Do you remember Amy in my first blog?
For those of you who missed it, a quick recap; Amy is stunning, funny, cute and perfect. But there are two things Amy doesn’t trust, men and herself when she’s around men.
So, same girl, different guy.
A couple of months ago, Amy bumped into an old friend. Paul.
“He used to be friends with Chris. You remember Chris, the guy I had an on-off fling with at Uni?” Amy explained.
It was both funny and relieving to hear that Chris, Amy’s sole-obsession throughout her 3 years of study, had now been casually demoted to an ‘on-off fling’.
“Paul was Chris’s flatmate” Amy chirped. “I always had a sort of crush on him, but because of Chris I never let it go anywhere. Well, it seemed like such a co-incidence that Paul and I would bump into each other on the tube, after all these years, naturally, it was only fair that we swapped numbers” Amy flirtatiously smiled with pride.
Paul is excessively tall and excessively funny. The latter being an IRRESISTABLE quality to most women, especially Amy.
A few text’s later and Paul suggested they meet for a drink and a ‘catch up’. It had been awhile after all.
For the week leading up to the ‘catch-up’ Amy played the Great-Date-Debate in her head.
Was it a date? No, it couldn’t be. They were just friends. Yes, friends that hadn’t seen each other in a long time. Just going for a casual drink. Friends.
Amy spent 5 hours planning what to wear, what to talk about, how to act, what flavour chewing gum to buy.
Because, it’s important to impress friends, right?
It turned out to be a date.
They shared several cocktails and discussed their favourite films, music, TV shows, what they were working on (he’s an IT geek – very Seth Cohen).
They spent the entire evening laughing and laughing and laughing.
In case you hadn’t clocked yet, laughter = chemistry.
Lo and behold, Paul asked Amy out again.
In fact, Paul asked Amy out three more times.
They ate out at some swanky restaurant. He paid.
They went to the movies to watch War Horse. Her choice.
All 6’2 of Paul was quickly becoming a towering light at the end of Amy’s very long and dark tunnel of dating doom.
Until the 4th date.
“Everyone abides by the 4th date rule, right?” Amy questioned “That’s what makes you marriage material, right? It’s the chase? And it promotes respect.”
Clearly Amy had read far too many copies of Cosmopolitan.
Up until the fourth date, Amy and Paul had had some heavy petting sessions like teenagers and there was the occasional dry humping (yes, I did just say dry-hump), but until this moment, Amy had managed to keep her bra on, and her Victoria a secret.
On the forth date Paul invited Amy to his house to watch a film.
She arrived with a bottle of wine in hand, and butterflies in her belly.
Soon, the film took a backseat to tonsil-tennis.
(Well, come on, if Amy’s going to abide by the 4th date rule, then I’m going to have to treat her like a teenager! I am calling it Tonsil tennis!)
Paul led Amy to his bedroom, where, after much anticipation, and having overcome the difficulty of removing skinny jeggings , the inevitable happened.
For the record, Paul was very good at sleeping with people.
In their post-coital bliss, Amy sighed with contentment as she snuggled up to her latest crush.
She gazed up at him smiling, and asked a question she’d been thinking about for a long time.
“Did you always fancy me? Even back in the day?” she had romanticised the answer to this question in her head, but got a somewhat different response than rehearsed.
“Well, I think you’re really pretty, but honestly, I just wanted to fuck you.”
Amy was a little bit taken aback by Paul’s honesty.
“And now?” she questioned, starting to doubt herself. “What happens now?”
“Well, I like you, but I don’t want anything serious. Let’s just keep it casual fun” Paul flippantly remarked as he jumped up to go to the bathroom.
“Yes, casual fun. That’s what I was thinking” Amy whispered as her butterflies faded into disappointment.
In the weeks that followed Paul gradually pulled the slow-fade.
Flirty texts slowly became seedy drunken booty calls.
Amy, unable to get his attention any other way, naturally just went along with it. Turning up at his house at 3am. Going out of her way to make sure they were in the same bar. Sending him accidental texts just to get a response.
Secretly hoping he would make their relationship official soon.
Until eventually, even the booty calls stopped.
A few weeks after that, Paul’s status changed to ‘in a relationship’ with some leggy blonde.
Amy was left very confused.
“He wined and dined me over the course of a couple of weeks” Amy debated. “How did I not realise that he just wanted one thing? Where did I misinterpret the signs? What am I doing wrong? What’s wrong with ME?”
Amy was hurt, vulnerable, and felt tricked.
It’s a common story.
A guy gives off the impression “I’m really into you” before pulling out the “I’m really into being in you” card.
And, the girl is left confused and hurt.
If they say that life is like a box of chocolates, then dating is just like eating a packet of Revel’s.
Convinced you’ve got a chewy caramel, only to be sickened by the coffee flavour. Urgh!
Whenever this happens to me, I feel sort of tricked. It looked like caramel, but it wasn’t. Expecting something and then getting something drastically different instead.
The truth is that dating is just like a mixed bag of Revels.
Sometimes you know exactly what you’re getting, like a Malteser always looks like a Malteser – maybe we should just all settle for the fat round ones?
Other times, you unknowingly pick coffee, leaving a bitter and gross aftertaste.
So, does this mean we have to go through singledom constantly being on our guard?
Do we have to approach every date as though it were coffee flavour?
No. It just means we need to accept that things are not always black and white.
Just because a guy thinks you’re attractive doesn’t necessarily mean he wants a relationship with you.
Just because he took you for dinner, drinks, and invited you over for a film doesn’t mean he’s falling for you. It just means he’s being “in the moment”.
Just because he’s having fun with you, doesn’t mean he wants you to be his girlfriend. Just because he thinks you’re sexy, doesn’t mean he wants your commitment. Just because you waited until the 4th date, doesn’t mean you’re his idea of marriage material.
Every time you start thinking beyond ‘the moment’ you set yourself up for heartbreak.
That’s why most of our dating dilemmas start with “he sleeps with me, but…”, “he says he loves me, but…”, “we had an amazing date, but…”
We need to stop overanalysing things, and start living in the moment.
We need to stop blaming ourselves when we let a man use us.
I know it’s not the best feeling in the world. In fact, you’re left feeling pretty crap. But it is NOT your fault.
It’s just that you wanted separate things.
He was coffee and you were looking for caramel.
I’m not justifying what Paul did – he is a jerk and I’m glad Amy is rid of him, but, just for a minute, put yourself in Paul’s shoes.
If he had approached the situation being 100% honest, then he wouldn’t have got laid. I’m sure he did think you were amazing, pretty, fun, and he did want to wine and dine you. But when he did that he was simply just being in the moment.
It is NOT your fault that he turned out to be coffee.
I’m pretty sure everyone has had a coffee Revel at some point, and I’m sure everyone has had a taste of a Paul.
Unfortunately, it’s just part and parcel of life.
We simply need to start approaching dates like we’re eating a bag of revels.
Stop trying to guess the flavours, and just take the bad with the good.
Learn to live in the moment, and stop beating yourself up when it doesn’t work out.
Besides, you can’t buy a whole bag of coffee Revels, so you’re bound to get to the chewy caramel eventually