Happily Single?

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My (mis)adventures on Tinder have been full of highs and lows (well, mainly lows). I’ve dealt with my fair share of mummy’s boys, racists, overly-attached stalker types, commitment-phobes and philanderers. I’ve been criticised for having curly hair and been called a gold digger. I’ve played therapist and listened while grown men cried on my shoulder about how hard their lives have been, how they’ve been victimised by dirty dirty lesbians and how no one will ever love them because of their FAT issues. And to be fair to the boys, I’m not totally innocent, I’ll admit that I’ve also taken part in a little bit of ‘heart-breaking’ as well BUT you can see why chicks these days become disillusioned with dating. Right?  So in today’s post I will be asking whether in fact those spinster’s actually have the right idea and whether it is possible for a person to give up on the search for LOVE and end up ‘happily single’?

Despite all the drama associated with modern dating , I find myself unwilling to give up on the quest for happily ever after because I refuse to resign myself to life as a sad spinster ( I enjoy taking the piss out of them to become one myself). Some may call me insane or a glutton for punishment. There are, after all, people who have different opinions on what ‘happily ever after’ actually entails. For traditionalists (like myself) who grew up believing life was a Disney fairytale, ‘happily ever after’ involves this epic story where a dashing Prince Charming swans in and sweeps you off your feet, after a few hiccups (even in Disneyland there are obstacles) and defying all odds you end up married living in a fabulous castle in the suburbs with a couple of stunning, clever, non-rebellious children. THE END. For others though, ‘happily ever after’ may not involve a prince or a significant other of any sort, the castle, or those sickly sweet kids – it may be more about avoiding the heartache and just plodding along in life alone.

Not so long ago, I was called out by a friend for saying that this whole life mission is a choice between life as sad spinster or happily ever after. Upon further reflection, I’ll admit that this was somewhat of a sweeping statement and, as with everything, there has to be shades of grey. Obviously, there are more than 2 alternatives for a chosen life path. Let’s take a look at few such examples:

Unhappily Married/In an Open Relationship

Despite what the pictures on Facebook tell us, not all those people who that have perfect white wedding have the perfect marriage which you’d expect to follow it.  While some people run a mile at the first sign of trouble, other believe so strongly in the sanctity of marriage that they’ll stick it out till the bitter end – whether that means arguing every day and sleeping in separate beds while putting on a brave face for the kids (and the rest of society) or living under the same roof but living separate lives and even turning a blind eye to one another’s sordid affairs.

Blissfully (or Bitterly) Divorced

You’ve been there and done that. You gave the traditional notion of ‘happily ever after’ a fair chance, but realised it was actually a prison sentence so you decided to break-free (or your ex did). At least you gave it a chance and got to experience what so many are still frantically searching for (aka marriage/kids) or maybe you just did it to get your olds off your back. Either way you can proudly own that DIVORCED badge. Perhaps your happier in your new found single state or maybe you feel hard done by but whatever your future holds, whether you choose to live in sin with your next partner or go down the marriage route again, hopefully second (third and fourth) time around you’ll do it with your eyes wide open.

Practically Married or Forever Playing the Field

You consider yourself a financially savvy individual and you realise that weddings and children are costly affairs. Obviously, you also know that no (wo)man is an island and we all need human connections so you either a) find a person who thinks the same way you do and you possibly move in together (remember it also makes financial sense) so you have someone to cuddle up to on those cold winter nights without having to sign your life away OR b) you opt for finding multiple people to occupy your nights with (aka FWBs) that way you thwart the loneliness (and a life of celibacy) without the responsibilities associated with those more meaningful relationships

Married to Your Job/Dog

Who says you need to engage in relationships of the human kind? Not everyone requires, or even wants, human interaction. It is possible to find alternative passions, don’t you know?

So,  sure there are a world of options beyond the spinsterhood but can people be really be happily single? I think periods of single-ness are a great opportunity for self reflection and figuring out what you want from a relationship and life in general but deep down humans are social beings and no one really wants to die alone (probably a huge motivation for having the hubby/wife/kids/dogs). I think very few people can be truly happy alone (maybe only those yogis hiding in a cave in India). Even the most introverted person probably just wants to find a fellow introvert they can just about tolerate. So while this traditional notion of ‘happily ever after’ may be flawed, and there are certainly other less stressful ways to be happy,  we all crave some form of human connection  therefore if you ask me, ‘happily single’ is just as much a fictitious concept as those fairytale ideas.

 

All righty Rinsers. What are your thoughts on the topic? Is the traditional idea of ‘happily ever after’ just a lie we’ve been fed by society? Do you think happily single is a really a viable option? Are you yourself happily single? Share your comments below.

First Impressions and Second Chances

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The older (and ‘wiser’) we get the harder it becomes to find that ‘sparkle’ factor with the people we date. Life experience tends to harden us and as we hopefully become better at adulting we are less likely to get caught up in the moment. I can tell you from experience that the same girl who threw caution to the wind and moved to deepest darkest Africa for love as a 20 something, in her 30s will think twice about embarking upon another ‘long-distance’ relationship with a guy from the Northern suburbs.

While (much to my detriment) I still crave the magic you get when you instant chemistry, these days I find myself becoming more realistic, justifying those lesser interactions as having ‘slow burn’ potential and giving out second chances like they are going out of fashion. So in today I’ll be asking whether or not we should give people second chances when they didn’t make much of a good first impression on us?

Sure, there are plenty of reasons why we should give out second chances. Here are just a few of the justifications I’ve used in the recent past.

 

Nerves

We’ve all been there. That job you are so desperate for that suddenly the pressure gets too much and you turn into a bumbling buffoon during the interview. Well, the same applies to the dating game. There is something quite endearing about the fact that someone was trying so hard to impress you that they ended up letting their nerves get the better of them.

 

Ticking Boxes

The world is full of racists, rinsers and philanderers, so actually sitting across from a decent human being, who is gainfully employed and choosing to spend time with you instead of at home cuddling mummy, is quite an achievement in itself. Sometimes, even when chemistry and/or physical attraction is lacking you tell yourself there is more to life and maybe you should explore this opportunity because he ticks most of the boxes.

 

Unfortunate Timing

Even Prince Charming can’t control global political disasters (or your own small town dramas). It’s not really fair to hate on a guy who pulled out all the stops on your first date just because you’re in a bad mood because a) it’s the day of the Brexit result (and you just realised you had a lucky escape from a nation of racist fuckwits) and b) it turns out your ex is pretty intuitive and chose this of all days to pitch up at your workplace with a cup of ‘poison’ coffee. So maybe it’s a genuine case of bad timing and you give him a second chance hoping that your mood would have improved next time around.

 

Best out of a Bad Bunch

Sometime has gone by and although you didn’t leave the first date with butterflies you’ve since dated a bunch of other horrible Tinder boys and realised that in comparison he was really not all that bad. So armed with a little more ‘perspective’, you decide what the hell, a second date with him must be better than resigning yourself to sad spinster, right? And who knows you may even end marrying your second chance man?

 I could sit here forever and day thinking up a million reasons why one could give people second chances to make a better first impression but experience has taught me this only really serves one purpose – to confirm that your gut instinct was right all along. If there was no spark there the first time around the chances that it’ll have magically appeared a week (a month or a year) later are very slim. I’m not going to tell you to NEVER give someone a second chance. But what I will say is that if the end of the second date you find yourself still questioning whether it’s still a good thing or trying to justify him having a presence in your future, it’s probably best just to let it slide because second chances have a habit of becoming third chances and fourth and so the story goes… Whatever your views are on the ticking biological clock, I think we can all agree that time is precious and shouldn’t be wasted on the mediocre experiences. As they say you never get a second chance to make a first impression – so instead of giving out second chances maybe your time would be better spent swiping away till you actually find leaves you wanting more from the get go.

Over to you Rinsers. Do you think we should give second chances to people who haven’t made the best first impression? What justifications have you used to give someone a second chance? Has a second chance ever led to happily ever after for you? Share your experiences in the comments section below.

 

For Richer For Poorer – How Much Does Money Matter ?

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For some it makes the world go round and for others it is the root of all evil. Wherever you stand on the matter of money, I think we’d all have to agree that while copious amounts of it can’t buy happiness, it certainly helps us all function a little bit better. In today’s post I’m going to discuss whether money matters in dating and relationships. And at the risk of sounding like a heartless cow/gold digger I’m going to argue that money does matter in more ways than one.

Princesses and Paupers

In the happy clappy world of Disney a street urchin like Aladdin can hook up with Princess. But let’s be real – could you even begin to imagine a decidedly average middle class businesswoman dating a car guard? Not likely. Does it make her a bad person? Not really. People from different income groups occupy different worlds and while those worlds do cross (e.g when the lady quickly gives the car guard R5 for looking after her vehicle) these interactions are rarely meaningful. Sure maybe there are some instances where people from different walks of life have fallen in love and lived happily ever after but this is hardly the norm. The truth is we usually end up dating people that are part of our little reality, people who frequent the same places and who share similar interests – all of which we often only have access to because of cash money !!!!

 

Money Can’t Buy Love

If someone truly loves you, it’s not too much to expect them to stand through a financial crisis. Right? Of course, but everyone has their breaking point. Imagine dating a unemployed bum whose idea of a HOT date is inviting you over to Netflix and Chill at his folks house. This was fine when we were 12 (and also unemployed and broke) but everyone wants more in their 30s. Yes, we live in the 21st century where women can pay for a night out but remember he is jobless (and has been so for the past few years already) so she’ll likely be picking up the tab for evermore. Eventually, even the nicest of girls will call time of such a relationship.

Scrooges

Then there are those situations where both parties have similar incomes but it’s the way they choose to spend it that differs. She wants to explore the world and he wants to save up for a rainy day. Or he is the type of guy that enjoys spoiling the people he loves, while she counts every penny people owe her and always insist they go Dutch on the bill. Money is important to different people for different reasons – some enjoy looking at a fat bank balance and others enjoy the freedom that money can buy them. Neither party is wrong per se but can such relationships where one party is significantly more ‘stingy’ than the other really survive in the long-term? What happens when your significant other’s spending habits become a major source of irritation?

New Money vs Old Money

But money isn’t just money is it? Some are born in to wealth and grow up enjoying the finer things in life; they take these things in their stride without thinking too much of it all. Other people may have come into money through hard work and determination or some other twist of fate. Some people try to play down their wealth while others feel the need to make sure everyone knows they have ARRIVED by wearing the latest designer fashion, driving a fancy car and bragging about their R120, 000 Breitling watch. This type of wealth might be attractive to some people, while others may just think it’s downright tacky and cringe at such common behaviour.

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So it’s pretty clear that money does matter in the world of dating and relationships. From the types of people we end up dating to the problems caused by the lack of money in a relationship, money does have the potential to make or break a couple. However, on closer inspection, I think that the thing that matters more than money itself is a person’s attitude towards it. Lack of money becomes less of an issue if you have a significant other who is out there every day looking for job opportunities. And on the flipside, someone could be a millionaire but if they constantly need to remind the world of their wealth by shouting about how much they earn  their ‘million dollar’ existence becomes more of an embarrassment to everyone around them. So, essentially I don’t think it’s about how much money one has or doesn’t have but about two people having similar attitudes towards wealth and about them sharing certain visions for the future, that the cash will enable them to have.

Over to you rinsers. Does money matter in a relationship? Do people usually end up dating their financial equal? Have you had experiences where money (or lack thereof) has been the downfall of a relationship? Answers in the comments section below.

 

 

True Colours

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As we grow up, we all learn to develop filters and tone down parts of or character which may not go down too well in mainstream society. Sometimes it’s sad that in order to be a functioning adult we need to lose much of that refreshing honesty we had as kids. Telling your rather large neighbour that she resembles a whale or revealing to the family that you eavesdropped on your mum gossiping on the phone about how that uncle from down the road is a dirty perve might be rather amusing coming from a 6 year old but making similar comments as an adult isn’t likely to win you any friends. While I understand the need for these filters in today’s post I’m going to question whether in a relationship it is possible for a person to hide the less socially acceptable aspects of their character or if eventually their true colours will always shine through.

There are a couple of things that got me thinking about this issue. A few weeks ago #zlotybaby and I went to see My Fair Lady at the Artscape. I’m sure I don’t need to regurgitate the story here as most people have probably either studied the play at school or seen the movie with Audrey Hepburn. But basically it tells the story of how Professor Higgins is able to convince a bunch of aristocrats that Eliza Doolittle, a lowly Cockney flower girl, is actually royalty by giving her elocution lessons and teaching her how to behave like a lady instead of a peasant. Sure, she pulls the façade off pretty well and he wins his bet but by concealing her true identity Eliza realises she is living a lie and nobody can do that forever, right?

Although romance actually features very minimally in Eliza’s story I think it has some real relevance when it comes to modern day dating and subsequent relationships. But before we talk about that let me tell you about the real life experience that provided additional inspiration for this post. Out on my tinder adventures recently, I encountered a ‘gentleman’ who SEEMED somewhat decent. Despite some glaring red flags, such as living with mummy in his 40s and having the type of ‘friendships’ where you leave one another waiting for 3 hours , I felt compelled to give him a fair chance. Beggars can’t be choosers after all, and I’m fully aware about my ever ticking biological clock. Things started off fairly well although there wasn’t anything magical about or interaction I told myself that life isn’t always a fairytale and maybe this could be one of these slow burn things.

As time went on (bear in mind this whole episode lasted a little over a month) certain more serious concerns started to surface which made him increasingly unattractive. For instance, he started to speak badly of his ex who left him for a woman (horrible horrible lesbians!). Then there was a meeting with the No.1 woman in his life – Mummy Dearest where in a short space of time she imparted some wonderful pearls of wisdom on this ethnic savage about why intercultural relationships are doomed to fail and how certain people in this country are lazy and expect everything handed to them. Blah, blah. I felt sorry for the old lady, after all she is nothing more than a product of the Apartheid era and I didn’t think it fair to tarnish her son with the same brush so I allowed the façade to carry on.

Anyway, let me cut to chase, it wasn’t long after this meeting when this bloke’s TRUE COLOURS were revealed. I won’t bore you with details of the conversation but let’s just say it ended with him saying people in SA need to ‘get over’ Apartheid and the Jews need to get over the Holocaust too. Enough said, the very next day, the poor dude was put out of his misery via WhatsApp (Yes, I know its not the most decent way to end something but in this case it was more than this ineloquent, racist homophobe deserved!).

So, what have my recent experiences taught me? Well, there really is a fine line about what one should and shouldn’t reveal when it comes to dating. As a girl from the East End of London (just like Eliza) I don’t think anyone needs to be ashamed things that they have no control over such as their background – after all if a guy is the real deal he’ll love you no matter what(even if do you talk like a guttersnipe). And while I am in totally in favour of people keeping their narrow-minded, racist, homophobic backwater opinions to themselves, the truth is, given time and with you pushing the right buttons, a person’s true colours will always be revealed. Thankfully, in my case, it was a matter of weeks rather than years.  My advice in such situations is always trust your gut over everything else (I’m pretty sure it is right 99% of the time) and NEVER ignore red flags or make up lame excuses to prolong something you know has a expiry date!

That’s enough of me thinking out loud. Rinsers it’s your turn. Do you think a person can successfully hide their true colours and have a healthy relationship? Does the truth always surface eventually? Have you got any similar stories about people downplaying their real identity in order to worm their way into another’s heart? Or have you ever concealed parts of your character or kept your opinions yourself simply to impress someone? Answers below.