relationship

How I Handle Break Ups

Apparently it’s the season to be breaking up, with a bunch of celebrity couples recently calling it quits, according to Cosmo. I’m normally not one to believe the magazine gossip but this seems to ring true in real life – maybe something to do with the year coming to an end, people reflecting on their last 12 months and what they want for the next 12.

While this doesn’t apply to me, it did get me thinking about break ups and particularly how people deal with them. Everyone has a different way of coping. Perhaps you pull out the emergency Ben and Jerry’s and cry while reading over old texts. Perhaps you instantly erase their existence, deleting his phone number, unfriending him and throwing away his tshirt. Perhaps you drag your friends out for a night of single girl dancing, debauchery and rebound hunting.

I know I have a pattern whenever someone breaks up with me. I handle it the same way, I move on in the same way.

First, I cry. A lot. I think about how wonderful they were and all the wonderful things they did and all the wonderful times we had together. I am sad, I miss them and I cry. This first stage varies in length. Sometimes it might only last a week. Sometimes it continues over months.

After thinking they are wonderful and being sad, I switch gears. I chuck it in reverse, go back and think of all the flaws. There are always flaws. We are human, so everyone has them. We might find them hard to see when we’ve got our rose coloured glasses on but those shades are long gone now and the flaws start to come into focus. Big or small, it doesn’t matter, just find some flaws.

And if you can’t think of any flaws, if your ex defied humanity and was, in fact, a perfect person, then think about the flaw of why the relationship is over. They chose to end things with you. They didn’t value or appreciate you as much as they should have. They chose to leave without asking you to follow them. They chose to leave for someone else. They chose to leave to ‘find themselves’ because they weren’t convinced their place was next to you.

I ask myself why on earth I would want to be with someone who didn’t want to be with me, who didn’t appreciate me, who chose not to wake up next to me anymore. They couldn’t see what they were letting go of and that is a major flaw.

I find these flaws and remind myself of them, over and over again, until I don’t have to remind myself anymore and I just know. I know that the relationship was flawed and I am better off without it. I know that while all relationships have flaws, they didn’t think ours was worth sticking around for, and I am worth more than that.

And then I smile to myself and realise what an idiot they were.

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What To Look For In A Friend’s New Partner

It’s always interesting when your friend starts dating someone new. You want the relationship to be good for your friend but also good for you. We are selfish creatures so there are many ways in which we worry about how a friend’s new fling will impact us. Will we like them? Will they like us? Can we hang out altogether? Do they understand that Sunday brunch is reserved for sacred gossip sessions and cannot be impeached upon? Will they treat your friend right or will you have to step in and get all Liam Neeson on their ass?

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I believe most of us ask two questions when our friends start dating someone;

  1. Do they remember it’s important to balance friend/partner time and make an effort to get that balance right? When couples can’t get this right, they fall victim to the ‘new relationship black hole’ and vanish off the face of the earth, leaving you friendless. In fact, the only way you know these people are still alive is through their ever sickening Facebook updates which have become a plethora of eye-rolling, gag worthy love notes to their new ‘bae’.
  2. Is their new partner a decent human being? They don’t have to be the type of person you’d want to date, or even the type of person you had in mind for your friend. They simply need to not be a shit person. If you’re able to make small talk at group gatherings and hang out with the couple without wanting to kill yourself, consider yourself lucky.

Sometimes, on rare occasion, your friend will start dating someone who exceeds expectations. I mean, they blow all other contenders out the water. If you’ve experienced this you’ll know that there’s almost nothing better; it fills you with joy and reaffirms your belief in love. Her partner knows friendships are important and encourages her to maintain them. He treats her right; he’s taken the time to get know her and likes her for who she is, he wants only the best for her. You are comfortable leaving her happiness in his hands. You get along with him; so much so that you actually consider him a friend, not just your friend’s partner. You can hang out with him when she’s not around and there are no awkward lulls in conversation. The two of you share a unique connection in that you’re both invested in your friend’s happiness. If she’s happy, you’re happy. And there’s nothing easier than being happy about your friend’s new relationship when you can see how good it is for her.

The Good in Goodbye

Today I’m driving my bestfriend to the airport and out of my everyday life. I can’t begin to imagine how I’m meant to get through life without her. She has been one of the very few constant things keeping me sane & incredibly happy over the last 10 years. To wake up tomorrow knowing her beautiful face isn’t just around the corner is going to be a harsh reality. I’ve never particularly felt like I’ve had my heart broken, but at the moment I feel like I’ve lost part of it. Of course she will always be there, a phone call away, as that is what true friendship is. But it still feels like I’m losing a limb. The great thing about a true bestfriend, someone you love unconditionally, is that their happiness is often key to your happiness. With that in mind, I couldn’t be happier that she is moving away to look after herself and put her happiness first. I hope more than anything in the entire world that she finds it. Because if her world is happy, my world is happy. And then our worlds are one step closer together. Distance is nothing in the face of true love. And while I don’t believe in soulmates, if I had to choose one, I’d choose her.

Let’s Talk About Sex

It’s one of those subjects everyone has an opinion on. And if you get a group of girls together, they love to talk about it. How long should you wait before sleeping with someone for the first time? How many partners is too many? Can you have sex with no strings attached?

Sex should be meaningful, it’s the closest you can be to another person and it should be saved for people you truly feel a close connection with. You should wait a certain amount of time, and only when you are in a relationship, to make sure someone is right for you and to ensure you won’t regret your actions. Do you really want to hit double digits and find half of it was wasted on people who didn’t deserve to crack a mention on your ‘to do’ list to begin with?

Sex is just sex, it should be fun. If it’s there and if you want it, it doesn’t matter how long you’ve known the person, you should go for it. You may never get the chance again. You need to take it for what it is – a physical act between two people. Don’t place too high an emphasis on sex. You are free to do it as much as you like, however you like, with whoever you like. Plus, it helps burn fat and is a great source of cardio, so if you’re not one for hitting the gym (unless it’s to hit on the people there) sex is a great way to keep fit, too.

The truth is, I have friends who view sex in both of these completely polar ways. Some scoff at one night stands in disgust. Some revel in the idea of great sex, no matter who it’s with. Both views are right. The thing with sex is, it’s a topic where yours is the only opinion that matters. Sure, you can ask for advice from your friends but the odds are that they will come back to you with an array of responses anyway, each telling you different things, and thus confusing you even more.

You can’t live your life by other people’s morals. What’s right for your bestfriend isn’t the same as what’s right for you. You need to make your own decisions when it comes to this. Think about what you’re happy with, what you want, what you might regret more the next day – doing it, or missing out.

There are no cut and dry answers to these questions. In the end, it’s just a matter of doing what feels right for you, what you’re comfortable with. Don’t rush into things if you’re not ready. Saying no is, and always will be, completely fine and 100% up to you. Don’t hold back if it’s something you want to do, either. Sex isn’t something that’s meant to be hard (insert obvious pun here) – it should be a decision based on what your gut is telling you. Believe it or not, guts are actually quite smart things to listen to, despite not being able to talk.

Most importantly, don’t worry about what people will think. Society has told us to go after what we want, that we have the freedom to make our own decisions. Don’t be afraid that the decisions you make might be critised by society later – it’s just being a hypocritical bastard if that’s the case. And your friends, the people whose opinions actually do matter to you? Well, if they are real friends, they will be happy you did what you wanted. The truth is, yours is the only opinion that matters anyway. Make sure that’s the one you base your decisions on. All your decisions.

Bromance

There has been a certain mentality among straight males that ‘men should be men’ – strong, tough on the outside, not showing too much sensitivity or feelings, especially towards their male friends. However, with the introduction of the term ‘bromance’ into our everyday vocabularies, this mentality is losing its dominance.

Bromance, a term coined in the 1990’s by Dave Carrie, the editor of a skateboard magazine titled Big Brother has become an increasingly popular term to describe the close friendship between two males. This friendship is a non sexual one, however you’ll find a lot of those who identify their relationship as a bromance will happily joke about it in a sexual manner. This isn’t to say there are any underlying sexual feelings (though sometimes you have to wonder), it simply means these boys are comfortable enough with their friendship to make such jokes.

Often, those in a bromance will also be in a heterosexual relationship, getting the best of both worlds as a bromance has been described as ‘a deep bond between two males that no woman could satisfy’. Of course, this begs the question, what if you are the woman who can’t satisfy your man the way his bro can? You might be in fear of getting left out, or left behind, if he can find the companionship often sought after in a relationship with his bro instead. Alas, the bromance isn’t something to fear. Quite the opposite, actually. A man who is open to the idea of bromance is likely to be more in tune with his emotions, or at least willing to talk about them. It also means he values his relationships, both platonic and romantic, and will happily dedicate time and effort to them.

I’ve been told that a bromance shows that love can happen for anyone, in any form of relationship. I’ve also been told that they aren’t for the faint of heart, as with them comes blood, tears, and of course some kicking in the nuts (typical responses from males who identify themselves as being in a ‘bromance’). Whatever you chose to believe, the bromance has made its mark on society. No longer are females the only ones declaring love for their best friends and greeting them with a hug. The boys are here, they’re proud to say they love their bro, they want the world to know it. And I would say the best way I could sum it up is with the below;