Lessons From #EnglishRosiee’s Tinder Hiatus

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As our loyal Rinsers may already know, the latter half of 2018 was not the greatest period in #englishrosiee’s romantic life. Following the long-awaited break-up with the second major love of my life, I decided to get straight back onto the dating horse and fall onto faces at Mavericks (keeping it classy, right there!). The universe intervened and had me basically deported to my beloved Blighty. In hindsight, this was probably both good in terms of preventing my own social suicide/general self-destruction and also for the safety of the unsuspecting Tinder men of Cape Town. Of course, #englishrosiee being her unhinged self continued to keep things interesting with her failed intention of tindering up a storm in London Town. As fate would have it, the light and fluffy entertainment that she had hoped to find in her motherland didn’t materialise and instead she had quite the epic winter fling which ended as quickly as it began. Thankfully, before she had time to cause any more drama and bring shame on the family, she found herself on a flight back to Cape Town!

And breathe! After all that, as I’m sure you could imagine, it came time for me to take stock and call a time out on the whole dating business. Not only had all this drama made me bitter, twisted and hateful about dating but I found myself lacking the strength to engage in any meaningful conversations with humans in general. So, as I stood in long AF passport control at Cape Town International Airport, I decided I needed to take a proper break from all forms of dating paraphernalia and so there I stood deleting Tinder, Bumble and the like for the first time in +/- 3 years and with no handsome male specimen to fill the void that that those apps would leave behind.

Welcome to the Tinder Hiatus, my friends. An interesting social experiment, some might say. I’m not sure. Jury’s still out on that one. But it was certainly a introspective learning experience if nothing else and here are a few of my findings : 

Swiping Is A Time Killer…

Once upon a time #zlotybaby and I would laugh as we’d be out with friends and suddenly all take a break to swipe simultaneously. Of course, it seemed like a LOL at the time but the novelty quickly wears off. Swiping is time consuming. And it’s not just the swiping, it’s all the repetitive conversations you need to have. Most of which don’t lead to anything (soooo many TALKERS). Then if you eventually make it onto a date, factor the time spent getting ready for the date (I’m usually very minimal effort these days, but the first time I popped on a pair of heels, it worked in my favour), time travelling to the date (unless you become a pro and start suggesting the pub next door for happy hour drinks – it’s great for making a quick getaway), then the time spent on the date itself (yes, there have been magical first dates but let’s just say it’s a numbers game and the bad dates outnumber the butterfly-inducing ones quite dramatically!). So, all in all, modern forms of dating are time-consuming. Well done, #englishrosiee, for stating the obvious.

And You Can Achieve Great Things When You Remove ‘Swiping’ From Your To-Do List

So, the moment I stopped swiping I suddenly had a tonne of extra time on my hands. Add to this the fact that I took a break from booze (that friendly enabler that stopped me putting a gun to my head after many a bad date) and much of my social life went out the window. So yup, instead of living in a constant state of hungover and striving for a gold medal in the dating Olympics, I did lots of nice things. I inhaled lots of books (also scouted for boys at the bookshop, mind you!). I started planting vegetables (hopefully, they might survive longer than most of my relationships). Oh, and I did an infuriating 1000 piece puzzle. And also indulged in far too much Netflix. But follow my instabrag  (englishrosiee_rinsebeforeuse) to see more of the good things I did when I wasn’t swiping my life away.

Finding A Date Without The Internet is Hard

So when I decided to delete my dating apps I had no intention of not dating. I was just tired and bit disillusioned by all the groundwork. Of course, there are some guys that cut to the chase and after you’ve established they aren’t likely to be a serial killer you’ve got yourself a date within the next couple of days. But there are all those that need complete rundown of your life including what you favourite colour is and what your parents do for a living (no jokes). It got to the point when I just couldn’t deal with all this BS, but I was still up for a real-life connection.

Ha! But where to find such a thing? I initially had to romantic ideas of meeting the man of my dreams at a bookshop (well… until a friend had me watch the creepy Netflix series, You). All I did was spend money on books. I tried my old stomping ground aka the gym and as much as there is plenty of eye-candy, getting your flirt on when you can barely breathe and covered in sweat isn’t the easiest task in the world. Then of course you are told to try meeting someone through your friends. Most of my friends are a) smug married couples who just hang out with other smug married couples, and I don’t have the energy or inclination to be a home-wrecker or b) singletons themselves and too busy hustling to get lucky themselves that they have no time to concern themselves with the sad state of my romantic life. And with Cape Town being Cape Town, the one potential set-up that was on the cards has yet to materialize! So ho hum!

It really does baffle me how our ancestors managed to get by without modern technology to assist them on their path to happily ever after? I suppose back then they just had to settle for the boy next door, lie back and think of England.

There is a bit of FOMO

I’ll admit at first I only missed swiping when I was really bored having exhausted all the ‘fun’ apps on my phone and I just needed another distraction. But at some point, you do begin to wonder what you might be missing out on. Although, having now re-downloaded all these apps, I can honestly tell you that it’s not much. And Cape Town being the small world that it is, you’ll soon see guys you swiped/dated years ago are still doing the rounds.

But Eventually You Realise That You Are Doing Yourself No Favours By Being A Hater of Apps

So yes, while single life (read: not proactively dating but also not resigning yourself to life of sad spinsterhood) has its perks, and I can see it becoming increasingly comfortable and stress-free (I’ll write more about that in a follow-up post), its basically just a happy middle ground and nothing more. While it’s certainly OK to take a time out when you feel you are getting a bit disillusioned with the world of modern dating, I don’t think humans are meant to abstain from romantic relations for too long (because as my fave WISO always told me that is how you regain your virginity!). So…unless I missed the memo and someone out there knows of a more productive, organic way of finding happily ever after (or even just a bit of attention), it seems to me that dating apps are a necessary evil when it comes to modern romance. So must just accept it for what it is, take the good with the bad and continue plodding along.

So Rinsers. Have you ever taken a similar break from online dating? Did it do you any good? Do you agree that dating apps are a necessary evil when it comes to modern dating? Or do you have some alternative suggestions of ways to find #happilyeverafter? And how the hell did previous generations manage without such things? Pewk on the page in the comments section below. Please and thank you. 

 

 

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Book Review : Everything I Know About Love By Dolly Alderton

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Having recently reactivated my online dating profiles I made a rather scathing comment after being reminded of the limited type of men available to me in the Mother City. I’m afraid the comment is too un-PC, even for this blog (it involved some reference to Brit TV channel) so I’ll leave that to your imagination (and I’ll give you #zlotybaby’s famous 2 rand if you guess right). The friend I was bitching to LOL’d and commented that it was quite refreshing to see how my taste in men/romantic perspectives had changed so dramatically in the space of two years which subsequently made me think of a book I’d read earlier this year.

Following the abrupt end of a lovely winter fling just prior to Valentine’s Day (I have the BEST luck!) I picked up a copy of Everything I Know About Love by Dolly Alderton. It’s just the type of book you need if you’ve just been ceremoniously dumped, done something idiotic or simply don’t feel like you are where you should be in life or are feeling a bit sorry for yourself.  The book is an autobiographical account of how the author’s perspective on love changes as she grows up. I would also go as far as to say it is one of the best (non-intentional) self-help books I’ve ever read!

Basically it takes the reader from those embarrassing school girl crushes that we supposedly have in our teens (I was still acting like a teenager in my 20s – late bloomer and all!), through the madness of student life where you basically fall onto faces that you only have vague recollections of when your friends debrief you on the previous nights events (yep, we’ve all been there!), to your early 20s when you start to feel like you might be finding a purpose in life and getting things on the right track till BOOM the universe bitch slaps you with some god-awful life experiences!

It’s definitely a nice piece of chick-lit which will really have you LOL’ing. It’s an easy read but not in the usual trashy sense. In many ways, this book contains the sort of things many girls would have wished they’d known as a teen. I don’t know about y’all but I often find myself wanting to punch those older, influential people around me in the face for not telling certain things when I was growing up. To give you the most basic of examples, when I was a chubby (bordering on obese) kid growing up, I always thought I’d never get lucky because guys were only into those blond chicks with super model-esque figures. Not true. As I’ve grown up I’ve had first hand experience of how it really is a case of different strokes for different folks with ex-boyfriends feeding me doughnuts telling me they’d dump my skinny ass if I ever start looking like those yoga-bunny types I’ve always aspired to be (see kids, chubby-chasers are real!). Anyway, I’m sure you’ll also find lots of useful bits of information, you may know now but wish you’d known when you were younger!

It’s not all about romantic love, as the title may trick you into believing. It is also about the general ups and downs we experience growing up – partying hard, getting drunk, navigating the job market, learning to stand on your own two feet (and getting knocked down in the process), and having  a few good friends who are there by your side through it all. It’s basically a more real, less glamorous, more British account of Sex and the City. And I’ll pretty much say the same thing about it as said about the Best Exotic Marigold Hotel…it’s funny, but it’s super funny if you are a Brit. I mean there are some references that you’ll pretty much only get if you grew up in Blighty!

So, all in all, it’s just a really lovely, generally hilarious (but sad in some parts) book about getting older and muddling through life. And I think the best thing about the book is that if your feeling like a bit of a dumb-ass whether it’s a case of falling in ‘love’ too quickly or falling down drunk and making a fool of yourself, it’ll make you realise you are not alone in your stupidity. All the idiotic things you’ve done have likely been done before, and as much of a numpty as you might feel about it now, you’ll likely come out the other side just fine. So if you or one of mates needs a bit of a boost or a little reassurance, Dolly Alderton’s Everything I Know About Love, is sure to provide just that. Go read!

 

 

 

Our Love Affair With Booze : Do Dating and Drinking Need To Go Hand in Hand?

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Despite 2019 getting off to a bad start with #englishrosiee FAILING at Dry January not once but twice, I’d like to have a phat brag about how I’m now almost 7 weeks sober (and my gin is well and truly in sight…Thank the blessed unicorns!!). This may not sound like a big deal to some, especially those that haven’t ever developed a taste for the good stuff but to put things in perspective, this is likely to be the longest I’ve been sober since I was probably 15. It really is quite remarkable.

Funnily enough, this extended period of sobriety coincides with a much-needed Tinder hiatus (more about that in another post!).  Being exiled, having to life in limbo teamed with experiencing a number of romantic setbacks within a matter of months, and bearing in mind that the UK in Dec/Jan is freezing AF, you really can’t blame a girl for hitting the bottle HARD. That said, if there comes a point when you feel like you are living life in a constant state of hangover, it’s probably a sign that its time to take a break from your love affair with gin.

Anyway, my booze-free life is soon to come to an end (yay for that! gin I missed you!). 10 days and counting. Something I’m slightly less thrilled about is that the realisation that unless I want to waste away the rest of my days as a sad spinster living out a sexless existence I’m likely going to have to reactivate my online dating profiles. Sigh. These two forthcoming events teamed with a chapter I read in a book called : ‘The Unexpected Joy of Being Sober – By Catherine Gray (horrific book title!) bought up some interesting questions about the synonymous relationship between booze and dating which I thought were quite blog worthy.

Do I Need Booze To Date?

Hell yeah! Nothing good ever started with a coffee date. Ugh, the thought of a coffee date reminds me of a job interview. And honestly, if you’d been on some of the horrific dates I’ve lived through you’d understand that alcohol is pretty much the only thing that made these encounters bearable (in the worst cases it also became a trusty weapon to be thrown in the face of a racist!). One thing that taking a long break from booze has taught me is that I have a very low tolerance for humans. Even among my everyday acquaintances, there are people that are just more pleasant when there is booze involved. Even when people don’t necessarily offend you, they just have more value when you’ve got a glass of bubbly in hand.

On the flipside, I also think I’m more dateable when I’m being boosted by alcohol. For a start, no-one can deny that there is nothing like a refreshing G+T to take the edge off those first date nerves. And of course, there are times when the conversation flows naturally and you meet someone with whom the banter just works. But booze does help one lose their inhibitions and get their flirt on more easily.

Each to their own, though. I actually really like the taste of booze, to the extent that chit chatting about the best wine estates is becomes a valid topic of conversation. As long as I don’t over-indulge, start crying and can successfully make it to the gym the next morning without smelling like brewery it’s all good. However, I know there are those that regularly turn into complete idiots when booze is involved and if you are one of those, then perhaps its best not to booze or at least hold back a little at the early stages of dating, at least.

Is Losing Your Inhibitions Such A Good Thing?

If you are one of those people that is blessed with a tonne of self-confidence and feel comfortable in all social situations, well good for you. For the majority though, socializing isn’t always easy. Its natural to feel a bit self-conscious when you are put into a new social situation. Booze helps take the edge off. I can’t say I care too much for the science behind it. But it helps us lose some of our inhibitions and make the interaction with our fellow humans somewhat less agonizing.

But of course, there is a fine line. For some losing their inhibitions isn’t simply a case of becoming a more engaging conversationalist. There are those who complete evolve into another species altogether when you add alcohol. Tops come off.  There are police escorts home (true story). Bar fights with bouncers (another true story!) Lots of meaningless casual sex. Losing your material possessions, waking up the next morning and having to change your locks/cancel all your bank cards. Having no filter, telling people what you really think of them, (in vino veritas and all!) , bringing shame on the family and generally causing offense wherever you go. The list of goes on…

Booze is fine in moderation. It can make dating easier for sure. However, have those beer googles on while essentially making decisions about your romantic future probably isn’t the brightest idea. Tinder (and the world in general is full of really #badhombres and their female equivalent) so its important to stay safe and keep your wits about you when you are out their playing the field.

Is It Possible For A Big Boozer to Date A Tee-Totaler? 

We live in an age where people marry their dogs so anything is possible. Jokes aside, I’ve dated them all. I once dated a guy who seemed OK with me drinking during the initial stages of dating. However, as the ‘relationship’ progressed his true colours were revealed by comments like : ‘Have a second glass, ALCHY! Go on!’. On the flipside, I’ve also dated a high-functioning alcoholic who thought it was normal to drink whisky for breakfast. Honestly, it becomes difficult when you spend your life worrying about a person every time they get into a car! It’s also worrying when you start to realise your ‘new normal’ is legit drinking a glass of wine after a 8am workout (to be fair though #balance!).

Sure, my experiences are extreme. I don’t really like drinking alone and honestly, wine is much more fun when you share it with someone who is attractive and enjoys it just as much as you do. I also admit to having archaic views about gender norms. I’d don’t want to date a guy I can drink under the table, the same way I don’t think I could date someone who couldn’t run faster than me (its not hard,  I’m basically a tortoise in peanut butter these days!). By the same token, I’m also too old to be dealing with the drama that comes with anyone who needs alcohol to operate.

As I said, that’s just me. There are plenty of couples where one person drinks gin like its a finite resource while the other knocks back kale smoothies every morning. Its not that different from a savage meat-eater dating a raging vegan, is it really? At the end of the day, I think its not really an issue of whether someone drinks or eats meat but much more to do about a persons attitude to the substance. If a teetotaler is completely happy watching the significant other enjoy a glass of champagne, then its all good. If however, the reason behind this person’s sobriety is that they are some sort of religious fanatic who thinks that drink is the devil’s work, well then you might have trouble on your hand.

What About Wider Society ? 

So you’ve decided to agree to disagree on your reasons for boozing/not boozing or you’ve found a happy medium that works for you. Well, your problems don’t stop there. The fact is, at least in western societies so much of our social lives feature alcoholic beverages. If you’ve given booze for whatever reason : perhaps you found god, maybe you’ve sacrificed gin temporarily because you want to be at your best for your next marathon or there was one of THOSE incidents where you made a complete twat of yourself, fell into a bush or woke up next to someone you’d likely not recognise if you were to pass them on the street. But then you start dating someone who does drink in moderation. It may be no big deal between the two of you but how about when it comes time to be exposed to their wider (most likely to be drinking) circles.

I recently hit it off with a someone who was taking a very reasonable break from the bottle (as I am now). However, I told him in no uncertain terms that he wasn’t going to survive Christmas with my fam unless there was alcohol involved. It was quite flattering how quick he was to call time on his booze hiatus. But in retrospect, even though what I said was 100% true, I do feel kinda guilty about being a bad influence.

Look, I’m not saying who your significant other mixes with with necessarily has to be a massive issue in the future of your happy relationship but it is something we need to bear in mind. I guess its also a matter of how regularly their wider circle features in their life too.  At the end of the day, relationships are about compromise. For instance, I’ve been to church before for the sake of a relationship  and it wasn’t a big deal (yay for free wine! Jokes!) but if they wanted me to be there every Sunday. Hell no! So I suppose, the same goes for the odd booze fueled/free social gathering – if there are two reasonable people involved it should be somewhat workable.

The Perks of Being Sober In A Relationship – Alcohol Fueled Sex vs. (Somewhat) Sober Sex

Finally, booze is great and all but there must be some advantages to being sober. Otherwise Dry January wouldn’t even be a thing. Right? Of course, life is generally more productive when you aren’t constantly hungover but there must also be repercussions for dating and relationships.

For a start, I definitely think I’m less likely to tolerate mediocrity on dates if there isn’t alcohol involved. Having a clear mind will also likely help one make better decisions when it comes to the type of relationships to pursue. And then there is also that all important bedroom factor in relationships.

There is lots of boring scientific reasons as to why sober sex is actually better from a physical point of view. But lets put science in the corner for a moment, surely bouncing around when your full of alcohol, the room spinning around you and being on the verge of pewking up that late-night kebab all over your latest conquest isn’t that much of appealing option. Waking up next to someone you don’t really find that attractive the morning after can’t be much fun either.

But the biggest reason why sober sex should be better than its alcohol fueled counterpart probably ties in with a lot of what I have to say about WISOs vs. Relationship Girls. I wonder how viable it would be to have a one-night stand stone cold sober?! Hmm…million dollar question, right there. But probably not going to happen.

******

And breathe. That dear rinsers is all I have to say. And boy do I need a gin after that rant. Clearly, the #soberlife is going to my head. So yup, we live in a world where alcoholic beverages play a central role in social activities, including dating. While its not impossible to date someone whose booze consumption levels are significantly different to yours, it is one of those things that one needs to consider when deciding how and who they date. All in all though, I think it shouldn’t really be about whether or not someone drinks but more about the reasons they are the way they are. For me, it’ll always be about moderation on one hand I genuinely love booze but I also love waking up early, functioning like a human being and make the most of my life. So here’s hoping I’ll be able to find a unicorn that feels the same.

Rinsers, Do you think there is a synonymous relationship between drinking and dating? Do you think its easier to date with a glass of wine in hand? Is it something people can compromise on or does the pressure from the world around us make it hard? And what about its relationship to sex – Is sober sex so much better? Is it really likely that people ever have one-nighters which can’t be blamed on the booze factor? Lots to think about there so go wild in the comments.

 

 

Why The Only Failed Relationships Are The Ones You Never Have

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Disclaimer : The title may be a bit misleading I’m not advocating pursuing a relationship with any unsavoury characters (serial philanders, wife beaters, emotionally abusive freaks of nature, etc) just for the sake of having a relationship. But anything vaguely legit is fine. 

Once upon a time, a more judgmental me vowed never to date a divorcee. I told myself I had too much self-respect to be someone’s second wife and take on all the associated emotional/financial baggage (and possibly little people) that came with that. To be fair, I’m still not too sure how I feel about it. In all honesty, I’d love more of clean slate if at all possible (yeah, yeah I know we by the age of 30 pretty much all of us have few notches on your bed post and a few issues to boot!).

Whether it’s your marriage that comes tumbling down after a matter of months or a case of you not even making it down the aisle after dating someone for half a decade, there is no doubt that when a long-term relationship comes to an end you have to deal with a bunch of ‘ agh shames’ because as society sees it you’ve failed at something. And not just anything, the most important thing in the world ever. You’ve failed at happily ever after. Pass the tissues.

Of course, some of people do marry their first love (great sentiment and all, but some of us are more inclined to try a few things at the buffet before knowing what our fave is). As this isn’t the case for the majority of us, what really is the a viable alternative to having a bunch of FAILED relationships to your name? Being a 30-something virgin still waiting for the one to materialise…don’t get me started. Sigh.

So today dear rinsers, I’m going to be smashing a huge slice of humble pie into my face and telling you why (even in the cases where they end in divorce) there is really no such thing as a failed relationship. And also why collecting failed (human) relationships is still a better option that living out a sad, (often) sexless, lonely existence. Here goes:

Broken Relationships Help Establish Deal Breakers You Never Knew You Had

When I was a chubby kid that boys never noticed, I was pretty much willing to date any bloke that paid me the slightest bit attention. Maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration but I hadn’t put too much thought into it to be honest. Obviously, we all have some basic deal breakers even from the start. For example, I’ve always known I didn’t want to date a convicted to felon. But there are also things we only realise matter when we a being forced to compromise on them within a relationship. On the flipside, there maybe things we initially thought were non-negotiable but actually in the grand scheme of things realise aren’t such a big deal.

Relationships Forces You Out of You Comfort Zone

Of course, you could say that about any human relationship you engage in. However,  I do think romantic relationships have this extra potential to push you further out of your comfort zone partly because of the fact that you driven by desire to impress the object of your affections.

Sure, some people will criticise you for being you other half’s shadow and lacking your own identity. But identity isn’t something static. Surely, we aren’t the same person, with the same interests, passions and motivations that we had in our teenage years. So taking an active interest in what makes your other half ticks is much more than a basic bonding experience, it can potentially change you (hopefully only in positive ways).

Look, I’m not saying you such start snorting cocaine because some dude you fancy swears by it. But within reason, forcing yourself to try new things isn’t bad. At worst, you’ll give it go, realise its not for you and never do it again. (but at least your beau should appreciate the effort). And you never know, you might discover something that you really enjoy, that challenges you and makes you a better person.

Lets just say I had many wasted gym memberships before I found a romantic interest who could show me how to do all these super cool big man things.  And sure, the relationship has come and gone but at least I have some muscles to show for it!

A ‘Failed’ Relationship Provides Opportunity for Introspection

It takes two to tango and also to up a relationship. In the aftermath of a breakup its normal to feel a bit sorry for yourself and blame the other person. But once the dust settles, you’ll probably realise you weren’t an angel in that situation either. When I look back to relationships I had in my early 20s I can now admit I was a bit of a spoilt brat (I’m an only child so sue me!) and I’d throw my toys out the cot every time I didn’t get my way. Those relationships would have collapsed in any case but my nitpicking and lack of anger management abilities certainly didn’t help things along. Now that I’m older and somewhat wiser, I’d like to think I’ve learnt to pick my battles and know when to take a breather rather than letting a minor disagreement turn into World War 3.

Admitting you have flaws which contributed to the downfall of a relationship is never nice. However, becoming aware of your shortcomings is the first step in working on yourself and finding ways to overcome these issues. Whether its a bad temper, insecurities, a tendency to rush into things or poor personal hygiene being  given the insight to fix the issue could also help you develop into a better human in general thereby making you a more viable dating option for the next potential hottie that comes along.

Mistakes Provide Good Lessons

If you try hard enough you should be able to find something positive in every relationship. There are some however that really are overwhelmingly bad such as ones where you emerge from the destruction with your self-esteem in tatters after being called a morbidly obese time and time again. In such cases, a bit of analysis will probably reveal that there were red flags from the outset that you chose to ignore. Hopefully, nothing too disastrous should happen (i.e. you don’t end up in jail or worse, knocked up!) as a result of your poor dating decision. Regardless, having a handful of dealings with such shady characters should enable one to develop enough street smarts and become a better judge of character so when the next deadbeat comes along you’ll be able to quickly spot the signs and save yourself the heartache and drama by simply NEXTing that person!

And Relationships Give You The Best Sex

I know there will be some WISO (we still don’t know if such a thing exists) who will beg to differ with me on this one. But I’m sticking to my guns here. Relationship people get better sex.

I did recently have someone tell me I didn’t need to be in a relationship (or Tinder) to get lucky. No shit Sherlock! But I still don’t think a one nighter with even the most smoking hot sexpot in the world ever can compare to bedroom acrobatics with someone you actually have feelings for and don’t feel repulsed waking up next to the next morning. Oh yeah, and unlike a one-nighter which is somewhat unpredictable, when you are in a relationship you have the good stuff on tap. Just saying.

Finally….Consider The Alternatives? 

If you’ve recently come out of a relationship or marriage it is bound to feel horrific. Add to that this sense of failure which is no doubt put on oneself but also exacerbated by wider society, and things start to look pretty bleak. Can there really be anything worse, than having a ‘failed’ at happily ever after? Believe it or not, YES..

The way I see it, there are two alternatives both of which are infinitely worse. You could opt to be ‘brave’ and stay in an unhappy nightmarish relationship to avoid looking like you ‘failed’ at something. Lots of people do. We’ve probably all held onto a toxic relationship for longer than we should have at some point in our lives. And if you’ve experienced this you’ll know it is a hellish experience and one which I’d say rarely has any benefits. Despite the fact that it is horrible being in a relationship where you spend most of time avoiding each other and cursing the day your other half came into being, there are plenty of people who’d rather have the facade of a happy ending than nothing at all. I’ll take the failure. Thanks.

The other way to avoid a ‘failed’ relationship is not to engage in one at all. A prospect that doesn’t ever bear thinking about if you ask me. By now you know my feelings about WISOs (they don’t exist) and 30-Something Virgins. Lets stop kidding ourselves by saying we are above all this relationship drama or are waiting for the ONE to come along. Most people have to do some soul searching and sift through the deadwood before they find the person they want to be with forever (or the foreseeable future as this generation would have it). But you could die tomorrow with your V-card still in tact waiting for this unicorn to fall from the sky.  Who in their right mind wants that?

And the point to all the prattling on. Well basically, failed relationships are better than no relationships ever at all or a farcical happy relationship. Life is about taking (calculated) risks and although heartbreak is the WORST most people who’ve been through it will tell you that things do eventually get better. Meaningful romantic relationships give us important life skills, teach us what we can/cannot accommodate in a relationship and provide some useful insights into our own shortcomings which may not have been revealed had we remained single forevermore.  Romantic relationships also have a special kind of dynamic that you can’t get elsewhere.There are people out there that will tell you there are other sources of love out there – friends, family, puppies, etc but they aren’t quite the same. So keep at it, make a few mistakes, take a break from dating if it all gets all too much, but take no notice of the world has to say about success and failure when it comes to happily ever after. Because its all a matter of perspective really.

Oh and  as for the million dollar question. Am I going to compromise on my rather lofty ideals about divorcees? Hmm…I don’t know about that. To be fair, I am a fan of living in sin so I’ll probably end up giving the guy a lot of jip about his starter marriage. One thing I can say for certain though is, if presented with a divorcee/relationship failure and someone still in possession and their V-card, its a no brainer which one I’d go for! The good sex 😉

Alright Rinsers, over to you. Do you think its better ‘to have loved and lost than to have never loved before’? Or do you think its better for your emotional well being to stay away from relationship altogether and opt for a bit of no-strings attached fun? And does holding out for the one and trying nothing in the interim come with its own problems? Go wild in the comments section below.

 

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…

 

 

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.

 

When Things Change

bloom-blossom-blur-162311Some people dread change, others almost pathologically follow it and then there’s this third group there’s somewhere in between. I’ve been a representative of all three groups at some points in my life. Regardless of what your attitude to change is, things do change so embracing it is just a part of life.

Of course, there are all these unpredictable horrible changes that happen to people. A dreadful disease, a death of a family member, a loss of job or a lover. Life’s full of surprises and many of them are far from pleasant. It’s often not easy to deal with something bad that has hit us unexpectedly, especially that we foolishly consider our lives comfortably predictable and safe. My general make up is more of an expectation of the worst so my relationship with this source of change is weird. It’s not like I’m not angry or sad it’s more like underneath all these feelings there’s a strong undertone of “Oh, hello, tragedy, I’ve been expecting you.” Now, to be honest (touch wood) I’ve been so far spared many of the worst life tragedies and I have had an objectively easy life. Being highly sensitive, however, means that I sometimes take blows that would mean almost nothing or little to other people very badly.

Anyway, let’s not talk about the bad stuff. Change can also be positive but even if it is, it can bring unexpected consequences. For instance, I remember when being a singleton I was the first one to criticize friends who get too comfy with their boyfriends or girlfriends and ditch their friends. Almost two years into being married I still believe that being a separate unit from your partner is crucial to your personal and couple happiness. Say “yes” to hobbies, friends and networking. Still, part of having a functional relationship is spending a lot of time together doing both fun and domestic things with your partner. Even though I used to be so eager to judge, today I must say that life just isn’t the same for a single person as for a person in a committed relationship. When you like spending time with your partner (and if you don’t why are you together?) and they’re your priority, your time for other things becomes more limited. Some things even have to go and honestly you’re quite happy to let them. Sure, it’s nice to have an extended date with your girlfriends from time to time but your preference for a weekend away will be most of the time to be with your partner and/or other members of the coupleverse.

So there’s a partner that will unavoidably change your world in some way. Then there are other things related to being an adult. For some people this means puppies and for other children. The point is, unless you’ve been in the situation yourself you don’t really understand to what extent such things change your life. Surely you’ve been telling people either directly or indirectly “Ah, but you used to be out all the time!”. Of course, when you’re on the receiving end and it’s your friend getting steady with someone or moving abroad or enrolling into a study program on the top of their full-time job you’re the one feeling the emptiness. Unavoidably, however, you’ll be at some point the one changing (and if you won’t is this really a good sign and are you developing at all?). It seems like the best thing to do is to try to get as comfortable with life changes as you can. Both yours and that of others because change is very often a sign of growth and what doesn’t grow is dead (even if just inside!). Also, there’s no point crying over spilt milk and all.

Last but not least, no one changes entirely. Big events in life usually just strengthen the features that people have already had. These moms that tell you they have no time whatsoever for exercise now that they have kids and you’ll understand that one day, in most cases didn’t use to be active before the kids either (just don’t point that out cause they’ll bite your head off!). Active parenthood is a thing and as challenging as it must be many active people fight to upkeep that lifestyle in some modified way.  The people that all of a sudden start to be crazy late after they get a promotion using their Responsible Job as an excuse, usually used to annoy the shit out of you with this characteristic before too. Those who can’t keep any arrangements after they found a new partner, become just more flakey than before. In other words, yeah life sometimes changes drastically but people are also full of shit and LOVE excuses. Am I right or am I right?

When things change and they change all the time, try to go with a flow. Sometimes change pushes you out of your comfort zone and makes your life even better than before. Other times it makes it worst. Sure, it’s annoying when you had been happy about something and this something changed but it’s just life. Moan and complain a little bit and then move on!

‘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. 

 

 

 

 

 

The Things We Stop Talking About When We Grow Up

little_girlsDo you remember how you used to tell everything to your BFF when you were little? She knew all your secrets and you knew everything about her. Even when you were a teenager there were those girlfriends you told about how disappointing your first sexual encounters were. Then something happens around the time we get into a committed relationship and some things we used to talk openly about become taboos. What are those things, why does it happen and is it necessarily a negative process?

First of all, money becomes a thing. Sure, there are some people who were born with a silver spoon in their mouth but most of us lack money to some extent. As kids we dream about buying more bubble gum and sweets than our pocket money (and reason) allows us too. As teenagers we moan about not being able to buy cigarettes and booze. As students we never have enough money to experience everything we would like to and as young professionals we usually stand on our two feet for the first time and we learn that EVERYTHING costs money and more than we would like. As we have a common ground of complaining with our peers, there’s no shame in telling someone that we’re broke and we can’t do this or that. We also openly complain about how little we earn and we know exactly how much that “little” means for our friends.

As we grow in experience and our salaries get bigger, however, the money taboo appears. Somehow, it’s not okay anymore to ask your friend how much they earn and even if you do they may get cagey about the question. Sometimes some vague estimates are given publicly and you can see the other members of the party having fumes coming out of their ears, trying to count exactly how much does that mean and whether it’s more or less than themselves. Perhaps with age we become more competitive, jealous and full of ourselves? Who knows. The fact is that apart from my husband only my sister-in-law knows how much I earn and that’s because she has no boundaries. I honestly feel quite comfortable not knowing what people earn, as I know it’d eat me up to know that someone less educated and more importantly lazier than me earns more than I do.

Another thing that’s affected by the lost of sincerity is a sex life. I used to have girlfriends with whom I would share everything. We knew with whom, when and how many times. Especially those who didn’t have long-term boyfriends were open about their sexplorations. Even the more settled ones, however, would often tell me more than I wanted to know, which made it difficult for me to look at their partner in the same way. Generally, the rule seems to be: the more serious and committed the relationship, the less you will hear people commenting on their sexual lives. It makes sense then, why in our youth we are more sexually verbal. When we get older and we have more respectful relationships we naturally tend to keep certain things between ourselves and our partner.

As little as we talk about sex when we settle down, there is an exception to this rule, namely procreative sex. Especially when you’re married, everyone and their dog feels entitled to ask you whether you’re trying for a baby yet (=are you fucking without using contraception) and about your plans in this respect (=when are you planning to fuck without using contraception). People will share their news about being pregnant over a meal (gross guys, I’m eating and I don’t want to be thinking about you two fornicating!) and even tell you about their trouble with conceiving (I AM LITERALLY PUKING IN MY MOUTH HERE). The reason for that is that society (Team God, in particular) has been trying to separate the two issues of procreation and sex as if they were entirely unrelated. “You wouldn’t like your child to know you had too much fun making you, now, would you?” they seem to say. Well, I don’t know. Personally I hope my mom had a multiple orgasm in the process.

With age it becomes also more and more difficult to share both happiness and unhappiness with people. I have written about the latter here so I won’t repeat myself and focus in this post on the difficulty with sharing happiness. Perhaps this particular taboo has to do with similar reasons as the money one. The truth is, even if we like our friends we don’t like to see them more successful than we are. If ,on other hand, we are the successful ones we don’t want to rub our “better-offness” in. People both feel uncomfortable sharing their happiness (=showing off) as being on the receiving end of such behavior (=feeling inferior).

As kids we don’t really judge ourselves according to a strong superiority/inferiority metric. Perhaps, a kid gets mocked sometimes because it wears a cap on their head in – 20 degrees winter (true reason of mockery in cold countries – cool kids are always cold) but it takes a while before we develop our insecurity to the point that it really bothers us. Hell, I remember being proud that I had friends who were smarter/prettier/more fashionable or cooler in any other way than I was. Look at adults, though. Have you ever noticed what happens if one of your friends at work becomes a manager? All of a sudden, people stop being friendly with him or her (especially her!) and start gossiping about how they’re full of themselves or whatever else bullshit is being said about them. In reality their promotion is no mystery because they did just work so much harder than everyone else.  And yet, people prefer to label them as lucky because if the new manager is better at their job than they themselves are than they are worse. And that bloody hurts. Let me hold my horses, here, though. Our lovely #englishrosiee has written already about the difference between being lazy AF and unlucky in the context of love.

I do believe that we have the right to be happy about being happy and we shouldn’t stop ourselves in most cases. A good example of when we should stop ourselves is, for instance, when someone’s cat died. This is really not a good moment to tell them how happy you are about your new puppy or even a raise. Otherwise, we should grow our appreciation and gratitude for life rather than the skills of moaning and complaining.

To sum up, as we grow up we stop talking about certain things with our friends and basically anyone who isn’t our partner. Part of this tendency, is jealousy and insecurity and a part of it is just closeness to our partners. As much as our friends may do without the details of our marital coitus we should try being more open with them and allow the relationships to grow. Perhaps, learning that a friend earns much more than we do, will initially make us feel bad but then may inspire us to take some steps towards a career change.

Hello, Dear Rinsers! Do you talk about money with your friends? You sex life? Do you agree that the things we talk about with our friends change as we grow up or am I being a lunatic?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Review: The School for Good and Evil

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No, I haven’t gone completely crazy reading books for teenage girls. The official explanation for my interest is: one day I’d like to write a novel for young adults so I’m doing my research. Between you and I, I also occasionally enjoy this sort of a read.

“The School for Good and Evil” by Soman Chainani is certainly an interesting read. The book tells a story of friends, Sophie and Agatha. The girls are very different from one another, but they seem to get on well. Sophie dreams about becoming a princess, while Agatha just wants to be on her own. The lives of the girls will change when they’re both kidnapped to be educated in the School for Good and Evil. Will their friendship survive? You can find out from the book.

The novel creates a world in which nothing but fairy tales exist. Some students come straight from fairy tales, others from a village where they’re but readers of the stories. When you start your education, you are chosen for one of the schools, depending on your natural tendencies. The students of the school for Good (Evers) compete with the pupils of the school for Evil (Nevers). On the top of it, even within the schools the students compete with one another trying to become the best prince/princes or a villain. What’s good or bad isn’t as straightforward as some teachers would like it, though. The novel is certainly an introduction to moral ambiguity for young readers!

I really like the attempt to redefine fairy tales and there are many entertaining ideas in the book. It reads well and fast. I binged on it, even skipping my lunch TV watching! Unfortunately, this doesn’t mean that it’s a great novel. It is a bit trashy, honestly. Apart from the two main characters, it is difficult to feel any attachment to the students. There are too many of them and they’re just not that well described. I felt like the author was leaving to much to my imagination in terms of both the characters and their environment. The descriptions of the fantasy world were mostly flat and even the action scenes were sometimes confusing. I often asked myself why? how? when? did this character appear? Needless to say, I’m not a teenage girl and as an experienced reader I should naturally struggle less. That’s precisely why I don’t see myself reading any more of these novels. Harry Potter and His Dark Materials still remain on my pedestal of fiction for young adults.

Do you indulge in reading teenage novels and/or watching movies for teenagers, Dear Rinser? What is you favorite childhood novel?