A year an some months ago I was deeply in thrall with a certain Mr. Will, a West End actor who had been very flirty with me.
Fast forward to six months ago and I was in tears. Having moved to London he informed me he had no interested in pursuing anything romantic, and his declarations of infatuation and love of my “disney eyes” were nothing more than the ramblings of a drunken actor.
A regular Mr. Willoughby (for any Austenites out there).
The reason it hurt? Mr. Will-oughby was the first man to ever call me beautiful.
Like many I felt geeky and awkward during my teenage years. My weight would fluctuate rapidly, as one ‘friend’ put it “you’re fat in the morning and anorexic in the evening. It would be funny if it wasn’t scary”.
I never felt beautiful, except when I stood on the stage. Because then it doesn’t matter.
So when Mr. Will told me once on facebook that, after meeting me at the stage door months previously, he had kept my contact details and waited to get in touch with me because he found me so beautiful, I fell. Hard.
Like the quintessential love rat, I think he enjoys making the world fall in love with him. Like any charming, handsome actor his sole interest is in being loved, not in loving. I fell deeply and sincerely in love with him, but looking back he really wasn’t worth anything more than friendship. His texts and messages of how attractive he found me were as empty as the words he used. I think it was just something he does to boost his ego, but I have no interest in analysing such behaviour any longer.
I have since seen how he treats his boyfriends/girlfriends and can only say I was granted something of a lucky escape (he’ll often date one and have another for sex, however much the former objects).
But when someone calls you beautiful for the first time, it means something, Everything changes.
Suddenly you think the person in the mirror isn’t the dork you felt they were, and maybe you are attractive enough to warrant the love of another human being.
The interesting thing with Mr. Will is that, in my innocence, I never really thought of him with lust. My greatest fantasy at the time was walking through Covent Garden on his arm, making him smile. I wanted to be in his bed, sure, but it was never my primary goal.
Loving him was one of the hardest life-school lessons I’ve ever had. From outer perceptions to inner thought processes, almost everything about me was shaken.
But happily since him plenty of other people have called me beautiful, and while a part of me will always wonder what Mr. Will and I could have had together, I know I need someone who more than just a pretty, charming actor.
Because nothing is a more truly beautiful asset then inner beauty.