If you’re anything like me, dating is no hand-in-hand-cutesy-let’s-feed-the-ducks-oh-lol-you-hit-one-what-are-you-like-walk-in-the-park.
Far from that classic rom-com scene, dating in London usually goes one of two ways:
Intense courtship with proclamations of undying affection and a burning desire to see you at all times right up until the point you decide you like them back. At this point a cooling off to rival the ice age happens and you find yourself sending sad whatsapps saying things like ‘is everything ok with us?’ and getting burn replies like ‘I’m just really busy at work right now’ or ‘at this time in my life…’ or most disappointingly no response at all.
Radio silence for three weeks followed by a text at 11pm with some variation of ‘hey chica – what’s up?’ and then probably a dick pic*
*side note guys when will you realise that receiving a picture of your penis is about as arousing as receiving a picture of a butternut squash?
Whilst different in behaviour, both of these specimens can be placed under the same category and because we’re millennials this category now has a name:
I’d also like to state that this is a feminist blog and therefore I must make it clear that fuck girls (fuck goi’s?) are also very much alive and well. In fact one of my dearest friends, whilst helping me brainstorm this article, went very quiet and then said ‘oh dear, I think I’m a fuck boi’.
So in the interest of equality we will refer to this as a fuckperson or an FP for brevity.
Here’s how to spot an FP so that you too can successfully live a life devoid of dick pics (sorry guys that one is kind of specific to you – just stop pls, the female population begs you)
They invite you to their house before they’ve even met you
An FP can often be weeded out right at the first hurdle.
No matter how low our standards may drop, at least remember this. Tattoo it on yourself if you must.
“Nice, normal people who are interested in getting to know you and not just your nether regions (as my nan and 90’s teen magazine Mizz would call them) do not invite you round to their house for the first date.”
I’d like to stress that there is nothing wrong with casual ‘relationships’ or keeping things chill as the youth would say (would they? not sure – send help) but if you’re looking for more than that be warned. It’s all well and good moaning about how ‘there just aren’t any good people out there any more’ but I must argue that if they’re being this obvious about their intentions you can’t really blame them for following through.
“I fancy something low key – why don’t you come to mine and we can watch a movie”
“How about we just get some snacks and head to mine for Netflix and chill”
Urgh, seriously we all know what that’s code for which is fine if that’s what you’re after but this gives me the right ick.
“Fancy coming to mine for a cuddle?”
Be warned this kind of invite will usually be offered over a certain dating site that rhymes with minder and will often be proffered on a hungover Sunday and dangled in front of your face like a golden ticket when it is in fact an actual shit sandwich.
Whilst you may be promised an afternoon of anxiety-abating intimacy, cosy films and respectful sex this will most likely turn out to be an awkward afternoon with a stranger who jabs at you like you’re a faulty vending machine and smells of stale ashtray and old red stripe.
And then never calls you again.
Do not accept, do not pass go, block, unmatch, delete, the end.
They throw out red flags pretty early on
Ah the red flag. Harbinger of doom and so completely easy to ignore when you’re first dating someone and you think they’re pretty much perfect.
Whilst it’s all well and good getting swept up in love and stuff, if you ignore what is being blatantly waved in front of you face you really only have yourself to blame (sorry tough love guys).
Per example: a guy I was dating a while back cheerfully announced that he had cheated on every single one of his girlfriends without a shred of remorse and then I had the temerity to be so shocked that I threw up in an ice bucket when my friend told me that she had spotted him snogging some girl in Holborn whilst he was supposed to be dating me exclusively.
They practically have an epileptic fit if any suggestion of a relationship is made
Picture the scene. I’m on the way to brunch in an uber with a guy i’ve been seeing for circa three months.
Him: “I used to go to this place a lot with my last girlfriend”
Me: “oh cool, what are the eggs like?”
Him: “not that I’m saying you are…you’re not…I didn’t mean to compare you to my GIRLFRIEND…because you’re not…YOURE NOT OK…I didn’t mean to….YOURE NOT MY GIRLFRIEND GOD”
He then spent the rest of the journey furiously texting and ignoring me whilst I tried to avoid the pitying stare of the uber driver in the rear view mirror.
Ps: same guy as above everyone. What a PRIZE
yet this circles back again to my above point.
Did I say – “buddy, it’s been three months – i’m pretty sure i want to go live abroad before the year is out, dear god calm your farm?”
Did I say – “do you mind not sounding totally offended you rude arse?! Since when did becoming your girlfriend become the peak prize of life? You might think your dick is a gift, I can promise you its not.”
Did I get out of the uber, slam the door in his face and go home to have a much more satisfactory time on my own?
No, I pretended to be interested in watching him read the newspaper and paid for his brunch instead.
Why am I like this?
They say extremely douchey things…
“Send me a pic of you”
Oh what an original response to “I just got out the shower, shall we meet at 2?” I’m frankly FLOORED. I will not respond to your constant demands for photos in case i suddenly forget i have no clothes on and accidentally send you a nude, I shan’t send you a…hang on…
“I don’t like labels”
I bet you don’t dude
This one comes courtesy of my pal G:
“I don’t do relationships but if anyone could convince me it would be you”
Well blow me down and ring the winners bell! Never in my life has there ever been such a golden opportunity laid before me. I feel so honoured and so ready to take on this opportunity I… oh god sorry I forgot what I was saying because I was too busy putting my head directly into the oven.
They have no sheets on their bed
Buddy even I have sheets on my bed and I once got so drunk that I did a striptease and sang my own theme music.
They’re weirdly protective of their phone
First things first, everyone is entitled to privacy and this is not an ‘ok’ to go through your suspected FP’s phone by any means. I’m not talking normal low level protective i’m talking takes it to the loo with them, sleeps with it under the pillow, snatches it out your hand at the speed of light if you so much as go to change the music or google something.
Also watch out for the ones that won’t flip through their camera roll infront of you and opts to find the photo first whilst keeping the phone so close to their chest their breath fogs up the screen.
You know that’s not so you don’t see screenshots of the bag he’s planning to buy you for your birthday and if you truly don’t know that you are an idiot. the end.
“We should hang sometime”
If they suggest that you hang out and then never follow up and then text you on the evening in question at 10pm asking ‘what’s up’, you’ve got yourself an FP.
Plain and Simple.
For everyone’s sake don’t reply and definitely don’t go and grab a ‘quick drink’ with them. We all know where this ends and it’s not in a marquee in your parents garden whilst said FP stands infront of your family and friends announcing “I knew from the minute she ubered across London at 11.30pm to have one drink in a dodgy pub and then come back to mine that she was my future wife”.
They blow hot and cold
Contrary to popular belief the FP doesn’t lure you in by acting all aloof from the word go. oh no no no. The FP is a smarter animal than this.
As my friend N, and self confessed part-time FP, eloquently put it
“three dates and four fucks later and all of a sudden he’s not the decent man who made all the arrangements and looked interested in meeting your mum and dad for a Sunday roast. In fact the only thing you’ve heard from him in a month was when he was clearly drunk and snapped you a topless pic of him with the words “you up?”. You thought he was busy with work or playing hard to get but no. He’s just avoiding you catching on that he belongs in the bin with the rest of them”
He’s not wrong. Rather than being aloof or…you know…just telling you straight that they’re not up for a relationship the FP will lay it on so thick that you can barely breathe through all the ‘i really like you”s and the ‘lets go on a mini break’s’.
It almost turns you off entirely, so full on is the approach, but you tell yourself to stop being so cynical and give the nice guy a chance for once.
Except guess what SURPRISE he’s not nice and as soon as you even so much as utter an ‘i like you too’ he’ll be backing off like you turned up at his flat wearing a wedding dress and brandishing an ovulation kit.
They make you feel crap about yourself
All jokes aside, no one FP is ever the same. They might display pretty common characteristics a la above but the only true way to know if someone is bad for you is if they make you feel bad about yourself.
If keeping things casual makes you happy then great, go for it! If it makes you cry at your desk like a mentally unstable waterfall then you’ve got yourself a problem. Millenial terminology aside, there actually is no such thing as an ‘FP’ – people aren’t born to fuck over every person they date. FP’s are born when you allow someone to treat you with less respect than you deserve.
There’s a reason why you suddenly see that guy or girl who messed you around for months on end taking smug selfies at Winter Wonderland despite the fact that they once branded you a psychopath for tagging them in a Facebook post about plants (true story). The reason is, they didn’t like you enough to treat you nicely and you allowed them to do it. Sorry not sorry for the brutal honesty.
When you truly and honestly think about the kind of person you want to spend your time with, regardless of whether that’s for the next few weeks, months or years, do you really want to spend that time with someone who only thinks about you after 5 pints? Or someone who only offers to see you after you get in touch? Or someone who makes you feel so inherently bad about yourself that you actually start believing that perhaps all you’re worth is this low level affection and to be picked up and dropped whenever it’s convenient.
I think that’ll be a big fat no.
No matter what level of commitment you’re looking for the very least we could ask of people that we choose to spend our time with (time that, without being morbid, we don’t have much of or control of when it ends – so in essence our most precious commodity) is that they care about your feelings and that you care about theirs.
Is that too Disney for 2018? All I know is that probably one of the lowest moments of my dating life (and remember someone pinched my nipple and shoved me into a bush on a date) is when, having been sick in said ice bucket (see above), I wailed to my friend ‘I would never have done that to him because the thought of hurting him, hurts me too.’ If that extremely basic instinct is not reciprocated, get.the.hell.out.
Just take it from me and walk away. Do not respond, do not meet up one last time, do not post a haughty social media message. As my younger sister who is so much wiser than I will ever be said to me about the FP above: “He does not deserve to learn how to be a better person from you”.
We can’t always pick the right people for us, but we can walk away at the first sniff of fuckwittery and save a lot of heartache and boring our mates with our misery (shout out to G for drinking so much rose at lunch with me over that period of time that we put on a collective ten pounds). Delete that unread message, ignore that 11pm booty call and go and have a bev with your mates who love you, just as you are. And then go burn his house down.