Grazia's weekly columnist, Laura Jane Williams, is looking for love - and she's not afraid to say it...
I can go days without texting The Peacock - the work-obsessed ex I've recently gone back to bed with. I'm not really seeing anybody else, but also, I'm just...not bothered by him.
My friend Megs tells me, 'Look, I'm not being funny, but it sounds to me like he romanced you for a few weeks, made himself feel better about being an arse four years ago, and now he's proved how much he's grown up and changed, he's done.'
'Yeah,' I agree, stunned at her bluntness.
'But,' she adds. 'I don't think you're arsed, are you? The Peacock is not your one.'
That's just it: The Peacock is not my one. It's all performance and ego and outward charm with us, but we've not established an emotional intimacy and that bores me. The surface-level flirting stuff is meaningless. The sex isn't even as good as I remember, either, because the past is rose-tinted or because orgasm eludes me now I'm 30 and in need of as much stimulation to my frontal cortex and I expect to my clitoris. Sex is mental and physical now.
More and more time slips between texts and, after a rushed lunch at an awful sandwich bar on Old Street roundabout ends with a platonic hug, I know what never really started has now absolutely ended. I see him on Instagram with a pretty brunette not long after. I make out like I'm seeing somebody new, too. I'm embarrassed I care what he thinks, because though I didn't want him, I'm egomaniac enough to have sort of wanted him to want me. Urgh.
I've dated a different bloke every few weeks for almost a year, now. I'm basically Taylor Swift
My instinct is to move on to the next, as I'm wont to do, but my friend Fern tells me she's never known anybody to line up as many dates as I do. When I think about it, neither do I. I've dated a a different bloke every few weeks, for a few weeks, for almost a year, now. I'm basically Taylor Swift.
I love the thrill of the first date, you see, the unknownness of it all, the possibility, the clean slate. I love the potential, and stem the disappointment of any unfulfilled romance simply by heading off towards that 'maybe' of another. I'm a bit knackered, truth be told.
I bump into another former lover ('ex' would be a stretch) and am baffled - in the hours we're occupying the same bar in a place I never normally go to - that I ever wanted him to fancy me. We'd have sex in the classroom of a summer camp I used to teach in, after hours, and oh! How exciting it seemed then! But trying to converse with him now, I was hit by the feeling of: 'Oh wow. Your standards are much higher now, Laura.'
And so with that reminder, and for the first time in a long time, I remember how nice it is to be with no man at all, rather than forcing it with the wrong one. I reckon I'd like to be without one for a little bit longer, you know.
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