loading
drag

Are you really into them or are you just bored?

PHOTOGRAPHY BY HAYLEY PEASE
WORDS BY BROOKE HANNEL

Boredom can trick you into dating people you’re not attracted to or compatible with.

Nicholas Cage is smiling down at me, his face swaying on a shower curtain, pulled back enough for me to see the variations of three-in-one shampoo placed behind it. To my left sits the one-ply toilet paper that is practically see-through. My hand waves back at me from the other side of it. I sigh, hoping this experience will be quick.

As I get up to wash my hands, I notice the only hand soap available is Shea Moisture Three-in-One. I shudder at the thought that this has been a replacement for soap for weeks now. As I turn on the sink, the faucet comes off and I can’t help but to look up at my own reflection in despair. There’s only one thought echoing throughout my entire being: ‘What the fuck am I doing here?’.


For more relationship advice head to our Life section.


I will tell you exactly what I was doing there. I was bored. After months isolated in quarantine with much to fantasise about (i.e. Hollywood directed dates) and not a lot to talk about, my boredom skyrocketed. Conversations with friends were struggling without any entertaining dating stories or romantic prospects.

The easiest thing to talk about is dating, and bringing up my new obsession with online poker wouldn’t cut it. Plus, we all know a quick cure-all for boredom would be to go on a date, as it will give you something to think about and talk about. Which eventually led to my cursed bathroom situation.

After quarantine, I threw my pickiness out of the window. I was going to say ‘yes’ to any boy that would even start to utter the words, “Want to go out?”. And that mindset had led me to my downfall. I began going out with boys, who otherwise I would have not gone out with, to fill the void. I wanted a distraction. I chose noise over silence – anything to get me out of a nasty season of boredom.

I first went out with a boy who tried to mirror John Mayer. He was a self-proclaimed feminist who despised Taylor Swift. He informed me that he only listened to music made before the ’90s (insert eye-roll) and filled his home with beer bottles as “decoration”. At first glance, I thought he was cute and that he would make do. And at one point I even thought that I might like him. But clearly, I was exceptionally bored (anything to get rid of my nights playing online poker.)

I quickly realised he wasn’t as respectful as I’d hoped for. He only ever wanted to meet up in his neck of the woods, which was about a 40-minute drive from my place. The one time I suggested meeting halfway he told me he hated leaving the city (can’t you see John Mayer saying that?). The first time he kissed me, I pulled away, mainly because he tasted like cigarettes and I was not prepared for that.

But once that happened he was visibly upset. The self-proclaimed feminist practically threw a tantrum because I refused to continue kissing him. Even after he offered to chew a whole pack of gum while I sat on his bed. Honestly, the audacity of me. On my way home, after being lectured on how to be nicer, I sat there thinking about all the things I let this boy get away with.

I let him hate on my taste in music, get mad at me for not kissing him and allowed him to dictate where I spent my time. And I knew that’s not what I’d wanted at all. But I didn’t exactly learn my lesson when it came to boredom dating. Sometime later I began seeing another boy, the owner of the aforementioned cursed bathroom. At first glance, I was not attracted to him. He dressed like a kindergartner and his presence was overwhelming, as if he demanded attention wherever he went.

But I thought he was funny and nice, and we had similar taste in movies. I thought this could be the end of my boredom (for at least a few months). I would have something to think about and talk about! During a pandemic, I considered that a win. But instead of actually thinking about whether I genuinely liked him, I was fixated on having a distraction. He was something I could fill my time with, and I allowed him to do that without really knowing his true character.

After a few weeks, we decided to go on a double date. Me and him, his best friend and my best friend. We thought it’d be a fun time. However, both guys showed up on the date high on acid. Over ice cream, he leaned over and whispered, “We took acid and went to the aquarium before we got here”. As I looked up I could see his eyes were dilated and my first thought was, ‘He drove?’. They then spent the rest of the date rather disoriented, his friend even tried to grab my boob, while my date stood there looking at the sky.

I wish I could say that was the end of my time with him, but I allowed him to disrespect me even more. Are we surprised? Not really! After the double date, I hadn’t heard much from him, but I wanted my distraction. I ended up repeatedly texting him, trying to get in contact. I even asked him to go on a picnic with me. At times I would stop and think, ‘Am I doing this because I like him or am I bored?’, but I refused to know the answer before I saw him again.

Weeks passed, and I finally convinced him to go on a picnic (after some ghosting on his part). As soon as I saw him at the park, I felt sick to my stomach. I felt so wrong. I didn’t feel like myself. In any other circumstance, I would never practically beg someone to hang out with me. Nor would I consistently text them hoping for a response. I normally wouldn’t try to spend my time with someone who clearly doesn’t want to spend it with me. It was so unlike myself, and I felt embarrassed.

I wanted to walk away, but he was already heading towards me. So we sat down for my makeshift picnic, where I endured awkward silence and shallow questions about friends and trips. After a painful hour, we got up to leave. He didn’t say a word, shook my hand, got into his car and sped off. If you’re wondering, I got over him in 30 minutes.

The only thing I didn’t get over was how much I sacrificed my boundaries to treat a case of boredom. I could have learned to fence or painted something elaborate instead of going out with guys who disrespected me. Yes, I got the fun stories to tell but I have yet to heal the part of me I let them take away.

What I did learn is that that boredom is dating’s most dangerous foe. It will trick you into dating people you’re not even attracted to or compatible with. Perhaps the safest way to go about dating someone is to ask yourself, “Am I truly into them or am I just bored?”.

For signs to consider before you date somebody, head here

Lazy Loading