3. two and a half men

Updated: Sep 25

Hi there, you have now reached my third blog post in which I have inexplicably decided to share my previously private thoughts and feelings in unabridged confessionals. Since my last post, I have mulled over whether making my diary public is actually a wise move and I have reached the conclusion that it most certainly is not. However, I have also decided to ignore all logic and my better judgment. I often go against my better judgment, but this is, in part, because my better judgment also tells me that my better judgment is probably wrong, which introduces quite the conundrum.

In this entry, I wish to discuss something suggested to me by my better judgment that I think is actually a pretty decent idea - this being that I shouldn't date male comedians. I haven't dated many male comedians - but from my small sample size, I have extrapolated data and the findings are not particularly favourable. As it stands, I have only dated 2 and a half male comedians. I'd like to clarify that when I say “2 and a half”, I do not mean it in the same way the TV show by the same name does - where the 'half' refers to a child. This post is about me dating male comedians, not me dating like a male comedian. The reason I have only allocated a half point to one of the contestants is because I wasn’t actually made aware that I was dating him until he dumped me.

Seriously though, I don't believe that I am in any way qualified to be giving out dating advice, which is the very reason I chose to say I shouldn't date male comedians. It is completely up to you if you choose to apply my incredibly sound logic to your own life. I personally think you shouldn’t date male comedians either - more specifically, you shouldn't date Tom Rosenthal. This is nothing against Tom, I'd just prefer it if you didn't date him because I'd like to. (I’d like to highlight that a friend proofread this and told me to take this joke out in case he sees it because - how embarrassing. I agree with her, but structurally the bit is sound and as if Tom is reading my dumb little blog? She pointed out that the comedy world is terribly small so someone who knows him might and she has a point... but if so, be a pal???? put in a good word????)

Now, my friend is sensible and also not enough of a loser to have a blog, so I should probably take her advice. She raises a valid point, and it is, in fact, a lesson I have recently learned the hard way. The comedy world is small and incredibly insular, so at times, like any environment of such a nature, it can be riddled with unfair and baseless gossip. People share information without the full context, which often means that people can be misrepresented. People can share screenshots and something that you have said could be taken out of context to make you look insane. Hypothetically speaking. For this reason, it is probably smart to be selective about what you share and with whom. However, I have a self imposed word count to reach and no one is going to read this shit if it’s behind a pay-wall so I will be disregarding all these valid points. This being said, I will be making one minor amendment going forward. When I commenced writing this blog, I made the decision to use real names. I did so because I’m being honest in my writing and because I think if you don’t want someone to write little jokes about how you mistreat people, then there is an easy little trick to avoid it - quite the life hack indeed - don’t mistreat people.

Alas, I will not be naming names for the remainder of this particular blog post, and this is a direct result of my recent life lesson. I told a friend the stories I am about to share with you, and they came back to me in whispers. I previously had no intention of sharing these stories beyond my close friends, but I also had no intention of being Rebekah Vardy-ed. The Karlie Kloss to my Taylor Swift has now changed the landscape. If you don’t understand this reference, in ‘it’s time to go’, Taylor Swift sings about the words of a sister coming back in whispers proving she was not what she seemed - not a twin from her dreams, but a crook who was caught. This is definitely about Karlie, but I’ll release the PowerPoint presentation at a later date. Anyway, in light of similar events in my own life, I have now decided that if anyone is going to make me look bad by sharing my personal and private stories, it’s going to be me.

Male comedian number 1, or more accurately male comedian 0.5, is the most obvious starting point when it comes to sharing things I would rather no one knew. This is mainly because I have no choice but to share responsibility for some of the baseless gossip that arose from our alleged break up. Before I explain what happened between me and the half man, I must confess a problem I have. When people do things that I believe to be categorically insane, I don’t think it’s a good idea to tell them that their behaviour was insane. Instead, I like to show them, by mimicking their behaviour. If I get on their level and force their hand - they will then call me out for being insane and I get to say “oh so you agree, you think that’s an insane thing to do?”. I fully admit that behaving like the most famous “mean girl” is, in and of itself, a kind of insane way to live one’s life, but I only do it because I once met someone who did the same.

Eventually and inevitably such an approach resulted in pitfalls and I have now discovered that even if it is done in a hilarious point-proving manner, if you provide someone with what looks like concrete evidence that you are a psychopath, unfortunately, and arguably I really should’ve seen this one coming - they will have concrete evidence that you are a psychopath.

It all started with the half man when I half enjoyed a half pint in his company when we were on an alleged date. I say ‘alleged date’ because it was never clear to me that it was a date. We gigged together a few days prior and when we left the venue and headed to the tube he complimented my set and suggested we go for a drink sometime. I said yes, but it wasn’t clear if this was intended to be a date or a friendly drink with a fan. I went along anticipating that it could be either. I planned to adjust to whatever it ended up being and pretend I knew what it was intended to be all along. I wasn't not interested, but you would be correct to assume from my use of a double negative that I wasn’t sure. I figured I'd have a drink and I would find out. Find out, I certainly did.

Soon into the drink he started telling me a story. It sounded familiar and I realised I had heard him tell the same story on stage a few days prior. To give credit where credit is due, his performance was flawless, he performed it beat by beat, even pausing for laughter and at one point, presumably an applause break - which is a tough thing to commit to when the audience isn’t on board.

Herein lies the problem with dating a comic - and I count myself in this ridiculous category of human being - we are all pathetic little narcissists who regularly take it upon ourselves to pass judgment and talk about things we have no right to comment on. I have a blog about my life for goodness sake, I have no right to judge anyone for narcissism, yet here I am! Paramore's 2009 banger (the only exception) aside, I think dating comedians is a monumentally bad idea. I count myself in that - we are truly the worst, and you shouldn’t let anyone tell you otherwise, unless they are a pal of yours, putting in a good word.

All of us are gross and think that the silly words we write are worth hearing. We are all disgustingly proud that we are doing the thing that we have always thought was the coolest thing anyone could do, and we expect everyone else to share in our joy. People are always impressed when I tell them I do comedy but they shouldn’t be. All of us want you to think we are clever and artistic, we all like to romanticise ourselves and what we do - but really, we just say the same jokes time and time again like sociopaths. I’ll be the first to admit that I am not clever or artistic - if I am completely honest, the most clever thing I have ever done might be an acrostic poem.

Nevertheless, all of the half man appeared to be extremely disappointed when none of me felt the need to fawn over the fact that he could do comedy. I presumed this was because most men in comedy are used to their romantic interests being impressed with their sense of humour. I think most men, and not all men, but definitely the ones who say “not all men”, expect that they will be the funny one in relationships. Men on dating apps always say to me “I’ll let you be the funny one” when they learn that I do stand up, as if they have a choice in the matter. I haven’t missed much about dating during COVID except the disappointment when a man realises I am funnier than him. I often see him lose interest immediately after this. I don’t think men have the same problem - at gigs, I am often given advice while standing beside my male counterparts while they are given numbers. I think the main reason a sense of humour is often an aphrodisiac for straight women in the audience but not straight men, is because of the difference between how men and women view humour - this is a massive generalisation, but I think that most men define a sense of humour as someone who laughs at his jokes, but most women define a sense of humour as someone who can make her laugh.

On the conclusion of the alleged date, and for every minute that preceded it, neither of us was laughing nor making the other one laugh so I assumed that either it was never intended to be a date, or it was but we had both mutually and telepathically agreed to never do it again. We messaged for a short while after but eventually the polite messages fizzled out, and neither of us heard from the other for months, so it was quite the surprise when he dumped me. He messaged me to say that it wasn’t working for him, and he thought it would be better if we saw other people. I thought this was truly insane. Naturally, you’ll understand that I had no other choice than to get on his level. I replied feigning utter devastation, and he replied telling me to chill out, and as expected - informing me that we were never together. So that’s how people can share screenshots and something that you have said could be taken out of context to make you look insane. Hypothetically speaking.

Putting this experience in my back pocket, I learned my lesson and decided that going forward, I would do my utmost to avoid immature and needless gossip and maybe not send texts that could make me look crazy. I had this newly acquired attitude when I first kissed comedian number 2 - or more accurately, if we are speaking chronologically, comedian 1.5 - at a party in Edinburgh. I slightly overcorrected and dragged the poor guy behind the bins at the back of the venue so that no one would be able to gossip about it. I realise that I am now telling everyone about this in a public blog and I cannot apologise enough. I have included this man in this post for completeness but it is not actually fair that I dragged him behind the bins or that he is featured in a blog about why you shouldn't date comics because he’s definitely attractive enough to kiss in a well lit room and he's truly a very nice guy.

Even though he was truly a very nice guy, I feel the need to emphasise this and furthermore explain why I feel the need to emphasise this. The reason I really don’t like describing genuinely nice men as “nice guys” is because this term has been hijacked by men who are usually very far from nice. This has been discussed endlessly, I am well aware I am covering extremely well trodden ground and nothing I have to say will break it. We all know the men I am talking about - men who claim that ‘women always go for the wrong guy’ and that ‘nice guys always finish last’. Women cannot go for the wrong guy - women have this thing called agency so whoever they choose is who they choose, and “nice guys” don’t get to claim that this choice is wrong. Also the latter statement is categorically untrue - “nice guys” don’t finish last - I’ve done my research and they tend to finish quite quickly.

Because the “nice guy” descriptor has been commandeered by men who are not nice, it can occasionally be hard to distinguish between an actual nice guy and one who simply claims to be. Most of the time it is simple though - genuine nice guys don’t feel the need to tell you that they are nice.

Unfortunately, I thought that the next comedian was a nice guy but I found out that he was actually a “nice guy”™, and it took me longer than I would care to admit given the fact that there were definite signs. For example, when we were first getting to know each other we discussed how awful the comedy world can be, mainly with regards to how loads of women have experienced sexually inappropriate behaviour from their male counterparts. You know, fun first date conversations! He clearly saw this as an opportunity to posture himself and tell me what a gosh darn nice guy he is and how he would never do anything like that - as if I should swoon over the fact that he hasn’t assaulted anyone. I pride myself on normally seeing through this crap - for the record, a fun little drinking game I like to play around any nice guy/outspoken (read: “performative") feminist, is to ask him to elaborate on what he means when he says he has 'high standards for how he treats women'. Enjoy a sip every time he describes a literal law.

The thing is, I didn’t see it this time and I didn’t think this man would be that type of guy. I have since thought long and hard about how to describe this man to you but in doing so, I have experienced levels of writer’s block like never before. I finally understand how Taylor Swift felt about Calvin Harris (although she has never confirmed it herself, OG fans know that he is the boyfriend she has written the least about - notably only writing ‘This Is What You Came For’ which is a song about how great she is told from his point of view, and another song called ‘I Forgot That You Existed’ lol). Every early draft of this blog post was binned because I could not get it right - I repeatedly mistakenly described him as the overly vocal male feminist. But that is not who he is. He’s the guy who everyone describes as 'nice' because it’s the default setting a lot of us use when we have nothing else to say about a person, and I think that’s why, upon finding out that he was not actually nice, I found it difficult to find a description that encapsulates who he is.

“Very well, but you did go out with him”, you might say. And I think this is a very valid point, thank you for raising it. Another reason I am finding him difficult to describe to you is because my perception of him is now completely different to what it was when we started going out. I hate it when people retrospectively rewrite how they felt and what they thought of the other person - you can call your ex a psycho or unattractive all you want, but you dated them, and there was a reason you did. It reflects badly on you if you claim you never wanted to date them. I did obviously want to date this guy at one regrettable point, and I did feel completely different than I do now - but this was because I bought into his excellent PR campaign and believed he was actually nice.

Even on our first date he was waving red flags, telling me what a nice guy he is. He told me that he wasn’t like most guys in comedy, impressively managing to centre himself in the aforementioned discussion about women. He then differentiated himself from a close friend of mine and criticised him for “sleeping around”. I was surprised to hear my friend’s name brought up in a conversation of this nature, but I would never dismiss any accusations just because I like someone. I would never want to remain friends with or support someone who had done anything that warrants their place in a discussion like this. I told him this and he agreed. He told me that this guy was actually a bad guy, and said he thinks you shouldn’t support the bad guys - because that’s how they get away with it.

Rationally I asked him - what has he done? Were the encounters not consensual? The “nice guy” proceeded to tell me that my friend just has a lot of sex - and before I knew it the conversation morphed into how “girls don’t go for the nice guy, they always go for the asshole”. I thought he actually had a point with this one because I was clearly on a date with the asshole.

Yet, even still, I was willing to discuss it. I challenged him on whether it was ‘a lot of sex’ or ‘sexually inappropriate behaviour’ because these are vastly different things, and it does huge amounts of damage to genuine instances of misconduct if you chuck in people who you simply don’t like. He switched gears and said that this guy was “probably” taking advantage of the women he was involved with. The moment I hear this from just one woman, I will believe it, but what I heard was a self proclaimed “nice guy” who thinks he is constantly missing out to the “bad boys”. This is why I don’t believe men like him are nice - if you think that women don’t know what they want, or that they could possibly understand their own minds better than you do, then I don’t think you actually respect women. And I don’t think a lack of respect for a woman's intelligence and autonomy is that nice. It doesn’t sound like genuine concern for women’s safety, it sounds like jealousy.

Not long after, he brought up another comic - a comic who, as part of his act, frequently discusses his feminism. He started to talk about how this guy gets it - he understands all the issues we were talking about. While it is always delightful to be told that a man understands feminism better than you do as a woman, it was frustrating that this was the example he gave because what this guy does is not real feminism. I happen to know that this particular dude is hiding behind a carefully curated softboi leftist performative woke persona in a very deliberate (and successful) effort to get away with some pretty abhorrent behaviour. In my opinion, however, the only thing that screams rapist more than guys like this who won’t shut up about their feminism, is their victims.

If that last line seems harsh, I don’t care - the guy I am talking about is a known rapist, and it is one of the biggest open secrets in comedy. For this reason, I assumed the 'nice guy' I was talking to was going to comment on how this guy is a piece of shit. He didn’t. But I did. To my surprise, he disagreed. I thought maybe he didn’t know, so I told him. He knew - but he said that this guy was a great guy and brilliant comedian who had “made a mistake”. He told me that this guy was actually a “nice guy”, but, personally, I think you shouldn’t support the “nice guys” - because that’s how they get away with it.

Clearly there is a difference between a self proclaimed 'nice guy' who supports a rapist, and the rapist himself - seeing all sin as equal is ridiculous, but it is a sliding scale of bad behaviour, and at no point is any of the behaviour anywhere along the scale “nice”. This was definitely a point at which I should have listened to my better judgment. My better judgment told me he probably wasn’t as nice as he claimed to be. But everyone else told me he was, so I made excuses for him. Inexplicably we went on a few more mediocre dates, and inexplicably I was still willing to go on more. It appeared he wasn’t, which was absolutely fine, and I was happy to part ways. However, he said he didn’t want to stop seeing each other because he “really liked me”. He went on to say he wanted to date me and only me, but not right now. This sounded like a bullshit line from a man who didn’t actually want to date me - a decision that I would obviously be fine with as I cannot help anyone else’s poor taste. I said that it was cool and we could just call it a day, he didn’t have to let me down easy - I wasn’t exactly going to be heartbroken over it, we could just agree that we weren’t well suited and walk away. He didn’t like that plan. He asked instead if he could “pause me” and pick things back up again at a later date as and when it suited him, as it appeared he thought I was a playstation game rather than a human woman.

Even though I wouldn’t have been up for such an arrangement, I didn’t necessarily have a problem with him asking for one. I’m a grown up, which is arguably not something a real grown up would say, but I am mature enough to know that relationships come in all different shapes and sizes. I know there are loads of people who have arrangements where they mutually agree that they can come and go from each other's lives - I’ve seen rom coms with air hostesses, I get it. People can come to whatever arrangement they want to, so long as both parties are happy and there is mutual agreement and respect. However, I still wasn’t sure about what he was asking for by suggesting a 'pause' - we weren’t sleeping together so it was kind of impossible to keep things casual if it’s never even started. Essentially we were just friends - I asked him if that is what he wanted to be, but he said he couldn’t be my friend because “he liked me too much”, he added that he couldn’t sleep with me either (even though I didn’t offer) because he “respected me too much”. I was confused about what he was after, but I tried to hear him out, because I thought he couldn’t possibly be asking to have me on tap, but it turned out that was exactly what he wanted. He wanted to be able to disappear out of my life, but he didn’t want any sort of communication while he was gone or any sort of friendship and then he wanted to be allowed to reappear as and when he felt like it, on his and only his terms. Oh boy! Sign me up!

This didn’t actually seem particularly nice to me, so I told the Karlie Kloss in my life about it. I described what I viewed as pretty entitled and misogynistic behaviour. Karlie later bumped into this guy and for whatever reason, they ended up discussing his side of the story - which was, to the shock of absolutely no one, that girls like me never go for the nice guys. Karlie said it wasn’t very nice of me to say that he isn’t nice - after all, he said he wishes me nothing but the best and truly hopes I find what I am looking for. How nice!!

Really, and by any stretch of the definition of the word, he just wasn’t nice. People often defend guys like him because they are “just bad at dating”. They say that they are just awkward guys who need to practice, but I don’t think it’s particularly fair to practice on women. I’m sick of men like him being able to parade around claiming to be “nice guys”, and I am tired of actually being nice to these men all while they treat me like shit, only to hear back that I was somehow the one who wasn’t nice. I know that if I were to behave in exactly the same insane way as him, undoubtedly, I would be described as a “mean girl”.

Yet, while I wholeheartedly stand by the fact that this man didn’t behave well and I believe I have a right to discuss my feelings about being treated disrespectfully, I couldn’t actually bring myself to be so bold as to tell you his name. I’ve already seen that people like to defend “nice guys” and say that women are “not nice” when they have had enough of this bullshit. For this reason, simply telling you his name probably would not be the most clever thing I have ever done - but my choice to hide his name somewhere in this piece might be. I truly hope you find what you are looking for.

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