These days, women are suckers for anything labeled “lite,” whether it’s cookies , ice cream or even bacon-flavored spread (um, WTF?). It was only a matter of time before we started taking our intimacy lite too. Intimacy lite is a new way of dating, bridging the gap between casual sex and full blown relationships.
Two of my favorite sex writers, Em and Lo, recently posted a piece about intimacy lite. As they say, “If you’ve ever spooned your booty call or held hands with your one-night stand, you’re familiar with intimacy lite… commitment-phobes (i.e. 99.9% of male college students) are especially prone to indulging in intimacy lite, and this often sends a mixed message, because if his mouth is saying one thing and his body is saying another, then you’re probably going to listen to whichever message you like best.”
I had to read their post a few times for it to fully sink in, and I suggest you do too if you suspect you’re in an intimacy lite situation. My intimacy lite story is probably a pretty typical one and it goes like this: I meet a boy. We have amazing chemistry, brain hormones go wild, love-at-first sight ensues, and is then harshly interrupted by reality.
Boy explains, “I will be moving soon, and I am afraid to get serious because I could easily see myself falling for you and don’t want that to happen.” I think about it, and decide that this little obstacle isn’t worth losing him completely, so why not continue to hang out while he’s here. Over the next few months, I see boy multiple times a week, he calls me on the phone every day, and we start becoming more and more relationship-y, but all the while he is insisting he doesn’t want anything too serious. His words were saying one thing, his actions the other. Or were they?
As easy as it was for me to tell myself, “sure, he says he doesn’t want anything serious, but he acts serious, and actions speak louder than words, right?” I am starting to rethink that. It seems that what I have here is a case of intimacy lite. He doesn’t want anything really serious – none of the real obligations or expectations that come with actual relationships – he just wants a lighter form of intimacy, some one to commiserate with about bad days or lay in bed with and cuddle on a lazy day.
The only problem is, now that I’ve figured out what’s going on, I’m still not sure how I feel about it.
Pros: I get good sex, a fun dinner companion, and someone to listen to me bitch about a bad day. I have all the perks of a relationship without the overwhelming anxiety about him being “the one.” I don’t have to stress about how good of a husband and father he’ll be when he’s hugging the toilet after a long night, because I know we’ll never make it that far.
Cons: We’re not in love and never will be. We’re not going to get married. Am I wasting my time dating someone with no future? What if I miss out on someone I truly fall in love with because I’m half-waying it with this guy? What if he meets someone he thinks he could fall in love with and drops me? Basically, what if I get hurt?
Do the pros out way the cons? I have no idea. Have you guys ever been in an intimacy lite relationship? What were your experiences? Share below!
[Photo courtesy of Julie Barnofski on Flickr.]