Having had a string of dates that involved each man attempting to launch their way into her pants before she could say, “Yes, I would like to look at the dessert menu”, Tori was fed up of searching for a relationship match, only to find herself at the end of each date batting off a very persistent offer of coming up for coffee. Either these men were seriously addicted to caffeine, or their prime goal for the evening was to score a roll in the hay. As much as she’d like to believe the former, she was realistic enough to know the answer was invariably the latter. “Where the hell is chivalry?” She would lament to us. “Have any of these men even heard of Jane Austen?” It took one more walk home that included an overly enthusiastic offer of coffee for Tori to declare “I am now a nun (minus the habit, praying, or having any kind of religious belief).”
Two weeks after her half-hearted declaration of celibacy, she met Shane. Shane had the answer to her (if she’d been praying) prayers. Chivalrous, reserved and sporting the manners of a Victorian butler, at the end of their first date, instead of the usual offer of coffee, Shane asked her to text him to let her know she got home OK. Tori was enamoured. Who is this incarnation of Mr Darcy? By the third date, Shane hadn’t even asked for a kiss. He was kind, courteous and considerate. This one had staying power.
A few weeks later, we caught up with Tori over drinks, and she declared that their 10th date had gone by and though they had now kissed, Shane still hadn’t invited her back to his place. Her enthusiasm was wearing noticeably thin. “I think we’ve missed the window. Maybe he doesn’t find me attractive enough to sleep with! Do you think he just sees me as a friend?” Reaching the stage where she was now actually entertaining the thought of inviting him in for coffee herself, Tori realised that she didn’t want to have to seduce him. She wanted the man to take the lead.
Is there a balance to be struck between sleazy and chivalrous? Are we simply asking for the best of both worlds? Or is it as my grandmother once declared: “It’s for men to try, women to deny”?