So here’s the thing about living in a city the size of London: men.
The sheer number of males in this city is staggering. It’s a veritable playground for the single girl. And particularly my type of men: unconventional. Artistic. Knows how to put up a shelf.
Men in a place of this size come in every ethnicity (part-Indian would be nice), pay bracket (don’t be defined by it, please), lifestyle (must like museums), age (ten years plus on me, if I could choose) and hand span (bigger is better. Obviously).
Overlooking the fact that self-enforced celibacy whilst living in Rome was not dissimilar to choosing the vegetarian option at BBQ Steak and Ribs i.e. you don’t really go there for that, I’m generally pretty good at being single.
It’s impossible to take it all seriously, I think, and that’s why I subscribe to the school of thought that says instead of searching out your dream man, simply focus on being your own dream girl and treating everything else like the little amaretti biscuit that comes with a coffee i.e. extra.
Example: I’m writing this from a restaurant so expensive that my haddock doesn’t have a price next to it on the menu, and I don’t even have to have sex with myself afterwards to say thanks.
(I will, however, have to exist on a diet of chickpeas and rice until pay day. Bollocks.)
By and large, dating is a joke. It is. And I’m sorry, I know I’m supposed to be more hopeful than that. But hear me out- especially you, Taylor Swift.
I adore meeting people. Boys. Men. Friends of friends in the pub, the cute Greek waiter, somebody unexpected a work event. Hell- I’ve met more than one through this here blog (firstname.lastname@example.org fellas!). Swapping initial emails or texts, fixing a plan to meet somewhere just casual enough for a drink, smiling coyly and asking questions and knowing that telling one particular anecdote or another will mean at bar number two he sits next to me, not opposite me, all the easier for light arm touches and hands on shoulders and goodnight kisses… It’s exciting. I love the promise of fuck. This one might be different.
The butterflies of anticipation make it worth being at least a little hopeful. Sometimes.
It would be simple to presume, though, that a great first date would mean a great second date, that might even lead to a third and fourth and then rumpy pumpy and then, ohIdon’tknow, maybe a Saturday afternoon spent together instead of the much less committed weekday night, or actual real life plans made in advance for beyond the day after tomorrow. But no. That’s generally not what happens.
I worried that I could just be doing it wrong, but in an informal survey of womankind (i.e. my mates) I’ve ascertained that I’m not alone in feeling this way. In feeling despondent by it all and so emotionally checking out and realising I might be better off dating myself. It seems to be pretty universal.
First dates are always magical, but planning a second date becomes an exercise in desperately not seeming too interested. I mean, by definition of wanting to see somebody again interest has obviously been piqued- so why is saying well yeah, actually, I am free Thursday such a frowned-upon response to a second invitation? We must act busy, coy, not too available, lest the man in question think that WE MIGHT ACTUALLY BE INTERESTED. Even though we are. Just, we can’t be too interested. Because obviously that means we’ll want his babies? God forbid we admit to being intrigued by the possibility of somebody we had good conversation with.
(Or, to be more accurate, good conversation and the desire to sit on his face.)
(Oral sex wins.)
It’s all games and juggling and shit, was that a witty enough text message to send? Which is bullshit, because we weren’t designed to spend Saturday nights for the rest of all eternity at the bar in a group of friends, drinking more than we should and taking home a stranger just so we don’t have to wake up alone in the morning.
We’re designed to be a two. Scientific fact. I don’t understand why, with that in mind, we’re not all a bit kinder to each other during the minefield that is finding a mate- apparently, men wonder the same thing too. And I think that’s my point- not that men are shit and girls are great. What I’m saying is… dating is messy, and complicated, and exciting and disappointing and so can we just be kind to each other? And maybe honest.
But then, the moment you spend all Christmas texting a guy who invites you to spend New Year’s Day on a Devon beach to eat fish and chips, and look at seagulls, and decide which boat to buy, you might think that actually, there are like, twelve good ones who aren’t wankers about their intentions and let yourself be kind and honest because you feel like somebody is being kind and honest to you. You might even let yourself feel a bit hopeful about what it all means. Then he’ll call you after a goodbye kiss to say, look. You should know… I am actually seeing someone. And you’ll throw your hands up in the air and just say well, fuck. Maybe there are only eleven good ones.
I suppose, what all of this comes down to is yes, fine. I'm a big girl who can look after herself and that's okay. But let's just say the idea of a man to read the Sunday supplements with was gradually becoming more appealing. How does one even find somebody to do that with when we're all so mean to each other?