Sore Loser Syndrome – When To Stop Bitching and Moaning

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Sure, I’m more guilty than most when it comes to bitching and moaning about the men I have dated. And I’ll admit I probably spend far too much time talking about my exes. Gosh, I even blog about it (well you have to forgive me because the writing saves me thousands of rands on the threapy I need after all the trauma I’ve had to deal with!). But the truth is the past is the past and at some point we all need to be reasonable, admit that it took two to destroy a ‘relationship’, and eventually move on and continue the search for happily ever after. Right? Well, not for some. Today, dear Rinsers, I want to talk about people who have succumbed to a sort of victim mentality aka Sore Loser Syndrome.

Unless you are a 30 something virgin or one of the lucky few that were content to marry their high school sweetheart, most of us have had our fair share of bad relationships/romantic encounters.  It is OK to have the odd bitch and moan/LOL session with your girlfriends, reminiscing about an a date’s terrible fashion sense or how utterly blinded you were to miss the ridiculously ignorant stuff (e.g how girls of a certain ethnicity should stick to  people of their own kind because getting involved with someone of a different race is purely an example of your low self-esteem and an attempt to climb the ladder of social class) an ex would witter on about.  But there does come a time when we need to draw a line and realise that this mindless chitter chatter doesn’t lead to anything productive.

Telling a girl that you just started dating that your ex wife was a FAT PIG only serves to show her how superficial you are. Alternatively, going on and on about how your ex cheated on you and broke your heart, isn’t going to change what happened. Sure, people feel sorry for you but eventually even your bestie will get tired of seeing you wallow in self-pity. What we need to acknowledge is that it’s rare for an old relationship to have ended beautifully but painting an ex as an evil, wife-beating, ogre and yourself as the innocent victim is really not that believable, however much we may wish to kid ourselves. The people we talk to have pasts as well and while they may nod sympathetically, they’ll still probably take your little nightmare-ish story with a pinch of salt.

Now for the flipside. What do you do when you meet someone who constantly bad mouths people from their past? Well, listen carefully to what they are saying.  Try to spot if there is a common thread running through their stories. Ask yourself why they are constantly being shafted by people? Why are they always the victim? Remember there are always two sides to the story.  Then as hard as it maybe try to picture a point somewhere in the future where maybe this little thing you’ve got going disintergrates and imagine what they’ll be saying about you. Just think, all those FAT PIGs they used to date, those MEAN girls, those chicks with low self-esteem, well all of them were probably once in your position – standing on the cusp of a budding romance and now? Well, they are nothing more than horrible, fat pigs that took advantage of this poor little soul.

The point I’m making here? Yes, it’s only human to vent about our exes and how they did us wrong. Just be selective about who you have the bitch fest with. And most importantly, know when to stop because there comes a point in all the whingeing and whining when you start to sound like a sore loser. Calling your ex a brain dead troll says more about you than it does about them. If they were so ugly and stupid, why were you dating them in the first place? Seems like you are the stupid one now doesn’t it? As hard as it sometimes, we all need to play nice. Although, it may not be easy to remember, we all must have had some fun with our exes once upon a time so just let go of all the negativity and move on. It’ll increase your chances of finding your happily ever after I promise!

 

Review : Renaissance @ The Alexander Upstairs

 

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Another date night with my darling #zlotybaby at one of our favourite venues the Alexander Upstairs…

Renaissance is the story of Leon, a socially awkward South African guy doing that typical expat stint in London. He is a failed actor who has ended up taking up a job as a security guard at the National Gallery in London. Leon is from one of those small backwater towns (probably somewhere in the Northern Suburbs :P) where it isn’t much fun growing up, especially as a young gay guy.

Like many of us at one stage in our lives, Leon leaves his homeland hoping that all his dreams will come true in the metropolis. As is usually the case, things don’t go according to plan. Not only does he find himself doing what is possibly the most boring job in the world ever but he also sees his five year relationship come to a miserable end.

However, things start to look up for the protagonist as he strikes up a little ‘romance’ with Yoram, a Syrian refugee who works in the gallery gift shop. Yoram gives Leon a bit of a masterclass in art appreciation and (through the protagonist’s eyes) we see the artworks coming to life during long night shifts at the gallery.  Each of the renaissance paintings has a story and Leon can draw parallels between them and things going on in his own life.

The play was quirky, clever and brilliantly un-PC, which we totally loved (although possibly not something you want to view with a Churchy Tinder date!). The acting from David Viviers who plays Leon as well as Jazzara Jaslyn and Len-Barry Simons was excellent and the jokes were on point. The play also touched on a lot of real-life issues – the challenges of being an expat in a foreign land, the highs and lows of inter-cultural dating, that gut-wrenching moment you cross paths with the ex you just wish had never existed and hopeless stage in our lives when you reach your mid 30s and realise you are not quite where you wanted to be.

The play covers a lot of ground in just over an hour and it’s definitely thought provoking (I mean how often to we get to hear Mother Mary’s opinion of all that went down in that Christmas story!). If you are looking for a bit of theatre that is slightly different from the norm then go see Renaissance.  The Alexander Upstairs is a pretty intimate venue and the opening night had a full house so I’d recommend booking your tickets ASAP.

 

Tough ‘Love’

 

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There comes a time in our sad little lives when we have to come to terms with the fact that the fairy tales told us lies and real life relationships are less about slaying evil witches, saving the damsel in distress (more likely to be a dude these days anyway) and eventually getting that elusive happily ever after.  Even the best relationships have their ups and downs. Spending a huge chunk of your time with anybody isn’t easy. While it’ll allow you to see the best of a person’s character, it’ll also inevitably give you some insight into your partner’s flaws, insecurities and generally less favorable attributes, some of which no doubt will irritate the hell out of you. Naturally, if we let such irritations build up things are likely to get out of hand and lead to tensions, arguments and maybe in a worst case scenario DIVORCE! Jokes aside, it would be advisable to address any concerns you have about your other half before things escalate to such a level. But how does tackle difficult issues in a relationship tactfully without causing offence? Today Rinsers , we’ll be talking  about Tough ‘Love’.

As much as some of us would like to believe (read: kid ourselves) we are not perfect. Sure, we may be lovable (possibly only in the eyes of our partners) but everyone has things they can work on. Maybe it’s that you are carrying a little bit of extra puppy fat, perhaps you are a burning yourself out by being a people-pleaser who doesn’t have the ability to say no or maybe your significant other has noticed you look for answers to your problems at the bottom of a vodka bottle. For some, these kind of issues could be potential deal breakers that send them running for the hills and for others they could just be minor problems that if addressed properly will be nothing more than a bump in the road.

When you are involved in a meaningful relationship there are tough (ish) times when you need to stand by your significant other and help them work through something, rather than giving up at the first sign of trouble. However, sometimes in order to help someone you care about you may also need to be willing unpopular and play the bad cop. This isn’t always easy though. Sometimes the truth hurts and the fear of a backlash from your special someone can make you shy away from telling them the truth. Thinking about the repercussions is scary as you might offend them and do irreversible damage to your relationship. On the other hand, you can stay quiet let your other half spiral out of control and suffer in silence as you watch these issues cause cracks in your relationship. It looks like it is pretty much a lose-lose situation.

Well, it doesn’t have to be. As long as you are just a little bit empathetic you should be able to express your concerns to your significant other in a suitably tactful manner. Start by asking yourself why you feel the issue is a problem and the extent to which rectifying it will improve your relationship. There is a distinct difference between someone who is concerned about their partner’s sudden weight gain and the impact this is having on their self esteem and a nasty bully who tries to bring a person down by telling them they are morbidly obese.

Dishing out tough love isn’t simply a case of being as bitchy and horrible as possible in the hopes that your nastiness will inspire a person to change. Of course, sometimes you just need to say it as it is but there is also a need to be constructive and offer practical assistance. For example, telling your unemployed bum of a boyfriend that he’ll never amount to much due to his lack of education isn’t really going to help matters but is likely to simply become more depressed about his situation. Instead perhaps encourage him to think outside the box when it comes to careers and help re-write his CV. That way you are still showing him that you aren’t happy with the situation but also that you are willing to help solve the problem – as should be the case in any healthy partnership.

At the end of the day, if your actions and advise come from a good place the hopefully one day once the issue is a thing of the past, your partner will realise that you had their best interests at heart. If on the hand, you are nothing more than a school yard bully that failed to grow up and find joy in manipulating other people’s weaknesses in order to make your self feel like a BIG MAN then perhaps it’s best not to be in any sort of human relationship and instead do a bit of self-reflection (that or seek professional help) and deal with your own problems instead of offering to help others under the disguise of tough ‘love’,

Rinsers, now your turn. Have you ever used tough love to get your significant other to sort out their life? Were you successful? Or have you had someone use this approach on you – did it work or were they nothing more than a big fat bully? Share your stories in the comments below.

Review : The Lover by Harold Pinter @ The Alexander Upstairs

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Last night #zlotybaby and I decided to be a bit a cultured for our #rinsebeforeuse date night and catch a show at The Alexander Upstairs. With a title like ‘The Lover’ we figured it was a show that would pique the interest of all our lovely Rinsers.

The Lover written by Harold Pinter tells the story of a standard middle class couple, Sarah and Richard, living a pretty ‘decent’ life in the suburbs.  At first glance, it looks like married life for these two has become pretty stale.  Richard is a respectable banker who spends his days dealing with balance sheets and entertaining overseas clients while Sarah is a typical desperate housewife – doing Pilates, flirting with the milk man and generally twiddling her thumbs all day. It seems her only real purpose in life is to have dinner on the table for her hubby when he gets home from a hard day in the office.

Clearly this couple recognise a need to spice up their relationship somewhat as they come to an agreement whereby Richard promises not to return home from work before 6pm allowing his wife to have mad, passionate sex with her lover who she entertains after lunch a few times a week. Meanwhile he visits his mistress/prostitute – so you know, all is even Stevens in this open relationship of theirs.

Well, that’s until their worlds collide as the couple discuss the four of them meet to indulge in more strange role playing games. Eventually conflict ensues…and I have to stop there because I don’t want to give away the twist in the tale.  So, if you want to get to the bottom you’ll have to take yourself out for the evening and visit the Alexander Upstairs this week.

The tickets are a steal at just R100 each but you’ll need to be speedy as they are selling fast and it’s only on till Thursday.  It’s a great performance and seeing as it is only an hour long it is even suitable for those with low attention spans (take those Tinder boys!). The acting by Sjaka S.Septembir and Caroline Midgley is excellent and the show contains quite a few good LOL moments so I’m sure you won’t be disappointed. Beyond the giggles though, the story also raises some important questions about the monotony of married life, the ‘difficulties’ faced by kept women and the extent to which we need to be open-minded when it comes to keeping the spark alive in a long-term relationship.

OK, Dear Rinsers…If you’ve seen this version of The Lover let us know your thoughts in the comments below. Alternatively, feel free to share stories about your lovers, favourite prostitutes and the lengths you’d be willing to go to keep things interesting. We are all friends here and sharing is caring! 

Save Yourself! – The Dudes in Distress

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There is loaded belief that deep down most women like the idea of being ‘rescued’. Apparently, this is why so many of us chicks have a thing for men in uniform (and there I was thinking that the whole point was to get the firefighter out of the uniform). I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: GENDER ROLES ARE CHANGING!!!. It’s no longer just the damsels in distress that want a knight in shining armour to come along and save them when they find themselves stranded on De Waal Drive with a flat tyre one wet and windy morning (truth be told I could have saved myself but I didn’t want to get my hands dirty or arrive at work all sweaty and horrible, so I hailed a man to do the job for me!). We now live in a world where people are finally admitting that women can be real-life heroines (although, they pretty much always have been) who can not only be expected to take care of themselves (and in some cases the children spawned by men not willing to take responsibility) but who are also often relied on to save their poor male counterparts.

Maybe it’s just me but I’m at a stage in my life where I’m totally over this romantic idea of anyone, be it the guy or girl, needing to be ‘saved’ by a relationship.  There are certain ideas which should strictly belong in the world of fairy tales. Sure, being told by a partner that they’d probably still be drinking themselves stupid if Tinder hadn’t bought the two of you together can be endearing to a certain extent but even someone with half a brain should be able to read between the lines – translation : you are dating someone with alcoholic tendencies, if not an addictive personality. RUN. Spending many a night having to discuss ways in which your new partner might consolidate his stupidly self-inflicted debt is also not a topic of conversation upon which a solid partnership should be based.

Of course, it is nice to feel needed but seriously, if that is a determining factor in why the relationship exists it doesn’t bode well for the future. And yes, it’s basic human nature to want to take care of others, especially those we are romantically involved with but dating someone who feels the need to overshare and burden you with their problems from the get-go isn’t really a great prospect in terms of happily ever after.  I speak from experience when I say that once you start ‘saving’ people from their problems you do nothing more than open your incredibly capable self up for manipulation. These problem men (and women) are unlikely to have just one issue so chances are you are setting yourself up for life of heroism (and all the associated drama).

As much as we’d all like to think that love can conquer all, it can’t. Don’t get involved with someone convincing yourself that ‘One Day’ their love for you will force them to change. If a 40-something year old guy can’t hold down a job for more than 2 weeks, don’t kid yourself into believing that once you give him screaming rugrats he will find the motivation to earn some big bucks. A person who won’t take accountability for their mistakes instead choosing to blame everyone else and their dog is unlikely to break-free of their victim mentality anytime soon, in fact you’ll soon be added to the long-list of bad, bad, women who didn’t love him enough.

While you can’t change the people you date, if you find that you continue to attract damsels/dudes in distress time and time again there is one thing you can do to break this cycle. You can change yourself by critically looking at your savior complex and understanding that it is as toxic to a relationship as a deadbeat partner.  Remember that while two parties may bring different strengths and weaknesses to a relationship, a healthy partnership tends to be formed by two people who are capable of standing on their own two feet but who instead want to stand together, rather than one person’s main motivation being a need to be in a relationship in order for support/survival. Look, I’m not saying one should dump the a guy who has stood by them through thick and thing the moment he gets retrenched. A partnership is all about overcoming challenges together. But learn to spot red flags and go into any potential romance with those beautiful eyes wide open.

Now over to you dear Rinsers. Have you ever dated a dude/damsel in distress? Did it end happily ever after or did you just get tired of having to perform heroic feats? Do you have any tips for people who find they have a saviour complex? Comments in the bit below !!

 

Review: Beauty and The Beast – The Faux Feminazi Edition

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As a child who grew up believing everything that Disney fed her grown-up life has turned out to be quite a disappointment. Prince Charming hasn’t materialised as yet (well, I’ll keep dreaming) and if I ran around the streets singing songs and talking to flowers I’d probably find myself locked up in Falkenburg. That said, I do love me a bit of Disney as it always allows you to escape this big bad world of Trump and Brexit. So learning that there would be a remake of Beauty and the Beast, one of the first films I saw at the cinema as a kid, was probably one of the best bits of news 2016 (not that it would have taken much)!

I’m sure I don’t need to waste your time regurgitating the story. Anyone with any sort of normal childhood knows this tale as old as time where a pretty book-ish girl gets captured by a beast (who is secretly a Prince) and over time learns to see past his ugly facade to fall in love with his beautiful soul. Blah, Blah, Blah. The 2017 version promised audiences a feminist retelling of yet another patriarchal fairy tale.  Sadly though, critics have been quick to point out the many ways in which the movie falls short and fails to dispel the misogyny in the outdated story.

Probably the most significant difference in the latest version is that Belle has a job as an inventor of sorts (let’s be honest, this is a very minor element of the story). Therefore she is more than just someone’s daughter and this buys her a bit of independence and possibly the ability/confidence to be ‘picky’ when it comes to rejecting the local brain dead hottie, Gaston.  There is also a scene where Belle promotes the importance of educating woman as she tries to teach a little girl how to read.  Some people have pointed out that she also doesn’t wear a corset. But I think they are pretty much clutching at straws here because the whole feminist element pretty much stops there.

On the whole, the new version stays true to the original story.  Male domination still plays a huge part in the story. Trapping girls in cages? Surely, even Christian Grey can learn a thing or two from the Beast. The fact that Belle eventually falls develops warm and fuzzy feelings towards her captor have led many to point our that the story probably has more to do with Stockholm Syndrome than it has to do with love. And then again what choice does she have? If you were imprisoned in some derelict old castle with only talk clocks, candles and teapots for company surely you’d fall for the Beast as ugly as he is because at least he can quote Shakespeare. Beggars can’t be choosers after all.

But enough of all this over-analyzing. Sure, the movie pretty much failed to meet the expectations of all the feminazis out there but you know what, they are probably also the same people  that wouldn’t be happy unless Belle traded that pretty yellow ballgown for cargo pants and Doc Martens, or something equally vulgar (I’m a girly girl that appreciates the prettier things in life, so bite me!). But if you are looking for a form of escapism, some way to be transported away from a mundane Monday night then take yourself out to see this movie. The cinematography is just magical and the songs will leave you feeling all giddy inside. There is all-star cast and Chip, the teacup is still as precious as he was back in the day. So appreciate this revamped classic fairy tale for what it is. Watching a beautiful, ethnically diverse cast prancing and dancing alongside furniture that speaks provides a much-needed break from our reality, which right now really isn’t all that great so let’s stop being bitter old haters and just take this for what it is.

Rinsers – Have you seen the movie? What are your thoughts? Do you think every old story needs an update or is it OK to leave some things as are they are sometimes? Comment or rant in the bit below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Review: LOVE SEX FLEAS GOD – Confessions of a Stay-At-Home-Dad @ The Alexander Upstairs

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As most of our readers are well aware traditional gender roles are changing partly due to this thing known as a male defecit and it is becoming increasingly common for the woman in a relationship to be more educated/career-driven than the man.  Naturally, as a result of this trend, with women becoming breadwinners and being eager to get back to work after popping out those screaming kids it falls (or should do at least) to the father to pick up much more of the child-rearing. I admit we do sometimes get a bit carried away from time to time with our bitching and moaning about men these days being nothing but a bunch of good for nothing lazy mama’s boys but there are also some guys who’ve successfully managed to embrace change and do pull their weight in a relationship.  And LOVE, SEX, FLEAS, GOD is actually a play about one of the good guys.

As the title indicates this play provides some insights into the life of a Stay-At-Home-Dad named Bruce whose job it is to take care of his two kids Angus and Anastasia while his wife works as a big shot banker and brings home the bacon. Based on an autobiographical account this stage adaptation tells us the story of how initially Bruce is rather shocked to hear those dreaded words ‘I’m Late’ and learn that he is going to be a father (after all his family all thought he was gay even when he got married!). But he comes to accept his new role and tries to embrace the pulling power that comes with having cute baby Angus as his wingman.

Once you move past the comedy element of the show, the audience learns that in order to become a good parent Bruce has had to overcome the issues from his own toxic childhood. It turns out that his Mother was brainwashed by Scientologists and was forever swanning off on Scientology missions and returning with a different man on her arm while Bruce and his sister were left to be brought up by their Scottish grandmother. To make matters worse in addition to an overwhelmingly absent father, much of Bruce’s extended family are nothing more than a dysfunctional bunch of perverts.

Despite his turbulent childhood and even a stint on the streets, Bruce doesn’t use this as an excuse to shirk his responsibilities as a Father. I think this story is also a reminder of how self-indulgent most millennials are these days. Many of us delay settling down to focus on our own self-development – travelling, career, puppies, etc. While I still stand by my belief that this a good thing for most people, the truth is that for there are also some cases where parenthood can be an overwhelmingly positive thing in a person’s life and exactly what is needed to give them some purpose and direction.

The character of Bruce is portrayed brilliantly by David Muller in this one man production. Props are minimal, consisting of nothing more than a blue blanket, a teddy bear and a few pieces of Lego (my date and I suddenly felt inspired and ended up going down a rabbit hole doing some quick google research on the history of Lego before the show kicked off!). The lack of paraphernalia and other distractions on the stage allows the audience to focus on the dialogue.

LOVE, SEX, FLEAS, GOD is playing at the intimate  Alexander Upstairs until the 29th April 2017 and with tickets priced at just R90 (R80 online), it is well worth watching. People who’ve had kids of their own will probably identify with much of what is said and I think the show could provide some inspiration to those considering a career in parenting.

The Cock Lodger – Men Who ‘Date’ To Save on Rent

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If you are the kinda girl who is searching for that traditional idea of happily ever after, people will probably warn against letting a guy stay over after the first (or second or third) date regardless how great the sparkles are. Agh, forget ‘people’, there are self-help guides written by professionals that letting a dude into your personal space to early on in a relationship just serves to show him how super keen you are and is, therefore, a recipe for disaster in the long run. There is no doubt that giving a partner access to your humble abode (and vice versa) is a pretty significant step. Someone’s home gives you a pretty intimate insight into them. Sure they can do a quick tidy-up and remove all traces of that secret wife and kids but if you stick around long enough you’ll find signs of who they really are. Naturally, inviting anyone into your home comes with a whole host of dangers (and no I’m not talking about the potential of them being a serial killer). Today Rinsers, I want to talk to you about Cock Lodgers, a special breed of the males species who comes over to stay the night and then NEVER leave.

It is common knowledge that millennials are pretty screwed when it comes to the property market. Most of our generation are probably never going to own property and its pretty ‘normal’ in cities like New York, London and Paris  (and now even Cape Town) for ‘kids’ to stay living at home with their Olds well into their 20s, 30s, 40s and 50s in the hopes of saving up enough for a deposit on a shack to call their own. I’ve already voiced my views on the implications of this trend on a person’s prospects of holding down a healthy relationship. But there are also this growing breed of mama’s boys for whom property prices don’t feature in their decision to live at home – it’s all about staying close to the only woman who’ll wash their dirty boxers, pack their favourite lunches and even fetch the remote when he needs to change the TV channel.

Sure there are financial benefits (and others) for not having a place of your own but you can’t avoid the problems this can cause when it comes to dating, relationships and various other types of sexual encounters. Life would surely be more straightforward if you had some private space to take your latest squeeze home to, right? Yes but no but. You see these cunning little foxes out there who have found a way to play the system. Don’t have a place of your own? There is a simple solution. ‘Date’ a girl who does.

Of course, if you are part of the population who does value your independence and would rather opt to live on a diet of two-minute noodles for the rest of your days than live with Mummy and Daddy forevermore, then the decision to let another human into your precious castle is not one which should be taken lightly. Obviously, there comes a time in any blossoming relationship when one needs to remove the relationship from the public eye. If you happen to be dating someone who is pretty much your equal you’ll be faced with the simple question of your place or mine? You’ll take turns to have sleepovers and not much more needs to be said.

But how about when the dude your dating doesn’t really have a place of his own where the two of you can get up to no good without the prying eyes of his dear mama or possibly worse, he spends his life couch surfing from one friends sofa to the next until he outstays his welcome? Well… enter the cock lodger! A cock lodger can be defined as the type of guy who attaches himself to an independent, established woman and in return for his services in the bedroom (at a minimum) he expects to be given full squatting rights in her home.

It’ll all start out pretty innocently. He’ll stay over one night, then a whole weekend, slowly you’ll find him leaving his stuff around your place and claiming space in your wardrobe. Because he is about so much, a naive young lady maybe tempted to give him a set of keys. Of course, if his performance in bed is mindblowing and he does some basic DIY around the house one may convince themselves that this is a mutually beneficial arrangement. However, over time having a cock lodger squatting in your home and not pulling their weight financially in a ‘relationship’ becomes tiresome for even the most patient of women.

Chances are the moment he is given his marching orders will mark the end of this love affair as the Cock Lodger will need to start missioning to find his next victim (that or move back to his mama). In some cases, he may grovel and promise you the world (seriously, don’t fall foR it) or the worst case scenario he will fight back and try to make you out to be a heartless materialist, racist or some other hateful creature. Don’t listen. It’s just an opportunity for the Cock Lodger to pull you back in. The best way to get yourself out of this messy situation is to avoid confrontation. Sure it’s nice having a guy around the house (for security and reaching the high shelves) but do not negotiate. Remember you have bills to pay and if he can’t contribute he has to go. Having a Cock Lodger on your premises is just another form of transactional sex (if indeed you were getting serviced at all!). So change the locks. Go on holiday if you must. Stop indulging yet another weak man. Cock Lodger Be Gone!!!

Rinsers – Have you ever experienced a cock lodger (or whatever the female version is called)? How did you get rid of them? Is a cock lodger nothing more than a symptom of our times where mummy’s boy and lazy men take advantage of supposedly strong, capable but somewhat naive women? Comment below!

Dating Billy No Mates

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Have you ever noticed how many guys have dating profile pictures of themselves giving a Best Man’s speech at a friends wedding? Well, once upon a time I used to snigger at those guys. Not anymore. You see (unless of course the photos are totally staged or the profile a complete fake altogether) the fact that a person has been chosen to be someone’s Best Man/ Maid of Honour (thanks, #zlotybaby) means that there is at least one person who rates you pretty highly among their circle of friends (well, that or they just flipped a coin between you and their ugly cousin). And that’s important.

So, what the hell is #englishrosiee ‘forever the bridesmaid, never the bride’ wittering on about now? Simple, dear Rinser, today I want to talk about the importance of having friends and more importantly, why a red flag should be raised when you are dating someone without any. Surely, even the most introvert person out there would have at least a few friends, right? WRONG! And why should it even matter if the person you dating has friends? Surely, a relationship should be between you and your Significant Other and nothing to do with the rest of the world? Time for the reality check!

I’ve always believed that a person’s closest friends are a reflection of themselves. Of course, we are all individuals but there are always aspects of our personality that are mirrored in our friends – maybe it’s just an un-PC sense of humour, a particularly bleak outlook on life or simply the fact that you both love a good old bitching and moaning session at your local sushi joint. Because a person’s friends give us a unique insight into them, their personality and certain quirks we may not otherwise be privy to I think it’s paramount to meet the social circle of anyone you are dating asap (and vice versa). I would actually go as far as saying that meeting someone’s friends is probably more important than that nerve-wracking meeting the parents moment. Just think about it. None of us have any choice about the people that decide to procreate in order to bring us into the world but we do have free rein when it comes to who we choose to be friends with, and those choices say a lot about us.

The fact is if you or your significant other don’t get along with each others closet friends (or simply think they are all a bunch of brain dead spoilt little rich kids) then the alarm bells should start ringing! OK, so it may not be the end of the world. After all, some people (yours truly is totally guilty of this) go through friends as fast as they swipe through those Tinderees and sure we can change our associations as we develop and go through life but regardless the people we choose to surround ourselves with say a lot about us.

If you find yourself hooking up with a guy who hangs our with a bunch of immature racist douche bags, he is probably at least a little bit of racist himself (if not a card-carrying member of the KKK). Similarly, if you’ve taken the step of introducing you latest squeeze to your group of somewhat eclectic weirdos and they come away from that meeting with a look of horror on their ugly mug, the fact is there is some aspect of your personality that they are not favourable towards. Seeing a person interacting with their buddies is when we finally see the facade being dropped and if you can’t deal with someone in their natural habitat then if is likely to pose significant issues for the relationship further down line.

Well, not liking a partner’s friends is one thing (because at least they have some). But how about when a person doesn’t have any buddies whatsoever? Now this is where the real problems begin. When someone we date doesn’t seem to have any true friendships we lose a window into finding out more about who they are. It may also raise concerns about them being a serial killer (did Norman Bates have any friends bar his good ol’ mama dearest?! Just saying!). If you find that you’ve been dating someone a while and you are yet to cross paths/be introduced to any of their friends – well I hate to break it to you but this either means you are a dirty little secret OR there aren’t any friends to be introduced to. If it is the latter, then it will only be a matter of time before that special someone reveals him/herself as a Billie No Mates. Perhaps, it’ll be when they reserve a table for 12 people at a restaurant and despite it being a milestone b’day (and a bunch of frantic phone) not one of the ‘friends’ pitch and the night declines from a what was supposed to a wild, raucous night out into a slightly sad romantic dinner for two!

Sure, I’m being a little bit bitchy here. Not everyone can be a social butterfly. But ask yourself why a person would have no friends (apart from possibly their mummy) around? Perhaps they have a strong personality that doesn’t go down well with most people (hmmm…but seriously, noone at all???), maybe they are a workoholic with no time to nurture anything that doesn’t lead to big bucks (it’s fine if you are just after a rinse, I guess) or maybe it’s just a case that they are truly a mean and obnoxious person who picks on everyone elses insecurities to mask the fact that they are not quite where they’d like to be in life. Whatever the case is, someone who lacks the ability to form solid friendships probably has some sort of personality disorder and may not be the easiest person to date so do be sure to do some further investigations before you become too emotionally involved with a such a loner.

Alright rinsers. Over to you. How important is it for someone you are dating to a) have friends and b) have friends that click with their partner? Have you ever encountered a Billy No Mates and what was the end result? Share your experiences in the comments section below. 

The Mother Hen – The Women at Fault for Indulging The Mama’s Boy

Mother Hen

I spend an awful lot of time complaining about the lack of alpha males left in the world and how tired I am of my constant encounters with Mama’s Boys. Look, I’m not hating on guys that love their mothers (in the conventional mother-son way – no incest here please!) and have healthy relationships with their family. Actually,  I think having solid, long-term relationships that stem from childhood are probably a good thing when it comes to forming functional relationships as an adult. However, dealing with men who are incapable of doing the simplest of tasks does become tiresome. Cooking a simple dinner, loading the laundry and driving oneself home from soccer practice shouldn’t be rocket science for anyone with half a brain. Right? Well not so for today’s Mama’s Boys.  In today’s post, I want delve deeper into this problem and ask who is to blame for the existence of this mutation of the male species?

Well, let’s start by looking at a few factors…

Blame The Mothers

Yes, let’s begin with the obvious. Mothers who’ve failed to cut the umbilical cord with their 30-something son have a lot to answer for. Of course, it’s natural for a Mum to want the best for her little boy but if she hasn’t told him to get off his lazy ass, get a job and most importantly move out of home by their early-mid 20s…well then she is doing her progeny no favours and better kiss goodbye to her prospects of becoming a grandmama!

As cheesy as it sounds, parents are supposed to give their kids wings so they can fly and these Mothers need to bite the bullet, set their little brats free and get over their selfish fears of empty nest syndrome. Honestly, as much as good Mothers are indispensable, no fully-functioning man should need his Mama do his laundry, feed him his favourite breakie or tuck him in a night (let him find himself a girl/boyfriend for that last one, hey?).

The Mama’s Boy Himself 

Despite what was said above. I’m really in no position to criticise anyone’s parenting. It’s the one job in the world that I believe no-one can do perfectly.  You can give your child everything – designer goods, organic foods, a private school education (and of course a lot of your precious time and money) but chances are they will still turn out a little bit wrong. Blaming the Mamas only really gets us so far in our investigations.

Parents can sometimes smother their child even when they mean well. There comes a time when it falls to the child assert their independence. I believe most kids do this in their early teenage years. Sadly though, it seems like some people missed the memo. These guys certainly lack a desire to be independent and take ownership for their lives if they choose to continue indulging Mummy Dearest in such a way.

I hate to break it to you boys but there really is no such thing as a free lunch, not even where Mummy is concerned. Sure, she takes care of your every need (well almost) but don’t expect her to keep quiet comes to the important decisions in your life. And the truth is, most women would have more respect for guy that lives in a little studio and drives around in old school mini cooper rather than date the guy that lives a life of luxury with his Mama in her Camps Bay mansion and has to ask to borrow the family BMW to impress his date.

Women’s Liberation Movements

I risk being killed by the raging feminists for this one. Don’t get me wrong, I am eternally grateful for the suffragettes and people who put their lives on the line to afford us all the rights we have today and I’m certainly not advocating we go back in time. But I do think that as women have become increasingly independent and gained greater equality in terms of education and employment with their male counterparts, there have been certain negative effects on the men psyche.

We are all well aware now about the man-defecit caused by the number of well-educated women outnumbering men in many developed countries. Sure, that means that some of us have to take one for the team and date down. But one has to wonder, have these developments also given reason for men to become lazy, needy and reliant on their woman to be the breadwinner?  How much have better rights for woman served to emasculate men to such an extent that they think it’s cool a woman to do EVERYTHING in a relationship. Cooking, cleaning, child care, bringing home the bacon and while we are in let her do some manual labour as well? We all know women can multi-task, after all!

The Women That Date Them aka The Mother Hen

Enough playing the blame game. It’s time for a bit of self-reflection, ladies. Much of the reason why these good for nothing creatures have been allowed to exist is thanks to the women who indulge their bad behaviour (and this time I’m not dissing his Mama!). If for some reason, like yours truly,  keep attracting the Mama’s boy spend some time figuring out why these foolish fools see you are a prime target.

Deep down there is a Mother Hen in most chicks. Sure, the nurturer is obviously more evident in some of us than others. And you know what? The Mama’s boys can sense it a mile off. It’s not long before they’ll be giving you those puppy dog eyes and kindly request that you whip them up a batch chocolate chip cookies (just the way Mama does!), run around after them picking up their dirty socks and buy them the latest computer game (because you know Mama always rewards him for being a good boy!).

It would easy for me to sit here and say treat them mean to keep them keen but that truly is easier said than done. When we are into someone it’s natural to want to treat them well. In Why Men Love Bitches they advise you not to show a guy your super keen on him by cooking him a three-course gourmet dinner but instead they say act nonchalant by inviting him around for burnt popcorn. Yes, there are plenty of chicks out there could burn water but there are also some of us who genuinely enjoy baking up a storm in the kitchen and would find it near impossible to feed burnt popcorn to their worst enemy, never mind someone they had eyes for!

That said, while I don’t think it’s a crime to spoil a guy who deserves it on occasion, Us Mother Hens do need to learn a thing or two about how not to indulge a Mama’s Boy. There are certain things everyone (both guys and girls) need to do for themselves so don’t be an enabler. Learn to put him in his place and let him know when he is out of line. If he runs off crying to Mummy so be it. Get on with your life. Remember that as much as he may try to find a woman that is a younger  version of his Mama it is highly unlikely anyone will ever come close. Chances are he’ll end up marrying the girl that burns the popcorn while good old Mother Hen is left to enjoy that gourmet three-course feast all on her lonesome.

OK Rinsers. Essay over. Now your turn. Keeping it simple. Who do you think is to blame for the existence of the Mama’s boy?