She is a 24-year old copywriter. He is an architect. They met and became lovers in college. They broke up last year but remained to be “friends.” They send sweet text messages and he calls her often to make sure she’s okay. They still date. They still have sex. They don’t see anyone else. It is obvious that they still love each other but when asked about their situation, she doesn’t know the real score. Even her friends are in the dark. “Parang sila, pero hindi.”
She works in a telecom. He is reviewing for the board. They are in the same barkada. They talk on the phone till 4 am. He gives her chocolates, flowers and CDs even when there is no occasion. Their friends are suspecting something. Bakit sila nagsosolo kapag may overnight inuman? Why does he hold her close on the dance floor? Bakit sila magkaholding hands lagi? Sila kaya? “He hasn’t admitted anything,” she rants. “But I let him hug and kiss me. Parang kami, pero hindi.”
They work together in an ad agency. After office, they would watch movie, have dinner and stroll at Glorietta. She gave him Harry Potter books for his birthday in exchange for posing as her boyfriend to make an ex jealous. They made out during the company outing in Subic and never talked about it. He said “I love you” once but she wasn’t sure if she heard him correctly because they were both drunk then. But one thing she is sure of is her feelings for him. She likes him. And she’s assuming that with what he’s doing to her and with her, he likes her, too. There’s just one hitch: he has a girlfriend!
She is a 28-year-old virgin. He’s a 35-year-old bachelor. Both mountaineers, they became close during their climbs. After a few dates in posh restaurants, he brings her to his condo where they would make out. They have been doing this for months. She wants to believe that “sila na” but then she’s not really sure about it. “We don’t talk about it but it doesn’t really matter,” she’d tell her friends. “What’s important is I am enjoying this – whatever it is.”
The "parang kayo, pero hindi" stage. Others call it MU or mutual understanding. Pseudo-relationships. Pseudo-boyfriends. Flings. Almost like a relationship, but not quite. It is a phase where the persons involved are more than friends, but not quite lovers. Puwedeng may verbal agreement, puwedeng wala. One or both of you may have admitted your feelings, possible ding hindi. You just let your gestures do the talking for you. Walang pormal na ligawan na nangyari. Hindi kayo mag-dyowa. Pero sa kilos niyo, sa mga sinasabi niyo, parang kayo, pero hindi.
This kind of “relationship” can happen at different stages for different reasons. It can happen after a break-up. You still love each other, and you want to be with each other but you broke up for a reason. And for reasons that you alone know, ayaw niyo na muna magkabalikan.
It can also happen before a relationship, iyong pareho kayong nakikiramdam. Possible din na ayaw niyo munang mag-seryoso kaya kunwa-kunwarian lang muna. Testing lang.
Puwede ring hindi puwedeng maging kayo kasi isa sa inyo --usually the guy --may ka-relasyon na. Kaya habang hindi pa siya nakikipag-break doon sa girl (sabi niya makikipag-break siya soon pero di naman niya ginagawa), wala muna kayong relasyon para nga naman hindi siya nangagaliwa kasi “hindi naman kayo.”
This pseudo-relationship stage, for a time, can be fun. Lalo na kung naghahanap ka lang naman ng “kalaro.”
Pero huwag ka lang mag-e-expect na may patutunguhan kayo kasi wala talagang kasiguraduhan.
So bakit ang daming nagse-settle sa ganitong set up ganoong hindi naman sigurado kung may patutunguhan?
Iba’t ibang dahilan. Puwedeng for fun lang. Puwedeng “buti na iyan kesa wala” or puwede na iyang “pantawid-gutom.” Meaning, habang wala pa iyong the real thing, doon muna sa kunwa-kunwarian.
For those who are not in a serious relationship, they would think that pseudo-relationship is better than no relationship at all. It would be fun, if all you are after for is that “kilig” feeling.
Aminado naman ako na once upon a time, may mga pseudo-relationships din ako. No commitments involved. For the simplest reason that they couldn’t commit, because they were either committed to someone else, or that they weren’t ready to commit.
My rationalization, “okay na iyun, kesa wala.”
Ang habol ko lang naman, iyong kilig feeling. Iyong merong nagtatanong kung kumusta araw ko. Iyong merong ka-cuddle sa beach outing. Iyong kapag tumunog ang cellphone, mapapangiti na ako dahil alam kong galing sa kanya ang message. Iyong merong laging kasama. Habang wala pa ang the real thing, puwede na itong pagtiyagaan.
But then I learned that although it was only a pseudo-relationship, the emotions were real. And usually, in this kind of set up, ang babae lagi ang lugi.
Una, you can’t ask him to commit. Since it’s not really a relationship, you can’t demand commitment from your partner. Ano ba kayo? May K ka nga ba magpasundo ng hatinggabi? You will always be uncertain about your role in his life. You can’t expect him to be always there with you. And if you feel jealous of the other girls, you just have to keep it to yourself. Ano ka ba niya para magselos?
Pangalawa, what if you fall deeply in love with him? You can’t be sure if he feels the same way. Baka nag-a-assume ka lang na mahal ka rin niya. Even if you are dying to tell him you love him, you can’t. Because you’re not sure if he’ll like it. Baka mapahiya ka lang. This stage will always make you wonder where you are in the relationship. Or if there is a relationship at all.
Pangatlo, what if you become attached too much? What if you have invested all your emotions and this man hasn’t? What if you remain faithful to him, not entertaining other guys, only to find out that he is seeing other girls?
Isa pang downside ng pseudo-relationships, it is fleeting. When a disagreement sets in, or when one of you gets cold, then that would be the end of it. Unlike in a serious relationship, hindi mo alam kung saan ka lulugar sa isang pseudo-relationship. Wala kang pinanghahawakan. Kasi sa pseudo-relationship, there is no “us.” Meron lang “you and me,” hindi “us.”
Buti sana kung pseudo-pain din lang ang mararanasan mo. Kaso, hindi eh. Real pain. And usually, kahit tapos na ang pseudo-relationship, hindi mo maiwasan umasang one day, may karugtong pa rin iyun. And you will be miserable, hoping to bring back what you used to have, only to find out eventually that the guy is in another pseudo-relationship with somebody else.
Ang hirap, ano? You agreed to this kind of set up for fun and then you’d end up hurting yourself in the process.
Pero puwede naman maiwasan ang pain eh. Puwede naman na hindi mo muna isipin ang future and just enjoy the feeling, without thinking of the consequences.
But if you are certain that you are going to hurt yourself in the process, kailangan mo mamili. You can be happy and live the moment without worrying what would happen next. Or you can stop settling with pseudo-relationships and wait for the real thing.
When I was younger and in a pseudo-relationship with an unavailable guy, a friend told me, “Sige, kung ayaw mong magpapigil, bahala ka. Magpakasaya ka. Pero huwag kang iiyak-iyak pagkatapos, dahil tatadyakan kita.”
Ang bottom line lang naman, kung magpapasaya sa iyo, gawin mo. Ihanda mo lang ang sarili mo sa consequence. Dahil ang “parang kayo pero hindi” stage ay bihirang nagiging totoo. Usually, hanggang doon lang siya… almost, but not quite.