February 8, 2023

SEX ON THURSDAY | Why, Oh Why is He Taken?

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Annaleigh Ashford said it best as Lauren in Kinky Boots: they’re only nice when they’re unavailable.

I, Virginia Snatch, capped off an uneventful winter break with an extremely eventful return to campus. I left last semester’s sneaky link (the subject of one too many Sex on Thursday articles…) behind and went searching for a new one. I hope you all have been up to the same hijinks as yours truly.

However, this prowling has taken me back to square one: A guy I tried to curb my feelings for because of his relationship status. Yes, of course, the guy I like is taken. Another notch in a series of unfortunate events, that is, my love life.

(See Single or Taken: Why do We Want What We Can’t Have? for a good dose of Virginia Snatch irony.)

You may be asking yourself: Oh, Virginia, how did you get yourself into this situation?

Would you believe me if I said all it took was a fifteen-minute conversation?

I’m sure you would, given my track record. He’s just so sexy. As much as I hate that word, there’s no substitute. We talked about art, music and all that smart-guy stuff that makes me — or any sane girl — weak in the knees. Before talking to him, all I knew about this guy was that he’s in fraternity X, a member of clubs Y and Z and has a devoted girlfriend. Now, somehow, I know about his favorite artists, his greatest aspirations and what keeps him up at night.

I’m not sure how we got into that deep of a conversation in a fraternity house, but we did. Also, did I mention that he approached me? I would’ve assumed that he was hitting on me if I didn’t know that he’s spoken for. I’m ashamed to admit that I almost wanted to lean in and play dumb when he’d eventually push me away.

Is this what an illicit affair feels like? Is this the start of something truly wicked? Next weekend, when I inevitably find myself at yet another function with this guy, will I lose control and become a full-fledged homewrecker?

No. The answer to all of those questions is no. The guy is just nice, as simple as that. It sucks that his kindness makes me want him more, but unfortunately, I have a thing for taken men in general.

Though my friends pick on me for it, I actually think that liking taken guys is a common thing. I didn’t touch on it in my “Single or Taken…” article, but I do think that a part of wanting what we can’t have is, at times, wanting taken men. Beside the fact that they’re only nice when they’re unavailable, I feel as though all the decent men are in committed relationships. Sometimes, I find myself wondering if being single is a red flag in an attractive guy. 

It makes sense, right? The best men out there being off the market, I mean. I’m sure that this guy’s current girlfriend isn’t his first, either. A good guy like him should be in a long-term, happy relationship. Unfortunately, that means that all the dopes of campus are left for us — girls who didn’t lock down a guy freshman year.

Maybe I just want a taken man because I know he’s capable of treating a girl well. When engaging in a relationship with a perpetually single guy, you’re taking a risk — even if you’re a low-maintenance girl like yours truly. For me, all a boyfriend has to do is listen to me talk. Though I talk a lot, I feel like even pretending to listen isn’t that big of a commitment. It’s sad that some guys can’t even do that.

Regardless, while I don’t only like this guy because he’s taken, having a girlfriend makes him easier to fall for. Please, before you click away, allow me to explain.

If he were single, I’d have to stress about flirting with him, bumping into him at parties, and sending him a better and more interesting text than any other girl. If he were single, I’d kill myself over every word I say to him, over what could bloom between us if he should pick me to start a relationship with. Because he’s taken, I can take a breath. Every interaction with him feels fabricated and unreal. Some may say that this sounds like “friendship,” but as someone who isn’t really friends with guys, I say nay. This is just a simulation, a trivial little game of life.

I like to play pretend — I hide behind this personality online, proving how much I like to assume an identity and run with it. Sure, I’m sad that this guy is taken, but it’s far more comfortable for me to think about what could be than what actually might. 

Though this week’s lament is ending on a bit of a cliffhanger, if I do end up entertaining this guy, rest assured that you all will be the first to find out. After all, you know me pretty well by now.

Virginia Snatch is a student at Cornell University. Comments can be sent to [email protected]. The Slip ‘N Slide runs during alternate Sex on Thursdays this semester.