The Sex Drought

drought

When one is involved in a long-term relationship there can be a tendency to get complacent and take for granted the fact that you have a regular source of bedroom action. Yeah sure, for some, like all those Ashley Madison members who are busy being name and shamed, there may come a time when your sex life becomes boring and you have to look beyond the confines of your nice, respectable relationship for something a little bit more risqué. But the truth is, at least you are getting some action.

As I have said before, the period following the breakdown of a relationship, can be a bit of a roller coaster when it comes to a person’s mental state. One moment your crying about losing your future husband and the next you feel as free as a bird, knowing that you are now open (please remove your mind from the gutter) to a whole world of new opportunities (and men).

However, the truth is, (unless of course you are a WISO – a species I still very much doubt the existence of), there comes a point when you start questioning whether you’ll be seeing some any action ever again. I know I am jumping the gun a little, as I’ve only actually been single a few months so it may be a bit early to be talking of dry spells (and I’m actually doing pretty well working my way through the deadwood of the Cape Town dating pool and have even had a fair few FWB requests which I have had to sadly decline – sorry boys!).

But discussions with my friends/acquaintances who’ve been single way longer have got me panicking. I mean the sexual prowess of their previous partners must have been pretty bad for the sad spinster who is fast approaching their 3 year Sex Drought anniversary. And if you thought the Sex Drought phenomenon was unique to us ladies, you’d be mistaken, I was surprised to find that there are even guys who’ve gone a couple of years (thus far) without any action in the bedroom department.

The situation really is quite worrying. Chatting to a self-declared WISO friend of mine recently, we debated how long this period of celibacy must be before a person can have been said to have regained their virginity. Although, some may argue that this is impossible, I’m fairly sure that any girl who has been in a long distance relationship will know otherwise 😉 As I get older, wiser and generally less idealistic about love, I am beginning to let go of my some of my prudish ways. But I wonder at what point, one must start considering these FWB offers or even worse, one night stands?

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not advocating going out there and hooking-up with the first bloke that comes along, especially not here in South Africa, a country riddled with HIV/AIDS. It’s really not worth catching an STI simply to get that itch scratched and there are always safer solutions – just head over to Ann Summers (or order online if you live in a sexually backward place like Cape Town) and get yourself a Rampant Rabbit (or whatever the latest technological sex companion maybe).

Rinsers please give us your thoughts on how to deal with the Sex Drought in the comments below. In your opinion, how long can a person reasonably last before they become a born-again virgin? If an extended period of celibacy goes on to long, do we eventually lose our skills in the bedroom department or is it like learning to ride a bicycle? And should there come a time when gives serious consideration to a FWB arrangement or even seeks professional help? Discuss.

Advertisements

Girls – The Real Life Version of Sex and the City?

Girls_HBO_Poster

Before some thieving gypsies took off with my laptop, I was enjoying using the HBO series Girls as an excuse to stay out of trouble and limit my contact with the Tinderverse. Since the series has been around since 2012 and causing quite a bit of controversy, I was a little slow on the uptake. But a male friend told me that the series really reminded him me, #zlotybaby and our friends, so I had to see what the fuss was about.

The series is based on the lives of 4 early 20-somethings, who have all just graduated from university and are trying to find their feet in the New York City. Hannah, the main character is played by the creator of the show Lena Dunham and is an aspiring writer (Carrie Bradshaw wannabe perhaps?). Then there is Marnie who is into art (the Charlotte type), Jessa the Bohemian Brit and her cousin odd-ball Shoshanna, the virgin.

While the parallels with SATC are obvious, the way life is portrayed in Girls is far closer to what one would imagine to be the reality for young girls trying to manoeuvre their way through life and love in a big city ‘one mistake at a time’ . Don’t get me wrong, I love love love SATC (I own all six seasons and even went on the tour in NYC), and while it does give us something to aspire to and also some hope that it’s never too late to find one’s Mr Big, I liked the way Girls tells it as it is.

For a start, the sex scenes are clumsy and awkward…as is probably the case for most of people who aren’t porn stars or professional yogis. Girls is also very much on point with the experiences of young people today. Just a few examples of the nuanced storylines the series deals with include: dating mummy’s boys and unemployed losers, an ex-boyfriend moving on with a MAN, housemates turning into a frenemies (kicking you out a few days before the end of the month) and sleeping with your now gay ex, the joys of crushing on elderly trolls with their baggage in tow and  getting all starry eyed for rich guys, then rushing into marriage in order to become a Kept Women. Oh and my best, how most definitely not to break up with a person – during sex! It also tries to (not necessarily successfully) make light of more serious issues such as catching STIs and having a friends back through their abortion drama.

The show is LOL funny and I found the raw sense of humour (although the rape jokes might have been a step too far) quite refreshing. And I also liked how the characters looked quite rough much of the time, unlike in Sex and the City where the crew are generally dressed head to toe in designer gear. It just makes us average girls (like yours truly), who sometimes leave our hair curly and sometimes go out with no make up on, feel better about themselves and their lazy ways.

Unlike me, I’m sure the rest of you haven’t been living under a rock, so tell us what you think of Girls (which is now apparently in its fourth season) in the comments below. Do you relate to the characters and their stories or does the series just give us a insight into the loves lives of a bunch of privileged white kids?

P.S. To the person who told me to go and watch the series…EnglishRosiee is definitely more of a Jessa (the kinda crazy Brit that moves across the world for love and all) than a Hannah  😛

The Kept Woman

screenmusings.org

In a situation when one of the partners is a bread winner but the other partner takes good care of the household and children we can talk about the division of work, even if people tend to underestimate house wives. What about the situation when one of the partners makes all the money and the other only uses it for pleasure, surrounded by an army of servants?

The Kept Woman (KW), as in most such cases the dependent in a relationship is still a woman, is an interesting phenomenon. I don’t know whether it’s because I was brought up by a single mother who always stressed the importance of independence or because the idea of self-reliance just agrees with my character but I don’t understand the situation in which one partner is permanently dependent on the other. It definitely requires a deep level of entitlement to feel that we deserve to enjoy our life when others work hard for our well-being.

What is more, as much fun as entertainment can be, it’s been proven that we use our time better when we have less of it. I’m sure you can relate – when we have a full day off we end up “doing” less of nice stuff than when we did when our time for it is limited. This leads me back to our topic – is the KW not bored? It’s amazing to eat out, shop and brainlessly watch TV but can you truly imagine doing it every day of your life? I may be wrong but it seems like a life of that sort is missing the sense of completion we have when we achieve our daily successes at work (or studies).

My other problem with KW is that she becomes completely helpless when her source of income disappears. After all, if one’s only value is beauty, the relationship with the person may be shallow and it’s quite easy to replace her with a prettier and possibly younger one. Unless, the man who’s clever enough to make buckets of money finds comparisons between gym classes and creams for wrinkles intellectually stimulating or the KW is an erudite pursuing her third PhD, he’s likely to get bored with her when the beauty passes.

Last but not least, we all have our special skills we should use in life. Some people are great doctors, some great bakers, but having passion in life and using whatever life skills we’re given is, in my opinion, the point of our existence. Of course, a KW surrounds herself with others of her type so it’s easier to kill the guilty feeling or simple unhappiness and emptiness she may be experiencing.

You’re probably wondering why I decided to write about the KW today and if maybe I’m experiencing PMS or am simply jealous of a friend who got married to a rich guy. But no, Dear Reader, honestly every time I hear a story of a grown up woman who’s being constantly paid for and has no ambition to change the situation or to do anything else in life than paint her nails, I cringe. For the suffragists did not suffer for us to now do the only thing which we were believed to be good at for centuries: nothing.

Baggage

baggage

Unless you’re part of that dying breed of people that marries their high school sweetheart or a 30-something virgin who looks more likely to live in an old-age home before having a meaningful contact with the opposite sex, you’ll probably have a fair few relationships/ encounters before you decide to settle down. With each relationship we enter into (and exit from), we get a better idea of what we want in a future husband/wife by establishing those all-important deal breakers and (hopefully) learning from our mistakes. Unfortunately with each failed relationship, we also accumulate baggage. Baggage can come in many different forms. We all have it in some way or another. When it comes to matters of the heart one must ask themselves whether a person’s baggage can be ignored as a minor nuisance or whether it is a total liability?

In some cases, the baggage is glaringly obvious (i.e. it’s clearly visible in their Tinder profile picture – them holding a baby or with their wife on their wedding day). But there does come a point in life when we all come to terms with the fact that we might have to consider widening the pool of potential suitors and settling for someone that is not conventionally ‘perfect’.

Take for instance, the fairy princess who goes against her better judgement, ignores a non-negotiable factor and agrees to go on a date with a Baby Daddy. Even though, this conjures up bad memories of the homeland she escaped from – a nation of CHAVS, where men father numerous children with different chicks just to get more booze money from the state – there are no other potentials on the horizon so she has to take what she can get. Turns out the Baby Daddy isn’t a complete chav but actually an investment banker (kerching!!! – dollar/rand signs appear in the fairy princess’ eyes) but sadly she senses he has a drinking problem (as he knocks back several whiskies) – possibly bought on by the stress of custody battles/screaming children. Furthermore, a little digging reveals he is not over his ex, in fact he is still married to his Baby Mama.

There are also instances where the baggage is little bit more discreet (more like a small carry-on as opposed to 50 litre backsack) – these cases require a little more vigilance on our part. Perhaps the person has some emotional scars from a previous relationship, which means he constantly stalks your Facebook or checks your phone to reassure himself that you aren’t cheating on him with his brother or best friend? Or maybe she is so intent on proving to the world that she is not her WISO mother’s daughter that she can’t take even the slightest joke relating to her sexcapades? Or the polar opposite, a boy whose father set a bad example, which now gives him reason to justify his philandering ways? The list goes on and on and on.

All this does make me wonder though… How much baggage should we be willing to tolerate for love? Is there are risk of our partner’s baggage weighing us down to the point of exhaustion? Or is it simply a test of our love? If you truly love someone should you be willing to share the load and help carry their baggage? And how about our own baggage ? Should we regard it as a turn-off and try to hide it from a potential partner or is it something that is bound to resurface at some point further down the line? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Norman Bates. The Ultimate Mama’s Boy.

soundonsight.orgThe story of “Psycho”, arguably the creepiest movie ever made, started with a novel published in 1959 by Robert Bloch. Inspired by real life events Bloch, created the character of Norman Bates, the ultimate mama’s boy, who truly loved his oppressive mom too much.

The novel inspired Alfred Hitchcock to direct possibly the greatest  psychological thriller ever made, “Psycho” (1960). Marion (Janet Leigh), needs money to be able to marry her boyfriend. She’s so desperate that she decides to steal her bosses funds and quickly gets punished for her sins (pre-marital sex and theft that is ;)), in an off-road motel. Its owner Norman Bates (Anthony Perkins) is a socially awkward bachelor, completely obedient to his mother with whom he lives in a gloomy mansion. I can’t say more not to disclose too much about this classic’s plot, which in my opinion, managed not to age.

The film was a smashing hit so it shouldn’t be a surprise that three sequels followed. It worth noting that Anthony Perkins remained faithful to his characters in all of them, even though the movies are much less impressive. Was it the end of the Norman Bates’s story? Of course, not. Our modern tradition of remaking and rebooting couldn’t leave the perfect thriller on its own and in 1998, a generally good director Gus Van Sant butchered the original “Psycho” with the help of Anne Heche as Marion and Vince Vaughn as Norman Bates (please!).

The lack of excitement over the remake made the producers leave the theme alone for a few years, till an idea for a series appeared. “Bates Motel” is a prequel of the movie, showing more insight into the mother (Vera Farminga) and son (Freddie Highmore) relationship before it went entirely wrong. A good cast, lack of predictability and a truly engaging plot makes the series a remarkable one. There’s also much more romance and other, seemingly normal, issues than in the novel and the movie.

As we can see above, the Norman Bates story inspired many people in the movie industry. The possible reasons for this, isn’t only the money that still can be made of the story. In my opinion, it’s the interest in human psychology and in the process of “things going wrong” that makes the theme so fascinating. After all how is it possible for something as natural as mother and son relationship to become so toxic? Was Norman predestined to become who he is or could he have escaped his mother’s influence? Can a child with an abusive parent become normal at all? I guess these are just questions in a nurture/nature debate that cannot be answered entirely.

I’ll always encourage my Dear Readers, however, to watch and read things that inspire deeper thoughts.

Mama’s Boy

ukmix.org

They say that the way in which a man treats his mother is the way in which he will treat his wife. However, some people seem to take it too seriously and as much as a man should respect  his mom he shouldn’t be an overly attached  mama’s boy (at least not after the age of 7).

When does the son/mother relationship become too close?Let me share with you a few true life examples:

  1. When it’s the mother letting you know that her son wants to break up with you when introducing you as his *chuckle *chuckle “friend”.
  2. When he holds hands with you and his mom at the same time.
  3. When he constantly refers to the two of you as “his ladies”.
  4. When his mom as a whole concept (includes her, her views and her belongings) absolutely cannot be questioned, joked about or mentioned in any other way than with deep respect.
  5. When he addresses her as “mommy” (or “mother” in Norman Bates’s voice).
  6. When at the age of 30 has never lived away from his mom for more than two weeks.
  7. When his mom still does all household chores for him, even though he has an actual career.
  8. When on the first date he mentions his mother more often than his ex-girlfriend.

And many many more I won’t mention not to make some people recognize themselves in my words (and then run to their mommy to complain about it).

Why is it important to realize that your love interest is a mama’s boy? As it’s difficult to have a successful relationship with one. His mother will be the first woman in his life forever and he can only have a partner who will be fine to always be  the second one. Of course, you could fool yourself by believing that you may change him but if a man is 20 something and he hasn’t realised that independence is a value he’s either too lazy to cut the umbilical cord or he’s really incapable of performing life related tasks on his own. In both cases this guy is a no-no.

What is more, you can’t forget that you need two to tango. A mama’s boy can be slightly lazy and prone to dependency but if his mom was a reasonable human being she’d try to teach him how to be his own person rather than enable his parasitic inclinations. Given that a relationship with a mommy’s boy is always a ménage à trois you will not only have to deal with a man who can’t wash his own clothes but also with a woman who’ll make it her life mission to prove to you that you don’t know how to do it either.

How to realize you’re dealing with a mama’s boy? If you’re not dealing with obvious examples, like the abovementioned, listen to your common sense and do not silence your gut feelings. Look at how independent you are from your parents and judge accordingly. However, if you’re a mama’s girl you shouldn’t expect anything different from your partner.

What do YOU think about mama’s boys? Have you or your friend ever dated one? Do you know any specimen? Any interesting stories to share?

The Rebound Phase

rebound2

‘The best way to get over one man is to get under another’Jane the Virgin

Oh, how I wish it was that easy. The immediate period following a break-up can be a rather tumultuous time in a person’s life. You’ve just gone from domestic bliss and planning for happily ever after with the person you thought was your one and only, to living a sad, lonely existence with just your cat for company (jokes, it’s not possible to become a sad spinster that fast). From my experience and observations, the way in which a person rebuilds their life after the breakdown of a long-term relationship varies but here are some of the common things that happen in the rebound phase:

A New Look

I can’t say I understand the reasoning behind it but it seems after a relationship has come to an end, us chicks especially feel the need for an image overhaul.

In the ‘best’ cases this means going on an epic diet and getting yourself that supermodel figure you’ve always wanted. Sadly, this weight-loss often doesn’t last and for most of us (especially me) heartbreak is just yet another excuse to indulge in all the cupcakes, macaroons, and Lindt chocolate your heart could desire resulting in you looking more like a sumo wrestler than Beyoncé.

For many, this new look usually involves a new hairstyle. It could be of the intimate nature, as you employ a little wishful thinking and contemplate having a new man between your thighs. But it’s generally of the more conventional nature as you literally wash that man right out your hair and either chop it off SWF style or opt for the hipster ombre look (only to have the ex laugh and call you a ginger).

Whatever, you decide to do to change your image, whether you love it or you look back in 6 months’ time and laugh at your stupidity, it’s a symbolic move that represents the start of an exciting new chapter in your life so just go with it.

Drowning Your Sorrows

Sadly, most of us can also relate to the rebound also being a period of self-destruction which involved drowning your sorrows with copious amounts of alcohol. Hopefully, this boozing will be done alongside your best friends at a cheap local pub (thankyou #teamlove) rather than alone with a bottle of vodka (Bridget Jones style).

Yes, alcohol and fun times are great distractions but only up until you wake up one morning in the arms of some random you’d never look twice at without your beer googles. Or you get so boozed up on your birthday that you end a five year stint of ‘vegetarianism’ by drunkenly sucking on some chicken bones.

Regardless, you eventually crash and start questioning whether this craziness is of any benefit. As the hangover clears, you realise that all this stupidity (evidence of which is plastered all over Facebook) is only serving to show the world (and most importantly your ex) how damn far you are from getting over them.

Replacing the Ex

It’s natural, after losing the love of your life, to run into the arms of the first dude that comes along. This person may represent everything your ex was not, but generally during this time of vulnerability us good girls tend to be even more magnetically drawn to those emotionally-unavailable bad boys. There are also occasions where you might meet someone who is half decent but, alas, you are not in a good space and the poor fool has just entered a war zone as you simply use and abuse him, eventually breaking his spirit. Regardless, rebound sex/hook-ups/’relationships’ are NEVER a good idea as it’s not likely to be anything meaningful and someone always end up getting hurt.

Finally, don’t waste time beating yourself up, move on from these mistakes – remember the rebound is just a phase, and it too shall (eventually) pass, hopefully making way for your true Prince Charming to enter your life.

Now dearest Rinsers, please share your rebound stories below.  Thanking you 

Jane the Virgin – Glamorising Celibacy?

Jane the Virgin

As a result of all the stuff I’ve been blogging about here, Google (in its rather stalker-ish way) felt that Jane the Virgin was something that I would be interested in. And Google being the rather clever one, was right as I quickly got my hands on the first season of the show.

Jane the Virgin is a comedy-drama series (styled like telenovela because, you know, Jane is Latino and all) which follows the story of a 23 year old virgin who is accidentally impregnated via artificial insemination. It has all the elements necessary to keep viewers (even those with a short attention span when it comes to TV) entertained; multiple romances, family politics and a little bit of crime drama thrown in for good measure. It also touched on a number of the important issues we’ve been discussing on RinseBeforeUse. Everything from good girls chasing bad boys and kicking the wholesome ones to the kerb, cheating and break-ups to interracial romance and panty dropping.

While it’s not the most intellectually stimulating entertainment, it’s pretty good. The show offers a slightly far-fetched but lighthearted perspective on some serious issues. I did feel, however, that it glamourised the whole issue of celibacy a bit much. Jane is portrayed as a level-headed girl who has made a promise to her rather fanatically religious grandmother to not follow in the footsteps of her rather crazy, promiscuous (but at the same time good-hearted) mother who went and got herself pregnant with Jane is her teens.

Sadly, I know a fair few real-life 30 something virgins (not to be mistaken with the sad spinsters who at this stage have basically regained their virginity) and they are really nothing like Jane. While slightly awkward and ditsy at times, Jane is good looking, confident and glamourous (I have to admit I am pretty envious of her wardrobe) and she has not one but two handsome guys fighting for her affection. For Jane remaining a virgin is conscious choice, but it doesn’t mean she is totally innocent (she writes sexy letters to man which is basically an old-fashioned form of sexting). Furthermore, her long-term boyfriend/fiancé as well as her baby daddy/bad boy are so in love with her that they hardly even try to push the boundaries and convince her to give them some goodies (hmmm…do such creatures really exist?).

In real life, 30-something virgins are often not so, necessarily out of choice but, because they’ve learnt from an early age that the opposite sex are not to be trusted and therefore are incapable of forming even the most basic kind of relationship with a man, that might one day allow things to progress to the bedroom. Also, as harsh as it may sound, those that haven’t been laid by a certain age may possibly have serious self-esteem issues, that need to be addressed professionally. And it’s one thing being a late bloomer but I do wonder whether after a certain age your expectations become unreasonably high and you just end up giving up on the idea of bedroom acrobatics altogether.

Anyway, I am getting way ahead of myself and over-analysing something that needs to be enjoyed for what it is, a good LOL. And on the bright side, if by glamourizing celibacy and showing the world that being a virgin can be somewhat cool, maybe just maybe this shows like Jane The Virgin can influence teenagers not to be so rampant, then maybe we can start to reduce unwanted progeny and its associated issues. Let me put an end to my unnecessary ranting now and go watch a few more episodes.

Now over to you our dearest Rinsers. Let us know your thoughts on holding onto the V-Card well into your late 20s/30s in the comments below.

The Hook-up Culture

hercampus.com

The urban dictionary defines the verb “to hook up” as both making out and having sex with someone. Therefore when someone tells you that they hooked up with X ot Y you can never be sure what happened unless you asked for the details. Some people, especially females, tend to take pride in not sleeping with people but just hooking up in the making out sense as grinding against a stranger and stimulating their genitals through clothes (or not) is unlike having actual sex, considered better (read: less slutty). Let’s, however, leave the nonsense of sex related issues for another post and focus on the hook-up culture itself.

What is the hook-up culture? A culture that accepts, if not encourages, short term bonding for sexual purposes. Of course you can hook up with a friend or upgrade “vibing” into a relationship with a hook-up but in general what’s meant by the term hook-up is meeting someone at the bar/going out on a date and doing something (basically a stranger or a semi-stranger is involved).

The popularity of the phenomenon is quite obvious.You often hear about Tinder being good for hook-ups only and I’m sure that the “dating app” disguise may fool many ladies looking for love. Some gentlemen are open enough to confess that they’re after hook-ups only and bless them for that, at least chicks looking for something else will swipe them “no”. Even OKCupid, being an open dating website, had to address the issue and has a tick “casual sex” among its options when setting up THE “I’m looking for” section of the profile.

Is hook-up culture a bad thing? There are definitely some positive aspects of it. Human beings are sexual and having an opportunity to satisfy these needs without being judged is better than suppression as it may lead to guys hidden in the bush near beaches and wanking while staring at ladies in bikinis (true story from Tunisia). It’s also much better to screw around than to get married just because it’s the only way to get laid which is still the case in some conservative cultures. Last but not least, I think it’s good for people to have an opportunity to realize that sex can be an empty experience and as much as it can satisfy some of our needs, it won’t quench our thirst for affection or the feeling of loving and being loved.

On the downside, the hook-up culture may make it more difficult, particularly for men, to be open about wanting something more than sex. After all, in the world which values the numbers more than the depth and contentment in male-female relations, a partnership seeker may not be the most popular and respected one. The ladies are also affected negatively, as they’re valued not for their personalities but for their attractiveness and the fact that they own a vagina. Of course, some of the ladies may be minimizing men to be merely penis owners but as I discussed in my post, I doubt it’s often the case.

To summarize, the hook-up culture like anything else has its pros and cons. I think as long as people are honest with others about what they want it’s fine to do whatever. Unfortunately, we are often ashamed to admit to ourselves that we want love and believe to some extent that sex is enough to make us happy. It’s easier to keep believing so, if everyone around us seems to be doing the same thing.

Now, Dear Reader, please share your views on the hook-up culture. Can the Western culture be referred to in this way? Or is it an exaggeration and hook-ups are nothing more than a marginal issue?

5 Golden Rules for Breaking Up With Decency

Break ups

As they say in that famous ABBA song : ‘Breaking up in never easy…’ Whether it’s your first love, a fiancé, or that person you thought was your BFF but went all SWF on you, ending any meaningful (not a one-night stand/two tinder date) relationship is a pretty grim task.

There are times when the break-up is out of your hands entirely, the other party makes the decision to cease relations (or cheats) thereby leaving you a powerless dumpee. In other cases, it could be a mutual thing where you and your significant other have battled to make things work but are unable to overcome fundamental differences therefore decide to cut your losses. And then there’s that final scenario where you find yourself unsatisfied while the other person is oblivious to these doubts and is happily plodding away in a fairytale land.

Regardless of the situation, I think there are certain golden rules that all decent human beings should bear in mind when ending things:

1. Don’t prolong the inevitable

This is easier said than done but I think there is a balance between not being a quitter/giving things a fair chance and knowing when something is just too broken to be fixed. Don’t let your doubts fester for too long, once you’ve figured that the relationship has no future, be brave and make a clean break (please avoid the Ross-and-Rachel style ‘on a break’ scenario that lasts a couple of years)

It may seem easier to stay in a bad relationship than go through the stress of a break-up, but these things have a habit of catching up with you and the longer you leave it the worse the consequences are likely to be (and remember for the ladies, at least, biological clocks are tick-tocking).

2. Don’t let them be the last to know

When things are going wrong in our lives (and relationships) it’s normal to confide in our nearest and dearest. While it’s OK to get advice from our friends, make sure the people you tell can be trusted. Once you’ve made the decision to end things be brave enough to tell your significant other yourself without leaving it to a third party (or your Mother – true story!) to do the dirty work. Being dumped is bad enough, but finding out secondhand is beyond humiliating.

3. Do it face-to-face

While we are becoming more and more accustomed to using digital tools to find love, it’s NEVER OK to dump a person by SMS, WhatsApp, Facebook or email (and don’t use the excuse that you are just more articulate in writing). Don’t be spineless and hide behind technology. If there was ever a semblance of love or respect in the relationship, they deserve to be told in person. This also gives them option to scream, cry or throw rocks at you, whatever is needed to make them feel better. If you are going to break someone’s heart be willing to deal with the consequences.

4. Don’t cheat your way out

OK, so we live in the Ashley Madison era and when a relationship is on the rocks, our eyes may naturally wander as we picture a better life with a new improved specimen. But don’t act on these thoughts to give your significant other an excuse to end things, just because you are to weak to do it yourself.  And then bear in mind that the grass is not always greener – that sparkly new person may just turn out to be a sheep in wolves clothing and running into their arms may end up being the biggest mistake of your life. So end things decently, and wait a while till you are thinking clearly before making your next move.

5. Avoid clichés

If you are going to break a person’s heart at least do it with some originality. Telling them ‘it’s not you, it’s me’, ‘you deserve better’, ‘you’re a nice guy/girl but…’ or ‘we just work better as friends’ is not going to cut it. Before you end things, actually put some thought into what you are going to say, be honest but tactful. That way, at least somewhere down the line, the other person can look back and possibly remember you fondly, rather than as the douche bag that dumped them with a line from a rubbish movie.

Now dear rinsers, give us YOUR insights into break-up etiquette. What are the best/worse ways to end a relationship?