Before I begin, I must make it abundantly clear that this post is not a man bashing one.
I love men.
I have some great friends who are male. My sense of humour is more atypically that of a male. Whilst I’d probably identify as a feminist, I don’t stand for misandry. Especially when it’s in the name of feminism, because in my humble opinion it does fuck all for the feminist cause and just causes more divisiveness.
I’ve lost count of the amount of times I’ve been involved in a Twitter spat because some rad-fem has decided that all men (with no limitations) are scum and wants to indulge in a campaign to ensure that all of her followers know her dangerous and quite frankly; utterly absurd views.
That shit don’t wash me with me. Nor does it sit well with me. And I’ll call it out whenever I see it.
That said, and forgive me for straying perilously close into contradictory territories, there ain’t no power like girl power.
Didn’t Geri Halliwell once declare something similar?
The reason I’ve come to this conclusion is down to one woman in particular. One woman, one song and one music video.
Dua Lipa; New Rules.
The first female solo Number 1 hit since Adele wowed us/did our heads in with the song of 2015; Hello.
I can’t stop listening to it. I can’t stop watching it. And I can’t stop relating to it.
I first heard the utter anthem on the way to V Festival back in August. My best friend already knew the words, I, being the very uncool bird I am, didn’t even recognise it. “This sounds a bit 90’s” I declared. “It’s a tune” she retorted.
It was less than 2 days before I concurred. New Rules is an utter tune.
OK, so I’m 31 and settled down. I’ve been with my current beau; the father of my child, since I was 24.
However, prior to meeting him and us setting up home together, I spent almost 3 years as a single girl.
My relationship/dating history reads like this; 3 long-term/serious relationships since I was 15 with a 3 year, slightly hedonistic break in-between.
I always look back on that 3 year period with fondness and embarrassment, although sometimes the regression is tinged with a bit of sadness for my younger self.
Don’t pick up the phone, you know he’s only calling ’cause he’s drunk and alone.
Why couldn’t I realise that when I was 23 and waiting impatiently to get the nod that my presence was suddenly required during the early hours of a Sunday morning?
Don’t be his friend. You know you’re gonna wake up in his bed in the morning.
Yeah but I can do this whole friends with benefits thing. I’m in control. And, better still, one day he’ll realise I’m the one he wants to be with. This is just a means to an end.
I wasn’t in control. And he didn’t realise that I was the one he wanted to properly be with. It was a means to an end. Just the end result I’d envisaged wasn’t the end result that actually occurred.
I keep pushin’ forwards, but he keeps pullin’ me backwards. Now I’m standin’ back from it, I finally see the pattern
It’s only once you’re removed from the situation, your head clear, do you take stock. You see it for exactly what it was. A one sided love affair that wasn’t mutually beneficial. I think deep down, in my heart of hearts I knew exactly what it was, but I just didn’t have the strength to remove myself from the situation. I’d fallen hard. I’d fallen fast. And I’d take any scrap of attention from that person, I possibly could.
Moving on from the above relationship. Actually, it wasn’t even a relationship. I don’t know what it was, I’m totally unable to stick a label on it. It was a headfuck scenario that messed me up for a long time after.
In August 2010 I found myself in a strange situation. At the time I wasn’t very body confident. I was the heaviest I’d ever been and barely recognised myself.
It had been a long and very strange two years. Two years of being out of control, two years of getting involved with wholly inappropriate men. It almost seemed like every man I found myself indulging in relations with either had issues, baggage or worse still a significant other.
I’m not going to hound you with platitudes. The stuff I got up to in my twenties; I’m not proud of. I accept my responsibility for the part I played but I do attribute a lot of my mistakes to my age and that I was a little bit damaged myself. I still am to a degree.
Anyway, back to August 2010. The above is another blog post in itself.
I was working for a company as an office manager. There, I resumed the responsibility for all things general office. One day I took a phone call from a company who wanted to come to my office and discuss a new business wide phone contract. I was 24. The fact I had manager had gone to my head at this point so I gladly accepted the meeting proposal; if only to make myself feel a little more important.
On the day of the meeting a tall, sort of handsome chap arrived at the door.
We had the meeting and there was chemistry. A lot of flirting; cue stupid giggling from myself that makes me cringe like you wouldn’t believe 7 years on.
Fast forward a few weeks and e-mails have gone back and forth. I can’t quite remember how what happened next, happened, but he ended up driving to Bristol one night and we went out for a few drinks and ended up in a hotel.
I’ll spare you the gory details. Namely because I can’t quite remember everything as I was a little (a lot) drunk. But half way through the bumping uglies part, he turns to me and says “don’t scratch me or anything, I’ve got a girlfriend”.
YOU. FUCKING. WHAT?
At this point in my life I’d acknowledged my fuck ups. I knew the things I’d done, or rather the people I did, weren’t right for me. That they’d either used me or played with my feelings.
Hearing those words smarted a bit. Despite acknowledging my fuck ups, I wanted to forget my fuck ups. And all the regrets, drama and stress came flooding back in that moment.
When I started listening to New Rules, it transported me back to my formative years, the years I’d spent waiting for so and so to call me, the years I’d spent hoping that in time he’d feel the same about me as how I felt about him.
It wasn’t to be. And that’s fine. Time’s a healer and all that shit.
I just wish that New Rules and the message it tells would’ve been around all those years ago. It would’ve saved me a lot of heartache, a lot of embarrassment and a lot of regret.
Because remember, if you’re under him then you ain’t getting over him.