I thought I found the perfect guy. We were together almost a year before he moved away, and things became long distance and went wrong, the way that they usually do.
Before he left he bought me a beautiful ankle bracelet, and three weeks later, I lost it.
Running for a train at London Liverpool Street I realised it had slipped from my ankle and I started crying. Great fat uncontrollable tears, embarrassing mascara stains rolling down my cheeks, on public transport. He was gone, the bracelet too, and nothing felt right anymore.
I knew it was more than just a ‘silly feeling’ and contrary to popular belief I wasn’t expecting my period. I knew from the lack of enthusiasm in his voice mopping down the phone, the late replies to my messages, and the disregard for the effort I was still blindly pumping into the relationship.
I should have seen it coming.
"I just don’t see it working for the next three years if we can’t make this work for three weeks."
But it wasn't all him, sure I’d been a whinny bitch most of the time; obsessing over all the nights when he was elsewhere. Out rather than staring back at me on Skype. But as I’d tried to tell him, I didn't mind if we couldn't talk, I just wanted to feel that he wanted to talk.
But he’s a man and he couldn't understand this. So I became whinier and bitchier until...
...The bracelet fell off.
Now I lay awake at night counting up all the parts where it went wrong, and do you know what I do to take my mind off things?
I text my ‘Back-Up Guy’.
Shirley Conran, Author of the romantic novel ‘Lace’ once wrote:
'The difference between Men and Women is, Men desire Women. Women desire to be desired.'And I think the ‘Back-Up Guy’ proves this.
You see you don’t have to even like your ‘Back-Up Guy’, in fact it’s better if you don’t, you’ll have less chance of getting hurt again. You just need to be fairly convinced that he likes you. The break up period is a time of transition; you’re going from being a twosome to your lonesome.
If Love is the Drug the ‘Back-Up Guy’ is your Methadone.
It can be any single male friend, a guy that bought you a drink once in a club, or the office flirt. But you must remember, you’re not looking for a relationship here, just a pick me up, the’ Back-Up Guy’ is not to be dated, he is merely a distraction.
I know this sounds selfish but don’t forget you've just had your heart ripped out, it’s going to take all your whole self to piece you back together.
But why do we feel that we need to text boys we don’t like to get over the ones that we do?
Why can’t we just read a book or watch a movie, or better still call our girlfriends, who we know will be there for us.
Perhaps we just need to feel something. We can be told a million times over by the ones we love that we are beautiful and “worth ten of that asshole!” But we never seem to believe it. It’s as if the ‘Back-Up Guy’ (often a relative stranger) proves these reassurances to us and validates them in a way our Mothers, Sisters and girlfriends never could.
I thought I found my perfect guy but looking back at our relationship perhaps he wasn’t the one. Perhaps whilst I think I miss him what I really miss is being desired, and for that I don’t need perfection, just a safe little ‘Back-Up’. And as my Mother says;
Time will take care of the rest