Catherine Townsend: Sleeping around

Share
Related Topics

"I'm sorry, but I'm just not feeling this relationship," my Richard said, staring at me over a latte. "Maybe I'm too scared to have a girlfriend." I couldn't believe it. I can handle being kicked to the kerb, but I'm having a hell of a lot harder time coming to terms with the fact that the passionate guy I fell for may never have existed at all.

Where was the man who once sent a text saying, "I can't stop thinking about you, and I don't want to?", who had been my friend for months while pursuing me ardently, whisked me away for a weekend to Switzerland and chased me down the street, crying and telling me he "didn't want to lose me" after we'd had a fight. I felt like suing him for false advertising.

Maybe I should have seen it coming. After all, I'm neurotic, intense and driven. He's the laid-back guy who has trouble committing to dinner, and breaks out in a cold sweat at the thought of stepping outside his circle of friends.

My mum had warned me that Richard may have "caveman syndrome", when a guy pursues his conquest just long enough to club her over the head and drag her back to his lair - only to find he can't handle the reality. And even though I sensed that Richard had a lot of hidden insecurities, I focused on his kind heart and boyish charm. And I started to fall in love. Every time he revealed any emotion (like getting drunk and telling me he'd imagined living with me in 10 years' time) he would freak out the next day. Still, I wanted so badly to believe in him that I couldn't see that the only place we'd ever inhabit was at the intersection of Fantasyland and Not Gonna Happen.

"So, am I your girlfriend?" I asked him teasingly a few weeks ago. Instead of answering, he said, "What do you think?" and started kissing me. The sex was fantastic, but lying in bed next to him was the loneliest I have ever felt - much worse than being on my own.

The fat lady finally sang on Friday night, at my friend Amy's 30th birthday party. It was the first time he was due to meet my girlfriends' partners - both highly successful and brilliant guys who adore them - on his own, without his posse.

He never showed up. I finally got a lame call at 3am saying that his battery had run out. But we both knew that his phone wasn't the only thing that died that night. The next morning, after our fateful coffee, I got up from the table and walked out, with my heart shattered but my dignity intact.

Then I wandered the streets, crying, before knocking on Victoria's door. Several tequila shots later, she helped me separate the fantasy guy I'd created from the rather nastier reality. "Cat, you said that you were afraid he was too laid back for you," she said, "so, what exactly are you missing?"

"But he was so sweet and chivalrous," I blubbered. Victoria grabbed my shoulders. "He stood you up," she said. "How chivalrous is that?"

I miss him. But he did me a favour. I don't want to settle for some half-arsed casual relationship. Like the Stone Roses song says, I want to be adored.

c.townsend@independent.co.uk

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Data Analyst / Marketing Database Analyst

£24000 per annum: Ashdown Group: An established and growing IT Consultancy fir...

Business Analyst – 2 year fixed term contract – Kent – Circa £55k

£45000 - £55000 Per Annum 31 days holiday, pension, healthcare, annual bonus: ...

**SEN Primary Teacher Serf Unit **

£110 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Preston: We are looking for an experie...

Experienced Foundation Teacher

£100 - £222 per day: Randstad Education Bristol: We are currently recruiting f...

Day In a Page

An oil rig in the North Sea  

The Scottish people deserve the truth about North Sea oil and gas

Colin Tinto
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week