Do you have a ‘Thing’…?

My mailbox fills up every other day with messages from men who want to date me, or fuck me, or have me mother their children. In real life, I go months without getting laid. Right now, I’m over a month deep into the misery that is involuntary celibacy.

It’s not because I don’t have options, I do. I collect numbers from men at bars and even men at grocery stores. And there are always guys who I used to get naked with who periodically text me at 3am. But at this point the sex I could have with men who aren’t that into me is almost as undesirable to me as sex I could have with men I meet at bars.

For lack of other options, I’ve spent the last 2 years having “things” with dudes. Mind you, these are “things” and not “relationships.” Relationships are what happens when two people like each other and don’t mind if other people know about it. They involve declaring your status on Facebook, hanging out sober, and becoming socially irrelevant. I’m really just guessing at this because I haven’t been in a real relationship for 4 years. Maybe 5. And maybe the one real “relationship” I was in was kind of a disaster. Regardless, I have had lots of “things” in my lifetime. “Things” involve intentionally accidentally running into each other at bars, leaving separately (or secretly) to go hook up, hurt feelings, lots of drunk fucking, inappropriate texting, miscommunication, booty calls, etc. Some “things” I’ve had look and feel like “relationships” only without the ever elusive “boyfriend/girlfriend” titles.

Some of mine have involved men actually giving a damn about my feelings but usually they involve me really liking dudes who just don’t really like me, at least not enough to let a “thing” become a “relationship.”

I know better than to blame my persistent singledom on the guys I’ve tried to date. I do have a thing for emotionally unavailable dickheads, but I’ve dated some nice guys to whom I was the emotionally unavailable dickhead. Sometimes I let the walls of cynicism down just enough to let a guy know that I have a heart, but usually that involves him taking my heart, fucking it in the ass, and then not returning its texts.

That aside, most recently I had a “thing” with a guy for about 8 months. We met because we had a “missed connection” on the bus one day. We eye-fucked each other on pretty hard. Thankfully, fate and alcohol brought us together at a dive bar a couple weeks later. I developed the superhuman ability to drink a thousand stubbies and then not give a damn about approaching a cute guy at a bar (I punched him in the back) to tell him that I know him, because I like, “saw him on the bus one time”. I don’t exactly remember what happened after that. Somehow my missed connection was not completely freaked out by the whole situation and we exchanged phone numbers. I also vaguely remember making out around the corner from the bar, but up until recently I wasn’t sure this had actually happened.

After leaving the bar, I proceeded to accidentally send him some texts intended for another person (mind you, NOT accidentally intentionally). I then threw up in my bathtub for a couple of hours and passed out with my shoes on. A1000 stubbies and I don’t have a very healthy relationship.

I have no idea how or why he didn’t write me off as another insane ‘bird in a bar’, but he didn’t. And we hung out a couple of days later. We hooked up awhile after that. After hanging out a few more times he told me that that he needed to talk to me about something. I was prepared for “I have a girlfriend” or “I have herpes” or “I have a kid,” so the “I just got out of a relationship and I’m not looking for something really serious” wasn’t actually that bad.

He made the hard cold lump of stainless steel that is my heart throb a little bit. We had infrequent, but very intense sex. He would sometimes hold my hand in public.

He was also terrible at texting, which drove me nearly insane. I realize that the expectation that someone have their phone on them at all times and respond to texts in a timely fashion is kind of absurd. But it’s 2000 and fucking11. The average person DOES have their phone on them pretty much always and DOES respond to texts within an hour or so. An unanswered text is a subtle, “fuck you.” An unanswered text from a dude who has gotten you naked is a definitive, “I’m not that interested in you.”

Yeah…he was a bad texter. Which meant he wasn’t that into me. But when we did hang out, he was funny, and kind, and looked kind of like Liam Neeson. It helped that he was prone to asking me to meet him in the bathroom or outside the bar, pinning me against the wall, and making out with me in a way that left me with ripped tights and weak knees. We hung out maybe once a week, sometimes less, for months. Our “thing” never became a “relationship” but ‘Liam’ never lied to me, or treated me like shit, or was disrespectful to me in any direct way. In a lot of ways he made me realize that I’m pretty alright, and date-able, and maybe even lovable.

A couple of months ago I had the revelation that I’M A GROWN WOMAN and I did something I have never done before. I ended things with my Liam. Well, I didn’t actually end them. BUT I did tell him that I wanted more of a relationship than he was able to give me and I wasn’t going to continue doing what we had been doing. This was HUGE for me. I have never had the kind of self-respect to think that I deserved more than what a guy I was into was giving me, however little. He was really nice about it, he told me he knew I deserved better and hoped we could remain friends. He told me what is in my book one of the sweetest things a guy has ever told me: “I wish I had had time to get sick of you.” I cried a little bit while walking home, and I never cry.

There’s nothing to make you feel fucking worth it like 100 creeps hitting you up on the internet. No, seriously. For the first time in my life I had guys asking me to dinner instead of asking me if I was going to so and so’s party later or knew where to find some weed. I got messages from doctors and lawyer, bros and creeps and weirdoes. I got messages from men who looked like David Beckham and men who looked like Larry David. What I realized is that there are, in fact, a lot of fucking fish in the sea, and a lot of those fish are down to date me.

I’ve since learned (the hard way) that you don’t know rejection until you’ve been rejected by someone you met on the internet. And I’ve since aggressively made out with my Liam in a photo booth in a shopping centre and been spotted leaving his apartment in last night’s outfit.

But I walk that walk of shame with my head held high. Because I’m a grown woman. And there are plenty of fucking fish in the sea.

by Debbie Dot


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