Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Tiny Talk - episode two: relationships

In some sense I feel slightly hypocritical dishing out advice on relationships. My view on them is somewhat tainted given my experience with them, but I guess you could say that I have been through rather a lot with them, so maybe I am a good person to ask for advice. 

So something that a lot of people ask me for advice on is dating; when should I date a guy/girl? When is it right to make it an official relationship? Can I date more than one person at once? A million and one questions always come flying my way, so I am going to attempt to make this column answer almost every question you could think of. 

I think society seems to frown upon the age of which it is seen ideal to start dating...the whole 'you have to be emotionally ready' thing I quite frankly see as bullshit. How can a society as a whole decide on when everyone is ready to date? It varies from person to person, which actually makes this question a lot harder to answer. So I would say that if you feel ready to date someone, then you go ahead! 

I think the issue of dating more than one person is something commonly exaggerated in society. There is a major difference between dating and relationships and the whole cheating thing. If you are only dating someone, I see no issue in dating a few other people along the way. It's when things start to get a bit more serious, and your feelings develop for this one person, that you should really stop to think about whether you should make it an exclusive thing. This is where issues of cheating come in to play. So just make sure both parties are on the same wave length about where you both stand before you see other people, or if you start to feel more for someone then let them know. 

This leads nicely on to when the right time is to make a relationship "official". This is actually something I have always struggled with, and I probably will forever contemplate when the right time actually is. I think it's one of those things where you have to sit down and actually discuss. In those silly high school relationships you don't really need to bother - if you actually end up with them for the rest of your life then you are either really lucky or you have essentially found the right person at the right time. But when it comes to adult relationships then you have to actually communicate, you know...that thing you really hate doing. You can't just wait for someone to be like "do you want to be my girlfriend?" anymore, because it simply doesn't work like that.

There also seems to be a lot of issues in relation to age gaps between people. I think this is something more of personal preference; for example, I tend to date guys who are older than me, but I have friends who date younger people etc.I think the question surrounds what the 'normal' age gap is before it gets branded as weird. I think this tends to affect people more whilst they are younger, in that a relationship between a 15 year old and a 21 year old may be seen as slightly wrong, but when that age gap is applied to people over 20 it doesn't seem so bad. There seems to be some sort of hypocrisy when it comes to age. Personally, I have a restriction on anyone 10 years older than me...which probably seems strange to my younger readers as you tend to date people the same age as you in school. But as you get older, age seems to become irrelevant. So follow your heart - if you like someone, then go for it regardless of their age.

Then comes the all important question that everyone wants to know the answer to...how do you know when someone likes you? I am possibly the worst person to answer this question but I'l give it a shot. I think it's easier to tell with girls because we will just flirt like hell in the hope that the guy will notice. All that eyelash fluttering, and touching, and bla bla bla. Yeah we all do it. Girls if you think you don't....you're lying...you do. I think it harder to tell with guys, because believe it or not, they get shy too! Most guys I think just think that replying to your texts relatively quickly constitutes affection...meh maybe it does...I'd be pretty chuffed if someone continuously replied quickly! I don't know....if they want to spend time with you then I'd say there is something there....God knows.

In slight relation...how do you tell someone you like them? Well as we all know I am a very blunt person, so I just tend to tell them...sometimes it takes a drop of alcohol for me to say it because (shockingly) I get nervous too! But I honestly think it's the best way to tell someone. Why beat around the bush and spend hours worrying over confusing mixed signals. The worst thing that can happen is they say they don't like you in that way and you move on from it. So just grow a pair and tell them! 

There is this whole thing that it is traditional for the guy to make the first move. Well I say fuck that. Why can't the girl make the first move? I think I am well-known in my friendship group to always be the one to make the first move. I don't see the issue with the girl asking the guy out for a drink or whatever. I do it all the time - not that I ask a lot of people. It's the same thing with my previous point...the worst that can happen is they say no. Or you can go out for a drink and find out that maybe you didn't like them as much as you thought and then you have had a good chat and a good drink. Winner! People need to stop thinking that this whole traditional ideology of relationships applies...because it doesn't. Whether you think that Prince Charming is going to come swooping by on his bloody unicorn pulled carriage, get down on one knee and propose with this 374839 carat ring, then do that whole movie-star kiss in the rain thing....no. Just no. That doesn't happen - sorry! Life isn't a Disney movie....make the first move or you might regret it. 

As a girl who has had an overall not amazing experience with relationships, I would quite like some sort of crystal ball to tell me when a guy is an asshole and when he is genuine. I think that a lot of girls, myself included, like this whole bad boy persona. Well I think it's time we all moved away from that...if they have that persona it's likely they're going to be one. For once in my life I think it's time I didn't get messed around and had a nice guy. So I think the one way you can tell if a guy, or a girl for that matter, is an asshole is if they don't pay attention to you. Don't get me wrong, my attention span can be shit a lot of the time, but I pay attention to little details. If someone doesn't pay attention to the things that you like, do, or mention then it's probably not worth it. You deserve someone who does those little things. They don't even have to be romantic things, but if they sit and watch a film you like instead of something they want, then I'd consider that a success. 

I think in relationships and dating you can get really drawn in and not know when the time comes to walk away. This is something I have definitely struggled with and now I look from the other side I sort of kick myself about how long I held on to something that was ruining me. I have major issues with being alone. I don't know why, but I always have - a shocker considering I spend all my time in my room on my laptop....But I think that you need to put yourself first in these situations. If you aren't happy in your relationship, and things aren't what they used to be then maybe it's time to walk away. It will be difficult, especially if you are close to that person and have been with them for a long time, but someone can only love you as much as you love yourself, and if you aren't happy then it sort of speaks for itself....Also if someone treats you like shit then just go. Just let it go and find someone who loves you for you and treats you like a prince or princess, because those people do exist. You always find what you're looking for when you stop searching.

My final point is how to deal with a bad breakup. Now this I can most definitely offer you advice on. 2 out of 3 of my breakups have been seriously hard on me, and in my last one I did the worst thing I think I could have done. I literally drowned myself in alcohol for 2 solid weeks and did pretty much nothing else. Now I would not offer this to you as a solution because it isn't healthy and I ended up being ill after. I didn't focus on the problem at hand, I just ignored it in the hope that it would go away. It didn't. In fact, I came out worse the other side of the drink to what I went in. So my solution is to get a load of friends around you, grab a shit ton of food, and stick on your favourite film. No one ever solved anything completely alone. Someone offered me some great advice when I went through mine - keep living until you are alive again. I have stuck to that ever since. So if you are going through a bad breakup, or know someone who is, just offer them that. It did me the world of good.

A piece of advice by my lovely chummy, Little Boots, is that misery loves company. So there is a fantastic excuse to have all your friends over!

I am going to stop now, because this Tiny Talk has turned in to a Tremendous Talk, so sorry about that.

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As always thank you for reading and I will see you tomorrow for a brand new post!


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