At the end of 2016, I dated Old Greg.
He tried to play digital Love Games with me.
Unfortunately for him, he was literally an old mate… and we all know how bad Baby Boomers are with technology.
When I met *Greg I was ridin’ a huge wave of change; after years of long-term relationships, ol’ Classic was starting fresh baby! With warm weather on the way, I was feeling feisty. There’s no passion like a Hanson ready for a summer of love… or lust at least.
So with a glass half-full of IPA and back on Tinder, I matched with a Kiwi guy who ticked all my boxes; tattoos, try-hard hipster, wine maker. Jackpot. Despite the fact that he was so desperate for me to be impressed by his Yeezys (I wasn’t) we hit it off. He seemed kind of manic, but I welcomed the rapid-fire chats as a distraction from what was suddenly a very quiet house. I mean, what newly single girl doesn’t love constant validation? Real talk.
After beers at Embargo and Dutch Trading Co, I made the faux pas of going back to his place. I should note that generally I’m super in favour of a rummage on the first date. Screw delayed gratification, you’re cutting to the chase; there’s no time wasted should there be a disappointing downstairs situation. But in this case it was a bad move. Firstly, I was clearly leaping from one relationship to literally whoever was next. Secondly, this dude had no chill whatsoever.
Greg was a textbook man-child, with the most fragile of male egos. While the sex was great, the behaviour was bonkers. We’d have an amazing date… then he’d add all my male workmates on Instagram. Everything was fantastic… then suddenly he’d be a sulking headache – all snide remarks and mean jabs. He would be overtly boyfriendy in public… then out of nowhere call me a fat slut. I couldn’t keep up with the mood swings – and this is coming from me, queen of a creating an atmosphere.
This guy had truly mastered gas-lighting; everything was always somehow my fault. Like the time he drunk-drove us home and we went through a booze bus – how dare I live in that direction? When I was busy at work and couldn’t message back – why wasn’t he a priority? Most memorable: when I accidentally spilled coffee in Greg’s car. He absolutely lost it, then called me a prude when I didn’t let him fuck me in the hallway of his share-house as my ‘punishment’. Wasn’t the relationship punishment enough?
After all of 2 months, I was exhausted. Embarrassed to still be texting him. By this point, my sister’s boyfriend was Photoshopping Greg into memes; the whole thing was literally a joke. I knew I shouldn’t catch feelings for such a train-wreck… but hormones are powerful little bastards.
On December 23rd I stayed over Greg’s house, and then drove home for Christmas. The whole trip we texted sweet nothings; he said he’d fallen for me, and asked me to be his girlfriend. The love bug had bitten. On Christmas morning we were layin’ it on thick, I had total heart-eyes for old Greg. But by afternoon, the gifts under the tree had all been opened, and I was a lethal combination of champagne-drunk and bored. The perfect time to lurk his ex-girlfriend. And there it was.
An Instagram post: Christmas Eve, his bedroom that I’d just left, gift exchange. I fully support exes staying friends, so I didn’t immediately react. I lurked further. Super regular hangs. Ok. I date-checked. More same-day overlapping with me. Good God, Greg should have a PA for such scheduling. Final confirmation: they were definitely still a couple. My eyes narrowed… then welled.
I felt like an absolute fool.
I hate to admit it, I cried floods.
Then with clinical precision and two text-messages, I cut it off.
Cried some more.
Ate a world of Christmas pudding.
Fully succumbed to delicious, festive heartbreak.
From New Year onwards, Hoe Hanson got her swagger back. Upon reflection, Greg served a purpose; for me to build a thicker skin as a single girl. My default has always been to inherently trust people… not anymore. So I guess, thanks c**t? Ultimately, I’m lucky that he was a luddite, and I was suspicious. Today, I generally respond to anything he sends me with an acidic aside. Loves it.
When it comes to dating generally, there’s nothing wrong with seeing multiple people – provided you are honest in your actions. If Greg had told me that he was still dating his ex but they had an open agreement, I could have taken that information and altered my behaviour accordingly. Chosen whether or not to dive in. Because I didn’t know, I felt two things:
- Blindsided by him.
Everyone hates feeling dumb… especially me. Hell hath no fury like a Hanson scorned.
- That I’d been unintentionally shady to her.
My moral-basement ethos has always been that if I choose ruin my relationship, I’ll wear the bad-person backlash. However, I would never knowingly enter into a situation that may hurt another girl’s heart. I’m not actually a bitch, my face just rests that way.
It’s a pop-culture cliché that ‘men can’t multi-task’. I disagree. I just think some people – men and women – bite off more than they can chew. The result: they either don’t meet their deadline, or they do a shit job of both tasks. Greg was definitely the latter.
I made a lot of mistakes with this one. I mistook age for maturity. I mistook shared interests for shared values. And I mistook attention for affection. Boy, did I pay for it.
Dating Old Greg felt like teaching your parents to use an iPad. Tedious and frustrating.
And just like when I set up my Mum’s smartphone, I needed a drink after.
Not Baileys out of a shoe. Or any of the shit wine he makes.