I first met Ed in November. I’d managed to find someone in Newcastle that went to the same university as me. Surprisingly, although we’d graduated the same year, we’d never met before. We went on a couple of dates but it didn’t feel like it would develop into anything further.
Just before Christmas, I bumped into Ed on a night out, we had a great time and ended up going home together. This was where things really started. Ed was funny, had a great job and I genuinely enjoyed his company. It quickly became apparent that Ed only wanted one thing from me… I know this because he told me.
Now, I have limited experience with the regular ‘casual sex’ thing, but I thought I could handle it. For the most part, I did. We’d see each other once or twice a week and I felt comfortable with the arrangement we had. We continued to see each other until about 5 months in.
This is when things started to change. Ed would invite me over and just want to get food and watch a movie. I wasn’t sure how to deal with it, so the first time it happened, I left.
[I realise that I should have just been honest at this point and asked what was going on – hindsight is a wonderful thing.]
I felt kind of confused and guilty. Of course I consulted the font of all knowledge…my best friend.
We came to the conclusion that it was probably just an off day, however a few days later, Ed wanted to come over and hang with me and my housemates. This was strange. Was he changing the goalposts? Was this developing into something further? Had I mistakenly fallen into a relationship type thing? He was the one that had wanted a non-committal set-up. My brain went into overdrive but I played it cool. I decided to just enjoy it for what it was.
A week later, I was away at an event for work. We’d be flirting via text all evening and he’d been genuinely lovely. He asked to come over. When I reminded him I wasn’t around the mood of the conversation changed. Ed became distant. He informed me that he’d been seeing other girls.
How was I supposed to respond to this without seeming too emotionally attached. He’d been acting so differently, it felt more like a relationship but clearly he was still considering it ‘no-strings’. I was surprisingly calm. I explained that at no point had we said we’d be anything more, but if things developed further with someone else, he should probably give me a heads up.
Then it happened.
Not a relationshippy bird? Maybe this was bad phrasing on his part, but come on! That’s a really shitty thing to say to someone. Not only that, but I’m actually a real catch. I felt sick. I was angry. It wasn’t so much that Ed was looking for something serious elsewhere, it was more that I could even been considered as a possibility. What was so wrong with me?!
Ed took my offence as hurt feelings. He couldn’t understand what part of his wording had upset me. I wasn’t in love with the guy. I’d been made to feel like I wasn’t relationship material…for anyone! The argument escalated quickly and it quickly became apparent there was no coming back from it.
My confidence took a real hit after this. I felt inadequate and unwanted. I no longer talk to Ed but he did help me learn a few things about myself and dating:
- You might not be everyone’s idea of relationship material, but that doesn’t make you any less awesome.
- Total honesty is the best policy when it comes to any kind of FWB arrangement.
- 4am is a bad time to have semi-serious conversation. With anyone.