A story of conflict: Growing up with strict Asian parents and having an interracial relationship.

This is by far one of the most difficult posts I’ve ever had to write… it’s a sensitive subject, an extremely personal account and still to this day evokes so many negative emotions as I type. I can literally feel my heart tightening along with a slight rise in my blood pressure when I cast my mind back to that specific time in my life. Part of me doesn’t really want talk about this but I think it’s important to release memories that I’ve suppressed and highlight important topics/issues that I feel strongly about. I predict it’ll be quite a word-heavy post, I’m not sure how or where to start… so apologies in advance if it sounds like a bunch of word vomit. Everything is based on my own experience, I’m hoping this piece of writing in particular will give you raw insight on the difficult challenges I (and probably many other Asians — more so females) have had to face growing up in a traditional, strict Asian household… especially where dating is concerned.

Before I begin my account, I think it’s worth sharing some context on my ethic background. I grew up in a typical immigrant Chinese/Vietnamese household. I won’t dive into too much detail on my family history but in a nutshell it wasn’t long after the Vietnam War that my parents, grandparents, aunties and uncles had to flee the country. After many, many trials and tribulations, my parents eventually settled in the UK.

People who’ve come from a similar background as myself would probably hesitate to divulge too much information about our upbringing; some words that come to mind include shame, embarrassment and guilt. With this also comes fear. Fear of others judging or thinking less of you and your family. However, I don’t concern myself with the opinions of others, I’m very open and willing to address the elephant(s) in the room.

The way traditional Asian parents communicate their love is vastly different from western culture. There were no hugs, no “I love you”, no praises and compliments. Parents like mine were over protective, abusive (physically and verbally), and needed to have full control over their children. Yet they were incredibly hard working; certainly the most hard working people I know. Everything and anything they did was solely for my sisters and I to succeed in life and I’m very grateful.

An endless cycle of hostility

Now when you’re a 16 year old teenager who has grown up in a western society living under a roof with a Tiger Mum (sadly my dad passed away when I was 5)… there’s bound to be conflict. Lots of it. At that hormonal age, it was only natural for me to start thinking about partying, drinking, smoking, dating and having sex. Of course, I was constantly reminded to focus on my studies (which I did) but I also began to take an interest in boys.

Having a boyfriend at 16 was one problem… but the “types” of guys I was interested in was another (I’ll get to it shortly), I spent most of my teenage years living with resentment. My mum’s discipline and strictness pushed me to rebel and endure an endless cycle of hostility towards everyone.  I lied countless times just to be able hang out with my boyfriend, I snuck out many nights, got kicked out on a few occasions and even packed my things and left home on my own accord. I kept my relationship a secret from my mum for 3 years… although I’m pretty sure she knew but tried to turn a blind eye.

Perception

My boyfriend at the time was black and when it comes to dating, I’d rather not think about race, it holds no relevance to me. But that’s been hard to avoid especially growing up in my household. Unfortunately there is an inherent racist element in Asian culture towards black people. The rigid views and ideologies stem mainly from the older generation which gets passed down. Much of the dislike or reluctance comes from deep-seated racial stereotypes — and this all comes down to lack of knowledge, exposure and availability. Asians who’ve grown up in Asia tend to have very little knowledge of black men and black culture in general.

Frustratingly what makes it worse is that these negative stereotypes of black men have been perpetuated by the media, displaying them as irresponsible “bad boys” and thugs. Asian culture tends to be achievement oriented and “high status” conscious, therefore the qualities of black men depicted by the media are not desirable. The fact is many Asian parents overtly tell their daughters not to date black guys. I imagine there are many Asian girls/women who are attracted to black boys/men but are afraid to pursue such relationships because of how their family will react. Honestly, it isn’t easy for us, and depending on how headstrong we are as individuals, we have two options — either follow our parent’s instructions or don’t… and the latter will instantly label you as disrespectful because you’ve gone again their word and “shamed the family”.

In addition to this, there is a very archaic view on dark skin… it’s an unspoken thing but it exists. Historically many Asian countries believed that dark skin was associated with working in the fields, symbolising rural poverty. On the other hand, pale skin meant living a more comfortable life indoors, out of the sun. Skin colour is thus a sign of social class. I mean this doesn’t play a huge factor on what I’m discussing as this is more about how Asians see other Asians… but worth mentioning for insight.

So even though my mum turned a blind eye, inside I felt like I was committing the ultimate “sin”. It always seemed like I was stuck between a rock and a hard place. The only thing that made it slightly bearable was that my sisters knew and understood the difficulties I was going through. But ultimately if I had admitted to dating a black boy to my mum’s face; I guarantee she would have beaten and disowned me… you think I’m being dramatic when I say it but trust me, I’m not.

World War III: The Dating Battlefield

I can only describe the whole situation as a hot mess and one of my biggest strains. It wasn’t just from the conflict between my mum and I either, the relationship itself wasn’t healthy. Don’t get me wrong, experiencing “young love “was wonderful in so many ways — there were a number of highs but far too many lows.

When we started dating, I didn’t even think to consider what my mum would have thought. We were so into each other, literally inseparable. As my first boyfriend, I just wanted to see him frequently and hangout like any normal teenage girl. Thankfully we went school together; so we’d meet at lunch, he’d wait for me after class, I’d jump into his arms every time I saw him, I’d sneak into his lessons, he’d sneak into mine, we’d get into trouble together for being late… it was a very typical “teenage love”.

Eventually I met his family, his mum was super lovely, I got along with his brothers well, his cousins were nice. His mum made me dinner regularly, I always felt so welcome in their home. I wanted nothing more than to do the same for him… but realised it wasn’t going to be possible which saddened me a lot. It was so unfair, why could I not just come from a “normal” family where parents were not so narrow-minded, judgemental and ignorant? The more I thought about it, the more angry and resentful I became.

In the first year or so, my mum was working outside of London at the time, I had the house to myself a lot which was perfect because I invited him over almost every day. Yeah spending all that time with him was great but the problem was that I was never able to fully immerse myself in those moments… not without anxiety, worry and paranoia sitting beside me. In my mind I’d visualise what would happen if my mum randomly came home early one day and found us in bed! A early grave for me for sure. My mum had a few friends that lived in the area too so whenever we went out, I found myself looking behind my shoulder in case someone would see me. Constantly feeling on edge brought me to tears a lot, and although he was very understanding, it didn’t make me feel any better about the bullshit situation.

What pissed me off even more was that the majority of my girl friends were Afro/Caribbean, and my mum was cool with that. No seriously, they’ve come to my house, she’s spoken to them, cracked jokes, they’ve been around for lunch or dinner… all of that! What the actual fuck? Why couldn’t she see and treat my boyfriend in the same way!? It irritated me to the core. And because of my frustrations and her absurd way of thinking… we were clearly unable to see eye to eye. Often we’d get into some real heated arguments… leading into verbal/physical abuse.

With all that rage inside me, I could only see red around her. She would say something and it would immediately trigger me or we’d be discussing something which would escalate into another topic. I don’t think I’ve ever cried so much in my life from just pure distress. At that age, the only way I could express anger was through shouting profanity at her, threatening her, slamming doors, throwing my weight, packing my stuff and leaving. There were many times I wanted to get physically violent with her.

Towards the end of the relationship, my boyfriend and I were very rocky… we had many issues. I felt like I was fighting fires everywhere. At this point, I was battling with him, at the same time trying to salvage my broken heart and the broken relationship. I was still at war with my mum, I felt like my sisters weren’t supporting me enough and fell out with them. I felt like I was drifting away from my friends. It was a turbulent time. As a teenager, it seemed like my world came crashing down. I felt lonely, trapped and so miserable.

I was 19 when I decided to call it quits, I couldn’t deal with the turmoil any longer. It was a hard, painful decision because I was so emotionally invested and attached but I knew in my heart the relationship was no longer serving me. It drained me physically and mentally. It took me a long time to get over him but even then, the hurt and issues that surfaced in those 3 years didn’t leave me until much later in life.

15 years later

It’s been 15 years since all of that happened, crazy how certain moments in life can really engrain in your mind. But I’m glad I was able to share this account with my readers. Personally I think it was an important topic to discuss, especially as we now live in a generation where we need to encourage and embrace cultural diversity. Fortunately, negative stereotypes are slowly dying out and as people become aware and travel more, there has been a growing acceptance of interracial dating/marriages globally.

For those with traditional Asian parents, if you’re facing a similar problem as I did, please do not start a feud and rebel against them. Trying to educate them about the black community is ideal but I’m sure it will be like talking to a brick wall… I would give it a go though. If I could travel back in time, I would have preferred to be honest (even if it meant getting a beating/disowned), I would remind my mum that the colour of someone’s skin does not define them and express how happy that person made me. It’s highly likely that it wouldn’t have gone down well but at least I would have freed myself from living in fear and been able to enjoy the moments without carrying all the emotional baggage every single second of the day.

In terms of my relationship with my mum now? It’s certainly improved. We get along much better. Maturity and gaining perspective has aided towards my overall attitude (and temper) but I’m not going to lie, I still hold a tiny bit of resentment towards her… I know I shouldn’t and I need to let it go, but it’s honestly so difficult. I read a lot of books and listen to various podcasts to help me manage and get past the emotions I hold onto… with time I believe I’ll get there. I’d never want to paint anyone of my family in a negative light, but this is the truth of my childhood but I understand that my mum also endured many difficulties throughout her life.

COVIDiares: From quranteasing to pandemic pleasing

If you’re an avid reader of my blog then you’ll know that I started COVID-eo dating a guy that I met on Hinge back around mid-March (here is the post for reference.) Nine weeks in I wrote another piece giving a quick update on how things were going and bringing to light some of my “what if” questions in advance of us (eventually) meeting face to face. It’s now been just over 3 months, so with lockdown eased up and 12 video dates later… you better believe we finally met in the flesh! Hurrah!

It’s been an interesting journey so far, particularly with the video dating aspect as that was completely new territory for me. Sharing a similar story with many others, lockdown introduced a shift in the dating landscape where users had to turn towards platforms such as FaceTime or Zoom in order to connect with potentials. While some may have found it awkward or simply put their dating lives on pause, I found the experience to be very enjoyable and fulfilling. I certainly didn’t expect to be “dating” anyone during lockdown, let alone for so many weeks! My initial thought was that perhaps I’d have a couple of video dates before it gradually fizzling out.

Recap

From the get go I noticed straight away that our conversations naturally flowed with lots of laughter. Our dates quickly became a weekly thing, we were both comfortable and I found myself feeling more at ease with him as the weeks went by. It was nice to see his personality shine through via video, I felt like I managed to get a lot more out of this method of communication as opposed to messaging or a phone call; the interactions and facial expressions made a huge difference in building this connection. Another thing I appreciated was how open we were with each other; by sharing thoughts on how our date went, what we enjoyed and what we liked about each other — it was helpful to know that we were on the same page. The most impressive part above all, was the consistent effort put in from both sides, not only did we have our once-a-week dates but there was plenty of chit chat, banter and silly games in-between. It’s fair to say that he made lockdown a little more bearable for me.

First (not video) date

Our first date took place last Tuesday and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t feeling slightly nervous beforehand (and I’m not usually the nervous type!) No doubt it was more nerves of excitement than anything else. I mean with 3 months worth of build up and anticipation of seeing each other (especially during the last couple of weeks), the suspense was killing me slowly. In the back of my mind, I was confident that there’d be no awkwardness nor would we be any different to how we were over our Zoom calls. We were lucky to have sunshine for our park “drinkies” date (it rained for the rest of the week) so I kept my outfit fairly casual, I chucked on a t-shirt, skirt, trainers and my oversized glam sunglasses. 😎

I arrived at the meeting spot a few minutes earlier and dropped him a message… eeeek! The funniest part was when he messaged back saying he was couple of minutes away and asked me to send my location. Not long after, I noticed a little old man following Google Maps on his phone, heading directly towards me! Hahaha! Just so you know, that wasn’t him! But the next guy walking towards me definitely was! I had a quick scan of his outfit (standard procedure): casual check shirt, black jeans and vans — yeah, he got my stamp of approval for his park ensemble ✅ As he walked towards me, I couldn’t help but laugh, it felt kinda bizarre…in a positive way!

Getting our flirt on

Now I’m gonna to be straight and say that we broke the social distancing rules! I don’t think it even occurred to us because we went in for a hug and he gave me a kiss on the cheek. You know how I mentioned us being comfortable during our Zoom calls? It felt exactly the same except this time there was no laptop screen between us. We started chatting and I was tempted to link onto his arm… although on second thought, it was probably a bold move to make so early on! Didn’t want him to think I was a weirdo 🙈 Once we found a nice spot, I could feel the chemistry between us which wasn’t surprising as we’d been quite flirty during our dates. With so much eye contact, laughter and a few touchy feely moments… it seemed like we just clicked. Within an hour and a few G&Ts later, we were sat so ridiculously close together to the point where I thought “fuck it” and went in for a snuggle. At one point during our date, he was lying down on his front so I could crack his back 😂 Yeah I don’t know where that randomly came from… Anyway! Things turned up a notch as we placed a bet; basically if I lost then I had to give him a kiss (oldest trick in the book!) Firstly I’ll have you know that I won the bet. He’ll tell you otherwise because he’s a soo competitive. Either way, I wanted that kiss so was willing to take the “loss”. FYI – he’s a great kisser!

With all the fun and games going on; there was one thing we didn’t think through… public toilets! They were all bloody closed. I’m still confused about it until this day. Why do that? After dragging the poor guy around in circles, feeling confident that at least one set of toilets would be open, I was very wrong… and far from impressed. Luckily for him, he did his thing in a bush — that’s one advantage to having a penis. Unfortunately I wasn’t planning to water any plants so I made us Uber over to my sisters house, thank God she didn’t live too far and he probably thought I was such a diva at this point.

Hehe ;D

We continued on with our date at a local park and popped open the bottle prosecco we had left 🥂🍾 Up until the sun went in, we chilled, people watched, conversed and weren’t hiding the fact that we were checking each other out… a lot. Considering no restaurants or bars were open, he offered to make me dinner at his. Yeah I know what you’re thinking, and no, I didn’t think his only intention was to get me into bed.

After whipping up a meal with a glass of wine each we continued chatting. Eventually he swooped in and made the move. The kisses were fiery, I felt his hands running from my waist and up my skirt. As we continued kissing, he lifted me up and put me on the dining table. We were ready to go for it, however I wasn’t about to have sex on the table with his flatmate in the house! So we moved things into the bedroom and to be honest, for our first sex session, I had no complaints whatsoever. Them broad shoulders though, the strong facial hair, with a dominant streak and good balance of aggression and gentleness. I’d describe him as a proper manly man — in general and under the sheets. I ended up staying the night but we didn’t get much sleep. 😏

Discovering each other on an intimate level, showing each other’s bedroom tricks as well as having those cute, affectionate post-sex moments, the little kisses, the snuggles, the stroking, the spooning — it was all pleasurable. The next day we both had work so after some morning cuddles followed by intense sex I had to head off early but if we could have stayed in bed together, there’d be no question about it.

Second date?

Overall, the “first” date was memorable. Believe it or not, we’ve already had our second date involving coffee, a stroll with a few hugs and kisses. The lockdown phase put us in a position where we had to make the best out of an unusual situation. Personally speaking, I think having those 12 weeks to build a connection without the physical side of things was a blessing in disguise. I was quite guarded and slightly judgemental towards him at first but as I got to know him on a deeper level, I found him even more attractive in personality and appearance. I guess we were fortunate enough to have gotten along really well from day one, I’m particularly pleased that our virtual dates had translated in real life. From what I’ve witnessed so far, he seems like a really sound guy so I’ll have to see what happens! I promise to keep you posted folks!

COVIDiaries: The 6 feet of separation

Firstly, I really hope everyone has coped okay during these turbulent times. Living in the midst of a pandemic and a lockdown is something that no one could have predicted. Socially and economically there have been a few cause for concerns. Many people have lost or feel terrified about the future of their jobs, some separated from and worried about loved ones, others craving freedom because home felt like their prison or those who are simply stuck indoors with little to no outdoor space. It hasn’t been easy for everyone to adjust to the “new normal”, which is why communicating, connecting, finding new hobbies and really making the most out of life’s simple pleasures is vital. We all need to muster the energy and enthusiasm to get through each day, and if we can refocus some of that energy on our own wellbeing and look out for others; then that’s always a great starting point to a more positive outlook.

Prior to the outbreak, I had been speaking to a few people across Hinge, Bumble, OKCupid and Coffee meets Bagel just to curb my boredom. I went on a couple dates here and there, it was great fun but overall the vibe wasn’t quite right so things died out fairly quickly. There was one guy in particular that I matched with on Hinge. I specifically remember when I went through his profile, something about him just didn’t sit right with me. I mean, it’s likely I was being judgemental (we’re all human at the end of the day!) but he had this very “laddish” look about him. Bar that, he did send quite a funny ice breaker; and funny is always good in my eyes. But don’t get it twisted, funny does not win me over.

As we started talking, I probably put in about 55% effort. That’s my general rule of thumb, you need to see what the other person is about without going all in, and I think you can get a good enough gauge if you fire the right questions and carefully look at their responses. After a few days of talking, I sussed that he was quite a smooth talker, confident with a tendency to step on the line of cocky, witty, funny, fairly charming and quite direct. I’ve dealt with many guys alike in the past, some slightly worse than others and I’ve always ended up extremely unimpressed. My normal reaction would have been to not bother but I was quite intrigued with him mainly because I saw a little bit of my personality come through in his responses. Also the fact that I knew within myself that I needed to be more open minded! As with most guys I meet online, my guard is held extremely high. Most things that are said, I take with a pinch of salt. With this guy, my guard was up for a while… it still is to be honest but it has dropped a significant amount over time.

And almost 9 weeks later (to my suprise) we’re still talking, regularly. We have these weekly video calls which I find very pleasant and entertaining. I’d explain what happens during these calls but I’ll save the details for another post. I guess it’s nice to get dressed up and pretend I’m going out on a date (literally just chilling on my bed), though I must say my efforts of late have been on the decline! Clearly I’m getting far too comfortable! 😬

The most frustrating part is that we haven’t actually met! Timing has been unfortunate but nevertheless I’ve genuinely enjoyed getting to know him thus far. I’ve appreciated the reciprocation in terms of time and effort put in to build a connection. You’d think in lockdown, people would get tiresome of having to entertain a conversation knowing that it wouldn’t lead an actual date… at least not for a while, consequently throwing in the towel after a couple of weeks or so. I wouldn’t be shocked if people said they were video dating purely as a time filler.

With video calls it still feels like there’s a barrier between us. Even though we talk frequently, without the physical form, we’re only getting a small part of what we’re about. It’s a fact that 70% of our communication is done via body language. So I guess my concern now is not so much him being a “lad” but more so us meeting properly and having an actual date! I’m not a pessimist but I can’t help but wonder “what if…”

We finally meet and there’s zero chemistry!?
We don’t find each other attractive face to face!?
We find each other unbearable?!
He’s not really that talkative in person and it gets awkward?!
He’s not really that funny and it gets awkward?!


I am looking forward to meeting him (finally), we joked that it would take us about 10 dates until we’d eventually see each other and currently it appears we’re on track! However it goes, I’ll be sure to enjoy the date, have fun and a good laugh. Fingers crossed it’s not another kittenfish or brick wall situation! Who knows… but make sure you stay tuned for the next chapter of COVIDiaries! 😀

We’re not friends or enemies. Just strangers with some memories.

Being friends with exes, there’s no universal rule. Research has shown that maintaining contact with exes is pretty common, but the motives for wanting to maintain contact should be thought out carefully. I’ve personally never had any desire to remain friends with a man I broke off a relationship with. There’s a reason why I walked away and that reason still exists. It’s not that I’m bitter, it’s not that I can’t handle it, I have no beef or ill feeling towards any of the guys. It’s just that by the time I’m done with the relationship, I’m emotionally checked out, I have no care for it or them. I’m happy to move on and put things in the past. They’ve served their purpose and I already have enough friends.

When I’m investing time and effort with anyone, I’d like to see if there’s real value there. My friends are the people I turn to when I want to have chit chats about current affairs, work, family, TV shows, dating, sex, reminiscing the old days, etc. Having great friendships is enjoyable, effortless, there’s mutual respect and each individual holds a important place in my heart. With that said, the thought of exchanging these kind of conversations with exes and sharing my personal business with them doesn’t appeal to me in the slightest. Reminiscing about the past? Giving them updates on who I’m dating? Nah, it doesn’t make sense to me.

What else makes me skeptical about the whole idea?

Truth is, one person is always a little more invested in the relationship than the other. In breakups, we have our egos challenged. These situations are never easy or nice to deal with on either side, the whole process is excruciating and exhausting. No matter what people say, it’s a challenge to go from loving words to no contact and awkwardness (it gets easier over time with more practice 😬) But I simply couldn’t think of anything worse than resorting to that cliché response of “let’s be friends” just to soften the blow after a break up. Offering friendship while the other party still has feelings for you is giving them false hope… and boy, do some exes clutch at the straws! Perhaps I’m a bit brutal but I’ve made an attempt to remain friends with an ex once! Unfortunately it wasn’t long until he started pissing me off with his inappropriate jokes and going on about the “good times” 🙄 — you can leave now.

In addition, I’ve always been someone who prefers to start off a new relationship with a clean slate, meaning no drama or baggage pulled in from the past. Hovering exes can be quite off-putting and let’s be real, it doesn’t really set the tone for a great start. Whether we’d like to admit it or not, many (insecure and jealous) people will use continued “friendship” to constantly compare themselves to the new partners in their ex’s life. A guy I once dated remained friends with his ex, and that ex would occasionally reconnect to ask silly questions about me 😒 I was not impressed. In instances like these, people tend to hang onto exes for the purpose of an occasional ego boost or to keep tabs on them.

Where new relationships are concerned, “friends with an ex” is tricky terrain. Letting your partner hang out one on one with a person they’ve previously had sexual and emotional history with? Having your partner’s ex call/text them at ungodly hours of the morning for a chat? Your partner getting sent birthday gifts and cards to the door from their ex? I mean… how would you feel about this? I know where I stand with those scenarios. And if your relationship started off romantically charged to begin with, then there is no friendship to really transition back to. Which was the case for all my previous relationships. Don’t get me wrong, if I bump into an ex, I’ll be civil but it’s never a case of “let’s go for a coffee one day!” Lastly, there are circumstances where staying on talking terms is necessary, for example, if you have kids together. You’d have to navigate some sort of friendship or at least have some form of communication there because it’s the right thing to do, even if there were feelings of hurt involved. 

Some of y’all are too liberal with the word “friend”… But that’s none of my business.

Ultimately there is no right or wrong answer with regards to being friends with an ex, it’s a choice you make as an individual. In my opinion, I believe there is a difference between “being on good terms” and “being friends”. If neither party has ulterior motives, and if the friendship doesn’t interrupt your current relationship then who knows, it may work. Although I’ve never heard of any success stories thus far. Either way, it’s important to have boundaries in place so that the past doesn’t interfere with the present. A good test is whether you’re comfortable hanging out with your current partner and your ex together, and whether your ex’s partner is comfortable with you. If you choose to stay friends with an ex, it might be worth asking yourself some important questions.

What are my motivations here?
Is this friendship truly feasible?
Can you be truly honest with each other?
Is this friendship fair to your current partner (if you have one)?
Is this friendship interfering with/delaying my recovery and emotional well-being?

Every individual is entitled to choose their own friends and live the way they feel comfortable. But things like this may have the ability to alter the dynamics of new relationships, so communication and understanding plays a vital role. Being entirely open and honest with each other will help relieve any worries/concerns as well as set the expectations early on.

Dear broke people, we are not obligated to date you.

Alright go easy on me! I know what you’re thinking. You read the title and suddenly I’m a bad person because I sound shallow or portrayed myself like some gold digger. Well no, that’s not the case…

According to a study I recently read, 50% of marriages end in divorce, and most of them cite financial stress as a primary cause of separation. While I wholeheartedly agree that money does not define happiness nor does it overrule everything in life, the simple truth is: we work to earn money, and we need money to live. In this post I’ll be giving a very brief account on two of my past relationships where both guys were financially unstable and how it caused a lot of friction between us. There was…

Relationship #1 – gambler
Relationship #2 – no drive/ambition in life (dreamer)

I’ll then move on to discuss why I think money is not the most important factor in relationships but it’s certainly not irrelevant! Discussing money in relationships can be a touchy subject for many. I’ve had guy friends who jump on the defence when the topic comes up in conversation. Clearly I’ve bruised an ego or two with my opinions, however I won’t be stepping on eggshells because of sensitivity.

There’s a reason why “gambling” is a deal breaker for me. By gambling, I don’t mean popping into a casino once in a while and chucking 50 quid in a slot machine. It’s when you continue to gamble despite negative consequences. I once dated someone who claimed they’d “occasionally gamble” but through time I caught on to the fact that “occasionally” was quite a downplay on reality. I was 19 at the time but I remember he would randomly buy me gifts out of nowhere, treat me to fancy lunches and dinners, bought himself a new car, the latest smarthphone, a massive flat screen TV and more… sure, it was all very lovely, but I wondered how on earth was he able to afford all this?

The Gambler

Then one day, he asked if he could borrow money off me (not exactly a small sum), and that he’d give it back on pay day. Considering I was still in university and had a part-time job, it was a bit of an ask! But I didn’t think much of it at the time and gave it to him. You can probably guess where this is all going but to summarise: no he didn’t pay me back on pay day, yes I did end up lending him more money, yes I ended up footing some bills for him (overdrafts included), yes he booked a couple holidays for us but I ended up covering the costs, yes we argued crazy amounts, yes I stopped being an ATM machine, and yes I did get some of the money back at the very end of the relationship. Not that it even mattered at that point!

The Dreamer and his pity party

Moving on to Relationship #2. Well… at first it was his personality that stood out for me. I admired his charm, humour and creative flair. More than anything, I enjoyed hearing him talk about his life goals, hopes and ambitions. I admired his “drive”, especially knowing that his family were far from affluent. The problem was that most of what he said ended up being all talk and no action. A “dreamer” is probably the best word to describe him. He was so out of touch with reality, he wanted to achieve all this, that and the other…. but didn’t want to put in the work — for anything! When he lost his job, I found myself repeating history yet again! Feeling sorry for him, thinking I can help get his life back on track, eventually paying for his lifestyle. The worst part was that I was (stupidly) funding his weed addiction! The least he could do to help himself was amend his CV and start job hunting… he wouldn’t even do that?! It was only a matter of time where I got real sick and tired his attitude. He had no enthusiasm for anything, no motivation, no thought for the future let alone the next 24 hours. Just a bunch of self-pity and blame. I had an inkling he may have suffered from depression… but either way, the negative energy was not something I wanted to be around or dragged into. I dated him for quite a while but it was very obvious we were not on the same page at all!

Zero F’s to give

Dating a person with any form of addiction is emotionally draining, costly and everyday can feel like a repetitive cycle. The worst thing is when you attempt to help them, and in doing so, you end up losing your sense of self. It’s important to realise that love does not “conquer” all, and it definitely cannot conquer addiction.

With both not having a penny to their names, spending more than they could earn and having absolutely no consideration for the long term. Their mindsets certainly helped me realised what I wouldn’t be able to tolerate in a relationship. I promised myself that I would never pay for someone’s lifestyle ever again. In other words, I really couldn’t see myself dating someone who was financially unstable. Getting people’s shit together and managing their finances is not and will never be my responsibility. Sometimes life can be unpredictable, and I get that a sudden loss of a job is not in our control but what happens next is something that does fall in our hands.

Money is definitely not everything, but it is an important aspect in life. Most of us have hobbies, some form of social life and hopefully life goals that we want to achieve. Whether it’s going out to bars, restaurants, going on holiday, buying nice clothes, going for beauty treatments, reading books, buying/owning a property, investing, starting a business, getting married, having children… they all ultimately require a stable flow or income to obtain and maintain the lifestyle. And if you’re looking to build a future with someone while retaining some of these lifestyle choices then you’re gonna need to find someone who shares the same mentality.

The unspoken “rules” of dating.

“I think I’ll wait an hour to text back. That way, I won’t seem too eager.”
“I initiated the conversation yesterday, so he/she can initiate today.”
“I’m not going to send multiple messages, I refuse to look desperate.”
“I won’t send paragraphs my response, that shows I’m too interested!”
“Be sure not to kiss on a first date!”
“At least wait until 4th date to have sex!”
“Fuck that, I’ll wait 3 days and then I’ll call them.”
“Time to give them the silent treatment.”
“Shall I follow up or shall I wait for them to do it?”

Sound familiar? Then you must have participated in a few “dating games”… it’s all too common these days and absolute BS. Honestly, someone who chooses plays games with you is not the kind of person you want to be with. It’s a sign that they’re not really being authentic in their dating life — and no grown-ass person has time for that.

But why?

It’s one of the most exhausting parts of dating, so why do many people choose to do it? Well… I’m here to share my thoughts. Disclaimer: I’ve been the game “player” before and have also been the victim! Both sides were not particularly enjoyable. Based on my observation and experience, I would say that game playing usually boils down to 3 things:

1. To manipulate
2. For the chase/challenge
3. To avoid being in a vulnerable position

Notice how all of the above involve some form of self gain? When you’re the “player”, you feel like you have all the power and are in total control, but in reality it’s a complete facade. I guarantee you won’t achieve anything apart from feeling confused, fed up and frustrated. Games don’t last… whether it’s you or them – someone will get bored eventually and throw in the towel. It’s just a question of when.

If your biggest concern is always having the upper hand, then you’re clearly not in the right headspace or at a maturity level for a relationship. Either way, you need to ask yourself why being in that position is so important to you. Is it for an ego boost? Self justification? To feel secure? Relationships thrive on vulnerability and being able to let your guard down. The whole “winning” aspect isn’t the right approach when it comes to feelings and emotions. Besides how do you “win”, when it comes to matters of the heart? You can’t expect to get close to someone when you’re busy strategising on how to manipulate them.

Games people play.

Having been the game player before as well as being on the receiving end, I’ll briefly take you through some of the most popular scenarios. Let’s start with “who can act like they care the least”. How ironic is it that the less you engage with someone you’re interested in, the more power you possess. So what happens if both people involved are too good at this game? I guess you run the risk of never seeing how the relationship could progress. In all areas of our lives, we should learn embrace vulnerability instead of avoiding it. Taking your guard down shows that you’re human, relatable, and allows other people to see the real you. In friendships, romantic relationships, and families, it’s easier to appreciate someone who is honest with themselves and with others. This means relationships can grow organically.

The second scenario is “playing hard to get” – which kind of ties in with “who can act like they care the least”. It’s a way to screen prospective suitors or to discover whether someone is being sincere. But I’ll warn you now… if it continues for too long, the technique fails. Playing hard to get is basically an illusion of confidence and control, but let’s face it – what we really want is to text whenever we feel like it, tell someone when we want to see them next and be straight up when we’re in our feelings.

Lastly we have “the chase”. The person being chased wants to see how far backwards they can make the other bend. Meanwhile, the person doing the chasing just wants to do whatever it takes to win their “trophy”. Personally, I think this sounds rather shit. For some, the pursuit of the chase is more enticing and rewarding than the actual relationship itself… hence why as soon as they’ve got you hook, line and sinker, they let go and move on to the next bait. Reasons for doing this might be for an ego stroke, to feel some sort of accomplishment, the feeling of dominance, maybe they’re after one thing… to put it bluntly, they are all reasons that don’t concern you!

B****, you thought.

It can take a bit of time to figure out who the “players” are. Some people are so good at putting up smoke and mirrors it’s like second nature. I guess games aren’t so bad if you’re not particularly interested in monogamous relationships… as long as you’re both willing to play. Although I still think it’s a pointless exercise.

Maybe it’s time we stop with the games and start looking at the defensive mechanisms we’ve installed. Are these games more helpful or more harmful? If we’re grown adults, then we need to act accordingly and take charge. We need to be brave and get better at being upfront about feelings and expectations. I get that not everyone is able to be direct and honest – it takes time, confidence and courage. If we work towards being more open then we can start developing more genuine, fruitful relationships.

Dating is supposed to be exciting, not a minefield. There will always be an element of risk but the quicker you nip things in the bud, the better chance you have to find someone who is actually on your wavelength. If you notice your interest is displaying inconsistent and unreliable behaviour then call them out on it. Don’t be scared! You don’t have to be player #2. And if the behaviour continues… well that’s okay too! Just don’t forget to shut the door on your way out.

I’m going leave you with these iconic words (with the video) from Prince:

I can’t be played. A person trying to play me plays themselves.

“I didn’t appreciate you dueting with him at karaoke!”

Insecurity and neediness quickly became a deal breaker for me after exiting one of my past relationships. I can’t and won’t tolerate that kind of behaviour. When I’m emotionally checked out of a relationship, that’s it. There’s no going back. I will close the door, lock it and throw away the key. I don’t offer friendship post-relationships, but I do try to part ways in the most amicable way possible. Though this hasn’t always panned out the way I would have hoped.  

In this post, I want to talk about the challenges I faced when dealing with a possessive, insecure and needy partner.

As a disclaimer, I will be honest and say that I have been that unbearable, anxious person once upon a time. It was not pleasant for either party, nor do I wish to ever be in that frame of mind again. I can only describe the behaviour as very toxic and unhealthy. With the relationship I’m about to discuss, I’ve seen it from both sides. Not only have I experienced going through it but I also know what sort of dubious thoughts can run wild inside the head once triggered…

Beginning

It all started at my old workplace. Normally I’m not a lady to mix business with pleasure but we managed to keep it very low key and maintained professionalism when working on projects together. I remember finding out that he’d liked me from one of my colleagues. Unfortunately, I felt quite the opposite. I didn’t find him attractive, he was very geeky, wasn’t very masculine, pale looking, his sense of style didn’t make sense to me… there was no way I could see myself going out on a date with him.

The company I had worked for at the time had some amazing perks including free gym membership at Virgin Active or GymBox. Obviously, I took full advantage but realised that a certain someone was doing the same, and had signed up at the same gym around the corner from the office! I also found him there at the same time as me (stalker lol) I’m not a rude person so when he came over to chat, I let the conversation flow. I mean, he was a nice guy but he was getting a bit too flirty for my liking… I was so uncomfortable! But I find out he had a girlfriend so firstly… thank God! Secondly what the hell was he doing? Eventually he confessed that he liked me but I palmed him off and told him to sort whatever issues out with his girlfriend.

Anyway, fast forwarding to a few weeks later, a bunch of us went out for lunch together. He told me he’d broken up with his girlfriend and was in the process of moving out of their place! Erm… okay? Then he said he really wanted to take me out on a date. Note: I had my stupid colleagues behind the scenes pressurising me to give him a chance! 🙄 So I agreed to hang out with him after work… and boy was I taken by surprise because I actually had a good time. I hope I don’t sound mean?! As time went by, I discovered a number of great qualities about him: very passionate, intelligence, well-mannered, family-orientated, sensitive (in a good way) and extremely ambitious. I suppose it’s those things that made me develop attraction for him.

But (there’s always a “but”) there were many other qualities I was about to find out….

Middle

Overall, we were together for just under a year, thankfully by the time I broke up with him, I had already left the company! Hurrah! Things were pretty solid for 6/7 months. We took a couple of little trips away, he’d met my family and a few friends (vice versa), he was coming along to family occasions, I practically split my time between my home and his. It was lovely!

Then came the possessive, insecure and controlling behaviour… 😒

Jealousy at work
Most people that know me, are aware that I have a very bubbly, friendly and sociable personality. I’m a little lairy, love cracking jokes and sarcasm. Male or female — how I speak/act towards you, doesn’t change. I’m very much a “what you see is what you get” type of person. The ratio of male to female in the office was something like 80:10. I was quite close with 4 or 5 guys in the office, so I’d always go over and have a chinwag whenever I had some downtime.

Clearly this didn’t sit well with someone and he’d either:
1) Get out of his seat, walk over, hang around, wait for me to finish so he could “talk” to me.
2) Walk past me, attempt to make eye contact and give me evils.
3) Send me passive aggressive texts once I was back at my desk.

LOL!

I had to put up with comments like: “Why were you laughing so much with XXX? What was so funny?” or “Why did you pop to the shops with him and not me?” or “You’ve spoken to him more today than you’ve spoken to your own boyfriend!” — Sometimes I overthink or over analyse things which causes me to question my own actions, even when I’m right! I do it more often when I care about a person. When I first received those kind of messages, it pissed me off massively but I also didn’t want him to feel threatened in anyway. I responded calmly and gave him a lot of reassurance… a lot of it! The thing is, I’m also not a pushover. I already experienced being with a controlling person beforehand so I knew better this time. It wasn’t long until I got fed up of his bullshit.

Invasion of privacy
I used to work at his place and borrow his laptop whenever I left mine at home. Not realising that this was clearly a mistake, I kept myself logged into my emails and the work instant messaging platform (Slack). I didn’t think anything of it at the time until one day at dinner he randomly came out with “I saw your conversation with XXX on Slack… why are you guys joking around like that?” and “You talk to XXX every fucking day, and it’s not even about work.” — I was shocked and almost choked on my orange juice!

This guy needs to adjust his tone! And why did he think it was okay to casually drop in the fact that he was going through my work conversations?
The discussion did not go down well, I lost my appetite and jumped in a cab home.

Ruining my Christmas
It was the Christmas work do and as much as I find these occasions kinda cringe, I had to get involved because there going to be karaoke… and I’m the karaoke queen bitches! 😂 Except that night I wasn’t so much. This guy ruined my mood, all because I had dueted with one of our male colleagues (a mutual friend as well!) Excuse me but if Aladdin’s “A whole new world” is lined up, I’m not missing out on that banger!

While everyone else was clapping and woo-ing, he was sitting there giving me the dirtiest look. At this point, I didn’t give a fuck. He decided to take me to a side and say: “I didn’t appreciate you dueting with him at karaoke!”. I laughed in his face which pissed him even more… so he went home. 🤷🏻‍♀️

Don’t even touch me
With all this bullshit, I was getting exhausted mentally. Who has time to justify their actions at every moment!? I resented him and was pretty much checked out of the relationship. Everything he said pissed me off. Looking at him pissed me off. I started taking my bits and pieces from his place and bringing them back to mine. I didn’t even want him touching me… every time he’d go in for a hug or kiss, I’d turn away and pull a disgusted face, sometimes even put my hand up to stop him for getting closer.

End

There was only one direction this relationship was heading in, and it was straight down the pan! He had to go. I was already preparing my breakup speech which consisted of about 5 sentences. But more importantly, I had a 2 week girly holiday to San Francisco, Miami & Barbados coming up… and I intended to thoroughly enjoy it!!

Based on how we were around each other, he knew it was coming. During the first few days of my holiday, he was constantly texting me and I was completely unbothered. I remember he had text me: “I miss you!” and I recall ignoring it for a whole day then eventually responding with: “We need to talk when I get back. I’d like to enjoy my holiday now so let’s just save it for when I return.”

Harsh but that’s what happens when people are pushed too far. I had a fabulous time and it was a much needed break! I got back in touch with him on the same day I landed. We agreed to meet the following day for a coffee and basically the rest is history. There was no anger towards him whatsoever. If anything, I tried to get him to explain why he carried himself the way he did… but I never got to the bottom of it. Then again it was never my problem to resolve in the first place. I was much happier after breaking free and that was the most important thing.

Final thoughts

While most people will have some level of insecurity/jealousy (there is such thing as a healthy dosage), problems arise when a person’s level of insecurity affects the majority of the relationship… to the point of killing it. An insecure person will always question “why” and feel they’re not good enough. Nothing you can say or do will make an excessively insecure person, secure. You end up wasting a lot of time, effort, and energy. And normally the person who ends up drained, will be you. Everything can be great about someone but insecurity will more than likely override it.

The hoe life is no life… for me anyway.

Call me old fashioned or boring but with the development of dating apps, we’re now in an era where people skip the niceties, forget about courting, get straight into “DTF?” (Down To Fuck – for those not familiar with the lingo), then it’s off to do your thing and sneak out the morning after.

Hookups have always been on peoples agendas, and I think dating apps have made it easily accessible. If you’re anything like me, someone who has never been interested in a quick bang, it’s easy to get jaded with the world of modern dating. Don’t get me wrong, for those who enjoy the freedom to have casual sex whenever and with whoever, by all means do your thing! I’m certainly not judging.

Each dating app encourages users to make it clear what they’re looking for on their profiles in order to help set expectations on both sides. However, even when you do that… you’ll still get a handful of people that match/message you with other intentions. Of course I can simply choose to ignore or unmatch them, especially when they send distasteful messages. But it’s the ones that play the game, act like they’re looking for something other than a hookup but aren’t completely upfront about what they really want. 🙄 Why? What is the point?

In my opinion, it seems that many people (both men and women) don’t actually know they’re looking for — in which case, these particular individuals should deactivate their accounts and do a bit work on themselves. Alternatively, if a quick romp in the bedroom is what people are after then there are specific apps designed for those after something that isn’t long-term/serious. Sorry folks, I don’t know all the app names but I’d say Feely and Tinder are probably good starting points.

As a female dating app user, you wouldn’t believe just how easy it is to rack up a bunch of men to sleep with. I’m not tooting my own horn here, it’s a fact that women get more matches then men. Basically there are a lot of guys out there who want sex with no strings attached. I don’t use any photos where I’m in a bikini, in tight gym clothing or little “ratchet” outfits… yet I still get ridiculous messages. 🤮 Can you imagine what it’s like for the women who do use fleshy photos? I’ve got to be honest here, when I swipe through my guy friend’s matches, some of these women will put “looking for a relationship” then use pictures with half their breasts out and posing in lingerie. Really? You’re not exactly leaving much to the imagination.

Anyway, we live in a modern society and sexual promiscuity happens; everyone has their own wants/needs. It’s just that my preference is to be in a place where I feel stable, comfortable and not have to deal with the aftermath of emotional messiness. I would much rather be with a person that’ll make me feel good all the time, not just for one day or on occasions.

Casual sex is suited to those who can simply compartmentalise (and not many can). But I also find that these people tend to display quite intense, antagonistic, narcissistic personality traits. I guess you could say it’s kind of similar to the FWB scenario — except you need to remove the element of friendship! So yeah… hookups. Not ideal for those who are an emotional train wreck or those hoping that a relationship will be the end result. Do you agree?

Situationships, Friends with Benefits, more than friends less than lovers?

I think this post is going to be quite an interesting subject for most! It’s not one for the sensitive folk and I spit facts only so please don’t get emotional if you disagree with something I say. For the sake of mixing it up a bit, I’ve decided to open with a few random “fun” facts about myself and then I have a confession to make!

So… I have never:

1. Had a one night stand
2. Cheated
3. Been a mistress (as far as I’m aware!)
4. Been drunk to the point where I’ve blacked out
5. Taken any illegal drugs (weed is not a drug, don’t go there with me please)
6. Had a threesome/foursome/any-some
7. Been intimate with a person of the same sex

Yes people, I am relatively well behaved!

Okay… now that’s off my chest, it’s confession time…

So what have I done?

Well, a while ago… I dipped my toes in the FWB movement!

You know those articles you read online about how complicated or tricky it can get? They weren’t lying! I mean, don’t get me wrong, it’s definitely a lot of fun in the moment but personally I don’t think it’s a relationship that can withstand consistently for the long-term.

Here’s the thing…

FWB type-relationships are not for the weak! The lines can get blurred very quickly. You have to be a certain type of person to enter this kind of territory, and unfortunately not everyone is cut out to compartmentalise sex… as well as be ruthless and impassive throughout the process. If anyone reading this post is thinking about adding “benefits” to a friendship… please let me give you a word of advice: if you get jealous easily, have an anxious attachment style or are secretly yearning for an actual relationship – sorry dear, I’m afraid FWB isn’t for you.

People will enter the FWB world thinking that it’s an easy arrangement, but unless you’ve set boundaries and have good communication with your friend – most people will end up suffering from the same problems found in normal relationships, i.e. mismatched expectations, jealousy, unspoken motives, etc.

Story time

I was with my FWB for 6 months – which is much longer than what I expected to be honest! It was never planned, it kind of just happened out of nowhere. As it stands, we don’t talk as much as before but we’re still on good terms with each other. I’d still consider him as a friend, to the point where if I dropped him a text now, we’d end up having a nice chit chat about whatever (he’d probably secretly think I was trying to get back in his boxers too – boy please) but thankfully we put an end to our “thing” without having any bad blood between us.

We first got talking a little while back when he added me on Facebook. At the time, he was more of an acquaintance so we were re-introducing ourselves, discussed our mutual friends, music, films, hobbies, family, career goals… the usual stuff when you’re getting to know someone. He eventually asked me if I wanted to get dinner and drinks with him, but out of respect for my partner at the time (sorry, I don’t use the term “boyfriend”), I declined. We kept in touch every so often but conversations slowly fizzled out.

A few months later, I’d broken up with my partner and coincidentally, someone decided to slide into my DMs… like almost immediately! Seriously, it was as if an alert got triggered the second I was back on the single market! Lol! We started talking again then eventually I agreed to meet up with him…on multiple occasions! We had the craziest, most hilarious times together! We bonded so much and done all sorts: dinner, cinema, went for long drives, shisha, shopping, clubbing! I recall one of our wildest nights when we knocked back (I’m not kidding) about 10 drinks each by 10:00pm! And by 3:00am… I was hurling my guts up on the street and (bless him!) he was moving my hair out the way, calling me Uber whilst dealing with being intoxicated himself! It was diabolical! 🤦🏻‍♀️ He sat in the Uber with me all the way back, walked me to my door, took the house keys out of my bag, opened my door (as I could barely function), then actually walked me into my house! It was a mess! He then turned around to jump back in the Uber… which had already left without him! So the poor guy had to call another! Whoops.

So yeah, as you can imagine we spent a lot of time together and developed a really good friendship. Then one day, we agreed to watch Netflix and chill together… surely I don’t need to elaborate any further? And from that moment, I understood the definition of FWB.

Initially, nothing changed as such, we still went out together, had laughs, had deep conversations… but gradually some new things were introduced to our “relationship”, which ultimately confused the hell out of me. It never helps when you’re an over thinker as well! Firstly, it was staying at each others’ houses – regularly! Then there was the pillow talk, the cuddles, the hand holding… which developed into taking mini trips away together, celebrating my birthday over the weekend. Erm excuse me, what is this!?!?!

On top of all of that, I was still active on dating apps. I had a couple guys asking me out… but it felt wrong to say yes? Yet I had every right to do what I wanted. As silly as it may sound to some of you, I did feel some sort of loyalty towards my FWB. Ugh, and realistically, having another guy in the mix – I couldn’t think of anything worse! It would only mean having an additional thing to think about. Plus I’m too much of an honest person and do have morals! Maybe this was all in my head but my goodness… my brain was overloaded with thoughts.

Anyway, I decided to put dating on the back-burner but soon realised that I was becoming too attached to my FWB (oh God, here we go), and this is how I knew: I started to get annoyed with him about stupid things like… not making me a priority, not coming to this museum or that new restaurant with me, him not staying the night! Then I was pissed off about the fact that I wasn’t dating other guys due to my “loyalty” to him. Then I got frustrated because I was completely confused about this situationship! …Of course, I chose not to be vocal about any of it. I had to put myself in my place and remind myself that:

1. I wasn’t his girlfriend
2. He never asked me to be loyal
3. I was allowing this situationship to continue

In conclusion, I needed to get a fucking grip and stop being ridiculous – so it was time to pull back.

…Only I didn’t pull back because I flipped out on him instead (with good reason, I like to think?)

One Saturday, I was with my friends, he was with his. We agreed to spend the evening together at his place. I drove down to the house (a little bit late), dropped him a text but did he even respond?! No. I gave the guy another 10 minutes. Nothing. My assumption was that he was probably still galavanting out and about with his friends. He didn’t even message me the next morning! I was livid and took the opportunity to call it quits right there and then. That bastard needed to be blocked. Okay, perhaps I shouldn’t of “assumed” anything… but I didn’t give a damn at this point, I wanted out. We were 6 months deep, and this FWB situationship was not bringing out my good side – it had to end.

Jumping the (situation)ship

We didn’t speak for a couple of months, he did text me a “Merry Christmas!” and a “Happy New Year!” but I ignored him. Then one day out of nowhere, we randomly bumped into each other on the street! Awkward!!! Well actually… it wasn’t awkward one bit. It felt like we were back to being good friends again. We spoke about work, holidays, family, general chit chat, joked around, he made sure I still had his number (lol!) and from there, we continued our friendship as normal. We even discussed why we fell out/what had happened, cleared the air and remained cordial up until this day!

It’s a peculiar one because once I decide to end things, no matter what the circumstance, I want them out of my life for good. I cut ties, block them on all platforms, get rid of their shit and couldn’t care less from there onwards. The FWB situation was very different, and it’s because the friendship was so key, and was always the priority. Yes, I was pissed off near the end but he was never the issue. Whilst we both knew it was never a conventional romantic relationship, the FWB arrangement was exclusively between us and so we had the element of respect and trust towards each other.

Having a FWB was a great experience but it’s not as cut and dry as you’d think, especially if you’re someone who is more inclined to having long term relationships. I admit, I like the idea of romance, stability and commitment. I like a guy showing affection in public and vice versa. If I find myself developing feelings for someone, I wouldn’t want to hold back because of the boundaries put in place. Above all, it’s not worth the hassle to be in your head all the time, feeling anxious or irritated, trying to figure out how to act, what to say and so on.

Looking back, I’d say I was quite lucky to share the experience with this particular friend. It was one of the most fun and exciting periods in my dating history. Him being attractive obviously helped massively (haha!) but having common interests, the same sense of humour, same values and mindset, made it all the more enjoyable.

Would I consider having a FWB again? Nah, count me out. I have no desire to explore that ground again. I don’t have any regrets but I know it’s not for me. For the sake of my sanity, I would rather avoid placing myself in problematic situations; I already find normal relationships a ball ache! Time and experiences like these have aided me in recognising what I want and what I definitely don’t want.

If you are currently in a FWB “relationship”, then I hope you know where to draw the line. Otherwise, if you find yourself acting up, similar to the way I did; then my suggestion would be to take the other option – abandon ship and salvage the friendship!


Basically the ideal FWB relationship is one where people enjoy sex, live close to each other and have a genuine interest in the happenings of the other person but are still too wrapped up in themselves to worry about the other person.

– Taken from an article I read. Ain’t that the truth!

I would rather adjust to your absence than be frustrated by your presence.

Generally I’m a logical thinker but when it comes to matters of the heart, sometimes it’s hard to override feelings and emotions. Even when you have the answers right in front of you. I met my last partner on OKCupid which was a pleasant surprise because that dating app is seriously trash! You find all sorts of people on there, I’d say it’s marginally better than Plenty of Fish (which is bloody horrendous!) – but to be fair, I only utilised OKCupid as fodder for my old dating blog.

Anyway, I wanted to give an account on my journey with this guy. I’ve tried my best to condense the story down but it’s difficult with the amount of drama that took place! This is a story of love, lies and deception.

To start with and for context, here’s some fluff around my dating history: I’m someone who doesn’t really have a “type” as such. For me it’s about personality and compatibility. Of course there needs to be an element of attraction towards the person (online dating is about swiping left or right based on photos after all) but looks and appearance are certainly not my priority. In my eyes, you can go from hot to fucking not in an instant if your personality sucks ass.

I started dating from when I was 16 and looking back, what I realised with most of my long-term relationships was that I always ended up being the alpha female… which is not a bad thing, it just wasn’t ideal with the guys I was dating at the time! The alpha female thing is likely due to the nature of my personality and upbringing. I have a lot of strong women with very bold personalities in my family. On the flip side, I also recognised that being young and naive once upon a time meant tolerating a lot of bullshit and excusing people’s absurd behaviours/attitudes.

Skipping a few years forward… I grew up, matured and like to think I have my head screwed on properly now. I embraced being free and single, it enabled me to enjoy my own company, spend quality time with family and friends, learn about myself, people and relationships. When I hit my mid-20s, I started to consider dating again (basically after retirement from clubbing!) I got into a relationship with a guy from work, it lasted just under a year, then broke that off as he was far too needy! I then remained single for 2 years (excluding the FWB situation… but I’ll discuss that drama in a separate post) and it was probably the most enjoyable 2 years of my life. Then I decided to get back on the dating scene once again… and a few swipes later, I met him.

*cue dramatic music*

When we matched and first spoke, we instantly clicked. After our first date, it became hours upon hours of talking, we had so much in common! He was super nice, charming, funny, very responsive, had an amazing career, close to his family, intelligent, held the same values… literally he was ticking all the boxes one by one. I won’t lie, in my head I was thinking, “wow, this might be the one!” – and anyone that knows me, knows that I don’t even believe in that crap! Let me tell you now. Ticking all the boxes??? It’s a myth and a big, fat red flag!

A few incredible dates later, we found ourselves naturally slipping into a relationship. The more time we spent together, the more boxes he continued ticking… (a myth!!!) he was chivalrous, romantic, thoughtful, generous, protective, always picked me up and dropped me home. Honestly, the list went on! I was treated like royalty and I’d never experienced any guy like this one. You know when you hear these stories about people meeting someone online and the next thing you know, they’re all settled down, married with kids? That is some serious luck right there… but the way our relationship was going, I really thought I may have been one of those lucky people. On top of that, I don’t even like the idea of marriage or kids, but with him, it felt so different. We were in tune with each other on every level, I could only describe what we had as a soulmate kind of connection. Or what felt like it at the time!

So at this point, dating apps were obviously a thing of the past, love was in the air, we were happy, the future was becoming a topic of discussion, everything was fantastic!

Until they weren’t.

Almost 4 months in, my gut instinct suddenly started to kick in out of nowhere. Something felt odd. The thing about my intuition is that I can never tell if it’s actually intuition or I’m confusing it with paranoia (occasionally happens when my brain decides to overthink/over analyse). It was around 1:00am on a Saturday, I really struggled to sleep… I was up thinking about how vague he had been with some of his responses in our conversations and how he had no presence at all on social media. Before you say anything, yes – most people would say that’s a red flag (not having any social media) but I personally know people who aren’t fond of it so I kind of get it if there’s a preference to live your life in private. However, this feeling was not going away, so I had to do some research…

Not long later, there it was. Looking right at me. A photo of him, a woman (his ex, I presumed) and a child. I also found out a few other things he failed to mention.

After this fucking bombshell, I had to give myself a couple of hours to absorb the information and figure out how I was going to approach it. Ugh, the audacity!! Not only did I tell him from the first date that men with children was one of my deal breakers, but I also cannot stand dishonesty. Nonetheless, remaining calm and collected was the only way to be at this moment.

Around 6:00am, we spoke over the phone. I called him out. He chose to deny having a child at first (wow), then admitted it, then had the cheek to try and get me off the phone. But I gladly did because I was fucking knackered and couldn’t be asked to hear any more of his shit! To think he had referred to his son as his “nephew” before I found out. How wrong is that?!

A couple of days later with no contact, he wanted to talk face to face and lay all his cards out on the table. I gave him the opportunity to say his piece. He confessed to many things including his child, his living situation, the situation with his ex, some stuff about his family, blocking me on social media to prevent me from finding out!!! He then went on to explain why he lied and pleaded for forgiveness. I asked him whether there was anything else to reveal, he said no. Then I had done the most unexpected, out of character move – I gave him another chance. Yes! I know.

I admit, my “weakness” is that I have a lot of empathy for people which means I’m extremely forgiving and will always give a person the benefit of the doubt.

Now, with my trust at 0% and paranoia up at 100%, it was only ever gonna go in one direction right? Agreed. So what in the hell was I thinking giving him another shot? Heart over head… it happens, what else can I say? As time went by, we bickered a lot, I questioned him about his honesty, and every so often I’d ask if he had anything else to tell me. He swore on mine and his child’s life that that there wasn’t anything left to tell. He promised he’d never lie again. Then guess what? I found out he was lying…again. This time about something as stupid, small and unnecessary as smoking. The craziest thing is that he repeated the same behaviour! Denied it, then admitted to it. Why? Why not just admit it? I never understood the smaller lies, it was completely mind boggling to me.

So to summarise his behaviour so far: he lied straight my face, he denied the truth, he broke his promises and happily said anything (i.e. swear on mine and his child’s life) to ensure he was in the clear.

Now is the part when you’ll cuss me down or express some form of disappointment because I gave him a 3rd and final chance 🤦🏻‍♀️ (final chance, believe me, it really was!)

As we continued our relationship, I noticed some changes in him. He was less vague, he seemed a lot more comfortable, he was very open with everything and I could see he was working hard to earn my trust back. After so much tension and negative energy between us, it kind of felt like things were slowly starting to improve. We spent more time together, we took lovely trips away, we were laughing a lot more, it felt like “us” again. Unfortunately this didn’t last very long… because something else started bothering me.

I hadn’t met any of his friends or family yet! He always discussed introducing me, he even gave me dates but it never came to fruition. He pushed the date back then would always try to avoid discussing or cut the conversation short whenever I brought the topic up. Naturally, my suspicions were turned on full blast and my intuition was kicking in again. Was this motherfucker married? Engaged? What the fuck was he hiding now?

New Years Eve – we argued. After a weekend away – we argued. It was getting extremely tiring. My patience was wearing thin and I was fed up of having this constant feeling of paranoia/anxiety/irritation. A day after one of our arguments, I’m not sure what came over me (but I’m almost certain it was the power of prayer), I decided to do some further research on him. And that was the straw that broke the camel’s back.

He was lying about his age the whole damn time.

At his point, I finally took off those rose tinted glasses! This was the moment my brain found its way back into my head and I had the biggest epiphany you could ever imagine. It was like all the things I was in denial about suddenly surfaced and overflowed to the top. The mask had dropped… and this manipulative, insecure, controlling, mentally unstable and selfish person was revealed. Who the hell was this guy??? I felt sorry for him if anything. And as crazy as it sounds, I even started to feel curious. With my interest in human behaviour and psychology – I found myself Googling things like: “Signs of a pathological or compulsive liar” and “What causes people to be pathological or compulsive liars” – it was very interesting! Oh and by the way… I obviously done all this research after I broke up with him!

Of course, I ended things immediately. I dropped the text and blocked him. I didn’t want to see the guy, I didn’t want to speak to the guy, I didn’t want to give him a chance to explain. I just needed this toxic energy out of my life for good.

A couple days later, I got a text from a random number. It was a request to unblock him so he could arrange something. I already knew what he was going to say. I had one of his hoodies at mine and he wanted it back. Of course he did. 🙄
The arrangement was that I’d leave it in a bag outside my house at 8:30pm and he’d come and collect it. Great, sorted! I blocked him again. Except that he wanted to be spiteful towards me… so I received another text with attitude and pure rudeness. He stated that he was going to return all my gifts and cards. I told him to throw it all in the bin but he insisted on giving them back to me. Sure, whatever. I’ll throw it in the bin myself then. I can’t say I really cared too much at this point. Although, I did care about my own safety so I had to call in some muscle (aka. a couple of my guy friends) to protect me! LOL! I mean… I did’t really know who he was anymore so I wasn’t sure what he’d be capable of! Anyway, he took his hoodie back, I took the bag of stuff (which came with an apology letter) and no one got hurt – thankfully!

The next morning, I received a text. It was only him again. This time he was acting erratic. He wanted my gifts and cards back. 🙄🙄🙄 He’s lucky I hadn’t throw them away yet! I told him to stop acting crazy, sent one final (firm but fair) message and gave him a window to take the stuff back. He sent me a very, very long text, I read it a few times and then deleted it… along with everything else that reminded me of him. I shredded all his cards, deleted photos of us, threw stuff in the bin. Oh, I forgot to mention – in the text, he asked me to meet him on a certain day, at a certain time and place. I know what he was doing… it was a manipulative move from him to say the least. I never showed up. I’m the kind of person that when I say I’m done. I’m done. It would be a miracle if you think you could change my mind.

3 weeks had gone by since the break up, I came home from work one day and saw a letter posted through my door. He requested to meet me again. I figured I may as well tell him to his face… perhaps he’ll get the message then. We met, he spoke mostly… and I was very direct about how I felt. It was a long night. He asked me to give him a final chance and to think about it. A couple days later, I told him where I was at.

In summary, I was over it all. I wanted us both to move on. I forgave him and wished him well but there was no chance of reconcilliation. I had nothing left for him. No love, no respect, no trust. I told him that he needed to sort his head out, find happiness within, start being honest with people and set himself free. I asked that he never contacted me again.

And that was the chapter closed. I’ve never heard from him since.


Lessons learned

It wasn’t until this relationship that I truly understood the power of honesty/dishonesty. I’ve been lied to before but never to this extent. I’ve always been an honest person, bar the little white lies before (but who doesn’t tell little white lies?) I can’t express how being upfront and honest saves you so much time and energy! Why on earth would someone chose to put themselves through the process of lying then having to remember and keep up with all of their wild stories. It’s an effort! And how can people lie with so much ease – not feeling any guilt or remorse for the other party involved. There’s no morals whatsoever.

This relationship was definitely a “whirlwind romance” – it came as fast as it had gone, but as I’ve said, I always learn, and in this case, I’ve taken away an incredible amount. Call it a blessing in disguise. I’m thankful I got myself out sooner than later, had I not followed my intuition, I would still be with him and he would still be lying to me right this second.

I felt at ease walking away knowing that I tried, I gave it my all, I never lost my composure and that my intentions were always pure. I’m proud of myself for knowing my value and worth and I’m happy that I put my needs and mental wellbeing first. In hindsight, I should have left from when I discovered the first lie as it was major! But obviously, when you’re in your feelings, things do become blurred. Unfortunately for some, it leads to so much damage! Situation like these can take its toll on your confidence, happiness, other relationships, lifestyle and health (physical/mental). I’ve seen and heard it happen with many people – cases that were a lot worse than mine! When you settle and/or accept certain behaviours, you end up sacrificing yourself by going through absolute hell and back, then once you’re back, you spend a lot of time in your head trying to convince yourself it’ll get better… and the cycle continues.

My experience from being with a compulsive liar has helped me realise what early red flags to look out for (and hopefully I won’t need to even consider red flags in future). It’s important to follow your intuition, always be honest as a person (it’ll make life easier), always forgive no matter what (you owe yourself freedom) and never give up hope. There really are so many people out there that will fit the bill! Never change your goal posts for others, never settle for less than what you deserve. Make sure you talk to friends and family – because they will be your eyes when you’re unable to see clearly. As a final note from me…

Life is far too short to waste time and energy on things, situations or people that don’t serve you. And trust me when I say that self-love is the first step to finding true love and happiness.