“Hey, we have not been communicating lately.”

“Oh well, Life happens pretty much.”

“Life?! Is that all you have to say about this?”

“Er, what am I supposed to say to you?”

“You don’t call for weeks, and this is how you respond, with such casualness? Do my feelings not mean anything to you?”

“I am confused here. Was there any obligation imposed on me to keep in touch?”

“I thought we had a connection.”

“I don’t remember alluding to the fact that we were dating though.”

“I should have trusted my instincts, I should have listened to what those our mutual friends said about you…don’t think I will cry to you, I won’t shed a single tear, you twisted, psychotic, manipulative douchebag!”

“Alright, your opinion is noted. What else is new?”

“I’ll block you, I’ll make sure it feels like you never existed. Thanks for toying with my emotions, have a nice life…scratch that, you will never be happy for daring to hurt me.”

“Ok. Take care of you.”

The stinkers cease, and if you are lucky, she blocks you before launching into a series of tirade on her Twitter timeline, her Instagram stories and Whatsapp status updates. For her, Adam is the problem of mankind, her father is not exempted from the classification of men as trash, and a perfect world is Wonder Woman (nee Princess Diana)’s world where only females existed.

It just takes one weekend, heck, it takes one moment. “I’m glad I can talk to you, I love how you look at me” could easily become “I wish I never met you, I hate you, I never want to see you again”. You don’t know how the tank swings from F to E, there’s no gradual degeneration, it just explodes in your face.

Now, the first thing to do when navigating these murky emotional waters is to make intentions clear. It’s tricky, but if you want to shag, just spell it out expressly, clearly and unequivocally. If you want something intense but devoid of labels, be honest with that too. Specifics will help, they always do. Ambiguity is the beginning of complication.

Again, it’s important to be clear about your preferred communication channels, frequency thereof, tendency to switch off and all other associated intricacies with the “arrangement” you have both decided to have. You don’t like calls? Speak up from Day One. Don’t try to impress by calling and then when she’s all comfortable, you suddenly revert to default “I suck at communication settings”. The blame in that instance would (and should) be squarely on you, Scheming Deceiver of the Female Folk! If you’ve got the mento-emotional range to be a shoulder for 9.45pm teardrops or an accommodating ear for 11.15pm rants do that. Otherwise, sound it on the hill and make it plain that “hey, it’s just talk, drinks and quality knacks o, please”. Don’t go painting blue skies and then leave clouds hanging over her. If you do not want tobe the go-to guy, then cut out the weather-induced promises.

More importantly (and this applies to both cheek and shaft), stick to the script. If you know you are intense and your emotions flow with your body juices, then don’t get into an arrangement, bordering on just the slapping of thighs, you obviously aren’t up for it. It doesn’t matter how many times you tell yourself you can do it, if you are not wired like that, then you aren’t….and it’s totally ok to be intense, to be “all out”, to attach emotions to the ‘gbish gbish’. Just find who operates on the same wave length with you. Don’t say you want to watch Spartacus and start crying for ‘This Is Us’ midway through.

But then, there’s still a quandary of sorts. We hear “if it’s sex you want, tell me straight up”, but you would be a total douchebag if you just walked up and said “hey, wanna bang?” Ladies still enjoy subtlety, wooing, having you weave rainbows and butterflies with your lips (and maybe hands), but expect to hear “he lied to me” when it all goes south”. You’d probably ask “so, how do we get in (literally and figuratively)?” Oh well, tact is key. You have to learn how to lubricate her mind, glide in slowly, time the run of your jokes, apply the subtle-but-suggestive body contact, and don’t leave out the need to tweak the tone of your voice when appropriate.

In the end though, “Valus Manus Scumulis” – all men are scum. There is no winning in this one. No matters how honest or straight up with “contractual” terms you are, the tears would still be traced to you in the end. You would be the inspiration for the vile thread, the hashtags, the hasty generalisation, the bold decision to “close up shop”. I am scum (and proudly too) for the mere fact that I own a penis, and the earlier you embrace this immutable fact, the better for your conscience.

Own your scum-hood.