The Art of Double Parking

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As I rapidly approach the end of my 20s, I feel pressurised to conform to what society deems normal for a girl of my age. In other words, get engaged (making sure to post plenty of pictures of that EPIC ring all over Facebook), have the most lavish wedding and then pop out a few babies (gosh, I think I put myself through enough pain for marathon medals, really no incentive in going through labour for a screaming bundle of eww ).

Seeing as this particular good girl squandered most of her youth focusing all her attention on one bad boy, I now find myself in a bit of a predicament. There is so little time and so many men that need to be scrutinised before I am going to be ready to settle down (read just settle for) on a singular man for the rest of my god-forsaken life.

The truth is I haven’t even made the slightest dent in the male population of Cape Town and I am beginning to realize that dating is really just a numbers game. You’ve got to work your way through the eligible candidates as quickly as possible to get rid of the deadwood. The key is not prolong things that don’t serve a purpose in your life (easier said than done, I know!).

When the time is of the essence, as it is in my case, a single girl has no other option but to DOUBLE PARK (simultaneously dating different guys and in extreme cases skillfully managing to timetable multiple dares into a single night).

For instance, you find yourself with two second dates options. The first one – a very decent chap who wants to wine and dine you at some swanky establishment and hear your opinion on various intellectually stimulating conversation topics. Furthermore, this arrangement is set up well ahead of time so you are committed. On the morning of said date, (in typical bad boy style) you get a message from option number 2, inviting you to meet him a slightly grungy club. You know you should have some self-respect and tell him you already have other plans, but hey a women has needs that only a bad boy can fulfill. So being the indecisive, spineless wench you are you decide to double park – meeting the good guy for dinner for a good old chin wag and at around 10pm making your excuses (and subsequently friend-zoning him) to escape for make-out session with the one who gives you butterflies.

Tinder has multiple purposes depending on an individual’s objectives. Some people believe their love story will start “Once upon a time I swiped right…” While the majority use it to find their next hook-up (not always the wisest idea in AIDS-ridden South Africa). Then you have the cheeky prudes like myself who use Tinder purely for the purposes of networking (who am I kidding ;)).

Take for example this one time when I found myself in need of a lift to the airport and weighing up the options of forking out for a cab or being a miciti bus biatch when a male friend of mine suggested utilising my well-honed flirting skills to get a ride to the airport from one of my many Tinder boys (see it is not simply a hook-up app, its also a more nuanced version of Uber). I get to work and as I have limited time I actually end up roping the dude that suggested this idea into fulfilling the mandate himself (I met him on OKC, so technically he is the equivalent of a Tinder boy). How is that for skillssss?

You’d think the mission was complete there. But as they say men are like buses – there are none for ages and then two come along at once. Out of the blue, a Tinder guy (you actually like like) offers to be your chauffeur. Yay! You heart starts to flutter as you visualize a scene at Cape Town International where he declares his undying love to you and tells you that two weeks without you will feel like eternity. In reality, it all turns out to be an epic anti climax where he discusses you bringing him a book back from your travels and gives you a kiss on the cheek.

So there you have it rinsers. Double Parking. It might be necessary evil at times but its an art form which doesn’t always give you the happy ending you dreamed off. Now tell us about your Double Parking experiences – are you master of the art of just a disaster waiting to happen?

Lowwwe and d@ting

imageWe pretty much live “on the web”. We do Facebook, we google, we Instagram. It was inevitable for love and dating to go online too. According to studies, one third of American marriages start online. Nevertheless, Cape Town seems to be still somehow conservative about this way of meeting romantic partners.

Many young people don’t want to be restricted in their lives by possibility of meeting someone with common interests in real life and want to increase their chances by joining Internet communities of their choice. Couchsurfing (travelers community), internations (expat community) or meet up (for those wanting to meet people with similar interests of all sorts) are flourishing. The fact is that many of the users are single and even though they claim to be only looking for friends they are, in fact, looking for partners, even if temporary ones (as in case of the hook-up seekers). Why are they not open about it? Since there seems to be a certain stigma related to active looking for a partner (being desperate, needy and dependent), which is a reason why many people pretend they’re not (and that being single makes them shit with rainbows). Those who judge tend to disregard the difference between wanting a partner (and a certain kind of a partner too) and needing a partner (and anyone will do, and if they’re missing an eye it’s fine too – pol. o jednym oku, byle tego roku) and therefore many choose to hide their true needs.

Because of the abovementioned, Tinder is generally considered to be an acceptable dating application. After all, most of people using it are only checking it out, looking for new friends or purely interested in hook-ups. Nearly none of the users admits that they may be looking for something serious. The effect is that Tinder ends up being full of women with aspirations of finding their husbands and men looking for a pleasurable pastime that wouldn’t require too much commitment (due to reasons such as wife ownership or commitment phobia). After all, if the person turns out to be too demanding, there are many others willing to be swiped right and who won’t be silly with their needeness for respect.

Maybe it’s bad Tinder experiences that bring people to dating websites, maybe not. Whatever it is, the number of people using them is overwhelming. As an attractive woman one gets so much attention its creepy and let’s be honest, most of this attention is of low quality with “hi sexy” and similar opening lines. Sometimes, however, a true gem can be found among all the superficial spam. Someone with whom we can chat for hours before we eventually meet them to learn that there’s also chemistry (which is a much better order than attraction first, thinking next – pol. od dupy strony). Maybe this is the reason why via Internet dating we can end up in a solid relationship – it just seems that there are better chances of having something real with someone who has the gutts to say that they’re looking for a true and lasting connection. And if we do end up working out with this person who can ever judge us for how the story started?

Good Girls and Bad Boys

The Original Bad Boy

The Original Bad Boy

Its fair to say I am a bit of a hopeless romantic (after all I did throw caution to wind and move to South Africa on a whim for the first guy who gave me a second look).  I’d like live in a fairytale world where life is all hearts and flowers and there are no cheaters, beaters, paedos or general dodge people, just puppies and pretty dresses. But there is one thing wrong with this picture and it’s that this particular good girl (and there are a lot of others like her) keeps letting BAD boys/men (remember I like those Silver Foxes) enter her little Kingdom of glitter and cupcakes.

It’s not easy to define a bad boy. Being bad doesn’t necessarily mean he is a drug merchant or serial killer (although I did go on a very brief Tinder date with someone who could have given Norman Bates a run for his money). On the lower end of the scale, you have those that may have just had a bit of a hard time in life (i.e. their folks got divorced which resulted in them being averse to wholesome relationships) or maybe they were just naughty at school, somehow wangled their way into university and then dropped out (although dating a guy with a limited education will have its own problems it doesn’t necessarily make them bad husband material).On initial examination, these ones seem pretty harmless, just a little rough round the edges.

At the other end of the spectrum, you have the real Lotharios, those that are attractive and know it. In most cases it’s not their good looks that grab the attention of our innocent young minds but more their blasé attitude. These are the ones you really need to worry about. They’ll spot that impressionable student girl dancing the night away in a club and flatter her telling her how beautiful she is, ply her with a few too many drinks and next thing you know they are telling her the bank went bust and now they want her to wire the bulk of her student loan into their account. She’ll later find it was to pay for his kid’s school fees or his wife’s trip to Sierra Leone. True Story.

Then there are those that don’t quite fit any generic system. These are actually the worst of all. They are the clever ones that can read a good girl and play MIND GAMES with her. They pretend to be nice and make her feel special. Once they have won her affections, they disappear. If she starts to get on with her life, they reappear and make their smooth moves again. And so the cycle goes until she is left brokenhearted.

So, despite being aware of all the red flags, why do good girls like yours truly have a penchant for these bad boys? Well, here are some of the reasons I think why the bad boys always win:

a) There is a rebel in every good girl and the fact that our friends advise us against going for a douche bag simply sends us running into their arms.

b) Women like projects whether it’s the Two Oceans Marathon, the Argus Cycle Tour or simply the next player that walks past. The mother hen in us thinks we can fix them and we convince ourselves that these broken people sort themselves out for us.  But believe me ladies, it’s not going to happen. In the end we just waste our time boosting their fragile egos and getting them ready for their next conquest, while our biological clocks tick away.

c) It’s the thrill of the chase. We like what we can’t have. We like the challenge of trying to catch that emotionally unavailable dude. But let’s face it girls, you better have your best pair of Nikes on as you are going to be running after him for a hell of a long time.

d) Nice guys are boring. We know that they’ll always be there for a girl when we need help moving house or changing that flat tyre. But the bad ones keep us on our toes so on the rare occasion when they do something vaguely decent, it makes us feel special and as if we are their one and only (but the truth is we never are, bad boys have a million different girls waiting in the wings).

In the end, bad boys give us good stories (and butterflies). Its futile telling Miss Goody Two Shoes to steer clear of them because she never will. However, just be aware of what your getting yourself into and don’t ever let the ways of the bad boy take away your sweetness turning you into that bitter old women that swears off men for life and resigns herself to a life with her cats, the only people(!) that she can trust to never break her heart. .

Please enlighten us dear readers/rinsers with your advice on handling bad boys in the comments below.

The Ex Factor

From perezhilton.com

From perezhilton.com

We recently got into a new relationship and things are going great. We’re happy clappy most of the time (we may even feel tempted to join a religious congregation or NOT) and we would like to be nowhere else than with our new partner. There seems to be no clouds on the horizon and then, eventually the inevitable happens and we learn that our ex is dating someone too.

The Shock, the Horror! Regardless, of the fact that we moved on, we somehow feel upset. We were allowed to find someone else, obviously, but was our ex also entitled to do so? Even though we know that he/she deserves happiness as anyone else, at some egoistic level we feel that they should have kept pining for us till the end of their lives and we treat the fact that they didn’t as a personal insult of some sort.

Our ego has been hurt, hence the comparison inevitably follows. Is she prettier or in any other conceivable way better than me? Surely, she cannot be. With delight we listen to our friends encounters with our Replacement – she has an additional kilo or two, she could work on her style, etc. We also try to silence the tiny voice that’s telling us that even if she was the hottest piece of ass in the world, their loyalty to us would make them see the flaws only and if they weren’t too obvious they would forcefully find them.

What is it truly, however, that makes us feel so much not at ease with our former partners getting sorted? The inevitability of change and the fact that now it’s all done and dusted. We both moved on and it’s the official end of the story. Our new partners may make us so much happier and may be our true match but there’ll always be some bitterness over of a broken heart of before (and whoever is telling you otherwise is lying). The solution seems to be to find peace and disregard the irrational feelings which seem to be a common human experience. At the end of the day, it all worked out for the best for all of the involved, now we can let go and enjoy our new beginning.

Interracial ‘LOVE’ in the Rainbow Nation

interacial love I am a big fan of interracial love, after all I’ve always believed that if you want to have beautiful babies you need to mix it up a little. Well actually, it is probably more the fact that I don’t have any inclination to date men of my ‘own’ kind – as this would probably mean that I’d end up dating my brother from another mother or something along those lines. Plus, it’s not as if the male specimens from the Indian sub-continent have a reputation for being particularly well-endowed.

Being a London girl, I never thought twice about who or what I could date. When you grow up in one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the world, there is nothing strange about seeing an Albino holding hands with a Rasta man, an imam from Saudi Arabia making out with a Thai lady boy on the Tube, or even just an old Englishman marrying his dog (yes, being a dog you’ll find you are treated better than certain races are here in SA). You’ve got to find love where you can in the concrete jungle.

Sadly, when I moved to the ‘Rainbow Nation’, this vision of a fairytale world where love knows no bounds quickly came tumbling down. People often asked me how I felt about being in an interracial relationship (actually what they meant to ask was how a chapatti like me managed to bag myself a lily-white farm boy?). Being the ever-so-slightly arrogant girl that I am just wanted to flash my golden BRITISH passport at them and say smoke this suckers (while you queue up outside every god-forsaken foreign embassy, filling in forms justifying your existence and promising that you will return to South Africa as soon as is humanly possibly). So let’s get one thing straight, I was actually the catch in that relationship there, regardless of the colour of my skin.

Since I’ve been playing the field, I’ve become even more aware of this (unnecessarily) complicated race issue in South Africa. My lovely friends, colleagues and even random bergies have been quick to give me advice on interracial dating. Actually, advice is a bit of an understatement, it might be more appropriate to call this drivel ‘strict instructions on how to be narrow-minded and continue living in the happy days of Apartheid. For instance, I had this one friend (note past tense) that after pursuing a relationship with a black guy who cheated and sponged off her for like a millennium (I think he can educate all of us on the art of RINSING) vowed NEVER to touch the holy BBC ever again because basically they are all useless, backward, broke-ass and sexist (even Barack Obama). Not only does this rule out 75% of the pool of potential men in the country, but as far as I am concerned it’s just plain stupid. A highly-educated, well-travelled, good-looking black dude working in high powered Christian Grey type job in Jo’burg can’t realistically be likened to a tribal chief living in the hills of KZN now can they?

I am not going to lie and pretend to be the most open-minded, liberal, burn-my-bra type of girl out there. I also have my limits (those with unnecessary missing teeth and people who just can’t string a sentence together in English aren’t really going to make it past the first date). But what I am saying is that for me it’s more about a person’s education, interests, attitudes (and maybe money has some part to pay in it) than the colour of their skin. These are things that a person can acquire. Whereas skin colour is something most of us (Michael Jackson was the exception) have no choice in.

So according to my observations, this ideal of a Rainbow Nation is very much a façade, at least when it comes to dating, relationships and LOVE. While there are people (mostly internationals, like myself) who are bucking the trend and proving that love isn’t governed by race, the overwhelming majority of relationships prove that Apartheid is still well and truly alive in South African dating circles (i.e. he will happily live out his dirty little ethnic fantasies behind closed doors but there is no way he is taking that cute little exotic thing home to meet his high-brow folks).

That’s just a little bit about what I have to say about the whole interracial dating thing in Cape Town.So now over to you dear readers/rinsers … please share your best and worst experiences about interracial love in the comments below. : )

Silver Foxes – The Pros and Cons of Dating Older Men

dating a rich old man

I always thought it was the historian in me and a fascination for the past that explained my attraction towards older men (I could listen forever as they tell me about how hard life was during the war 😉 ). However, the fact is I am not alone in my love of the Silver Fox. It seems that many of my peers too are with me on this one. So what is that draws us pretty young things to these grey-haired, wrinkly, antique relics from a bygone era? And more importantly, what are the red flags our innocent minds should look out for when on the hunt for a sugar daddy?

Much of the reason young ladies are attracted to older men boils to down to MONEY and Power. Yes, I’m afraid it is true…there is a little bit of a gold digger in every one of us. Lets face it, a gentleman in his 40s or 50s is more likely to be established in his career (I can totally understand why Monica Lewinsky did Bill Clinton), own property and drive a fancy car while a guy in his late 20s/early 30s probably splashes his cash on craft beers and lap dances at Mavericks. Having money and knowing how to spend it wisely is attractive to a lady.  Lets just say that if Fifty Shades of Grey was set in a township, mummy porn would have really never taken off in such a big way.

I think it’s fair to say that with age comes wisdom. A man who enjoys the finer things in life such as good wine, fancy food, theatre, literature, etc. also has more to talk about than boys our age (yes, it really would be a push to call them men) who can at most discuss the intricacies of computer games, football and the porn industry (topics which will generally fail to hold the attention of any educated person for more than a few minutes).

But now let’s consider the flip-side of all this. Why are these eligible Silver Foxes still single at such a ripe old age? They are:

a) Divorced (and with that comes baggage aka kids – do you really want to play Mummy when you are still a kid yourself?)

b) Not divorced. They just left the wife and kids at home. (Been there, done that and the fool had the audacity to lie about his age, saying he was 39 instead of 49 and I was the even bigger fool for falling for it).

c) A commitment-phobe (they are NEVER going to settle for anyone. Don’t kid yourself. The day you turn 30, your sugar daddy is trading you in for a younger 21 year old model. FACT).

d) Someone who ‘wasted’ their youth being all career focused and now they are married to their job (not always a bad thing but just understand that you will always be second best).

And have you ever considered that it might not be the bloke that is the problem? Might be time for us to be a bit self-reflective ladies. What the hell is wrong with you – dating a man old enough to be your father? Ewww. Daddy issues perhaps? Consider the fact that as attractive as these Daddy-O’s may be, there is going to be a time when the age difference becomes an issue. For instance, how about the day you wake up full of energy and decide to hike up Table Mountain but the relic just had a hip replacement, so it’s not going to happen. What about when his pension money runs out and he can’t take you out dancing in Camps Bay? And then there is the all-important bedroom department, remember you are still a spring chicken, part of the Sex and the City generation, and fully ready for a marathon session of passion but have you considered how you’d feel if the little blue pill doesn’t work on the Old Codger? Just saying.

Now over to you dear readers. We want to know your views on male cougars.  Are you a fan or do you steer clear of Old Timers? Do share your stories – the Good, the Bad and the Wrinkly.

Bros before Hos, Sisters before Misters

ditchIt’s very easy to be the best friend anyone could ever want when we’re single. During this period in our lives we just don’t have anything better to do than to spend our Friday evenings getting drunk with our crew and moaning about unfulfilled hopes and unkept promises of our former lovers. Sooner or later, however, one of us finds a new partner and all of a sudden isn’t available anymore to constantly whatsapp or to hang out for hours. Does this mean, however, that we should forget our friends altogether? NO.

The honeymoon stage of a relationship, with the butterflies inevitably present in our stomachs, is the very moment in which we have to set boundaries for a new partner. If our behavior suggests that we’re always available that’s exactly what’s going to be expected from us later on. As much as the only thing we would like to do in the beginning is to sink in our partners’ arms for eternity it’s a) impractical and leads to muscle pains b) boring at some stage and c) extremely rude towards people who were there for us when our current beau/belle didn’t even know we existed.

There’s so much more to life than waiting for a message from our significant other. And when the message finally comes there’s really no less attractive answer to “What have you been up to?” than “Nothing, I’ve just been waiting for you to contact me.” The overly attached attitude can be flattering at the very beginning but gets annoying quite soon. At the end of the day they didn’t develop an interest in a girl/boy who, in life, likes waiting for their romantic partners to text them. They like us as people of our own, with our  passions, interests, likes and dislikes. We’re definitely not making our partners happy by putting our lives on hold for them (believe it or not meaning LITERALLY the world to someone is a hell of a responsibility) and if we do, they’re probably dysfunctional psychopaths with jealousy issues, likely to turn us into slices of salami if we don’t live up to their expectations.

Even more importantly, by becoming relationship junkies we’re upsetting our friends. I’ve been ditched for new boyfriends by my friends before and it feels horrible to know that we were nothing more than temporary entertainment on a flight to a new romantic partner. I even feel silly to complain about it as if it was a natural course of events and if I ever do it’s in secret and only with other abandoned toys. The separation continues (maybe occasionally interrupted by a half-hearted “how are you?” message) till eventually, there comes a moment when the novelty of a relationship wears off or even it ends abruptly. Guess, who’s getting a call then?

Dear Reader(ess), life is full of difficult choices but similarly as we know that eating all chocolate from our local Woolies store isn’t the best idea, we should realize that throwing our lives away for a potential Prince Charming can do more harm than good. If the person is trustworthy they’ll want to meet our friends and become a part of our world which we built before we met them, that made us the person that we are. If, however, they turn out to be another frog we kissed, it would be nice to have someone to wipe the tears of defeat from our faces. If I’ve learnt one thing in life, it’s that we can survive without a romantic partner, but without true friends, life really sucks. Please keep this in mind, next time you’re ditching your friends for a last minute date.

Friendly Interference

Film Title: BRIDGET JONES : THE EDGE OF REASON.

When it comes to successful relationships I guess getting any potential beau approved by one’s friends is quite important. After all, these are the people that know you best. They know your crazy side and are able to tolerate it. They’ve held your hair back as you’ve been rather unwell after drinking copious amounts of alcohol. And most importantly they are the people that are there to wipe away your tears and pick you up off the ground (literally) when the douche bag eventually breaks your heart.

However, when it comes to the early stages of a relationship does the involvement (read interference) of your buddies have the potential to do more harm than good? For instance, let’s rewind back to the days when I was a Tinder virgin and a so called friend decided to educate me on the art of swiping by matching me with a one blond haired, blue-eyed German (who was then unfairly referred to as ‘The Nazi’). Another ‘friend’ subsequently decided that an appropriate ice-breaker would be to ask ‘The Nazi’ what his grandfather did during WWII. Thankfully, this guy had a good sense of humour and replied with a pretty amusing story which won him a date with yours truly…but seriously it could have been much worse.

How about when your friends mistakenly think you don’t fancy a guy but you secretly do. After a couple of bottles of champagne these loud-mouth idiots decide to tell this potential suitor that he should ensure he has protection in case the night gets out of hand. The poor guy was under the impression that the outing was purely platonic so BOOM that’s the end of what could have been your happily-ever-after. Thank you friends.

Obviously, in the age of internet dating, it is important to put safety first and let your buddies know exactly where you are going and with whom (if you have really clever friends like I do they will even Google the guy and provide you with his full career history before you embark on any romantic adventure). But then there is always the risk that you’ll spend the whole date messaging your team of protectors instead of actually getting to know the dude, which could be a problem. That being said, if the guy has good game (most likely because he is a Brit and not your average Capetonian), he’ll snatch your phone from you and reply to your buddies telling them that all objectives have been achieved and they should focus on their own love lives instead of being so nosey.

And finally, there is that glorious thing known as ‘The Debrief’. You’ve been on this ever so exciting first date and quite frankly you are a bit smitten. It’s the morning after the night before and you meet up with you Circle of Swipers to discuss the date. Your head is in the clouds, there is a smile on your dial and your dreaming of sailing into the sunset… and then your friends bring you back down to earth with a huge thud by speculating on whether the guy has a wife, questioning why a man of such an age is still single, over-analysing every minute detail of your date and highlighting why it really wasn’t everything you initially thought.

So tell me dearest readers…how important is it for your any future boyfriend/girlfriend to get the friendship seal of approval or can our buddies (even when they really do have your best interests at heart) potentially sabotage our attempts to find true love? How important are they when it comes to pointing out the red flags in your relationships?