Category Archives: Advice

Alone again, naturally…

Apologies for the hiatus. I was, you see, temporarily not single. For someone who writes a blog about the hilariousness, awkwardness and otherwise fabulousness that it is to be solo, suddenly getting a boyfriend puts a little spanner in the works.

It was the age old story: boy knows girls for 10 years. Both become single. Boy asks girl out and, despite having him firmly in the friend zone for a decade, girl agrees to be in a relationship. Almost instantaneously. A week before he leaves for three months abroad.

So, maybe not the ideal start to a relationship. I really should have cottoned on to our incompatibility after realising that there was a reason he had been friend zoned since first year of university. But, I yielded to his requests to “go steady”. I’m not proud of it but I liked the attention; it was nice to be wanted. It was nicer to be talked about by our mutual friends: our union caused quite the stir.

After a few months talking on the phone, receiving extravagant posies of flowers and French champagne on Valentines Day, I flew interstate to meet him. It was a bizarre 5 day reunion. I was almost sick on the plane ride over. We’d decided to wait to get jiggy until we met again, all very romantic. Turns out, if you haven’t wanted to sleep with someone in 10 years of knowing them, there’s probably a reason. We had less chemistry than oil and water. It just didn’t work, at all. While I’m the first to concede that sex isn’t the be all and end all in a relationship (I should know, my first boyfriend is gay) it isn’t great when you aren’t wanting to rip each others clothes off within the first 4 months.

The decision was made for me. After we returned home and settled into normality with my new man home, I realised how much physical compatibility was critical to a relationship. Within 11 days I was having the chat and ending it. I cried for about an hour, then hardened up. I haven’t come this far to be with someone who the thought of being intimate with excited me as much as having to pumice my feet.

Lesson learned: once in the friend zone, it’s just not worth letting them cross over into lovers.

Alone again, naturally.

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Single phobia: don’t box me in

Because I am female, I am expected to aspire to marriage. I am expected to make my life choices, always keeping in mind that marriage is the most important. – Beyone

I have been single a while. Not a decade or an eon, but long enough to know that I am pitied. It doesn’t really matter that I am a (somewhat, sometimes) attractive, young, vibrant and personally successful female, my accomplishments in all facets of my life are somewhat overshadowed by the glaringly obvious flaw:

I AM SINGLE

For my male counterparts, they are allowed and encouraged to be the perpetual bachelors: young, sprightly gentlemen with the possibility of a plethora of women only a SMS away. When they attend work functions ‘stag’ they are desirable. When I do, if I’m not pathetic, I’m desperate or worse: a threat.

The pitying isn’t coming solely from men. Over a crisp glass of vino this evening a friend divulged that she too (newly single) had been the victim of the ever so condescending

“Oh, but you’ll meet him!”

As she quite rightly pointed out- she didn’t want to bloody meet him. She, for now, was enough. Men were “love of night” not “love of life”. A scary concept for our loved up friends.

I suffer the same ‘pep’ talk from female friends constantly. The differences are sometimes subtle:

Single friend: Next! Move on babes, he’s not worth it.
Taken friend: Are you sure you shouldn’t go on a second date with elevator boy? I mean, you can always live with a third nipple and surely the prior sexual assault conviction isn’t a deal breaker?

My reasoning has deduced that my shacked up friends like to be able to categorise their single friends. Gay. Morbidly obese. Relationship phobic. Slut. Cat lady. Neat little boxes that you can slot someone in, to explain the unattached status of their love life. If you’re available, not emotionally restarted and you can’t really see a reason why you’re single (other than no one is worthy), then it stands to reason that neither can your friends. And that scares them.

They. Can’t. Put. You. In. A. Box.

Categorising is the curse of the couples. If you’re not happily snuggled up to a significant other (as they are), how can you possibly be happy (as they are)? I believe that single phobia is spreading. Instead of being feared, we should be revered. We manage just-fine-thank-you-very-much. Sure, Valentines Day isn’t pleasant and tandem bike riding is difficult solo, but we grin and bear it with sass and style and a sense of freedom.

So to the pitied: you may not have met the one, but in the meantime you might as well have fuckloads of fun.

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Are the Bachelor-ettes suffering ‘work goggles’?

Work goggles. Similar phenomenon to the commonly suffered ‘beer googles’, work goggles appear after prolonged interaction in the workplace. They can be cultivated after weeks, months or years with a colleague. A human who, under normal circumstances might repel or repulse you, suddenly becomes the apple of your eye. The reason to get out of bed and schlep into the office with more than some BB cream and a slick of mascara.

Sure, it’s nice to have a reason to go to those dreary lunch meetings and firm mingling dos’. But don’t be fooled. Chances are you wouldn’t accept a drink from this person in a bar, however end up pashing them on the dance floor at 2 am after a few too many pink lemonades.

My major concern with work goggles is how widespread the condition is. Some ridiculous figure like, 80% (by no means an actual estimate) of people meet their partners at work. So I’m not the only one falling prey.

A gorgeous friend the other day divulged she had developed a crush on a certain young gentleman at her work place. Now, I should add he has an equally Zeus – like boyfriend of 5 years so it’s not like she needs the attention or eye candy. However after a couple of wines, she divulged the identity of her crush. We managed a Facebook stalk (you’re kidding yourself if you don’t think that’s what it’s for), and lo and behold he wasn’t attractive in the slightest. She swore black and blue (and Pinot and Grigio) that it was his personality that brought on her fits of childish flirting everyday. I diagnosed her straight away: work googles.

Not that I’m immune. You may have caught some of my previous rantings about a certain gentleman who I work with. Hardly surprising, but I was repulsed by him in he beginning. Attraction grew by attrition: he just simply wore me down. Day after day after day of seeing him in the lift, the lobby, the kitchen… You can’t escape it and the next thing you know, you’re hooked.

I’m starting to think contestants on the hugely popular reality show ‘The Bachelor’ might be suffering from a mutant strand of the disease, not dislike Stockholm Syndrome. I mean don’t get me wrong, Tim the Chiropractor is gorgeous but his personality evident on the show is on par with that contained in my large left toe. There are hordes of women swooning over him, and last night I even gagged a little as Ali declared, via video message, that she loved him. Loved him, loved him, loved him. (Spoiler alert: she got booted. Too fast, too soon, too creepy sweetheart).

When you have constant, forced, inescapable contact with a person day in, day out, chances are you’ll grow to find their repulsive traits irresistible. It’s inevitable.

Next time you’re crushing on a colleague (or considering entering a reality show where ‘love’ is the only prize), pause and think: are you a victim of work goggles? The only cure is to quit.

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Hell no! H2O!

Wing woman-ing takes a certain amount of finesse and tact.

There are times when I’ve exhibited such skills and achieved immeasurable success. Just last Friday, I managed to acquire my friend a suitable partner after she eyed him across the bar. A coy introductory line from me to him, deflection to her and a subtle exit to the bathroom some minutes later saw them exchange by the end of the evening both digits and saliva.

Other times, however, have not been so profitable for any party. After accompanying a good friend to meet her Romeo at a local bar, I was in the common position of being left with the ‘spare’. Don’t get me wrong, this guy wasn’t half bad (besides the tattoos and smug awareness that they did, in fact, up his street cred). Under normal circumstances however I can say with certainty he just wouldn’t have caught my eye. However sometimes when you’re single you must break out of that little comfort zone and branch out into the unknown. Unchartered waters.

So I took a chance on the inked man and after some (read:several) drinks we decided to take the whole party back to my place. My friend, her man, his wingman and me. Happy little family.

After a few more glasses of red and some not so subtle banging on the door from our neighbour I decided to retire to my boudoir. As nothing more than some heavy petting had transpired thus far between the spare and me, I politely stated in no uncertain terms that if he did wish to stay over (as his friend had already managed a bed space) he could “lie next to me with no funny business”. Clearly, it was the invitation of a life time because after agreeing with a cheeky smile and a pash, he followed me into the room before declaring he needed a glass of water.

Either he got lost on the 10 metre journey to the kitchen or we were fresh out of running tap water, because he never quite made it back. I don’t think any guy has made a mad dash for the exit of a girls apartment before he’s even tried his luck. But, true to my dating form, I heard the front door slam moments after he walked away from me. I peeked outside the bedroom room, expecting a knock and a sheepish “I took a wrong turn” explanation, but none came.

I consoled myself with the thought that he must have not been well but I really don’t think that to be the case. Needless to say, his friend and my friend were able to have a good giggle about it in the morning when they expected to see his at the breakfast table but I emerged alone.

I guess two wings don’t make a right.

“Love Me Tinder”

Internet dating has a stigma. Hiding behind a LCD screen allows a person a certain amount of anonymity not afforded in the public sphere. After a short lived foray into Internet dating (in the name of research, of course) I’m starting to understand why that stigma is warranted.

For those that have been living under a rock, or, say, in a relationship, Tinder is a dating application that works on a very simple, brutal premise. Swipe right for yes; left for no. That’s it. Five photos which stand between you and your potential soul mate.

I entered the realm of the unknown after a few too many margaritas. Buoyed by a friends’ positive experience with several young gentlemen she had been “matched” with via the app, I brazenly picked 5 of my most worthy pictures and set up my profile. To be judged. And to judge. Damn, was it addictive! Suddenly the power was back in my hands. After years of sheepish, coy glances across the bar, waiting for texts and taking the back seat in the dating game, it was finally my choice, my swipe, that gave me the opportunity to potentially pursue.

There were a few good men, but one particularly caught my attention with a few cheeky exchanges and, after successfully stalking his Facebook page agreed to meet up. For all those attempting to Internet date, let what happened thereafter serve as a guide:

Always meet the match with a friend in tow. That way, if he is a serial killer, at least someone would have copped a look at his face. Small comfort.

Remember photos can be photoshopped, cropped, filtered, darkened, lightened and just downright fake. Grain of salt when basing your opinion on the photographic variety of evidence.

Speak on the phone before you agree to meet. Wittiness can be manufactured over text, but is very difficult to replicate in real time conversation. Once you’re on a boring date, you’re stuck there for what feels like eternity.

While a few drinks under your belt can help with the old Dutch courage, being blotto is not really advisable. And under no circumstances should you follow my lead and meet up after midnight. Nothing good can happen after Cinderella’s curfew.

The second a guy admits his baby blues are due to contacts: run. Briskly, towards the nearest exit.

While the power of the swipe was certainly a thrill, I’m not sold. Nothing can recreate that first rush when meeting someone in the flesh. Back to the meat market for this little Miss Piggy.

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Gen Y Yuppies: is disillusion with life causing excessive singledom?

An annoyingly accurate blog post has arisen on Huffington Post overnight here

Is the necessity for constant excitement and interaction making it impossible for Gen Y’s to commit to stable, long term relationships?

I’d like to blame my stubborn Taurean horoscope, but perhaps I’m so determined to find Mr Perfect that I’m overlooking Mr-Could-Make-Me-Happy.

In a world where woman are told that they can, and should have it all, I’m not willing to settle in any aspect. But am I throwing the baby out with the bath water? Is failing to respond to a text after three dates because he “fist pumped” me too often a bit harsh? I mean, bit of a minor flaw?

Not settling? Keep at it, Gen Y. Why not?

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“I came in like a wrecking ball, I never hit so hard in love” – Miley Cyrus, Wrecking Ball

My approach has always been softly, softly. Like standing on the edge of a 1950s dance hall, waiting for a chivalrous hand to lead me to the floor, I’m never one to initiate an encounter. Call me old fashioned, but I believe the man should make the first move. Chasing is unbecoming of a lady.

But does that mean that nice girls are finishing last?

If Miley’s chart topping film clip is anything to go by, brash is back. Perhaps I should take heed: plenty of times have I left a night out disappointed because a guy I fancied didn’t make a move. Maybe if I’d been more forward I’d have snagged a date. I’m not shy, not socially retarded; I’m just not overly a fan of having to pursue someone for their attention.

On one particular night I did make the first move. The end result? My first (and last) one night stand. Being forward is not my forte. I always feel, well, so tawdry.

I currently have a crush. I speak to him. Email even (serious stuff). But I’m so petrified that I’ve mixed his signals that I’m scared to even add him as a friend on the old Facebook. What if he is legitimately just looking for female friend. Whilst strutting around in flesh coloured underwear and gyrating on mechanical equipment might make my intentions pretty obvious, it’s not the usual way to go about the courtship thing.

For now, I’ll just have to hope he enjoys the chase, because I’m not running in his direction.

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It’s not over til it’s over…

… Til I’m over you.

Relationships are, by their definition, definable. Clearly definable. Friend, sister, aunt, colleague, lover, grandfather. But what if the boundaries are blurred. What if there was never any definition. What then, when the relationship is over?

I’m in the midst of such a redefining, if you will. The fling has ended. The tryst is over. However, for circumstances out of my control, we can’t let go. Not because there is any feeling there, but because we work about 100m apart.

It’s hard to have complete closure when it was never really open. Usually, a break up is dramatic and painful but it’s final. Kaput. Dunzo. In this case, it’s not that easy when you’ve not really got anything concrete to finish in the first place.

I never like letting things fizzle. I have gone out of my way to end things with dignity and respect even when they may not have been a Facebook- status worthy relationship. That’s just common dating decency. But I’m out of luck on this one. Short of leaving him a post it note thanking him for the random drunken hook ups but it’s now over, I don’t know how to end something that was, well, nothing.

I guess I’ve just got to wait till the fat lady sings.

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“Is it amnesia? Amamaemonesia” – Chairlfit, Amamaemonesia

I recently had the (ahem) pleasure of running, literally, into an ex lover twice in one day. Both encounters were uncannily cheery: as though there was no love lost between us. Or never any love at all. What was the scariest part about it was that it was not an unusual scenario for me. I have managed to remain ‘friends’ , or for the large part amicable, with every lover I’ve taken. Quite seriously, a long term boyfriend of 2 1/2 years is one of my closest confidantes. We catch up every 2 months or so and speak fortnightly on the blower. There has never been a relapse on the sexual front, and pretty much every major life decision gets run past him first.

Which got me thinking. Either I am the most forgiving person on the planet (move over Dalai Lama) or I have a serious case of relationship amnesia.

Bryan Adams might have implored his lovely lady friend to please forgive me: and it seems I do just that. I’m not trying to contend that I’m some sort of saint, rather I think I’m just lazy. Isn’t it easier to forgive and forget than to harbour the hate?

I have taken back a boyfriend after cheating.

I saw the same scoundrel for a year despite many a public and drunken bust-up.

I have gone back to an ex after a long hiatus (and a lot of I-hate-us).

Yet still, if I ran into any of these men in the street, I wouldn’t hesitate to be genuinely friendly. I’m by no means a doormat, I just think I might have a very selective memory of the things people do to me. Especially the shitty things.

An ex has a very black and white view of his relationships with others. His good opinion once lost, is lost forever. His own mother even crossed the threshold. Harsh? You bet. But effective in sorting the wheat from the chaff? Correct.

Short of making a list of all the crap things people do to me and reminding myself of that daily, I really don’t think there is a cure for my relationship amnesia. As JET strum, it’s such a waste to always look behind you, you should be looking straight ahead. Yeah, I, gonna have to move on, before we meet again. I think they were onto something.

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“It felt right, it felt right. But I stumbled when it came down to the wire” – Haim, The Wire

The old saying often goes that, in relationships, timing is everything.

Right man, wrong time.

In another lifetime.

If only I’d met him when I was single.

But I think it’s more than that. More than simply meeting someone when you’re open to the possibility of love. It’s also a case of not fucking it up. See, I’ve met plenty of eligible guys during my (many) single years. Nice, charming, relatively funny and relatively hair-free guys. But often it’s that final moment, the leap of faith, the take off – where I fail in flying colours.

Courtship is easy. Flirting is second nature to most humans that haven’t lived under a rock or been home schooled. However making something out of nothing is the hardest. So many times I’ve been on the cusp of a relationship only to falter. I’m not sure whether it’s the fear of commitment, or thinking (often mistakenly) that something better is just around the corner. Whatever my problem; I’m a serial dater, which is only a couple of rungs up the ladder from a serial killer. I know plenty of girls that are always in a relationship, and jump straight from one long term monogamous partnership to the next. I envy that. I can’t fall in like that easy.

Maybe I’m fussy, although I prefer the term discerning. It often feels, as Haim so eloquently sing, right. There is no fault that I can put my finger on. Doesn’t matter: ill slink away from a potential relationship faster than Miley Cirus’ dignity. Maybe I’ll be cursed with being on the brink of something awesome, and never truly realising the potential.

Always keep your heart locked tight
Don’t let your mind retire

For now, I’ll be OK anyway.

The AB x

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