As many of you may know I have recently been consciously uncoupled (thanks Gwyneth!). However, my case is pretty rare in the fact that there is no bitterness and we are still great friends.
But I would be lying if I said I didn’t feel the effects of it. Naturally, everything is different now. First of all, I have an abundance of spare time and it kind of sucks as I love to be active. I’m in an awkward phase of my life at the moment too, so it isn’t always easy to “fill” that time with other activities.
This is where my SSB comes in… that is, my Secret Single Behaviour. It isn’t what you think – nothing kinky here boys – it is purely just Mel Time which revolves around a series of boring “activities” which keep me occupied and have become ever more present since uncoupling. I’ll leave it to you to figure it out but it’s really just very mundane yet essential to one’s (my) well-being.
What other conundrums am I faced with again? Off the top of my head I can tell you that reinventing my social life is one (or lack of), the terrifying prospect of actually dating again and all of which encompasses it, “hookup culture” and also over-coming embedded cynicism (cynical is practically my middle name). I’ve also finished off with some things I consider the dos and don’ts of dating/hooking up.
This one is interesting because I’ve never been a huge circle of friends girl. I just select the ones I like and voila we are friends. I generally end up with friends who are similar to me in terms of interests and worldview and people who I can learn from or even look up to. I like to think we are friends on a deeper level too, not just as going-out pals or in-between boyfriends. It’s hardly surprising I have a real mixed bag of mates who vary in ages from much younger to much older and everything in the middle.
Playing a team sport introduces me to a wide circle of friends, which is rather convenient when you are single as you have an immediate friendship circle. Although, I’ll admit I don’t always indulge in the team culture. It can bring its own set of issues.
Since I’m not a huge party animal this one could get tricky. Bars are okay, but the thought of actually looking for a date there nauseates me. I almost bring the bad vibes as soon as I step foot inside as I can’t seem to tolerate the drunken pick-up lines and leers that come with night spots. I’m sure most of them are great guys sober, but alcohol apparently exacerbates the inner-pervert which doesn’t exactly entice me.
Dating conundrums: apps v online v organic
This might be the largest contention I’ll be presented with. As with all communication, dating has shifted from real world to digital and is apparently gaining momentum. I’m not sure how this sits with me yet. I don’t reaaaaallly enjoy the idea of browsing profiles because it feels SO superficial. Also, I am such a personality girl I can’t understand how I could select someone off their profile alone. I’ve developed random crushes on the most unlikely of characters purely because they were funny or quirky or whatever. A profile gives you what exactly? A list of accomplishments (zzz), their pretty face and ripped abs, their job and interests…all sounds great but at the end of the day some people look great on paper and that’s where it ends.
But then I realise how conservative and non-progressive I sound (is that a thing?) and feel I should adjust. I’ve been “hit on” numerous times over social media from both complete strangers or guys I just have mutual friends with. It’s obviously seen as the norm for them and many others, but I’ll admit I’m not entirely comfortable with it.
Perhaps my friend G put it best when I asked her her perspective on the single life of 2016:
…Everything is in fast forward. Especially expectations. If there’s not immediate chemistry, it’s off. No one gives things a chance to grow organically. They literally swipe left on you in real life after an hour. And EVERYTHING is about sex. Where’s the romance and chivalry gone?! Not on Tinder or at the Mighty Quinn that’s for sure!
I thought she nailed it.
Furthermore on G’s overview, with many men (not all, obviously) today there is that immediate expectation of sex. In our parents’ generation sex was considered sacred. Nowadays, hand holding is more of an indication of interest than whether a guy will jump you.
This is where I believe following your gut is imperative. Often what you are feeling is a warning that something just isn’t quite right and you need to at least recognise it.
I understand some people are quite willing to just hookup, but I do believe the majority of women either do so out of pressure or under the guise of it leading to something more. Feel free to correct me if I am wrong! If you are fresh out of a relationship or perhaps have zero trust in men then you might feel meaningless sexual encounters is the way to go – and that is completely fine if that’s really how you feel.
Here’s the thing, I’m relentlessly cynical…
Or so I’ve been told. It takes a special person to go into every relationship/date/etc with a clean slate and just dive in without any baggage, but I’m not one of them. I was born cynical and have an unrelenting suspicious side which makes me question EVERYTHING! I have heard and seen too many contradicting situations to allow myself to be so stupid. Sometimes I wish I could shake it but then I’ll dodge a bullet and thank my lucky stars for my genetics.
I do think I am balanced as I don’t let it completely stop me and still enjoy spontaneity, I just keep my wits about me the whole time.
Finally…dos and don’ts for men from myself and others…..(if you would like to avoid drama that is…)
- Clearly state what you want… the clearer the parameters the better. If you are only interested in sex then you need to say so STRAIGHT UP. Trust me, it’ll save you an abundance of drama later!!!! Of course, you may have to deal with the very real possibility she will walk
- Which leads to not “pretending” so she sticks around just for sex. If you’re that desperate get on Tinder where everyone is on the same page. You’re a piece of work if you pretend there could be a future one day “when you are ready” if you are seriously only in it for guaranteed sex
- Line blurrers should be axed. These include – texting your FWB for chit-chat when you are bored/lonely, text or call about anything other than meeting up for sex, sleepovers, going to dinner or doing activities outside of the bedroom together, post-sex cuddling/hand holding, pet names…etc…pretty much anything denoting a true connection needs to be avoided. See here for hilarious SATC clip where Charlotte attempts this tactic with Harry
- There are some men (and women, as my brother reminded me), who enjoy all the perks of a real relationship without offering any actual commitment. IMO this is the height of selfishness but I guess I can understand the psych behind it. I’ve known men who will want all of the above listed but have serious commitment issues/no interest in having a proper relationship with you… There are people who will do this to boost their own ego/loneliness and females are not exempt from this behaviour. Maybe not for sex purposes, but there are definitely women who will string a guy along whom they have zero interest in just because he props up her self-esteem. I initially overlooked this concept as I do not keep people around for this reason, however, my brother pointed out that there are plenty of women who do and I have to agree. I know many! No matter the gender, if you aren’t keen you already know it’s inappropriate to keep them around just so you can feel better about yourself
So that’s all from me for now! I’m not claiming to be any kind of guru but I think many can relate to at least some of the things I’ve mentioned above.
If you have any more questions or things to share hit me on Facebook.