Englishman In NYC

by P.J.

“Relationship Admin.”


“So last week I talked about the difficulty in finding your perfect play thing and more critically, the challenge in keeping the spark. This is a ‘tequila topic’ I have explored with male buddies and my female friends. By the way, a note to men – Women make very good friends and are fabulous sounding boards when thinking about relationships. Women, a guy who cannot have and keep platonic friends of the opposite sex has a health warning on them.”

“OK, let’s talk about relationship admin.”

“I am not suggesting here that those early moments in a new relationship can be sustained for ever but it’s amazing to me how couples seem so eager to cast this phase aside and become consciously complacent. For this Blog I will focus mostly on how women do this but in truth men are perhaps the biggest culprits. You see, in those early, adventurous, fumbling stages of a new romance we are so in love with the idea of what can come and how every stolen moment or snatched kiss is a trepidations step towards something meaningful. There are so many firsts, that first hand hold as you cross the invisible divide of a white linen dinner table somewhere between the salt shaker and the single stemmed vase, the first time your mouths press against each other in a lingering kiss, the first time you tell each other “I think I am falling in love with you” where all you want to do is declare absolute submission. You experience those candle lit dinners that seem to last an entire evening and only the clanking sound of upturned chairs remind you that you’re the last people in that intimate Italian Bistro you stumbled on in Alphabet City. These are all characteristics of an early relationship. Everyone around you sees it, it’s annoying but you don’t care. Clearly they’re all just jealous.. The world seems cleaner, greener, happier.”

“In short, you’re falling in love..
Soon you’re planning a get away. Nothing too significant you tell yourselves but a weekend in Paris or for our American Cousins a drive to Sunset beach perhaps. An open top car and a jackie Kennedy headscarf and big sun glasses whisk you elegantly and speedily to your small hotel. You talk endlessly and compete for airtime on whose iPod should be plugged into the car stereo. More firsts.. Favorite song, favorite movie, favorite position in bed. Worst date ever? (you both giggle) ‘Thank god we’re leaving those terrible dating days behind us’ you both reminisce.. Of course the weekend is champagne fuelled with a soundtrack of love making and laughter.. It’s a remarkable entanglement. Prosecco and heavy petting.. delicious.”

“The return home is sober and of course ‘work is tomorrow’. Damn it.. ‘I hate my boss’ she tells you. Reality sets. We’re not in some movie moment. The harp stops plucking as you pull into her street, the sun setting over Manhattan, the roof is up as the breeze starts to hit and you drop her off with a firm kiss on the side walk. This becomes, although you don’t realize it yet, the first admin moment. ‘Let’s live together!’ I’ll get you a key cut. This becomes in every relationship the most significant decision taken without significant thought to match.”

“I know what you’re thinking at this point.. Ok, we get it.. relationships start like this but it’s inevitable that they tire. It’s unrealistic to expect this all to last and so you have to compromise.. You just need to accept that this is the way it works. Bubbles that burst at the lip of a champagne flute are tomorrow’s hangovers.. C’est la vie.”

“The thing is that from that moment between cut keys and reminders to pick up cat litter and tampons are incredibly truncated. Perhaps not in absolute terms but in terms of recollection and final analysis as you dissect what went wrong. It’s really incredible to me that in cities as exciting as New York and London, many developed couples elect to sit at home and eat take out while watching the Food Network. Don’t get me wrong, some of my favorite respites from the fray of city living is a night in.. It’s just that many couples forget how to love each other. They quickly forget that they used to linger in restaurants where now an hour seems to be an eternity. You used to hold hands and open doors, she used to put on tongue red, kitten heels from Louboutin and explore your body with a hunger that seemed insatiable. I think relationship admin has a big part to play in the very real threat of demise and you need to work together to prevent this if possible. Curable? not sure but treatable for certain. You need to remind yourselves that some of what made you special and enviable to others is what you didn’t do, say or reveal. People joke about being on ‘farting terms’ and I know it’s hilarious but there is something to be said for keeping that away from the relationship. Is it possible forever? I am not sure but the preservation of mystique is critical. I want to turn on a tap and get clean drinking water, I don’t need to get acquainted with the filtration system.”

“The real point here is that in a highly competitive dating environment such as New York couples need to remind themselves that the alternative to being in a dull, lack luster relationship, burdened with admin and acrimony is a new love waiting to blossom. For men there are constant reminders of this but for women too this is something that needs to be addressed. In the metro-sexual world where equality exists not only at the outset but throughout this journey the irreplaceable is.. well, replaceable. They lurk everywhere. A new stick of gum, firmer and tastier than that chewed up, tasteless version you’ve been working on. So does Willy Wonker’s gob-stopper really exist? Well this is what I suppose we’re all looking for.. A lesson in making an effort. Go on date nights. Don’t forget to send flowers.. Not on a Birthday but because it’s a wednesday. Meet at dinner, not at home.. Put on your 5 inch heels, men, dress for dinner and pull her hair towards you at the door before you open your door.. Oh, as for the cat litter? it doesn’t matter if you both buy some, just don’t turn it into a question..that’s relationship admin.”

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