First loves – (and I’m talking about the real – and slightly embarrassing - firsts.)
I’m going to be honest. I have compiled a list of my first loves – the very first - that more or less I fell in love with in Primary School. Yes, I had eyes in my head even then, even if my tastes were somewhat to be desired.
I guess being a girl of about ten or so and having none-what-so-ever idea about men and anything that they entailed, I relied on my first point of call. The television screen. Yes, these ‘real-life men’ taught me a lot about what to expect when I started dating.
For one thing, I thought that all dates would consist of flying around the world in a super-sonic jet (at least), if not defeating a world-class villain or two. There might even be an inter-dimensional restaurant we might have stopped in for some refreshments during life-and-death duels because you have to be practical – you will get hungry doing all that stuff.
The ‘men’ that could accommodate me in said adventures were the following:
Mark, from the five-member superhero team called G-Force from Battle of the Stars, who defend Earth and its space colonies from the threat of planet Spectra. I would settle for no less than being called on as the sixth member of the team and having the chance to also defend Earth shoulder to shoulder with Mark. I loved his big blue eyes that would see into my soul. Unfortunately, he was also a cartoon character. And before you judge, one of my friends also confided that she also fell in love with Mark, so I wasn’t the only one.
Buck Rogers from the eighties television series. On a date with him, which I now know could last a while, I would sleep the next five hundred years, run about in a skin-tight white body-suit, because didn’t’ everyone from the future wear clothes like that, and go on big adventures in space and defeat the criminals of the future with good ol’ fashioned thinking and wit.
I also fell in love with Indiana Jones, and I will also mention his alter-ego Hann Solo. Or did I just fall in love with the young Harrison Ford – not sure. Adventure would also be on the cards on these dates and if I was lucky I might discover an ancient artefact or a remote village who had never seen white people before. Either one could happen, I didn’t care which.
Oh, there was also Flash Gordon from the movie in the eighties played by Sam J Jones. I just loved his washboard abs and blank eyes. Not much going on up top, but with a bod like his, who cares! – sigh. Content of our date? Adventure. Space. Defeating villains. The same old spiel.
Surprisingly enough I didn’t have any crushes on real life boys at school. They were dirty and a little bit too smelly for my sophisticated tastes. No footy players (they were a bit muddy as well), no sports heroes, no real-life individuals at all. I was a girl with selective tastes and any boy who took me out on a date had to at least have a jet or a wormhole though time and space to entertain me.
Why did I crush on characters? Maybe because they were really, really safe for me to fall in love with. I could day-dream about all the things I could do to them, and they can do to me from the comfort of my couch.
The modern day me still reaches for the same safety my ten-year-old self did. There are dozens of characters in books and movies I go on adventures with nearly every day. For example Aidan Turner from his role in ‘Poldark’ – quite frankly have you seen that man without a shirt on! And yes, that was the sound of me scooping up my jaw from the floor.
I can devour him with my eyes open, dream about him with my eyes shut and travel the depths of the world and beyond. It all happens inside my head. Dating this way is also extremely safe. I can stretch my boundaries in any way I want and it all remains private. I stay in my safe place. If my daughter wants to date this way until she’s thirty, I will be more than obliging.
I’m not saying that if Aidan Turner turned up on my doorstep with a space-craft and a star-chart I wouldn’t go in real-life, but I’m older than ten now. I’m allowed to go on real adventures. It’s my daughters turn to mind-play and day-dream from a safe distance. I’d like to think she’ll have her safe place for years to come and enjoy future books and movies, like her mother. After all, it’s the best way to date!
And the truth is I’m not the only woman who does this. Millions of women around the world get a little buzz from the characters they discover and read in romances of all categories. Don’t deny it!
That’s the reason these books exist and grow in popularity each and every day. So enjoy these characters. Do things to them you wouldn’t do in real-life. Go on adventures, claim your dreams. You’re allowed to. After all, it’s the safest thing you can do!