Stop Poking, Start Forking

Not to get emotional about this but where’s the romance? Where’s Mr Darcy striding through the meadow to ravish me…He’s hiding behind modern social media tools to protect himself from potential commitment/judgement/rejection/STD’s. It’s a little weird, let’s be honest, when a guy you had a brief ‘thing’ with out of the blue pokes you. What does this mean? Has he been fraped? What’s an appropriate time to reply? Do I poke back or write back? The poke, ladies and gents, is not your friend.

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There are two types of poke, Poke A: The Stranger, expect this poke after uploading a particularly successful selfie sesh. This poke can be dispatched by varying degrees of stranger; Stage yellow; the guy you met in your first year stats tutorial who you haven’t spoken to since, best to just pretend this never happened and continue avoiding eye contact in the library. Stage Amber; a male you share mutual friends with but have never had the displeasure of meeting, he’s a stage five creeper; ignore the poke, and any following friend requests. Stage Red; A full on Facebook lurker, no mutual friends, a previous private mail in which he compliments your ‘beautiful ocean eyes’, be liberal with the block button for this kiddo. The stranger poke has become somewhat of a modern cat call; best policy is to keep on walking, ain’t no one got time for potential paedophile pokes. Abort mission and review your privacy settings.

Poke B is a different beast altogether, oh Poke B, it reads like an awkward mash-up of previous conquests. Mental note, if he slept with you six months ago, then blanked you, and then poked you, he’s probably bad news. Not in a leather jacket and stubble bad boy way, in a he-has-issues and is just generally socially inept way. Don’t reply. If he wants to talk to you he’ll talk to you, with words. Then there’s the ‘accidental’ poke, boys think we aren’t wise to this clever little move. I’m gonna crack the code- he thinks you’re a wetser, but he’s too scared to initiate any actual conversation, online or in person, so the poke acts as a tester. If you poke back a poke war, eventual conversation and perhaps more may ensue. If you don’t he knows you aren’t interested and moves on with his wallflower lil’ life. There’s also the we-scored-last-night poke, this is wildly positive and follows the same reasoning as shy guy above, and if you poke this lad back you’re confirming your interest. Then of course, of course, the what-the-f**k poke, usually your former squeeze, he’s too scared to talk to you but he misses you… Don’t poke back; it’s a virtual index finger in the wrong direction.

In an age of tinder intangible romance I’m standing up to say; I’m bored with virtual flirtations, questionable likes and ambiguous pokes. If you want to talk to a girl then go talk to her, if it doesn’t work out move on, life is too short to spend questioning someone’s emoji reply.

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Girls Like Sex Too

‘She brings someone home every weekend’, what a slut, ‘He brings someone home every weekend’ what a legend. I’m sorry, did society have a brain fart or what? I’m over this ‘she’s a slut’ versus ‘he’s the man’ when we’re looking at the exact same scenario.

Why is it that Irish women who bop on with casual sex are considered loose and tainted, but when our male counterparts do the same they’re welcomed back as heroes? It could be our Catholic guilt? White wedding syndrome? Or we could just be seriously, seriously backward… Irish guys are having a grand ole time, but us girls are ruining our own fun.

How about the next time your bestie reveals she went home with the library hottie after Krystle you high-five that hunzo. High-five her and leave your shocked gasps where they belong, the back of mass. Now I’m not encouraging disrespecting yourself, no appearances on ‘Best Nightclub Photos’ please… But get rid of the guilt. If you want to have sex then go do it. Be smart, be safe. But stop guilt tripping, this isn’t a bad thing. We’ve been having sex since the caves ladies, its nothing new. And last time I checked sex was supposed to be fun! For girls and guys, advice has come a long long way from ‘lie back and think of England’.

Faking headaches is surely the creation of a man, we like sex. Women in their twenties actually want to have sex.  So if we could all just stop judging each other and let nature take its course then we’d all be a lot happier, and certainly a lot more satisfied. Channel your inner Samantha Jones, revolutionize your sex life, revolutionize your approach to men. Stop being a shy wee wallflower, if you want him go get him. No really, stop hiding behind Snapchat and actually be productive about it.

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A lot of my girlfriends are fearful of the phrase ‘she’s so easy’- ummm you’re so lucky that she decided to entertain you. You have to set your own level of respect, I’m not saying don’t make them boyos work for it, but don’t feel like you have to stick to a ‘3rd Date’ rule. Make your own rules. Its your body, its your sex life, don’t try to squish it into fitting into a made-up structure.

What are we scared of? STDS-use a condom. Your reputation- don’t kiss and tell. Other girls- probably just jealous. What we’re scared of is running into ourselves somewhere out there in the abyss of sexual exploration. We’re in our twenties and we’re scared of who we are, we’re scared of our identity, in the bedroom and beyond. Honey boo boo, stop being scared, you’ll never find yourself if you don’t live a little. Not every girl feels exploring this avenue is important to reaffirming her identity, more power to you girlo, if its not your adventure that’s cool. But don’t judge the girls that do.

Get the ride- not the guilt.

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The Quarter Life Crises

‘So no one told you life was gonna be this way. Your jobs a joke, you’re broke, your love life’s D.O.A.’ Sound familiar? This little gem doesn’t just spark the memory of Ross and Rachel but in recent months has become more and more relevant. A comparison I was able to make while indulging in far too much day-time TV. Instead of trying to deal with what was going on around me. Fact is folks, if you’re in final year or recently graduated you’re absolutely bricking it. Being a grownup is now a tangible reality and it isn’t nice. Introducing ‘The Quarter Life Crises’, we’re all going through one, so hears a few hints and tips on how to not self-combust.

The day after graduation I sat in my childhood room, on my Barbie sheets, and full on bawled. This is okay. I promise. The ugly crying is stage one, recognition, also known as ‘Holy shit, is this my life?’. It is. Get living. We all began this college adventure with the very best intentions of completing our three or four years and then settling into grownup-hood. The rules have changed. I don’t want to be a grownup anymore, I don’t want to work in the area I studied for three years, I don’t want to do my masters. The logical response to this rant is usually, ‘Oh and what is it that you do want?’ which leads to further daytime television distraction and if pushed the answer ‘Fuck knows’.

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I don’t want to be a grownup, but being Peter Pan isn’t actually a valid option. Look around you, everyone, guys, girls, parents, are all watching you slide into the quarter life crises fold. My best, very best advice is to just embrace it. Embrace not knowing, embrace being scared and see what happens. School and college have been educating us not only in choice subjects but in life. We’ve all had the teacher who claimed our rampant giggling would get us nowhere in life. And now we’re about to figure it out for real.

It’s time, little lost one, to take your head out of sand, yes its scary, but it has to be done. Ignore the incessant whispers around the library ‘2:1, 2:1, 2:1’, acknowledge that a masters is an option but not compulsory one, chillax. This time is yours to make mistakes, to carve experiences and to figure out what you want. Don’t force it and don’t let others force it upon you. You are the one who has to live this life, not your mum, dad, brother, best friend, lecturer, significant other, you’re the one who is responsible for making life choices that are going to make you happy.

Six months ago I was curled up in the library, jacked up on caffeine and my screensaver was a shakily drawn ‘2:1’. I didn’t expect to defer a masters, I didn’t expect a three month American adventure, I didn’t plan expect to begin a blog. And you know what; the unexpected has brought me the greatest happiness.

Freak out about it, everyone else is.

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Boyfriends Aren’t Real

We’ve all heard the lengthy sigh of our female friend, followed by ‘I just, like, need to be spooned. I want a boyfriend’. I’m gonna strip things down a few layers(raunchy), right down to the word boyfriend. Imagine this, you have just woken up from a magical sleep, its 2013, you are 21, single and the world is laid out in front of you. Now I’m not saying its the first thing you’ll be confused by, but its gotta be up there, you’re going to wonder what this mystical ‘boyfriend’ figure is. The one every single girl whimsically whispers about. I think we all need to take a deep breath and maybe, just maybe, recognise that this ‘boyfriend’ does not exist. The image you have conjured up, of a champion spooner, always-texts-you-backer with an unreal bod, simply isn’t real. ‘Prince Charming’ and ‘Boyfriend’ are fictional characters that us hunzos in our twenties are holding up as beacons of hope. Umm… Can we do something else please?

This doesn’t just apply to Irish girls, it has its own effect on the lads. They’re scared of the ‘boyfriend’. The ‘boyfriend’ lifts more than them, the ‘boyfriend’ is romantic, the ‘boyfriend’ doesn’t fart in bed. He’s making them all look bad, they’re pale in comparison to the imaginary relationship we’re in in our heads. Actual boyfriends, real life ones, aren’t perfect, they fuck up all the time. Imaginary boyfriends, don’t. And herein lies the issue, no real life boy is ever, ever going to live up to the expectations we have created. Because real life boys, have real life weaknesses, they forget things, they get drunk, they make mistakes but maybe they’ll be ok at spooning? This is very very disappointing to the average young lady, so we’ve just kind of, ignored it… Girls don’t want real boyfriends, girls want their imaginary one to suddenly morph into reality, and they’re willing to moan about it for years and years, until they eventually just settle on a real life boy who is semi ok. What a waste of time…

perf bf doesn't exist

This whole ‘I need a boyfriend’ seems like stage one of how to completely self-destruct and ruin your own life. How about, we stop imagining boyfriends and start imagining what it would feel to own your own business. How about, we stop pretending we’re lonely, you aren’t lonely, you’re bored. Stop being bored. If you’re lonely go and change things, move places, do things you wouldn’t normally do. Skydive, scuba dive, ski, find whatever it is that’s going to remind you that you’re alive. We get one life, one. Repeat. One life. I’m not wasting mine sitting around the arts block moaning about my relationship status. Get up, move, go to the gym, book a flight, create yourself. We’re putting more effort into creating our image of an ideal man than creating ourselves.

be young, be dope, be proud

I’m rebelling against relationships.Don’t be in a relationship with an figment of your imagination, don’t be in a relationship with a real life disappointment, calm down and stop rushing yourself. Dance your pants off, drink shots, never forget your girls and just let yourself have FUN.

Young, Fun, and Single. Live it, breathe it, be it.

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I Don’t Want a Cat

Now don’t misunderstand me, I like cats, I follow instakitten, I’m all over the fluffy cuteness. But what I’m not loving is the worrying trend among Irish women. Single=Sad. No. I’m single and I’m not sad, being single is empowering.There is a frightening epidemic curling itself around my friends, this pressure to have a serious relationship, to have a man in their lives. I’m sorry bugs, but I’m not buying it. This is our time, dance, sing, order another shot. Life is for living and creating yourself, not for waiting for a boy to do it for you. We are getting opportunities our mothers didn’t, and things are grandmothers never would have dreamed of are suddenly tangible.

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I’m not a bad-ass, I’m not hard or bitter, I’m a marshmallow. I love being in love. I love cutesiness and cuddles. But I love me more. If I settle now in my early twenties then what else will I settle on? My career? My dreams? Umm how about no? How about I argue with every one of my single girlfriends when they say ‘I need a boyfriend’? We don’t need boyfriends we need progression. Travel, education, things that bring you happiness.

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                                               I urge you to travel-YES

This decade is ours, don’t focus on fellas, focus on yourself. I think we all need a little kick in the arse ladies. Stop wondering if the boy from Coppers is going to text you and start googling internships. Don’t put yourself on standstill in the hopes of having a regular shift, choose paths for you, choose places for you, choose for yourself. I’m not willing to lose myself to gain a guy, and this is what’s bothering me when I hear cat lady jokes. We all know the girl who’s cut herself off from her friends to focus solely on her boyfriend, the girl who doesn’t seem happy but is fighting, fighting, fighting for that boy to be in her life. At some stage we’ve been that girl. This isn’t ok.

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                                 USA 2013, learning things. Tequila things.

Don’t be scared of being alone, be scared of being with someone who makes you feel alone. Go see things, go be things. I want to see elephants, not cats. Who’s with me?

elephant

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Ending It Etiquette

5 Steps to a (hopefully) more harmonious split

Considering my most recent breakup involved screaming through a phone on Grafton st. I got to thinking, is there a good way to breakup with someone?! We’ve all been through the break-up, make-up, break-up cycle, there’s no such thing as a good break-up, or is there? The existence of bad break-ups makes me wonder, surely then, someone, somewhere got it right. This led me to the conclusion that what we all really need, is a break-up guide. There’s no easy way to say ‘I don’t want to be with you anymore’ but surely there’s a way to soften the blow. Here are my five steps to a hopefully happier break-up. Bear in mind I have yet to

1 Don’t compare

All break-ups are different, just because you stayed friends with one ex does not mean you should feel the need to remain friends with every break-up, especially not if they broke your heart.

2 Cruel to be kind

Yes you’ll want to have one last cuddle, one last kiss, one last.. No! If a break-up has been initiated there is no going back. Be cruel to yourself, don’t text, don’t call, delete on Facebook if you feel you’re going to stalk him for the next six months. Its not healthy. Similarly if you are the one initiating the break-up don’t cave and respond to any dialogue that’s going to lead to another emotionally charged ‘can’t we just try’ conversation.

3 Clear and concise

You don’t need to list off every time you felt things were less than perfect. Reminding him now that never receiving a birthday present was bad form is totally irrelevant, be a big girl and tell him you just don’t want to be together anymore. Similarly if you’re the victim of break up and not the breaker upper don’t punish yourself by screaming ‘Whyyyyy’. If a break up has been instigated reasons are usually fairly obvious.

4 Face to Face

Don’t be a baby. Turn up for the ‘talk’, as hard as it is it provides essential closure. I’ve made this mistake and it makes moving on harder, it makes seeing each other for the first time harder, have the conversation.

5 Stick to your guns

There will be moments of loneliness, there will be times you just want to text him, you just want a quick word. No petal, don’t do it. Remember this golden little phrase:

fight for a spot

If he’s the one contacting you, seriously consider replying, it may feel unkind to ignore advances but refer to rule 2.

6 Listen to your mother

I know I said five steps but this is worth a mention! Listen to your mother, or your close circle, choose your advisers wisely. Mama knows best but the friend-of-a-friend you meet on a Saturday night does not.

Don’t be hard on yourself, buy cupcakes, buy shoes, be a boss.

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