The Green Eyed Monster – Can A Little Bit of Jealousy Be Healthy in Relationship?

jealousy

We live in an age where everyone and their dog is ‘living their best life’. Well, that’s the impression we’d get if we believed everything we saw on social media. As much as we’d like to say we are all comfortable in our skin and don’t compare ourselves to those around us, that really isn’t the case for most people. Everyone has their insecurities. And sometimes when you find yourself thrown into something as fragile and precious as a romantic relationship, these feelings of jealousy can be amplified. Considering how difficult it is these days to find someone you find attractive, see eye to eye with on important issues, genuinely click with and actually want to consider having a future with (and also feels the same about you!), it’s understandable that when you find such a thing you are desperate to hold onto it (and destroy anyone or anything that threatened to destabilise it). With that I’m mind , I will be looking at the potential impact that green-eyed monster can have on a relationship and whether a little bit of jealousy ever has the potential be healthy in terms of one’s romantic future?

Types of Jealousy… 

In an age where you see people on Tinder admitting to having a wife/husband and kid at home but looking for a bit of fun on the side, it would be a bit naive to put all your trust in a person from the get-go. Add to that the fact that most of us are likely to have experienced some form of cheating, either within our own romantic relations or witnessed it amongst those close to us. It’s understandable that we are bit wary.

Of course, if you are dating someone who is somewhat attractive and vaguely charismatic you are likely to experience some competition when it comes to securing their affections. There are some folk out there that would argue the ‘love’, as with most things in this world, is a free market and so basic survival of the fittest type things. They have a fair point, I suppose but relationships aren’t always so clear-cut.

Beyond this basic form of jealousy due to the threat other posed by other (potentially prettier, smarter and maybe even more compatible) specimens being after your beau, there are also other types of jealousy that come into play. For instance, when half of the relationship starts to blossom and the other person feels a little left behind. Perhaps, your love found this exciting new job that allows them to travel around the globe, or their gym membership finally started to pay off as those all important abs started to pop.

However, I think it both cases it boils down to the same thing – a fear that the object of affections will leave you- whether it be for another person or because they outgrow you, doesn’t make that much difference.

Which Both Have The Potential To Be Destructive

Jealousy, like many things, is a normal human emotion however I think if you don’t nip it in the bud it has the potential to get out of hand. Obviously, seeing your partner getting hit on by some floozy isn’t the nicest of experiences. But its one thing if you guys roll your eyes at one another and go home and laugh about it later and another if you call her a ho, throw a drink in her face and make a scene about it (or as was the case with one of my exes punch a guy in the face in front of his wife and kids because he was making pervy eyes at your chick). And that isn’t as bad as it can get. How about when jealousy leads to paranoia and you start blaming your boy/girlfriend for the issue?

Relationships should have a positive influence in your life. If you are in a healthy relationship, surely you should want to see the other one go. Of course, you’ll miss them if they have to spend a year abroad for a job but its important to remember life doesn’t just revolve around you.  It’s OK to feel sad but if one person starts laying down ultimatums or preventing the other from pursuing things that could better their life – then this doesn’t bode well for the future of the whole relationship really.

So Can Jealousy Ever Be A Good Thing?

Generally, I’d would say a straight up no. However, it is just an emotion and its how much we indulge the feeling. I don’t think its that jealousy is an intrinsically attractive quality at all. But if the green monster does rear its ugly head from time to time, its not necessarily the end of the world. Trust is built over time and sometimes its flattering to see someone get a little possessive (or is that just me?). It’s also good to be kept on your toes in a relationship – we shouldn’t ever become to complacent or too comfortable to such a point where we let ourselves go. Whether we like it or not, ‘love’ is a free market and everyone has options so we should work at keeping things interesting. I think pangs of jealousy are fine, as long as you are able to reason things out in your mind and figure out some way to do whats best for both parties concerned.

Ringers share your thoughts. I expect my opinions are a little unconventional so go wild and tell it as is. Have you ever had a jealous partner? Or are you the one that tends to get jealous. What are the best ways to deal with the little green monster? Talk to me in the comments below.

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Book Review : The Unexpected Joy of Being Single By Catherine Gray

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As you all know by now, #englishrosiee recently took a much-needed sabbatical from the world of online dating.  As I found myself contemplating my Tinder hiatus, I stumbled across this book titled The Unexpected Joy of Being Single by Catherine Gray. To be completely honest, as much as I hated/hate the rigmarole of the dating game, I did find myself scoffing at this ludicrously titled book.  Although my initial thoughts were that this would be some silly Feminazi justification for spinsterhood, I knew better than to judge a book by its cover (quite literally) and seeing as the author is a Sunday Time’s Bestseller, I figured she probably had something worthwhile to say and there probably was no more appropriate time to read such a book than during a self-imposed period of singledom.

So, the book is part auto-biography, part self-help but with lots of factual insights into the realities of modern dating and being single. It starts by putting things into perspective – apparently more than half of Brits aged 25-44 are single. and increasing numbers of people are putting off marriage and babies till later in life (if they choose to pursue that at all). It’s reassuring to know, especially when you consider the stigma attached to being single. I mean, it’s normal for everyone and their dog to offer you dating advice and tell you not to fret because Prince Charming will fall from the sky when you least expect it. Ugh, not so long ago a Sri Lankan waitress in a Thai Restaurant offered to set me up with some dude from India (who can speak English – how lucky am I!!) because according to her my life would be OVER if I wasn’t married and knocked up by the age of 35. Sigh. Exactly.

I think there are probably single women in their 30s that will be able to resonate with the content. At first I literally felt the book was written for me and sent a friend a picture of one of the chapters titled something along the lines of A 33 Year Old Spinster (yup, there are days when I think that is me!).  The basic gist of the story is how the author goes from being a love addict (having desperate need to always be in a relationship for validation) to confidently embracing her single status.

The book also explore how, thanks to popular culture, we’ve been led to believe that single life is inferior to the traditional package of marriage, kids and happily ever after. It is also touches on some interesting economic perspectives as why people (may) feel more motivated into pursuing a relationship rather than remaining happily single. For example, single life tends to be more expensive. In many western metropolises, it is difficult for single people to get onto the property ladder. Its also more expensive to travel solo versus splitting the costs with a man-friend. But as she points out there are always ways around these thing.

In essence, the message behind the book is well intentioned and gives you a lot to think about. It is also reassuring to realise that you aren’t alone as 30-something singleton, and there is really nothing wrong with you (you really aren’t single because you are morbidly obese, ugly and dumb). However, I think it is mainly written from the perspective of a well educated, white, middle class woman in her mid/late 30s living in an affluent western city. In other cultures, it would be more difficult to have this ‘I am a strong liberated woman’ attitude when you factor in cultural, religious and various family pressures.  I think we are lucky in that while they can get irritating, most of the comments we get from family and friends are somewhat LOL-worthy and easy enough to fob off but I think in other societies the pressure would be more real.

So while I do agree with what Catherine Gray says about having to be a sorted single person before you can expect to be a functional part of a happy relationship and how people should try to date in moderation rather than out of desperation. There is a lot I don’t agree with. Of course its nice to believe that there are other forms of love – from your family, friends, dogs and various other sentient beings. But lets be real none of these compare to romantic love. Yeah, yeah I know what you are thinking. We live in an age where you can easily pay for sexy time if you have the cash money, hit up Anne Summers or use your trusty hand if you really are broke. But you already know my thoughts on the whole WISO way of thinking. Even beyond those basic animal instincts though, there are other elements of romantic relations that can’t be replicated elsewhere. So while periods of singledom are well and good, I don’t think this should ever be a permanent state of affairs.

Speaking from personal experience, I’ve probably had both my happiest times and most heartbreaking times thanks to relationships. Having a fulfilling single life can certainly save you the emotional rollercoaster that comes from engaging in human relations. But to me its, just that a happy medium, a safe haven essentially. And I think we should always strive for more. So yup, the #tinderhiatus was a good thing on many levels and as much as being back in the game will get infuriating, I’ll keep tindering along while still finding time to all the other stuff that life requires till Prince Charming makes an appearance.

Rinsers. Give me your thoughts on single life. Is it something that should be embraced and seriously considered as an alternative to the happily ever after BS fed to us by the media? Do you think people these days are legitimately single out of choice, or because basically they are unwanted, fussy or lazy? Share your thoughts in the comments below. 

 

 

Lessons From #EnglishRosiee’s Tinder Hiatus

tinder hiatus

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. 

 

 

Book Review : Everything I Know About Love By Dolly Alderton

Everythhing-I-Know-About-Love-By-Dolly-Alderton

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!

 

 

 

TV Series Review: The Russian Doll

russian doll netflix

“The Russian Doll” has caught my eye on Netflix because:
1) I love Russian dolls/matrioshkas, meaning the dolls with a number of smaller versions of themselves inside
2) It has Natasha Lyonne in it, who I haven’t seen since “American Pie” but whose character Jessica is my favourite one in the movie

Instinctual series choice, in my experience, has almost the same success rate in not being shit as the choice made after an extensive research. Besides, what better to do after walking over 20,000 steps up and down on your holiday than binge on a TV series? (Pssst some self-promotion here. Read my first post about my holiday in Baku, Azerbaijan on my new blog). Brief, we decided to watch “The Russian Doll” and I didn’t regret it.

The series starts in a way that seems to be suggesting a typical comedy series. The twist is that the almost 40 year-old protagonist who’s a commitment phoebe and a casual sex enthusiast is a woman. Nadia (Natasha Lyonne) swears, smokes, drinks and in general doesn’t give a f**k. Nothing new under the sun, you’re thinking? Well, you’re up for a surprise because Nadia dies after her birthday party and then comes back to life. Is the Universe punishing her for something? Does she have a mission to complete? What??? You’ll find out when watching this sweet and short series. It’s really worth it!

The show doesn’t follow a predictable script. It’s also funny but there are elements to it, which feel very raw. I really enjoyed this emotional roller-coaster as well as the acting. Natasha Lyonne and Charlie Barnett stand out but other cast members have also been carefully chosen, which adds up to the general pleasure of the watching experience. The series has a very nice pacing, surprising you just when you think you know what’s going to happen next. You’re also given clues to the mystery throughout the series so you can see for yourself whether you’ll figure out the solution before the protagonist…

Does the series have any drawbacks? Duh. Nothing and nobody’s perfect. I think that the ending should have been a bit more dragged out to match the pacing of the rest of the series. I also think that the makers certainly haven’t done any favour to Harry Nilsson whose catchy song “Gotta Get Up” appears in the series so many times that anyone who has watched it would refuse to listen to it ever again. Still, the repetitiveness adds up to the audience being able to relate to the characters so sorry, but no sorry, Harry. Otherwise, the series is a strong 8/10 for me. There are rumours of season 2 but I think that it isn’t necessary as the series has a nice ending and it would be better of without a sequel.

The series is definitely worth watching but if you don’t believe me, have a look at the trailer:

Have you heard about “The Russian Doll”? What do you think about time loop stories? Last but not least, does a bit of fantasy ruin a story for you or do you think it can still make for a compelling narrative? Let me know in the comments’ section. If you’ve watched the series, I’m also curious to hear what you think about it.

What Is Your Number? : The Sensitive Subject of How Many Sexual Partners A Person Should Have In A Lifetime

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Once upon a time #zlotybaby caused some serious drama which eventually resulted in poor little #englishrosiee being savagely evicted on to the street 4 days before the end of the month simply by starting a Friday night drinks discussion around the subject of how many sexual partner’s a person had had. Understandably, this can be a sore spot for some. You’d think those that’d be more sensitive about revealing their number would likely be the 30-something virgin or perhaps the WISO who’d lost count of their conquests. However, what our case study from yesteryear highlighted that regardless as to where you stand on the spectrum of sexual experience : ‘What Is Your Number ?’ remains a question that tends to stir up a bunch of emotions.

Why does it matter?

It shouldn’t, really. However, let’s face it. The world is one hell of a judgmental place.

Obviously, it depends on the context one is operating in but your number has the potential to say a lot about you. You are all well aware of feelings about 30-something virgins, and I know for sure that most people around me feel the same way, although they may not be so brutally vocal about it. We live in a society that is pretty sex-obsessed, holding onto your V-card so late in life would be seen to be rather odd. However, in a deeply religious society the reaction would be quite the opposite. As hard as it may be to believe, there are still societies where you’d never dream of walking down the aisle with a popped cherry! Then again, as sex-obsessed as our society is, if your sexual conquests start to hit double or triple figures, chances are you’ll still get judged for being sexually promiscuous. Clearly, there is no pleasing some people.

And naturally, living in a man’s world the nature of the judgement you’ll face when comes to talking about notches on your bed post is likely to vary depending on your gender. There are plenty of people that’ll say things are changing but to be honest guys are still more likely to be openly bragging about their conquests than us chicks.

How do you handle such a question?  

Of course, ‘What’s Your Number ?’ along with a whole host of other personal questions such as : ‘When are you going to find a man and settle down?’, ‘When is he putting a ring on it?’ or ‘Why are you waiting so long to procreate?‘, are invasive and quite frankly none of anyone’s business. However, most people don’t give two hoots about your personal sensitivities and will go ahead and ask anyway.  So how do you deal with it?

Well, you can be brutally honest and say, call them a pervert and tell them to do one because the minutiae of your sex life has nothing to do with them. But that isn’t likely to win you any mates. You also have the option to lie. Pull a number out of the sky and go with it. Who is going to know any better? And if it shuts the gossip mongers up for a bit then it’s all good. Finally, you can totally just be out and proud of your number. Look them in the eye and let them bring on that judgement. That though, is probably easier said than done.

How about in a relationship?

So it’s one thing telling a random down the pub to keep their nose out of your business or lying to a bunch of chicks at a hen party but how about when it comes to discussing your sexual history with a significant other? It’s bound to come in conversation at some point or another. And sure, they are into you and an arbitrary number won’t necessarily change that. But let’s be honest, the judgement is still going to be there although it maybe a bit more subtle and hopefully a little less mean-spirited. There is always a some degree of comparing yourself with your person’s past. Imagine having to follow in the footsteps of a former geisha or a yoga instructor Pressure’s on! And let’s not even get started on the responsibility that’s placed on your shoulder’s if you know you’re somebody’s first time!

Whatever the case though, if you are with a good human who truly has feelings for you, even if some judgement (or panic) exists following a discussion of your sexual history,  hopefully it won’t be much cause for conversation, they’ll get over their issues pretty fast, move on to more important things (read: the bedroom!) instead of dwelling on the past.

What about the facts?

As I said in my recent post about the Sex Recession, because we live in an age where we are bombarded by images of sex, songs about sex, blogs about sex (hehe!), we are often tricked into believing that everybody around is getting loads of lovely, lovely bedroom acrobatics on tap.  The truth is though that it would probably be unwise to give up your Virgin (In) Active membership so soon because most people, including both those in and out of relationships, cannot rely on their fellow humans for their cardio sessions.

So for the facts. According to the most recent survey I could find quoted on the interweb, the average number of sexual partners a person has in their lifetime is …. (about) 7! Obviously, that figure changes depending on your sex (i’m sure most guys are gonna be higher), location (the survey was based on people in the UK/US), sexuality (gay/straight/a-sexual or undecided), as well as your propensity to lie (as it how you judge your own number and what you regard as prudish/sexually promiscuous!)

So, basically its really difficult to gauge an average number of sexual partners a person should have had by a certain point in their lives. It’s an incredibly complicated matter. For instance, you could have had a lot of (s)experience in terms of number of partners but never experience good sex and the big O. At the end of the day, while one’s sexual history can put some of us on edge, these types of invasive question provide nothing more than ice-breaker for those somewhat mindless booze-fueled conversations. It’s not a topic that should necessarily make you re-think your life or change the world. So get angry, lie, deflect or stand your ground. It’ll be yesterday’s news soon enough.  From a more serious point of view though whether you choose to hold your V-card for evermore or treat sex as a sport and play the field, be safe, try to make sensible decisions that you can live with the morning after and don’t come home with anything that can’t be cured by antibiotics.

Rinsers, it’s over to you. What’s Your Number? An overly invasive question or a good starting point for a bit of banter on a Friday night? How would you go about answering the question yourself? How much does it matter? And what does it say about the way we judge people according to the level of sexual experience? Are you surprised by 7 being a rough average? Let’s chat in the comment section below. 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

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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.

 

The Sex Recession – Are We Living In an Overwhelmingly Sexless Society ?

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Apparently, stats show that rates of sexual activity are declining (well, at least in the Western world where they have enough time/money to research such things!). But honestly, I didn’t need some complicated research paper to tell me that, its obvious from the world around me. Sure, people might claim to be sexually liberated and free to discover a whole host of weird and wonderful sexual activities – sex with men, women, elderly people, groups of people, best friends, randoms from the club, randoms you’ve held a five minute conversation with…and if things get really tough you can always pay for it and if you are broke you can have a healthy sexual relationship with your hand (I’m told sex toys are getting pricey these days!). We live in a world where pretty much anything goes. But if you ask me, its all a bit of a facade.

Sure, in our 20s it was easy enough to hit the club and if you were somewhat pretty/handsome and on the pull you’d be likely to end up taking some generic guy/girl home for a one-nighter. Things are different the older we get – we have other priorities and wild nights become few and far between. By now you already know what I think about relationship girls vs. WISOs – relationships require more effort and may look a bit boring at times but in my experience, those are the people getting the best sex on tap. The WISO story is a bit of fairytale – even the hottest girl on the block is unlikely to be bedding a different bloke every night and even if they are, the bedroom antics are probably less than satisfactory.  That said, people are taking longer to settle down but surely that shouldn’t mean they have to be pretty much celibate in the interim, right?

I get angsty if I haven’t had any action in a few months ( and like I mentioned last time, my biggest concern when being deported back to my homeland was that of regaining my virginity due to lack of opportunities to get lucky) but then again I take comfort in knowing that the situation is so much worse for others. I’ve heard of those who’ve had sex droughts that have lasted years and worse still there are those that in their 30s that are not only still waiting to have that cherry seen to but are yet to be kissed. Oh my! It really is a sad state of affairs. It really does look like we are sexless generation. Sigh.

This article provides a in-depth look into the reasons why this maybe the case. Factors mention include the growing popularity of porn (you have a access to all your wildest sexual fantasies without having to interact with a dumb ass human – win/win apparently!). DIY/Sex Toys (again, why bother interacting with humans when you can DO you), the prioritization of career/education/independence over relationships (after all, your job/degree won’t wake up one day and decide to vacate the house leaving you with nothing more than a cat for company – true story of a tinder boy!), the Tinder mirage (yes, people call it the hookup app but in reality we all know its easier said than done to meet a compatible match and it is more of a time-killer than anything else) #metoo (not in the sense that consensual sex is a bad thing but our preoccupation with consent makes it harder for people to make the necessary moves), our obsession with technology killing our chances of meeting someone organically (e.g.the moment we have some downtime we are glued to the screens of our smartphones), the paradox of choice (there are so many options to explore, that we are all to afraid to settle for a relationship which could offer us stability and regular sex!), our obsession with looks/the increase in obesity (we aim too high and dismiss people that could potentially be a good match or the basis of looks. And increasing rates of obesity in an age where people are obsessed with looking good, makes it hard for those people to get laid. Plus, its not unheard of to be fat and fit,  but sure, obesity probably makes the cardio aspect of sexual activity a little more difficult!).

And this doesn’t just apply to single people either. Of course, I still stand by my belief about relationship people having better/more regular sex than the WISO and its male-equivalent. However, I realise that my argument is all good theoretically but isn’t flawless in reality.  I mean I’ve heard of people in relationships who’ve admitted to scheduling sex (spontaneity is overrated it seems). Then there are decade long long-distance relationships where the two parties only physically meet each other for 2 weeks of the year (Skype sex counts, maybe?). And worse still, there are those in relationships, and even marriages  who don’t engage in any fornication at all. I think you’d be surprised how many married people sleep in separate beds. Why ??!?? I just can’t deal.  I once had a friend at high school, who at the age of 15, still believed that her parents had only had sex twice in their lives, once to make her and once to make her brother. Everyone scoffed at the idea and awww’d at her innocence. A decade or two later, I’m beginning to think she may have had a point.

I’m sure there are some people that’ll say I’ve got it all wrong and to them, I probably come across as some sex-obsessed man-eater. Surely,  relationships shouldn’t be based on copulation? And I agree that there is more to a good relationship than regular orgasms. But that said, I certainly think it should be part of any healthy relationship. Of course, you don’t expect people to be going at it like rabbits once the relationship is more established and there are obviously other priorities in play. But it should still feature, right? Otherwise, really whats the point of all this dating/relationship malarky anyway? For company? Get a dog. To have someone to talk to? Stop being a Billie No Mates and find some friends. So that you won’t die alone? Well….there is no guarantee this isn’t going to happen in any case. Your husband/wife/life-partner, etc may just kick the bucket before you. An idiot once told me, we come into this world alone and we’ll leave alone. He had a point. To procreate? So, you’ve passed on your genetic code. Now what? Surely, intimacy is what sets romantic relationships apart from all those we have with friends, family and sentient beings.

And when it comes to the reasoning behind why we are such a sexless generation ? I have no clues. I don’t think it is enough to blame porn, dating apps or obesity rates. The only thing I can think of is that maybe its just a case of messed up perceptions. Maybe the fact that the media bombards us with sex the whole time spurs us to spend much of our lives thinking, talking and even blogging about sex but less time actually getting in on the act. Who the hell knows? Just seems like a sad, sad, situation to me.

So Rinsers, Whats your take on this sad state of affairs? Are we living through a sex recession? Is it something we need to be concerned about? Is bedroom acrobatics all that important or are there bigger things we should be worrying about when it comes to human relationships? And is it more of a problem for the singletons or does it apply attached people too? Tell me you views in the comments below. 

#EnglishRosiee’s Adventures in Exile : Sexcapades in London Town

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As you may or may not know dear rinsers, earlier this year the RS of A decided that my expertise as a ‘sex blogger’ were CRITICAL to the country’s economy and decided to  grant me the great honour of continuing my research into the unique species of Tinder men found in the area surrounding Table Mountain. Ha! But this was not before they decided to send me packing back to homeland for an indefinite period of time (and in the middle of winter – ugh! how can people be so heartless?!). Despite lots of initial bitching and moaning about the weather, the sad state of affairs that was/is my life and having no option but to move back in with your parents in your 30s (karma just kicked my ass for all the times I laughed at those mummy’s boys #stayhumble!), I eventually decided to make the best of my time in exile and do some explorations into dating in Brexit Britain. Considering the last time I was single in Blighty was almost a decade ago, I knew from the get-go that things were certainly going to be interesting and a much needed change from small world dating in the Mother City that I had become accustomed to.  Today peeps, let me enlighten y’all about my discoveries from London Town:

Online Dating/Mating is So Mainstream (So Much So That They Want To Take It Offline Again!)

Let’s start by stating the obvious. Everyone and their dog is doing online dating these days. Even if you have your heart set on meeting the woman/man of your dreams organically, you are likely to have come to terms that without some sort of online dating presence you are pretty much resigning yourself to a lifetime of sad Spinster/Bachelorhood.

That said, I still find there is an element of taboo when it comes to revealing that you are actively Tindering. Even established couples and married folk get a bit sheepish when you ask them how the met and the story somehow involves the internet. But in case you didn’t get the memo that internet dating is totally legit and not only for ugly trolls sitting behind a computer screen wearing dirty PJs, in London they’ll spell it out for you. Tinder is sexy (apparently!) so much so that they’ll plaster that message on the side of double decker London bus. You can’t even escape it on your commute to work – dating platforms bombard you with their advertising all over the Tube too.

And if that wasn’t enough, if you are a bit of Billie No Mates you can now even legitimately use dating apps to find new friends. No jokes. Bumble BFF, anyone? It really is an actual thing! Oh, and if you’ve tried it all, then buck the trend and take it offline and head to Valentine’s Day Lock and Key Party.  Sure, you’ll probably find some French bloke shouts at you for attending such an event the day before your return to deepest darkest Africa but it’ll at least provide a good LOL if nothing else.

London Has Something For Everyone

We all know that Londoner’s like to brag about living in cosmopolitan bubble within the god-awful Brexit island. But Cape Town’s diverse too, right? Yeah But No But. Cape Town being the small world that it is, if you are someone who has a particularly niche type e.g. religious fanatics, OAPs, guys that are 6’0 and over (yes, I admit I’m a height Nazi) you’ll exhaust your options here pretty quickly.

But not in the Big Smoke. In London, you’ll find specific platforms for every type of person imaginable. If you ask me it’s a good thing.  You know my views about being unapologetic about your deal breakers rather than wasting people’s time by being overly PC. Basically, having so many niche platforms means : a) people are more likely to find what they want/need/fantasize over and b) it frees up the regular apps for those of us that don’t really have a clue about setting deal breakers. I mean if all the Bible Bashers remove themselves from Tinder and head over to JesusSingles.CO.UK it means a godless chick like me is less likely waste precious childbearing  falling for some closet happy clappy church bunny who’ll only reveal his #TeamGod membership card 6 months down the line. Win/Win, I say!

A little LOL for y'all!

A little LOL for y’all!

London Chicks Have It Good and It’s Expensive Being A Single Guy In London

London is ridiculously expensive, we all know that. Call me a gold digger, un-feminist or whatever you want but I’m not going to lie…part of the reason I justified Tindering overseas was a) just as a form of an entertainment and b) I figured if the wealthy Tinder men of London were willing to ply with gin cocktails at ten quid a pop who was I to complain! Chatting to one old lothario mate of mine, I learnt that as a rule of thumb guys in London are expected to fork out at least £100 on a date with a chick that they were really interested in. And it isn’t too hard to do I suppose.

Men in London seem eager to flash their cash. And its not all talk like here in Cape Town. I mean I’ve had Cape Town boys tell me all about their Porsche (that’s in for a service) and their lavish holiday home in Hermanus, etc but you are always left wondering if they are rolling in it why they still insist on living with mummy dearest in Edgemead! London geezers on the other hand, will pull out all the stops. Tell them you’ll have a glass of house white (seriously, never do that if you are accustomed to good SA wine!) and they’ll present you with a bottle of the finest French champagne. And if that’s not rinse worthy enough, ask nicely enough and you may even find a fella to fund your boob job (no jokes!).

A Change of Scenery Can Work Wonders

LOLs aside, wouldn’t it be nice if we all could afford to take an Eat Pray Love type holiday every time we went through a break up? Sadly, I’m not Julia Roberts and the best I could hope for when trying to get an ex out of my system would likely be a weekend away in Pringle Bay. And even then Cape Town being as it is, you are bound to bump into the ex you’re frantically trying to forget at some point in your everyday life. But sometimes by a weird twist of fate, you get exiled to the other side of the world. As much as you might be bitter about being forced to leave on someone else’s terms,  you might find the change of scenery to be just the thing you needed.

They always say the best way to get over one guy is to get under another. That’s all well and good, if you are actually ready to move on and actually have the physical space to do so. It’s not so easy if that ex is still on your radar. In such cases, as much as you busy yourself swiping and dating up a storm chances are each mediocre date will leave you feeling blue at best or throwing precious gin at racists because its the only way to deal with your frustrations (I truly regret wasting that precious resource!). But travel to the other side of the world and you may suddenly notice the switch flip – and without having your past within touching distance its far easier to date again without being an A-grade bitch and unfairly comparing every guy you Tinder with to the one that broke your heart.

It’s Always Easier To Chase Stories When You Know You Are Not There To Stay

Whether it’s inviting the Winter Fling you’ve known for 10 days to meet 4 generations of your family at Christmas, taking a Bumble date to a Valentine’s Day Lock and Key Party and promptly ditching him for a better option, or just dating as a form of market research when considering future relocation options, it’s always easier to be a bit silly and chase stories when you know you aren’t really staying somewhere long-term. Maybe it’s something about being in holiday mode that makes us all a little more care-free and less worried about the repercussions of our actions. Sure, you’ll accumulate some bad karma by playing the fool but at least you’ll return home with a few stories for all those bitching and moaning sessions you’ve missed out while trapped in exile.

BUT The Universe Always Has The Last LOL 

As always  no matter where in the world you go, the moment you think you’ve got got this whole dating malarkey under control, the universe will be sure to rear its ugly head. You mentally prepare yourself to have a bit of fun, nothing too serious, a few expensive bevs and a bit of good British banter. You’re even decent enough to tell the Tinder folk that you are only in town for a short while and simply looking for some holiday entertainment (not a hook-up!). And then BOOM! Just like that you land yourself a lucky swipe. A magical Tinder date with a real life unicorn so different from your usual type (a guy who actually reads books and doesn’t just spend his life listening to gangster rap!) that you pat yourself on the back and start believing that maybe you are finally winning at adulting! All you asked for was a freaking Christmas Special but here you are reconsidering your life path…the universe sure knows how to pick its moments. doesn’t it?

And if this wasn’t comedy enough. Just as you busy yourself telling everyone you’ve finally found a magical unicorn and BOOM! (again). The Unicorn gets cold feet, overcome by the fear of Brexit and long-distance relationships he decides that Mike Atherton is more attractive than a chick in a short skirt and flees into the wilderness never to be seen again. Sigh. Oh, but of course, the world needs to keep on LOL’ing so it ensures that you are left single, lonely and rejected by said Unicorn on the most horrific day of the year AKA Valentines. And just for shits and giggles, let’s end your vacation off in style by putting you right in the acquaintance zone (only in bloody Blighty could such a place exist!) where you belong.  Seriously, I couldn’t make this stuff up if I tried.

Sigh. Thankfully, the universe is no match for your buddies who put things into perspective by reminding you that your greatest fear about returning to you motherland was that of regaining your virginity by having to live through an extended sex drought (ever cloud and all…) and that there are plenty more emotionally stunted Brits in the sea, if you should care to find one.

Ever tried swiping in a different city, Rinsers? What were your experiences? Does the dating market really differ from one place to the next or is it a case of same shit, different place? Give me your insights in the comment section below.