I am 38 years old and recently returned to the UK after years working in Australia. I met my girlfriend, who is also English, out there and we both decided to come back to live in London.
I temporarily moved back into my old flat but now she is here I have moved in with her. I am thrilled to say that a month ago she accepted my proposal.
I haven’t told my mother that I am engaged as she is so controlling and we thought it was best to take it one step at a time. Two weeks ago I casually mentioned that I was going to share an apartment with a girlfriend I got on well with. Instead of saying: ‘what wonderful news’, ‘I am so pleased for you at last’ she started phoning me every day to make sure I don’t forget to send her a Valentine card, because ‘ha, ha,’ she is now in competition with another female in my life. Each call begins with her asking me lots of stupid questions like what am I taking with me into her flat, asking whether there is enough shelving for my books which she knows are so important to me and ‘advising’ me not to let my own flat straight away in case I have made a big mistake. Then just as I say I must get back to work she puts on a baby voice and ‘checks’ whether I still love her best and whether I have bought her the card.
I’ve never believed in Valentine cards and view them as a commercial gimmick. It’s also pathetic to imagine that she would be more important to me than my future bride. She’s been such a critical demanding mother that it was difficult for me to become independent and in the end I decided to go to the other side of the world to get away from her and find out who I was. It’s worked well for me but now I am back I’m not going to bend to her every request just to avoid upsetting her. I haven’t bought a card and am waiting see how she reacts. My fiancée and I are keeping our options open in Australia just in case she is nasty.