Is Timing Everything in a Relationship?

Young beautiful girl holding a large wall clock..against the bac

Life is full of ups and downs and it’s hard to be at our best all of the time. Maybe it’s that you’ve been kicked out onto the street 4 days before the end of the month, maybe you’ve started a  stressful job or maybe it’s just that you just bumped into your ex and his new girlfriend in Woolies. Whatever the case, tough times have the potential to bring out the best and also the worst in a person. But how about if Prince Charming walks into our life on one of these dark days?   If it’s meant to be, will it still be even in you look like a vulture and are constant catatonic state or does bad timing have the potential to ruin our chance of happily-ever-after? If he really is your Prince Charming will he see your true sparkling personality beyond that veil of despair that currently engulfs you?

I’ve heard mixed views on the question of timing. On one hand you have those that belong to the ‘in another life…’ school of thought. These are the people who’d argue that had the circumstances been slightly different things could have potentially worked out. Maybe it turns out that the computer kid you dismissed at university ten years down the line has grown into his own skin and is now carrying off that geek chic vibe pretty well and suddenly you become willing to consider him as a potential match. Sure people and circumstances do change and it is possible for people change their minds on what they want out of a relationship. But truthfully, I think these kind of stories are rather rare.

Then on the other hand, we have the other people who’ll tell you that if it is meant to happen, it’ll happen regardless of the circumstances. For instance, say you meet this guy and the sparks are flying and you both get on like a house on fire. Potential for a relationship? Sure if only he hadn’t just got out of a ‘long-term’ (read 6 month long) relationship and has all his bros telling him that he should stick to hos (no ‘relationship’ girls) till at least 2022. Although, you should be able to spot those glaring red flags by now  you are blinded by your ‘love’ for this damaged Peter Pan that you convince yourself that it’s totally possible for your little FWB arrangement to develop into a full-blown fairytale adventure (after all time is on your side…you do have till 2022!!).

Ugh you silly, silly little girl. When will you realise that it is not a case of bad timing but more the fact that while he is happy to monopolise head space and have intellectual discussions with you but the truth is he’d never introduce a liberal, forward thinking woman of the world to his highly conservative backwater family. No way! A couple of months into this great little FWB thing you’ve got going it all comes tumbling down as the guy who was only into casual fun gets engaged to a girl with perfect hair who ticks all the boxes and can be taken home to meet the parents. Fact is it wasn’t the timing that was wrong, it was you!

Regardless, of what you believe. The truth is there is no such thing as perfect timing. People are constantly changing (and hopefully improving) but we’ll be waiting around for an eternity if we want all the stars to be aligned. There is no such thing as a convenient time for a relationship – we could always be preoccupied with something else if we choose to be. However, if we really want something/someone badly enough we’ll do everything in our power to make it happens. But we need to be realistic as opposed to pig-headed when it comes to human relationships and realise it takes two to tango. No matter how much Cinderella may want Prince Charming she can’t make happily ever after happen alone. Both parties need to be on the same page and if they are not, maybe we need to stop blaming the timing and instead accpet the fact that he may not be our prince.

OK Rinsers your turn. Share your views on the importance of ‘timing’ in the comments below. Is bad timing just an excuse used by those who are unlucky in love? Instead of blaming time and circumstance for our situation should we instead work on ourselves and take ownership when things don’t go as we’d like in a relationship?

Review : Forgetting Sarah Marshall

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Everyone knows that getting over an ex is a tough process. Wouldn’t it be easier if we could all take a holiday to Hawaii to fix ourselves and maybe find a replacement? Maybe not, if you are a love sick puppy who has followed their ex (and her new man friend) to this tropical paradise.

Well, unlike most us who are forced to run to the nearest dive bar to drown our sorrows and spiral out of control in order to rid our fragile minds of that past love, this is exactly the situation that struggling musician, Peter (Jason Segel also from the Five Year Engagement) finds himself after being ceremoniously dumped by his long-term girlfriend, Sarah Marshall (Kirsten Bell).  In this slap stick comedy about a guy trying to get over his broken heart.

While in Hawaii, Peter finds out that Sarah Marshall (Kirsten Bell) has been cheating with him with ‘that guy’ from ‘that band’ aka Russell Brand. Luckily, Peter quickly begins to find himself distracted by the pretty girl at the reception desk (obviously this is Hollywood and everyone is beautiful and no one is forced to have a rebound fling with a muntress from Tinder as would be the case in reality).

Like all of us, Peter tries his hardest to take the whole break-up like a big man by trying to be a mature adult around his ex. Poor guy even has to endure an awkward double date with his ex and her new man. But as luck would have it, nothing quite goes to plan.

I’m not going to give away anymore (partly, because it ridiculously early in the morning and I’m running out of time). So, if you haven’t seen the movie it’s worth watching – go rent it on DVD (maybe I’m the last of a dying bread that still frequents the DVD store) or download it like a child of the the 21st century. I’d especially recommend it for those who’ve recently gone through a break-up and are feeling like their whole world has come crumbling down around them. It will be sure to snap you out of the self-pitying mind set, put things in perspective and maybe even tempt you to book an island vacation.

Alright Rinsers, feel free to share your thoughts about the movie in the comments below or alternatively provide us with some awkward/funny anecdotes about dealing with your ex in the post-break up period. Till tomorrow. Love you long time.

Forever alone?

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It’s a very sad moment in one’s life when single friends are being taken from the dating scene one by one and we seem to be the only one left. If we have a long history of being single with an occasional fling breaking the pattern, it’s difficult to believe that things will get better one day and we’ll also have a healthy relationship. Feeling that way means you have a so called Forever Alone mentality (FO). If we work on ourselves, however, things may change in ways we wouldn’t have considered possible. I know this because I used to feel that way about myself and know numerous people who did and now we’re all happy in our romantic lives.

First of all, many girls display a certain sort of emotional entitlement. They are how they are (for example grumpy, negative and self-pitying) and they want someone to love them. When they attract gentlemen with similar  qualities they moan and they criticize them for the very same features they display and eventually become even more like what they disapprove of. Part of the responsibility for such entitlement goes to the Prince Charming fairy tale. The idea that someone will come and see “the real you” and fall in love with it sounds very comforting to believe in but unfortunately isn’t true. It also makes you a passive and not active participant of the life process and even a victim of circumstances.

The fact is that most of the former FO women (including me) and current FO women I’ve known are just not pleasant to be around. They’re bitter because of their superiority-inferiority feelings about themselves which can be sum up with “I’m so much better than all of them so why am I so shit that no one loves me”. Why would a nice man like Prince Charming waste their time with someone who only maybe has some depth hidden behind the barbed wire? It’s like digging a hole looking for water in the desert with the difference that the dating scene isn’t a desert and there’s plenty of water ready to drink.

Some of the FOs get so bitter that they aggressively announce the world that they’ll be always FOs, blaming the lack of luck for the situation and not their own choices. Yet another comforting but wrong idea. The world isn’t making anyone to be an FO, they and only they are doing it to themselves. Some FOs just need to find something they enjoy in life and the rest will come. They simply can’t keep expecting the man to bring all passion and pleasure to their lives, they need to take responsibility for their own happiness. Others have emotional issues so deep that they won’t do without  professional help. All of them, however, don’t love or even like themselves and all of them (I really believe it) can be helped if they’re only willing to take responsibility for their lives and stop blaming the world for everything.

Some people come from exemplary families and enter the romantic world with a healthy self-image. Most of us don’t. For most of us accepting ourselves, loving ourselves and eventually letting others love us is a long and painful process with lots of u-turns. Looking at currently romantically happy people and labeling them as “lucky” is simply not doing them justice. People are a lot like icebergs and we should realize it whenever we look on the tip and try to pass judgments.

To sum up I’ll use a quote attributed to Jefferson “I’m a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work the more I have of it”. Whether you’ll be forever alone or not is just a sum of your choices not a worldwide conspiracy. What if you had it really difficult in childhood? Life just isn’t fair. You couldn’t make choices back then but you can make them now.

Now to you, Dear Rinsers, have you ever considered yourself a FO? Did you manage to reframe and change your life? Or maybe you have people of that sort in your surrounding? Share your thoughts in the comment section.

 

 

‘Organic’ Dating in the Internet Age

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Don’t get me wrong I fully understand that technology has its benefits especially when it comes to dating. And although many do claim to be, none of us are really above Tinder. The stigma that was once associated with internet dating is now, at least to some degree, a thing of the past…everyone and his dog now seems to have an OKCupid profile. So if you can’t beat them join them seems to be the attitude of the day! But does our reliance on dating apps/websites mean that the chances of meeting our soulmate ‘In Real Life’ (IRL) are non-existent?

Today, I want to bring our minds back that old-school idea of organic dating. Remember the good old days when you’d hit the club with your girlfriends and get chatting to a guy at the bar, swap numbers and a few days later BOOM! you’ve landed yourself a date! Or when you were in your early twenties strolling down Long Street when you suddenly got accosted some dude – an encounter which led to a bit of a holiday romance and then some?

But the older we get, the smaller our social circle becomes and the more disillusioned we get about finding somebody compatible. Internet dating seems to offer an easy solution. Websites allow us to narrow down our search and cut through all that initial conversation crap (I mean time is precious and a busy girl can’t sit through three dates before finding out the guy is a sexual deviant or a religious fanatic). The internet also allows us to be brave when it comes to dating people we previously may considered out of league. Hiding behind a computer screen makes rejection less painful. This somewhat more impersonal approach to dating also gives allows us to build our confidence and get lots of practice (I seriously doubt I would have had 30 dates in such a short space of time if it weren’t for the web!).

Regardless, deep down I am yet to be truly convinced by modern dating practices. Call me old fashioned but I’m looking for a story to tell the grandkids and I’ve never read a fairytale that began ‘Once upon I time I swiped right…’ In the Age of Tinder it’s rather rare (and refreshing) to be asked out in the old-school way. Even when you do meet organically, he’ll still contact you via Facebook (so whether you like it or not technology will likely play a role in romance these days).

I’m not saying organic dating is better than more technologically-savvy version. You’ll certainly meet just as many heartbreakers in the club, at work, at a friend’s braai, at the supermarket, or randomly strolling down the street. But there are advantages to the organic way to doing things. Firstly, the spontaneity certainly serves to make things more exciting. There are probably more risks involved when it comes to meeting people IRL which, for me at least, makes things a little more romantic.

Also, meeting someone under more natural circumstances probably means that both parties get a more realistic impression of one another than on yet another awkward, sterile, run-of-the-mill tinder date. And finally, there is a certain accountability that comes if two people meet through friends. Unlike the anonymity that we have online, if we act like an idiot or do douche-bag like things, the fact is the people around will judge us (and probably hate on us too) and let’s face it we’d all rather just avoid that.

So, I’m not telling y’all to delete your Tinder profiles straight away (that could potentially mean romantic suicide) but I’m saying maybe it’s time for our generation to consider more old-school approaches in our quest for love. After all it worked (questionable!) for our parents/grandparents generation so what’s to say it can’t work for us too.

OK Rinsers over to you. What are your thoughts on ‘organic’ dating? Is it really possible for us to meet our soulmate IRL or is that just too much hassle? Are we too reliant on technology when it comes to dating? Are you a fan of utilising technological tools or did you find love the old fashioned way? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

How much change can you take in a partner?

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I went to see “Deadpool” last week. For those of you who’ve been keeping their heads in the sand – “Deadpool” is a movie based on superhero comic book. It’s very un-PC and tells a story of a  man who was Ryan Ryanolds and turns into an ugly superhero. It inspired my post today about changes in physical appearances of our partners.

First of all, the whole topic is very tricky. After all we’re supposed to love our partners for who they are and not how they look like. Yet, I remember an acquaintance of mine who was telling me that even though he knows he’s a bad person he couldn’t look at his ex-wife long before their divorce. He said that she stopped putting any effort into her looks and what bothered him the most was that her formerly slim calves turned into tree trunks. On some level I thought he was being horrible, on the other I appreciated his honesty. After all, he started to date an attractive woman who after marriage turned into a creature twice her former size and with never washed hair. Can one really blame him for losing interest eventually?

On the other hand, in the defense of the wife, she was the one taking care of the household. Can you then blame HER for paying less attention to her looks and slight food indulgence? A full-time worker and a full-time mom of two with a husband that helps at the house little or not at all definitely had her reasons as well. She also started to date a Prince Charming who turned out to be not much of a partner who of course he let himself go too but didn’t mention it in a story.

So far I’ve been only discussing the usual letting ourselves go. However, what if our partner undergoes a surgery and instead of getting a younger look becomes a parody of his former self? Jocelyn Wildenstein, so called Cat Woman, started to “improve” her appearances initially to please her husband and look more catlike. The husband didn’t regain interest in her, on the contrary, he left her for a younger woman. She continued with her surgical experiments and currently hardly looks human.

Last but not least, there’s the change that no one wants to think about. What if our partner really changed because of an accident or a disease? Would we stand by their side then? Of course we all want to say yes and judge those who had such experience in a real life for not doing the right thing. However, I don’t think we can know what we would do and I’m just hoping that none of us will be ever tested in that way.

So, Dear Rinsers, any thoughts? Have you seen “Deadpool”? Have you ever been in a similar situation? What do you think you’d do if you were? Share your thoughts in our comment section.

 

5 Fates Worse Than Being Single on Valentine’s Day

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It’s hard being single. But it’s especially hard at this time of year. The shops are full of flowers, tacky teddy bears and cards with sickeningly cheesey  poems that are intended to help less eloquent people declare their love for one another in a less generic way.

For those you who have been hibernating in a cave I’m afraid to tell you that VALENTINE’S DAY is around the corner. It may be easy for us singletons (#englishrosiee is STILL totally available boys) to use this day as a time to wallow in self pity and drink themselves stupid on copious amount of glorious gin. However, I’m here to be the voice of reason for all you drama queens out there and to tell you there are WORSE fates than being single on the 14th of February.

1. Being in a LOVELESS Relationship

I promise you not everything you see shared on Facebook is real. Read between the lines. It’s easy to kid yourself that you are the ONLY chick left on the shelf when bombarded with peoples loved up coupley pictures. But remember the grass is not greener on the other side.

We’ve all been in relationships where we are forced to go through the motions of occasions like Valentine’s Day; buying the card, getting dressed up and paying a fortune for a fancy dinner that you’d pay half the price for any other day of the year,etc. But the truth is for many people the spark is dead and they’d rather be at home in their PJs. In these cases, you both sit their across the table looking into each others’ eyes but enviously wishing you were out partying the night away with your single friends.

2. Being in LIMBO 

Ugh. Definitely a more horrible fate than being single.

You meet someone and warm to them. They tell you they want to be more than just friends and then BOOM ! Silence. There can’t be anything worse than mixed signals. They give you foot-popping kisses but then ignore you. There you were planning a lovely Valentine’s Day in your little imagination but their vibe gives you cause for concern. Sure, he could still redeem himself but time is precious and you are left wondering whether you should start swiping again instead of wasting head space on this dude.

3. Being DUMPED

Did you know the chances of a relationship ending increases rather dramatically in the run up to Valentine’s Day? In fact, experts have dubbed the Tuesday before the Valentine’s Day ‘Red Tuesday’ and claim this is the day you are most likely to get dumped.

Apparently the reasoning behind it boils down to the fact that all this tacky red stuff being sold in the shops forces people to reassess their relationships. For some that’ll mean grand declarations of love while for others it’ll mean out with the old…and in with the new (most likely the ‘new’ was already waiting in the wings).

Things might be liberating for the Dumper but spare a thought for the poor Dumpee who only has limited time to find an alternative date for V-DAY!

4. Being a SAD SPINSTER

Although the three scenarios above all suck. It could be worse. Anyone who has any sort of meaningful (or not) interaction with the opposite sex risks getting hurt but at least by putting yourself out their you are increasing the odds of finding happily ever after. Even if worse comes to worse a Tinderella will probably still be able to land herself a last minute date with an ‘Indian’ Prince.

This is not the case for the Sad Spinster who treats V-Day like any other – sitting all alone at home with her cats and a jar of peanut butter, hating on the opposite sex and celebrating another day of celibacy!

5. Being a BILLY-NO-MATES

Being single isn’t the end of the world especially if you have a few friends to hang out with. You can just embrace your singledom and go out sarging on Kloof Street with the gang !

Sadly, not everyone has friends. Maybe your one of those fools who put hos before bros a few too many times and now you’ve hit rock bottom you find that all those buddies you once had have disappeared.It may be a harsh lesson to learn but those who ditch their friends for ‘love’ might be the one’s most likely to find themselves cold and alone this Valentine’s Day.

See my fellow singletons, life isn’t so bad. So lets stop indulging the misery and instead enjoy single time and all it has to offer…maybe next year you’ll be the one living the fairytale 🙂

So Rinsers share you thoughts on Valentine’s Day. Are you loved up? Finding it hard to be single and surrounded by all this loved-up nonsense or are you just living life Single and FABULOUS this year? Tell us in the comments below…

About Time – Time Travel in the Quest for Love

About time

 

After my last Wednesday post when I complained that I had no movies to watch, my dear friend and colleague #zlotybaby took it upon herself to provide me with a selection of movies to review solely for the purposes of this blog.

I am sure we can all resonate with the famous line about everyone having 20/20 hindsight especially (especially with reference to relationships and such). We’ve all become a bumbling bunch of nerves at the sight of a hot guy and then saying/doing something absolutely idiotic in an attempt to win his affections. Wouldn’t it just be wonderful if in those embarrassing instances we could go back in time and just do everything differently so we come across as a sophisticated lady instead of a complete buffoon? In more serious experiences…imagine you could back in time and change the course of events so you didn’t waste your youth chasing bad boys while all the decent guys got hitched to those suburban housewife types? Or maybe you’d go back and be more appreciative of people?

Whatever the case. I think we’ve probably all contemplated what life would be like if we had the ability to travel back in time and do things differently. Well, that is what this movie is all about. When the main character Tim is 21 his Dad tells him a dirty family secret (no he does not come from a long line of sex cult followers): all the men in their family can travel through time. While his father used this superpower to read/reread all his favourite books, Tim decides to use time travel to find a wife…which he does but not without some other troubles along the way.

Due to our self imposed word limits I am not going to give away much more of the plot but I would recommend the movie. It may not be the most intellectually stimulating film but it’s certainly entertaining (although sickeningly sweet at times) and perfect for those Sunday mornings when you want to lie in a hungover heap on the sofa. And more importantly I think it provides some good for thought.

Do you think time travel could help us from making a mess of potential opportunities for love? Or do you think messing with fate is just a waste of time? After all if it is meant to be it will be? Does time travel just open up a whole can of worms – for example if we keep going back in time over and over again in order to change ourselves so that people would like us would we ending up losing the essence of our character and become someone else entirely? If someone doesn’t truly like another person is there really any amount of changing or working on oneself that could make them change their mind? Or is the spark something that needs to be there from the get go?

Have a ponder Rinsers and give us your thoughts on the movie and these pressing questions in the comments section below.

 

 

 

 

When your neighbours are too loud

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Most people have sex. Whether they have partners or not they will regularly or sporadically get some and we know that it’s healthy for human beings to have active sexual lives. It’s all good when they have all the fun they want in the privacy of their household, however, occasionally their pleasure is so loud that it invades our space. What to do then?

Imagine you went away for a lovely holiday and after a day trip you’re trying to fall asleep. Unfortunately you struggle to do so as you can hear extremely loud noises from the room next to yours. The series of ahhhhs and ohhhs and yesssss babiesssss is giving you a hard time. The moment you breathe with relief that it’s over you start to hear round two. The hotel scenario has a benefit of the moaners being complete strangers. In other words, you can go to their room and ask them to be quiet without worrying about long-term repercussions. On the flip side you’re a stranger to them too so they may be more inclined to tell you to mind your own business and suggest that there’s something wrong with your own sexual life. After all, a sleepless night doesn’t seem like the worst thing ever so think well before you knock on their door.

The above scenario can be easily ignored as its temporary. Nevertheless, some of us are more unlucky and may end up being placed next to an extremely noisy couple of neighbours who sound more as if they were having a dinosaur battle in their kitches and not coitus. If the problem is getting too difficult to handle you may approach the issue and ask them to be quieter. Hopefully they’ll get embarrassed and lower their noise levels in the future. If not you can always address the issue with the body corporate but I can see a long battle with this one, given that other neighbours will probably be too ashamed to support you in your pleas to silence the neighbours. Besides, whatever the neighbours do, they do it in the privacy of their house and surely it’s not something that they do ALL the time so maybe it’s just a downside of leaving in apartment buildings.

Paradoxically scenario number three called flatmates is theoretically the easiest to sort out. After all in the shared space you’re entitled to set your own rules and if something is annoying you, you should address it. Makes sense, right? And yet from all the cases I know, never had a similar issue been addressed mostly because of embarrassment. A friend of mine had a flatmate who became famous for the extremely noisy visits of her “friend”. The issue has been gossiped about, laughed at and even addressed by the poor flatmate paying unexpected visits to everyone she knew in the area when the “deed” was taking place. What she never dI’d, was to address the issue. By the same  token, I never spoke about the a similar problem to a former flatmate who would exchange his female companions more often than people do daily contact lenses and he had a tendency to have sex with his door open.

To sum up, people often have loud sex and other people often struggle to ask them to have it a little bit softer. After all we all know that loud or silent sex is similarly pleasant and sometimes one should be considerate.

Now to you, Dear Rinser, have you ever been in a situation when people were disturbing your sleep or leisure time with their fornication? Or maybe you’re guilty of moaning too loud? Share your stories in the comment section.

 

10 Life Lessons from EnglishRosiee’s ’30 first dates before 30′ Experiement

 

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So Dear Rinsers this darling is about to celebrate her dreaded 3-0 next week and as a service to all our loyal followers I decided to take one for the team and carry out a little social experiment. I absolutely despise those hater of men type chicks and so I decided that I needed to have worked my way through a fairly good number of potentials before I was in a position to judge and make any sweeping statements about the nature of the dating market or men. So I set myself the challenge of going on 30 First Dates before I turned 30 (I actually exceeded expectations and hit 31 – just saying). Not any easy task by any means but certainly a learning experience.

Here are the top 10 life lessons I learnt through this little experiment:

  1. After an epic break-up its normal to think that life is over or that it’ll never be the same again. But really, life does go on and foot-popping kisses will happen again (probably sooner than you think.)
  2. The rebound guy will likely cause more destruction in your life the ending of any meaningful relationship ever will.
  3. There are lots and lots of strange people out there. Serial killer-types, foot fetishists and people with very very odd sexual preferences (e.g. the dude who told me that he and his partner were on Tinder looking for swinging opportunities).
  4. Tinder maybe commonly known as hook-up app but don’t be too quick to judge because you might make a few best friends of it as well. You would never think that your first Tinder crush could turn into your favourite agony uncle somewhere down the line.
  5. After about the age of 25 everyone has baggage. Whether it comes in the form of trust issues after having been burnt a few too many times or something more epic like a divorce and three kids, baggage is something you can’t avoid. The key is knowing your deal breakers on how much of another person’s baggage you are willing to handle.
  6. Religious nuts. Do yourself a favour and avoid them. Unless you are one yourself in which case go for it. Believe me it’ll only end in disaster.
  7. Men will do/say anything if they think there is even the slightest chance they could get their leg over. Be clever and use this to your advantage. Let these imbeciles waste their time sending you epic declarations of ‘LOVE’ via WhatsApp and then have fun reading these out loud while getting drunk with your besties. If these Tinder fools want to drive you to the airport during the early hours of the morning because in their silly little minds this means they OWN you, go ahead save yourself the cab fare.
  8. Friends. The true ones always have your best intentions at heart and will have your back even when you fail to take their advice and end up in tears for the millionth time in the space of a few months. They’ll buy you self-help books, feed you wine, stroke your hair and tell you things will be better in the morning. Treasure those ones and NEVER ditch them for a love interest. But remember that not everyone is so straightforward so beware of the frenemies.
  9. Despite the lies we tell ourselves life isn’t a fairytale and love isn’t always easy. There are fights, cheating and general drama to contend with and only the strong survive. People may overshare they happiness on Facebook but remember their lives aren’t 100% peachy either. Try not to take too much notice of all the wedding albums and baby pics on Facebook. It’s totally OK that you are still living like a bachelorette at 30.
  10. Single time isn’t going to last forever (unless of course you’ve given up on love like a Sad Spinster) so make the most of it while you can. Hang out with your friends, date every available bachelor in Cape Town, travel the world and have a few holiday flings and believe that when you least expect it your Prince/Princess Charming will materialise.

There you go Dear Rinsers. The 20s have been real but let’s hope I enter my 30s not just a little bit older but a little bit wiser when it comes to dealing with the hazardous world of dating. Now over to you… What were the major life lessons you learnt in your 20s. Share in the comments below.

P.S. And here is a funny video about everything I have to look forward to when it comes to dating in one’s 30s….

 

Also published on The Urban Dater

“Secretary” – Spanking in Movies before Mr Grey

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The world went mad with the series of low quality books and not a good movie branded with Mr Grey’s name. The movie seems to be quite revolutionary as it addresses the topic of different sexual preferences. In reality it’s just another version of a story of an average girl who knows why gets the Most Amazing Guy and changes him sprinkled with some spanking for women who’d like some of that but are too afraid to ask. On the top of that, the BDSM theme isn’t new to the mainstream cinema. Already in 2002 a much better movie was made, that had a different take on the subject. Ladies and Gentlemen, let me introduce you to the “Secretary”.

The film debuted on the Sundance festival which basically means it has the “ambitious” quality about it. It’s based on a short story “Bad Behaviour” and tells the audience about a dysfunctional yet attractive Lee and her controversial employer, Mr Grey (coincidence?). The two of them develop a sexual relationship and let me tell you that the movie is much more stimulating to watch than “50 shades”. Even though they pursue behaviors that one would consider to be far away from the norm, if one manages to get out of their judgmental mindset he or she realizes that the unconventional relationship is far from being unhappy or abusive. To say more would be to give away the plot. Let me assure you, however, that it’s truly good story telling.

The main roles are played by Maggie Gyllenhaal and James Spader who are both brilliant actors. Spader was still a hottie at the time that the movie was directed, meaning before he lost hair and picked up weight. The actors have a very good energy between them which makes the relationship and the drama believable.

The movie is intriguing and is definitely not your typical love story. I remember watching it with my mom and I wouldn’t recommend Dear Rinsers to do the same. It is after all an erotic movie and these should rather be watched in company of one’s partner or on our own.

Apart from the obviously controversial take on the topic of people having different sexual preferences who manage to form something that makes them happy, the movie also plays with other stereotypes. After all Lee is an employee and Mr Grey is her subordinate. A relation of that sort should not even be allowed in the overly PC world where everything can be mistaken for sexual harassment.

Last but not least, I remember the music to be particularly good and getting the viewer even more into the very particular mood of the movie. I’d recommend that film to anyone who likes to see something that’s not schematic and isn’t afraid to watch a feature that may challenge their thinking.