Valentine’s Day – What Are Your Options?

  • Happy Valentine's Day

Unless you’ve been living in a cave, you’ll not fail to have noticed that February, as well as being the month of the fabulous people, is the month of LOVE. HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY Rinsers.  The Day of Love and Blah Blah Blah.

As much as people (both those in and out of relationships) would like to believe they are above such a commercialised occasion, it is bound to have some impact on a person’s life. Whether that means you’ll be getting yourself into debt forking out for a bit of bling to show your Significant Other how you feel about them, wallowing in self-pity and contemplating why Prince Charming has failed to materialise for yet another year or stressing about what to wear for a non-date/luncheon meeting with the Christmas Fling that went horribly wrong, I guarantee that V-Day, like Christmas, is not something that will truly fail to register on your radar. Now we’ve established that let’s look at some of the options available to make the 14th February as momentous or pain-free as possible.

Be Loved Up

If you are in a happy, healthy relationship or arrangement of sorts. Yay for you! Being ‘in love’ (or lust even) is the best feeling in the world. Even though relationships always have their ups and downs and love doesn’t always last for ever, if you happen to find yourself in a good place on the most ‘romantic’ day of the year, go with it! A wise lady once told me, you’ve gotta take love wherever you can get it.  So, if you are are lucky enough to be loved up make the most of the day by getting into the V-Day spirit of it all – buy the flowers, smash those over-priced chocolates into your face, indulge a PDAs (a be sure to shout back at people who tell you to get a room), and then get a room and enjoy copious amounts of glorious, glorious sex!

Get Nostalgic (Don’t!) / Contemplate Your Romantic Future

Part of me will always be convinced that V-Day is part of the universe’s evil plan to make a) single people and b) coupled people in somewhat unhappier relationships feel inadequate.  I mean when you are surrounded by hearts, teddy bears and all things red (remember its also the colour of hos 😛 ), its hard to avoid contemplating your romantic future. For singletons that probably means wondering whether, you’ll ever find a suitable partner and live happily ever after or worse still getting nostalgic about V-Days of years gone by, where you were once in love and wondering if you’ll ever find yourself in that happy place again (you will, don’t worry. It may not be on V-Day but these things do happen more than once in a lifetime!). And if that fails remember that there are honestly worse things than being single of Valentine’s Day.

For those in relationships that aren’t all that happy, V-day is probably one of those occasions (like Christmas and New Year) that forces you to reflect on the situation and reassess your levels of happiness/satisfaction. If the thought of spending time in the presence of your so-called Significant Other on the most romantic day of year fills you with dread, perhaps its a sign to call time on the encounter? On the flipside though, all this talk of love may make how good you’ve got it and might encourage you to take the relationship to the next level (although Valentine’s proposals are totes cliche!).

Attempt to Buck The Trend

Christmas jumpers are eww. Unicorns don’t exist. You sleep through the New Year’s Eve fireworks every year. And what’s with all this Happy Valley nonsense?  Perhaps you are one of those that refuse to get caught up in such mainstream nonsense  (or claim to at least!). It’s a normal day, you are going to carry on as NORMAL. Work your dull office job, wear a black suit and go home with litre of vodka! Ha! As much as you can refuse to get involved in societally-imposed celebrations, I don’t think you’ll turn your nose up as free red velvet cupcakes being distributed at work.  Or maybe you’ve faced facts that you can’t avoid V-Day, but you’ll use it for your own purpose. Screw Valentine’s Day, it is all about Galentines Day in your world (although that’s technically the day before).

Regardless of whether you decide to live in denial about the existence of V-Day or attempt to go against the grain by finding your own way to celebrate, it’s hard to buck the trend so do whatever you need to do to make yourself feel better. And then remind yourself, its just one day and it too shall pass. The get yourself down to your local supermarket on the 15th of Feb and enjoy all the bargainous flower and chocolates they’ll be trying to flog.

Have Fun With It

Finally, if you can’t beat them, join them! Perhaps tomorrow, you’ll find yourself sad and alone, happily single, loved up or finding an excuse to hide from your better half. Regardless of your situation, try to make the most of it. This might mean enjoying some bubbly with your mates, going to a V-Day themed speed dating event, being showered with lots of bling, bling things, snuggling up with the one you love followed by mid-week bedroom goodies or simply enjoying a good old flirt over coffee with your very own ‘unicorn’.  Who knows?  So whatever you decide to do tomorrow, try to enjoy it as best you can.  Wear the red ribbons in your hair, indulge in pink doughnuts and be sure to drink copious amounts of bubbly because after all Valentine’s is just another day but also an excuse to do whatever silly thing we want in the name of LOVE.

Alrighty, Rinsers. Share your thoughts on V-Day in the comments below. Is it intended to make people feel inadequate or simply a lovely lovely celebration of love. How will you be spending this epic day? And do you think it is really possible to avoid the hype entirely? Please indulge me in the comments below (unless of course your busy practising your Karma Sutra moves in which case I’ll let you off). 

 

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Adoption as the First Choice

adoptionLong time no see, Dear Rinsers. Today, I’ve decided to write a post that I’ve been unsuccessfully trying to find on the web myself, namely about adoption as someone’s first choice.

Being a thirty year old woman in a committed relationship makes it difficult for you not to think about babies A LOT. This doesn’t have so much to do with your own cravings but rather with what people think that you should do. Whenever someone gets pregnant, organises a baby shower or you’re simply at an event full of children (all of which happen a lot to you when you turn 30), people ask you what about you (, guys)? Sometimes they’re just being mean because you’re single and obviously you won’t impregnate yourself or have a child with your friends with benefits and they want you to feel bad about yourself. Other times, they’re upset that you still have time to do things they don’t have time to do themselves. Because, seriously, why do you care and how is it any of your business when or if people will have children? And if there’s no other questions you can ask a woman in her 30’s perhaps it’s up to you to work on your worldliness and small talk skills?

Genes and Co

It’s difficult for me to reply also because I don’t want to have biological children and I don’t feel like discussing that with everyone. I always felt that way, hunted by the thought of children in orphanages who’ll never have a family. I also don’t know what’s so amazing about my genes to necessarily feel like they need to be passed to another generation and why are they allegedly better than what children in orphanages have on offer. I don’t understand why other people don’t see it that way either.
They naysayer will tell you that children in orphanages have alcoholism in their families. So do I and! In fact, my tendencies to unhealthy drinking are so strong that I quit it altogether over a year ago. They’ll tell you that the children can have mental illnesses but I myself have lived my life dealing with crippling depression, anxiety and OCD. Of course, I have some perks in my genes too and I could want to pass these on but I just don’t see why I should. Everyone has some perks in their gene, after all.
I don’t understand the idea of wanting to reproduce on the organic level that people don’t understand my attitude. The need for me to adopt was always as strong as the need of other people to have biological children is. I don’t know why it’s so but it just is.

It’s Not About the Childbirth

The painful part about wanting to adopt as your first choice when you’re a woman is that people judge you as a coward. Oh women, we can be so terrible to one another! Childbirth should never have become a pain resistance competition. And because it is there may only be one reason for you to want to avoid it – fear and weakness. You just don’t want to go through a childbirth, they say, how selfish and weak of you.
I don’t deny it either – I don’t want to go through a childbirth similarly like most people would not like to go through body altering, painful experience if they don’t see a good reason for it. And I don’t. There’s enough babies in the world and we have overpopulation.
If I felt like that was something I wanted and I felt was important for me I would do it, in the same way I went through the pain of moving to a country I knew no one in, serial dating and extensive work on myself to find the right partner or a year of waking up early on weekends and working late during the week to write a novel. I’m not avoiding pain all-together and it’s judgmental to assume that I do. Just like any reasonably being what I’m doing is striving to avoid pain that I don’t find justifiable.

Life is Suffering 

Another thing is that I’ve spent a lot of my life wishing I was never born. That’s something that most people with mental problems who often wish just not to be themselves can relate to. But even without these issues, however lucky you are in life, you’re going to suffer greatly.
Your child didn’t ask to be brought to this world and it’s going to suffer because of your doing. If you had never had it, it wouldn’t have suffered. You can, of course, decide to take this responsibility on because to you there’s more beauty than pain in life. You can also decide that this is not a place you’d like to bring another being to. The choice is as much yours to make when you decide to have biological children as it’s mine to make not to.

Giving Back to Community

I’m no saint I’d like to bring up a healthy baby but there’s something very strong in me that wants to make better a life of a child in seemingly unfavourable circumstances.
Such a baby just wants to be loved and cared for and yet, society approves of it only if it’s taken to a family as a second choice. “Agh, shame” I imagine people smirking at the sight of a white couple with their adoptive child of a different race, because their choice couldn’t have possibly be their first one. It must be, because they couldn’t conceive and here’s another reason for “ag shamers” to feel superior (and what a reason is that!).
I don’t see why such a child must be necessarily a second choice because kin or not kin we’re all human and I feel as much for such a child as I do for my sister or my mother or anyone else. Why to bring a new life to this world when you can enrich your life by bringing up someone who unless you give them a chance may never have a family? And why should they feel they’re your second choice if someone who gave birth to them already rejected them and marked them with trauma they’ll struggle with all their life?

I’m not saying adoption is for everyone. I’m not saying that it is or should be everyone’s first choice either. However, if someone tells you that it is, perhaps you should stop making stupid, judgmental comments because this isn’t something you personally want but ask them what’s the reason instead? Paraphrasing Mae West, if you’re shocked a lot, it just means you should be shocked more often. Also, why are you bulling people into having children? Aren’t there enough of them in the world, which is why there are children suffering in orphanages all around the world in the first place?

Live and let others live.

Give me you thoughts, Rinsers!

The No Contact Rule – The Answer To All Your Relationship Woes?

Portrait Of Stressed Young Woman With Cell Phone

Everyone who has ever been through a break-up (aka as anyone who had a somewhat normal existence on this earth) has probably found themselves pondering the million pound (because #englishrosiee is back in the green and pleasant land and has been told to stay away from all Americanisms) question : ‘How best can I get over this relationship?’. There are plenty of options I suppose. They do say the best way of getting over one man is to get under another. Then there is the ‘Virgin Inactive’ approach to life as I like to call it, which involves spending your life hating on the opposite sex. You could become a social recluse; resigning yourself to living in PJs, wallowing in self-pity and smashing donuts into your face forevermore. Hit up the gym and get that revenge body you’ve always wanted and make him regret ever letting you go. Or you could just drink yourself stupid every night, numb the pain for a bit and then drunk dial the one that broke your heart.

No No No No No!! Don’t do that. That’s the worst possible thing you could do, according to the internet. So lets talk about it. The No Contact Rule. If like me, you’ve never heard of something so revolutionary here is a brief synopsis. The No-Contact Rule is pretty self-explanatory really. In essence, it states that following a break-up you should cease communication between you and your ex for a certain period of time (most sources say a minimum of 3 weeks). And No Contact means just that NO CONTACT. So NO calls (drunk or otherwise), NO Whatsapps/Gchats/Skype messages, NO ‘accidentally’ bumping into your ex at the gym (cos naturally you know their schedule), NO Facebook stalking (although that’s a tricky one – if noone knows you did it, did it really happen ? Just don’t let the finger slip and LIKE anything on their profile!) and NO asking mutual friends for information either. Sigh. That’s a lot to take in.

At the grand old age of almost 33 (yuck!), I’ve been through my share of make-ups and break-ups and I honestly say I’ve never attempted such a thing, until recently. As I said, the idea is really quite revolutionary.  It’s not that a No Contact approach was never brought to my attention, it’s just nothing I a) felt the need to do or b) felt I could do even if I tried. To be fair, the whole thing makes a lot of sense. Everything about the No Contact period giving you the opportunity to get some perspective and realise that you are able to function alone. It might also allow you a bit of breathing space to consider whether the relationship or any relationship whatsoever, is what you want out of life. It also gives you and the other party time to miss each other and that’s a good thing I suppose if you hope to rekindle things somewhere down the line.

Logic vs. Love

Sure, it makes all sorts of logical sense. But life is not always about doing the logical thing. I have friends that can almost treat a break-up like a business deal (and to be fair, I’ve done the same with lesser encounters). You know you break up one day, to the left to the left everything he owns to the box to the left, throw him out of the house and don’t even wait for hi uber to arrive before you slam the door. And BOOM! that’s the last you’ll ever see of him. Yay! But there are also more significant relationships where cutting ties isn’t so simple. Those where your ex has to return to the scene of the crime within 10 mins of the break-up to make sure you are capable of driving yourself to work because your eyes are so full of tears from all the blubbering. The times you care enough about each other to check in and see that the other party hasn’t drowned in a pool or their own tears (or vodka). When such dynamics come into play, how exactly do you implement No Contact?

Arbitrary Time Frames

Also, a word of arbitary time periods.  Why set ourselves the challenge of going silent on a person for a set number of days, weeks or months. Isn’t this just yet another childish approach to dealing with what should really be a grown-up problem? It just reminds me of when people say silly things like you should wait X, Y or Z minutes before texting a guy back because god forbid anyone would want to be enthusiastic about anything in this age of ‘playing it cool’.  Isn’t life too short to playing these silly waiting games.

If you’ve truly come to terms with the fact that a relationship is toxic and doing you no good (and honestly, this realisation often doesn’t just happen overnight) the cut all ties and walk away with the intention of NEVER talking to them again. But if you still see yourself having some sort of future with the person don’t allow some arbitrary time frame set by the wise people of the internet determine if you pursue happily ever after. Because who knows, while your busy torturing yourself playing this No Contact game the love of your life could potentially be getting themselves some something something elsewhere.

(Mis)communication Much ? 

My middle name should be gobby. I have a big mouth and I often say things without thinking which gets me into trouble. That said, everyone witters on about how communication is a key factor in successful relationships. This to me is exactly what the No Contact Rule stands in opposition to.  Going silent on someone just leaves room for speculation or over-thinking, which has the potential to way more damage. You may thinking that you are making them sweat when in fact they’ve interpreted your silence to mean that you couldn’t care less and so have made it their mission to get over you in any way that’s humanly possible.

I guess the danger of implementing this No Contact Rule is the same as that when you decide to take a ‘break’ from your relationship. Before you follow this path, you should question your motives and what you are hoping to achieve. You also need to be prepared for the fact that these things often have a habit of backfiring – you may think that by not communicating with someone you’ll make them miss you, when in actual fact it might make them realise that life is just sooooo much better without you incessant bitching and moaning.

Of course, I’m not one to advise anyone on this whole No Contact thing. After all, I still contact when I need insights, fitness advice or just the odd bit of banter. That said, while it makes so much sense theoretically, I don’t see it as the magic pill that’ll solve all your relationship woes. Honestly, it is somewhat immature and risky. As is the case with everything, the No Contact Rule has its downsides and I think it’s important to consider the potential damage that going silent on someone could have especially if you intend of patching things up somewhere down the line.  As I said, I’m gobby, I like talking. So I’ve always felt communication is better than silence. So talk it out, say what needs to be said, talk till the cows come home (unless like me you find yourself to talking to a brick wall at times). And if you get to the stage when you are done chit-chatting and you still haven’t sorted stuff out, then be ready to know you did your best without leaving room for endless amounts of miscommunication.

OK Rinsers, tell me are you a fan of the No Conact Rule? Has it ever worked for you? How long would you go without talking to an ex? And how long would you wait to hear from someone before accepting your fate and moving on ? Or do you, like me, think this is a childish approach to life and opt for talking it out as a better way of dealing with your relationship problems? Go wild in the comments below.