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.
(Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)
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.
(Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)
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.
(Picture : Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)
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
If you’re currently dating someone but just can’t figure out whether you’re actually compatible or if it’s just butt loads of sexual chemistry, it can be a seriously confusing time. Matchmaker and heartbreak coach Sarah Louise Ryan explains there are six very obvious signs that what you are feeling is a whole lot of lust and not love which is very commonly confused and mistaken for each other.
Here’s how to tell it’s not the real deal and save yourself a whole world of wasted time.
1. You want to know everything and all at once
If the person you’re seeing is really meant to be your next significant other – then what’s the rush? After all, all good things come to those who wait. If it’s lust, you’ll try to be all in – and fast – because you won’t be able to wait to get your next fix of those neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin (they’re what make you feel really good). If it’s love, then you’ll be far more interested in a slow-burning romance rather than blowing off some steam together.
2. You struggle to find commonality
The chemistry may seem to be bang on and will feel like friction, like it’s electric and you just can’t get enough of being in the throws of passion or talking about it. You’ll be addicted to the highs and focus any convo outside of the bedroom on how great your sex is. Yet you can’t find any other commonality, so the conversation just leads down the path to talking about your physical passion (and not much else).
3. You’ve got different outlooks on the world, but you think that’s ok
You like this person – they’re attractive, you feel comfortable in their company, and you want to hang out all the time. But the fact you both have different outlooks on the world and your lifestyles aren’t quite the same doesn’t matter, right? Nope, not a chance. For example, one of you might prefer a winter getaway to a stint in the sunshine, or maybe you both support different football teams – this is fine. What I’m talking about is getting down to the nitty-gritty of values, family orientation, your goals, ambitions, health, fitness and inevitably what you both do to make the world a better place. If you find that there isn’t any alignment and you’re not on the same page about a lot of things, then quite frankly, you’re looking at a whole lot of lust and not much else.
4. It’s not a seamless connection, but it’s exciting
Sometimes ‘getting’ each other feels a tad like swimming against a micro tide but you’re ok with that. The chemistry is there so you think that the compatibility might come in time. Well, it won’t. When you connect with someone that’s right for you, you’ll go through the stages of falling in love which of course include lust. But you will want more as you become attracted to their personality and want to attach to them and only them. Make sure you’re falling hook, line and sinker – not just sinking in lust.
5. You don’t communicate the same way
If you both seem to be constantly seeking the attention of the other, not feeling satisfied or safe in the knowledge that this is it, that it’s something set to last then it’s just lust. If it feels like clutching at straws for one or both of you, then you’re not in it to win it for love. Perhaps you find yourself feeling unsure where this is going, how the other person feels or what on earth is going on? The right person for you wants you to feel at ease because they want to feel at ease too.
6. Everything else falls by the wayside
If you’re attracted to someone and feel completely comfortable with dropping everything of significance around you, then I’m afraid to say that it’s lust and not set to be love. Things of significance can be anything from friends and family, to your hobbies, interests and work. Love comes from compatibility, and that’s based on a deep understanding between the two of you of what’s important, what keeps you ticking and the knowledge that you’re both in for a marathon, not a sex-induced sprint.
It’s tough in the early days of a relationship
to see what on earth is what between chemistry and compatibility, and what it is exactly that sets lust aside from love. As long as you trust your gut, stay true to your values and really know you want in a relationship, you’ll find that only the people on the same page as you will stick around. In short, lust is for right now, and we all know that when it comes to love everything should just feel right.
Have you ever wondered why you never seem to be able to hold down a relationship for long before it all comes crashing down around you?
Do you constantly hook up with the man/woman of your dreams that meets all your specifications and ticks all the right boxes, but find you have lost them after just a matter of weeks?
Do you know that the problem with your relationships may not be out of issues with your partner or their unsuitability – but your own problems with yourself?
Many of us are so allergic to happiness or good fortune that when it is handed to us on a silver of gold, we do everything in our power to wreck and sabotage our own happiness.
According to certified couples’ counsellor Annabelle Knight, many of us can be guilty of self-sabotaging our relationships. But often, we might not even know we’re doing it.
Here are six key signs.
1. You avoid pain
This is when you allow yourself to get to a certain point in a relationship before pulling back. Maybe you’ve seen too many sad movies or really took to heart the saying ‘love hurts’… whatever the reason, avoiding pain is the outcome. This can manifest in a number of ways, from creating ‘bottom line’ issues out of nothing, to convincing yourself that this person isn’t the one so you should move on.
2. You live in a fantasy land
So many people manage to avoid falling for someone because they adhere to a strict code. This is a list of ‘must haves,’ usually created in a much younger, more immature psychological state that leads that person to sabotage any and all future relationships – based on the skewed notion that the person they’re with isn’t worthy of their affection. Fantasy land behaviour often occurs within the first six months of a relationship and offers a sense of control and power that might have to be relinquished if you allow yourself to be vulnerable with another person.
3. You listen to your inner critic
We all have one, you know that little voice that niggles away at you telling you to hope for the best but prepare for the worst. Yup, that’s the one. Well it’s our inner critic that, more often than not, is responsible for self-sabotaging our relationships. Convincing ourselves that we’re ‘not worthy’ or that ‘it’ll all end in tears anyway so what’s the point?’ is the main reason a lot of relationships can fail. We don’t allow ourselves the chance at happiness because deep down we don’t feel we deserve it.
4. You can’t back down
Some people would rather be right, than be in a relationship. Most couples argue, it’s a healthy way to vent our issues and if done correctly (yes there is a right way to argue) can lead to a stronger, healthier partnership. However, its when we let ego get in the way that we self sabotage. The need to be right, rather than to compromise is one of the biggest relationship killers and can occur during any stage in a relationship.
5. You care too much about what other people think
For some people, the opinions of others far outweigh that of their partners. This can be hugely damaging to a relationship. If you’ve ever ignored your partner to reply to a non-urgent text, cancelled plans with them for frivolous plans with friends or feel the need to tend to other people’s needs rather than theirs on a regular basis, then you may be guilty of this.
6. You forget that you’re not the same
Expecting your partner to think, feel and act in the same way as you do is another form of self sabotage. Rigid thinking is an unhealthy way to live and can cause great stress and upset to your relationship. Accepting and appreciating that your partner’s experiences, understandings and ultimately the way in which they identify the world are different is the only way you can truly co-exist happily with one another.
A relationship is not meant to be a battlefield of the winner takes it all – or a place of survival of the strongest where the “best man wins”. A relationship is a place of compromise; of giving and taking and sometimes we have to bite out tongues, lock up our ego and suppress that urge and need to be right all the time.
In a relationship, it takes two people willing to give up a bit of themself in order to be able to accommodate the needs of the other person. But when one partner is unable to do this, the relationship will not survive long. The duration of and the peace in a relationship should be of more importance and take higher priority than a partner being right or justified.
The fact that one in four marriages ends in a divorce is a statistic that people like to throw around way too much. Once we hear that, we start to look at our recently married friends and wonder who will be phoning a divorce lawyer in the near future.
So when we’re dating and finding our own potential suitor, is there anyway we can make sure we’re settling down with the right person so that our own relationship doesn’t end with trying to divide asides 50-50 and arguments over who gets the house?
Some studies show that you can, if you get married at a certain age.
So what is that magic number? What age is too early to tie the knot and what age, is too late?
According to data from the National Survey of Family Growth, Nick Wolfinger, a professor at the University of Utah, found that prior to age 31, each additional year of age at marriage reduces the odds of divorce by 11 percent. But after 32? Well, he found that divorce increases by five percent per year.
According to certified family law specialist, James D. Scott, who has performed over 2,000 divorces in his 36-year career and works with young, enlisted military couples to unwed mothers who are teenagers, to ultra-high income celebrities and professional athletes, the age for people getting married nowadays is getting later and later.
“Men don’t want to share their income,” said James. “They don’t want to pool their lifestyle with a spouse.”
Couple’s Counselor, Julienne Derichs, LCPC, divorce is a challenging social pattern to measure. She says that the key to decreasing divorce include a few key things.
“Keep in mind that education, ability to communicate in a non-violent manner, and level of commitment are all predictors of relationship satisfaction, research indicates that to decrease your risk of divorce, in the first five years of marriage, marry between the ages of 28 to 32 and then again from 45 to 49. Divorce rates steadily decrease from years 18 to 32 then goes up again until the late 30’s early 40’s,” she says.
So perhaps the trick is to marry after 28 and before 32.
Or maybe, it’s to not rush down the aisle with the very wrong person.
See also: 20 Questions Every Couple Needs to Ask Before Marriage
I came across this fantastic article by Vidya Rao, at 35 year old from Minnesota-raised Indian-American from Minnesota recently married to a white American from South Louisiana., talking about being in an interracial relationship and the myriad of problems that can arise from being in such a union.
Vidya says “I wish we could be all kumbaya-we’re-all-human-beings-love-is-love, but in this current cultural and political climate, race is not something you can pretend you don’t see”.
She goes on to say “When you marry someone, you marry everything that made them who they are, including their culture and race. While marrying someone of a different race can have added challenges, if you go in with your eyes and heart wide open, you can face those challenges together and come out stronger. At least that’s what the experts tell me; I’ve only been married seven months, so what do I know?
Here are a few things I’ve learned:
1. The foundation of your relationship has to be rock solid.
Your relationship needs to be tight enough not to let naysayers, societal pressure and family opinions wedge you apart, explained Stuart Fensterheim, a couples counselor based in Scottsdale, Arizona, and host of The Couples Expert podcast.
“Couples need to talk about things as a team, and feel that we’re in this together — if our love is strong and we can be authentic and vulnerable in the relationship, then we can handle whatever comes from the outside world,” he explained.
Luckily, my husband and I haven’t had to face many issues from the outside world. We’re so “old” according to our cultures, that our families were just thankful someone of the human race agreed to marry either of us, and we currently live in a diverse section of New York City where no one bats an eye at interracial couples.
But having a strong relationship without trust issues helps us give each other the benefit of the doubt when one of us says something culturally insensitive. We can talk about it, learn from it and move on without building up resentment or wondering about motivations.
2. You’ve got to get comfortable talking about race… a lot.
“Silence is really the enemy,” said Erica Chito Childs, a Hunter College sociology professor who has researched and written extensively about interracial relationships. “Just like you’d ask a partner about their views on marriage, children and where to live, you should also understand their approach to racial issues. One way to begin, in the process of getting to know a new partner, is to maybe include some questions like, was the school you went to diverse, do you have diverse friends? Have you dated interracially before and if so, how did your family react?”
My husband and I were friends before we started dating, and we just organically ended up having these conversations. At times, I was shocked at how little he ever thought about race before me, and that was something that worried me when I first started falling for him. But his ability to be open and honest about the things he didn’t know and his willingness to learn, rather than be defensive, eventually won me over.
3. Don’t make any assumptions about your partner based on their race.
While this may seem obvious, it’s worth noting because we all hold stereotypes, no matter how enlightened we think we are. “Racial groups are not homogenous,” reiterated Childs. “African-American people have different perspectives; some may support Black Lives Matter, and others don’t. Some Latina people support DACA, others don’t. Don’t make assumptions… You and your partner don’t have to agree, but you should know where each other stand and try to understand each other’s perspectives.”
For my part, I had to face the stereotypes I had about white Southerners. To be honest, I just assumed that deep down, he and his family were probably racist. While it was a defense mechanism for me, it wasn’t fair that I didn’t allow him a clean slate.
4. It’s helpful to know others who are also in interracial relationships.
There was a moment two years into my relationship with my now-husband, when I realized he might be my lifelong partner, and joy gave way to dread: Would he ever really understand my experience as a child of immigrants? Could he really support me when I (or our children) faced racism? Would he ever really be able to “get” me?
I could have thrown our entire relationship away based on my fear, but luckily, I turned to a friend who had been in an interracial relationship for 10 years. He’s a Haitian American from New England and his partner is a white American from Oklahoma. They have a relationship of mutual love and respect. He had faced some of the same challenges I did. Knowing how much they had to work for it, and how happy they ended up as a result, helped me see that we could do the same.
Whether you can find someone in your friend group, through social networking or even just watching relevant YouTube videos, hearing from people who have been where you are can serve as emotional support.
5. Changing your name can take on heightened significance.
I waffled on changing my name — it felt really difficult for me, like I was letting go of my Indian heritage. Ultimately I decided against it, and my husband was supportive of my decision. Would it have been different if my husband were Indian? I’m not sure, but I do think about it.
6. You may feel a heightened connection to your own culture — and that’s OK.
“In the past few years, I’ve been needing more connection with my culture, I listen to more Latin music now, I watch movies in Spanish — I need those touchstones now, in a way I didn’t before,” said Alejandra Ramos, a TODAY Tastemaker who is Puerto Rican and has been married to a Ukranian-born Jewish man for seven years.
As with any successful relationship, your partner can’t be your everything. When you’re in an interracial relationship, friends who you can just express yourself to without having to explain yourself can be a welcome break. “One time I was on a show and a producer described me as ‘fiery, because you’re Latina.’ I came home and told my husband about it and he laughed and I was like no, that’s actually really offensive.”
“There’s a certain lightness I feel when I talk to my Latina friends — you’re all coming from a similar frame of reference. There’s a learning curve for your partner, they just don’t know how to exist in your skin.”
7. You’re going to learn things about your partner’s family … and maybe even more about your own.
“When my husband introduced me, his family was shocked — which in turn shocked him,” said Pamela Baker, an African American who has been married to a white American for 36 years. “He had been raised to believe that all were equal. But, fear set in when they found that he deeply believed what he had been taught. I didn’t freak and was not surprised. They came around quickly. [But] his grandmother did not attend our wedding.”
Unfortunately, this kind of revelation isn’t uncommon. Many people Childs has spoken to in the course of her research came from families who seemed very accepting, but feel differently about who their children date.
Her advice? “Be realistic and don’t just go off comments they made when you were growing up,” she said. Have an open and honest conversation before you bring your significant other into the mix. Prepare yourself for reactions that are unexpected or even upsetting, and accept that it may take some time for your family to come around.
And if grandma just can’t get on board? You can’t force it. Acknowledge her feelings, but also acknowledge it’s hurtful to you and your partner. Eventually, she may come around. That was the case for Baker, who said that after her kids were born, her husband’s grandmother cried and apologized for her initial disapproval.
8. You will forever be teaching.
You’ll be sharing foods that may be new to your partner, translating your language for them during family gatherings and perhaps even teaching them some Racial Politics 101. Sometimes, you’ll want to bang your head against the wall. But stick with it; your patience will be rewarded.
“When your partner asks questions that may seem ignorant, they are accepting that they don’t understand everything,” said Fensterheim. If your partner asks you something that feels offensive, acknowledge they are likely coming from a good place, and then explain why you have an issue with the interaction. You should honestly express yourself, but don’t make them feel scared or stupid for coming to you with questions. With enough conversations over time, they might just surprise you.
9. … and learning.
If you’ve found the right person and are ready to take the next step, you’re signing up for an adventure. Whether it’s good stuff (trying new foods, activities and traditions) or the bad stuff (other people’s racism), you’re going to learn a lot. I learned how to mud ride. I shot a gun. I attended crawfish boils. I’m constantly exposed to new cultural experiences that I never would have sought out if my husband weren’t in my life.
He’s experienced the same because of me. He now eats dosa with his hands like a pro, practices yoga and meditation and understands racial issues in a much more nuanced way. While we both come from very different backgrounds and sometimes have passionately opposing opinions, we do share one trait in common: Neither of us knows the people we will be tomorrow, and we’re not only OK with that, but excited by it.
It’s refreshingly lovely when your married friends do not see your single/divorced status as some horrible disease that can infect their exclusive club and invite you to their gatherings – even Couples Dinner – as absurd as that might sound, if you are not “coupled”
Many houses of worship ostracise their single (divorced) members…. and some married women avoid the divorced like a plague. And churches at certain times, can be the loneliest place to be for single or divorced women surrounded by loved up lovey-dovey couples.
Unfortunately what people have failed to realise is that many married men nowadays prefer their fellow married women who want to keep their homes and still enjoy the thrill provided by another man. And these happen quite ofter right under the partner’s nose! In other words, the “other woman” is not always that attractive and seductive looking divorcée.
It could be the wife of the man you call “uncle” or “brother”!!!!
And many older single or divorced women are simply happy and content being single (if just for the time being. ..)
Others cannot and are not willing to “man share” and do not see themselves as some man’s “bit on the side” or “home-wrecker” so they too avoid married men like a worse plague and would run a mile as if an Ebola victim is pursuing them.
However, some Pirhana women that will steal a man, will do as they please regardless of how tough the wife thinks she is; and the habitual skirt chasing married bloke will not be stopped by matter, time or space if he’s determined to go a-chasing! So some preventive antics of the panicky and insecure partner might just be a collossal waste of time!!
Nevertheless, perhaps it’s time for folks with the same status to stick and flock together…
The event organiser in me is again thinking of a suitable Event. Hmmnnn………..
A 44-year-old businessman, Ekpolador Ebi, told an FCT High Court, Kubwa, that he would no longer tolerate his wife’s masturbation.
Ebi made this known when he testified in his divorce petition against his wife, Gloria Onajero, in Abuja on Wednesday.
He urged the court to end the marriage, which had produced two children because of his wife’s intolerable character. He said, “She masturbates on a regular basis. I have warned her severally but she wouldn’t stop. “I have caught her on at least three occasions; I spoke to the mother about it and she promised that it would be resolved but it did not.
The petitioner questioned the paternity of his children when he found out his wife’s affair with another man named Richard.
He also noted that his wife’s “ugly character” has had a negative impact on their children.
“Since we separated, I have noticed that the children have developed confidence issues in school.
“My first daughter has also developed anger issues; she slams the door at you when you try to scold her. All these never used to be.”
Ebi also told the court that he left his home because his wife and her mother frustrated all his good intentions.
According to him, his wife also beats the children with so much force and without mercy and whenever he tries to caution her, her mother supports her.
The petitioner urged the court not only to dissolving the marriage, but to also help him recover his property from his wife.