You know I love a bit of dating terminology around these parts. Ghosting, zombieing, Gatsbying are all parts of my vernacular. But here’s a new one for you… Hyping.
Now if you’re not familiar with the term ‘Hype Man’ it has it’s origins in rap and hip hop and literally means, ‘person who hypes up the crowd to warm them up for the main act,’ and I can guarantee you’ve had experience of hyping at some point.
So what do I mean in dating terms? Let me put it this way…
Ever dated someone who was a little bit broken? You then grafted for months to fix them (hyping) for them to dump you and move on to the next (the main act)?
You may have seen and related to the awful film, ‘Good Luck Chuck’, where the main character realises that every one of his girlfriends married the guy after him and so becomes a good luck charm for single women. But this phenomenon is more about putting in the hard work with someone only for them to move on to new lovers. We’re basically doing a Beyonce and ‘upgrading’ them but without the benefits.
If you haven’t experienced hyping, then lucky you. But if all of my responses to this tweet are anything to go by, I’d say most of us have experienced the feeling of being ‘the one before the one’ and upon reflection, it fucking sucks.
I’ll put it into personal context. I dated Jim for 6 weeks. At times it felt like I was his personal counsellor who just wasn’t being paid by the hour but in fine dining and cunnilingus. Jim was just out of a serious relationship and had major regrets about how he handled himself during it. I talked him through his demons and gave him ways to do things differently next time (I know… eyeroll at me). He made promises for the future which included making things official and introducing me to his Mum. Then he ghosted. A couple of months later, his Instagram blared declarations of an engagement to his new girlfriend before my bum print had even left his sofa.
I couldn’t help but feel I’d hyped him for her.
This wasn’t the only time I played the role of the hype man.
I also dated Dave. Dave admitted early on he was a bit useless at commitment. He cooled things off to boil things up days later, repeatedly. He swore he couldn’t do the girlfriend thing as he wanted to get a job, move house and finish his qualifications first. I proof read his dissertation, sent him links to one bedroom properties on Zoopla and even prepped interview questions for him only so that 2 days later he’d ghost for good. And guess what? A month later, HE’S ALSO got a new bird who’s hashtagging the shit out of #bestboyfriendever and #husbandmaterial all over social media.
I’ve heard stories of women being in serious relationships with guys who then break up with them because they’re, ‘not ready to settle down’, only to find them Facebook official with a new squeeze weeks later.
I’ve heard stories of guys who dated women who had been cheated on or hurt in a previous relationship. These men then went above and beyond to prove their trustworthiness and go some way to mending those women’s broken hearts only to be swapped for the next guy.
So why does this happen? Why does it feel like we’re investing emotions into people who are ready to invest them elsewhere? Is this the love equivalent of buying a dump in the arse-end of Brixton only to give it a lick of paint and a new bathroom so that it can then sell on for triple the price? Are we really making these people ‘better’ only for them to think they can do better than us and then and move on?
That may be how it feels but I do have another perspective.
Perhaps we are seeing people where, for whatever reason the timing isn’t right for them in a relationship sense. Maybe they’re not ready for official with us, but by the time they’ve met someone else, they are? Perhaps they’ve met us when they’ve just gotten out of something and it isn’t until they’ve moved on that they feel like they’re actually ready for something more?
Or maybe, they just didn’t want ‘more’ with us.
It’s unbelievably frustrating to think that we’ve hyped these partners only for their new partners to reap the benefits however what we need to accept, to be able to move on, is that for whatever reason, they weren’t hyped up for us and that’s what’s meant to be.
Perhaps somewhere, someone is being hyped up for us.