Valentine’s Day – What Are Your Options?

  • Happy Valentine's Day

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

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

Be Loved Up

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

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

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

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

Attempt to Buck The Trend

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

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

Have Fun With It

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

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

 

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

Portrait Of Stressed Young Woman With Cell Phone

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

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

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

Logic vs. Love

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

Arbitrary Time Frames

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

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

(Mis)communication Much ? 

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

The Fine Line Between a Broken Heart and Bruised Ego – And What Is Worse?

broken heart

In an age governed by all things instagrammable, the social image matters. As much as we may try to keep our romantic relations away from the public realm its always easier said than done. And even if we succeed, nobody likes to experience rejection and humiliation, even behind closed doors. Unless you are a inclined to be a social recluse who’d much rather remain in the confines of their cosy boudoir, we are all bound to encounter a few not-so-nice episodes when it comes to the pursuit of happily ever after. But then there is always that Facebook ‘friend’ who you know is going through some drama when you start seeing memes about how much they hate the opposite sex or inspirational quotes about being a strong, independent woman….bla bla bla. It gets tiring. Surely, noone can expect the public to sympathise when they seem to change boyfriends/husbands more often than the average person changes their socks. Hmmm..so pray tell. How. in an age governed by public image, do we differentiate actual heartbreak from a mere bruised ego? Here are some thoughts on the matter.

How much investment was in the relationship?

Millenials, they say, are a fickle generation. We upgrade our perfectly functional iPhones every year. We quit jobs after 3 days when it gainful employment no longer works around our yoga schedules. And when we hit a rough patch in our relationship we all know our next ‘love’ is just a swipe away.

However, as we get older and experience more and more failed relationships we learn that nobody is perfect and quitting isn’t always the best course of action. Those of us who don’t believe we are god’s gift to the rest of mankind will probably do some level of self-reflection and work on things we can do better. So hopefully, before we make any rash decisions sleep on things and give the situation some real thought.

That said, there are also times where you’ve tried your utmost to make some reasonable requests and some changes to the dynamics without losing your identity, and after crying yourself to sleep every night for what feels like an eternity, you bite the bullet, realise he isn’t going to leave his ‘wife’ as he has been saying for the past 2 years and call time on the relationship.

Of course, it’s not always about how long you’ve held on to things by a thread but generally speaking, there is a difference between a relationship that was all for the pleasure of your instagram followers come to an end and having to give up on something you worked so hard for. Sure, facing a certain degree of humiliation amongst your acquaintances and social networks is a bit of dent on the ol’ego but it doesn’t really equate to the crippling heartbreak associated with losing someone you actually planned on having a future with.

How ‘real’ were the reasons behind the termination of the encounter?

I’ve reiterated the importance of knowing your deal breakers time and time again. However, superficial or silly these non-negotiables may seem to the world at large. I believe as that as long as a person is open about their deal breakers from the get-go, as not to waste another person’s time (aka precious childbearing years for some!), then they are entitled to make certain demands to the universe about what they seek in a potential partner. Yes, when it comes to your personal dating life, a person can be as racist, sexist and able-ist as they want. It might not get them very far in life but they can do as they please.

That said, being rejected because you are unable to live up to a partner’s lofty ideals isn’t likely to be the most fun experience. Learning that someone just dated you for the sex, your money, or because they needed a bed for the night or a plus one for their best friends wedding will certainly be a knock to one’s self-confidence. In such cases, you eventually realize it was their loss, put it down to experience and move on to better things. Be thankful you dodged that bullet.

On the flipside, you have relationships where you’ve been through the wars and stuck together but still, manage to find some issue that you can’t compromise on. It’s all well an good setting your deal-breakers at the start, but the fact is we have relationships with human beings, not inanimate objects. Humans are open to change and so 1, 2 or 10 years down the line you might find that you are no longer dating that carefree young chick you met in a bar ever-so-long ago.  It’s when you’ve worked and worked on something and finally admitted defeat that things get sad. At some stage, you realise its no longer worth fighting this losing battle so you cut ties. You won’t necessarily hate the other person, in fact, you may still love them enough to take a bullet for them but you just come to terms with the heartbreaking reality that things weren’t meant to be.

And in the end, what’s worse? A broken heart or a bruised ego? 

Turns out the jury’s still out on this one. It would be easy to say that heartbreak being more entrenched is going to be worse. However, from experience, I find that sometimes the impact of a continuous knocks can not just bruise an ego but do more long term irreparable damage to a person’s confidence.

Think of it this way, when you experience real heartbreak its the result of having had a real relationship which involved real feelings. Sure, it’s sad when something that was once so good comes to an end. But at least you walk away with a few good memories. On the other hand, when your ego gets knocked around its often seems more superficial but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have a lasting impact.

Regardless, of whether the encounter last 1 month or 1 year, it was unlikely to be based on any solid foundations. Once you are at a stage where you can look back at things objectively (and if you find you can’t do this, find a friend to help you out!), you’ll likely see that any ‘good memories’ you thought you had weren’t all the ‘good’ after all. All those nice meals you guys used to have, well the food probably doesn’t taste so sweet when you remind yourself of how the nights ended with him calling you Fatty McFatty! And all those sweet nothings he used to whisper, well those aren’t so melodious when you realise he said what he needed to say to get his leg over. With these sort of ‘waste of time’ experiences, you are often left doubting your judgment and often hating the opposite sex. And this has the impact to tarnish future relationships.

I guess part it depends on the way your built though. As much as its easy to dish out platitudes like ‘time heals’ and ‘there are plenty more fish in the sea’. Both heartbreaks and bruised egos suck albeit in slightly different ways.  Hearts do mend and often after the dust settles you can have fond memories of those encounters. If there is something good you can take away from the experience, you can live somewhat hopefully that another more positive experience could potentially be just around the corner. Egos tend to be a bit more fragile.  Coming to terms that something ended because you weren’t pretty enough, smart enough , or simply too naive to see through his cunning ways… (all factors you don’t necessarily have any control over) well that can leave you scarred for life.

Anyway Rinsers,  as the title of this post state there is a fine line between a broken heart and brusied ago. Both suck. Both are part of life and the quest for happily ever after. So give me your thoughts. How do you spot the difference ? And which one is worse ? Go wild in the comments below.

 

 

 

The Little Mermaid Incident – What Would You Do Without A Voice?

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As you’ve probably realised by now, I’m kinda like the female version of Peter Pan – the girl that never grew up. I spend most of my days daydreaming of what my life would be like if I was a mermaid or a unicorn. Yeah, well like I said last time, we also need to be careful what we wish for. Because just recently, I almost had one of life ambitions come true (in the worse possible way). I’ve spent the last week trying to get over laryngitis. Not being allowed to/capable of communicating with the outside world forced me to contemplate the state of my life aka have a series of  (somewhat irrational) meltdowns. According to the internet, losing your voice isn’t that unheard of but for me it was quite a weird experience. I don’t consider myself a sissy (remember when I went to gym with a minor spider bite and was later hospitalised) but losing the ability to talk kinda scared me A LOT. Here a a few of the reasons why :

What If I get mugged? How will I scream for help?

I know that just the other week I was the one defending mankind and saying not all people are bad and blah,blah,blah but that said bad people still exist, and although our aim should be to rid the world of such scum, that’s easier said than done and we won’t be able to put evil beings to death (I meant, rehabilitate them). The next best thing to do, in a somewhat dangerous world, is to give your self the best advantages so you a) avoid finding yourself in such circumstances or b) have better abilities of fighting off/getting away from a crim. I mean as much as we shouldn’t feel forced to take self-defence classes, I don’t think having the ability to punch a bad hombre in the face is necessarily a bad thing (I mean, it could also be quite satisfying if you have the ability to do so without smashing your hand in the process). Anyhow, often the first line of defence when you feel uneasy around someone is usually to engage in some sort of dialogue to get them off your case (because even if you are the Queen of Rumble you can’t just go around smashing people when they invade your private space). We use our voices to assert ourselves and without that weapon we are kind of at a loss in situations. Thankfully, despite my irrational fears, I did not encounter any muggers while I was busy playing the little mermaid and in any case I was in quarantine so it was pretty safe for them. Panic Over.

What If I can never date again? or flirt again? banter with people? Do I have to resign myself to life of sad spinsterhood?

I always considered myself to be a shy, unassuming kinda girl (who am I kidding). It was not until this incident occurred that I realise how much I talk. Ugh. Of course, we live in a technological age – WhatsApp, Tinder, Facebook Messenger and Email all make it easy for us to communicate without actually having to put strain on our vocal cords. In fact, the invention of Uber, Uber Eats and even the jazzed up new McDs system allows you do go about some of your daily tasks without having to communicate with another dumbass human. Yay!

That said, when it comes to dating and some point you’ll need to hear the sound of the other persons voice. Sure, Tinder and the other dating apps allows us to put of this eventuality a little longer (and weed out the incompetent, illiterate fools that don’t deserve to be engaged in conversation) but whether or not you like people, if you want to have meaningful human relationships, you do need to communicate the old fashioned way. Flirting by text can be fun, sexting opens a lot of doors (wink, wink) but there is nothing that quite beats the thrill of the real life organic flirt where you are forced to think on your feet. Now, try and think of your most romantic, exciting interactions and imagine replaying those with the voice of Don Corleone or sounding like teenage boy going through puberty, it lowers your chances of success – right?

OMG! What if this is karma ?

And finally, I was stressing about if this was the universe’s revenge for all the mean things I had said and done to those Tinder boys. Sure, I can be a bit harsh at times and politically incorrect (always!) but don’t we all get like that sometimes. Of course, not everyone feels the need to blog about it but I’m sure mean thoughts do cross most of our minds at some point especially when faced with the horrific Tinderverse.

Still, maybe I should have been nicer? I mean no one can help being socially-inept, weird, pervy, uncoordinated, right ? Ugh. No. You can always work on your flaws. So much for being nicer. Not going to happen but a little reminder to try to be a better human once in a while isn’t such a bad thing. I suppose!

Anyway, I honestly don’t know what really possessed me to start writing this post. I think it was part of my general overreaction. But it does make you think how losing something as basic as your voice could potentially ruin your life. Maybe its a first world problem. But not really. I guess even irrational freak meltdowns have a purpose in terms of making you reevaluate things a little bit. But in the meantime I probably should get back to using my new recovering sex voice to get me back into dating!

OK Rinsers, Have you ever suffered a similar sort of meltdown at the thought of losing something basic that you’d usually take for granted? Please share your stories in the comments below so I don’t feel so much like A-grade loser (with a sexy voice, mind you!).

 

 

 

 

 

Be Careful What You Wish For : Why The Universe is The Biggest Joker

 

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With almost every single significant romantic encounter (and in some dramatic cases, even just the one-off dates), I’ve realised I discover another relationship deal breaker. A factor, that maybe this time round I had tried to dismiss as arbitrary and unimportant. but eventually accepted was a bigger deal that I’d first anticipated. And so it goes, the more experiences we have the more we learn about how much we can handle, what we are willing to compromise on and our general limitations. I know I sound like a broken record by now, but I can reiterate enough how strongly I feel about people sticking to their guns about their deal breakers no matter how ridiculous, arbitrary and un-PC the rest of society may deem these to be. If you don’t want to date a guy that is into heavy metal because you believe its the devils work then its OK say to so. Even if you have your heart set on marrying someone who hails from the very same village your ancestors came from and refuse to look at anyone from another race, tribe or town, that is alright too (at least you aren’t wasting anyone’s time).

On the other hand however, discovering more and more things we just can’t stand for makes dating ever-more difficult. Having very specific requirements narrows the dating pool which is gets smaller on its own as we age, in any case. So today, I’m going to backtrack somewhat and tell you that as much as I like deal breakers (implementing them in my own life is easier said than done), my experiences have taught me why it is necessary not to be to rash when establishing new deal breakers, especially in the aftermath of a break up. Sure, when a relationship ends its sensible to reflect on the past and try to figure out when things didn’t work in order to prevent yourself from making the same mistake twice. However, trying to do this too soon when you are still a little bit too angry, bitter and twisted just leads to disaster. From my experience, it usually means looking for someone who is almost the polar opposite of your ex in an attempt to minimise the risk of heartache. Sadly, as we all know by now, the world isn’t black and white and things are never quite that easy. Anyway let me give your some of my personal insights to make things clearer.

Smoking Hotties vs. Ugly Trolls

After what was probably the most horrific break up of my life, my basic little mind decided the reason I had had my heart ripped to shreads was because I dated someone who was well and truly out of my league (well on the superficial level of conventional ideas of beauty, in any case!). According to one of my friends he was the kind of guy ‘ any chick with functioning eyes would pack up and move to the other side of the world for’ and then I on the other hand was the somewhat pretty but chubby girlfriend that’d probably looked like a safe bet. So as it happens, following the demise of said relationship, I decided to be incredibly egalitarian in my dating decisions and give anyone a chance who seemed somewhat interested, relatively well spoken (written?) and basically showed little sign of being a serial killer.

Next thing you know, I find myself falling for a somewhat unfortunate looking chap with ‘wonky teeth, lazy eyes and horrific skin’ (not my description). Sure, beyond all the superficial things, the convo was decent and there was some weird attraction (although with hindsight it was probably more about the fact that logic told me that’d he’d never break my heart because clearly I was the catch this time round). Despite calls from my friends to aim higher I still went ahead crushing on the troll and as it turns out, the universe didn’t play fair. I wouldn’t say I got my heart broken as such but I certainly got an epic slap in the face when this unfortunate looking chap TOLD ME he couldn’t offer me anything serious and the very next week was Facebook Official with a pretty, little, conservative thing.

After this little blip in my dating history, it discovered in fact I do have type – the ‘beautiful’ type. So why fight it?

T-Totalers vs Alcoholics

Long gone are the days I knock back four bottles of wine but I can’t deny I love me the odd glass of wine now and again and I am a sucker of a bit of pink gin, a thirst-quenching cider on a sunny day, anyone for a porn star martini? Booze is an important part of my life, there is no denying it but I understand that its not for everyone. And as we grow up, I think most of us become a bit more selective about our indulgences (if only I gave up the bottle, I could legit be a athlete or a supermodel…jokes, but let a girl dream!). So, there was a time in my life where I’d never disregard a guy because he couldn’t handle/choose to abstain from liquor. Hmm…that was until I had the pleasure of dating an raging T-Totaler.

As first it started out OK. We tip-toed around the issue. He insisted I have a glass of wine. As things progressed however, so did the lectures. Constant YouTube clips about horrific drink driving accidents and articles illuminating the negative effects of alcohol. Sigh. Eventually, the comments started : ‘Have another glass, ALCOHOLIC! Have a shot while your at it !’ Ugh. That was that, I decided to choose wine over the man. After all, wine is the friend that never talks back. And with that I vowed never to date a T-Totaler EVER AGAIN! Alcoholic beverages were far too important in my life to have to deal with that sort of negativity.

But again, after a few months, the universe decided to have another major LOL at my expense. By handing my an ever-so-lovely guy, charming and beautiful in every way. And guess what…he loved liquor as much as I did. Yay!! And to be fair he could handle it way better that I could ever dream of. Every time I’d be DYING of a hangover, he’d be making me feel bad by pumping iron. Seems to good to be true? Well, it was. Turns out, having a ability to consume copious amount of hard liquor with it having no impact on your body whatsover, also comes with downsides. Especially, when the going gets tough, as it inevitably does, and instead of turning to your champagne-fabulous girlfriend you turn to the bottle, because we all know the answer to your problems can be found at the bottom of a litre of Smirnoff (knocking a back a bottle everynight and then starting your day with a nice gin! Sigh!).

Unemployed Bums vs. Workoholics

At the risk of sounding like a gold digger, I’m going to say that dating someone is financially stable is important. No, that doesn’t have to mean that they are rolling in it but that they realise the importance of hard work and that that they don’t expect everything to be handed to them. Entitlement just makes me sick – whether its a guy/girl who expects their spouse to slog away for a minimum wage while they sit on the fat ass playing computer games, or a professional poet or Air BnB post who expects an unsuspecting neighbor to continuously ‘loan’ them R20 for toilet roll…it just gets boring. If you want to live a life of luxury then work for it.

Having encountered a fair share of guys that don’t/can’t (be bothered) to work because you know the whole world and his dog is against them, a racist primary school teacher ruined their career prospects for evermore and because having to work a Saturday in hospitality is slave labor (Sigh!). So when you finally meet someone who is passionate about their work, can afford to pay their way and doesn’t blame others for their mistakes – BREAKTHROUGH!

But as is often the case, there is a downside to every good thing. Because its one thing to have a job that you are into, gives you joy and fulfillment and real job (I’d love to sit on my ass writing this blog everyday but honestly it won’t pay for my champagne habit!). But at the end of the day, a job is just that. And while job satisfaction is important, there needs to be a balance. A job should essentially allow you to fund a decent existence, it shouldn’t necessarily be your sole purpose in life (I personally don’t think any one thing should be). So yeah, in attempt to find someone who is financially stable and gainfully employed (which I know can be a rare thing) don’t go running into the arms of someone who is married to their job. You’ll find it hard to compete with the ching ching.

Ugh, maybe its just me who lives a life of extremes. All I am saying is that it is good to be self-reflective and try and figure out what worked, or more importantly, didn’t work in past relationships. However, making rash decisions and trying to find someone who is the polar opposite of the ex isn’t going to be the solution to all your problems. Stay calm, keep your wits about you and understand that everyone and everything comes with its own unique set of challenges. Sigh. Good luck to y’all!

Alright Rinsers… What is your take on all this? Any advice to the poor folk out there trying to navigate the dating world? Share your horror stories in the comments section below…

 

 

‘Can I Kiss You?’ Making Moves in the Age of Consent

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Once upon a time (well, like 3 years ago!) an incredibly articulate gentleman asked me the million dollar question : ‘Can I kiss you ?’ (NB – He was the same guy, who, when I eventually ended things and told him we could be friends (out of politeness) replied with that classic line: ‘Friends or Friends of an intimate nature’ PEWK!). At that moment, I scoffed and offered him a glass of water. The next day, I debriefed the said encounter with a few girlfriends and oh, how we laughed! They also laughed at me for my terrible attempt at deflection. One friend even said : ‘If he had to ask the question then answer should have been obvious!’. However, since then, it seems things have changed. I guess that whole #metoo movement had something to do with it. But suddenly there is the whole ‘consent is sexy’ thing happening!

Call me old-fashioned, but even 3 years on, I’m sticking to my guns and PUBLICLY ridiculing any guy that asks me if he can kiss me (just FYI I laugh at men who ask girls out on coffee dates too – potential romantic encounters should never feel like an informal job interview). However, it does seem perhaps I am in the minority. Having asked around, it seems that its now protocol to ask before falling onto another’s humans face. Oh my!  Anyway, it was pointed to me that my initial reasons for turning my nose up at the ‘can I kiss you ?’ question were quite predictable. Fair enough. Although, this article, did force me to dig a little deeper, nothing has fundamentally changed. I still don’t think any significant relationship in my life will begin with such a question and here is why:

Alternative Ways To Get Consent

Nope I’m not talking about reading body language which is yet another grey area.  In any case it seems that literacy levels (in every sense) are pretty low these days. Some people are the brightest crayons and need everything spelled out for them. Sigh!

And yeah, I get it, the odds aren’t really in a guys favour these days. You never know if when you go in for a romantic smooth whether the raging feminist will lose her mind and start shouting ‘PERVERT! PERVERT!’. So, perhaps so verbal cues are necessary for a dude’s peace of mind.

And maybe its because I work with words all day or the Brit in me but a surely a simple matter of phrasing can make the whole situation a little less lame if you ask me. I’m sure I’ve mentioned this before but there have been a few instances where men have felt the need to do a Mr Darcy and ANNOUNCE their intention to kiss me before going in for the kill. Rather than asking you, they are tell you. Yes, we know some women are going to start ranting about equality, gender roles and blah blah but I don’t think assertiveness is necessarily a bad thing especially in an age where noone seems to know what they want in life. Furthermore, this way of doing things not only allows the guy to feel like a BIG MAN, it also gives the girl a certain amount of time to a) RUN away or b) mentally prepare herself for what could be the start of something wonderful. Win-Win!

Guilty Until Proven Innocent

I think a big part of why this whole thing irks me so much is that I think having to explicitly ask something so basic is that it seems we now live in a world where people (men, basically) are guilty until proven innocent when it comes to contact (physical and verbal) with the opposite sex.  I mean in some fields of work there are strict protocols on what one can say or do when dealing with humans. You see a colleague balling their eyes out because their dog died, you may instinctively want to hug them in an attempt to make it all better BUT you better think twice before initiating contact who knows 2 years down the line it may be held against you in a sexual harrassment trial. Of course, you may think I’m being a drama queen here but that’s not to say such a thing has never happened.

Look, I’ve experienced my fair share of perverts. Old ones, young ones, good looking ones and ones who should stay at home chained to their computers. Even the ‘Hunk on Wheels’ well he recently spotted me in passing (have I mentioned Cape Town is a small world!) and suggested that I sit on his lap (just ewww!). That said, I also know lots of guys that aren’t all that bad. I mean, questionable fashion choices aside, they are just nice, fairly normal people. And even those that have tried their luck tend to back down once you subtlety (or not so) put them in their place. I just think its a shame that good guys are going to have to question their every move because of the likes of Trump and Co.

When The Tables Are Turned….

I know the ‘Can I Kiss You?’ Rule is intended to everyone – guys kissing girls, girls kissing guys, guys kissing guys and so on. But is the situation really the same? Following, #metoo we saw lots of guys coming forward with incidents of sexual harassment at the hands of woman. Sure, its debatable how widespread it is but it does happen. But does society really react in the same?

Back in the days when I used to drink copious amounts of box wine, I remember literally having to chase a friend around in circles as she ran after a guy who she just planned on jumping. It was like a scene from a Tom and Jerry cartoon. But we’ve all probably be THAT drunk girl, who uses booze to get rid of all inhibitions and pluck up the courage to make a move on a guy. The move could be as innocent as a beautiful, public declaration of love through poetry, or more likely throwing oneself (in some cases down a flight of stairs) at the guy and desperately hoping he’ll kiss back.  You see we are not all that different.

‘Can I Kiss You?’ Is Still Not The Answer To The World’s Problems 

I’m not much of a touchy-feely person. The way I see it if you are not my Significant Other, I have no reason to touch you and you have no reason to touch me either. But we live in a social world and sometimes you have to awkwardly hug people (however much you’d rather just fist pump!). Should we be asking people ‘Can I hug you?’, ‘May I hold your hand?’…. Where do we draw the line?

And then there are words. I could argue that sometimes the things people are say are often more vulgar and intrusive than a simple kiss. Of course we don’t need to be idiots about it. Clearly, asking a girl to sit on your lap is far more offensive than telling her she is pretty. But people take offense at different things. Believe me these days, with the PC police out in full force you could get done for referring to another person as ‘baby’, ‘sweetheart’ or ‘darling’ (when in fact you are probably only having to use those terms because you are bad with names – jokes!).

Maybe you think I’m just taking things to far. But like with all things to do with human relationships – its a case of different strokes for different folks. People have different boundaries shaped by culture, personal experiences and whole of host of other factors. How is the rest of the world supposed to gauge what these are? Million dollar questions right there. In any case, there are no hard and fast rules here. Perhaps I’ve just gone and got a bee in my bonnet because ‘Can I Kiss You?’ is just another thing that destroys the fairytale image of romance that I grew up with (after all, I don’t recall Prince Charming requesting Cinderella’s permission before kissing her ?!). In any case if it works it works and for those that prefer to err of the side of caution, go for it. (Ugh, and while we are at lets start signing contracts before engaging in any form of sexual activity – Christian Grey style!). The people that are intent on asking ‘Can I Kiss You?’ will continue to do so and I  hope for their sake they’ll be out with the type of person that appreciates the gesture, as opposed to some chick from the dark ages who chokes on her chardonnay, trying not to LOL in their face!

OK Dear Rinsers. Destroy me in the comments below! Do you ask a potential conquest ‘Can I Kiss You ?’ Is such a question even necessary? Where do we draw the line? Have you ever asked or been asked this question? What was your reaction? Share your horror stories or fairytales with us. 

 

How Upfront Can We Be About Dating Deal Breakers in an Overly-PC World?

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When I think how I’ve spent almost three years of my life airing my somewhat old-fashioned views about dating, gender roles and lifestyle choices on this blog, I’m quite surprised that I’m still alive. Especially, considering how vigilant the PC police are nowadays. Single ladies are reminded everyday about their ticking biological clocks. And regardless, we are all busy people who have a limited time on this earth. We cannot afford to waste time going on dates with people we know we are incompatible with from the outset. Sure, it’s good to be exposed to people with different world views to your own but that doesn’t necessarily need to happen in the dating space, if you ask me.

I’ve already voiced my views about how I think it’s not only OK, but 110% necessary, to be unapologetic about your dating deal breakers. But I understand that not everyone thinks like me. The world we live in is overly PC. It seems that sometimes that people are striving for some sort of ideal where we are all equal, things are always fair and nothing sets us apart from others and we all live happily ever after. But let’s face facts, that is not so and is unlikely to ever be the case. The world isn’t perfect, everyone is different. Some differences are out of our control and others are a result of choices that we’ve actively made.

Anyway, back to the point of the post. What irks me most is that although we are all well aware that the world isn’t just and people have differences of opinion, yet this obsession with being PC sometimes makes it very difficult for people to be open and honest about things that are deeply important to them and this in turn has the potential to do untold damage to others around them, especially in the realm of dating and relationships.

Let me give you a examples through couple of recent incidents which provided the inspiration for this post. We all know how superficial Tinder is. To my detriment, I rarely waste my time reading a person’s full profile unless it’s a actual match. As in life, most initial decisions about a person are based on the image they portray in those first few moments. But I’ve learnt the hard way that this is probably not the best way to go about things.

A Hunk On Wheels 

So about the first encounter. I was chatting to some Tinder dude who seemed perfectly nice until one morning he questioned me about why I was awake at 5am. I told him that was happy hour at the gym to which he responded with a whole bunch of alternative places I could be instead. While rolling my eyes, I replied by saying : ‘I take it you aren’t into fitness and a healthy lifestyle ?’ (Remember it was 5am when I am really in no state for civilized conversation with anyone except maybe the treadmill!). Anyway, he ended up silencing me by firstly revealing he is actually confined to a wheelchair (awk!) and then referring to himself as ‘my hunk on wheels’ (cringe!). I did double check his Tinder pics and turns out you should never trust a profile which only includes headshots. #rookieerrror! After some deliberation, (un)helpful advice from my friends (someone told me to reiterate that being active is hugely important to me!)  and even a quick google search (you can ask the internet pretty much anything these days) I decided the best course of action here was to remain silent. In any case, I would be branded a nasty able-ist person and would be spending the rest of forever burning in hell for having such a deal breaker.

Drug Dealers vs. God Botherers

The second encounter involved a rather dashing guy who became rather cryptic when questioned about his career. He disclosed only that he ‘worked with people’. My first guess was a drug dealer. The second, a priest. Lets just say he stood more of chance had he followed the former career path. He tried to back track somewhat by saying he was actually a pastor and not a priest. Unfortunately, there is no room for god in any of my relationships.  Subtlety was never my forte so this little romance ended before it began with me telling him that ‘I’m not really into god.’. It was a real shame though as he had pretty nice biceps (probably from waving all those BIG MAN bibles around!). Sigh.

 

How Much Are We Obliged To Reveal from the Outset? 

Hmmm…Yes people are horrible. The world is full of nasty ISTS ….racists, sexists, able-ists, age-ists … the list goes on. As much as I don’t condone these attitudes, I do believe everyone has the right to have them (although perhaps like in my case, it might be best to keep silent about these things at times). Whether its through choice or by circumstance, we are who we are and there are certain things we cannot/should not have to change about ourselves. That said, I also think we have a duty to open and honest about certain things from the get-go.

I don’t think either ‘the pastor’ or the ‘hunk on wheels’ were the most evil people in the world but they simply wasted my time. And while I found it much easier to be dismissive of the pastor (partly because religion just tends to annoy me and I get great joy our of antagonizing god-botherers), I think in both cases they could have revealed the truth much earlier on. The disability issue is sensitive but being open about it from the start would have just saved some awkwardness in the long-term. Imagine the poor chicks who don’t cotton onto the fact before a date – should they have to sit through the date out of sympathy or because the PC-police would likely accuse them of being able-ist? No! And ‘testing’ people’s character is never a good way to start a relationship.

Of course, nothing is ever black and white when it comes to human relationships. Sometimes deal breakers that are clear as day get overlooked because we are sucked in by a person’s charisma and good looks. And there are some cases where you don’t realise a deal breakers is a deal breaker till you’ve had some experience of it. Relationships are a learning curve. And I suppose the more of them we have, the more we learn how much we are able to tolerate/handle.

That said, the other party also has some responsibilities. Most notably, not to waste another person’s time by strategically concealing the truth or prolonging something by giving a persons false hope. Just generally, people also need to feel less governed by political correctness. Nobody should have to feel bad about rejecting a potential suitor based on their ability to carry heavy weights or procreate, religion, race or sexuality. Of course, its sad that we have to live in a world where people have to hide their disabilities or their sexuality because they feel the need to conform to what society wants. But, Tinder is not the workplace and you will not (as yet) face a law suit for dismissing a person on the basis on some arbitrary factor. That said, what does hiding the truth ever really achieve. Whether its tricking a girl into going on a date with you by cleverly concealing the fact you have wheels or sleeping in her bed for 6 months of her precious child-bearing years when secretly you know you’d rather be snuggling with her brother, you are essentially doing nothing more than wasting somebody’s time as well as your own.

So I guess this whole deal breaker thing is more complicated than I initially anticipated. Rinsers, what are your thoughts?  Should political correctness really need to infiltrate the world of dating? Are some cases of dismissing people based on arbitrary factors more legit that others? Feel free to hate on me in the comments below.

 

 

 

 

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?

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.