real life

He’s not that into you. Also, he’s a tool…

Kate Hunter


Sisters, if a girlfriend tells you your bloke is a knob, the odds are he is. Sure, they might be wrong, but (my) studies show 99.99999% of the time they won’t be, because generally speaking, your girlfriends DO NOT WANT TO HAVE SEX WITH YOU.

I’m not the first person to come to this realisation, writer Angela Mollard knows it too, and wrote about it on

We’d been having the same conversation for years.

“He undermines me,” she’d say.

“He didn’t buy me a birthday present because he says it’s a commercial construct.” Then: “When I ordered dessert, he asked if I really needed it.”

Down the phone line, my heart crumpled. My funny, loyal, thoughtful friend – the girl who’d fling me the top off her back, “because you love it more” – was being messed around by a jerk.

A surfing, “between jobs”, dope-growing jerk called Richard (and, yes, he was a Dick).

So, what did I say?

Angela Mollard

a) “He’ll change; give it time.”

b) “Dump the idiot; you deserve better.”

c) “Sorry to hear that; it must be hard.”

Actually, none of the above – friends owe each other more than gentle therapy-speak. ”

Give him up for six months,” I advised in an uncharacteristic moment of blinding clarity. “You know he’ll be there if you want to go back, but it opens you up to other opportunities.”

It’s not a one-size-fits-all solution, but my friend was 37; she’d been with this man for four years and her dreams for a family were fading. She was in a ‘roadblock relationship’ – one which stymies your progress or causes you to veer so much off course, you forsake forever the path you had planned.

Roadblock relationships are at the heart of ’emotional infertility’ – a condition which women say is every bit as painful as medical infertility.

Of course we should be honest with our friends – but there’s a risk. Way back in the single fog of the nineties, my friend Helen asked me to have lunch with her. It was a Saturday, so I assumed her boyfriend Anthony had stood her up for golf with his mate Rowzer. Again. But no, this time she’d stood him up – permanently.

‘I told him I couldn’t take his attitude any more,’ she sniffled.

Eat it. Go on.

‘You’re so brave,’ I ordered wine.

‘But I love him so muuuuuuuuuch.’

People can say many things about me but not that I’m unsupportive. I backed every one of Helen’s slurs on her ex-lover.

‘He’s a tool.’

‘Yes, he is.’

‘I’m a better person than he is.’

‘Bloody right you were. I’ve said that all along.’

‘He’s got that annoying laugh.’

I was enjoying myself, so I poured more wine, and offered more material.

‘Hels, I was never going to tell you, but he’s a shocking flirt – always hitting on girls in his office. My brother in law told me.’ There was a fresh round of sobbing, but I felt like ordering Champagne – my friend was FREEEEEEE. I was proud of her. Anthony was never going to be what she wanted, so she was better off without him.

You know what happens next, don’t you? They got back together and Helen asked Anthony about the girls in his office, saying the rumour had come from me. Anthony’s was furious – not at Helen (because he wanted to sleep with her) but at me. It made things very awkward for the next three years before he finally dumped her for a girl he met at a SCUBA course. Helen was left high and dry, a million miles from her dream – which wasn’t Anthony, it was a family.

Angela goes on to write:

“Brigid Moss from Red magazine, which recently coined the phrase, ‘Roadblock Relationship’ defines it as, “being childless not by choice [but] due to not having a partner or a partner not wanting to have children. A doctor can’t help with emotional infertility.”

No, but we can help each other. While it’s not possible to magic up an obliging partner exactly when you’d like to have a baby, it is possible to clear the roadblocks that often steal those crucial years.

I’m not blaming men. Biology has bequeathed them decades to fritter until they’re ready. Women, not so much.

Which is why, with our mates in the passenger seat, we need to smash through the roadblocks. It’s time we were as considered in our relationships as our careers. Yes, there are other factors – availability, luck, the piercing clarity of hindsight and maturity – but good fortune can’t walk into a gap that isn’t there.”

Read more here.

Have you or a friend been stuck in a Roadblock Relationship? Do you think it’s right for your friends to criticize each other’s partners?