The Men That May Have Been

As I’ve said before, I’m definitely one to jump on the bandwagon. After seeing posts by The Shit Show That Is My Life and Emily over at Incurably Curious on the ones that got away, I got to thinking about any fellas that I may have let slip through my fingers.

At first I drew a total blank, because, let’s face it – if the opportunity’s there, I’m probably gonna take it. However, after thinking about it for two weeks, I came to the conclusion that men generally get away because I never know if I actually want them or not. So, this is more the men that I was unsure about or too much of a pussy to go for..

The Dimpled Aryan

There was a boy in my year at primary school who all the girls fancied; he was blonde with blue eyes and looked like butter wouldn’t melt in his mouth. We were the only two kids in our class with dimples, so we were obviously soulmates – except for the fact that I couldn’t stand him. In a class of 30, it’s hard not to know who everyone is, but everyone knew who this boy was. He was incredibly athletic and it was obvious that he would grow to be a good looking man – he just wasn’t that bright. I, on the other hand, was awkwardly tall for my age, kind of a lone wolf, and in all the ‘advanced’ sets that got to go out to the hut to be taught by the Headmistress. We were very different, but we used to hang out because he lived next door to my sister’s best friend and I wanted to hang out with his big sister. I was in awe of her. She was a ridiculously pretty ballerina with long blonde hair – basically like a human Barbie to me – and I just wanted to be her. The blue eyed boy was my in.

When we were in Year One, I was at his house and we were playing in the garden whilst my sister was next door with her friend. One thing lead to another and.. Just kidding. He did show me his willy, though. It was supposed to be an ‘I’ll show you mine if you show me yours’ type situation, but obviously I pussied out/was mortified by the whole idea. Then, before I knew it, our whole year was talking about how he and I were naked on the trampoline together. Six year olds love a good sex scandal.

Although the kid never flashed me again, this general kind of fuckery carried on for the next five years. When my Year 6 teacher decided that we’d no longer be seated according to our ability, guess who I ended up next to. This was also the year that I started to fill that elusive ‘tall, chubby Asian’ niche and started to wear glasses, and the year that he started to wear gel in his hair and, I kid you not, developed a six pack. We were very different, yet he still sang Nelly’s Hot In Herre to me every day. As much as I enjoyed being told to take off all my clothes on a daily basis, it just wasn’t happening.

Naturally, he did grow to be a good looking man – but he is also a massive chav now. Oh, and his sister? She looks like an extra from The Only Way Is Essex. No, thank you.

The Jew

I can’t tell you how this gangly 6’4″ man child entered through the peripheries of our friendship group, but I can tell you I was deeply unhappy about it. We clashed like Jay-Z and Solange in a New York elevator. It took over a year of outright hostility from me before we came to realise that it was less a case of us clashing, and more a case of us being ridiculously similar. Somehow, through the sheer fact that we were both massive The Big Lebowski fans and had an unparalleled love of Firefly (were huge geeks, basically), we fell into a really weird friendship that was constantly misread.

Our friendship really took off when I started my first year of University. We would talk every day and when I came home drunk we would either Skype or talk on the phone. In retrospect, I can see why it looked like something may have been going on, but, at the time, I was livid that people would even think it. And not just that they would think it, but that they would think it and openly discuss it. Constantly.

I won’t lie – there were a few incidents that lead people to this conclusion. Like that New Year’s he took off my bra and hung it on a lamppost. Or that time he got in the car with the boys and drove two hours in the middle of the night to see me. Although I was incredibly naive back then, I still think I was right when I would say over and over again that it was just friendly. But, having the emotional awareness of a dildo, I started to get really fucking confused by everything that everyone around me was saying. I didn’t understand my feelings, or anyone else’s – so maybe they were right when they told me what we felt?

Anyway, it all blew up one messy, messy night in Brighton where I was running around the streets with no shoes on and racing head first into glass windows. He wasn’t there, but our mutual bestie was. I remember absolutely nothing from the night, but from what I’m told, he alluded to the fact that The Jew liked me, and I apparently let on that I may have felt similarly.

I call bullshit on the whole thing, though. Our fucking meddling friends fucked with my mind. I’ll admit it, it was kind of a pseudo-sexual relationship, but it was SO innocent. Obviously nothing ever happened. He got a crazy whore girlfriend and we drifted apart. I can’t tell you how glad I am, though, because he is dull as fuck and super weird now. Oh well.

The Seminar Leader

He was my first year ‘Foundations of Human Culture’ seminar leader and, despite the Jesus sandals he would wear, I really fancied him. I loved him from our first class when he asked who had watched Dexter that week and we had a five minute chat about it. I loved him even more when I realised how smart he was and how passionate about anthropology he seemed to be. There’s literally nothing more sexy than listening to a man who really knows what he’s talking about. His intelligence was captivating and he was young and fun – he was so perfect to me.

The upside of this compulsory module that I had no interest in was that we got to go on a trip to a wildlife park so that we could study the non-human primates. Basically, it was a day off to go look at monkeys. As it was fairly near the start of the year, I hadn’t really made any friends on my course – I’m not kidding when I say I’m shy and awkward. So, there I was, wandering around the park by myself, struggling with my worksheet and spilling coffee on my clothes when my knight in Jesus sandals sidled up beside me and asked if I needed any help. It was awesome. He was like my own personal David Attenborough. We walked around for hours and I mainly listened to him talk about intellectual things and it was magical.

There were literally so many private places that we could have snuck off to, but I was not always the brave and daring sexual opportunist I am today, so, nothing happened. I don’t think I even flirted, to be honest. The day came to an end and we got on the coach to take us back to campus. Two months later, he failed me on my first paper. What a cunt.

The Travelling Welshman

I have an uncle who lives in Berlin; the Welshman is one of his best friends. When I first met him, I must have been around 16 or 17 years old and I found him fascinating. He was old, and too short for me, but he was so interesting and kind that I would just hang on his every word. He was a craftsman – so naturally that was just sexy in and of itself – and he would work in Berlin for periods of time to save up some cash, then sub-let his apartment and go travelling for months at a time. I was young and he was the first person I’d met who was so travelled and the inner anthropologist in me found his extensive cultural knowledge to be mesmerising. But, alas, he had a girlfriend.

When I was 19, however, he did not. We (myself, my sister and uncle, the Welshie and a few other Berliners) had decided to hit the bars where they lived in Prenzlauer Berg (my uncle was nowhere near trendy enough to live here), and, as always seems to be the case in Berlin, things escalated and we ended up in a club, drinking and dancing inappropriately. The Welshman and I found ourselves in a separate room, flirting outrageously and grinding up on each other. It got to the point where our faces were millimetres apart before we simultaneously realised that it was an awful idea and just backed away from each other without a word. I think he thought my uncle would kill him if he ever found out, and I just didn’t want to get with an old dude.

A year or so later I lost my virginity on a yoga mat in his apartment, but that’s another story for another time.

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The DENNIS System aka The Bullshit We Keep Falling For

First off, if you’ve never seen an episode of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, you’re doing life wrong. It’s on Netflix; watch it. I don’t have Netflix, but pretty much every man I’ve slept with does, so I figure it’s fairly common and that, if you’re not currently destitute like I am, you probably have it, too.  Anyway, It’s Always Sunny is an awesome show. It has that classic ‘friends who own a bar together and get up to all sorts of shit’ set-up, and Danny DeVito’s in it. What more could you want?

The show is definitely not for the sensitive or highly strung; if you’re offended by not-so-casual sexism or racism, if you have a problem with drug use, prostitution and taking advantage of those less fortunate, or essentially don’t like anything morally depraved, maybe give it a miss. Each character is unbelievably obnoxious and selfish, devoid of any sense of human decency or decorum, but, fuck, they’re hilarious. The writing on the show is genius and the chemistry between the cast is inimitable – but I’m not here to give a review, just watch it!

In one episode, the group’s resident lothario and probable sociopath, Dennis Reynolds, teaches the gang his bulletproof system for getting countless women to fall hopelessly in love with him – The D.E.N.N.I.S System.

The way that he embarks on each step may be more than a little extreme, but that’s just the nature of the show. You don’t need to ‘Nurture Dependence’ by calling her house and pretending to be a murderer or rapist, most girls start to become unwittingly dependent just through text conversations alone. I don’t think The D.E.N.N.I.S System is at all unique to Dennis. I think that a lot of boys do it, and a lot of girls, myself included, get sucked in. This is what you’re falling for, ladies:

Demonstrate Value

The idea here is that once a man demonstrates his value to a woman, she’ll realise his worth and that she needs him in her life. Being 23 and not looking for value beyond the ability to make me laugh and cum (even if at the same time), I’m not entirely sold on this step, though I think it’ll become increasingly relevant as I get older and do understand where it’s coming from. After all, why would you want someone who doesn’t add anything to your life?

Engage Physically

It is commonly thought that women develop stronger feelings and become more attached once they ‘Engage Physically’. I have friends that this holds extremely true for, and friends that it doesn’t apply to at all – we’re not a one size fits all kinda deal, guys. Having said that, I would say that most girls I know fall in the former. So, by doing the sex, boys become fairly certain that their girl isn’t going anywhere. I don’t know if they think it’s because of the ‘connection’ they’ve just created or because they think their D is so good she won’t want to go anywhere, but, sadly, it does seem to work.

Nurturing Dependence

It’s no mistake that this step follows on from all the sexy time. Once a man’s clumsily bruised my breasts, fingered me like he’s digging for gold in a Smarties tube, and then gotten jizz in my hair, of course I’m going to be putty in his hands. This is the perfect time to nurture that. Contrary to what the show may suggest, you don’t need to hire someone to stab your lover, narrowly missing a major artery so that you can then nurse them back to health, thus making them dependent on you. Like I said, a lot of gals will fall for something as simple as texting. I hadn’t thought of it in terms of dependence until just now, as I think I, like most people, saw it more in terms of attention; it’s all that ‘if he texts you, it means he’s thinking about you’ bullshit we’ve been fed. How many times have you heard a girl say she just wants someone to text? Apparently, we love that shit, and, essentially, once the chat’s started, we don’t want it to stop. Dependence.

Neglect Emotionally and Inspire Hope

Even if you don’t really buy into the rest of this ‘system’, you know these are fo’ real. I put these two together because they really do go hand in hand. Dennis is basically saying to play hot and cold. Hands up if this has happened to you. I imagine this has probably happened to everyone ever, regardless of gender, but in my experience, boys are especially good at it. They nurture all this dependence, making you want to talk to them and see them and even fake your way through mediocre banging, just to pull a disappearing act on you. You then spend days, or even weeks, wondering what you did to make them behave this way. Then, just when you’re ready to stop wallowing and move on, they reappear. Obviously you’re so elated that they’ve come back to you with whatever lame excuse they’ve made up that you look past it and jump into bed with them straight away. Maybe you even let them give you that facial they’ve been begging for. It’s great. You’re lying in one another’s arms, basking in the afterglow of their orgasm, because obviously you didn’t have one, and everything is perfect. Two days later, they disappears again. It becomes a cycle because you allow it to. I’m telling you now, end it before they decides to go ahead and

Separate Entirely

Oh, you didn’t? How unsurprising. Oh, they’re gone for good? How predictable.

Breaking Patterns – no advice given

The other night, in typical single girl fashion, I was sprawled out across the sofa watching Sex And The City. The episode was centred on the idea of dating ‘patterns’, how we all have them, and how hard they are to break. Obviously this prompted a ‘thought provoking’ question from Carrie:

Are we all, in fact, just dating the same person over and over again?

I don’t think the writers dug too deep with this one as it’s fairly obvious. But hey, here I am writing about it, too. Essentially, everyone has a type. In my mind, my type is tall, dark and handsome – like Superman.

could anything make you more weak in the knees?!

In reality, however, my type is cunts; just the most awful people I could possibly find. I’m drawn to them like a hipster to a beanie. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not talking typical cool, bad boy sort of guy here – there is nothing cool about the boys I get involved with. They’re just straight up bad people.

And I know it. I know it’s my pattern. I see it coming every single time. But I never break it. I don’t even try.

And because it’s my pattern, and everybody knows it, it has been analysed during girl chats a fair few times. This has come up more than once…

go see/read ‘The Perks of Being A Wallflower’ if you haven’t already!

Now, I don’t like to think of this as true in regards to myself. Mainly because it makes me look a little bit pathetic and like I don’t think I deserve to be treated nicely. Maybe I don’t. I don’t know. I’m not that in tune with my feelings.

I think it’s more likely that I’m just a glutton for punishment. I put myself in a position to be hurt over and over again by the same type of person, if not the same person themselves. And I make it so easy for them. I line myself up in front of the target board, move it a few feet closer, and become a fucking sitting duck. Just waiting for them to take a shot. My vital organs practically begging to accommodate their bullets.

If you’re a regular reader, you may know that the most recent major antagonist in my life story is W. We still snapchat. We still whatsapp. He’s still a cunt. I still let him be a cunt to me. Every interaction ends in me being upset or angry – predominantly angry, though. There have been a fair few of these incidents recently, though I don’t want to get into them as I like to look the least pathetic and lame I possibly can. Just know that none went well, and that my point is that I knew that they wouldn’t. Every time I reply or instigate a message or a snapchat, I know that it’ll end badly. End badly for me, that is. He couldn’t give a fuck. It leads to a lot of feeling like this…

Sometimes I think I’m breaking the pattern. I’ll go on a date with a nice boy who’s polite and doesn’t make it an aim to try to make me cry. And then I’ll never text him again and text one of the boys who’s rude to me instead.

If you have the answer, please don’t hesitate to enlighten me. In the mean time, though, I don’t see anything changing. I think I’m just waiting for this…

Aren’t we all, though?

Liar, liar

As I mentioned here and here, I make bad decisions. W was a bad decision I knowingly made over and over.

We met on Tinder. After a week of constant talking, we realised how much we had in common and how similar we were. So we met for a drink after he was done with work and I was done with the library. I was awkward but we got along great. A couple of days later we arranged drinks and a sleepover. During drinks I had second thoughts, and started texting my friends saying that I wasn’t sure I was attracted to him and felt like it was just friendly. I stayed over anyway. We watched two of my favourite movies, The Big Lebowski and Megamind. Things happened but we didn’t have sex. The next day he bought me breakfast and took me back to the library. Sounds great, right? We definitely had great friend potential, I wasn’t sure of my feelings further than that. Regardless, we kept meeting up after work and during lunches. We’d go for coffee, take walks around the city, hook up in bathrooms – it was fun and easy.

After a month of this, we finally had sex. In a bathroom on campus. I knew I shouldn’t have done it as soon as it was over. Whoops. I said that I didn’t want to sleep with someone who was sleeping with other people, so he said that he wouldn’t. In hindsight, I’m unsure why I said that. I didn’t have feelings for him beyond friendship, I think I just didn’t want to share.

The next day I was at drinks with my best friend. He came up on her Tinder. I told her to like him. They matched. He chatted. He lied. I was raged. I pretended everything was fine. I got him to come see me on campus with the promise of a blow job. I confronted him. He denied it. We were done. I went out and got blackout drunk.

A few days later he text me something about wanting to put his dick in my ass. Brilliant. We spoke the next day, he suggested make up sex. No. But then I thought about it and decided we could have sex without the friendship. I got him to come fuck me and walked off without any chat after. He text straight away to say it was a weird experience. Oh well. I stayed distant, he tried to be friendly.

Eventually, we fell back into a friendship. I don’t know how or why. I didn’t trust him. We then spent a week together, from morning ’til eve, studying and hooking up everywhere. Bad, bad choices. Having a friendship with someone you don’t trust is hard. I wanted to be friends with the boy who was basically my twin. I wanted to be friends with the boy who’d wait ’til I looked up from my work and then rip out pages of his textbook with his teeth and eat it to make me laugh. I wanted to be friends with the boy who’d sing along to Childish Gambino, Taylor Swift and the High School Musical soundtrack with me. But he was overshadowed by the boy who’d tell lies. He was overshadowed by the boy that I just couldn’t trust. How do you have a friendship with someone like that?

The answer is that you can’t. There’s just no way. A few days ago he came clean about a pointless lie that he’d been running for at least a month. A lie that I had never believed and was completely unnecessary. After this I told him that we couldn’t be friends because I didn’t trust him. As hard as I tried to ignore him, he wouldn’t let me. It seems I’m pretty weak like that. But yesterday it all blew up.

He told me he got back together with his ex-girlfriend 4 days after they actually had. In that time he had talked about having sex with me, asked for sexy snapchats, and sent the odd dick pick. That’s just not okay. Not to me and not to her. There were other things, too – but I’d be here forever if I wrote about every cuntish thing he did. If I wasn’t already 100% certain that there was no shred of the boy that I thought I’d been friends with in him, when he said

I value myself more than others so I do what I want. [Being a] cunt is a side effect

I knew I was done. You can’t come back from that.

He is essentially someone I should have cut out of my life months ago. And I knew that. But against my better judgement I gave him chance after chance. Of course it backfired on me. It was always going to. It makes me angry and sad. I’ve never ended a friendship before. Not intentionally, anyway. It’s different when friends drift apart slowly and you almost don’t realise it’s happened. Cutting out a friend who had become quite a big part of my life was and is hard. But it’s necessary.

If you are in a relationship – whether it be romantic, friendship, casual – and if it is not serving you as a person, if it’s not letting you grow and be the best version of yourself, then get out. Don’t waste time on people who don’t respect you, don’t value you, don’t put in what you do but expect you to do this for them. You are worth more than that, and so am I.

Letting Go

I have problems with letting go. Of anything. I find it hard to accept change once I’m invested in a certain thing or situation. This includes everything from types of food to my recently finished thesis, from old friendships I know just aren’t worth hanging onto to people in my life I know are toxic. Let’s talk about that last one.

Toxic people come and go from our lives. Sometimes they go because we’re strong enough to push them out, and sometimes they go because they found someone else’s life to pollute. They come in the shape of friends, lovers, partners, and even family members. Sometimes it’s difficult to know that a person is toxic. Sometimes you know they’re toxic but you ignore it in hopes that things will be good again. I think everyone can relate to this – hanging on to something they know they should let go of. We do this because we remember the good surrounding people; the times they made us feel good, the times they were good to us, and the goodness they inspired in us. We disregard the times they make us feel bad, the times they are bad to us, and the badness they bring out of us because maybe it’s just a phase and the good times are just around the corner again.

At the end of my undergrad I became involved in such a thing. I call it a ‘thing’ because relationship just wouldn’t be appropriate. We were friends, so I guess you could call it a friendship, yet ‘thing’ still feels like a better fit. We were unbearably similar. It meant that everything was extreme; we could never just be. All of our worst traits were brought out and everything was a competition – who could be ruder, who could be more hurtful, who could care the least. And because neither of us were the type to talk about our feelings, none of this was supplemented with the knowledge that we did in fact care for one another. It was all guess work.

I’m not the type of person to play games – which is probably why I am horrific at dating. I don’t wait two hours before texting back and I don’t pretend I’m not free the first time someone asks to do something, I don’t play coy or pretend to be something I’m not. I’m unapologetically myself. If I come across as shy, it’s because I am. If I seem awkward, it’s because I am. If you think I’m rude, it’s because you’re either a bellend, or I like you and am comfortable.

That digression had a point, honestly. Our whole ‘thing’ was a game. And it tired me. But I let it carry on probably four months longer than it should have. Everyone around me told me to stop, and I knew they were right. He made me a version of myself that I didn’t like and he purposely made me feel bad about myself. It was a kind of toxic that simply needed to be cut, but I couldn’t do it. Despite all the game playing and the shit he put me through, with him I could be the most unedited, truest version of myself, whether it was a person I was proud of being or not. And it was hard to let go of that.

Of course, eventually, I did – that was a whole drama in itself. Obviously I felt better afterwards. I felt strong and empowered and proud of myself. Yet somehow I find myself making the same mistakes again and again. When will I learn?