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You Say Coffee, I Say Commitment, Let's Call the Whole Thing Off (Or On)

The words co and dependency mix together as well as gorgonzola and Parker pen ink. My 500 hundred hour journey (ok, 600 hours) back from the Philippines to California made me think about emotional vulnerability and how men take advantage of that (don’t email me men – I know – women can be horrifically manipulative too). 

2 Mugs of Coffee

The girls in eastern Asia could tell you a few tales about emotional vulnerability…..

But what about western women who don’t live in third world countries that have a roof over their head and Manolos in the closet? What’s their excuse?

Yes. No. Quite.

Maybe I’m the stereo-non-typical only child who was bought up on the roughest estate, but people had identity. They owned themselves. There was something about survival that made you honour who you were, not what you had (we had nothing) and indeed what you stood for. Even someone’s penchant for stabbing people in the leg was considered original. We had interests over another person’s love. The fact is – I don’t remember up north, much of this codependency nonsense in relationships.

Yes that’s it. Nonsense. Perpetuating fear that feeds on a mentality of lover-lack.

What do I mean by all this bizarre word play? Alright. I mean this.

People have got to chill out.

A coffee is a coffee. A dinner is a dinner. It is not marriage, nor even dating unless it’s stated. It does not mean you begin to photoshop your babies or emboss your love calculation in calligraphy.

It means you let things happen at a glacial pace and is a mutual decision. The speedy uppy thing that many women (come on girls, we’ve all done it, just let it out) can do on pace (the dreaming, the over expectation, the HE LOOKED INTO MY EYES FOR 2.5. SECONDS) really should be managed to a dignified – if not – ground zero level.

Because it’s causing an after affect. The after affect is that men are pooping themselves at just wanting to discover someone. If they suggest a coffee, the girl has bought a prom dress for the occasion. So men are giving up. Or if they do try– they are doing it in secret and asking girls to sign a disclaimer.

Where are my girls of strength, ownership and emotional management? Applauding this article? You’re too kind.

On one of my 3,245 flights home from the Philippines (okay 3,247), I was chatting to the boys in the team and my word, even prophecy has to be a wary factor with females, in case they mistake it for flirting.

Poor God, He must get royally cheesed off. I can just picture Him now overlooking a ‘prophetic word’ for the hot one in the second year of Bethel:

‘Wow I believe I just told you he would be in Politics, not that his biceps were going to save souls. Hi? Hi are you listening to me? Oh I see. You are taking over here. Marvellous.’

The same expectation carries through to friends hanging out and working out if they are worth a pursuit.

So lads and lasses, let’s get this straightened – like Korea’s train track.

When two people hang out, a lot, if they are healthy, they have probably communicated between each other where they are at.  Be it intentional friends, poker players or non-committal make outs with a beneficial car-pooling route.

They will let you know if they are dating, just please give them the room before you start declaring a ton of fear from your own crazy projections and then start creating expectations in the couple or indeed unnecessary pressure.

Pressure should remain in an oven, not a friendship.

Are many girls too needy? Too much? Do they excrete, wrongly, an air of desperation that not even Dettol can eradicate?

I sound harsh. Because I am darling. (I will compliment you later I promise). But Carrie is getting on her Jo Malone soap box. Because I’m sick of seeing boys not stepping out and asking chicks on a date – and yet I understand why they aren’t. And I can’t even have a platonic conversation with some men without them thinking I am visualizing our babies whilst they talk about their thoughts on the recent Alan De Botton novel.

It starts with us ladies.

Just as a healthy man will say if he wants to date you, and if he is interested, he will communicate that with you. If he’s not communicating that, why on EARTH would you wanna go wasting your cross network minutes anyway?

Let’s all hold hands whilst we recognise the difference between expectations and expectancy. I’m not going to explain, you can work it out, my word count is tight on here.

Despite the beautiful single girls surrounding me, despite the plethora of emotionally intelligent men, despite the fact that our teachers will make all the singles stand up in class to take a hefty look around at the potential, not many of them are dating.

Hmm. Over excitement about coffee perhaps? IT’S A LATTE. YOU DIDN'T MAKE OUT OVER THE CINNAMON POWDER DID YOU? SHEESH.

It’s okay. I’ve slipped a sedative into my green tea. It’ll kick in.

Nostalgia has thumped me and I’m reminded of those phone calls years ago from girlfriends phoning you at inhumane hours. This is an actual conversation I had and it’s more real than Hoff’s hair.

Friend Who Needs Help: ‘It’s urgent. I got a TEXT!’

Me: ‘Huh?’


‘Who? What? What did it say?’

‘It says….Hi, sorry to disturb but is your friend Sarah single?’

‘Oh no’

‘That classic, I’m interested in someone else but actually I’m interested in you game’.

‘No, I think he might actually want Sarah to be single – so he can date her. Maybe one day make a little love to her’.

Silence….then she proceeds:

‘He could get her number off anyone. He chose to text me. In that solid 10 seconds he texted me. He was thinking of me when he wrote it. Me. Me. Not Sarah. Me. He put a kiss at the end of it. So that means only one thing. I should ask him out’

‘It’s an absolute, not even last resort, categorical, no from me.’

‘You’re right, I should ask.’

‘Is this signal bad? I said no.’

‘He’s good to go?’


‘He likes fruit? I’ll buy some for our first date.’

‘I give up.’

‘What should I wear?’

‘The sweater of shame….Farewell. Call me from the other side.’

The ‘pretend’ bumping into him, the tactical reasons to communicate with them, the subliminal Facebook statuses geared to make him notice. The 2,000 Instagram photos of the same shot, in the club toilet mirror, of you, on your own, with no friends, with just different shades of lipstick on...wearing that sweater of shame.

When he doesn’t get in touch. You blame it on wearing the wrong shade of L’Oreal. Truth is, he sensed your tension a mile away – like human blood to a shark.

Keep yourself protected, no not with condoms (no need for such things in Christian climates), but with a splash of wisdom and oodles of communication. Be up to date and if you’re even having to question if the dude likes you, then just do yourself the dignified favour and remind yourself courting needn’t be this hard, or as exhausting.

It’s supposed to be romantic, beautiful, outrageous and bonkers.

Believe me sister, I’ve been there and I’ve felt freedom since I stopped this ridiculous excitement in 2005. It makes things real.

There’s nothing more beautiful than being at a random village hall event dressed as Cruella De Vil, to find yourself being dragged outside by a handsome man, to pinning you against a wall and saying ‘Ok here it is – I like you. I really like you. And I want you to be my girl.’

My response? ‘Where do you think we are at?’

‘This is where I think we’re at’ – CUE KISS.

That’s when you know the dude likes you.

Co-dependancy is controlling, manipulative, fearful and incredibly dull. You begin to expect the other person to do everything and you struggle to keep up – because you didn’t put anything in there yourself. It’s a selfish approach that makes the other person never feel known.

And yes co-dependency starts as early as an over-hopeful coffee date.

Girlfriends – lets take a stand and enjoy who we are as beautiful solos. I know why you panic, I know you want to protect your heart. But protection is different to fear. Let's not make ridiculous rules about what things are or mean. Let's start listening to what men actually say and note more importantly, what they don’t say.

Boys – not every girl is like this. Just some, don’t let the culture you’ve experienced dictate how you view every woman. Some of us take ownership and like to decide if we actually want you anyway.

Your pal.

Carrie – doesn’t have much of a clue really – that sedative kicked in instantly - Gracey.