Friday, 16 January 2009

Lee: Is it wrong if it's dead?

Many years ago, me and another comedian were both bemoaning the fact that we had both been having a lean spell. He had been having a particularly lean spell – he had three women who had knocked him back in three days, all using the B word. We were doing a gig in Leister Square and crying on each others shoulders. One of our rules was that we would never go out with someone that is in a relationship. That is just not happening.

A couple of weeks later that went out the window. For a single guy, that was an entirely new seam that you didn’t realise was out there. There were loads of women in relationships that are dead, and they are just looking for something else, more so with women. I feel that when women are in relationships, they are looking for something to jump ship to. They need a confidence boost to move on. This happened to me a lot of times, and you think, well this is the role I’m playing, I’m having fun anyway. Occasionally you would find they were looking to jump ship to another relationship, or they just use you as a bridge to jump to another relationship. There was one girl, who was in a really bad long term relationship, it was dead. Rock hard dead. We were having some fun, and then she met another guy and I started to keep my distance, I knew she was looking for a lot more than I was prepared to give. I held her at arms length eventually we drifted apart, she met a guy, she had a child and they are all happy happy. I’m not saying I was responsible for that, but I was involved. Because otherwise she would have been stuck in this other dead, abusive relationship for god knows how long. Because people do that, because people are frightened of being alone. So they won’t leave that relationship until something else is on the table. It gives them the confidence to believe that there is someone else out there.

Is it right or wrong? Well I remember when I was having conversation in a pub when and we were talking about what you would do if you came home and your bird was shagging some other bloke. My mates were saying they would beat him up, do this, do that and it got around to me and I just said ‘I’d just walk away’. All my mates piped up saying ‘but there’s some bloke shagging your girl’. I just said, well it’s over. What’s it going to do? And for him, he didn’t wake up some day and think, ‘I’m going to shag Lee’s Girlfriend’. He’s just met her. Chatted her up, she’s responded. It’s nothing to do with him. It’s all to do with her. What I am going to gain from picking a fight? I should just walk away. I’ve stayed the same since that. When I’ve been the outsider, I haven’t set out to ruin a guys life, it’s already over. If anything its ended it quicker for him than he would have ended it himself. The quicker it’s over, the quicker you move on and maybe find something better.

I don’t feel bad about any of that, because I’ve never set out to hurt anybody. And if someone has shown attraction to me, whether they are in a relationship or not, is irrelevant. We are now attracted to each other and that’s it. Likewise, I wouldn’t cry if it happened to me. If they stray, then the relationship is dead.

You can see Lee Saturday night at the Fym Fyg Bar.


Mab said...

You're right (about the walking away) - I think though that a lot of men would do that in reality, but probably not be prepared to say that they would to other people; they feel like they don't want to lose face when discussing a hypothetical situation. Men I have been in the unfortunate position of hurting in various different ways (break-ups included) have generally jut walked away, largely to preserve dignity by not being seen to be upset.

You see this behaviour with women too, though. Women won't get angry with their boyfriend for cheating as much as they get angry at the woman he cheated on her with which I tend to feel shows a basic lack of self-respect and desperation to stay in the relationhip as you described.

Anna said...

My initial response was 'No, that's Not On,' but I see your point about encouraging people to move on from a bad thing. I don't know. I need to think about this one.

Anonymous said...

Sheer coincidence, but I was talking about this with someone just the other day.

When I was about 12 I was watching a movie on TV with my mother. In one scene a woman arrived home to find her partner in bed with another woman. She shrieks and attacks the other woman first. I turned to my mother and said, "I don't understand. Shouldn't she be either angry with her boyfriend and attacking him, or perhaps just walk back out of the room with some dignity?" My mother said she agreed with me... it was a knee-jerk rage response couple with fear of losing the guy. The silly woman hadn't realized that she'd probably already lost him, hence what was happening.

That's a clear over-simplification, I know. Still, it leans in the right direction. If your S.O. strays there's a good chance you've lost them already.

TheRose said...

It's a judgement call.

If your attitude is "well, any time a girl fancies me and she's in a relationship, the relationship's obviously dead", that's just a cop-out.

But if you've actually thought about it, listened, and decided that you'd be improving the girl in question's life by making a move (or accepting a move being made), fair enough.

People don't stray purely because the relationship's died. Sometimes they stray because they're having second thoughts about something that's good for them. Sometimes they're drunk and their partner's been working 24/7 for the past six months. Sometimes they're manipulated. Sometimes they're very happy, but just run across someone they find irresistable.

I'd be more impressed with your reasoning if I didn't get the strong impression you were using it as justification - "oh, well, if she's wanting to sleep with me then it must mean that it's the best option for her." You don't raise the option anywhere that maybe she's making a horrible mistake and you should consider that.

But you do have a point, I'd say. Flat-out saying "you should never ever make a move on a woman in a relationship" ain't always right either.

Ys said...

I'm so glad to hear someone else finally say this! I've always said if I caught my boyfriend cheating then I'd be mad at him not the person he was with (unless that person happened to be a friend but that's a whole different issue...).

I have a friend who's going through something similar to the situation you described in your post: she's in an abusive relationship but hasn't got the courage to leave and I've seen her stray to other guys. A year ago I'd have been shocked but having seen her go through it I can totally understand why she's doing it. Can't say it'd be my way of ending my relationship but I can see how it can happen.

Anonymous said...

You may have a point, BUT only if it really is the confidence boost to get them out of a bad situation and how are you going to know that if you've only just met them?

There are quite a few people out there who will go around using the 'my girlfriend doesn't understand me/my boyfriend is mean to me' excuse for a quick shag wherever they can get it, while their partner is blissfully unaware of any of this and not guilty of whatever they are being accused of.

searchingwithin said...

I agree with walking away without a word, and actually did just that when it happened to me. What is there to say, and do? Make an ass out of yourself? However, the story they told everyone, was completely different. I hurt them both far more by not responding. It completely and totally zapped their power away in an instant. But this is the only part of your article that I agree with, other than, so many people do feel they need another relationship, in order to find the courage to leave the one they are in. But it is called rebound, and both the rebounder and the one they bounced to (Plan B), both have major baggage standing between them, to be either party. But then, if you are looking for a one night stand, I guess this would be the way to go.

I just don't think anyone has the right to come between a relationship in any way. Let it play its course to the end. Justifying yourself, by claiming that you are doing the partner a favor by ending what is already dead sooner, so they can find something better, is just that, justification.

The woman attachs the other woman, for a couple of reasons. (1) because it is easier for us to be angry with someone we don't know. Unless of course you do know her, and then well, there you go. and (2) she feels the woman has gone against her own gender, and broke the silent "women code", which makes her a bigger piece of shit, than the SO/husband.

Very interesting article.
~Best Wishes~