A single friend of mine from college visited me this weekend and, as with many of my unhitched companions, I delight in stories of their dating and gasp at the emotionally inaccessible men. When the stories include grand romantic gestures or even subtle ones, I’m touched and for a moment long to return to the excitement of new love and courtship. And then the other side of the stories shock me.
Said friend currently has three men in rotation, a serious would be contender should they live on the same continent. A co-worker with whom she shares a great passion, and occasional beds. Another co-worker slipped through the cracks for a one-night stand. This can be great, so long as she is honest with herself about what she wants and what is being offered and does not hurt.
Allow me to spend expand on each of these three guys. The first has served time as a juvenile for inappropriately touching his sister (and good friend to my friend) as well as other girls. He claims to be cured although because of his intense workload overseas his reformation has not been tested. He recently agreed to letting her see other people given the alternative of not dating her at all.
My friend harbors a fantasy about the second guy which involves him falling madly in love with her and she in return breaks his heart. I have had great passions in my life, and I suppose for retribution sake I’d like a few men’s hearts to ache as mine once did for them. I understand the other aspects of her desire just not the one to be without him AND to crush him. She did mention after several drinks that he does have a 13 year old child. And HIV.
I’ll admit I was once HIV savvy, I know how it is contracted and the ramifications. Since my days in Health class science has made giant leaps forward and from what little I’ve read it is not as transmittable as it once was (this I do not understand and hence hold some skepticism). Not long ago HIV was a death sentence. Perhaps I’m dating myself here but that virus scares me. And my friend’s cavalier attitude about it is equally frightening. As is her attitude about protection.
Drunk and high from work, she went home with the third guy in rotation and in the heat of the moment did not pause for protection. Said guy released inside to her frustration resulting in a trip to the pharmacy for Plan B. I politely reminded my friend that she is smart enough and old enough to know better than not to use a condom. Especially with a guy (I’m hesitant to use the word Man here) she barely knows. As if Bachelor #2 did not sport enough evidence of protection. If she is involved with all of these guys who knows how many of them are involved with other people. All of which is fine, so long as everyone is on the same page and honest and uses protection.
I crawled into bed with my husband, kissed him and was so grateful not to be in the dating world and exposed to this. As free spirited as I think I may be, the idea of sharing such intimate moments with a quasi-stranger, pedophile (reformed), lover who I hope to harm has zero appeal to me. I’ll keep my fantasies as that, figments in my head.