Rhodri Marsden: Love is all you need... apart from a devil-may-care attitude to lists

Life on Marsden

Share
Related Topics

A friend of mine came to me for romantic advice last week, presumably because all other avenues of assistance – prayer, palmistry, Yahoo Answers – had been explored. She was concerned that her administrative efficiency was putting off a gentleman she liked. "I'll give him a selection of times to choose from for our next date," she said, "but he won't reply for a couple of days. It's infuriating." I could sympathise. My life also hangs on a framework of spreadsheets and forward planners and I'm aware that these rank in the sexiness stakes alongside wicker, paint-stripping and streptococcal pharyngitis.

I find businesslike attitudes and streamlined organisation to be deeply alluring, but you can't admit to this any more than you'd confess to a dogmuck fetish. Take a glance at any internet dating website, and you'll see that we inhabit a world where snowboarding prowess is valued way above efficient list-making. No-one says on their profile that they put aside a little money each month in case of unforeseen expenses. No, they say that they like to make love on the beach at midnight instead. Yeah, and what happens when you get fined for outraging public decency? Eh?

I remember being confused as a young man when my first long-term girlfriend wistfully recalled her previous relationship with a philosophy graduate, where they'd blow their dole cheques on highish living for 48 hours and then subsist for the rest of the fortnight on mashed potato. "That was a bit stupid, wasn't it?" I asked her, but got no reply, because she was still wistfully recalling it.

That kind of behaviour is considered romantic, you see, while careful rationing is deemed dull. But listen, I beg you, because a relationship with an admin ninja doesn't necessarily mean rigorous audits, lengthy planning meetings and dockets to be filled out in triplicate. We can be spontaneous! Come away with me on a yacht to Sorrento! I've done the sums to make sure it's financially viable – and look, I've put together this schedule for the month and had it laminated.

But people don't like that.

Those of us who suffer from administrative proficiency would thus be advised to keep it quiet from a partner. Don't let on that you know what's going on. Feign insouciant indifference to details you've secretly pored over. And for God's sake don't plot your sexual activity on a scattergraph.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Guru Careers: Software Developer / C# Developer

£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...

Guru Careers: Software Developer

£35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant / Resourcer

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitment Consu...

Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, AngularJS)

£25000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, JavaScript, HTML...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

In Sickness and in Health: 'I'm really happy to be alive and to see Rebecca'

Rebecca Armstrong
Supporters in favour of same-sex marriage pose for a photograph as thousands gather in Dublin Castle  

The lessons we can learn from Ireland's gay marriage referendum

Stefano Hatfield
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

Join the tequila gold rush

The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
12 best statement wallpapers

12 best statement wallpapers

Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern