This article was written for Annabel & Grace, which is now part of Rest Less.
I’m not a romantic. Not good at it. God knows I’ve tried but the moment I do the devil takes over and I extract the piss. It’s a shame really as beneath the armour built up over the decades is actually a tender soul. A bit like a Dalek.
Just as Doctor Who eventually discovered, beneath the armoured exterior of this apparently xenophobic destructive mutant, the time traveller discovered a very sensitive jelly of intelligence, emotion and humility. Perhaps the new Doctor will.
So it is with men. We build a defence from early on due to what we go through. What you have to do to pierce this wall is to understand why it’s there in the first place.
This is what Mary Austin did with Freddie Mercury and hence why they shared a special bond even after he came out and why his will left her most of what he cared about.
She has finally decided it’s time to let Freddie go and is now preparing to auction the Queen items he bequeathed her.
Mary meant everything to Freddie because she understood.
In contrast, lots of my failures in trying to communicate with women and build relationships fell at the first fence because of what they had experienced with others.
We all at some time pay the price for what others have done.
This seems very unfair if you are not the one who has caused the damage. However it’s important to accept this if you are to build trust with the lovely person you want to be with – and to gently examine what has caused their angst in the past.
Over the years I’ve come across a number of women who have been through hell with other men in a variety of ways both professionally in my role with the police and personally.
As a staff officer I have watched men and women break down in front of me in private and told me of awfulness, violence, embarrassment and shame. Anger, vengeance, recrimination
And above all regret for what they didn’t do. That’s key.
Like most people I believe I’m a right thinking person. I don’t kill insects. I abide by the laws of the land, queue without getting upset and shout at the contestants on Bargain Hunt.
What I’ve learnt personally is if you fail in the romance stakes and are rejected it’s not always your fault. So what to do?
If you’re a woman approaching a man you fancy, the first thing I would advise you to do is be yourself.
Surprisingly, honesty is rather attractive. All the make-up, the clothes, the perfume and the hours having your hair done mean little to your target male. He will see through that in seconds. It’s your smile and your eyes that will leave the lasting impression – and you have that built in. So use them.
Sure how you put yourself together sends out a message but what makes the difference is your eye contact followed by that smile. Try it in the mirror. Just say “Hi” and smile.
The person you’re approaching has almost certainly been through hell as you have. Of course you should look your best – except when on recharge.
There are days I will see no-one. When I don’t shave or wash my hair. Time spent when no-one sees me and I go nowhere.
Recharge days are when I go out into my garden, tend to my plot and be quiet. There is no requirement for me to explain myself to Nature.
Currently I’m preparing for Spring to turn into Summer. Waiting patiently for seeds to sprout on my windowsill, watching the weather forecast for signs of the dreaded frost and weeding out flowerbeds in preparation for a new dawn.
Dame Joan Bakewell described gardening as “outdoor housework”. The lady labelled the “thinking man’s crumpet” in the sixties is now a 90 year old Baroness who gets someone else to do the gardening. She has doubtless found another way to plug in that works for her. As I’m sure A&G readers do.
Perhaps you’d like to share how you come back better?
For me it’s communing with Mother Nature as she is so powerful and complicated – yet also so gentle and forgiving.
In my garden she allows this Dalek to shed his armour.
Just a shame no-one sees it. But then maybe that’s the point.
If you’ve enjoyed this article about the female psyche you can read more from our only male contributor, Northern Male, here