I know the concept of being a ‘half girlfriend’ has recently come into the limelight with the book and the movie but this isn’t the first time I have heard this confusing term. It happened when I was in college. I met a guy, like we all meet a guy, and till date I don’t think I can say I was able to figure him out.
Nirav and I became friends over a mutual hatred for our early morning classes and the tiresome evening metro rides. And once you become friends with someone new, you often find yourself in their company more often than not. I like to think it’s only because of the initial curiosity. It’s like the honeymoon period of every friendship and once that period ends, you either remain friends or you don’t.
When it came to Nirav, something else happened altogether. I started liking him. I was spending so much time with him that every moment when I wasn’t with him seemed boring. We would meet every day, spend hours talking and even when we weren’t together, we would talk over the phone. At that time I know I shouldn’t have, but I thought he liked me too.
So one day, I confessed my feelings to him. I told him I liked him and if he was up for it, we could take things a step forward and date each other. We were at his flat at that time, he came closer to me and said, ‘I took a step further.’ We kissed, talked for a couple of hours and then I went back home, happy like a sunshine!
The next day, he didn’t show up at college and in the evening when I called him, he didn’t answer my calls or messages. It was a Friday so I spent the whole weekend wondering where he could be and what had happened. I couldn’t understand anything.
I finally saw him on Monday but he acted as if nothing had happened. ‘Hey, what’s up?’ he asked when he saw me. I was dumbfounded and really didn’t know how to react so I left for class instead of saying anything. In the evening, he was waiting outside my academic wing. ‘Can we talk?’ he asked, I nodded, and we started walking. ‘Listen, so I’ve been thinking and I think this is a little too much for me right now,’ he said. ‘What is?’ I asked. ‘All this relationship stuff. I know I lead you on and it is not like I don’t like you so I have a proposition for you.’
I looked at him, he was talking like this was a business deal. ‘What is it?’ I asked.
‘Let’s date but not get into a relationship’ he replied.
‘You mean like a casual relationship?’ I asked again.
‘Well, I don’t know, we could hang out and stuff and I guess you could be sort of my girlfriend… like a half girlfriend, but not really my girlfriend? Am I making sense?’ he replied with a little shrug.
I couldn’t believe what he was saying. I understood what he wanted and just by agreeing with him, I could be around him. Eventually, he might want to be in an actual relationship with me but did I want to be at that spot? Now or later? Did I want to be somebody’s half girlfriend?
‘You’re making perfect sense. It’s just not perfect for me. It would have been better if you had told me what you wanted in the beginning instead of running away like that. I can’t be your half girlfriend, I don’t think I would like anyone enough to actually take that title,’ I replied softly and then walked away.
Nirav and I continued meeting in college, however, now we only talked with customary hellos and goodbyes, nothing more than that. Eventually, in my third year I started dating somebody who considered me his full girlfriend and though I haven’t met Nirav ever since, I hear he is in a stable relationship too.
Somedays, I do wonder what would have happened if I had agreed to be his half girlfriend...
*Names changed to protect privacy