I will be mentioning this guy in another post. About two months ago I started dating an American from the deep south. But because he seemed to have liberal views and didn’t quite fit the mould of someone that supports any sort of nationalist movement, I decided he was safe. How wrong was I?
I was really lonely a few months ago on a Friday night. I was between jobs. Working on freelance projects from home. It’s possible I hadn’t had any human interaction in that time and by Friday I was losing it. I logged into Bumble and matched with a guy I’d seen before on one of the apps (probably Happn, as it would turn out we worked in the same building).
Let’s call this guy Texas*. Although we worked in the same business park for the better part of a year, I’d never run into him at any of our favourite coffee shops, pubs or food halls. I probably wasn’t looking to be honest. When we started chatting he was in Germany on business but it was clear there could be something there.
A few days later he was back in town and we went on our first date. It was fine. We had bubbles and small talk at a cute lounge I liked to frequent with the girls. I was indifferent for the most part about it but what was notable was how the date ended. Because he and I lived in the same neighbourhood I told him which building I lived in. It’s a new-build that most people familiar with the area know about. He said he’d always wanted to see inside and I said he could take a look as it was on his way home. No, nothing was going to happen.
When we got to my building he looked around and then asked if I wanted to watch Netflix. Well, no. I didn’t. But because I’m incapable of saying no, I agreed to watch a few episodes of Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. A show I didn’t even like in 1995. Note to self: work on saying no more often.
After making fries and watching three painful episodes, he left and respectfully didn’t even try to kiss me. That was good I thought, so I’ll see him again if he wants.
As it would turn out, again would be the next day and we did so at a gym date. He was a member of a gym I wanted to check out. That was a good plan, but he wanted us to go back to his and order pizza afterward. I wasn’t into that at all. Why would some guy I’d just met be so okay with spending time at home? As is, I was uncomfortable with having allowed him in my home so soon. So I dodged that suggestion which I think he picked up on and decided we’d go to a local Italian restaurant instead. Which was great to be honest. We even kissed at the end of the night and it was a good one.
The next day I was out of excuses. He was packing for a trip back to the States so he invited me over while he did that. I went but when I arrived, no packing was being done. Instead there was a big bowl of popcorn on the table in the living room so I guess that meant it was a Netflix and Chill kinda night [insert eye roll emoji].
We rented some awful Jonah Hill movie from the Apple Store and were barely 30 minutes through before he moved in. And although I just wanted to watch the movie, I let him. (Stop judging me. I’m already judging myself as I write this). But here’s the thing: my body didn’t. It was aggressive and felt kind of desperate. As he got on top of me – NB: we were fully clothed – I started to feel really ill. Not ill in a disgusted kind of way, rather a “get the fuck out of this place immediately” way. He wanted to move to his bed. I agreed thinking I would feel better than I was on the couch. As we got to his bed I noticed it was unmade. I noted that to him and then refused to do anything further. This is a good time to mention this guy lived in filthy conditions. Think that episode of FRIENDS when Ross dated the messy girl. Although his rent was astronomical, he never cleaned anything. The toilets were an abomination, dishes were always piled high and he was a bit of a hoarder. Old receipts, half-empty bottles of product and coins covered every surface. We went back to watching the movie but I was still feeling really ill. After the movie ended, I bolted.
He was away for the next week and a bit. We stayed in touch casually, but I don’t remember much of what was said. When he got back we resumed seeing each other but, again, nothing notable happened. Something I will say is that he had very strong views about certain topics. These topics included his ex-girlfriend, his sister and identity politics. I’ll go through each of these hangups individually and why they irked me:
I added the s because he loved to talk about all his exes. I will note that we rarely if ever talked about my past relationships, but his seemed to constantly be at the forefront of his mind. He got out of a year-long relationship a few months earlier and was clearly still licking his wounds. He ended it, but she certainly wore the pants. Apparently she often threw tantrums that involved screaming, crying and telling him he was an awful person. He broke up with her a few days after taking her back to the States to meet his family. I couldn’t understand why anyone who was that unsure about their partner would do something like that. I should also note he took her virginity.
Another ex (one night stand is probably more apt) was a “9” he met on Tinder. She was 24 years old and on their first date asked to just go back to his place. When they were there she said she wouldn’t be sleeping with him. He said he would never want to do that anyway. She proceeded to take off her jeans and said, “How about now?” So they slept together. He then ended things with her via text the next day and proceeded to slut shame her to me all these years later. I asked him what about his own behaviour and he said he was exempt because he was a guy. And guys cannot be expected to control themselves in situations like that. I was thoroughly appalled but too fascinated by his absurd prerogative on that particular double standard to berate him for it vocally. But make no mistake. It was noted and filed away.
This is something I didn’t completely understand. He seemed to have some complex about his sister. A few years older than him and a full-time mom, he just seemed perturbed about her on so many levels. To begin with, he loved to call her cheap. He complained that at the birthday party she threw for his three year old nephew all that was there to snack before the pizza came was Chexmix. Alright that’s a bit weird, but where I took issue was when he complained about a Christmas gift she gave him a few months earlier. She mounted a painting her son did on canvas for him to hang up. As a woman, I found this gesture super sweet and quite priceless but he was offended by it because it didn’t involve spending anything. To be honest I found that rich as he was quite tightfisted himself. When he went on a trip to Morocco, he brought back a bar of hotel soap to gift to me. I would have actually preferred nothing.
I’m a political junkie through and through but I’d never heard of identity politics before meeting this guy. According to Google (no, I couldn’t be bothered to check their source on this), identity politics is “a tendency for people of a particular religion, race, social background, etc., to form exclusive political alliances, moving away from traditional broad-based party politics.” He claimed the reason Trump won the election back in November was due to liberals and their identity politics and cited the gender wage gap, an issue I as a woman hold dear, and trans rights as being less important than climate change. It was because we were fighting for these issues that the greater issues that he felt were more important were being cast aside. Did I mention his industry was oil and gas? He also didn’t like Hillary Clinton because he didn’t “trust” her. Tell my why the Dems lost the election again?
We dated a while longer. The sex was aggressive and on several occasions I had to tell him to outright stop and not do certain things. I’m not writing about said things here because I just don’t like to write about the sex I have. But he crossed several lines. I came to know he didn’t even value the existence of these lines while on our way to brunch one morning. He made some statement (unpromted might I add) about how he didn’t believe date rape was “a thing”. I didn’t want to hear about why or I’d probably have ripped his head off right there and then, so I forced him to change the subject. [RED FLAG EMOJI]
I’m going to spare the rest you the rest of our relationship and just get to the end. Part of me knew this was never going to work, but being in my early thirties, the last thing I ever want to be considered is too picky. I’ve come to a point where I’m going to give every guy I date a fair chance and not write them off without confirmation of my worst fears about them. And I will say this: I gave this guy the benefit of the doubt and now that it’s over I wished I just went with my gut (like it was trying to get me to all the way back at the beginning).
I’ll set the scene. It was my night to plan the date. We went to a sushi restaurant I picked, which was frankly way out of his league of restaurant choices (dives tbh). We ordered and the food was pretty good for the most part. As we were finishing off our drinks he changed the topic to the Manchester terrorist attack that took place the day earlier. It was so awful I didn’t want to turn it into light dinner conversation. I made a statement – and this is important for the context of our conversation – that went something like, “I know not all Muslims are like this” to which he responded “yes, they are”. And I was like “I’m sorry, what?” And he went on a long and hard to listen to diatribe about how Muslims are inherently evil, that the Middle East is an oppressive state and judged the ONE Muslim guy he knows for not eating pork, observing Ramadan and praying multiple times a day. In that moment I knew I must have given off the most visceral reaction to his downright insane logic. I could physically feel the affection and attraction I felt for him drain out of me at that second and every passing minute I had to spend with him at the table was more painful than last.
He immediately blamed identity politics for our disagreement, then shifted the blame to liberals for not agreeing on anything. Then he started to blame me for “shutting down” the way I had but as far as I was concerned that type of intolerant talk was not up for discussion. There would be no compromise on it. Our date was not a televised debate on policy. I’m not looking for voters to agree with my standpoint. I was the only voter that mattered in this situation and let me tell you. This guy was out.
I picked up the check (this is relevant for later) and we walked home in almost complete silence. I was fuming. The next day was a really important one for me at work and I needed to be in top form for it. I couldn’t sleep that night so I popped a sleeping pill at 2am and was super groggy the next morning.
At 1:26pm he messaged something to me but I refused to look at it as I had a one-on-one with my CEO at 2pm. I ignored it the whole day actually and didn’t open my messages until 7 when I got home. Here’s what it said:
Hey Coco – hope your day of meetings is going well! Based on our date last night, I would guess that we may decide not to see each other anymore. I wish you luck with your new career and in London.
I was not impressed having received this especially after footing the bill for that elaborate meal. By ending it with me over text barely 24 hours later he made me feel like he wanted me to know it was his decision it was over and had nothing to do with the fact that he was an intolerant bigot I refused to be around any longer. I would not give his text anymore credence than it deserved. I promptly deleted our whole chat conversation and got on with life.
Boyfriend number 2 gets back from New York City tomorrow and looks forward to catching up.
*Name has been changed for anonymity.