“You shouldn’t have to sacrifice who you are just because somebody else has a problem with it” – Carrie Bradshaw.
Sassy, smart, beautiful, single women, one and all: stand tall! Are you feeling plagued by the pressure to constantly explain why you’re flying solo? This is a very common complaint from single women I know. Indeed, when I was single, I too felt hassled by the need to incessantly justify why I was unattached, whether it be to a colleague, family member or a friend. Even perfect strangers at social occasions will have no qualms about asking you, in full condescending tone: “So, why are you still single?”
Being single is a powerful, positive choice for many women – after all, there ain’t no better time to find out what you want in life and in a partner, than when you have to stand on your own two feet and learn to like your own company. Leading Australian sexologist Dr Nikki Goldstein, 28, who is happily single herself, says she’s often forced to defend her singleton status.
“There are so many positives in my life to being single in my 20s, but people still comment negatively on it all the time,” Dr Goldstein says. “Women should never be ashamed to be single. It can be a very positive choice – you do not need to be loved by someone to have high self-esteem.” But how do you stay sane as a singleton, no matter whether you’re happily dating or not, when rogue relatives/colleagues/strangers are killing your buzz?
Short of telling said nosey, conservative types you’re batting for the other team (not that there’s anything wrong with that) in a bid to silence and/or shock them, you may want to try these quick and easy Singleton Sanity Savers:
Quote marriage stats: Make the Australian Bureau of Statistics your friend. The next time sleazy, old Uncle Graham asks you why you’re still single, try boring him senseless with endless divorce statistics. For example, “Did you know, Uncle G (insert relative name here), that approximately one in three first marriages end in divorce? And, in 2012, there were 49,917 divorces granted in Australia; that’s a two per cent increase compared to 2011?”
Turn the tables: This was a personal favourite of mine, when single – the next time some smug married (may I never be one of those) asks you why you aren’t married and knocked up, ask them loudly and pointedly to the point of rudeness: “How’s your love-life? Had much hot sex lately?” That should do the trick quite nicely.
Tell tall stories: Climbed Mt Everest lately? Travelled to the Valley of the Kings and Queens in Egypt? Been parasailing, paragliding or skydiving? If you answered no to these questions, fret not – life can be a grand adventure when single, and chances are, the person giving you a hard time about your lifestyle choice will be jealous of all your free time, no matter whether you put it to good use exploring the Seven Wonders of the World. So, exploit this by telling tall tales about what you got up to on the weekend and your exciting plans for the future.
Images via wikipedia.org
Are you single and ready to mingle? Singletons (women, that is) often have it rough: constant, invasive questioning about why you’re flying solo and/or childless; dirty looks and poor behaviour from smug marrieds at parties (clearly, you are a husband stealer); and then there’s other people’s rude and awkward fascination with your interesting sex life (or lack there of).
I know – I’ve been there. I once made the mistake of wearing a daring, low-cut dress to a New Year’s Eve party almost entirely made up of married people, at which I had countless Bridget Jones’ Diary-esque cringeworthy moments of my very own. If I wasn’t having to explain why I was single, I was getting serious side-eye in my dress, not that I had absolutely any intention of getting cosy with someone that night. I mean, God forbid a single woman could be happy in her own skin and just enjoy herself at a party? Sometimes, your singleton status can make others really uncomfortable.
So, what’s a single gal to do? For starters, you could empower yourself by checking out Dr Nikki Goldstein’s new book: #singlebutdating: 10 Steps to a More Dateable You (pictured). I wish this book, and more like it, were around when I was single.
Dr Goldstein, herself a sexy, young singleton, is a leading Australian sexologist and sex and relationships commentator. Her life experience – coupled with her psychology degree, postgraduate diploma in counseling and doctorate of human sexuality, make her a credible authority on the subjects.
And here’s what I love most: she wrote #singlebutdating women to arm women with the tools they need to not only survive in the #singlebutdating world, but to revel in it. Isn’t that refreshing?
Here, Dr Goldstein reveals her top sex and dating tips, her inspiration for the book and what she hopes to achieve with it.
What inspired you to write a book on single but dating (SBD) women? I felt that I was left without a label to describe my love and dating life. There have been moments in my life where I was not exactly single, but when asked if I had a boyfriend, I was unsure how to answer. It’s not like there were a lack of men in my life and I definitely wasn’t waiting at home for the phone to ring, but I didn’t want pity for my so-called “single” status. I also felt like so many of the dating books out there were telling women to change in order to trap a man and there was nothing empowering them to work out how they wanted to date. We don’t need set-in-stone rules – we need advice, empowerment, information and knowledge of possible outcomes so we can make better and healthier decision for ourselves.
Are you currently SBD? When writing the book, I went on a man ban for 18 weeks and it was one of the most interesting times of my dating life. I learnt so much about myself and got to take a good look at how I had been dating from a distance without the distraction of men and really take time to explore what I wanted from the opposite sex. Since publishing the book, I am back dating and currently an SBD woman (and having more fun now knowing what I want and how I want to date than before).
What makes you qualified to give dating advice? For this book, I was able to reflect from my professional life as a sexologist and relationship expert with a history of academic and clinical experience, but also my own dating life, as I had had years of colourful dating experiences. It was the first time I decided to get really personal with my work and share my own stories. This is the book I wanted years ago, so in a way I am my own audience.
Have you had many long-term relationships? I have had one in particular that lasted about six years and after that have had a series of what I like to call “mini relationships”: (under six months) flings, holiday romances and dates with some great men. With each person, I feel I have learnt more about myself and who I am and I’m so appreciative that these people were at one stage in my life.
What are some top benefits for SBD women? They have a chance to discover what they want in their love lives and their lives in general before they enter long-term or more committed relationships. How do we know what we want if we haven’t explored different options and sometimes had what we don’t want? Love is not always enough in relationships and even if it is we need to experience what love is and what love isn’t so we can identity the right feelings when they come along.
There is a lot of confusion over what constitutes love, lust, validation and security. You might think it’s true love, when it actual fact the relationship you are in is validating your sense of self-worth and those feelings lead you to believe that it’s love. It’s important for woman to take time to work on themselves so they are able to enter relationships based on what they want not what everyone else around them is telling them they should want. Being an SBD woman just gives you the time and permission to work all of that out.
Why should women entertain the idea of a man ban? I think it’s great for women every so often to step back and have a good, hard look at their love and dating lives. It doesn’t have to be for too long. Given we are in a world which preaches the strong message that a boyfriend or partner means worthiness and validation, we need to be very careful of our dating and sexual behaviours. Sometimes, it takes that distance to be able to analyse and assess what is really going on in your own life. Are you sleeping with that guy because you really wanted to, or because you were feeling a little low and thought it might give you a self-esteem boost? Did you go out on a date with that guy because you really did like him or because it was nice to have someone who was pursuing you? When we are in the midst of it it’s hard to tell why we do what we do, but some distance can give the most insightful view.
What was the book writing process like? It was very quick; it was something I had wanted to do for some time and an idea that had been sitting in my head, but from contract to holding the first-bound draft in my hands was 18 weeks. I went into hibernation and worked like I’ve never worked before. It was not only a challenge professionally, but personally too. When you take yourself out of the society you live in and stay at home in gym clothes and sweat pants, you really need to look to yourself for confidence, validation and positive vibes.
Do you have any other books in the works? I loved writing #sinlgebutdating and found a new passion. Four weeks into book one and I was already looking at what was next with ideas flowing fasting than I could type. There was so much more I could have put into this book that I had to start to consider book two. Let’s just say this is a first, but will not be an only for me. I’m getting ready to go back into hibernation with my laptop again soon.
How will your book aid SBD women? Hopefully it will empower them to think differently about the dating game. I wanted to give permission to women that it’s OK and even amazing to be #singlebutdating right now and that maybe for those who are considering this as a lifestyle choice, to let them know it’s not so scary and can actually be very useful in the long-term. With this book, I wanted to empower women so they are able to make choices from their own internal wants and desires, instead of acting in response to the influences around them.
It’s OK for women to have one-night stands, booty calls and date multiple people if that’s what they want, but they first of all need to work out if it’s what they really want and understand any consequences and risks attached. My book #singlebutdating will not only empower women, but help them to become the most datable versions of themselves, not from changing every aspect of their lives, but by bringing out the best version of who they really are on the inside.
How can women combat society’s negativity towards SBD women? They can continue to challenge the messages they get fed; ask where it comes from and also why it’s there. Often, we take messages of what is sexy and attractive from the society around us and accept them as the status quo. It’s important to continually analyse these messages and think: “Is this so-called ideal one that I believe in and one that works for me?” It’s also useful for women to have a voice and not be afraid to share their thoughts and opinions, even if they feel they are different to everyone else.
Why are you passionate about sex education? I’m passionate about it because a lack of education is what lets us down on so many levels. We get minimal sex education, nearly none about relationships and dating and then we are expecting to get it right. We put so much importance on relationships and our sex lives that it’s unfair we do not have the right information to work on it. We will never get to a stage where we say “OK, this amount of sex education is enough and adequate now,” because it is multifaceted subject which impacts so much of our lives. Sex education and the delivery of information and thoughts, whether for adults or teens and children, should not been seen as a niche or something that we should get to if we have time – it should be a priority.
What are some top sex myths in Australia as pertaining to SBD women? I think it’s this idea that stems from the Madonna/whore complex that if we have too much sex we are ruined in some way. Some men want woman to be kinda sexual, but then are turned off by a woman with too much sexual experience or desire (but please note I said “some men”, not all). There is still this feeling in our society that a women who expresses herself too much sexually is not a good thing. But why is that? I would think that – especially from a man’s point of view – a woman who was sexually enthusiastic (doesn’t that sound better than “slut”) would make a better lover as hopefully she would know what she wants and likes in the bedroom and is better able to connect emotionally and physically. We have always tried to control woman’s sexually with this fear of degradation and maybe it’s time we were more aware of where it seeps into our society. Virginity does not mean innocence and sexuality should never equate to guilt, slut and whore.
Any final tips to help wome feel empowered and fulfilled while SBD? A lot of single and SBD women can feel a little down about the dating game and there are a lot of pressures out there and emotions attached. It’s important to look at the positives and what you do have in your life, not focus on the negative and what you are missing out on. Once women are in a negative head-space, it might only send them further down, so it’s important to stop yourself and flick that switch to positivity. And people are more attracted to happy, positive people, so it will help in the attraction stakes too. It’s harder than it sounds, but once you can master that art, dating and even self-esteem really does become a lot easier. Find little ways to make yourself happy and acknowledge when the world around you is bringing you down.
#singlebutdating, $29.99, is in all good book stores now and is also available as an e-book. Visit drnikki.com.au.
All pick up lines are lame, right? They’re sleazy, degrading and we assume that only the incredibly desperate respond. So why do some pick up lines actually work? Is it the line being used; is it the person using them, or is it something else?
Well ladies, it’s not necessarily the person delivering them – although that could make a difference. I’m sure if a famous eligible bachelor or bachelorette used a pick up line it really wouldn’t matter what they said, they’d probably still have some takers.
Still, it’s not all about the person. Ordinary people use pick up lines every day with some success and surprisingly it’s not just the desperate and dateless who respond. Many a fair maiden or handsome gent has been plucked from single obscurity by the use of a humble pick up line.
The mystery is though, how on earth does this happen? Well, in most cases it’s not the actual words people use as a way to start a conversation with a stranger. It’s far more than that. Much of it has to do with the delivery of the words being said. If it comes across alright, even if it’s stuttered or stammered from chronic nervousness, then you’re more than half way there.
So let’s talk about confidence – after all, it can be really tricky approaching a good looking stranger. Ironically, a touch of nervousness will win every time when compared with over-confidence. There’s nothing more sleazy than if the user of the pick up line believes they are God’s gift to the opposite sex.
Instead, the type of confidence needed to land a pick up line is quite different. To use them successfully people need to project a sense of who they are, what they want and most importantly they need to have conviction about what they say.
For example, if a man approaches a woman he won’t get very far if he states that she’s the most beautiful woman in the room if he doesn’t really mean it. It will come across in his body language that what he’s said is simply utter bullshit.
However, if a man approaches a woman and uses the same line but truly believes what he’s saying, it will be received much better. No matter how badly his pick up line sounds or if he’s fluffed his way through it, he will be far more likely to win the girl over.
Why is that? Well he’ll sound and behave in a far more sincere way. Additionally, his focus will be on her. He’ll want to listen to what she has to say, unlike the man who isn’t sincere. To this guy, it’s just a game of cat and mouse.
Instinctively the majority of us can recognise the difference, most of the time. However, as we all know sometimes our compass can be a bit off. So if someone uses a pick up line and it comes off sincere or even a bit funny, you might want to give the poor soul a chance. You never know how or where you will meet that special someone. It would be a shame if you turned them away because they used a pick up line as their initial contact. Maybe they’re super shy and not quite sure what to say.
Trust me when you hear it, you’ll know the difference!
Image via blog.mysillylife.net
Calling all single ladies: do you think you should be dating a certain type of man? Has your family and/or friends conditioned you into thinking you can’t be romantically or sexually interested in say, someone from a different socio-economic group than you?
Well, think again: you could be denying yourself an amazing connection and/or a life partner, if that’s what you’re looking for, because love comes in many different guises. You might think you should be only dating white-collar businessmen, while in reality, your perfect match could be a farmer, carpenter or dance instructor.
And while it’s true that dating someone from a similar background to you can certainly make relationships easier in certain respects, if you’re struggling to break bad dating habits like always choosing the wrong kind of man, dating beyond your usual “type” may be the answer.
Relationship counsellors strongly suggest single women try to keep an open mind when it comes to dating and go on lots of dates to find out who and what really blows your hair back. Break the cycle of always dating the same kind of guy; it might be challenging and confronting to try something new, but you never know what might come out of it. In addition, discomfort often equals personal growth.
When I was growing up, some of my best friends at the time were taught to only date “white collar” men. I’ve never adhered to this belief myself, despite a middle-class upbringing – in fact, I think it’s narrow-minded bullshit. However, it took me until my late 20s myself to realise dating high-earning IT types really wasn’t making me happy (see dropped pie face pictured above) and so I started to look outside of my usual preferences in a man.
I didn’t change my list of core values I was looking for in a life partner – such as kindness, compassion, self-respect and a strong work ethic – I just stopped having such a strict list of rules on who he might be and where he might work. And the result? I fell madly in love with a professional musician, with whom I’m now married and have two kids.
When we met, his career was taking off and he was just as busy as I was but – more importantly – he was creative, passionate, emotionally available and really into the idea of getting married and having kids too. I had broken the cycle of only dating career-obsessed, white-collar types far more interested in partying, computers and/or making money than in a long-term future with me.
And if we look to a popular fictional example: did Carrie in Sex and the City (pictured) make the biggest mistake of her life, pardon the pun, when she let Aiden – he of the sexy, manly and earthy carpenter goodness – go in favour of suave, but cold Mr Big? Yes, I truly believe so (I’ll debate this until the day I die). Sure, Mr Big is hot and flashy, but Aiden could have given Carrie a lovely, stable future and kids too, if she ever decided she wanted them.
So, are you dating the wrong kind of man, too? Do you know what your goals are and do the men you’re dating actually match this and measure up? Relationship experts say be as realistic, flexible and open-hearted as you can when man-hunting in the dating game and you can’t go wrong.
What do you think? Do you need to date outside of your usual type?
Images via huffingtonpost.com, ayi.com, zimbio.com
The story of mates before dates is a familiar one. There’s this guy; he’s hot, smart, funny and you suspect he likes you. You’re also pretty sure he’s going to make a move. The playing field is set, the pawns are in place…
Then one of your friends pipes up: “Omigod, I like him so much, he’s mine, ‘kay bitches?”
Uuuuugggghhhh. There it is; the girl code. The unspoken rules of female-dom that were supposed to die out with your misguided adolescence, yet somehow transcend time to terrorise your adulthood. And rule #1 is: Thou shalt not date/mack/screw a guy that your friend has already voiced affection for. Break this rule; risk being ditched by said friend, or if the incident is publicised, being ostracised from your social circle.
It all sounds so…undergraduate, yet women continue to adhere to this until they’re married or confirmed cougars (or both). Calling dibs has probably saved a myriad of friendships. But it’s also screwed up oodles of potential pairings; from full blown relationships to epic one night stands.
For years I’ve adhered to this rule. I’ve watched potential liaisons, flings, and the possible love of my life pass me by. But hey; mates before dates, right? But if mateship is so important, shouldn’t it be unconditional? Shouldn’t we disregard guys when measuring the worth of our BFFs? After all, men operate under the assumption of no claim, fair game and they seem to do alright.
A little while ago, I was faced with a situation that put the girl code to the test. There was this guy and he was stupidly hot. He fulfilled the attractive quota of about five people. And nice. And funny. And one of my friends had already slept with him.
I suspected she liked him. Maybe a lot. This would have been fine, had I not been INSANELY sexually attracted to him. The most irritating part; I knew he wanted me too. It was nearly unbearable, especially as we were all going to end up at a party together the next weekend. On the night, I could see her quietly trying to instigate round 2. He wasn’t responding, she wasn’t happy.
Finally, the night drew to a close. My friend had left unsuccessful. It was just me, one other guy who had long since fallen asleep, and him. “Holy hell,” I thought. “This is it.” What to do?! Did I hold out? Did I give in? Did I throw the girl code out the window for the sake of truly amazing sex?!
Of course I slept with him. There was no other option really; the puma in me kept growling “you fool!” every time I considered saying no. And the sex certainly didn’t disappoint. But what about my friend? She would guess; girls just know.
When I eventually saw her, she threw me one look that said it all. My guilty face gave it away. I expected yelling, tears, maybe even hair pulling…but she simply raised her eyebrows, gave me a stiff but appreciative nod and said nothing. Could it be that she accepted the situation and was attempting to move on, putting our friendship first?!
Wow. Pigs do fly.
Ladies, the moral of this story is that the girl code has to be situational. If a girlfriend has just ended a long-term relationship, fooling around with her ex is a shitty thing to do. However, when faced with a love triangle in which nobody is dating anyone, ‘dibs’ isn’t a legitimate claim. When the Universe is saying: “Girl, you’ve been good lately, here’s a treat,” then for God’s sake go forth and be fruitful. True friends will rise above it. THAT is the true meaning of mates before dates.
Image via Popsugar.com
Everyone wants a kick-ass dating profile, right? Well, apart from having an awesome pic with your smiling mug on it, you really need to focus on your wording. Despite us all being highly visual creatures who predominately look first, people who are serious about wanting a relationship will take the time to read about the person in front of them.
Unfortunately, this is where the battle of the sexes reignites yet again. The opposite sex don’t always agree with what the other assume is a positive trait. Why? There are heaps of English words with multiple meanings. For example, when single ladies describe themselves using words such as strong, they assume it’s telling a prospective date that they’re independent, self-reliant and resilient.
While other women are often in awe of ladies who confidently describe themselves as strong, this little adjective can be a major turn-off for men. In fact, some men claim that when they spot words such as strong on a dating profile, they can’t click away fast enough. To them, this word – and words with similar meanings – are simply code for pushy, demanding and domineering.
So how do you get across who you are without scaring away prospective partners? Luckily, I’ve got some tips for you on how to produce a kick-ass dating profile. Just follow these simple guidelines and it should help you present yourself better and give you options to describe who you are in more accurate detail.
Tip 1: Be honest
There’s nothing worse than a liar in the game of love. So if you’re serious about finding that special someone then you need to be completely honest. Start by using an image of yourself and keep the editing to a minimal. Don’t Photoshop yourself down to a large breasted skeleton or buff yourself up to be a body builder if your not. Instead use an image which accentuates your best assets and you can’t go wrong.
The same principal applies to the wording. For example, if you don’t earn a six figure salary or model swimwear don’t claim to. Why? The key thing to remember is that good solid relationships are based upon trust and respect. So if you lie about yourself from the get-go you’ll basically be screwing up any potential for a long-term relationship.
Tip 2: Choose the right image
If you really want a serious relationship, you need to put some effort into it. Ideally make sure your profile picture is the very best image you have. Think about what you want your image to say about you. Don’t just upload a selfie quickly snapped in front of your screen. Go that one step further and put some thought into what you want your first impression to say about you.
Tip 3: Carefully select your wording
Although it might be tempting to describe yourself using a few generalized words such as masculine or independent it’s much better to give these words some thought before you commit to using them. To do this I’d recommend reviewing each one using a Thesaurus. Yeah I know this may sound tedious. Yet by doing this you’ll be able to describe yourself much more accurately plus leave less scope for misinterpretation.
I’ll give you an example using the word independent. Below are some synonyms (words with similar meaning) directly from thesaurus.com.
- on one’s own
Additionally, thesaurus.com provide a list of related words:
Notice that there are multiple meanings of this word and some of them aren’t exactly complimentary? Instead I’d recommend selecting more appropriate and specific words from the list. For example if want to use the word independent to describe that you’re self-reliant or self-sufficient use the more accurate words because they are far more descriptive about who you are.
Additionally where possible provide more detail along with the adjectives you use to describe yourself. Take the word enthusiastic for example. What are you enthusiastic about? A serial killer could be enthusiastic to seek his next victim but if your enthusiasm is more akin to gardening then adding this additional information will help you find a more suitable partner.
Well that’s about it. If you’re completely honest, choose the right image and carefully select your wording you’ll create yourself a kick-ass dating profile and be well on your way to meeting that special someone!
Are you a fan of The Bachelor Australia? Chances are, if so, you will have recently guffawed aplenty and enjoyed endless schadenfreude along with the rest of Australia at arguably the most awkward, one-on-one TV date EVER.
I’m talking about episode three – when Sam Wood, aka Woody, as I like to call him, squired a young, hapless lass called Madeleine (pictured below, at right) out in a rowboat for a picnic. It quickly descended into date hell thanks to a series of long, awkward silences and inclement weather, which saw Mads become the poster girl on what not to do on a first date. Poor Woody could barely stop his eyes from rolling back into his head while she spent the entire time obsessing about her hair/teeth/appearance and then flat-out refused to eat in front of him and/or drink red wine.
Inevitably, Woody had little choice, but to send poor, anally-retentive Madeleine home at his earliest opportunity and it got me thinking: has this episode perfectly encapsulated the world’s worst first-date behaviour? Dating ain’t easy to be fair, let alone in front of a camera crew on a national TV show. And in real life, dating can be both downright scary and ridiculous; it’s a challenge to be yourself when you’re nervous and out to impress.
I know – I’ve been there – after one long-term relationship after another, I dated a lot in my late 20s-early 30s. At times, it was excruciatingly hard: I felt like an extra straight from Sex and the City going: “Where are all the decent, available men?” And navigating dating etiquette, as I discovered, was no easy task.
Enter Jodie Bache-McLean (pictured), the much-respected and admired director of both June Dally-Watkins (JDW) and Dallys Model Management, who spoke to SHESAID about her top advice on first-date etiquette.
“I think when you accept an invitation from someone, it is only respectful to be polite and gracious. Any other type of behaviour would be completely inappropriate,” Jodie says. “Really, if you do not want to be there, simply do not accept the invitation.
“On a first-date, you must treat others how you would like to be treated – with respect and dignity – even if you know very early into it that this person isn’t for you.”
So, what did we learn from The Bachelor? Here are quick and easy top 5 first-date dos and don’ts with expert advice from Jodie for good measure:
1. Go with the flow: If it all doesn’t go according to plan (what does, in life?) and it instead say, rains on your date, ala Mads’ and Woody’s picnic-from-hell, try your best to be fun and light-hearted and laugh about it. I used to try viewing dating as a game: the less seriously you take it all, the better. A little rain never hurt someone – don’t be so precious and fun you can’t let go. Aim to extend your horizons by meeting new and interesting people.
2. Don’t be a bore: No man or woman wants to go on a date with someone who spends the entire time being insecure, fussing about their appearance and seeking constant reassurance. A confident, easy-going nature is the first-date ideal – remember, no one is perfect, so stop trying to be. And keep the negative self-talk in your head: aim to be positive, confident and interested in your date. Talk less about yourself and ask lots of questions; keep the banter playful and light.
“On that all-important first date,” Jodie adds, “Be careful of over-disclosure. There is no need to ditch the dirt on any previous exes, or ask the person to divulge all the dirt on their previous relationship; this is not a first-date conversation starter.
“Instead, be interesting and be interested. Good conversation is like a game of tennis: when asked a question, you answer like returning the ball, you return the question, and this starts conversation and makes you both feel at ease. One point I do want to add is make sure you allow the person to finish what they are saying. There’s nothing ruder than not allowing someone to finish answering a question; being a great listener is a skill and is admired by many.”
3. Eating is not cheating: Poor Mads hilariously told Woody: “I don’t want to eat in front of you, that’s embarrassing” and refused to – gasp – drink wine: “Yay red, it’ll stain my teeth”. Omg, what the actual f*** – I wanted to throw something at my TV at this point. It’s OKAY to eat in front of a love-interest – in fact, I’d be highly suspicious of anyone who expected otherwise?! And drink the wine too ladies – a glass or two will loosen you up, which is just what poor, old Madeleine really needed.
4. Time to pay up, buddy: Real-life dates which do not involve The Bachelor-like super yachts, rowboats and candle-lit beach dinners at sunset may instead involve the age-old quandary of who should pay for dinner. Oh the humanity! My take is that a woman should always offer to pay half, especially if said date is a total nightmare. You will most likely find most men will be more than happy to turn traditional and foot the entire bill though – beware the undesirables who make a big fuss about it or who ask you to pay the entire bill! That’s not going to end well.
And Jodie concurs, but adds the first-date inviter should almost always pay. “Traditionally, if you are invited to dinner by someone, the expectation is that they pay. However, if you are not comfortable with that, then by all means when you are planning the date, you could say something to the effect: ‘Lets share the bill.’ That way, it is flagged before the dinner begins.
5. Dress to impress: It’s a first date, not a skin flick – you don’t have to reveal all your goodies to him on a first date. I say dress sexily, but appropriately. You don’t want to be like poor, old Bachelor frontrunner Sarah in episode two, who wore a skirt so tiny you could practically see her pink bits throughout her entire date spent looking terrified aboard a super yacht. I like to model what my Year 8 drama teacher used to preach: “Wear a skirt long enough to cover the subject, but short enough to be interesting.” Word! Or, wear whatever you bloody well want, as long as it’s classy and comfortable. I met my husband while out on the town wearing jeans, a cute top and stilettos.
Images via www.ayi.com; www.rabblerousetheworld.com; news.com.au
Sex is like fine wine and chocolate; the more wondrous, delicious and satisfying it is, the more you want. And yet sex droughts are all too common, whether they strike due to illness, stress and/or a man ban by choice. Sometimes, you can even settle into the groove of a dry spell – so much so, that it’s some time before you realise you’ve gone months without a sexual partner.
You might simply be so busy and content as a singleton, you plain just don’t have time and/or inclination for a partner right now. And – let’s face it – sex droughts won’t kill you, even if it feels like it at the time. What’s more, it’s vitally important as a singleton that you learn how to have a satisfying love affair with the one who matters most – yourself.
Sydney sexologist, Dr Michelle Mars (pictured), who specialises in the sociology of sex gender and sexual well-being, concurs: she says sexual dry spells, while increasingly common, need not be unfulfilling.
“If we define a ‘sex drought’ as wanting more sex than we’re getting, then sex droughts are likely to be a feature of people’s lives at some point,” Dr Mars says. “If it’s a short-term sex drought, there is really no excuse. Like any relationship, we can cultivate a fulfilling one with ourselves and although this might get a little boring after a year or two, there are a myriad of things we can try to spice up sex for one.
“The added benefit of this is that once you have worked out what you really like you are more likely to also have better partner sex. I guess I tend to see sex as an opportunity for self-development, so if you’re having a sex drought and you don’t see a way out of it, and then channel some of that positive energy into other aspects of yourself. Do something new, take an interest in sport or art or start going for early-morning walks.”
So, there you have it: the good sex doctor’s advice on how to survive that sex drought. Here are my top tips too, for good measure. For, as a single lass, I had my share of sexual dry spells when I was too career-focused to care and/or hunting for the right partner with whom to share all my goodies with.
Top 5 sexual drought survival tips:
- Keep busy: Work hard and play hard and you’ll train your mind and body to forget all about that itch you’ve really got to scratch – at least for a while.
- Just breathe: I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, yoga and mindful meditation can cure a host of ills; give it a go. It’s all about mind over matter.
- Shop for one: Treat yourself to a new buzzy friend – vibrators can help keep your solo sex life fun and interesting. And while nothing can replace the joys of the flesh, this is a good short-term fix. Buy yourself some hot heels, while you’re at it.
- Exercise like a demon: I took about boxing, kickboxing and hired a personal trainer when a busy singleton. I got super-fit, healthy and svelte and had never felt sexier – then I met my husband at the peak of my singleton powers. Coincidence? I don’t think so.
- Read all about it: Find out what blows your hair back: is it good quality erotica and/or porn? Treat yourself to the entire works of brilliant French-born novelist and passionate eroticist Anaïs Nin and/or Australia’s top sex writer Krissy Kneen – trust me, you won’t be disappointed. Hello, orgasm town!
Images via womenshealthmag.com, puckermob.com
Life as a single lass can be sexy, wondrous and fun, but occasionally you’re going to meet, date and get naked with people who will insult your beautiful, perfectly imperfect mind, body and soul.
When it comes to sex and the single girl, it’s vital you maintain a strong body image and don’t listen to the haters. “Shake it off,” as T-Swizzle (Taylor Swift) would quite rightly say, and go find someone who not only loves you, just as you are, but a partner who’s secure in themselves and doesn’t feel the need to belittle you. You’ve got the world in the palm of your hand – stay strong –and find a man who raises you up even higher.
Trust me on this – I’m very old – imperfection is beautiful, curves are awesome and true beauty is within – don’t ever let someone sap your soul and take that away. And physical beauty comes in many, many different shapes and sizes. No one is perfect – least of all highly critical people who don’t love you as you are.
I dated many men before I met my husband at 34. Here are some of the nasty body and sex insults I suffered, for your hopeful amusement. They’re actually funny looking back – and, armed with a strong sense of self and my husband’s unconditional love – I can truly see how utterly ridiculous they are. However, verbal slurs in a relationship can really sting and prove damaging if you don’t maintain a healthy sense of humour, self-esteem and self-confidence.
Sex/body shaming insults and an appropriate response
- “You’re not very good at oral sex.” Now, any man who says this to you deserves to get a bit of teeth action, if you ask me. If a man can’t articulate to you what he likes in bed and insults you for good measure, do as I did and kick him to the kerb. The vast majority of men will love what you do downstairs and never ever be so stupid as to complain.
- “You need to lose weight”: In life, you must accept you’re not everyone’s cup of tea. And so what? There are many men out there who love and appreciate healthy curves and voluptuousness and whom will adore you, just as you are. And I’m always highly suspicious of men who don’t like curves. Want a stick figure? Go shag a broom, dickhead.
- “You’re too wet”: Yep, a man once said this to me in bed. For most sane humans, a well-lubricated lady is nothing short of a God-given gift, nay miracle. Learn to love your body and get to know what turns you on and never ever let someone tell you this is a bad thing. What a tosser! Naturally, I sent him packing…
- “Your nipples are too small”: It was beyond me at the time, still is now, why a guy I once seriously dated (and loved) felt the need to utter these stupid and hurtful words. Talk about a brain fart?! Breasts are beautiful – my cup runneth over – why would you ever insult the size of a woman’s nipples!? Don’t ever insult your lover’s body – and the same goes for women. My husband adores my double Ds and they’ve perfectly breastfed two children – again, you’ll probably meet and date overtly critical men who are never happy with what they have. Get rid of them, fast.
- “You just don’t do it for me”: If a man doesn’t find you anything less than a massive turn-on, feel sorry for him and move on as quickly as you (and your hurt pride) can. Some men are so particular about their sexual tastes; they’re looking for the unattainable. But it matters not – there are plenty of men out there who will think you the most perfect goddess who’s ever walked the earth. Go find him, now!
Images via topsecretwomensbusiness.com, iamapowerfulwoman.net, linkedin.com
When fictitious heroine Bridget Jones declared in the hilarious 1996 best-selling book-turned-film, Bridget Jones’s Diary, that it was her new year’s resolution not to “fall for any of the following: alcoholics, workaholics, commitment phobics, people with girlfriends or wives, misogynists, megalomaniacs, chauvinists, emotional fuckwits or freeloaders, perverts”, women cheered the world over in solidarity.
It was a fine list. Unfortunately, when you’re dating, you’re bound to encounter at least some of these douchebags, plus many more other heinous varieties. I should know: I spent many years in the dating wilderness in my late 20s and early 30s and while some of those years were deliriously happy, others were marked by misery due to my penchant for repeatedly dating the wrong kind of man. Eventually, I learnt the error of my ways, and through sheer good luck/fate/design, I met the man of my dreams, who is now my husband.
To be clear, dating Mr Wrongs can have many happy side-effects: hot, no-strings-attached-sex; good, silly and carefree fun; self-discovery; and zero commitment, all of which have their place. But if you’re after a long-lasting relationship, with someone compatible, there are certain types of men you should definitely steer clear of. Here is my list of top 5 douchebags to avoid, at all cost!
- The Commitment-Phobe
If a man tells you his most serious, long-term relationship has been with a pot plant, you’d better bolt the other way. Seriously though: listen hard to what men tell you about themselves. And ask lots of questions. If he says he isn’t “good at long-term relationships” and isn’t after anything more than a short-term fling – believe him. You aren’t a fixer or a fairy godmother – that’s not your job.
Stay well away from men who fear intimacy and deep, emotional connections. And, if you realise down the track you’re dating one of these douchebags, who just wants all your goodies, with zero commitment – and that’s not what you want – it’s time to kick him to the kerb (not literally, ouch). The right guy won’t be able to stay away from you. What’s more, don’t believe the mythical bullshit about how men can’t commit: many blokes want to get married and have kids.
- The Serial Philanderer
In the dating universe, you’re bound to meet at least one troublesome douchebag who only sees the world through the eye of his penis, dates multiple women at once, and cannot stay faithful in a monogamous relationship. If you’re unlucky enough to find out that the man you’re getting naked with, is also doing the deed with two or 20 other women, abort, abort, abort! Try really hard not to give your heart to men with this affliction; you will seldom change them and it will only end in heartbreak – trust me on this.
- The Mummy’s Boy
I once seriously dated a man whose mother would routinely come over to our house to wash and iron his clothes and/or arrive with freshly baked cookies. Oh the rage! Don’t put up with men who are just looking for a mummy substitute: find an independent, self-made man who has long-since cut the apron strings and can well and truly fend for himself. And this means being able to cook and know his way around the laundry, for fuck’s sake. You are no one’s domestic slave, girlfriend. It’s 2015, not the 50s! Look for an evolved man with good life skills: someone who’s done some hard work on himself
- The Hopeless Addict
When seeking a long-term partner, do your best to avoid people with serious addictions, be they porn, gaming, gambling, alcohol, drugs, food or sex, for example. We all have vices, but people with really unhealthy and dangerous habits will only sap your time and your soul. Again, it’s really hard to change someone – they have to want to do it for themselves. So, when you meet addicts – tell them to get the help they need – and go find someone deserving who shares your same values, lifestyle and outlook.
- The Abuser/Mentally Unwell
Mental health issues are both common and serious in our community. Unless you’re a qualified, practising psychologist, never try to fix someone’s grave mental health problems. In addition, if you encounter any abusers – be they emotional, mental or physical – get out of there, as fast as you can. You’re no one’s whipping boy. I once dated a man in my early 20s who repeatedly told me I was fat, even though I worse size 9 jeans back then (those were the days). Men’s nasty, snide and belittling comments are always about them and their own insecurities/problems/mental health issues – don’t put up with it – ever!
What do you think? Have you dated some of these top 5 douchebags?
Images via glamour.com, newlovetimes.com, idiva.com
I know a fair few women in their 40s and many are choosing to be single. Most have been in long term-relationships at one point in their lives, plus experienced a few short lived relationship disasters as well. Since becoming single these beautiful ladies have decided to stay that way and granted, it hasn’t always been easy – they’re a sexy vivacious lot! Women in their 40s seem to draw in men like bees to honey and the majority have been turning down eligible men in their droves.
I wanted to know what was happening with their love lives, so I confronted three eligible single friends over 40 to ask why they’ve made a conscious choice to stay away from cupids arrow. Are they disillusioned with love? Is it their work or the pressures of caring for their family? Or is it that women in their 40s are wanting to experience some me time? You might be surprised at what I discovered.
I’ve known Helen for about 15 years and she has no intention of looking for love. Men aren’t even on her radar and she’s been single for well over a decade. Her case is quite unique to the other two because she once found the love of her life. He was a wonderful man, however he dealt with his demons for many years and tragically took his own life.
The fact that Helen was the one to find him has made this experience even more servere and painful for her. We’ve often spoken of relationships, and to this day, she still claims she’s in love with an angel. This always brings a tear to my eye. Understandably, looking for another man just isn’t on her agenda because her love for him is still as strong as it was when he was alive.
Kathy, on the other hand, has been on a long crusade looking for that special someone and has just recently sworn off men. After a long-term relationship with the father of her children, she’s managed to enter one challenging relationship after another. Unfortunately, her quest to find a man who can match her strength, dedication, loyalty and commitment has been in vain.
It’s not all bad though. Kathy has only just discovered how incredibly independent she is. She refuses to ask for help, tries to conquer Mt Everest in a day and is passionate about the life she wants to live. For a man of 40 plus, this might be a little intimidating. She’s certainly not a meek and mild damsel in distress. “I’m Latin!” she told me proudly. “Yes, I get passionate about life, but passion is good!” she explained.
Kathy’s become disillusioned with love because the pain of break ups is finally wearing her down. After years of trying, and despite throwing her entire being into everything she does, finding a partner who is her equal just hasn’t come to fruition.
This is why she’s decided to go it alone in the future. Rather than wasting anymore time (her words, not mine) she’d much rather focus on other things in her life. For one, she wants a better job and can’t wait for grandkids to come along. Now she feels like she has the freedom to live life to the beat of her own drum and is ready for a solo adventure.
Fifi has always been one of those women who had to be in a relationship no matter what. Long relationships, short ones, men, women; she’s had them all. Yet late last year she questioned why the heck she was doing this. She wasn’t happy, she was stressed all the time and the only period of a relationship she actually enjoyed was the first few months before the baggage of reality started to creep in.
So at the tender age of 45 she realised she wanted some time out by herself. Previously she’d never given herself time to heal and get over anyone, so all that heartache had been compounding from the time she was a teen. She desperately needed a period in her life that was just about doing what she wanted, and like Kathy, she realised the incredible feeling of freedom in which being single provided.
Although these three women have all had a very different journey to becoming single, the end result is very similar. Each are happier being single for their own reasons. I’m sure if I questioned more single women in their 40s about why they are making this choice, each would have unique reasons. Overall it seems very much about being self aware of their needs and wants. Perhaps this time in a women’s life is about getting more me time after all.
Image via sheknows.com
Are you single and ready to mingle? Let’s do this! Dating doesn’t have to equal despair; it can be a lot of sexy fun and a great time for self-learning and discovery.
Some wear their singleton status with happiness and pride, while others fall prey to the outdated, old-fashioned notion that flying solo equals misery and loneliness. Who do you want to be? Choose the first option, pretty lady! Being single can even be a great lifestyle choice. Sure, you may have to kiss a few frogs, but this will only make you appreciate a good thing when you get it.
I can unequivocally say some of the best years I enjoyed in my 20s and early 30s were when I was single. The world’s your oyster; the possibilities are endless and it’s your time to be completely selfish! Go get em’, tiger.
Top five best attraction techniques:
- Work on yourself: Like attracts like – it’s science, baby – so how can you maximise the law of attraction? It all starts with yourself. I firmly believe – and my marriage is a prime example of this – the minute you finally start to relax and enjoy and even love being single, you’ll meet the partner of your dreams. If you value, love and respect yourself, you’ll meet a like-minded soul. Do the hard work on your mind/body/spirit personal development now, while single, to achieve your full potential in both life and love.
- Winners are grinners: Smile – it’s that simple. If you radiate happiness, confidence and inner-beauty, you’ll attract people to you, like moths to a flame. Alternatively, if you go out into the world with a face like a dropped pie, you’re not exactly sending out the vibe that you’re available for champagne dinners, summer picnics and hot sex, now are you? Genuine kindness, compassion and inner-joy are very attractive traits to develop in yourself and look for in the ones you want to be knocking socks with, later on.
- Do things you enjoy: If you’ve spent many years in one long-term relationship after another, being single is an excellent time to stand on your own two feet and really discover what blows your hair back. What are your passions? What books are you reading? Where have you travelled to? Work on developing your brain – not your bra size – and good things will follow suit. And when you’re out there enjoying yourself in the world – be it walking the dog, quaffing cocktails in a bar, or soaking up the serenity in your fave book shop – you will most likely meet and attract a worthy mate with similar interests.
- Stop comparing yourself: When I was single, many of my best friends were married – both happily and unhappily. The grass is always greener on the other side, to use a well-worn cliché, so stop comparing yourself to others. Everyone walks a different path; your married friends will most likely envy your singleton status, anyway. What are you doing with all that quality solo time? Put it to good use now, baby, because it can all change in the blink of an eye when love finds you. Learn to like being single and make the most of it! Get really comfortable in your own skin to meet the partner you deserve – confidence is one of the most attractive traits of all! And pay no attention to smug marrieds: don’t trust people who make you feel bad about being single – that’s always much more about what they’re lacking than anything to do with you.
- You gotta keep the faith: I’m not sure Jon Bon Jovi co-wrote Keep The Faith about being single, but it’s a great motto! Do not lose faith, sister – if you really, truly believe love will find you and keep an open heart and mind – trust me on this, it’ll happen. My own mother found true love in her 60s; love is as perennial as the grass, to quote Desiderata. So, stay positive and don’t listen to the haters; being single is empowering, fun and good for you, above all. And if you’re having a good time, you’ll attract some amazing lovers. Hang in there – love’s just around the corner waiting for you – when you’re really ready.
Images via socialseduction.com, armani.tumblr.com, doctoroz.com
Despite the consensus that you can’t find love at a bar, hopeful singles still pack popular venues every weekend in search of their perfect partner. Interestingly enough, some are actually finding it there. I’ve met a number of couples who initially met at bars and have been married for decades, so the idea that it can’t happen is a myth – love can, and will, find you wherever you are.
In saying that, however, there are some who continuously strike out. It’s a bizarre conundrum and singles seriously searching for that special someone need to ask themselves: what the heck’s going on?
Maybe it’s something to do with social competence, perhaps? Some people do have the gift of the gab and they seem to be able to strike up a conversation with almost anyone – especially when they’ve had a few drinks.
However, there is major difference between having a few drinks to socialise and going over the top and drinking way to much. Being drunk isn’t pretty no matter who you are. Even the most attractive person can look ugly if they’ve drank too much as it’s not so much about their looks, but their overall persona. I’m sure most of us would have witnessed someone in a bar doing some weird and not so wonderful things with a few vodkas under their belt!
It might be the usually shy guy in the corner whose downed a few too many bourbons and suddenly wants to take on every other male in the room; or the attractive young lady whose generally known to be intelligent and discrete who starts stripping off items of clothing to her favorite song. It really is amazing the stuff people do when they’re inhibitions are low and the wild beast within is set free.
Ideally, singles engaging in this sort of behavior aren’t giving off a great initial impression. Dating has recently been described as similar to attending a job interview, so these drunken antics certainly won’t have any potential partners lining up for them any time soon. They might be the most wonderful people to get to know, but the amount of alcohol they’ve consumed has made them instantly un-datable.
Sure, the bra clad lass may get a few offers for a quick roll between the sheets, but she’s definitely not going to find her Mr Right. Seeing as she’s so intoxicated, there’s a reasonable chance that she just might take up a willing bystander on his offer, however this is usually when STD’s and unwanted pregnancy raise their heads.
Drunk individuals aren’t capable of making great choices, so they are putting themselves at risk to a whole lot of trouble. With social media lurking, there’s also the fact that peoples one night drunken escapade doesn’t just stop when the parties over anymore; there’s a very real chance that whatever they’re doing when they’re as high as a kite will end up on Snapchat or Facebook.
Oh the shame! This stuff tends to linger for a while, so anyone who may have been thinking about asking them out may be a little put off. Therefore, it’s not only other singles at the bar that get to see these drunk individuals in action, the entire globe can now get a birds-eye view of peoples not-so-fine moments.
It’s probably not the impression most singles would want, particularly if they are serious about finding someone to love. So, if you are looking for Mr or Mrs Right at the bar and thinking about downing those extra few drinks for liquid confidence, rethink it – because you’ve got a much better chance of finding them if you’re drinking socially than drinking to get totally wasted.
Image via Daily Mail
Have you ever seriously dated a man and then – poof – just like magic, he literally disappeared?!
Welcome to the Mysterious Case of the Disappearing Man – a puzzling, astonishing, and infuriating phenomenon which often occurs in the dating game, whereby the man you’re knocking socks with will suddenly vanish off the face of the earth.
It’s happened to me and it’s most likely happened to you, or at least to someone you know. For me, it was a suave, older businessman whom I’d been seriously dating for a few months, who appeared so keen on me he introduced me to both his mother and his teenage son. Long divorced, he seemed like a good guy and eventually wined, dined and seduced me with gusto after we first met at a bar.
He pursued me – not the other way around – and on the day he vanished, he’d even made dinner plans with me, right down to the time he was going to pick me up to head out to a restaurant. When he didn’t show, I rang him on his mobile, genuinely concerned for his welfare.
And after leaving several messages for him – all of which were unreturned – it dawned on me the next day that, shockingly, the dude had disappeared on me.
What a gutless wonder?! Instead of having the balls to tell me he was unhappy, or wasn’t feeling it – anything, something – he’d pulled a vanishing act.
Now, when this maddening situation happens to you, you may be inclined – as I was – to over-analyse every detail of your last meeting and/or both yours and his behaviour for clues as to why he did the “Harry Holt”.
Don’t, sister, just don’t – who knows what was going on inside this coward’s head and why? And, even more the point – who the hell cares? The fact of the matter is he’s gone, so dry your tears and get on with the business of being fabulous – at least, that’s my advice.
For, from my experience, you really really don’t want to spend any time pining after or grieving the loss of a man whose cowardice will ultimately be his own undoing. So, let the Houdini disappear and inwardly thank both him, and the universe, for his exit from your life, even if it was painfully undignified. For if he can’t behave like a grown man, and treat you with the respect and emotional honesty you deserve, he ain’t the man for you!
And down the track, you will most likely see the funny side of the situation and happily regale friends with the full story. Hell, I’m actually fairly convinced I may have been a “beard” for my Houdini – his mother was very taken with me, way more than him, clearly! Ha!
Relationship experts say it’s worthwhile taking some time out from the dating scene – even fleetingly – to get your mojo back after you’ve been crushed by a disappearing bastardo.
Another key piece of relationship advice on combating wounds caused by emotionally bankrupt Houdinis is to stay as humanly busy as possible and focus on your loved ones, work and most importantly, yourself.
Take up a new exercise class, or pursue a new passion – most of all, do not chase or stalk, via social media, this cretinous human who deemed you unworthy of both his time and a dignified break-up.
You’re way too fabulous for that, girlfriend! Instead, you can look forward with hope to meeting someone amazing and worthy of you with the heart of a lion, not a mouse.
Here endeth the rant.
Main image via giftsofhisglory.com, secondary image via thisisdesignondesign.blogspot and final image via lacherinsurance.com.
Being single in the twenty-first century is a choice many people are opting to take, or perhaps they just haven’t found ‘the one’ to settle down with. Regardless, instead of people rushing into long-term relationships to get married and have a family, it’s become acceptable to wait until they have some life experience under their belt.
Relationships are damn hard work and other priorities often take precedent. This might be career aspirations, travel plans, or just simply wanting the freedom to live life without the constraints of a relationship. Even with partnerships where individuals feel free to do things solo, they still don’t have the same freedom as they would being single.
Obviously there are significant benefits to having a single lifestyle. However, some people desperately searching for a partner may not realise their valuable opportunity and unfortunately they feel like they are missing out on sharing their life with someone. So, instead of looking at the positives of their situation, they see it as a negative experience which can lead to depression and misery.
Being single shouldn’t mean being lonely. In fact, it should be embraced as a vital time in one’s life to live life to the fullest, learn, and to grow. Whether a person’s never had a long-term partner, is separated or divorced, being single can – and should – be a positive experience.
Take a singles vacation
Singles vacations are all about having fun and meeting other people. Cruises, for example, specifically cater for this demographic. As well as providing a great opportunity to recharge the batteries, they are a lot of fun. On board entertainment varies and some longer cruisers stop and visit different ports. If cost is a factor, some cruise liner companies have payment plan options for you to pay off your singles holiday of a lifetime.
If a cruise isn’t up your alley, there are other solo experiences you can embark on where you will meet great people along the way, and backpacking abroad is one of them. Despite having some poor publicity with young people getting themselves into trouble, the majority of overseas backpackers have an incredible experience.
Check online for singles holiday ideas and book an adventure. There are even options for single parents who want – or need, to take the kids along.
Chase better employment options
Another upside of being single is having the opportunity to relocate and source the best employment options available. This might be an interstate move, securing a fly-in-fly-out job in remote areas, or perhaps relocating to a different country. Once people are no longer solo it becomes much harder to take that step. Not only do they need to consult partners, if kids are involved, it becomes that much harder again.
It’s much easier to complete a university degree or gather qualifications while being single. I completed my degree at 40, which wasn’t ideal. I had kids to tend to, sick parents to help and a partner in tow. Ideally, if I’d completed my education when I was childless and single, it would have been a heck of a lot easier! Plus the atmosphere at educational institutions like universities is a lot of fun for young singles. They have social clubs and events, so being unattached while studying doesn’t equate to being lonely.
Self-development is all about exploring life’s possibilities and getting to understand and know one’s self. People with a greater sense of self-satisfaction and knowledge can have much better relationships. It’s also about off-loading baggage, which older singles collect along life’s journey. This is particularly true for singles who go from one broken relationship to another. If people take the time to heal from their past, they can set themselves up for a much more positive future.
Save some money
Finally, saving money is much easier to do alone because many singles have a highly disposable income. This is especially true if they are still living at home. Unfortunately though, many singles don’t realise this fact until it’s too late. Once they start paying bills and having kids their finances become extremely tight.
Therefore, if while unattached they can get into the habit of putting a small percentage of their income away, even as little as 1-5 per cent, they will have a small net building up. If they work and live at home, the idea is to save a much larger percentage of their wage. I know having the latest technology, dressing well, looking good and going out can cost a small fortune these days, but getting into saving habits early is vital if singles ever want to buy their own homes later in life.
Image via Pinterest
As the layers come off and the social scene comes alive again, The Dating Stylist Kim Lal has some essential tips on how to spring clean your body and mind and get your love life ready for summer!
1. Set your new exercise routine
If you’ve spent your winter binge-eating, drinking and sleeping the days away, then it’s safe to say you’re not going to be looking the best version of yourself – and if you don’t find yourself attractive then how can you expect anyone else to?
Take the time and energy to reinvigorate yourself by engaging in daily exercise to blast those winter kilos away. This not only trims your waistline, but it also gives you more energy, helps you sleep better, improves your mood and libido, and increases self-confidence.
2. Change the stodgy winter diet to spring vegies and fruits
You are what you eat! Eating healthy foods reduces your risk of stroke, cancer and type 2 diabetes. It also helps maintain a healthy weight, gives you more energy, makes you look younger, feel fresher and live longer.
(Secret date tip: When you’re on a date, the food you eat will tell your partner a lot about you. The Dating Stylist recommends being healthy and adventurous when eating on a date.)
3. Preen those feathers
As we shed the thick tights and long-sleeve shirts, it’s often a good idea to give your entire body a good spring clean. A full body exfoliation will get rid of dry skin cells and a wax to remove any hidden hairiness will really prepare you for spring.
4. Sort out your emotional baggage
Spring is definitely a time of new beginnings. If you’re looking for love then it’s time to remove the past from your life. Give your Facebook page a good clean out, delete old photos from your phone and computer, delete old numbers and face the future with a positive frame of mind free from the past.
Are you looking for love now that winter days are behind us?
Dating can be among the best and worst experiences of your life.
No matter what your age, and how you met your dating partner, horror first dates can be so cringe-worthy, you may want to assume a new identity and/or declare yourself single for the rest of your days.
On the flip side, you can learn a lot about what makes you tick and what you abhor when you’re a sassy singleton playing the dating game and looking for love. And, eventually, you will most likely go on the best, most magical date ever – when you meet your life partner – and all the hilarity and ugliness of horror first dates (and second and third) shall dissolve into nothing, but far distant memories.
Me? I endured so many bad first dates prior to meeting my husband it’s a marvel I didn’t swear off men – and dating – altogether. In fact, I’ve had so many horror dating experiences I could write a book. Some were just hilarious, while others were disappointing and just plain upsetting. There was the guy who turned up inebriated to our first date and asked me if I was into threesomes. Abort!?
Then, there was the civil engineer who informed me on our first date he could “easily” do my job – newspaper journalism was a cinch, he’d said, because he was apparently adept at writing reports. Oh the sheer arrogance and disrespect?! Incidentally, that same guy then turned into a crazed stalker and sent me abusive texts for more than a week when I declined his offer of a second date!
Oh – and my personal favourites – which still make me laugh even today, despite them being many, many years ago: the exercise fanatic who oh-so-helpfully told me on our first date that I shouldn’t be eating carbs, and the idiotic guy who’d come to pick me up for dinner, who actually went so far as to do a runner from my house, while my back was turned, and I thought he was in the toilet.
Oh the vast and infinite horror and ridiculousness?! So, how do we cope when a first date turns into a nightmare? Is there a polite way to inform your date you’d rather swim through an ocean of sharks than ever see them again? Or did my guy do the right thing by bolting for the door, without so much as a word?
Jodie Bache-McLean (pictured), director of both June Dally-Watkins (JDW) and Dallys Model Management – who’s a well-respected national and international etiquette expert – says it’s imperative we treat our dating partners with the utmost kindness and dignity. “Always treat people how we would like to be treated – this is paramount,” Jodie says.
“It is interesting when I hear stories that some ladies may resort to ignoring calls from a first dater, rather than say: ‘No thank you’, however when we hear a story about one of our girlfriends being ignored by the man, all hell breaks loose.
“As a mother of boys, I do have a rather large soft spot for the pain that we ladies can inflict on men when we say: ‘Thanks, but no thanks’. So I would always recommend people try to be as considerate and kind as possible when dating. No one deserves anything less.”
The etiquette expert also believes gentle honesty is best, if you aren’t interested – post horror-date – in pursuing a relationship with the person and/or are hoping to never, ever lay eyes on them again. “If after the first date, I realised that there was no chemistry at all from my perspective and it was the end of the night and the gentleman wanted to make plans for a second date, I would not commit to anything,” Jodie says.
“Instead, I would perhaps suggest we speak in the next few days to make a plan. I would then send an email the next day saying how I had had a lovely time, and he is a lovely person, but I am just not feeling a connection.
“Now, why would I do this? Because this is how I would prefer the ‘no thanks’ be delivered to me. It might sting a little, but in time (maybe 24hours or so) I would be grateful that he was truthful with me.
“And, remember this was a one-date situation, not a full-on relationship.”
And relationship psychologists concur: kindness and gentle honesty are best, as is keeping things in perspective. You’ve only had one date with the person – you don’t owe them any more or any less.
But remember, it’s not helpful or kind to inflict emotional wounds on people for no good reason. What’s more, a little empathy goes a long way because people might not be at their best on the all-important and daunting first date.
Is there a genuine spark and you can forgive a little awkwardness? Or was the date so terrible and the person so unlikable, you’d rather stick in a pin in your own eye and/or move to a foreign country than ever see them again?
Go well and have faith, sister – I sincerely believe in the perennial power of true love. It awaits you…
What do you think? How do you survive first-date horror stories?
Images via bellagyrl.com, collegecandy.com, magazinediscountcenter.com
You’ve been happily single, but sexually starved for what feels like forever – then, bam! You meet a partner who ignites your passion, excites your mind and, even better, he’s just as enamoured with you.
Indeed, your connection is so strong, you feel as though you’ve known each other for years and you can barely keep your hands off each other. In the age-old battle between vagina Vs brain: which should win? Should you have first-date sex or wait it out, lest he’s only interested in one thing?
For centuries, women’s sexuality has been strictly controlled, reined in and frowned upon. Young men are encouraged to “sew their wild oats”, while we women are instead traditionally taught to behave like ladies and learn to suppress and overrule our perfectly normal wanton desires, lest men view us as immoral and promiscuous.
Well, I say to the hell with that! I was always more team Samantha (pictured) than team Carrie in Sex and the City, with the much more neurotic latter famously never having first-date sex – until she met Mr. Big, that is. Samantha, by contrast, always seemed a lot happier.
And as Samantha once quipped, in reference to the archaic views in 1995 self-help dating book, The Rules: Time-tested Secrets for Capturing the Heart of Mr. Right: “The women who wrote that book, they wrote it because they couldn’t get laid. So they constructed this whole bullshit theory to make women who can get laid feel bad.”
Amen! And that’s the thing, why should women alone bear shame for having first-date sex? Doesn’t it take two to tango?
I say don’t buy into the sexist bullshit that decrees women are somehow unworthy if you do decide to have sex on the first date. And I’m not saying leave your brain at home – always make sure it’s safe sex, in a secure situation, on your own terms – but let’s take the humiliation and indignity out of the equation.
Women who do have first-date sex are not sluts (oh, how I hate that word – where is the male equiavalent?!) and supposed “walk of shame” be damned! What’s more, if you do get busy on the first date with a new man, and he never calls you back the next day and/or goes AWOL, isn’t that a true blessing?
You’ve dodged a bullet, sister; he’s nowhere near good enough for you. Let him, and his backward, sexist views, not even be a tiny speck in your universe.
And here’s the big thing ladies: if you’re fortunate enough to meet the love of your life, does it really matter when you actually do the deed? I highly doubt it: if it’s the right person, it all falls into place, in the blink of an eye.
Confession time: My husband and I had sex on our third date, over a three-week period, and it was amazing. But I fancied the pants off him right away and would have happily had sex sooner, if circumstances permitted.
After a string of dating disasters, including a crazy stalker, I’d insisted on public dates with him for safety reasons and it wasn’t until our third date that I took him back to my place.
But even if we had have had first-date sex, I firmly believe we’d still be together to this day, seven years after meeting at a live music venue. I think we were always destined to get married and have babies, regardless of when we did the deed.
So, I believe if you set yourself a rigid set of dating rules – like only having sex on the third date, for example, you’re just cheating yourself out of a lot of laughs, good times, life lessons and a hell of a lot of orgasms.
I really think you have to judge when you have sex with a new partner on how you feel, at the time. So, maybe it’s really a case of heart + vagina overrules head?
Leading Australian sexologist Dr Nikki Goldstein, herself a sexy, young singleton, agrees there shouldn’t be set rules when it comes to the exact right time to have sex with a new partner.
“I think you have to assess each situation and be aware of the consequences,” she says. “He may be testing you to see if you are relationship material ala the Madonna-whore complex. You might then find the relationship slipping into a booty call/casual hook-up rather than a relationship.
“And then another consequence of first-date sex might be the classic he-never-calls-you-back post-sex because he’s got what he wanted.
“It’s a difficult one – but you don’t want to be with a man who judges you. Just bear in mind some guys are really old-fashioned at heart and would be put off by a girl who was up for sex on the first date.”
But Dr Nikki is quick to point out that sometimes first-date sex can be magical and lead to a relationship, despite the supposed risks. “I’ve got friends who’ve waited and friends who are happily married who had sex on their very first date,” she says. “If it’s right – if there’s a real connection – it doesn’t really matter when you have sex.
“Sometimes, women can feel enough connection and spark that you want to have first-date sex.
“There is nothing wrong with a girl who feels comfortable enough in her own skin to have sex on the first date – as long as it’s for the right reasons and not as a self-esteem boost.
“Women are just as sexual (if not more) than men – it’s just that society encourages them to inhibit and hide their sexual desires.”
However, Dr Nikki also advises that sometimes sex can be even more mind-blowing after intimacy has been pre-established. “Sex is often better when it’s something to look forward to,” she says. “You could try establishing an emotional connection first – it’s a hard one – a balancing act.”
For more information on Dr Goldstein, visit drnikki.com.au.
What do you think? Does first-date sex blow your hair back?
Main image via www.stephanspeaks.com; secondary image via www.fanpop.com and cartoon via www.someecards.com. Other images supplied
Being single over Christmas isn’t necessarily a bad thing. All that free time, all those parties… In fact Christmas is a fantastic time of year for singletons! Here are 10 amazing things you can do to really enjoy the festive season…
If you are looking to meet someone, there are plenty of speed dating events going on around this time of year. If you do meet someone then you have a whole range of parties and activities to choose from when it comes to that second date.
Cocktail master class
Something to do alone or with friends, this is a great way to get into the festive spirit. Try making eggnog, mulled cider or perhaps even Buck’s Fizz with a hint of rum. You won’t struggle to find cocktail classes in your area, or you could just set up your own cocktail session in your kitchen with a couple of your best friends.
Either log online to Mecca Bingo or get yourself to a bingo hall. It’s a great chance to make friends, have fun and perhaps even win a little money.
Dinner with friends
A quiet dinner with friends can be the perfect time to catch up, exchange gifts and have a laugh. Give yourself plenty of time to do this over the Christmas period as this time of the year is exactly when you should be thankful for family and friends.
Movie and popcorn
Whether it’s alone, with family or with friends, take some time out to watch a movie. It might be a Christmas favourite such as Love Actually or it might be a must-see blockbuster. Whatever you choose, make sure you’re fully stocked up on drinks and sweets before settling down
Homemade gifts are the best kind so take some time to bake during the festive period. Baked goodies can be handed out to friends, family and colleagues or they can simply be enjoyed at home. Try cinnamon cookies, peppermint cremes and mince pies.
A brisk winter walk does wonders for your health. Not only will it get your heart pumping but is a great way to keep on top of all those extra calories you’ll probably eat over the Christmas period.
Take up a new hobby
Use your time off this Christmas to take up a new hobby. Perhaps it’s time to try ice skating or maybe you want to attempt knitting a new scarf. Whatever you choose, dedicate some time to your new found hobby and have fun while you learn a new skill.
Always wanted to write that novel or work on your autobiography? Now is the time. Spend at least 20 minutes every morning writing. Even if you don’t have any concrete ideas, just taking some time to let your creative juices flow can really spark some ideas.
Go on holiday
With no family ties, you can get away with travelling at Christmas more than you might be able to if you had a partner and kids to consider. Jet off somewhere sunny and spend Christmas Day soaking up rays by a pool or on the beach. There are plenty of places to choose from but the Caribbean is particularly good at this time of the year.
As you can see, there’s plenty to do as a singleton over the Christmas period.
Picture this: It’s holiday season, you’ve been happily single for a year now (by choice, obvs) as you’re far too busy being fabulous, successful and carefree to want a serious relationship just now, but you’ve developed an urgent need for some hot lovin’.
a) Invest in yet another vibrator (yawn)
b) Eat more chocolate cake (like, a lot more)
c) Take up kickboxing to vent your sexual frustration and/or
d) Contemplate a holiday romance, fling or casual sex encounter, whatever term your fancy.
If you answered d), take a deep breath and let’s talk about the “rules”, girlfriend.
Sexologists and relationship experts alike say you’ll want to strongly consider the following hot topics below and/or include them for possible discussion with Mr-Perfect-For-Now if and when you decide to take up a short-term “fuck buddy” over the summer break. Of course, if it’s a one-night night you’d prefer, there probably won’t be a lot of deep and meaningful dialogue.
- Don’t expect cuddling, basking or canoodling after sex. If he bolts straight for the door after the big event, and you’re sure you’re just after casual sex, you need to learn to be OK with this, lady.
- You can’t expect to introduce your booty call to your friends, family or pets. Dude ain’t yours for the keeping (and you don’t want him long-term anyway).
- Be upfront about your expectations and feelings, or lack thereof: sure, relationships can grow out of casual sex, but you’ve got to make sure you’re both on the same page when it comes to love and commitment. Honesty is absolutely key.
- Do not act like a girlfriend and develop a strong emotional attachment to hot casual sex man if you don’t want a relationship. Save yourself (and him) the complication and possible heartbreak; leave your emotions at the door.
- Don’t be greedy and selfish in the bedroom: this is the time to be adventurous, find out what truly blows your hair back and experiment with new sexual positions and/or role play. Just be sure that he’s into it, too.
- Ensure you’re in control of both your emotions and your actions to avoid unsafe scenarios.
- Always, always practice safe sex. Always. Did I mention always? No ifs, ands or buts, if he won’t wear a condom, abort!
What do you think? What are your casual sex rules?
Images via www.someecards.com.
Between Christmas parties and holidays, December is a lonely month for singles of all ages. No one knows this better than former bookseller Louise Gabriel. She spent many years as a single desperately seeking love before she learnt how to use neuroscience techniques to move her mind into the love zone and join Team Love. Now happily married, she has documented her experiences in herbook, Unsingle: The art and science of finding true love in the hope that her experiences can help others. Her book is partly a documentation of her personal journey and partly a helpful guide on how ordinary people can use neuroscience discoveries and techniques to make themselves relationship-ready.
Written in a realistic, practical and engaging, down-to-earth style, Unsingle contains breakthrough approaches for anyone searching for love. It is based on neuroscience which tells us that by changing what we focus on we can change our life and our experiences. Specifically, Unsingle:
- Uses creative processes to move the mind into the love zone and keep it there (by rewiring neural pathways to support positive beliefs about love).
- Offers simple, positive step by step approaches to understanding ourselves and how we are wired for love, identifying blocks and providing tools to move past them once and for all.
- Explains how the love zone within our brains is under our control, ready, willing and able to take direction and follow our lead.
Louise points out that many singles are unaware of how negative they are about love. Many subconsciously believe the myth that there is a random love god out there bestowing favours on a lucky few.
10 signs you’re not playing for team love:
- You’ve wanted a serious relationship for a while now and it hasn’t materialised.
- You hear about a celeb love scandal and immediately jump online to read every detail. You follow it. You talk about it. You almost take it personally and think about how you would feel if it was you.
- Someone you know breaks up on Facebook and you want to know all the specifics. It makes you feel better about being single or about your own relationship woes.
- You’re drawn to books, articles, movies, programs and songs that focus on train crash relationships, or on being alone, lonely, heartbroken or unappreciated.
- When you read about or hear about happy couples, it makes you feel slightly sick. You feel a horrible mixture of envy and longing and like that sort of love is a million miles away for you.
- You torment yourself by remaining FB “friends” with an ex who has moved on and avidly monitor his newsfeed, trying to dissect what every syllable means.
- You think about your singleness a lot, and worry that you’ll never meet anyone. Your anxiety over your single status is starting to affect the rest of your life and your general happiness.
- You believe that love, for whatever reason, doesn’t work out for you and wonder underneath it all (not that you’d ever admit this to anyone else) if perhaps you’re destined to be alone.
- You focus on any tiny imperfection you might have, physical or otherwise, and think it makes you ineligible for true love. You put up with sub-standard relationships because you don’t think you deserve better.
- You say to yourself or other people that all men are _______ (insert negative label), whilst simultaneously wanting Prince Charming to come along and transform your life.
Change your approach and you’ll change your prospects.
Unsingle: The art and science of finding true love by Louise Gabriel will be published by Finch Publishing on December 1, 2014. It is available in paperback ($24.99) and eBook ($9.99).