My brother’s in town, I had lunch with him yesterday. He’s 5 years younger than I am, and it’s only in the past year or two it has started to feel like we’re on the same page, and can connect on an adult level.
We were very close as kids, but there was a time where he was in elementary school and I in University, when we didn’t have a lot in common. Now that we’re both in our 20s the gap is closing and it’s so, so nice.
He’s had a serious girlfriend for the past couple of years. He studies in the States and she here in Ontario, so they’ve been long distance for the majority of their relationship. He’s headed out west to play soccer for the summer, and I commented yesterday that she’s a very understanding girlfriend, that it must be difficult to be so far away from one another all the time.
He confided in me that they are actually on a break, have been since Christmas. She had been very busy with and focused on school in the fall, he began to feel neglected. When they had ample time to spend together over the holidays they decided a break might be the best thing for them. They’re still talking most days. I asked if they were seeing other people, he said they discussed that hook ups were okay, that if he’s out and it happens, it happens, but he’s not actively looking to replace her. It was kind of disarming to hear this from my baby brother, but he’s a grown up, and I did ask.
This kind of arrangement makes sense to me. When I broke up with my former long term boyfriend we too continued to occasionally see one another and be intimate. We were fully apart, not on a break, but it’s a messy business. Sometimes you need someone, and that person is already someone you know inside out and feel comfortable with. As long as both parties are on the same page, I think it’s harmless.
I relayed the news about my brother’s new situation to my boyfriend, and he had a very different reaction. He genuinely had a hard time wrapping his head around it. ‘White people, man. Sometimes I don’t understand.’
He wanted to know how you could sleep with someone after breaking up with them. How someone could be so casual about a relationship. If it’s just a need for sex, he said, why not just pick someone up from a bar?