Tag Archives: dating

Rondeau Redouble

14 Oct

There are so many kinds of awful men -
One can’t avoid them all. She often said
She’d never make the same mistake again;
She always made a new mistake instead.
The chinless type who made her feel ill-bred;
The practised charmer, less than charming when
He talked about the wife and kids and fled -
There are so many kinds of awful men.
The half-crazed hippy, deeply into Zen,
Whose cryptic homilies she came to dread;
The fervent youth who worshipped Tony Benn -
‘One can’t avoid them all,’she often said.
The ageing banker, rich and overfed,
Who held forth on the dollar and then yen -
Though there were many more mistakes ahead,
She’d never make the same mistake again.
The budding poet, scribbling in his den
Odes not to her but to his pussy, Fred;
The drunk who fell asleep at nine or ten -
She always made a new mistake instead.
And so the gambler was at least unwed
And didn’t preach or sneer or wield a pen
Or hoard his wealth or take the Scotch to bed.
She’d lived and learned and lived and learned but then
There are so many kinds

poem by Wendy Cope, b. 1945

20 Questions That Are Better Than “Why Don’t You Have a Boyfriend?”

23 Jun

Women under patriarchy are too often defined not by their own personal development and accomplishments, but instead by the stage they have reached in the patriarchal, heteronormative narrative of dating, boyfriend, live-in, engaged, married, children. We find that we and our wider circle of female friends are constantly subjected to questions regarding where we are on this timeline. This is a means of judgment and a primary way that others participate in socially pressuring you to conform, by constantly reminding you what is expected.

If you reject these questions or are not making what is deemed as the right progress, you are punished, othered, and excluded for your non-participation. In patriarchal society, single women are pathologized, especially as they get older. In contrast, being in a long-term relationship with a man is seen as “success.” But just being in a relationship doesn’t mean you are doing well.

In addition to being too personal for most people to be asking you, questions such as the below:

  • Are you dating?
  • Do you have a boyfriend?
  • Do you live together?
  • Are you engaged?
  • Are you married?
  • Do you have any children? Do you want to have children?
  • When do you want to/are you going to have children?

are NOT IMPORTANT. They are irrelevant and useless as measures of how well you are doing in your life. The only reason anyone would ask you these questions is so they can assess and judge you against heteronormative, patriarchal criteria. They also use your answers to compare themselves against you and justify their own lives and actions.

Rejecting the intrusive list of questions above, we have created a list of 20 questions we can ask ourselves to assess our well-being. This type of self-evaluation is feminist, non-heteronormative, and has a balanced view of our relationships with ourselves and others, partner or partners, rather than basing all of our worth and well-being on a single intimate partner.

For the sake of coherence and convenience, we have sorted the questions into 4 categories: Relationship with Self, Relationships with Others, Space and Time. If you find yourself answering “no” to any of these questions, we encourage you to focus attention on these areas and take steps towards a healthier and happier you.

RELATIONSHIP WITH SELF

1. Are you happy?

2. Do you feel fulfilled?

3. Are you eating/sleeping well? Do you get enough exercise and fresh air?

4. What are the areas of your life in which you are challenging yourself to grow?

5. Are there any habits or patterns you would like to change?

RELATIONSHIPS WITH OTHERS

6. Do the significant people in your life treat you with respect?

7. Do you feel free to make your own choices?

8. How are your relationships with family and/or friends?

9. Do you know when it is appropriate or necessary to put up boundaries with particular people?

10. Do you have the capability and know-how to put those boundaries up and hold them?

SPACE

11. Are you comfortable and satisfied with your living situation?

12. Do the environments you inhabit make you feel alert and clear-headed/restful and peaceful?

13. Do you have a low-stress strategy for dealing with mess, clutter, and household chores?

14. What can you do to make your environment or surroundings better reflect you/your personality?

15. What can you do to make your environment more refreshing or relaxing?

TIME

16. Do you make some time for yourself every day?

17. Can you be spontaneous with your plans and decisions?

18. Are you spending enough quality time with family and/or friends?

19. When you are feeling highly stressed, pressured and overworked, do you take the time to address your needs?

20. Are you able to say “no” in order to avoid overcommitment?

Are you sick of being defined by your relationship status? What are some better ways you can evaluate your well-being? Any suggestions or additions to this list, please leave them in the comments below.

12 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Marry Him

26 May

Under patriarchy, expectations of monogamy and compulsory heterosexuality mean women are conditioned from childhood to be on the lookout (or compulsively searching) for “the one,” her “soulmate,” or Mr. Right.  This is a fantasy induced by a combination of Disney princesses, white dresses and storybook weddings, as well as social and cultural influences, public discourse, mass media and celebrity culture.  What this means is that many of us are so eager to get married, and so conditioned to be the damsel in distress or unconditionally self-sacrificing for “love,” we often overlook some basic things that illustrate how, far from being a prince or knight come to rescue you, your intimate partner may be in fact dangerous to your sense of self, your individual identity and your independent thought.  You do not need rescuing, and no one should make you feel that you do.  If any man in your life exhibits the below behaviours, he is at worst an abuser or at best an emotional/financial drain; you are better off without him.  In particular, don’t marry him. He is so not worth it.  See also: How to Leave a Bad Relationship.

12 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Marry Him

  1. He interrupts what you are doing to demand his dinner. He demands his dinner. He seems to think his dinner is your priority/responsibility.
  2. He interrupts what you are doing to demand anything.
  3. He expects things from you he wouldn’t do for you, and doesn’t do himself – e.g. washing his clothes, caring for his children, paying for or “helping” him with his large bills/expenses.  He does not share equally in what would be the tasks of a marriage.
  4. His “affection” is always aggressive and only manifests when he wants something.  He withholds attention, and if he does give it, he expects/requires you to respond positively to his advances. Sisters of Resistance place coercion on the spectrum of sexual harassment, assault and rape. In our experience coercion is common and we call it when we see it. (In the case of rape, help is available. International Resources)
  5. He cuts you off from your friends and family. Tactics may include: judging your friends and relatives, telling you who he likes and doesn’t like, or who you are allowed to see and when, if at all. (See:  Narcissist Abuser).
  6. He has cheated on you.  Or when you got together, he was cheating on someone else.
  7. He doesn’t have a life. (See: Peter Pan Man)
  8. He puts you down, ridicules, or degrades you.  This wears away at your self-confidence while keeping you trying harder to win his love.  He may say he is just joking, but that shit ain’t funny. (Men have sayings that relate directly to this one: “Treat her mean, keep her keen” UK /  “You treat a girl like dirt, she’ll stick to you like mud “ USA) (See:  Narcissist Abuser).
  9. He is always negative/moaning/feeling sorry for himself.  He expects you to carry this emotional burden.
  10. He only speaks badly of his exes and past relationships, painting them always as being in the wrong.  He accepts no responsibility for the ending of past relationships and breakups.  (He probably doesn’t accept much responsibility anyway.)
  11. If he already has kids, and he has not raised them well, why would you (possibly) want to make more with him?
  12. If things have only gotten worse since you moved in together, why get married and make that shit permanent? Continue reading

Intimate Relationship Flowchart

30 Jan

because we prefer to have a plan.

We’ve devised a simple flowchart to assist in the difficult decision-making processes of intimate relationships. Use in conjunction with below resources for best results.

Complementary resources:

Revolutionary Dating Assessment Form (RDAF)

Revolutionary Lovers Guide

How to Leave a Bad Relationship

How to Leave a Bad Relationship, Part 2: Splitting Up – Do’s and Don’ts

21 Jun

Disentangling two lives is not an easy process, nor can we expect it to be instant.  This “Splitting Up – Do’s and Don’ts” provides some recommendations for the period of time it takes you, whether suddenly or gradually, to remove your ex from your life.

Do’s

DO articulate, clearly and honestly, the reasons why you are splitting up. You can be somewhat general (e.g. This relationship isn’t working/healthy/satisfying my needs; I don’t feel loved/respected in this relationship) but also be direct and specific enough for them to know you have made up your mind.

DO delete their number from your phone. See Part I: Cutting Communication.

If you have a smartphone, DO install an application (e.g. Mr. Number Call Blocker) to prevent them from reaching you.

DO take all their stuff (clothes, shoes, records, skateboards, etc.) out of your space (room, house, car, office). Stuff holds memories and easily invokes emotions that can interfere with the splitting-up process. It can also be used as an excuse for them to come back (see also: Alpha Male). If they don’t come back for it, inform them where you will be leaving it should they wish to pick it up (à la Fe-mail #2: Property).

DO start planning and carrying out your day-to-day activities free from them and their influence. Remember how good it feels to make decisions that make you happy, without worrying about what someone else wants to do.

DO take them off the pedestal. You might be tempted to reminisce about the way they look, smell, dress, or do certain things, but ultimately this is time wasted. And who wants to waste any more time on a bad relationship?

DO replace contacting them with an alternative. You have to learn to kick the habit. While some may use the rubber band-on-the-wrist tactic, we prefer positive reinforcement. Even deep breathing can be a positive exercise, if you consider with each breath how much better oxygen is for you than the toxic relationship you have now left.

DO acknowledge that it’s going to take you some time to extract yourself from your relationship. Be gentle with yourself. Let yourself cry, then, as best you can, get some fresh air, exercise, stretch, breathe and allow yourself to physically, mentally, and emotionally relax. Tell yourself that you will find happiness again. And that true happiness really does come from self-love.

DO put yourself first, and remember, this is for the best.

Don’ts

DON’T be vague as to your reasons why you are ending the relationship. DON’T give them false hope for getting back together in the future when this is not your intent.

DON’T let them persuade you once you have made up your mind to make the split. This may be very difficult, especially when you are dealing with sweet-talkers or other manipulative people. But trust the instincts that told you that this was not working, and be firm.

DON’T let them make you feel guilty or bad for splitting up with them. They do not deserve more of your time, attention or care. They are not worth it.

DON’T blame yourself. As much as you may be tempted to reminisce on your ex’s good qualities during this time, you may also be inclined to forget your own. Resist this temptation as much as you can. If anything, reflect on the ways they made you feel low, inadequate, or unloved. Then tell yourself why you deserve better next time. And there will be a next time.

DON’T overdo it on the coping mechanisms. Whether it’s running, shopping, food, alcohol, ganja or another substance, some things can make us feel good temporarily but are shit when overdone or in the long run. If you know or suspect you have a problem, help is available.

DON’T contact them, or respond to them reaching out to you. Use the strategies we have outlined, like the Par List, to keep yourself from speaking to them. We understand you may slip up. But adherence to the guidelines ensures the greatest chance of success.

DON’T meet up with them and don’t make plans together. This may be extremely difficult, especially if you have friends, groups, and children in common. But the more you see your ex on a romantic basis (no make-up sex!), the harder it will be for them to stay your ex and the longer it will take for you to get over them.

DON’T tie your sense of self-worth to this one relationship. Just because you are not with your ex anymore doesn’t mean you are not desirable and/or lovable. You are lovable. You are so lovable, in fact, that you should show yourself some love by ending this bad relationship once and for all.

Read on – Part 3: Moving On

Back to Part I: Cutting Communication