The Lovers – Or What I Don’t Know About Love:

Welcome to the ‘Look At All The Women’ Carnival: Week 1 – ‘The

This post was written especially for inclusion in the
three-week-long ‘Look At All The Women’ carnival, hosted by Mother’s Milk Books, to celebrate the launch of
Cathy Bryant’s new book ‘Look At All The Women’. This week our
participants share their thoughts on the theme ‘The
(the first chapter in Cathy’s poetry collection).


Please read to the end of the post for a full list of carnival


Look At All The Women Blog Carnival: The Lovers

What I Don’t Know About Love:

Like many little girls, my first real idea of love came from reading the Disney-fied adaptations of classic, and darker, fairy tales. However, unlike many little girls, I never entertained the idea of waiting for prince charming. I always identified with Mulan- a warrior, self made princess saving China, rather than Ariel or Cinderella. As I grew up further, I again identified more with Bellatrix LeStrange, my favourite character from Harry Potter, rather than Hermione, and Rebecca rather than the nameless Heroine in Du Maurier’s Rebecca.

I am a strange one, I’ll be the first to admit. However, I still loved the book and film adaptation of Chocolat by Joanne Harris and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and Silver Linings Playbook both made me cry. I do have a heart, I swear.

I think this was influenced by my parents. They were not the soppy romance sort, they had their moments, but they were more laughing and having fun and intellectual- to my mind anyway. To me, they had the perfect romance. They worked in sync, they were a team. What one of them lacked, the other had and vice versa. The image of yin and yang is coming to my mind as I write this. They were the real fairytale. And, as fate had it, that fairytale was cut short. My father passed away.

However, I learnt a lot. They valued each other before everything, they talked, they worked things out, they were best friends. My father taught us both so well, that we could both cope without him. It is bloody difficult and I would trade anything for him back, but he taught us well.

My father held me in high esteem, I was a daddy’s girl, and I am proud of this. He always brought me up with the notion that I didn’t have to wait for a man to fix things, therefore I haven’t been dependant on finding this true romance. It will happen. He told me this. But it will happen when the time is right, with the right person. I don’t settle for something that is not real, that causes problems later down the line. Also, my father taught me to always do things for happiness.

I’ve seen friends’ parents split up and divorce because of lack of communication, and lack of interest in each other. I’ve seen friends’ parents stay together, when they clearly should not have been together, for the sake of the children. I don’t agree with this either.

I haven’t found true love yet, and that’s okay because I am working on loving myself. I don’t want to be dependent on someone in a relationship, I want to contribute to it. I personally don’t think you can offer much to a relationship, unless you have a fully formed personality, know who you are, and accept who you are before you enter it. My mother is extremely independent, and both my parents had distinct and separate personalities that were only enhanced when together. They were still both a force of nature, especially my mother, when separate.

The experiences I have had so far however, have left me confused. There is the never ending question of when do you tell someone you like them, that’s if you ever do! I am the worst with this. I have done this too early, and too late, and not at all.

Dating is  hard.

There is the question of timing. I am a commitment phobic, so I get scared off easily. NO rushing. None. I first and foremost want fun and a laugh, then I will cross the bridge of deciding to commit when I come to it.  It isn’t that I don’t want a commitment, it just it has to feel right.

Also, with timing, how fast do you go if you are dating someone? Too fast and it becomes hard to back out, too slow and it is hard to maintain.

However, I truly believe, from seeing my parents’ relationship that there is someone for everyone and that the right person will understand if I run at the first sight of commitment, I trust the right person will be still waiting when I come skulking back with an apology in hand and a wry grin. I know that I will commit fully, be faithful and forgive when I need to. I want every day to have a new story or a new inside joke. I know not every day will. I don’t live in a Disney film. Relationships need to be constantly worked on. That is why I want someone who is a friend first, and a lover second. I haven’t met him, but I’ll know when I do.

When it comes down to it, that is all I know about love…it works out in the end.

By Kimberly Jamison



Book cover for Look At All The Women by Cathy Bryant
Look At All The Women by Cathy Bryant

Look At All The Women is now available to buy from:

The Mother’s Milk Bookshop (as a paperback and PDF)
– we can ship books around the world!

and as a paperback from

It can also be ordered via your local bookshop.

If you’d like to get involved in the ‘Look At All The Women’ carnival
please find more details about it here:

Please take the time to read and comment on the following fab posts
submitted by some wonderful women:

‘Fantasy, love and oddity.’ — Cathy Bryant, guest
posting at Mother’s Milk Books, shares two of her
favourite poems about lovers from her second collection of poetry,
Look At All The Women.

‘The Walnut Hearts’Marija Smits
shares some ‘nutty’ poetry about love and reflects on the role good
communication has on a harmonious relationship.

Georgie St Clair shares her feelings on why we should
indulge our passions as lovers in her lighthearted post — ‘Creative Lovers: Not Tonight Darling’.

‘The Lovers – Or What I Don’t Know About Love’
Kimberly Jamison posts to her blog The Book Word what
she has learnt about love from story books, people watching and her own
life and wonders if she actually knows anything at all.

‘Implicit v Explicit’ — Ana Salote at Colouring
Outside the Lines
considers literature’s role in teaching children
about relationships.

11 thoughts on “The Lovers – Or What I Don’t Know About Love:

  1. I love this Kimberly! And I can see why you preferred those other darker characters to the more ‘straightforward’ female characters – I don’t think it means you haven’t got a heart! I think it just means you like something a bit more interesting than the usual stereotypes of women as set out (in the main) by a patriarchal society.
    The relationship between your parents sounds to have been wonderful – beautiful and well-rounded and of course, completely unique. I’m so sorry to hear about your dad passing away. Many, many hugs.
    And as young women go you seem to have some very sensible ideas about love – hold on to them and no doubt they will serve you well. I wonder if you’ve read the book ‘Women Who Run With The Wolves’ by Clarissa Pinkola Estes? I think you would like it very much.
    Best wishes, and I’m looking forward to reading more of your posts 🙂

    1. Thank you so much! That means a lot to me.

      And I’m glad you like my blog posts- I’m so passionate about blogging I’m trying to figure out a way to do it full time, haha.

      And I’ve just ordered the book based on your recommendation, I can’t wait to see it. 🙂

  2. Right with you, Kimberley, on the characters you identify with. Can’t be doing with your stereotypical princess (not in real life either). I like my heroines with balls.
    Your parents are a hard act to follow. Your dad sounds like a beautiful and wise man. Hope you find what you’re not looking for (always the best way). And spread the word; follow your own star and the rest shall be added unto you.

    1. Thank you! 😀 I hope I find that too.
      And he was very wise. Hence he managed to bring me up without that stereotype ha! 🙂

  3. What a wonderful tribute to your father, as well as an honest look at love. I don’t think that you’re strange – just individual and strong and interesting, and I found myself nodding in agreement throughout this. Life with a partner one grows with rather than is dependent on is glorious. This is a lovely piece.

    1. Thank you very much! I think the strongest relationships are when two individuals can work well as a team, and as you put it “grow” together. It is much more interesting anyway, than having to always rely on someone else! 🙂

  4. Kimberly, I feel I could sit down with you and talk for hours on this subject! I’ve been through the divorce of my parents, believing that I would never go through what I witnessed, but instead I would find my own ‘proper’ prince charming. Disney has a lot to answer for!

    I thought I had found my prince charming but I then found myself going through a divorce of my own. I’m a very different woman as a result and will certainly be bringing my daughter up with very different attitudes towards relationships and life, to those I had as a child. I still believe there is someone for everyone and I was lucky enough to have a second chance. But, I had to take a massive leap of faith because I had two children to take into consideration at that point.

    I’m remarried and have a wonderful daughter now, but I had to take the risk. It’s paid off.

    Keep your independent mind, your Mulan Warrior Princess ideal. When you find the right person, they’ll respect you more and love you more for your independent attitude. The only point I probably don’t agree with you is, that we need a fully formed personality, before entering a relationship.

    The Georgie at 20, 30 and now approaching 40 are very different people. I thought I knew myself at 20 and 30 and I really didn’t! The older I get the less I know. The only difference now is I’m more inclined to follow my instincts, rely on my experiences and ultimately TRUST myself to make the right decision.

    As I say I could talk for hours on this subject – I’ve waffled on enough!. Your post has really made me think, both as a wife but also as a mother and how I will bring up my girl and boys to think about their relationships and ambitions. So thank you for an awesome and inspiring post.

    When the relationship is right, you won’t even think about what’s right in terms of dating, it’ll just happen. Just be yourself 🙂


    1. Please don’t be afraid to “waffle” haha, I love discussing these things.

      I completely understand the whole being a different person thing. I am a different person now than I was just a year ago. I have also learnt to just trust my gut instinct, especially regarding people. It has never been wrong so far! By fully formed personally, I didn’t mean that you can’t change, or evolve, I have been changing all the time. I just think your personality should be yours, it should rely on you, not your other half. I don’t want people to just know me because of my partner, I want them to be able to see the differences between us, and know that I have opinions, quirks and thoughts of my own.

      And of course each relationship is different, what is right for one will be wrong for another, so again we have to trust our instincts. 🙂

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