The Filler Boyfriend

I knew I needed one. I just wasn’t sure I would ever be able to pull it off. That elusive concept – a part time boyfriend. Someone you do boyfriend like things with but who isn’t really a boyfriend. He’s just occupying the space in-between until a real boyfriend comes along and sweeps you off your feet. I’d heard people talk about fillers and thought it sounded like quite a sweet set up but wasn’t convinced I could pull it off. I’ve always had a tendency to actually really like the people I’m with. Granted, it wears off quickly, but there has to be some initial person-to-person appreciation.

My friend says I have ‘un cœur d’artichaut’, a 19th C expression meaning to fall in love easily – a reference to the artichoke plant that allows its leaves to be easily yanked off to gain access to its delicious heart:

A Juicy Leaf for Every Crush

A Juicy Leaf for Every Crush

I’d never thought of myself in this way, but I suppose even though I  am quite selective about longer term partners I am really a helpless romantic at heart, which means I develop little crushes on all different types of men all the time. And so it came to pass that after a long Fall drought I decided to give this tall, dark, handsome filler a chance.

It happened in a remarkably predictable way. We met at a friend’s birthday and exchanged a few facts. He works in Finance, doesn’t like what he does. Works out a lot. Spent Summer in Ibiza. He bought me a drink. I spoke to other people. He felt neglected. He told me so. I said buying me a drink doesn’t guarantee my company for the night and I left. He was hooked.

So as most brave New York men would do he ‘befriended’ me on Facebook. Apparently this is a tester to see if you want them in your life. I ‘accepted’. Then nothing. The dating game is so boring.  So I suggested I owed him a drink and what do you know, we were ‘dating’. Drink here, dinner there. Movies at the cinema, movies at his place.  Great once a week winter-warmers. While I always suspected we shared very few common world views other than Obama for President and couldn’t be sure after date 4 or 5 if he had ever made me laugh, I thought it was worth pursuing until a real boyfriend came along. Anyway, you’re always a more desirable flower to bees when there’re already other bees buzzing around trying to extract your pollen, right?

So on we rolled with our weekly text message exchange. While I might have the heart of an artichoke I have very low tolerance for bad spelling and poor planning. Below are a few randomly selected examples of texts that signaled the beginning of the end:

  1. Dinner tonightIf u dont have plans offcourse  (concerns: no punctuation and of course I have plans)
  2. K (concerns: lazy, lazy, lazy)
  3. Felix cumpleanos (concerns: I don’t speak Spanish and he does but I know that’s not spelt right AND its 11pm on my birthday – too late)
  4. Dinner drinks tonight (concerns: no punctuation and NO – I have plans tonight)

But spelling and planning are not everyones thing. On the plus side, the man came to the ballet with me – extra points for effort. The real demise came when I trekked all the way to the Upper West Side for dinner at his place one night. I had my concerns when he asked me to bring a side dish but shrugged it off. Then I arrived and I swear he was in his pajamas and not in a sexy way. It all fell apart from there  – he asked me to cook the steak, there was no wine, he banged his knife on the table while we were dining and afterwards lay down on his sofa and pulled up the basketball on his iPad. A wave of shock washed over me – he had taken me as a wife. I skipped out of there as  fast as I could in my heels and zoomed down to Soho and the real world for a friend’s party. I’d had my fill and would not be going back.

All round , it was a good experience but I’ve decided the bee metaphor was misguided and adopted a new philosophy for Spring: ‘if you don’t get off the wrong train, you won’t be at the station when the right train comes along’.


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