There are some things I do not want to discuss on this blog: Some of them are for me; I don’t like exposing myself, either personally, or to ridicule; Some of them are for my mother: I don’t really want to share the doom-laden musings of my blackened heart with her (She doesn’t care; she knows who I am perfectly well); Some are for my partner, let’s call her Bob: she doesn’t like to see how miserable and angry I can be, even though I share it all with her directly. I also don’t particularly want to discuss past relationships here either, because that’s just icky. Oh well. That was fun while it lasted.
Let me get this straight from the outset, I have no secrets from Bob. I have learned that whenever I am tempted to keep something to myself, everything is greatly and rapidly improved by sharing it with her. Every time. That was good to learn. I often hear about other people – separate lives, lived together – and I couldn’t do that. We share everything: Unless we forgot to mention it, when we just assume that the other has consented anyway. Bob. She knows about all of my past relationships. That seems pretty unique too. Although, it may be due to my mother mentioning them all the time.
The path to true love has been far from straight and true. I have had interactions of various lengths with a number of interesting people and downright head cases. I feel the need to spill my guts here.
The last one before Bob was someone I met on a dating site. We arranged to meet up in a bar for a chat, and we’d see how things went. I picked a bar I loved, and knew would be thronged. On dates, people equal safety. In this case, people equal confusion. I saw her walk in to the bar, and up to it. I gave her a moment or two to settle in, before I would go and say “Hi”. Then she started speaking to a guy who looked vaguely like me, and they went off to a table. I drank the last of my pint and went home, but not without watching them for a while first. It looked very much like a first date to me.
We emailed later, after she’d realised that she’d been talking to a man who she had not intended to meet. She claimed that it was a random man who started talking to her, and she assumed that that would be me. Luckily I met Bob the following week, so I would never have to endure that again.
Still, better than the Ketamine user who never wanted to have sex. I should’ve seen that coming.
One of my exes – let us call her George, for that is nothing like her real name – had an interesting attitude. She took a conversation about my myriad deficiencies and turned it around to my feelings for her. She gave me the space in to which I was able to confess that I did indeed have very strong feelings for her. It seemed innocent enough. It wasn’t: A week later, she broke up with me, saying that my feelings for her were far stronger than hers for me. It feels good getting that out on paper like this. A lot like a gut full of vomit, which unleashed in to a gutter, puts a spring in to your step.
Another nameless ex broke up with me because I had no hobbies. Every time I tried to read a book she would talk to me; every time I wanted to watch a film she would talk through it, or wander off to do something else. All in all it was a great lesson in how to survive life with a toddler. Her dad, and all of her friends, had hobbies. Hobbies like going to the pub and skulling a dozen pints. Hobbies like dancing and singing. She wanted me to share what I liked to do, but complained when I did that that it wasn’t her thing. My hobbies require silence and concentration. Bob shares all of my hobbies.
My fault comes in to play rather a lot, too. There were women who showed me their breasts, and I did not see it as a come on. I could barely contain my interest in them, but there was a barrier to my acting on it. That is the mind-set of a horny twenty-something man with an ego the size of a planet, and a well of self-doubt you could lose the Burj Khalifa in. “I really like her, so I am the last person she would have any interest in spending time with”. It’s an odd head space. The fact is you are alone and socialising with a woman you like, but you assume it’s not reciprocated. If I could have five minutes alone with my younger self. Then again, this life I have now would not exist. And that’s just not on.
This is why dating gurus and other charlatans make money. Young and coursing with hormones, we fail to see other genders as anything like human beings. Our projections of intent are so self-loathing and become so hardened by repetition that some people feel the need to talk to pick-up artists and rape apologists. If we could just start viewing each other with reality, rather than through the filters we’ve been told that people conform to, we could actually talk. People are not stereotypes.
How often do you hear a horny young man talking about how he doesn’t know how to “get” a girl, as if he’s trying to trap a musk ox? When I hear that, I hear the projection and dissociation of a lonely boy, trapped by the self-loathing image of the idealised woman he puts on a pedestal. The reality is far more flawed than that. He is better and she more human than his imagination will ever allow.
Young women have the same ideas. A “crush” who barely knows they exist, in which they wrap up their hopes and dreams, only to have them crushed when he inevitably sleeps with someone else. He is not worthy of the adulation, nor is she worthy of the self-loathing she puts herself through. Both of the negative attitudes are projections of ourselves, and pretty far from reality they are too.
One last trip down memory lane before I hit F12. I once met a woman in a bar. We went for dinner: we talked, we ate, we drank, and then we got on our respective trains and went our separate ways. She texted me on her way home, and I responded with beautiful, perfect prose. Only, she got none of my texts and she thought I was avoiding her. She almost deleted my number because she thought I had no interest in her. Then she restarted her phone and saw all of my messages. Silly Bob.