“What are we doing for Valentine’s Day?”*

For many girls, that’s not a question you want to hear. I mean, I don’t know, but I would assume that for those in a committed relationship, surely the idea is that there is at least some semblance of surprise? – and for those who are single, the prospect of spending Valentine’s Day hating on all men and singing female empowerment power ballads into the small hours of the morning is something that only serves to ensure you wake up next to an ill-advised decision on February 15th. Or crying into the small hours of the morning about how nobody even wants a casual one-night affair. (Having said that, last year I woke up next to one of my best friends, looking hella cute, a bucket of KFC sandwiched between us. But I digress.)

This particular question was posed to me across the table of a Wetherspoons in Peckham, about three weeks before the big V-Day. I was taken aback to say the least. The person sat opposite me, the one who’d just dropped the question bomb, was a friend! Granted, he was – and still is – a friend that has slightly more benefits than some of my other friends, and perhaps I should have seen it coming. But who makes Valentine’s plans with their “friends with benefits”?!

It totally blindsided me. And this led me to take a bit of a longer, harder look at our interactions (I refuse to say “relationship” because, goodness knows, it’s already going that way… ) I should also probably take a moment to clarify here that this isn’t Tom, from the previous post. This is Robbie. (There are a few of these men, as I’m sure you expect.)

Robbie is, relatively speaking I suppose, new on the scene. We actually met in a way that nobody in London does anymore, on a Bank Holiday night out in a bar. The particularly awkward bit about the entire situation is that I actually hooked up with (in the most innocent way you can), and subsequently dated, his friend after that evening. Let’s call that friend James – and let’s leave his story for now, other than to state the (hopefully) obvious fact that James and I were not star crossed lovers, and the very day we broke up, Robbie staked his claim. After coming round to my house with a couple of bottles of wine and telling me that James wasn’t worth crying over. That’s a strong start by anyone’s standards. (As an aside, and because I apparently have no self control in leaving a story here, that is also the night that I drank an entire litre of raspberry vodka and threw up into my recycling bin at work the next day. Twice. Let it never be said that I am not a classy girl.)

But back to the man. Robbie is the most charismatic person I have ever met. He can walk into a room, know everyone’s name and have made everyone laugh within ten minutes of arriving at the party. It’s a very, very attractive trait. Alongside that, we have the same (inappropriate) sense of humour, and he absolutely adores me. Which is also nice. (I can say that as a fact because he has told me so. You get the idea.) Robbie owns his own house, and his own (very successful) business, and is one of the nicest men I know. On paper, he is an absolute catch. But he is also very much “not my boyfriend”. And, because I’m trying not to be a complete bitch about this, this is something he knows.

The bit where, perhaps, this might all fall down somewhat is likely to be the part where my actions are not necessarily in line with that statement… At all. In fact, I possibly did tell him that I could, and would consider, marrying him. (Not that there has been a proposal! Yet.) I suppose that’d be one of those bad decisions, then…? Oh, and probably the part where I keep getting drunk and bringing him home. That too. Oh, fuck.

(In case you were wondering, we went on a date on Valentine’s Day. With two of my housemates. And probably ruined some perfectly lovely couples’ dates. But it was bloody brilliant.)

*It probably has not escaped your attention that Valentine’s Day was quite some time ago. Which suggests that there has either been a complete absence of drinking, dating and bad decisions to report on, or that there has been far too much drinking, dating and bad decisions to write down in real time. We’ll let you take a call on what you think… And in the meantime… *furious typing*