26: Darren

The only way to get over guys (apart from not getting attached to them in the first place) is to find other guys. On 3rd January I deleted Jem and TJ from my Whatsapp. There were too many old conversations left unresolved cluttering up my inbox and I just don’t have the emotional energy to care enough about people who have apparently already walked away. If they don’t care, why should I? If they’re still interested, eventually, they will return my messages.

It sounds tough but if you knew how easily I fall in love and you knew the kind of heartache I’ve been put through over the years you would understand. I care about the ones who are with me, not the ones who decided to go off to new pastures. And honestly, I wasn’t looking for keepers, was I? I have nothing to blame them for. It goes with the territory.

Even so, I have literally been broken in two by men over the years. I swore it wouldn’t happen again when I became single and then Gianluca ripped me apart. Temporarily. It was if it was the final lesson I needed to learn. Since then, noone I have come across has rocked my world like him, but I don’t even remember how I felt about him now and I’m thankful for that. Now, it’s easier to detach when things change.

The day before I cleaned up my Whatsapp Darren had hoved into view. And it was probably the way he slipped easily into their role that made it easier for me to delete them. As it turned out, he was just another stepping stone. Darren was not from Badoo or Tinder, so essentially not looking for the same thing as me. He came from a niche website called Fetlife that I have had experience of over the years. I had rejoined mindlessly just a few days before he contacted me to see if anything had changed and see who, potentially, was out there. I received an eager yet friendly and chatty message from this guy who, unlike most men on Fetlife, is actually rather cute and distinctly vanilla looking. 33 with mousey brown hair that looked more grey in his photos, he’d actually messaged me via KiK because I’d put my handle onto my FL profile page. On the texts it was definitely a click moment and we slipped easily into conversation that became heated and detailed. By the end of the night we’d arranged to meet up for a drink in town the next evening.

Darren describes himself as a sub. My issue with FL is the labelling and the politics and the territorial nature of many of its subscribers. I am too easy going for all that and I certainly would never describe myself as being in ‘the lifestyle’. But this guy seemed very different, chatty, open – much more like my type of Badoo or Tinder user. Even so, he was clearly looking for his mistress and I’m not really into that. I certainly don’t have any experience of it. But some of the things he liked were things I’d always wanted to try with a guy so we discussed how I might use him as my practice, which he was happy to be considered for.

Our date night came and it went really well. He dropped me back at work to pick up my car and one thing lead to another. He was much more sensual than most other guys I’d met and I really liked that. It doesn’t happen often. But the next morning although he said he’d had a great time, he didn’t think that there was the spark he was looking for. He was also recently out of a relationship. I was a bit surprised and deflated. I put it to the back of my mind as I was going to look at my first flat rental. Afterwards I was really happy because I loved it. But then I got a call from work to say our building had been broken into overnight and a bunch of businesses had been ransacked. As the day wore on I felt Darren’s rejection more acutely but I think it was more the accumulation of disappointment at what had happened at work, coupled with a lot of driving that day that left me tired and headachey. We agreed to stay in touch. He really was a lovely guy. So I obviously wasn’t going to get a look in.

That night I started to worry. All the guys I really like don’t hang around. I don’t make very good choices in life when it comes to men. Maybe me not getting the guys I liked was a good thing. Maybe these were actually the wrong ones and someone was looking out for me. It was a good job I wasn’t looking for a serious relationship. I’d have jacked it in weeks ago otherwise. Online dating is not a place for the faint hearted.

In the evening I was messaged by another cute looking guy off Badoo but I found myself holding back, almost trying not to give the wrong impression. When he asked for access to my private photo folder, I went in first and deleted a couple of the photos. So this night, I found myself tired of it all. I’m dipping into Tinder and Badoo less and less. Letting them find me and mostly deleting them and paying more attention to interesting profiles. I’m getting pickier and caring less about the chase. I suppose I’m getting some of it out of my system. Just as well, it’s been a bit full on. A lot of my regular contacts tailed off at New Year. Everyone is back in their work routine so things have pietered out. I suppose I’ve probably been ghosted by a couple but I’m not even sure I care at the moment.

Mike is still there at least. In fact, right now he is my only consistent messenger who I really trust, and the only one I have any firm plans to see, probably because making plans for us is more complicated. And despite him being least on my ‘type’ list, he’s turning into my most fascinating and liberating hookup because his image is so juxtaposition to the side of him I know. Our next date is planned for 10th January. We’re both going well out of our way travel wise to meet up and I’m looking forward to what he has planned.



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