The great part about writing a blog on WordPress is that the site is sophisticated enough to work backwards – I can not only tell how many people are reading the blog, but the site lets me know how they found it. Using this function, a few days ago I discovered a link to my blog, posted on a forum about Internet dating.
It was an interesting read – one guy was quoting my advice about how I prefer a man to suggest a meal rather than a drink for a first date, and asking other girls on the forum if they agreed (some did, some didn’t). But the bit that caught my eye was one woman’s discussion of Henley Boy. A hardened Internet dater, she called me naive. It was a criticism I found interesting, as I’ve never really thought of myself as naive. Fussy, yes. . A snob, to some degree! Superficial, in some ways …. But naive …?
As an almost-thirty year-old, I like to think I understand boys. I can normally read when they’re only after one thing, or when they’re just not that into me. But the Henley Boy situation completely confounded me, because the guy went from so hot to so cold literally in the space of a few hours, and with no obvious reason. What doesn’t really help is that even my male friends who like to think of themselves as players don’t know the answer either! Unfortunately it’s not as simple as me having had sex with HB and him disappearing off, never to be heard from again. Nor was there ever a suggestion that he wouldn’t have been able to sleep with me with a bit more effort. I guess I’ll never really know why he put in so much effort for two weeks, never to be seen again …
It’s an interesting one, because HB seems to have divided my female readers. A great number have messaged me with similar tales. It seems almost every girl has had some kind of Henley Boy experience in the past (even my friend’s mum, though she called hers the ‘Ugandan Prince’!).
But some girls apparently don’t understand why you can get so hung up over someone you’ve literally known for three weeks…
I guess for me, the issue is closure. HB just stopped replying to my texts one day, and when I asked what had happened, he never replied with any answer at all. So I never got an answer, and never got to mentally close the case.
I’m just over a month into my 30 Dates Challenge, and exactly a third of the way in. But after ten dates, and an additional twenty speed-dates, I have to admit that I haven’t stopped wondering about Henley Boy. In fact, it’s actually the better dates which make me think of him, because afterwards I’ve found myself mentally comparing the men to him.
This is another thing that not all the blog readers can understand. How can HB be a perfect date when after just three weeks he never contacted me again?
I don’t necessarily have an answer. I know he wasn’t a perfect guy. I know he treated me really awfully by literally never replying to me after cancelling our third date, but all my actual interactions with him (where he actually replied!) were great.
We chatted for three weeks, over texts and lengthy phone conversations. We had a four hour-long first date where we didn’t stop talking and laughing, and a second date that felt so comfortable we could have been dating for weeks. We spoke so much, that I know more personal details about him than I do most of my work colleagues. And those are the bits I find myself comparing the better dates to …
It’s the Eclipse Effect.
I’ve noticed it throughout my adult love life. When a guy has a big effect on you, the only real way you ever get over him is by waiting for someone else to come along and eclipse that effect. That might sound simple, but when you’re particularly picky, that eclipse can take an awfully long time.
Last year, my ex boyfriend split up with me, telling me I was too paranoid about him not being over his ex-girlfriend. A few months later, he moved back in with her! In the grand scheme of things, he treated me way worse than HB, and yet, it still took over a year for someone to come along, and properly eclipse my ex. And that guy was Henley Boy.
They call it a ‘spark’. And I think the reason for that, is not just because sometimes physical attraction can feel electric. It’s also because flying sparks aren’t everyday occurrences. How many times a year do you see lightning?
Looking back, if pushed, I could probably tell you the moment I met all of the men who’ve made a definite impression on my love life. The moment the ‘spark’ hit, has stayed with me for life.
And so realistically, with no source of actual Closure on the Henley Boy situation (short of someone inadvertently setting me up on a Blind Date with him!) my only chance of stopping dwelling on him is gonna be the hope of an Eclipse.
Can one of the next twenty dates eclipse Henley Boy? I guess we’re just going to have to wait to find out ….
Miss Twenty-Nine xxx