Single-women

Why I’ve Never Had A Real Boyfriend

And I definitely don’t want you to set me up with your friend.

June 7, 2016

Toxic Friendships: When It’s Time To Let Go

When a good friend turns frenemy, it can be more painful than having your teeth pulled and turn your world upside down.

RELATED: Is Friendship A Higher Form Of Love?

Do you:

a) Rid your world of toxic friend once and for all by sending her a vomitous mass of glitter, coupled with hate mail, via latest social media sensation, genius website: shipyourenemiesglitter.com?

b) Watch endless re-runs of Mean Girls on a loop, crying into your Tim Tams and chardonnay?

c) Gracefully cut all ties with said toxic friend and move on with your life, fast?

female friendships, frenemies, toxic friendships

The answer, dear reader, is of course C (although A would be so satisfying!).

Everyone encounters a toxic friend or two at some stage in their life. The key is not to dwell too much on why it happened, I think, but just to get the hell out of it, stat! Of course, this can be easier said than done with it’s a one-time great, long-term friend who now seems hell-bent on making your life miserable.

Interestingly, new UK research recently revealed both men and women are equally likely to lose two of their closest friends when they start a new relationship.
Sad fact of life, isn’t it? You’d think your closest friends would be thrilled for you when you meet a great love?! But no – jealousy is indeed a curse.

female friendships, frenemies, toxic friendships
I interviewed a senior clinical psychologist, who wishes to remain anonymous, about this complex topic of toxic friends. Her insightful answers are below:

Q: Are there any warning signs for a toxic friendship?

A: Relationship experts define a toxic friendship as one which causes more hurt and pain than good. So, when the friendship is causing you to feel bad about yourself, guilty, miserable, used or any other of a possible range of negative emotions a good deal of the time, and these negative emotions outweigh the positive feelings you get from the friendship, then you are in a toxic friendship.

Some people have a talent for making themselves feel better by putting their friends down with criticism and cutting remarks. If you realise this bullying is happening to you, take some deep breaths and resolve to end it. No one can “make” you feel sad or depressed, it only happens with your cooperation. So, dig deep and find the strength to end the friendship!

Q: Why do our one-time BFFs sometimes become our mortal enemies?

A: Sometimes, a friendship starts off being pleasant and fulfilling, but over time it turns into something toxic. Why? It could be that one friend has been successful or had happiness come their way and the other has missed out and feels jealous and resentful. Or maybe one party feels superior due to their successes and starts to be condescending and contemptuous towards the friend they regard as less successful. Maybe one friend is miserable due to a failed relationship and wants to make others suffer too.

There are many possible reasons why are some friends so good for us at the start and then turn into our worst foes. You could try talking to your friend about what is happening and how you feel about their behaviour towards you. But the important thing to remember is you can’t change someone else, you can only change yourself. So, if you find yourself in this situation and your friend is not prepared to acknowledge or change the way they are treating you, walk away!

female friendships, frenemies, toxic friendships

Q: How do you combat a toxic friend?

A: If you discover that you are in a toxic friendship, my advice is to walk away. Trying to change the relationship for the better would be very difficult: both parties would need to recognise the need to behave differently and want to change – that’s unlikely.

Usually in a toxic friendship one party holds most of the power, the other party is the recipient of hurtful putdowns, cruel comments and/or manipulations. The powerful one won’t want to give up their power – it enhances their self-esteem and gives a sense of superiority. Why would they want to change that? If you are the injured party, cut your losses and walk away. Yes, you’ll feel lonely for a time but you’ll feel better about yourself knowing that you’ve had the strength to end the abuse. Instead, spend time with people whose company your enjoy and who you walk away from feeling happy.

Main image via forty2014.com; secondary image via en.wikipedia.org; third image via theberry.com and final image via www.pinterest.com.

September 18, 2015

Why Women In Their 40s Are Choosing To Be Single

I know a fair few women in their 40s and many are choosing to be single. Most have been in long term-relationships at one point in their lives, plus experienced a few short lived relationship disasters as well. Since becoming single these beautiful ladies have decided to stay that way and granted, it hasn’t always been easy – they’re a sexy vivacious lot! Women in their 40s seem to draw in men like bees to honey and the majority have been turning down eligible men in their droves.

RELATED Why Do Men Think Mature Women Are So Hot?

I wanted to know what was happening with their love lives, so I confronted three eligible single friends over 40 to ask why they’ve made a conscious choice to stay away from cupids arrow. Are they disillusioned with love? Is it their work or the pressures of caring for their family? Or is it that women in their 40s are wanting to experience some me time? You might be surprised at what I discovered.

Helen’s situation

I’ve known Helen for about 15 years and she has no intention of looking for love. Men aren’t even on her radar and she’s been single for well over a decade. Her case is quite unique to the other two because she once found the love of her life. He was a wonderful man, however he dealt with his demons for many years and tragically took his own life.

The fact that Helen was the one to find him has made this experience even more servere and painful for her. We’ve often spoken of relationships, and to this day, she still claims she’s in love with an angel. This always brings a tear to my eye. Understandably, looking for another man just isn’t on her agenda because her love for him is still as strong as it was when he was alive.

Kathy’s situation

Kathy, on the other hand, has been on a long crusade looking for that special someone and has just recently sworn off men. After a long-term relationship with the father of her children, she’s managed to enter one challenging relationship after another. Unfortunately, her quest to find a man who can match her strength, dedication, loyalty and commitment has been in vain.

It’s not all bad though. Kathy has only just discovered how incredibly independent she is. She refuses to ask for help, tries to conquer Mt Everest in a day and is passionate about the life she wants to live. For a man of 40 plus, this might be a little intimidating. She’s certainly not a meek and mild damsel in distress. “I’m Latin!” she told me proudly. “Yes, I get passionate about life, but passion is good!” she explained.

Kathy’s become disillusioned with love because the pain of break ups is finally wearing her down. After years of trying, and despite throwing her entire being into everything she does, finding a partner who is her equal just hasn’t come to fruition.

This is why she’s decided to go it alone in the future. Rather than wasting anymore time (her words, not mine) she’d much rather focus on other things in her life. For one, she wants a better job and can’t wait for grandkids to come along. Now she feels like she has the freedom to live life to the beat of her own drum and is ready for a solo adventure.

Fifi’s situation

Fifi has always been one of those women who had to be in a relationship no matter what. Long relationships, short ones, men, women; she’s had them all. Yet late last year she questioned why the heck she was doing this. She wasn’t happy, she was stressed all the time and the only period of a relationship she actually enjoyed was the first few months before the baggage of reality started to creep in.

So at the tender age of 45 she realised she wanted some time out by herself. Previously she’d never given herself time to heal and get over anyone, so all that heartache had been compounding from the time she was a teen. She desperately needed a period in her life that was just about doing what she wanted, and like Kathy, she realised the incredible feeling of freedom in which being single  provided.

Although these three women have all had a very different journey to becoming single, the end result is very similar. Each are happier being single for their own reasons. I’m sure if I questioned more single women in their 40s about why they are making this choice, each would have unique reasons. Overall it seems very much about being self aware of their needs and wants. Perhaps this time in a women’s life is about getting more me time after all.

Image via sheknows.com

July 2, 2015

Sex And The Single Gal: The Disappearing Man Act

Have you ever seriously dated a man and then – poof – just like magic, he literally disappeared?!

Welcome to the Mysterious Case of the Disappearing Man – a puzzling, astonishing, and infuriating phenomenon which often occurs in the dating game, whereby the man you’re knocking socks with will suddenly vanish off the face of the earth.

Related: Sex And The Single Gal: Why Flying Solo’s Good For You

It’s happened to me and it’s most likely happened to you, or at least to someone you know. For me, it was a suave, older businessman whom I’d been seriously dating for a few months, who appeared so keen on me he introduced me to both his mother and his teenage son. Long divorced, he seemed like a good guy and eventually wined, dined and seduced me with gusto after we first met at a bar.

He pursued me – not the other way around – and on the day he vanished, he’d even made dinner plans with me, right down to the time he was going to pick me up to head out to a restaurant. When he didn’t show, I rang him on his mobile, genuinely concerned for his welfare.

And after leaving several messages for him – all of which were unreturned – it dawned on me the next day that, shockingly, the dude had disappeared on me.

What a gutless wonder?! Instead of having the balls to tell me he was unhappy, or wasn’t feeling it – anything, something – he’d pulled a vanishing act.

relationships, dating, emotional honesty

Now, when this maddening situation happens to you, you may be inclined – as I was – to over-analyse every detail of your last meeting and/or both yours and his behaviour for clues as to why he did the “Harry Holt”.

Don’t, sister, just don’t – who knows what was going on inside this coward’s head and why? And, even more the point – who the hell cares? The fact of the matter is he’s gone, so dry your tears and get on with the business of being fabulous – at least, that’s my advice.

For, from my experience, you really really don’t want to spend any time pining after or grieving the loss of a man whose cowardice will ultimately be his own undoing. So, let the Houdini disappear and inwardly thank both him, and the universe, for his exit from your life, even if it was painfully undignified. For if he can’t behave like a grown man, and treat you with the respect and emotional honesty you deserve, he ain’t the man for you!

And down the track, you will most likely see the funny side of the situation and happily regale friends with the full story. Hell, I’m actually fairly convinced I may have been a “beard” for my Houdini – his mother was very taken with me, way more than him, clearly! Ha!

relationships, dating, emotional honesty

Relationship experts say it’s worthwhile taking some time out from the dating scene – even fleetingly – to get your mojo back after you’ve been crushed by a disappearing bastardo.

Another key piece of relationship advice on combating wounds caused by  emotionally bankrupt Houdinis is to stay as humanly busy as possible and focus on your loved ones, work and most importantly, yourself.

Take up a new exercise class, or pursue a new passion – most of all, do not chase or stalk, via social media, this cretinous human who deemed you unworthy of both his time and a dignified break-up.

You’re way too fabulous for that, girlfriend! Instead, you can look forward with hope to meeting someone amazing and worthy of you with the heart of a lion, not a mouse.

Here endeth the rant.

Main image via giftsofhisglory.com, secondary image via thisisdesignondesign.blogspot and final image via lacherinsurance.com.

June 17, 2015

Vagina Vs Brain: Why First-Date Sex Rocks

You’ve been happily single, but sexually starved for what feels like forever – then, bam! You meet a partner who ignites your passion, excites your mind and, even better, he’s just as enamoured with you.

RELATED: Fifty Shades Of Grey Sex Balls: Fact Vs Fiction

Indeed, your connection is so strong, you feel as though you’ve known each other for years and you can barely keep your hands off each other. In the age-old battle between vagina Vs brain: which should win? Should you have first-date sex or wait it out, lest he’s only interested in one thing?

For centuries, women’s sexuality has been strictly controlled, reined in and frowned upon. Young men are encouraged to “sew their wild oats”, while we women are instead traditionally taught to behave like ladies and learn to suppress and overrule our perfectly normal wanton desires, lest men view us as immoral and promiscuous.

Well, I say to the hell with that! I was always more team Samantha (pictured) than team Carrie in Sex and the City, with the much more neurotic latter famously never having first-date sex – until she met Mr. Big, that is. Samantha, by contrast, always seemed a lot happier.

And as Samantha once quipped, in reference to the archaic views in 1995 self-help dating book, The Rules: Time-tested Secrets for Capturing the Heart of Mr. Right: “The women who wrote that book, they wrote it because they couldn’t get laid. So they constructed this whole bullshit theory to make women who can get laid feel bad.”

sex, single, solo, self-esteem, young women, love, dating

Amen! And that’s the thing, why should women alone bear shame for having first-date sex? Doesn’t it take two to tango?

I say don’t buy into the sexist bullshit that decrees women are somehow unworthy if you do decide to have sex on the first date. And I’m not saying leave your brain at home – always make sure it’s safe sex, in a secure situation, on your own terms – but let’s take the humiliation and indignity out of the equation.

Women who do have first-date sex are not sluts (oh, how I hate that word – where is the male equiavalent?!) and supposed “walk of shame” be damned! What’s more, if you do get busy on the first date with a new man, and he never calls you back the next day and/or goes AWOL, isn’t that a true blessing?

You’ve dodged a bullet, sister; he’s nowhere near good enough for you. Let him, and his backward, sexist views, not even be a tiny speck in your universe.

sextoysforcouples

And here’s the big thing ladies: if you’re fortunate enough to meet the love of your life, does it really matter when you actually do the deed? I highly doubt it: if it’s the right person, it all falls into place, in the blink of an eye.

Confession time: My husband and I had sex on our third date, over a three-week period, and it was amazing. But I fancied the pants off him right away and would have happily had sex sooner, if circumstances permitted.

After a string of dating disasters, including a crazy stalker, I’d insisted on public dates with him for safety reasons and it wasn’t until our third date that I took him back to my place.

But even if we had have had first-date sex, I firmly believe we’d still be together to this day, seven years after meeting at a live music venue. I think we were always destined to get married and have babies, regardless of when we did the deed.

So, I believe if you set yourself a rigid set of dating rules – like only having sex on the third date, for example, you’re just cheating yourself out of a lot of laughs, good times, life lessons and a hell of a lot of orgasms.

I really think you have to judge when you have sex with a new partner on how you feel, at the time. So, maybe it’s really a case of heart + vagina overrules head?

first-date sex, sex advice, casual sex, relationship advice

Leading Australian sexologist Dr Nikki Goldstein, herself a sexy, young singleton, agrees there shouldn’t be set rules when it comes to the exact right time to have sex with a new partner.
“I think you have to assess each situation and be aware of the consequences,” she says. “He may be testing you to see if you are relationship material ala the Madonna-whore complex. You might then find the relationship slipping into a booty call/casual hook-up rather than a relationship.

“And then another consequence of first-date sex might be the classic he-never-calls-you-back post-sex because he’s got what he wanted.

“It’s a difficult one – but you don’t want to be with a man who judges you. Just bear in mind some guys are really old-fashioned at heart and would be put off by a girl who was up for sex on the first date.”

But Dr Nikki is quick to point out that sometimes first-date sex can be magical and lead to a relationship, despite the supposed risks. “I’ve got friends who’ve waited and friends who are happily married who had sex on their very first date,” she says. “If it’s right – if there’s a real connection – it doesn’t really matter when you have sex.

“Sometimes, women can feel enough connection and spark that you want to have first-date sex.

“There is nothing wrong with a girl who feels comfortable enough in her own skin to have sex on the first date –  as long as it’s for the right reasons and not as a self-esteem boost.

“Women are just as sexual (if not more) than men – it’s just that society encourages them to inhibit and hide their sexual desires.”

Is-your-sex-life-all-about-orgasms

However, Dr Nikki also advises that sometimes sex can be even more mind-blowing after intimacy has been pre-established. “Sex is often better when it’s something to look forward to,” she says. “You could try establishing an emotional connection first – it’s a hard one – a balancing act.”

For more information on Dr Goldstein, visit drnikki.com.au.

What do you think? Does first-date sex blow your hair back?

Main image via www.stephanspeaks.com; secondary image via www.fanpop.com and cartoon via www.someecards.com. Other images supplied

 

February 6, 2015

Is Friendship A Higher Form Of Love?

It’s been said that friendship is a higher form of love than romantic attachments; in its purest form, platonic friendship is unconditional love, unhampered by the complications of sex or monetary arrangements.

And long-term female friendships, in all their complex glory, can be extremely rewarding and joyful when they work –like the glue that holds you together.

RELATED: Friends Are Like Lovers – Minus The Smarts And Looks

Conversely, when they fall apart, a best friend break-up can be extremely gutting and heartbreaking – indeed almost as painful as a divorce between opposite sexes (or so I imagine).

Arguably no other TV show before groundbreaking 90s’ hit Sex and the City (pictured) came even close to demonstrating this depth and complexity of female friendships.

Of course, the much-loved TV hit which so beautifully chartered neurotic sex columnist Carrie Bradshaw’s loves, friendships and shoe fetishes in New York, did glorify female friendships. You so related to Carrie, Samantha, Charlotte and Miranda’s many wondrous highs and lows in love, sex and careers that you felt like you knew them, or indeed that they became a part of you.

But SATC’s genius was also in its ability to reflect the real-life dark side of female friendships as well: the toxic, soul-destroying friendships which crush your spirit.

BFFs, female friendships, Sex and the City
Like most of us, I’ve experienced both the highs and lows of female friendships, but am happy to say my BFF and I have been firm friends for almost 20 years. Our 20th friendship anniversary in 2015 will no doubt be marked with more than a few wines and much happy reminiscing.

We met at a local newspaper and it was so long ago, I can’t even recall how our friendship first developed, only that we quickly became immersed in each other’s lives and barely ever went a day without speaking.

Jen is six years older than me, but our birth dates are a day apart, and somehow – despite our emotional, fiery Gemini temperaments – we’ve remained loyal, honest and trusted friends through thick and thin; BFFs despite many highs and lows and both lengthy interstate and overseas adventures apart.

Aside from one dark and thankfully short-lived period, years ago, when we were at war over something stupid (I forget what), Jen has always been my best confidante. She lifts my spirits and makes me laugh like no other and I’ve come to rely on her brutal honesty and amazing strength.

She’s at once tough as a CEO and soft as a marshmallow and an amazingly accomplished career woman and mother of three. Just like a sister from another mother, she is the one person whom I’ll really listen to at times, one of the few people I can always rely on for sane advice, wise counsel and tough love, if I need it.

Many men have come and gone in our lives, until we both, purely coincidentally, met and married men both called Marty! And prior to that, when I was single and despairing that I’d never have a baby, let alone fall in love with the right kind of man, Jen was always there saying: “I know you will. Keep the faith, sister,” and so I always did.

When I had also lost faith and confidence in my career at one stage, she was also instrumental in giving me the boost I needed to apply – and get – that shit-hot job in my 20s.

We’ve joyfully danced at each other’s weddings (see below); grieved each other’s losses; ecstatically celebrated each other’s career wins and toasted champagne following each other’s safe and healthy childbirths.

There’s no high or low I haven’t experienced with my BFF and I hope we are fortunate enough to grow old together.

What’s the secret to a great, long-lasting friendship? I’m no expert, but brutal honesty and unconditional love goes a long way, I reckon, as in our case: knowing someone inside out, warts and all, and still wanting to hang out with them all the time anyway.

What do you think? Is your BFF one of the most important people in your life too?

Images via www.episodegenerator.com and geniusquotes.org.

BFFs, female friendships, Sex and the City

January 7, 2015

Simple Tips For Better Sex

Has your love life been a bit lacklustre lately? Perhaps it has nothing to do with your moves in the bedroom. No need to jump to threesomes, role playing or sex toys to spice up your sex life (yet). Sometimes, the answer is easier than you think. Here are some exercises you can practice on your own that will ultimately lead to more fulfilling sex.

RELATED: Faking it – Why it’s never ok to fake an orgasm

1. Breathe

Most people aren’t breathing correctly during sex. Remember, reaching orgasm and feeling sensation is all about blood flow. What helps your circulation? Oxygen! Just like during a workout, you need to breathe deep to get your blood pumping. It can also help improve your stamina and help relax your mind – and we all know relaxation is the key to great orgasms.

2. Workout

Good fitness and flexibility will optimize your sexual experience. Improve your stamina to continue for longer, lift your legs and stretch your back with ease, and up your strength to hold your (or maybe his) body weight. But it’s not only your legs, arms and core that could do with a workout. Have you been doing your kegel exercises?

3. Study

Get inspired by viewing or reading erotic films or literature. No, we’re not talking about porn. While pornography can help some people gather a sense of what terms them on, it must be remembered that, while porn scenarios are explicit and portrayed as real – they are, in fact, fake. The people are actors, their relations are fictional. Just because the people look like they are enjoying themselves, keep in mind that they are paid to look like that. You don’t have to enjoy what they enjoy, you don’t have to look like they look. Because of its visual potency and unrealistic representation of sex, porn can actually inhibit your ability to enjoy the real deal. Try expanding your points of sexual comparison by reading an erotic novel or seeing an arthouse film to free your imagination and get you in the mood.

September 27, 2014

Being Single and loving it!

Get On With It – learn stuff!

Savvy single Sue Ostler, author of solo-chick?s handbook Get On With It chatted with SheSaid about the joys of being single!Are you happily single at the moment?

Yes. It?s a work in progress. It?s something that I probably don?t get that much time to think about because I?m a person who, when I?m not working on my work outside of work, I?m doing the stuff I love ? it?s movies, it?s bands? I just recently did a scriptwriting course at AFTRS (Australian Film, Television and Radio School) a 6-week part-time thing. I?m always off to Melbourne to hang out with friends and stuff, I?ve got such a full life that it would never really occur to me to go out and try to meet someone. But inevitably, every time I do step out the door I meet someone!

It?s just amazing how many new friends and how many male friends you accumulate when you?re totally busy and active and interested and therefore interesting. Madonna?s motto is ?Be interested and become interesting? and I really agree with that.

What?s the best thing about being single?

I just reckon the sheer indulgence of it, the indulgence of getting the most out of your career potential, the indulgence of making your own financial decisions. But really the social thing is a huge one, because you can just indulge at your own whim. It doesn?t matter how ?on the nose? your interests are, you can do them until the cows come home. It doesn?t really matter if it?s doing stuff at home like daggy crafty stuff, which can be very soul nourishing or you have the time to do weekend seminars or weekend workshops because you don?t have anyone pining and wanting your time.

For me personally, part-time study is a big thing, and in my case, career ? having the time to develop a side career, which in my case was writing books. I wouldn?t have had the time if Mr Man was hanging around.

And what?s next for the ultimate single chick?

The third book in the series is about hanging on to the independence and the freedom and the guidelines that you cultivated while you were single and applying them to a relationship so that when Mr Right comes along, you don?t just throw it all in. It?s about getting some discipline with your time and your interests and treating it, not as ?Oh, I?m doing this now while I?m single? but as kind of a long-term investment in yourself.

It?s going to be called Get It On and it?s really for the girl that finds herself back involved, who has possibly lost her familiarity with romantic etiquette and isn?t quite sure how a relationship is going to fit in with her friends, with her hectic social life? How do you hold on to your own identity, your own independence, your own friends and make time for their friends?

To find out how, keep your eyes peeled for Get It On or check out Sue?s web site www.sueostler.com for more info about her books, Q & As and interesting facts about being single!

Get On With It is a smart, savvy guide to making the most of your time as a Singleton. Packed with interesting, thought-provoking and dare we say, life-changing stuff to help you on your path towards a balanced, independent and interesting life. Have a ball, make new friends, do stuff with your friends, family and most importantly, for yourself! Enjoy your self!

Buy Get On With It from the SheSaid Bookshop.

August 6, 2002