The first text has come in and I’m clueless…

“Listen to own advice…”

?!

Advertisements

The Rules state you should date other guys until you are certain about who you want. Well, actually, the book says you should continue to date until there’s a ring on your finger, but I’m not that desperate for marriage, and would like to practice fidelity if I felt serious enough about the man.

2 weeks ago, I gave my number to a man. I bump into him at work a lot, and we’ve had chit-chat for the last few months. On bumping to him a fortnight ago, he said he had an invitation for me to go to an event he thought I’d like, then asked for my number. Why not, I thought. Only I didn’t hear from him.

On Monday, I received a Facebook message from him letting me know he had lost his phone that very evening, and it had taken him this long to find me. He still had an event to take me to and asked if I’d give him my number (again). I replied (on Tuesday, I’m busy and unattainable of course), with my number and told him I wouldn’t give it to him a 3rd time.

A few hours later, I received a text telling me not to lose this number. Of course I knew it was from him, I rarely give my number out, but the rules state you must act like you are desirable and being pursued by lots of men, so I asked him to clarify whose number it was that I must guard so closely.

Then last night, I received a phone call from him. I like it when men call. It shows confidence, and it takes away the awkwardness, toneless texting game. He asked how many guys I give my number out to that I didn’t know it was him. (Blush).

Anyway, he asked if I was free on Saturday 13th October (booking in advance is a great sign according to the rules). He told me it was a surprise. I like surprises.

He asked if I had ever seen Catchphrase. Do you remember the 90’s TV Show presented by Roy Walker in which contestants would have to identify a familiar phrase by a piece of animation accompanied by background music? Well, he explained that over the next couple of weeks he would send me sporadic Catchphrase-style clues about what we’d be doing. If I guess it right before the day, he’ll get me a present.

How exciting! And also how very clever. This now means he has successfully ensured our date will be on my mind from now until it happens. Very clever indeed.

But obviously I’m now a rules girl and would never giveaway excitement. I’m aloof, busy, and unattainable. So I said I looked forward to it but had to go, and I ended the call.

I’m already excitedly awaiting the first Catchphrase Clue. And of course I’ll share them all with you, dear readers. In the words of the Hunger Games let the games begin!

I am already nervous. This weekend I will be going to the seaside for the whole weekend to see my man. Why am I nervous? He lives with his parents. That means from Friday night through to Sunday I am staying at his. With his parents. Shudder.

I feel sick.

Having now read the Complete Book of Rules, I have decided to be more aloof. More unattainable. (See my Blog em>;Call Me Maybe). And the reality is that I am quite chilled and aloof about the whole situation. I just need to stop pretending to be more into it than I really am, and start to make him sweat a little.

Surely going to his parent’s house is totally and utterly against all the rules I vowed to follow? It goes against keeping things light-hearted. Acting like I don’t care. Letting him make the effort to come to me…

And I really don’t know how comfortable I am with the situation. I am changing my mind on a hourly, no, minutely basis. I don’t really like him enough at this stage to meet the parents. But I am not meeting the parents because it’s a stage we are at. I am meeting his parents because of purely practical reasons… because he lives at home. And it is a little nice to think he sees me as the kind of girl he can introduce to his parents…

Part of me is excited. I haven’t seen him since our fun day in the rain two Sundays ago. I’ve already began my beauty regime so I look and feel amazing one Friday (I know, I know, it’s sad). And it will be exciting to jump on a train straight after work on Friday…

Part of me is doubtful. Do I still like him? Do I like him enough to tolerate a weekend surrounded by his family?

Cancel the weekend. Wait for him to come to me.

Don’t go Friday night. Just see him Saturday – Sunday.

Stop over-thinking it. It will be fun. Have a fun weekend, keep it light-hearted, then play it cool after the weekend.

And, according to the Complete Book of Rules, it’s never too late to start the rules!

Either way, at least I’ll have an interesting story to tell you on Sunday night..!

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

Having made it so far to page 42 in the Complete Book of Rules, I already have a few issues I would like to discuss.

Beauty and Men

Don’t leave the house without wearing make up. Put lipstick on when you go jogging. Do everything you possibly can to put your best face forward. If you have a bad nose, get a nose job…

I like to look good, of course I do. What girl doesn’t? Yes, I agree that eating well, doing exercise, staying up to date with your waxing, having pedicures, and all those things, make me feel good about myself. And feeling good results in feeling confident and attractive; qualities that are attractive to men. But wearing lipstick to go running? Seriously?! I believe in natural beauty, and I wouldn’t want to wear make up just to chill and watch movies with a man. I have a friend who is stunning, a model actually, and her ex boyfriend used to tell her to wear make up. What a douchebag! I’m sorry, but if Mr Right is a man that can only accept a woman that always looks immaculate, then I’d rather pass.

Talking to Men

Don’t tell sarcastic jokes… Be quiet and mysterious, act ladylike, cross your legs and smile. Don’t talk too much… You might argue that this will suppress your intelligence or vivacious personality. You may feel that you won’t be able to be yourself, but men will love it!

Excuse me? So for a man to fall in love with me, I have to make myself up like a doll, have cosmetic surgery to remove any physical flaws, smile and nod like an airhead, and not be myself? Are we so desperate to get married that we are prepared to completely suppress our personalities? Isn’t being funny a great quality? Lots of girls are attractive (in a made-up way) and have nothing to say for themselves, and I certainly don’t envy the type of men they are with.

Don’t talk to a man first, and let him pay

If a man doesn’t bother to walk across the room to seek you out … Then he’s obviously not interested… Equality [is] fine in the workplace, but not in the romantic playing field. Love is easy when the man pursues the woman and pays for the woman most of the time.

The Rule states you can NEVER talk to a man first. Even if you see someone you like but he doesn’t see you, it’s better to go home knowing you didn’t break the rules because “he never got the chance to pursue you and this fact will always permeate the relationship even if he does ask you out”. I’m sorry, but even if you do go up and talk to the guy first, he can still be left wanting more, providing you don’t sleep with him straight away or act desperate. Don’t men like women with confidence? Look at Katy Perry & Russell Brand. Russell Brand, a famous lothario and notoriously impossible to tie-down… Until he met and fell for Katy Perry. How did they first start talking? SHE threw a bottle at his head, claiming, “you’ve met you’re match motherf**ker!”. Boom. Love at first sight. There’s a girl that stands out from the crowd, and doesn’t act like every other girl. A girl that acts herself. Dyes her hair blue. Has a huge personality. And doesn’t just sit and smile and look pretty. … Or is that why their relationship ended in divorce? Unlikely.

Be Unattainable

I’m not completely cynical, dear readers. I’m an open-minded person. And I have decided to implement a rule into my life. Being Unattainable.

Being an attractive female (again, please don’t read that statement as arrogance), I have always been aware that men (and women) like to class pretty girls, especially pretty blonde girls, as boring, shallow, bitchy, or superficial…or all of the above. I’ve always fought that stereotype. And I won’t pretend to be precious and prissy, because I’m not. So I’ll never wear lipstick to go on a run. Or wear make up to bed just because a man is there. Or get liposuction because I hate my thighs (I do hate my thighs). Or smile and nod when I actually want to be sarcastic and witty.
I don’t want men (or women) to be intimated of me. Because I’m nice. And a lot of men won’t come up to me first, because I am intimidating. I know that because I’ve been told it many times before. Plus it’s usually only the really cocky men that do approach me; and cocky men do not treat girls well.

However, in my desperation to prove that I’m not arrogant, boring, shallow, unapproachable, or intimidating; I have made myself too available. I’d even say that I’ve come across as desperate, even when I am not certain about the man in question, and even when I believe that HE is lucky to have me.

I put in too much effort. And I talk too much. And I make too many excuses for bad behaviour. And looking back, a lot of average men I’ve dated have ended it with ME.

And this should stop. It’s emotionally draining. And it’s now so obvious how to put an end to it happening. By adopting these rules I will achieve an unattainable status

Be positive. Look for the good in everything. … Early dating is not the time to tell him about your job problems. … Don’t tell long winded stories of all the people who have hurt you or let you down … Act as if you were born happy.

There will be moments on a date when neither of you has anything to say. Don’t feel the need to fill in the silences. You’ll end up saying something forced or stupid. … If anything men should be the ones wondering whether or not they’re keeping you interested.

Men like a challenge – that’s why they play sports, fight wars and raid corporations. The worst thing you can do is make it easy for them.

Not calling him will leave him desiring you more, make him want to see you again and call you again. It prevents him from getting to know all about you too quickly and getting bored. … It’s good for him to wonder about you.

And it’s true. Men need to think you’re unattainable. Men need to believe they are lucky to have you. Men need to believe you are busy, so that they have to work for a place in your life. And they can only believe that if you make it difficult for them. And don’t always get in touch first. And don’t over-talk. And don’t show insecurities when it comes to dating. If they don’t hear from you, they should be worried that you have lost interest… so they will get in touch.

So, where does that leave me with my man? I will no longer suggest meeting him, nor will I be the first to initiate contact. Because I’ve shown him I’m nice. I’ve shown him I’m not intimidating. And now I need to make him know that I AM hard to get. And he DOES have to make an effort to impress me and keep me interested.

So I haven’t contacted him since Thursday, and already he has contacted me to let me know he liked my outfit (I dressed up as Amy Winehouse last night, and put the photo on Facebook … So he’s stalking me!). And I haven’t replied. Because I want him to appreciate who is in front of him.

And who is in front of him? Not some precious, heavily made-up, smile-and-nodding air head. But a confident, funny (sometimes, and usually at me), natural, slightly dorky, nice girl, who likes him, and who gets on with him. And that’s me, and I’m not going to (and shouldn’t have to) change any of those qualities to end up with a shallow, chauvenistic Mr Wrong.

And ultimately, I would rather be totally myself and be aloneinlondon than be with someone I can’t be myself around. I want my flaws to be seen as loveable elements that make me me, not disgusting features that make me imperfect. And if I end up by myself until I find the right person, then breaking a few rules is more than ok for me.

Being at the start of a new relationship (and I mean relationship in a very loose sense of the word, as obviously there has been no talk of commitment yet), I am rather aware of ‘the game’. He lives 2 hours away from me, so I have to depend on my phone to keep in touch with him. But do I get in touch with him? Or do I wait for him to get in touch with me? Should I call him, or is that too keen?

We have grown up being told that we should play hard to get to capture a man’s attention. Men like challenges, so we should be aloof. But I like challenges too. And if we both play it cool, then neither of us will get in touch. And don’t men like confident girls? And if I want to speak to someone, shouldn’t I just be able to do it without worrying if he’ll still like me because I initiated contact? Do I really want to be with someone anyway if I can’t act myself?

And then we get down to the actual text messaging. Do I reply if he doesn’t ask questions? How can I be funny on a text message? Will he pick up on my sarcastic tone or think I’m being serious? Has he not put kisses on the end because he doesn’t like me, or simply because he doesn’t put kisses on texts?

Something very simple has suddenly become something very complicated. And what is acceptable?

I have lots of girlfriends who treat men badly. Like shit actually. And the result is that they have men falling at their feet. Literally. But does a woman have to be a bitch in order for a guy to like her? I know these girls, and I know that deep down they like the guy, but they aren’t comfortable with showing their emotions, and isn’t that because of pride and the fear of getting hurt?
And what about these obsessed men? Do they truly like the girl for who she is? Or do they just like her because they can’t have her? And isn’t all of this a huge effort to be with someone? Because surely you should be with someone that likes you for who you are, someone who makes you feel comfortable for being you, and who makes your life that little bit more exciting. Or is that just my romantically charged mind idealising relationships?

And I’m really not very good at playing games. Because if someone does something that annoys me, I react. And if someone arranges to meet me and doesn’t, I react. And if I text someone and they don’t reply, I react (in a jokey way and I wait at least a day, I’m not that crazy). And that’s how I treat my friends, so why should a man be any different? However, by reacting, I probably have given the impression that I’m crazy. But why should I tolerate someone treating me badly or making me feel inadequate? Because I want someone to appreciate me, and to realise what they have, and I shouldn’t have to compromise… Or should I? Because thinking about it, I HAVE scared a few guys away, or I’ve lost patience with them and ended it even though I still liked them.

And because I like my new man, and because I want him to like me, I’ve been thinking a lot about ‘the game’ and how I should play things. And I’ve been wondering whether I should wait for him to text me (we’ve all seen the film He’s just not that into you, and if he likes you he will get in touch, right?), or do I just text him (he’s probably trying to play it cool too, and we live in different cities so I don’t want things to fizzle out just because we were both trying to play it cool). And so far, I’m going with the just do what you feel frame of mind. It was ME to suggest he came from the airport to mine, ME to send the message to clear the air after the whole TV presenter fiasco, and ME to invite myself to the seaside. But i don’t mind driving it, because I’m confident, and I can tell that HE likes me. Or does he? Am I just making it too easy? Maybe I should start to reverse the power now.

So I’ve bought a book (I was directed towards the Self-Help section in Waterstones – how demoralising!). It’s called the Complete Book of Rules. Apparently is tells you time-tested secrets for capturing the heart of Mr Right. And what’s more, it’s a multi-million copy bestseller, so apparently I’m not the only girl on the planet to be questioning this.
But why should we have to use games to impress Mr Right? Surely playing games and not being ourselves means we capture the heart of Mr Not-Right?
But I’m going to read it. And I’m going to try it. And you can be certain that I’ll share my discoveries and report my experiences with you, dear readers.

Watch this space!

20120927-143447.jpg

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

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?

I LOVE this! And I think we’ve all been in the situation before when you have a male friend and there are some underlying sexual tensions. It leads me onto my next post…