8 Signs You Need To Take A Break From Dating, Like, Immediately

Stop kissing every frog, hoping he’s a prince. 

May 9, 2017

What Stormchasing Taught Me About Looking For Love

Lightning is always striking somewhere.

March 15, 2017

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

14 Things I Believed In My 20s That Are No Longer True

It’s never been more obvious that with age comes wisdom…

February 23, 2016

18 Struggles That Are Too Real For Single People

No, I don’t want you to ‘fix me up’.

January 11, 2016

Why I Hate Relationships And Love Singledom

There’s nothing worse than driving the safe road because you’re afraid of the one less traveled. 

October 16, 2015

Sex And The Single Girl: Singleton Sanity Savers

“You shouldn’t have to sacrifice who you are just because somebody else has a problem with it” – Carrie Bradshaw.

Sassy, smart, beautiful, single women, one and all: stand tall! Are you feeling plagued by the pressure to constantly explain why you’re flying solo? This is a very common complaint from single women I know. Indeed, when I was single, I too felt hassled by the need to incessantly justify why I was unattached, whether it be to a colleague, family member or a friend. Even perfect strangers at social occasions will have no qualms about asking you, in full condescending tone: “So, why are you still single?”

Being single is a powerful, positive choice for many women – after all, there ain’t no better time to find out what you want in life and in a partner, than when you have to stand on your own two feet and learn to like your own company. Leading Australian sexologist Dr Nikki Goldstein, 28, who is happily single herself, says she’s often forced to defend her singleton status.

“There are so many positives in my life to being single in my 20s, but people still comment negatively on it all the time,” Dr Goldstein says. “Women should never be ashamed to be single. It can be a very positive choice – you do not need to be loved by someone to have high self-esteem.” But how do you stay sane as a singleton, no matter whether you’re happily dating or not, when rogue relatives/colleagues/strangers are killing your buzz?

Short of telling said nosey, conservative types you’re batting for the other team (not that there’s anything wrong with that) in a bid to silence and/or shock them, you may want to try these quick and easy Singleton Sanity Savers:

Quote marriage stats: Make the Australian Bureau of Statistics your friend. The next time sleazy, old Uncle Graham asks you why you’re still single, try boring him senseless with endless divorce statistics. For example, “Did you know, Uncle G (insert relative name here), that approximately one in three first marriages end in divorce? And, in 2012, there were 49,917 divorces granted in Australia; that’s a two per cent increase compared to 2011?”

Turn the tables: This was a personal favourite of mine, when single – the next time some smug married (may I never be one of those) asks you why you aren’t married and knocked up, ask them loudly and pointedly to the point of rudeness: “How’s your love-life? Had much hot sex lately?” That should do the trick quite nicely.

Tell tall stories: Climbed Mt Everest lately? Travelled to the Valley of the Kings and Queens in Egypt? Been parasailing, paragliding or skydiving? If you answered no to these questions, fret not – life can be a grand adventure when single, and chances are, the person giving you a hard time about your lifestyle choice will be jealous of all your free time, no matter whether you put it to good use exploring the Seven Wonders of the World. So, exploit this by telling tall tales about what you got up to on the weekend and your exciting plans for the future.

Images via

September 21, 2015

The Auspicious Aversion To Relationships

The value women place on relationships tends to vary. I don’t have a boyfriend. I’ve never had one. But i’m entirely cool with that. I’m the first to admit that I’m a driven, self-absorbed person. I’ve always got three or four projects on the go and the centrepiece is always me. There’s not much room in my life for anyone else, so I’m generally bent on a fly-by-night romance rather than a relationship. That’s fine. That’s how I like it. That, to me, feels normal.

RELATED: Getting Over A Break Up

But I know lots of women who are in one relationship after another after another. When they’re not, they lament the lack of a man in their lives until the next one comes along. I don’t understand it. How can these intelligent, talented, switched on girls be so governed by the presence or absence of a partner? Women who have their own lives, careers, stories and are still not satisfied? Really?

I’m not here to judge, but I’ve always wondered why these women are so willing to put themselves through the anxiety of one relationship, let alone multiple relationships, in their 20’s. I’m very good at mopping up the mess after their latest break-ups. It’s psychological torture to watch them suffer. But when the next fella comes a-knockin’, it’s like the past never happened and the cycle starts again.

What?! In my early 20’s, I’ll admit I thought these girls were somewhat…lacking. I was perfectly satisfied without a relationship. However, over the last couple of years, I’ve been examining my mindset. It appears that the majority of the population craves some sort of romantic partnership at some point. Regardless of the complications, frustrations and paranoia, the happy parts are seemingly worth it. Perhaps that’s why people look at me strangely when I tell them, “I don’t do boyfriends.”

I will admit that sometimes, when I see couples walking down the street, I get a warm, fuzzy feeling. I may even feel a pang of jealousy. But I don’t need to indulge that. I saunter past and make eyes at the next cute guy I see, my primal instinct sufficiently quashed. The problem is I’ve started to wonder whether I ignore this primal instinct because I want to, or because it’s not part of my ‘image’. Worst of all; I’ve started to feel guilty about it.

I’m aware that there are other women with the same attitude, but by and large, most of my female friends are at least open to having a relationship. This, contrary to what I used to believe, makes me the weird one. By all good reasoning; I am the one who is lacking. But lacking what? The ability to open up? This isn’t true. The ability to relate to people? Definitely not. Maybe I lack the ability to embrace change. I really don’t have the answer yet. At this point in time, I’m pretty set in my ways when it comes to the concept of coupling. However, when I observe the euphoric highs of my boyfriend-ed up buddies (when the going’s good) and the iron-bound love my parents have for each other, I know I’m missing something.

I’ll probably be that clichéd alpha-female who is swept off her feet by the right guy. If that happens tomorrow, or in 10 years, well, I’m open to it. But for the time being, I’m happy to be accountable to nobody, and indulge numerous outrageous flings. It suits me. So to other women who don’t like the idea of partner-dom; you’re not alone, you’re not a freak and you shouldn’t feel bad about it. The time for relationships will come, but maybe it’s just not right now.

Image via

August 18, 2015

10 Amazing Things To Do As A Singleton Over Christmas

Being single over Christmas isn’t necessarily a bad thing. All that free time, all those parties… In fact Christmas is a fantastic time of year for singletons! Here are 10 amazing things you can do to really enjoy the festive season…

Speed dating

If you are looking to meet someone, there are plenty of speed dating events going on around this time of year. If you do meet someone then you have a whole range of parties and activities to choose from when it comes to that second date.

Cocktail master class

Something to do alone or with friends, this is a great way to get into the festive spirit. Try making eggnog, mulled cider or perhaps even Buck’s Fizz with a hint of rum. You won’t struggle to find cocktail classes in your area, or you could just set up your own cocktail session in your kitchen with a couple of your best friends.


Either log online to Mecca Bingo or get yourself to a bingo hall. It’s a great chance to make friends, have fun and perhaps even win a little money.

Dinner with friends

A quiet dinner with friends can be the perfect time to catch up, exchange gifts and have a laugh. Give yourself plenty of time to do this over the Christmas period as this time of the year is exactly when you should be thankful for family and friends.

Movie and popcorn

Whether it’s alone, with family or with friends, take some time out to watch a movie. It might be a Christmas favourite such as Love Actually or it might be a must-see blockbuster. Whatever you choose, make sure you’re fully stocked up on drinks and sweets before settling down


Homemade gifts are the best kind so take some time to bake during the festive period. Baked goodies can be handed out to friends, family and colleagues or they can simply be enjoyed at home. Try cinnamon cookies, peppermint cremes and mince pies.


A brisk winter walk does wonders for your health. Not only will it get your heart pumping but is a great way to keep on top of all those extra calories you’ll probably eat over the Christmas period.

Take up a new hobby

Use your time off this Christmas to take up a new hobby. Perhaps it’s time to try ice skating or maybe you want to attempt knitting a new scarf. Whatever you choose, dedicate some time to your new found hobby and have fun while you learn a new skill.


Always wanted to write that novel or work on your autobiography? Now is the time. Spend at least 20 minutes every morning writing. Even if you don’t have any concrete ideas, just taking some time to let your creative juices flow can really spark some ideas.

Go on holiday

With no family ties, you can get away with travelling at Christmas more than you might be able to if you had a partner and kids to consider. Jet off somewhere sunny and spend Christmas Day soaking up rays by a pool or on the beach. There are plenty of places to choose from but the Caribbean is particularly good at this time of the year.

As you can see, there’s plenty to do as a singleton over the Christmas period.

December 18, 2014

Big Vs Aidan: Are You Dating The Wrong Type Of Man?

Did you, like me, ever want to slap Carrie in Sex and the City for choosing commitment-phobic, rich “suit” Mr. Big over artistic, soulful, hard-working and downright sexy carpenter Aidan? Look, if you’re Team Mr. Big, from the iconic American TV series, power to you sister. I get his appeal – he’s suave, broody, powerful, rich and attractive. But, let’s face it – dude had a pretty ugly heart and it took him AGES to commit.

By stark contrast, Aidan was the marrying kind – even if Carrie really didn’t truly love him (stupid Carrie!) – he was warm, loyal and would have offered her sensitivity, passion, and a stable home and children (pictured below), if indeed she decided she ever wanted the latter.

And while it’s been a decade since HBO’s beloved series went off the air, and word is still out on whether there will be a third Sex and the City movie, I still think the Mr. Big Vs Aidan argument is highly relevant to today’s dating woman.

For, as single women, we’re often conditioned into thinking who we should date – based on status or looks – rather than who would actually be good and right for us as life partners. Are you dating the wrong type of man? Case in point: growing up, I met many girls who “only dated white collar”.

Did this rigid and uncompromising dating rule ultimately work out for a lot of them? No.

Love comes in all shapes and sizes and by cutting yourself off from dating someone who doesn’t necessarily fit into the classic, perfect Mr. Big-type mould you could be denying yourself someone imperfectly perfect, who could well be the love of your life.

When I met my future husband, he was anything but the “IT guy” mould I’d been guilty myself of dating in the past. And it was imperfectly perfect from the start – this gorgeous, soulful professional musician had the emotional and spiritual depth I’d really been missing from my previous relationships. And there were no Mr. Big type cat-and-mouse games for a change – just emotional honesty and openness, ala Aidan.

Relationship counsellors advise women to think about the core values and attributes that you are looking for in a partner – such as honesty, kindness and a sense of humour. These are the most important factors to focus on. Other factors like a high income, job status and a man’s level of education are part of the equation, but much less important.

love, modern-day dating, single

After all, clearly a relationship is not going to work if you choose to be with someone because of their status and ignore the fact that the person is not a kind, thoughtful, decent human being. Focussing on status and income above all else might cause you to miss out on someone who would be perfect for you in terms of both personality and character.

What do you think? Are you Team Mr Big or Team Aidan?

Main image via and secondary image via

August 31, 2014

Sex And The Single Girl: Dating Red Cards

It’s a jungle out there! Modern-day dating can be a wonderful time of fun, self discovery and love/lust but also a baffling, upsetting and bloody strange experience. In the spirit of the World Cup 2014, here are some dating “red cards” which should equal automatic send-off. No ifs and buts, ladies, send the bastardo walking! There a lot of good men out there who are actually worthy of your precious time and attention – go find them, and stop knocking socks with Mr Wrong.

Disappearing act: If the man you’re dating suddenly goes AWOL, sorry to be the one to tell you sister: He’s more than likely done a runner. And lucky you really, because why the hell would you want him now anyway? If he can’t show you the simple courtesy of a phone call or text to let you know he’s just not that into you, feel sorry for the rude bastard, for his poor communication skills and cowardice will ultimately be his own undoing.

Opening the X-Files: This is an automatic red card in my book – if his ex is still very much on the scene, get out of there as fast as your heels will allow. How can your relationship flourish if he’s still living in the past? You are the future, girlfriend, and ain’t nobody got time for that disrespectful BS. Find a man whose emotional baggage is more akin to the size of a Chanel clutch than an entire Louis Vuitton luggage collection. Abort!

No marriage/kids: If the man you’re dating openly declares he has no desire to get married and/or kids, and this is something you want for your future, red card him, NOW. No one can predict the future but don’t waste your precious time with someone who doesn’t even want the same things as you. Lots of men do want marriage/kids – don’t try to force a man to the altar. If the dude you’re dating looks as though he may vomit when you raise the marriage/kids topic six months into a relationship – it’s time to kick him to the curb.

Doesn’t do exclusive: If the man you’re playing the blanket monster with wants to “see other people” on your time, and you want a relationship, red card him! To me, the phrase: “I think we should see other people” is a more dishonest/less direct way of him saying: “I don’t love you and/or respect you enough to be exclusive”. Abort, abort, abort! And say it with me, and to him: “I don’t like to share!” After all, you deserve a bloke who’s so into you, and you alone, that he wants nothing more than to come home to you every night. 

Emotional train wreck: Bullying, be it in the workplace, school yard or relationships is so not on. And it is especially not to be tolerated by the man in your bed. If the guy you’re dating starts to emotionally abuse/manipulate and/or dictate to you what clothes you can wear, foods you can eat and which friends you can hang out with, red card him so fast you give him a nose bleed! You are not his counsellor – let him sort out his mummy/daddy/self-esteem issues on his own time. Red card!

Author’s note: I dated a LOT of these Very Bad Men myself in my 20s/30s until I met my husband at 34. Don’t lose hope – hang in there sister – the right guy is trying hard to find you, too. 

By Nicole Carrington-Sima


June 21, 2014

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

When Sex and the City sexpot Samantha Jones broke up with her hot lover, Smith, with these immortal words: “I love you, but I love me more,” she took one giant step for womanhood in how single women were portrayed in popular culture. For the fictional character Samantha (Kim Cattral) reflected what we smart, sassy women in real life have known all along: being single can be a positive choice; it is far better to be alone than stay in an unhealthy relationship with Mr Wrong.

What young, single woman wants to be spending their valuable time with a partner who doesn’t blow their socks off? Yet, for many women, being single can still attract a lot of negative stereotypical nonsense from our families and our peers. Indeed, society as a whole still tends to view single women as repellent and abnormal. Leading Australian sexologist Dr Nikki Goldstein, 28, who is happily single herself, puts this down to the fact that singletons challenge the status quo.

“There are so many positives in my life to being single in my 20s, but people still comment negatively on it all the time,” Dr Goldstein says. “There is still a real social stigma that women of a certain age should be married and have kids. There’s a question of ‘what’s wrong with you’ if you are single. ‘Are you too high maintenance, do you put your job priority No.1?’

“We as a society still have a very old-fashioned procreation model of sex. Why can’t a single woman be happy?! No one encourages women to do what men do, such as masturbate – it challenges men’s masculinity too much. A lot of men want women who are needy because they have self-esteem issues.”

So, how do the increasing numbers of single women challenge these outdated societal views? And how do women raise their daughters to be out and proud when it comes to being single? Teach them while they’re young, says Dr Goldstein. “When you go through high school, when a guy is interested in you, we’re taught that this makes you a better, more valuable person,” she says. “The risk here, is that women go from one relationship to the next – that’s dangerous when you never develop a sense of self-worth and independence; that’s when co-dependency can become a real issue.

“I don’t think women should be single forever, but it’s so important to figure out who you are and stand on your own two feet. Parents should be actively encouraging this, with their daughters. Women should never be ashamed to be single. It can be a very positive choice – you do not need to be loved by someone to have high self-esteem.”

And one of the greatest joys of being single – aside from not being bored senseless and treated badly by some dimwit – has got to be the chance to develop confidence, inner beauty, fulfilment and self-worth that’s bound to be appealing to the right kind of man you want to attract. “You have to try meeting lots of different men to find out what you want,” Dr Goldstein says, “I like to liken it to eating at a smorgasbord – trying lots of new and interesting options is good for you.

“Experience and knowledge is sexy! And it’s certainly preferable to getting married young and waking up 15 years down the track and saying to your partner: ‘I don’t want to be with you’.”

Image via

By Nicole Carrington-Sima

June 4, 2014

No action for Angelina!

No action for Angelina!

You would think Angelina Jolie, the woman with illegal amounts of sex appeal, would be turning men away in droves – especially since she and kooky husband Billy Bob Thornton split over a year. But not so, according to the kick-arse star who is soon returning to the big screen as Lara Croft in Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life. The sultry star recently confessed to US talk show host Jay Leno on The Tonight Show that not only is she currently single, but that she hasn?t dated anyone all year! (Thank goodness, those Nic Cage rumours were pure Hollywood fabrication!) “I haven’t had sex for over a year,” she told Leno. “It’s horrible. God help the next person,? the star quipped, revealing that while she is looking forward to her next romantic encounter, she is more than happy being Mum to little Maddox for the time being. Awww.

Justin needs Mummy?s approval

Seems like Justin Timberlake still needs his mummy?s approval when it comes to affairs of the heart. As things heat up with Cameron Diaz, the rumour mills have gone into overdrive, claiming that Justin is so in love with his new gal pal, he’s even flown his mother from her south Tennessee home all the way to Florida just to meet Diaz. A source close to Timberlake told reporters, “This is an official ‘meet the parents’ summit, Justin’s been telling his pals that Cameron’s the one – he wants to make sure he goes about everything the right way.”

The two stars have been seen out and about quite a lot recently, and just last week the two were spotted at the trendy nightclub called Opium and one fellow clubber told the Daily Star, “Cameron was all over him. She was hanging off his shoulder as he ate. They were very touchy-feely.” Another source who apparently spotted the two lovebirds at the Mint Lounge said, “Justin showed up the other night with Cameron. They had around 20 people fussing over them and he stayed dancing with Cameron until late.” Sounds like a match made in disco heaven, right? Yes, but just to stir the pot a little more, there have been conflicting reports of Diaz being seen out with old flame Jared Leto. Could they just be good friends these days? Maybe. Maybe not!

Mini Me to Marry

Could be that opposites attract really do attract. Standing tall at two-foot 8-inch Goldmember star Verne ?Mini Me? Troyer has announced that he is about to get hitched – to his 29 year old girlfriend. No biggie there, but hang on a sec – Troyer?s girlfriend is 6-foot-2 yoga instructor Genevieve Gallen! Could it be? The ceremony is expected to take place sometime in November. Congrats to the odd (but happy) couple!

Charlie?s Angel star reveals all

Drew Barrymore has confirmed what has long been suspected, she likes both men and women. The Charlie?s Angel?s star has revealed that she is indeed bisexual ?Do I like women sexually? Yeah I do? she said. Totally. I have always considered myself bisexual?.

Thanks for sharing Drew!

July 29, 2003

How Breaking up is hard particularly over Festive Season (contd)


If you’re the shy, non-partying type (that is, unlikely to pick up a total stranger at a party) taking Mr.CuteSmile along to the never-ending round of Christmas drinkies may be a good idea. He will provide the perfect escape route when the boss’s wife (or even worse, his mother) corners you with her riveting thoughts on why the rain last month ruined her rose garden. And you’ll save money on cab rides home – just make him the designated driver.If your boy’s a big spender then it may serve you well to keep him during this important gift-giving season. Especially if he’s been hinting at buying you that wildly expensive Sony stereo you’ve been lusting over. Make sure he throws in a few CDs too, though.

You’ve most likely already booked your Xmas holiday to Bali together so dropping him now could incur a hefty cancellation charge. Plus you’ll have to go on the trip by yourself, which depending on your capacity to flirt, may or may not be a good thing. And it’s probably too late to book a spot on the trip to Fiji with your single friends.

Depending on how enthralled you were with MrCuteSmile (i.e. to what extent you ditched your girlfriends to see him), you may need a bit of extra time up your sleeve to patch up some friendships and re-aquaint yourself with old friends before you enter the lonely life of singlehood. Start treating all of your friends (i.e., calling them twice a day) in exactly the same way you did when you were single. Immediately.

If you have nothing planned for New Year’s Eve, then keep him. There’s nothing worse than having no one to pash during the Happy New Year cheer.

December 2, 2000

How do men deal with a broken heart

There’s nothing like a friend with a broken heart to make you feel good about yourself says our guy columnist Gus.

Not only does it give you the opportunity to don that favourite of hats, “the good friend”, but suddenly your own train wreck of a love life begins to look, by contrast, to be the work of some genius master-plan. You find yourself with an odd mixture of sympathy and self-satisfaction, trying to find a bright side you can tell your mate.

From your point of view, of course, the bright side is that it isn’t happening to you. Like that warm, guilty glow you get from the passenger seat of a drink-drive bust, you know that there is one big factor that could have made this situation a hell of a lot worse. It’s enough to put you in a damned good mood… which mightn’t be exactly the appropriate response. So you chuck on a sympathetic face and spring into action.

A wise man once gave me some sound advice. When dealing with a friend’s heartache, there are two courses of action: if it’s a man take him drinking; if it’s a woman take her shopping. To that I can only add that the shopping seems to be of most benefit when it is in the field of accessories. Nothing blunts a woman’s pain like shoes or handbags, especially if you’re flush enough to shout.

The tricky area here, as you know, is with a friend of the opposite sex and whether you sleep with them or not. As I started writing this line I fully intended to take a strong negative stance on this, but in the time it has taken to type it I have come up with a couple of insurmountable exceptions: 1) this person is attractive to you, 2) this person’s ex is an enemy, 3) this person is me, etc…..It, um, might be worth your while to get a second opinion on this. I sometimes have a little trouble with the moral issues.

At some stage, you are going to have to release the subject back into the wild. This can be very confronting for them. After 2 months of bar-flying with a recently divorced friend, I suggested that perhaps he should be looking for female company. His voice got all panicky, “Are you kidding? My last date was so long ago the only tactic around was to get her as drunk as possible!” (Ahh…plus a change…) He brightened up no end when I told him the good news.

The fact is that they will fight against being a regular single again. On this issue you must be firm. Sell ’em hard on the independence angle. Agree (very carefully) that their ex was a bitch/prick. Wax lyrical on the kooky fun of first dates.

And wallow in the hot shame of your schadenfreude.

Looking for love? Check out Oasis Dating and chat to thousands of single guys. It’s free!

July 3, 2000

The Aussie girl on tour!

Let me tell you about my friend Pete. Many years ago we shared an apartment in New York. Pete’s a huge man from the South with a personality and appetites to match his size. Enormous capacity for a night out. Loves women.Naturally, these days whenever someone asks me for a contact in Manhattan, I send them to Pete. It’s a guaranteed winner. The guys always come back with lurid tales of night on the town. The girls always come back with a smile.

It’s been a happy little set-up, not least of all for Pete. Until the day I got the phone call. “You guys have got it made,” he bellowed. “Those Aussie chicks are fantastic!” Well sure, says I, love to laugh, game for anything, go drink for drink with the best of ’em, and so on – when Pete broke in, “Yeah, that stuff, I guess … but I mean their attitude to sex. It’s incredible. They’re like guys! I’ve booked my flight . Be there for two weeks. I can’t wait!”

Riiiight… guys. Something told me this wasn’t going to be pretty.

You know what happened next. The easiest way to strike out with a woman is to let her know you think she’s a sure thing. Pete hit on everything in a skirt and everything in a skirt blew him off with a ferocity that was startling to witness. The poor bastard couldn’t even get anywhere with the sorts he’d met in New York. He was promptly unmasked as a “roil sloize” (and a bloody Yank what’s more) and went home totally crestfallen and more than a little bewildered.

What Pete didn’t know, of course, is that your Aussie girl on tour is an entirely different breed of pup from the domestic variety. I was first alerted to this phenomenon by my mother (for god’s sake) on the eve of an early trip of my own. With altogether too much mischief in her eye for my liking, she told me about the wonderful old tradition of Australian girls getting as far away from home as possible and going totally berserk. It took me a moment to realize that she was giving me advice: When you feeling a long way from home, go the Aussie chick. She understands you and your chances of a result are truly excellent (although that second part might have come from my old man). It was pretty nice. My mum was going to miss me but she trusted the sisterhood to make sure I’d be all right.

And she was right . I’ve spent a good chunk overseas and met some terrific women. But there’s nothing quite like the feeling you get being introduced to a travelling Aussie girl with the try-your -luck grin and that mischief in her eye.

I just don’t expect her to be quite so excited to see me back home.

What do you think? Are Aussie girls who travel different to those at home?


Looking for love? Check out Oasis Dating and chat to thousands of single guys. It’s free!

June 3, 2000

Is it time to break up?

We know dumping someone sucks – may not quite as badly as being the one who’s dumped – but it’s right up there. But like tax returns and pap smears it’s one of those things we hate doing but are life necessities. So if any of our list of cop-outs has a familiar ring, it might be time to reclaim your single status.Your partner doesn’t have to be a convicted murderer or be sleeping with you sister to be deemed Mr-Not-Quite-Right. In fact, he’s probably a really top guy who happens to be unable to meet your needs. No crime there. But playing the lame excuse game to avoid pulling the plug (he can’t live without me or I’m going to grow old and die alone and be found weeks later in an advanced state of decay or Who’ll get custody of the cat?) is a crime, one that sentences you to wasted months or years in relationship limbo. Stop making excuses and get on with your life!

Excuse #1: “It’s not over, it’s just a bad patch”.

Falling out of love is a slow, subtly creeping process, one that at various stages can easily be confused with any number of ordinary relationship lows such as complacency lagging libido, never-ending arguments, and boredom. When you’re living in a healthy, non-threatening situation it makes sense to do everything you to can to maintain a relationship that still holds the promise of love, passion, compatibility and security. But if your “low patch” has being going on for months and months, it’s time to get out.

Excuse # 2: “No one will never ask me out again – and even if they did, who wants to go through the horrors of dating again?!”

Even if you are perfectly hideous (which I am sure you are not!) there are sure to be plenty of equally vile creatures simply dying to make your acquaintance – the world just works that way. Even so, putting yourself back “on the market” can be a really terrifying prospect, especially if you’re lugging around a bruised ego, guilt, a sense of failure, or are broken hearted because you still love your ex but it just wasn’t working out. When you are going through this poxy stage just remind yourself that the fun and lovable babe your ex first met and fell in love with is still inside you, she’s just been emotionally bound and gagged. You’ll know when you’re ready to let her loose again. We owe it to ourselves to take risks and not realise at 90 that life is very short.

Excuse #3: “He’s not that bad.” Do you really want to spend the next 75 years with “not that bad”?

When was the last time you thought about what you’re getting from your current relationship? Do this: make an actual list. If the pro and con sides are relatively balanced may that’s good enough for you. Remember that no relationship is perfect and you can’t expect to get everything you need from one person. “He’s not that bad” is a also an excuse uttered by a terrifying number of women bearing the black eyes and fat lips of domestic violence. If you are being abused, verbally, emotionally or physically, bolt first and ask questions later. Understand this: when choosing our partners we never get more than we think we deserve.

March 4, 2000