Tag Archives: office romance


1 Oct

I’ve been thinking. Musing, if you will. (And, of course, crying a lot.) All about disappointment.

It’s one of the emotions that grabs you right at the start of your breakup and (along with anger) just doesn’t let go. The shock melts away. The humiliation pales slightly. But the disappointment, ugh, it only seems to get deeper and deeper.

The first time I felt proper boy disappointment was the year I moved to London. All through school and university I had been the funny girl in my group of friends. Not the pretty girl. Certainly not the hot girl. Just the funny girl. Well, I lost weight, I let my hair return to its natural colour (which is really very nice), I bought some new clothes, I got a job in marketing. Oh, my life was about to begin!

Three weeks into my new job, we had a ‘new starters’ evening, and a new colleague from the Manchester office came down to London for a night out with us. Let’s call this colleague ‘G’. The moment I saw him, I was smitten. Tall, dark, Northern accent. Swoon. My friend established the he was single, and – more to the point – that he thought I was “cute”.

After far too many vodkas, I’m embarrassed to tell you that we spent the night together in the company flat, which he was supposed to be staying in alone. I would like to be clear that there was no sex, just lots and lots of kissing. The next day at work I was quick to tell everyone that I didn’t want to get a reputation and that this wasn’t like me. Secretly, I felt nothing but glee.

And so began an 18-month ‘thing’ with G. He was in Manchester. I was in London. He saw other girls. I saw other boys. But we talked every day, we called each other when we were drunk, we sent hundreds and hundreds of text messages every weekend. We became best friends. We said we loved each other. And I was so sure that, sooner or later, we would officially get together and make the distance thing work.

Fast forward to the Christmas party 18 months later. That was when we finally kissed again. We stood outside the bar in each other’s arms, and I remember thinking that – at long last – it was going to happen. G told me he wanted to make things work. He loved me. He wanted me to be his girlfriend. I was beyond ecstatic.

The next day he went back to Manchester. He hardly even replied to my text messages. Except, that is, to tell me that he was seeing someone else.

After 18 months, I lost my best friend and all that hope and excitement I had held inside. It hurt. I cried a lot. I got very drunk. A few months later I started dating a man who was ten years older than me, and I tried to forget G.

We’re Facebook friends these days. He got married a couple of years ago (to the girl he was seeing back when we did all the Christmas party kissing). I feel nothing for him. He’s lost most of his lovely dark hair, and his Facebook statuses are neither witty nor well punctuated.

But I do feel for 24-year-old me, and how horribly disappointed she was.

Of course I’ve had other disappointments over the years. But nothing quite like this time around. Seven years ago I missed out on the boyfriend I wanted. This time I was ready for the whole works. Moving in, marriage, kids, happily ever after. Just like G, my ex was the one to say this was what he wanted. Just like G, he didn’t mean it.

I’ve never felt a disappointment this sickening.

I guess the stakes get higher as you get older. But, if you think about it, that means the risk is even more worthwhile.