From Flirtatious to Serious: Top Tips for Dating a Highlander
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Got your eye on a bonny lad from a neighboring clan? Or have you been swept off your feet by a pillie-wantoun—a lecherous type—at the spring fair? First, best ask yourself what you want from this relationship!
If you’re looking for a fling
Take your pleasure, lassie! If the man’s gyte—mad with desire—and you’re willing to indulge him in amouris, then let him kittle (tickle) you and talk ladry (seductively) all the night.
If you’re aiming for marriage or band
Sure, he’s called you belovit and you’ve shared a cuttle by the village green. But you’ll know his intentions are truly honorable if he’s tasked his best friend with the reiteach: negotiating a bride-price with your father over a dram of whisky (or five).
If things are really serious, you and your intended might spend the night together—sort of. Test your compatibility without endangering your reputation by bundling. Whether there’s a board placed between you or you have your lower half tightly bound, your first night in bed together will be a chaste one.
Not the church-going kind? You and your beloved might choose to handfast: join and bind hands to swear betrothal before witnesses. It’s a kind of trial common-law marriage that either of you can call off if things don’t work out. If, after a year and a day, you’ve no wish to wed, no one will be bothered if you part ways.
More traditional? You’ll announce your bandis—your intention to marry—in the church for three consecutive Sundays before the big day. But plan ahead: it’s bad luck to marry in the month of May or during a waning moon. Good news: you can be married in any color but green—which would draw the notice of the faery folk. (Bonus points if you carry something blue: the color of purity.) Plus, you keep your surname!
Of course, to further ward off ill luck, you’ll leave your ribbons and laces undone until you’ve tied the knot by binding your hands together in the wedding ceremony. And your new husband will carry you over the threshold, because everyone knows that “sin crouches at the door.”
Don’t forget about your dreaming-bread! A senior lady-friend will break a piece of wedding cake over your head: if it breaks into many pieces you can expect lots of children! Your single friends might also grab a few crumbs to place under their pillows, so they can dream of their own husbands.
Deagh fhortan dhut, leannan. (That’s Scot Gaelic for “Good luck to you, lovers.”)
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