Archives for category: Old Flames

Yesterday, I was texting a boy-friend, and he suggested we should have “dinner and a movie” one night this week. Dinner and a movie? , I thought. Isn’t that a date? Aren’t we just friends? Does he fancy me? Am I being arrogant to presume he wants anything more than friendship?


We’ve known each other for 7 years now. We used to sleep together. I was obsessed with him whilst at university, but he never committed. We stopped talking, and, coincidentally, I ended up in an 8 month relationship with his little brother (I didn’t know it was his brother at the beginning, I swear) – he hated me. We started talking whilst I was with Jules. We became friends. Good friends, because it’s nice when you’ve already been there, and there’s no way it could be anything (having dated his brother). And it’s nice to have that boyfriend you can talk to, and rely on, and share all your romantic dreams with and know they aren’t judging you.
But then it got complicated. In the build up to Christmas last year, I bought a christmas tree decoration that was a silver present you could open up like a box. Being a hopeless romantic, I was talking excitedly about how amazing would be if I opened it and found an engagement ring in there (I was single at the time, so it was just a silly fantasy). One night, he came round to mine and cooked for me; this was fairly normal so I didn’t read into it. As I wasn’t going to see him before Christmas, he put a gift for me under the tree and left. Then I received a text saying: “Check your silver box, then open the present under the tree, and let me know what you think”. Oh god, I thought. There is no avoiding this one. Surely he hasn’t proposed to me? Does he fancy me? Have I been blind? What about his brother? I was too nervous to deal with it. Too apprehensive to know what was waiting for me. Too worried about what conversation we’d need to have. So I replied with a cool, “I can’t open it, it’s not Christmas yet!”. oh no! Then I took the box down from the tree… and I opened the latch… And I looked inside… And there was a beautiful pair of pearl earrings. Phew! No ring, he was just being a sweet friend. Next, I opened the box under the tree… And it was an empty box for the earrings… Oh wait, there’s a note… “I know we never did years ago, but now I want to. Can I take you on a first date?” Uh oh. Although, I’m a girl, a hopeless romantic girl! So it was an aww that’s the most romantic thing ever BUT WHAT IS HE THINKING kind of uh oh! So we talked. And I ruled it out as ridiculous. And he said he didn’t care about his brother or what his family would think. And I told him I did. And I explained that those old feelings for his brother wouldn’t disappear, and I wouldn’t be able to do it. So much had happened and I just couldn’t see him that way. Then we agreed to be friends. Good friends, deep in the knowledge that nothing more can ever happen. And we are. But sometimes I sense it, by the way he reacts when I talk about boys, or the way I see him looking at me, and then I wonder if he still does want to be more than my friend.

We’ve all been there though, haven’t we? We have a boy(that’s a)friend, and either fancy them (although we convince ourselves we don’t), or we know they fancy us (and we brush it off and ignore it), OR we just wonder if they fancy us. OR we don’t think they fancy us, and then we become single, and then they try it on. OR the get a girlfriend and they slowly drift out of our lives, leaving us hurt and confused about how they viewed the friendship.

So this dinner and a movie text got me wondering if it’s possible for man and a woman to just be friends. I know, I know, it’s a contraversial topic. I went to a mixed school, and considered a lot of my best friends to be boys. I used to be extremely defensive with people who claimed that a girl and a boy could never really be friends. But the older I get, the more I’m starting to wonder if, perhaps, there is some truth in it.

So can a man and a woman be friends? And by friends, I mean a 100% platonic relationship?

It got me thinking of my all time favourite film, When Harry Met Sally, and the scene in which Harry (Billy Crystal) in and Sally (Meg Ryan) are travelling in a car together on their way to New York:

Sally: “We are just going to be friends, ok?”

Harry: “Great! Friends! It’s the best thing… You realise of course that we can never be friends.”

Sally: “Why not?”

Harry: “What i’m saying is, (and this is not a come-on in any way shape or form) is that men and women can’t be friends because the sex part always gets in the way.”

Sally: “That’s not true, I have a number of men friends and there is no sex involved.”

Harry: “No you dont”

Sally: “Yes I do.”

Harry: “No you don’t.”

Sally: “Yes I do.”

Harry: “You only think you do.”

Sally: “You’re saying I’m having sex with these men without my knowledge?”

Harry: “No what I’m saying is they all wanna have sex with you”

Sally: “They do not!”

Harry: “Do too.”

Sally: “They do not!”

Harry: “Do too!”

Sally: “How do you know?”

Harry: “Because no man can be friends with a women that he finds attractive; he always wants to have sex with her.”

Sally: “So you’re saying that a man CAN be friends with a woman he finds unattractive?”

Harry: “No, you pretty much wanna nail them too.”

Sally: “What if they don’t wanna have sex with you?”

Harry: “It doesn’t matter cause the sex is already out there, so the friendship is ultimately doomed and that is the end of the story.”

Sally: “Well I guess we’re not going to be friends then.”

Harry: “I guess not.”

And I realised that it is always the man to claim men and women can’t be friends. When you’re in a relationship, it’s always the guy that insists your boyfriends just want to sleep with you. And if the man is the one saying this, does this mean its true? But they have girlfriends, so does that mean they want to sleep with them? Should I be jealous?

So can dinner and a movie ever be friends? Or is there always a hope that it will be dinner and a movie … and something more?
And even if one of you does have feelings for the other, why can’t you just be friends? As long as you’re both clear that nothing will ever happen, then surely that’s better than not being in each others lives at all? Or is that just miserable acceptance of unrequited love?

And I really don’t have a conclusive answer to this one, dear readers. Because I don’t know. I think there will always people who have strong opinions for and against the sincerity of mixed friendships. What I am certain of is that friendships with girlfriends are much more solid and much less complicated. The older I get, the more I look forward to gossiping, and bitching, and talking about men, and drinking, and crying, and laughing so hard it’s like an ab workout with my amazing girlfriends. Because men really are from Mars, and Venus feels more like home.

What do you think?

In my new found enthusiasm to take me and my heart on an expedition into the uncertain land of the male species, I decided to join some dating sites today. That’s a good way to find the perfect man, right? We’re in the twenty-first century, so it’s a perfectly acceptable way for busy London professionals to meet their soul mates…right? I mean, come on, there were 8,174,100 people in London in 2011 alone! That number can only have increased in the past year, and, let’s be honest, I only have a few hours in the evening and the weekends to get searching. That may sound like a lot of time, but once you subtract essential girl-time, me-time, and extra-curricular free-time, that does not leave a whole lot of hours to narrow my search down from 8,174,100 to 1. And since I am constantly being bombarded with adverts assuring me that “more couples get married on match.com than any other dating site“, I naturally decided it was a pretty good place to start.

I don’t know if you’ve ever joined a dating site, but it’s not as easy as it looks, trust me. There is one crucial part of the application form, and that is … describing your ideal man. They try to make it easier for you by offering tick boxes. But this is equally as stressful! What if my dream man turns out to be ‘heavier build‘ and I never meet him because I only ticked the ‘athletic build‘ box. To make it worse, there’s a little note in the top right of my screen reminding me that the more specific information I offer about ‘my type’, the more chance I have of finding my perfect man. No pressure then!

So all this got me thinking about what it is I am really looking for. Are we really so shallow that our dream man can be discovered by his aesthetic qualities? Is it just the romantic ideallist in me, or can’t the perfect man just be anyone that makes you laugh and sweep you off your feet? But then the question is, what is it that makes me laugh, and what is it that would force my feet to leave the ground?

The more I think about it, the smaller it makes me feel in this huge city of men. Can it really be possible to describe a man you have never met? And what if you can describe your man? You can describe him so well, in fact, that you shut your eyes to all the other wonderful men that pass you by because they aren’t tall enough, or rich enough, or multilingual enough. Will that mean you are a bitter and lonely 50 year old still blogging about being alone in London? It’s a scary thought.

And then I joined a dating site called Whatsyourprice.com. This is a website where beautiful women sign up and receive offers to go on dates with men. Cash offers. Men will pay you money to take you on a date, and there really is no catch or sex obligation at the end of it. Sounds ideal right? Right…? That was until I began to receive offers. It was the offer of £140 (really, I’m not joking) that it made me think that this is the kind of man that I really DON’T want to meet. Flashy men. Men that have nothing to offer but stone cold cash. The kind of men that London is full of. Men that want you to sit at their table in a Mayfair club. Men that think dinner at Nobu, or a glass of champagne in Mahiki is enough to get into your pants, and probably your chest as well (your heart, I mean, not your breasts, although I am sure the latter is much more appealling to them).

So then I thought, maybe I can find out what I do want, by ruling out what I don’t want. And what better way to work this out than by looking at some of the men that have been in my life since Jules… And I did promise you some ex-lover information! I respect the privacy of these men much more than THE ex, so I shall merely number them, I am sorry to be so untrusting of you dear readers.

1. Profession: Rugby Player (professional). Height: 6’8. Build: BIG (read that however you will, but I’m far to classy to confirm, darrrling). The V (which you will of course know from my first post to mean ‘The High): Seeing Adele live in a small Concert. The N (the Low, not that I am insulting your intelligence!): Finding out his ex girlfriend was a famous actress. Ended: Because I was still in love with THE ex.

2. Profession: Law (student). Height: 6’1. Build: (m)anorexic. The V: First Date at Winterwonderland and he bought me Jack Wills hat, scarf, & gloves as a surprise to go iceskating. The N: No girl wants to eat more than her man. Ended: Because I wasn’t comfortable with being his Jewish Princess, although the designer gifts were great, it just wasn’t me.

3. Profession: Manager of a rather well known American clothing company famous for its shirtless models *cough cough*. Height: 6’5. Build: Muscular. The V: The sex (ok, maybe not so classy, but I’m not going into details). The N: Not having a great deal to talk about. Ended: Because hearing ‘I really need to go to the gym more’ (despite going daily) not only becomes tedious, but doesn’t do wonders for your own self-esteem.

4. Profession: Olympian Athlete (I know, I’m still impressed too). Height: 6’5. Build: Athletic (I know!). The V: Having a crazy beautiful holiday romance. The N: Him kissing and texting nearly every other female that showed interest. Ended: Because he was texting a TV Presenter from my bed, and I’m not good at ‘letting things go’ or ‘acting cool’ in certain situations.

And unfortunately that brings us to the end of my number sequence (for now). What does that tell me about my pattern of men, and therefore my type? Perhaps that I have a poor judge of character. Certainly, that I like tall men (that’s one box I can confidently tick!). But all these affairs were wonderful and awful in their own way, and the men are completely uncomparible. And most importantly, they clearly weren’t The One. So dear readers, I suppose what I can decipher from looking back into my romantic closet is that I really don’t have a specific type (do I?), and it really isn’t as simple as ticking (or not ticking) a box. And that’s ok. Ticking lots of different boxes does not mean I am desperate. In fact it means quite the opposite. It would be much more desperate to stay with someone because they tick the boxes despite the fact you do not feel it in your heart of hearts. What I know is that it is great to date different people. And it is also great to end it with wonderful people. Because wonderful people don’t always mean they are perfect, for you.

So I suppose this doesn’t get me any closer to knowing anything about the type of man I’m looking for, so my adventure is no nearer completion now to when I joined match.com. But I am sure as hell open-minded to meeting some different men along the way, although I’m fairly convinced I won’t be meeting them online!

This afternoon I went to visit a psychic.

I  suppose I should have established that I am not a crazy person before I dropped that into post number 3 of my blog. But I am not ashamed of it because it’s the best money I’ve spent in my life.

How does this fit into being aloveinlondon? Well I didn’t expect it to, until the first ‘energy’ she picked up was relationships, particular the “disappointing” role a particular one has played in my life.

I suppose this is the opportune time to bring up the dreaded story of my ex-boyfriend. I won’t give him a secret name, because he doesn’t really deserve one. I am also optimistic that this will be the last post I have to write about him (famous last words). So let me tell you, very briefly about the story of Jules…
Boy sees girl. Boys likes girl. Boy facebooks girl (oh come on, it’s the 21st century right?). Girl ignores boy. Girl’s boss bigs up boy. Girl not interested. Boy starts calling girl (thanks boss). Boy texts girl. Boy gives final facebook plea to girl. Girl takes pity on boy and meets boy for a drink. Girl falls for boy (there were many wonderful dates in between, it’s not that easy). Girl feels wonderful and stable with boy who adores her. Girls tells boy he’s amazing. Boy tells girl… He’s not over his ex girlfriend. CRASH BOOM POW! There we have it, the first emotional explosion that shattered what was really quite a lovely love story.

If only that was the end of it. That would be enough for most people. This is where the romantic ideallists differ from your regular girls. So certain was I that Jules was right for me. So shocked was I that this man who whisked me off my feet was having doubts (how dare he), that I decided to wait by his side. In fact, I encouraged him to face his ex girlfriend (an actress from New York) and next thing he was off on a plane to New York to see for himself that perfect Kate (real name) was nothing but nostalgia. In the mean time I sit and listen to Mumford & Sons’ album Sigh No More, and Ellie Goulding‘s album Lights – two albums that sum up my feelings at the time more perfectly than any words will ever be able to (and both still my favourite albums, but I digress!).

And sure enough *cue Halleluja music*, a few horrible months later, and we are reunited, and he thanks me for my understanding, and is assured that what we have really is greater than he ever had with Kate. … FINALLY ♥ ! … and then two weeks later he was cheating on me with a supermodel whilst in South Africa. Crash! Boom! Pow! … and you only find out months later after tortuing yourself as he’s closed off to you, and so you do the crazy phone detective thing that no girl ever likes to admit to doing, or want to do, and you discover he’s texting said supermodel and arranging to fly her to London and then to Paris for the weekend. POW!
It wasn’t so much the story of infidelity that shattered my confidence. It wasn’t even the year and a half this pitiful (one-sided) love story dragged on for that drained me. It was all the words, and all the put downs, whilst he tried to find out who and what he wanted, that left me feeling completely and utterly deflated. Being told by the man who you perceive to be the love of your life that you (and I quote) just don’t stimulate him enough intellectually. Being told that you are better than… well actually everything that makes up your life. Which in reality means that your job, your friends, your hobbies, actually everything about YOU is just not good enough.

How does that make you feel? It makes you feel, no, it makes you BELIEVE, that YOU are just not good enough. And how do you pick yourself up from that?

Well according to the psychic (she’s called Katie Winterbourne and is absolutely divine, I would recommend her to any of you based in London), you are left not really knowing who are you. You are left “introducing yourself without knowing you are introducting the person to”. You are left sad and angry. But let’s not forget that I am very PROUD. So this is all kept very very low beneath the surface, and on the outside I am vibrant, and on it, and energetic! And well, that’s exhausting. And you can’t expect someone to know you when you can’t even show them who YOU are. So they project an image of you onto you, that either you don’t want to be, or you just aren’t. And you EXPLODE! And, in 50 beautiful minutes, Katie Winterbourne allowed me to say goodbye to the anxiety, and the heartache, and the self-indulgence of Jules.

And that’s HUGE!

It huge for me, dear readers, which means it’s huge for you too. Because finally I have let go. And that means that life is about to start. And according to the lovely and magical Katie Winterbourne, it WILL end with me falling in love. And it will involve a ski resort (I don’t ski!). And that means, that aloveinlondon has just become a very, very exciting adventure… and it’s still only Day 1! :-)