven’t suffered through this mind-numbing epitaph a million times already. After the dead horse is bludgeoned, we define the “Friend Zone” to be most fitting. Like,“Okay, we’re just friends now. We can't have sex because that would be bad.”

We arrive at our iPhone-less, internet-less, toothless, destination unscathed and slightly intoxicated.

After nightfall, and the close of the riot of an evening that he created, we drive 20 miles back to our camp on isolated dirt roads, with only his amber fog lights to see the road ahead. Being the man-child that he is, he forgot to mention (or fix) the burnt-out headlights, which he avoided telling me before we started driving. When our eyes adjust, we can see about two and a half feet in front of his 3/4 ton diesel truck.  Given the acute visibility, we are able to find comfort in the unlikelihood of annihilating any baby deer that may be wandering through the forest (whew).

This happens sometime after I lost him five dollars in an arm wrestling bet against a ten-year-old Canadian kid. He declared rather hopefully,“ Hey kid! I bet you five bucks you can’t beat my girlfriend at arm wrestling!” Always the optimist, and five dollars poorer, he crooned, “You did good, Princess. You did good.” Obviously, this gets me off in a way that only high stakes gambling and improper grammar can, so I love every bit of it; but, the girlfriend part does throw me off.

Girlfriend? We broke up because he doesn't want a girlfriend, so we're friends. Can’t he tell the difference? F-R-I-E-N-D-S.

Astonishingly, we arrive at camp alive, where we are both grateful that deer murdering has been postponed indefinitely. We then unfurl our sleeping arrangements. He offers me his unzipped warmth of a cocoon to “share with him”. Unknowingly, in the dark of the woods with no headlamp, I squeeze myself beside his toasty naked body. Chalk it up to stupidity, and fun, lots of fun. Or, chalk that up to biology and brain chemicals. But now, I’m somehow naked too, and some scrupulously unfriendly behaviors unfold under matching green his and her's name brand sleeping bags.

In the morning, he tells me,” I’m not going to tell you I don't care about you and I don't want to sleep with you because I do. I’m not going to push you away. It’s whatever you want to do. It’s your call.”

For about two seconds, I feel confused. Like I can’t possibly weigh the impossibly wonderful options I have with this dreamboat. I mean he broke up with me the week before, and then we decided to not have sex, then we had sex, now we’re talking about continuing to have sex with me being the only responsible party in the matter because it’s completely my call and he doesn’t want a girlfriend.

Somehow, I painfully come to the decision that involving myself in a sexual relationship with an unavailable guy just doesn't have the same zing it did when I was slacking hard in the emotional availability department myself. Even though he is like a walking talking party, and taking my pants off around him is easier than a lot of things, sadly, all good things must come to an end.

We return home and revel for another day or two. Once we're haggard, while the sun sets over the mountain view from his home, we collapse on his cotton and wool futon to make unavailable love. We snuggle up under Pendleton blankets and sleep before the morning comes where I walk home in smokey orange sunlight toward my bed and away from his.

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