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Category Archives: Single life

Online dating tips for men

I am not proclaiming to be any sort of an expert at online dating. In fact, I have a pretty disastrous track record, and seem to always attract the losers, boring intellectuals or just weirdos.

But, as a result, I have collected a useful number of examples of ‘what not to do’ over a period of time.

So, as a free service to the wider male community, I have compiled a list of online dating tips (for men, but I am pretty sure it applies to women too!)…

abc check1. When you create your profile, type out your profile in word or something first, with spell check activated. Your dating profile is like an advertisement for yourself, and if the first thing I see is a spelling error, I am going to think you are stupid, whether you end up being a brain surgeon or not.

2. Do NOT do your write up about yourself in CAPS. If you’ve had your head in the sand for the last 20 years, let me indulge you with a little insight into online communication. Writing in caps, generally indicates that you are SHOUTING. So, just like you have learned to use LOL, you should also learn not to use caps, except when you are SHOUTING. (In a work situation, this could also explain why your work colleagues believe you are rude in emails.)

3. Believe me, ALL the guys are caring, compassionate, active, and likes to spoil the lady in their lives. Try and show me something that is quite uniquely you, like a sense of humour, a sense of adventure, a quirky taste in music. Anything other than the standard run of the mill profile.

4. Do not use your 11 pm, alcohol induced pick up lines on a dating website. It doesn’t work in a pub, and it certainly will not work when I am soberly reading your profile. Although, this one did make me smile…

“OK, I’m here. What are your other two wishes?”

5. Do not send me a message starting with “Hi Sugar, how are you” or “Hi Angel”.

6. Most normal women are looking for a well balanced man who has a life of his own. I really don’t want to know that you are desperate and lonely, even if you are…For example, this sort of opening message will not work.

“‘why do we have to be alone all the time, I am new on here, and live in Pretoria Gauteng, I would send you my picture and more about me later. why do we have to suffer the pains of holding the pillow and talking to the walls when there are lots of persons out there that needs to be loved and pampered , why do we stop believing in US and just want to be sad and alone all the time , i wrote you too much but did write from my heart. I wrote you all the those words cos i believe in true love and feel you are a woman that would want the same in a man and in family and in a home , tell me if you want anything less than a happy home where there will be love. Please do reply me back if you would would want to learn more about me.”

HELL NO!

facebook-online-photos-shirtless-encouragement-ecards-someecards7. Telling me after our first date that I have the potential to have a sexy body, is NOT a compliment. ¬†And when I tell you off for it, do not psycho-analyse me…(but then again, maybe I should have seen it as a warning sign when he suggested Tenpin bowling as a first date).

8. Asking me to Google a YouTube clip of you doing a promotional add for a supplier does not really impress me, unless you are either very HOT or show some exceptional skill, such as playing the saxophone or something!

9. Be careful with those Facebook profiles…commenting “nice butt” on a video clip of a girl with a AK47 may have seemed clever at the time, but certainly scares me away! And maybe joining a group on Facebook called ‘Stop Reverse Apartheid and BEE’ was not such a good idea after all.

10. And lastly, if I say I am not interested in married men, and even goes as far as making it a non-negotiable criteria, do not send me a message telling me you are looking for ‘a long term passionate, yet discreet affair and not a one night stand’. Non-negotiable means…erm…non-negotiable??

It’s a pleasure! ūüôā

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Posted by on December 18, 2013 in Single life

 

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Saving the peace…one date at a time

On Monday, my 15 year old daughter solved the question I have been asking over and over in the last few years. Well, in her mind she has solved it, and believe me, when you are 15, that is as close to prophesy as you can get.

SiblingRivalryShe declared that she knows what the reason is why she and her 11 year old sister fight so much. Of course, this is not physical fighting, but as close as fighting with words can get. And I have been posing this same question for ages.

“Why can you two not speak to each other properly?”/”Do you have to argue about something so trivial? Who cares?”

I can carry on with the list of examples forever, but this post is about her answer…

“There is too much oestrogen in this house.”

Matter of factly. We are three women in the house and the live-in domestic worker, Anna, is also female. That makes four females, living in each other’s space. Her solution was simple. “Mom, you need to get yourself a boyfriend.” And then she added, hastely “A nice one.” A stab of guilt about my last choice…

We were driving back from a weekend away. The 16th of June is a public holiday in South Africa, and since the day fell on a Sunday, we got the Monday off as a bonus public holiday. And I have been meaning to get away with the girls. I felt a little guilty that we did not go away at all as a family in the April holidays, as I was climbing my mountain in Peru. So, the timing was perfect and I booked our little self-catering getaway in the northern Drakensberg region, next to the Sterkfontein dam. The unit was a 6 bed unit, and on an impulse, I said they could both take a friend along on the weekend. I know they often get bored with only me as company on holidays, and truth be told, sometimes it is nice to get some time to read a book, instead of having to keep them occupied the whole weekend.

The idea was not a bad one, and I certainly got my fair share of time to catch up on reading, but at the same time, I missed some company myself. I was tempted at times to pull the girls (and their friends) out of their rooms and force them to talk to me. But they were having fun, so instead, I read, drank wine, took the camera on strolls and made sure that the fire in the evening forced us all to sit around in the lounge, playing games, cards and building Jenga towers. The views over the Sterkfontein dam were spectacular, and all-in-all it was a lovely weekend. Lots of rest, lots of food, lots of reading. Exactly what I was looking for. Except, that I felt lonely in the crowd.

And then Bianca blurted this out.

If only it was that easy. I have been thinking recently that my life is actually pretty busy and that there is not a heck of a lot of time for a man in my life anyway. And, who wants someone who is going to be asking the whole time when I am going to be home. Someone who will occupy all my free time. When will I have time to read? When will I have time to write blog posts? Already, as it is, I am struggling to fit in two Pilates classes a week after work in the last few weeks. And, it really is great to cuddle up in front of the television in the evenings with my two girls (or at least one of them) and watch the latest episode of Masterchef, without a guilty conscience about forcing a man to watch it, or worst, to try and fit the episodes into slots of time where I don’t need to pretend to enjoy watching a soccer match or watch another television programme that I am not keen on!

A work colleague has told me straight out that he cannot see me getting into a relationship at this stage, because I am far too independent and sure of myself. But I keep thinking that if I found the right man, it would not matter. Surely?

frog_turns_up_on_first_dateBut that is the problem, really. I have no idea where to fish out this right man, or even this right-now man. I have, without trying to be desperate, tried several avenues to meet men. I have tried the internet dating thing twice for periods of three and two months respectively. The last stint was ended prematurely, prior to the expiry of my subscription, when the zillionth gawky guy sent me a message in broken English, ‘intresting to hear more’. The only guys I had some longer conversations with were a video producer who, after exchanging emails for a few days, realised I was going to be overseas for two weeks (climbing my mountain…) and later that day, abruptly stopped emailing. Or the CEO of a union of some sorts who was travelling to and from Cape Town quite a lot, with whom I actually had a date set up, before he sent me a message to tell me he sprained his ankle and could we take a rain check. And that was it. I scare guys off, even before they get to meet me??

I have also joined a VIP dating club. This is a personalised matchmaking service, and (for a hefty fee), they promise to set you up with some professional people. I guess I should have smelled a rat when she told me that they will only sign me up for six months, at half the fee, because they didn’t have that many matches for me on their books. But (ever the optimist), I signed up, and then it turned out to be a low profiled internet dating site. They load you on their database, you post a picture, have to check in occasionally to see if there are any matches (their budget does not include email notifications). If they have allocated you an approved match, then you can ‘show interest’ in one of them. If the guy shows interest back, you can exchange details and go on a date, else he will vanish off your profile after a couple of weeks anyway. When I complained after a month that I showed interest in one of the four matches (I didn’t want to have to juggle more than one date at a time), but had no response whatsoever (neither positive nor negative) and that when I logged in the next time, all the approved matches were gone, I was told that maybe I need to upload a new picture. WTF? Needless to say, I have not been on a single date on this dating site¬†through this matchmaking service, and I am just waiting for my six months to expire, so I can ask for my money back (it comes with a three date guarantee).

I have also joined another club last year (not a dating club per se), for which I get invites to at least two events a month, one of which is always on one of the two weekends a month when I have the kids, and the other one is normally in the week. Now, don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind going out during the week, but then I don’t want to go out by myself. Luckily, I can take someone with. But, on two occasions, by the time I actually managed to find a friend to go with (one time this was within a 24 hour period!), they were all sold out for the event. Now, honestly, for me to be able to line up one of my equally busy single friends within 24 hours was quite an achievement, and I get a “Sorry, maybe better luck next time”?

So, I give up.

Really???

Really???

Maybe I am giving off all the ‘wrong vibes’. Maybe Arielle Ford is right, and maybe my life is not ‘ready’ for my soulmate to enter. Maybe I should be making space in my closet for another person, because it would show my readiness to admit someone into my life. Maybe I should be creating a Soulmate Altar, to manifest my soulmate, because “where intention goes, energy flows”. Maybe I should stop watching Masterchef altogether, and start watching rugby and soccer in all earnest.

But then again, this year, I have ticked off at least three items on my bucket list. I went to Peru and took the Inca trail to Machu Picchu (two ticks). I bought myself a really nice camera in January, and I am enjoying playing around with it. I am thinking of booking for a proper camera course and maybe then I can start using all the foreign buttons on my camera. I am planning a trip to fulfil another dream in August (local this time around). And I am going to hike the Otter Trail next year.

Not sure what to do about the overflow of oestrogen in our house, though.

Any suggestions that does not include decorating my house in the style of a local rugby team, or giving up my wine for brandy-and-coke will be welcomed!

 
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Posted by on June 19, 2013 in Single life

 

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All by myself

I REALLY like to spend time by myself, I promise…

Being divorced, my kids go to their dad every second weekend (mostly), which means that I have every other weekend off. Initially, this was quite an adjustment and I often found myself feeling sorry for myself on a Friday evening. But nowadays, I look forward to spending some time with me, myself and I.

Don’t get me wrong, I love company. I enjoy spending time with my friends. I enjoy visiting friends, entertaining friends and I see myself generally as a very social person. I get along well with most people and can enjoy a party as much as the next person.

But, I also love being by myself. Me-time. Some of the things I really enjoy doing by myself are:-

  1. MjAxMi01ZDM3NGNlMzQwZWRjMWM2Reading. I have loved reading since I was small. I still get excited when I walk into a library or a book store. I can vanish and spend hours perusing books, without getting bored. And reading is the type of thing that you generally do by yourself.I had a boyfriend who read to me, and that was really something special, but sometimes I missed my books very much. I cannot imagine myself ever being in a relationship with a non-reader. I would always worry that the person would feel neglected when I have my nose buried in a book and at some stage they would complain and want to ‘do something’, whilst I would be quite happy reading. Of course, I know there should be a balance and I am able to put my book away in the interest of having some human interaction, but it should be a give and take, not so?
  2. Going to the movies. A lot of my friends are shocked when they ask me where I am on a Friday evening to discover that I am at the movies by myself. I can audibly hear them voicing ‘ag shame’. But really, I do enjoy going to the movies by myself! Of course it is something nice to do with a friend or a partner, and I do enjoy sharing this experience, but if you think about it, the bulk of the time is spent sitting in a dark theatre, silently enjoying the make believe world playing off on the big screen.And the advantage is that I do not have to argue with someone else about which movie to go and see, or if I made the recommendation about whether the other person is enjoying the movie!
  3. Lazing around in my pyjamas. I love a lazy weekend morning, where I can sleep until I wake up, read a bit in bed, slop around the house in my slippers, make breakfast and then drink coffee in front of the TV whilst catching up on some cooking programmes I missed during the week. If I have nothing specifically to do on a Saturday morning, you can easily find me in my pyjamas at lunchtime. I probably won’t answer the front door though!
  4. Having a night in. My favourite thing to do after a hectic work week is to go home on a Friday evening, cook something yummy that doesn’t take too long (like ravioli, with pesto, sundried tomatoes and pan fried prosciutto), pour myself a big glass of wine and park out in front of the TV, watching a nice movie. Something that I missed on the big screen, or an old movie that I want to watch again, or something that I don’t think the kids would appreciate.
  5. Indulging myself in a facial or hair treatment. There is nothing to make me feel like a queen than to treat myself to a facial at my favourite spa, with a hair wash and blow afterwards, or to go to my hair dresser/friend of the last 15 years for a two hour colour, treatment and blow wave session. As I get older, I appreciate these little moments of self indulgence more and more, and always imagine myself how I exit from these places looking radiant and oh-a-little-bit-younger.
  6. Writing. This is a newer hobby of mine, but I love spending time, writing something, fine tuning it, picking the perfect pictures and reading some blogs that I follow. I often don’t have time to do this during the week, so it is lovely being able to catch up on weekends.

Of course I get times when I am lonely and my general rule of thumb is that I like to be by myself by choice and not because I have nobody to go to or nothing to do. There is nothing as lonely as sitting at home when you are in the mood to go out and have a party. But I always have a friend or two that I can phone or text and go and visit, so these times are few and far in between. And often, my weekends are so fully packed, that I really treasure the times when I am not busy.

If I know I will be busy on a Saturday evening and a Sunday, then I feel deprived if I don’t get to spend at least a Friday evening or Saturday morning by myself!

So, honestly…next time you find out I am spending an evening by myself, don’t feel sorry for me, ask me what wine I am drinking or what movie I am watching…!

 
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Posted by on April 11, 2013 in Single life

 

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I had a dream…

A couple of weeks ago I had a dream. About a boy. A little boy that climbed into my heart on all fours and will probably never leave again. Today is his birthday.

I was in a toxic relationship for three years. I now know that this relationship was poisoning me, but at the time I was in love and I could not or would not see the wood from the trees. I believed that this was my great love of all time.

Looking back on a relationship like that, it is always so much easier to see the signs that you refused to see at the time. Some of them were subtle hints that something was wrong, and some of them were flashing signs that I ignored because I was either afraid to face the truth or doubted my own instincts.

Whichever way you look at it, coming to terms with the fact that someone that you loved cheated on you and lied to you repeatedly is like reliving a nightmare over and over again. The worst thing about closing a door behind you that someone tried to keep open by blaming you and by denying obvious truths, is that all your memories are tainted.

Most of the time, when a relationship ends, there follows a time where we avoid the person’s name in conversation, where we consciously avoid the person or anything to do with them. It is part of the healing process. But after some time, we can once again laugh about the good memories and times and acknowledge that it was not all bad. And we can once again run into that person in the local supermarket, without feeling like the world stopped its orbit for a moment or two.

Rollercoaster

Of course, it was not all doom and gloom. It was like a rollercoaster ride, with fantastic highs and earth shattering lows. Unfortunately, my memories of this relationship are ALL tainted. Some of the truths I found out afterwards made me realise that I was living in a dream. I now know that there was always someone else, even in the times when we were most in love; the times that I would have promised to spend the rest of my life with this man without the blink of an eye.

Most of those memories can be swept under a carpet as either fake memories or see-it-for-what-it-was memories. However, I cannot delete the memory of the little boy from my inner most heart. The little boy was his son, a child born out of a previous (or so I thought) relationship. It transpired that for long periods while we were together, he was trying to convince the mother of the child to take him back. And even succeeded a couple of times.

Throughout that tumultuous time, this boy was like a child in my house. He was like a little brother to my girls. I played peek-a-boo with him, taught him the ‘I love you’ gestures, sang him repetitive nursery songs to put him to sleep, fed him and changed his nappies. I loved this little boy like he was one of my own. Initially, after we broke up, his mother allowed me to see him. He came to visit us occasionally. Until his dad and I tried to make it work one last time. When it didn’t work and he cheated on me one last time in a spectacular fashion (and denied it), he made sure that I would never be able to see his son again. Which is probably better for him. After all, who was I to him? Just one of his dad’s ex girlfriends.

But my heart was broken. I missed him. I missed his cuddles and the way he touched my hair and told me I had ‘very nice hair’. I missed his big blue eyes and the way he chuckled when I tickled him. The way he ran into my arms when I counted down 1, 2, 3….

In my dream, he was crossing a street with his mother. She looked lovely, her hair was shorter than I remember, and she looked happy and content. His hair was a bit longer and he looked at me shyly and with no recollection whatsoever. I hugged him against my leg, and he squirmed to go to his mom. She picked him up and he nuzzled her hair.

In reality, I will probably never see either of them again. I understand that they moved and are living somewhere on the Garden Route, more than 1 500 kms away from Johannesburg. And I doubt that it will be a wise move to ever contact his mother again.

All I can hope for is that the dream was conceived in another consciousness and that it is the universe’s way of letting me know that he is doing well, that he is happy.

Happy birthday X-man. There will always be a chamber in my heart where I will treasure your memory.

 
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Posted by on February 2, 2013 in Single life

 

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Online dating is not for me…

Maybe you do; maybe you don’t, but I suspect some of you have been wondering how the internet dating thing is going. ¬†And maybe, ever the optimist, I have been waiting for an update until I have better news…but alas, that ain’t happening.

No, I have not met a sexy hunk, who managed to turn on the mommy.¬†And I have just about had it now.¬† So, ready or not, here I go…

Last time I checked, I think I had about three weeks of my subscription left, and that’s it.¬†¬†Definetely not renewing that one… I have met a few¬†guys, yes.¬† Most of the ones I actually met, really liked me, but unfortunately the feeling was not quite mutual.¬† I have not yet felt the flutter of any butterflies in my stomach; in fact those damn butterflies have barely showed any interest!

My analysis-paralysis self thinks the reason for this is that I am generally very interested in¬†people and love talking to people about their lives, where they come from, what they are doing etc.¬† And most men clearly like this.¬† I can actually keep a conversation going in most instances…and almost everyone has some interesting side to them.¬† Like the Harley Davidson biker, who couldn’t spell (motor viets), but lived in Nice for four years.¬† Or the beer brewer who was interested in dating older women (he was 35 years old).¬† Or the¬†Latino guy who was an¬†ex-Olympian athlete.¬† But (mainly due to the lack of chemistry), when they start talking about a second date or worse, tell me that they think I am their life partner, I sort of get cold feet very quickly.

Maybe somewhere in the haystack that is the¬†1 000 daily matches,¬†I will be able to find the¬†golden needle who¬†is my perfect match, but I just don’t have the energy anymore to try and find out.

A typical session starts like this:

  • Log in, making sure that ‘remember password’ is not checked – wouldn’t want my kids to be able to log into my account!
  • Firstly check for messages and delete the ones from the guy who likens me to a flower or the pesky guy who sneaks in by concealing¬†his marital status by answering the question ‘Ask me later’.¬† Or a follow up message from someone I ignored before, asking me if I want a longer message, ‘then give a¬†guy an indication’.¬† Hell no!
  • Check to see if anyone new¬†has added me as their favourite, which makes them a fan in internet dating lingo.¬† Most of the time there would be a new fan.¬† Someone like Jors¬†the romantikus, or some guy from Klerksdorp, Secunda or some outlying town (I suspect this is because I listed Afrikaans as my first language).
  • At this stage I often feel like gagging or reaching for the wine.
  • The next step is to look at my new matches (which of course will still include the same old ones that were there yesterday and the day before).¬† Every now and then there will be¬†a new face (or maybe I am lowering my standards?).
  • I get quite irritated by guys who don’t have pictures.¬† The only reasons why I think someone would not post a picture is because they really are dog ugly or because they are worried that someone would spot them, like a girlfriend or wife.¬† (Of course¬†there was the school principal…I guess as a parent you may be a little upset to stumble across the principal online?)
  • If an interesting catch line (or a hottie) catches my eye, I will go into the detailed profile, check out all the requirements, and where I fall short (you know, literally too short or I may get penalised for being curvaceous as opposed to average looking).¬† One guy listed, as a requirement,¬†all the colour eyes, except blue.¬† Huh?? What sort of idiot disqualifies a potential match because she has blue eyes?¬† I was tempted to ask (actually, I did – no response).
  • If I like someone, I can then add¬†them as a favourite or send them a message.
  • And wait and see if I get a reply…

Since I quickly realised that¬†merely adding a favourite is not a very effective way of attracting someone’s attention, I have on occasions sent messages to guys that I really found interesting.¬† What a disaster.¬† One guy¬†listed all his requirements in a lot of detail, from the fact that his ideal match must eat with her mouth closed and brush her teeth every day to having¬†a nice tone of laughter¬†and more.¬† Funny, I thought.¬† I spent probably 15 minutes plus compiling a reply that ticked off each requirement and that personally I thought was quite quirky and made me sound like fun.¬† No reply.

Another not-that-good-looking-but-acceptable guy had an interesting profile and I sent him a message asking if he would like to chat.¬† He replied saying thank you for the message but that he wasn’t sure if I had the look that he usually go for.¬† Duh?¬† I was tempted to send a message back saying he certainly didn’t have the look I would normally go for, but that I thought I would give him a shot because he sounded interesting.¬† Of course, I wouldn’t degrade myself like that.

By this time, if I haven’t yet had a glass of wine, I will give it up for a bad job.¬† If I have had a glass of wine, I may be tempted to start taking the mickey out or someone.¬† Like “Sort of loosing interest here, so pardon me for mailing a non-mutual ‘fan’ but what the heck.”¬† Or “Okay, not everyday I get an almost 100% match on this site that does not look like my cousin from the far old east Transvaal.” Of course I didn’t get responses on either. In hindsight, I probably sounded a bit crazy (or tipsy)….

After my blog post about changing my profile, I made some amendments to my profile.  Which got me in the hot water with the Big Brother of dating websites.  (You may not know this, but they actually scrutinise all edits and posts.  If you dare share any contact details with someone who has not at least replied to you or contacted you first, they will remove the contact details).  I had the audacity to mention that my subscription is expiring soon, so I am giving it a last shot, and got a really nasty mail (after they [removed] the sentence).

The message said: “Subscription status in profile. Unfortunately this is your final warning. We will therefore need to delete your profile if this happens again.”

I may have neglected to tell you that I got two prior warnings.¬† When I joined the site, I (ignorant as I clearly was, and without reading the fine print), used my real name in my profile name.¬† Something like ‘Gerdajv’. Which was apparently against the rules.¬† So when they set up my profile, they changed it to ‘Regdajv’.¬† Really??¬† Of course, I thought they made a mistake, and before I read my messages, I changed it back.¬† And then this pop-up appeared notifying me that I had two new messages.¬† I almost got excited there for a moment about getting two messages in the first hour (miss popularity?), but both were messages from Big Brother, the first to warn me that I am not allowed to use my real name and they have therefore changed it, and the second was a firm¬†reprimand: “Real / full name in profile. Please don’t do it again.

So, officially I am on my final written warning. On a dating website.¬† That’s hilarious.¬† Maybe I will have a glass of champagne on that…:-). I am even tempted to do something really bad, like putting a fake email address in my write up and see if they will really delete my profile. But one never knows what happens and maybe one day in the future¬†(maybe when I am tired¬†of playing with the¬†speed settings on my wheelchair in the old age home?), I may want to have some fun and¬†wouldn’t give a hoot what the person looks like anymore. Never burn your bridges!

Anyway, I also came to the conclusion that I¬†am really too busy for this whole thing. I have been texting (whatsapp¬†not whatsup…duh!) this guy in Pretoria and a couple of weeks¬†ago, he suggested that we meet up. Which is when I realised I didn’t have a single free Saturday night until end November and only one free Friday night.¬† And I am starting weekday Salsa classes with a friend¬†this week (Wicount vouchers!). ¬†And frankly, it is quite a depressing pastime.¬† Like setting yourself up for failure. I have been told by one guy that most girls are unrecognisable from their pictures (I think a lot of guys are too…especially that one that looks like Sylvester Stallone).¬† And I am way past the point of trying to pretend to be someone I am not.

I have a new found respect for those people who have found love online.¬† They clearly have a lot more perseverance than I do.¬† But for me, it’s ‘Roger over-and-out’.

 
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Posted by on October 25, 2012 in Single life

 

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To baby or not to baby

Do you want to know what some of my girlfriends are discussing on a Friday night at the Baron? Yup, over beers and wine we are chatting about the decision several late thirty-year old, single women are faced with. To have a baby by themselves, or potentially never have children.

I have quite a few single friends, from different spheres of my life. Single friends with kids. And single friends with no kids, some of them in their early thirties, ranging to late thirties and forties. These girlfriends are all professional, good looking women. They are all looking for someone special to share their lives with and would love to have a family of their own. The million dollar question is:

What if you don’t meet someone? Would you have a child all by yourself?

Biologically, women’s reproductive systems have an expiry date. And, statistically it becomes much more difficult to fall pregnant when you’re in your forties. And more risky. So, if you really, really want kids (with or without the package), then waiting for Mr Right has far reaching implications. Tick, tock, tick, tock.

For me, this is an interesting debate. Most of us want to be happily married and most of us (not everyone, by the way…) dream of one day being in a family unit. Having kids. But you never ask the question of how much you want kids until you get to that point. You don’t envisage raising kids by yourself. It is a tough thing to do. That I do know, because I am doing it. But for me it was not a decision I made up front. It sort of happened by default. That is very different.

And I am thanking my lucky stars for that. I am lucky that I didn’t have to make that decision up front. Because I am pretty sure I would have chickened out. Too much responsibility. The cost. The time. How do you do it without a partner?

And now I am doing exactly that, and coping (mostly, anyway). Yes, I am a single mom. And I am raising my kids by myself. And I can state without a shadow of a doubt that having kids was the best thing I did in my life (ever). Having a child saved my life. I know that sounds cheesy and like a clich√©, but it is true. I was on the brink of a major depression when I fell pregnant. Hindsight is a perfect science, and I have to admit that the boat, that was my marriage, was rocking all too dangerously. We were young, we had lots of financial and relationship problems and we didn’t know how to deal with it. I was immature and insecure. He was chasing his dreams. I lost contact with my friends when I got married, moved towns and I felt that I had no purpose in life.

I kept asking myself ‘Is this it? Is this as good as it gets?’. I was only 26 years old and the pregnancy wasn’t planned. But I was ecstatic. Scared (dead scared, actually), but ecstatic. Overnight, I had acquired a purpose in life. The minute cluster of cells growing inside me was my purpose. When my daughter was born, I decided that I was gonna be happy, come hell or high water, because I wanted her to be happy and I truly believe you cannot make a child happy if you are not happy yourself. So I started building friendships again. I focussed on myself. It took time. It took effort. It took years.

But today I look back and realise where I came from. I look back at the young woman (big child?) who submerged her head under the bath water and wondered how long I can keep it there and I know that having my daughter was a lifesaver. My life is not empty anymore. In fact, some days I wish it was a teeny-weeny bit less hectic. I am enveloped by the love of my girls, surrounded by wonderful friends and I think even if the kids had to leave the house (which they will do – in less than 10 years…tick, tock), my life wouldn’t be empty. I have plans. I have dreams. I love my life. I am happy.

But that doesn’t help my single friends. I am pretty sure that if I was in their situation, I would have opted out. And, knowing what I know now, probably missed out big time. I would hate to give advise. It is a very difficult decision. And what if Mr Right then does come along, but doesn’t want the responsibility of someone else’s child? (Yeah, I guess then he probably isn’t Mr Right, but at the very least your fishing pond becomes smaller, I think). And at least I get a couple of weekends a month off! Having a child all by yourself is a huge responsibility. But boy-oh-boy, it can be a source of unlimited joy as well.

So, I am not giving any advise. If someone asks me I will be honest about the pro’s and con’s in my mind. Yes, school fees are mind boggling. Yes, finding good help not that easy. Yes, you probably won’t have much time for yourself in the first few years. And, yes, the white furniture HAS to go…:-)

But nothing can prepare you for the smile on a child’s face that tugs at the corners of your heart. Nobody can explain the stress relieving effects of a child’s hug after a long and busy day at work. And nobody can ever put into words how much love you can feel for your own child. Nobody will ever be able to comprehend the amazement I still feel when I look up (yes…up!) into my daughter’s eyes and know that she belongs to me. That she is part of me. That she is part me.

After all is said, all I can promise is that I will support them in whatever decision they make. And hopefully this turns out to be a debate that they can smile over 20 years from now. Wherever in the world they are.

 
2 Comments

Posted by on October 13, 2012 in Single life

 

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This is me…damnit!

After four weeks on a dating website, I have now made a few small observations (and some big ones), read hundreds of profiles, looked at probably thousands of pictures and I guess solely based on my own experiences, I realised it is all about first cyber impressions (yeah, I know I am a slow learner). Most guys are honest, caring, love to spoil the woman in their life…blah, blah, blah… So I am very tempted to completely change my profile (more particularly the section on why someone should get to know me). And, frankly I am also tempted to just delete the profile, but I have a three months’ subscription….

However, I suspect I may end up sounding like a snob or an opinionated babe-in-total-control-of-herself (B-I-T-C-H), so decided to do a trial run…

Why you should get to know me

Sorry to disappoint, but I am not an ordinary girl looking for an ordinary boy. I can write 100 words about how caring and fun loving I am and how I am just looking for a like minded guy out there who can share my passions for music, food, travelling etc. (which incidentally I do, but so does everyone else)

So I thought I would rather tell you what puts me off and also what potentially will put you off about me…!

I am an accountant, a bean counter, or if you prefer my modern version of the bean counter…a very expensive calculator. But before you stereotype me and put me in the corner with all the other grey suited accountants that you know…I think (and have been told) that I am not quite the typical accountant. Of course I have an analytical brain and an affinity for numbers, but I also have a passion for people.

When I say I love to laugh, I mean it…but I also have a bit of an odd sense of humour and if you are easily embarrassed by someone who will laugh out loud in a restaurant, causing other patrons to turn around and look, then I am maybe not for you. And I will shrivel up and die with someone who cannot see the bright side of life. Also, there is a distinct chance that once you meet some of my friends that some embarrassing stories about me will surface (despite all my threats). Me, embarrassing myself, is not a reflection on you…

I love food. I love eating out and I absolutely love cooking and entertaining. For most people who do not have the skinny gene (go ahead…Google it), this translates into ‚Äėnot a skinny girl‚Äô. That does not mean that I do not watch what I eat, and it also does not mean that you need to book two seats for me in a movie theatre, but when I say am curvaceous it means I have curves (in hopefully all the right places). But don‚Äôt worry, my BMI index is still in the upper-end-of-the-normal range. More importantly, I am comfortable with my body.

I am a bit of an intellectual snob who will always have at least a couple of books on my bedside table. I am one of those people who will spot all the spelling mistakes on notice boards. I grew up Afrikaans, so I am absolutely aware of the fact that I still make grammatical errors too…but when you say in your catch line that you are looking for a ‘pritty frame’ then I will skip over you, doesn‚Äôt matter how sexy you look!

I am 41 years old and there is nothing wrong with my female hormones. But like I told a guy who made a bit of an indecent proposal to me (after I said I was not interested in threesomes), I quite enjoy dessert, but prefer it after dinner.

I love music and if there is a dance floor and music playing, you will know where to find me. I don‚Äôt mind too much if you don‚Äôt want to dance with me all night, but if you are going to sit in a corner with an ‚Äėact-your-age‚Äô look on your face, then I am definitely not the one for you. Which reminds me that I actually don‚Äôt like to act my age. Sure, I can and will be responsible and I will never embarrass you at a formal dinner with your boss or new clients…I think I know when to let my hair down.

So, if you‚Äôre still reading and nodded your head a couple of times/smiled/chuckled…drop me a line and we can chat!

Yeah, I know, I might as well change my catch phrase to ‘Run, Forest, run’…will have to give it another shot…:-)

 
3 Comments

Posted by on September 13, 2012 in Single life

 

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