Your summer fling sorted

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First published in Saltwater Girl 14.8 (December 2012)

Summer is the perfect time to indulge in a bit of holiday romance, school is out and so is the sun, the water is warm and the beaches are packed with gorgeous guys to ogle over. Yip, it’s the season of the summer fling and we won’t blame you if the words from the Grease soundtrack play on a loop in your head…

A summer fling can be anything from a random hook-up with a perfect stranger to the start of a long and meaningful relationship. Although summer flings are generally short lived, commitment-free affairs that end when the holidays do, many relationships that start at the beginning of the season last way longer than your tan does. You’re going to come across loads of hotties this holiday. Some will be players, some will be romantics and some will just be plain creeps. Question is how do you know which ones are which? Well, there are generally a few tell tale signs that give away the game behind the guy. We’re not trying to stereotype but here’s a list of potential love interests you are likely to run into this holiday. We hope it’ll help you find a summer fling worthy of its own catchy soundtrack.

THE SEXY SURFER

What would summer be without the dreamy surfers that populate the waves in the daytime and the clubs in the evenings? Tanned skin, sun bleached hair and generally laid back attitudes; these guys are 100% summer fling material. Problem is almost every girl on the beach thinks that. During the holidays surfers have easy pickings, every second girl who has come down to the sea for a vacation wants to hook up with one… for good reason. So how do you beat the competition? The easiest way would be to play it cool, these guys will be so sick of air-heads throwing themselves at their feet that they would probably really dig to have someone chilled to talk to and just enjoy the summer with. Don’t be a try hard, just ease into it. Surfers love talking about surfing, so ask him a few questions about the waves and once the conversation starts flowing you can start turning on a bit of charm, showing him that you’re not like the rest of the bimbos on the beach.

If you crack this you can expect romantic dawnie surfs, walks on the beach and private tours of the sickest spots in the area. Flings with surfers don’t generally last beyond the summer. Real life and distance are usually the culprits that break up these trysts, so don’t go into this thinking about the future, rather just live in the moment, enjoy each other and the ocean and take loads of pictures!

THE CRUSTY CREEP

Most local holiday destinations are likely to have a pub or club that you and your mates will jol at quite regularly. The majority of these pubs come stock-standard with a local creep who hangs out at the bar every night trying to pull as much ass as he can. You’re probably imagining a bald, chain-smoking middle-aged man… but that’s not what he’ll look like. These guys are generally in their mid to late

twenties, have a hottie factor of some kind and have spading chicks down to a fine art. They are usually drunk and more interested in what the inside of your mouth tastes like than learning your name (this is how you’ll recognise him). To guys like these, girls are disposable. He’ll attempt to charm you on the night but by the time the sun rises you’ll be nothing more than a drunken conquest. A fling is meant to give you butterflies; this guy will probably just give you lice.

THE FRIEND TO FLING SWITCH

During the summer you won’t have school keeping you busy all day which means there will be some serious hanging out with your mates going down. Often during these periods guy and girl friends make the switch from ‘just friends’ to a ‘friends with benefits’ situation or a full-on romance. If there’s a guy in your circle that you would like to get to “know a bit better” (if you know what we mean) now is the time to make it happen. You obviously already dig each other or you wouldn’t be mates, but if you wanna take things further you’ll have to turn up the heat. If he’s a really good friend it might be worth being straight with him – tell him you’re keen for a summer fling and see how he reacts. If you’re more like acquaintances show him, don’t tell him. The next time you’re out on the jol flirt your face off… if he doesn’t respond he might not share the same feelings as you. If that’s the case then don’t push it, you don’t want to make a fool out of yourself. It’s important to remember that every time a friendship is taken a step further you risk losing a friend if the romantic relationship doesn’t work out, but on the other hand you also stand the chance of sparking an amazing new relationship… you have to decide whether it’s a chance you’re willing to take.

THE PLAYER

Players are the same all over the world. They are smooth and sexy little bastards who know just what to say to a lady to make her feel good. They are everything you could want in a dude except one thing… they will never commit to you and if they did they would never be faithful. In real life we would discourage ever getting involved with a player, a summer fling on the other hand is a different story. A summer fling, in the truest sense, means maximum fun with minimum commitment, and if you are both aware of this no one should get hurt. If you take it easy, enjoy yourself and avoid investing any emotion in him, you will probably have the time of your life. This kind of fling is not for everyone but if it sounds good to you remember that if he’s allowed to play the field, then so are you.

THE REAL THING

It’s pretty hard to find something as blissfully simple as a summer fling, but one thing that does trump it every time is finding true love. What may start out as an innocent hook up might develop this holiday into a whirlwind romance. It’s easy to know if it’s the real deal; you’ll be the happiest you have ever been in your life, he’ll make you feel like the best version of yourself and being apart from him will feel like absolute torture. If the feelings are mutual and you’re both ready to commit, don’t let anything hold you back. It’s summertime and nothing beats being in love.

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Relationship 101: How not to mess up

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First published in Saltwater Girl 15.1 (January 2013)

There isn’t much in this world that is as delightful and exciting as a fresh romantic relationship. Crazy emotions zing around your body, your heart is constantly aflutter and life just looks so rosy it’s almost impossible for anything to bring you down from your lurve cloud.

In a great relationship this never has to end. A couple that keeps things fun, exciting and focused on them from the start, while consciously avoiding unnecessary admin, is on a one-way track to mega couple status.

Sounds pretty easy, but, when you are so giddy with fresh love, it’s easy to make silly mistakes that can quickly deflate the fresh bubble of love you’re floating around in.

To keep a new relationship at its peak and ensure it’s gonna stay that way for the months and years to follow there are a few things you have to do, and definitely not do, to make sure things don’t just work, but thrive from the very beginning.

DON’T BRING UP YOUR EX

Probably the biggest no-no when it comes to a new relationship is bringing up your ex. Although this seems like common sense it’s not that commonly practiced. Even if you had a great break-up with your last BF, talking about him in front of your new flame will not only make him feel uncomfortable but will also make you look totally insecure. Keep your old relationships exactly where they are, in the past, because as soon as you start digging up ancient history you are losing focus of a potentially beautiful new future that’s right in front of you.

… OR HIS

Just like you should never throw your past relationships in your new boyfriend’s face you should also avoid fishing for information about his previous romances. This is a tough one. Women are by nature curious creatures, we want to compare ourselves to every girl our guy has ever dated just to make sure we match up. But, before you start stalking his ex’s Facebook wall or prying information out of him or his mates, stop for a minute and think: what the hell will this actually achieve? The short answer, nothing. For whatever reason he is no longer with her, he is with you, he wants to be with you and this should be enough to satisfy you. So, even if she won Miss Ballito 2011, graduated top of her class or is a badass singer in an all girl rock band, there was obviously something that just wasn’t vibing between them, something that obviously is working with you and him, end of story.

DON’T AVOID FIGHTING TO KEEP THE PEACE

Another thing to remember when you start off a fresh new relationship is exactly that; it’s new and there may be a few kinks to iron out before you clear the way to your glittering future. So don’t not fight or argue just to keep the peace. Obviously if you are at each other’s throats from the get go this might not be the kind of relationship that has a future, and if that’s the case it would probably be wise to cut your losses and end things before they get out of hand. But, if this a relationship worth fighting for then knowing how to resolve issues with your man is an important lesson to learn for the future of the relationship. From

the beginning if he says or does something that offends you instead of letting little issues build up rather gently bring it up and talk through it. This will avoid big blow-outs in the future and teach you both how to resolve issues easily and maturely. This does not mean you should cause unnecessary admin out of nothing, but just make sure that you’re not left resenting him because you were too scared to share your feelings.

DO BE YOURSELF

The beauty of a really good relationship is that you don’t actually have to ‘do’ anything to make it work, you should just be able to be yourself and let the rest happen naturally. And that’s an important thing to remember; be yourself! By letting the guy fall in love with the real you, you are effortlessly molding an honest relationship. So show off your kooky side, your sensitive side and your wild one too because if he digs them all, and you feel the same about him, you know you’ve met your match.

DO MEET THE FAMILY

Another must do in any great relationship is to form meaningful connections with his friends and family. You don’t have to do this right off the bat, but as your relationship progresses you should try and get to know the people who care about him most. Don’t be a try hard or suck up but do take a genuine interest in these people because if things work out with you guys you will be spending loads of time with them in the future. Also, the way he acts in front of his mates and his family will tell you a lot about him, so take note…

DO HANG OUT WITH YOUR FRIENDS

At the same time it’s important to remember your own friends and make time to hang out with them. Chicks need girl talk, because no matter how hard he might try, a dude will just never get the importance of the jeggings vs. jeans debate. So don’t forget your friends, because while boyfriends come and go, a good friend is there for life.

DO TAKE THINGS SLOWLY

The last thing to remember in a fresh and new relationship is to take things slowly. Don’t get ahead of yourself emotionally or physically or you could end up getting really hurt. Being caught up in the whirlwind of fresh love is super exciting but remember to keep your wits about you and not do anything that could scare the dude away. Leave the future where it is, because if you start yakking on about what your kids will look like one day you may terrify the poor bloke, dropping the ‘I love you bomb’ might do the same, so hold out on that one until you’re 100% sure you do actually love the dude.

Most importantly have fun! Allow your heart to take control and indulge in all the exhilaration and crazy pangs of passion. This is the most exciting time in any relationship, so go on and make some memories.

How to date like a baws

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First published in Saltwater Girl 15.3 (April 2013)

Truth: The classic dinner and a movie date night is totally more of a snore fest than a score fest. Besides the fact that the cost of a movie ticket could probably feed a central African family for a week, that date’s been done a million times and unless you’re just looking for somewhere dark to lock lips, there are plenty more exciting (and wallet friendly) ways to dazzle your crush or boyfriend.

You don’t need to wait for your dude to sweep you off on a romantic escape; this is the 21st century girl, so show off that independent side by giving this resourceful list of quirky, cute and sometimes crazy dates a whirl. We can’t wait to hear which ones were the biggest hits!

GET ARTY, DARLING

Art galleries around our country have exhibition openings on a weekly basis. Go rub shoulders with the hoity toitys and sip on free drinks while deciding which piece you and your bloke would buy if you had the moolah.

GAME ON

This is especially good for a new relationship. Round up a bunch of your mutual friends and have a games night at one of your houses. Either play girls vs. guys or couples could play on teams. 30 Seconds is always a riot, while games like Twister could offer you the chance to get up close and personal with your special someone.

GIVE BACK

Spend a day volunteering with your man at your local SPCA or orphanage. This will allow you to see if he has a soft side, plus it’ll be an amazing bonding experience. Other ways you could do good together are donating blood or collecting clothes, food and toys for the less privileged.

CAMP OUT

Camp fire, cozy tent… need I say more? Hit up your local campsite or take a road trip to a nearby one for the weekend. Municipal camping grounds charge next to nothing for a site, so you’ll definitely have some spare cash to spend on the extra petrol money or some midnight treats.

PEOPLE WATCH

Your folks aren’t happy about you going anyway besides the mall for your date? No problem. Show off your funny side by doing voice overs for people in the mall. Perch yourselves over some bottomless coffee (hello Mugg and Bean, hello) and make-up imaginary situations and conversations for the people who pass you by. Hilarity is guaranteed to ensue.

KICK IT LIKE THE 90s W

hat ever happened to the art of the arcade? Good spirited competitiveness and the chance of your man winning you a giant teddy… yeah, exactly, bring it on.

The drive-in is another age-old way to get cozy without stepping into a cinema. Take a picnic of snacks and take in a double feature while the South African skyline melts away behind you. Don’t have a driver’s license yet? Ask your mom, dad or elder sibling to drop you off with a mattress, picnic basket and pile of blankets.

BARGAIN HUNTING

Whether your boyfriend is into shopping or not, no one can resist a good deal. Go hunt some bargains at nearby charity stores, craft markets and fetes. Whether you’re in the market for a vintage coat or some classic novels you’re bound to happen upon some weird and wonderful stuff.

BE A SPORT

Make his day by suggesting you spend it playing his favourite sport. Hit the driving range, cricket nets or rugby pitch and let him show you some of his moves. Be sure to be patient and show genuine interest in his passions, or else you can’t expect the same from him, plus it’ll mean a bunch to him.

BE A TOURIST IN YOUR OWN CITY

Tick off the top ten things to do in your city in a day. Museums, sculpture parks, famous food stalls, natural wonders and anything in between, act like you’re tourists and map out a day of adventure and adrenaline without leaving your city limits.

STAY UP

Spend 24 hours together without a wink of sleep in between. Chances are a mild bout of delirium will sweep over you, but it’ll be a heap of fun finding ways to keep each others’ eyeballs open and entertained.

PRIVATE PARTY

Hold a party in your garage or garden. Ask each invitee to bring at least 30 songs and chuck them all onto a playlist. Rev things up with a racy or funny theme and make sure you and your guy get dressed up as a couple. Spend the night jamming away and posing for pictures together without dropping any dosh on entrance fees or overpriced drinks.

DO THE ROMANCE THING RIGHT

Give the tried and tested ‘long walks on the beach’ and ‘shady picnics in the park’ a new twist. Meet up at the crack of dawn at your favourite beach or park and watch the sunrise together or do the same at the dead of night… maybe even in a graveyard.

If you add a twist of quirk to any date idea you’re sure to pique his interest and both delight in a date neither of you will forget anytime soon.

Real life treasure hunting

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First published in Saltwater Girl 15.4 (May 2013)

Did you know that right this very second a worldwide treasure hunt is going down? Well you wouldn’t if you aren’t part of the ‘secret club’, so come a little closer we’re about to invite you on a non-stop outdoor adventure where buried treasure exists and spy tactics are mandatory.

Going for a run, hiking or exploring new territory is fun, right? Well thanks to GPS technology these everyday activities can be turned into more than just a work out. Ladies, may we introduce you to Geocaching, an outdoor activity that uses co-ordinates, maps and an incredible online social network to hide and seek treasure boxes (waterproof containers, known as ‘caches’, that are filled with trinkets, a logbook and a pencil). Once you have signed up online at www.geocaching.com the game is on, you can hide and seek these caches, trade the trinkets you find for knickknacks of your own and record your finds in the hidden logbook and on your online profile.

Sound confusing? It’s not. Geocaching is a global phenomenon that uses the principles of a treasure hunt to involve strangers in a non-stop game of hide and seek, the one thing that connects these people is the Geocaching website, where you can access information about where these caches are hidden. By typing in the area code you are in, lists of hidden caches will appear, pick one at the difficulty level you think you can handle, take down the GPS coordinates and your almost set.

Although the person who hid the cache will hook you up with the co-ordinates, this is a treasure hunt, so a fair bit of riddle unscrambling and clue deciphering will be required of you too. Although you will have the location of the cache, you still have to be able to find the exact place it is hidden. Using the clues provided you could find the cache buried under a pile of rocks on the edge of a mountain, under a thick bush at the seaside or even wedged under a brick at your school, university or local shopping center, these things are hidden everywhere, so use your secret spy skills to crack the code.

The variety of hiding places is almost matched by the assortment of cache types that are stashed away from the eyes of Muggles (people who don’t know about Geocaching). The most common cache is a Tupperware type box that holds a small logbook and pencil for finders to record the date of the find and the conditions, difficulties or surprises they encountered while searching for the cache. They typically hold some ‘treasure’ too, items of little value like buttons, plastic jewelry and foreign currency are placed in the box by the person who first hides the cache and the people who find it thereafter are encouraged to swop one item from the box with a trinket of similar value. It’s best to start off on these simple caches, but once you’ve got the hang of it you can start searching for micro-caches (tiny containers hidden in tight spots), travelling caches (that are picked up and moved to new locations by other finders) and even super difficult ones like caches hidden under the sea, we told you, these things are hidden everywhere!

There are over 5 million people who Geocache around the world, from Antarctica to your very own neighbourhood, millions of hidden caches are just waiting to be discovered. And the best part about it? This is an incredible way to see the great outdoors, discover new areas and keep fit. Go online and chose a Geocache that is hidden in an area you would like to explore, invite some friends along and turn it into a trail run or a mountain bike excursion. Just be sure to let someone know where you are going before you leave.

You can also Geocache while you travel, a lot of the caches are hidden in places of interest, so before you head out on holiday take down the coordinates and clues of a few caches that are hidden at, or nearby, places you are likely to visit on your trip, we promise it will make sight seeing a whole lot more fun.

Happy hunting!

Read more about Geocaching and sign up for free at http://www.geocaching.com

Geocaching: know the lingo

Cache: a waterproof container that holds the logbook, pencil and ‘treasure’

Muggles: People who are not a part of the Geocaching community or are unaware of its existence

Muggled caches: When a cache is removed or vandalized by someone who is not aware of its purpose

BYOP: If the online clue says this it means Bring Your Own Pen

DNF: ‘Did Not Find’, state this on your online profile if you don’t manage to find the cache

TN: ‘Took Nothing’, write this down in the logbook and on your profile if you did not take any of the ‘treasure’ out of the cache

LN: ‘Left Nothing’ If you did not put a trinket in the cache box state this in the logbook and on your profile

 

 

 

Celebrate being different

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First published in Saltwater Girl 14.7 (October 2012)

One of my favourite quotes out of Oscar Wilde’s treasure trove of literary gems is “Be yourself; everyone else is already taken”. Not only does it put perspective on how important it is to celebrate your own uniqueness, it also highlights that every single one of us roaming this Earth is a once-off specimen of the human race.

YOU ARE UNIQUE

How exciting is that? There never was and never will be another exactly like you. Your face and body, your laugh and smile and your personality and little quirks will only ever belong to one person, and that person is you. Now I think this is pretty damn awesome, it’s what makes life exciting,

I mean imagine how flipping boring it would be if we were all carbon copies of each other, living in a predictable bubble of sameness, no thanks! And although I am close on 100% sure most people would agree with this, we live in a world where difference is often made fun of, even in a country like South Africa where diversity is a cornerstone of our society

DON’T MOCK HER DIFFERENCES

Not many of us can honestly say we have never publicly teased or inwardly thought badly of someone because they were different to ourselves.

I know I’ve had inward and outward rants peppered with nastiness about someone else just because they weren’t the same as me – they were fatter, thinner, dressed differently, liked different things or disagreed with what I believed in. When I think about it I am seriously embarrassed because it has happened more times than I could count. And I’m not trying to share the blame here but I know we’ve all done it.

As young women navigating our path in life and coming to terms with our own insecurities we often pounce on things we can’t relate to in others and even bitch about the attributes that we share with them, that we ourselves are self conscious about. Ever tuned someone about their big thighs, weird hobbies or home problems just because you feel sensitive about your own? I’m sad to say that I have… But why do we do it when we hate it when it’s done to us? We do it because we think it’ll make us feel better about ourselves, we think it’ll make our own insecurities seem less relevant and difficult to deal with. But the hard truth is that this aint so. Teasing and bullying other people because they aren’t the same as you (or because you can identify your own weaknesses in them) only deepens your own issues, while also making it clear to others that you are not all that comfortable in your own skin.

LOVE YOURSELF, EVEN THE BITS YOU HATE

So how do we deal with this? Well the first thing we have to do is celebrate our own differences because only once we’re comfortable with all our own little quirks will we be more likely to accept and learn to love and respect other peoples’. And I’m talking about the good with the bad here. I have a friend who tattooed beautiful flowers, birds and butterflies all over the part of her body she dislikes the most, her booty. She didn’t do it to hide her lumps and bumps she did it to celebrate her curves, to say “Hey world I’m never going to have an arse like a Barbie Doll and I’m cool with that”. She’s not wallowing in her insecurities, she’s shinning a light of self-acceptance on them. The truth is we all have body issues, whether we’re a size six or a size sixteen, and although we can deal with some of them with a healthy diet and exercise, other things like our height, hairy arms or knobby knees are there for good. Instead of hating on things we cannot change we should rather work on accepting them as another unique part of ourselves that make us who we are. We need to learn to love every part of ourselves, sending an extra bit of TLC to the bits we’re most uncomfortable with.

Same goes for your inside. Celebrate your weird taste in clothes, men or music and be thankful for your individual personality traits. If we all dealt with things in the same way and liked identical things we would be trapped in that dreaded bubble of uniformity. Even the toughest things that you’ve had to deal with in your life, like a parent’s divorce or a death, help you become a stronger person. Every experience we have in our lives – good or bad – help mold us into the people we are. If we decide to deal with these things with positivity and compassion we come out of it as wiser and more understanding people, which will make the next hurdle we face in life easier to deal with.

LOVING YOU =LOVING ME

And once you’re content with all the pieces of your unique puzzle that join together to create your body, mind and soul, you won’t care what others have to say, in fact unless they are joining in on your celebration of originality you probably won’t even take any notice. And soon you’ll see that once you’ve coated yourself in love and acceptance you’ll want to share the beauty of it. You’ll start appreciating the differences in others and instead of putting people down because they don’t share the same interests or beliefs as you, you’ll accept and value their individuality, helping them realise that being an original is one of life’s most exciting gifts. The differences in others will also constantly remind you that you’re a once-off specimen of awesomeness and every thought you think, every crazy dance move you make and every journey you take into the ocean is a moment in history that will only ever belong to you.

So go on and really celebrate your originality, every little bit of it, because without it all, you wouldn’t be you and the world would be a much less exciting place because of it.

Can you be friends with your ex?

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First published in Saltwater Girl 14.5 (June 2012)

So, you and your boyfriend broke up. Things were said (or shouted or spluttered through tears) and now it’s time to decide; is it over for realzies or are you going to try and navigate the path to post break-up friendship? The latter is a rocky road ladies, that’s why we’ve asked a few 20somethings, who’ve traveled it a few times, to share some tips on the best ways to find sunshine after the break-up blues.

Every relationship (and relationship ending) is different so the way you deal with your ex will totally depend on the circumstances. If the scumbag cheated on you, you’ll probably never want to see his face again and in our opinion more power to ya but if you ended it on good terms you might want to keep him in your life, just not in a starring role.

So here it is, a six-step plan that will help you work out how to get over your ex, whether it’s a good idea to try and befriend him and if so how to do it with jeopardising your feelings.

DELETE HIM

The first step to success is cutting off your ex even if it’s just for the short-term. And when we say cut off, we mean completely. No sms’s, no Facebook stalking, no nothing! In fact delete his number and defriend him, that way you won’t be tempted.

Naledi Nkosi, a 26-year-old who recently dumped her man of four years says deleting him from her phone and social media platforms ensured she had time to process her feelings. “I wasn’t concentrating on what was going on in his life because I wasn’t getting reminders every time I went online. Instead I was focusing on myself and how it felt to be ‘me’ outside of the ‘we’”. She says she knew she would have spent hours trying to figure out what he’d been up to by stalking his Facebook wall. “Also by deleting his number I ruled out any chance of drunken dialing him, which is by far the most embarrassing thing you can do to an ex!”

GIVE YOURSELF SOME SPACE

Distancing yourself online is not enough; you really need some space to breath and that means avoiding seeing your ex at all costs. We’re not saying you should skip going to a concert because your ex might be there, but try dodge places you know he hangs out at. “Put your head in the sand, don’t worry about what they are doing and just look after yourself for a while,” says Tam Sutherns, a 23-year-old who has recently become friends with her ex. “It’s super tempting to remain close to the person whose life was so intertwined with yours, but jumping into a friendship with an ex muddles those often very confusing emotions following a breakup, my advice is let things cool down for a bit and then give friendship a go.”

STOP TALKING ABOUT HIM

A lot of women tend to forget about all the bad stuff their ex’s did to them when they were together and choose to reminisce about the good times instead. Not only will you drive your friends mad with all your cutesy stories from the past, you will also make the whole process of getting over him so much more difficult because you’re constantly reminding yourself about what was. That said it’s not healthy to focus on all the shitty things either, the relationship is over, there is no point in harking back or reliving the dark times rather look forward and leave the douche bag in the past along with all the hurtful feelings he inflicted on you.

HONOUR EACH OTHER’S FEELINGS

The thing about a break-up is that there are two people involved, which means the way things play out after the split is not all up to you. You’re ex may be desperate to become BFF’s straight away or, on the flip side, might never ever want to talk to you again. Roxy Miller, who broke up with her boyfriend at the beginning of the year, says the most important thing is that you respect both your own and your ex’s feelings. “Although you have to look out for yourself first you also have to take your ex’s feelings into consideration, don’t play mind games with him and don’t let him sway the way you feel.” Chances are you will both deal with the break up differently, leave him to work things out on his own and if the time comes that you both feel ready to give friendship a go, great, but if not don’t force it.

ESTABLISH BOUNDARIES

So, if the time comes that you both feel ready to give friendship a go the first thing to remember is that this a new relationship that needs new guidelines. “Four months after my ex and I broke up we were both ready to become friends again,” says 22-year-old Jade Naidoo. “It was pretty awkward but I made it clear that I wasn’t interested in getting back together with him and that this new relationship had to be completely platonic.” That means ladies you have to treat him like any other guy friend. “We also decided it was better that we don’t talk about our love lives, because that would probably cause some jealousy,” says Jade. At this point you also have to decide if you’re ready to link up on Facebook again. You gotta be honest with yourself, if he accepts your request will you be glued to his wall like it’s the most gripping novel you’ve ever read? If the answer to this is yes, rather give it some time, we promise it’ll be better for you in the long run.

DON’T FALL BACK INTO OLD HABITS

Presuming you’ve followed the above steps successfully you’re now ready to hang out with your ex like you would with any other guy friend. This said, it’s important to remember that this new relationship cannot under any circumstances mirror the dynamics of your relationship when you were a couple. There really is no exception for this rule. That means don’t call him by the nicknames you used to when you were together, don’t spend too much time alone together and don’t (under any frikken circumstances) get too touchy, if you hook up with him all the hard work you put into getting over him will be wasted, plus it’ll make things super awkward between you.

There is no guarantee that you and you ex will ever be friends, and often this is for the best. The most important thing is that you come out of the whole thing a stronger person. So remember, even if you never speak to him again the number one goal is to learn from the experience and deal with the situation in a way you won’t regret. No one said it would be easy, but with grace and patience it is possible, just remember you don’t need a guy to define who you are; you’re awesome all on your very own!

 

11 Reasons it rocks to be single on Valentines day

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First published in Saltwater Girl 15.2 (February 2013)

The Big V is on its way with hearts and red roses in tow. Single and stressed you’re going to be the only one without a man showering you in love and gifts? Chill lady, there are plenty of reasons why being boyfriend-less on the 14th of February is awesome.

1) Real love

Let’s be honest, boyfriends come and go but family and friends will have a special place in your heart forever. Instead of splurging all your lurve and mula on a dude rather shower all the people who really matter with it.

2) Next level me time

If all these folks already have ‘real’ Valentines don’t fall into the pity ditch, there’s still someone who you can drench in attention, and that my friend is yourself. Put on a mix of all your favourite tunes, haul out your nail kit and give yourself a mani and pedi. Once done apply a facemask and while it dries jam to your tracks while simultaneously munching on your favourite treats. Me time is the business, get involved.

3) Flaunt it

By now you should be feeling and looking damn fine. No need to waste it. Head to the beach and work it in front of all the guys, who are obviously single, or in, typical boy style have forgotten it’s Valentines Day.

4) No admin

That’s the thing about the male species, they don’t have a built in diary that keeps track of special days like we do. So by being single there is no way you have to deal with the disappointment of your bloke forgetting while you have spent the last few weeks buying gifts and preparing a romantic date.

5) No disappointment

Girls with boyfriends will drop hints for days before Valentines about what they want or where they want their man to take them on the big day. Problem is guys aren’t always that attentive when it comes to this and will often miss the hints completely and end up taking their chick to Wimpy for a milkshake, when really she wanted a romantic picnic on the beach. No chance you’re going to be disappointed today lady, you want a picnic? Go on and have one, it’s your day so do as you please.

6) Ka-ching!

Another huge plus is your bank balance won’t be drained. Instead of spending a whole months pocket money on cheesy gifts for a silly boy head to the mall and spoil yourself with a new dress or lip-gloss. I mean I know it feels good to give, but c’mon it feels better to receive!

7) Do it for the sweatshop kids

Speaking of those cheesy gifts, you know the teddies holding hearts and all that junk, majority of those fluffies are made in China, by underpaid minors. So in essence, by being single you are taking a stand against child labour, go you!

8) Cringe proof

Valentines Day brings the hysterical side out in girls; it’s like a shoe sale, but worse. If you’re unattached there is no way you’ll form part of the drones of giggling girls cooing over a slab of chocolate and cut out heart. You’re saving yourself from embarrassment plus you’ll look super cool in front of the guys, who find hysterical girls kinda scary.

9) The element of surprise

When you have a boyfriend it’s a given he’ll be your Valentine (if he remembers that is) but when you’re single you’re fair game. That means you could be surprised with a couple of gifts from anonymous (or not so anonymous) admirers. This is where the excitement of Valentines lies and when you’re hooked up there isn’t much chance you’ll get to revel in this kinda buzz.

9) Be a secret admirer

Send cute little cards and treats to all the boys you think are rad. You don’t have a boyfriend around so don’t hold back. It’ll give you a secret thrill plus you’ll make a whole bunch of boys’ day.

10) The true spirit of V-day

Valentines Day is about honouring and celebrating what you love most. If there isn’t a guy in your life that fits this description then dedicate your day to something close to your heart. If you’re an eco warrior go out and plant a special tree as an ode to Mother Nature. Animal crazy? Head to your local SPCA and make a lonely dog or cat’s day by taking them a juicy piece of meat and a ball to play with. This will fill your heart with love, and that’s what Valentines is all about…