The Parable of Mark and Lauren
Lauren is happy. Last night, her boyfriend Mark finally told her he loved her. She had been wanting that ever since they started seeing each other four months ago. She had been having sex with him, and it had been pleasurable for sure, but she was doing so hoping it would turn into something more: love.
Mark had been aloof and slow to give away his emotions. Lauren didn’t mind this, she even preferred it. It meant that she had to work for his love, and by the time he said it, she felt she had earned it and that it really meant something to him.
Lauren set up an excited brunch with her friends Stina, Terri and Lisa. They hadn’t seen each other in four months, in fact none of them knew she was dating Mark. Right away, she starts telling them the good news.
“Wow” said Stina, “I didn’t even know you were dating a new guy! That’s great.”
“Yeah”, said Terri, “what is the guy’s name?”
“Mark Smith”, said Lauren. A hush immediately fell over her support group as they began to give each other awkward looks.
“Uhhhh, Lauren”, said Lisa, “Mark Smith has loved a lot of girls.”
“Yeah”, said Stina, “He told Jackie Valenti he loved her.”
“Okay” said Lauren, “But she probably fucked his brains out, right? Like, he was definitely getting sex from her?”
Stina cringes. “No” she says, “They never even kissed. He went over to her place drunk one night and professed his love for her. She never even let him in her bedroom.”
“Alright but that’s only one girl. That’s okay.” Said Lauren, getting nervous.
“Well there’s also Andrea Tedesco. He told her he loved her after two casual dates.” said Terri, “She was bragging that she kept him around for a while, getting ‘good morning beautiful’ texts from him and other indications of love whenever she needed it, and she only stopped accepting his love when he started to want sex. He still writes on her facebook wall.”
Lauren felt a deep pit in her stomach.
Lisa continues: “Mark told Angelica Messina he loved her the first night he met her. She said he was REALLY into it, looking her right in the eyes when he said it, getting down on his knees in front of her just to kiss her hand, and he even recited poetry for her. She gave him one of those awkward one arm hugs and that was it.”
He never did that freaky stuff with me, thought Lauren. If he does that stuff, then why did I just get a plain old “I love you”?
Plus Angelica is the biggest cocktease in the city, thought Lauren. How could Mark fall for her bullshit? What an idiot. Now she thought Mark was stupid as well as loose with his love.
Stina says, apologetically, “I don’t want to tell you this, but I heard Mark met a girl in a club and dragged her into the bathroom to tell her she was beautiful, then he gave her twenty dollars. She never even touched him.”
“Okay, please stop” said Lauren. She was growing sicker by the second, her world crushed.
Later, she confronts Mark with her new knowledge. Did he really love all those girls without getting sex from them? She demands to know.
“Well yeah but I didn’t really WANT sex from them”, Mark lies, possibly even to himself, “I wanted to give them love, that’s all. I wasn’t ready for sex at that point in my life.”
“Uggggghhhhh” says Lauren, “Don’t you know that guys who give girls love and attention without getting sex are LOSERS??? The girls getting the love and attention don’t actually respect them, they are just using them!”
“No way, guys can want love without sex, too”, claims Mark.
“Well I heard you told Shirley Thompson from my building you loved her and I have to look at her every day. Plus she’s really pretty, there’s no way she was going to fuck you! Why did you love her?” says Lauren.
“Is that what this is about”, Mark says, “You are just insecure because I have more experience with love than you. You think you can’t measure up to all the beautiful girls I’ve loved in the past.”
“Just how many girls did you tell you loved?” asks Lauren
“I don’t know, about 30″ says Mark
This hits Lauren like a brick in the stomach. “30! That is insane, you are a loser!”
“Can’t you see that my past doesn’t matter, and you are giving me sex now and that’s all that matters?” says Mark, “I love the sex we have and that’s something I didn’t get from the other girls.”
Mark can’t see why this only makes Lauren madder. Why should she be the one who has to pay by putting her valuable eggs at risk by taking his sperm in order to get the love and attention that the other girls got so easily.
“Well if you give away love so easily, why did you make me wait?” says Lauren, “Was I not as good as the other girls?”
“Well I saw the chance for sex with you and I didn’t want to mess that up by giving away love too soon”, says Mark.
Lauren dumped Mark.
She had to.
Someone so loose with their emotions is not a good person to give sex to.
What if they have a son who turns out to be easily manipulated by a pretty face, like Mark?
What if a pretty girl in need bats her eyelashes at him and he gives her money that their family needs?
What if she just wants a man’s love all to herself and that can’t happen with Mark?
Even beyond that, on a very visceral, base level that she couldn’t explain, she found Mark repulsive. It was as if she had been wired biologically to feel disgust and lack of attraction for guys who allow themselves to get friendzoned. There was no way she could fuck him again.
Yup, it was as clear as day, thought Lauren. Guys who give away love easily are definitely not worthy of sex.