Christ on a bike. Men.
Since the Breakup of Doom with The Boy I’ve not exactly shied away from the single life.
Goddamnit, I deserved a bit of fun after that clusterfuck!
If I’m honest, I’ve never in my adult been single before. I flitted from one relationship to another from the age of 16 to 19 when I met Paul the Ex Husband and was in a committed relationship then marriage with him for 7 years. After him there was The Boy and July 2009 was the first time since in 10 years that I had been really, properly single.
It’s been quite a shock to the system.
Aside from the marriage, the divorce and the relationship from hell, since I moved to Berlin, it’s been a progression of no-strings fun, some-strings fun, dating to now a relationship. It’s taken 4 months to get me from suicidal to “ready for a relationship” (if, indeed, I am) and I finally gave up on The Boy in every sense. It’s really hard work stopping loving someone, but at least I know it can be done.
So, for your delectation and delight, here are my thoughts on my experiences with Boys in Berlin.
No. Such. Fucking. Thing.
So, you go out and you meet a good-looking, confident guy who seems ideal for the task at hand: arrogant, in no way interested in a relationship, hot and knows it, and someone with whom you have next to nothing in common. Perfect. All the better if he’s moving to Azerbaijan next week.
You get pissed enough to fake some confidence yourself and you pick him up. Yup. YOU pick HIM up. Let’s be clear.
What could possibly go wrong?
Well, let’s say he doesn’t in fact move to Azerbaijan and then you have to look him in the eye each and every time you pass him in public.
Even worse if, let’s say, just for example, it wasn’t that great.
Then not only do you have the mental anguish of “oh God! Why did that happen? Did he not find me hot? Is it me? Am I a disgusting, hag of a woman”.
Let’s then, hypothetically combine that with seeing the guy around all the time, hitting on other, hotter women and agree that maybe one-night-stands are not, whilst empowering, everything they’re cracked up to be.
Also known as the Fuckbuddy, or Friend With Benefits.
This can easily start off as the example above and move into murkier territory. Perhaps you had some stuff in common with this guy, and he did in fact seem interested in you as a human being. You realised that with or without sex you could be friends and, hell, why not throw the sex in there too to sweeten the deal?
Except it really, really doesn’t work that way.
Ok, in my experience you can get away with it two, maybe three times before one of two things happens:
1 – you go off each other/meet someone else/get bored
2- one of you Gets Attached.
Oh, god help you if you get attached. It’s at this point you start to think “Hang on just a minute… this looks like a relationship, has all the same stuff a relationship has.. maybe…. maybe…”
But NO! Bad girl! No biscuit! In your bed! (Alone, preferably)
It is NOT a relationship, and if you think it is, you’re in it all by yourself. If it really were a relationship at some point both of you would have said “I don’t want to do this with anybody else, let’s be exclusive”.
The signs of a relationship are clear: you agree you’re in a relationship.
If that is not the case, and you have feelings? Out, get out!
Ah, now, dating. More complex by far than the options above.
At least both No- and Some-strings sex start out with the assumption that there are no expectations.
However, dating implies you’ve both agreed you are interested in one another and possibly for more than sex, otherwise you’d just cut out the food/movie/drinks part and go have sex, right?
Dating is a minefield of hopes, expectations and fears. You don’t know the other person well enough to ask what they think of you, so you have to guess. If you liked them, you’re worried about whether they want to meet again or did you make a total arsehole of yourself?
If you were the one not into it, how the hell do you let them down gently? How many dates before sex? And that one works both ways – many women feel that after a certain number of dates they almost owe sex. Now, that’s not healthy, but I guarantee you most of us feel that way. After two dates, really, there’s an expectation you’ll have sex and it takes a strong girl to resist the weight of expectation.
Then there’s what happens if you’ve been on dates but decided not to go out. Does that or does that not warrant a Clarification Discussion? Or do you just let it die?
Man, I hate dating. No more of that, please.
Aaaaaahhhh. Nice, comforting, sensible relationships. Safe, wonderful respite from the evil world of Single Uncertainty…
Oh, the insecurity. Oh, the worrying.
So, you finally met somebody you like enough to call your boyfriend, and they seem to like you too, wonder of wonders.
Its happy and wonderful and exciting and simple. At first.
Then it gets scary – you could get hurt again, like last time. You could hurt them, which would be almost as bad. Can they or you be trusted?
I’m like this dog
A pain-in-the-ass, scared, needy, animal welfare issue.
What can you do?
Nothing. Ride it out. Hope for the best. Learn from your mistakes.
But whatever happens, I’m thoroughly done with dating.