Nicki was my hero(ine). She would always joke about her three 'boyfriends.’ One in the south, one in east London and one in north London. I'd look askance at her – shake my head and carry on what I was doing. I’d crow about her dating prowess to anyone and everyone that we would meet – which would cause her to blush and say “they don’t know me – I don’t want them to make assumptions about what I’m doing”. I’d smile - a little confused by her reticence and quietly wonder what in fact she was or wasn’t doing. How the heck this multi dating thing work? For me, it didn’t actually ever matter as (at the time) I was in a relationship and had left that dating malarkey behind.
So that was then…and having recently entered this dating arena (yes – arena) again I have experienced being one of the entourage of girlfriends or boyfriends first hand.
It was having a well- deserved and much needed day off when I met the Mild Mannered Accountant (he’s not actually an accountant but he should be and…just go with it ok?). Where was I, oh yes, it was a lovely Sunday evening – I was out with some of my girlfriends, making merry and generally relaxing when he slid on over. The mild mannered accountant didn’t conform to my usual type but he did do one thing extremely well: he made me laugh. And laugh raucously. Having recently felt the absence of laughter in my laugh when after the third time of hinting that I should take his telephone number – when he slipped his business card into my bag I didn’t object. So after a couple of days of consideration I called and a date was arranged. Things kicked along for a couple of weeks well enough – we ate food, talked and laughed. Laughed lots. Things were going well. My little bubble of potential happiness was about to burst.
So I was out last week with some friends…and friends of friends when I get talking to one of the girls who I haven’t connected with a while. She starts talking about the new man in his life…the more I listen the more he sounds…familiar. Where does he live….in my part of London she replies. What’s his profession…’accountant’ she replies. I pause. What’s his name…she’s concerned now…’Mr Mild mannered “she replies.
So it turns out, that like my friend Nicki who I love and adore – Mr Mild Mannered accountant also has three ‘girlfriends’…one is the south, one in the east and one in North London. I rant about it to Nicki later – talking about the unfairness of it all. “Did you have the conversation…you know the – what are we doing conversation”…she asks? “No, It wasn’t that serious and I wasn’t exchanging bodily fluids with him” I reply. “Well then.” Nicki says. And those two words sum it all up. I finally get round to asking her what she has been doing with not one but three ‘boyfriends’ and she informs me she has been keeping her options open, learning what she does and doesn’t want and honing her decisions…that that’s just what people do these days. She doesn’t sleep around and she doesn’t sleep with them and everyone is very clear where they stand. I listen intently and absorb what she has to say.
There’s no big insight to this – no great conclusion. Maybe I’m a little shell shocked. Maybe a little annoyed that this guy actually had the balls to date (to varying degrees) three women at the same time. Maybe I am secretly annoyed that I wasn’t doing it myself. Maybe.