Sunday, 12 March 2017

Men My Mother Thinks I Should Date


My mum and I enjoy a good relationship. But that doesn’t mean that we agree on things. In fact, the truth is we don’t agree on many things at all. 

We don’t have the same political leanings anymore, at Christmas we managed to only have one heated discussions about refugees which in itself is a Christmas miracle. We don’t really have the same taste in clothes and we don’t tend to agree about what to eat. We occasionally do agree on what TV show to watch and recommend each other books.

One thing we most certainly don’t agree on, is the type of guy I should be dating.

Historically I love a dark soul. I’ve always been attracted to guys who I can sense on my radar are damaged, and who I think (think being the key word here) I can fix with my endless supply of love and affection. That’s also why I’m still single. But that’s beside the point.

My mother, in her infinite wisdom and experience seems to think she knows exactly what kind of guy I should be dating.


A bird watcher:

When I told her I was being ghosted by John Doe (see here), my mum texted me: “Just lead an active life where you meet new people. Maybe start bird watching, interesting men among them”. Her and my father (who have been married for 30 years and did not meet whilst bird watching just for your information) went on a wildlife trip and met some bird watchers from the BBC and that got her imagining her future son in law. A possible son in law who loves spending time in the outdoors, hiding in trees patiently waiting for that elusive bird to show up. There are far too many parallels here to my own waiting life so I’m just going to leave it at that.

An earth scientist:

She’s extremely biased when it comes to this, because as it just so happened she’s married to a geologist. For 30 years this year. Every now and then when we start talking about boys she’ll say things like: “Why don’t you go to the earth science department and see who’s around?”. The irony of her pushing an earth scientist my way is that my dad back in the day wasn’t her type at all. In fact her type was the dark broken soul so it’s no wonder where I got that taste from. In my mum’s mind earth scientists are smart, kind and educated with good job prospects. Everything my father is. Which is fine, but somehow I think that me just hanging around the corridors of the geology department at Cardiff university isn’t going to go down well. 

A German:

I think that if I were to bring a German boy home my mother would implode with pure happiness and book the chapel in my German hometown which has a two year waiting list. I’ve never had a German boyfriend, I haven’t even ever been on a date with a German boy. I think the thought process behind me dating a German is that it’s meant to connect me with my German roots. But German boys are hard to come by in Wales, for some strange reason. 

A Chilean:

This one caught me by surprise too. Mum and Dad had taken a trip to Chile and before I knew it text after text was coming my way about how handsome the Chilean men were. One of her texts read: “Nina, seriously Chilean man are really attractive! They are small and funny!!! You need to come here!” This was then followed up by her sending me photos of various Chilean men that she’d seen out and about. My personal favourite was of a man selling a cannabis energy drink.


No doubt with my luck I will end up living my happily ever after with one of the above and then my mum will be able to say ‘I told you so’ for the rest of her life. Because sometimes mum’s are right but I’m also willing to prove her wrong. 

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Sunday, 19 February 2017

Dear Future Partner In Crime II - Things You Should Know About Me

Dear future partner in crime,

There’s probably a few things you should know about me. You’ll learn some of these as we go along but knowing a few of these things right off the bat should be reasonably helpful.

I get overly emotionally invested in almost everything I do - the TV shows I watch, my work, dogs I follow on Instagram and people in general. On a date a guy once said I was hard to read, but once you get to know me it’s clear that that’s a lie. I’m a open book but I’m also learning how to invest my emotions in to something without draining myself. 

I watch too much TV. Not even highbrow TV programs, I watch the awful stuff. I sobbed my way through three seasons of Grey’s Anatomy in two weeks. My favourite TV show growing up was that show with Fran Drescher as The Nanny. I know too much about The Bachelor franchise and don’t even count it as a guilty pleasure any more. As problematic as that is for a feminist. 

I spent time in therapy. It changed my life.

I own more shoes than a woman with size UK 2.5 feet living in a one bedroom open plan apartment should own. 90% of them are black and look identical. If we’re shopping I might need you to step in and make me put down the boots that I’m eyeing up.

I’m super needy but at the same time you need to give me space. Over the last few years I’ve learnt to live alone and that’s something I’m really proud of.

I don’t think I want kids. The thought of having children, especially a girl, scares the shit out of me.

My biggest relationship fear is living in fear that I’m the one who cares the most, and therefore the more vulnerable party. 

As a result of that, I’m mad good at being passive aggressive and can be mean, I don’t mean to do it on purpose, it’s more of a defensive mechanism so I’m happy for you to call me out on it.

I need someone in my life who is happy to take beautiful candid photos of me for my Instagram.

I hate seafood.

Sometimes I want to be the centre of attention at the party and entertain everyone, somedays I don’t want to be around people at all.

I own a life-size cardboard cut out of Queen Elizabeth the II. And a life-size cardboard cut out of a corgi. They used to live in my hallway right by my door, but I had to fold them up and hide them in my wardrobe when a guy stayed over. If you come into my house and see them, it probably means I’m sure about you.

I buy books that look good on my book shelf with a short lived plan to read them. War & Peace is definitely more useful as a door stopper.

I think I have massive partly unresolved self confidence, identity and feelings of not belonging anywhere issues. I don’t need you to fix me or save me, just bear with me whilst I work it out. Or even better, be there to support me through it because that’s what I’m looking for: a partner in life that won’t jump ship when the going gets tough.

All my quirks aside, I’m looking forward to getting to know yours inside and out. If you’re willing to overlook my love of the Bachelor franchise and shoe obsession that is.

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Tuesday, 7 February 2017

A letter to my future partner in crime

Photo by Gold Cut

Dear future partner in crime,

We might have already met and I just don’t know it yet. 

Maybe I stood behind you in the queue in the supermarket. If that’s the case I was probably in my gym gear buying a tub of ice cream. Or I was in my work clothes holding a cheap bottle of Malbec in my hands because it was a rough day. Or I was in the queue with a few cans of ready mixed gin and tonic. Either way, maybe it’s good we didn’t strike up a conversation because none of those scenarios show me at my best.

Or maybe we’ve been at the same event before and stood in the same room without realising. Maybe I walked past you on my way to get another drink, or maybe you were stood just a few feet away from me laughing with you friends. Maybe we even made eye contact and smiled at each other. I doubt that’s the case because I’m a big believer in ‘knowing’, when I’ve met someone important. 

Or maybe it’s the simple matter of the fact that we don’t even live in the same city, or even the same country so there’s no way that our paths will have crossed yet. But there’s still time for that to happen.

I don’t know if I believe in soulmates, but I know that there is a person out there who is going to come into my life and change it completely. That thought used to fill me with loneliness, but now not so much. It’s comforting to know that you’re out there and that your arrival will take me by complete surprise. 

I’m at a stage in my dating life where I am both exhausted by the process but continue to be fascinated and in search for It and you. I’ve lost count of the amount of times I’ve downloaded, deleted and re-downloaded various dating apps. But I’m a sucker for romance and love.

That’s probably the first thing you should know about me. I’m a sucker for all those stupid dating shows, including The Bachelor and The Bachelorette (the US version, the Canadian version, the Australian version you name it). I know those shows are edited to death and filmed over something like 6 months, orchestrated from every angle and the engaged couple tends to break up after 2 months of the ‘real world’. Also they are hugely problematic from a feminist standpoint, but I can’t help but get sucked into these concocted fairytales. I’m a massive hopeless romantic. 

So maybe the love that I think I believe in is the love that artificial TV shows and bad rom coms try and tell us really exists. Sometimes it seems that the love and romance that’s shown on those shows and films isn’t real, that that kind of love doesn’t exist.  But I’m not so sure about that. I see my parents, who are approaching their 30th wedding anniversary and I see true love and dedication. 

So wherever you are, know that I’m living my life trying to be the best person I can be. I used to think that I had to wait for a good person to walk into my life, well maybe I’m going to be the best person to walk into your life.

Either way I’m excited because I know you’re out there and we’re going to have so much fun when our paths eventually do cross.

See you soon. Hopefully, but if not that’s fine; take your time. 

x


N

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