Once upon a time, a man turned to me after sex, looked deeply into my eyes and said, “Y’know Nikki, you should really get a boyfriend”. It was late, but I told him I’d see what I could forage from the dumpster in the morning. Prince Charming’s throwaway statement reveals so much about how we view sexually liberated, content, unattached women. I didn’t want to be this man’s girlfriend. I didn’t want to be any man’s girlfriend. I wanted to be single.
If I know memes (and believe me, I know memes), we’re supposed to hate our exes. Your ex-boyfriend is trash. Don’t pick up the phone; he’s just calling because he’s drunk and alone. Based on my extensive research, most people don’t actually loathe their exes. The majority of relationships fall apart in a slow, sad and confusing way. There are more shades of grey than a poorly written Twilight fan-fiction.
Content note: psychological abuse, gaslighting
I’ve been called a lot of things over the years. Somebody recently described me as “brazen, enchanting and doting”, which I would like to formally request as my epitaph, many thanks. The year is 2017 and I don’t need to tell you that ‘crazy’ is an inherently problematic term which minimises the reality of struggling with mental illness. It’s a lazy adjective and about as good-natured as Nigel Farage and Katie Hopkins’ imaginary lovechild.
Content note: self-harm, eating disorders
I experience severe pre-menstrual syndrome. Put your eyeballs back in their sockets lads, you’re reading a blog called GIRL (if you squint a bit). A few days before my period arrives, as well as the usual headaches and irritability, I no longer recognise myself. My self-esteem fluctuates as wildly as the pound post-Brexit. I look in the mirror and think “who replaced my body with dough” and “why has my face been crudely covered with a Halloween mask”. Days earlier, I was the figurative belle of the figurative ball.
Having sex outside of a relationship is tricky because the lines are as blurred as that Robin Thicke song about sexual harassment.
None of us can agree on the terms of engagement. I would like a tweet from Theresa May or Kanye West clarifying the official position on what “seeing each other” means. I have no idea what the phrases “dating” or “hooking up” mean either. It sounds like 50 Shades of Emotional Insecurity and I’ll have no part in it, thanks.
In the past, they didn’t have Snapchat. When they caught feels for each other, they ate ice cream on a seafront, laughed nervously and got their kicks in horrifying ways we dare not even imagine. The year is 2017, we have social media and can all agree it’s the worst. But maybe it’s the best and I can’t stop. In a dating context, social media means that infidelity is easier to achieve. The constant connectivity generates anxiety and at its worst, all-consuming paranoia.