Dedication or romanticising harassment? Man playing piano to win lost love rages debate | sex and relationships


Luke Howard’s plan to play the piano on College Green, one of the main public spaces in southwest England’s Bristol, until he won his former girlfriend back has sparked a fierce debate across social media.

“I will play if it rains, if it snows, if I fall over or if get arrested,” Howard told the Bristol Post. “I will be here as long as I have to be here, hope the girl, she knows who she is, will come talk to me and maybe we could give it another go.”

The 34-year-old from Bath, who was in a four-month relationship with the woman whom he calls ‘Rapunzel’, said he just wanted to let her know just how much he loved her “to give us a chance rather than leave it there. I’m not ready to throw in the towel just yet”.

But not everyone was impressed. Some are questioning as to when does an exaggerated romantic gesture, straight out of the movies, step over the line into a coercive behaviour.

While some called his act ‘romantic’, others branded him ‘creepy’ for being so pushy and not respecting his ex-girlfriend’s decision. There were many who even hoped he never got his girlfriend back ever again.

“Men, women are allowed to leave you…,” the founder of Bristol Women’s Literary Festival, Sian Norris, in a no holds barred tweet criticised Howard.

One user thought the problem lay in the dramatics of the act:

After being showered by the online hatred, the Bath man abandoned his mission. Or maybe because someone punched him in the head on Monday.

“Much to the great relief of many, I’m sure, I stopped playing,” he told UK-based news website iTimes.

“My intention was never, ever to coerce, emotionally force, or use pity to bring this girl back into my life. She is one of the strongest-willed, intelligent, decisive human beings I have ever met, so to suggest she would succumb to such a tactic is insulting to her,” he said.

“I stopped playing yesterday because I realised that what I had wanted to do had spectacularly failed,” he said.

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