I want to apologise to all the ladies in advance… this isn’t really aimed at you, but it kinda is. I know one too many girlfriends of mine who have gone through this stage in their relationship, and to be really honest, I can’t take it anymore. I just can’t. No, I’m no guru in relationships, anything but, however I really think I have seen enough of my girlfriends go through this, which enables me to talk about it with some credibility.
Also, another little disclaimer, I apologise for the blunt, but truthful language you’re about to read, but it must be done and I want to take charge (sorry Dad, you can stop reading now).
So here goes…
Women of the universe, stop being so goddamn needy in your relationship/s. What the hell are you doing? Have you heard of this mate called self-esteem? And his cousin that goes by the name of self-respect? What about pride? No? What are you doing? Get to know these fellas, even before you get to know your lad, and if you’re single, then befriend these guys before you start repelling men with your ridiculous behaviour.
No, it’s not OK to ask for the attention of a man who called you a ‘fat cow’, right before sleeping with you. It’s also not OK to drunk text him when there was no interest shown in you at Jade’s party*. And while we’re at it, let me give you some wisdom, if a man is into you, you will know it, deep down in your heart. He will climb over bridges to have you in his life, only if he really wanted you. Stop being a douchebag and chasing him like you have no self-respect left. I’m not promoting that only men must chase and that conventional rubbish, but if you see a red flag go up from the other end, stop pursuing, is all I’m saying.
Dating, these days, has truly gone from ‘lust at first sight’ to ‘let’s have six babies, two puppies and ten kittens’. The strategies and tactics of dating have dramatically changed, because no longer do couples just want to be together. They want to keep thinking about ‘what’s next’ on their cards.
And even before you get to this stage, women are pleading guilty for being stupidly repellent towards the male species, all courtesy of their actions. Go girlfriend!
This is when I tell you how not to have a man run for the hills when you feel he might be showing the slightest bit of interest in you. Oh, and feel free to correct or challenge me in the comments below.
1) Stop drunk texting: When under the influence of alcohol and a serious chemical imbalance in the brain and blood system, step away from your phone. Number one rule of dating and life, really. Your grammar will be horrible, your ability to construct a comprehendible sentence will take a long leap out the window and you will embarrass yourself, full stop. Oh hold on, there are more benefits to this – when you wake up in the morning and innocently decide to browse your phone, you will scream, sigh, yell and wail in trauma, whilst the guy sits there and mocks at your existence. Long live alcohol.
2) Don’t talk about your obsession with food, fitness or the lack of either: Majorly guilty of this one, but the truth is this – men love their food. It’s difficult to believe that someone could fall so deeply in love with a piece of meat on their plate, but they do. When you start talking about how much you don’t like certain food, or have issues with your diet, they really don’t give a rat’s arse and it’s a major turn-off for the dude. Some of my best friends and I have gone through a crazy emotional journey with eating and fitness, so I completely get where you’re coming from, but I’ve also learnt that you don’t need to justify your actions to anyone. And I mean, anyone! It’s your body, love the living life out of it and don’t give out any explanations in return.
3) Current Affair knowledge = zero: All your energy is put into being the most beautiful girl in the room, when you could have opened the newspaper and read about what’s happening in Egypt. I’m not anti-grooming at all, in fact, being a beauty journalist I’m all up for it. If a little extra concealer can make you smile and be a little more confident, go to town with it, girl! But, don’t use that as your only powerful tool. Men love intelligence. If you have a kick-arse personality, they will see that much before they see that green eyeliner on your eyelid. Physical beauty and prettiness is not what values a woman’s worth – it’s her mind that’s sexier. Give your mind a workout by understanding what’s happening in the world around you, because once the makeup is out and the prettiness fades, show will be over.
4) The level of qualitative conversation is lower than ground zero: Small talk is the biggest mood killer, especially when done on a date or first meeting. If you can’t have a conversation with a guy that goes beyond what shoes you last purchased or how Taylor Swift is like-totes-ohemgee-your-like-favs, then expect an automatic rejection. Unless, of course, the guy just wants you for a shag, then he’ll deal with this superficial banter. But for a real connection, you need to tuck away your defences and be vulnerable. Share stories that hold a meaning in your life, ask questions and listen to him talk. Give a little, and ask a lot.
5) Have your own life: Don’t have your life revolve around someone you met a month ago, because you’ve lived with yourself for a longer period of time, and he’s just entered your life. You can’t give him that much power and importance to direct your life. Live your own life with your own friends, career, dinner parties and coffee dates, and if a man fits in this equation – great. Otherwise, love yourself before you let a man love you.
6) The ‘where are we heading’ conversation: You’ve seen each other four times this week, things are getting a little frisky, you smile at the thought of him and the conversations are on an intellectual fire – agreed, you have all the ingredients for a potential va-va-voom! But don’t feel the innate need to get a word of commitment from him after a month of dating. Too fast. The minute you start to label relationships and tag them in a colour-coordinated manner in a mental file, things start to go wrong. That ‘talk’ is what men run away from, and quite frankly, so should you. Live in the moment, my friend, take in what you have now and see where this takes you. No one cares if your Facebook relationship status is updated or not. Who says you have be married by 30 and have two juniors by 35, show me, who’s made this rule?
7) Don’t be an insecure diva: Men are repelled by women and their neediness because it shows how insecure you are. You have no confidence in your own being, there’s no notion of self-worth and definitely no self-love. If he’s out with the boys, don’t piss him off with constant messaging or stalking his Facebook and Instagram feed. And if he hasn’t texted you back after the first date, take a breather. Don’t keep going back to someone who was never yours.
Point is, love yourself, ladies. You should be your own favourite person. Don’t let a man ruin that for you.
*I don’t know who Jade is, sorry!
Dating is a tough game. I say ‘game’, because well, it is a bloody game. Winners take their prize home and losers walk the solo path back. There are some (stupid) set of rules that women like to follow, while men like to carry the douchebag flag with them for the entire match.
Hollywood has spoilt us. We wish dating to be like the one we see in soppy rom-coms with Bruno Mars singing in the background like a girl. Like that Mila Kunis and Justin Timberlake movie; their ‘dates’ looked easy, ridiculously sexy, stereotypically romantic and they came with a soundtrack by Kriss Kross, ummm, amazing!
In real life, dating is a whole new world of messed up. It takes up too much time, more money than anticipated, it involves an army of mind games that neither party can solve and then to top it all with whipped cream, dating gets splattered with technology. Oh, the joys of Google!
I mean, look what happened to Lucy.
Lucy who, you ask? A fictional mate of mine who is desperate to tell you her story:
Last Friday night, Lucy went for after-work drinks to a mega-cool bar in East London. As she painted her pout with a tint of red, a shade unattainable with her glass of wine, she spotted a devilishly handsome man smirking at her. This was not what she expected attractive guys to do. Embarrassed she was, with her attempt to groom in a public space, but she let it go. Maybe he thought it was sexy, she convinced herself.
George walked up to her and introduced himself. They had the longest banter on life, love, relationships and their favourite jazz musicians. In her mind, he was a catch and the physical chemistry was uncontrollable. This rather old-fashioned way of meeting – tipsy, giggly and flirty at a bar – danced its way into the night. At about 3am, they eventually parted ways, but with each other’s numbers in their contact list, and a little trace of her lip tint on him. Obviously.
In a true Gen-Y format, it didn’t take Lucy long to ruin her chances to properly date George. Why? Because she let modern love attack her; she took the new-fashioned route and Googled him the minute she sat in the cab back home.
But really, how many of us do that? It’s like meeting someone and asking them to tell you everything that you already know about them. From the last tweet to One Direction (ew!) to what breakfast was, technology has a dirty file of all our pasts saved.
Sometimes, when you Google someone, you don’t quite get anything. Maybe a name twin on the other side of the world or a LinkedIn account that you are forced to not click on with the fear of them finding out that you stalked them. You hear me? I’ve done this about four hundred and sixty eight times only.
But then there are times when you hit a jackpot. A bloody good one where you find out all the geeky history of the lad, along with his career highs and lows. You know about his cousin sister who lives in Hong Kong, how he had a really bad breakup two years ago because there’s evidence of it on his badly-designed Tumblr page, and then his semi-attempt to run the half marathon. Entirely dependant on who you’re stalking, but there is a huge possibility of you getting majorly turned on or off within minutes of typing their name into Google.
We, the spoilt children of Generation Y, have issues. You swirl around the dating scene with a frown and then Google potential dates, do background checks and in the process become ridiculously unromantic. What’s left to discover? You follow each other’s Spotify playlists and then go ahead to track them on GoodReads. You’ve connected on LinkedIn and are in each other’s Google+ circle too. This is after you’ve already found them on iMessage, Facetime, Whatsapp, Viber, Instagram, Skype, Twitter and Facebook. Phew, just writing that was exhausting.
The main problem with dating in 2013 (amongst so many others) is the fear of anonymity. While everyone wants to be a somebody in their social circuit, they aim to be a nobody too. They don’t want their online presence to dampen their future relationships, but also don’t want their name twin to steal their thunder. This urge for attention and the lack of is the biggest oxymoron faced by our generation. And sadly, we’re way too deep in its mess to be able to crawl out. At least, I am.
What we can do, however, is calm the hell down. If you start seeing someone, maybe choose three out of the 8374920 platforms to research aka stalk them. Because if you continue at this rate, you’re less likely to find a Kardashian-esque sex tape, and more likely to be a dog-lady for the rest of your life (sorry, I’m not a cat person).
Even though ‘Prince Charming’ was a sexist knob, remember this – “Cinderella did not Facebook stalk Prince Charming“.
Amen. Rant over.
Some people call it busy. Some call it beautiful. Some call it smug-central. Oh whatever, you’re not moving here to be comfortable and humble. You’re moving here because it’s LONDON BABY.
If you’re moving here in your 20s, then be prepared to add on to the pile of mess that makes up for this city. Feel the excitement, do something that scares you everyday and be part of the magic – because, really, there’s no other way to make the most out of London.
Remember, everyone *wants* to move here… but you just did.
Here are my ten tips for newcomers to the city (coming from my credibility of moving here a month and five days ago, errr!)
- You will have more liquid dinners than what should be allowed: Call it a lifestyle change or a quick way to shed kilos or stupidity, you will eat very little in this city. All the socialising and lack of enough funds will force you to choose wine over food (duh!). Locally, it’s called being smart about your money, prioritising what’s more important and being on a perpetual liquid diet. Take that, Miranda Kerr!
- You will feel out of place and at home within the first five days of moving here: It’s a big city, so big that it will leave you feeling lost and intimidated on more occasions than one. You will make new friends, but still feel like you don’t have any. You will find your favourite barista, but would never get him to learn your name. You will ultimately figure out where and how to get to places, but still feel left out in one of the greatest cities in the world. You will crave a familiar hug and yet be able to talk to a stranger on the tube for half hour. It’s a contradictory city, I tell you that, and you’ll learn to love it for its irony sooner than you’d think.
- You will start hating on tourists, no matter how new you are to the city: Try walking around Oxford Street when you’re late for a meeting and watch how inexcusably and shamelessly swear words come out of your mouth. Tourists crawl around every major street in London, and there’s nothing worse than being stuck behind them when you’re in a rush to get shit done. You will hate them, hate them so hard. I still haven’t been to see Spencer in Chelsea with the scare of it all, can you imagine the terror of it all!
- Say goodbye to your gorgeous heels: London’s cobbled streets hate stilettos. Fact. They are little Louboutin and Choo-loving monsters who will munch all the pretty heels you have and not even burp after. This city only likes wedges or wellies; so don’t even attempt to wear your favourite pair around. Also, if they don’t get stuck on a pretty street in Covent Garden, you will ultimately get a serious frost bite and die. It’s really a win-win situation for those rascals.
- You will cry at some point: Not trying to depress you in the middle of a serious and important piece, but this is true. There are going to be some tough days, some moments when you’d just want to jump into Thames. Kidding! Have you seen the state of that water, it’s filthy! Why would anyone consider that? But in all honesty, this city is mad. As much as you’d want to swim up and absorb everything happening around you, you won’t be able to deal with its marvellous diversity and overwhelm. There will come a day when the gloominess will go away, and perhaps even a delicious man will smile at you. That’s when you’ll smile at your luck for being able to call this ‘home’. But, I’m warning you, there will be tears.
- Public transport comes to a stand still at midnight: This isn’t Sydney where trains and buses run till about 4am. Tubes stop at midnight and night buses are for specific routes only. If you’re planning on having a big night, take a sleeping bag with you or find yourself a couch in the zone 1 to crash on (cheaper cab ride). And while you’re at this, remember not to swear at black cab drivers, they will ask you to get off in the middle of the road. Bastards!
- Be the biggest social butterfly that you can be: Be shameless and over-the-top happy when you meet new people. Try to be everyone’s friends otherwise this city will suck you into lonesome depression. It’s very easy to make a lot of friends here and equally easy to not make any. Be shameless, talkative, happy and RSVP ‘yes’ to every invitation that swings past you. Do apologise to your bank account before moving here, yeah?
- Don’t eat out at Soho, unless it’s a date: Excuse the sexism, but unless you’ve been asked out on a date from the Sheikh of UAE who owns yachts, don’t act all lush and eat out at Soho. You will be broke for the rest of your life and probably won’t be able to afford a cup of tea, even. Soho is in inner-London, home to some of the city’s poshest and most delicious restaurants and bars. Enough said.
- There are 8 million people in this city, but it will still be difficult to find the love of your life: All your best friends are either in long-term happy relationships, or engaged, or married or with a child. You are ridiculously single. Yes, noted, I hear you. Don’t move to London thinking you will find love here, because, really, there are more chances of you winning a lottery here, than finding a man. Exhibit A: I won 2 quid from a scratchy last week. Woo! Oh, unless you want to get into online dating in the UK or send your application to Dinner Date on Channel 4. You just won’t get my sympathy for any of these, soz!
- You will spend majority of your weekend mornings in bed, not at Portobello markets: You would want to spend Saturday and Sunday mornings at a local organic fruit and flower market, but in reality, you will be in bed pleading for the world to stop spinning courtesy the wine from the night before. Actually, if you’re like me you’d do this, on average, five mornings a week. Another hot tip, don’t go to Notting Hill with an expectation to meet your Hugh Grant; it will not happen, you will leave in tears, deal with it!
The clock ticked to 7 p.m. and all she could think of was the wine list at her favourite bar in the city. The grapes were calling her name, so much so, that she didn’t even want to paint her pucker with a tint of red. The overdose of wine would give her the perfect fire engine pout.
Dior’s finest was flickered on the lashes, Nars’ opulent powder was brushed across the cheeks and a dab of beetroot was pressed against the top of the eyelids.
It was finally time to kick the boots off and put on her shoes with the extra ladder. Well, she needed the height; she needed it to stand out from the sea of body-con-clad-silicon-boobed women. No, not in just a ‘look at me! look at me!’ way, but more so in a ‘I need this to have anyone come talk to me’ way.
This is probably the right time to mention this, but she wasn’t an overly spectacular-looking girl. She had some sort of sharp features, but they never stood out amidst her blonde bombshell girlfriends. You could call her ‘cute’, ‘chirpy’ or even ‘animated’, but you wouldn’t call her ‘hot’ or ‘sexy’. She didn’t have the body of a pornstar, neither did she have the voice of an angel, but she sure had the mind and personality of a rockstar. She could hold a conversation of high intellect with enough wit, charm and humour to leave the other person speechless. So proud of it, that she almost relied on this very trait of hers, because this is what made her so special and stand out from all the fake tanned carrot legs around her.
But her lack of physical affluence killed the attraction.
No measurement of heels, be it the most expensive pair of Steve Maddens or Alexander Wangs, could solve the case of rejection.
She was born with it… and she was going to leave the world with it. With or without the gaze of a plus one.
Pssst you, stop whatever you’re doing. I need your unadulterated attention for this one.
It’s almost ridiculous how superficial I’m about to get, but you know what, it’s well worth it. We’re about to do an analysis on the situation of men in London.
This species of dude is traditionally known for their pronunciations, sophistication and old-fashioned charm, around the world. That’s the impression I came to this city with. I was specifically told that London men just know how to treat a woman. They will hold the door open for you, they will offer to lift your heavy bags, they will laugh with you and then self-depricatingly laugh at themselves, they will give you their coat when you’re cold (which you will be all year round) and they will dress ridiculously well. And after my month-long stay here, I’ve now come to terms with what I’ve been missing for all my adult life.
I do have to say though, when I say London men, I don’t just mean British men, but men, in general, who reside here. It’s like they are given a code of conduct before moving to this city. In the last four weeks, I’ve met Australian, Indian, American and Italian men – all in London – and I tell you what, they are a changed species here. This two thousand year old city must cast a supernatural spell or something.
The mannerisms of the male in London is much to do with the way they treat women. Whether he’s tattooed or pierced, he will compliment you just like a man in a suit would. Call me a sucker, but even when my fruit seller on High Holborn yells out cheers darlin’ through his broken-toothed smile, it makes me giggle. I’m starting to feel that all this could be an aftermath of all the lining up they do here. Men here spend just as much time on their hair as they do in queues. Stand at Oxford Circus tube station around 6pm on a weekday and you’ll know what I mean; elbows are in, heads are down and gorgeousness is in place.
London men dress like a man should dress; sharp, suited and stupidly handsome. It could be the perfect hair, or the tease of the unknowing architecture of the body beneath all those layers, whatever it is, it’s goddam sexy. They understand the difference between pea coats, duffles, parcas and trenches. They are the masters of pocket squares and sock-less shoes. Suits on men look a million times better here than anywhere else in the world. Even on their worst day, they look the best.
Imagine the fireworks when these mannerisms transcend to the bedroom… ooh la la.
I’d run out of fingers if I had to count the number of people who told me what a shit year this was going to be. Some out of disgust for the unfortunate number ’13′ and some because their middle name is ‘miserable’. True Story.
But if I were to go back to the eve of my birthday last year and look at the year I’ve had, I would need a second to stop my mind from getting blown.
I still remember that summer night when I was surrounded by six too many cocktails, two cakes and a candle. That flame was blown with a wish, ‘This was going to be the best year, yet’.
I wished for my 23rd year to kick some serious balls around town, and for the world to watch me do that.
And boy… it did.
Things that have happened to me in 2013 are exactly what dreams are made of. I don’t want to brag or jinx it, but from travelling to Bali on a solo spiritual holiday to getting published in Forbes (!); from writing mega-personal details about my life for a huge publishing house to swimming with sharks without a cage… it’s been a little mental. This year has rocked my world, more than what I had imagined on that balmy night of November 16.
But life has also not been all fluff and bubblegum. I’ve had hell break loose on me, in more instances than one; falling outs with childhood friendships, mending broken ties with cousins, losing a dear family member without getting to say goodbye, crying myself to sleep… y’know, everything out of a sad Hollywood plot.
Amidst all that sad undervaluing of self, I realised that this thing called ‘life’ is a smartarse. She gives you a serious dose of wins where you’re so happy that it’s incomprehensible and then she drops you from 15,000 ft with a smirk. You either succumb or land. My faith from humanity, spirituality and life crumbled in all those circumstances, but thanks to my good friend tequila, I came out of it. I wrapped my shit up, and faced ‘life’ the way she wanted me to face her.
People always ask me, “what are you going to do in x number of years” and I always say, “how do you know I’ll live x number of years?” Last year, I didn’t know that I was going to celebrate my 24th birthday in London – a city I had dreamt to live and work in when I was a chubby 15-year old. Oh teenage life! Fast-forward nine years, and I’m here. I bid adieu to my glorious life in Sydney in September – the city that made me the person I am today – and have landed in the hub of Europe.
I am scared. I am intimidated. I am incredibly, incredibly nervous about what the next 365 will bring. Will I live my dream? Will I let this city wrap me in its arms? Will I be rejected, again? Or will I finally be able to love?
Who the hell knows…
But gosh, isn’t that the rush in being ‘alive’? It’s better than any drug, I tell you that! That feeling of being indecisive and not knowing when you want to jump out of a plane. That unknowing shiver of who might walk into your life and change its architecture for you… ah, so addictive!
I’m a week away from my 24th birthday, and the only aspect of it that’s predictable right now is that I’m getting a year older and will celebrate it by eating cake for every meal on the day. Rest I’m leaving up to fate and a shit ton of hard work. If I survive another year, watch me shave its balls off and show my 23-year old self what ‘living’ really feels like.
Happy Birthday, sucker!
You meet him at the florist down your street. Then at a house party. And then you bump into him in the park where you two are the only ones walking in the sweet-tasting rain.
He is charming. He is intelligent. And he knows how to impress a woman. He can hold a conversation without making it all about him. He can woo you with his knowledge about the world you don’t know of. He can make you crumble with his smile.
He still comes to the park every time it drizzles, with the hope to see your glistening face. He watches the rain kiss your virgin skin before he can. Wet locks cling to your neck and he doesn’t move them. Your conversations go on for hours. You never have a closure to your meetings. It’s always a see-you-later, never a goodbye. His smile is so warm that it touches your heart and cuddles it. His voice so deep that you leap into it and glide by the syllables. He isn’t the most handsome and the most successful man around. He isn’t too tall or too dark.
But he is just… perfect, for you.
You both love Van Morrison and Frank Sinatra. Rom-coms make you cringe and he loves that unconventionality. Tarantino’s movies leave you squealing and holding on to his muscle-y arm (like a real girl), and that’s when he high-fives himself. He leaves little love notes on the bathroom mirror and on the car door to remind you of his love for you. Your Sunday afternoons are conversation-less, with nothing but the crisp crinkle of the pages of both your books. Your bed is a place only to make love and sleep.
He is not your soulmate, but a mirror of your own self. One that’s continuously growing in his own way, just like you, and holding your hand while doing so.
He can’t grow without you. He is your miracle.