The old man who power walks down the beach in a track suit and ski poles

by Tamara Jacobs


The other evening I was having a lovely dinner in my garden with a good friend. She recently started seeing a guy who she’s really falling for – despite the fact that she doesn’t think it’ll go anywhere. ‘Why’ I ask her ‘if you’re falling for him, can it not go anywhere?’ To which she replied, ‘well you know, because he’s just not the right one.’ She gives me a few reasons why ‘he’s not the right one’ – job, travel, ambitions… all very important things to consider when choosing the person you’re going to spend the rest of your life with. But what about loyalty, sense of humour and having a moral compass that’s pointing in the right direction? Don’t these things matter? To illustrate my point I tell her a little anecdote.

This past Christmas I was in Puerto Vallarta with my family. There I was sitting on the beach one beautiful afternoon, sun beating down on my skin, staring out to sea when a man of about 95 years power walked by me with ski poles and a head-to-toe tracksuit. Considering it was about 100 degrees, you can imagine how funny this looked. I had a little giggle and thought – one day we’re all going to look like this. And when that day comes, the person I wake up next to better make me fucking laugh, because at the end of the day, nothing else really matters.

We often focus too little attention on the things that really matter – how someone makes you feel, how closely they listen to you, how special they think you are. Do you have to worry about where their eyes (or hands) are wandering when you’re not with them? Do they care when you come home upset, and if so, how much? What do they do to actually make you feel better? How many days, out of a hundred, are you actually having fun together and enjoying each other’s company? Because I will tell you one thing, a love of galleries, looking sexy in a suit, and a good job as a banker, does not a life partner make. But a compassionate friend, a loyal partner and a concerned and aware person does.