The (In)significance of Girlfriends

(This is follow up to the previous post, All's Fair in Love and War. I suggest you read it. Thanks.)

Up until about a year and a half ago, it had been a LONG time since I'd held the title of "girlfriend".  Even before holding the title of "wife" for about 9 years, I was "fiance" for a year and a half, and "baby momma" for 5.  Not since I was 15 have I held the title of just "girlfriend"......until now.  I'm sure for most women the status of girlfriend is the norm and utterly commonplace, so I'm sure you have no clue why this makes any bit of difference such that it warrants a blog post (then again, many things written about in blogs don't deserve a blog post).  Patience...... let me explain.

Girlfriends (and boyfriends, too), at first glance, are afforded special status.  To gain that official title means that you play an important and intimate role in someone's life.  However, in reality..... you're one step above nobody.  Here today, gone tomorrow, and nobody (with the exception of a few) hears from or thinks about you ever again.  At best, you become "Who was that chick you messed with a few years ago??  The one with the old kids?", and hopefully not "Man, what was that crazy bitch's name you finally got rid of??"  Girlfriends are some of the most transient, non-permanent individuals in a person's life.  And thus, they are treated as such.

This realization didn't fully hit home until my Son got his first official girlfriend.  She's a nice girl, and so far I like her, but not-so-far in the back of my mind I know this is (hopefully) just a temporary thing in the grand scheme of life.  He's 16 years old, she's 17.  I don't care how much he or she thinks they may be "in love", I know there's a 99.9% chance they will break up eventually, most likely when she goes off to college in a year, if not sooner.  Knowing this (or believing this.... but what's really the difference?), I will be nice, kind, respectful toward their little relationship, but I have no plans on making her an integral part of my family.

(Notice I used the word "little".  I find myself using that a lot in reference to their relationship.  I always refer to her as "Q's little girlfriend" though I am constantly reminded by my own beau that she's not "little" and is very much built like a grown ass woman...... the adjective is not used in the literal sense.  But I digress.)

If you're thinking "Well yes, they are kids, of course you wouldn't think of her like that" then let me change the scenario.  I remember once sitting in my friend's basement talking to his then girlfriend (in her mind at least) and she was going on and on about plans to take trips and what they were going to do next year and we should all plan to do XYZ, blah, blah, blah.  I listened, smiled and nodded, gave the occasional "Oh that would be nice" but the whole time in the back of my mind I'm thinking "Chick, you ain't gonna last through the summer."  And I was right, because what I knew that she didn't was that he was a serial monogamist and I'd seen many like her come and go (and then try to hem me up in the club asking why he went).  So while she thought/hoped/wished/fantasized/delusionally believed she was The One, I knew otherwise, so I saw no need to get myself to attached to the idea of her being around.

So, this has me thinking about my own status as "girlfriend" and wondering how I am different from the females mentioned above, and so far I can't think of any reason why I'm not.  Yes, in my reality and his reality I am a very important individual (and vice versa).  But for everyone else around him who has seen girlfriends come and go, at this point in time they have no reason to take me seriously.  In the eyes of the permanent individuals in his life, I'm the current lady friend who sits in the same position as the past lady friend; the next girl who may just as easily become the ex girl.

The implications of this are twofold.  First is not being taken seriously by family, for the reasons stated above.  But second, and more vexing, is the disrespect and toe stepping by "friends".  Now, when my male friends get a new lady friend, I go out of my way to show that I come in peace and try not to make any sudden, threatening moves.  I think, however, that I am in the minority.  In reality, there is the attitude of "Bitch I was here before you, I will be here after you, and who are you to tell me how I can and cannot deal with MY friend" accompanied by that passive aggressiveness that females have gotten down to a science AND and art that's really not about the guy, but more about whatever the female equivalent of a pissing contest would be.  And honestly, unfortunately..... I can't really argue with the logic.  But logic isn't everything and it still pisses me off.  Add on top of this the notion that all's fair in love and war, and as merely the girlfriend I'm a sitting duck for toe stepping, sneak attacks, tomfoolery, and all sorts of other females' reindeer games.

(Do I sound paranoid?? Sorry......there was an incident.)

The reality is until there is some next level of commitment made, whether intentional (engagement/marriage) or unintentional (baby momma), the status of girlfriend means very little to the outside world.  Sometimes it almost feels like a joke, like I'm just waiting for someone actually to cock their head to side, pat me on the head and say "Oh, that's so cute."  I can almost hear the mental speculation as to whether I'll be the one back next year at the company picnic, or a guest at the next wedding, or at the next family function.....

With all that said, none of this really matters.  All that matters is how he and I feel about each other and the level of mutual respect we show one another.  You must walk before you can run, and walking the role of girlfriend is just one of those normal, everyday life things.  Just another one of my observations from my odd vantage point of being a girlfriend for the first time in my adult life, that's all.

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