Knowing Your Own Mind – A Post About Eggs

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How do you like your eggs? Scrambled? Sunny Side Up? Over-Easy? Truffle Infused? The options are endless. This dear rinsers is the million dollar question, not only for a girl (like poor me) who has been BANNED from every so much as looking lovingly at an egg smuggled into her house by a well meaning unicorn (yes, things are that bad!), but for us all.  Before you start thinking that the lack of eggs in my diet has caused me to lose my marbles let me get to the point. Today, I want to talk about the importance of knowing your own mind (and how you like your eggs) before getting involved in a relationship.

Let me start by providing some background. Seen the Runaway Bride? It’s a chick flick staring Julia Roberts. All in all, the movie is nothing revolutionary but there is this one scene that stands out. It’s where Julia Robert’s character, Maggie, decides to sample every kind of egg imaginable (a dream come true for me!). The reason behind this egg feast is because at some point she comes to this epic realisation that she doesn’t know how she likes her eggs because she has always just ordered whatever type of eggs her fiance at the time liked. Basically, what they are getting at with the whole egg thing is that Maggie doesn’t have her a mind of her own – she adapts herself (and her egg preference) according to whoever she dates.

Now lets look at real life. Surely, we all know someone who makes dramatic life changes whenever they start dating someone new. The party girl who decides to swap nights shimmying away at the club for Sunday mornings at Church because the Bible boy she’s dating has put the fear of god into her? Or the dude that suddenly stops making his hilarious un-PC jokes and dumps his somewhat eclectic friends because his new lady friend raises her eyebrows every time they go out together? The chubby girl who starts discovering a love for active wear since she started dating a triathlete? You catch my drift.

Of course, when you get into a relationship it’s natural for there to be some adjustments in your life. Its not as if two people can carry on living the singleton lifestyle and expect to have a healthy relationship. Taking an interest in the things that make your partner tick is a good thing and obviously some degree of compromise is always necessary to allow a relationship to function well. Good relationships require an element of understanding and a bit of give and take. But they key here is that compromise needs to come from both sides. If it is just one person making changes and sacrificing their own happiness for the sake of the relationship, it doesn’t do anyone any favours in the long run.

Getting into a relationship shouldn’t mean giving up the things/people that you love and make you who you are. Being open-minded and allowing a partner to introduce you to new things is great but it’s important to stay true to yourself. There will always be some change when you transition from the single life to being in a couple but if you are with the right person hopefully they’ll change you in a positive way, allowing you to develop in a way that enhances your quirks (which is probably what attracted them to you in the first place) rather than stifling your individuality.  E.g. It’s OK for a chick who eats 6 eggs a day to gently be told to reduce her egg consumption for the sake of her soaring cholesterol levels as long as she actually isn’t being banned (yes I was being a drama queen earlier) from them entirely by some sort of raging vegan!

Ultimately, I guess this is why it is so important to make use of your single time wisely; to develop your personality, build up your self-confidence, establish solid friendships and discover the things that make you happy. That way, when you do get into a relationship you’ll be in a stronger position to know your own limitations and the things you can reasonably negotiate on without completely losing your identity.

So dear Rinsers, Have you ever been in such a relationship where you’ve changed dramatically in order to impress your partner? Or have you been witness to this sort of thing with a friend? How important do you think it is to have a strong identity before getting into a relationship. Share your comments below…

P.S. More importantly – How do you like your eggs? Let the debate begin. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Surprising Freedoms of Being a Man

man2We allegedly live in a world of equality when men and women have the same rights. Unfortunately, it isn’t so in reality. Apart from very obvious examples of sexism there are also more subtle freedoms that men enjoy and women don’t.

1. Going to a bar on your own

As much as bars are social places sometimes you’re on a work trip or for whatever reason feel like you want to go and have a drink on your own. As a man you can do it without much hassle. In fact, bars are full of men who come to have a beer or two and leave undisturbed. As a woman your one-on-one with yourself is going to be interrupted. No one will question your right to be there, but men will approach you to talk to you. You can also experience aggression if you express your preference to be on your own. After all, what are you really doing in this bar if not just teasing men? 😉

2. Looking good

If a man dresses up only once in a blue moon, perhaps he’ll have a colleague or a friend commenting on him looking smart. If he pays attention to his looks, however, and in general looks good, no one will comment on it. It will not be pointed out to him that he dresses up, no one will ask him who is he doing it for. A woman, however, is immediately expected to put an effort for someone other than herself. This is precisely the reason why men think they’re entitled to comment on a woman’s appearance if she visibly improves the way she looks. Other women either internalized this way of thinking or just feel threatened around specimens who present themselves better. They comment freely and often nastily on how other women look. The better the looks, the nastier the comments so feel flattered if it happens to you a lot!

3. Walking on the street

The intensity of catcalling depends on a country but let’s agree that it’s quite a widespread phenomenon. As a man you walk on the street freely, without being bothered (unless you’re asked for some money). As a woman when you walk on the street, you’re often spoken to. Some men just say “Hi”, others comment on your appearance, yet others are verbally abusive. The rule is that the better you look, the more attention you get. It has to do with the reasons I’ve mentioned in point 2. If you’re visibly dressed up, catcallers feel more justified in their behavior and more often, if ignored, they escalate their verbalised objectification of you to verbal aggression. It doesn’t matter what you wear, though. I’m sure every woman can recall numerous situations when her hair was oily, she was hangover and maybe even stank a bit of vomit. Yet, she still was catcalled. It remains unclear what a catcaller wants. I doubt they ever got a date out of such an encounter, let alone get laid. Perhaps the objectification of women makes them feel more manly?

4. Meeting a new person of opposite sex without being suspicious

Whether you’re single or not, there are numerous occasions to meet new people. Sometimes you have a passion through which you make connections, sometimes you need to do your bit of networking to make ends meet. In any case, these days people tend to meet a lot of new people of both sexes. The trick is that when you’re a woman, men very often have ulterior motives to talk to you that have nothing to do with innocent socializing. They’re counting on your attention in the biblical sense. Rise your hand, please, if you never had a guy literally dropping a conversation with you at the point he hears that you’re taken or let him know you’re not interested in him “in that way”! Such experiences make a woman suspicious and just to be on the safe side I’ve developed a habit of mentioning my husband almost immediately. Perhaps it seems obsessive but I prefer that than having a nice convo with someone and then them turning around the minute they realize they won’t be able to stick their dick in me.

 5. Going topless

There seems to be one moment in a woman’s life when she can flesh boobs freely and it’s the time when she’s breastfeeding. Other than that, women have to keep their bras and usually their shirts on at all times. Show a bit more cleavage and you’ll get judged too. Some guys have boobs bigger than I do and yet, they’re allowed to parade with their bare chest not only on the beaches but also in the means of public transport. Women get hot too so I really don’t understand why a female taking her shirt off is indecent exposure and a man doing the same isn’t!

I could keep enumerating forever. It all boils down to the perception of women as first and foremost, sexual objects. An object can be evaluated and commented on. Of course, if the object talks back or doesn’t want to comply with whatever is suggested that causes a surprise and even an outrage. Some people will try to convince you that by putting effort into your looks you objectify yourself, but if that was true good looking men would be getting the same sort of comments that women do. One could also point out that women wouldn’t make similar comments but this is just because they don’t objectify men in a similar way.

Hello, Dear Rinsers! Please tell me what you think about this issue. Any more surprising freedoms coming to mind? 

 

Review: In Bocca Al Lupo at Alexander Upstairs

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“In Bocca al Lupo” is a third show by Jemma Kahn. You may know her previous work The Epicene Butcher and We Didn’t Come to Hell for the Croissants or not (I didn’t before the show). Even more of a good reason to give her new thing at the Alexander Upstairs a go.

In “In Bocca Al Lupo” Kahn uses her own technique based on a Japanese art form kamishibai. What it means in practice, is that she tells her stories using cardboard story panels which are a crucial part of her monologue. The one woman show is very impressive: the artist talks us through her story at the same time showing us different images that go with it. Her coordination is very impressive (particularly to someone who, like yours truly, finds a Zumba class challenging).

The story Kahn shares with the audience is that of her experience  in Japan. She moved there to work as an English teacher and save some money to continue her studies. Life often doesn’t go according to plans, though. Japanese reality overwhelms Jemma and so do news from home. Last but not least, LOVE comes her way. Will the girl stick to her plan? You’ll have to see the show to find out! You can catch “In Bocca al Lupo” in Alexander Upstairs next week (24th – 29th July). The tickets are 110 rand online on Alexander’s website or 130 rand at the door.

The play is definitely worth seeing, even if it was just for the actress’s acting skills. She knows how to tell a story to captivate the audience. The show wraps up in an hour, which makes the experience adequately entertaining (there’s nothing worse than an unnecessarily extended play). Apart from the graphic side of things, the sound effects are also apt and complete the experience. It’s probably one of the best shows I’ve seen in my life from the technical point of view.

When it comes to the plot, the story was very entertaining but… I must say I was a bit disappointed. The story of a girl moving to a different country is just nothing new. Perhaps for a person who’s never lived abroad it can be interesting to learn that one experiences a culture shock. I also did laugh a lot but I did find her observations about Japan mean towards the country’s culture. “These Japanese people are so weird!”, we learn. Isn’t weird just what we don’t know, though? A bit of cultural sensitivity goes a long way. Also, is one really such a big specialist on a country and its customs after spending not even two years there? Just saying. The same goes for the stories of Jemma’s boyfriends which are slightly cruel. In order to give her audience a good LOL she forgets that they’re actual people, who won’t have any problem recognizing themselves in what is obviously a memoir. Her ex boyfriends become cartoons to serve her show and I wonder how she would feel if she became such a cartoon herself. Perhaps it’s just one of the dangers of dating an artist…

These considerations aside I did have a lot of fun and I was very impressed by Jemma Kahn’s talent. I’d definitely go to see her next show.

 

 

Anne (with an E) – a Reboot of a Classic Story

AnneWho doesn’t know Anne of Green Gables? The beloved character of Lucy Maud Montgomery’s children’s novels has been inspiring kids to keep dreaming for over a century. Perhaps it’s precisely because of the timeless value of this ugly ducking tale that the Canadian TV has decided to create a reboot of the redhead orphan’s story. The makers naturally tried to add something extra from themselves to spice things up. Is the result any good?

Yes and no. For those who don’t know the story “Anne of Green Gables” is a tale of an orphan who is adopted by siblings Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert. The girl is mistakenly sent to them instead of a boy but they decide to keep a stubborn redhead with extraordinary imagination. Anne quickly befriends Diana and they promise to stay friends forever and ever, she also even quicker starts to hate the most handsome boy in the village, Gilbert. The redhead has a true talent to get herself in trouble and the viewer will not be bored, especially given the added dramatic twists in the series..

Some attempts of adding more drama, realism and depth to the story were positive. It’s nice to have some more background into the story of Matthew and Marilla. In the book they were just unmarried and little was known of the reasons why. It makes them more real to see that the simple life of solitude wasn’t their first choice. I also really liked the additions about female emancipation, as even if absent in the book, they were very much with the spirit of it. At the same time, the lightness of the original storyline is lost in the attempt to make it more dramatic.

Yes, perhaps the novel was very innocent and idealistic but this was its charm. After all, “Isn’t it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet?” as Anne would say? Even if it’s not true, it’s still nice to think so….Anne’s been through a lot as an orphan but that could never kill her spirit. She had grit and resilience and her attitude was meant to be something that would help kids go through the darkness of whatever they experienced. It was always meant to be a feel good story about the power of love, friendship and dreams. The series transformed it into a trashy adaptation of a Dickens’s novel.

In defense of the series, let me just say that I may not be objective. “Anne of Green Gables” was one of my favorite books when I was a kid. As an introvert child I could relate a lot to her dreamlike nature. I also really liked the series with Megan Follows as Anne and rewatched it so many times that the VHS tapes stopped working. I’m not against reboots and remakes in general but one can’t redo perfection. We all remember what a pathetic movie the Psycho‘s remake was, right? The makers should try to enhance stories and not butcher them… Unless of course, the point is just to make money but then a new version of Anne Shirley’s adventures was probably not the best choice.

Having said all that, it’s still and okay series. The acting was definitely on the plus side of things and all in all I didn’t hate every second of it. I’m not recommending the series, though, and particularly not to fans of Anne. I will also be skipping season 2 if such is made.

Have you seen the series, Dear Rinser? Does the name of Anne of Green Gables ring a bell? What do you think about reboots and remakes? Any favorite or least favorite ones?

 

Guys Who Tell You Things (but Don’t Mean Them)

tattoo-702133_1280I think of all the people difficult to deal with, people who say a lot but don’t do much are one of the worst kind. Particularly when it comes to dating, a guy like this may give you an impression that you’re going crazy, as there’s so much difference between what he says and what he does. Read on, if you’re wondering what it means and why he does it.

First of all, talk is cheap. This is why we should try to abstain from listening too much to what people say and rather look at what they do. I’m not talking here about some hyper-vigilance or an absolute lack of trust but just about making conclusions based on reality and not on wishful thinking. Let me share with you a personal example. Once in my early twenties I went away for holiday to a different country and had what you’d call a summer fling. I didn’t treat it too seriously but then the guy started to convince me our countries are not too far apart and that we could make it work if we wanted to. Having had experience with a long(er) distance relationship I knew it was difficult but not impossible. As he kept sweet talking me I started to trust his words and eventually warmed up to the idea. When the time for me to go came he said he loved me to which I didn’t reply as honestly this wasn’t how I felt. He took my email address and we said our goodbyes, he promised to write but never did. I definitely was less into the thing than he was initially but when I was back home and he didn’t write I suddenly started to care (never, ever trust such a feeling!). I convinced myself he must have lost my email address and must be suffering from a horrible heartache. I even asked a friend who was in touch with his friend to send him the email address again. Nothing came out of it either. I was desperate, upset and sure that the guy was dying of love for me, when the cruel world made it impossible for him to get in touch (cause how was I supposed to know that the friend who was to regive him the email address actually did it?). I confided the story in a friend who just said calmly: Don’t you think that if he really loved you, he would have found a way to get in touch? And here there was the enlightenment! (Which to be honest took me a month more to process). The guy liked to talk. Perhaps there was even a moment when he believed in what he said, but following with actions was too much. Maybe his feelings faded as soon as I got on the bus and maybe he tried to get me to agree to long distance just because he wanted me to want him. Who the hell knows? The fact is I should have treated his words lightly and ended up having nice memories of a summer romance. Instead, I took it all seriously and was quite hurt in the end. Conclusion: take to heart to what’s said to you ONLY if actions follow.

Easier said than done, you probably think. Sure, I know men can have very convincing excuses of why they can’t be with you or fully commit at the moment. Unfortunately, all these things are exactly that: excuses. If people want something they grab it with both hands. They may be scared, they may feel that it’s not the right moment or the circumstances are challenging but they just go for it anyway. Which is why, when a man tells you things about how amazing you are and how much he likes you but doesn’t make an effort to make things work between you two because “things are complicated”, you should walk away. He may like you a little bit, he may be sort of into you but he has already decided it’s not enough to make it happen. Sometimes he won’t even give you the excuses, but instead will keep telling you sweet things without making an actual effort to get closer to you. There was this guy in my life, for instance, who claimed to really REALLY like me. According to his words we were a perfect match. What does it mean, though, in the eyes of the reality in which 2 out of 3 times I actually saw him was at the parties I organized. Needless to say these are the perfect circumstances to full yourself you’re onto something real which will turn into a relationship.

You’re probably asking yourself why do they do it, then. Why do they say things they don’t mean and why don’t they just leave you alone? The answers are numerous and depend on the guy and the circumstances. Some guys want a friends with benefits relation but are scared to offer it so instead they lead you on into thinking that one day you’ll be an item. Others, like to have a lot of backpocket girls to always have someone out there willing to hang out with them and give them some attention. Another group really likes you but not in the right way so they friend zone you (throw a stone first who’s never done it!). Last but not least, there are guys that may like the idea of a relationship with you but not its reality. The point isn’t to figure out why they do it because if you think too much about it, you’ll find some perfect excuse why the guy can’t be with you now but once the problem is sorted he will and you’ll just wait for him instead of moving on. I get it that you like him. We’ve all been there! We liked someone who for whatever reason didn’t like us back enough. It’s a big blow to the ego to realize that we’re being rejected. The point is, however, that if you just want to keep liking him, you’re not paying attention to all the guys that may be out there and who’ll be truly into you. If you honestly compare what he’s been saying to you with what he’s been doing and you see a big discrepancy don’t sugar coat it. Realize today he’s not a man of his word and tomorrow you’ll be one day closer to the moment when you’re over him.

To sum up, people talk a lot and often they don’t mean what they say. It’s not cool but unfortunately it’s up to the listener to draw the right conclusions from such behaviors.

Hello, my Dearest Rinsers! Does that sound familiar? Ever experienced such behaviors? Or perhaps you’re the one who talks too much but doesn’t mean it? Tell me your secrets in the comments section, pretty please.

Why The Pursuit of ‘Mr Big’ Just Ends in Tears

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Yes, I know SATC ended over a decade ago now. But hey, I am officially an elder who owns all six seasons plus two movies on DVD. Sure, the series was made in the days before Tinder and the like. And of course life would be so much better if writing blogs about dating could afford us a nice little apartment in Manhattan, we got to totter around in Jimmy Choos everyday looking fabulous and have mind-blowing sex the whole time. As unrealistic as SATC may have been it did not only provide years of entertainment and inspiration for millions of woman (and gay men!) but also influenced the way many view/shape our own dating lives.

One such aspect of the SATC phenomenon that has definitely infiltrated our sad little lives is what I’ll refer to as ‘The Pursuit of Mr Big’. I’m sure you’ve experienced it yourself or seen friends chasing THAT guy that does more or less everything wrong but still somehow manages to get under your skin and keeps you going back for more. Almost every girl has their ‘Mr Big’ and some us even openly refer to them as such (guilty!). And of course, just like Carrie, us girls keep chasing after these emotionally-unavailable fucktards. But you see the thing is, while Mr Big types really do exist the chances of ever finding happily ever after with such a person is very unlikely. Even the brains behind SATC, author Candice Bushnell, recently said in an interview with the Guardian that in real life Carrie would never actually end up marrying Mr Big.

And as much as we all conjure up this idealistic image of our own ‘Mr Big’ and pine for him as we try to recover from yet another douchey thing he has done, there really is no logical reason why we could ever expect to find stability or real happiness with him. Here are some of the reasons why SATC was just wrong and why the pursuit of ‘Mr Big’ will end in disaster:

Commitment issues

Probably the biggest issue with this ‘Mr Big’ type guy is that they can’t commit. It’s like they want to keep their options open. Whether it’s about pursuing job opportunities in Paris or trying out other women in the hopes of perhaps finding a better fit (read: more subservient) they just have an inability to stick to anything.

Of course, in the series Mr Big finally ‘sees sense’ realises that the girl that waited around for him for so long was actually ‘the one’ and chases her down  and eventually marries her but lets be real we’ve all met real life commitment phobes and most of them remain single, still ‘playing the field’, well into their 40s, 50s and 60s.

Baggage

Of course, having a few divorces under one’s belt isn’t a deal breaker for everyone and the older we get the more baggage we all accumulate. And by the time her a woman hits her 30s it’s a bit like beggar’s can’t be chooser’s, right?

Well…take it on a case by case basis if you want but believing you will be the girl who’ll manage to hold down a guy with multiple divorces to his name might be a bit delusional. If there is a bit of a pattern I think it’s fair to say he is the common denominator?

Cheating Scumbag

Can a leopard ever really change his spots? Sure, people can change but there is a reason why people say ‘if he cheats with you, he’ll cheat on you’. It may have been a bit of fun and games being the Other Woman when Mr Big was married to Natasha. But a real life ‘Mr Big’ would have probably cheated on Carrie too! Would you really want to be looking over you should forever more?

Brings out the worst in you

Yes, I understand that there needs to be some compromise for any relationship to work. But neglecting the good things in your life and picking up bad habits – such as binge drinking, smoking and constantly flaking on your friends – because of a guy you want to impress…well we’ve all been there but it doesn’t usually lay a good foundation for happily ever after, does it now?

Surely, a healthy relationship isn’t simply about finding a person that keeps you on your toes but also about being someone who brings our the best in you and promotes a positive change in your life?

And at the end of the day ‘Mr Big’ is a somewhat overrated guy named JOHN and Carrie should have married Aiden!  

We’ve all had those ‘what the hell was I thinking?’ moments when we look back at our dating history.  Personally, I don’t think the ‘Mr Big’ characters in our lives are all bad. If nothing else, they teach us something about ourselves and what we want/don’t want from a relationship. They also often give us good stories. However this doesn’t mean we need to hold out in hope that one day this guy may get down on one knee and propose to us with a our own sparkly shoe.

And of course, some would argue that Aiden too boring and predictable. But think about it. Doesn’t there just come a point in your life when you are too busy to play games constantly trying to figure out what a person wants from you? Let’s be honest, Aiden may not have been quite as exciting as ‘Mr Big’ but he actually knew what he wanted and treated Carrie better than just a BackPocket Girl and in my old age I guess I see something nice in that.

Rinser, Do you have (or had) your version of ‘Mr Big’? Do you think it is possible to be truly happy with such a person? Share your thoughts in the comments below. 

 

 

 

 

Types of Single Men

menOur poor #englishrosiee has been suffering from a writer’s block (the struggle is REAL, guys!) and I’m doing my best to keep this blog alive and our Rinsers happy. After the surprising popularity of the post Types of Single and Coupled Women, I’ve decided to write a sequel on types of single men. Let’s hope it’ll be more like Godfather part II than the second part of the Blair Witch Project 😉 Mesdames et Messieurs, meet…

The Commitment Phobe

The Commitment Phobe is really looking for this one lady he could have a fulfilling relationship with. It’s just that the chicks can’t understand that calling him their boyfriend is rather limiting… Why do women have to put labels on everything? Geez! Also, let’s just agree that meeting anyone’s parents is a bit much?!? And what is it with all this moving in together business? You see, the Commitment Phoebe is really trying but women are just impossible to deal with!

The Low Effort Man 

He likes this girl who lives across the street. He’s been having feelings for her for a while now, but it seems like quite a lot of effort to ask her out and then do the whole relationship thing. He wishes more women were like his ex girlfriend. His ex just made it happened for them. She asked him out, she kissed him, she told him they were in a relationship. He was happy. Unfortunately, one day she told him they weren’t in a relationship anymore. That made him sad. But what could he do? Everything requires so much effort…

One Night Stander

He makes a lady feel very special… but only from dusk till dawn. He’ll sneak out from you house before you wake up and will never call you again. But, hey, it was fun and after all you didn’t have high expectations after a few hour long drunk conversation in the club either! Make sure he doesn’t steal your panties (true story and no, not mine. I wish. It’s epic).

The Nice Guy

The Nice Guy thinks he’s nice. It means he pays no or little attention to his looks, career and avoids putting effort into being the best version of himself. The reason for that is because he thinks in life one can get girlfriend points. He’s convinced that each time he’s nice to a lady who has the looks, a career and is just awesome, he gets a point. Eventually the number of points is enough to become her boyfriend. If she doesn’t want that and friendzones him as she thinks, well, that he’s just nice, she’s a horrible person. If she ends up dating someone else, it’s just because the latter is an asshole. The Nice Guy’s entitlement and misunderstanding of the fact that dating isn’t charity, leads him often to become…

The No One Wants Me Man

The No One Wants Me Man is amazing. Unfortunately no one seems to share his views. This is why the No One Wants Me Man gives up on his dating prospects and declines to the world of DIY (he, he, get it? ;)). The fact that no one wants him, of course has nothing to do with the fact that he never leaves his comfort zone and unless he changes his mind about incest there are no chances of finding this special someone in his household.

The Seeker

The Seeker keeps looking for his true north. He knows his strengths and he knows his weaknesses. He’s willing to work on himself. Last but not least, he’s putting himself out there and will look for this women who’ll give him the relationship he wants or he’ll fail trying! Most probably he won’t fail, though. People who know what they want and put enough effort into searching for it, tend to find it.

I hope everyone takes the list with a pinch of salt as it’s supposed to be taken. Single guys are so amazing I’ve married one, so you know 😉

Dear Rinsers, any more types to add? Stories to share? Talk to me! I’ve missed you long time!

 

 

Catch Him If You Can? – Why Being in a Relationship Shouldn’t Be a Goal

catchWe supposedly live in modern times in which men and women are equal. At the same time, we can’t deny the double standards in dating that still allow men much more than women. One of such trends is the societal pressure on having a partner that’s imposed on women in a more aggressive way than on men.

If you ever were single for a prolonged period of time, you surely know it as a first hand experience. Perhaps family members at reunions repeatedly asked you why you STILL don’t have a boyfriend or frenemies pointed out publicly that you’ve been single FOREVS. As much as the reason for being single is usually as simple as “No one really interesting being around”, their reactions and repetitive questions suggest that it’s rather the case of “No one interested being around”. In that way people try to point out that the norm is to be in a relationship and if you’re not something is wrong with you. Now, as much as being in a happy relationship makes your life a hell of a lot better, being in an unhappy one makes you more not less miserable than being single. We tend to forget that a relationship isn’t a job and we can survive without it. Therefore a lot of people internalize the pressure and the feeling of truly not being good enough (there must be a fertile ground of their psyche for that). They become obsessed with the thought being in a relationship and not that of being in a happy one.

With a goal of finding someone to prove to others that they’re “good enough” such people focus on the needs of others not their own. After all they just want to be with someone. In order to do so, they’re more likely to pretend in front of a potential partner that they’re a different person to please them. They will bite their tongue before expressing their opinion freely and most importantly, they’re more willing to put a blind eye on deal breakers just to “land” the man. Such techniques may work short term but not long term. No one can pretend forever, they’re a different person or that they’re not irritated by the things that annoy them. This is the reason why the behavior early in the beginning gives you a good idea of the future trajectory of a relationship. The more there is in your partner that you truly don’t like and that makes you upset, the less happy with the relationship you’ll be in general. But hey, you’ve shown them all that you’re good enough, non? Sounds like a weak consolation when you have to spend time with someone who you’re not really into. It’s also worth remembering that the further you’re into the relationship, the more difficult it is to get out of it. The societal pressure may be high for people who are single, but trust me, after even a year when you’re between your mid twenties to thirties, your family won’t leave you alone if you try to end it (given he’s not a physically abusive troglodite).

This is precisely why it’s so important to let yourself get into a relationship in your own time, when the person you’ve met seems like a good match and when you’ve worked through issues that would make you attracted to drama. By clenching your teeth early on, you’re just creating a difficult life for yourself in the future. Relationship pressure is one thing but when you’re in a relationship, you’ll experience a whole different dimension, namely getting married pressure. A wave of married-and-divorced in a blink of an eye news from friends, acquaintances and those who happen to be in my Facebook feed, reminds me that in our “modern” times getting married for many women is still, just like a relationship, a goal on its own. As much as marriage may be something that we like in theory, we should focus on finding someone we would like to marry, rather than on getting married itself. How are we supposed to do it, however, if we give up already at the search level? If we agree with others that perhaps we’re too picky or whatever is supposedly our fault in being single and we settle, we’re also more likely to continue a relationship and marry the guy we’re not that much into just because we’ve put too much effort into a relationship to stop it. Now, I don’t know what is it about guys who propose to women clearly not that much into them but perhaps their beauty is enough or a dinner at the table every night compensates for fights and disagreements. I know, however, that at the receiving end of such a proposal you should say “no”. If it was difficult for you to break up when you were unhappy, do you really think you’ll have guts to get divorced?

To sum up, being in a good relationship is a great thing and I believe as social animals we’re just happier sharing our life with a truly special someone. At the same time, a relationship can be a source of frustration and unhappiness if we don’t make sure our partner is worth our attention. Being single and dating is a great time to learn about ourselves and our preferences. Don’t catch him if you can to prove to others that you’re good enough. Catch him only if you really want to.

Dear Rinsers, please tell me what you think! Do women get judged for being single and labelled as not good enough more than men? Do you agree that the culture is conditioning women to settle? Why do single women get shamed?

 

 

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.

Matchmaking – Can it Work These Days?

organic dating

Back in the days a lot of parents used services of matchmakers to find a spouse for their children. They were mostly interested in the future husband’s financial status (how many cows and chickens does he have), the dowry (how many cows and chickens can her parents pay him and his family) and whether the bride was pretty. Love was something that happened to the lucky ones but wasn’t considered important in marriage. This sort of matchmaking is still used in some parts of the world but most kids these days listen to their heart and choose their partners themselves. Could a matchmaker still help them with the choice?

Certainly thanks to dating apps and online dating services there’s much less shame associated with looking for a partner. Tinder may be considered a more chilled and fun thing to do, but many aren’t ashamed to say they’re looking for something serious (or are ashamed but tick the right boxes on their profiles anyway). Online dating apps and websites widen our options but the computer generated matches have their limitations and we still have to put a lot of effort into the search. Now imagine someone does that for you. Instead of you going through hundreds of profiles someone you paid will look for the matches. They’d filter their database for your deal breakers and the treats you desire, hopefully coming up with someone worth your time. Sounds like a sweet deal but at the same time seems a little bit impersonal. Using dating apps at least you end up talking to a person you’ll go on a date with and very superficially you can get a “feel” of them by their looks. Your matchmaker will send you on a date with a complete stranger. Additionally, using such professionals limits the choice of people to those willing to pay a lot for such a service. It can be a plus for people with high status or gold diggers, but maybe average mortals prefer a more personalized approach with a wider number of options. Last but not least, going on dates is a good experience in terms of deciding on you preferences and building your social skills. To minimize the dates can be therefore counterproductive.

We’ve discussed the professional services, but what about the more traditional matchmaking? I’m not talking here about elderly ladies in your community but your family. Surely you experience this or that relative trying to set you up on a date because you’re not getting any younger? I’m afraid your aunt worried about your spinster/bachelor status may be to eager to set you up on a date with anyone. “I know a nice boy/girl” usually means “I know someone who’s single and you shouldn’t be too picky”. We have a saying in Polish which translates into “He can have one eye as long as it happens this year” and I find it very relevant in this scenario. Because of the desperation factor chances of a success are quite slim and you don’t want to be dealing with a family member forever reminding you how “nice” Jeremy or Gillian were and how they don’t get why nothing happened. Rather avoid such set-ups. “Helpful” parents can be even worse aiming at the types with high paying jobs, regardless of how dull they are. Don’t forget that very often our family (especially extended) doesn’t know us too well so don’t get into the trap of giving it a chance. You surely will be better off doing the search yourself.

Last but not least, there are friends. Are their matchmaking skills worth anything? Your friends are likely to know you better than your family or this lady from a paid matchmaking service. I think of the three here’s your biggest chance of success. Of course some may just want to set you up with anyone because “you deserve to be with someone” and secretly they just want to double date with you. Such forced dates can be super awkward and the matches not much better than your aunt’s choices. Most of your friends, however, will genuinely keep their eyes open and if they meet someone they think would click with you, they can arrange a meet up. An introduction at a party is less awkward than a double date sort of vibe but the latter gives you an opportunity to learn more about the person. Of course it doesn’t have to work but I think if you’re on the lookout it’s worth a shot. I’ve matchmaked people (both couples broke up, though), seen people happily matchmaked and even know one married couple, who met in this way. The only disadvantage is that, in case of an unsuccessful date, you may end up seeing such a person a lot due to a mutual circle of friends. It’s not too bad, if you just remember to postpone the panty dropping time till you know it’s worth it.

To conclude, matchmaking can certainly work. Nevertheless, the professional services limit our range of options. Family just doesn’t seem to be a good dating database as they tend to oppose your singledom a bit desperately. Friends are probably your best bet in terms of successful modern matchmaking.

So, Dear Rinsers, what do you think about matchmaking? Have you ever been set up with anyone? Perhaps you played a matchmaker yourself?