How To Lose a Guy in 10 Ways: Durham Style

SERENA GOSLING pools together stories from her friends to bring you the 10 big mistakes girls make when trying to hold down a man.

You know the feeling. You start seeing a guy, you get on well, he seems pretty keen, so you start to get your hopes up that this could be it. The relationship. And then…POOF, he disappears, just like that. Why? You ask yourself. Well, you’ve probably done one of these:

1. Think a day without seeing him, or exchanging texts, is too long.

We all love Durham, but it can get pretty intense. In the real world, a week or two without contact in the early stages is pretty normal, but living in such close proximity can make even 24 hours seem like an age. Failing to have coincided your grocery shopping routine with his and forgetting that your last interaction was a mere 12 hours before, the urge to text overwhelms and you are saved as ‘Keen Girl’ in his phone before a romance has even begun.


2. Mention him to everyone you know.

Clearly this can be applied to any situation, but it is made ten times worse in Durham because everybody knows everybody. Gossip spreads quicker than you can down your quaddie, so it’s highly likely that he will be informed of the detailed examination you just carried out on your every interaction with him. Contact inevitably ceases.

And he was like, then I was like…

3. Know where he will be on nights out.

It’s very easy to take an educated guess where someone will spend any given night. Wednesdays: Lloydshack. Fridays: Klute. But beware, he might be a bit miffed if he sees you every single time he goes out. Pretty soon he’ll realise this is not just coincidence.

A hotspot for Craig

4. Scout Bill Bryson for his presence.

We’ve all heard the song and, if we’re honest, are all guilty of it. If you know he frequents Billy B, your library routine will include a quick walk to ‘stretch your legs’ that takes you on a whistle-stop tour of every floor. Or, if you’re really keen, you already know his favourite place and you’ll make a beeline for it. All too soon he’ll starts to realise he is seeing far more of you than anyone else he knows in BB, forcing him to temporarily switch to the college libe to throw you off the scent.

I can spot him, can you?

5. Talk about your other Durham dates.

Obviously most guys don’t like to hear you talk about your other dates anyway, but in Durham the chances that he will know the person you are talking about are also extremely high. The repercussions of this are pretty self-explanatory, so just don’t do it.

The moment you realise you’re seeing two of them

6. Change your route home to pass his house.

Durham is so small that, were you to take a detour, you could still pass it off as a (slightly round-a-bout) route home. You’re hoping that, as you pass his house (slowly, obviously) he will choose that precise moment to exit. You’ve already practiced your feigned surprise and prepared a brief conversation topic. Unfortunately, if you are doing this, chances are your obsessive attraction will come over in conversation, and it’ll be over before it’s begun.

Hallgarth’s not far, right?

7. Stalk other girls he’s seeing in public places.

I’m not advocating abstinence from stalking potential rivals for his affections, it’s a natural part of any girl’s make-up and, in larger cities, this might be something you can get away with. But in Durham you just don’t know who is sitting behind you. Last year, my friend spent a lecture sitting and stalking the other girl her man was seeing, scrutinising her looks before naturally concluding that she was the better catch. Upon finishing the lecture she got up and turned to leave, only to find herself face to face with the girl she’d just been analysing. Busted.

Take care when choosing a stalking location

8. Time your walk to lectures to coincide with his.

This is all too easy in Durham. You know his timetable (through conversation obviously, not looking it up online…right?!) and you live in the same area. Although usually pretty keen, you know that he isn’t quite as conscientious as yourself, so you set off later than usual to coincide with his schedule. Of course, you think this is brilliantly sneaky. Result: see number 6.

Just keep on lingering…

9. Be possessive or clingy.

Ladies, next time you’re in Klute, grab another guy to dance Amore with you and don’t cock block his attempts to get with other girls. Be cool. Be calm. Be elusive. He is far more likely to notice you in a romantic sense in this scenario than if you are attached to his elbow.

When we say attached to his elbow…

10. Say you’re from Trevs.

A sure-fire way to end any budding relationship. Only being from Stockton could be worse.

Trevs’ Quidditch Team. Enough said.