Are East Anglians the nation’s most complimentary lovers?

Lynne's pic - romance copy

Lynne's pic - romance copy - Credit: Archant

Good grief.

I have been sent the results of (yet another) survey. This one establishes how Britons say “I love you”... apart from the obvious of saying “I love you,” presumably.

The results show East Anglians topping the flattery charts with nearly half of us relying on compliments to show our affection.

Other regions opt for flowers, chocolates, cooking dinner, an overnight stay in a hotel (Wales), a spontaneous trip (south west) and dinner in a restaurant. What do you notice about this list compared to paying compliments.

Yes, all the other things cost money.

Having said that, people in the south east don’t dip into their pockets either, preferring to demonstrate their love by helping with the household chores. But you might also deduce that not only are East Anglians “careful” with their money, they don’t seem keen on exerting themselves, either. At least the south-easterners flex a bit of muscle.

This was a poll carried out for Warner Leisure Hotels who will no doubt be targeting any new marketing campaigns at the Welsh, Cornish and Devonish. There seems little point in advertising in East Anglia, apparently, unless Warners simply want us to say something nice: “Well we love your hotels, we think they look really fantastic.”

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I am, however, a bit surprised about the results of the survey. Phlegmatic East Anglians rarely pay romantic compliments. A man is more likely to say: “My goodness, you look fantastic. I haven’t seen anything as attractive as that since the last steam locomotive travelled the London-Norwich main line.

East Anglian women are usually less tactful than that. On a big evening out, full of unspoken promise, her beloved will put on the shirt she especially likes plus an alluring dab of Issey Mayake Men. Her response? “That shirt looks a bit tight on you... have you put on weight?” closely followed by: “And what’s that smell?”

So if compliments truly top of East Anglian’s romantic conventions we may be in a bit of trouble here. Then again, if we apply reverse psychology, maybe it is for this very reason our region feels that being complimentary is a big romantic deal.

To see us struggle to get the eulogy out without screwing up our faces in agony or spoiling it all with a final smart-alecky punchline is surely a sign of true love.

Nonetheless, if my husband were, without prompting and without a script, to look at me tenderly and give me a load of flowery guff, I would assume his body had been possessed by aliens. In fact, I may have seen that episode of Star Trek.

But if there are men out there who are already ditching plans to buy flowers, chocolates or surprise their other halves with a weekend (or night in the case of Wales) of passion in a hotel (or B&B), stop right there. A bit of research carried out at a Canadian university concludes men should not express themselves in too polysyllabic a fashion if they want to pull. That is to say women prefer men who use short words.

No, this does not include grunts or skipping the warm-up and cutting straight to “Will you sleep with me?” Though, at a pinch, a French or Italian accent is always an appealing extra.

As for the theory that women melt in the presence of the taciturn DH Lawrence type - men who till the soil, whose hearts beat in time with the earthy throb of mother nature. Well, that’s all fine until he tries to get back indoors. “Don’t you come in here with your dirty wellies and filthy hands.”

“Come on, give us a kiss,” he replies temptingly in words of one syllable. But not temptingly enough. First he’ll need to walk to the kitchen sink on the newspaper provided, remove his boots and trousers and then scrub his hands until his fingernails are visible.

Actually I rather like loquaciousness. If all you need to do is utter a string of one-syllabled words to get women to fall for you how do you explain the romantic successes of poets and Russell Brand?

But I am also a sucker for: “I love you.”