A cruel phrase that women use to indicate their lack of romantic interest in a man. It's a surefire sign that yes, She does not like you in the way that you hope for, and no, she never will. If she did, she wouldn't be encouraging your search for companionship. It's definitely better than 'Let's just be friends', but somewhat worse than simply being a gay friend since it's an indication that she does care about you and sees that you're lonely, but this also means that she doesn't care for you enough/is not attracted to you enough/finds you far too sexually repulsive to ease that loneliness herself. The implication that you are unable of finding a caring partners on your own is simply added emotional castration. Also see depression, self-hatred and suicide.

Ironically, I believe that women who use this term are unaware of the pain it causes. It's not as widespread a meme as say 'LJBF'. Hrm. Education is needed. To be fair to them as well, it may be that some men hide their feelings for the women so well because they have not yet recieved go-ahead signs that the women genuinely have no idea of the hope they're crushing and instead feel that they're doing their friend a great service. I'd feel more charitable about this if such statements weren't often made by the same women who say 'I would never date someone younger/shorter/co-worker/close to me'. Ba-fucking-humbug.

It's an indication that she does care about you and sees that you're lonely, but this also means that she doesn't care for you enough/is not attracted to you enough/finds you far too sexually repulsive to ease that loneliness herself.

If a friend insists to me that sexual release is the only way to ease their loneliness, I feel insulted and used. It infers that somehow my friendship isn't good enough, and the only worthwhile part of my company is the imaginary potential for sex; this in itself is cruel. It is unfair and unadvisable to expect a "sympathy fuck" in this situation, it creates unnecessary tension for an otherwise caring and understanding friend.

If a person constantly complains of loneliness and makes no effort to rectify their situation other than attempting to subvert a close, yet otherwise platonic relationship, it is only fair for their friend to assume that they are being used, or said person is incapable of finding sex elsewhere. The use of the phrase, "we need to get you a girlfriend" is understandable in this situation. Everyone has a right to pursue other committed relationships or be uninterested in sex, even if they have a sexual bias - in the latter case it is probably better to discuss ideas that bother you instead of being angry about a lack of sexual gratification.
Here, I am reflecting on situations where a person cheapens a friendship by indirectly stating that it's not enough to keep them happy unless it's "taken to the next level". I wasn't referring to a situation where that person wants romantic involvement solely for the relationship's sake; more like one where someone says "I'm lonely, you're socially obliged to fill this void in my life".

You have no idea how horribly, horribly, teeth-pullingly tiresome it is as well.

So. In 2003, my parents divorced, I was 17 at the time. It really didn't affect me; I stayed living with me faither until I went off to university and then for a wee while when I came back, and now I'm elsewhere. From around 2008 or so, he took up with this woman called Samantha, who I know sort of. She has a son a bit younger than me called Tim, who is part Greek because her first husband was Greek. I've met him once, he seems okay and suchlike. He was at Berkeley for a year abroad at the time me faither first hooked up with her.

Anyhow, when I went to visit him recently, she came along and has taken it upon herself to "civilise" me. Apparently me being a fully qualified solicitor yet spending my weekends headbanging and supping vast quantities of real ale up the London Stone and then stagger home at 4 am, stopping off in Shoreditch at the only chippy I've found in London that sells chips & gravy is somehow Incongruous and therefore Wrong. Which slightly surprised me; last time I went to Wacken I was camped with a systems analyst, a Belgian accountant, and a banker from Frankfurt called Manfred, so it's not like we're all C2DE marketing sector inhabitants. But that's beside the by. Aside from my not liking of wine, my earthy humour, and suchlike, one of the ways in which I have to be civilised is by the acquisition of female companionship.

So. I was informed that she has this workmate who's also a bit of a headbanger, and recently had split with her beau because he was "boring." She then tells me she's told this lass all about me, how I'm a "good catch" because I'm a solicitor and then won't lay off till she's seen me add her and then message her on Facebook. At this point I'm having horrible visions of me marrying this woman and her standing under the bedroom window on the wedding night and refusing to leave until I've waved the bedsheets out of it like a Japanese flag. I'm also somewhat leery of the fact that she works with this person, because there's absolutely nothing worse than having, erm, progress reports, funnelled into her and thus me faither's knowledge. It's none of their business, quite frankly, what or who I do.

Then there's the fact that there's a high probability I'll be The Rebound. No thanks. I've had that before with Tamzin of Mansfield and Ilona the Transylvanian Tango Dancer. It was a waste of time, all things considered.

Thing is, they're right. We do need to get me a girlfriend. I've never had one. Well, not a proper relationship or owt like that. Until after I'd been to the Sorbonne and come back, The Macc Lads' song "Failure With Girls" pretty much described me. Thing is, I'd rather get one on my own terms rather than be shoved into it by someone well meaning. I took up Internet dating at her and me faither's behest in the past and although I did get a few sniffs that way, there were a lot of folks on it who, upon finding out I was in law, began asking uncomfortable questions about how much I earnt. However, being set up by people is generally not, in my estimation, always welcome in general. This is because I'd rather not have my affairs spread far and wide, dissected, and cross-examined by other people on a regular basis. Yes, I do need to get me a girlfriend, but I'd rather it be on my own terms and suchlike. And the reason that song "Failure With Girls" described me was because I was constantly determined to score and if I didn't, I'd consider my night out or whatever Sid the Sexist-like ploy I'd come up with to have been a total waste of time. And folks who I attempted to pull would subconsciously pick up on that. Warning, I was slightly saying. This person is desperate for crumpet. Avoid him. And they would. So now I'd rather just go oot on the tap or wherever just with the intention of enjoying self, supping some beer or giving myself a bangover and I'm orders of magnitude more successful at garnering female (or male, for that matter) interest as I was before.

And it works both ways as well. As in this instance I'm now being pushed towards someone, I can't help but feel that any overtures I make towards her - and since she's being pushed towards me, those she makes towards me - will come over as forced and insincere. Yeah, I'll probably give it a thrash, but I'm not expecting the earth of it.

Moreover, I'm also put in the position that if I don't make a good faith attempt to pull her, I'll look rude to Samantha and me faither. And given my family's propensity for taking sides against each other, this I don't want. And if she rejected me out of hand, she'll look rude to her friend Samantha. And they work together so that's really not going to be helpful.

So you see, here's my view of all this - if you do think someone needs a girlfriend, boyfriend, friend with benefits, lover, mistress, or anonymous shag, tell them if you want to, but don't try to rectify it by pushing people at them. Because not only is it not likely to be successful due to the forcedness of it, it's also likely to cause a row if you don't get it together, cause bad feeling, and similar. If you are pushed into this, then tell them that you're grateful, but in the short term you'll stick with wanking. After all, it's sex with someone you love!

(IN1225/30)

"We need to get you a girlfriend." Betty kissed me on the tip of my nose and rolled off the bed.

I watched her Valentine heart-shaped derriere as she knelt to gather our discarded toys and then padded into the bathroom.

"But you're my girlfriend. Right?" I replied.

"Of course I am." Her tone was light, but there was a tension in her voice that made my heart sink.

"Then why do I need another one?" I managed to keep my voice steady.

"I think it would be better if you found someone in your own city," she said. "Someone who would be closer to you. Someone more available than me."

I stretched my arm across the still-warm space on the bed where she'd been. The black cotton was smooth and comforting under my fingertips. Black was a good color for cocktail dresses and leather jackets; it wasn't a practical color for bedclothes. Betty's husband Denny did their laundry, and I knew he would come back from his date with Mark, drop his jaw comically and exclaim, Great Scott, what have you ladies done to my sheets?

I climbed off the bed and went into the bathroom. Betty was washing off our toys, neatly lining the silicone cocks up in a row on a hand towel to dry: red, purple, blue.  I slipped my arms around her waist and kissed the nape of her neck. The smell of her set my heart racing again; touching her naked skin was like plugging myself into a gentle electric current.

We'd known each other for years; we both went to the same summer writing workshop, and then kept running into each other at conferences. I knew from the first moment I saw her that there was something I really liked about her, but I'd never been with a woman, and despite being poly, she hadn't, either. At one conference we'd both had a bit to drink and were both riding the high of having made some excellent story sales and before I knew it we were kissing in the elevator at 2am.  And then we went back to her room.

It's a cliche to say that I felt like a virgin all over again, but I did. And it was like a new door in my soul had been opened, a room where I was the best, happiest person I could hope to be, and only Betty held the key to it.  I'd fallen in love before, but never like this; it was as if every molecule in every cell of my body became tuned to the sound of her heartbeat, her breathing. I didn't feel truly alive except when I was in her arms.  I didn't care that she was married; I didn't care that she had other partners. All I wanted was the chance to be with her, to have my moments of pure joy, to have the chance to love her.

"Why would it be better?" I asked her. "Things have been fine, haven't they?"

She smiled at me in the mirror, but quickly looked away. "I'm not making as many sales as I was, and Denny and I need to cut back on our travel expenses. I don't know when I can get out to see you again."

"I can keep coming here --" 

"It's not fair to you to have to do that."

"I don't mind. I love you," I said.

"I know you do." She bit her lip, not meeting my gaze in our reflection.  "But ... I can't be your only lover. It's too much pressure. You were my first; you'll always be special to me ..."

I let my arms fall from her waist. " ... just not that special?" 

In the hanging silence, all I could hear was my own heart pounding. How could something so completely shattered continue to beat so smoothly?  I wondered if I might drop dead right there on her tile floor. I held my breath, hoping for oblivion, but it never came to rescue me. In some alternate universe, I had fallen to my knees, sobbing inconsolably, clinging to her legs, begging her Please please tell me what I did wrong I'll do anything to make things better I just want to be with you please, but in this universe I had gone completely numb and was still as a corpse.

The silver lining to abject shock is you get to keep some of your dignity.

"I'm sorry," she finally said.

"Me, too."

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