How To Simplify Your Dating Life. The First Installment – Does He/She Like Me?

This is the first in a series of posts regarding all things relationship-oriented.

Cards on the table, I’m not exactly leading by example. My love life has been a continuous cycle of disappointment subverted as life lessons but maybe these adventures elevate my counsel beyond lucky-in-love Larry. As we grow older, we each yearn for more calm than chaos in our personal lives; self-indulgent sad songs lose their pathos and the security of a loving partner overtakes the appeal of infatuation. I hope to be more useful than the usual block of body language cues but like a bad boy with commitment issues, I promise nothing.

Above all, actions speak louder than words.  Make sure you pay attention to what somebody shows you via their behaviour instead of hanging off their words, which can be easily affected. Judge a prospective love interest’s worth in relation to how they treat you: this person might be smart, funny and devilishly attractive, but if they’re not treating you well, they aren’t worth the chase. Often times, once we decide we like somebody, we’re stubborn about changing our minds. We rationalise poor behaviour when really it should make us take a step back.

Sparks and ‘gut instincts’ can lead you towards wishful thinking but you can’t make somebody change who they are, so don’t waste time trying. You’ve got a life to live.

If you have to look for signs that someone likes you, they aren’t that into you. If they were, you’d know about it. Always remember that.

When people give off mixed signals, they usually have mixed emotions, or they’re playing a machiavellian game where your feelings aren’t a priority, which is even more shady. Either way, you shouldn’t be too invested at this point. Until they’ve made their intentions clear, don’t get hung up on one person. I know it’s hard but keep your feelings in check and your options open unless you have the ‘exclusivity’ thumbs up. (Or down). That way, you won’t be a heap of disappointment if nothing happens between you. Think of it as an insurance policy on your fragile little ticker.

All attention comes from attraction. Sometimes the object of our affection will approach us or message ‘how’re you doing?’ and we wonder if they like us or if it’s just nothing. Well…it’s both. If someone asks you questions, talks about things you like and compliments you frequently, of course they like you! Do you spend time opening up to people you have no interest in? No, and neither do they. Maybe it wasn’t cupid’s arrow but there’s some level of interest going on. Don’t get carried away on a love cloud but don’t downplay it either. If you enjoy an interaction without analysing it too much, you’re guaranteed a better outcome. Otherwise you fall into the trap of putting somebody else above you by focusing too much on what they’re doing.

Assume your appeal has been noticed until you’re shown otherwise. Self-worth is not only desirable but absolutely crucial. What about you? Are you enjoying their company? Do you like what’s being said? If not, change the channel. Only you control your life.

Keep your emotional investment balanced. Brain chemistry fizzles like a mentos in coca-cola when we start talking to a person we like. It can become addictive. But this current crush isn’t the only thing of value in your life. You have relations with friends, family and your work that all need maintaining and it works in your favour if you’re leading a well-balanced life. It makes you more attractive and improves your mental health. Make equal time for each section of your life and I promise your love life will only benefit, as counter-intuitive as that might seem. Always remember that even if someone is interested in you…it only matters as far as their actions do. Just because they like you, it doesn’t mean you’re going to get together. Until it does. And that’s the crucial piece of wisdom to remember…take it all one step at a time.

Happy crushin’.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Taylor Swift Is Defiant In Video For ‘Look What You Made Me Do’

I’m not a huge fan of the Tay-Tay brand but I’m partial to some pop, so when ‘Look What You Made Me Do‘ debuted on YouTube, I admit to clicking the sideways triangle with a little intrigue. The song title reminds me of a phrase an abuser would use but I’m aware that’s something for her PR exec to regret and for me to blithely accept. It’s all so meta that it only requires a surface level viewing. For example, she literally stands in front of a T/cross while previous music video incarnations clamour beneath her feet because she wants us to be aware of how she’s been crucified. If I were a woman of the cloth I would call it blasphemy. But I’m not, so we’re cool. And Madonna did it first anyway.

Musicians are clearly starting to take cues from masters of reinvention such as David Bowie and Madonna, as more of them use chameleon tactics to create a long-lasting career. Taylor’s fierce intelligence is what makes her mini film so compelling – the opportunity for double meaning is both plentiful and plausible. And what does her millennial fan-base love to do more than over-analyse? One devoted ‘Swiftie’ gave a detailed analysis of the symbolism on show, and if I didn’t miss A level English Literature before reading their comment, I sure do now. Those essays were like a free ticket to overthink. I applaud her for standing up for herself because it’s not easy to do in the face of gender stereotypes and covert misogyny.

Setting the tone for the mini film, Taylor literally rises up from the dead (honey I do it all the time) from a gravestone emblazoned with ‘Taylor Swift’s reputation‘. If I had to transcribe said Swiftie’s analysis into a Sparknotes webpage, my first sub-heading under ‘THEMES’ would be ‘Re-birth’. I imagine the theme will run throughout her new album. If only there were some clues as to what the album name is…

 

IMAGERY: Snakes. Just before the video release, I read a compelling argument for Taylor Swift to be heralded as a Slytherin as her hallmark traits are ambition, cunning, self-image, loyalty and revenge. And here she is, representin’ in full bloom. The ‘Kimye’ feud shrouded Taylor in suspicion: Kanye called her a ‘bitch’ in his song Famous. After Taylor expressed her discomfort, Kim released a secret recording of T.S giving Kanye permission to name-drop her in this way. Vilified for changing her mind in what many saw as a tactical move, snake emojis appeared everywhere. This is her wearing that criticism like a badge of honour:

 

heart ts
A reference to ex Tom Hiddleston

The ‘I love TS’ top is an allusion to how everyone thought she orchestrated her relationship with Tom Hiddleston for publicity; as though her love life is merely masterminded in order to advance her career and the men she dates are innocent victims. Unlike Calvin Harris, there’s nothing vengeful against this particular ex-boyfriend as they didn’t have any bad blood between them. #katyperrytho

Maybe my favourite throwback is to her ‘squad’. Dressed as though she’s making another Victoria’s Secret appearance, a legion of scantily clad robots line up before her. Their identical clothing and ‘thin white female’ bodies highlight the criticism she received for ‘setting a bad example to young girls’ as it appeared to many that she was trying to create a clan of ‘mean girls’. Once again she plays into the insults thrown at her: the Regina George that Katy Perry labelled her as being; the conceited girl who only hangs out with models.

 

Much of Swift’s power lies in her ability to poke fun at herself: she seems familiar with the idea that if you own your flaws, they can’t be used against you. In essence, she’s taking control of her reputation. Hierarchies permeate society from class to race to gender, and as the ‘other’ gender, we disallow women (especially in the media) to be multi-faceted individuals. When they defy the labels given to them, they are seen as fake. Hence the dialogue at the end, where she echoes the put-downs leveled at her before screaming at herself to ‘shut up!’. She’s used her smarts to hint at the way women are silenced and berated for almost anything outside of quiet complicity with however they’re treated. I’m happy that in 2017, people still make music videos that challenge our perceptions. It’s all performance anyway, right?

“I don’t trust nobody and nobody trusts me

I’ll be the actress starring in your bad dreams”

tstststs