How can a man be sure that she's the one?

SHEA TOMKINS

Published 21/06/2011 | 15:07

IN OUR circle of friends, there are a few couples that up until now have avoided getting married. As we are mostly in our mid-thirties, this might raise a critical eyebrow or two among the more conservative members of society. After all, the average age for Irish men and women to get hitched is 32 and 30 respectively, according to the research treasure chest that is the Internet.

I would have thought it younger, for both sexes. The rest of our lot got married in their mid to late-twenties. Some of them have resisted walking down the aisle until now, which means that there is still a bit of partying for us children of the Eighties left to do.

This year, and for the first summer since we had a glut of nuptials to waltz through a few years back, we have more than one wedding to attend. And on us, the novelty of the big day is not lost. I think when you have kids – especially two under the age of four – any reason to get dressed up and spend the day sipping cider in the sun is welcomed.

One particular friend, currently residing in the socialscene cauldron that is London, has a list of vital criteria that a candidate must possess when it comes to him deciding on ' the one'. Subconsciously, I suppose we all do. He has yet to take the plunge, and perhaps it boils down to being spoilt for choice. Having observed some unlikely pairs hooking up through the years and make a storming success of their unions, we agree, whenever we get together for a pint, that beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

At the end of those single days, there is somebody for almost everybody. For those still enjoying the search for a chain to attach to the ball, the following scenarios may come in handy when trying to decide whether she is the one for you; it all depending on the type of lad that you are.

The Football Fan: You take her home for the first night and she asks if you have a shirt that she can wear to bed. You point her in the direction of the wardrobe, and tell her to fill her boots. She returns, wearing a jersey belonging to your favourite soccer team and says that while it's nice, last season's away strip compliments the dark eye shadow better. Then she asks if you have recorded Match of the Day, and The Premiership. She thinks Bill O'Herlihy is king.

The Slouch: Saturday morning and you've had a tough week at the office, where you were told you'll have to seriously up your game. The night before, as you polished off pint after pint, you saw your boss's face grinning up at you from the bottom of the glass. She tells you to enjoy your lie-in, that the lob-sided picture hanging over the bed doesn't need fixing; it adds charm to the surroundings.

No clothes need to be washed: she'll pick you up some new ones when she pops out for the afternoon, to go shopping with her mates. You can lie on the couch and watch some DVDs instead.

She fancies a Chinese for dinner and pizza for tea, all ordered in, to save on the washing up. As for the stubble, the heavier the better: it's what makes a real man, she purrs.

The Accountant/Economist: She texts you, while you're umbrella-bashing your way through the concrete jungle towards The James Joyce, and asks you to throw a tonne on number six in the 3.45pm at Ascot. She whispers Dow Jones, repeatedly, into your ear as you check the latest stocks news on your iPhone. Then she insists that you leave your glasses on when you kiss - she loves the look of a man that can think.

She buys two copies of the daily paper, just so you can both read the business section at the same time, and insists that you have to be home in time to watch Prime Time. If anyone mentions the words Premier League, she gets physically sick. On the way home she plays maths games with you, seeing who can multiply and divide the fastest. She calls her first car Blackberry, after her favourite possession.

The Drinker: At the end of the night she picks up your phone, cancels the taxi and asks the barman if he knows where you can find a good lock-in. For your birthday she buys you a pint for every year, and she finds you a new job where you don't have to start work until the afternoons. She asks you not to wear after shave anymore, as it drowns out the smell of the whiskey.

TThhee DDoowwnn--ttoo--EEaarrtthheerr:: She answers the phone when you ring, or if she's busy she'll call you back. She shows an interest in the things you like and going somewhere together is generally a hoot. When you argue she'll take a moment, or twenty, and then gets over it. At the end of the day she likes hanging out with you, filling you in on events. There's far more laughter than tears. If she can iron, count your blessings. In this ever changing world, it's a skill on the brink of extinction. As for the ability to cook. Priceless. Now, back to my cave.

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