Get serious, not serial.

 

Beware the lure of serial dating – you might lose your whole self in your quest always to be someone else’s other half…

There’s nothing like the feeling you get when you’re in love. Your steps seem lighter, the sun shines brighter and everything is just rainbows and butterflies.

It’s so reassuring to have someone to talk to, someone to lean on – you know there’s always somebody who’ll be there for you, whenever you need them.

As women, we have a lot of love within us and it brings us a sense of stability and fulfilment when we have someone with whom to share this love. It becomes a habit – we grow accustomed to our ‘other half’ – and instead of remaining a whole, we become just that, one half of a partnership.

While this may not be a completely bad thing, the problem comes in when the relationship doesn’t last. You are no longer a whole. You miss your other half. So what do you do? You find another half and … BOOM! You’re a whole person again, right – or not?! You’re a serial dater.

Can’t remember the last time you were single?

It’s easier to go from one relationship straight into another in order to avoid all the pain that comes with losing a partner.

Getting into another relationship distracts you. “John who?!” You quickly forget about your ex-boyfriend (the good and the bad parts) and you don’t have to deal with any pain.

Can’t imagine why anyone would want to be single?

Being single can be a scary thought straight after a break-up. You have to pick up the pieces and begin again. What many women don’t realise is that being single is a part of healing.

You need to heal in order to work through all the baggage of the relationship you just came out of because baggage doesn’t disappear – it follows you and one day it will catch up.

 “I can do everything I did when I was single while being in a relationship”

Another common symptom of a serial dater is to put emphasis on the fact that they can do anything (with the exception of playing the field of course) that a single woman can do.

No, you can’t. Being in a relationship requires time, effort, understanding and compromise. You have to think about yourself as well as your partner.

Single women have time to focus on themselves and truly being all they can be – alone. This works because when Mr Right comes along, they won’t be left with the feeling that they missed out or thinking “what if” and if by some chance things with ‘Mr Right’ don’t work out, they have the strength to wait for what they deserve.

There’s a difference between being in love and being comfortable

Yes, there is a very big difference. Being ‘in love’ with someone is not the same as ‘loving’ someone. You love your friends, your mother, and your brother, or your dog. It’s natural to be comfortable with someone you love and not want to hurt them. There is safety in the familiar.

Don’t settle for comfort because you’re scared. Being ‘in love’ is worth the struggle and the search.

Serial killers choose their victims. They go through dozens of people who all have something in common. Serial daters go from relationship to relationship – dating ‘the same’ guy, and going through the same problems.

“A woman becomes a woman when she realises she doesn’t need a man to comfort her.” Take the time to find yourself, what you love, who you are and where you want to be. Learn to love yourself and live your life to the fullest alone and Mr Right will find you. Remember you need a man only to COMPLEMENT you, not COMPLETE you.

 
(This was one of my first “published” articles)
Article originally posted on All4Women.co.za.

Live your own fairytale.

I blame Disney movies for women’s high expectations in love and for men’s inability to measure up to those expectations.

We grow up watching these “too good to be true” motion pictures where good ALWAYS triumphs over bad, the damsel is ALWAYS in distress and Prince Charming ALWAYS finds a way to rescue her ( while his hair and perfect face remain in place). Love conquers all and they all live happily ever after.

I think it creates a false perception in little children. We grow up waiting for the perfect love and believe that without it we’re not good enough – life’s not good enough. So much valuable time passing as we continuously wait for our “Prince Charming” or “Damsel in distress” to arrive along with our “happily ever after”.

The problem with Prince Charming is he doesn’t exist. You see, nobody’s perfect. And the problem with the “Damsel in distress” is that women can actually help themselves. They’re allowed to be independent and happy BEFORE they meet a man.

Often people miss out on great opportunities because they weren’t presented in ‘the form’ they were expecting to find it.

If you go through life setting specifications for the guy or girl you are hoping to find, you’re limiting yourself. Allow yourself to get to know people and THEN decide. You never know who you might fall for. You might just surprise yourself.

Some of the most romantic stories involve an unlikely couple getting together.

Forget Disney, live your own fairytale.

Image by: Emlyn Emelen – “Emelen Photography”

Image by: Nik Basting – “Nik Basting Photography”

Image by: Gaynor Yorath

Image by: Jessica Shimmin – “Media Monster”

Image by: Logan Lopata

Image by: Sonya Solanki

Our greatest strengths are our greatest weaknesses.

I’d say my greatest strength is the love I have for people. I really do wear my heart on my sleeve. After all, it is my love for people which drove me to study public relations in the first place.

The dangerous thing about loving with an open heart is that it leaves you vulnerable to those who are comfortable with taking advantage.

So many times I have acted thoughtlessly and even stupidly in order to help or please someone I care about.

I fall in love with every person I befriend (not romantic love), I trust too easily and I welcome people with open arms but it is this very love that drives me to be there for anyone I care about when they need help.  It is also this very love which has allowed me to be hurt by those very people who couldn’t care less about my feelings.

So while my ability to love may be my greatest strength, it is also my greatest weakness. In life that’s just the way it is. You’ve got to take the good with the bad and pray that in the end, it’ll all be worth it.

Try a cliché.

Like family, we don’t get to choose our stepfamily – our parents do that for us. It’s selfish for anyone to expect a man or woman to live alone forever in the fear of choosing a partner that his or her children may not like. However, I think that far too many parents disregard the feelings of their kids all together.

If you remember Cinderella then you remember her evil stepmother and stepsisters. Poor Cinderella had to endure years and years of torture at the hand of her steps.  Luckily for Cinderella, she had a fairy godmother who pimped her out and let her get loose at a ball the royals were hosting (my memory fails me, I don’t really remember the occasion). Cinderella had to leave before 12 but ironically that was enough time for her to find a decent (and rich) man and make him fall head-over-heels in love with her, ha!

Anyways…

Cinderella wasn’t the only one who had to endure the wrath of ‘stepfamily’. Snow White’s stepmother poisoned her – now that’s rough! Again, luckily for Snow White a handsome young prince stumbled across her lifeless body, brought her back to life and they road off into the horizon, living happily-ever-after. Yawn.

Children don’t ask to be brought into this world, it’s a decision their parents make. Too often parents don’t realise how THEIR decisions have a lasting effect on their children’s lives.  I don’t’ believe couples should “stay together for the sake of the kids” and I don’t believe parents should choose new life partners that can’t respect their kids either.

Your child is part of you. If a man or woman can’t respect your child, they can’t respect you. The time-old cliché of stepmother/father versus children needs to stop. Every last single parent needs to consider their children and the consequences that abuse (in any form) from a stepparent may have on them for the rest of their lives – BEFORE getting married.

I’m not saying stay single for life, I’m just saying that like marriage is supposed to be forever – so is being a parent, and that should come first.

Wedding cake-in-the-middle-of-the road

This topic kind of reminds me of my views on marriage – if that makes sense? I grew up like every other little girl, dreaming of the day I’d get swept off my feet and marry my dream husband. We’d live happily ever after…

Now, many years later, I am old enough to know that in REAL life that’s not always how the story goes. My parents divorced when I was just two years old and in my lifetime I have seen countless relationships, engagements and marriages crash and burn right in front of my eyes – this doesn’t paint a very bright picture of love and marriage in my mind.

Most marriages today end in divorce. I don’t know if I want to deal with that. Break ups suck! I can’t imagine what divorce must feel like?

I think I may just be happy to go through life with a partner, someone I can commit to and be with for the rest of my life without the formality of marriage. I mean in today’s times what does marriage really mean anyway?

The man may wear the pants but the woman takes them off.

As a woman, you dictate how a man can treat you. Yes, I said it. The way a man treats you is your fault –well, MOST of the time anyway. It’s so easy for a woman to turn around and say all men are the same. I mean, men don’t exactly jump at the chance to prove the negative stereotypes wrong that some women have of them.

Men are simple creatures. He either wants to be with you, or doesn’t. Women hear what they want to. They add 1 + 1 and end up with five. When a man says he doesn’t want to be in a relationship, he’s not playing hard to get – he means it. Yet many women take this as a personal challenge and then blame the man later when he turns around and moves on to the next fling (and then we have the pleasure of reading countless emo Facebook and Twitter updates).

We teach men how to treat us by accepting their bad behaviour (Yes there are genuine assholes walking this Earth, but they are a mixture of male and female). If a man loves you he will treat you as you should be treated; he will take your feelings into account. You will matter to him.

If a man treats you badly and you allow it everytime, don’t expect him to change. Know what you’re worth and know what you deserve. Don’t accept anything less. If it’s meant to be, it will be.

Hello significant other, goodbye (now) insignificant friend

I’ve seen it all too many times. Two people meet, fall in love and forget just about everyone else on the planet – except maybe other couples because they can do cool couple stuff and bask in each others’ couple-like awesomeness. Yes, I realise I sound like I’m hating – actually, I am. Not because I want that, but because I would like my friends back. Thanks!

I am always happy for my friends (both the boys and the girls) when they find love or even just ‘like’. I mean, who wouldn’t want to see their friends happy. My problem is I’d just like to actually SEE my friends.

Before people get into relationships, they’re a lot more fun because there isn’t anyone to distract their thoughts. Being in a relationship doesn’t mean you have to be boring or forget how to socialise.

I don’t know why couples feel the need to spend every-single-minute-of-the-day together! SAVE IT FOR MARRIAGE HONEY! Because if/when you two break up, adjusting to a life without that person will be that much harder.

It’s hard to balance friendships and a relationship, but not impossible. Don’t forget that your friends were there before your boyfriend/girlfriend, and they’ll be there afterwards helping you pick up the pieces.

There’s nothing wrong with spending a lot of time with your significant other but remember that a friendship is similar to a relationship – it works both ways and takes effort from BOTH parties. Make time to see your friends, make time to be a friend! Because while people fall in and out of love all the time – friendship is forever.

First Love

I don’t believe that you’ll love your first love forever. I also don’t believe you’ll never forget your first love – I meanyou’ll obviously never forget them, but that goes for anyone you fall in love with, not just your first.

In fact, I think first love is the most superficial kind of love you’ll ever experience. It’s euphoric, emotions are everywhere and you aren’t familiar with what you’re feeling. Everything you think, say or do is amplified and intensified. It’s a natural high. I won’t lie, it’s amazing but it’s also blinding.

I think it’s beautiful that some people only ever end up with one person, their first and last love. However, for the rest of us, if things didn’t work out we need to let go. That’s the beauty of life – you can love, let go and start over.

I remember my first love (and I cringe), I don’t regret it but I also don’t mourn for it. You can never truly move on unless you truly let go. If it doesn’t work out with your first love, that’s okay. Be grateful because when the right person does come along, your first love will be like your first kiss – irrelevant.

The word ‘platonic’ exists for a reason.

Society has placed a strong emphasis on the male and female attraction. So much so that it’s almost automatic that people assume any boy-girl combination seen together are a couple. I mean really now, is the idea of a platonic relationship that ridiculous?

About a week ago, a good friend of mine and I decided to meet the rest of our friends at a party. Simply because everyone else had things to do beforehand and we wanted to be there early.

Within the first half an hour of being there, we had both been asked numerous times about our relationship. “NO WE ARE NOT DATING.” The funny thing is that this very same friend of mine, is in my close circle of friends. We are always out together. So what made this particular time different? We arrived together!



According to rumours I have dated ALL of my close guy friends to date. How entertaining. They are like the brothers I never had. I get along easier with guys. I have more guy friends than girl friends and I can safely say I don’t plan on falling in love with, hooking up with or marrying any of them. I love them but I am not IN love with any of them (and vice versa).

I think every girl and guy should have atleast one close friend of the opposite sex. Girls and guys can be friends, they’re supposed to be! People need to stop jumping to the wrong conclusions and see things as it is, sometimes guys and girls hang out – just because they’re friends and that’s what friends do.