Tab Confessional: That Boy is a Monster

AMY LAMBERT invites three mischievous singletons to discuss “failed frissons and Cambridge Cads…”

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Bonnie Tyler released her iconic song, ‘Holding out for a hero’ in 1984, when I was but a shiny twinkle in my mother’s eye. 

Standing now at the ripe old age of 20, several failed attempts to do just that placed firmly behind me, I have only just begun to fully appreciate the true poignancy of her words.  Call me Carrie Bradshaw.  But I’m not alone.  In Colleges across the University, women everywhere are tearing out their hair, trying in vain to find the answer to the age old question: where HAVE all the good men gone? Gods we can live without, but why is it that in this place, where men search for higher meaning and greater depth of knowledge, so few have any understanding as to what women really want?  And why do so many brave souls embark on fleeting romances, only to spend their lives wallowing the gloom that ensues when it all inevitably falls to pieces?

Maybe I’m crazy, but it seems that in Cambridge we have it worse than most.  Don’t get me wrong, there are definitely a few stars out there (you know who you are), but all it takes is a sober night in Life, watching the jaded eyes of the thriving masses, to realise that there is something seriously amiss in this picture.  For a city with an abundance of hot, single females, there are not a whole lot of picture perfect happy couples.  While a lot can be said for no-strings carnal communication, the sad truth seems to be that more often than not you will find instead strings of heartbroken girls who have been labouring under a misapprehension of affection.

So what is going on?  What is the missing ingredient in the magical cocktail?  Most importantly, what can we do about it?  Ladies, it’s time to pool our knowledge.  The good men aren’t gone- we just need to start looking in the right places. 

I asked 3 spectacular singletons to share the secrets of their failed frissons, in the hope of drawing some form of conclusion and

finally beginning to crack the mystery that surrounds our beloved and frustrating Cambridge cads.  Isabelle*, Sarah* and Zoe* are ladies from different Colleges and have all taken the plunge into the murky depths of the Cam, daring to date against the odds.


 Amy Lambert: Hey, everyone.  So, how long have you been single?

Isabelle: Since my gap year. And that was a while ago…

Sarah: A lady never tells. But a long time.

Zoe: I don’t want to answer this question – I’d look like a twat. (Officially 5 years).


 AL: What do you look for in a guy? 

I: Good banter and a nice smile.

S: Brains, looks, hilarity. And the spark, obviously.

Z: Blonde with a large nose. Also a recurrent theme is ‘predator on drunken girls’.


 AL: Have you ever had a long-term relationship in Cambridge?

 I: Nope.

S: Sadly not.

Z: Yes, my best friend and I have been together since week 4, first term. Maybe I should become a lesbian.


 AL: Why do you think that is?

I: Time and effort. There's so much else going on, the idea of a relationship has inadvertently fallen to the bottom of my list of things to do before I graduate.

S: I simply haven't met the right guy yet.  Also, I am attracted to the players, of which there is an abundance in Cambridge.  It does not bode well.

Z: Secretly it's because I'm a commitment-phobe. Therefore I subconsciously go for the guys that I secretly know will never go out with me. Or, when it gets to the stage where something might actually happen I go out of my way to mess things up. But consciously I never realise this. It could just be because I'm a bit too much of a 'character' – not demure enough for the average Cantabrigian. Or that every guy appears to be in love with another girl. But where are all these girls? They're never any of my friends.


 AL: What’s the most outrageous date you’ve been on here?

 I: Not necessarily a date, but…well, I once had a very slaggy fortnight and one night finally woke up alone and thought, YES! WELL DONE ME! Then I walked to the toilet and found the condom. That counts as a date, right?

S: A blind date- he started chatting about maths and rowing.  Not cool.

Z: One where the guy was so drunk that he couldn’t focus on my face – I think I ended up reading Varsity whilst he was throwing up in the toilet. But dates are a nightmare because they're 'official' so I get really awkward about the whole situation so end up acting like a twat. But the ‘friends’ thing doesn't really work either. I've done both and I'm still single.


 AL: Where’s the best place to pull and why? 

I: Cindies because everyone in there is gagging for it. Though maybe I should opt for quality rather than quantity?

S: Life…way too crowded and sweaty to not get it on!

Z: In my experience: Cindies for a pull, and Life and Fez for the follow through. Also college bop / ent if you’re a fresher.


 AL: What’s your dating strategy? 

I: I try not to take it too seriously: get to know lots of people and if someone is into you they'll make it happen.

S:  There's no point dating someone when there isn't a future…or when they're unattractive.

Z: If you want a ‘relationship’ then definitely start going out for drinks with friends in pubs rather than swaps with a society… simply point to the seat next to you when on a swap to the fittest/most interesting guy (I’ll make a judgement on you in seconds). He’ll generally panic and have to talk to you all night.


 AL: What’s the best chat-up line? 

I: The only one that has ever worked on me was, "I think I know your boyfriend". Half an hour later he explained it was a chat-up line that let him figure out I was single and made him seem non-threatening. Sneaky.

S: "Fancy a swap with us sometime?  Sooo…what's your number?"

Z: I know the worst – "I can’t pull you here because my girlfriend’s around, but we could go back to mine?!"


 AL: What’s the biggest rejection you’ve had here? 

I: Yet to have one… cockiest statement of the century?

S: Being given a fake number after pulling a guy in Cindies…bad times.

Z: Probably in my first term of first year, when I got into an argument with the guy I liked over what genuine scientific practise should consist of. He was walking me home and turned around and walked away leaving me abandoned on for a massive walk of shame at 1am. That is a massive cringe on so many levels.


 AL: How do you rate the quality of eye candy on display in Cambridge?

I: Not that highly, sorry boys.

S: Not really the best quality, but the chinos and ties bump it up a bit.

Z: See, I genuinely think it’s not too bad; but apparently I’ve got very obscure taste. I probably pick up the dregs and think they’re fit.


 AL: Would you ever be tempted to settle?

I: Maybe, it would take someone really amazing though.

S: Yeah, it would have to be an amazing guy because playing the field definitelt has its perks…

Z: Getting there. Maybe. 


 AL: Who do you think wears the trousers when it comes to dating – males or females?

 I: Men should show a facade of dominance, but women will always have the power.

S: Girls for sure…the boys here are shit.

Z: Depends – for a one night stand the girl, but for a longer term thing the guy definitely has to take the lead.


 AL: Any closing sentiments? 

Z:  Pulling with broken foot – just don’t attempt it.  I couldn’t do several positions because it hurts too much. You'll never realise how much pressure you put on your feet until you try.


Well.  Upon closer inspection it looks like we are give as good as we get.  Forget golden girls waiting for their white knight; apparently in this world the female of the species really is as deadly as the male… boys, it’s time to up your game.  RAG Blind Date, anyone?