Read This Before You Go Online Dating If You Are Over 50

For a few years of her life, author Lucy Cavendish did online dating to death. She had became single at 44 and from and Plenty of Fish to Tinder, she tried them all. “As a middle-aged mother with four children, the mature dating arena was particularly fraught. It was nothing like when I was young and you met people through friends and work”, she said.

Instead, it was like stepping in to a world she no longer understood, that didn’t seem to work in any way she recognised.

Men she thought were single and available turned out to be married and available for only one thing. She became wise to this fact after her friend pointed out that a man she’d been talking to online and was very interested in never happened to be available to ‘chat’ at weekends.

There also seemed to be a particular lingo. ‘Favourite activities’, she discovered, referred to activities in the bedroom, rather than hobbies.

“So I felt for Edwina Currie – probably the only time I will ever have feelings for Edwina Currie” she joked – “when she said that online dating over a certain age is a nightmare”.



The former MP was apparently “startled” to discover many daters were only after sex. Mind you, for many middle-aged women, that wouldn’t necessarily be a bad thing. Lucy actually knows loads of really attractive single women who all looking for sex. Many of them have come out of loveless, passionless long-term marriages and would be more than happy to have a one-night stand.

Lucy also believes that people view sex differently these days citing the example of several couples she knowsn – one who are actually getting married – who started with the sex and got to know each other later.

Conversely, she recalls meeting many men who were terrified of women, especially sexually rapacious ones. One rather artistic South African creative spent an entire evening telling her how distressing it was that women kept on trying to entice him in to bed.

But online dating in your middle ages can undoubtedly be a minefield of subterfuge and pitfalls. After four years in the trenches, Lucy finally met her match.  They had mutual friends on Facebook and he chatted her up by saying he liked her photograph.

They got married just before Christmas.

Looking back, Lucy says “If I am relieved, at 50, to be back out of the dating arena again, I am also determined to pass on my dating tips. Here’s what I wish I’d known before logging on..!


  1. No one puts their real age up online. Men who say they are 55 are actually 60 or even older. Also, photos mean nothing.
  2. Saying that, beware of anyone who posts photographs of themselves with their kids/ex/holding a pint of beer/strumming an air guitar/has half the picture ripped off (and it is obviously of his wedding day).
  3. Never, ever go out with a man who says he is “looking for cuddles”. This is not a euphemism for sex. It means he needs looking after and hasn’t grown up yet.
  4. If a man asks “what are you in to?” then what he means is “what sort of sex are you in to?” – if that’s OK with you, proceed. If not, run.
  5. Lots of men may well want sex but they have the same body hang-ups as women and many of them – ahem – no longer have the same libido as when they were years younger. This is a tricky area and one which, when we were all first dating, never had to think about.
  6. Be really sure about what you are looking for – if a man with his own house and a stable income is important, there is no point in dating the sad, miserable one who has been crucified by divorce and can’t afford to buy you dinner. They may be witty and handsome but it’s not going to work. I spent far too long dating men I felt sorry for rather than thinking about what I really wanted.
  7. Be aware that women and men are often looking for different things – some older men are looking for a carer, really. They can’t bear the idea of growing old alone and, underneath all the dating shtick, they are quite happy to put on their slippers.
  8. There are some really nice men out there, but they might be hopeless at dating. I’ve met men who are so nervous that they’ve fluffed the first date – gabbling on about their exes, for example – but got on much better when given a second chance.
  9. Always have a back up plan… I’d send a coded text to my best friend and she’d then text me pretending to be one of my children saying I had to go home immediately. It worked every time and it saves you from being rude.
  10. Be careful to make sure they are who they say they are. If someone chats you up, gets you in to bed but is never around at weekends, he is probably already married.

Guest Bloggers Corner: Signs That Tell You You Are In A Lust And Not Love Relationship

Columnist Amanda Chatel writes:

I’m preparing to move to Paris for about a year or so. One of the major things this involves is getting rid of stuff that I should have tossed forever ago, but just haven’t yet. While tossing clothes and shoes is emotional enough in its own right, what’s really killing me the most is my “box of yesterday.”

True to its name, my “box of yesterday” is a nightmare collection of things from past relationships. I say nightmare, because who saves receipts from Brooklyn Bowl because it has an ex-boyfriend’s name on it? This gal. Who thinks it’s necessary to keep shreds of a ripped T-shirt from a wrestling match after too many martinis? Me, obviously.

The project of weeding through these things and deciding which is reasonable to keep and which solidifies me as a straight-up lunatic has forced me to face a fact: My last relationship, if we can even call it that, wasn’t love at all. Of course, at the time I was convinced it was love, as we all tend to think in similar situations, but in reality it was nothing but lust tangled up with infatuation, and because of it I was the most unstable, crazy, jealous, human being I’ve ever been. Looking back now, I blush at who I was, and that I was capable of such insanity because of a man.




With those days officially in my past and locked there safely so I can no longer touch them, I can see more clearly than ever what I was experiencing. I was not in love with a guy whom we’ll call “C,” but in lust.

Here’s what I learned from it all. If you recognize yourself in any of this, I suggest you run like hell. Now.

1. There’s more fire and less stability

Love — real love — is about commitment and communication. These two important components lead to stability within a relationship. Of course, fire can be part of the equation, but when there’s lots of drama, chaos and more emotional gut blows than butterflies, you’re looking at a lustful situation.

2. You focus more on the outside than inside

I could stare at C for hours. I was so enamored with his beauty. To me, he was gorgeous from head to toe without a single flaw to be found. I was obsessed with his beauty, and relished in the fact that I got to be seen in public with him and got to “tap that” at the end of the night.

3. You prefer the fantasy

From the beginning, I knew C and I didn’t have a future. We were far too similar to have been able to conduct a grown-up relationship, and he was never going to want me the way I wanted him. With him, I acted younger than I was for far longer than I should have — the drinking, acting out, immaturity and irresponsibility were quadrupled when we were together. I didn’t want a “grown-up” life with him; I loved the days on end of debauchery that allowed me to escape from reality.



4. Why aren’t we having sex right now?

Although I loved talking to C, because we did have so much in common, whenever we were together just hanging around or watching a movie, I’d always catch myself wondering, “Why aren’t we having sex right now?” I’m serious. I couldn’t give a damn about the ending to whatever movie was on, if it meant we were having sex instead.

5. You’re not friends

C and I were not friends. For a long time we called each other “best friend,” but the truth was I was in lust, and he was just waiting for something else, something, to use his words, better. Despite knowing that, the lust kept me coming back for more.

6. Intimacy doesn’t exist

Although cuddling can be really satisfying and comforting when you’re in love, when you’re in lust a body against you just feels like dead weight. You’re also likely to ask yourself again, “Why aren’t we having sex right now?”

7. You experience intense neediness

If I didn’t get the attention I needed from C on a daily basis, I felt like my world was falling apart. Was he texting with someone else instead? Was he not home, as he said, but out with someone else? Having sex with someone else? Why isn’t he answering my calls? It was exhausting, to say the least.


8. The feeling is conditional

Anyone who’s been in love can attest to the fact that love is unconditional. Lust, however, is not. Lust is steeped in gratification without concern to anything else. I could easily sleep with someone other than C and not feel a twinge of regret, but if I were to do the same to the man I love, I’d never forgive myself. Lust has blurred boundaries as to what’s right; love kicks those blurred lines into place.


Many people end up in marriages where their lust has been mistaken for love and they wonder why they end up hating each other after a few years. I discovered my ex and I were not friends and we didn’t particularly like each other hence the constant fighting and hostility in the marriage. But the sex was great and even when we were not speaking, we always managed to get the sex going and unfortunately, we mistook this for love. At the end of the day, removing sex from our marriage, we discovered we had absolutely nothing in common.

When a choice of a partner is based more on the pre-set list of physical attributes such as weight, height, looks, colour over more mental. Emotional or some will even say spiritual connections, then the relationship’s entire foundation will rest solidly on lust rather than love.


To All Prospective Parents In Law: Read This Before You Call The Wedding Planner (Guest Bloggers Corner)

I came across this article by Funke Egbemode purely by accident and I thought I just had to have it on this site. I was most drawn to it mainly because it highlights many of the points that I have personally highlighted on my radio show “Baroness Js World On Naija FM”

Marriage is becoming a risky business by the hour. Instead of enlarging the family, it is reducing it. When your son or daughter marries, you expect grandchildren as dividends. Now, your initial investment gets liquidated in a pool of blood, without recourse to you. One infuriated sick and weak girl just grabs a kitchen knife and carves up your son in a flash, ripping out your heart and dreams of being surrounded by happiness in your old age. One silly boy in a moment of uncontrollable blinding fury stabs your daughter in the throat, leaving you reeling in that kind of pain no parent can recover from. Wives killing their husbands. Husbands killing their wives.


How did our innocent babies become murderers? How did we miss it? What did we do wrong, or failed to do that is filling our doorsteps with shoes of mourners and our once happy homes with wailings and gnashing of teeth? Did the Bible not promise that our children will surround our tables and that we will not cast our young? So, what is going on? It is bad enough that more and more young marriages are failing. It is already a sad testimony that more women are becoming breadwinners and telling our sons when to snore in their own beds. But this added blood and gore and loss and unending pain… Or are you not worried?

Sure, the latest tragedies happened far from you but they are really closer than you think. If you still think these recent spousal murders do not really concern you, take a look at your daughter, your son and tell yourself you can vouch for the spouses they will end up with. And if your children are already in their 20s and of marriage age, swear you are not a teensy bit concerned about the suitors milling around them. That fine-boy-no-pimples full of smiles and politeness, does he have anger issues? Is he a keeper, a reaper or a taker? That babe who is already calling your son ‘Ayo mi’ (my joy) or ‘honey’, can you trust her with your greatest treasure, your brilliant caring son?

There is no retirement age for parents. We are parents for life. Our job is cut out for us and we must do it with all our heart and might. There is really no short cut. This is our calling until we are called home by He who chose us for this assignment as daddies and mummies. Of course, the temptation to hand over our daughters and our parenting jobs over to our in-laws the day we give them out in marriage will always be there. But it is a temptation we must resist as soon as the effects of red wine champagne wears off. Yeah. Wine-carrying, celebrated destination wedding ceremonies with the captains of industry and 10 governors in attendance is what it is, just another party. The marriage itself begins the following day. And let’s not forget that the young bride and groom had lived a protected life up until their wedding day. They were chauffeured to primary and secondary schools, assisted in picking their universities. Their NYSC postings were arranged by daddy. Their first jobs too via daddy’s connections. This is the first time they would be taking huge steps on their own. They probably will still be using daddy’s mechanic and mummy’s travel agent and caterer. Don’t bother denying it. We are all guilty of over-parenting. We all look forward so much to the days our children will get married that we forget there are things we must do, that is, beyond the small chops and assorted meals from here to China.

Raise your hand if you did a proper background check on your son’s wife before the wedding. Seriously? Yeah.

Let me stress this point then. You must investigate your daughter’s suitor, your son’s intended. Don’t be overly excited by the diamond ring he gave her or the rich family she comes from. You must do your research. You must ensure you are not handing over your treasure to a pig who’ll go play in the mud with it. Most parents hardly ever do that background check before calling the wedding planner. Is he abusive? Does she throw flower vases at television sets? Does his father beat his mother? Is her mother cantankerous? Before you fix the wedding date, make sure you are not funding a ceremony that will put your child in an early grave. That is the pre-wedding warning.




However, marriage is the critical point. While I think it is a sin to meddle in your children’s marriage, I also think it is a crime to push our children into the deep end of the pool without providing life jackets. Parents should let new couples totter, falter, fall even but be there to help them back on their feet. Watch from a distance but watch you must, keenly, discreetly, wisely. The fear of failure and what the society would say make a lot of new couples die in silence. Without being intrusive, nudge your daughter or daughter-in-law to speak freely. Call her to accompany you to a party you don’t want to attend alone. Start a topic that will help her open up. It could be a new television series, a movie with a relationship or marriage theme. And being a busy politician or high flying executive is not an excuse. I open such topics with my girls while they are helping me pick an evening dress, do my make-up or while we are watching a movie that I had picked for that purpose. I have also had such intimate talks with my son as he drove us to church.

Fathers, let your son-in-law accompany you to events, golf course, church, mosque. What’s wrong with an occasional barber-date together? Get your grooming Saturday in sync. It helps you see through what they may be trying to hide without asking probing questions. You have gained an extra child and that should be an advantage.

Stop by unannounced occasionally too and make such visits brief, very brief. Take along gifts. Those unannounced visits help you to catch them without rehearsed speeches. Hug the wife, she will wince or grunt if she has been kicked or punched. Does she have puffy eyes, discoloured cheeks or walking with a limp? If every time you go there, there is always a story why a piece of furniture is broken or cracked, one of them may be violent, hurling coffee mugs at the television or kicking flower vases.

And if you discover that one of them is abusive, don’t expect them to sort it out on their own or with their pastor. An abusive wife or husband is a sick person. He needs help. She needs to see the appropriate doctor, it is an emergency. If the abusive partner refuses to get help, retrieve the one that belongs to you to safety. My mother used to counsel that a safe small corner on earth is better than a big space in the grave. You cannot fold your arms and hope she will stop slapping your son while she graduates to stabbing him. If he has pushed her down the staircase once and you leave her there, who will you blame when your church elders arrive with sober faces to break the news of your daughter?

Of course I know my pastor, and many other pastors reading this, will object to my ‘retrieve-your-child’ solution but I prefer my pastor chides me to him telling me ‘it is well’ later. God forbid. If a sick spouse gets help, the marriage can get back on track and everybody gets a chance to live happily ever after. And read the Bible too.

*Funke Egbemode is a columnist,  Managing Director and Editor-in-Chief, New Telegraph Newspaper. She is also the President of Nigeria Guild of Editors (NGE)

Is It Love? Or is It Just Lust? It’s All In The Eyes

Where someone’s gaze falls could indicate almost instantly whether attraction is based on feelings of love or of lust.

Scientists say if the gaze is focused on a stranger’s face, then love is possible, but if the gaze focuses more on the stranger’s body, then the attraction is more sexual in nature. That automatic judgment can occur in as little as half a second, producing different gaze patterns.

“Although little is currently known about the science of love at first sight or how people fall in love, these patterns of response provide the first clues regarding how automatic attentional processes, such as eye gaze, may differentiate feelings of love from feelings of desire toward strangers,” says lead author Stephanie Cacioppo, director of the High-Performance Electrical NeuroImaging Laboratory at the University of Chicago.

Previous research by Cacioppo has shown that different networks of brain regions are activated by love and sexual desire. In this study, the team performed two experiments to test visual patterns in an effort to assess two different emotional and cognitive states that are often difficult to mdisentangle from one another—romantic love and sexual desire.



Male and female students from the University of Geneva viewed a series of black-and-white photographs of persons they had never met. In part one of the study, participants viewed photos of young, adult heterosexual couples who were looking at or interacting with each other. In part two, participants viewed photographs of attractive individuals of the opposite sex who were looking directly at the camera/viewer. None of the photos contained nudity or erotic images.

In both experiments, participants were placed before a computer and asked to look at different blocks of photographs and decide as rapidly and precisely as possible whether they perceived each photograph or the persons in the photograph as eliciting feelings of lust or romantic love.

Quick as a wink

The study, published in the journal Psychological Science, showed no significant difference in the time it took subjects to identify romantic love versus sexual desire, which suggests how quickly the brain can process both emotions, the researchers note.

But analysis of the eye-tracking data from the two studies revealed marked differences in eye movement patterns, depending on whether the subjects reported feeling sexual desire or romantic love.


People tended to visually fixate on the face, especially when they said an image elicited a feeling of romantic love. However, with images that evoked sexual desire, the subjects’ eyes moved from the face to fixate on the rest of the body. The effect was found for male and female participants.

“By identifying eye patterns that are specific to love-related stimuli, the study may contribute to the development of a biomarker that differentiates feelings of romantic love versus sexual desire,” says coauthor John Cacioppo, director of the Center for Cognitive and Social Neuroscience. “An eye-tracking paradigm may eventually offer a new avenue of diagnosis in clinicians’ daily practice or for routine clinical exams in psychiatry and/or couple therapy.”

Coauthor Mylene Bolmont, a graduate student at the University of Geneva, Switzerland, contributed to the study.

Source: University of Chicago


Astrid Hall writing in the METRO says “forget a bunch of flowers and a first kiss, the etiquette of modern dating is a minefield”

Finding love online has strict rules, such as a three hour window between initial messages and not making a friend request until wight days of chatting by other means.

After ten days of fancying someone on social media, it is acceptable to “slide into their DMs”


It then takes a week of online messaging before it’s OK to arrange a date.

A quick google search is allowed, with a third of Brits having been on a date with someone who looked nothing like their profile. But while on that date, it’s bad form to have your phone on the table during a date and you must expect to split the bill….a phenomenon still alien within the African culture.

A kiss by date three is acceptable with things progressing to another level bu the fifth night out. However, move on swiftly if your potential partner sends you picture of their genitalia.


Once love has started to blossom, posting pictures is acceptable after nine dates and you’re also allowed to update your status to “In a relationship”27 days later.

The research was commissioned by MTV ahead of the launch of the new dating site AF. Dating expert annabelle Knight said “The rules seem more complicated than ever. It is no longer about first kiss but direct messages, profile pictures and social media”




A proclamation of sexual attraction. A hand resting on the knee. A flirty text message.

From the right person at the right time, they can make you feel great.

But from the wrong person or at the wrong time, an innuendo-laden text becomes creepy and an unwanted touch can make you feel uncomfortable and ashamed.

As the number of women making claims against Hollywood film producer Harvey Weinstein grows by the day, women around the world have spoken on social media about their experiences of sexual harassment under the #metoo Twitter hashtag.


Weinstein wielded great power, able to make or break his alleged victims’ careers, but harassment can be just as damaging away from work.

In a global debate, the question of how we define sexual harassment is not altogether clear.

And that line between flirtation and harassment is a very fine – and often blurred – one.


So how do you ensure you stay on the right side of it?

If you want to meet someone, you have to flirt, says relationship expert James Preece.

But it’s about doing it in the right environment, not when people are least expecting it, he says.

The problem is men can’t always read the signals and assume all women are interested in them, while women can be huggy and tactile, and they’ll say they’re just being friendly, he says.

He advises his clients – men and women aged from 23 to 72 – to play it safe by flirting in a playful – not a sexual – way.

“Treat them like your mother at the first meeting,” he says. “Be friendly and build up a rapport and trust.”

At the end of the first date, he suggests a friendly hug or peck on the cheek.

If you get a second date, try touching them on a non-sexual body part – such as below the elbow or towards the small of the back, he says.

If they don’t flinch, you can go in for the kiss.


When does flirting become sexual harassment?

When it’s unwanted and persistent, says Sarah King, of Stuart Miller Solicitors.

Dating expert James believes it’s when a man pushes things too far – whether through what he says or what he does – when a woman clearly doesn’t want it.

Sea Ming Pak, who goes into London schools to teach young people about sex and relationships, reels off a long list of what she thinks constitutes sexual harassment: non-consensual touching; feeling entitled to someone else; talking in a certain way; chasing girls down the street in order to chat them up; wolf-whistling and using a position of power or trust to talk in a creepy way.

Oxford English Dictionary definition of sexual harassment

The Oxford English Dictionary defines sexual harassment as “unwanted sexual advances, obscene remarks, etc”.

And the Equality Act 2010 says it’s an “unwanted conduct of a sexual nature” which violates a person’s dignity or “creates an intimidating, hostile, degrading or offensive environment”.


Is sexual harassment illegal?

Not specifically. It is not a criminal offence in its own right, says Sarah King.

However, the types of behaviour that amount to sexual harassment can be criminalised under different pieces of legislation. For example:

  • Unwanted phone calls and messages, visits to home or work, taking personal photographs, unwanted advances and persistent and distressing comments – Protection from Harassment Act 1997
  • Sending indecent, offensive or threatening letter, emails, and messages on social media and text – Malicious Communications Act 1998
  • Unwanted touching by someone who is getting sexual gratification, for example on public transport – Sexual Offences Act

That said, anyone being sexually harassed in the workplace is protected by the Equality Act 2010. A case is considered a civil – not a criminal – matter and would be dealt with in an employment tribunal.

More than half of women say they have been sexually harassed at work, according to research carried out last year by the TUC.


Why is sexual harassment happening?

Sea Ming Pak, who works for sexual health charity Brook, blames Western society’s sex-sells culture which, she says, breeds entitlement and a blame culture.

Young people have been conditioned through films, music videos, TV programmes, access to porn and the normalisation of sending sexual images on phones, she says.

In school assemblies and classrooms, she tells them when it comes to sex you have to have freedom and the capacity to make the choice.

But she admits she worries about how poorly informed our schoolchildren are – with many blaming the victim when a rape scenario is presented.

In some cases, it is a learned behaviour, picked up from those closest to them.

She describes spotting a girl from one of her classes at a bus stop with a boy draping his arm around her and being “handsy”.

“She did not look like she wanted the attention so the next week I told her: ‘You have the right to say no, it was not OK for him to touch you.’

“I explained consent, and she replied: ‘But they always grab me.'”

Sea, who typically speaks to boys and girls aged between 14 and 17, thinks that until children are told they can say “no” at an earlier age, the problem will not go away.

We should speak to them in primary schools, says Sea.

That’s when it starts, she says, recalling her own schooldays when boys thought it was funny to rip open girls’ shirts, put their hands up their skirts, grab their bums and ping their bras.

“It was about shame and humiliation,” she says.

At that age, you talk about boundaries, she explains, and at secondary school they need to know about consent, how to read body language, negotiate situations and to think before sending sexual images of themselves.

Is the law likely to change?

Grassroots pressure is mounting.

A petition calling for the Crown Prosecution Service to make misogynistic incidents a hate crime has been signed by more than 65,000 people.

In Nottinghamshire, police began recording misogynistic incidents as hate crimes; until then there was no category for such cases.

The force defines those as: “Incidents against women that are motivated by an attitude of a man towards a woman and includes behaviour targeted towards a woman by men simply because they are a woman.”

It allows police to investigate the incidents as crimes and support the victims, as well as get a better picture of the scale of the problem.

Sarah King says there is a gap in the legislation.

She points to the Crime and Disorder Act which includes an offence of harassment motivated by the complainant’s religion or race, but not when it’s sexual.

A specific criminal offence for sexual harassment would define the behaviour and create clear boundaries once and for all, she says.


**This article by Marie Jackson was culled from**


Everything’s going brilliantly.

You’ve been seeing each other for months. The dates are fun, the sex is fine. You tell each other everything and spend every other night together. But slowly, it sneaks up on you.

First you notice that while they’ve met your mum, brother, and been on a night out with your best mates from uni, you’ve yet to meet a single person in their life. You’ve never been introduced to their parents. You’ve never been to any kind of gathering with anyone from their social circle.

Come to think of it, while they’ve showed up on your Instagram feed and you tag them on Twitter, they’re yet to share any indication that you’re hanging out together. They’ll ‘gram a picture of the delicious meal you brought them to try, but you’ll be mysteriously absent from the table.

You overhear them on the phone to someone, describing their day, and notice your name hasn’t been mentioned once. You, my friend, are being stashed.

sex(Picture: Ella Byworth for

Stashing is a super fun dating trend in which someone is dating someone else, but has decided to hide them away from everyone in their life. Yes, we’re the ones who’ve just come up with a name for it, but it’s a thing that’s happening to people from all corners of the world of dating.

A victim of stashing is hidden from every other part of the stasher’s life – from their tagged photos to their casual chats with their parents. Why? Because that way, they’re able to pretend that they’re not really dating the person they’re stashing, meaning they can justify getting with other people, doing whatever they fancy, and being generally inconsiderate and awful.

You’re in a relationship or dating in all other senses, but by refusing to acknowledge your existence publicly, or to other people in their life, the stasher is able to tell themselves that you’re not actually together, so they’re perfectly entitled to treat you poorly. When questioned, a stasher will make you feel like you’re being nuts.

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They’ll say you’re exaggerating the issue, noting that they’ve hardly spoken to their parents and you simply haven’t come up. They’ll question why you’re so bothered about not being featured on their social media – because what should really matter is what’s going on between the two of you, not documenting your relationship online. They’ll tell you that it’s their friends they’re ashamed of, who aren’t worth meeting. But as the stashing goes on, you start to feel pretty rubbish.

You know when someone hurriedly tidies their room and shoves a jumble of stuff in a cupboard so it’s not on show, so they don’t have to think about it until later? When you’re being stashed, you’re that jumble of stuff. And that doesn’t exactly make you feel valued or respected.

Over time, you’ll wonder if the stasher is embarrassed about being seen with you. You’ll consider that they may be living a second life with a wife and kids. You’ll feel like they’re hiding something – and then realise that something is you. Being stashed leaves your self-worth in tatters. You don’t leave, though, because aside from all of that stuff, everything’s lovely.

When it’s just you two it’s great, so how can you kick up a fuss? There are only two ways to get out of the horror show that is stashing. First off, you can bring up the issues with the stasher, explain how you’re feeling, and ask if they’d be up for making a tiny bit more of a show that you’re together.

If they offer a valid explanation of what’s going on (maybe their parents are really against sex before marriage) or say yes – and actually do it – great.

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If not, you’re on to option two: dump ’em. Get out now, just as you’re sinking into a pattern of being hidden and accepting it. Leave and be on your own for a bit, or find someone who shows they’re proud to be with you. You don’t deserve to be stashed away. You’re brilliant. You should be shown off by someone who’s excited to let everyone know they get to be with you. Know that, and don’t let yourself be shoved in a cupboard.* *Metaphorically or literally.


*The article by Ellen Scott first appeared in The Metro