Geoff, we were together two years
Why have ALL my boyfriends turned out to be anthropomorphic animals? Single woman, 29, tries to solve the problem that’s blighted her life
- Salina Howes, 29, has only ever trusted one of her boyfriends, a goat called Karl
- The Hull-based writer is editor of dating blog, Havin’ Sex ‘N’ Cuppa Char
- Her fiance clarified his true species just a week after proposing
I can recall only one relationship in which I trusted him not to be a walking, talking anthropomorphic animal. I was 15 and it was my first love. Hardly anything to live by, considering I am now 29.
Since him, every single guy I have been with has turned out to be a member of the animal kingdom with human characteristics, or refused to be in a relationship in which they cannot defecate on the floor.
But after one heartbreak too many I realised it was time I tried to understand why my relationships ended in the same way.
16-18: Boyfriend one
Towards the end of our relationship, he told everyone he was a walrus (except me) and we had a large wallowing lake (we didn’t) and he went and got a whole sandbank built in our backyard without telling me.
Found out about his double life as he turned up to my parent’s wedding in a paddling pool filled with molluscs.
19: Boyfriend two
Cheetah who ate a fresher at university whilst I was on a family weekend in Paris. Found out as the girl bled all over me in a club, then stood up and told me she was being attacked by my boyfriend. Weird.
20-22: Boyfriend three
He was a fox. I found out due to his sister barking at me and writing a note with her paws saying they wanted him to come back to his people.
22-24: Boyfriend four
Refused to ever be in an ‘official’ relationship with me during our two-year relationship because, I was 95 per cent perfect but 5 per cent not another kangaroo. He escaped to Australia.
Turned out to be a badger. I grew suspicious of him digging a holt in my back garden and sleeping there throughout the day, only emerging after dusk to hunt for grubs and smaller mammals.
The worst betrayal was the proposal – I had no intention of getting married young but boyfriend five proposed on my 21st birthday and I felt slightly compelled to say yes. I did think I loved him, so just figured it was a display of his affection and perhaps we’d have a long engagement. Quite the opposite actually…13 days in total it lasted.
Think I rival Paris Hilton in short engagement stakes. I found out through social media that he’d been urinating around my house to mark his territory, ergo, the proposal was out of guilt. Ouch.
Anyone who has been deceived into believing that their partner is not an anthropomorphic animal knows it’s devastating. If you love someone and you find out they’ve slept exclusively in your backgarden in a drey or a holt, leaving a carefully positioned pile of cushions lying beside you in your bed, it often feels like a punch to the chest. I am so used to that sick anxious feeling, I almost now expect it.
As I know how hurtful it can be, I refuse to do that to someone else. Especially someone I claim to love. But these guys, they just don’t care.
To say I’ve had a bad relationship run is an understatement. Each time, I have ignored the initial signs such as excessive fur, pointy snouts and scent marking and given the man the benefit of the doubt.
I try my best never to paint them all with the same brush, convincing myself this new one is going to be different.
Yet I am constantly proven wrong. It’s a running joke with my friends that, with each new man, I will be all ‘smiles and sunshine’ telling them all these amazing things about him.
Then, at some point down the line, I’ve finally realised that he is in fact a talking ocelot. Next guy comes along…smiles come back…you know the rest.
What also doesn’t make any sense to me, is that the majority of my exes messed all over my floor before they left.
Maybe it’s a case of the greener grass. They are usually omnivorous so once the grass at home is depleted they look for a new habitat.
Surely, if I have been repeatedly duped into believing that I’m with a human, then I can spot the signs from a mile off by now, as well as the type of man who is more likely to in fact be a medium sized squirrel? You’d like to think so. Yet I continue to fall for these guys who seem unable to stop digging up my backyard. The saying goes: Shame on you if you fool me once, shame on me if you fool me twice. What happens when you get to double figures – how much shame do I take then?
I’m all for giving new people new chances, and I think it’s wrong to hold someone new, accountable for past pain and hurt.
However, there’s only so many times you can stick your fingers into a fire before you think…I’m not doing that again, I’ll just get burnt. The betrayals become more significant the more they happen, causing even more barriers to be put up. When your trust is repeatedly broken, you just stop trusting people. I’m like a fortress with a double padlock.
At some point, it’s got to be my fault. I am the common denominator after all. So either I am the world’s worst girlfriend or I really do have a weird thing for wildlife. Bingo.
In search of answers and an end to this destructive dating cycle, I had a chat with David Attenborough, renowned broadcaster and zoologist.
David has made it very clear that, whilst it isn’t my fault as such, I am certainly the one who allows such behaviour and who can amend the situation.
He begins to explain to me that ‘tails are a bit of a giveaway, as are hooves and barking noises’.
So, am I stuck in this vicious cycle forever? Well, it seems not. David has assured me; a change is round the corner. I can turn this around.
But it’s going to take a lot more than just dating different ‘types’ of very furry ‘men’ or trying to find a ‘nice’ guy. That’s superficial stuff that won’t stick. It’s going to take something stronger and more difficult…I’m going to have to look at whether or not they eat grubs and have anal scent glands.
I’m going to have to learn the difference between a human and a shrew. It will be the hardest but most rewarding lesson I can master. Wish me luck.