It looks like a relationship and feels like one. You talk constantly, tell each other your hopes and dreams and in an alternative world, you have all the makings of a Disney movie. Apart from that one minor, if oh so important, technicality; that you’re not actually together. Often these are born out of break-ups where couples can’t quite let go, men who can’t commit, are scared to be alone or really just really like the taste of your cooking. But, nevertheless we’ve probably all been in one or, at the very least, seen friends suffer through them; so for the sake of humanity here are my five signs that you’re a fake girlfriend or boyfriend (a less common, but just as valid conundrum) – I’m all about the #equality.
- No kissing
Obviously, this is the most crucial point to my hypothesis: the lack of intimate physical contact. You might touch, hug, accidentally on purpose brush their leg with your arm, but that’s as far as it will actually go. Because otherwise you would actually be dating, or friends with benefits. Which is another topic for an entirely different blog. Although may I be so bold as to add that there is a myriad of ways of obtaining aforementioned “benefits” without ruining a friendship although as usual, I digress. In a fake relationship however close you get both physically and emotionally; fake boyfriend is never gonna lean in for that Hollywood moment. Because home boy knows once that line is crossed there really is no turning back.
- Meet the parents
I have to be honest this is not a phenomenon I can even begin to fathom having neither a degree in advanced psychology of frankly even the faintest inclination of the inner workings of the male psyche (for further information please feel free to read my previous blogs.) However, fake boyfriends almost always want you to meet their family – “oh you’ll get on so well with Aunt Sandra/Sister Beatrice/Mummy Hannah.” True story I once had a fake boyfriend who was more than happy to introduce me to his entire extended mishpucha until we actually started dating when his enthusiasm cooled quicker than an Eskimo at Christmas. Go Figure.
- Everyone will thinking you’re dating
“But surely you are,” “I mean you can tell me…honestly,” or my personal favourite “c’mon you must be banging.” And you’ll smile coyly and protest loudly whilst secretly being pleased that outsiders validate your hope that maybe this actually is going somewhere. Luv I’m afraid that until your not-so-significant other gets the memo, and regardless what the rest of North West London believes, it isn’t so.
- Girlfriendly duties
This can span anything from cooking, ironing to emotional support that goes far beyond normal friendly duties (weddings, funerals, family crises etc….) What I have learnt over the years is that if you give a man an inch, he will indeed take a mile. And quite frankly single men are quite possibly what keeps the entire takeout industry afloat, so do your bit for the economy and put the pot down.
- Listen to your gut
If you will indulge me a momentary segway into religious philosophy if for no other reason than my brief seminary education should count for something, in the Jewish religion there is the Yezter Hora “the bad inclination” and the Yetzer Tov “the good inclination” which both live within within you. Now in a fake relationship, your Yetzer Tov will instinctively know that the late night phone calls, the constant messaging cannot possibly be healthy. However, your Yetzer Hora will apply pressure, with a serious of “what ifs”, – What if he falls for me? What if he changes his mind? What if I suddenly grow wings and could fly? All possible, in theory. In actuality – much much less so. Lads and lasses listen to your instinct and to your Yetzer Tov….run far and run fast. Because, whilst the relationship may be fake when it ends, and trust me on this, it will feel far too real. And there simply isn’t enough Ben ‘n’ Jerrys in the world.