In a desperate attempt to avoid a forced rhyme, could Men at Work(‘I come from a land down under…’) actually have described Australia and, in particular, Australian men any more accurately?
I can speak with some degree of authority; I am Australian and the mentality of Aussie men is genuinely one of the reasons why I have lived in the UK for the last eight years.
I have loved dating English men. They hold doors open, give you compliments, appreciate a pair of five inch heels and insist on paying. For an Aussie, girl, this is dating bliss.
But can chivalry go too far?
My last, and obviously English, boyfriend hit serious financial problems. He couldn’t insist on paying; he couldn’t even offer. If we went out for a meal or drinks, I usually paid for most, if not all.
This was of little consequence to me; I’m reasonably well off and frankly, I felt that refusing to continue to date the bloke simply because he was having some money problems was rather superficial. However, for him, his inability to pay was completely emasculating.
In the end, he broke up with me. His pride came before our fall.
More recently on match.com, I received a message from a guy who listed his income as £35k – £50k and the ideal income of his match as less than £35k. He felt so strongly that he would want his future partner to earn less than him that he actually filled in these fields. (For those of you who don’t know match.com, he could – and should – have left them blank.)
I didn’t reply to his message, not because I didn’t match his ideal criteria but because I didn’t want to date a man who would feel so threatened by the fact that I am a successful woman.
I love that English men like to be the pursuers, protectors and providers but why can’t they accept that women are not completely powerless. Or broke. We have our own money and as much as we would love to buy another pair of stilettos, we would also love to be able to help out, as we know they would if the roles were reversed.
It suddenly leaves me feeling a little homesick for my Aussie blokes who would happily let me buy them beer. Well, at least until they chundered.