Rosie Green: ‘The three words that make me smile’

Frank revelations from our unmissable sex columnist, Rosie Green (@lifesrosie)

‘I fancy you’. I mean, blimey, it sounds like the sort of thing you’d scribble on a note in school assembly, not a statement you’d be trotting out as a 40-something with responsibility for a mortgage, two children, a dog and a couple of borderline obese guinea pigs. When was the last time you said those words?

Louise Samuelsen

For me? Erm… it was last week. And it’s just as exposing now as it was at 14.

Why did I say those three words out loud?

Well, it was partly fuelled by truth juice (wine) but also because in the early throes of a relationship it’s good to give positive feedback, right? Take yourself firmly out of the friend zone. Because if I’ve learnt one thing, clear communication in a relationship is key. Plus, I figure if it makes me feel good to hear that, then it will make him, too.

It got me thinking – what makes you fancy someone?

Post-marriage dating has been an interesting experiment in what I find sexy. It’s not something I had paid that much attention to since my wall was covered in John Taylor/Johnny Depp/Morten Harket posters (do you think I have a type?).

It’s physical, of course. My personal checklist? Must have a chest with girth, be taller than me, weigh more than me and be fit(ish).

But I have, in my advanced years, realised it is actually about personality, too. I know – how very grown up of me.

I’ve been asked out by 20-somethings with Adonis-like bodies and Abercrombie & Fitch model looks, but I haven’t accepted.

Turns out I like a man who is clever, confident and dynamic and who shares the same cultural reference points as me.

Fancying someone – however juvenile it sounds – is critical in a relationship, don’t you think? After all, how do you get over someone’s inevitable foibles (teeth-picking, sleep-humming) if they are not tempered by your physical attraction to them.

In my PD (post-divorce) life I have tried dating people I wasn’t that attracted to, thinking that side of it would grow.

Uh-uh. Not a good idea.

It increases the likelihood of you getting the ‘ick’ a few months down the line. The ‘ick’ – aka sudden repulsion syndrome – describes the phenomenon whereby you know a relationship is not right, because any thought of intimacy creates a nauseous feeling.

The thing about fancying someone is that there’s no logic to it. You either do or you don’t. It’s so nebulous and intangible, yet so vital in a relationship.

Talking of vital to a relationship, how important is it that you feel desired? It’s a turn-on. An incredible aphrodisiac.

Who hasn’t asked, in a relationship, ‘What are you thinking about?’ and hoped the answer would be ‘How hot you are’.

In my marriage, the answer to the ‘What are you thinking about?’ question was quite often ‘the Ashes*’. The truth is we want to be wanted. To be fancied.

Women especially, according to the sexperts. I read a piece in Psychology Today recently about how many of us like being ‘overwhelmingly desired, not rationally considered’.

We love the idea that someone can’t get enough of us. Which kind of flies in the face of our usual values, like wanting to be respected for our brains not our bodies. But then who said sex was rational?

It’s why hardened feminists have surrender fantasies and why Billy Bob Thornton has found six women prepared to marry him. Enough said. Anyway, the good news is my attraction is reciprocated (‘I fancy you, too,’ he said; we’re like a couple of schoolkids).

Because there would be nothing worse than telling someone you like the cut of their jib and them replying, ‘Yeah, I’m not really feeling it.’

Well, except telling someone you love them and them saying, ‘thank you.’**

*Insert current sporting event here.

**This happened to a friend. She’s still in therapy…