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

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

Types of Jealousy… 

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

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

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

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

Which Both Have The Potential To Be Destructive

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

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

So Can Jealousy Ever Be A Good Thing?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

Why The Only Failed Relationships Are The Ones You Never Have

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

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

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

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

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

Broken Relationships Help Establish Deal Breakers You Never Knew You Had

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

Relationships Forces You Out of You Comfort Zone

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

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

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

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

A ‘Failed’ Relationship Provides Opportunity for Introspection

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

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

Mistakes Provide Good Lessons

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

And Relationships Give You The Best Sex

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

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

Finally….Consider The Alternatives? 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

OMG! What if this is karma ?

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

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

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

Smoking Hotties vs. Ugly Trolls

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

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

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

T-Totalers vs Alcoholics

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

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

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

Unemployed Bums vs. Workoholics

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

Movie Review : The Power Of The Heart

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A friend of mine invited me to watch a non-mainstream movie called Power of the Heart on Sunday. The synopsis described it as an ‘unparalleled and life changing film about the astonishing power and intelligence of your heart’.  With a description like that you can’t blame a girl for expecting great things. Sadly being somewhat of a cynic, I just thought it may provide some good matter for my rinsers (and I know I haven’t reviewed anything much in a long while).

So let my start by telling you a bit about the demographic of the audience. The movie was sold out…not an empty seat in the whole place (well maybe one cos someone spilled ice cream on the it so nobody wanted to sit there and get an ice cream butt!). Yeah, so the audience was predominantly made up of middle aged, middle class soccer mom types. There were a handful of guys (probably been dragged there by their WaGs) and one young boy who was there was his parents (probably trying to provide him with some inspiration to find a chick and settle down). The demographic made me quite sad.

The movie was introduced by a lady who basically preached a little about her theory on following our hearts rather than our heads when it comes to all sorts of life decisions. She was a hater of the school system claiming that it teaches kids all the wrong things (ugh, can’t deal. I’ve dated enough uneducated fools (and lived in Observatory long enough) to realise that while the school system may need to be worked on people should certainly not be encouraged to turn their backs on formal education. Anyway now onto the main feature….

So the film is a documentary which features interviews and stories from famous icons such as Paulo Coelho, Maya Angelou and Deepak Chopra all of whom give their take on why the heart is more than a simply organ that pumps blood around our body. It also features the experiences of some normal people including a lady who survived the Rwandan genocide and a family who lost their daughter in a car accident but were still somehow able to connect with her through the recipient of her heart through a transplant operation.

The idea being promoted here is that the heart has the ability to know what is best for us and listening to it will help people transform their lives and experience success  in areas such as their relationships, health and business. They also say as result of people being forced to conform to certain socially engineered systems we somehow manage to lose this connection to our heart and it gets silenced.

There were parts of this theory which were backed by evidence from scientific experiments which proved that our hearts often know about something before it happens. In terms of relationships, one interesting thing the movie brought up was that people needed to stop actively looking for love but rather focus on figuring out their identity and then letting love come to them. This is a nice idea and all but I’m not sure it holds true in the age of internet dating.

All in all, I thought The Power of The Heart was an interesting movie. The ideas were certainly somewhat thought provoking. However while I think listening to your intuition/gut/heart is important it isn’t always the best. Perhaps it’s because I’m an overthinker but in real life  there are times when as adults we need to weigh up the facts and analyse the reality of something working out before jumping in head first. I also guess it depends on the area of our lives we are dealing with.

For instance, when it comes to love if you try to find fault in every potential relationship then I’m sure of one thing, you’ll die a virgin. It’s OK to follow your heart, especially when you are young, because even if it turns out to be a mistake you can learn from it. However, when it comes to our careers, I think at some point we need to get real. I know a lot of people that have/had dreams of becoming successful writers, life has forced most of them to downgrade this dream to a side project (read: blog!) while pursuing another (possibly related) career path that helps them pay their bills. I thought the movie was a little selective in that it only chose to focus on people that had experienced real life material success . I mean it’s easy for Paulo Coelho to preach to budding writers about pursuing the dream of writing novels but I think the perspective of thousands of authors who died without seeing their work published or earning those millions would paint a totally different picture.

Honestly, if I look around me I can think of lots of examples of writers, poets and musicians, etc who have chosen to work on their craft/follow their dreams and at the age of 50 something haven’t actually amounted to much and rely on others (people who did jobs that the economy demanded) for handouts. The reality is that having dreams and following your heart is great in theory but as we grow up we also have responsibilities which may mean our dreams have to be sidelined on occasion. Sometimes you may want to do/be something but its also important not to delude oneself (honestly there isn’t enough space in the world for us all to be the next J.K.Rowling). So yeah, the movie was interesting and provided food for thought but I also think that the ideas it was promoting was somewhat irresponsible. Still, go see it as it’ll give you something to talk/rage about.

OK Rinsers. Have you seen Power of the Heart? What your thoughts on these topics? Do you think we don’t listen to our hearts enough? Does society make us fear uncertainty and always opt for the safe route? Should we always do what makes us happy or is there sometimes a need to do something boring/responsible? Answers below.

Is Confidence the Key to Dating Successfully?

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After yet another unsuccessful romantic encounter I’m sure I’m not the only one to have questioned myself as to the reasons for my failure in this all important area of life. Is it because I’m an ugly troll? Morbidly obese? Or maybe it’s the fact that I do not possess a PhD? Or am not the CEO of a Fortune 500 company? Whatever. This type of questioning really holds no value. All this tormenting of one’s mind shows is a lack of confidence. It’s understandable that knock backs, romantic or otherwise, are sure to dent a person’s confidence and over-analyzing things by going around in circles really does no good either.

They say confidence is sexy. And I don’t think I’m the first girl to ever be lured in by the witty banter of a not-all-that guy. Of course, we can’t all be those extroverts that always want to take centre stage and ooze confidence. But you see, real confidence is a bit more complicated than this basic superficiality. Building it up is certainly important and requires some soul-searching and lot of tireless work. So, if having confidence is more than just being loud and proud and being able to hold a conversation with someone of the opposite sex without acting like a bumbling buffoon, we need to start figuring out what exactly it entails. This is where all the trouble starts.

Confidence isn’t tangible. In high school, the ‘ugly’ chicks, would often sit around and admire the super-model-esque, popular types and assume that such people would be confident in the knowledge they could get whoever they wanted because they had the looks we’d kill for. But the truth is if it were all about such externalities, why were so many of these chicks having the same concerns, considering cosmetic surgery and pewking up their diet dinners in a hope of being skinnier and prettier? The same thing applies when it comes to intelligence. There are lots of people out there with superb academic records that pitch up to an interview without a clue about how to sell themselves as the best person for the job.

But we can all work on building our confidence, right? Well, yes to some extent but it depends on the way you go about it. ‘Morbidly obese’ people may believe that the solution to all their problems will be losing the puppy fat. And while it may certainly help lower the risk of them dying of a heart attack, if it still turns out that they are not sure of themselves after the transformation chances are they aren’t going to get all that lucky when it comes to meeting the right person (although they may attract more attention from some superficial ones!). In a similar vein, you’d think that those getting more sex would surely feel attractive but not necessarily. Deep down most people are looking for real intimacy and it seems the relationship people beat the players in that game!

You could say confidence is a state of mind. I’d sort of agree with that. Being sure of yourself and knowing your strengths are important. But it’s equally important to be realistic and acknowledge that we all have weaknesses (without dwelling on it too much). There are people out there that a ‘confident’ to the point that they are actually delusional (and probably belong in Valkenberg). Let’s be real. Getting straight As or having a tertiary education isn’t going to guarantee a person success in life. But every Tom, Dick or Harry that tells you he is an ‘entrepreneur’ really isn’t going to turn to be SA’s answer to Richard Branson. Similarly, while body positivity is all well and good, it shouldn’t be used as an excuse to allow yourself to eat hot chips everyday because you know you are comfortable in your own skin blah blah blah.

Anyway to conclude this rant of mine, confidence is important (and sexy) when it comes to getting what you want in the world of dating and relationships. However, its not always just about the superficial things like looking good and being in possession of those desirable attributes such as money and academic accolades. I would say it’s more about understanding that we all lack certain things and learning to strike the balance of striving to get those things but also being OK with the the potential for failure in our endeavors.  There are still people out there that are unwilling to try their hand (or swiping finger) at online dating. Personally, I don’t blame them for running a mile after hearing my horror stories. That said, I do think getting out their and actively dating (instead of complaining and being lazy AF) gives you practice and despite the knock backs helps increase ones confidence so when the right person does come along you are able to present yourself in the best possible way. Sure, you’ll have to deal with rejection but as time goes on your learn to handle the negative aspects of these interactions and become less afraid about failure.

Alright Rinsers, how important do you think the role of confidence is when it comes to dating? What is confidence really? What do you think differentiates real confidence from the facade? Do you think actively getting out there, meeting people and facing the fear of rejection helps build confidence? Share your views in the comments below.

Mismatched Couples : Dating Out of Your League

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Once upon a time I had my little heart smashed to pieces by a guy that no-one could deny was good looker. For a long time I convinced myself that the reason the relationship was doomed for failure from the get go (slight exaggeration here) was because I was shooting way way way our of my league. How the hell did a chubby book-ish girl with a crooked nose and wild hair ever think she could hold down a hottie with a six pack and eyes that could hypnotize any hot blooded female. Well, turns out she and did and that things can actually fall apart for more complex reasons. Regardless of the facts, reeling from the aftermath of an epic break-up I vowed never to date a pretty boy ever again, my weak mind’s strange logic told me that the only way to ever succeed in finding happily ever after was to play it safe – basically stick to the ugly ones! And you guessed it, this led to a whole host of other issues. Let’s put it this way , if love was really governed by such a simple formula well we’d see so many more people winning at it!

Whether or not you relate to my personal anecdote, we’ve probably all had some experience with this notion of ‘leagues’ in dating. How many times have you heard someone comment that a girl is only dating an old guy for his money? Or question why a clever chick with everything going for her is dating ( read:financially and emotionally supporting) a deadbeat mummy’s boy who considers himself an ‘artist’ (sure, an expert in the art of sitting on his fat ass more like) ? . To some extent, we are all part of this somewhat high-school-esque system that ranks people according to a bunch of random criteria such as looks, academic achievements, money, social status, etc. And despite this there are so many of us that end up smashing the hierarchy and dating out of our league anyway.

Much of the time these so-called ‘leagues’ that we choose to shoot out of are socially manufactured concepts that somehow manage to infiltrate our little heads from the moment we start to notice the opposite sex, or maybe even before that.  These dating/social leagues are very subjective and just like sports leagues they are open to change. At some point in time, those that were once at the top of their game are bound to get replaced by someone prettier/cleverer/richer or with bigger muscles. You may find that that sometimes a strange life event can force even the best of people to be relegated into lower division. Just like that the tables can turn. Overnight an ugly duckling can turn into a swan/flamingo or a pauper could win big on the lotto.

And as much as these ‘leagues’ that the world forces us to place ourselves and others in are artificially engineered, the fact that we choose to fixate on such superficial things probably says more about our own issues and insecurities than anything else. The thought of asking the stunning chick with the perfect hair out on a date may make that geeky guy pewk in his mouth a little, but the fact is you never know a persons back story. Maybe she’s had a hard time in life and only ever dated horrible men that have taken advantage of her and the only thing she wants is a nice guy who won’t screw around. Perhaps being approached by the dude with a six pack leaves Miss Piggy (who is usually pretty eloquent) lost for words and wondering whether all the steroids have made him lose his mind. But maybe the reality is that despite the beautiful exterior he is in fact not that much of a prized commodity and even if he is maybe all the women throwing themselves at him just didn’t offer him the right kind of sparkles. Remember Mr Darcy was beautiful, posh, over-achiever and he still went for Bridget Jones. So, go figure.

Different people value and want different things. You may be the brightest, most beautiful girl in the world and guy may not want you because you just can’t quote the bible on cue. Everyone has their own deal breakers. Sure, in many ways the dating scene is a bit of a market place and we do need to take certain steps to make ourselves a viable option for a person. I mean turning up to a date dressed in rags or having nothing to talk about probably won’t get you very far. But this idiotic thing that many of us do in boxing ourselves into leagues and determining people’s values according to certain criteria probably does our prospects of finding our Prince/Princess Charming much good either.

So it maybe easier said than done but don’t let society’s opinion (or worse, your own opinion) another person being out of your league stop you from taking a risk and smashing up those social barriers. Some of the most solid couples in the world are probably totally mismatched. And perhaps it is in fact that very mismatch that makes them such a formidable team. So yep, when it comes comes to dating out of your league as it were, I’d always say take the chance (honestly, sticking to the ‘ugly’ ones will only made me miserable!). Maybe fighting the system won’t always reap rewards but it’s guaranteed to provide you with an epic adventure, something that playing safe certainly won’t do. And just maybe that hottie or that brainiac that you are totally in awe of sees something in you that the fucktards that went before were too dense to realise. So, throw caution to the wind and always aim high.

What to Watch Out For When You Start Dating Someone

sea-sunset-beach-coupleYou’ve made it past date three and you’re already imagining yourself in a wedding dress or writing down a proposal script? Hold your horses! You should still be looking out for potential bad signs at this stage. It’s quite easy to pretend you’re a completely different person for a short period of time. I’m sure, you’ve had the experience when after a glass of wine or two you were behaving like a much more confident version of yourself? Early dating is a little bit like that. Putting your best foot forward is natural but it also can be quite deceptive.

First of all, you should make sure that the person you’re seeing is actually available to fully pursue a relationship with you. A friend of mine met a guy once. He lived in a different city and visited hers every second week for work. He was always at his best behavior when he was with her and kept in touch when he was away. One day on a weird hunch she Facebook stalked him and it turned out that he was friends with a married man and a father looking like his identical twin… Of course, it wasn’t a twin but her man was a cheating bastard. I’m not saying that you should ask people to provide you with a certificate of no impediment before you get involved but listen to your intuition. If he’s covering his phone, always having conversations away from you, blocking your access to his social media, something may be up. Another signs such as never meeting his friends or not being seen out with you, may be a sign of him being involved with someone else too. He doesn’t necessarily have to be married, it may be that he has a girlfriend, a number of back pocket girls waiting for him or is just a player and wants to keep his options open. Guys, times are changing, females can be sailors too!

The problem of unavailability isn’t limited to the marital status only. Commitment issues and other emotional issues can be a similar killer for your happily ever after. The bad signs for commitment issues are: making little to no effort, spending little time with you, making things about sex only, lack of affection, not communicating with you apart from when you’re meeting up, keeping you away from a personal life in all possible ways, openly flirting with other women, telling you about other women to make you jealous, talking a lot but not following up… The list is long but I think we’ve covered the basis. It is similarly problematic if someone is a walking disaster and doesn’t keep their shit together. If you’re just after a break-up and so is your love interest, chances are you’re bonding over a broken heart. You can have a rebound but emotional pain isn’t exactly a recommended recipe for mature, long-term love. Someone who’s telling you long teary stories about their ex-spouse or childhood traumas on the first few dates is oversharing. Think about it: doesn’t this person have friends to tell them about such issues? They don’t even know you yet! Don’t fool yourself, thinking that you have something special because of it. Clearly their problems are still very fresh and/or undealt with if they can’t stop themselves from talking about them when still trying to impress someone. Sharing builds intimacy, oversharing a dependency. Don’t forget about it.

You should keep your eyes open and follow-up also on the things that strike you as weird. One swallow doesn’t make a summer so don’t obsess about something that’s only been mentioned in passing. At the same time, if you hear about something repeatedly, it may be worth investigating. A good example is my ex mentioning his mother 21 times on date one that I conveniently ignored. The more someone mentions something, the more he or she is attached to it. People may be downplaying their tendencies to impress someone they like, especially if that person doesn’t share their views (pretending that someone is less religious than they are in reality is just one example). However, it’s usually easy to pick up on such things. In other words, it’s up to you to hear exactly what you hear, when someone tells you about how your Zodiac signs are compatible. On the receiving end, don’t minimize the issues you care about. Maybe your collection of healing crystals will freak someone out but isn’t it easier to deal with it early, rather than spend eternity hiding your treasures from your spouse? Instead just imagine how many crystals you could have with a partner who’s also into these things!

To sum up, in the early stages of dating you should look out for the signs of your partner not being able to commit to you, being an emotional mess and a needy person, as well as for any worrying anomalies in what they’re saying. Last tip: As sex can complicate things and cloud your judgment, rather keep your legs together/your pickle outside of the jar, till you make up your mind about someone.

What are the things you think people should watch out for in the early stages of dating? Any stories about how you ignored a worrying signal? The comments section is all yours!

 

 

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

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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.