Now my mother is not known to be the most tactful person. She doesn’t want me to be single and her tone of disappointment can be heard from thirty feet away whenever I remind her that I am still without a man. This means she now resorts to poor efforts at psychoanalysing me over the dinner table and coming up with such excellent questions as ‘Do you think you are just not trying hard enough?’ whilst I’m frantically trying to cram enough pasta into my face to avoid chewing my own tongue off in an effort to remain polite.
My dating history over the last 5 years looks a bit like this: no relationship lasting over six months yet the guy is always incredibly into me at the start whilst I’m quietly holding back. Him visiting me, bringing gifts and dinners and just general charm is always the way it goes. They want me to meet parents and friends which I dutifully do and then this is followed with comments on what a ‘keeper’ I am. A month or two later (just enough time for me to develop feelings and believe that they do care for me) I am dropped suddenly with the standard ‘it’s not you, it’s me’ line. All the usual things about me being a great girlfriend (a status I did not ask for) and we would have a great relationship on paper but I’m just not the one. Fair enough.
However, Mother HR has a different take on this. She must have been analysing in her sleep to keep her from worrying about the lack of grandchildren she still has. She has noticed the pattern and wonders if they are all the same ‘type’ of man. I answer no, they were all very different and all seemed very happy.
Her next question is if I talk about ’emotional topics’ too early on. Now, I don’t know about most people, but I do think that after four months you might be allowed to discuss something other than food, silly stories and what your favourite films are. I don’t go in for big life questioning chats but I do discuss family, my dreams and things that I like. So the answer there is probably no. Most grown men should be able to branch out discussion topics after a few months.
Mother HR quickly follows this up with a carefully worded question: ‘do you think… maybe… perhaps… you might be a little bit too much of a strong character? Maybe some men might interpret that as bossy?’ WAIT. A. MINUTE. This is not the 1500’s. I’m sure women have the vote nowadays and we don’t have to sit side saddle on a horse. I give it some thought and then decide that yes, I am assertive and I do have the tendency to be bossy but when I’m with someone I will happily let them take charge, make the decisions and sometimes, God forbid, I might even get a little giggly. Is this a bad thing? What is bossy? Does she mean demanding? Does she mean high maintenance? Well, if preferring a take away and tv to a night in a posh restaurant is high maintenance then I’m guilty. My past relationships have involved nothing more than weekends in bed, the occasional walk and a few drinks out on a weekend. This doesn’t seem pressured or high maintenance to me.
Mother HR is currently over analysing due to me dating someone new. *hurrah… Angels sing… Pigs fly… Mother prematurely orders new hat* Yes, the first person in months and I have managed three dates with him. He appears to be following the usual pattern – very keen (has suggested a weekend break and asks what my mum thinks of him!), making all the effort to come and see me and also very charming. We all know the definition of madness is to keep doing the same thing but to expect different results each time. I need to break the pattern.
Through the chat with Mother HR I have come to two conclusions:
1. In the past I have been an ‘extra’ to their life and not a part of it. I didn’t make the effort to meet their friends or become something more than a weekend bit of fun. This is probably due to the fact that I didn’t feel worth more than that. I should try to make more effort this time round (suggesting things, travelling to them) but I should also try to become a part of their life more quickly. You can always judge someone better when you see different sides of them.
2. I should try to scale back the bossiness. Not change! But… Maybe be a little softer and look for a partner rather than a helper.
So date four happens on Tuesday. Let’s see how it goes. Any advice for me?