“The thing is Hols, I’m very good at saying all the right things, but I’m just no good at actually following through with them.” These were the words that, almost 6 years later, are still etched on my mind like a regretful tattoo. I can still see the cheap brown pleather sofa we were sitting on when I heard the words and I can still smell the unmistakable medley of old cigarette smoke and stale alcohol from the house party the night before.
The boy speaking them was my one time on-off/will-they-won’t-they/best friend-cum-boyfriend from University, and the sentence in question was in reference to a conversation we decided to have after ending it (whatever ‘it’ was) because I had walked in on him sleeping with someone else at a party that I naively thought we were together at. We weren’t. Apparently. This was also the moment I realised the characteristic that I hated, truly hated, most in men. There isn’t even an exact word for it. Somewhere between *** and ***. Whatever the word may or may not be, it’s up there with the top traits that women hate in men. In case you’re not yet aware of the things you do that drive us mad, here are a few more…
1. SAYING ONE THING AND DOING ANOTHER
Case in point above, (apologies for over-sharing by the way). We’re simple creatures really – if you say you want to be with us, be with us. If you say you want to take us away for the weekend, take us away for the weekend. If you say you’re not sleeping with other people, don’t sleep with other people. See? Simple.
2. CAN’T MAKE A PLAN
You plucked up the courage to ask her on a date, you spent considered hours forming the perfect message, choosing a date, co-ordinating a time and then… nothing. Few things annoy a woman more than these words: “So, where do you want to go?” Except, of course, for these ones: “shall we just meet outside *insert relevant tube station* at 8 and see.” No. Let’s not “just see”. We need a plan, we need a venue, we need to know what to wear to said venue and we need to ascertain what level of heel height is appropriate given the length of time and level of suitable road surfaces from tube station to bar or restaurant. What we do not need is to be doing the planning for you. We do not want to be the one to decide where you are taking us. Be decisive, make a plan, do your research and let the rest unfold.
3. STRINGING THEM ALONG
We understand that dating someone doesn’t always lead to a relationship, we get how dating works. But there’s waiting to see if something develops naturally and then there’s just plain stringing along. If you know that there’s no spark and you’ve been on more than just a few dates already, you need to be a man about it and end it. If you keep dating her because you enjoy her company or, worse, the sex you’re getting from it, but you know that they want something more, then it’s just plain mean. Don’t be the mean guy.
The fact that this is even a word used to describe something people do is bad enough. The fact that about 75% of you reading this will have done it, is far worse. Ghosting, for those who are unaware (as defined by the ever-reliable source that is Urban Dictionary) is “the act of suddenly ceasing all communication with someone the subject is dating, but no longer wishes to date. This is done in hopes that the ghostee will just “get the hint” and leave the subject alone, as opposed to the subject simply telling them he/she is no longer interested.” Grow some balls boys, and let her know that it’s over like a gentleman.
5. MAKING HER FEEL LIKE SHE’S THE CRAZY ONE
“All women are crazy.” No. No they’re not. You’re making them crazy. See all of the above for further details.