My parents never sat me down and gave me the 'birds and the bees' chat. I remember when I got my period my mom handed me a pack of sanitary towels and said "Stay away from boys!" When I asked about tampons she replied "You'll lose your virginity if you use those things..." My dad, a rather stoic old-skooler, offered the following advice "Wear a night-gown at all times, otherwise you'll fall pregnant."
And that was it. Petrified of boys, night-gown on 24/7, I tried to make sense of boys and girls and relationships. Occasionally I was warned about the dangers of horses (would lose my virginity if I rode one), climbing walls and fences (would lose my virginity if I climbed one, fell on one, sat on one) and gymnastics (yip, another sure way to lose my virginity especially the horse one). You'll notice at no time I was told that I could actually have my cherry plucked by a boy! So my list of things to fear and avoid grew and my only protection against the virginity-robbing world was a night-gown.
Dating (in a night-gown) was eventful to say the least. I dated the bad boys to piss dad off. I dated the good boys which made mom happy, but still seemed to piss dad off. It took me years of many dates, some good, some bad and some ugly, to figure out what would make me happy.
So as a favour to Emma (when she's forty or thereabouts) and anyone else who might need advice, below is a self-help guide, which will help you recognize the 'keepers' and root out the losers. Let's just say it's the dummy's guide to help tell the difference between Mr Right and Mr Right Now...
He's a keeper if he opens doors for you. Slam the door in his face if he doesn't
Does he look at other girls while you're with him? If you answer yes, dump the douche immediately. If he's doing that in front of you, can you imagine what he'll get up to when you're not around?
Does he pee into the toilet bowl or do you find yourself marinating in his urine when you sit down to pee? Check, check and check again - make a drinking game out of it if necessary
Always ask about his mom. If he waxes lyrical about her, the way she cooks, the way she dresses and the way she smells you're dealing with a mamma's boy. If on the other hand they're not close, you then have a person with abandonment issues, which becomes commitment issues for you later on
Be aware if he has more shoes, more cushions on his bed, more facial creams than you. Referring to himself as your GBF is also a tell tale sign - he doesn't mean Gorgeous Boy Friend
Has he given his penis a name? Cute when he was four, not so cute any more. Remember two's company, three's a crowd
Dump him immediately if he ever says "you put the lotion on". This is not a good sign of things to come
Starting every sentence with "My ex did that..." or "My ex says..." is a reason to give him the old heave ho. Chances are he's gonna leave you for the old (heave) ho
No matter how lovingly he does it, a dutch oven is not foreplay. Get out of there before the smell settles
He's a keeper when he makes you feel like a queen in a room full of people. Not so much if he's the only queen in a room full of people
Never settle, ever! But remember, we come with our flaws and imperfections so instead of looking for the elusive Mr Perfect, rather keep an eye (and heart) open for Mr Perfect For You