I’ve been thinking a lot about love lately.

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I finally understand all that stuff people say to you about how your relationships are a choice you make every single day. This cannot be truer than your relationship with your romantic partner.

Sure, maybe it doesn’t feel like a choice at the beginning, when things are going so well and you can’t imagine ever breaking up. Your partner’s indecisiveness is still endearing; your daily “What do you want for dinner tonight?” dialogue is still super cute because he’s just the most adorable thing in the world (and you’re happy to let him choose something you’re not in the mood for because love already tastes so sweet!). His constant hogging of the bed still doesn’t bother you and you just want to bite him because you feel such violent affection for him.

I get it. I feel that way about my new partner. But – even with all the joy and butterflies in my stomach – it has also been a major adjustment for me.

Having a partner means never going on new dates… potentially, ever again.

I know that sounds like a really insignificant thing considering the upside to shutting down all my dating profiles is actually being loved by someone, and I agree, it’s so wonderful, but it has also turned my daily routine upside down. It feels like I have so much more time, because I’m not spending so much of my day checking messages on the long list of dating sites and apps I frequented.

I’m not going to lie- I really do miss it. I miss reading messages by men who find me attractive and are trying to get my attention. I miss getting to know someone. I miss the thrill of being chased.

This is probably a super weird thing to admit, considering I’ve been with this new boy for a total of 111 days. Our relationship is still fresh, exciting and new, and don’t worry – I am still constantly overcome with feelings of wanting to skin him so that I can wear him around me when he has to go to work (he finds that adorable – don’t worry).

The thing is, before him, I spent a good three years on the internet, trawling for male friends, one-night-stands, and lovers. I even chose love relationships that would allow me to keep doing this, with rather disastrous results – let’s be honest. I think my dumb excuse for this was to keep my options open just in case someone better came along. I know – dumb. And really really mean.

But here’s the point. Do I choose to stay with the boy even though I miss all of that?

Yes. Wholeheartedly. Without a doubt. 

Why? Because he isn’t some idealistic Disney (or Marvel) version of a significant other that doesn’t exist. He’s a real person with a balanced mix of strengths and weaknesses. Also, because we complement each other. He and I are compatible in so many ways it’s uncanny. Both our usernames end with “tron”. Wut.
He is quiet when I am loud, he is steadfast when I am erratic, he is logical when I am a blubbering mess of feelings. He is thoughtful and funny. He is so crazy and silly when we’re behind closed doors and I love that. It’s like a private joke that only we understand.

And, most of all, because I’m actually taking the passionate love out of the equation, and thinking about things more practically. The butterflies are great and all, but I want mutual love and respect once those butterflies are gone. I want to know that there will be loyalty, partnership and a greater sense of belonging that moves beyond the intense love you feel at the beginning.

Why do so many people give up – not when things get difficult – but when that intense feeling of passion has faded? The person by your side is fundamentally the same person as before but your rose coloured glasses are suddenly gone and it’s their fault that they bore you now?

Did you not realise you had a choice in how you felt about your partner?

I don’t believe that you wake up one day to the realisation that you’ve stopped loving your significant other. That just doesn’t happen. Things get in the way – sure, but your complacency is to blame for that fire being snuffed out.

I can’t say that S will be the person I spend the rest of my life with, but I’m at least happy to have met him during a time in which my feelings are much more in check. I am able to shake off the sadness or doubt much faster than ever before. While looking back at my past, I’ve been brutally honest with myself about the part I played in each failed relationship. It was an eye-opening experience which left me really humbled, because I realised I was more responsible than I originally thought. This has greatly helped me to not only become a better partner to S, but a better friend, and human being.

Is this what it feels like to be in a proper grown up relationship? All I can say is that I’m looking forward to our first real fight or problem, so that we can grow up as individuals as well as grow together as a couple.

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How to write a brilliant dating profile.

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I have been doing the online dating thing for over 10 years now, and I have learned a lot about writing profiles that attract the right kind of people. Here are my tips for creating the perfect dating profile.

1. Be exciting.

If it was your funeral, how would you want to be described in your eulogy? ‘Funny’ or ‘Rib-splittingly hilarious’? ‘Brave’ or ‘badass motherfucker’? ‘Sweet’ or ‘so freaking kind I can’t even deal right now’? You don’t want to brag, but choose unique ways to describe your personality. You are trying to attract someone who could be The One. Show all the potentials how awesome you are! Choose your words carefully. Some words make a guy switch off completely.

All my dating profiles start with: “Plus-sized British-American accented Eurasian trying desperately to delay the inevitable hardship known as ‘real life’.” I think it sounds youthful, fun and mysterious.

2. Tell a quirky story to keep the reader entertained.

This is a story I used: “When I was five years old my mother used to make me a glass of cold Milo to drink every morning. She told me that it would make me big and strong. So, because my pet goldfish was so tiny, I decided to tip an entire can of Milo into its tank in an attempt to make it become big and strong like me. Needless to say… my goldfish never grew – or breathed – again. RIP Goldie 1986-1986.”
It’s cute, sad, funny and quirky all at once.

3. Be excited about online dating.

I have seen so many men’s profiles that imply online dating is a bit pathetic. They even go so far as to tell you that their friend had forced them/dared them/made them a profile to try it out but they weren’t taking it seriously. WHYYYYYY? I don’t understand why anyone would ever think this was a good way to start their profile! They are dissing and dismissing it as a legitimate dating option, and are therefore dissing your choice to be on there too. So weird.

You should always sound excited at the opportunity to meet interesting people along your journey to meeting The One. I obviously haven’t met Mr Right yet, but I’ve met some incredible and amazing men – some of whom are still in my life today.

4. Keep it light and happy. NO NEGATIVITY PLEASE.

Your sob story has no place in a dating profile. No one – not even you, fellow sob storyteller – wants to read a train wreck profile by someone who describes all the horrible things that have befallen them. Yes, it’s sad. Yes, it does make you look a little pathetic. It also makes you seem like the kind of person to cry about your dead childhood cat on a first date. Awkward. You’ll be the topic of a funny facebook post and you do not want that.

Be funny and upbeat. Everyone in this world prefers to date someone with a positive outlook on life. Nothing is as sexy as a genuinely happy face staring back at you.

5. Don’t lie about who you are and how you look!

DO NOT BE A CATFISH, GIRLFRIEND. Besides being super weird and creepy, all you are doing is robbing yourself of the opportunity to meet someone awesome. You really think that amazing person you’re totally into but have been lying to is going to want to be with you after they find out you’re actually 20kgs heavier or 20 years older than you portrayed yourself to be? Do you really think you should be deserving of their trust after that kind of betrayal?

6. Show more than one photo!

I know that you want to make sure you look totally glam to attract The One, but let’s face it. We probably only look glam 40% of the time. I personally think you should put at least five photos – all of which should different, with some showing you not looking your best. It’s honest and doesn’t mean you’re ugly. It just means you’re real!

You should have one good close up with you looking super glam, one plain one with you wearing little-to-no makeup, two full body shots, a group shot with your besties (make sure they’re ok with their photo being up on a dating site) and one of you doing something fun while out-and-about.

No pouty duck faces, people. I’ve asked so many men and they’ve all told me how much they hate the sexy pout. Just smile or look pensive!

7. Don’t talk about sex!

Unless you’re writing a profile on AdultFriendFinder or RedHotPie, do not mention sex in your profile or you have a higher chance of attracting total sleazes instead of decent dudes. Don’t get me wrong, beautiful. There’s a good chance you’ll get dirty pics anyway because there are so many creeps on the internet who have no clue how to speak to ladies. You will get less of them, though, if you do refrain from using sexual words. Save the shmexy talk for when you’re finally comfortable with them and have chosen to meet them in real life.

8. Don’t be a loser! Use spelling/grammar check!

This is pretty self-explanatory but you will be surprised at the amount of times I see bad spelling in a profile. If you have an issue with spelling, write your profile in Microsoft Word! It will check your spelling as you type it up! NO EXCUSES, PEOPLE! Bad spelling looks sloppy. And we are not sloppy, are we?

9. If you’re really stuck, use OkCupid’s profile headings as a template.

I love OkCupid. Their profile headings are totally unique and I think they’ve made it idiot proof.

My favourite headings are:
~ I’m really good at…
~ The first things people usually notice about me…
~ The six things I could never do without…
~ I spend a lot of time thinking about…

Even if you don’t want to use OkC’s services, I still suggest using their headings on whatever online dating service you do end up using.
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And that’s it! I absolutely love critiquing my friends’ dating profiles, so if you have one you want me to look at I will totally give you my honest opinion about it!

Image courtesy bookcycle.eu and edited by myself.

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Anxiety and the crazy things it can do to your body.

The last few months have been a whirlwind of emotions for me.

Last year in September, I had a very uncomfortable and creepy experience with a man I met on AdultFriendFinder. I won’t get into it here since I’ve been replaying the story quite a lot recently trying to make sense of it all in my head, but here is a video I made all about the experience and the lack of respect I received.

When it first happened, I didn’t do anything about it because I had befriended another boy who became an amazing close friend that I would share intimacy with, but that friendship ended over a month ago, and I am completely single again.

This, plus the fact that my little sister/housemate has left to Europe for at least four-ish months has left me feeling very, very, very anxious.

I have always been good at internalising, and I don’t tend to stay sad for very long. I come from a family that believes in getting up off your arse and getting on with it, and that is what I’ve been doing. But the friendship that I lost a few months ago, the event that took place last year and my sister leaving have all been too much for my body, it seems. I missed my period last month (I’m on the pill and it’s usually like clockwork), my face has broken out in spots (my skin has been flawless since my early twenties), my nails are breaking and peeling, and I’ve experienced lightheadedness. Oh, and getting out of bed in the mornings is just a bitch.

Last Friday, I wondered if I was having a heart attack since the symptoms women present with can be quite different to that of the usual tingling arm and pain in the chest that men tend to feel. My neck hurt, my lungs were slightly burning although I hadn’t done any exercise and my vision was a little blurry. I’ve been to the doctor who took blood and is going to do some tests. I should know by the middle of next week whether there is something other than stress that is causing all these weird things to happen.

– – –

I really don’t mind being single. I thought I would find it harder. Unfortunately, with this new-found singleness comes the realisation that the next man I meet could possibly be a person who will violate me. Perhaps the odds are very slim, since I’ve met up with a lot of men and only one of them turned out to be a total fucking creep who didn’t understand the word “No”, but now, to me, the chances feel so much greater.

I don’t know why I feel the need to blog about this; perhaps it’s more to do with just getting it all out as well as trying to get into the habit of blogging again.

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Perfectly imperfect.

“Did my heart love ’til now? Forswear its sight. For I never saw true beauty ’til this night.”

Whenever you are near me, I have to sit on my hands in order to leave you be. I want to touch you all the time.

You are restless; your mind constantly at work. The only time you seem at peace is when you are asleep. But even then your peace is constantly disturbed by scary dreams.

I wish I could put your mind at ease. Sometimes I think I make things more difficult for you. Sometimes, I think you think that too.

But we are still here together. You still put up with my bouts of sadness. I still accept how you retreat and hide for days when life gets too hard. With all the problems we have, I cannot imagine having a perfect life with someone else.

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How intimate!

In the 18th and 19th centuries, wealthy British and European lovers exchanged eye miniatures, love tokens that captured the gaze of the recipients significant other. They were worn on the lapel as to be close to the heart.

Less than 1,000 are thought to exist, often both the owner of the piece and the subject within it are never identified.

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