Do you like gentlemen? I do. But how do you recognise a true gentleman? Well, it’s really simple. According to a newspaperI often read, a few details should immediately catch your attention. Example, if he has a problem with hygiene, wears white sport socks with his leather shoes, or a sleeveless T-shirt under his shirt, or his mobile phone attached to his belt, there’s a big chance you have a lout. Some other details are more subtle, like the fact he has to wear a tie with his suit, but leaves it if he takes off his suit. And no bling-bling. It’s just a matter of class, in that case.
Then, there’s the attitude. Basically, he has to make you feel you’re worth it. If he grabs your ass, just lets the door shut in front of your nose or doesn’t offer to accompany you late in the night to get back to your home, he’s just a loser. The right attitude for a man is to climb the stairs before you so he can’t take a look at your ass, but go down first to catch you if you eventually fall. He also has to hold you the door when you walk in a room or when you go out of a car. But paying the bill at the restaurant doesn’ t make him necessarily a gentleman,
although it’s better. You can decide to invite him too. However, he has to take charge of the tip.
Unfortunately, as some of my friends said, it’s not because men follow these principles that they are automatically a gentleman. “I dated this guy who had everything of a gentleman, except when we went to a restaurant. When we decided to leave and take back our coats in the cloakroom. The lady there couldn’t find mine, and he started shouting at her. This was a turn off for me” explained a friend of mine. “There’s the guy who can be absolutely charming when you go out and turn into a monster, hanging in the house in brief, when you get to live with him” said another friend.
So, do you like good manners?
… She stole my future when she took you away
Recently, one of my single friends told me about her odd experience she had with a married man. “I get invited a lot by married couples, and usually, I’m the only one who’s single in those dinners with couples. Everyone comes accompanied, except me. But you cannot imagine how much messages I receive after such dinners coming from the husbands” she explained. “Once, I was invited to one of my colleagues’ party. There were five couples present there and me. The day after, one of the husbands sent me an email telling me how gorgeous I was and that he would like to see me in private. I never answered to this email” she said. “If I really wanted, I could have the choice between many lovers among those married men. But I can’t do that. Even if I have no special bonds with some of the women who invited me, I don’t think it would be fair to ruin their marriage. I want to get married too, and I don’t want this to happen to me” she added.
It’s honorable to her to think that way. Unfortunately, not every woman would follow her example. “My ex-husband met his slut in a party. I knew her because we went to high school together, and she knew he was married with me. But that didn’t stop her from stealing him away from me. I knew she was the one to make her move, because some of my friends assisted to that party. She kept on teasing him and he eventually yielded to her advances. My friends saw everything that night, they left together. Two days after, he told me he wanted to divorce because he met the woman of his life. I was devastated” H., 35, said. “She was his secretary. He spent more time with her than with me. And I knew she always dressed sexy, with big cleavages and mini-skirts. I had to admit I didn’t see it coming, though it was obvious. He left me after five years of marriage to live with her” G., 34, said.
You can’t avoid this to happen, unless you decide to follow your man everywhere he goes. But then, he would get bored with you. Too much of a thing makes you sick of it. Besides, suspecting your man all the time can really do a lot of damages on your relationship.
Is there a way to prevent your man to go away with another woman? Well, first, it depends on your man. If he’s a womanizer, chances are he will never change. Once a player, always a player. Then, remember that it’s not because you’re married that you have necessarily found your perfect match. The statistics for divorce is a good proof of that. Besides, if you’re Jennifer Aniston, how can you compete with Angelina Jolie? Finally, as my friend observed, we seem to take our relationship for granted and don’t put much effort in it. “Much of the married couples I met haven’t had this great connection. In one dinner I had, I clearly saw that love was dead between one couple. Each time she was talking, he was just shrugging his shoulders like if he thought what she said was stupid. So, it wasn’t a big surprise when he tried to flirt with me” she said.
Yet, it’s hard to digest being left for someone else, especially if this person steal the one you love. “I would understand if he told me he met someone else and that he couldn’t control his feelings, but I won’t understand if a slut just takes him away from me by provoking him. I would want to take my revenge” B., 32, said.
So, do you agree with B.?
Our relationship with our parents determines a lot our future love life. For women, the bond we have with our father plays an important role in our choice of men. But some women haven’t had the chance (or have the luck) to know their father. Either because their mom chose to raise them on their own, because they were an “accident” and the biological father didn’t want to take his responsibilities, either because their parents divorced when they were young and because their father just disappeared into nature/ started a new family with another woman and neglected his past one. “My parents divorced when I was three, and he moved to another country, so I barely remember anything from him. Especially since he didn’t want to keep contact with me. I haven’t received any single letter, phone call, … from him since he was gone” P., 35, said.”My father was a pathetic loser, but I ignored completely his existence until once, my mom told me the truth about him. I needed to know who he was, so I did a bit of researches, and found him. My mom didn’t want to tell me how he was, just that she met him in a bar and got accidentally pregnant when they slept together. For me, it was a shock, I couldn’t imagine he would be so pathetic since my mom did a wonderful job raising me on her own”R., 31, said. “My father died in an accident when I was one year old” L., 34, said.
How does the lack of a father figure affect our love life? A friend of mine, who was raised by her mom, admits her choice of dating older men than her is linked with her relationship with her dad. “My father, well, I was glad my mom got rid of him when I was four. I have a really low esteem for him. For me, he’s just a loser. A few years ago, he wanted to come back into our lives, but I pleaded my mom not to take him back, and she didn’t” she said. “In my love life, I go unconsciously for much older men than me. When I was 16, I was dating a men who had 35 and two children. Now, my man is 52 , and has also two lovely daughters. I want an accomplished man, who’s the exact opposite of my father” she said. I., 32, admits she looks for someone who will be “her father, her confident, her lover and her friend”. “My mom left my dad when I was five, because he was abusive and violent with her. I promised to myself at that age I would never marry a man like him. Now, I can disqualify a man just because he lost temporarily his temper” she said.
The lack of a father can also affect our self-esteem, and have disastrous consequences on our love life. “I never knew my father. My mom decided to keep me while he wanted her to abort, and he disappeared into nature after I was born. I suffered a lot of not having a father, and I had a really low self-esteem when I was younger. My love life was a catastrophe. I dated only men who weren’t good for me and who kept on tormenting my heart, until one day, I decided to go to therapy” O., 36, said.
So, does you relationship with your father influence your taste in men? And for men reading this, does the way your father treat your mother affect your love life?
“I’m sorry” is a sentence we have to use sometimes because we hurt someone or have gone too far with the other. But there’s a point where this apology doesn’t work anymore, especially with the one we love. It happens because we turned temporarily into a monster, and each of us is able to do so, unfortunately.
We can hurt the one we love by cheating on him/her and then revealing the truth. Some of my friends think they prefer not to know if they’ve been cheated on because it’s really difficult to forgive your companion afterwards. “I can’t forgive him if he cheats on me. Luckily, he has stayed faithful to me, at least, that’s what I believe” said a friend of mine. “I base our relationship on trust, and for me, infidelity is like a betrayal, so I won’t forgive if he’s unfaithful to me, even if he kept on apologising”I., 32, said.
After infidelity as the line we shouldn’t cross, there’s physical violence. Some people can’t forgive if their companion raise their hand on them. “Once, after a heated argument, he slapped me in the face. I just couldn’t stand it and left him two days after. I don’t want someone who’s violent”K., 35, said. “When we moved in together, we had a huge fight at the beginning because I was sick and tired of his mother constantly coming in our apartment and considering it as her home too. He was so pissed off that he threw his glass at my direction, and fortunately, it didn’t hit me. But I was shocked and decided straight away to move out. I didn’t want to accept his apologies” U., 32, said.
Infidelity and physical violence are something we aren’t all able to do. But we all can hurt the other by the power of words. “I blew all my chances with him because once, in a conversation, I insinuated he was just a loser. I didn’t say it that way, but as he kept on enumerating the multiple jobs he had in the past where he barely stayed for more than 6 months, I couldn’t help asking him if he was able to keep a job. He didn’t take it well. I apologised to him, but after that, he became distant with me. I should have kept my mouth shut” H., 34, said. “I criticized his passion for collecting car miniatures, saying it was childish. He got offended, and I understood I went too far and apologised, but he told me to get out of his life”T., 30, said. “When we met, I didn’t know if he was gay or straight, so I asked him about it. But I had probably wrongly formuled my question, because he got offended. Even if I said to him I was sorry for being too curious and not so diplomatic, he didn’t want to see me again“P., 31, said.
Of course, it all depends on our susceptibility and our capacity to forgive. Some people do forgive, even to the worst. “I was raped when I was 20, and after a long therapy, my psychologist told me it was necessary to forgive him for what he had done, so I could close this painful chapter in my life. So, I followed his advice, even it was really difficult”L., 36, said. “I believe his anger was temporary, and that I triggered this because of what I said to him, so I forgave him” N., 32, said.
So, have you ever said or done something you regretted afterwards? And what would you forgive, and don’t forgive?
This year resolutions consist for some of the single people I know in finding a decent companion. Yet, as one of my (pessimistic) friends says, it’s better not to put too much energy into this quest, because “the more you search, the less chance you have to find“. Another friend of mine don’t share her view and told me she believes love is round the corner, and that she’d better search in non-obvious places for cruising. “I have enough of those dating sites where you find everything but a real and honest man. I have enough to go from one bar to another to find a guy who will barely remember my name the morning after. And I have enough to go to clubs to find a man who’s either too drunk, too drugged, or just afraid of commitment” she explained. So she thought it would be a better idea to look for love in a place “where people don’t play a role“. And her idea goes from the office to the supermarket and the gym. Is she right?
Most of the women I know told me that flirting at your office is really difficult. First, you have to deal with the inevitable gossips of your colleagues. There will always be a female colleague (I’ve noticed that curiosity is a female specialty) that will notice before everyone else what is going on between him and you and that is unfortunately the biggest babbler of your company. Likewise, there will always be an indelicate colleague to whom you made some confidences about your love interest and who can’t keep her mouth shut. Then, there are the aftermaths in case of a break up. Yet, I know quite a lot of couples who met while they were working together.
The supermarket can be a better place. It’s easy to know right away if he’s single or not, just by looking at his trolley. If he buys family packs of biscuits, cakes, meat, poultry,… or if he has a long list written by obviously a female hand mentioning very detailed products like arborio rice or truffle oil, there’s a big chance he’s taken (or gay). And if you have still doubts about it, just look at his car in the parking lot. If there’s a baby seat in it, there is no doubt left. For the single specimens, well, their trolley or basket consists essentially in two things: beer/alcohol and frozen pizzas or processed food. But as many men told me, shopping for food is such a pain in the ass for some of them that they try to spend the least time in the supermarket and basically race from one alley to an other. They will also choose to shop late in the evening to avoid family and old people, but they won’t spend too much time. In this case, it’s not easy for catching their attention. Besides, I know very few couples who met at the supermarket.
Then, there’s the gym/ swimming pool. In the last case, first, you’re barely at your physical advantage in a swimming suit with your spectacles and plastic hood, second, men you will find there want generally to beat Michael Phelps‘s record and just won’t put their feet down until they have swum at least 60 length. Trying to engage a conversation in this circumstance is just useless. In the first case, well, as one of my friends told me, either they’re gay or married (and eventually looking for a mistress). So, it’s not a good idea.
There are other places less obvious but that are hot spots for an initial encounter. Evening classes can be a great spot, as long as you choose the right class. If you pick the knitting/ needlework class, chances are the male population there would resume to zero. Try instead oenology or foreign languages. Dance classes can do the trick, as long as you don’t pick the usual classic/modern jazz/ tap dancing one (you don’t want to find a Gregory Hines lookalike or a Rudolph Nureyev wannabe, don’t you). Theaters/opera houses are also spots where you can find single people going on their own. D., for example, used to go on his own to the opera as he told me.
But sometimes, love just hits you like a bus when you expect it the least. “I met my husband at the airport. Our flight was just canceled and I was fighting with the flight assistant to get a refund. He was just behind me in the queue, and couldn’t stop giggling at me. He proposed to drink a coffee and I accepted” Y., 35, said. “He was my neighbor. I never talked to him until one day, my car hit his in the parking lot, and instead of shouting at me, he just told me how glad he was to finally talk to me” J., 31, said. There’s not universal rule for finding the one.
So, if you’re single, would you accept to do such activities just to find someone, or do you just believe in destiny? And if you’re not, how did you meet the one you love?
Valentine’s Day is slowly approaching, and I’ve noticed everyone around me is starting to choose his camp, between the allergic-to-starry-eyed-couples and the ones who will celebrate this event. I must say that I don’t like all those obvious signs of love during this period of the year, and that it is purely artificial. But each of us has his own opinion about the question, so let’s close the chapter here.
Since I’m in a jolly mood right now, I’ve asked around me what is the sweetest/ most touching declaration they’ve ever received, and it was truly heart warming (even for me, that is not that romantic) for some of them. It goes like this.
“I’ve been looking for you for 30 years, 3 months, 2 days, 3 hours, 34 minutes, 56 seconds“ L., 31, said. “He wrote that on my mirror after the first night we spent together” she added.
“You’re the only one that can handle me” G. 32, said.
“I was a total jerk with you. Give me another chance, I won’t make the same mistakes again” T., 32, said. “And he kept his promises“.
“It’s not a declaration, but I received once a box full of candies in my office. I still don’t know who sent it, but it was really, really sweet” H., 35, said.
“Please, stay” B., 29. “It was the first night we spent together, and after a disastrous evening at his apartment, I was about to leave, but he withheld me with with those two simple words” she added.
“Let me clear you debts. I don’t ask for anything back, except your love” F., 37, said. “I was in a really, really delicate financial situations when I met him” she added.
“You make a better man out of me” G., 31, said.
“You make me happy”I., 30, said.
“He wrote a beautiful song for me” M., 34, said.
What makes those simple sentences so special? According to the women who answered to this question, it really depends on the sincerity of their man, but also, on how deep it is for them. “If he says that all the time with ease, it doesn’t count. I really appreciate what he said to me because I knew how hard it was for him to pronounce those words. It was an effort for him, and it had more impact on me than if he used to say frequently” G. told me.
Circumstances play also an important role, as B. proved. If there’s a bit of drama involved, simple words can take a completely different meaning and be more powerful.
Besides, maybe this is an explanation for the success musicians have on women.
So, what are the words that could melt your heart? And what are those that make you run away?