Tag Archives: faux-romance

Valentine’s Day: Say no to romance at gunpoint

Thanks to the internet and snark becoming an acceptable way of life, moaning about Valentine’s Day and deriding everyone who gets involved in it is almost as big an institution as buying your beloved a bouquet on the day.

And it’s highly monetised, with cash changing hands for a billion think pieces on the death of romance.

We mock those who simply must book a romantic meal for two on February 14th, because either their partner will give them the silent treatment from the 15th until the end of March, or, more usually, because everyone else expects you to be doing something for it. And if you’re not doing something, they want to know why not. Welcome to the dictatorship that is Valentine’s Day.

I’m not bitter, though. I don’t care about commercialisation, tacky helium-filled balloons or bright red valentines imploring you to roger me senseless. I’m unmoved by special Valentine menus and badly  mixed ‘romantic’ cocktails named after cocks and tits. Lovers inspired by Fifty Shades Of Grey and throttling themselves with chicken wire? Up to you. No problem. All good.

What bothers me about Valentine’s Day is that it’s not a day for lovers to show how much they love each other. It’s actually a chance to show off, to not-so-humbly brag about how happy and in love you are. Like a really cheap annual wedding. If nobody else were watching, you’d be on the sofa scratching your arse and arguing over the takeaway menu like any other normal day.

My least favourite parts:

People getting flowers at work
If you have ever sent flowers to someone at their workplace: fuck off. Go on, just eff right off and don’t come back. You’re shameless.

It’s awful, beyond cliché, but people can’t help themselves. I know people (mainly women, I’m afraid) who have actively encouraged their beau to send a stonking great bouquet to their office. I can only imagine the devastation caused by Valentine’s Day falling on a Saturday this year, denying many 9-to-5ers their moment in the sun.

These floral deliveries serve as a massive “fuck you” to anyone with less considerate (or less easily manipulated) spouses, plus it has the added bonus of making all the single people – who we will come to later – feel even more fantastically inadequate, dreading the endless crowing about it all afternoon long.

The bouquets get bigger and more ostentatious every year, as everyone tries to outdo each other. We are probably about seven years away from someone just having done with it and Kew Gardens airlifted and delivered to Tracy on Reception. Continue reading Valentine’s Day: Say no to romance at gunpoint

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17 things couples do that make single people want to kill them

Aside from the mindless shagging, off-the-peg hedonism and thrilling Uber rides to the clap clinic, being single can be something of a trial. Sure, you can do what the hell you like, when you like, but sometimes you long for the touch of another, for someone to care that you’ve left the fridge open, the thrill of orgasming with someone else in the room.

And as if all that wasn’t enough, you’ve got dickhead couples pulling this kind of crap all around you, reminding you how unloved, lonely and insignificant you are:

1. Share puddings.
“Two spoons, please” is a knife in the throat of any self-respecting singleton. And food-sharing is really unsexy. Especially if it’s a recently defrosted cheesecake in a Harvester.

2. Hold hands everywhere.
No, seriously, you’re in my way. I have to be somewhere. You may want to spend your days ambling dreamily hand-in-hand, but, guys, you’re in the middle of a really busy Tesco Express and I’m trying to reach the tenderstem.

3. Argue in Ikea.
The most boring, cliché, coupletastic thing any gruesome twosome can do. Even worse is boasting about getting round the entire store without arguing. Well done you. It’s a shop, not the north face of the Eiger. Continue reading 17 things couples do that make single people want to kill them

The over-analytical, relationship-destroying Christmas Gift Guide

What do the gifts your other half gets you for Christmas really say about your relationship? Welcome paroxysms of angst and doubt into your life with my handy guide to what his presents mean for your romantic future…

A bubble bath/body lotion/face wash gift set
The first thing you should do when opening this present is jam your hand into your armpit and then give it a going over to make sure you don’t pong. Is this a hint?

On the whole, “smellies” aren’t a very fascinating present unless you’ve asked for them or have some thought behind them – perhaps your signature scent or an in-joke or something really “luxe” or whatever GQ is calling pricey stuff this year.

Nine times out of ten, however, they are a Boots 3-for-2 panic buy and you’ve got the gift he had to buy to make the deal and, as we know, you should never, ever date a man who does that.

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Prognosis: You’ll probably make it to next Christmas. Up your hints game though if you want to avoid another box of hand cream in 2015. Continue reading The over-analytical, relationship-destroying Christmas Gift Guide

Say no to searching for a soulmate

When you’re dating you hear a lot of talk about ‘soulmates’, ‘the one’ or the perfect match. Even the singles website where I met most of perfectly willing – but not always able – victims was called Soulmates, as if everybody on it were hopeless romantics staring at the sky with mooncalf eyes, waiting for Mr Right to swing off a star and drop into their arms.

Quizzes, algorithms and your own ridiculous preconceptions help you decide who this person is likely to be, this ‘other half’ of you, and anybody who doesn’t fit your narrow criteria is disposed of, thrown to the wayside.

But in search of this soulmate, aren’t we really just setting ourselves up for disappointment after disappointment, and banishing fun – and perhaps some really interesting, educational sex – to the back of the class for flinging spitballs?

He watches Hollyoaks – you think it’s Satan playing with his dollies. How could you possibly go out with somebody who didn’t match you perfectly?

For such a drearily romantic notion, hunting for a soulmate is a fairly clinical process. You think about the things you will need, whether it’s shared interests, a certain hair colour or the ability to put up shelves. You dismiss any suitor that doesn’t fit into your narrow field of requirements. He was a bit too fat, you tell yourself. He said he didn’t like Rufus Wainwright. He’s never listened to Radio 4. He watches Hollyoaks – you think it’s Satan playing with his dollies. How could you possibly go out with somebody who didn’t match you perfectly?

If there is one thing I realised, rejection after rejection, it’s that it is almost impossible for anyone to live up to their date’s idea of what they should be. Humans disillusion and surprise almost every minute we’re awake; we can’t really be programmed like a Sky+ box. If you approach dating like you’re shopping for a fitted kitchen, you’re setting yourself up for disappointment.

I never looked for a soulmate when I was dating, mainly because I could never really understand what one was supposed to be. A perfect 10 who instantly ‘gets’ you? A drongo in a matching cardigan who finishes your sentences? Someone you know so well, inside out, that you never have to spend any time working them out or discovering more about them? A hug from a mirror?

The problem with ‘the one’ is, well, there’s only one of them. How many times have we told ourselves at the beginning of a relationship that this guy or girl is the absolute, the very end, the first prize, that ‘ideal match’, only to find three years later that you’re shackled to someone who wears the same socks for five days straight – and with Crocs in summer?

In your next relationship, is this one the ‘the one’ one or should you have hung on to the last ‘the one’ one? Do you decide not to venture into another relationship lest the actual ‘the one’ one is out there looking for you somewhere? Confused? I know, right?

What if you are with someone for ten years, etching tattoos on your buttocks, making public declarations about soulmates, and then they sod off and have sex with somebody else? They were your soulmate, right? Does that mean you weren’t theirs? Isn’t it a two-way thing?

If soulmates do actually exist, and I am doubtful of this, they don’t just appear in front of you, having ticked off every box on your checklist. You grow into them. If you start off with Mr Perfect, where do you go next? Another 30 years of never being pushed or challenged, of agreeable comfort? Endless Valentine’s Days in the same restaurant?

The fastest way to working out what’s good for you is trying a little bit of the bad.

Clear all your filters, chuck out your checklist and widen those parameters. Take a risk. Never mind the perfect match, fuck the barista with a threadbare bank account – he might own the place one day. The fastest way to working out what’s good for you is trying a little bit of the bad. Who are you missing out on while waiting for that star to fall?

If you can find someone who’s a good kisser, smells nice, has an intelligent thought in his head and a sense of humour and – crucially – doesn’t make you want to kill, you’re already onto a winner.

Anyway, your soulmate probably doesn’t exist. Either that, or they’re married to someone else.

Image: Flickr