Some people can do it – I’d generalize that most guys can, and that there’s quite a few girls that say they can though the reality proves otherwise. Again, a generalization.
For guys, without getting into the whole evolutionary debate (where sperm are "cheap" and eggs are "expensive", thus monogamy works for women where for men it’s not in their evolutionary best interests), I’ve seen many, many more opt for this lifestyle (or at least engage in the activity) without regret. To quote my Mom (and probably yours as well), "Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free?"
For women, I see it falling into three camps. There’s the women that just aren’t down with it (and that’s fabulous! Go them!), there’s the women that say that they’re ok with it but, more often than not, are still entertaining the idea that this non-relationship will one day evolve into something more despite claiming otherwise, and then there’s the latter group that must be more hard-wired like a man (or else really, really in touch with emotions that I’m not sure I could find if trying.) I wasn’t sure which camp I fell into, so the former biology/genetics major in me decided to conduct an experiment: Is FB for me?
Never having really gone down this route officially (being a virgin through college negated this prospect, at least by definition), I thought that with my travel being at an all-time high and increasing, I may as well opt for something casual. That, combined with the fact the possible co-FB-er was so poorly suited for me it was almost comical, convinced me that if there ever was a time to try out this concept, perhaps it was now.
As such, the plan proceeded. Discussions were had (and frank ones at that – for once, I was the vocal one instead of waiting for the guy to initiate the DTR – Defining the Relationship – conversation) and it was pretty clear that what was happening wasn’t much of anything. It was what it was, and to be honest (for one of many reasons), I sure as hell knew it wasn’t going anywhere. (Caveat: The guy’s a good guy. He’s likely been someone’s fabulous boyfriend before, and I’m certain he’ll be someone else’s great boyfriend in the future. Just not mine.) So, with the groundwork being laid (amongst other things – ahem), I proceeded down the path of self-enlightenment.
It started off swimmingly enough (insert hot tub pun here), but as time proceeded and my travel increased, the spontenaity of it all dissolved. Instead of "Hey, whatcha doin’ tonight" calls we instead found ourselves planning out our trysts. As such, it became much more "date-y" than should ever ensue in such an environment; there’s no room for dating (at least that person) in FB-land. While I was still (if not moreso) convinced that this "relationship" wouldn’t be going any further, I didn’t have a lot of insight on my own views on the concept as a whole. One could argue that by conducting said experiment I inherently negated being the first type o’ gal (the one who is strongly opposed to even the concept), but I’d say that – as with most things in life – you can’t knock it ’til you try it. So in this case, I tried it, and can’t decide where I fall. Am I against it? Not sure. Am I pretending to be ok with it yet longing for something more? No, not in this case, but who knows – I think it all depends on the situation (and the person, of course.) Or do I fall into that formerly-disillusioned third class of ladies whose hearts are so hardened that romance is the ultimate fallacy?
I wasn’t sure. And then today, driving into work with the sun on my face and the wind in my hair, I listened to a song by Bernard Fanning entitled "Further Down the Road." He sings:
Not too proud to say I’d like a little romance
and I knew my answer. Like the song goes,
I guess we’ll find out futher down the road."
I guess we will, but in honesty, I think I already know.