I've never found a Mr Forever, and to be honest, I don't really believe in that so it's no big deal. But I have been lucky enough to find one or two long term Mr Rights and more than a few Mr Right Nows. But does the nature of how we meet make a difference to our long term prospects?
If we meet in a bar, a sports club, a store, or via an app - what does that really say about our long term future? I think there are a number of genuine factors that count when it comes to knowing whether you're going to have a one night "thang" or a long-term thing.
I will tell you afterwards how I personally met my previous Mr Rights. This may well reveal my identity to those eager players trying to out me. Try as you will, darlings - it's a fun game for us all!
But before that, I'll tell you that I've met men at various Auckland haunts, in various situations, and I can confidently say there are some situations out of which there will be no winners. Believe me I've been there in all of these, and it's never a win-win.
Shock, horror! Someone you spend an extraordinary amount of time with is suddenly attractive to you! This should be no surprise to anyone. Various research says that around half of people find love at work. But in my experience it always ends in disaster - they're always married or your boss (see below). Under no circumstances should you enter a dalliance with someone from work. Resist the charms. For your own good, leave it alone.
You know the golden rule! Don't screw the crew. You'll only end up breaking the house apart just for a lousy shag - and it is always lousy. They aren't even that attractive anyway, you just happened to fancy them because you bonded over David Attenborough on Netflix. Ugh.
The ex's mate or mate's ex
There's just too much baggage here. Someone is bound to lose a friend. The thing with Auckland is that everyone is someone's mate, and it's difficult to avoid this situation. Ask yourself - is this reeeeaaaallly worth it?
He's your boss, or you're his
The power dynamic will never equalise. Let's face it, power and money are aphrodisiacs, and sleeping with your boss / staff involves both of those things whether you like it or not.
Another sure fire hot factor is the element of risk: it gives us a feeling of pleasure because it implies "death" - in the work place at least - and as the saying goes, "the closer to death we are the more alive we feel."
He's your client, or you're his
The same goes as above. It's an element of "not allowed" that makes this dalliance so sexy. Just imagine him taking a massive s**t and you'll get over it soon enough.
The holiday romance
Holiday romances should be left where you met. The idea of having sex with someone from a certain country carries the weight of the person behind it and that often doesn't work out.
If you fancy that person, realise the enormous barriers in the way to you even having a normal dating situation - you can't even go out for coffee. Either you or him need to move halfway around the world just to work out whether you have a thang or not. Too risky.
If you've had a threesome with him and his mate/GF
He's never going to marry you if you've been his one-time second mate.
If you're related in any way
This should go without saying. But PornHub search stats tell us that most searched for porn often features terms that include "step". The only thing separating this search and a lengthy jail term is the word "step".
If he's famous and you're a fan girl
Never meet your heroes. And definitely don't sleep with them. The hype will never live up to the expectation.
The obvious guy
If his tag line on Tinder says: "I'm here for a good time not a long time" what you should read is: "I'm here for a seven second time, and I'll give you zero attention."
Just don't bother.
If he's already slept with most of your mates. He's duplicitous, disingenuous, and ultimately disastrous.
If he's cheated on his GF/wife with you, it's almost guaranteed that karma will bite you in the ass and it will happen to you too.
Lady A's own Auckland love stories
Having said all the above, I have met some of the most important men of my life in the most unexpected situations in Auckland.
My first real love I met at university, circa 2001. I was walking out of Library B.10 deep in the bowels of the University of Auckland, when this cute, preppy, bespectacled guy literally stopped me in my tracks and said he'd been watching me (weird) and wondered whether I would like to join him at Shadows for a beer (I immediately excused his weirdness).
I realised later just how out of character this would have been for him, and many years afterwards I deeply appreciate the enormous effort he went to, to approach me out of the blue.
This really doesn't happen often in New Zealand - both Kiwi guys and gals are absolutely terrible at the cold approach.
We were so in love, and it was gag-inducing cuteness for two years until this same lovely, cute nerd cleaned me out of every single thing I owned while I was at work one night.
Aside from the game of Trivial Pursuit he accidentally left in the hot water cupboard. An empty home was quite the shock to come home to at 5am. Nothing builds resilience quite like theft in a personal relationship!
The second man I loved was someone I approached myself. Much like the above, this was well out of character for me also. He was in the fruit and vege aisle at a central Auckland supermarket, clearly looking for a perfect mango. No, this is not a euphemism. And no, I wasn't cruising the aisles with my bananas facing upwards, as urban legend might have it.
I could see he was struggling to choose the juiciest, juiciest mango, so I offered unsolicited assistance. He seemed relieved to be shown the way of the mango, and I took the opportunity to invite him to a house party that weekend, which he duly showed up to and that lead to a decade long love affair.
Contrary to my expectation, I've also just met someone via Bumble who had the chat to beat all chat, and turns out he is an absolute 11/10 babe. So, I could possibly change my mind on this one. I'll keep you posted …
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• Lady Avondale: A guide to dating the men of Auckland