The Cynic’s Guide To Relationships – How Pat Benatar and Norman Stanley Fletcher Can Aid Your Love Life

Up That Rigging You Monkeys, Aloft! There's No Chains To Hold You Now!


I have one of those faces that women seem to love to confide in. It’s also one of those faces most of them tend to want to slap should its owner attempt to step outside of the Friend Zone, but that’s fine. There’s a lot of women out there and you don’t need a terribly big hit rate to be a reasonably successful swordsman. Besides, I’ve been practically married to the same girl for 12 years now, so my swashbuckling is done on a limited basis when work dictates we both are in the same room and aren’t completely knackered.

Having said that, talking to female friends is always very interesting if you are in the role of sexually unthreatening platonic agony aunt. Which I inevitably always am. The Battle of the Sexes rages ever on, even if you are a slightly paunchy middle aged man doing his wheezy best to cheerlead the protagonists from the sidelines. So once in a while, having waved a white flag of truce – usually in the form of Bacardi Breezers- I am temporarily invited into the enemy camp.

So, undercover I go into the enemy camp. It’s ok, I don’t wear a frock or anything. Not unless it’s a Thursday. On these occasions, I can gain some valuable insights. I like to think of it as nicking the enemy’s ammo while they’re not looking. Most men in this situation fake a bit of empathy in order to get some sort of “come and cry on my shoulder” sexual action. I’ve never been good enough at fake empathy to pull that off. But, like I say, I do have one of those friendly faces so all I have to do to get useful information is nod a lot and keep buying Bacardi Breezers.

The following are some observations and conclusions from these little boozy chats I’ve had. I am not the sort of man who tries to procure sex online, so be assured that these observations and conclusions are written with absolute honesty and without empathy of any kind.

Whenever a female friend has drunkenly tried to describe her idea of an ideal relationship to me, two common components have always cropped up. The ladies in question may not have used these exact words, but the conversation has always basically boiled down to this. A lady’s ideal partner offers security with an edge of danger.


Compare this to the average man’s idea of the ideal girlfriend: a nymphomaniac lingerie model who happens to own a pub. Most men realise that this is never going to be anything other than a 4-ply fantasy of course. Conversely, women do not seem to see the unattainable nature of the “security with and edge of danger” thing.

Oddly though, most men will secretly compare even their rosiest idea of a real, actual relationship with something which is very secure and has a definite edge of danger. A prison. This is the fault of the men, however, not the ladies. The tragic fact is that all the shine and glitter of the advantages of having a girlfriend soon fades to the background due to our pitiful attention spans. The male focus inevitably goes –after the initial honeymoon period- to the disadvantages of having a girlfriend.

If you are a girl and have been fortunate enough- or unfortunate enough depending on how you view it- to hold a man’s wavering attention for long enough to move in together, that’s when the trouble really starts. Pat Benatar once erroneously sang that “Love is a battlefield”. Rubbish. Love is great. Living together, that’s a battlefield.

Everything will be fine to begin with. Any little cracks in the relationship will be covered by the initial period of novelty. The ready availability of each other. If either of you, or both of you, lived in shared accommodation beforehand, the ability to indulge in whatever foul depravity takes your collective fancy will also sweeten the situation for a while. When this wanes though, the prison analogy will start to kick in and the man will start to regard the lady as his own personal screw in more than just the sexy way.

“Stone walls do not a prison make, nor iron bars a cage” as Richard Lovelace famously wrote. And he was actually in prison at the time. He may not have been very observant there, but he was a cavalier and a poet, so we can probably forgive him. But he was right in a way. The main punishment of being in prison is loss of liberty. It’s these perceived losses that the man will attempt to rebel against. He will be looking for what the great Norman Stanley Fletcher described to his young protégé Lenny Godber as “the occasional little victory”. And you’d better believe he’s seen every episode of Porridge.

So, assuming he’s accepted the situation, everything else is going ok and he’s only got the loss of freedom twitches, what’s a girl to do? The answer is quite simple really. You beat him to the punch and engineer the occasional little victory for him. If he loves you, and you know him well,  it should be simple. If you’ve moved in with a man who doesn’t love you and you don’t know well, you’re a fool who deserves all the anguish she gets.

Arrange to go out with the girls on a regular basis and give him plenty of opportunity to indulge in some of the more harmless pursuits which so many women seem to have such a big problem with. You’ll need to be subtle and sneaky – no need for me to give you further advice on that- so he doesn’t think you’re trying to get rid of him. If he does, he’s likely to conclude that you’re having an affair.

Make him think he’s getting away with something, but still be that little bit convincingly pissed off if he rolls home at what he considers to be a late hour. Even if that hour is actually a little too early for your liking, interrupting as it does your solitary enjoyment of chocolate, wine and movies that he sighs and shakes his head at the mere mention of.  Then reluctantly “forgive” him. Preferably physically.

This way, he will be keen to get down to the pub with his mates to tell them how he still wears the trousers. He’ll be so busy doing that, that he won’t have time to do the stuff you actually worry about him getting up to.

As a close female friend of mine once, rather politically incorrectly, told me: “Feed him and fuck him and suck his cock and he won’t stray very far”. Not quite sure why she told me that. Maybe it was because it was a Thursday, and I was wearing a frock.

© Copyright Michael Grimes 2015


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About thedailygrime

At that awkward age - too young to be a grumpy old man, but just acerbic and downtrodden enough to have an opinion. Read it here.

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