Reasons I’ve Broken Up with People: No. 3

3. He took me to a really fancy Chinese place for Valentines Day and hadn’t even asked me if I like Chinese food. (I do not.)

To be fair to this guy, who we’ll call Matt just for the sake of it, he met me at a terrible time. I had just been dumped by my first boyfriend and the first guy that I had ever slept with.

One night I was out with some of my mates and I saw Matt and thought he was cute, so I started talking to him. He was probably one of the only guys ever not intimidated by the fact that I was always surrounded by other guys. I was on my college’s men’s rowing team at the time and even brought Matt to a boat club party where I was one of about four girls amongst forty men and he managed to charm everyone on the rowing team.

At the time there weren’t a whole lot of people who knew the full story about my ex, some people didn’t even know that I had an ex, as we’d tried to keep our relationship a secret since he was on said rowing team. And was at said party. I was at the party long enough for my ex to see me holding hands with Matt and to see me leave with Matt, who was a complete gentleman and who I walked to the college gates with to say goodbye. We were standing there and, in contrast to my ex who was about 6’5, he was 5’10 and made me feel like I was the same height, which is what was running through my mind when he leaned forward and kissed me, catching me completely off guard, so it was probably the world’s least passionate kiss. Kind of like this

I went back to the party where a very annoyed and very anxious ex-boyfriend was standing alone in the kitchen.

“Is that your new boyfriend then?” he asked. I shrugged and my ex came closer to start to tell me how much he misses me and in my mind things were like this

When in reality it most definitely looked like this

I blocked a lot of this out of my memory, so I can’t say for certain what happened next, but I think he walked me back to mine, and we made out for a bit, before he was like, “I’m sorry I can’t…” and I was like,

Then kicked him out for essentially rejecting me AGAIN. I know this reason isn’t about my ex, but I could probably write an entire novel, if not a psychological profile of myself, based on this man child. And it’s important to know what else was going on at the time when poor, sweet Matt was trying to woo my crazy ass. This story isn’t going to make me look like a great person, if you hadn’t already noticed, but this list isn’t “Reasons Why I’m Too Good For People” it’s the insane reasons why I’ve hit self-destruct on most of my relationships for better or worse.

BACK TO MATT.

That party was technically our second date. Our first had been some wine tasting thing that wasn’t quite what he expected as it was meant to be a tour and tasting but ended up just being in the basement of a glorified off license that sold expensive wine and spirits. It was kind of awkward, but also kind of funny and while I wasn’t sure if I liked Matt I’d never really been on proper dates before and I was only 18 so I thought that maybe it just took time dating someone before you knew if you liked them. Even though at 18 I already knew damn well that everyone I’d actually liked had been a more immediate attraction, but I ignored that because he was nice and my ex was an arse and I was trying to get back on the proverbial horse as it were.

Matt asked me if I wanted to go out on a Friday and I agreed without looking at a calendar, not realising until the Thursday before that this particular Friday happened to be the 14th of February in the year 2009. Going into this date I was already annoyed that I had been tricked into going out on a Valentine’s Day, as I wasn’t really even sure that I liked this guy all that much. He texted me every single thing that came to his mind and it was then that I realised he was far more invested than I was. When you become the person someone texts you to say, “[banal detail about day]…don’t know why, just thought I’d tell you!” it means that they’re in deep. And if you like that person you’re going to be like, “Aww,” and text back a picture of some random dog you saw on the street or something. If you do not like the person you’re going to roll your eyes and shove your phone back into your pocket. Which is more often than not what I did with Matt’s texts.

I was starting to feel really bad that I was essentially leading this guy on, but I suppose I wasn’t actively encouraging him, only answering about 25% of his texts and agreeing to half of the things he asked me to do. I wanted to like Matt. He was really attractive and nice and I felt like he was the kind of person someone should date. And someone else should, he’s very nice. I think he’s married now, so don’t worry. He recovered from all of this. I know you’re worried, but don’t. He’s fine.

So, it’s Wednesday and I’m slowly walking towards his college, fucking freezing because it’s February and angry that I couldn’t use my bike due to the shortness of my dress, which was covered by a full-length jacket. I really hate being cold, I wasn’t meant for the harsh winters of England. I was meant for the beaches of Greece, which is probably what was going through my mind then.

When I arrived at his college I went into the Porter’s Office, and when I told him who I was seeing his face lit up. Like a Christmas tree. “Oh, he’s such a lovely young man, isn’t he?” I was like, Well why don’t you go out with him then, Geoffrey?   

I get a personal escort to Matt’s hall and when I knock on the door he opens up, holding a huge bouquet of flowers. And I tried to be like

But in my mind I was like

Because all I’m thinking about is the logistics of carrying those flowers around everywhere now. Again, I know this story makes me sound like a total bitch, but guess what I probably am, so just go with it.

We eventually decide to leave the flowers in his room, but that’s another nightmare because now I definitely have to go back to his room after dinner and I’m not sure if that was his plan or not, but either way I was just already dreading everything about the immediate future.

As we were walking he was talking about how his week was and I told him about rowing and such and at one point he said, “The guys on my floor keep making fun of me for having a girlfriend.”

And I turned to him, scandalised, and said, “Who??” Seriously, the idea that he was cheating on someone with me crossed my mind quicker than the possibility that after one and a half dates this guy thought we were boyfriend and girlfriend.

So when he said, “Uhh…you.” I wanted to be like

But instead of throwing myself in front of the nearest oncoming vehicle, I just laughed nervously.

I think this was one of the issues, he just seemed to want a relationship more than he wanted to be with me in particular. A point that was only further proven when we stopped in front of a very nice Chinese restaurant and he held the door open. We were clearly on his idea of a perfect date but had he spent any of our time together previously getting to know me, he would have discovered that I’m not a huge fan of big romantic gestures (read: no flowers) and that the only food that I don’t like is Chinese food. Something he didn’t ask about until the second course when he noticed I wasn’t eating much.

“Don’t you like Chinese food?” he asked.

And because I’m incapable of lying I answered, “Not really actually,” which might be the biggest awkward bomb you could possibly drop in the middle of a meal, but I needed this guy to realise that I really wasn’t fitting into his cookie cutter idea of a girlfriend.

I know I’m making it sound like this was the worst date ever and all because of my petulance, but it wasn’t all bad. We laughed over random stuff, had a genuinely nice conversation and I forced as much as the meal down as I could. I went back to his room with him to collect the flowers, told him what a lovely time I had, kissed him goodbye, and never saw him again.

Two years later I was in a similar situation, on a third date with someone I really liked and who was infatuated with me, and we found ourselves again in that awkward position of Valentines Day falling smack in the beginning of us dating. We both agreed that we didn’t like the holiday but that we loved bowling, so we went to Nandos for dinner and then went bowling and played air hockey and it was genuinely one the best dates I’ve ever been on because I was with someone I was falling in love with and they went through the effort of taking me on the kind of date I wanted to be taken on.

So, sorry Matt. But I hope he married someone who likes Chinese food.

And to the guy on Twitter who said that this is a BS reason to breakup with someone…

What are you thinking?

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