10 Types of Single Guys

As long as anyone can remember, The New Lease On Life Guy had been dating his longterm girlfriend. He never seemed that happy in the relationship, but everyone just assumed they would eventually get married. Now, after a long and difficult breakup, The New Lease On Life Guy has reemerged with a bang and is suddenly acting like he just got called down on The Price Is Right. He’s not really sure how to be single but he’s goddamn happy he is, and he’s sure as hell going out tonight.

He’s also the arch-nemesis of The Resigned Fiance, who’s in an equally unhappy relationship but just kind of kept going with it, unable to resist the sweet, sweet inertia, and who most certainly does not want to hear about The New Lease On Life Guy’s latest exploits.

MORE via wait but why: 10 Types of 30-Year-Old Single Guys.

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6 Reasons Never To Get Married

By Leah Hager Cohen

1. Because not-married doesn’t mean all alone.

If you’re married, it’s generally assumed you’ll always have somebody — for better or worse. But I’d just like to say that when you’re not married, you’ll also always have somebody for better or worse, somebody to count on, love, laugh with, fight with, miss, confide in and rely on. Because being not-married doesn’t mean you’re alone. It means you’re living your life with friends, lovers, sisters, brothers, neighbors and co-workers. You’re just not living with a spouse. Maybe you’re dating. Maybe you’re in a relationship for two years, then in another for five years. Maybe you’re like me: in a relationship for a decade and aiming for life. Maybe you opt for no romantic partner at all. Instead you connect with friends over big pots of soup and crusty bread, go on road trips and encounter strangers, work for social causes, swim in the ocean, play the violin in an amateur string quartet. You don’t need to be married to have all the things marriage is supposed to give you — a life rich with experience and intimacy.

2. Because love is a mystery…

And marriage, by definition, is a contract, plain and simple. I neither want nor need my love defined in business or legal terms. The beauty of love is that it’s undefined to begin with — and always changing.

3. Because real security comes from being known for who you are and cared for no matter what.

Upsetting stuff in life happens, and marriage doesn’t stop it. Security, on the other hand, makes those rough times endurable. I get mine from my children, every time they crack me up by serenading our mutt with their improvised blues songs. I get it from my partner, every time he reads my mind and knows I’m craving a late-night snack of kettle-cooked potato chips — and then whips out a package he just happened to buy on his way home from work. I get it from my best friend, every time she senses I’m burnt out and takes me kayaking or mails me a poem. Feeling known and adored by the people around you — be they lovers or co-workers or chums — provides the greatest security of all. And you don’t need a spouse to rely on it.

4. Because you can still have the ring.

When one of my friends turned 40, she registered for a bunch of household items and threw herself an unbridal shower. At first, I thought this seemed weird and kind of selfish, but then it hit me: I’d never begrudged my betrothed friends their waffle irons, blenders and cute, little sugar spoons. Why should I want any less for my unmarried friends? For that matter, why not want these things for myself? Not housewares, exactly, but those aspects of marriage rituals–be they weddings or anniversaries–that do resonate with me. Because it turned out, after my boyfriend and I had been together five years, I found myself yearning for something surprisingly traditional: a tangible symbol of our connection, something I could have with me at all times, something I could touch. I shyly announced I’d like a ring, and he went out and found me a beauty. It looks like fairies made it from twigs and moonlight: tiny and bumpy with little specks that wink in the sun.

5. Because you can break up.

My boyfriend and I have been together 10 years now, and whenever we’ve hit an especially rocky patch (as all couples do) it’s been a relief to know there’s nothing holding us together except our desire to make it work. We’re at liberty to break up in an instant if things become unbearable. What sweet, paradoxically empowering knowledge this is! During our saddest, ugliest, most hopeless moments, I have taken comfort in this fact, which has given me the willingness to re-dedicate myself to us.

6. Because you can always get married next year. Or the next. Or the year after that.

I’m no anti-marriage crusader. And this isn’t an injunction; it’s just a list. I was married once, and the truth is, my boyfriend and I haven’t ruled out getting married someday. We’re not sure what might prompt us to desire legal accreditation, but we remain open to the possibility. In a way, that’s the whole point: remaining open. Both in our attitude toward marriage and in our relationship itself; we hope to stay open, to be continually receptive to ideas, to thoughts, to feelings, to experiences, to others and to ourselves. It doesn’t matter whether you’re in a long-term relationship, grieving the end of one, just starting a new romance or contentedly flying solo: None of us knows what the future will hold. And so we let ourselves move forward into it, clear-eyed about the limits of our certainty and invigorated by the adventure.

via 6 Reasons Never To Get Married.

boyfriends for rent

Chinese young people, especially women, are under so much pressure to present acceptable boyfriends to their parents that some rent fake sweethearts, as Tan Weiyun reports on the Chinese Single’s Day today.

Clean-cut, bespectacled and financially secure Matthew Fan, 27, started to “rent” himself out as a fake boyfriend two years ago. He’s single.

“I wanted to earn some pocket money when I had just graduated from university and started to work,” says the Chongqing native who works full-time as an accounts manager. “This rental business isn’t bad, especially during the Chinese Lunar New Year when there are family reunions.”

Fan might not be handsome, but he’s attractive enough and he’s definitely reassuring to anxious parents who want their daughters to demonstrate they have a viable marriage prospect, a steady boyfriend.

On Chinese Single’s Day today, Fan and other rentable young men note that as the year ends, there’s more need for their services at New Year’s Eve parties with parents and the endless Spring Festival family parties of the Chinese Lunar New Year (beginning on January 30, 2014). Mid-Autumn Festival is another lucrative period of family reunions.

While some young singles are getting high at singles parties, some are quite low because they’re alone. They know they will soon be faced with ceaseless, annoying inquiries from nosy parents and relatives: Do you have a boyfriend/girlfriend yet? When are you going to get married? You’re getting old.

Come on. Not again. But this badgering annual ritual cannot be avoided, especially at reunions, and some single men and women are turning to rent-a-boyfriend/girlfriend services to keep their parents and relatives off their back.

Fan, and advertises online — charges 800 yuan (US$131) per day in China and 1,500 yuan per day in Hong Kong, Taiwan and Macau. There’s a three-day minimum and his employer pays transport, accommodation, dining and other fees.

“I only rent my time, not my body — you know what I mean,” Fan says. He has a girlfriend who doesn’t know about his moonlighting.

Type the keyword rent boy/girlfriend on Taobao.com, China’s largest online shopping website, and more than 250 search results pop up. They provide a range of services and prices range from 500 yuan to 8,000 yuan per day, or around 50 yuan an hour on average.

Services include accompanying clients back home to see their parents, chatting with parents, attending social gatherings, going shopping and taking part in various other activities.

The price list per hour can be quite detailed. In some cases, dining is 50 yuan an hour (the employer pays), shopping 30 yuan, seeing a movie 30 yuan (double price for a thriller). A by-courtesy-only kiss costs 50 yuan, which will also include a free embrace, free hand-holding and a free goodbye kiss on the cheek or forehead.

“It all depends on how you look at it. If you look at it as a business, then it’s much easier,” says 26-year-old Xu Li from Yancheng City, Jiangsu Province, a postgraduate of Shanghai East China University of Sciences and Technology. He works part-time as a simulated sweetheart.

Usually, he and his client exchange photos online and settle on services and prices. Then they meet beforehand for a rehearsal. She briefs him on her situation and her family; they establish the boyfriend’s job, salary, family background and how they fell in love.

via Bogus boyfriends for rent to please parents – People\’s Daily Online.

5 Tips for Enjoying Your Own Company

Many of us try to avoid spending time alone as much as possible, and fill the silence with distractions, turn on the TV as soon as they get home, having it as a constant companion, or even avoiding going home until it’s time to get some sleep for the next day.

We have lost touch with being immersed in our own thoughts and inner guidance, being comfortable with who we really are. We hide our true feelings and thoughts in order to feel accepted among our friends, family or when getting to know new people. We have become so good at it that we hide our soul from ourselves as well, seeking our value through other people’s viewpoint.

For some people, being alone is easy and something that they enjoy doing. For others it can be fairly difficult to learn. If you are an introvert, quiet time is energizing. Unfortunately, in this world where extroverts are praised, not wanting to socialize every evening is often looked upon as antisocial and weird behavior. However, many of the world’s greatest talents, artists and musicians are often introverts who recharge their batteries by spending time alone.

Spending time alone with yourself, without distractions, is crucial for all of us because it opens up space for our real thoughts to come through. It lets us discover what we have been trying to cover up, and failed to take time to hear earlier. Most importantly, it lets us become who we really are when we learn to listen to our inner voice and intuition.

Never ever count on any other people or a single person to make you happy. Don’t settle for something that your soul doesn’t have a desire to do, only because you want to please other people. You are giving away your power. You have the keys to your happiness, but you need to find the locks first, and that is something that you need to figure out by yourself.

Here are five tips for learning to enjoy spending more time with yourself:

1. Have a home environment where you really want to be. Surround yourself only with things that you love. Colors, artwork, fresh flowers, and candles. Whatever makes your home feel like a special place where you want to spend time, and relax.

2. Have a retreat at your own home. For a weekend or even one day. Disconnect from your computer, social networks and turn off your phone. Meditate, listen to your favorite music, read, take a hot bath, go for a walk, write a journal and let your thoughts flow. Do all the things to pamper yourself that you usually ignore because you feel that you don’t have the time.

3. Find out what you really love to do or have always wanted to try. Instead of switching on the TV, logging into Facebook, or doing things that are based on social pressure, write dream journals and love lists, experiment and be spontaneous.

4. Tap into your creative power. It can be anything from cooking to singing. Go into different workshops or art classes, listen to inspirational lectures, guided visualizations and audiobooks to develop your imagination.

5. Make every moment special. Use nice dishes and light a candle when you are eating alone. Savour every spoonful mindfully and appreciate your food. Wear your favorite dress, on a normal day or why not even if you are spending the day at home. Don’t save things just for special occasions. Everything is made to be used.

via 5 Tips for Enjoying Your Own Company.

Divorce: A Liberating and Healthy Experience

Most people agree that divorce can be devastating, but newly emerging expert opinions say that it doesn’t have to be. In fact, they say, divorce can actually bring happiness into many people`s lives.

Traditionally, people have stayed in bad marriages to avoid being alone, citing issues of separation anxiety, feelings of abandonment, depression, financial instability or the prospect of being a single parent as reasons for steering clear of divorce.

Fear of the unknown also can trap you in a bad marriage for a very long time, especially if children are involved, ” says Judy Joseph Hamlin, author of the new book From Riches to Happiness and a former real-life Orange County housewife. How will you support yourself and your kids? Who can you rely on? I asked myself all these questions and worked hard to find their answers. And I`m here to let other women know that divorce can lead to happiness. ”

America`s psychologist ” Dr. Jeff Gardere mirrored Ms. Hamlin`s thoughts during a recent visit to CBS` The Early Show. Struggling to get out of a toxic relationship, he said, is worth it. Despite the temporary setbacks you may experience, removing yourself from a bad marriage will improve your health, your self-esteem and your overall outlook on life.

In From Riches to Happiness, Ms. Hamlin recalls her lifeless marriage to an affluent lawyer who focused not on love and respect but material possessions and social status. After years of suffering, she left him and started over, eventually choosing to pursue her lifelong dream of becoming a special education teacher. Through hard work and lots of trial and error, Ms. Hamlin built a better life for herself and her children and in the process learned that having passion for all you do is more important than what kind of car you drive.

I used to have it all “the big house, the Mercedes-Benz and the closets full of designer clothes “but I lost most of it when I left my husband. ” says Ms. Hamlin. Now, I`ve found that there`s not just life after divorce but success, joy and even love. I`m remarried, and I don`t miss the money I used to have “or the emotional price I had to pay for it. ”

via Divorce: A Liberating and Healthy Experience.

Post-divorce self-discovery

Getting divorced was the greatest thing that ever happened to Julia Roberts’ character in   Eat Pray Love: The aftermath involves getting down with James Franco and Javier Bardem, not to mention copious amounts of gelato and pizza, and, if the trailer is to be believed, finding “your truth” at the “center” of your life. The movie is based on the book of the same name by Elizabeth Gilbert (which has been criticized for glossing over the messier parts of divorce). But who wants mess when you can revive the great ’70s film trope: the woman liberated by ditching her husband.

Hollywood has been grappling with divorce since before there were talkies, says film critic David Thomson. Cecil B. Demille, he points out, made a number of films with Gloria Swanson that were flirting with the idea. But those films, like Don’t Change Your Husband(1919), and Why Change Your Wife? (1920) can’t quite let the women revel in their newfound freedom and truly move on. In Why Change Your Wife?, Swanson plays Beth Gordon, a nerdy woman whose husband leaves her for a glitzier babe. Rather than move on with her life, Gordon decides to get a makeover and wins her husband back.

In the ’30s and ’40s, comedies of remarriage like The Philadelphia Story were in fashion. As Willa Paskin described the genre  in a Double X article from last year, these rom-coms “dissect the institution and then build it back up again.” The films often begin with a divorce, and then the divided pair ends up back together. Although the female characters in these films are often independent, sassy dames, the genre is an affirmation that happiness comes from the institution.

The trope of the woman emancipated by divorce didn’t really take hold until the ’70s—this isn’t surprising, as divorce rates increased exponentially during that decade, as part of a wave of “self-actualization.” An Unmarried Woman, starring Jill Clayburgh as Erica, a jilted Upper East Side wife, is the epitome of the ’70s divorce-liberation flick: The film turns “the heroine’s unwedded status into a positive growth experience,” according to the New York Times. She even shacks up with the requisite ’70s “sensitive bearded artist.”

In the intervening 30 years, many movies have portrayed women in the throes of post-divorce self-discovery. The process has some familiar steps, including dancing in various  flattering, decade-appropriate outfits (An Unmarried Woman, Living Out Loud), destroying your ex-husband’s possessions (Waiting To Exhale, The First Wives Club), doing recreational drugs (Living Out Loud, It’s Complicated) and traveling to foreign lands to meet hunky dudes (How Stella Got Her Groove Back, Under the Tuscan Sun, and of course, Eat Pray Love). Herewith, a slide show of ladies who are loving life, sans husband.

via Eat Pray Love and the trope of the woman liberated by divorce. – Slate Magazine.

The New Golden Age of Singledom

If the trend pieces and studies are to be believed, we’re living through a new golden age of the single person. Fewer Americans than ever are getting married, and they’re waiting longer and longer to do so. Many are living by themselves, often by choice. And yet, according to pop culture, a lot of them are awfully unhappy about it. In everything from “Girls” to Carly Rae Jepsen singles, our culture is obsessed with the prospect and possibility of finding a partner and escaping the lonely purgatory of singledom. Singleness, the message seems to be, is merely an unfulfilling wind-up for the far greater thrill of a real romantic relationship. But what would happen if we stopped hating on singledom, and started loving it?

In his new book, “Single: Arguments for the Uncoupled,” Michael Cobb, a professor of English at the University of Toronto, argues that our negative attitudes toward single people aren’t just hurting singles — they’re hurting our relationships and our culture. An academic work about music, film and literature, it claims that singles in North America have become a hated sexual minority, victims of our culture’s misplaced and out-of-step priorities. Cobb believes that single life can be as fulfilling, interesting and legitimate as any romantic arrangement, and that it’s high time we gave it more respect.

Salon spoke to Cobb over the phone from Toronto about the possibility of an unmarried president, “Girls” and what it’s like to be the spokesperson for singleness…

READ MORE via In defense of single people – Salon.com.