Advice, Blogging, Dating, Relationships, Uncategorized

Dealing with a 21st Century Break-Up

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Survival Kit

 

Going through a break up has been likened to the death of a loved one; it is only when you go through the motions of mourning a relationship that you truly understand what that feels like… According to Google there are 5 stages of grief; denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance, I can definitely relate to maybe 3 out of 5 but I found that the below model, with a few added extra’s, was much more fitting in my experience.

Dealing with a break-up as explained by Joey, Chandler and Ross – Friends.

Phase 1 -Sweat pants

Phase 2 – Strip clubs and beer

Phase 3 – Picturing yourself with other women

Phase 4 – Don’t want a relationship ever again, just sex with strippers and friends

“Sweats pants”. The first 48 hours were like something out of a Toni Braxton video, queue spontaneous tears and the inability to do anything without becoming a crumbling emotional mess. I wish I could say that I’m being dramatic, if only for my pride. Washing dishes, getting dressed making the bed, any and every activity was accompanied by giant tears and a runny nose, not my sexiest moment. Unlike Chandler, I didn’t wear the same sweat pants for a week, rather I got up showered and got back into bed, accompanied by The Notebook and proceeded to cry every 5-7 minutes. Some people think you need to dust yourself off and get on with it but I say embrace it, you will never truly get over someone if you don’t allow yourself time to mourn what you were. The sooner you go through this phase the better, especially if you don’t want everyone at work to judge you for wearing the same smelly, stained sweats for a week.

Food. This will be different for everyone, some people eat themselves into a heartbroken food coma others physically can’t keep anything down, sadly I was the latter. For days I tried to eat but my body would not allow it, it’s a good thing I have booty, eventually my body started living off of my reserved fats.

Social media. Pretty much everyone has a FB, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat (the list goes on) account, be prepared to find yourself scrolling through his/her pages up to 7 times an hour. This is what I call “self-destruction mode”, it’s almost like you want to find anything to hurt you, don’t ask me why, nothing you do or think at this point makes any sense. You need to binge and purge, scroll until your thumb falls off and if that isn’t enough switch hands, now comes the hard part… Delete him/her from any and all social media, the less you see them the less you will think of them. Do it!

“Drunk at the strip club”. I can honestly say that I don’t know anyone who goes to a strip club, it’s the 21st century and surely everyone just uses porn… Unless it’s Magic Mike I have no interest in strippers or using porn! I did however have a sudden urge to go out. For girls, a night out is more than drinking, it’s about being with your friends, getting dressed up and making yourself look and feel good, dancing because you haven’t got a care in the world and laughing at the awful chat up lines that get thrown your way. If you hit this stage you are on your way to recovering, just make sure you’ve deleted their number; it’s the best way to avoid drunk dialling.

Reminiscing. Whether you keep a diary or your friends have to sit you down and give you a play by play of the times you moaned about your relationship, you need to take a walk down memory lane. You will find that right now, right when it’s fresh, you have only good memories but why did you break up? Why wasn’t it working? Did they cheat? Did they give up on you? Were you tired of having the same argument?

“Picturing yourself with other women”. Like a lot of women I can appreciate the beauty of other ladies, my ultimate girl crush is Eva Mendes for anyone who’s interested. However, I would not say that I have imagined myself with her, at any point, ever. I would have to say that I am not quite there yet, I’m old fashioned and prefer to know someone for a while before I imagine them naked or us simultaneously naked together. Don’t rush this, sure, you need to get under someone to get over your ex but don’t force it.

“Not wanting a relationship ever again and only wanting to have sex with strippers and your friends”. It is safe to say that I will not be having sex with my friends as the guys are in relationships and the girls are girls. Not wanting a relationship ever again is a big statement; I don’t want a relationship right now…

It will take time; one day you will find that you haven’t thought about him/her for half an hour, then a whole day and eventually a week, celebrate these small victories because you will see them again, be it on social media (I did tell you to delete them) or face to face. You may even find yourself in the arms of someone else and it still won’t fill the void of that person, be prepared to feel like you have taken two giant steps back. You don’t know how long it will take to get over someone or what it will take, just do what feels right and give it time. I know it’s the biggest cliché in the world, and I wanted to punch anyone who said it but “time heals all wounds”.

S x

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Dating, Tinder

Tinder Trauma – Once Burnt…

Jacob had been single for a few months when he decided to join Tinder, like most guys in their early 20’s he had a busy work and social life, so his methods for meeting girls was pretty limited. Having been on a few dates already when he came across Gemma he had no qualms about speaking to her or meeting her a few days after they matched.

A sales assistant in the local shopping center, she seemed like a quiet, down to earth, slightly shy girl, in spite of the “slightly provocative photos” used on her Tinder profile. The first few weeks flew by in a honeymoon tinted blur as they drifted into what seemed like a fairly happy relationship.

On a night out her phone was stolen and naturally she was very distressed as there was a lot of personal information on it so Jacob offered her an old phone to use temporarily. Now, there are some guys out there who often go one step further when trying to help a damsel in distress and Jacob is no exception. A week later he offered to help her pay for half of a new phone, under the stipulation that she would pay him back later or over time.

Ladies, imagine this, you’ve gone on an app with a slightly seedy reputation yet you’ve met a guy who barely knows you but is willing to pay £500 towards a new phone for you, surely you would appreciate his kindness and want to express your gratitude in any way possible. So if I told you that Gemma was posting half naked pictures of herself on Facebook and Instagram which Jacob was uncomfortable with you would assume that she heard him out right? Instead of trying to understand why the guy she was seeing didn’t like her pictures she got agitated with him and refused to change for anyone. Guys, how would you feel if every time you were on Facebook you saw one of the locals asking your girlfriend to sleep with him and send personal pictures? Or what if she was really cagey about her phone when you were with her and she was incredibly close to a guy who would often visit her in the evening, you’d get suspicious wouldn’t you?

One night she told Jacob that her friend wanted her to help out with the promo for a club in London, he didn’t think anything of it, especially as she was continuing to message him hourly. At around four a.m. she called him to say that her drink had been spiked and she was coming home, he told her that he would meet her at her house so he could look after her. When Jacob arrived “it was clear that something was up, she was acting very weirdly and was clearly intoxicated” at one point, whilst looking for a hairclip, she emptied the contents of her bag and out fell lingerie and condoms. Obviously shocked, Jacob asked what happened, she fobbed him off with a lame story about how some guys followed her and her friend back to a hotel room and they must have spiked her drink before falling asleep. At this point Jacob had  had enough of the half truths so he did what anyone would do in this situation, he went through her phone. I could go off on a tangent about the ethics of going through someone’s phone but that is a whole different blog topic, however, I will say this, if your partner feels the need to check on who you are talking to you need to ask yourself why. As expected, Jacob found that she had actually been messaging a guy about coming to his hotel room and partying with him and his friends in exchange for money. There were also numerous videos and pictures of her having sex with other men and messages exchanging these videos, all of which took place whilst Jacob was seeing her. When he tried to confront her she became incredibly aggressive so he left, since then he has received threatening text messages from her and her male friends, accusing him of stealing her wedding ring, which is probably a ploy to avoid paying him the £500 she owes him for her phone.

Jacob didn’t share his story to prove that Tinder is a bad dating choice, this situation could have happened if they met in a club or on the street, rather, the moral to this story is listen to your gut and pay attention to the warning signs. A girl can be hot without using racy pictures to get your attention, when you are uncomfortable about the kind of attention she is attracting she will do something about it if she is a genuine person and anyone who lets you give them £500 after a few weeks of knowing them is shady in my eyes.

You live and you learn, at least I’m still trying to…

S x

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Blogging, Dating, Relationships, Tinder

Tinder Diary – Day 2

I’m finally allowed to swipe unsupervised as long as I promise to wait a second before saying no, but somehow my Tinder antics have caught the attention of my 16 year old sister…

This genuinely feels like a game… Left, left,left left… Wait! tap… Hmm… Left. Left… Tap… Aww his bio made me chuckle, and he’s tall, and he has good hair, nice eyes, good fashion sense. Right! Left, left and so on. The whole time I’m playing my sister is either berating me for going too fast or yelling “wait! what about him??”, after a while I take a break and watch this weeks Made In Chelsea.

Its pretty late and it seems like Shamica is asleep, she hasn’t said anything for about an hour and she didn’t watch MIC with me so I start swiping again. The first few are straight no’s, but then… Oh. My. Gosh! Just as I am about to take a screen shot of the absolute hottie on my screen Shamica shouts “YES!! say yes!!”, she nearly gives me a heart attack, which could easily have resulted in an accidental no! I get over the shock, send the screen shot to my group chat and swipe right. Instantly my first match message pops up!! I am stunned, mouth agape I show the screen to Shamica who begins to squeal like a micro pig, tiny, sharp, high pitched squeaks. Once I have accepted that Marc was interested I do what any dignified 27 year old would do, I jump up and down on the bed, stop to send a screen shot of the match message and go right back to jumping.

Now what?? Shamica’s telling me to ask him if I can have his beautiful babies, Zakia is saying don’t say anything, let him open the convo and Kimberly is saying talk to him, now! Who do I listen to?? What do I do?? I’m definitely striking Shamica’s one liner out, I did not realise that is how 16 year olds flirt these days…

Another eventful day on Tinder, no closer to Prince Charming but it doesn’t hurt to have a bit of eye candy.

Keep an eye out to find out what happened with my first match…

S x

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Blogging, Dating, Relationships, Tinder

Tinder Diary- Day 1

After we had established that it would be highly inappropriate for my married best friend to download the app we snuggled up together and created my profile, which wasn’t that successful as we were swiping for about half an hour with no pictures and no bio. As neither of us really knew what we were doing we agreed to the following:

  • No swiping by my myself – It was OUR game and I could not be trusted as I swipe too fast and miss really hot people that will never come up again.
  • I am not allowed to meet anyone UNLESS we have been talking for a “good amount of time” – and the banter was on point 95% of the time – AND I am 100% sure he is who he says he is.
  • NO SWIPING ALONE – she was so adamant about it she felt the need to tell me twice.

So there we were, swiping and laughing, when suddenly my phone flashes, I had 5% battery and no one in the house had a Samsung charger. We devised an action plan, I would go home, get my charger, chuck on my PJ’s and get straight back into her bed. It sounded great in theory but in reality, the excitement of our Tinder antics had wiped me out and my phone was refusing to charge so I promised not to touch the app without her supervision and I turned my phone off.

Et voila! 10:30 a.m. approximately 12 hours after I downloaded the app, I wake up to a message from my ex, a screenshot, to be precise, of my Tinder profile. Shit! Shit! Shit! Caught in the act.

Maybe “caught” is the wrong word, I am, after all, single and free to do whatever I please. Regardless, I had fully intended to contact my ex to let him know that I was on Tinder because I didn’t want him to find out from someone else. Clearly I wasn’t quick enough!

How does it work?

  1. Much like any social media you need a profile: Name, Date of Birth and a Bio, then you add a bunch of pictures, you can also link your Instagram account.
  2. Make sure your location services are on.
  3. Set your age preference and distance.
  4. Tap on a picture to see his bio and other photos, tap again to come out of his profile.
  5. Swipe left if you’re not interested OR swipe right if you like what you see. If you want to go back and see someone you said no to YOU CAN’T, if you try do that you will end up swiping right to the next person. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
  6. If someone you liked swipes right for you too you will automatically get a notification that you have a match and then you can message one another.

I’d like to point out I had to learn all of the above the hard way… You’re welcome.

Day 2 is all about my first match!

S x

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Dating, Relationships, Tinder

A Tinderella Story

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Sat in my best friends bed, rehashing the last conversation I had with my ex I look into the bottom of my cup and sigh 

“Something has to change” she looks at me cautiously with a hint of surprise in her eyes.

“Chick… What do you mean?”.

I go on to explain that having seen my ex for the first time in a while I am wary of our pattern, we break up, take some time and inevitably end up back together. We agreed to breaking up because we both needed to be single and selfish, sometimes its hard to do that when you’re in a long term relationship, especially when you need to step back.

Now, when I said “something needed to change” I was referring to our on again/off again pattern, her response?

“Let’s download tinder!!”

I love this girl like a sister but she is bat s#!t crazy sometimes, the last time we were bored and sat in her house alone together we watched Kim Karadashian’s infamous porn video, just your standard Friday night.

I have heard many stories about Tinder, some good, some bad and some pretty ugly so I won’t lie, I have my preconceived notions but the only way I am going to get over them is by rolling up my sleeves and getting involved. Over the next few days I’ll be posting diary entries of my experience so far, I have no idea what I’m getting myself into and I am not taking it too seriously but hopefully I’ll be able to provide you with a little entertainment and some insight into 21st century dating.

S x

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Blogging, Cheating, Relationships

“Cheater, Cheater, Compulsive Eater” – The Other Woman’s Story

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It is often said that there are 3 sides to every story, yours, mine and the truth… Between the cheater, cheated and the other man/woman it is not fair to say one is more honest than the other. But, before we delve into the politics of cheating let’s have a look into how the “other women” felt, maybe it will answer questions that you have often wanted to ask. 

Q – How did you meet? A – At work, he was 8 years older and had a senior position. I started working with him a year after I joined the company,I had to have monthly review meetings with him so we were communicating frequently.

Q– Did you know that he was in a relationship/married? A – I knew he was married

Q – Was he happy in his relationship? A – At first it seemed like he was content in his relationship, but as I spent more time with him I learnt that there was not much left of the marriage and they were both unhappy with each other (or so he said)

Q – Who made the first move? A – We started spending more and more time together after work and had long phone conversations, it felt innocent as none of us admitted to the reason behind it all. One day he told me that he liked me, that’s when the can of worms opened and i knew I couldn’t pretend any more.

Q – Are you still with him? A – No

Q – How did it end?  A – He wanted commitment and a marriage (ironic, considering he was the married one and I was single). I wasn’t prepared for the baggage (4 kids). He tried to push me to commit to him and marry him in secret but I didn’t want to and realized he wasn’t for me. It was just a short term thing for me. I tried to keep it going and wanted things to be the way they were before (meeting for secret lunches, long phone calls) he wanted more though so I finished it. He said that if I wasn’t prepared to give him commitment he didn’t want to continue.

Q – What did you do together (what kind of dates?) A – Lunch dates, cinema trips, Dinner dates, sight seeing in Europe (he took me away for the weekend)

Q – Did you love him? A – I thought I loved him at the time.

Q – Would you be with him if he was single? A – Not now, no.

Q – Do you still speak? A – Only when I have to, he owes me £1.5

It’s safe to say that situation didn’t end well… Regardless of how “unhappy” he was in his marriage “it was just a short term thing” seems a cold and detached way to describe an affair with a married father of four. Had I not known this person I would assume that she couldn’t care less about what she had done, but the reality of it is she cried and agonized over her situation for a long time, it’s easy to point fingers and make judgments but you never know where life will take you or what you might end up doing.

The below experience is very similar, it is no better or worse that the previous interview it just provides a different perspective.

Q – How did you meet? A – At work,  he was in a different team but we had to work together for several projects.

Q – Did you know that he was in a relationship/married? A – Yes, one of the first things he told me was that he had a long term girlfriend.

– Was he happy in his relationship? –  Whenever he talked about his partner it was in a positive light, their relationship seemed pretty perfect, always trying new things together but able to maintain a balance that allowed them plenty of time apart to pursue their own hobbies.

Q –  How did it make you feel knowing that regardless of how happy he was in his relationship that he still wanted you? A – Cheap. No one wants to be the second choice, and that’s exactly what I was. He showered me with compliments, made me feel like I was the most attractive, captivating and funny woman in the world but somehow I always felt like the worst version of myself.

 Q – Who made the first move? – He did. He made several first moves but I didn’t want to believe that someone as happy and ‘committed’ would be making advances.

Q – What do you mean several first moves? A –  He’d take me out for lunch but we’d end up doing something random and quite sweet like dancing in a park or climbing a tree or he’d send an ambiguously flirty message then tell me outright that he wanted me. 

– Are you still with him? –  Was I ever really with him? No, is the simple answer, we are no longer involved.

– How did it end? – I told him that we couldn’t continue seeing one another, I knew he wasn’t going to end his relationship and I didn’t really want him to, at least not for my benefit, so I ended it.

– What did you do together (what kind of dates?) A – We went on long walks around secret gardens, had cozy pub dinners, went for cocktails, the cinema… Fairly normal dates.

Q – Did you love him? A – Can I skip this one? … Getting over him was incredibly painful and I never thought that it would hurt as much as it did when it ended, so on some level I guess you could say I did.

Q – Would you be with him had he been single? A – No, I can’t trust him.

Q – Do you still speak? A – We don’t speak regularly, we have no reason to but I wouldn’t malice him.

Q –  Did his partner ever find out? A – Not to my knowledge, but I do feel like she would have her suspicions…

Q – Do you feel any remorse? A – Of course! I have always said that I would never cheat, and just because I wasn’t in a relationship it doesn’t mean that I wasn’t helping someone else be unfaithful. 

Q – Thinking purely about how you felt about him, would you do it again? And why? A – No, as messed up as this will sound, he lied to me. I asked him if he had ever cheated before and he said he hadn’t but after we finished I found out that he had been having “an affair” with me and hooking up with several other people… Serves me right.

Just because he wasn’t married and children weren’t involved it doesn’t make it any less wrong. It sounds to me as is if her heart was broken, do I think she deserved it? No, but getting involved with someone who is already taken only ever ends with heartache and you can’t guarantee that it won’t be yours.

In summation, if there are three sides to every story does that apply to an affair? Who is telling “the truth”? Honestly? I think that when a man or a woman tells someone other than their partner that they love them, in that moment it is the truth, or at least they believe it to be. When the other man/woman says that this is the last time they will meet their lover in secret, they mean it, until the next time. And finally, when the cheated partner denies ever knowing or suspecting infidelity they badly want to believe their own words.

For the final installment of Cheater, Cheater Compulsive Eater we will be talking to The Cheated, if you have any questions or comments please let me know on Twitter @88Shaunna or comment below.

S x

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Cheating, Relationships

“Cheater, Cheater, Compulsive Eater”

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Once a cheater always a cheater..?

After learning that someone has been unfaithful the one thing you want to know is “why”, I took the time to meet with an old friend to discuss that very question in an attempt to delve a little deeper into the thought process of someone who has cheated.

Dean and Stacey worked together and had been dating for about a year when Ayesha joined the team, she was also in a long term relationship and the total opposite of Stacey. Where Stacey was shy and sweet with porcelain skin and auburn hair Ayesha was rude, flirtatious and a lover of the lime light with dark features.

Q – Would you agree with the term “once a cheater always a cheater”? A – Not at all, not every partner is the same; just because I have cheated it doesn’t mean that every man out there will.

Q – Have you cheated again since or been tempted to? A – No.

Q – Why were you unfaithful? A – We shouldn’t have been together at that point, I had wanted to end it with Stacey for some time but I just couldn’t do it… It sounds harsh but the affair suited us [me and Ayesha] as there was no commitment and no real risk.

Q – Did you feel guilty or regret? A – I felt guiltier about the fact that there were people hiding it for me, people at work who were my close friends but I knew they would never say anything. As for regret… Not really as no one got hurt, Stacey never knew and it ended amicably.

Q – Did you love your girlfriend or Ayesha? A – I still cared for her… But I never loved Ayesha, it was more about the excitement.

Q – Have you ever been cheated on or witnessed someone being unfaithful? A – I’ve not been cheated on to my knowledge (he looks dubious). But when I was 18, a friend of mine was away on holiday for 2 weeks; whilst he was gone his girlfriend was having an affair with our mutual friend. I approached him and told him that he would have to come clean after my girlfriend at the time insisted I said something, he actually asked me to tell our friend when he returned.

Q – Did you ever think that you would be capable of cheating? A – I don’t think anyone does, I never set out to cheat it.

Q – Would you say that there are signs to look out for when someone is playing away? A – It depends on the living situation, if you live with your partner and they’re not coming home or coming in a lot later than normal then that’s going to make you suspicious. But you can’t generalize, anyone is capable.

Q – How long did the affair go on for and how did it end? A – We saw each other for about 3 months, it naturally fizzled out, and we decided to end it.

Sitting across from Dean it’s not clear if he feels the weight of what he did, maybe because he wasn’t caught or maybe because it happened over 6 years ago but I knew him then and I know him now. He was young, reckless and selfish and that is no excuse but I’d like to think that he knows himself well enough to step away from a relationship before being unfaithful again.

I have met people who have been painfully unhappy and needed to escape from the strain of their situation, or others who were in full and loving relationships but loved the thrill of cheating or just the variety of different partners. Some people stray out of boredom and others purely because the opportunity has presented itself, whatever the circumstance, you are risking hurting someone you care for deeply, opening yourself to STI’s and making everyone in your life see you in a totally different, and potentially, very ugly light.

As for “The Ayesha” in these situations… I remember her turning to Stacey once and saying that there is no way she would ever let her partner say no to her in the bedroom, knowing full well that Dean had been with her the night before and the night before that (so that was probably why he was saying no). She would often give Stacey ‘advice’ on how to deal with her relationship woes as if they were the best of friends, and when confronted about it she would shrug it off. Who does that??!!!

Look out for the next post where I will be talking to the misters/mistresses, if you have a question let me know on twitter (@88Shaunna) or comment below.

S x

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