Dirty Little Secrets in the Age of Social Media

 

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Unless of course you can count yourself among that species almost as rare as the unicorn known as the 30-something virgin, then you’ll know that by the time we’ve reached a certain again we’ve all been burnt a few thousand times so it’s understandable that people these days aren’t always in a rush to go public with their romantic relationships. Human relationships are such fragile things so it’s natural for us worldly wise folk to be somewhat guarded about who we tell about our significant other, especially when you are lucky enough to have people who will scream I TOLD YOU SO when your little fairytale comes crashing to the ground.

However, the truth is that the ‘getting to know each other’ stage cannot go on forever, there does come a point in any story, where two people who spend significant amounts of time together should probably make their relationship known to the world. Add to that the fact that we all pretty much live out a parallel version of our lives on social media (censoring out the boring bits here and there) and its quite surprising that anyone manages to maintain anything close to a private life at the best of times.

But then why oh why, are there so many long-term-ish relationships happening behind closed doors?  It’s a contentious kinda grey-area I suppose and one that raises a lot of questions. Naturally, we all want to play it cool and one needs to be certain before they ask ‘What Are We?’ . On the other hand, how long can a relationship legitimately last if you only ever meet in the cosy, ever-so-romantic setting of your own homes? So, having been at both ends of this scenario here are some of my thoughts on the matter …

 

It’s All About (Secret) Sex

Well, let’s get something out of the way before we unpack this issue further. If your ‘beau’ only meets you late at night and in bed, the fact is it would be charitable to call you are ‘dirty little secret’ you are nothing more a Friend With Benefits. Sure, the pillow talk may be OK-ish so you convince yourself you are really getting to know each other. But let’s call a spade a spade here – the only thing you are getting to know intimately here is each others bodies. So don’t kid yourself.

 

Keeping The Options Open

We’ve all been there. Met that ‘nice’ person. They tick all the boxes. So you force yourself to break your usual patterns, be more open-minded and carry on ‘dating’ them in the hope that that elusive sparkle may suddenly appear. Hmm…But deep down you know that the fact you need to talk yourself into it is probably a bad sign. It may even be easy to keep them in the picture because they aren’t a complete troll and do provide some degree of entertainment.

But truth be told, although this maybe not be as sordid as a FWB situation, you cringing at the thought of bumping into a friend/acquaintance while out with said person is probably a sign that they are no more than a place holder for Prince Charming (or at least another mistake that makes your weak at the knees!).

 

They are leading a double life

Life is complicated enough. I can barely manage my own. Sure, double parking can be a giggle when your dating up a storm but having more than one serious relationship it really does take multi-tasking to another level. Unless I could legit clone myself I don’t see how one could wholeheartedly dedicate themselves to another person while trying to be in two places at once. Well, they never do really!

If you are dating someone who never wants to go on a proper date, seems scared whenever you are out in public together, introduces you as their ‘buddy’, never lets you set foot inside their house and only ever sees you at unsociable hours. Red flags galore. Face facts, you are nothing more than a side salad.

Ugh. Cannot deal. Clearly, anyone looking for a bit on the side is likely to have something more established (see how I didn’t say serious) waiting for them at home. That said, side chicks/guys fill are often used to fill a void and give them something they aren’t getting from their spouse, baby momma/daddy or ‘cougarlicious‘ sugar mummy/daddy.

As tempting as it may be don’t stoop to such a level, you deserve to be the main course so let the trash take itself out.

 

The tricky bit… they are ‘just not into social media’.

So, in all of the situations above things are pretty clear cut. Well, at least when you’ve stopped kidding yourself. But this is the age of social media where everyone and their dog are living their best lives online. Yeah but no but. As with all things popular, there are people that feel the need to boycott it – perhaps its because they are ‘old school’, they value their privacy or they simply feel the need to rebel against what the rest of society is doing.

But to be honest with you, I like a good old Facebook snoop myself.  What people choose to post (or not post) on their social media profiles says a lot about them and gives you some insights into their personality. I’m not going to lie. I’ve been known to do a little background check on a Tinder date before venturing out. And can you blame with all the potential serial killers in our midst?!

Anyway, the truth is most of us do have some sort of social media presence. And I’m not saying one should expect to be F.B.O with a someone from the get-go. But if someone is reluctant to even be your friend (remember there are all these limited profile settings available these days) then they’ve probably got something they’d like to hide. Or am I being cynical? You tell me.

Now, back to the point of today’s rant. It’s understandable that most of us don’t want to be out and proud about new relationships from the very beginning. You have to admit that those epic declarations of LOVE on social media are kinda cute despite the fact that they may make you pewk in your mouth a little bit.  Maybe we’ve been there in our younger days and have suffered third degree burns as a result so we know that its best to steer clear.  That said, I think we should all the aware that in any ‘good’ relationship where you need to stop ‘getting to know each other’ and admit that there is something real between y’all. And in most cases, this will involve taking your new relationship public at varying levels. Whether that means exposing your new conquest to your weird friends, archaic family or wider social network of weirdos. But nothing worthwhile should remain behind closed doors for too long.  On the flipside, if you find yourself with someone who is reluctant to show you off to the world after a couple of months of steady dating (or in some cases a decade of cohabitation) then I think it’s an indication of some sort of commitment issue and more importantly a clear sign for you to walk away.

Alrighty Rinsers, Go wild in the comments. How public do you think a serious relationship should be? Is it legit to keep things behind closed doors for the sake of the relationship itself? And finally, has social media simply served to complicate matters and make life more difficult for us over-thinkers as well as those that prefer to keep their private matters private?

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Review : 50 Shades of Fairytales @ The Alexander Upstairs

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While things may be a bit different nowadays when it comes to children’s entertainment with Disney becoming all PC and ensuring that their stories aren’t as whitewashed as they once were and contain some sort of feminist undertone, I’m old enough to be of that generation brought up on the traditional notion of a fairytale. You know those feel-good stories where Prince Charming is an alpha male with BIG MAN muscles who is capable of destroying all the bad people in order to ‘save’ the damsel in distress and give her the happily-ever-after she deserves …. blah blah blah. Sigh. Unfortunately, as we are all by now well aware. Disney LIED. Alpha males, very much like unicorns, only exist in La La land and when it comes to slaying dragons and dealing with bad people, well us chicks are probably better off dealing with all that stuff ourselves because Prince Charming it seems is getting delayed.
’50 Shades of Fairytales’ is a one-women show which deals with exactly that. It tells the story of two women (played by Titilayo Adedokun) who share their personal experiences of relationships and the associated challenges through a string of songs. Covering everything from little girls fantasizing about the arrival of their Prince Charming and the excitement of planning one’s dream wedding to coming to terms with the reality of dating one deadbeat after another, being trapped in an unhappy codependent relationship with someone you want to kill.
Sure, it sounds a bit cynical. But I think most 20,30, 40-somethings can definitely identify with the characters’ struggles. Especially that of trying to remain hopeful despite all the knocks. Although the show is ultimately focuses on women chasing fairytales, the way that modern dating operates these days I think even the guys will find that they can relate. And even though there are parts that come down pretty hard on the male-species, the humour and sing-song of it all helps to tone down the raging-feminist vibe, which makes it more digestible for the men in the audience and those of us who aren’t quite yet complete haters of men.
The show is also provides a nice reality check for anyone who is feeling that the whole world is against them. It’s a nice reminder that nobody’s story is all that ‘original’. All you have to do is talk to five randoms on a bus to find that you aren’t the first woman to be blind-sided by a philandering jerk, to have dated a broke-ass loser, or fallen in madly in love in a sociopath. But in this world of Facebook reality we only ever get insights into the sugarcoated version of other people’s lives which tricks us into believing we are thee ultimate failure in life.
While there are anecdotes throughout the show which will pretty much resonate with anyone who didn’t simply marry their first love, it’s not all doom and gloom. And as much as it isn’t ‘cool’ to be into musicals these days, the whimsical show tunes here keep things light and fluffy, allowing the audience to leave lol’ing and skipping their way into the night rather than feeling depressed and hopeless. The lyrics are well-written and thought provoking and Titilayo Adedokun just has an amazing stage presence with a voice so incredible that it is almost too big for such a intimate venue. Furthermore, the fact that all the stage paraphernalia and costume changes are kept to a minimum also mean that you can focus more on the songs without being overly distracted.
All in all, 50 Shades of Fairytales is a lovely, uncomplicated little bit of entertainment that tackles the somewhat painful issues associated with modern romance in a fun and quirky way. I’d highly recommend it to anyone who is currently feeling a bit hateful towards the opposite sex and world at large.  It’s on at the Alex for till the end of September and tickets are reasonably priced at just R120 (online), so catch it while you can. You really won’t be disappointed!

The 5 Types of Friend That Emerge In The Aftermath of a Break-Up

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Some fool once told me that a break-up was probably the worst thing that had ever happened in my somewhat ‘privileged’ life.  And to be honest with you, the idiot had a point. That said, I don’t think we should really minimize the impact the end of a significant relationship can have on person’s life. Break-ups are traumatic. Sometimes they legitimately warrant a mental-health day, or heart-break leave as they call it Japan.I mean if people take sabbatical for the death of their pet goldfish, I think it’s fair to indulge in a bit of self-care when a part of your heart has been brutally ripped out.

As important as some me-time is, I also believe it’s important to have a solid support network. Spending too much time alone following such an upheaval can a) give you too much time to overthink everything resulting in even more mental torture and b) result in you seeking solace from the loneliness in the arms of someone familiar. And the whole story of letting an ex escalate into a FWB is a story for another post entirely. So, yes back to that support network who are basically required to become babysitters/therapists in a post-break up period. As there is such a lot to address in the aftermath of a epic break-up, you often find that each person reacts differently to the task at hand. Everyone brings their own unique perspective to the mix and serves their own (not necessarily equally important) purpose in your life.  Here is a basic breakdown of the different type of friend you’ll encounter following a break-up.

The I-Told-You-So Friend

Everyone has 20/20 hindsight. It’s nothing special. Having people who tell you after a decade long relationship that they knew you were doomed from the start isn’t really helpful. In some instances, they may even remind of a specific occasion in the early days where they called it and warned you of the risks and what was to come. While these folks aren’t necessarily all bad, they just seem to want to use your tough time  to make themselves feel like a smart and what they have to say isn’t particularly nice or useful. Listen to them if you want (maybe they have some insights into your patterns) but take everything they say with a pinch of salt. Remember that you don’t need to be a rocket scientist to be able to stand somewhat removed from another person’s romantic relationships and offer a critical eye. Furthermore, remind them that they you’ll only ever truly regret the risks you never took (and they good sex you never had!).

The Realist

Sigh. These are the friends you probably have a love/hate relationship with at times. These are the people that don’t beat around the bush. They call you out on shit. They won’t indulge your stupidity. They are basically your eyes when you’ve be blinded by  love.  They’ll SHOUT at you if they have to – online and even sometimes in public places. If you are weak human (like myself) they are likely to make you cry.  You might find yourself having to be on the defensive with them at times and finding new genius ways to justify your actions to them (not that they’ll fall for it). There are also probably going to be times when you question why you are friends with such a mean-spirited person. But once the dust settles, you’ll come to understand that the tough-love they dished out was just what was needed to make you see the error of your ways and that they actually always had your best interests at heart.

The Virgin Inactive/Hater of Men

An interesting one. And one which strangely happens to find its way into my life in a post-break up period. They may fight your corner but they do it in their own unique way. They’ll hate on your ex or screw that, they’ll hate on the male species entirely. Sometimes this ranting and raving about ALL men being lazy, dysfunctional, broke-ass cheaters may be tonic but it gets a bit tiring. Eventually, you’ll realise that they’ve had such bad experiences with relationships (or such little experience in the case of the 30-something virgins) that they’ve given up on happily-ever-after (and sex!). But that doesn’t mean you need to resign yourself to a sexless existence. I personally find that these people are a reminder to get back on that horse a keep tinderingand  believing that Prince Charming (or at least some good experiences) are still on the cards ,and that a life void of amazing bedroom acrobatics doesn’t even bear thinking about! So with these ones, ignore their advice/hateful comments and enjoy the distraction they provide, and be glad you haven’t been out of the game as long as they have.

The Wing Woman

Now here is a fun one. Mine buggered off to Butt Fuck Nowhere and truly left a void in my life. The wing woman/man has no time for self-pity or over-analysis. They won’t necessarily give you a shoulder to cry on. But they’ll bring the wine, the gin and the PARTY. This is the person who tells you to snap out of it, put on your hottest dress because you guys are hitting the town. This is the buddy who shows you that no matter how much you’ve convinced yourself you’ll never get back to that happy place without YOUR person, there are in fact plenty of fish in sea.

The Cheerleader/Feeder

So, I saved the best till last. These people are your biggest fans. They’ll drop everything to be there for you in the immediate aftermath –  to pick up the pieces, debrief, cry and drink copious amounts of gin with you. They’ll also be there to reassure you that the whole relationship was not a farce but that you also did the right thing. Even if you relapse, and go back and forth with that SO forever and day, they won’t judge (well, they’ll at least try to conceal their judgement). They understand that we are all human and at times this requires us to do illogically insane things. Regardless, they’ll put aside their own agenda and do whatever if required to help you deal (which includes asking if you’ve eaten yet and ensuring that you are kept well fed and hydrated even when you think your entire universe is caving in).

There you have it. My little sentimental moment. Don’t stress – I’ll be back to my old bitching and moaning ways soon. Clearly, folks will approach a break-up differently depending on their own experiences and perspectives. Some will bitch and moan, others will hate on your ex and get angry on your behalf, some will scream at you until you get your thick skull around some basic facts, while others will assist you in finding your next conquest. Whatever the case, each babysitter will do their shift and serve their purpose and together somehow all these different approaches come together and things eventually start to make sense.

P.S. Boxing people is very bad and it is possible for a person to be in more that one of the above categories. 

So Rinsers, tell me is there a type of friend who assists you on the road to recovery after a break-up that I’ve missed? Do you think some perspectives that are most useful than others? Or do they all have a part to play. Holler in the comments below.

 

Falling Out of Love ?!?

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Once upon a time, back in the days when I was young and naive someone told me that you should never say you’ve fallen in love with so-and-so but rather simply say you love them. His reasoning behind this…Well, if you could fall in love with a person then it made it possible to fall out of love with them. Whereas if you simply said you loved them then that statement had more longevity. Hmmm….I’ll admit it was a cute sentiment but even back then (before I became my cynical self) I had to question the logic.

And what triggered this little trip down memory lane? A news headline titled: Unhappy Marriage Not Grounds For Divorce, Supreme Court Rules.  To summarise, there was a court case where 60-something lady, Tini Owens, filed for divorce from her 80-something hubby (age-difference much?), Hugh. According to the press, there were no concrete grounds for divorce as such – no infidelity, no one suddenly discovered God and ran away to join a cult in the Himalayas, and she hadn’t even stumbled across his horrific porno collection (as yet). The only reason Tini gave for wanting to formally end her marriage of 40 years was that she was ‘unhappy’. Hugh refused. The Supreme Court took Hugh’s side. Hmmm….it seems being ‘unhappy’ is not reason enough to end a relationship, according to the LAW. Oh my!

So it seems this was a classic case of Tini simply ‘falling out of love’ with Hugh. Which brings me to the topic of this post: Is it really possible to fall out of love with someone? Is it a legitimate reason for ending a relationship/divorcing, someone? And in reference to the divorce proceedings, what right does a court/another person have to determine what a person can/can not do ensure their own happiness?

How much importance should be placed on ‘happiness’  in a relationship?   

So yup, our Tinder generation aka millennials are famous for our fickle nature when it comes to human relationships. When the going gets tough, well it seems we get SWIPING…it’S only a matter of time before we come across someone worth swiping right for! But the thing these golden oldies come from a bygone era when people really did stick things out and weren’t so quick to make rash decisions. Clearly, they spent 40 years together and seeing as they’ve been separated since 2015, I think Tini probably knows her own mind well enough to know whether or not her relationship was serving its purpose or not.

Clearly, ‘happiness’ is a relative term. Everyone’s definition will differ. For one person, their significant other’s cooking isn’t up to scratch so that makes their relationship an ‘unhappy’ one. On the other spectrum, you’ll find those that get beaten up every day and still claim their happy because their violent spouse still puts food on the table. Furthermore, while human relationships are certainly important, I think it’s quite dangerous to risk our personal happiness on these interactions. Sure, a partner should serve to enhance our lives and generally improve them but they shouldn’t be expected to be the sole source of our happiness. There are other aspects of our lives (which to be honest are probably easier to control) that should also play a role in giving a person a happy, fulfilling life – job, hobbies, etc, etc.

Regardless, I think it is really up to each individual to define ‘happiness’ for themselves and decide when they are ready to walk away from a friendship/relationship. Outside parties, including those great legal minds, are entitled to their opinion but it should be just that.

Is it possible to fall out of love with someone?

Moving away from all this happy, clappy chit-chat to the more pressing matter of whether it is possible to jump in and out of love. Hmmm… I suppose, like happiness, this whole concept of love is also interpretation. There are those ‘Ivy Women’ who jump from one relationship to the next without even a few hours of single time in between men and then there are those who  will happily marry their ‘first love’ (aka the first person to give them the time of day) without exploring the other options the world has to offer.

While I don’t think being forever alone or resigning yourself to life of sad spinsterhood or eternal bachelordom aren’t really good things, nor is continually going from one serious relationship to the next. Flings, FWBs, Dating up a Storm and Happily Single periods all serve their purpose – if only to allow the dust to settle from the last encounter and give you a little space for self-reflection. I don’t believe it is possible to be in a constant state of ‘love’ without taking some time out to deal with the heartbreak. (Is it really ‘love’ if you get over it so quickly??? The questions are endless!).

Anyhow, while I’ve always believed dating to be a bit of a numbers game (i.e. you date as many fools as you can till you eventually find one that is a little less foolish!), I don’t think love is. You can’t really put a number on it. Most of us probably only truly love a handful of people in our lifetimes. And maybe the lucky ones (or those with lower standards) end up marrying their first. Speaking from personal experience, I don’t believe we really fall in and out of love. And in reference to that conversation I mentioned at the beginning, I think there are people we date but never really love and when I look back on those encounters I’m happy for the life lessons and blah. blah but I’m pretty indifferent to the person themselves. I couldn’t care less what they are doing or whether they found happily ever after. On the other hand, there are people that I didn’t necessarily fall out of love with but grew apart from/were never truly compatible with but I’d still take a bullet for regardless and would only ever wish the best for.  Maybe you don’t love them anymore but some form of fondness remains.

OK….Rinsers. Clearly, #englishrosiee has more questions than she has answers on this one so shoot. Do you think its possible to fall out of love with a person? Is that a legit reason to end a relationship? And who has the right to an opinion on the state of someone’s relationship and whether or not they have the right to formally/legally end it? Share your thoughts in the comments below.  

 

 

 

Who Has The Best Sex? The WISOs vs The Relationship Girls

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So, this post is partly inspired by watching Chesil Beach, a movie that wanted to make me put a gun to my head as well as a conversation I had with a self-confessed WISO. For those of you who are new to the blog, WISO (a term coined by #zlotybaby) stands for Woman Interested in Sex Only. Just like a unicorn, a WISO is a rare creature – it’s debatable whether they actually exist. While the male versions can easily be found roaming the clubs, a true WISO is harder to find. You often think you’ve found her – the chick who seems to be a hit with all the guys, she may arrive at the party alone but will never leave empty-handed at the end of the night and oh, how she’ll brag about her fantastic sex-capades till you are a green with envy. But simply, scratch the surface and you’ll probably find that behind that behind that sexually-liberated exterior lies a little girl (perhaps with Daddy issues) who just wants to be loved. That said, who am I to judge what people actually want.

Anyway, back to my conversation with a WISO, it came as quite a surprise to hear her say that despite all her numerous rather wild sexual encounters in fact none of them had left her truly satisfied (sexually as well as emotionally probably!). Just to make it clear no experience was good enough for the WISO to go back for more Ho hum. That is not what I had expected to hear. You see, I always felt popular culture portrayed sexual liberation/promiscuity as something fun but probably requires a certain level of good looks and confidence to be able to maintain. But, I think the reality is a little less glamorous and a bit bleak, to be honest. Having watched my fair bit of trash TV, I can’t see it being much fun, when regardless of how hot or pretty you are, a guy from the Jersey Shore calls you an Uber as soon as the deed is done (maybe post-coital cuddles are overrated!).

On the flip side, I think those branded as somewhat prud-ish get a bit of a bad rap. No, I haven’t done a U-turn on my attitudes to being a 30-something virgin. But, you know what I mean, there is only so far one can go when it comes to glorifying sex between a run-of-the-mill monogamous couple (Although the 50 Shades Trilogy had a good go of it!). But just think about it. When it comes to sex, there can’t be much that beats it being in a happy, healthy relationship. Look at this way, unless you permanently live on different continents (remember I said happy and healthy) then you’ve got sex on tap…whenever and wherever you want (within reason – but you know lunchtime delights on the days you work from home aren’t too shabby!). This leads me to my next point, practice makes perfect. Unless you are weird like that odd couple in Chesil Beach a) they’ll be too much sexual tension to hold out on the deed till your wedding night and b) even if your first tussle is mind-blowing, you’ll give it a second shot (and a third, fourth and fifth….). And in turn, this means you can try out everything in the kamasutra (provided your relationship lasts that long) until you figure out what works for you. Finally, despite all the body positivity stuff that gets bandied about I don’t know many people that are so OK with their own naked bodies (or those of others) to actually want to strip off in front of a different person every other night without wanting to pewk in your mouth.

I’ve never been through my own WISO phase but to be completely honest it doesn’t really appeal to me. I’m sure there are still some people out there that’ll claim that WISOs have the best sex and its all about knowing your own body and blah blah. But I just don’t buy that. They’ll probably also tell you that relationship sex lacks the spontaneity that the WISO has….but that’s not strictly true. We’ve all heard of couples getting jiggy on the plane, in a field, on the roof of a church, etc…it doesn’t sound all bad.  After all, there have to be some benefits to stability and life with ole faithful 😛

Alright Rinsers, do you dare to share your stories in the comments below? What’s better relationship sex-capades with the one your love or no-strings-attached fun times? Or is there a time and place for both? Or … maybe not? Go, wild peeps….

Review : Significant Other @ The Fugard Theatre

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So, this is a bit of a pointless review as Significant Other is only playing at the Fugard for a few more days but let’s chat about it regardless…

The storyline is a twist on that of a typical chick flick (so great for a girls night out). Jordan Berman, like much of the Tinderverse, is desperately looking for ‘The One’ and again like the majority of 20/30 somethings is failing miserably in that mission. Unfortunately for him, Jordan is at that age where are his friends are rapidly pairing off one by one. To make matters worse, all of his closest girlfriends keep getting hitched. Forcing him to deal with the following :

a) the associated expenses (bachelorettes, destination weddings, wedding gifts, etc)

b) the plus one conundrum 

c) and the fact is expected to support and be happy for his friends (most of whom he knows are just settling) while he is crying inside because his ‘social life’ (as his grandmother calls it) is basically non-existent.

d) Oh, and the fact that not only is he never the bride/groom but he doesn’t even get bridesmaid privledges. Boo hoo.

As any single girl knows while getting yourself a bit of casual sex isn’t all that hard, finding Mr Right is much easier said than done (let’s hop along and find a unicorn at the end of a rainbow instead!).

For what it’s worth, Significant Other is nice light-hearted bit of entertainment. While it’s not to high-brow or taxing on the brain, I think many will be able to relate to it. We’ve all been THAT single person before. There was some debate as to whether or not people liked the shows ending…and more generally whether or not a person needs to be ok enough with themselves to be single forever or whether they should always continue the search for Mr/Miss Right even if they become bitter in the process? Something for you to ponder in the comments below.

 

Sad Spinsters vs. Bachelorettes – Why Can’t ‘Cool’ Women End Up Forever Single?

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Recently there have been some half-hearted attempts at creating ‘feminist’ fairytales where the focus of the story isn’t about the prince and princess ending up together and living happily ever after. Sure, we should give Disney some credit for trying to show the world there can be more to life than finding your prince/princess, getting married, moving to the ‘burbs, getting a puppy, and procreating….you know how it goes. But honestly I think it’s going to be a long time before society really deems it ‘cool’ to end up single and actually accept that this fate a legitimate choice, especially for a woman. Let’s break look at this issue in a little more detail…

Does anyone with options ever really choose to be single?

I’ll admit I’m a bit old fashioned but I honestly don’t believe that humans are meant to end up alone – no man is an island and all. I understand people who’ve had a bit of experience and encountered their fair share of fuckwit humans may justify staying single to save themselves the heartache and stress in the future.

I’ve met plenty of people who have criticised my somewhat unconventional relationships and overuse of Tinder while loudly declaring how they happy they are to save themselves the drama and resign themselves to a life of singledom. Still, I always seem to sense some undertones of bitterness right there.

We all know THAT Aunty! 

Ok so maybe she isn’t your actual aunt. But we all know one of those women. The ones who never got married and had kids or did the conventional thing. Do you have any you actually look up to? Hmm…maybe you do? But I just find that people pity them and question whoever is going to look after them in their old age. God knows?! Perhaps one of the weird and wonderful gold diggers of Obs will go in for the kill and inherit an R2 million house in the process. #truestory!

Why isn’t there a male version of a sad spinster?

I’m not saying society doesn’t frown upon a man who is still playing the field in his 50s. But he still gets way more kudos if he is a Hugh Hefner type than his female equivalent. For me, the connotations associated with a bachelor are somewhat associated with a (sad) spinster. While the eternally single man is always pictured hitting the club, probably being a bit of a perve and plying pretty young girls with drinks while the sad spinster is almost sitting a home in her dowdy nightgown with nothing but a dog (and a jar of peanut butter) for the company. Why do we never hear about an actual female equivalent of a bachelor (a bachelorette if you want to call it that) – an eternally single woman who despite some commitment issues is out having fun rather than being the object of public pity?

So, maybe I just have an old-fashioned mindset but I still think that it’s sad when people give up on (human) love/companionship/whatever floats your boat. I guess for some they just get caught up with other more important things like work and education and by the time they get round to thinking about settling down it’s a too little too late and all the good specimens are already taken. Not everyone is lucky enough to meet their soulmate organically walking down the road, in the library or at the gym. The reality is that most people nowadays are actively looking for love. I do hope one day there will be single old ladies that make it somewhat cool/ok to end up alone but I don’t see that happening anytime soon. And although, being an old bachelor may not seem as dire as spinsterhood I think the prospect of growing old and dying alone isn’t particularly desirable regardless of gender. As #zlotybaby once reminded me when I was busy crushing on an elderly troll/eternal bachelor he is only looking for a young(ish) chick so he can have someone to wipe his ass when he is old and incapable.

Finally, it’s over to you dearest rinsers! Am I just being old-fashioned? Why is it is less cool for a woman to end up forever single? Do you know any female equivalents of a bachelor? And finally does the idea of becoming a spinster/bachelor stop you from giving up on love entirely? Answers in the comments below. Please and thank you!

 

 

 

How Often Does LOVE Actually Exist Behind Closed Doors ?

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#zlotybaby’s post on the #royalwedding shed some light on the human obsession with weddings. NB: Weddings. Not love. Not the marriage that comes after the wedding. But the event itself. And in some cases, it is a GBP 32 million event. Everyone and his dog seems to feel they should voice an opinion on such events. Whether it’s about Meghan’s hairdo or just a lowly pleb’s bad choice in caterers – I’m sure the ugly aunties, pervy uncles and even the next door neighbour’s cat will have something to say. Oh and don’t even get me started on what people are going to be saying if you aren’t in a rush to get down the aisle, pop out babies or follow the crowd. Breaking with convention (as we saw Harry and Meghan do on a number of levels) is certainly going to get you some backlash from those who did/are doing it RIGHT.

Anyways I’m getting ahead of myself here. This isn’t the post about where I bitch and moan about lavish weddings, I’ll save that one for a rainy day. Getting to the point, what I want to talk about today is how often ‘love’ (in the traditional sense – whatever that is) really exists behind the facade of all the ever-perfect relationships we are bombarded with today. Life these days (like weddings) has become nothing more than a big fat competition – who is the most successful? Who has the best relationship? Who has achieved all those big life goals by the arbitrary deadlines set by society? With that kind of pressure and all the requirements, people strive for in a potential partner  –  I really find it hard to believe that ‘love’ features that heavily in most people’s stories.

Call me a cynic all you want but I think often all the ‘perfection’ we see around us is a bit of an illusion and you only need to start looking beyond those lavish weddings and facebook declarations of love to see that things aren’t all that peachy. Let’s look at things a little more closely.

Long distance marriages

Long distance relationships. Been there, done that. And I can honestly say from experience that they are not much fun. The novelty of playing online battleships and falling asleep with your Skype camera on wears off pretty quickly when you only get to do the deed once every six months! But maybe, I’m just a needy little girl because there are some people that can make it ‘work’ for years and years. Take for instance long distance marriages which feature kids, pets and extravagant holidays but where the couple themselves only meet a couple of times a year. But don’t worry, he got her that Cartier bling she was after so it’s all good.

I get it if your financial situation requires you to take up a lucrative job offer in a butt fuck nowhere in order to support the fam but in some cases, it seems that it is the long-distance element that has allowed the relationship to stand the test of time. Perhaps there could be nothing worse than having to share a whole country with the dude you married. Let’s just say, I’ve probably spent more time with boyfriends from bad relationships that these couples have with the ones they said ‘I do’ to!

And if you can’t emigrate to avoid your spouse remember this is the age of Ashley Madison ….

Behind many of these real-life fairytales, lies a deep, dark and sinister subplot AKA the affair. Even though most people won’t admit it, monogamy is overrated in this age! All those perfect relationships you see happening around you, well, the stats say that 1 in 3 marriages feature some form of infidelity somewhere down the line. Even the Royals aren’t immune!

And the sad truth is that in most instances it won’t even end in divorce. People just carry on. Some choose to turn the other check while others go to couples therapy. And some just seek revenge in the arms of the gardener/maid/car-guard/stripper. What a time to be alive!

But surely noone wants to die alone. So just get a buddy and sleep in different beds …

While women feel the pressure to settle down thanks to that ticking biological clock, there comes a time when even the most eligible of bachelors has to come to terms with the fact that unless he puts a ring on it he is most likely to end up dying alone. It really is a scary thought.

It’s a reasonable motivation to settle down, I suppose. Love doesn’t necessarily have to feature. It’s about finding someone you can tolerate you enough to share their space with you to some extent. Of course, sex, snuggles and the like are going to become too much effort as we age anyway. So why not cut to the chase and set yourself up in separate beds from the go? #truestory!

Yup so, that wonderful thing called LOVE. Well, it is a nice idea and all…But the next time people make you feel sad about the state of your life and the fact that you might not be sticking to the convention just remember that as great as all those social media official relationships look, you just need to scratch the surface to see that things aren’t all that perfect. Love doesn’t always feature in these things and clearly lots of people don’t think it’s a requirement for a ‘functioning’ relationship. But sometimes I guess the facade of these things help because of deep down we are all different degrees of dysfunctional. What I’m saying is people should do whatever makes them happy – marry a pleb, marry a movie star, don’t get married – just live in sin, sleep in separate beds, live in different time zones, whatever. And if you are lucky you may just find a glimmer of love somewhere hidden behind the Facebook pictures, public glorification, etc and if not well just try not to die alone (and get eaten by Alsatians!) 😛

OK Rinsers. How prominently do you think love features in our relationship choices today? Is it all about the facade and reaching major milestones at the given deadline? Or are relationships more about companionship so we don’t need to die alone? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

‘You Can’t Sit With Us’ – The Pains of Being Socially Excluded as an Adult

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Anyone who grew up being a chubby, spotty, socially awkward kid who preferred books to people is was no stranger social exclusion. Whether it was that you were the only one in your class who didn’t get invited to Regina George’s fabulous unicorn party or if you were always last to be picked for the netball team, the memory of basically being told ‘you can’t sit with us’ still has a bit of a sting.Kids rarely have social filters. In fact, they can be brutal sometimes. But as we grow up things change. Social media demonstrates how ugly ducklings quite often turn into swans and those mean girls that laughed at the fatty in the corner well the chances are they became morbidly obese (after getting themselves knocked up by however many men) while little Miss Piggy, well maybe she shed that puppy fat and became #instafabulous! Sure, life experience batters everyone around a bit and teaches us to #stayhumble but how much do we really outgrow our childhood desire to belong to the right group and exclude the people that we don’t deem cool enough to sit with us.

Adult life isn’t the school yard and being a grown-up certainly has it’s advantages. Advances in technology make it easier for us to experience things beyond our immediate surroundings and find people who think more like we do. When the mean girls at school told you that you weren’t welcome at their table, even if you were the kind to go tell tales to Mummy, it’s highly unlikely that she’d let you move to a different school. So, you’d just have to suck it up. But things are different in our old age, we have more control and the power to change things up. People don’t invite you to their party, it’s no biggie I’m sure there’ll be something just as entertaining happening on Saturday night (and if you are typical Capetonian you’ll be keeping your options open and double parking in any case!). That said, come Monday morning when all the Facebook pictures of said event start popping up and all your friends are talking about the shit that went down at event you were excluded from, well… no matter how old you are it’s bound to result some familiar emotional pangs.

How to handle social exclusion as an adult … 

So when we were kids we’d probably get bleak, possibly cry and complain to Mum but that would be about it.  As adults, we aren’t necessarily immune to the sting of being socially excluded BUT there are a number of ways we can deal with such situations

a) Stay home and cry

You feel unloved. Buy yourself a couple of tubs of Ben and Jerry’s, order some junk from UberEats and stay at home watching sad movies. It’s human to feel a bit bleak but there really is no need to wallow in self-pity and make yourself fat in the process.

b) Get on with things, find your tribe and enjoy a better life

Moving on to my next point, instead of crying over spilt milk. If you are feeling isolated the worst thing you can possibly do is stay at home alone. Get out there and do something…anything! Find an alternative event, hit the gym, indulge in a bit of retail therapy.

An old perve once told me that if people focused on the things they loved then they’d be happier and attract the right people. He had a point. So don’t let any person or group pull the strings on your happiness levels. Get out there and make a better life for yourself.

c) Confrontation

I understand that not everyone thinks the same way I do. Having relocated to the other side of the world I know that while it’s not easy starting up in a new place, eventually you will meet your tribe. If people choose not to include me in their activities, I’d take the hint and move on. However, some people aren’t inclined to give up so easily.

Is it wise though to question the culprits as to why they won’t let you enter the circle of trust? Hmmm…I think you are asking for trouble here. Well, that and committing social suicide.  Actions speak louder than words and all that jazz. Do you really need to have things spelt out for you? Clearly, you are not wanted for whatever reason (I honestly don’t see the need to know the gory details) so hop along and don’t stay where you are not wanted.

d) Self Reflection

Sure, if it’s just the odd incident it’s easier to things brush off. But what if it keeps happening? What then? Maybe it’s time for a bit of self-reflection. Perhaps your personality rubs people up the wrong way? Or maybe it’s your constant negativity that kills the vibe of every party?

Think about it. Maybe you need to work yourself.

e) And finally …. realise it’s not all about you! 

Being mature adults I think there are some things worth bearing in mind when you do experience social exclusion and feel like you are somehow regressing back to those bad old days of the schoolyard.  Firstly, there are worse crimes than downgrading a friendship. Circumstances change and as a result so do friendship groups – it’s not ideal but life is not a fairytale, it has its chapters so just turn the page without becoming bitter about it realise that ‘coffee friends’ also have their purpose. Perhaps some forms of social exclusion are a blessing in disguise. As we grow up we realise there are different aspects of our personality and perhaps one’s slovenly little bestie from primary school wouldn’t fit in so well with your cross-fit obessed peeps or  those that you go tequila tasting with might just end up offending your 30-something virgin friend who’d much rather spend an evening talking about the Big G. Yes, social exclusion sucks no matter how old you get but as adults we have the tools to get over it more easily and the foresight to realise that sometimes it could be for own sanity.

OK, Rinsers. Do you find that social exclusion is such a big deal as an adult? Is it something you’ve had to deal with or are you just a sparkly social butterfly? What are the best ways to deal with those ‘you can’t sit with us’ situations? Share your views in the comments section below. 

 

 

 

 

 

Getting A Real Job – Can I Be Professional Air BnB Host When I Grow Up? Is it Possible To Be A Part Time Mother? And Other Career Related Questions…

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One thing I’ve learnt recently through my insights into the world recruitment is that  people these days do not like working. I’m not quite sure if it’s a millennial thing or  just a Cape Town thing (I mean with Table Mountain and these beaches on our doorstep you can’t blame a person for not wanting to be confined to a desk job). That said, most of us don’t have access to a trust fund or a rich husband so we hustle and drag our asses out of bed each morning to pay our way through life and fund our doughnut habits!

Well, that’s what I thought. That was until I met ‘journalists’ that despite having not had an article published in a decade or so still refuse to work for less than R8,000 per month.  I encountered ‘poets’ who like to post lyrical Facebook status’ about how their only wish would be to have a house (blah blah blah!) in which to retire (Is it possible to retire when the only work you’ve ever engaged in is reading a bit of angry poetry? Answers on a postcard!).  Then the cherry on the cake…the ‘yogi’ who was lucky enough to be offered a job and after signing the contract asked whether her working hours could be changed to accommodate her favourite yoga classes. Let’s just say she lasted 3 days on the job before quitting in order to reassess her options in light of Cape Town’s water crisis. Seriously! Where do these entitled twats emerge from? Yes, the examples I’ve given you are at the extreme end of the spectrum but I’m trying to prove a point – basically people these days are averse to an honest day’s work.

The other thing that irks me is what people claim to be a legitimate job. I admit at times I have a tendency to be a bit of a degree/job snob (I learnt my lesson after hiring a fashion with questionable sense graduate to do a ‘scholarly’ writing job!) but it’s absolute madness what some people consider work. I’ve met a fair few professional Air BnB hosts in my time and I’m sorry but renting a room in the house is nothing more than a side project. Sure, it’s a good additional form of income generation but I hate to break it to you but you aren’t exactly a property tycoon darling! Then there is my ABSOLUTE worst (and the actual subject of this post). The people I want to strangle DEAD. The ones that casually drop into conversation how they are pursuing a career as FULL-TIME MOTHER !!!!!

Ugh. What a joke. Let me break this down.

Pray tell, what then is a part-time mother? 

It’s possible to a part-time accountant, a kid’s football coach on Saturdays, or moonlight ….but really is it possible to be a part-time parent? Take care of the screaming baba (with the number of breaks required by law 😛 ) from 9 to 5 and then hit the bar for after-work drinks? I don’t think so somehow.

Sure,  there are some parents who can’t afford to or possibly don’t even desire the required 7 years maternity leave deemed necessary by the experts on Facebook. But  returning to work doesn’t somehow make you part-time mother.

So let’s be brutally honest here, being a stay-at-home mother (which is actually what you are) means one of two things a) you don’t really care to go back to work as your baba provides you with all the intellectual stimulation you need or b) you bagged your self a rich guy who could fund you to play unicorns with the kids (well done you!).

Parenting isn’t a job

Wow, if the careers advisor at school had told me that spreading my legs and spawning a child was a legitimate career option, oh how different life could have been. Well I guess some people collect children the same way others accumulate PhDs so maybe it’s just a matter of perspective.

In my humble opinion, for something to be a considered a job, it should make you CASH MONEY. Call me a horrible capitalist biatch if you will. Let’s face facts. Sure, the green stuff may not be all the drives a person to do a job – for some their choice of a career path may be driven by a desire to follow their passion for drawing unicorns or a desire to help people. But honestly, even artists dream of making millions and surgeons aren’t saving people’s lives purely out of the goodness of their hearts. If you do something without getting paid it’s charity – volunteering if you will!

Unlike, real career choices, parenting does not pay the bills. Quite the opposite in fact – ugh having kids these days is sooooo expensive. Ok, some people do think of their children as a long-term investment. There are those that justify their desire to procreate by telling themselves that if they have lots of kids/invest in their children’s education now, they’ll look after them/financially support them in their old age. I’ll admit there is some logic to that way of thinking. But by the same token, your kid could turn out to be a felon who swindles you out of your precious pension fund. Just saying.

Is being a stay-at-home parent necessarily the best option?

Yes, I’ve met women whose ambition in life was to be a mother. The only reason they were at university was to meet the right kind of husband (read: sperm donor). Even those that were super clever and highly accomplished academically, swiftly dropped everything as soon as their dream of popping out a kid was realised. They then chose to dedicate themselves wholeheartedly to motherhood.

For some people this really is the dream. Motherhood makes them complete. They call themselves a home-executive or whatever and that’s the end of that. Others soon quickly realise that as much as they love them, their kids don’t define them and they actually need to be gainfully employed (and perhaps more intellectually stimulated) to be a happy, functioning member of society (aka tax payer!).

At the end of the day. parenting is pretty much one of those things everyone messes up at some point. If you go to work you’ll be accused of neglect. Stay at home and it makes them feel smothered. You can’t win. That said,  doing a legit job, doesn’t make you less of a parent. I get that being with the kids 24/7 makes some people happy but it also makes others bored. Also from the kid’s point of view, seeing your parents going off to work isn’t necessarily a bad thing. They need to learn to survive without Mummy/Daddy to hold their hand. Also, kids should learn that for most people getting out of bed and going to work to earn money is a necessity. Money doesn’t grow on trees. Seeing parents having job that gives them purpose and fulfilment might also become a source of inspiration for kids. Who knows? All I’m saying that part-time parenting (as some people would call it) may not be such a bad thing.

To conclude this essay, we live in an age where people don’t really want to work. I agree there are more fun things to do than go to the office. But we also have responsibilities in life. To enjoy a nice lifestyle, you often need money and sadly most people aren’t born with a silver spoon in their mouths and may not necessarily acquire the required rinsing skills to bag ourselves a rich hubby/wife so we suck it up and go to work. If you don’t enjoy your job, I have a secret for you….most people don’t! But just admit you don’t like working and don’t use kids as an excuse not to go out to work. If you choose to stay at home with the babies and can afford to do so without relying on handouts from the state/society/random neighbours, good for you but please stop claiming that your kids are job. They aren’t. Not by any definition. And lastly, don’t assume that people who are gainfully employed are in anyway part-time parents. They aren’t. Perhaps they might even end up creating better adjusted little humans. Who knows? The juries still out on that one.

Share your thoughts little Rinsers. Do you think parenting can be considered a job? Or is it something ‘lazy’ people use to legitimise the fact that they can’t be bothered to go to work? Do we live in a world where people don’t really want to work and would rather follow their dreams than do an honest job? Is #englishrosiee nothing more than a horrible hater of children/job snob? It’s been a while so feel free to hate me in the comments below.