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. 

 

 

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#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.

 

 

 

 

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

The_Little_Mermaid_-_Poor_Unfortunate_Souls_-_Ariel_Shocked_Losing_Her_Voice

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

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

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

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

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

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

OMG! What if this is karma ?

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

You’re So Vain. You Probably Think This Blog is About You!

Vain

 

When #zlotybaby and I started this blog over 2 years ago we didn’t have any real concrete ideas about the direction it would take. It was born out of numerous conversations we were having with our friends about dating, love and romance. We felt that the stories we were hearing and the things we were experiencing/experienced ourselves were so sad/laughable in some instances that they’d be worthy of a blog. Furthermore, we knew from discussions with people around us that most of us were going through similar things in their dating/romantic lives and therefore would be able to relate to our posts.

While we always planned on drawing inspiration from our own sad/happy/weird and wonderful experiences, very rarely is anything we mention in this blog so unique that any given post could be based on a single experience with a SPECIAL person.  That said, if there was a particularly story or quote that was remarkable enough to receive a mention then I think we were always careful to protect the identity of the characters/tinder boys/dirty perves /sad spinsters; using pseudonyms only where they are absolutely necessary.

Despite our best efforts to keep things as light, fluffy and vague as possible there have still been a number of people who not only identify wholeheartedly with what we write but actually see themselves in our posts and take offence. In most cases, no offence was ever intended and those posts aren’t even about the person hurling abuse at us. Believe me, there is more than one mummy’s boy in the world. Think your the last racist standing here in SA? Think again! Sure, gymming maybe YOUR thing but seriously Richard Branson wouldn’t go bankrupt if you cancelled your membership at Virgin Active.

I’ve said it time and time again. Dating is a numbers game. As you are working your way through the deadwood of the Tinderverse, you are bound to realise that the guys and girls that you tend to date share lots of common characteristics. Perhaps this simply due to where you find all your victims – that stereotype about people on Tinder being somewhat superficial and most likely just after a hook up? Well, in most cases (not all) it’s true. Internet dating sites being populated with IT geeks – well, what do expect? They like computers! Duh!

Alternatively, it could be the fact that you, yourself, are to blame. Perhaps you simply have a ‘type’ that you are attracted to? The truth it most of us do. Whether it is that you keep chasing Silver Foxes in the hopes of finding your George Clooney or you always end up with that ditzy yoga chick that can’t stimulate intellectually (sure she sorts you out in other ways), there are likely to be certain common features among all the people you tend to crush on. Even in cases where you fight it and ask the universe to find you your male equivalent chances are the clumsy bookish girl will always somehow find herself falling (literally) into the nice arms of hottie!

Of course, there are people that come into our lives and have an impact for whatever reason. Maybe they’ll receive some vague reference in the blog now and again but honestly these aren’t the stories that give you the best LOLs or result in us receiving abusive comments. Often these are just some valuable lessons that have taught you something more meaningful about yourself and human relationships.

So let’s cut to the chase. What I am getting at here is to the people that secretly stalk their exes on facebook (sure, we all do that), reading into Whatsapp status’ or in this case blogs posts – PLEASE stop flattering yourself. Yes, maybe one statement that came out of your mouth was worth directly quoting but in most instances the people we’ve dated aren’t original enough that they deserve such glory.  Stop over analyzing everything (yes, I’ll try to take my own advice there) and realize in this fickle age of Tinderizing we are all simply one of many.  Of course, to that special someone (whenever you do eventually meet them) you’ll be one of a kind. But honestly, when that does happen I’m sure we’ll all be to busy living life to be bitching and moaning about things on WordPress.

“Cushioning” and When to Delete Dating Apps

appsHave you heard about cushioning? Nihil novum sub sole (there is nothing new under the sun)! This “new” trend is nothing else but the old school keeping your options open. In this particular variation, a person is in a relationship but at the same time they keep using their dating apps, chatting and flirting with other people, just in case a break-up happens.

The trend has to do with online dating changing the way in which people commit. Back in the days it was pretty straightforward. You met someone, you stopped seeing other people and voilà, you were in a relationship! Some people would still keep seeing other people, regardless of their relationship status, but those would be call cheats. These days it’s more complicated than that. Would you call someone who keeps their dating app on their phone a cheat? Is it only wrong if they actually end up meeting up with someone in real life or is there something iffy about just checking out the app?

I guess I’ve always been rather prudish about these things. If you’re single do what you want, but if you’re in a relationship commit. Sure, it’s not the worst thing to get some experience but even so, you should give it an honest try. Otherwise, perhaps staying at home and reading a book or hanging out with your girlfriends are better ways to spend time. If you’re on the receiving end, I’d say that if a guys tells you “he’s still on Tinder and checks what’s happening there from time to time” you’re most probably a backpocket girl. Perhaps you call it a relationship but when people are halfheartedly involved, they won’t blink to leave you when something better comes their way or if you just become boring/annoying for them.

What it means for dating apps is: if you feel like you want to keep chatting to people on dating apps, you’re just wasting your time and the time of the other person. Especially once you established you’re dating, it isn’t fair to keep looking around. Swiping on Tinder or using okcupid, isn’t any different than flirting with someone at the bar or giving people your number when asked for it on the street. I’m not saying delete the app immediately but to cease using it is a good idea if you feel you like someone. It’s just an honest thing to do and surely you’d prefer the other person to treat you in the same way. Once you know where you’re standing and that you have a BF/GF you’re happy with, you can get rid of your profiles altogether and hopefully you’ll never have to set them up again.

What do you think, Rinsers? Is keeping your dating apps going as bad as real life flirting? Have you ever kept your options open in this way? What do you think about those that do?

Review : MATE @ Alexander Upstairs

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Being a single girl in your 30s is hard. Constantly being reminded by your friends, family and even randoms on the street that you are no longer a spring chicken and that the biological clock is ticking is not much fun. But the thing is you are not alone on the shelf (and this my friends is part of the problem!). Set in a ‘Love Recovery’ workshop led by a therapist (played by Samantha Gray) who doesn’t hold back when it comes to giving it to her clients straight, MATE is a hybrid live/filmed performance which follows the trials and tribulations of three very different 30 somethings (all of whom are played amazingly well by Alicia McCormick) attempting to deal with the painful realities of modern dating.

The first of the three singletons is the ever-so-sweet hopeless romantic Sarah who is simultaneously trying to get over her ex and doing everything in her power to find happily ever after (she even tries to do the whole Eat, Pray, Love thing by going to Paris). Then there is the somewhat crass Afrikaans chick, Jeanine who has been through her fair share of douche bags and understands that at some point one has to cut her losses and settle for a one-legged shop-keeper. Finally, there is the ‘Sloaney’ one, Elaine. A career woman of the highest pedigree, a typical Alpha female who has failed to meet a man who meets her high standards (or even just some basic understanding of English grammar!).

This humorous two-woman show, based on real-life experiences, really gets stuck into the nitty gritty of life as 21st-century woman. While having a laugh at the expense of the Tinder generation has become quite a thing these days, what sets MATE apart from other similar shows that it also makes light of how seriously a lot of us take our mission to find love; investing lots of time and money in self-help books and therapy, when actually the people peddling this stuff are probably just as hopeless as we are. At some points, this tragicomedy does get painfully close to the bone and I could certainly tell from the audience’s reaction and comments that there were lots of people who could personally identify with the stories.

Anybody who has tried their hand at online dating will be able to relate and even those that are happily settled down will enjoy the humour. I have to say I was surprised at the number of guys in the audience – but they all seemed to enjoy themselves so it’s all good! So whether you are just looking for some light entertainment or for a little bit of cynicism during this sickly sweet month of love, I’d definitely recommend seeing MATE. It is playing at the intimate Alexander Upstairs theatre till the 18th February and the first two nights were sold out so book ahead of time to avoid disappointment.

Stop Tinder Hating! – Why It’s Time To Accept The Realities of Modern Dating

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I am probably as hopelessly romantic as they come. I was recently told that I fell through the ceiling but my head got stuck somewhere in the clouds and I know I’ve ‘wasted’far too much of my life obsessing over Cinderella stories (and Bridget Jones) but even my fragile mind is slowly coming to terms with the fact that real life ‘love’ stories aren’t what the fairytales promised us.

As sad as it is most people’s stories these days don’t begin with a dashing Prince rescuing the chick from the clutches of or fire-breathing dragon or a clumsy chubby girl tumbling down a flight of stairs straight into the arms of a rugby player (although there maybe an element of truth to that last one!). The truth is  even the chances of being asked out by that geeky hipster in your local coffee joint is pretty unlikely. The fact is we live in a world where organic dating is fast becoming a thing of the past and one in five relationships actually start online.

So why then is there still so much stigma attached to admitting you met your Significant Other online? I’m sure we’ve all had occasions where your buddy is introducing his new girlfriend and you casually ask how they first met. Well, most of the time there will be an awkward silence while the two parties conjure up some story and hope the details correlate, then they’ll usually battle to sync their epic tales, speaking over one another like a pair of bumbling buffoons. You just stand their rolling your eyes and whisper ‘TINDER’ to the friend standing next to you. With online dating being so common these days one has to wonder why people go to such great lengths to conceal the truth?

I get it. And I know I’ve said this before nobody really ever wants to entertain the thought their story could begin ‘Once upon a time I swiped right’. It’s not terribly romantic now is it? But I think we need to understand thw epic tales that our grandparents told us, about how their love survived wars and how the thoughts of their one true love waiting at home got them through those horrid days in the trenches, are from another age all together. Furthermore if we did a bit of digging we’d probably learn that every romantic masterpiece has some sordid little subplot (come on we all that there is truth to that thing about the sailors having a girl in every port!).

It may seem like the devilish modern technological advances have changed the nature of dating for the worse; taking the romance out of things altogether and cheapening everything to some degree. But these tools that we now have at our disposal and that we are so quick to dismiss the value do have their advantages. Not only have websites and apps broadened the scope of the dating pool – people are no longer restricted to dating people in their own village, city, country, etc. The world really is your oyster when it comes to who you could potentially date these dates.

The speed at which we are able to communicate and set up a date means that we can now meet more people. As tedious as this can become, the more dates (both good and bad)  we go on the more we learn about a) what do/don’t want in a partner and b) what we can do to improve ourselves. I can certainly say that my +/- 50 Tinder dates have taught me a lot, served to increase my self confidence and given me greater insight into the inner workings of the male mind. And it’s not like we can deny how much things like Skype (and Skype Sex) have probably the likelihood of long distance relationships working?

So what am I getting at here? Well, firstly  we need to  put historic ideas of romance into perspective and remember that there is probably a lot that people filtered out. Next, lets accept that times have changed. No one is above Tinder and most people these days have dabbled in online dating at some stage. Almost everyone and his dog  (yes literally! I am slightly embarrassed to admit I am guilty of swiping right on a guy because I thought his puppy was adorable) has/has had an online dating profile of some sort. Tinder, Grindr, OKCupid, etc are all part of reality when it comes to modern dating. So if you met you Significant Other thanks to a swipe (or if you are an uber cool kid – a SUPER like), you really aren’t alone in this, so OWN your story.  Meeting  your Prince Charming online is really no worse than hooking up at club, being introduced by friends or having him save you from gang lord so stop being embarrassed. And finally, just believe that in 30 years time Tinder will likely be replaced by something far more sordid (if at all possible) and our grandchildren will probably think of swiping as something rather romantic.

Your turn Rinsers – Are you an advocate of online dating? Did you meet your SO online and if so do you cringe when you tell the truth or do you own it? Or are you one of those truly old fashioned romantics that is still searching for their  soulmate in the library?  Answers, opinions and stories in the comments section below. 

 

Larry Loners – Using Dating Resources for Finding New Friends

lonely_computer_user

The world can be a lonely place, and not only when it comes to finding love. Times have changed and we are less limited by factors such as geography, race and social class when it comes to the friendships we form. However, despite all the new opportunities afforded to us by technological advances and political progress people seem to be lonelier than ever before. It may be a simple case of quantity over quality – it’s easier now to have a wider social circle (lots of coffee friends) but the nature of these relationships is somewhat superficial. Possibly symptomatic of the Tinder generation, people are now more fickle when it comes to all sorts of human relationships. Essentially everyone is replaceable so discarding/downgrading friends is becoming more common and people seem to be more willing to cut their losses and move on quickly instead of sticking something out a fighting for a friendship.

The issue of loneliness, which is the focus of this post, can be exacerbated in a cliquey place like Cape Town where you’ll find it difficult to be truly accepted by the locals if you weren’t born and raised on the slopes of Table Mountain.  I’ve mentioned this before, but it really does seem that many Capetonians often value historic friendships which date back to their diaper days.  So basically, if you are an expat (or from Jo’burg) living in the Mother City can be quite problematic until you find ‘your people’.

Having survived this place for more than half a decade, I’ve learnt to become quite creative when it comes to expanding my social circle – running clubs, expat events and networking through existing contacts (and maybe even inadvertently through Tinder).  Of course, it’s still difficult to find people of good value and those you truly click with but it can be done with a bit of perseverance. One thing I’ve never done in the name of alleviating loneliness, but have recently learnt is actually a legitimate thing, is to use a dating website or app as a means of making new friends (and by this I mean friends in the platonic sense not ‘special friends’ or FWBs).

Over the past couple of weeks, through my online dating ventures I’ve discovered a rather strange breed of person. The Larry Loner as I like to call them is the type of person who maintains an online DATING profile on a DATING app or website despite claiming to be in a happy relationship. Correct me if I’m wrong but I always thought the whole point of signing up sites like OKCupid was to find LOVE, Prince Charming, Happily Ever After, etc (or at least a FWB or Hook Up at the lower end of the scale). I never thought the purpose of dating websites was to make PLATONIC friendships.

Technically speaking, there really isn’t anything wrong with using the internet to find friends. It wasn’t that long ago that using the internet to find love was stigmatised and is this really that different? Personally however I find it annoying that people are using DATING websites to find friends. Most of us are on there with the intention of finding our future husband/wife and we have to sift through enough deadwood without having to deal with these (often very good looking and pretty decent) individuals distracting us by offering us friendship.

Don’t get me wrong – making a new friend isn’t the world’s greatest problem but I do believe that there’s a time and place for everything. And quite frankly these Larry Loners that engage you in conversation are often just wasting your precious time – time that you could be spending searching for Prince Charming or hanging out with your actual friends. Call me cynical but I also very much doubt I could become friends with someone who was intentionally using online dating platforms to make friends because basically I think it’s just a bit weird (surely they must be a bit socially retarded if they can’t just make friends in real life) and secondly I’d be inclined to believe they were just another breed of Talker and not people you’d actually end up ever meeting.

OK, so these Larry Loners aren’t totally at fault. Dating sites shouldn’t really be offering people the option of looking for ‘new friends’ because it really isn’t the right platform for this. Maybe they’ll find meaningful friendships in internet chat rooms or through meet-up groups, but on a dating site? I seriously doubt it. Especially for those that say they are in a happy relationship, this type of venture to find friends has the potential to be disastrous. Even if doesn’t end in drama, all it really serves to do is waste everybody’s time, both the lonely folk looking for buddies and those that are frantically searching for their fairytale.

Rinsers – Now it’s your turn.  Do you think my rant has been a bit harsh of the innocent folk that are just lonely and trying to find friendships online? Do you think it’s legitimate to use a website/app specifically designed for dating to simply find new friends? Have you ever used such tools to alleviate loneliness? And finally, do think there is something wrong with society when people need to turn to the internet for even the most basic form of human connection? Answers in the comments below.

The Talkers – The Online ‘Daters’ You’ll Never Meet IRL

With over a year of online dating under my belt I was starting to think of myself as a bit of an expert. From Silver Foxes and Cape Town’s  numerous Mama’s boys (maybe that’s why they call it the Mother City) to the FWBs and Rebound Guys – I convinced myself I’d seen it all and there were no more nasty surprises that the big bad world of dating could pull on me.  But that was until I ‘met’ the TALKER.

The Talker : The online ‘dater’ who engages in prolonged email or WhatsApp conversations with no intention of ever meeting up with potential suitors IRL (In Real Life).

Despite the fact that I had heard plenty of Talker horror stories, I still managed to find myself sucked in by one. He was considerably better looking than average OKCupid troll, his spelling and grammar were excellent (a huge ask these days) and he had the ability to hold a engaging conversation (well,online at least). Oh, and he claimed to be a VERY BUSY medical doctor ( so you can’t blame a girl getting carried away thinking of George Clooney in his ER days).

Anyway, Dr Ross promised me we’d meet after his exams were over and being a reasonable young lady I figured it was a fair request. But two weeks went by and still no sign of said date. Fed up and disillusioned, I decided the best course of action would be to ghost the socially inept fool. Sadly he didn’t get the hint so I told him straight about my approach to dating. He eventually confessed to being a Talker and told me that I’d only end up disappointed if I met him IRL because he gets stage fright around new people. Whatever, I am not interested in attending any pity parties.

Before this little episode I had assumed that everyone using online dating platforms was looking for real human interactions but I was proved wrong. It seems that there really are people out there that are just after a virtual ‘relationship’. In fact, there are stories of some such ‘relationships’ lasting for years.As much as this behaviour baffles me I figured there must be logical reasons for the existence of the Talker. Here are the reasons I’ve narrowed it down to:

Socially Awkward

Like the Talker in my story, there are people out there that have trouble interacting with fellow humans. Sitting behind a computer screen offers them a form of protection and allows them to put on a confident facade but having to meet someone face-to-face would just end in a meltdown. Fair enough – but they should be seeking professional medical help for their lack of interpersonal skills instead of wasting precious time.

 

Exploring alternative options

If your relationship is on the rocks its natural to look elsewhere. You’d expect most philanderers to make a B-line straight to  Ashley Madison but not everyone is that sure of themselves or their ability to cheat. Using legit online dating platforms may seem like a softer option and a good way to test the waters and check out if the grass is really greener on the other side.

Looking for an ego boost

Life has a habit of knocking us down. So sometimes its natural to look seek some attention just to boost our egos. Pretty people or those with a glittering personality can simply go out and find other humans that will laugh at their jokes and flirt with them, which in turn will boost their confidence and leave them feeling like they can handle anything the world throws at them. Then there are others who need to use the internet, create fake identities in order to create the same effect.

Free Therapy

We all have issues. Some us have good friends and family that we can talk to. Others are willing to fork out for a professional therapists.There are occasions when one can utilise a random Tinder boy as a sounding board (guilty as charged!) but at least have the decency to do it person. Talkers know that there are Mother Hens out there that are looking for a pet project to take care off and they’ll take advantage of that for as long as can.

Cat Fish!

Remember not everyone is who they say they are. That cute guy with the dimples you’ve been sharing your innermost thoughts with could just as well be a spotty teenage perve sitting behing a computer in a remote Indian village! It may be relatively rare but beware of the catfish – very few photos or being generally vague should be seen as red flags.

So, my advice when it comes to Talkers is to avoid them. Unless of course you’ve got a lot +of time on your hands in which case maybe you should just find some hobbies. I’d say limit yourself to 1-2 weeks of chit chat online. If they are decent people they’ll make a plan to meet for a drink in a public place as soon as possible (I’ve had dates on the same day as being matched with the person!). Its only when you meet someone IRL that you’ll know whether there’s any chemistry and the longer you let the virtual relationship carry on the greater the risk of you falling in love with a fairy tale character that only exists in your imagination.

Now over to you Dear Rinsers. Do you have any Talker experiences to share with us? Are you reluctant to meet people offline or are you a fan of getting the first date over a done with? Do you have any advice/tips on how to spot a Talker? Answers in the comments section below. 

 

 

 

 

 

Naughty Teachers – Secret Lives of Educators

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We’re all entitled to a private life. Ideally no one with whom we’re connected professionally should even care what we do in our free time. Yet, the rules seem to be different for some people, among them, teachers.

A year ago or so I heard about a case in which a teacher was discovered to have acted in a porn movie in her youth. When the saucy details of her past resurfaced she got dismissed. I felt that it was really unjust. Maybe she made a mistake as a young girl who desperately needed money, maybe it was an experience she was proud of, the fact remains that her performing of a sexual act in front of the camera (and I’m sure the dads enjoyed watching the spanking) had absolutely nothing to do with whether she was good or not at her job. I remember parents comments  saying that she should be setting an example and it’s true for her behavior at school but I’m not convinced by the argument. Children wouldn’t see her setting a bad example as they wouldn’t watch porn. It’s the parents prudishness that was offended and nothing else.

With the development of internet dating services meeting someone has become easier for many of us. The users differ in age so a teacher can’t really feel safe on the web. A student making fun of a single teacher looking for LOVE and showing pictures to their friends is a possibility. Even worse if a teacher is caught on some sort of service making it possible to meet up with someone and have sex with no strings attached. Using a pseudonym is a way to avoid unpleasant repercussions but students can be very resourceful when it comes to stalking their teachers. Of course there are also teachers being silly and inattentive. I remember the story of a teacher who posted a picture of the class she was teaching as one as her Tinder pictures. That story ended benign with no involvement from the school but the teacher herself deleted the profile.

Last but not least, let’s have a look at the case when a teacher is “inappropriate” in the classroom. Private views are sometimes difficult to hide discovered just six days ago a teacher in a middle school in Michigan. Allison Wint was describing the meaning of paintings to her art students and used the word “vagina” to explain what a flower symbolized. To her surprise she was dismissed for discussing reproductive life without former consent of the higher school authorities. The woman explained that she doesn’t think works of arts should be censored and it was her “libertarian” attitude that got her fired. I find it ridiculous, but it raises an important question. Can a teacher share his or her views with students at all? More importantly can it be avoided and if not should it be punished? What happens if a teacher is an family planning supporter? What if he or she is an atheist? During a literature discussion it’s easy to disclose views on such issues. Can sharing by a person of authority be considered trying to influence the young minds? Or is it just exposing to to ideas possibly different to that of their parents?

I don’t know the answers to all the questions asked but I know that firing people without a possibility to amend or defend their actions is unfair and definitely doesn’t set a good example. Teachers should strive to keep their private and public lives as separate as possible as the guardians of morality are always ready to judge and punish.

What do you think, Dear Rinsers? Can a teacher be a porn star? A prostitute? Is it just to dismiss in the described cases? Don’t be shy, share your views.