Ever since I started this “Anti-Girlfriend” undertaking several months ago, I’ve been asked, “What does that even mean?”
Usually, I tell them the whole, long mostly uninteresting story of how I was first referred to by this moniker by a guy who was interested in me above his girlfriend “at the time” (as he said when he first christened me.) But that is hardly a definition.
When I first conceived of this site after discovering that no one owned this domain name (!) I kept envisioning her as some sort of superhero with a cape and special powers. I don’t know why this was the image that immediately entered my head– I’ve never been interested in comic books. But for whatever reason, I kept seeing her in comic form and decided to go with it. After all, who I am to challenge a superhero?
And that got me asking myself over and over again — what does “The Anti-Girlfriend” do? What does she stand for? (Certainly not for truth, justice and the American way.)
The name would suggest what she stands against– namely, girlfriends. Just as the “Anti-Christ” is the supposed enemy of Jesus and all that he represents (kindness, generosity, capitalism) the phrasing of my new title seems to indicate that I am opposed to girlfriends, that I am out to steal women’s men right from underneath them.
But upon further consideration, I decided against this definition. First, I’ve never felt any hostility towards the girlfriends I’ve encountered nor have I ever wittingly pursued another girl’s guy. Also, this definition is not so much my own but one that was projected onto me by a jerk. I know that in his own wormy little brain, he thought he was giving me a compliment (albeit a seriously backhanded one while also putting down his ex) but in essence it said this — you are awesome and more interesting than the girl I’m currently sleeping with but you lack the qualities I require for commitment.
So I had to dig deeper for a workable definition for the Anti-Girlfriend. What does the “anti” mean? Am I even truly against anything or am I simply “pro” a catchy sounding term?
Here are some of the things I’m “anti” that might prohibit me from assuming the traditional “girlfriend” mantle anytime soon:
1. “Anti” wasting time: I know that most people would say such a thing but I truly mean it. I’ve filled my life with things that have guaranteed returns — friends, family, work, hobbies. Dating doesn’t even crack the top 5 (though it does make an appearance in the top 10). “Girlfriend” prone women, the ones who find themselves in a relationship (or something resembling one) more often than I do are not nearly as protective of their time. They are much more willing to go on second, third, and fourth mediocre dates, to keep scratching beneath the surface to see they can unearth something worthwhile. I (and this is not necessarily a good thing) am far less willing to do that. Perhaps this also means that I’m risk averse when it comes to matters of the heart but I prize my time and focus above romantic entanglements.
2. “Anti” self-denigration: this one actually doesn’t come naturally to me since I use self-deprecating humor to make friends. But at least in theory, I am against putting oneself down and denying one’s abilities and talents in order to ingratiate oneself to a man (or woman). Talk yourself up ladies, not down.
3. “Anti” fucking other women’s boyfriends (without prior arrangements): this is pretty self-explanatory. I’m a Dan Savage acolyte (I actually like to refer to him as Rabbi Dan Savage — the only rabbinic authority I listen to absolutely these days) and this means I am fully supportive of non-monogamous behavior so long as all parties are informed.
4. “Anti” bullshit: another no brainer. Yet as we all know from counseling our friends and being counseled by them, our bullshit meters can spectacularly malfunction, usually in direct proportion to how attractive a guy is.
If you have any other “antis” to add to the list, please leave them in the comments.