Magazine article The Spectator

Dear Mary

Magazine article The Spectator

Dear Mary

Article excerpt

Q. Mary, please help urgently. We have friends to stay with us in Scotland every year at this time. This year I have an impressive quota of three single (heterosexual) men in their forties. I have identified one in particular as ideal for a singleton female friend who is also coming. How can I force them together, Mary? I may not be able to use the long walk/car-running-out-of-petrol ruse if the weather closes in. I know they would be happy together but obviously being in their forties both are a bit shy now about the 'pass'.

Name withheld

A. People forget that for most of the last century, dancing, i. e. dancing with a partner, was the means by which the romantic spark could be lit and a liaison forced forward.

Instead of the usual after-dinner games, try to your problems solved include some reeling - it is quite acceptable to use recorded music. If there is insufficient room, then play 'dancing in the dark', in which a blindfolded guest dances with a series of members of the opposite sex and has to guess who they are. Once the prospective couple have had some 'hands-on' experience of each other you will find that, if nature has deemed them compatible, things will move rapidly forward of their own accord.

Q. Each year my brothers and I go up to Somerset for a week at family HQ. We all have children now and outdoor walks and games by day are followed by teatime, bathtime and a DVD before bed. Nine children are involved, ranging in age from four to eleven. …

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