Therapy – ‘Professional’ Help for ‘Relationship’ Issues (or Lack Thereof)

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Relationships (and dating) can be frustrating. Whether it’s the nagging wife whinging about that pile of dishes, having your hopes built up by yet another Tinder boy who just sees you as a sex toy, or having to fend off unrequited love from that stalker who sends you Roxette tunes – this stuff is enough to make a person lose their mind (and give some serious consideration to a life of Spinsterdom – DON’T).

Luckily, most of us have good friends we can vent to about matters of the heart.  In most cases, these people have been there themselves and can offer insights and advice. Furthermore, your friends should know you pretty well and are therefore in a good position to put things in perspective For example, once when I thought I was dying of a broken heart, a friend told me to scroll back through a FB convo to see that I had been crying about the same thing just a couple of months previously (with another guy) and pointed out that I would bounce back from the latest rejection in a matter of days – Thanks Umarian!

But how about if you don’t have such fabulous friends? Well then, go cry to mummy  Or get a diary … I always find writing helps. Better yet, jump straight back on that horse. Go on Tinder date and vent away, utilise the dude as a therapist – hopefully you’ll get some useful male insights into your issues and free drinks thrown in for good measure. BOOM!

But jokes aside. What if there comes a point when your problems become too big for you and your besties to handle? How about when people start to roll their eyes when you mention the latest bad boy you’ve fallen for? Does there come a time when a person should seek professional help for their relationship woes? Hmm…

Not so long ago, after one too many dating disasters, I found myself considering therapy. But being a ‘Solve-My-Own-Problems’ kinda chick, I was very sceptical about it all. Maybe it’s that British stiff upper lip of mine but the thought of lying on a couch (I know … it’s a stereotype) and paying (yes, the financial implications can be significant) a stranger to listen to my first-world problems seems a little self-indulgent.

What surprised me most in my investigations into the whole therapy thing was how many people were actually into this thing. I thought therapy was one of those things that only Hollywood celebs did but it turns out that even the most humble, seemingly-sorted people you meet have a shrink (maybe, the shrink is the reason they are so sorted. Who knows?).

The other important thing I learnt is that while there are obviously good therapists out there – there are also plenty of charlatans. These ‘professionals’ will wave a piece of paper in front of you (claiming it’s a degree certificate when in fact it’s just their utility bill) and happily let you chit-chat away for an hour before collecting your hard-earned bucks (to pay for that electricity bill). So, I may not have a PhD is psychology but surely someone who advises a person to do something irresponsible and mean just to make themselves feel better isn’t really helping solve the problem but merely offering a quick fix solution.

To conclude, I guess the idea of therapy is good for some. In theory having a neutral person analysing your situation objectively should help, provided that they are suitably qualified for the job. However, in this instance I was fortunate to have good people to chat to/distract me from the bleak situation until I eventually snapped out of my depression and decided to take to all that money I would have spent on ‘professional’ help and go on holiday instead (getting away from the weird and wonderful men of Cape Town may have just been the answer to all my problems :P).

So Rinsers. What are your views on therapy? Have you ever sought professional help for your relationship/dating issues? If so, did it help? Are you one of those people who think that therapy could be the answer to everyone’s problems? Do you have any alternative advice for those who can’t afford to fork out for a shrink? Provide some insights in the comments below.

“Titanic” revisited 

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Few weeks ago #englishrosiee and I decided to visit a Titanic related exhibition in the beautiful city of Cape Town. It was interesting and interactive, the best part is that you can still catch it in Durban. The visit inspired in me/us the need to rewatch “Titanic”, a melodrama that I saw as a teenager.

“Titanic” was directed by James Cameron and received numerous Academy Awards. The film tells the tragic story of the giant “unsinkable” ship that sank during its virgin trip to America in 1912. This surrounding is a background to a story of forbidden love between a lady and a commoner. As a child I cried at the end and I did the same watching it today. Has the movie really stood the test of time, though?

Let’s start with the plot. We meet elderly Rose (young version portrayed by Kate Winslet) who recognizes herself on a drawing recovered from the Titanic’s wreck. She boarded the ship as a young woman from a formerly rich family, whose mother wants to save the family by making her daughter marry a rich but unpleasant man (Billy Zane). Both the fiancé and the mother are trying to tame the young woman who’s emancipated at heart. Her future seems miserable till she meets a young artist Jack (very young Leo DiCaprio) who shows her that there are other ways to live.

The romance story is pleasant enough, there’s also a social commentary about sexism and classism of the times. However, one is quite aware that in real life Jack would be Rose’s awakening fling rather than a partner for life. This is why the seemingly tragic ending may actually have preserved the purity of this story. “Titanic” is also a tale of female empowerment and it is appealing to see a woman on the screen who truly thinks for herself. Unfortunately, Rose is the only well developed character. The others seem to be oversimplified, which possibly magnifies the general atmosphere of overdramatisation in the movie. In other words, let’s be honest, a big chunk of cheese has been used during this production.

Even though, the use of excessive tear-jerking methods isn’t commendable, it remains a good watch. The love story’s background is simply beautiful. There are great shots of the inside and outside of the ship, that give us a sense of how a passenger felt like on this magnificent vessel. The most beautiful to watch is the evacuation and the consequent destruction of the ship. The special effects even years later are breathtaking and I don’t think there’s been a more beautiful capturing of a similar event in the history of cinematography up to date.

Last but not least, music is yet another timeless advantage of the movie. I’m not talking here about the used and abused Celine Dion’s “My Heart Will Go On” but about the rest of the  soundtrack accompanying the movie. It would be much more difficult to get into the atmosphere of the film if not for it. Everything from the first sounds when the passengers are boarding to the orchestra playing to soothe the passengers when the ship sinks has been carefully planned and executed to complement the film.

To sum up, “Titanic” remains a masterpiece of visual affects and a good watch. I wouldn’t call it the greatest love story ever, but millions of teenagers around the world already did so the movie will survive without my full approval. You should watch it if you haven’t but I’d only recommend a rewatch if you’re on holiday or have a lot of free time otherwise. It’s over three hours long after all.

 

Where do broken hearts go?

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Watching “Titanic” (about which you’ll read tomorrow) and reading #englishrosiee’s story in the Guardian made me think of two things. Namely, cheesy love songs and broken hearts. Let me try to reply to the question asked in Whitney Houston’s love song “Where do broken hearts go?” in today’s post.

Having a broken heart is seemingly not a big thing. When we fall in love for the first time we think that our partner is perfect and that our lives will end if the relationship finishes. At a young age we’re often emotionally immature and we’re more concerned about partners liking and loving us than about our own feelings towards them. We often don’t know what we want and we’re just not ready to form a proper partnership with someone. The puppy love clinginess of our early youth is just a stage.

We often have our hearts broken more than once before we meet a person with whom we truly want to share a life. I don’t think we love more at a young age but I have an impression that we love more dramatically, partially because we lack perspective. With age we get more and more reasonable. Rejection always hurts but at least we know the pain will end eventually and we’re not going to be forever alone.

The experience of a broken heart becomes better known and therefore it should be easier to deal with. Especially when you meet the next person that you care about you tend to forget about the pain inflicted by the former partner. The happier you are the less you think about past failures and the more you see how they were necessary to bring you to the point in life when you can share your general happiness with a partner. It’s all good as long as you learn.

Having said that, even when we reach the point of general oblivion about what used to be sometimes something reminds us about a person that broke our heart in the past and the pain of the memory, even if short, is real. Be it bumping into a person on the street, hearing about their new partner or simply having an object or a place reminding of a former longtime crush, fling or partner and one feels the sting that fortunately is quickly forgotten in the everyday routine.

Where do broken hearts go? I don’t think they go anywhere. A broken heart heals and becomes but a scar on your normal heart. As you nourish love for life and someone else the scar gets so very small that sometimes you feel that this injury is gone along with all other fractures, bruises and scrapes. There’s nothing wrong with being reminded from time to time that life hasn’t always been sweet to us because by acknowledging past pains we understand ourselves better and we appreciate more what we have now.

So, Dear Rinsers, where do you think broken hearts go according to you? And more importantly do you know the song? 😉

Tinder Shaming – The Dos and Don’ts for Dating Profile Pics

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Recently, I’ve found myself getting increasingly irritated with the foolish fools I come across on Tinder. It is no secret that we live in the visual age. It may be sad for the more eloquent amongst us but the truth is a good picture trumps the written word these days. In fact, you’ll find that most people on Tinder won’t even bother to put pen to paper – it’s simply a matter of uploading a couple of photos showing your best angle/that you are in fact an interesting human being, adding the appropriate filter or sufficiently photo shopping said pictures and BOOM there you have it…SEX FOR DAYS!!

Ah, if only it were that easy. You’d think the fact that you no longer needed to have the ability to put together a Shakespearian sonnet (or simply string a sentence together coherently) would work in favour of the nice-but-dim sorts, but sadly this is not the case. There are still people out there that can’t seem to master the art of uploading a few favourable pictures of themselves onto an online dating platform.

And getting it wrong is basically social suicide (remember Tinder now tells us when we have mutual friends with a match – remember this when you start posting pictures of your intimate areas all over the place). Actually, when I first thought of writing this post I started collecting screenshots of some of the most idiotic Tinder profiles I came across. But I eventually realised that there were too many good examples and in fact there are websites/Facebook groups dedicated to publicly shaming these naïve imbeciles. So instead, I’ve decided to impart some pearls of wisdom to all you Tinder novices out there. So here are basic list of Do’s and Don’t when it comes to posting pictures of yourself on your various dating profiles.

Do

  • Try to have your face in the picture. I know it’s hard for people who’ve been beaten with the ugly stick but being able to recognise your date when you arrive at a bar is pretty essential. Artistic pictures of the back of your head won’t help.
  • Show the world you are an interesting person. If you want to brag about running marathons – then prove it (obviously, no need to show yourself crying like a baby at km 40, but a smiley happy pic at the finish line might earn you some respect). People want to date those who actually have a REAL life/hobbies, not just those made up in your imagination.
  • Keep your clothes on. This is the public domain and it’ll serve you well to remember that. If someone feels the need to look at porn there are plenty of resources out there. There is no need for you to provide more matter for their Wank Bank.

Don’t

  • Include pictures with another guy/girl where you could possibly look like a couple. It doesn’t even matter if the other person is your mum or dad. Potential lovers won’t know that – for all they know you could have a penchant for cougars or silver foxes. Oh, and certainly, no pics of you and the (ex) wife on your wedding day. Just no.
  • Involve children in your Tinder ventures…No they won’t make you look cute but just like some paedo. Nobody needs to know about your baggage before a first date and maybe it’s your niece/nephew/god-child –in which case don’t pimp them out to all the perves on the internet!
  • Pose with dead/sedated animals. While I admit I am a sucker for a cute puppy in the picture, most decent human beings will disapprove of you standing victoriously, gun in hand, over some poor innocent dead rhino. And those pictures of you smiling sweetly next to a sleeping tiger are soooo last year and posing next to a drugged beast really doesn’t make you a BIG man.
  • Make your profile all about your mates. It’s great you have them…but if every one of your pics is a group shot with your crew, your potential suitor will need to be a detective to figure which idiot is you and no one has time for such nonsense.
  • Don’t brag about your selflessness. None of us in Mother Teresa.  Tinder is not the place to tell the world about the one time you popped by a township to take a picture with a few smiling African kids. Not cool … and you’ll probably end up being shamed on Humanitarians of Tinder anyway.

Oki Dokes Rinsers. What are your thoughts? Should people putting more thought into the pictures they use to represent themselves or should we stop being so judgmental when it comes to swiping? Answer in the comments below.

Jenny’s Wedding – Hollywood’s Version of Lesbian Relationships

Jenny's Wedding

I saw the trailer for Jenny’s Wedding a while ago and I intended to watch it at the cinema but it didn’t really seem to last very long there (should have taken that as a sign it wasn’t going to be all that brilliant) so in the end I had to wait till it came out on DVD (sadly, I thanks to this blog I burnt bridges with that Tinder Boy that was providing me with illegal downloads).

The movies main character, Jenny (shock horror!), is a ‘openly’ gay and has been in a relationship with her ‘roommate’ for half a decade. Basically, everyone knows except her conservative middle American family. She is at the age when everyone around her is getting married so the pressure is on. After being accused of having an affair with a married man (because that’s the only reason she could have for being secretive and not being married in her 30s), Jenny suddenly decides enough is enough and comes out to her family.

Each family member (and other members of the backwater community) has their own reaction to Jenny’s news. Jenny’s mother wants to keep it a secret due to her fear of being ostracized in their small town. Her father remains fairly silent but says he doesn’t understand how lesbian relationships work (i.e. how they have sex is his primary concern). Her brother knew all along. And Jenny’s revelation makes her sister realise how unhappy she is in her own straight marriage.

The movie intends to be this epic coming out story that breaks with convention but in fact it just turns out to be a somewhat insipid family melodrama. Neither Jenny or her girlfriend are those stereotypical butch, motorbike chicks that people often perceive lesbians to be (and neither of them has to wear a tux at the wedding). The movie is quite tame to be honest and there is actually very little in it that could offend even those most hectic homophobe (they even manage to keep the smooching to a minimum)

Deep-down Jenny’s family are decent people who despite being a bit archaic do love her. The movie actually isn’t so much about lesbian relationships, its more about the general secrets, lies and bigotry that exists in society. It kind of simplifies the challenges and battles that gay/lesbian fought to get equality and just says that no matter which way you swing we all face similar challenges in life. In the end, it’s all a bit too Hollywood and cheesy.

One has to wonder though is this the reality for most gay/lesbian people? Is ‘coming out’ really just one of those minor life struggles people go through and eventually just pass? How about those parents who disown their offspring because of certain life decisions? And if the ‘progressive’ Western world struggles this much with the notion of gay marriage or same sex couples having kids, how about people those from more traditional cultures? How about those parents who disown their offspring because of certain life decisions? Is it more a case of people being OK with more ‘unconventional’ lifestyle choices as long it doesn’t effect them or their own family?

OK Rinsers share your views in the comments below. Have you seen the movie? Do you think the creators had noble intentions but ended up simplifying a far more complex issue? 

Caught in the Act

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Being caught in the act is something most people fear, some secretly crave and very few used as the name of their boyband. It has happened to me with a friend once and I used the well-known technique with the “catcher” afterwards – I know that you know and you know that I know that you know so let’s pretend that nothing has happened. Unfortunately, some of these situations are more complicated than that.

Probably the most difficult “caught in the act” scenario is when you’re a parent. I’ve been fortunately spared the awkwardness of catching my parents having sex; they divorced too early. However, I remember a horror story that my friend shared with me. She caught her father on the top of her mom and as an innocent child had no idea what was going on. She subsequently tried to push him off the matriarch as she was worried about the noises the latter was making (moaning, of course). Eventually her mother asked her to leave the room and then probably the weirdest ever, given the context, introduction to sex followed. My friend remained traumatised long afterwards. Would it not be easier if these issues were discussed with children before they lead to situations of that sort?

The reversal of the situation is not much better. No one wants to think about it but young adults often have sex. As they have to use their parents homes for sexual purposes, the risk of being caught is quite high. Parents like to pretend that their children are not sexual beings till they’re confronted with facts. Discovered condoms, a request to pay for a gynie, consent letters for a minor to take contraceptives or being caught in the act – all these can shatter a naive parent’s world. Sadly, the first reaction is often rage, sometimes followed by giving up and accepting the child’s sexual maturity. I have not been in any of the enumerated situations but once after a date my father joked that my shirt was inside out. His face went pale when I actually had a look to check whether it was true. I’m not sure why the existence of my sexuality (especially that taking your top off is something that teenagers do way before they actually have sex) was such a surprise given that I was 18 going 19.

As I mentioned before friends are quite an easy case to solve. Let’s take this situation to the extreme now. Imagine you’re having sex in public in a country that it’s forbidden and you get caught. You may risk prison for what in other places in the world is a naughty thing that many consider a turn on. One should remain cautious when trying to enjoy Western “entertainments” abroad. Many countries have a ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’policy but when you get pregnant the fact that you had out-of-wedlock sex cannot be denied. This may get you in trouble in Dubai where a gynecologist is obliged to report a pregnant, unmarried woman. As my friend who works there said, foreigners are treated with more leniency and they’re asked to take a leave of absence to “take care of the problem”. In other words you’re encouraged to either go to your country, give birth and stay there or to have an abortion and come back.

So, Dear Rinsers, have you ever been caught in the act? Have you ever caught someone? Share your stories in the comments section below.

The Boomerang Relationship

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Have you ever been in one of those ‘relationships’ that just won’t seem to end? Even though the relationship is over, you can’t get that person out from under your skin? When despite everyone’s best efforts two people still keep finding their way back to each other? Well, this dearest Rinser, is what we call the Boomerang Relationship.

It’s basically like the relationship the Carrie and Mr. Big had in Sex and the City BUT remember we live in Cape Town, and while the Mother City is certainly pretty it is NOT Hollywood. So please stop deluding yourself and thinking that one day you’ll eventually marry that Boomerang guy/girl. The truth (and yes, I know it hurts) is that you WON’T.

Obviously, everyone has the own unique reason for terminating a relationship. Maybe it was a clash of personalities? Perhaps he/she cheated? Maybe despite the initial chemistry, you realised further down the line that your S.O had a dirty little foot fetish or was a religious nut? Regardless of ones reasons for ending things, these boomerang people still find a way to maintain the connection.

In my experience, there are a couple of reasons why supposedly intelligent human beings allow these boomerang relationships to carry on as they do. Firstly, we tell ourselves that we are ‘mature’ enough to remain friends with our ex. But truthfully, can you really be friends with someone you’ve shared your most intimate thoughts with or has seen you naked? And ask yourself would you world crumble to the ground if you saw this ‘friend’ with another guy/girl? Surely, if you are really friends it wouldn’t bother you in the slightest. Just saying!

Maintaining contact with an ex isn’t really the wisest decision as it allows you both to have a foot in each other’s lives for way longer than you ever should and actually just stands in the way of you moving on with someone else.  This type of ‘friendly’ behaviour simply serves to prolong something that has served its purpose and ensures that any potential replacement for the ex has to work ten times as hard to have an impact.

Furthermore, by walking in and out of each other’s lives, we give rise to false hope. You start of convince yourself that the time apart may have changed the situation. Add to that the fact that you’ve probably learnt that dating malarkey isn’t as fun as they all promised and you start to consider rekindling things. Better the devil you know and all that.

Very rarely do these boomerang relationships end well. In some cases, you might get a hook up out of it. But if you look at things properly, you’ve only downgraded things from being in a relationship with someone, to then being their ex and finally to being nothing more than their dirty booty-call. Sure, maybe you enjoy the attention and maybe a boomerang relationship is better than being a sad spinster but one also needs to consider the impact of it on your self-esteem (not to mention your time). Until you stop flogging a dead horse and finally call time on this relationship chances are you’ll never be able to move on because you’ll be forever in limbo.

I hope your never find yourself in a time-consuming boomerang relationship, but if you do the best thing do is cut ties and cut them COMPLETELY. Because the sooner you get rid of the deadwood, the quicker you’ll be able to move on with your life and keep the path clear for your upgrade!

Dear Rinsers – Have you ever been in a boomerang relationship? How did it end? What did you learn from the experience?

The Spanish Apartment Trilogy as a Traveller’s Tale

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When I was a student Erasmus seemed the thing to do. For those who don’t know it, Erasmus is a mostly European student exchange programme. Many people say that it’s just a social experience and a time waster but I know quite a few people who thanks to Erasmus ended up in PhD programmes. Having said that the trilogy by Cédric Klapisch focuses on human aspect of the student exchange.

The narrator of the whole trilogy is Xavier. He’s the only character that we see enough of to relate to. The first part of the trilogy, “The Spanish apartment” better known as “L’Auberge Espagnole”, tells a tale of students who end up in Spain thanks to Erasmus. Xavier somewhat unwillingly leaves his long-term partner behind to “get some experience”. In such a way starts a three movie long tale of a writer and a constant traveller. Xavier as most students is underfunded and it’s nearly impossible to support himself on the maigre stipend. That’s why he ends up sharing a room which makes getting some intimacy a real challenge. He finds his ways, however, not only to keep a relationship going but even to cheat. He has more or less funny encounters with representatives of many nationalities, subcultures and sexual preferences. The surreal manner of story telling makes the movie more interesting but it is a bit silly.

The second part, “Russian Dolls”, is more serious as one of previously careless students decides to get hitched with a Russian lady he met when working there. His friends who come for the wedding seem more mature than they used to be, but the main character is still a cheat who ignores depth of his new relationship to chase some pussy. He “realizes what’s important in life” eventually but he remains a narcissistic character that doesn’t really know what he wants. The movie is a quite unrealistic love story. It’s biggest advantage is depiction of life in Russia. Yet again, the relations and characters seem very superficial.

The third part, “Chinese Puzzle” focuses mostly on Xavier and his failed marriage. Just like before he went to Russia without problems now he moves to New York to follow his kids. All the moving around is shown as if it was the simplest thing in the world and if dealing with bureaucracy was actually an easy task. I must say it’s very annoying to look at this unrealistic vision being an expat. On the top of it, by part three, one is just annoyed with Xavier. He’s a successful writer but doesn’t seem to find any pleasure in it. His family life was idyllic but he doesn’t seem to appreciate it. When the whole trilogy comes to a happy ending we can’t help to doubt that it’s only yet another temporary one. Xavier seems to be always looking for something better and different and by the end of the series, the viewer doesn’t really want to know what he’s up to next.

You could ask me why I kept watching the movies if I didn’t like them that much…It was probably because they all had interesting elements. I could also partially relate to some feelings that the main character had. However, the superficiality and lightness were annoying. Flings are flings and students should have fun befre they settle. There’s a difference between having fun when both sides want the same thing and hurting someone who was invested in a relationship. By the same token, travelling can be a great thing, but everyone needs a home even if in foreign land.

Dear Rinsers, do you know the movies? Have you had your own international experiences? Or maybe you were exchange students yourselves?

Beware of the Constant Traveler

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Travelling can be a very enriching experience that can teach you a lot about the world. You meet people with views completely different than yours, you see places that some only see on the pictures, you get out of your comfort zone. However, certain people develop an addiction to the new and they outroot themselves by never stopping changing countries, fearing everything that even resembles a routine.

A well travelled handsome man you met at an expat event tells you about being tired of traveling and looking for a place to settle down. You look into his beautiful eyes and you see in them the reflection of your wedding dress and the children you two will have one day. Unfortunately few months down the line he tells you that he’s ready to resume his travels and doesn’t even ask whether you’d like to go with him. You wipe your tears away and for a year remember the man as the one who got away, till eventually you admit to yourself that it was his unavailability that really fascinated you and that there was no future for the two of you.

Falling for the ones who keep traveling is easy. They have interesting stories to tell and they know how to charm a lady. They’re affectionate as having no home increases one’s need for human closeness. They also seem to get invested very quickly and before you know it you’re living together and he’s taking up most of your time. Looks like a fairy tale? Beware! The constant traveller will disappear from your life as quickly as he entered it. When the novelty and excitement wears off, he’ll need a new stimulation again.

When you’re being reasonable you know he’s not a good dating material. He earns enough but whatever he earns he spends on his next country move. He makes no savings. He keeps doing the same level of jobs, never moving up. Be it language teaching or work in hospitality industry he continues doing the same things over and over again in different surroundings. His relations are often superficial because friendship requires time and effort. The one thing that changes is his age. The attractiveness starts to fade away and the people he parties with are becoming younger and younger.

Why does he change his life in a pair of revolving doors? Maybe someone tried to ground him early on in life and he got lost in experiencing freedom. Maybe his parents were divorced and observing their constant fights made him never want to marry. Or maybe he just looked at his family members working 8-5 and never experiencing life properly. I guess you never know what made a comitmment phobe who he is. His motivation to look for a better life was right, only that he lost his aim.  Regardless of his story, he has to decide he wants to find his way home on his own. Before that happens you’ll be lucky not to be around if you’re looking for something serious.

Dear Rinser, have you encountered the constant traveller? What do you think of a lifestyle which lacks any stability? Share your thoughts in the comment section.

 

Cougarlicious

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By now, you’ve all come to realise that I am a somewhat old fashioned girl (with a bad habit for silver foxes). And if I wasn’t feeling bad enough about turning 30, recently I’ve suddenly found I’ve been receiving an unprecedented amount of attention from younger guys. In some instances, I found myself reading through a profile and thinking ‘oh, this one has potential’ only to feel my heart sink when I saw he was only 26. Ugh, what’s with these young children?! Why are these young boys on the hunt for women that are old enough to be their mother? Mummy issues perhaps! Each to their own, but I personally prefer to steer clear of dating children.

Anyway this new development got me thinking again about the whole age difference issue in dating. We all seem to be a little bit more accepting of older men dating younger chicks but how about when the tables are turned? A quick google search shows that young boys dating older ladies is a phenomenon that is actually taking off. There are even websites dedicated solely to ‘Cougar’ Dating. For instance, one such site called Cougar Life advertises itself as a place to ‘meet divorces, single moms and sex singles looking for that young stud’.

And then we have our celebrity role models showing us how it’s done. Demi Moore dating Ashton Kutcher, 16 years her junior. Madonna, now in her 50s, has dated a string of men half her age and some of whom that are almost as young as her own son (eww!). Julianne Moore, Mariah Carey, Ivana Trump… the list of celebrity cougars goes on. Hmmm…. But where does one draw the line? Is age really nothing but a number? When does the age gap become too big?

I just don’t get the logic here. It’s easy to see why younger women date those silver foxes. It is quite widely accepted that girls mature at a much faster rate than men. We don’t have time to wait for our peers to catch up, so we need to look to the older generation for some action. We just don’t have the time or inclination wait for that 20/30 something guy to finish one last game on his Xbox – we need to get out there have our intellect stimulated by gentlemen that are more worldly wise.

But how does it work for these young boys? We are well aware of the rise of the ‘sensitive’ mama’s… so are the young ones just looking for some lonely lady that’ll provide them with everything mama does but with the additional benefit of sexual favours. But what about the baggage that comes with age? I’ve had to think twice about dating a baby daddy but we all know it’s mum that is usually left holding the baby after the relationship comes tumbling down. Can the fragile minds of these young boys really handle this kind of responsibility? I do wonder how their minds work.

Either way, I’m not convinced. While their attention maybe somewhat flattering (although in reality it just makes me feel rather elderly). I refuse point blank to entertain any of these little boys. Firstly, even looking at their pictures on a dating site makes me feel like a cradle snatcher. Secondly, I do believe that with age their approach to women will improve (well I certainly hope so). Being told by a 26 year old that he knew exactly what I was up to last Thursday at 6pm doesn’t really make me want to run into his arms and just screams STALKER!

OK, over to you dearest rinsers. What do you think of the Cougarlicious approach to dating? Ladies, have you ever dated a younger man? Did it work for you? And guys, what’s with the older woman obessession? Please do enlighten us. And what are the chances of relationships with such massive age gaps surviving? Answers in the comments below.