They warned that a cold front was coming. Everyone told him to bring an umbrella. The skies were grey, the lightning about to strike, and the clouds were pregnant with……
I’m a big fan of weather forecasting. A control freak like me has an electronic weather vane at my front door, a spare umbrella/poncho/Havianas and bikini in my car. I like to be alert, not alarmed.
It’s a shit-storm alright. You think just because you and Harry from accounts are doing the dirty on the photocopy machine every night, that someday soon he’ll be asking your hand in marriage.
Why is it that often women think they can wangle their way into a relationship without the prey suspecting a thing? I have spending a lot more time paying attention to what my male friends have been saying lately, since I am single to mingle. One particularly horrendous male friend said recently “just ‘cos we’re shagging doesn’t mean we’re dating”. I felt compelled to gouge his eyes out with a blunt spoon on behalf of all women who’d surely been hurt by his “love ‘em and leave ‘em” mantra. Thing is, he’s good looking, charming, intelligent and endearing enough to get into these pickles in the first place. Let’s face it, a broke ass man with acne scars doesn’t have these sorts of dilemmas, now does he?
For him, there’s no commitment, he’s still free to roam the hilly knolls (otherwise known as Camps Bay) and get to have sex on tap. High five.
Then somehow, the climate changes. She starts asking where he’s going after work, and oh, she’ll be in the area and would love to meet his enigmatic friends. Eeek, his ‘friends’ happen to be Ulrika from that downtown bar, you know the one whose waitresses leave their shirts in their handbags when the shift starts… She starts calling him by a fluffy nickname. She starts sleeping over instead of doing the ‘walk of shame’ in the morning. Relationship tendencies begin to rear their ugly heads. Beware boys, many of these signs can creep up on you overnight because you’re too busy being self-indulgent to miss the signs…
How do you know when your ‘bed bud’ is secretly buying bridal magazines/checking out the Tiffany’s website for 2 caraters and about to ruin your perfect world?
I have done a lot of undercover investigative journalism on behalf of all my single and satisfied friends. Plus, supplying them with scotch, tissues and choc-chip cookies at 2am was getting expensive.
1) Date night. If you start hearing things like “I thought Saturday was our pizza and DVD night,” you may be dealing with a gremlin that is staking claim to your freedom. Get the gremlin spray out. Say something. It is important to realise that even at this micro level, you are could be entering a swampy marshland and could accidentally walk into quicksand. And we all know how hard it is to reverse out. Before you know it, you can find yourself having to offer up excuses and find yourself angrily offering justification as to why you can’t appease their demands and your newfound sense of obligation. Casual is leaving the building and you’d like to invite them back for tea.
2) Shmugglebottom. I am personally horrendously guilty of nicknaming all my loved ones. Hell, even the coffee guy downstairs. I love it. But then again, I have a lot of love to give…! A pet name refers to a term of endearment that couples often give to each other, a sort of secret, coded language that heightens the bond between two people. I love seeing the face of someone I am ‘dating’ change when I hit them with a “darling”, “babe” or “hunk of burning luuurve”. Rule of thumb: if his face doesn’t light up and instead he needs a bucket, he’s not feeling the love. Pet names can seem harmless enough and even kind of cute, but a grown adult should never use a word like “shmoopy.” Be especially cautious if the name used has anything to do with food (cupcake, honey, pumpkin), an animal (kitten, bear, monkey) or a hybrid with a word that sounds warm or comfortable not unlike a thermal undergarment or slipper (snuggle-bunny, cuddle-muffin), then you may be slipping into, eeek, horror, A RELATIONSHIP.
3) Affectionification. Public Displays of Affection (PDA) refers to the exhibitionist practice of kissing, holding hands and cuddling in public. I am quite the fan. But then again, I hold my best friends’ hands when we’re crossing the road. If you could translate body language into words, these actions say “this homosapien is taken” and that homosapien means YOU. Resisting these overtures may bring awkwardness and physical contusions (dodging a quick creeping arm in the movies can cause whiplash), but it’s better than someone pissing on your leg to mark their territory.
4) “I just called to see if your phone was working…” If your FWB (friend with benefits) is calling you seven times a day to see how you are, she is thinking about you too much. Unless she’s touching herself on the other end of the line, this phone call is not sexual, it is romantic. Also, be on the lookout for mundane sms’s like “I’m eating a polony sandwich” or “I just looked at this leaf and it reminded me of you.” Politely reply “That’s nice” and skip town.
5) Meet my new soulmate. Sure, once or twice is OK, a mistake, a slip of the tongue, a Tourette’s spasm, however, if dropping the word "girlfriend/boyfriend" seems deliberate or if it happens too often, then you have yourself a problem.
6) Quality Time. In a casual relationship, quality time is made up of pillow talk and those brief moments before you have sex, when you say hello, nice to meet you, what is your name… right? If they’re booking tickets to the opera and a couple’s flight to Barbados months in advance, they’re projecting into the future and putting you there. You are now in a situation that is far from casual and have been led there under false pretences. You sent away a comic book coupon for sea monkeys and got back an envelope of crack cocaine.
7) “What a cute couple!”. This is not the language of a FWB. This person is fantasising about a world in which the two of you are together and happy. It’s sickening. It’s like catching them cut out baby pictures from magazines. Maybe the two of you do look good together. Is it enough to make you date them? Keep your 6th sense on high alert though; these four words have been known to act as a gateway drug to a much more serious relationship.
8) Birds do it, bees do it, even educated fleas… If they’re looking at you with puppy-dog eyes and their head tilted to one side (we all know that look) there’s an excellent chance that rumpy-pumpy is not on their list of Top Priorities. With an FWB, you’re banking on it. They may look docile enough, but as they sit there staring at you, they are very very dangerous indeed. In your very presence, all their unnecessary bodily functions are shutting down (perspiration, digestion, etc) so that they can focus all their energy on falling in love with you. How very dare they! While they are in this trance-like state, get up slowly and back out of the room.
9) I came with baggage… Admire a FWB for their common sense when they bring a toothbrush to your house. Fear the person who leaves one behind. One way to solve this problem is to carry the offending toothbrush around in your pocket and next time you see them, give it back. Play the dumbo card and say: “I thought you might need it.”
10) Status symbol. You know that feeling when you see your FWB’s new Facebook status? You know, the one uncannily similar to how people describe an apoplexy? Yeah. That’s not good for your health. When they’re declaring it for the entire Universe to see that they are “in a relationship with…” you can be pretty certain it’s ‘a hint’. (I have one player male friend who cleverly just says “Joe Soap… is in a complicated relationship”). Little do those poor girls know that it’s several, bite-size, complicated relationships. Smart ass.
11) Meet the Fockers. When FWB arranges, requests or suggests meeting the parents, you have clearly left their bedroom and walked into their life. Although, might I suggest that if you have strayed this far, how stupid are you? To have missed all plethora of warning bells before The Parents, some sub-conscious part of you MUST want to be girlfriend & boyfriend, right?!
If I guy/girl has led you this far up the garden path and not had the decency to have the “Are we both happy with the FWB status quo?” talk, you have all permission to gouge their eyes out with a blunt spoon.
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