As a single girl, often I meet men I like but for one reason or another, the relationship just doesn’t seem to progress. Not that it stops, exactly; rather that it just doesn’t move forward. So suddenly I realise that Man X has been around for well over a year and a half, and yet I’m still totally single.
This is a strange situation, because these men then become hard to let go. After so long of…whatever it is, some kind of connection develops, a sense of some history, memories, and yet you are nothing. There isn’t a label to put on it.
All along, other men will weave in and out of my life, but Man X is a constant in the background. Because he’s never had to prove he’s capable of anything REAL (because it’s never moved forward), he kind of sits on a pedestal. He can do no wrong (or he can, but he will be forgiven quickly).
This becomes problematic when I start dating somebody I quite like. When is the right point to cut Man X out? It’s difficult: it seems pointless to do it sooner than is absolutely necessary – the new guy could fizzle out quickly.
So then an awkward position can ensue – especially if there is more than one Man X (which is more than possible). I found myself potentially romantically meeting four different guys this weekend in the space of three days, which seems horrendous even to me. One was a typical Man X that has been around for two years, another was D (see posts on him here and here, not quite a Man X but certainly a guy who has been around a while), another was my colleague and another was a new guy I have recently met but so far like a lot.
So do you see the problem? I like them all. Obviously I wanted to go on a second date with the new guy (he’s incredibly hot and intelligent and seems exceedingly nice), but equally I wanted to see whether D was able to redeem himself and what he was offering now that he’d essentially ditched me because I wasn’t girlfriend material and then elaborately got back in touch. As much as I wanted to see them for those reasons, I was curious as to how dinner with my colleague would be, and felt it would also be quite awkward to decline. And to top it all off, I just can’t say no to Man X. I always want to see him, and why not? The sex is good, we get on well, I know what to expect (mostly) and I obviously like him an awful lot or he wouldn’t still be around.
What a situation, indeed. I simply can’t see four different guys in the space of 48 hours. My schedule was something like this: date with new guy Friday night, let him stay over; Saturday man-free from 10am until dinner with my colleague: Saturday late evening hook up with Man X; spend the day with D on Sunday. Absolutely horrendous.
But if I like them all, and nothing is serious with any of them, how many is too many? It isn’t slutty as such because..it’s not random men and it isn’t just sex: it’s men that have mostly been around for some time that I have different degrees of connections with and…are all very different. But none of which are quite perfect enough to get rid of the rest for. Or is it slutty? Where does one draw the line?
Luckily, this time I stepped back and took stock. In the end, I declined dinner with my colleague and resisted the temptations of Man X for once (it’s not as though I needed it, the new man is actually better). When I saw D, for some reason he repulsed me and I wouldn’t even let him kiss me (not that he deserves to).
But it could have easily been different. If Man X had persisted, I would have seen him. And although I’m not going to see D again – and am glad I saw him purely because I have now made that decision – and have realised I do not want anything further to develop with my colleague, I am certainly going to see the new guy again and absolutely not going to end things with Man X quite yet…as always….
As an aside, I’m wondering if the presence of a Man X (and anybody who has been single a while seems to have one) ruins the potential for the development of a real relationship with the other men we date? Despite all of his flaws, nobody quite compares in the long-run, and he’s always in the background to allow us to so easily compare all other potentials to. Does the existence of him mean we never quite throw ourselves into anything else, because we almost don’t need to as he is still around?
What do you think? Is it OK to be seeing multiple men if we genuinely like them all? Or should we really try and date one man at a time? Is it possible to put all our eggs in one basket before we’re entirely sure? Is that just the risk that should and has to be taken? Are the Man X’s ruining our chances of real relationships?