Wednesday, 17 September 2008

Manbits #10

*** If you're male, and you want a bit of advice on your sexy, sexy mither, drop us an e-mail at todger dot talk at googlemail dot com ***

Anonymous writes: Ok, so here's the situation.

I met a girl - let's call her Charlotte. About 10 years ago, at Uni, she was going out with someone else, I fell in love. Didn't do anything at the time because I was a "nice boy". Became friends. Yeah, you know this one. Eventually some years later decided to tell her how I felt (the "some years" thing being a clue that it hadn't gone away).

Did so, as expected did not have the immediate result of her falling into my arms.
Ten years later. I haven't exactly been a monk, either in the developing killer martial arts moves and a deep sense of spiritual peace sense, or in the "not having sex" sense. However, I've never met anyone who seemed so right - we just seem to be incredibly well-matched. We're still good friends - very close friends, in fact.

Charlotte's been dating a guy for the last few years with whom she is, as far as I can tell, very, very happy. (He's a great guy. He's also really similar to me in a lot of ways - although to be fair is also different in some, notably being a bit less driven.)
I haven't had a relationship of longer than six months in the last six years. All of my relationships have been with very smart, very sexy, very interesting girls, but they've all ended for one reason or another (mutual lack of interest, not-mutual lack of interest (from both sides at different times), mild insanity).

A decade plus seems a reasonable length of time to have met someone else I was interested in, if it was going to happen. I'm starting to wonder if my conviction that there's no such thing as "the one" is in fact wrong. Periodically I convince myself I'm over her, but let's face it, that's clearly crap. I've never met anyone like her - anyone who has ideas like hers, who can point out when I'm talking bullshit like her, who's funny and sarcastic and sexy as her, who's on so much the same wavelength as me, who talks and writes and moves like her. I've had people tell me that I need to stop measuring against the Charlotte standard, but, well, hard to do.

Ah, shite. What to do? Just keep going and hope that I meet someone else whom I fall for? That strategy appears to be sucking so far. I've tried meeting people randomly, dating sites, going to lots of parties, etc, etc...

Sam says: Mmm, this is a tricky one. My first urge is to grab hold of you, give a hard slap and say ‘What are you thinking man! Move on!’ But then this is the real world and you are talking about your real feelings, and feelings are complicated irrational things.

The first issue is that you have clearly fallen into the Frienditis trap - a deadly place to be and almost impossible to get out of. All I can really suggest is that you keep being friends and set yourself up as her Plan B, and get ready to move swiftly if things go tits up with her current boyfriend.

As for her being the perfect girl; the trouble is, that if you actually started dating her, you'd find very quickly that she isn’t. As a friend you don’t have to smell her farts, put up with her being cranky with PMT and a myriad of other annoying things that lurk under the ‘perfect girlfriend’ exterior. As a friend, you almost always see the good bits when she has tarted herself up to go out and is having fun.

There is no real use me telling you to change the way you feel – the only thing I can really suggest is that you go out shopping in some more places where you might find women who are as great as her. Try, the Selfridges of the online dating world, where even I get intimidated looking at the quality of their totty. You could also try, the dating site of the brilliant Scarlet magazine – I can pretty much guarantee that every sexy, smart, funny thinking girl in London reads it, so a bunch of the single ones should have signed up to their dating service.

Perhaps you could focus more on the monk angle and take up Zen meditation. You might realise that what is really important is the moment right now, and that longing for the perfect object of our desire just brings suffering. Sounds a bit wanky, but might actually help to change the way you feel.

‘Mr Sex’ says: Never mind Sam - I’ll give you a slap, mate. You bleddy well need one. You’ve basically crippled every relationship you’ve had right from the beginning, because you known all along that if this bird offered to drop both her current bloke and her knickers, you’d be up there like a rat up a drainpipe.

Obviously, you’ve been knocked bandy by that bag-of-wank idea that has polluted our minds for far too long, and your's in particular; the theory that, somewhere out there, is that one person who is our – holding back a little bit of sick in my mouth here – ‘soulmate’. And isn’t it funny that, out of the six billion plus people rattling about on this planet, this one person always happens to share the same workplace/school/college/bus queue as you?

Naturally, this person is not interested or is knocking about with someone else, which only makes you want them more. When you actually do become friends with them (mainly because you fancy the arse off them), it gets even worse. In the meantime, you treat every other potential partner as a make-do compromise, with an eye on the main chance. Congratulations: not only are you fucking yourself over, you’re shitting on someone else who's trying to make a go of it with you (as well as every other partner they run into when they’ve had enough of your half-arsed commitment).

Look, mate – surely now, after ten years, you must realise it’s not going to happen. Your choice is either to carry on mournging over this woman (whilst repelling every other potential partner you come into contact with), or take several steps away from her, take several deep breaths, and go and get what you need from someone else. And if I’m being overtly harsh, it’s only because I was you about ten years ago, and I'm hoping someone invents a time machine soon so I can go back there and give myself a severe kicking for being such a gorm. Don't make the mistake I did, young fella m'lad - end this bollocks now.

Readers of TT: Comment!


Silicon Limey said...

Can't help agreeing with Mr Sex on this one.

Ten years ago I was in the same situation. Fell hard for a girl I was working with. She was intelligent, sexy, funny and got me. We became great friends and even though I knew she was with a guy she loved I made a play, and was politely rebuffed.

Ten years later those two are married and are both great friends. I'd be a liar if I said I was totally over her but it's good that we're all in contact.

Count your blessings. You are friends with a great person, value that and don't let the crap you can't change spoil it.

Anonymous said...

Hmm. I don't think there's anything wrong with the 'soulmates' idea, as long as you accept that having met and correctly identified your soulmate doesn't give you a particular entitlement to live with them happily ever after.
And I don't agree that being with someone means you will become disappointed in them - but then I'm a girl, so maybe I don't go into relationships with as many illusions to shatter as boys do?

Anyway, I also think that you have two choices: 1) make a determined and strategic attempt to split her up from her boyfriend and get her to be with you, which obviously carries huge risks of failure, opprobrium and self loathing but may just be a gamble that pays off; or 2) force yourself to move on, grieve properly, accept that you're never going to be with her and stop looking for a girlfriend for a while. In a few years' time you're more than likely to wake up and realise you're actually with the person who is perfect for you. Well that's what happened to me anyway.

Anna said...

I've never, ever managed to get over a crush while I was still regularly hanging out with a guy. Granted, that was never over the period of ten years, but there was a five-year unrequited thing that ended as soon as I moved away.

Get some distance and perspective. Maybe not to the extent of moving, but try to meet ladies in new social settings where you won't be tempted to compare them. Otherwise you've got lots of Shakespearian pining to do.

Lily Lane said...

I think you should do something huge and drastic and fantastic.
Move internationally to somewhere you've always hoped to visit and start from scratch. Why not, really? You don't have a significant other tying you down and no kids either by the sounds of it. A job is really just a job and no matter how fantastic your current one is, it's not fantastic enough to stick with the life you've got which is obviously not a very satisfying one. You've been in a ten year rut, after all.
I reckon that if you're so driven you should drive yourself off to greener pastures and new experiences.
Maybe you'll come back in a few years and the way she has missed you will make her realise how important it is to keep you. Or you will be doubly attractive because you have done something exciting and challenging. Or maybe not, but you will still have turned your loss and heartbreak into a positive, pro-active experience.

badgerdaddy said...

Anna and Mr Sex are bang on the money there. Anna points out that distance and perspective will both help - my God, do they.

I did this same thing just a few years ago, and as soon as I moved away and didn't see that person pretty much every day, I woke up and thought "what the fuck was I thinking? I'm worth more than this!" Now I'm absurdly happily married and life is grand.

Ta daaaa.

Ys said...

I agree: distance is needed. It'll be hard but it's what you need to get over this girl. You don't have to move countries, just have a break from her for a while.

Anonymous said...

Distance isn't always enough.

Similar story, similar timeline, only she did move countries (not because of me, I hasten to add), we lost touch, and we haven't spoken for over five years, yet I still think about her 3-4 times a week. As soon as I read this column she jumped into my mind.

Anonymous said...

Distance and Time, distance and time. heals a lot. I agree with the other posters. I do especially like the advice given to go and do something fantastic and drastic to put the distance between you. perspective is that much clearer when you are doing/experiencing new things, making new friends....and it does makes you that much more attractive to this girl, and other girls as well... good luck!

Canuckian's Evil Twin said...

right on the money mr. sex, especially when holding back the sick when talking about "soulmates". good job.

as with everyone else who's commented, i say distance and time is what's needed to get over this girl; ten years is far too much time wasted on a person who does not feel the same way. get out there and live a life fantastic! :o)

suburbanhen said...

You're already her back-up plan, rest assured.

And yet she hasn't bothered to use you, has she? My, what a special girl she must be, keeping you on the hook like that. Obviously has the utmost respect for you. Probably tells all her friends how much she loves you, how special you are, how you'd do anythingfor her. You're probably the best thing she's got going for her ego.

I can see why a guy would go for such a lovely girl like that...

If she wanted you, you'd be together. But she's clearly not feeling it for you. If you think that she's dating this other guy because he's just like you, then I'll hold Mr.Sex's drink for him while he administers that slap.

Shake it off, man, and go and live your life without this user.

Anonymous said...

Soulmate doesn't automatically equal life partner. Get over it!

Anna said...

Found a poem absolutely relevant to this.

It's called "No, thank you, John" and it's by Christina Rossetti.

butterflywings said...

Anna, that poem is SO being printed out and given to every male I know! Love it!
Sense of entitlement: nailed.
Agree with everyone else: essentially, get some distance whether by moving or just not seeing her for a bit, but over it.

Anonymous said...

I can't really say much what hasn't been said before, but one thing is totally certain. You are NOT soulmates, YOU (and only you) are smitten! If you were soulmates then she'd feel the same.

She's probably known how you felt for years, girls have a tendancy to do that, and if she was interested she'd have made her move straight away.

Get some distance, and move on, stop trying to be friends as it will continue to mess your head up. What seems so important now, will soon not feel like that at all.

I was in a similar situation, staying in a dead end job and doing all manner of things (including moving in as flatmates with!) a girl for the same reasons, she was never interested and after feeling like a mug for too long I finally got some perspective, moved onto bigger and better things.

Life is too short, if she isn't interested then move on. If she's not interested stop wasting your time and find someone who is.

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