The insider: July 2009

Another day, another date, another set of hopes dashed already
Maev Kennedy
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Look, no offence, I have nothing against the man and I'm delighted that you're so happy together, but this time I'm not even going to shake hands.

This time I'm going to save us all the heartbreak of investing so much optimism and aspiration in a relationship that is just never going to work. This time I think I won't even bother saying hello.

I know, I know, this time it's different. He seems so nice, he seems so interested, he's so keen to hear of all your little plans and projects, he's thinking of all sorts of lovely things you can do together, he laughs at your jokes and he wants to meet all your friends.

But we've been here before, haven't we?

Andy and James, Chris, Stephen, Peter, David. And nobody can accuse you of not keeping an open mind. There were all those women called Tessa and that tall elegant one - Virginia, was it?

And you become best friends with their friends, like David and clever, quiet Estelle, but they always move on, too.

In the knowledge supermarkets that were once libraries, there are whole sections devoted to avoiding the anguish of relationships like these: he talks the talk, walks the walk - but the eye is already wandering over your shoulder to the next in line, though it's sweet that Chris still keeps in touch and his nice friend Mark writes. He always says that it's not you, it's him - and to some extent that's true.

He never has enough money to treat you right, and he's never really master of his own destiny: when the boss says jump, all he can really do is ask how high. And if he's clever, it will be high; if he's not, it will be a topple right out of the pram.

And so now it's lovely Ben. This time it's his dream relationship, the one he's been waiting for all his life. But let's just wait and see.

Museums, I'm really sorry to say this, but it's kinder in the end to be honest: he's just not that into you.

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