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Where We Left Off
In case you forgot, and somehow weren’t reminded by the squawking ninnies on the Internet who love slut-shaming, Kaitlyn and Nick Did. It. Last week.
Shawn is in the middle of drunkenly confronting Kaitlyn about whether or not she is “in love” with him. She says that she “is falling in love” with him. Watching people talk while end-of-the-night, Semisonic “Closing Time” drunk is the worst. They make out and Kaitlyn confesses that she feels guilty about taking one relationship where she took it while also having feelings for other guys.
Meanwhile, Nick is talking with Tanner (I think?) about how Shawn has called him a “master manipulator.” Yep, Nick is still on everyone’s minds.
In case you had any doubt that dating is dead, we held a funeral for it – and buried forever harmful and irrelevant notions about romance, women and relationships. RIP!
As Victoria from The Village Voice writes, we “have no problem bidding goodbye to bullshit rules of courtship.” Nope. Not at all.
“You know I -
Thug ‘em, hug ‘em, love ‘em, leave ‘em
But I don’t trust or need ‘em”
Most of us think we can spot a player – right?
We’ve seen the music videos and the movies. We’ve scrolled through the endless list of girls in their phones. We’ve caught them with their omnipresent harem of ladies at the bar. We’ve received the “Hey, what are u up to?” mass texts at 9pm on Saturday night. We’ve gotten the message – loud and clear, thanks! – after hearing their claims of, “I’m just not looking for anything serious right now.”
We know a player when we see one.
The Charming Player. The Sketchy Player. The Drunk Player. The Sexy Player. The Rich Player. The Player Who Won’t Make Eye Contact. The Traveling Player. The Entitled Player. The Commitment-Phobic Player. The MIA Player. The Cheating Player. The Player Everyone Warned You About.
Come one, come all! We modern women can take it. We know your games, and we know how to handle you.
Or so we thought.
Out of the ambiguous abyss of the post-dating world, a new form of player has emerged. We have Darwin to thank – for this new species of player has evolved from the simple-minded, sex-driven players of yore into a sophisticated, persuasive, mind-f*cking man who may prove to be the most dangerous of them all. He is an obvious product of the key tenets of thoughtfulness, innovation and self-actualization that define our Millennial generation.
Ladies, meet the Self-Justifying Player. Let’s call him the SJP, for short (sorry, Sarah Jessica Parker…but we told you that we were ready for something new!).
Every lady knows and loves and yearns for this guy. The One Who Got Away.
By definition, he’s not in my gaggle, but he’s been in my life for practically all of my 27 years.
We met – as it were – as toddlers in the mountains, where our families vacationed at the same rustic resort. There’s a photograph of five-year-old, platinum blond, chubby-faced me staring at him across a wildflower field. He had long, curly, silken dark hair and in the picture, he’s wearing a red t-shirt and looking back at me cooly, like a miniature rebel without a cause.
If you go up to the resort even now, there’s a piece of driftwood where we both wrote our names in magic marker, probably that same year. He’s a year older than I am, so his name is spelled correctly and mine has a backwards B and Y.
It wasn’t until much later that I consciously knew I was in love with him. I was 12-years-old, with knobby knees and ears that stuck out, but I was still a sun-kissed, freckled blonde and had happily evaded the awkward ‘awkward phase’ that had stricken most of my friends during this time. At home in the suburbs, I was making out against lockers and in his bunk-bed with Rob The Hockey Player, though refusing every day to ‘be his girlfriend.’ I had that compulsive desire for male attention (even adolescent, slightly be-pimpled male attention), but I knew I was saving up my “official” love life for someone truly epic.
That’s when I re-encountered him, The One Who Got Away, on vacation with my family in the mountains.
In real life, if there were a gaggle category called “The Guy Who Gives Lots of Love Advice to his Female Friends,” then this week’s gaggle guy would be a perfect fit. Well, there’s not! But lucky us, we got to pick his brain and glean his post-dating wisdom anyway. Keep reading for some male advice on relationship sex, long-distance flirtation and why men are such assholes.
To submit your questions for next week’s column, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with “Ask A Gaggle Guy” in the subject line!
I’ve always been big. I stand about an inch and a half taller than the average American man, and about seven above the average woman. At my heaviest I clocked in somewhere around 280 lbs, fluctuating across the line of the “regular” and “women’s” plus-size clothes. My lifelong weight gain story is not unique or interesting. It’s the same combination of genetics, poor choices in dealing with my mild anxiety, and a general lack of discipline we hear over and over every time Jillian Michaels makes someone cry on The Biggest Loser.
My sexual partners have run the gamut: those who were attracted to or fetishized big women, those for whom size was a non-issue, and those who will sleep with anyone, attracted or not. There were those who worshiped my curves and called me beautiful, and some who wanted to humiliate me and call me disgusting. Of course there were also those who never became partners, usually because they just weren’t into a full-figured gal.
The worst are those who fall into the Venn diagram of men who will sleep with a plus-size woman, but don’t want a fat girlfriend. They are the ones who, at some point in the hookup/dating process, say that I should have known they would never want something more serious with me. Usually they dance around the topic until we land here: the fat, kinky, bisexual girl is fun to fuck, but they would never admit it to anyone else. In short, a great personality can’t always outweigh weight.
I’ll never forget the day I discovered that the last scene in Sleepless in Seattle was filmed on a sound stage. Remember that scene? It’s iconic. After months of admiring from afar, Meg Ryan is finally united with Tom Hanks– the widow with a heart of gold– and his precocious son at the top of the Empire State Building on Valentine’s Day. Watching that scene is basically the best thing that can happen to your insides.
I’ll never forget that day because it’s the same day I visited the Empire State Building.
Actress and former failure at Life (according to the media because she didn’t have a man), Jennifer Aniston, finally showed off her flashy engagement ring to the world. You see, when she announced her engagement back in August e’erybody was like
It was as though people were saying, “Yeah, yeah, you’re happy and shit, but we need proof that Justin loves your refurbished vagina. Show me that ring!” So Aniroux basically responded with, “S my D,” with this $1 million dollar, ten carat diamond ring. And now every single bitch I know is getting their Stuart Smalley on and talking non-stop about how hopeful they are about love and I’m just like,
Do you need help finding a man? Joe Bonomo would like to offer his dating advice with his 64 page book titled How To Find Your Man from 1954. Want to find and keep “Your Man”? Follow these tips!
1. Start by filling out a handy chart of “yes” or “no” questions.
Here are the questions (and Joe asks that you fill them out twice. First before reading the book, and then after.)
1. Sure you want to find him? (Sure.)
2. Are you ready for him? (Oh yeah.)
3. Are you mentally relaxed? (Hahahahahaha.)
4. Are you honest with yourself? (Sure.)
5. Can you be honest with him? (Oh yeah.)
6. Are you feminine in appearance? (…what?)
7. Do you look happy? (Well not when I’m having panic attacks, which is fairly often.)
8. Can you share? (Yeah unless it’s my stuff.)
9. Want a guy who’s not quite perfect? (Are you hitting on me, Joe?)
10. Are you prompt for dates? (I try my best, I swear!)
11. Is your outfit complimentary to him? (Yes, I spied on him before our date and matched my outfit accordingly, down to the tie.)
12. Do you want him tailored to fit your idea of Mr. Right? (Who is Mr. Right, really?)
So how did you do, ladies?
I started going to the gym after a girl rejected me. She was a lawyer in her late twenties. I don’t know what went wrong; maybe I came on too strong or wasn’t as established as she would have liked. Maybe we just weren’t compatible. Or, maybe it was because I was too scrawny.
Afterwards I felt angry and weak … I wanted to feel strong. I would show her — I’d become ripped and burly. I was frustrated with my physique and found it pathetic that there were so many men on television who were more than twice my age and in better shape than I ever have and probably ever will be, namely Matthew McConaughey. I was also annoyed with my family, who thought the idea of me working out was hilarious. So I joined a gym. The only problem was … I had no idea what the hell I was doing. To quote Louis C.K. “I’m just a guy wearing shorts.”
My gym is nestled in the heart of Chelsea. For the most part, it’s populated by ripped gay men and lonely, beautiful women. And then there’s me: thin, straight and desperately trying to whip into shape before I hit thirty.
It’s only been two days since you tore out my heart and, as you can see, I have forgotten all about you. I have, of course, blocked your Instagram feed as to not be exposed to your petty meanderings, especially now that you’ve freed me from being a reluctant girlfriend. I assume you, however, were quick to realize your grave mistake and have been tirelessly following all my virtual conduits in order to recreate some semblance of what we had, however fragmentary and unrequited. Hard to imagine the acerbic aftertaste this week’s stream has given you – sorry I’m not sorry.
The-Gaggle.com is a website that explores modern romance in the Millennial era – which, let’s be honest, looks nothing like we were taught to expect. We feature essays, advice and social commentary with humor, compassion and brains, and we vow never, ever to publish a piece called “The 10 Best Ways to Satisfy Your Man in Bed”. Do click here to submit your work to us. We love you.