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The Bachelor Australia Recap: Snezana Wins Woody’s Heart

“I love you and I want to spend the rest of my life with you.” – Sam Wood to Snezana Markoski.

And the shock The Bachelor Australia 2015 winner is: Snezana. And thank God for that – after the previous horror of seeing this year’s Bachelor, Melbourne personal trainer/entrepreneur Sam Wood, 25, let crowd favourite Heather go – he has far surpassed my expectations of him by choosing classy, gorgeous and genuinely lovely Perth single mum Snezana Markoski, 34, for the win.

RELATED: The Bachelor Recap: Batch-Man And H-Bomb More Fizzle Than Sizzle

At the final emotional rose ceremony, Sam – aka Woody, as I like to call him – tells Snezana he’s madly in love with her and praises her inner strength, warmth and beauty and for making him a better man.  He also reassures her he’ll also love and cherish her nine-year-old daughter Eve – thereby making me, and no doubt the rest of Australia, finally fall a little bit in love with Woody ourselves.

“You are the first girl that I met and you are the last, because I’ve fallen in love with you,” he tells a stunned, and stunning, Snezana, who’s been a early favourite of Woody’s – and mine – from the beginning.

Beautiful, inside and out – Snezana’s impressive composure, maturity and womanliness put so many of the much younger, silly, game-playing, fame-chasing girls in the lady prison, sorry mansion, to shame. From the start, Snez really seemed to be in it for the “right reasons” – to find love – and her style and sophistication was a joy to watch. And there’s no denying the firecracker chemistry and spark she’s shared with Woody from the get-go.

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After Woody sent Sarah, 26, home in the second-last episode, runner-up for Sam’s heart, Lana, 27, while also an impressive and accomplished human – give the girl’s gorgeous side-hair a Gold Logie! – bizarrely didn’t seem all that upset that she wasn’t the last one standing at the end.

Was she perhaps – like many of the other girls – purely more interested in winning than in actually forming a life-long partnership with Woody? Didn’t she grasp how serious – and refreshingly so – Woody was in getting married and having kids pronto?

I’ve got to say – this The Bachelor Australia 2015 series was everything I wanted and more. Woody has WAY more heart and grit than I thought, as evidenced by him choosing Snezana and Eve. Blended families are very common these days, but Woody could have taken the “easier” way out by opting for a much younger woman with far less baggage. So, huge congrats to Woody for shocking and surprising the nation with his depth of character and ability to cut through all the bullshit to follow his heart and choose the lovely sophisticated Macedonian beauty.

I mean, remember the horror of last season’s fake Blake Garvey and his brutal dumping of Sam Frost – this after he proposed to her on live TV?! It’ll be cool to watch Frost get her groove back as The Bachelorette Australia, which airs next Wednesday, to soothe the giant gaping hole left in our TV viewing now that The Bachelor Australia has come to a close.

And while Woody didn’t get down on bended knee and propose to Snez, he did present her with a cute locket gift for Eve and a $22,000 custom-made diamond encrusted promise ring, which he designed with the help of luxury jeweller Zamels (cue sponsor spotlight here).

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This series end was oddly – and pleasingly – heartfelt and emotional. You couldn’t help but cheer for Woody as she chose Snez – especially after meeting his lovely family, including his delightful Poppa Sam, who declared of Snez and Lana: ”They’re both lovely kids”.

And now, after finally revealing his true heart and manliness, I’ve not only got a wee crush on Woody, but on host Osher Günsberg too, whose lovely manner with the women and the Bachelor makes me wish we could fix him up with the love of his life too.

One final thing: let’s hope Woody didn’t let Snez watch that footage of him in a hot pool make-out session with Lana, from the second-last episode. That’d be enough to give champion side-eye giver Snez a serious hernia.

From 21 women down to just one: well played, Woody – well played. Snez is a hell of a catch – let’s hope their fairytale continues.

NB: By all accounts, the cute couple are still together and Sam has said he is “totally in love” with his chosen one. Ah, true love – isn’t it the best?

What do you think? Did Sam pick the right woman?

Images via news.com.au and au.news.yahoo.com

September 17, 2015

The Bachelor Recap: Batch-Man And H-Bomb More Fizzle Than Sizzle

And then there were three: I am clearly far too invested in this show because I don’t know about you, but I am struggling to come to terms with last night’s shock development on The Bachelor Australia which saw early front-runner Heather, 29, get booted off the show in Ep14. I am agog. I am aghast. Not Heather?! Nooo.

RELATED: The Bachelor Ep 11+12 Recap: Intruder Rachel Gets The Arse

Who the hell saw that coming?! Not me – I’d fallen so madly in love with hipster cool-girl Heather myself that my she-crush made me blind to Bachelor Sam Wood’s repeated, ominous references to her being stuck in the dreaded “friendship zone”. Dammit!

Woody sent a devastated Heather home after emotional home-town family visits with each of the four remaining women’s families. Heather came first, then Lana, 27,  Sarah, 26, and finally Snezana, 34.

WTF Woody? Heather is PERFECT!? Who can forget their supremely sweet superhero date together which spurned the Batch-Man and H-Bomb characters? Oh the heartbreak! Oh the burn. And this – after Heather’s stand-in father figure, salt-of-the-earth Warwick turned full Gestapo/investigative journalist and grilled Woody’s pants off to the point that if poor Bachie did any more nervous hair-stroking, his beautiful hair croissant may have actually been torn out. Turns out, Woody didn’t want to pants our girl Heather as much as the others. Fuck (except not literally), pardon the pun.

Lana the gorgeous and accomplished “intruder” was next up on the home-town visits and what a whirlwind romance she’s enjoyed with Woody. “Lana was a beautiful unexpected surprise,” announced Woody. Hmmph. Woody is then subjected to another intense interrogation by Lana’s fierce mum who advises her to use her heart, as well as her head. Well said, Lana’s mum. I do think Lana is more of an actual catch than Woody myself.

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Sarah’s next – and I respect her emotional honesty and courage in nailing Woody’s breeder tendencies. “Do I have to breed straight away, Woody, because I’m only 26 and I’m not quite ready,” says she, or whiny words to that effect. In another startling revelation, Heather’s lookalike mum manages to get out of Woody that his spirit animal is a labrador. You stupid, stupid labrador – what have you done!?

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Finally, Woody visits the Perth home of luminous Macedonian beauty Snezana and finally meets her equally gorgeous nine-year-old daughter Eve – and another 25,456 family members – in the process. Aside from showing more cleavage than Snez on this date in a bizarre, low-cut T-shirt, Woody does manage to seemingly hold his own well with the wee lass and entire family, so power to him. I didn’t think he had the grit to take on a nine-year-old girl in an instant family situation – I was clearly wrong on this count too. Is there more to Woody than it seems?

In all honesty though, seeing a nine-year-old girl subjected to the horror and potential heartbreak of a reality TV dating show made me feel a bit sick – this is WAY too much for such a wee, awesome little lass to have to face, in my opinion. She’s endured having an absent mother for eight weeks and now she has to be subjected to a camera crew and being rejected by a man she’s just met? She doesn’t deserve that. For her sake at the very least, I hope Woody picks Snezana at the end – she’s my new favourite for the win, mostly because Eve is so utterly adorable. Go you good thing, feisty Macedonians!

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In other news, in a move that surprised absolutely no one, except of course poor, ol’ clueless Nina herself (pictured below), she got the big, ol’ boot in the previous night’s Ep13. Is host Osher Günsberg looking more and more handsome each episode? But I digress… Sam, who was clearly not into Nina at all, announced to camera he was worried they were like chalk and cheese. And – inspiring female hatred for him around Australia, he uttered these immortal words: that he’s “never had an opinionated girlfriend before,” in reference to Nina. Say what?! Did the poor, dumb Labrador get his words mixed up? Doesn’t he mean unclassy? Or aggressive?

Now, forgive me while I go and pour myself another glass of wine and lie down in the foetal position. Poor, poor Heather. What THE ACTUAL FUCK, Woody!? Hang on, can we fix her up with the lovely Osher? Does anyone know if he’s single?! Heather was so lovely, kind and quirky that – given her clearly very dire family situation (where was her mum?) – I’d quite like to adopt her myself. Sigh…

Stay tuned for yet more The Bachelor hilarity, heartbreak and humiliation galore as it goes down the wire with the final three remaining women.

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What do you think? Were you Team Heather too?

Images via dailymail.co.uk, news.com.au, womansday.com.au, dailytelegraph.com.au

September 10, 2015

The Bachelor Ep 11+12 Recap: Intruder Rachel Gets The Arse

Few moments in life are as painfully awkward as the horror realisation that the person you’re smitten with really, really isn’t that into you, at ALL. And so it is for poor, hapless The Bachelor Australia “intruder” – food blogger Rachel, 29, who – aside from seemingly having an actual, bizarre aversion to food – woefully misinterpreted her fleeting moments with our Bachie Sam Wood, aka Woody, as being positive.

RELATED: The Bachelor Ep7 + 8 Recap: Mansion Of Misery Or Death Star?

Of course, Rachel’s days were numbered in the previous episode 11, when she failed to show any maternal side at all when each of the six remaining contestants were charged with directing a bunch of actual, real live children – “eww!”  – in a sporting obstacle course. C’mon ladies, wise up – any fool can see kid-mad Woody’s looking for an instant breeder?!

Bizarrely, this episode was also characterised by Woody’s apparent meltdown, whereby shit got too real for the manly hair helmet and he flat out refused to send any of the final six women in his harem home in that night’s rose ceremony. After counselling a sweaty, upset Woody, has handsome host Osher actually clocked up enough clinical hours to quality as a practicing psychologist?

In this latest episode, Rachel’s bags were clearly already packed and sitting outside the mansion of misery, with her limo on stand-by, going in to this latest rose ceremony, when Woody finally sent her home. Seriously, what took him so long? Every time he interacted with Rachel he resembled a man who’d swallowed a fly. Or was the producers’ delight in seeing Rachel offend every other woman in the lady-prison too much and what ultimately saved her from eviction the previous night?

And, here’s the thing – we’re down to the final five women now before “home-town dates” and I feel like the series has started to lag. Sure, new “intruder” the very hot and accomplished Lana, 27,(pictured) has clearly turned Woody’s head, but is there any doubt he’s going down to the wire with hot favourites FTW: Heather, 29, Snezana, 34, and Sarah, 26? I could be wrong, but I reckon Nina’s next to get the big boot – there’s a reason she’s only had one date with Woody thus far.

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And, aside from the usual ridiculous amount of camera time devoted to Nina’s weird tongue action when she’s fired up and her general, eye-rolling rage, much else of note happened this Ep12. Er, aside from a gratuitous nudity grab where the women’s sexual frustration was further heightened by Woody stripping down to unbuttoned pants at an art gallery group date – hello group assignment hell! Dude does have a good torso and oddly alluring nipples, I’ll give him that.

In other news, WTF is with Heather’s bizarro grandma outfit which keeps flashing onscreen? Did the women also have to play fancy dress as their fave nanna? Our hipster dudess is wearing a furry cardi mess, pearls and ugly hat – where was the Network Ten stylist here? Did she make like Emily, and also do a runner?!

I’m also loving with some ridiculous degree of schadenfreude, the “original” four remaining women’s extreme discomfort at having to share Woody with newcomer Lana. It’s like: “How dare you come in late and think you can date our group boyfriend, bitch?!” And it’s not just the mansion of misery’s new resident bad gal, Nina, (pictured) who feels this way. The gorgeous Snezana has been giving Lana such seriously good side-eye game, that side-eye queen, Italian movie goddess Sophia Loren would be proud.

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Ooh and cue much hilarity at watching the lovely luminous Sarah, now the series’ youngest contestant, fawn over Sam’s alleged romantic overtures in setting up a make-out couch overlooking Sydney Harbour and presenting her with alleged diamond earrings he picked out for her. “I can’t believe you did this?!” Um – well – he didn’t, on both counts. Well played, dastardly Bachelor producers. Oh and her cute, OTT declarations that a performance by an Opera Australia soloist “was the most incredible thing I’ve ever experienced” and “she made me feel things I’ve never felt before” left me wondering if she’s more in love with the Bachelor lavish date porn experience, than the actual Bachie Wood.

So, to wrap up, some answered questions: Can Woody actually handle – gasp – harem favourite Snezana having a nine-year-old daughter? When is someone going fix nice Osher up on a date? And can sourpuss Nina cause any more havoc and hate in the house before she too is sent packing? And, above all: when will Heather finally just take home the prize – Woody and his oddly hairless golden torso (pictured) – once and for all?! Stay tuned for more The Bachelor hilarity and humiliation galore…

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Images via couriermail.com.au, vavnews.com, news.com.au

September 4, 2015

The Bachelor Ep7 + 8 Recap: Mansion Of Misery Or Death Star?

It’s business time on The Bachelor Australia as the mansion of misery has now been reduced to just seven prisoners, sorry, women. Oh, the drama!

RELATED: The Bachelor Ep5 + 6: The Battle Of The Brunettes Ends In Tears

The remaining ladies will no doubt be in deep mourning following the “shock” departure of Rachel, 28, a somewhat dour blonde lass, who seemingly never had a conversation with our Bachie Sam Wood, aka Woody, let alone an actual single date with the man. Indeed, I noted with much amusement that some on Twitter were referring to her as gorgeous blonde frontrunner Sarah’s “spare”.

So, to recap – Ep8 opens with this overtly morose declaration, from one of the mansion of misery’s more depressive contestants, following Jacinda’s “shock” departure: “We’re always so flat after we lose someone.” Jesus, it’s The Bachelor, not Vietnam!?

The ladies, aside from Ebru and Emily, the latter who already has a rose, then quickly don helmets and racing suits for a group date whereby they get to take out their sexual frustration on each other in the guise of go-carts. It quickly descends into a farcical Nina Vs Emily face-off, which has more to do with two women each trying to beat and humiliate each other and far less about actually winning poor Woody’s heart (and, erm wood). Poor Woody. It’s his turn to feel degraded.

And once again, Woody shows he’s got some brains in that bouffant. And just a quick segue, while we’re on the topic of hair, has anyone else noticed how Osher and his hair helmet are starting to eerily resemble Ray Martin?!

Woody seems none too impressed by Emily’s bitchiness in showing up Nina to emerge victorious in the go-cart challenge. He actually – gasp – seems quite intuitive and cluey.

Snezana, 34, the lovely, luminous European lass, then gets a second one-on-one date with Woody, much to the other women’s consternation (main picture). Woody channels Miami Vice in a beige jacket and tight pants arriving aboard a vintage speedboat, in which he squires Snez away to a super-romantic Little Italy themed picnic spread. Snezana is cute in her naïveté that Woody actually arranged it all. Bless.

Meanwhile, back in the house, Nina (pictured) distinguishes herself by breaking the girl-code to rat out on the lovely Snez, who had grudgingly confided in both her and Beck that she did in fact share a passionate pash with Woody in the previous episode’s group date “hoedown” at the Australiana Pioneer Village (more on that later). The other girls react with mirth and goodwill mostly, aside from Emily who takes this opportunity to trash-talk Nina behind her back, while she tries her best to save face and explain why she threw Snez under the bus.

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Snez and Woody share some hot chemisty on their date, but is she in his head as well as his, erm, wood ala Heather? I think not. There’s more pashing and a weird pink dessert in the shape of a Star Wars Death Star which Woody has “arranged” to honour his hot date’s love of the science-fiction franchise. Erm, cute – I think. Is Snez Heather’s Death Star undoing? I think not.

Back to the mansion of misery and hormonal hell, where Nina confesses to Snez, to get it off her sizable chest, that she ratted out on her. In addition, Rachel finally gets sent home having not said or done anything of worth the entire series this far. Did the camera crew fall asleep every time she spoke?

Ep7’s aforementioned group date “hoedown” – that word has never carried so much poignancy and weight – saw young Jasmin evicted after she refused to pretend to get maternal about sheep. Woody wants to breed soon, y’all!

Also, Emily and Woody went on a hot beach date whereby she showed off her perfect bikini body and he showed off his perfect, giant torso and they both woodenly and robotically discussed their respective angst at not being married with kids, yawn. He then presented her with precious gems in the form of a treasure hunt bracelet to buy her favours. Cue to Emily’s happiest moment in the house thus far (pictured) – receiving jewellery – which says it all about her, really. She sure as hell ain’t there for our Woody, I’d wager. Oh and did I mention the other poor contestants had to endure huniliation galore in the form of apple bobbing and sheep herding at the hoedown?! The things you do for love (or 15 minutes of fame).

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I remain, as ever, #teamheather as it seems to me no one else stands a chance. Woody is smitten with our hipster chick Heather to the point their “relationship” seems strong, despite his ongoing, strong sexual attractions and make-out sessions with a harem of other women in the house. OK, six others now. Heather, FTW!

Images via www.dailymail.co.uk; tenplay.com.au

August 20, 2015

First-Date Etiquette: Top 5 Dos And Don’ts

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.

RELATED: The Bachelor Ep4: Will Batch-Man + H-Bomb Live Happily Ever After?

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.

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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.”

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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.

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 Images via www.ayi.com; www.rabblerousetheworld.com; news.com.au

August 15, 2015

The Bachelor Ep5 + 6: The Battle Of The Brunettes Ends In Tears

Does anyone else feel like The Bachelor Australia has morphed into a The Hunger Games-style drama, whereby the reality dating TV show’s producers are striving to devise new, torturous and humiliating ways to kill off, although not quite literally, the contestants?

RELATED: The Bachelor Ep4: Will Batch-Man + H-Bomb Live Happily Ever After?

Ep6 quickly became a battle of the brunettes after Ebru, 31, and Jacinda, 33, and Bec, 28, are thrown into a “groundhog date” ala Groundhog Day to test how the girls “handle things when the chips are down,” to quote Bachie Sam Wood, aka Woody as I like to call him. Cue yet more humiliation galore as the poor lasses are each, in turn, subjected to the date no one wanted, all in order to ascertain who was this season’s most uptight lady, ala #dirtystreetpie Laurina, from Season 2.

What a mean-spirited way to whittle down the numbers? The scantily-clad ladies were all forced to endure a fake limo flat tyre test; a hair-raising and (dampening) jet boat ride on the Sydney Harbour; a flirty, OTT and rude waitress in a restaurant and a disgusting serving of inedible “delicacies” including fried crickets and duck tongue, I think, although my eyes were rolling back into my head and I can’t be sure. Yummy!

After much stoic, admirable and fake excitement at every twist and turn, you’ve got to hand it to the ladies – they each hold up well in the wake of Woody’s perverse pleasure, with him naturally in on the joke at the ladies expense.

And here’s the thing: I can’t work out if Woody is so emotionally retarded that he couldn’t foresee the women’s natural upset at this degrading scenario, or is he just a very, very good liar when it comes to soothing their ills? I mean, what a way to make women feel special, right?

And what the actual fuck: why is charity worker Rachel, 28, who’s barely been on screen the entire time and somehow made it through to the top 10 women seemingly without spending five seconds with Woody, now akin to the show’s narrator? Is she extra hot?

It quickly becomes apparent that Woody can well imagine getting, erm hard over Bec (pictured) and Ebru, despite the latter’s over-zealous baby talk, but he ain’t got no trouser love for poor, old Jacinda, who I both like and really feel for. Sigh.

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All the women fall apart to differing degrees – causing widespread drama, drama, drama in the mansion of 1000 tears – when they inevitably realise they’ve been set up when they each return to the house.

Woody then walks into a “lions den”, that is this estrogen-fuelled snake pit. Each woman expresses her dismay while Woody seemingly soothes their ills with compliments like: “But you’re really hot and I’d totally do you” to Bec (OK, not in those exact words).

The beautiful and lovely Jacinda, a rough diamond is there ever was one, wearing a very revealing crop top and skirt, then evicts herself as, heartbroken, she is forced to listen to Bachie lament he feels no chemistry between them.

Is Bachie the most empathetic and emotionally honest Bachelor to date? Hmmm. He says he feels genuine sadness saying goodbye to Jacinda (pictured) and it’s an important reminder as to why he’s on the show: he’s there to find a true friend, but also a genuine love he can totally sex until the cows come home.

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Osher glides in and announces to call Jacinda has evicted herself and Woody has aborted the rose ceremony in his apparent grief. And so ten women become nine. “It’s becoming really real,” says Heather, all hormonal rage and deep, deep sadness.

As for Ep5, if you missed it, these were the giddy highs and lows: Emily bitched to camera a lot; Heather looked equally simpering and sad at having finally realised she’s in dating hell; Osher’s shiny hair almost stole the show at various points; and busty wedding planner and yet another brunette, Nina, 28, (pictured below) worked her ta tas and an ugly grey jumpsuit with Woody to climb the Sydney Harbour Bridge and break the longest world record onscreen kissing attempt. They achieve it – cue awkward kiss that was less Hollywood heart-melt and more “Omg when will this end!? And gleeful, maybe someone will suffocate?!” They kiss for a record four mins 10 secs and she rewards Woody over dinner with an “almost” nip slip and the knowledge she’s been single for 4.5 years. Whoa!

An infamous gold date card then sends most of the already competitive ladies on a soccer match with a difference, whereby Woody has the time of his life watching the women try to outdo each other dressed in tiny shorts, sporting hilarious, giant bubbles. Mad, bad Sandra, 27, whom let us remind ourselves is a primary school teacher in charge of minors, disgraces herself by being loud and obnoxious and Woody soon sends her packing in the limo of despair. Poor love – I hope she gets some counselling. She looks like a sad clown.

Oh and one more thing: Heather may be a mastermind. She keeps her cards so close to chest, none of the other girls fully grasp the “deep connection” she and Woody seemingly share, although he does single her out for a one-on-one chat, where he jokes he may never be able to let her go. Both express how much they miss each other. Cute. I still have my money on these two to go the distance.

So, with Sandra gone, who will become the mansion of misery’s resident nutter now? And will Heather actually risk slipping into the “friendship zone” if she continues with her weird and stupid penchant for calling Woody “man” and “dude”? Stay tuned for yet more humiliation galore…

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Images via smh.com.au; tenplay.com.au

August 13, 2015

Singer Nathaniel Willemse On Career, Style And Dating Dos

Curious to know what goes on in a man’s world? Perhaps you’d like them to share their views on romance, first dates, style, or career progression? Well, SHESAID is here to help, therefore each week we will be featuring some of the most influential males in the business including musicians, stylists, models, TV personalities and athletes.

RELATED: A Day In The Life Of… Carissa Walford

Recently SHESAID caught up with musician and former X Factor contestant Nathaniel Willemse. Talking all things career, style and romance, the singer opened up about his biggest fears, finding ‘the one’ and confided: confidence versus looks…

You’ve come a long way since Australian Idol and X Factor – spill, what’s your secret to success?

Perseverance, determination, a love for what you do, drive.

Singer Nathaniel Willemse On Career, Style And First Dates

What projects do you currently have in the works?

My new single will be out this year along with the album. I’ve also teamed up with Sony Mobile and Boost Mobile to celebrate the launch of the new Sony Xperia E4 smartphone. It has this awesome PartyShare app which lets up to 10 people share playlists and DJ a party together, and streams pics to your TV.

In October I’ll also be throwing the Ultimate House Party and I’m searching for a co-host! One lucky winner and 20 mates will get to party with me and enjoy a private performance. You can find out more by heading over to boost.com.au.

Do you ever get intimidated by other artists in the industry?

I’m only envious of other artists. I’m only here to better myself, not to be better than anyone else.

What are some style tips that you’ve accrued throughout the years?

The creative direction team at X Factor are always dressed up to the nines and they told me: “Never feel that you can’t overdress.” I’ve taken a leaf out of their book! In terms of my style inspo, it has to be Kanye West.

We hear you recently married, congratulations! How did you know you had found ‘the one’?

The most important thing was that she understood me and I understood her. To date a musician is pretty hard – you’re away a lot and your schedule is all over the place. She understood me from day one and I wouldn’t want to let go of such a good thing in my life.

What do you find more attractive in a woman: looks or confidence?

I actually thinks it’s a combination of both, although they do say confidence is a girl’s best asset.

What’s the most romantic thing that you’ve ever done?

Proposed in Times Square in NYC.

What are your best first date tips for women looking to find love?

Let down your guard, be yourself, relax and just enjoy the date.

How do you deal with nerves?

I breathe and tend to do a lot of affirmations. It’s about creating a positive mental state for whatever situation you’re in.

What is your biggest fear?

There’s a couple: 1. Failure 2. Patting a lion! I love lions and I watch documentaries on National Geographic all the time but I always watch the bad stuff like trainers getting attacked. I love them, but hate them!

What have you got your sights set on over the next year?

More work on my music – I’ve got my new single and album coming out. I’ll also be going on tour and hosting the Ultimate House Party in October with Sony Mobile and Boost Mobile.

Images via Daily Telegraph, MTV, YouTube

August 11, 2015

The Bachelor Ep4: Will Batch-Man + H-Bomb Live Happily Ever After?

I’m calling it, ladies (and gents): The Bachelor Australia has fast become The Heather and Woody Show – aka our dastardly TV superheroes Batch-Man and H-Bomb – and everyone else just may as well go home.

RELATED: Woody Gets Hard At Work In The Bachelor Season3 Premiere

Yep, for the 13 remaining poor, hapless ladies locked away in the lush mansion of misery at Sydney, our Bachie Sam Wood, aka Woody as I like to call him, is really just going through the motions. Who can possibly compete with the super-cute Batch-Man and H-Bomb scenario? Now, it’s become all about the producers destabilising their considerable erm, “connection” by throwing fireballs into the house of horrors.

Ep4 picked up with Heather finally making her move and asking Woody out on her white-rose “power move date” after the “dude”, as she prefers to call him, all but begged her to play her hand in Ep3.

Quick Ep3 recap while we’re there: Woody sent a silly, self-obsessed and vain lady-child called Madeleine home after the girls voted her for a one-on-one date and she spent the entire time boring our Bachie senseless with endless, tedious, uptight and self-conscious BS about her hair/teeth appearance and weird eating habits whereby she flat-out refused to chill out enough to fuel her body – gasp – in front of Woody. Here’s exactly how not to behave on a date, ladies! And he hated her behaviour so much he sent the beautiful lass home instead of her runner-up Laura, aka Anal Glands. Talk about the worst date EVER!?

the bachelor australia, sam wood, reality tv

I’m actually shocked to find myself quite liking this Bachie for once. He seems a lot more emotionally honest, real and less pretentious than his previous counterparts. I mean, the fact that he was quite gallant, genuine and diplomatic about Madeleine’s departure speaks volumes about his character.

Now, back to Ep4: The girls eat fruit salad and fake sadness for Madeleine’s “shock” departure when Osher’s luxuriant hair walks in and announces Heather is on her white-rose date. The camera cuts to Heather’s major love rival Emily making bitchy comments about them just being friends.

Next up, Heather and Woody head off in a luxury, red sports car to her fave prop hire, event styling company so she can give him an “idea of who I am”. They pretend to do an exercise session so she can test out Woody’s passion for hot and sweaty pursuits Cameras cut back to Heather and Woody jelly wrestling in costumes, as you do. Is there a spark or isn’t there? Does he want to stick his tongue down her throat or NOT?!

Heather, now dressed in a miniature skirt cooks for him and they share deep and important intimacies such as her growing up father-less and her later search for her dad and Woody shares his grief at losing his mum to cancer. I’m not making light of this, because this is a rare and lovely moment of genuine TV realness.

the bachelor australia, sam wood, reality tv

Hold the phone! Despite saying he’s had the “perfect date” Woody boldly confesses over dinner he’s worried they’re falling into the much-dreaded “friendship zone”. “I feel like we’re in danger of just becoming fantastic friends,” he says. Heather’s jaw drops to the floor. “Pash him!” I screamed at the TV. Thankfully, there’s no need, Woody eventually goes in for the big pash after presenting her with a rose. After much pleasing tongue-hockey, he declares there’s “lots more fun dates to come!” Phew!

The cameras cut to the mention where the remaining 15 angry and hormonal girls are stewing in their own juices. Cue yet more Emily bitching to camera. Yawn.

Meanwhile, through all this a gold card has arrived announcing a group date: it’s a beach bikini showdown! Joni aka “falsies” as I like to call her for customary ten inches of make-up, including false eyelashes, in broad daylight suddenly gets lots of camera time so we know she’s doomed. Falsies worries she’s not fun enough for Woody. You think?

Lo and behold Anal Glands, who’s English, gets a chance to talk to Woody again and f***s it up once more by mentioning – yep, you guessed it – anal glands. Is she a frustrated comedian? He’s so sending her home, too.

Meanwhile, Woody subjects the poor women to a mini-beach triathlon. Joni then goes into “freak-out mode” in baby waves and Woody is forced to give her the much-coveted, later one-on-one beach date in sympathy to her madness. He says she’s “incredibly intense and I want to see if she can take it down a level”. Fail – Joni’s just getting started! Woody falls asleep while she bangs on all serious dullness.

Cut to the rose ceremony where Anal Glands is in denial about going home. Woody goes in search of the luminous Snezana (pictured), who eventually – gasp – gets Woody’s first kiss in the house of a thousand tears. Just a bit of Ep3 back-story people – this gorgeous Perth mum is also giving H-Bomb a run for her money as she and Woody appear to share a special bond after a hot-air balloon ride and vineyard picnic. Again, the fact that Woody appears to so far accept Snez has a daughter he didn’t in fact father makes me think he’s not a total scumbag. It’s not a big ask at all in real life, but this is TV la la land.

the bachelor australia, sam wood, reality tv

Lo and behold their tiny kiss goodbye on the lips is a MAJOR drama people as some twit called Jasmin, who has the social skills of a gnat and whom ran away from Woody on the beach when he dared to try to talk to her, throws a giant fireball into the mansion of mayhem by virtually running from room-to-room announcing that Woody has in fact PASHED A GIRL!

Poor Snez. Heather’s all dropped pie expression until Sam rescues her by giving them a moment alone so she can present him with their superhero poster. Sam lights up like Christmas tree and Jasmin again reports back to everyone in the house they “only” exchanged a peck on the cheek.

Osher glides into room all hair and funereal countenance. Two girls are going home! Someone called Nina, who’s never had an actual single or group date gets the first rose. Who the hell is she? Did the producers forget about her until now?

Unfortunately, silly and vacuous Jasmin gets the second rose as Heather thunders. Finally, as predicted, Woody sends Joni, aka “falsies” and Laura, aka Anal Glands, home. Amen.

And my biggest high for the night? Osher himself favouriting one of my tweets. Beat that! Stay tuned for more hijinks, heartbreak and heinous Emily bitching…

the bachelor australia, sam wood, reality tv

Images via www.popsugar.com.au; www.bandt.com.au; thenewdaily.com.au; tenplay.com.au

August 6, 2015

Woody Gets Hard At Work In The Bachelor Season 3 Premiere

Ah, another season of The Bachelor Australia: isn’t it the best?! Is this how die-hard sport fans feel at the start of a new season?

RELATED: The Bachelor’s Achy Blakey Scandal

I frigging love this show. I can’t get enough of the blood sport that is watching 19 young women willingly cut themselves off from the outside world, then be shut away into a hellish, hormone-laden prison – sorry, a lush mansion – where their every move is caught on camera and they must compete for the affections of one man.

And the man in question? Sam Wood: a Bachelor-worthy himbo who’s displayed all the emotional intelligence of a pot plant thus far, and who has the requisite reality dating TV show’s muscle-bound torso and seemingly one-dimensional character.

However, never fear, ladies – this season three Bachelor does come armed with special gifts: no.1 he’s not a real estate agent and/or stripper aka last season’s most hated man in Australia Blake Garvey (phew) and he does in fact work with children (cue house of horrors inhabitants’ collective, in-sync ovulation); he has a lush head of hair styled in an appalling Ray Martin-esque hair helmet only rivalled by that of The Bachelor Australia host Osher Günsberg’s luxuriant locks; and can we all just take a minute to praise Network Ten here for giving us a bachelor named Sam Wood? What an awesome name for our bachie?! There are endless “wood” puns to be had with his name and so let’s call him “Woody” here, henceforth, for short.

dating, reality TV, The Bachelor Australia, Sam Wood

And for the record, I’ve got my money – for the win – on the first girl to croon to him: “Do I make you hard, Woody? Do I? ” Heaven.

If you were unfortunate enough to miss the scintillating, titillating and ground-breaking TV that was The Bachelor Australia episodes one and two last week, I’m going to recap some highlights for you here.

First up, the Bachelor’s shiny, new 19 girlfriends arrived in various states of undress, sorry cocktail dresses, at last Wednesday night’s premiere, oozing sex appeal, plastic fantastic, understandable nerves and some pure batshit-crazy behaviour and verbal diarrhoea gold previously unseen on national TV.

Cue many of them declaring Woody is the most fabulous walking hairpiece, sorry man, they’ve ever met approximately five seconds after meeting him, and excited squeals aplenty about his alleged tall, dark and handsome good looks and much estrogen-fuelled talk of early “connections”. Yawn. Deprive 19 attention-starved women of company with the opposite sex and you could probably present a monkey in a tuxedo and some of them would still declare he was a great catch.

Early frontrunners for Woody’s wood include the very gorgeous Snezana, who he seems enamoured with, but unfortunately may as well go home now because not only can Woody not pronounce her name, he is entirely aghast over the fact she is a mother and has dared to procreate outside of his harem; the very pretty and allegedly “career-driven” events manager Sarah who impressed our Bachelor with her ability to do the “downward dog” and “warrior one” basic yoga poses while dressed in a glorious tight, white evening frock; and the “hectically cool” hipster-dudess and possible Woody favourite Heather (pictured), who tries really hard to be nonchalant about the fact she’s joined the freak-fest that is The Bachelor, complete with constantly calling Woody “dude.”

dating, reality TV, The Bachelor Australia, Sam Wood

Conversely, ladies are on the outer edge, who are hopefully due to be sent packing in the limo anytime soon, include vet Laura, aka “Anal Glands,” who launches into the most heinous, unending, nervous monologue about the ghastly mess involved in expressing a dog’s anal glands three seconds after meeting poor, ol Woody; Jacinda, a funny and slightly unhinged lass who seems perpetually on the brink of emotional breakdown; and Sandra, who’s this season’s resident, full-blown passive-aggressive crazy, who – god help our national education system – allegedly also works as a primary school teacher. The vast and infinite horror!?

If my children were anywhere near this chick in real life, I’d seriously call the cops, because she is on a strange and tortured inner-trip, let me tell you! After picking a fight with poor, old confused Reshael, who somehow maintained dignity in the face of a Lord of the Flies-esque house brawl, Sandra then quickly makes enemies with every other contestant on the show by being her bizarre, outlandish, extroverted and deranged self. Has she spent too long with minors and forgotten how to act with maturity and self-respect? Well played, Network Ten producers, well played. Like last season’s resident crazy, Amber, Sandra is actually inevitably due to stick around until the bitter end just so she can cause a multitude of tears, tantrums and dramas in the mansion of misery.

Finally, after a lot of alcoholic beverages and extreme side-eye action, Sarah (pictured) gets an early red rose, Heather gets the early “wild card” white rose first, which gives her the “amazing power” (cue sarcasm font) to ask Woody out on a date, and the entire season three harem is herded for a rose ceremony. At this point, I started to like Woody a tad more after he sends an intense, plastic-fantastic Barbie lookalike called Zilda who “really, really wants kids” home, along with Jessica, whom I can’t recall doing anything of note. Of course, Anal Glands remains, so Woody is either into that shit, literally, or he’s blocked the horror of it all.

dating, reality TV, The Bachelor Australia, Sam Wood

Episode two then gets hurriedly underway when Sarah wins the “pleasure” of being Woody’s first one-on-one date, while the other contestants busily set about crafting voodoo dolls in her likeness while watching she and Sam sail away aboard a giant yacht. Sars has, guffaw, unfortunately chosen to wear the world’s tiniest belt, sorry skirt, on her date and so spends most of the date looking genuinely terrified, whether this is due to her deep-seated fear of boating, the wild seas, her straightened hair getting messy and/or her flashing her vagina on national TV, I can’t be sure.

Of course, Woody takes this opportunity to grunt a lot and speak in monosyllables, press his body close to hers, display a total lack of empathy and emotional intelligence by saying Sarah is “loving it” and impress upon his poor, frightened date his extreme love of boating, which probably means he owns a tinnie in real life.

Back to the mansion of misery, where the remaining contestants are then forced to compete for Woody’s attentions and endure some sort of movie-themed group date horror with Woman’s Day, whose editor looks like she wants to stab herself, with this season’s best pursed-lips cat’s bum expression thus far.

And things are now getting far from “hectically cool” for hipster-dudess and Bachelor frontrunner Heather, whose cute description on what it would be like to meet the love of her life in Ep1 is now coming back to haunt her big time as she seemingly finally realises she is trapped in the midst of a TV dating reality show where she has to endure watching hordes of other women making out with Woody. “The horror! The horror!” she seemed to be thinking, all ingénue wide eyes.

And Heather is far from alone on this naiveté: her main rival, the delectable and uppity Laurina-wannabe (see season 2) Emily Simms (pictured) was, quite rightly, a tad peeved at being asked to strip down to her undies, with half her tiny, toned arse hanging out on national TV, for a bizarre Ghost-themed, pottery-wheel nudity grab. And next up, Jacinda loses the plot, causing all cameras to collectively turn to point at her to document her meltdown, with her practically in the foetal position, crumbling under the pressure of being a pawn in the Playboy Mansion-esque showdown.

dating, reality TV, The Bachelor Australia, Sam Wood

I want to scream at these girls: “Wake up and smell the roses (which most of you won’t get), ladies! You’ve signed your lives away to a TV network for the country’s sick, voyeuristic pleasure! None of what you’re doing, or being asked to do, is in any way normal!?”

I mean, imagine in life you’re, say, lucky enough to meet one or two or even three soul mates, and then you have to fight for their love alongside a score of other women, all documented on camera?! Who the hell signs up for this thing? And who wouldn’t go a bit mental themselves under these brutal and mind-f***ing conditions, while locked away in a mansion of misery? I actually feel more than a little sympathy for these young twits for putting themselves in such an unwinnable situation. Are they all sadomasochists? It’s humiliation galore – and don’t we TV watchers love it!

Osher and Woody are all sombre hair helmets at the episode two rose ceremony where poor, hapless Reshael is sent home, along with a faceless, blonde girl whom no one can recall speaking called Krystal and a lumberjack named Tessa, who distinguished herself by, yawn, being too cool for school by changing from her cocktail frock into casual gear, all in a wild, desperate bid to get Woody’s attention. Apparently, she didn’t er, fire up Woody’s engine. And yet, Anal Glands and mad, bad teacher Sandra (pictured) still remain. Why are they both still here?! Is he too scared to talk to them again?

dating, reality TV, The Bachelor Australia, Sam Wood

So, dear readers, some lingering, unanswered questions going into The Bachelor Australia episode three this Wednesday night: do any of the women, in fact, still have real jobs? Why are they on the world’s worst dating experiment? Who are the blatant star f***ers chasing their 15 minutes of fame? And what is the “epic scandal” Network Ten is promoting the hell out of prior to this episode’s airing? Did someone forget to do their brazilian wax? Eat a sandwich? Not pack 20,000 bikinis?! Stay tuned for yet more humiliation galore…

Images via Ten Play, Daily Mail, News.com.au, The Age

August 5, 2015

5 Kinds Of Douchebags To Avoid When Dating

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.

RELATED: Sex And The Single Girl: 5 Best Attraction Techniques

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!

dating tips, love, single girl

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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

  1. 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.

  1. 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!

dating tips, love, single girl advice

What do you think? Have you dated some of these top 5 douchebags?

Images via glamour.com, newlovetimes.com, idiva.com

July 8, 2015

Confessions Of The Damned: Have You Dated A Gay Man?

It was an ex-boyfriend’s insatiable love of watching both Sex And The City DVDs and former Australian professional racing cyclist Cadel Evans in tiny, sweaty lycra shorts during the Tour de France for hours on end which first rang alarm bells in my head.

RELATED: Great Sexual Misadventures: Why Humour Equals Hot Sex

Was I, in fact, dating a gay man, or a bi-curious one at that? I’d dated stranger, I told myself, and endeavoured to have an open mind when it came to the very handsome and very fit, body-obsessed and bathroom-hogging, new boyfriend whom I’d been dating for a month or so several years back. Perhaps he was just very metrosexual? And gender roles were becoming increasingly blurred, these days, I consoled myself.

My gay friends, of course, happily claimed him as one of their own – was my gay-dar that far off? Meanwhile, best girlfriends I’d roped in to meet “new guy” were as equally flummoxed as me. We were having sex, and lots of it, so he couldn’t possibly be gay, right? Wrong. My gay posse ala Sex and the City (pictured) were all over it, even though I didn’t want to believe it at first.

sex tips, dating advice, gay sex

Ah the beauty of hindsight: sure, there were other tell-tale signs, such as his extreme love of fashion and beauty (a gay stereotype if there ever was one); but ultimately it was this ex-boyfriend’s shocking reveal at my home one day which convinced me he truly was batting for the other team. Imagine my dismay, when said man appeared on my doorstep, ready to collect me for another date (did I mention he also really loved shopping?) and quickly dropped his trousers, proudly presenting me with his new crack, back ‘n’ sack waxing treatment he’d just had done. The horror!

Now, I am fully aware it’s common practice for both straight and gay men to indulge in the full-wax thing these days, but in my experience at least, it’s not something a lot of Gen-X straight men are into – and that’s my generation, baby. A best friend, who wishes to remain anonymous, strongly disagrees with me on this point, but she recently moved from Sydney to Brisbane, and spent all her singleton time in the former city, so I say she’s at least wrong re: heteros’ pubic hair habits in the sunshine state, where I’m based.

And to this day, I still don’t know what impression I ever gave said ex that that was something I’d love. For the record, I like a manly man with furry bits! And my face must have given away my utter dismay, for he exclaimed: “Don’t you like my present?” Present?! All I could do was think at the time: “Oh honey, that’s not really for me.” And so we finally had the awkward chat about his obvious gayness, to which he reluctantly confessed, and we split amicably. And thankfully, just as I myself was about to swear off the opposite sex, I met my very manly and straight, future husband not long after that.

Have you ever dated a gay or a bi-curious man too, ladies? It’s an increasingly common social phenomenon according to Sydney sexologist, Dr Michelle Mars (pictured), who specialises in the sociology of sex gender and sexual well-being.

sex tips, dating advice, gay sex

“Why are we becoming more bisexual? Perhaps we are just owning it more, or perhaps we are having more opportunity to play with sex and identity,” Dr Mars says. “If I had a dollar for every time anyone said ‘I’m not out at work’ to me I would be rich.

“I 100 per cent guarantee you that you know people who are gay, kinky, queer… And that you don’t know it. People who like sex and have a lot of sex are more likely to experiment with bisexuality. Pan-sexual is a good, encompassing term. It’s about being kinky, gay, bi, queer… It generally means someone who is sexually adventurous and is willing to give new things a go.”

So, why do gay men sometimes have lots of straight sex, I asked the good doctor – why bother? “Gay men sometimes have sex with women; I have gay friends who were once married, I am saying gay deliberately here as they are as far from bisexual as you can get,” Dr Mars says. “One says of his marriage, ‘The sex was okay, but men get me up quicker’, while the other just likes having sex and if there happens to be a woman involved, that’s okay too.

“Sometimes gay men date women because they haven’t yet realised they are gay or because they are gay and they want to have a family, or because there is a level of internalised homophobia that makes it not okay for them to express their gayness or to claim a gay identity.

“And often gay men have sex with women because they are curious about what it’s about. They might want to try strap-on sex or something else the woman is good at that they haven’t tried before, or they might meet a couple and be attracted to the man and end up having sex with both of them.

“I like the Robbie Williams’ song Swings Both Ways, with the lyrics:
‘Everybody swings both ways…
And after I’ve done her
Well you can do me
Oh boy’.”

Would you use a threesome app

Dr Mars says recent research she did with Australia’s largest adult dating site, Adult Match Maker, which attracted more than 7600 Australian anonymous respondents, revealed that even people who aren’t interested in having sex with someone who is of a different gender to their normal partner would do it if their partner asked them to.

“As sexual identity categories soften and become more flexible, people are more likely to have a variety of different kinds of sex,” Dr Mars explains. “A gay man can have sex with a woman and still be gay. I can have sex with a gay man and it’s not heterosexual sex.

“Sex is a skill and it’s good to have sex with people who have excellent sexual prowess. After all, we learn the most about sex when we are having the best sex.”

What do you think? Have you ever dated a gay man?

Images via Huffington Post, Salon, Baller Alert

June 15, 2015

Laura Dundovic’s Best First Date Tips

With the recent success of the film Fifty Shades of Grey, more women than ever are trying to nab their dream date with the sultry Christian himself.

RELATED: How To Host The Perfect First Date At Home

To ensure things go as smoothly as possible, SHESAID chatted with Laura Dundovic to get her first date tips – including the dos and don’ts –  and advice on how to dress for dinner and drinks on any occasion!

What are some of your tips for the perfect date?

Don’t put too much thought into it. As girls, we think in between the time. We meet someone and on the first date we can sometimes start dreaming them into being ‘the one’ and can then get let down. I don’t think of a date as a potential relationship but more dinner with a friend. If there is chemistry, then great! One step at a time, girls!

Drinks or dinner… Which is better and why?

I always prefer dinner. Generally it’s a little easier to speak and get to know someone. Also, you know how long you are there for. Once the food is finished it’s time to leave the restaurant, but with drinks, when is the right time to leave and not look too keen, but not look too cold either? One drink? Two drinks?

Could you share some of your best do’s and don’ts for a first date?

Do be confident, don’t be arrogant.
Do be yourself.
Do make conversation but listen and ask questions, too.
If you like him be flirty, but don’t be needy!

What about an outfit… What is your favourite for dinner and drinks?

Dinner: I’ll usually go jeans and a nice top. That way you can wear hot heels and nice jewellery and not look over or under dressed wherever you go.

Drinks: I’d where a nice fitting but not too revealing dress. I usually take a cute leather or denim jacket with me so I’m not too over the top.

Laura Dundovic's Top First-Date Tips

Fifty Shades of Grey is released on Blu-ray, DVD, & Digital with UltraViolet on May 21st, 2015.

May 20, 2015

How To Host The Perfect First Date At Home

So the hard part is over – you’ve scored yourself a date. But instead of suggesting the two of you wine and dine at that great new restaurant down the street, you’ve invited you’re love interest over for dinner and now you have to entertain (oh the horror!). I mean, as if the first few dates aren’t already nerve racking enough.

RELATED: Throwback Thursday: How To Survive First Date Horror Stories

Before you decide to reschedule, or worse – cancel, Steph Peet from Eat now has provided us with a few of her fool proof tips on how to host the ultimate date night. So breathe a sigh of relief, ladies, you’ve got this!

Order In

Unless you’re quite the whiz in the kitchen or thoroughly enjoy cooking, take a load off and order in. The more relaxed you can be, the more you’ll enjoy yourself. Save the potential food disasters for the second or third date when you’ll be more inclined to laugh it off.

Don’t eat too early

Plan for your delivery to arrive after 8pm, says Steph. “This allows enough time for a glass of wine and a catch up prior to dining.” What’s more, if you and your date happen to run out of conversation early on in the evening, you can chat about the meal when it arrives. And in dire circumstances, at least having a mouthful of food minimises any awkward silences!

What to eat

Deciding on what to eat can require deep thought. Thankfully, Steph has recommended a few dishes that are perfect for date night.  Her first pick is risotto, because “it’s filling and easy to eat, even with the early dating jitters,” followed by a garden or Greek salad. “No one likes to over indulge when on a date, so it’s the perfect fresh side option.”

There’s something to be said for saving the best until last, so as far as dessert goes, Steph insists opting for a choolate mousse or tiramisu. “Nothing is more romantic than a touch of chocolate or coffee when on a date.”

What not to eat

Regardless of what people might say, first impressions really do count for something. Leaning in for a kiss at the end of the night with bad onion breath might not go down the way you’d imagined. Steph agrees: “Anything heavy on garlic or onion – steer clear! A big ‘no-no’ when getting close to someone new.”

She also insists that you skip on messy dishes such as spaghetti bolognese, taco’s and ribs. “[They] can be difficult to eat when sitting in your pjs on the couch, let alone when trying to impress someone. Make your choices wisely.”

Create a nice atmosphere

Lighting a few candles while you sip (or skull) your wine is a great way to set the mood and relax as you get to know your date a little better. Furthermore, if you’re meal arrives in plastic bags and containers, pull out the fine china – so to speak – and serve your take out in a few nice bowls and dishes, says Steph. “[It] will create a better dining experience, even if you’re just eating on the lounge.”

Get the bill

By ordering takeout you still have to endure that dreaded ‘who gets the cheque’ moment. Therefore, Steph recommends that the person hosting date night – so in this case, you – should take care of the bill. “The invitee should bring a bottle of wine,” she says. “It’s a nice gesture that everyone will appreciate.”

“If your date isn’t a big wine drinker, bring dessert.”

May 11, 2015

Throwback Thursday: How To Survive First Date Horror Stories

Dating can be among the best and worst experiences of your life.

RELATED: Top Sex Tips On How To Pleasure A Man’s P-Spot

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.

sex survey, sex, sexual fantasises

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?

social media predators, business expert, career advice

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.”

dating advice, dating tips, singletons, love

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

March 26, 2015

Can Dining Etiquette Make or Break a Date?

They say it takes three seconds to make a first impression, but can dining etiquette make or break a date? With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, we asked Levi Aron from Yumtable to share a few tips on how to approach your first dinner date in order to secure a second.

RELATED: Seven Days to Better Sex

Don’t be late

Turning up fashionably late is disrespectful and embarrassing. To avoid this, Levi advises giving yourself a 15-30 minute buffer depending on how long the commute is. Don’t forget to factor in parking if you opt to drive!

Do offer to pay

Okay, this one is more for the lads than the ladies. But nonetheless, offering to pay is a kind gesture that will ensure your date doesn’t feel like they’re being taken for granted. If you make them feel appreciated, you’re more likely to see date number two.

Don’t just walk into a nice restaurant

Save time and hassle by booking ahead. “It shows thoughtfulness to plan the date ahead of time,” insists Levi. Restaurant booking apps such as yumtable.com.au are quick and easy to use and discounts are generally applied – extra brownie points!

Do have a plan for after dinner

This doesn’t mean going back to your date’s apartment for post-dinner ‘coffee.’ Instead, scout out another restaurant nearby for dessert, insists Levi. Maybe you want to try that new Gelato place that’s opened up down the street, or head to that dessert bar that you’ve been dying to check out since forever – either way, a “nice romantic walk” will mix things up a bit.

Don’t use your hands

This rule is a given when it comes to eating – unless you’ve ordered crab or lobster, in which case it’s inevitable. But if you want to make a good first impression remember your table manners. You might also want to avoid messy dishes all together – there’s nothing more unappealing than someone slurping down soup and spilling it all over their new threads.

Do take your time

If you’re the type of person who tends to get nervous, you may be inclined to wolf down your food. Be mindful and try not to get too ahead of yourself. Try putting down your knife and fork between meals or sipping on water. Alternatively, “take some extra time to talk to your date,” says Levi. “It’s not a race to see who can finish eating first.”

Don’t touch your phone during dinner

Unless you need to slip to the bathroom to organise an ‘emergency’ call from one of your girlfriends, leave your phone in your bag or pocket. Also, refrain from leaving it on the table, urges Levi. Not only is it a distraction, but it takes away your attention from your date.

Tips courtesy of Yumtable

Image via Google Images

February 14, 2015

5 Things Women Expect On A Blind Date

A first date can prove to be a little nerve-wracking, especially if you were set-up by mutual friends and in actual fact, you’ve never actually met before! It’s important to be yourself, and exude confidence, even if you feel like the butterflies in your stomach won’t stop.

As you’re walking into meet your date for the first time, is there anything you expect from them? Read our top five things that all women (whether they choose to admit it, or not), expect from their blind date.

RELATED: 49 Dating Secrets Revealed

Banter

We are women, hear us roar? We all just want a little banter instead! Sometimes this can be platonic, sexual, or even non-existent. Banter and good conversation is so important, since it acts as the foundation for future chemistry. So steer clear from all the conventional questions (How old are you? What do you do for work?) This isn’t a job interview! If you already have some mutual friends in common, don’t be afraid to bring them up in conversation.

Drinks.. and dinner?

It is a fact that most women choose a quick drink as their first date. Why? Not only is it an easy getaway, but have you ever tried having a conversation will a full mouth – not likely. If the suggestion of dinner does come up, don’t be a party-pooper and shake your head at every suggestion on the menu. Choose a light appetiser which will allow you to enjoy some yummy food, but still be able to carry on the conversation.

No, I’ll pay

We don’t know about you, but sometimes a date can become a little territorial when it comes to paying the cheque. While this is nice, don’t just sit there with your arms crossed – this just looks like you’re entitled. Be proactive and suggest that you will pay for the next date. Pretty smooth, right?!

Keeping up appearances

Social media has taken the fun out of blind dates, since you will mostly likely be looking up their Facebook or Instagram profile before actually agreeing to a date in the first place. But sometimes, social media, filters, cropping, and angles can be deceiving. Don’t be upset if your date looks nothing like his photos, it could just be an old pic!

No-phone zone

As a general rule, your phone should not be at the table. Constantly texting, receiving calls, and checking your Facebook feed (seriously, can’t you do this afterwards), is pretty disrespectful when on any sort of date. Keep your phone on vibrate and in your pocket, or handbag until the end of the date. If you’re desperate to take a picture of the food/drinks, avoid posting it on Instagram until you’re home (or at least said goodbye).

Have you ever been on a blind date before? What are some of your expectations? Tell us your story in the comments below.

Image via First Post

November 28, 2014

Is Money Conflict Ruining Your Marriage?

Do you love a good shopping spree, but dispose of the evidence faster than you can say “CSI”?

“This old thing?” you laugh off to your beloved husband when he compliments you on your brand new summer maxi dress. “I’ve had it for ages!” Erm, guilty as charged! Or, did you have a recent windfall and you’re hiding this in a secret savings bank account from your significant other?
money conflict, money woes, relationship advice, dating tips
Conflict over money is a major cause of marital discord, psychologists say. In fact, study after study of married couples’ relationship habits shows serious financial secrets can in fact lead you on a rocky path to divorce.

Related: How To Cope With Sexually Transmitted Debt

So, what’s the key to happy and harmonious monetary matters with your spouse?

Speaking from personal experience, it’s certainly tricky going from being an independent bachelorette with your own bank account, to sharing a joint bank account with a partner, where your every expenditure is open to scrutiny.

Should couples keep their own independent bank accounts, rather than a joint one? Is that a less stressful option for both parties? There’s no easy answer to this – you have to work out what’s best for you and your partner, relationship psychologists say.

And while I personally still struggle to curb my shopaholic tendencies in my marriage, I’ve certainly learnt to be more mindful of my spending thanks to my husband’s more thrifty ways (luckily for our bank accounts). So, why is it so important for couples to be honest with each other about their personal finances?

“All good relationships are based on trust. If someone is dishonest with their partner about their spending it’s highly likely they will be found out and it will be very difficult to regain the trust, putting the relationship at risk,” says my go-to clinical psychologist source.

“The most likely reason a person may have a desire to hide their spending from their partner is due to something they’re ashamed of, or which their partner would disapprove of, such as gambling, an affair, or spending up big on a personal project that doesn’t benefit the partner.”

And if you’re wondering why monetary conflict is such a “red, hot button” in your marriage, it’s because we as a society closely connect our financial situation to our sense of emotional security.

“Everyone likes to feel that there will be enough money available to them for essentials and emergencies,” says the relationships psych. “So, because of the emotional component involved, arguments are bound to arise if partners have different priorities in how to spend their available funds.

“It’s also likely that strong emotions such as fear, anger and anxiety will continually crop up if it seems there won’t be enough money for what each person perceives as important.”

So, should I stop hiding my new clothing price tags in an effort to be more honest and open about my summer maxi dress obsession with my husband? Shhh, don’t ask, don’t tell…

Images via www.pixabay.com.

What do you think? 

October 8, 2014

Outdoor Dates On A Super Tight Budget

When was the last time you did something as simple as go parking with your special someone? Keeping the romance alive or romancing a new lover doesn’t necessarily involve spending a hand full of cash. There are some really simple, outdoor activities couples can do to spice up their love life and their sex life!

Cloud or star gazing

This might sound a little lame, but don’t knock it until you try it. I’ve had many a romantic afternoon with my partner watching the clouds go by. It’s a great thing to do on a lazy weekend or when funds are stretched to the limit. Throw down a rug, head to the backyard or local park and just lie back. The two of you can use your imaginations, laugh, talk, snuggle, cuddle – whatever you like. This is the absolute cheapest activity because the cost is zero!

A trip to the water

There is something very soothing about water. It doesn’t matter if it’s the beach or other body of water, going to a peaceful place like this is really rejuvenating. Rain, hail or shine, the view will always be spectacular and the trip there can be a great time to talk to your partner in peace or just enjoy being together.

Once you are there, you may choose to sit in the car and have a deep and meaningful conversation, while grabbing some hot chips and a loaf of bread for a bit of a meal. Maybe you decide to go for a walk, hand in hand. It doesn’t matter what you do but it will get you out of the house, away from the everyday stresses of life and give you both some precious time out.

Country or park picnic

When you live in the city getting out of that environment will de-stress you and have you both feeling relaxed. The most expensive thing about this will be the fuel. If the budget is really tight, you don’t need to go far for a bit of tranquillity. A secluded park in a neighboring suburb can be just as good. Pack a few sandwiches, some drinks and it can be a reasonably inexpensive outing. Bring along a frisbee or footy and get active.

Camping

Whether you set up a tent in the bush somewhere, local caravan park or even in the backyard, it doesn’t matter. If you are able to have a little campfire, go for it! Sitting by the fire is really romantic. If you can’t have a fire, enjoy time in the tent. The cold air outside will entice you to snuggle and being away from technology, like TVs and phones, will get you communicating.

Image via http://cfile202.uf.daum.net/image/2273023D51F1D91806FE1B

October 7, 2014

The Bachelor’s Achy Blakey Scandal

I’m all agog, I am aghast: the “fairytale” that was The Bachelor has in fact turned into a heinous nightmare, after Network Ten confirmed today Blake Garvey and Sam Frost have in fact split.
As a shocked and outraged nation mourns the demise of Blake and Sam’s “relationship” and social media bays for Garvey’s blood, some background if you’re one of only a handful of people (including my husband) who boycotted the blood sport that was this year’s The Bachelor reality TV show.

Related: Why The Bachelor Is Bad For Your Relationship

So, to sum up: after 10 weeks of dates, dramas and dirty street pies, tall, dark handsome Perth auctioneer Blake – whom I always found extremely beige in personality and emotionally vacant – got to pash and fondle; humiliate in various degrading circumstances; and force some 30 women to declare their undying love for him at a Sydney prison, sorry mansion, for the nation’s vast amusement, entertainment and schadenfreude.

And of the 30 women, six were “intruders” sent in for the producers’ and ours’ collective enjoyment, only to be quickly voted off over the course of a few episodes. Blake then whittled the remaining women down to the top four of Jessica, Louise, Lisa and Sam, with the latter the favourite from the start to win the heart of “Blake the Snake”.

Fast forward to last night’s thrilling The Bachelor final rose finale in South Africa, where only the eternally-smitten, aforementioned Sam, 25, and Lisa, 27, remained. Lisa, who had previously wisely held back on saying the “L-word”, unfortunately did end up confessing her undying love for Blake firstly to his aunty and mum (as you do) and then to him, only to be booted off the show at the final hour when Blake the Snake declared his one, true love was in fact Sam.

Of course, mere hours before Australia found out who the final “lucky” chosen one was on The Bachelor, the shit hit the fan and social media went nuts over the news that Network Ten had cancelled all Blake, Sam and Lisa’s media interviews today and in the lead-up to the finale.

Then, Twitter conspiracy theories peaked with the one about Blake fathering a baby with one of the previously rejected Bachelorettes (obvs not Sam).

Well, I can confirm SHE SAID readers that while there is no Bachelor baby (bugger), as I said above, you may need some counselling, wine and chocolate, for it is true that Blake and Sam are splitsville.

Today, Network Ten issued this curt presser, along with a caveat, “There will be no further comment at this time.”

“Network Ten can confirm that Blake and Sam have sadly ended their engagement. When Blake proposed to Sam in South Africa, he did so because he had genuinely fallen in love with her. He was excited to start a life with Sam and was very much looking forward to their future together.
Unfortunately, not all relationships are meant to be, and feelings invariably change. Once Blake returned to his everyday life, he realised that they both wanted different things from a relationship and had different priorities. Blake has the greatest love and respect for Sam, but has made the difficult decision to end the relationship.”

dating tips, The Bachelor, Blake Garvey
Well, bugger me!?

But wait, there’s more! Interestingly, Sam broke her silence, on her Twitter account @fro_001 earlier today, saying: “People need to stop asking why we broke up. Trust me, I’m just as in the dark as you all are.. Blake is the one calling all the shots here.”

So, what gives Blakey baby? If the poor dude hasn’t already fled overseas to avoid the lynch mob on social media, he may be in need of some bodyguards. And, speaking of Twitter, my favourite analysis of the situation has been from the very smart and funny Todd Sampson, @toddsampsonOz who said: “perhaps Sam realised she was dating a production company for the last 8 weeks not Blake. #TheBachelorAu.

So, what can we all learn from this debacle, aside from the fact that TV reality shows are, in fact, not based on reality? And that if you go on a TV reality show to find true love, you need your head read?!

On a more serious note, the sinister I’m-a-princess/life-is-a-fairytale myths perpetuated by such TV shows as The Bachelor, which are so hazardous to women’s emotional and mental well-being and relationships, are still alive and well in our society.

So, I don’t know about you, but I’ll be teaching my daughters to: beware of tall, dark and handsome auctioneers who appear too good to be true; never seek true love on a TV reality show and above all, to find their own man – to never allow a love interest to pash/fondle and confess his feelings to 29 of their closest friends in a secluded mansion cut off from the world. How is that ever OK?!

And one final thing: who gets to keep the bloody $58,000 Bunda diamond engagement ring?! Should it actually go to The Bachelor’s most dastardly, devious and evil producer?

What do you think?

October 3, 2014

How To Be Emotionally Honest In Relationships

Are you obsessed with all things The Bachelor on Network Ten, as I am, and cringed at Blake Garvey’s seeming appalling lack of emotional honesty at times?

Remember when Blake (pictured) recently told poor, smitten Louise on their boozy Blue Mountains picnic, shortly before she straddled him (as you do, on national TV) that “you make me so happy” then said off-camera, that he wasn’t sure if there was “enough of a spark?”

RELATED: Why The Bachelor Is Bad For Your Relationship

Then, there was the time he recently happily enjoyed some sexy time in a hot tub with young, besotted Jessica – henceforth to be known as “steamy Jess” – only to whinge to Australia that he was essentially worried they had too much of a spark and not enough substance? Cringe!

Jesus, get it together, Garvey?! Unless I’m missing something, I’m pretty sure Blake the Bachelor hasn’t exactly told any of these women he’s allegedly all having relationships with much of his actual, true feelings.

And, sure, it can’t be easy being emotionally honest with a bunch of women on a reality TV show, not to mention ones who are all obsessively and fanatically in love with you, but I just want him to try a bit harder so that the final four women’s hearts don’t break upon the shock of being suddenly and brutally rejected.

So, listen up Garvey, here’s some top tips from a leading relationships psychologist, who wishes to remain anonymous, about how to be emotionally honest in relationships and why it matters so much.

“Emotional honesty in a relationship means expressing what you really feel,” says the psych. “Communicating with your partner in an open and honest way is the basis for a strong relationship. This can be difficult as not everyone is in touch with their emotions, or has the language to openly express how they are feeling.”

So, why would anyone be false and deceitful about their emotions in a relationship? The relationships psych says this is actually more common than you think, with both men and women guilty of Blake-esque behaviour by telling partners what they want to hear, as opposed to their true feelings.

“People are dishonest about their feelings because their desire to have this relationship and all that is associated with it makes them ignore or cover up their true feelings,” she says. “For example, someone might express love for a partner that they don’t really feel, because they really want to be in a relationship, have sex, or fear being alone… Or they may not want to hurt their partner’s feelings.

“It is very important to be honest in a relationship, particularly in terms of the emotions you are feeling. If someone is feeling a certain emotion, but saying something different there will be a dissonance which will undermine the relationship. It will be likely to cause problems of trust in the relationship because their partner will probably sense that they are not being honest.”

And, if God forbid, any of us are faced with a potentially very emotional and awkward relationship breakup – and I don’t envy Blake having to do this, with multiple women on national TV no less – how on earth do you do it honestly, without insulting the other poor, unsuspecting and love-struck person?

“Use ‘I statements’ to take responsibility for the breakup,” says the psych. “Use a kind and caring manner and body language, but say honestly how you are feeling. You might also want to preface the conversation with something like: ‘Look, I need to be honest with you about where I see our relationship going’.”

As in going nowhere fast, eek!

The Bachelor airs every Wednesday and Thursday nights at 7.30pm, with the finale on next Thursday, October 2 at 7.30pm.

dating tips, The Bachelor, Blake Garvey

September 27, 2014

Important Dating Tips For Shy Girls

Landed the date of your dreams but find it difficult to open up? Don’t let your shyness get in the way of a good relationship, especially when you’re about to go on your first date together!

Below are some important ways that shy girls can open up, without feeling out of their comfort zone on a first date.

RELATED: Check out the 5 Cute Date Ideas In Melbourne here

Make eye contact

This one might seem a little obvious, but don’t avert your gaze whilst talking to your date. Eye contact is sometimes more important than words, and it’s a great way to show that you’re interested in what they have to say.

If you feel a little intimidated, don’t sit across from each other as this can only make you feel more anxious. Choose a scenario where you’re sitting next to each other, or even at a 90º angle instead – this will take the edge off.

Steer the conversation

If you’re emotionally shy, it’s best to steer the conversation yourself – especially if you’re avoiding talking about certain topics. This will make it easier to filter out things that you don’t want to bring up, and instead engage your date in some quality conversation.

Discuss common topics which will help you get to know each other – this isn’t a therapy session! Have fun and see where the conversation takes you.

Go on an active date

Choose a fun outdoor activity if want to kill those pre-date nerves. Not only will this relax the both of you, but it gives you something else to focus your energy on. Avoid dinner or drinks since this will only put the spot on you, and make it feel like an interview more than anything else.

Familiar environment

Sometimes being thrust in a new or unfamiliar environment is enough to make a shy girl shut-down completely. Choose a place that you are comfortable with, since this is the best way you can actually be yourself.

An environment which puts you at ease is the best foundation to a first date, since you’re automatically programmed to feel better in a place that you know well.

Show interest

Sometimes being shy can often be misconstrued as not being interested – this is far from the truth! Your quiet disposition doesn’t have to be a man repellant, but you do have to show a little more obvious interest in your date.

Make eye contact, and let your flirty side come out – this should be natural if you really like the person!

Image via Robert Hargreaves 

September 26, 2014

Why The Bachelor Is Bad For Your Relationship

Confession time: I love The Bachelor – aired on Network Ten twice weekly. I adore its delicious schadenfreude; what woman (or man, although my husband hates it so much, he has to leave the room) hasn’t yelped, whooped and cringed at the TV every time The Bachelor’s Blake Garvey (pictured) – he of the gorgeous, chocolaty voice – gives that blank, shutters-down I’m-about-to-send-you-home look to one of his many poor, smitten lasses in the mansion!?

I’m addicted and I can’t wait to see whom Blake chooses – #teamsam all the way!

But behind this reality TV show’s ridiculous, over-the-top romance and glamour lies an ugly, well, reality which can ruin your relationship if you’ve not got your head screwed on right: I’m not even kidding.

For The Bachelor strongly perpetuates the I’m-a-princess/life-is-a-fairytale myths that are so hazardous to women’s emotional and mental well-being and relationships. Sure, what woman wouldn’t want to be whisked away for a romantic, champagne picnic date atop the Blue Mountains, or even taken in a limo to eat a #dirtystreetpie for that matter, but when the cameras stop rolling, what will all the rejected women be left with?

Are they all now going to expect to be carried off into the sunset on luxury dream dates every time with their future partners? “Where’s my helicopter/vintage car/limo!? Dammit, I just WANTED BLAKE!”

And every instance one of the poor, deluded lasses in the house utters the immortal words “I’m so touched Blake arranged this special date for me and wanted me to experience this…” my heart dies a thousand deaths.

Blake didn’t “arrange” anything, you silly lass!? Dude just shows up and I’m fairly certain does exactly what those dastardly producers tell him to do. Witness the rise and fall of model and fashion designer Laurina Fleure (pictured below), for example, she of the aforementioned #dirtystreetpie and #hetouchedhiseye Twitter infamy, who was booted off the show last Wednesday night.

The Bachelor, relationship tips, dating tips, love, romance, reality TV

Her downfall came after she dared to be quite rightly offended when Blake gave her the ol’ blank, shutters-down I’m-about-to-send-you-home look, complete with a dirty eye scratch for good measure.

I cheered on Laurina as she left the mansion, head held high. And while she was a very divisive character – her “Melbourne is amazing” real estate rant at the end was priceless and cringe-worthy, and her extreme lack of empathy for the other women in the house was appalling at times – I still admired her for sticking to her guns.

What woman wouldn’t be a tad confused, even a little offended, if told to dress up to the nines then taken to a pie takeaway shop? I believe The Bachelor producers (and poor, old Blake for that matter) realised very early on that dramatic, out-there Laurina made for good TV, despite hers and Blake’s lack of compatibility, and so they strung her along right until the end – the final six, for that matter.

Even Laurina herself has recently said she and Blake were “flogging a dead horse” when it came to their “relationship” and I use the term loosely. The producers continually hung her out to dry in unwinnable situations and therein lies the danger of these heavily contrived TV dating shows. They’re entertainment, not reality. The fairytale is not real. And, as I’ll teach my daughters, if you go through life expecting to be treated like a princess, ala The Bachelor contestants, like some passive Cinderella-like character, waiting to be swept off your feet and not in charge of your own destiny, you are only setting yourself up for a fall. True love exists, but you need to be in the driver’s seat, not a passive participant expecting Prince Charming to find you.

And it’s barbaric and demeaning to say the least to see multiple women competing for the affections of one man. At times, while watching The Bachelor, I wish I could race to the women’s prison, sorry luxury mansion, and set them free!

“There’s a whole world of men out there, girlfriend, go get happy with a man of your own!” I’d yell at them, before feeding them cupcakes and champagne.

“Or, better still, get happy within yourself first, sister, then look for your partner.”

For life ain’t no fairytale. The romance and love part is easy – it’s the keeping the happily-ever-after bit alive in a marriage that takes deep love, trust, commitment, friendship and endless patience and forgiveness.

The Bachelor airs every Wednesday and Thursday nights at 7.30pm, with the finale on Thursday, October 2 at 7.30pm.

The Bachelor, relationship tips, dating tips, love, romance, reality TV

September 24, 2014

5 People To Avoid While Online Dating

Dating apps such as Tinder and Grouper (if you’re scared to go at it alone) are making it that much easier to find a partner without actually stepping foot outside your house – or anywhere that has free WiFi in fact. Whether you’re looking for a long-term partner or just a summer fling, here are five personalities that should have you running for the hills. Or simply just un-match them instead, whatever option better fits into your exercise routine.

The Clinger

You meet online, then you chat for a few days (perhaps a week), before taking the plunge and meeting face-to-face for the first time. While the first date is mediocre, the clinger will still continue to text, call or even FaceTime you more than ever. Just a little tip here – if you’re definitely not interested in the clinger, let them down early on. This may save you being deleted or possibly blocked from Facebook down the line.

The Serial Texter

You can always expect a text waiting for you when you wake up, leave your phone unattended for five minutes, or even multiple texts at a time. The serial texter loves nothing more than to ask an unlimited amount of questions (most of which are repetitive in nature). Some common examples include but are not limited to ‘How are you?’, ‘What are you doing’, ‘What are you eating?’ Although are these people speaking to you because they’re interested in what you have to say, or are they merely just passing the time? Is that another question?

The Serial Non-Texter

The complete opposite to the serial texter. This personality contacts you once in a blue moon, and usually stops replying – even though they initiated the conversation in the first place.

The One Who Won’t Take No For An Answer

Never exchange your mobile number with this personality – that’s unless you don’t want a few hundred calls to your number at all hours. The one who won’t take no for an answer is under the disguise of a well-dressed, nicely spoken character who is essentially harmless. If they pick up a scent that you’re interested, this will result in an unlimited amount of texts, calls, Facebook messages, and Instagram requests (I’m assuming you’re already on private). But once you agree to a date – they lose interest altogether.

The Great Banter

Anyone who loves a bit of a laugh will tell you that good banter is hard to find – in person and online. Just like a needle in the haystack! So why is there a problem exactly? Great banter is exactly what it says it is – banter. Although you might be quick-witted, hilarious, and have exchanged a few ‘lol’ and ‘haha’ with each other during your two-week texting rendezvous, this personality will almost never meet up with you for a drink, let alone dinner.

Image via Stock Photo

September 19, 2014

Emotional Vs Sexual Cheating: What’s Worse?

Which would be worse: if your partner had sex with – or fell in love with – someone else? A survey of 667 singles examined relationship faithfulness, finding some major differences in how men and women view cheating. While men think sexual infidelity is worse, women can’t bear the thought of their partner falling in love with someone else.

The survey by ELITESINGLES showed 65 per cent of the men polled said that sexual unfaithfulness is worse, compared to 55 per cent of women who think such emotional unfaithfulness would be harder to handle. But despite their opinions on what constitutes the worst in infidelity, men are more likely to cheat sexually (43 per cent had in the past compared with just 30 per cent of women) while women were more likely to engage in emotional infidelity (27 per cent said that they’d fallen in love with someone outside a partnership, compared with just 12 per cent men). Hypocritical?

Why are people unfaithful?

The poll also questioned participants’ motivation for past infidelity, finding men and women to differ here, too. While most men (55 per cent) struggled to identify exactly why they cheated, 28 per cent admitted to wanting sex with someone else, and a further 25 per cent said it was due to relationship boredom. A small minority (7 per cent) noted it was born out of revenge, while 12 per cent revealed it was another love which made them act. As for the women, a somewhat larger number admitted to taking revenge (11 per cent), while 35 per cent said they were bored in their relationship and 27 per cent in love with someone else. “I wanted to have sex with someone else” was agreed with by just 16 per cent of women.

Infidelity victims: some decide to forgive and forget, others turn to online dating.

While they disagree on what’s worse, 20 per cent of both men and women are prepared to forgive infidelity within a relationship – despite unanimously citing faithfulness, honesty and happiness as the most important characteristics to look for in a partner. Meanwhile, the survey into relationship loyalty touched on a sensitive issue for a large number of singles; 30 per cent of participants conceded that they had turned to online dating after refusing to forgive cheating in their previous relationship.

reationships, dating, cheating, infidelity, relationship advice, dating tips, love

June 23, 2014

Can Perennial Bachelors Change Into Husbands?

As one of the most famous bachelors gets ready to take his wedding vows, the question seems rather pertinent: Can perennial bachelors like George Clooney change and become longstanding husbands – able to weather the rough seas that accompany the great times?

Remember those snippets of advice our mothers offered on our love life? My mother’s wisdom was that you should never marry a longstanding bachelor, as they were set in their ways, too used to getting their own way, and unaccustomed to compromise. But leopards can change their spots, as demonstrated by Warren Beatty who, after a string of relationships with beautiful women, married in his mid-50s. More than 20 years and four children later, he and actress Annette Bening are still together – no small feat in Hollywood.

Apparently many a middle-aged bachelor finally decides to settle down as they realise time is running out to fit in a wife and family before the ‘Grim Reaper’ calls. So if my mother’s advice on perennial bachelors is not universally applicable, what do they need for long-lasting love?  In the end they probably just need the same as the rest of us – although it may be harder to achieve when you have been single so long.

Seven all-purpose ingredients for long-term romantic success

Similarity

Research shows that if we want our romantic relationships to last, we should search for ‘homogamy’ in a partner – that means someone similar to us, particularly in values. Borne out by several studies, showing that similarity between partners for various characteristics, including age, background, intelligence, socioeconomic status, and values predict greater relationship success.

Realistic expectations

Realistic expectations of our partner and the relationship is another key ingredient for long-term success. It’s important we recognise that no one is perfect, it won’t always be plain sailing, and it is quite normal to feel we don’t like our partner from time to time. According to the so-called ‘disappointment model’, if individuals start out with extreme positive beliefs, disappointment frequently ensues. And such feelings of disappointment do not bode well for the longer term.

Friendship

Hardly surprising this one ranks as important – after all we will spend plenty of time with that ‘significant other’, so after the first flush of love is over, we need a true friend to weather day-to-day life.  According to Franz Schubert, ‘Happy is the man who finds a true friend, and far happier is he who finds that true friend in his wife’.

Equality

We need to believe we bring as many desirable qualities to the relationship as our partner. Equality means we have balanced power in the relationship, that we can act independently of our partner’s control, influence their actions, and participate equally in decision-making.

Commitment

Commitment is the most powerful predictor of relationship stability. But it’s not about a marriage ceremony – it’s about making the relationship a priority and being willing to sacrifice for it, invest in it, link our personal goals to it, and seek the other person’s welfare, not just our own. It’s about having ties together, such as joint possessions and family, which help keep us glued together during rocky times.

Understanding

As mentioned in the best-selling relationship book, Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus, many of our relationship troubles start because men and women are more different than we may think. When women have problems we want care and understanding, but our partner offers solutions and resentment builds as we feel we were not listened to. To help solve his problems we try to be supportive by offer comforting, unsolicited advice, but our good intentions make him feel smothered and controlled. Then we have to contend with each other’s cycles. After getting close, men need to feel independent again and become distant for a time, whilst women go up and down emotionally like a yo-yo. We need to talk and talk around our problems, whereas men prefer to be alone to mull over solutions in their cave.

Conflict resolution

According to researchers, ‘the mere presence of conflict may reveal less about the quality of a relationship than does the way in which the conflict is handled’. Conflicts are normal and inevitable in any partnership, and it seems that mutually satisfactory resolution to disagreements is key to the continued harmony, satisfaction, and even survival of the relationship.

And for Mr Clooney and Ms Alamuddin? She certainly ticks more of the boxes for similarity than many who have come and gone before. But he may need to work hard to ensure they are equal co-directors of their movie, given that his fame means that his partner’s identity inevitably becomes associated with him. In the past he didn’t seem to have a big appetite for commitment but he is older and perhaps more ready for the sacrifice and constraints that are key to commitment. Maybe a bright young lawyer is just the ticket to hone one’s conflict resolution skills, given that in his first marriage, “Instead of figuring out how to make it work, I looked for a way to get out of it. The truth is, you shouldn’t be married if you’re that kind of person”.

Only time will tell whether George Clooney can change from long-standing bachelor to long-standing husband. Let’s hope so for their future happiness.

June 20, 2014
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