I have always been the designated single friend. People never bothered to ask if I wanted a plus one to an event because they already knew what the answer would be. Maybe they were saving me the shame of trying to rush around and find a date, only to end up coming alone anyway. Although I may be over thinking that.
No one ever had a crush on me in primary school or high school. I don’t say that for pity, it’s the truth. The only time that boys had crushes on me is when they would tell me, while barely containing their giggles, how their friend thought I was so hot.
I don’t think it would surprise anyone to hear that I left high school a delicate virgin flower. I’ve made no secret of that. I never wanted to have sex with any of the guys that I went to school with and the feeling was mutual.
Although I would look at my friends settling down with their significant others and often wish for that kind of connection, it wasn’t something that I always worried about. We all know someone who can never stay single. The kind of person who has a back up boyfriend so their relationship status never has to tragically change to single. I wanted the social interactions and company but it wasn’t like I NEEDED to be in a relationship. I was perfectly happy being by myself.
I knew what it was like to be by myself. I knew what to expect when dating fuck boys and boys who don’t want to fuck you and boys who are embarrassed to introduce you to their family. I didn’t know what to expect from a serious, loving relationship. I didn’t think a serious, loving relationship was a possibility for me. I knew that I had two options-
- To continue doing my own thang.
- To keep dating fuck boys and hope that they eventually sort their shit out, somehow fall madly in love with me, get a decent job, get a car and clear their debts.
Clearly, option 1 was the better choice.
Last year, all of my Facebook advertisements were about IVF and adoption. You can work out what I was Googling based on that. I would keep doing my own thang and if I decided that I desperately wanted a baby by 27, then I would set the wheels into motion. I had it all planned. I would do it all by myself. As the Pussycat Dolls once said, “I don’t need a man to make it happen, I get off being free. I don’t need a man to make me feel good, I get off doing my thing”.
If I didn’t desperately want a baby by 27, if I were in a “yeah, I could go for a baby but I could also go for a puppy” kind of indecisiveness that I feel when I’m perusing a menu, then that was it. I would do my own thang, even more by myself. I knew that there wasn’t someone out there for me. I was committed to being all by myself.
And then I went on a tinder date with Stephen. Very modern, I know. Quite frankly, I’m pissed off that I met my boyfriend* on a hook up app. Dammit, Chantelle, whatever happened to your grand Year of the Slut plans?
We originally matched on 15th of December 2015. Coincidentally, that was the same day that I was having major surgery. Stephen quickly sent me a message to say hello. I didn’t reply as I was unconscious at the time.
When I groggily awoke from the operation, I decided that I wasn’t going to waste time on tinder. I wasn’t going to meet anyone worthwhile off there. I wasn’t worthwhile which is why I was on tinder in the first place.
Stephen’s message sat unread in my inbox, gathering dust and hurting his poor feelings. I can only assume he was pining for this wonderful girl he had never met and was wishing upon a star every night until we met. I feel like this is correct. And no one can tell me otherwise.
It was only when I was sleeping off a hangover and heart ache from my ex on the 16th of January 2016 that I responded to his message. In my mind, I was replying a day later. After all, he had messaged on the 15th. I didn’t realise that I had left him hanging for a month. It was odd that I hadn’t messaged him first like I always did with my matches.
We sent flurries of messages and I began to look forward to hearing from. We began to eagerly organise a date to meet.
Now, I didn’t stand him up (I have never done that, I have nearly abandoned a date which is a story for another time) but I did stop replying to his messages for a week and again, left him hanging. I was still recovering from that major surgery. I had spent nearly a month inside the house, recovering. I was having major insecurities about my body. My mum and friends were concerned when I called them crying about how I repulsed men.
I had a guy wanting to meet up with me (either for sleazy tinder sex or an actual date) and I thought that I repulsed men.
I just didn’t want to go on a date.
After all- I was doing my own thang and there’s no one worthwhile on tinder, right?
I don’t know what made me change my mind. But I began to message Stephen again and apologised for my absence. I didn’t explain what had happened but he was happy to hear from me. He suggested a bowling date. After my disastrous tinder bowling date that I nearly abandoned last year (story for another time), I wasn’t too keen on it. I suggested seeing a show at the Perth Fringe Festival. We both had never been to the Fringe Festival. It was something new for the new year. It was an unusual first date- something I always aimed for.
I didn’t get my eyebrows done as I always would for a first date. I had wild, untamed pubes poking out of the sides of my granny panties. I slapped a bit of make up on.
“I don’t care if you like me, I like me. I’m not going to get a wax because I’m not going to fuck you anyway” was my fierce mantra for the whole evening.
At some point of the evening where he held his hand out to help me walk down the stairs or when he nervously fiddled with a napkin as we sipped drinks- I melted. I still wasn’t going to have sex with him that night but maybe I did care if he liked me.
The dates continued. On Valentine’s Day, he asked if he could officially introduce me as his girlfriend. I was touched. Shocked. No one had ever asked me that. No one had ever said “of course I want you to be my girlfriend, I don’t want to let someone like you get away”. No one had ever wanted to change their Facebook relationship status for me. No one had ever wanted to hold my hand in public.
For the first time in my life, people started asking me if I wanted a plus one to events.
This is not something that I ever expected to happen. This just wasn’t in the cards for me. Oh, there’s someone out there for everyone but there’s always some ugly bastard out there that no one wants to fuck. And there are perfectly lovely people who just don’t meet anyone.
I don’t know what to do with my plans. I had resigned myself to dying alone and being found half eaten by Alsatians. It was a solid life plan.
Steve, you’ve screwed up my perfectly set out life plans.
* I want to say that I met the love of my life but I feel like that sounds lame and it could also make Steve poo his pants a little. Considering he just bought new undies, I don’t want that. Nobody wants that. Please don’t poo yourself, Steve. I won’t be able to look at you the same way. ALSO I feel like I’m not old enough or far enough into the relationship to say that. I will just call him the boy that I have loved the most.