After my amazing, second date with Andrew, the World-weary Police Detective, I sent him frat-boy nonsense messages about masturbation and things, and he sent me messages like this:
He makes me feel like I’m this really amazing woman.
Our third date was arranged for that Wednesday.
He suggested a picnic on Hampstead Heath, which I thought was a lovely idea. I was so looking forward to seeing him again.
Late the night before, a message flashed up from him on my phone.
I just saw the preview of the message: “I’ve been very busy at work, and might struggle to…”
I thought oh no!! He’s cancelling!
My heart absolutely sank. I didn’t want to read the rest straight away, because he was probably still online and then I’d have to reply straight away.
After a few minutes of disappointment and sadness, I opened the message:
“I’ve been very busy at work, and might struggle to meet tomorrow in time for the picnic.
I was going to prepare some recipes tonight and run them past you but I’ve only just got back and I don’t think I’ll have time tomorrow.
Would you so be able to meet a bit later in the evening, say after 7 if I can sort out my work? I really want to see you.
Also, I’m hoping to find out in the morning if I can get Thursday off. If I can, you would be welcome to stay here or I don’t mind coming to you? If that’s too much that’s fine of course”
Then he had sent a follow-up:
“Sorry I’m not trying to muck you around, a picnic would be lovely, it’s just been relentless and I realise I’m going to struggle to finish early tomorrow”.
I was thrilled. I realised how much I’d been scarred by the serial cancelling Whippersnapper.
We agreed to meet for dinner instead.
It was a hot day. After work, I quickly got changed and put more makeup on.
We had this text conversation when I was on the train.
For some reason, many years ago I took an irrational dislike to the word ‘peak’. I don’t know why.
Suddenly, on the train, I started having doubts about how I felt about him. I pushed them to the back of my mind.
When I got off the train, at first I couldn’t see him. I looked around and saw someone hunching over their phone, squinting at it, and realised it must be him – we’d had a few text conversations about the fact he had run out of contact lenses.
I walked up to him and touched his arm, and we kissed on the lips. I think he went only in for a quick peck on the lips but suddenly I felt like I didn’t want to pull away, so I leaned in for longer.
When we finally broke apart, he looked at my blue long dress and expressed approval. He gave me lots of compliments about the way I dress.
We walked out of the station. For dinner, I suggested a French chain I like (Cote) because they are really good for people who can’t eat gluten.
We found a table outside, and sat down. We talked about his work, which I found really interesting. As public sector employees, both working for under-funded departments, we competed to see who had the most out-of-date computers, and the biggest lack of stationery. It felt really fun.
Our food came. I had a roast chicken salad and he ordered a risotto. He’s a vegetarian, and there weren’t many options for him. My ex-boyfriend, Matthew, was a vegetarian, and he always used to moan when the only vegetarian option was risotto, so I appreciated Andrew’s pretend risotto enthusiasm.
“So, do you know, like, every single law?” I asked him.
He laughed, and then said, “Every criminal law?”
“Err, sure!” I had never thought about the different types of law.
Then I tried to get the conversation onto the TV show ‘This Life’, but he wasn’t really having it.
Then, I got onto my work. I went into a lot of detail about EMDR, a new type of therapy I’m learning how to do, which I’m really excited about.
He seemed really interested, but after a while, I apologised for dominating the conversation.
“No, it’s really interesting!” He said, emphatically. “It’s great you’re so passionate about your work.”
“How could I not be!” I said seriously.
Then I gave him an update about one of my friends, who is going through an interesting time, who I’m a bit worried about. Again, I loved how he remembered everything I’d already told him, and seemed interested in people he’d never met.
We decided to share a chocolate mousse for dessert.
We talked about his friends, and I said “I can imagine you being a really good friend to have.”
He looked pleased and held my hand across the table. I was having such a lovely time.
I kept talking about the new sunglasses which I had bought for myself at lunchtime, which I still had on my head. The arms of the glasses were glittery, and I said “I don’t really want to take them off, as it feels a bit like I’m wearing a tiara.”
I like the way that he seems to find it endearing when I say idiosyncratic nonsense.
When the bill came, I said I would pay because he had paid for the Uber to my flat at the weekend, which had been expensive.
He left a tip, which ended being quite a lot because he didn’t have anything smaller than a £10 note.
When we left the restaurant, he kissed me in the street, which was nice. We walked back to the station, holding hands, and talking about History, which he studied at Uni.
We got on the train back to my flat.
When we were sitting on the train, waiting for it to move, we smiled at each other in an awkward but nice, sexual tension kind of way.
Then, he patted his mouth, as he wanted me to kiss him. The way we were sitting meant it was easier for me to kiss him than the other way around.
The way that he patted his mouth reminded me of the logo of ‘Happy Eater’ – a chain of motorway service station restaurants from when I was a kid.
For some reason, the Happy Eater sign always caused my family an unreasonable amount of fascination and mirth. Whenever we drove past a Happy Eater sign on a long, motorway journey, we would talk about it at great length.
Anyway, I tried not to think about the Happy Eater and kissed him, and it was a nice kiss.
He held my hands and looked at my rings in detail. I explained that one was given to me by my late ex-boyfriend, and the other was my grandmother’s wedding ring. It’s a really nice ring – platinum and octagonal, and has a pattern engraved on it.
“Aren’t you worried about losing it?” he asked, examining the ring.
“No, because say if I enjoy wearing it every day for five years, and then lose it, that’s so much more enjoyment than if I had it stuck in a drawer for 25 years, and forgot I even had it.”
“Oh yeah!” He breathed, looking at me like this was the most profound thing he had ever heard.
On the train back to mine, we talked about grandparents. He told me about his grandfather, who really seemed to love his wife, Andrew’s grandmother, but the grandmother kind of seemed to hate him. He thought it was so sad.
I told him both my grandmothers died when I was a baby, but I knew both grandfathers. I said I was really proud of both of them, because one won a medal for flying in the RAF in the Second World War, and the other was a conscientious objector and worked as a nurse.
When we got to my station, and walked back to my flat, we talked about the ‘Spycops’ scandal that was in the news last week.
Andrew’s views were pretty progressive and made me like him more. He told me about having to arrest some protesters during the Olympics and secretly thinking they hadn’t done anything wrong.
We got back to my flat and I made some tea.
We started kissing, and then went through to my bedroom.
The last time we’d seen each other, we’d agonisingly spent about 6-7 hours in the stage immediately before foreplay (threeplay?). This time, as soon as we lay on my bed he put his hand in my underwear, and it felt comparatively too quick.
Also, I had imagined it so many times, after I’d been gagging for him to do it, all of the Sunday. Now he did it in a different way to what I’d imagined, which took me by surprise.
I had imagined his hand slowly going down my stomach and into my underwear from the top, but he went up my thigh and into my underwear from underneath.
It was a bit like when someone comes to visit you, and you discuss what route they took, as you make them a cup of tea. You’re like “so did you come on the M25?” but they’re like “no, I came off a junction earlier and then along the A40,” and it makes you feel weirdly put out and defensive of the route you would have taken.
I tried to put this to one side.
Then he said “oh, babe, you’re so wet.”
Oh god, this is a disaster! I thought, trying not to seem horrified.
Firstly, ‘babe’. Most terms of endearment are OK, nice, even, but for some reason, ‘babe’ is not. And every friend I’ve told since, even people I expect to be less judgemental than me, have reacted with the same horror.
Secondly, a boy commenting on how wet you are is a bit of a minefield. Done right, can be really good and sexy, but done wrong, it can make you think ‘piss off mate’.
Then he started doing stuff to me and things like how hard he did it and which areas he focused on just didn’t fit with my anatomy.
I had been so desperate for this moment to come, and now it was here, it wasn’t working out like I’d imagined at all.
After a while, a combination of me overegging my positive responses when he did it right, and constantly shifting my position to tip him towards the right places, meant I did manage to complete the transaction.
Afterwards, he was incredibly sweet and enthusiastic about my body and how much he liked doing stuff for me.
Then, it was my turn to do something for him.
Only, I couldn’t. He had told me on the Sunday, that sometimes he has really painful testicles and he has even ended up in Accident and Emergency after being in so much pain. The obvious, serious causes, like testicular cancer have been ruled out, but he’s not sure why it’s happening.
That day, his genitals were a bit ‘tender’. I tried to give him some very gentle oral sex but he had to stop me after a few minutes, as everything was too tender.
We chatted for a while, and then eventually, we went to sleep.
It was my late shift the next day, and he had the day off, so we didn’t have to rush to get up.
We woke up early and talked about sex and I said “you know the thing you were doing with your hand? Can you do that a bit more gently? and the thing with your mouth, towards the end, can you do that a bit harder? Then it will be even more perfect!”
Then, before I got up to have a shower, he did more stuff to me, but this time taking into account what I had said, and it was amazing.
Like, really amazing. Whereas last time, I had… not faked anything but maybe slightly overemphasised my vocals as a way of communicating feedback about his progress, this time I had to put my hand in my mouth to keep quiet enough not to disturb the neighbours.
I was impressed at both his skills, and his responsiveness to feedback.
And he was so, so enthusiastic and generous. As soon as I’d regained my power of speech after an orgasm, he wanted to do it again.
His genitals were a bit less tender in the morning, so I tried to get my oral skills going, but shortly we had to stop again.
Then I went for a shower.
When I came back into the bedroom, in a towel, I said “do you know something I love doing, which everybody hates?”
“What!” He replied, curious.
“Getting back in bed, when I’m still soaking wet from the shower!” I said, getting under the covers with him.
He seemed thrilled and we got into a limbs intertwined position.
“Did you arrest anyone yesterday?” I asked, as we hugged.
“No,” he replied.
“When did you last arrest someone?” I asked.
“About a month ago.”
“Can you arrest someone tomorrow, when you’re back at work, for me?”
He laughed and said, “”what shall I arrest them for?”
“Don’t mind!” I said, generously.
Then, we got onto what might happen if he arrested me, and how I might try to convince him to let me off.
He started talking me through the scenario in detail and it was very sexy, and we both got really into it.
Well, 95% of it was incredibly sexy. Occasionally it was unintentionally hilarious.
I think sexy talk is easy to get very, very right, but also, easy to get very wrong.
One of the hottest experiences of my entire life was having a fling with my married boss, which consisted more of text-sex than anything else. Almost all of his sexual messages were absolutely red hot, but he accidentally hit one bum note with a message about his penis, when he described what I might do to ‘the bulbous head’.
Even through my lovestruck, lustful, rose-tinted glasses, I could see this was hilarious. I showed the messages to my friend and for a long time, ‘bulbous head’ was in-joke between us.
Almost everything Andrew said to me about this arrest scenario was sexier than the best porn I’ve ever seen, but occasionally he was unintentionally hilarious and I couldn’t contain my mirth.
At one point, he said “and then I might say ‘well, maybe I can make this evidence disappear if you make my cock disappear, somewhere…” and I felt like ‘making his cock disappear’ had more of a magician vibe than law enforcement.
Despite the unintentional hilarity, talking about the arrest scenario got us both very hot and bothered. However, I was conscious I needed to get dressed, ideally have something to eat and leave for work within the next five minutes.
He sat up so he could get into position to administer more oral.
I said “No, I need to go to work in a minute!”
He said, “shut up” and held me down and continued moving down the bed.
“Tell me you don’t want this,” he said.
This probably sounds like it has a slightly non-consensual vibe, but it was really just that he was still in that corrupt cop character. I know if I’d said anything, he would have said sorry and stopped, but by that time, I thought Fuck it, does it really matter if I’m late?
Then, he gave me more oral and it was absolutely fucking amazing. I think it was one of the most intense orgasms I’ve ever had. I hope everyone else in my building had already gone to work. Fucking hell.
And afterwards, he was as enthusiastic as if he was the one who’d had the orgasm of their life. “Oh my god, that was amazing! I loved doing that!”
Then, I really did get up for work and quickly got dressed.
He sat on the edge of the bed looking pensive as I ran around the flat getting ready and getting cereal for us.
He made the bed and took our cups and bowls into the kitchen, which I thought was sweet.
I asked him if he was OK, as he had gone quiet.
“Yes, just contemplative!” he replied.
Shortly after that, we left and said goodbye to each other on the street outside my front door. We kissed and hugged and I thought how lovely he was.
So, overall, it was a bit of confusing time. It was mainly, really great. We clicked and got on really well, as usual, and really enjoyed each other’s company.
The sex was generally pretty good, apart from his tender genitals and the first time.
However, the way he took on board my feedback was much better than if he just did everything the way I like by chance.
But then, I felt a bit weird and conflicted for the next few days. There were several moments when he did things that put me off a bit, and I just couldn’t make sense of it.
There was my weird reaction to the ‘sneaky peak’ message, the Happy Eater moment, him calling me ‘babe’, and plus some other moments his mannerisms or things he did felt a bit weird.
Why am I being such a bitch? I wondered as I walked to the shop at lunchtime, the next day.
There were a few possibilities:
- after Sunday, nothing could ever live up to those expectations
- similarly, after lots of dating dead ends for the last two years, I’m kind of eager for this to be it, putting too much pressure on everything being perfect
- maybe I’m having a weird reaction to the fact he’s a great guy who just seems to really like me, in a really open, straightforward way. It seems too good to be true, so I’m finding fault with him
- maybe I’m scared of being with someone who actually is emotionally available, so I’m creating barriers because the ones I’m used to, like the guy being fucked up, are not there
- maybe he is a slightly funny little creature, so there is the occasional quirk to pick up on, and things like the sex not going to plan and his ‘tender balls’
When I was using the self-help app Mend, to help me get over the Whippersnapper, there was a section on being drawn to emotionally unavailable guys. I only half-paid attention, as I didn’t think it applied to me.
But maybe it does. If we think we don’t deserve to be loved by someone really good, or we’re afraid of getting close to anyone and getting hurt, we can be drawn to people who will never let us get that close.
I feel like I have good self esteem. I didn’t when I was younger (and re-reading my old diaries recently has reminded me how worthless I felt as a teenager) but I really like the woman I’ve become. It’s very un-British, but I’m proud of what I have to offer, and I think I deserve to be with someone good.
But do those changes, in the way I feel about myself, go right through to my core? Or very deep under the surface, do I still think I’m shit and don’t deserve someone really good like Andrew?
Maybe I’m thinking
- Andrew is really great
- Andrew really likes me
- I don’t deserve someone really great.
All three of those sentences can’t be true, so maybe I’m making sense of it by disproving the ‘Andrew is really great’ one. Maybe I’m nitpicking and finding fault with things like the Happy Eater thing to make it all make sense.
Or maybe, even really deep down, I think I’m still good enough, but I’m scared of getting properly close to someone again.
Last time I loved someone wholeheartedly and we both totally surrendered to it, it was Balthazar and he ended up dying after I hurt him, and I got irreparably broken.
I think I chose Matthew next, because when we first met, I didn’t actually fancy him and had to talk myself into it. Maybe something about that felt a bit safer – like I’d always slightly keep him at arms’ length.
Maybe I then felt able to completely and wholeheartedly love the Whippersnapper, because even from day one, it was obvious he would always keep me at arms’ length.
Maybe no one is keeping each other at arms’ length, with the open and straightforward way that Andrew seems to like me, and that’s a bit scary. What if we fall in love and then he dies? What if he hurts me?
Also, there probably are some tiny quirks to pick up on. He is a bit of a geek, but not in the way that everyone cool ‘is a geek’ these days. Whippersnapper described himself as a geek, but he was basically one of the Stokes, but with glasses. Andrew really is a geek – he doesn’t know any music that came out after the 90s (but is open to being educated, and I’m working on this) and like cricket and listens to Radio 4. A lot.
Maybe he does have some slightly unusual turns of phrase and mannerisms but actually that doesn’t matter or it’s even endearing. Just like he could have thought I was a dick for comparing my sunglasses to a tiara but he didn’t.
After a bit of soul-searching, I came to two conclusions
- I need to chill out and stop overanalysing everything. I don’t need to decide right now if he’s the love of my life or not, based on every tiny word or gesture. Just play it by ear and enjoy getting to know him and see what happens.
- I need to stop finding fault with him and picking holes in things, because it’s massively unfair and is definitely a consequence of something weird under the surface for me.
Now, every time he does something where I think oh, is that a bit naff? Do I actually not fancy him? I’m imagining in my head that the Whippersnapper did it, as I had the opposite bias with him, to see how I’d judge it.
I’m pleased to say that I’ve managed to stop being such a massive dick.
This is kind of a spoiler, but we have already had our 4th date, and it was just 100% great.
More details to follow.