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As if life wasn’t complicated enough already, an old flame has somehow catapulted his way back into my life and, as usual, made me question how I feel about other men.

Let me refer to this guy as the love of my life.

I met him in 2009 when I was working as a Business Development Manager in the marketing industry. He worked for an agency in Wimbledon, and I worked there two days a week. It’s a complete cliché to say, but from the moment we saw each other there was an instant attraction. He started emailing me before we had ever even talked. One drunken night, we decided to meet up and both took taxis to a club called Shunt in London Bridge. It was the first time we had ever spoken and I literally fell in love with him. Conversation was easy, he was a great kisser, and very attractive; I couldn’t believe I had met someone as great as him. After going home separately, I got a text the next day telling me that he had a girlfriend! but he assured me they were breaking up, he was just waiting to move into his own place.

3 years later, he’s still with his girlfriend (although they’ve broken up and gotten back together repeatedly), and he still tells me how much he likes me and how perfect I am. And me, despite having ignored him for several months at a time over the three years (during my relationship with Jules, and at other times when I’ve been fed up with him messing with my head), he always seems to creep his way back into my life. And we’ve hooked up a lot during the years, although we’ve never actually had sex.

The girlfriend: 39 (9 years his senior, attractive, manages his sister who is a classical singer (locked into the family), desperate for marriage and children, mildly psychotic (she has made several phone calls to me in the past because she thought it was awkward when we met).

We all hear stories about women who fall for married men who never end up leaving their wives despite their constant promises. It’s easy to think it’s a silly situation to get into, and easier to see the women as gullible or slightly idiotic, but when you’re in a similar situation, things seem less black & white. I KNOW they have problems, and he hasn’t married her… But do I really want to be with someone that has had supposed relationship problems for over 3 years and hasn’t ended things? Someone who has consistently tried to get with another girl for the 3 years of that relationship?

What is it about fancying men who are in relationships?

You know you should stay away, but you just can’t. If a person is so adamant about how bad there relationship is for so long then it’s hard to take that relationship seriously.

But then, what about the poor girl he is dating? It could easily be me in her situation. It was me in my relationship with Jules, and I was very quick to criticise the girls he cheated on me with for being easy. I suppose the same way that I have criticised his girlfriend for being psychotic.

Why do girls always blame the other girls involved and not the love-rat man himself? What happened to girl power?

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Despite feeling more secure with my man, I still felt that there had been no real commitment spoken of and “Seeing how it goes” doesn’t scream boyfriend material to me. Time to move on.

So when I was asked to take part in a speed dating event, I agreed.

I’ve never been speed dating before, but like online dating, it’s something I am extremely sceptical of. What kind of people go to the events? Does it reek desperation?

I suppose it’s a great thing. Because instead of going on a real date and having to spend a whole evening with someone who is just not your type, you get to spend a minute and a half with someone to decide if they are worth another date. But on the other hand, how the hell do you impress someone in a minute and a half? Well, I suppose you just can’t plan some things, and I’m good at conversation so let’s see what happens.

I turn up at the event, only I am not asked to speed date anyone. The cameras are rolling, and all the other girls are rotating around the guys. And I sit there. I see one of the guys constantly looking over towards me, and I don’t know why but there is something there. It’s definitely not love at first sight, but I am intrigued by the way he is starting at me. Intrigued by his orange azteca shirt (I like people who are bold enough to wear something unusual). The bell goes every minute and a half. And I sit alone watching the cameras roll. Watching the guy. Listening to the cringeworthy conversations. One girl was even telling him that she liked to pretend to be a cat and would drink cat milk when she was little – SERIOUSLY, you have a minute and a half to impress and this is what you come up with?

Finally, the producer asked if I would like to give it a go with THAT guy. The one I was staring at. Azteca guy. So I sit down. And we chat. And it’s easy. We discuss sport, and jokes, and animals and.. wait a minute, hasn’t this been longer than a minute and a half? About 10 minutes later, the producers come to tell me that Azteca guy has picked me and would I be keen for a first date (that would be filmed)?

When I was new to the dating scene, and unsure about the idea of going on a date with someone, my best friend once told me that a first date is like an interview. Like a job, it’s a chance for you to see if they are suitable for the role. Well what harm can come from an interview? So I agreed. So the first date happens, and it turns out only the beginning was on camera. So we go out. And we get on. We get drunk. And talk. And drink. And talk. And drink. And talk. And suddenly we’re kissing. And I want him. This intruiging azteca man. And we drink. And we kiss. And I am suddenly WAY too drunk and it’s 5am on Monday morning. So we take a taxi back to mine.

Just to clarify, I am not in the habit of taking men back to mine so soon. Nor am I in the habit of kissing on the first date. But it’s just so easy. And I’m so drunk. But I insist he sleeps on my sofa, and I go to bed.

Two days later and we meet again at an art gallery. And we kiss. *Oh dear, we kiss when we’re sober.* And we go for a walk through London – past Mayfair, Knightsbride, Kensington, to King’s Road. And we drink mulled wine. And we kiss. And suddenly we’re in Vingt-Quatre, a 24 hour food and drink place on Fulham Road. And we discuss politics (it’s the night of Obama’s election victory), and divorce, and religion. And we kiss. And suddenly I realise it’s 6am and I have work at 10am. So I go home to bed, despite his pleas to come back to mine, he goes back home. I am a lady afterall. And tired.

And we meet again on Thursday night, and we get drunk. And we go out. And I’m drunk. And we go back to his friend’s house. And next thing I know, his friends have gone to bed and we’re making out on his friend’s sofa. What am I doing? I like him so much but I will not have sex with him. Not drunk. Not like this. So I pass out.

The next night I meet his friend. And we act like we’ve been together forever. I might actually fall for Azteca guy.

And then all of a sudden he goes a bit quiet. But we see each other for filming. Is he seeing me because he has to or because he wants to? Should I act off? What if he’s using me for the storyline?

And there we go. It’s back to me being crazy. Overthinking things. Acting awkward. Waiting for him to make the effort, and him not making the effort.

And then we film our last scene. And it’s awkward. I ask him what’s wrong, and he says nothing. Is it really nothing, or is he saying nothing because it’s on camera? Straight after filming he says he needs to go, and I’m left there feeling confused.

So I decide to call him. He doesn’t answer. And I text him saying ‘Are you sure everything is ok? You seemed off. It would be nice to see you off camera if you’re free later?” To which he replies saying he was just tired, and was free later this evening.

And evening comes and I’ve heard nothing. It’s 8pm. So I text him “let’s get drunk”. And he says… nothing. He doesn’t reply. Not that night. Or the next day. Or the next day.

And finally a week later, he apologises for being distant, claiming the producers asked him not to contact me. Saying that he “really really liked me” but had realised I wasn’t right for him, but that we wanted to be my friend or business partner.

What?

I feel sick. What had happened? Have I been used?

I didn’t want this. I was happy with my man. And now I feel empty. Why do I feel heart broken?

What do I want? Why am I so complicated? And so heartbroken.

Since having ‘the chat’ with my man, he acted very blase about our relationship wanting to ‘see how things go’ rather than labelling our relationship. Fair enough, I suppose. But it has been three months.

Is it insecure or needy of me to want more open affection? Aren’t all of us girls the same?

Don’t get me wrong, I hate needy men. Or men that are too affectionate so you want to puke in your mouth. But when you really like someone, and they’ve played it so cool for so long… well then I suppose I am a little needy.

I would often try and fish for compliments with my man. I just wanted to hear him say anything nice! And the response would always be the same:

“I look good, don’t I?”

“Self praise is no praise at all”

Oh.

So after arriving back in London from seeing my man, I decided to organise my laptop desktop, and I found a Word Document entitled “Too Miss J” (that’s me). I opened it and found the following note:

“I’m lying here in bed without you and its not as good as having you falling asleep on my chest.

Just to let you know I am fond of you Miss J, and think about you more than you know, and when you see me looking at you quizzically don’t get nervous. I’m actually admiring you.

I hope you randomly find this one-day and it puts a smile on your face.

Thinking about you (naked)”

 AWWW. Ok so it may not be as romantic as a letter, but I suppose this is the 21st century; the digital age! And what is so nice about it is that he doesn’t give compliments ever, and he wrote this whilst I was away, and managed to keep it a secret.

I am smiling, BUT part of me finds the sentiment a little cringeworthy. I really am a fickle female. Looks like some people can never win! But I am so happy. After all these months
, things are finally starting to settle down with my man. Who said holiday romances didn’t last?

It’s been a long time dear readers, and so much has happened. I realise that I need to blog about it as and when things happen, because otherwise things aren’t as interesting and you rationalise everything with the benefit of hindsight.

Life and love have escalated out of control recently and I haven’t found time to sit down and put into words what I’ve been trying not to think about. But from now on I will leave nothing to hindsight. I have so much to talk about and the longer I went without blogging the more I felt like I didn’t know where to begin. So to fill you in…

The date with the Frenchman went well. Very well actually. We have lots of common ground, and he made me laugh. At the end of the night he went for a kiss, whereas I went for a kiss on the cheeks. Standard date awkwardness.

But is getting on with someone enough for wanting to be with someone? I get on with my man. How do you know when the right one is the right one? Have I got blurred ideas of friendship, lust, and love?

You see, I like my man. But surely with a long distance relationship, you need to know the feeling is mutual. need to know it’s worth your time. And there just seems to be no progression. All the girls that seem to be lingering on the side of him, me trying to play the rules to avoid being hurt. Shouldn’t relationships be more simple?

So I decided, enough game playing – Time to ask my man where he sees us going. We’ve been together for a few months now and I don’t want to waste my time, or end up getting hurt. Simple.

Or it should be simple, except that I find it impossible to talk about emotions. I’m absolutely paranoid of sounding crazy. And I think I am far too proud to put my feelings on the line, or let someone know I am into them. I swear I wasn’t like this before Jules, goddamn him!

So I’m at his house. Yes, yes, visiting his family home has become a bit of a fortnightly thing. And we’re in bed. A male friend of mine once told me the best time to have a conversation with a man is in bed after sex when you are both relaxed. So here is goes… No, I can’t say it… Yes you can… Why am I nervous?… COME ON!…

“Have you slept with anyone else whilst we’ve been seeing each other?”

“Why are you asking me?”

“Because I am wondering, and I think I have a right to know where I stand.”

“Well no I haven’t. Have you?”

“No. Would you sleep with anyone else?”

“No. But I don’t know where this is going, let’s just see how it goes. Have you kissed anyone else?”

… ah, the Catchphrase date I went on that resulted in a kiss. How do I tell him this? Should I tell him? Well I can’t lie to him. “Yes I did. But it was a few weeks ago. I went on a date, but only because I didn’t know where we stood…”

“I can’t believe you went on a date.”

“Yeah, but I really wasn’t sure where we were, or where your head was at with things. For all I knew you were still messaging other girls”

“I’m not. I deleted the TV Presenter’s number because I like you, and I want to see where it goes, but I don’t know what will happen. I can’t believe you have been on a date and you gave me so much stick for texting someone!”

“But you never gave me the impression you cared”

“Of course I do, I just don’t want to be another guy giving you compliments…”

And then, he fell asleep. Apparently waiting until you’re both tired in bed isn’t the best time to have that kind of conversation. But I feel good that he isn’t messaging her! But what does he mean he doesn’t know where we will go? And now that he thinks that I’ve been dating. But I was only dating because the rules said I should. Silly rules! What if he starts dating other people now?

And I suppose I know he’s more than just a guy I get on with, more than just a friend, because I do care about his opinion. I do worry about being hurt. And I get butterflies to hear him say that he cares and isn’t messaging anyone else.

Finally… after all that complication.

Couldn’t be more different to my love life, but I am completely captivated and intrigued by lifeofalovergirl‘s openness and confidence. No matter how different we are in our morals and sexual outlook, I love that we all have men that fulfill different parts of our lives. Totally recommend her blog… I can’t wait to find out more!

lifeofalovergirl

Do you compare lovers? Everyone says they don’t. I have a hard time believing that. I wish I could say I never compare mine, but that would be a lie. Still, by “compare,” I really mean “contrast”. I notice their differences, but no one is coming up short. It’s not a competition. Each person brings something unique to the table and plays a different role in my life. None of the men in my life would be replaceable by one of the others. One of them alone couldn’t possibly fulfill the needs that get met by having several.

Contrary to popular belief (by a lot of men anyway), I don’t grade the guys by dick size. I’m not breaking out my ruler deciding who is best due to the extra inch or two he’s packing below the belt. Yes, I do know who has the biggest cock, lol, and I…

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The Complete Book of Rules is making me cynical, but I found this video… and still like to believe in the possibility of love at first sight. So beautiful!

She was suspicious of words. ‘One can talk problems into existence’, she had once said, and just as problems could come from words, so good things could be destroyed by them. I remembered her telling me that, when she was twelve, her parents had sent her on a camping holiday. There she had fallen in love with a boy her age, and after much blushing and hesitation, they had ended up taking a walk around a lake. By a shaded bank, the boy had asked her to sit down, and after a moment, had taken her damp hand in his. It was the first time a boy had held her hand. She had been so elated, she had felt free to tell him, with all the earnestness of a twelve year-old, that he was ‘the best thing that had ever happened to her’. The next day, she discovered that her words had spread all over the camp. A group of girls chanted mockingly ‘the best thing that ever happened to me’ when she came into the dining hall, the honest declaration replayed in a mockery of her vulnerability. She had experienced a betrayal at the hands of language, the way intimate words may be converted to a common currency, and had since hidden behind a veil of praticality and irony.

Essays in Love – Alain De Botton

Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind; and therefore is winged cupid painted blind” – William Shakespeare