Searching for satisfaction…

VANESSA SMEETS

A look on the 5 type of guys to avoid and how to enjoy singledom…

singleness

LIVING COLOUR: Your colourful past, certainly makes way for a brighter future. PIC: Online

You’re in your late twenties or early thirties, everyone around you is either getting married or having kids.

The best thing about being single? Less questions on where you were.
The worst? More questions on where you’re going…

There’s a lot of pressure on women of today to, as well as having a fulfilling career, be romantically fulfilled as well. No matter how independent or well she’s been doing.

This leads to her falling desperately for the wrong type of men, starting with…

The Ex

Things ended because he moved away and you had to pursue a career or studies. You both still like each other and still secretly have virtual sex. Big mistake. The truth hits you when pictures of his new girlfriend show up on Facebook. Delete that chapter. Delete him. For good, this time…

This new chapter leads you to…

The Rebound

Why I'm single

The honest truth… PIC: Online

You meet him at a bar, share a few beers. The attraction is pretty insane. The sex turns out to be mind-blowing, but you have absolutely nothing else in common. Stop having sex, it’s preventing you from meeting someone more worthwhile.

However, your loneliness leads you to that elusive…

The One-Night Stand

Out of the blue, you meet someone incredibly smart and attractive. Problem is, you’re still not emotionally ready, so you come across as desperate and smothering. You end up liking him too soon, not knowing this is the type of guy to lose interest when things become too sexual. In a moment of passion, you end up sleeping together. The sex turns out to be average, but you’re kind of determined to find out where this could lead. He, however, is not:

“Listen, I’m not blown away by you. That was fun, but that’s all it’ll remain. Have a nice life.”

You feel like a dirty tramp and turn to…

single dilemma

The flying solo dilemma… PIC: Online

The Best Friend

He’s liked you for years, but you’ve kept your distance. After all, could there not just be one platonic male presence in your life, for goodness sake? After hours of crying on his shoulder for the umpteenth time, you look into his kind, genuine eyes and end up making out. The next time you see him, it’s really awkward, so you end up flirting with…

The Colleague

He’s the guy kind enough to offer you a lift to work or leave post-its while you’re out on a smoke break. Mixing business with pleasure has as many perks as risks. You two soon become office talk.

It’s time to break the vicious cycle many women find themselves in and rather embrace singledom.
In the words of Sex and the City:

“Some people are settling down, some people are settling for less and some people refuse to settle for anything less than butterflies.”

Things to embrace while you’re single:

men to avoid

  • Flirt shamelessly with strangers. It’s okay to practice… Practice makes perfect. Just avoid taking them home.
  • Explore the world. Finally you can go on that Contiki tour with your best friend! Do it!
  • Take up new and strange hobbies. Start pole-dancing, hip-hopping, silk painting… You’ll certainly be more interesting to the next lucky fish.
  • Become adventurous without inhibitions. Take up that job offer in South Korea! Go become a photographer on a cruise ship! Au pair while you still can! So many more stories to tell…
  • Focus on what you want, not what you need. Neediness is unattractive. Want is ambitious. Not keen on divorce? Don’t marry that average guy from the dentist’s office.
  • “Water” your friendships. The Sims illustrated this part of social life perfectly. Remember that girlfriend you stopped hearing about once she got hitched? You’ve become her, without the ring. Catch up with a cocktail party or ladies’ night. Liking their Facebook status is simply not enough, by the way.
  • Realize that marriage is more than just a piece of paper, it’s for life. Could you really marry that rebound guy that litters your place with dirty dishes?
  • Play safe. So your heart is broken, wait till you’re emotionally ready to take up something physical. Getting physical too soon means the next guy won’t have time to get to know you on an emotional scale.
  • Keep a diary of your weaknesses, as well as your achievements. Some guys are mean to girls in order to move on more easily, don’t take all their insults to heart. However, if all relationships ended because you were obsessed with your girlfriends or cat, it may be time to overthink some things.
  • Stop complaining, start living. Remember Carrie’s addiction…nagging on and on about Mr Big? So unattractive, even to your closest friends.
  • Find your inner child. He used to steal your lunch, now he’s stolen your dreams. He used to flirt with the teacher, now he flirts with your best friend. Move on. Mr Nice (yet Good-looking) Guy exists… Someone wise once wrote: “Nice guys always finish last, but isn’t that what women want in the end?”

Forbidden Fruit

VANESSA SMEETS

“There is a charm about the forbidden that makes it unspeakably desirable,”
Mark Twain

Forbidden fruit

TEMPTATION: Eve's undeniable hunger for the forbidden continues in modern women of today, through dangerous and flirtatious friendships and relationships. PIC: online

For years, he’s been your best friend.
You call him every time you’re sad, sick or have just broken up with someone.
For years, he’s called you to go for a beer, a movie or a spontaneous road-trip.
He makes you smile, laugh and feel like the most special girl in the room. That is until he starts dating that girl from work and is really serious about her.
“I think she may be the one…” he tells you a month later.

Another month later, they go on a two-week holiday. During that time, you can’t help but think of him constantly:
Is she worthy of him?
Will he still have time for us?
Do I need to see him less now?
Do I have to become her friend too?

The thinking turns into missing. He returns from his trip, but doesn’t call you immediately.
A few days later, he lets you know he’s back. You feel hurt. The difference has already begun.

The new happy couple invites you for supper. You suddenly realise how lonely you really are. They touch. They hug. They kiss. You feel terribly uncomfortable, but why?
What is this irritating nagging feeling that won’t go away… Is it jealousy?
What is this gaping hole that deepens with every silent passing day… Is it longing or, even more complex, love?

You try to concentrate on your other friends, but everyone can’t stop talking about the “amazing new girlfriend.” The label sticks for weeks, months, a year… and it hurts you more and more.
Why can’t I just be happy for him? Why do I find myself constantly thinking about our time together?
It finally hits you: I HAVE FALLEN FOR MY CLOSEST FRIEND!
Were we that… were we a couple without ever placing that damn label?
Did the innocent touch of his hand to reassure me after every heart-break mean something more?

“Of man’s first disobedience…the fruit of that forbidden tree whose mortal taste
brought death into the world and all our woes,” John Milton, Paradise Lost

friendship?

MIND OVER HEART: Is it possible to just be friends with the opposite sex? Or does that hint of attraction make it even more seductive...? PIC: Online

You decide to find out and confront him.
“Shaun, I’m really worried about our friendship… I don’t see you as much.”
“Judy, I have a girlfriend now. It’s totally normal.”
“Yeah, but…umm…we only go for coffee once a week.”
“At least it’s once a week. What’s the big deal? You’ve been in the dating game in the 10 years of our friendship. Did I complain once?”
“I guess not. I’m just concerned. You’re acting differently towards me.”
“Listen, enough of this. Sally is pretty concerned about all the time we spend together. Once a week is quite enough.”
“Enough? We used to spend every day together.”
“That was in the past.”
“So… I can’t be part of your present…or future?”
“Why are you talking like this? What are you getting at?”
“I think… I know… I miss you…”
“I have to go. I’ll call you next week sometime.”

The week passes and it’s the longest week of your life. He never calls.
A few months later, you call him and it’s constantly engaged. Sh*t, HE’S ENGAGED!
He never bothered telling you. The invitation arrives: You are happily invited to bless Shaun and Sally on their new journey.
“Bless it? Is this what I’m supposed to do when I curse the day they met? Do I have to give my blessing every time they decide to have a baby?”

Your head spins. You decide to tell Sally how you feel.
“Sally, I need to know how you feel about Shaun.”
“I love him.”
“I know that, but how do you feel?”
“Happy. He makes me happy.”
“So, happiness is a good enough reason to rush into marriage?”
“We’ve been together for a year and a half.”
“Yeah, well, I’ve known him for 10 years.”
“What are you getting at, Judy?”
“Is Shaun happy? Is this what he wants?”
“You should ask him that. But, yes, I believe he is. He’s finally moved on.”
“Moved on?”
“You really hurt him in the past; how you compared ex after ex, when the man truly in love with you was standing right there.”
“He’s in love with me?”
“Was. He’s assured me it’s over.”
“I don’t know what to say.”
“Umm… I’m not sure if you still want to come to the wedding.”
“That’s probably not a good idea. I should escape, get away from all this.”
“We like you, Judy. Don’t do something that drastic. You still mean a lot to Shaun.”
“I can’t. I can’t…. Oh my G…”

“While forbidden fruit is said to taste sweeter, it usually spoils faster…” Abigail van Buren

You don’t go to the wedding. And, surely, nine months later Sally gives birth to a honeymoon baby.
Shaun calls you: “I want you to be the Godmother. Jayden will need you in his life the way I needed you. I know you’ll be there to comfort him, advise him, show him the magic in life.”
You accept. Your love for Shaun fades the more you see the three of them together.

Sally was right: he’s really happy. You focus all the love you had on Jayden now. Shaun remains forbidden fruit. His ripe season was simply not the same as yours. Seasons continue to come and go; yet he remains firmly attached to his family. You finally walk away from the person you shared the same fears and memories with. The first rays of summer dance upon your skin; it is harvest time elsewhere. 

forbidden_fruit body

DESIRABLE: The more innocent the touch, the more there is to explore. PIC: Online

Forbidden Fruit Situations:

  • You study together. Starting something while studying may seem like the perfect way to balance work and fun. It may also cause you to stop concentrating, fail or drop out if it ends sourly. If he’s messing with you, what’s stopping him from tasting the other girls in the class?
  • You work together. There are highs in mixing business with pleasure: a secret rendez-vouz in the photocopying room now and then, gentle kisses in the bathroom. But, there are even more extreme lows: disapproval and gossip by colleagues, complexity when breaking up or sexual harassment charges.
  • Different religions. As much as you may love each other, your in-laws may be at constant loggerheads about marriage, the home and raising the children.
  • He’s your boss. No! No! Someone wise once told me: “Don’t sh*t where you eat!”
  • You’re blood-family. Come on, seriously? Only Jerry Springer made a living out of this…
  • You live on different sides of the world. Some argue long-distance is romantic, adventurous and fun, it is also an extreme test on your energy levels of jealousy, trust and creativity. How much passion do you have to keep it all going?

A crazy little thing called LOVE…

VANESSA SMEETS

“Open up your mind and let me step inside,
Rest your weary head and let your heart decide,
It’s so easy when you know the rules, It’s so easy all you have to do Is fall in love
Play the game
Everybody play the game – of love”

 – Queen, Play the Game

  

adam eve

ORIGINAL SIN: Our first celebrity couple, Adam and Eve, didn't give us much to be hopeful for in the game of love...

 

In the beginning, God created man and from man was born woman. Adam and Eve, the first celebrity couple, were of the same flesh, or were they? They certainly had different tactics: she wanted power, knowledge and freedom, while all he wanted was a loving wife. Thanks to Eve, immortality was history and later used in programs like “Highlander.”

 However, Adam stayed faithful to his wife, was later banned from the Garden of Eden and was destined to be questioned by men of the future: Can my wife be trusted?

In the beginning, God had already planned the course of true love…

The Bible explains the story of another influential pair: Abraham and Sarah. Although he impregnated their much younger maid, she remained loyal and her faith bore him an incredible son whose father was prepared to sacrifice for his love of God.

The course of true love was planned with ultimate sacrifice that would eventually lead nations.

Macbeth

CRAZY LOVE: She stole his heart and then his sanity. Lady Macbeth plots to bring her husband to power. PIC: online

Shakespeare writes of an exquisite couple, one who had it all: glamour, status, passion and, most of all, ambition. He was a Scott with a thirst for blood and his wife was a pavement special (in attitude) between Cruella De Vil, Winnie Mandela and the witch from Wizard of Oz. Lady Macbeth held on to her husband’s fate a little too tightly; Macbeth was eventually decapitated.

The course of true love never did run again…

Who can forget our idols: Romeo and Juliet? He was on his way to college, living the prime of his life, partying up a storm and well she… she was a Grade 9 girl from the wrong side of the tracks. Their eyes met at a Shakespearian-inspired night club (of course she looked twice her age) and only after the deed was done, did she dare tell him her real age.

  

romeo

ETERNAL KISS: Star-crossed lovers Romeo and Juliet ponder passionately before their untimely death... PIC: Online

The course of true love never did end as fast…

Then there was dynamite that couldn’t have come in a smaller package. Together, they were known as Pinky and Brain, a.k.a. Josephine and Napoleon. All he wanted was a wife that never bathed; yet she convinced him to try and take over the world.

The course of true love never did smell as bad…

Here we are today: same type of mistakes, same type of couples, and same type of love: Clinton and Hillary, Clinton and Monica, Clinton and cigar! One in five people read about it, one in three songs moan about it and one in two poems cry about it.

For better or worse, through sickness and in health: the course of true love never did run smooth…

Time holds the key to our troubled minds: the end is as close as we make it out to be. To an end, true love will never come. True love will never end.

BUT, WHAT IS THIS PHENOMENON CALLED “LOVE”?

 

As defined by various individuals:

“Love is a choice – a wonderful yet painful choice. It encompasses sacrifice, joy, perseverance, ecstasy, forgiveness and wisdom. It’s the ultimate paradox,” Sandra, student.     

love is“Love is the most abused word, often confused with lust, like, passion. Love is a powerful feeling that only a few have experienced. Christ’s life is love,” Didier, physiotherapist.

 

“Love is to trust no matter what, to protect the person even if that means giving your life and to take care of them till the day they die,” Guinevere, student.

“Love is when each partner brings out the best in each other,” John C, student.

“Love is a feeling of respect, passion and wanting the best for that person – which includes an awkward butterfly feeling in your stomach,” Bianca, student.

“Love is like the wind – you can’t see it but you can feel it. It’s a strong word – easy to spell, difficult to define and impossible to live without,” Mercedes, student.

“Love: the state of mind characterised by the will to appreciate something/ someone,” Ekerette, student.

“Love is a never-ending experience filled with challenges, emotions and fulfilness,” Belen, student.

“Love = bliss. It transcends. It’s like the moment after you’ve cum, when all the chemistry of lust is spent and your mind is spiking more than the sex moments earlier, just because your feelings are made manifest. Love transcends the physical. It transcends lust, chemistry and circumstance. And, it’s a bugger,” John S, student.

love is“Love does not hurt you at any time: it is pure happiness that allows you to do whatever you desire,” Jean-Eduard, student.

“Love is being present in mind, heart, body and action and setting one’s soul alight, a flight and alive. No words can ever embody this word humankind calls love,” Vanessa, student.

“Love is giving of oneself freely, without any obligation or too much expectation,” Amélie, grandmother, married for 60 years.

“Love is being fair, love is caring. Love is special, like making breakfast in the morning, lunch during the day and dinner at night. Love is being a good woman!” Krzysztof, student.

“Love is separate from lust in such a way that it completes above sexual satisfaction, fuses emotions and brings together two people on the same level of respect and emotional connection,” Chantal, general practitioner.