TW: Over-generalisations left, right and centre. Boys are rubbish. Not really.
Here it is – the good, the bad and the ugly. A new and (vastly) improved dating manifesto. Disclaimer: by, to and for myself.
I solemnly swear that I will studiously avoid pursuing, fantasising about, dating or committing to the following:
- Shitheads: non-specific, but covers the wider categories of fuckwits, dickheads, arseholes and ignoramuses.
- Psychopaths: turn around and run. Leave no forwarding address.
- Work colleagues: don’t shag where you eat, so to speak.
- Spongers: Always 50/50 in relationships…
- Narcissists: self-obsession tends to get in the way of a partnership.
- Alcoholics: substance dependence is a sure-fire romance killer.
- Emotional robots: Cold-fish need not apply.
- Religious fanatics: Three’s a crowd.
- The intellectual: Who must always be right but have nothing to say when they’re not.
- The Meninist: Apparently some people are more equal than others…
- Right-wingman/ Brexiteers: Or anyone, basically, who doesn’t live in the real world. May be identified by wild patriotism or Gap Yah rhetoric.
… and anyone that believes in steak and blow-job day…
So there are the no-goers. And yes, its totally fine to be decisive about what you don’t want in a potential friend/ partner/ lover/ spouse. Your emotional and physical space is sacred and shouldn’t be lightly given up. Being open to people is great but you should follow your instincts. Being closed to people who set your alarm bells ringing is no bad thing, as long as it doesn’t turn into straight up prejudice.
If you’re worried that you or a friend might be in an abusive relationship, have a look at these warning signs:
- Big changes in habits or behaviour i.e. eating less, being late when usually punctual etc.
- Submissiveness or seeming to lack own volition to do things – seeking approval for everything.
- Withdrawal from socialising – being quieter, drinking more, not going out at all, being uncontactable.
- Change in taste/ preferences to mirror new partner/ lover etc. This could indicate certain elements of brainwashing or manipulation i.e. change in clothes/ make-up/ hair
- Mood swings – being unable to regulate mood may be due to a general sense of anxiety/ uneasiness/ sense of isolation. May also be due to the abuser poisoning the victim against family or friends.
- Social media posts can be out of character/ extreme/ use unusual language etc. Also may be more sensitive about photos etc. going on social media.
But it can’t all be doom and gloom. This is a manifesto – it should be a statement of intent. So, the game plan is to work on my singles game before even attempting a double act. Two is tricky. Check out my posts on self-care if you’re struggling to be good to number one. It’s harder than it seems, especially if you’re going through a bad patch. If you want/ are ready to meet a sweet peach or several juicy nectarines, make sure you know where your limits lie – not just want you want, but what you need and cannot compromise on. Go slower even than you think you should – if they are worth their salt, they’ll be patient and give you the breathing space you need.
Maybe this manifesto should be a celebration of all the beautiful qualities that make a beautiful person. So, here’s to honesty and openness. Here’s to good communication. Here’s to making each other laugh. Here’s to generosity, kindness and considerateness. Here’s to patience. Here’s to creativity and being energised. My manifesto is an elegy to growth and mutual support.Here’s to nourishment. Good people breed good love. Here’s to all kinds of health – mental, physical, emotional. That’s a manifesto worth believing in.