How cops taught me relationships don’t have to be boring

B. Jones

My boyfriend and I had been making out in his backseat for a while, and our shirts had already found their way to the car floor as I unzipped his pants and went all out.

But then I heard something, saw flashing lights out of the corner of my eye.

“Babe, someone’s coming,” I said.

Yeah, it was the cops.

They shined their flashlights right on my boyfriend’s exposed penis (and were probably impressed, although they never disclosed that to us) and asked us to roll down the windows. After graciously letting us put on some pants before we made the climb out of the car, they asked us what we were doing hooking up in a car parked in their small town in the middle of a Wednesday night.

Relationships are hard, especially when you live three hours apart. My boyfriend and I don’t get to see each other every week, and if we do, it’s often just a quick meet-in-the-middle on a Wednesday night.

I was never one for relationships in the first place, either. Romance continues to disgust me, and I still struggle with the idea of committing to one person of one gender forever, no
matter how awesome that person is.

So why would I choose a relationship over a hookup? Relationships sound so boring in comparison, and even at the beginning of my current relationship, I still believed that. 

I used to think that doing weird sex stuff was reserved for hookups because if you don’t have any bond to that person, there would be no long-term judgment if something really unsavory happened. It was the freedom of quickly moving on that was appealing to me from the start.

When I decided to give dating a shot, I was not into it. I would make constant jokes about cheating on him to see how he’d react — unsurprisingly, he did not react well — and just generally act like a jerk about the whole “caring for the other person” requirement. I thought that if I conformed to every aspect of the typical relationship, every interesting thing about me would just fade away.

That couldn’t be more incorrect. I quickly learned that relationships don’t make the experience of life any duller, they just help to craft a cohesive narrative of weird that we can laugh at later.

That day when, after a long road trip, we stopped at a roadside picnic table for a quickie, or that night we spent together at an empty construction site in our hometown, or that time we decided it was a good idea to find an empty parking lot at 3 a.m. in Caldwell, Texas and do hand stuff — all of these become beautifully amplified when they are remembered.

After the police took our IDs and made sure we were not on the run, they made us uncomfortably discuss our motives and sit through a lecture about how this same thing happened to one of them back in the day. We got lucky — they let us go with a warning. But one of the cops had one last thing to say to us.

The cop asked my boyfriend, “Do you love this girl?”

He responded, “I love the shit out of this girl.”

“Then get her a hotel room next time.”

As grateful as I am for that compassionate cop, I can gladly say we did not take his advice.