Ever since I could remember I’ve always been in love with the unattainable. As the moody teenager dressed mostly in black, books were my escape from the dreary existence that was my life growing up in a small village in the Swedish countryside. I watched most of my friends start relationships – but for me, getting together with one of the local boys was about as likely as Mr Darcy jumping out from the pages of Pride and Prejudice and dramatically declaring that there was nothing else in the world he desired more than to make bespectacled, sixteen year old Emy the mistress of Pemberley.
Yes, I was a romantic. Now, not just I, but even the word itself seems so… naive. After having been in two serious relationships the reality is that there is no fairy tale happy ending. Don’t get me wrong, there is no bitterness here, only rationality. I have been cured of my obsession with romance, if you will. It does not change lives or other people, but it might change you. I no longer expect to get everything from one person, which is extremely liberating because I’ve learned to let go of the impossibly high expectations I had of every lad that I had a romantic liaison with, not to mention the demands on myself.
Thus, the time that many people in their twenties face reared its surprising head not too long ago: the time to Throw Your Cat Around. It has many other names of course, such as engaging in casual and no strings attached sex, but this particular phrase being my favourite, we’ll stick with it for now. An appalling image to the young, romantic me of course, but let me tell you something. Choose your companion wisely and it ain’t half bad. Another thing aimed specifically at you fellas, please don’t think that just because we spent a night bumping uglies that it means that I now want to call you my boyfriend. Because I really, really don’t.
The first steps into unknown cat-throwing territory were taken with the most gorgeous man I have ever seen up close. We’d known each other for a while but this was the first time we were both single, and since the man has a smile with an effect similar to Zoolander’s Magnum, I gladly surrendered to his charms. Another one was a Zach Braff look-a-like, only German and with the same obscure, filthy sense of humour as myself. I can hereby confirm that it is most definitely possible to laugh a woman into bed. However, when the final instalment of the cat-throwing saga started off on a Friday night at the pub, I started to think this through. Well, not until the next morning of course, as I did the ever so charming walk home. Contestant number three was kind of a combination of the above two. Somebody I’d known for a while, with a lovely smile and my biggest weakness, a beard. We had a grand time together, which was all I wanted, but how much longer could I continue down this path? Where was the post-coital guilt, where was the shagger’s shame?
The truth is there is no guilt, nor shame. Life’s too short to be constantly worrying about where every little decision is going to take you. Having previously spent years pondering and analysing, it was high time to stop. I didn’t plan any of these sexual escapades to happen, but they did, and I’m glad of it.