Photo: Lex  Masberg (CC- NC-ND)
Daydreaming about European men 

my girlfriend doesn't have to know

I’ve always fantasized about European men, with their impeccable sense of style, trendy haircuts and cute accents. Compared to the Americans I dated during my studies in the U.S., they seemed sexy and sophisticated, and I daydreamed of classy dates in French restaurants, partying all night in fancy clubs and weekend trips to Italy or Spain. And the bonus? European men are rumoured to be very liberal and experimental in bed, and since moving to a very international university in the UK, I’ve been extremely eager to test whether any of these stereotypes are in fact true. I soon found some answers.

Everything started out quite well, as I began to meet and flirt with men from all across Europe. And then, I met my Achilles heel: men in long-term, long-distance relationships. If they’re single, I’m not interested. If they’re in a long-term, long-distance relationship, I’m apparently unable to resist. Well, it’s not so simple. Of course I’d rather they weren’t in relationships, and the fact that they were always made me really uncomfortable. But the thing about these men is that they can also be so persuasive and persistent, always letting you know that they’re into you, they want to sleep with you, and no, their girlfriend doesn’t have to know. Hm. I wish I could say that I fell for this story once, but I’m afraid the number is more like twice. In a row.

The craziest thing is how similar the two men in question are. They’re both German, both studying the same course as me, and both have been in their respective relationships for five years. My friends like to joke that I have the ‘curse of the Germans,’ given the nationality of the last four men I’ve slept with. You’d think I’d learn from bad experiences, but apparently I’m slow to catch on.

With the first German, let’s call him German One, things happened incredibly quickly. He began attending all my parties at the beginning of the year, even though we didn’t know each other that well, and after about the third one he came up to my room. It didn’t take long for him to start kissing me, and I protested immediately. "Don’t you have a girlfriend?" He responded, "Yes, but I’m just so attracted to you and I can’t resist." We began a secret relationship a week later.

"Don’t you have a girlfriend?" He responded, "Yes, but I’m just so attracted to you and I can’t resist."

At several points, when I would ask why he was doing this to his girlfriend, he would say something along the lines of, "well I really like you and I want to see where things go." The implication being that we had a real chance to be together. So I continued to tolerate his duplicity, especially since the sexual chemistry between us was unbelievable, and chose to ignore the fact that if he were truly serious about being with me, he would end it with his girlfriend. As you might have guessed, he never did and I eventually broke things off, quite heartbroken.

With German Two, things were slightly more complicated. I was scarred by the experience I’d just had with German One and needed time to lick my wounds. But I’d also had a crush on German Two since I first arrived. Unlike before, it began very innocently, with multiple study dates in the library, lunches and coffees on the grass outside. Then came dinners with bottles of wine and buying each other small gifts. Eventually, we confessed our mutual attraction, but I made it clear that while he was with his girlfriend I was closed for business. A little while later, he ended things with her, to my great surprise and happiness. And then we lived happily ever after.

Or so I wished. Despite being officially broken up with his girlfriend, German Two still wanted to keep our relationship a secret, out of respect to her. This seemed sensible, so I agreed. But after a while, I began to realize things weren’t really over between them, and it finally occurred to me that I was his little something in between, and that as soon as he returned to Germany they would get back together. There I was, heartbroken again.

IN -1131 DAYS