In celebration of Valentine’s Day, brand manager Emily Partridge sits down with one of Melbourne’s most exceptional septuagenarians, Faezeh Parkes, to discuss dating in the modern age.
“I’m running out of time. That’s the crux of my life. I have to dedicate my time to people, especially those who are willing to give their time to me.”
While dauntingly existential to some, Faezeh’s Parkes’ mantra invigorates her. She resides in Naarm, Melbourne, but calls herself a global citizen. Following a career in teaching she now spends her time as an interpreter, actor, model, dating coach, and activist.
Faezeh wearing the Albertine bralette in Rosé
With so much on her plate, it’s a surprise to learn that she has time to scroll dating apps. Faezeh’s Bumble profile stands out amongst a sea of blurry group pictures and awkward pick up lines. Her pitch is delivered in the style of a pre-flight safety video, where she is the captain and potential suitors are her passengers. While many her age search for serious romantic relationships, that’s not what she’s after, and she is comfortable dating younger people. “I don’t need a relationship, per se. I thrive on the relationships I already have, with my children and loved ones.”
Instead, she offers a journey, where emotional baggage must be abandoned and passengers should hold on tight. She promises to inject enthusiasm and vibrancy into their lives. She claims that dating is a ‘service’ industry, where you can’t expect to get anything out that you haven’t already contributed – be it a listening ear or something deeper. Depending on emotional connection, “some might be given a first-class seat, and others get ditched at the next stop.”
A sneak peek at Faezeh's dating profile
To Faezeh, this emotional connection is frequently missing in the modern dating scene. She says she doesn’t envy young people and the carefully-categorised intimacy they have to navigate: one night stands, friends with benefits, exclusivity, and ‘situationships’. She dismisses that specificity and instead calls the people she’s dated her muses; some in a romantic or sexual sense, and others as continuing friends. She believes that an environment where you’re swiped on and rejected within seconds breeds inauthentic connections. Valentine’s Day, she feels, is a commercial campaign rather than a day for intimacy; emotional connection doesn’t come wrapped in a dozen roses, but in the ability to share a meal.
While she likes the adventure of casual dating, she’s not opposed to committing to the right person. “That person will be the person who gets me, who gets my quirkiness, who gets my enthusiasm to the nth degree.”
When asked for advice, Faezeh offers these nuggets of wisdom:
1) Your time is precious
“The constant thing that people forget is the value of time and love. I ask myself: on this big planet, who values me enough to take the valuable time they have in their busy lives and give it to me? Who has enough time to show me that love? At my age, you find that a lot of people don't have time for love. At that point, you need to be strong enough to walk away.”
2) Love is not a competition
“Your success is their success, and their success is your success. There’s no such thing as constant equality in a relationship; there will be times where you have to give more, and times where you give less.”
3) Do not allow the weight of other people’s opinions to rest on your shoulder
“Everyone goes through moments of not feeling beautiful. That is a fact. My father, who was a psychiatrist, just passed away last year at the age of 98. He said ‘do not allow the weight of other people’s opinions to weigh on your shoulder… I look in the mirror and I tell myself ‘you are the best, because you’ve helped so many people.’ The moment I’m feeling down, I pay it forward. That automatically is good karma, it comes back to you and you are in the best of moods.”
Get 20% off Luxe this Valentine's Day using code VALENTINES at checkout (expires midnight February 14).