no more excuses: building up lovelorn friends
I recently spent one whole glorious night and one cruisy Saturday morning in bed with a guy I had met on that universal fuck den, the dance floor. We left the club at 4:00am with the crusty remains of my purple lipstick smeared across the both of our faces and made our way back to my place for a night of wild… talking. This was new. We talked until 7:00am, fell asleep, woke up and talked some more. All day in fact. The conversation was easy, relaxed, so much so I didn’t even pause to consider whether I should cut the chitchat and yank his pants off instead. He left in the afternoon and save for the odd message, we haven’t really talked since.
Hmm. Had he thought I was a prude? Is that why this fizzled? If I’d had spread ’em and shown him a ruckus time in bed would we still be chatting? All thoughts that had systematically crossed my mind in the days that followed and thoughts I’d quickly taken lengths to weed out. I’d been here before. The elusive one night stand that you acknowledge, with a shrug, will more than likely remain a one-night stand. Plenty more prawns in the pond.
Nevertheless I confronted my girlfriends on the matter. Hoping to hear a bit of sense, what I received instead was a peachy platter of responses that felt all too familiar:
‘He didn’t try anything? He probably really liked you.’
‘I’d say he’s just playing it cool.’
‘Maybe he’s crap at using Facebook?’
These words were no doubt spoken with the best of intentions. When a fellow sister gets bruised on the battlefield of lurve we want to boost her back into QUEEN mode in the fastest, most effective way we can. But are we really doing each other a favor when we churn out the same behavior-excusing lines time and again?
I got to thinking about rejection and self-worth. It’s no secret that mainstream media has historically (and, rather relentlessly) linked a woman’s “worth” and “value” to her fuckability. This fuckability factor deems a woman most useful to the world when she is attractive and desirable to men; a teeny waist, youthful glow and sumptuous breasts, for example, are all factors that will earn you major fuckability brownie points as these are just some of the traits men are most commonly socialised to find attractive.
Our awareness of this factor begins with the disproportionate dolls of our youth and crash tackles its way into our adolescence. Glaring at us from billboards, honking from a car window and streaming into the palm of our hand via smartphone, the message that states ‘YOU’RE IMPORTANT IF YOU’VE GOT A GOOD RIG’ is pretty much unavoidable.
Having grown up in this world, one that has actively tried to fool us into believing we require something beyond ourselves to validate our existence, it’s no wonder we’re quick to cushion the blow of male rejection.
But it’s time we cut it with the fairy-floss excuses.
Our words are our strongest weapon. We can use them with intent, and we’re pretty great at doing so. But when we simply repeat those phrases that we ourselves have been told in times of rejection we are not adequately expressing our true assessment of the situation, nor are we empowering our girlfriends with the knowledge they need to hear in that moment.
This is knowledge that they are a woman of incredible worth. They have the ability to do great things, to be kind, to change the world. They will forever find strength in the bond of sisterhood. And that while it is natural for us to dedicate some of our precious thought juices to inexplicably silent bedroom partners, those juices can always be put to better use. Paint a picture! Learn how to cook your mum’s famous lasagna! You’re awesome. Keep doing you and whatever it is you’re looking for, will come.
So, I’m putting a call out to the ladies. Next time it’s one in the morning and you’re deep in conversation (and a bottle of wine) with a girlfriend whose attempting to make sense of a mystery man’s behavior, find your integrity. No more ‘Mmmm… he could just be quite busy with work stuff?’ and a lot more ‘You’re a mind-blowing, superstar, goddess with the ability to harness the powers of the universe at your fingertips… let’s start a book club?!’
Now… doesn’t that have a better ring to it?
Note: This article has been written from a cis, hetero woman’s perspective. If you would like to muse on dating or sex from those of differing sexual or gender identities, contact the Features Editor via firstname.lastname@example.org.