Lessons learned while dating (1)

So one of my many New Years’ Resolutions was to get back onto the dating scene. See what is out there. For some people that is probably something that is a given, and not something to make a resolution about. But for me, dating is not part of my life. I have to push myself to do it. Without going into too much detail, lets just say I have been single for over three years and have a deep-seated fear of intimacy.

I thought I would record this journey and the lessons that I have learned so far. Maybe it will help some of you, or maybe it will provide a good laugh at my failures.

So as part of this, I started swiping (again) on Tinder (have such a love-hate relationship with it) and came across a few people who might potentially be interesting. A date was organised. This led to another date. And to another. And now to radio silence.

I am sure most of us would be familiar with this situation.

But to prevent myself from spiraling, questioning what went wrong, I analysed the situation and came up with some thoughts.

With this particular person, I was not sure how I felt. I enjoyed hanging out with him but I was not sure where I wanted it to go. Quick background: he had been texting or ringing me every day for a week or so. Then one day he was not quick at replying to my messages. The next day he did not text. I texted him reasoning its the 21st century. I can make the effort. However, the more distant he got, the more my fight instinct was sparked. This is not a good reason to chase someone. I was chasing him as I felt that I had lost the power in the relationship.

So what do you do? Well that I do not have the answer to. But what I do have is some reflections from the situation.

Firstly, you should only invest in as much time as the other person is investing as that is the basis to a good relationship. Do not base your investment in a guy based on how much you like him, base it in how much he invests in you.

Secondly, you should not be offended. This person barely knows you. He has spend a couple of hours with you. That is not nearly enough time to get to know all your quirks and the depth of your personality. Therefore, do not feel personally offended if the person does not text you. He only knows the surface version of you.

Thirdly, carry on being a busy person. Since I have been single for so long, I am a very busy person. I tend to leave my house at eight in the morning for work and only get back home most nights past eleven. This is because I go to the gym, meet friends for drinks or dinner, go to events, have classes on etc. I am busy. Being a busy person will prevent you from obsessing over someone wondering what they are doing, but will also help you have a healthier future relationship. Your life should not stop for someone else. You should of course make space for them. But I firmly believe that a partner is there to compliment your life, not to complete it.

Fourthly, don’t be bitter. Understand that to find someone to be in a relationship with and to commit wholeheartedly needs to highly compliment you and fulfill your needs. Perhaps that person is not you. And that is okay. You cannot be perfect for everyone. And if you feel you are, then you are most likely catering to the other persons’ needs in place of your own.

 

 

 

Advertisements

Stop netflixing your life away

Netflix. Such a great invention. The ability to access millions of movies and series at the press of a button. Even better now that you don’t have to change for a new episode, it just continuously runs.

I recently made the brave move to delete my Netflix. Why you ask? Well, Netflix is a distraction. It distracts us from our goals, from our vision, from what we want to achieve in life. This may sounds extreme, but think about it. See the below infographic as provided by the Business Insider:

nielesen binge shows.png.jpeg

Here we can see how long it takes to watch an entire series. I have spent hours upon hours watching series after series and I kid you not, some series three times (Gossip Girl in case you were wondering). With this knowledge I decided to do a little calculation. Using this website ‘The Binge Clock’,  I could calculate how many hours I have spent watching Gossip Girl. Well, the truth is, I have spent over two weeks of my life watching Gossip Girl. TWO WEEKS. Lets put that in perspective:

15 days 3 hours = 363 hours

363 hours could have been better spent:

-> Going to the gym every day for a year (and would still have an extra 7 hours);

-> Sleeping more (I am constantly giving out about how little I sleep and how tired I am);

-> Taking up a new hobby such as learning to play the flute, or learning a new language;

-> spending more time with friends or family by giving them a call;

-> working on your side hustle.

But why do we watch it? I think one of the main enjoyments I derive from watching Netflix or any other sort of television series provider is the ability to live vicariously through the lives of others. Take Gossip Girl for example, I get to get a glimpse into the elite world of Manhattan socialites that I would never otherwise be allowed into. And this luxury makes me forget for a second (or for forty minutes) all my problems and brings me into this world of luxury where I almost believe, I am part of that world. Furthermore it is a distraction, a distraction from my current worries and problems, a way to ignore my issues and pretend everything is fine. Netflixing our weekends away is a modern-day phenomenon which is leading people to numb their lives by distracting themselves from their problems and not leading the life they could live.

 

Unknown-2.png

 

Now this article is not meant to make any one cold-turkey themselves from Netflix, but just to highlight the amount of time that is wasted on Netflix which could be used far more productively. There is a lot of good to be said for watching series as it is a great way to shut off for a while, but the bring home message of this article is to simply be aware of the tiem you are spending Netflixing especially if you are complaining about not having enoug time to do things.

What I learned when my mom died

A lot of people have that aha moment. That moment of clarity where you realise how fragile life truly is and how pointless 99% of the things you do in your life are. My aha moment was when my Mom got diagnosed with cancer. She died shortly afterwards (and by shortly, I am talking weeks).

The greatest lesson I took from her death was to stop waiting. She always was waiting. Waiting until she had more money. Waiting until we went to South Africa. Waiting until I went to go to university. Waiting until I left university. She lived in the future never fully appreciating the present. Perhaps the reason for this was that her present was too harsh a reality for her to live in, and therefore she chose to live in this fairytale future. Who knows. I will never know.

But we all have to stop waiting. I see it with my friends. I see it with my family. And worst of all, I see it with myself. I wake up in the morning and I cannot wait until the day is over. Its a Tuesday today, and god I cannot wait for it to be the weekend. In two and a half weeks I go to South Africa and I feel myself counting it down. My brother is worse, he cannot wait until he retires. Its all he talks about. Sometimes I stop. I hit pause on the treadmill of life, and I sit there and I realise is this it. Is this what life is, a series of shitty days which you endure in order to get to the day you have been waiting for, be it Friday, Christmas, holidays, retirement etc. Thats not good enough. I do not want to wait. I want everyday to be a day that imbues me with such joy that I truly am in the moment. 

I want to stop putting off all those things I said I would do like go pole-dancing, read books, date, travel, have fun. Stop making excuses and waiting for fun things to happen, and just do them now.

I think my brother put it best when he wrote on the day my mom died:

“What I can take from this is you have to do the things you talk of now. Cause later might not come. So kiss that girl on the first date, tell your wife how beautiful she looks, buy that puppy and have the baby girl you always talk about. Tomorrow I will continue with my life and make every day one to remember. As for the rest of you. Go hug your mom.”

 

 

Budgeting 101

Saving money, having money, watching my money is something I struggle with. I developed some weird habits with money from being dirt poor in uni. I would always pay everything off that needed to be paid and then I would spend the remainder of my income on whatever I wanted. Sounds like a good plan? Well, yes back when I had very little surplus income, it was a great plan. However, now that I have joined the adult world, I need to figure out how to deal with my money like an adult and that means budgeting. Below is the strategy I am using so far:

  1. Write down a list of your income on the one side of the page, and on the other side of the page your expenditure. So for example for income, it would be pocket-money, grants, salary etc and for expenditure, it would be food, rent, phone bills, clothes, socialising etc.
  2. 50/30/20: The 50/30/20 rule states keep 50% of your income for necessary things e.g. rent, food etc. Save 30% and spend 20% on fun things. Look at your own spending habits and see how fitting your own spending habits are to this model, and try make them look like that. For example:

Say Joan earns 2000 euro a month. 1000 euro goes towards all her necessary expenses such as her phone bill, her rent, her grocery bills etc. She then has 1000 euro left over, 600 euro she puts away for savings. She then has 400 euro for fun things. This can cover going out with friends, going on holidays, buying new clothes, getting your hair done etc.

3. Now that you have your plan of how you want to spend your money, use this plan. As soon as you get your income in every month, try pay off your pressing expenses such as your rent, credit card etc and set up a direct debit to pull your money into a savings account before you have a chance to spend it.

4. Another thing I have started doing recently is making a note on my phone whenever I spend money and a rough idea what I spend it on. I have only been doing this for the month of February but I am already shocked at how much the little things at up and can see very quickly where all my money is going.

5. Every two weeks, check how you are doing. Check your notes to see how much you have spent and see if you are on target. If you are not on target, learn to pull back a bit. If you are on target, rejoice and use some of the fun money to buy yourself something cute or go out to the movies with friends etc.

So there you have it, make a plan with your money.

 

Why I started this blog

I want to empower people to live the best lives that they can. This blog will contain tips and tricks on how to better your life and achieve the goals you want to achieve.

It will be focused on developing a skill set that will help you get the results you want in life.