There are friends, and then there are friends we secretly fancy and want them to be much, much more than friends. Somehow, this never happens to really attractive girls, but for the rest of us regular folk, at one time or another, we ended up in the dreaded friendzone. This is usually with a guy who is out of our league, yet, somehow, we cannot quite give up on the idea that it may work someday. Anyone who has been firmly in the friendzone will tell you that it exhilarating and soul destroying at the same time. Exhilarating because you get to do stuff with the guy you are hopelessly in love with like tell him your deepest secrets (except of course the obvious one) and have him confide in you. This is especially exciting if you have caught him between relationships and during a period where he has sworn off women. He is all yours, except in that one way. Yes, you touch, but not in the way you crave, yet, it is still beautiful. He is of course clueless (you hope) of your true feelings and you are clueless as to how to progress. The most important thing to keep in mind is that for your relationship to change, something else will have to change as well. Here are some suggestions to try out: Put some space between you physically and mentally. If you talk/text every day become slightly unavailable, take a day or two to respond to texts/emails. Spend some time away and do less for him. Make your conversations less “deep” and give him little information on your state of mind and feelings. Start creating mystery, the mother of desire! Change the way you look and especially try to lose weight if you carry a lot more than you should. It is no coincidence that many women in the friend zone are overweight. The reason is that these women are so insecure about the way they look that they use the friend route to get near the man they like. As friends they cannot get rejected outright and their “friend” can get to know their inner beauty. This strategy rarely works without a corresponding change in the looks department. Men are visual and get attracted to new shiny things. Change your makeup, your wardrobe, your hair and hit the gym if you want him to notice you in a different light. A word on banter! If you have been pretending to be one of the guys to get close to him, stop it and start behaving like a girl. Being thought as a guy is worse than being in the regular friendzone despite what you have seen in the movies. Make some new friends of the opposite sex and flirt with them. Friends that he does not know and also does not know how or where you met them. Be enigmatic about your feelings towards these new people in your life and don’t reveal anything. Men cannot resist a bit of competition and there is a good chance that he will see you differently if he gets an inkling that he may lose you to another guy. Finally, if the opportunity presents itself, or if you can make it present itself, jump him. Not in a weepy, “I am in love with you” way, but outright sexy provocative way. Your chances are high, men rarely decline sex. It is a shock treatment and if does not work your “friendship” is finished. Even if it works for one night, it may not last, but at least you will be well and truly out of the friendzone! Good luck my “friend”.
My beautiful, smart, successful, outgoing and charming girlfriend got a text last night from her latest boyfriend of five months telling her that while he was dating her, he also managed to get his ex-girlfriend pregnant. He, or course, professed his endless love, pleading with her not to give up on the beautiful thing they have together…. Have the cake and eat it too. Charming. If you think this story is unusual and far-fetched, think again. It seems like all the good guys are hiding under a rock and an army of losers are roaming the dating scene. I am not even talking about the guys that live on Tinder and other dating apps, most of who have shed their social graces while hiding under the cloak of digital anonymity. I am referring to the living, breathing and talking ones that you actually meet in person. I have to ask the question, is the availability of special girls, such as my girlfriend so widely spread that they feel they can jerk them around and have two going at the same time? There is of course availability like never before. Not because there are more wonderful women, but because they have become easier to reach. They are on social media willingly shedding their secrets and their mystery. Strolling through profiles on Facebook and Instagram, I see these girls in decked up in makeup, half-naked in bikinis, blowing kisses to the camera and to other unknown men who are browsing what they have to offer. To men it must feel like a hypermarket where everything is on sale and at a discount. This attitude is changing the way men think about dating and relationships and this has an impact on all women including those, like my girlfriend, who are refusing to display their availability for the world to see. I am afraid ladies that we are torching our own happiness but falling victims to the buzz of getting a flurry of likes from semi-strangers. If love is a game, it must be poker, and we have to keep our cards close to our chest until it is the right time to reveal our hand. You can’t win at poker by giving out you full hand together with a running commentary of your strategy before the game has even started. So, what is my advice to those of you who would like to play to win? I will suggest to you that you keep your man guessing, never allowing him to have all there is to know about you. Don’t let him put a tick on the box next to your name. If he wants to have you, he should have to do some work so that the prize at the end has been earned, not handed on a platter. When he opens up your Facebook page, he would learn and see little information. Just enough to keep him wondering about you, your friends, your life and your body. If you are hesitating, let me give you an example. Have you ever found yourself in a situation where a dress you want is available in many colours and you are favouring a lovely yellow one? Then, the salesgirl informs you that they are sold out of green dresses. Suddenly, all you want is a green one. You are willing to pay more, go on the waiting list or rip it out of the hands of the girl who is standing in line to pay. Why is that? Green is not even your favourite colour… When you finally manage to get your hands on one, after going on Ebay and paying many times its true price, it becomes your favourite dress and you end up wearing it all summer. Its human nature, and when it comes to guys, you want to be the green dress. The one that is hard to get. I know, I know. It has been said many times before, but in this age of easy availability of everything, including love, I felt that it should be told one more time. Ladies, take note and have a great weekend being the green dress.
Of all the things that I hear girls say about their boyfriends, “you complete me” is the most barfworthy. What are you that you need completing? An unfinished project? An imperfect creature, a flawed individual from birth, running around to find its other half in order to operate properly? Far from me to say what each one of us needs in life to be fulfilled and I have advocated again and again that a solid relationship with the right guy is a vital part of a happy life. I find it challenging however when I meet weepy women who maintain that they are incomplete because their guy left or they have not found one yet. For all of you feminists out there, have you ever heard a guy say this? Also, do you know how much guys detest being relied on and needed in this profound way? I will go a step further to say that the whole concept is artificially created by us women as a form of entrapment. Make the guy feel that he is part of the foundation of the house, and should he decide to leave the whole structure will come crashing down and his partner will roam the earth as an incomplete and imperfect being. I am not the sort of girl that demonstrates for women’s rights or goes around burning bras. I am however, very much a believer in the independence of the parties within the relationship. And what is a relationship after all? Two people are attracted to each other, they have common interests and beliefs, and they decide to be together and often, build a life together. Now imagine the pressure on this relationship, if either party is the one of a kind special piece that completes the other and should the two pieces drift apart it is a catastrophic event that will be unrecoverable. Really? In what kind of fantasy land does this happen? In fact, the proof is all around you. People break up, often after very long relationships and they find other people to be happy with. Is it because we have a generic shape that can complete many partners? With this post, I would like to reach out to all my fellow women who perpetuate this myth, often to their detriment. Nobody out there completes you. You are complete and perfect all on your own and if you are lucky to find a guy that you can have a magical relationship with, I salute you. And if your relationship lasts a life time, good for you. But don’t tell me, or him that he completes you.
I have a girlfriend who has achieved something quite extraordinary. After 10 years of marriage and 2 small children she has a vibrant sex life dominated by intense desire, secret rendezvous, knowing winks, hand holding and touching at every opportunity. Needless to say, we are all in awe and marvel at her ability to keep the flame burning so brightly. The other day I learned her secret. She cheats! So, why is the forbidden so erotic? What is it about transgression that makes desire so potent? And why do we long after babies when we all know that babies signal the end of erotic desire in couples? Every couple that has been together more than a few years, knows that the intensity of sexual desire fades. The mystery that sparked the flames becomes familiarity and the couple become more like business partners, running a small enterprise together. Did you know that marriage based on love and romance is less than 200 years old? Before that, marriage was an arrange contract with the express purpose of producing children and merging family fortunes. Nobody expected forever lasting love, deep and enduring friendship or mind-blowing sex. In this day and age however, we have upped the ante dramatically and our partner expectations are astounding. We want them to be our best friend, mysterious erotic partner, excellent parent, traveling companion, financial partner and trusted advisor. No wonder 47% of marriages fail. Who can live up to this sort of expectation? When we enter marriage, or a long term committed relationship we want our partner to live up to the seriousness of the situation. Mortgages, kids, reliable jobs we want all these to be part of the agreement. Yet, we also crave the adventure, novelty, danger, mystery and surprise. How can this ever work in the same setting? For our sex lives to be erotic, mystery and imagination must be present. A bit of distance and a lack of neediness spark desire. In a sense, we need to be doing the opposite of what seems natural when we enter in a relationship. Instead of rushing to know everything about our partner, take care of them, make them as familiar as possible and unravel all the mysteries of their soul, we should be trying to maintain the mystery for as long as possible. Think about it. What makes early love so exciting is that you are getting incredibly close to a stranger. Touching a body that has a different shape, and being with an unknown person, unaware of their inner thoughts and unsure about their feelings. You want to possess them, know everything about them, claim their identity. The quicker they give all their secrets away, the faster erotic desire fades and their halo disperses. Like eating a box of chocolates all at once instead of savouring them one at a time as they each reveal their special taste and inner core. Couples have tried many different strategies with varying degrees of success. I know of couples who live in different cities, sleep in separate beds, engage in threesomes, spend a month’s salary in toys and sexy underwear, watch porn together, you name it. All have something in common. The have understood the importance of increasing the mystery, decreasing familiarity and engaging the imagination. Seeing your partner in a situation where they are in their element, in command of the situation, effortlessly and confidently engaging in what they do best is probably one of the most powerful aphrodisiacs. Suddenly, they have a powerful allure that tends to get forgotten between the school run and loading the dishwasher. It may not be realistic for many couples to live apart of swing with other partners, but what is realistic and perfectly possible, is for couples to go back to thinking of each other as individual beings who own their identities, secrets and private spaces. It is also realistic for couples to renounce ownership of each other and instead allow personal growth independent of the relationship. It is this growth precisely that will maintain respect, mystery and desire. So next time you badger your partner to divulge everything that he is thinking, take a step back and instead appreciate the allure and magnetism of the unknown within the person you know so well.
Few years ago I worked in a tech startup as an advisor sitting next to their customer service department. In the 9 months I sat there, I never heard anyone speak, in fact, it was probably the best place to sit if you wanted to concentrate. A few months after I started, they actually removed their phone number from the website all together. These millennials did not like speaking to strangers over the telephone… Are you one of these millennial girls struggling to escape the tyranny of online dating and create more meaningful face to face connections? Here is what you need to know to meet men face to face. The first rule is to be approachable and the best way to do this is to smile. The men you are likely to meet are also a bit shy and unsure about the best way to get to know you. Beaming a smile their way will give them the courage to walk over. On the same subject, if you want guys to approach you, don’t go out in a group. A bunch of girls are quite threatening to a guy. Go with one girlfriend or on your own. If the man on your radar is not making any moves to approach you, here is what to do. Firstly, evaluate the context of the place you are at and who is with him. Is it a bar, a conference, a coffee shop? Think of something relevant, non-threatening and positive: “Is this your first hike with this group?”, "Nice turnout for this event!" "Did you hear the keynote? I thought it was great." “Have you tried the apple pie? It is really good and they only bake it on Thursdays.” Guys love to show off, so ask for help, for his opinion or for information. All three are excellent conversations starters. "Excuse me, do you know if there is WIFI available?”, “Could you help me reach my coat?”, “Have you heard this speaker before? I wonder what he has to say about X.”,"I see you're drinking the mojito. Would you recommend it?" Once the ice has cracked, you can move the conversation by discussing shared experiences or thinking of mutual acquaintances. Maybe you both like to ski, or you both went to a nearby University. Perhaps you had the same professor, or you know some of the same people. Any commonalities are making you trust each other and help the conversation flow. Nothing makes a guy happier or more willing to stick around than being given the stage to talk about himself. Try to focus on what he considers his strong points and successes, ask relevant questions, and let him give you all the details and ins and outs of his triumphs. Focus on what he is wearing and compliment anything that stands out. Everyone likes a compliment and he will consider you a woman of superior taste and class. Make sure of course that you are targeting guys within your range and also have a plan on how to escape the attention of those guys you have no interest in attracting. This does not mean that you should not aim high. After all, none of these strategies present a risk to your dignity. The worst that can happen is that you will be given a lot of instructions you don’t need, or you will have to find a new peg for your coat (that you asked him to fetch for you). Now if you are really adventurous, you can try my signature move that has not failed me yet. Look at him seductively, smile and give him a little wink (look playful, not like a porn star). As a final piece of advice, be easy to approach and difficult to capture. Every guy likes a bit of a chase. Good luck!
He treated you badly by any stretch. He cheated on you, broke up with you, lied and bullied you before finally leaving for good. He is obviously the scum of the earth, a speck of dirt on your shoe that does not deserve a first chance, much less a second one. You tell everyone that you are glad he is out of your life and you hope to never encounter the likes of him again. More power to you sister, you are awesome. Then, halfway through the first week of him leaving, you find yourself: • Calling him • Texting him • Begging him to come back • Stalking him on Facebook • Crying your eyes out • Finding it impossible to continue living without him Do you see how crazy this sounds? We have a shockingly short time on this early and you are prepared to spend months or years of your life convinced that this is the only man on earth you want to be with? This man who in addition told you very clearly verbally or with his actions that he has no interest whether you live or die? It saddens me and baffles me to see women wasting their tears, years and emotions pinning after someone who does not want them. I’ll be the first to justify the tears if that man stood between a woman’s comfortable living and abject poverty. But if not, then what is the reason for this undignified behaviour? Love? More likely, it is fear of being alone, obsession, anger and disbelief because of the rejection. You are mourning the loss of your sense of safety and the security of knowing what to expect from a person you depend on completely who then stops responding. The world temporarily stops making sense and you want to go back to the way things were. In fact, you may even forget the reality of what it was like when he was around and see the past with rose coloured glasses. Ladies, please get your act together and mourn the loss of your status quo in private or with your close friends who love you. Don’t go calling him drunk in the middle of the night while he is in some other woman’s bed. He is not worth it, and you will only hurt more. Keep your dignity intact and you will thank me later.
“If only the strength of the love that people feel when it is reciprocated could be as intense and obsessive as the love we feel when it is not, then marriages would be truly made in heaven.” Ben Elton What do we mean when we say “I love you”? Who do we love? And why do we love someone who clearly has no love for us? Why is the chase so thrilling even when it is immensely painful? We dress it up as love, but really we are infatuated with making them like us. We can control this by “doing something” to make them love us back. We don’t even take their feelings into consideration — we don’t know if they truly would want to be with us or if we would be good for them. We just assume… It becomes a personal challenge in which we change who we are and try a variety of tactics just to win their attention and affection. It is a way of pretending to love someone without actually loving. There is a certain type of person that is particularly vulnerable to this push/pull chase. People who never fully got the approval of their parents and developed and anxious attachment style are the most prone to fall in love with someone who is beyond their reach. It may seem perversely non intuitive, but think about it. If there is no chance of reciprocal love then there is no chance of real rejection. And the unrequited love by itself provides a good amount of dopamine to keep our brains excited and engaged throughout this “fictional romance”. These same people have terrible trouble getting over a breakup and can pine after a lost love for several years. They attract and remain stuck in relationships that aren’t healthy or ones, victims to the high and extreme emotions that they feel when the object of their infatuation is around. By staying stuck in the relationship, they are reliving their past but hope that this time things will turn out different and they will be valued, accepted, wanted, and, most of all, loved. I often speak to women who have been treated stupendously badly by their partners. Partners who have left them, are living with someone else, are being cold, mean and do not in any way resemble the person they originally fell in love with. Yet, they keep going back for more, calling them, driving by their new home, crying at their doorstep and truly not seeing a life without the person that rejected them. They become irrational and make decisions that they would normally steer away from, playing a game where they must win the person over to heal the pain from the past and gain validation. Interestingly, the person they are after, often does not have any of the qualities they ascribe to them and if they had a clear mind, they would never choose them for a partner. Even worse, they put their entire self-worth in the hands of this unworthy person. “Lovers and madmen have such seething brains Such shaping fantasies, that apprehend More than cool reason ever comprehends.” ― William Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night's Dream This game has no winners. Wake up and realise that you are in love with a donkey’s head.
This is the thing, when we first meet a guy, we totally overlook his bad habits. Farting, nose picking, chewing with mouth open, making a clicking sound, leaving the toilet seat up, are all overlooked during the heady early days of love. Some of these habits may even appear sort of cute or boyish. When you first sleep together, you may be perfectly content to lay awake next to the object of your affection, while he lets out these cute little snores… but give it a couple of months. I am telling you now, beware! These very habits are the biggest killers of relationships. They can lead to murder. As time passes and his halo fades what remains is familiarity and a collection of habits that do not appear as endearing any more. You probably have some as well; and you know what? These habits are here to stay… Rarely they go away. I have heard of people who have managed to stop chewing their nails. More often they don’t. Then the bickering starts. Your turn up your nose at his farts, hold down his hand when it reaches for his nose, get more and more annoyed at falling through the toilet in the middle of the night. Why can’t he just stop? He won’t because he can’t and there is only one solution. You must separate the habits you can live with and those that you can’t. He may be the king of the jungle, an amazing guy in every way, that is, every way other than that thing he does (insert habit). Even a single habit you cannot live with will kill the relationship, guaranteed. You will resent him for doing it, he will resent you for telling him. All your love and respect for each other will boil down to that one thing that grinds on your nerves daily. If that one thing exists in your relationship, there is only one solution. You either walk away, or, if you decide you can live with one of his bad habits, NEVER bring it up again.
Your date was amazing! You too clicked extremely well and continued talking well into the night, before he pecked you on the cheek good night…. 24 hours later you keep refreshing your phone, but no message is appearing. Was he in a car accident and fighting for his life in hospital? We are humans and we absolutely hate any direct dismissal of our ego. When we get rejected, we make up stories; stories that “explain” the rejection. Here are some examples: • He lost my number • He is still hurting from his previous relationship • He is shy • It’s complicated, he has some unspecified issues that need patience and understanding • He is commitment phobic • He was abducted by aliens • Etc etc.. Ladies, let me save you some time and heartache. In 99% of cases there are only three reasons why a guy does not call/text after a successful first date: 1. He is not into you. Maybe he found you too eager or you dominated the conversation and never actually listened to him. You may have chewed with your mouth open, had a deodorant fail, ordered the wrong thing, told him you like hip hop or insulted his mother. Who knows? Point is he did not like you enough to call back. You should delete his contact and move on if you don’t hear from him within a week from the date. 2. He thinks you are not into him. Did you act distracted, played with your phone, did not listen to him, spent too much time in the ladies’ room, talked about your ex through starter, main and dessert or told him you swing both ways? Guys can be shy and a bit insecure when they first meet a girl. If you suspect that you sent the wrong signals, you should send him a quick text after 24 hours, stating how much you enjoyed meeting him and what a great time you had during the date. If he does not respond you misread the signs and it is either scenario 1 or scenario 3. Either way, delete his contact details and move on. 3. He has a girlfriend and is testing the water. You think that’s rare? Think again. It is like shopping, or test driving a new car. He is out to see what else is out there and wants to make sure he is not missing out, especially after a fight or if his girlfriend is pressuring him to commit. I am sorry you decked yourself out for this particular loser. Again, delete his contact details and move on.
I recently discussed dating in your 30s and 40s and my inbox filled with messages from women (and men) who are looking to meet someone and settle down. Some of you said that you feel like the last single person left on earth. That you spend your weekends with your friends and their families, constantly the third wheel. I am writing this to follow up on your questions. The first thing I want to draw your attention to is TIME. If you are a woman in your mid thirties and dreaming of a family and a house full of children, better get your skates on. You can absolutely not afford to dilly dally. You have reached an age when you can quickly separate the wheat from the chaff. You know what you want so don’t waste any time with men that don’t fit the bill and/or are not ready to commit. Don’t settle for a partner that you sort of like just because your biological clock has turned into the bells of Notre Dame. The relationship won’t be healthy, nor will it last. However, this is the time to stop waiting around for the prince on a white horse to show up at your door. You aren’t perfect, so stop seeking perfection in a partner. Be ready to compromise on those things that don’t matter to you as much. Speaking of princes, yours, may be already onto his second princess. Many couples divorce around that age (or a bit older) and there will be an entire new population of marriage trained men in the dating pool, ready to give it a second go. Some will surely come with baggage, but you should not discount the fact that they have shown that they can commit at least once. The biggest threat to your future happiness is the time waster who will never marry you. Yes, you know who I am talking about. The on/off boyfriend, who lives in your flat, gets all the perks of married life, but after 7 years of dating is still not ready to get on his knees and pop the question. If you want a family and kids, ditch him today. A year or two can make a difference to your fertility but will make none to his. When he is good and ready to commit, he is just as likely to go for a newer model and where does this leave you and your dreams? Pay attention here. You need to understand how important this is. It is not just a year or two, it is a life you will be giving up if you stick it out. Make sure you are crystal clear on this. The power that you have in your early thirties, in your little black dress and your sky high heels will disappear as you approach your forties and you will be surpassed but the wave of younger women coming behind you. You friends will be settling into their young families and suddenly you will find that the train has left the station. At this stage, many women seek therapy for depression. Am I scaring you yet? I hope so, for your own sake. When you reach your mid thirties, it is time to make a conscious effort to take a step back from driving to the suburbs every weekend and actually put the effort into finding a partner. Your biggest advantage is also your biggest problem. Women in their 30s are stunning and irresistible. They are confident in and out of bed, intelligent, most likely settled in a career and quite possibly with savings and a home. They have finally discovered what looks good on them, their makeup and wardrobe have been perfected. They are beautiful and independent , BUT there is the elephant in the room…TICK, TOCK, TICK TOCK and the men hear this and run, run away. What can you do? Did you know that divorced women find it easier to remarry than single women? I have theorised that it is because they are not desperate or in a hurry and this comes across in their demeanour. Guys don’t feel threatened when dealing with divorcees. How can you best emulate their attitude? Truthfully the best and wisest strategy is to stop scaring the boys. I know that you may be scared and anxious yourself but keep it in check. Give your date space and time, don’t go exclusive until he does and make sure that you continue being the person that he was originally attracted to. Find ways to demonstrate to him that you have options, you are desirable and sought after and the reason you are not married yet is because you are picky, not because you are not good enough to be propose to. Don’t fall in the trap of thinking that every successful date means you met “the ONE”. I know it is hard not to. He is thoughtful, caring, texts you all the time and you are already practicing your new signature as a married woman… Well don’t. Let the relationship happen in the present. The more pressure you put on it, the easier it will crumble, and you will be back at square one. Finally, I will reiterate what I said previously. The best place for you to meet the man of your dreams is where you can showcase your assets, maturity, confidence and intelligence. Meetup groups focusing on your interests (or organise your own meetup group), outdoor activities (hiking, swim meets, running clubs), short courses, work conferences, film clubs etc. Also, don’t neglect singles holidays, or tour groups. When everyone is seeing new things and are relaxed away from work, it is the perfect time to meet someone and strike a new relationship. Good luck!