There have been times in my life, as I am sure there have been in yours, when you see someone, possibly in a certain setting, and they stop you dead in your tracks. There is something about the way they look or a certain mystery about them that leaves you feeling, immediately, like you want to – need to – find out more about them. All of a sudden everything leaves your mind and the only thought you have is, “How can I get to know them?” Well, it’s a bit like that with swimming pools, isn’t it?

When I arrived at my parent’s new home in Cyprus on Monday night, I walked out onto my balcony and looked below at the shimmering pool. It was beautiful. In the surrounding darkness, there was a solitary light that shone, highlighting the inviting beauty of the water within. A cool breeze blew and the water shimmered, glistening as the moon and stars reflected from above. I knew, as I looked at the pool for the first time, that I wanted to acquaint myself with it. It was night and the temperature was low, I knew I wouldn’t be able to swim in it there and then. Such a clumsy introduction would ruin things for the next time. No, for that night, I would only look upon it affectionately and wonder when I would get a chance.

It is very similar when you meet a girl for the first time (or a guy – there are two genders so feel free to choose whichever you like best. Chosen? Oh, good choice. Well done you!) . Although I undoubtedly have on a number of occasions, it’s never a good idea to bumble in and ruin any future chances you may have. Like a pool at night, it’s best to wait a while, isn’t it?

The next day, I went down to the pool. The sun was bright, the surrounding flowers, trees and views of the Mediterranean were there to attract my eyes. However, it was the pool I was interested in. Sure, I appreciated the beauty of the surroundings but it was still the mystery of the pool that was at the forefront of my mind. Again, similar to when you’re about to meet a man or woman who is the main focus of attraction (hermaphrodites too. Also, if you have ever fallen for a cross gender person then you can relate to this. Although I imagine it’d be more relatable if there was a splash pool too. There isn’t. Sorry), you ask similar questions that you ask when venturing to the pool for the first time to test the water. Will it be as inviting as it seems? Will there be a warmth that lets you in or will the coldness leave you feeling rejected?

At this juncture, I’d like to point out that I consider myself fairly fortunate in life that I haven’t encountered many cold people. Or cold pools. However, that Tuesday morning when I made my first, tentative introduction to the pool, I was met with the rejection I had feared. A cold, watery rejection that made it perfectly clear I wasn’t going to get to know the pool better that day. On the rare occasions I have met someone who isn’t as inviting as I’d have hoped, I have considered my options. This has stood me in good stead for this here pool situation.

First of all, I changed my approach. The first time I had tested my water I had used my hand – after the first day I used my foot instead (admittedly, this doesn’t really work when you first meet someone you like).

Secondly, I sat next to the pool and dangled my legs in (again, it is probably best not to try the second part of this method. Although the first may actually work quite well).

Finally, I tried getting on a Lilo, capsized and fell right into the water (Ummm… no, this isn’t relevant at all)!!

Once I was in that water, however, it was delightful. It was warm, it was relaxed, it felt positive – I had a fun time. It was everything I had hoped it would be that first time of seeing it. Admittedly, it will only ever  be a holiday romance, but the time we spend together over these next few days will be beautiful.

So, why are pools like relationships? Well, I suppose like that person you fancy, they catch your eye, they make you think of the good times you can have together and you’re never quite sure which way things are going to work out. Also, as with someone you may get off on the wrong foot with, if you spend a little time with them you may get to appreciate them more. Failing that, just strip down to your shorts and dive right in!

Oh yes, and always make sure you have a towel ready too.

Al! x