“Good things come to those who wait.” Or, an exercise in the unexpected.

You know that moment, in the films, when The Girl walks into a party, spots The Boy from across the room and the rest of the world disappears around them? Complete fiction, right? Well, I used to think so too. Until this weekend, when it happened to me.

To set the scene properly, it’s probably important that you know a couple of things:

1. It wasn’t the first time that we’d seen each other. I’d met this particular boy – let’s call him Ciaran – at a mutual friend’s house party around 18 months ago. We had – of course – spent most of the evening together, fuelled by too many drinks and the pursuit of innocent-enough attention. But he was living in Leeds at the time and I had gone home with Robbie (that friend-with-some-benefits who you might remember from this Valentine’s post).

2. I had spent around 90 not-exactly-sober minutes on the phone to an ex-boyfriend the previous evening, discussing how we probably shouldn’t hook up the following night, but that we were very good at spooning and my house would be quite convenient after the party… (In case you were wondering, this ex- would be James, also name-checked in this post. Sigh.)

For complete disclosure it’s also worth pointing out that I had already had to put myself to bed that afternoon as a result of one-too-many mimosas at brunch, but had somehow found a second wind and been at the pub for several hours before stumbling into the Uber across town… I am nothing if not committed to the cause.

Clearly, then, as I arrived at the party and threw myself into acquiring (even more) gin, Ciaran couldn’t have been further from my mind.

And then I saw him. And he saw me. And then he was rather closer to my mind (read: face) than he had been in a fair while.

And that’s how I ended up taking him home at 6am.

To tell you the truth, I don’t even know how it happened. He was (so I am told) far from the most attractive man at that party and (one thing I do remember) he was absolutely not who I thought was going to be waking up next to me on Sunday morning. I had even agreed with my housemate that we’d “call it” at midnight as to whether this ex- of mine and the man she is on/off sleeping with would both be waking up at our house!

But it was almost as if it was a done deal from the moment we saw each other across the room. (Albeit a bit less romantic than the films would have you believe.)

Perhaps it’s because we’d never quite managed to meet for a drink (read: hookup) although we’d spoken about it quite a few times. Perhaps it’s because we were – at last – just in the same place at the same time, after missing each other at several parties since that first one. Perhaps it was just the easiest option because we live in separate cities and there could be no expectation past that night?

Or perhaps it’s because neither of us have any self-control.

Whatever the reason, it just goes to show that not everything in those films is made up That time-stands-still moment can happen in real life. It’s just that the real life version ends with a kiss in the taxi as The Girl waves The Boy off to get the train back home. And that’s happily-ever-after enough for me. For now.

“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*