While not a lover of English period dramas, when growing up in Australia I had been under the illusion that the English gent, aka Mr Darcy, was as synonymous as the black cab – stylishly roaming around London day and night waiting to pick you up. So when I moved over to London some six years ago with my boyfriend at the time, I was a little confused by what I found – there certainly were men roaming the streets, some looking for love, many searching for sex, however their disguise and behaviour threw me.
For example, the edgy and artistic East London type rocking the skinny jeans and drugged-up look; the sport fanatics who often socialise and chant in flocks while sporting football shirts stretched to their limit as a beer belly protrudes from beneath; the 20-something Chelsea lads with cardigans wrapped around their necks while wearing pink chinos dotted with birds; or the ‘city boys’ – your suited and booted traders and bankers cashed-up, and in some instances, coked-up to their eyeballs.
Having dabbled with most of the above (minus men wearing pink chinos with birds), despite their obvious differences there seems to be a common thread– there’s a lad culture like no other and an unwillingness to commit until well past thirty and beyond. Could part of the problem be the city – one that offers too much choice and competition??
Having experienced some ‘cold feet’ issues of my own with that very boyfriend I moved here with all those years ago, I too got caught up in the pandemic. However having ‘matured’ a little (I just turned 30…gulp!), I now feel I’m ready to hang up my glass slipper so to speak. But with some of my male counterparts still caring too much about what their friends think while drinking to excess, roaming the streets like 18-year-olds pissing up against street corners….or worse… as I once experienced, on my new cushions… the English ‘gent’ has left me disillusioned – no matter their appearance or disguise!