Claim 3

“Good morning, this is Dating,” says the perky voice. “How may I help you?”

“So, this is about a guy,” he says cautiously. “We’ve been seeing each other for—well, it depends how you count, I guess, but like, four months?”

“Okay, amazing, I need you to slow down and tell me literally everything.”

He lets out a nervous chuckle. “Really? I thought you would just need…”

She giggles. “No, I’m so interested! This is my favorite part of the job. I love hearing about people’s stories. But also, yes,” she says, soberly, “I do need the information to process your claim.”

“What do you need to know?”

“Everything. How you met, how the dates went, what the situation is now…”

“Okay…well, we met through my college roommate. It was at a party, but I think my roommate was trying to set us up. He kept finding reasons to start conversations between us.”

“Ugh! So cute! I love it.”

“And we hit it off, and I asked him to come with me to this foreign film we’d talked about. We got tacos before.”

“Dinner and a movie. So classic. Great first date. You don’t see those much anymore.”

“So we had a great time that night, and then I guess we went out a few more times in the next few weeks, and then, you know, we started going on little day trips and staying over and stuff.”

“Adorable.”

There’s a silence. “Um, so I guess you need to know why I’m calling?”

“Yes, sir!”

“I just…well, last weekend I brought up that I want to…it’s such a cliche, but I really want to,” he puts an eye-roll into his voice, “‘define the relationship.’ And I’ve sort of brought it up before, and he always sort of changed the subject, I guess. But this time I was really clear about it, like, you know, the full thing they tell you to do in therapy, like sit them down and use ‘I’ statements. ‘I have been feeling like this…’ ‘I would really like for this to happen.’”

She makes a nervous sound. “And how did it go?”

“I mean, I’m calling because it didn’t go well. He basically said he’s having a great time and so am I, right? So why do we need to put a label on it?”

“Ouch.”

“But obviously I’m still seeing him, because things are great. I just wanted to use my insurance to speed that process up a bit.”

“Speed that process up, like, make the relationship move faster?”

“Not ‘faster,’ but, you know, just a little clearer.”

“Tell me something,” she says. “Have you met this guy’s friends?”

“Yeah, quite a few of them.”

“His close friends, though? Not just his, like, fringe, spare friends?”

“Yeah, his best friends from high school.”

“Okay. And have you met his parents?”

“Parents, no, but I’ve met his siblings.”

“Okay, last question. Does he post about you?”

“He doesn’t have Facebook, but on Instagram, yeah, once or twice.”

“Main feed or story?”

A pause. “Story…”

“Hmm. What kind of caption?”

“I think it was something like, ‘Having a terrible weekend with this guy,’ winky face.”

“I thought so. I’m very sorry, but I’m going to have to transfer you.”

“Transfer me?”

“Yes sir. This is Dating. Your call is clearly about a Relationship.”

“Oh, wait wait, Relationships transferred me here. Please don’t transfer me back.”

“No they did not!” She cries, appalled.

“They said that this was a Dating situation because he didn’t want to define the relationship.”

“I would never speak ill of another department,” she says, with a tone in her voice that makes it clear that she frequently does, “but that is just plain wrong. You are clearly in a relationship with this man. Dating insurance is for, you know, getting stood up or canceled on, or someone showing up late, or the other person being really weird about getting exact change to split the bill right down the middle. That kind of stuff. That’s what we can help out with. This is a relationship.”

“I thought so too!”

“Totally! So I’m afraid that the kind of claim we can process simply wouldn’t help in this situation. I mean, it’s not like you need him to make it up to you by taking you out to that sushi place you’ve been talking about, right?”

“No, I’m not unhappy with how we go out.”

“Right! Unfortunately that’s all we can really do. But you need help with the emotional stuff. The commitment stuff. Right?”

“Yeah.”

“And you know why? Because you’ve been there for him, week after week, for four months? That’s not just a casual dating situation, and he knows it.”

“I know!”

“That’s Relationships.”

“Wow,” he sighs, “I have to say, it’s such a relief to hear you agree with me. But wait, won’t Relationships just transfer me back to you?”

“No, honey. Tell them exactly what I told you. Tell them that Dating says you are having a Relationships problem. And best of luck.”

With a click, she transfers him. He waits through another four or so minutes of the looping hold song. He can feel his phone buzzing. Probably it’s Dave trying to check in, seeing if he’s up for dinner.

Let him wait.

Finally someone at Relationships picks up. “Relationships, how may I help you?”

He repeats his story. 

“Very happy to help you, sir,” says the voice at the other end. “I’m transferring you to Dating now—”

“No! Wait!” He cries. 

“Oh?”

“I’ve been through this before. I’ve been through Dating. They said this was a Relationships issue.”

The voice on the other end gets a little arch. “Dating said it was a Relationship?”

“Yeah. I mean, I’ve been there for him, week after week, for four months, and he knows it. This isn’t, like, I need help with him canceling on our sushi date or something.”

“Let me tell you something. A Relationship has to be mutual, right? It’s right there in the word—relate. You can’t relate alone. Two things, two beings, have to relate to each other. You follow?”

“Uh…”

“So if he’s not ready to relate to you, what are you going to do?”

“I was hoping you could sort that out. I mean, isn’t that why I pay for this service?”

“Quite right. You have a claim. But it ain’t with Relationships. This is a Dating problem. You’re not getting what you need out of someone. You laid it on the line. He doesn’t seem to want what you want. It’s sad! I get it! But at the end of the day, you can’t just bleed and bleed out on that line until he changes his mind. You have to ask yourself: Do I have the self-respect to take ‘no’ for an answer and go out and find someone who’s a ‘yes?’”

He’s breathless now. He can’t imagine just walking away from Dave, not when they’re so close to—

“So I’ll transfer you back to Dating,” the voice says quickly. “And listen, just because I feel for you, tell them I recommend the Jealousy package. It’s an off-menu offering, but if you ask they can set you up with an appealing other prospect. About 25% of the time, that shapes up the original partner and you might be back to Relationships in no time. Please hold.”

The line clicks back over to Dating. He smiles through the hold music.

Maybe Jealousy will work.

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