Break Up / Dating / Love / Relationships / The Ex Files

On Dating a Quasi-Radio Disney Star

Don’t do it. I swear to you: don’t do it. No matter how fruitful the connections, the opportunities, the sex—don’t do it.

You see, it’s not that dating a quasi-Radio Disney star wasn’t cool in it’s own right—frightfully turning the dial to AM to catch a snippet of one of the most overdone yet so damn catchy songs had its perks—it’s that logistically it’s not plausible.

The managerial-bound red tape was ridiculous. It takes a lot to be inducted into the clandestine child-drug-addict circle of fame (…so I’ve heard), and Action Item* was well on their way to kissing enough asses to get there. However, in order to “preserve the integrity of the innocent, young, single boy band image,” I was not about to be a blip on the fans’ radar.

Given my “look at all the fucks I give” attitude, this wasn’t a problem. When would I ever come in contact with a fan, let alone the far-away manager whose commands seemed to have descended from the sky? I wasn’t about to let some bitch ass band wrangler get in my way of my perfect college romance.

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However, given Mark*’s “I’m going to cover up all the fucks I ever did” attitude, keeping me a secret was a priority. Though I was welcomed in his small group of friends and with the band, I was that persistent dust bunny that kept getting swept under the carpet. Facebook comments were purposefully ignored among the mass of fan mail, and a request to publicly acknowledge our blossoming love via Facebook relationship status was met with a resounding “no.”

But it’s not just that our secretive relationship was the crux of or even a reason for our issues—the kid was just too damn busy. Maybe I underestimated the capabilities of someone who traded a college education for a shot at a music career, or maybe I just didn’t understand the band slave dynamic. Mark poured all his energy and free time into answering emails, staying on top of social networking sites, and keeping fans happy. After hours of alternating between a computer screen and a Blackberry, he was too worn out to catch up with his long-distance girlfriend.

Maybe I’m giving him too much credit—the kid was a straight-up asshole. Despite the fact that he spent the earlier months attempting to woo me while on tour, that façade quickly deteriorated when I actually was able to spend time with him over winter break. Cute, meaningless texts turned into ugly, even more meaningless silences as my image of the perfect relationship disappeared from view. Where was my Radio Disney star?

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We broke up shortly thereafter in a heated text message battle where I begged for a minute of free phone time only to be denied on the grounds of a “band meeting.” And as most text message break ups go, it was ugly. Real ugly. After that night I laid low by going out, partying, and making out with at least five people. I also repressed Action Item’s keyboarder from memory and resolved to never date a band member again. I’d say I got the upper hand on that one.

But life moves on, and *some other garbage quote like that here*. It wasn’t until recently that I’d noticed he’s dating someone new, a hairstylist from back home who was graciously allowed to post her relationship status with him on Facebook—how quaint. And even though that’s a telltale sign their band is failing and missed their calling as Radio Disney stars, and even now that it’s exactly a year since we broke up—I’m not bitter or anything—I still wince at the thought of what that relationship could have been otherwise. It would have been bad. Real bad. And I’m glad I got out of that shitstorm with my dignity and reputation in tact. Because, let’s face it: who really wants to be caught dating a Radio Disney star?

*To preserve the integrity of no one, all real names are used in this article.

“City Bitch” is a fast-talking, no-nonsense she-wolf looking for love in the big city. She writes weekly about navigating through online dating, keeping it cool while sipping on $20 drinks, and avoiding the douchebaggery that is the real world.

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