by Jason Bourne
This article was written on April 12, 2016
When we first started our relationship I was head over heels in love with you. I would have done anything for you. Life was colourful. Everything I saw, I saw beauty. Everything I experienced, was warm. Every challenge I faced was never too big.
I would tolerate the most painful dates, the most arduous commutes in to work and even the wind and rain pelting me in the face.
Everything I experienced was new and exciting. I couldn’t get enough of the massive amount of green space that is available in the summer. I would often visit parks to read and just observe. I would take advantage of travel to Europe and I was always willing to go anywhere for a weekend at the drop of a hat. Even the tube was pleasant for me and I always enjoyed the rush of the crowds towards a new destination in the city.
My personality even took a change. Whenever anyone asked me if I liked the city, I would respond enthusiastically in a way that makes me cringe to think about today. I would tell everyone I loved that the city offered everything to anyone and that no matter what I did, there were always a million other things to see and do in London.
I enjoyed meeting new people from all sorts of backgrounds. I enjoyed dating the many foreign women the city has to offer. I couldn’t get enough of the nightlife and found myself burning both ends of the candle.
I don’t know if it was gradual because it feels more sudden, but my love of those things I enjoyed about London has turned to distaste.
I can’t stand the crowds, the constant shuffling along and dodging of people wherever I go. The constant feeling of someone being right behind me, everywhere I go. I’ve had thoughts that almost turned to reality of me beating up innocent people merely because they are in my way. It’s only a matter of time at this rate before I pummel someone’s face into the sidewalk.
The commute. It drives me insane. It takes way too much time out of my day and I have to constantly plan my life around commuting. I have to ensure I am travelling at a time where I’m not being compressed like tuna in a can. I avoid going out because no matter where I go, it takes a minimum of 30 minutes to get anywhere, and it’s an unpleasant journey at that. It just doesn’t ever seem worth it. It isn’t even worth it to make the effort to meet someone new, which should enhance your life.
The fact is I can’t tolerate meeting someone new anymore in this city. Listening to some newcomer tell me how much they “love London” is enough to make me want to stick a fork in my eye. One girl I know is constantly heaping praise on the city with “Oh London” posts on her Facebook page. I had to block her because it makes me sick. Listening to these idiots that tell me about everything they like; all it amounts to is consumption and distraction. They aren’t interested in real things, just things that preoccupy them with entertainment. It’s merely a city that provides lost souls a lot of entertainment to make themselves feel better about their lives.
That leads me to relationships with people. I can’t even stomach dating here anymore. All of the stupid restaurants everyone just “has” to go to. It is all too common you will meet a girl that’s more excited about the venue so she can brag “what” she did, rather than actually take an interest in the company she is with. This even stretches to friends. I find most of the friendships you develop in this city are superficial. They don’t hold a candle to the friendships I had back home. Go to any bar in London and speak to someone and I’ll guarantee you they are with a group of people celebrating a birthday or something. Rarely will you see two people just lounging around actually interested in meeting anyone new. These people don’t really care about who they are with, it’s always “what” they are doing.
The doing. The city is just filled with too much. Too much to do and it tricks you into thinking that having so many options is a good thing. If you choose to do a new thing every weekend you’ll never pick up any hobbies or actually focus on any kind of self-improvement. You’ll just fill your life up with more stuff, just not the kind that fills up your apartment.
As for your apartment….well. If you live in London and are not rich or born into wealth, you’ll be living (and feeling) like a peasant. I have dated three women that owned flats in all my years here (which is a low percentage out of the total I have dated). I have zero single buddies that own a flat IN London. My buddies all have good jobs. So what do these single-home-owning girls have on them? Rich parents.
A city for the rich is what this is. It’s like a giant playground for rich kids to play and keep themselves busy. Foreign rich kids come here and their parents buy them property, or already have property for them to live in. Everything is about money. Everything costs. Sure the city has lots to do, but it isn’t free. It isn’t even cheap. I’ve always said that if I was a millionaire this would be the greatest city in the world to live in. It appears the rich agree with me.
So get rich or die trying? It’s not so easy. The cost of living just eats into everything you make. It is hard to get ahead. It is extremely risky to start a business without a huge nest egg, so that is a major detraction from getting out of the salary trap. Everyone is consumed by money here as a result of the pressure it puts on everyone.
The money pressure goes double when it comes to relationships with many women. There are those spoiled rich women and then ones that aren’t rich. It matters not. They are consumed by money. There are far too many idiot men out there that are willing to lure women in with expensive dates, trips and gifts. This is the market in London for a single man. As any sane man knows, once you play the money game in attracting women you are already losing. Take a girl back to your place and she will know instantly what your status is. She’ll have an idea by your postcode and get confirmation later. She’ll begin to compare this with what she’s experienced in the past and how it compares to her perception of her market value. Who can blame her though when men are far too loose with their wallet when it comes to attracting women in this city?
It’s difficult enough to find someone to marry in this city, but then try being married. It’s difficult enough trying to support a family alone, never mind the added pressures of money, commuting and the feeling of being in a job you don’t like but are stuck in. If you dare stake your claim and purchase a home, you are looking at a mortgage most likely 10x your annual salary. You better settle in, it will be a long ride. As they say, you are now done like dinner.
So in sum you are left with a shitty commute to your job that lets you keep your head just above water, while you go on dates and meet people who you sense are equally miserable and distract themselves with the glitter and lights of the big city. You find the deeper you commit yourself to the city, the more the pressure and that pressure doubles down if you get married and have a family. I’ll never understand why people stay – even more so for those that have kids. Is it a competitive need to prove you can make it? Is it that you are incapable of rational thought? Is it that you are addicted to the glitter like a whore to coke? For me, it was a good place while it lasted, but it is not a good place to last.