The morning after my 9th date with Whippersnapper, I felt insecure.
I woke up thinking about how I was going to India for two weeks soon; I wanted to see him as much as possible before that, but arranging dates always seemed so fraught with stress.
He seemed a bit offhand when I brought up next potential dates.
Then, I suggested some morning sex. He said he was tired.
I always had the impression WS had a bigger sexual appetite than me. This was based on the facts that
- he’d had so many one night stands
- he told me he masturbates 3-5 times a day. (I got a bit weirdly obsessed with this at the start, and spent a lot of time thinking about how often he must empty his bin, and how he gets anything else done. I said to a friend “it must be because he lives with his parents. Surely if he had dishwashers to empty and recycling to take out, he’d rein it in a bit?”
- an adorable conversation on our 4th date, when we were talking about couples not having sex anymore; he said “that probably doesn’t really happen though, does it? I mean, everyone loves sex.” I thought Wow, if it works out with us, you are in for some serious disappointment in about 18 months.
I had been worried I wouldn’t keep up.
However, the night before, we had sex in the middle of the evening; when we got into bed to sleep, I mooted some additional sex, but he said he was too tired.
Then in the morning, I suggested morning sex. He said “Little [Whippersnapper] is still sleeping.”
I’ve never suggested morning sex to anyone before, as I’m normally too grumpy and eager to grip onto every last possible second of sleep, but I wanted it with him.
The next week or so rumbled on, and pre-India dates didn’t seem forthcoming, despite us messaging all the time.
Suddenly there were only a few days left. We arranged to see each other on the Tuesday because it was the only night I was free. I completely assumed he would stay over, but the day before, he said we could only meet in central London as he had to work early the next day.
He didn’t do anything wrong, because he never promised to stay over. However, I was upset. I didn’t really understand, as I live nearer his work than he does, so he could actually get up later for his early start from mine. He’d also nearly handed his notice in the previous week, as he hated his job, so I was surprised by his sudden dedication. And even though it’s nice going public sometimes, I really wanted the intimacy of hanging out in private, because I was going away.
I did text him saying I didn’t understand. He said “you know it’s not that I don’t want to stay over,” but he stood by it.
If I thought it was because he didn’t like me enough, I would’ve walked away ages ago. I know the signs, and it just didn’t feel like that with him. Everything he said and did, and how much effort he put in every other way, seemed in sharp contrast to guys who haven’t liked me.
I suspected it was to do with his body image. I think there’s something about sex that makes him feel uncomfortable. I think he partly wants to have lots of sex, because he likes it and has a high sex drive, and it makes him feel better when a girl wants to have sex. However, I think once he’s actually naked with a lady, his anxiety about his body is worse than ever. I got the impression when we had sex, that he seemed slightly uncomfortable and distracted, at least at the start.
Most of the time he cancelled, I said it was OK and then quietly seethed for a few days, which is not great.
I needed to talk to him about it. This was our 10th date, and the only ones without any cancelling or messing around were the 2nd and 3rd ones.
I was torn because I liked him so much. He almost made me believe in ‘the One’. I felt like he was a boy version of me. When I was with him, I felt so happy it was better than drugs.
On the other hand, he was so unreliable, the days before each date, I felt sick when I opened a message from him, in case he was cancelling. I hoped that once his STIs cleared up, there would naturally be fewer cancellations, but I wasn’t sure. It if was always going to be like this, I couldn’t handle it.
The night before we met, I was thinking about what I wanted to say, and decided to write it in a Word document on my laptop, just to get the sentences ready in my head.
Once I had finished writing it, I thought I might as well print this out, actually, as it’s exactly what I want to say and I’m never going to be able to remember all this.
I basically had gone with the shit sandwich, but in the middle of the lovely complimentary bread, I’d given him an ultimatum: stop fucking me about or stop dating me.
I had quite a stressful, uncomfortable day at work because I was worried about this conversation, and I also started to worry I might’ve caught genital warts from him (which I’ll say more next post).
By the evening, I’d got myself so annoyed, I was planning just to meet him at the tube, hand over the letter by the barriers and then walk away.
I didn’t want to spend my whole trip in India over-analysing every text, trying to guess his response to the letter. I also thought he might be annoyed initially, but I thought if we weren’t in touch for a couple of weeks, by the time I got back, hopefully he’d no longer be annoyed. So, I decided to say, after giving him the letter, that we shouldn’t be in contact until I got back, so we both had a chance to think.
On the tube to meet him, I was standing in an aisle, re-reading The Letter.
This is definitely a good idea.
The train got to the station and I got off. My heart was thudding as I walked up to the barriers. I’ve never felt so scared and so annoyed at the same time.
I saw him waiting for me. The first barrier I tried to go through wouldn’t work. I rolled my eyes and tutted angrily and walked across to a different barrier.
My plan to hand over The Letter and run had evaporated by the time I reached him and he hugged me. As soon as I saw his smiling face, I just wanted to be around him.
We went to a pub he suggested, but it was too full, so we wandered around aimlessly for a bit. I think I was noticeably pissed off, but defrosting rapidly. It was cold and he was wearing fingerless gloves.
It’s very hard to be annoyed with someone in fingerless gloves. Especially when they hold your hand.
By the time we were settled in a pub, only about 10% of my annoyance was left. I had found a little table for two while he waited at the bar.
He couldn’t find where I had gone for a few minutes, and another 3% of my annoyance disappeared as I saw him looking for me on the other side of the room.
Then he found me, and instead of sitting opposite me, he squeezed in on the bench next to me. I knew he was doing this because of a conversation we’d had ages ago, about how sitting on the same side of a table in a pub meant we could hold hands and kiss more.
I was down to 2% annoyed by now.
We talked about him hating his job, and he told me about a new one he had applied for. It was for a charity instead of a big corporation. “You’re rubbing off on me!” He said, with a big smile.
We had a lovely evening. We talked about health and death; he asked me if I’d prefer to live to 70 and be able to do whatever I want, or to live to 90 but only be able to have one unit of alcohol a week. I said 90, because if I drank that little I’d be even more of a lightweight and really enjoy it.
We talked about whether we want children. We talked about Harry Potter. I talked about being scared of going to India.
It was approaching the time that he needed to go, because of his contentious Early Start. He went out for a cigarette. I texted two of my friends, asking if I should still give him The Letter. Both replied saying YES in capitals.
He came back. “Are you OK? Why’ve you got your head in your hands?”
I took a deep breath. “OK. I haven’t been 100% happy with the whole [Whippersnapper] and [Dater Analysis] experience.”
I started to explain how I felt about the cancellations. Earlier on, he had told me he had eczema on his arm, and suddenly he started rubbing his arm a lot, which I found incredibly cute.
“I’ve written you a letter…” I said, producing it from my handbag.
I told him the gist of the letter.
He said things like
- this has given me a kick up the arse
- I think I’ve been too wrapped up in my own problems.
I said “you might read this and think ‘I don’t want to do this, I’m 25’ or you might read it and think ‘yeah, that’s fine’…”
“It’s much more likely to be the second one!” He interjected.
I was relieved. We kissed a lot and I apologised a lot for being the kind of person who writes a letter.
“I really want this to work.” I said.
We left the pub and walked back to the tube. The entrance we went to was closed. He finished his cigarette and we kissed again.
We walked past the same homeless person twice and I stopped to give him some money, before realising I didn’t have any cash. WS gave him some money.
We found the right way into the station. We kissed again before going to our respective platforms.
It went ok! I thought, as I waited for my train. I liked him so much.
Little did I know, it would be the last time I ever saw him.