Helen: What happened to dating?! I blame Justin Timberlake!

That's us -  hangin' and bangin'.

That’s us – hangin’ and bangin’.

What the hell happened to “Let’s go grab a coffee sometime?”

These days boy meets girl and, after establishing that she’s not THE ONE, skips right to

“How about it? Is this FWB thing on?”
(That’s ‘Friends With Benefits‘ for the uninitiated).

Not sure when it started but the older I get the less dating seems an option. Potential FWBs on the other hand – they lie around every corner.

And the next thing you know naughty photos are being WhatsApp’d to and fro, and your self-esteem and dreams of domestic bliss are lying in tatters next to your brand new undies on the bedroom floor!

Look, there are benefits. Let’s not be too melodramatic! And not just sexual either:

– No requirement of a long, messy, public break-up – HALLELUYAH 🙂
– No fear of your FWB popping the question when, quite frankly, you know the answer would be NO.
– You know each other’s HIV status and sexual history (and if you don’t you’re good mates so it’s easy to ask without wanting to dig yourself a hole and die).
– And good lord, the sex is great!

Problem is, for both people concerned, the lurking truth eats away at our sunny and sexually satisfied dispositions: We’re all just ‘good enough’ but not ‘amazing’ people who just can’t seem to cut it in the Game of Love. You’re not deeply wanted – not enough to have someone date you let alone pop the question at any rate, so you settle for next best thing.

And before long that undercurrent of painful truth begins to suck the joy out of you!!

At first it’s bloodie awesome. Fun and steamy, no-holds-barred sex with a friend you’ve always had the mild hots for, feel super comfortable around, and who likes you for you. And no need to stay in constant sms contact or share the remote control!

Then the head worms begin. Even though you never had the intention of dating your FWB and probably wouldn’t even if the opportunity arose, those conniving worms start their sneaky whisperings:

“Is this it? Is this all I’m worth? Am I not good enough? Too old? Too fat? Too hairy? …..
….. Too old?”

And then there are the poor sods who launch into their FWB relationship with all the best intentions in the world but end up falling head-over-heels in love only to find:

“Oops, s/he doesn’t love me back. We were clear on that from the start. Seriously … s/he really really doesn’t love me back.”

Your FWB’s just up for a shag – is horny as hell – and you’re right there, ready for action, without the emotional consequences and social expectations.

And these are not nasty, malicious, abusive people. They wouldn’t be your bloodie friends if they were would they? That’s the worst part. They’re really nice folk with great smiles, loving personalities and no intention to hurt you. They’re not misogynists out to shag anything that moves – if they were they could just organise themselves a hooker.

But that brings me to the horrible realisation…

Aren’t FWBs nothing more than…well…quite frankly…a kind of publicly sanctioned prostitution? And worse, it’s bloodie FREE!

But, with no dates in sight and our Mr/s RIGHT a fading fantasy, what’s a thirty-something guy or a gal to do? A life of self-righteous celibacy? Or a bit of action with someone you love and trust?

It’s a shame the choice isn’t less demeaning.

What do you think?

Beau Hunter Helen is baaaaack! And boy are we glad to have her!


Jen: Another ‘nice’ blog post

Yes, dear.

Yes, dear.

Nice biscuits are apparently very nice indeed. There can be no other explanation for the fact that the number one search term that draws readers to this blog is not ‘love’, or ‘dating’, or ‘sex’, it’s… ‘nice biscuits’. Good thing I wrote a piece about biscuity men a few months back then!

Today’s post is not an attempt to draw yet more readers to Beau Dacious through the shameless use of the term ‘nice biscuits’ (did you hear that, SEO bot? I said NICE BISCUITS). Rather, it is about the concept of niceness and how actually, being nice in a relationship can be a woman’s downfall.

Here’s the thing. Apparently men want a mental challenge and nice girls, well, they just don’t provide that. The nice girl thinks she’s doing herself a favour by meeting – and even exceeding – her man’s needs, often at the expense of her own. She makes herself available at all times, is caring, considerate and thoughtful and avoids conflict like the plague.

Unfortunately, being nice does not reap the rewards she expects. Instead of stoking the fire of her partner’s passion, reminding him how darn lucky he is, this behaviour simply tells her guy that he doesn’t need to do anything in order to deserve her. Or keep her. And when he stops trying to earn her, she starts feeling neglected. Which is when the nice girl becomes the needy, whiny girl.

The worst part of all of this? Realising that you, yes YOU, are that nice girl.

Well, that’s been my recent discovery anyway. Which is not to say that I am Pollyanna, but when I am in a relationship, I am nice to the point of losing myself. As Liz Gilbert so accurately puts it in her bestseller Eat, Pray, Love: “I am a permeable membrane. If I love you, you can have everything. You can have my time, my devotion, my money, my family, my dog, my dog’s money, my dog’s time –everything. If I love you, I will protect you from your own insecurity. I will project upon you all sorts of good qualities that you never actually cultivated in yourself. I will give you the sun and the moon and if they are not available I will give you a sun check and a rain check. I will give you all this and more until I am so exhausted and depleted that the only way can recover my energy is by becoming infatuated with someone else.”

Makes you want to throw up a little bit, doesn’t it?

So what’s a girl to do? Well, this nice girl has been reading Why men love bitches. The title is, I think, misleading, as this is not an instructional manual on how to be an absolute cow, it’s a guide to regaining your independence and remaining true to yourself and your needs. As with any book of this nature, much of the advice is to be taken with a pinch of salt, but it has helped me identify some of my behaviour patterns which, quite frankly, are not doing me any favours.

The upshot? I have made a conscious decision, not to be less nice as such, but to be nicer to myself. To be a little more demanding when it comes to relationship ROI. My fellow blogger Cisca said something recently that really stuck with me. She said that she distinguishes between “I love you” and “I give you my liver I love you”. I am not going to hold back on loving, something I do quite freely, but from now on, that liver – it won’t be coming free!

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