Why you can’t be friends on Facebook

So many conundrums exist today that didn’t exist when you were last single that you are going to spend a certain amount of time, tears and tequila navigating rookie mistakes.

Amongst those myriad questions … at what point in your fledgling relationship do you become friends on Facebook?

If it were me, I’d only be handing over the keys to the Zuckerberg kingdom of my digital history after the prenup was inked, the formalities executed and we are tootling off into the sunset with the tin cans and shaving cream indicating we’ve successfully navigated the  nuptials.

i.e.  once its too late.

Why?

So many perils, friends.

Your history

Open up your profile to your new flame and you give them access the national gallery of your recent history. Unlike your friends, who have gradually negotiated your many transitions in facebook from:

Some key anniversary with mandatory hashtag #soblessed (just so few consonants away from #sobfest)

Some obscure saying about letting go to find love

let go meme

Some term about the joys of unhindered single life

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Something spiritual that tries to give the impression you are now a grounded, non-intervention-order-requiring individual able to function in regular society.

Seeing it unfold in one hit could be unnerving.

Beware – Just as the vague feelings of embarrassment and instinct-to-apologise fade after a big night out (in about the same timespan as the accompanying hangover) you will forget that there was ever evidence posted by you and your friends on FB. If you do not have a robust policy of reviewing and archiving your weekend’s boozy adventures, you need to bear in mind that they are STILL OUT THERE.

So unless you are going to create an entirely fake FB profile that reads like Gwyneth Paltrow’s insanely organically balanced blog, complete with a convincing number of fake FB friends, you do not want someone trawling your entire history. Especially not the one male who was game enough to move on from your carefully chosen online dating pics, handcrafted profile and witty online repartee and thinks you are an extraordinarily grounded and accomplished female. They’ll figure out that you are human eventually, no need to reveal it in one click.

His history

Although you will, as soon as digitally possible, have stalked to the ends of the interwebs your new squeeze, there are certain things that even the most thorough digital exhumation of publicly available information will not reveal. From the entry-level view presented by Linked-in right through the depths of your trawl through the first 25 pages of google search results, you are unlikely to reveal anything near as illuminating as the chardonnay-fuelled scan of the first five albums you have access to if you two become facebook buds.

Things like

  • a predilection for posting pics of tattoo models that indicates an obsession with something to which you have no insight, having never approached artificial coloring anything more permanent than having your eyelashes tinted.
  •  an ex that has either arms/abs/cheekbones/ankles so perfect that you feel obliged to bury your head under a pillow and sob at your poor form by comparison
  •   a collection of mates that indicates he is part of a rebel outlaw motorcycle gang the subject of a current police crackdown

A new and unnerving source of paranoia

As sure as the fact that Lindsay Lohan will again make a mugshot appearance is the fact that once you become FB buddies, you will monitor every new female friend addition with microscopic scrutiny,

If he dare go on a work trip and run into a second cousin, cementing the family reunion via a FB pairing with the noble intent of bringing lost family connections together, you will note this on your daily scan. Following this you will secretly subject her name to CSI style internet forensics to determine WHO ON EARTH IS THIS NEW FEMALE. This will continue to the point you will be executing a drive by of every location evidenced by her blatantly unprotected FB check-ins before your partner even has his car out of the airport car park.

The conunudrum of declaring your relationship on FB

From the moment you link up, you’ll hear a ticking that sounds like low chime of the doomsday bell. Its not your biological clock or throb of the vein on your left ring finger yearning for a Kardashian style rock to crush it into silence.

No.

It’s the heartbeat of facebook waiting for this first of the two of you to falter in the gigantic game of chicken that is updating your relationship status on FB.

I’ve never done this, so I don’t know if someone goes first in saying xxx is in a relationship with yyy and if there is any element of consensus required as there is in the friend request step (or in fact in your generally accepted marriage proposal process).

Perhaps it is a matter of the most digitally-adventurous going first with the declaration and the absence of any objection by the other being accepted as a ‘yerr, alright’

But if you do this, its there forever, until such time as you FBily disentangle yourself and restore yourself to single. Although this is less expensive and requires far less paperwork and judicial intervention than a divorce, it does place a gigantic heartbreak symbol update in the newsfeed of yours and every one of your friends.

single fb

FB is democratic in this scenario, caring not which party created the digital disconnection and therefore never knowing whether you feel heartrbroken or not. This will cause all your friends to offer you pitying comments, the unedifying digital version of the cheezels, wine and DVDs that real friends brought over last time your heart was in jeopardy.

It also allows your less charitable acquaintances to pore over your history and declare that they saw the seeds of doom were sown from the beginning and be infuriatingly smug – but in this case at least you can unfriend them

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In short, your FB friendship is gold, don’t just give it up.

If you are taking your online dating a little more seriously than this blog, check out this website for fabulously simple online dating advice.

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Valentines Day – Step away from the Selfie

And it’s rolled on by again.

The yearly ritual of Valentine’s Day.

Someone coined the alternate phrase ‘Singles Awareness Day’, which earns itself an unfortunate acronym and succeeds in making it sound like some kind of disease for which we should all raise money.

There’s nothing like Valentines Day to bring out the insecurities in the single woman. Despite career achievements, physical accomplishments, travel adventures and cultural intelligence there’s just that teeny feeling inside that you’d just like Simon from the mailroom to call and say there’s been a delivery for you.

In the feelgood blog of the V.DAY weekend, I’m here to point to the ‘have-it-all’ celebrity women who are twice as insecure as you are. We know this not by tell-all interviews or heart-wrenching blogs. How do we know this?

By their selfies.

These selfies are on a scale from the most innocuous to those that scream shrilly for likes like a fishwife screams at a deadbeat husband.

The everygirl selfie

This is the selfie that aims to demonstrate that the celeb is tremendously normal, dateable, quirky and loveable. Relatively harmless, it will see the celeb posing with an everyday prop, undertaking regular-world activities or being, well, just normal.

Take Taylor Swift for example. Being photographed with a donut is really like being photographed with a bestie isn’t it? Every single chick surely has a carbohydrate of choice right?

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I’m yet to front up on instagram posing with a plate of Spaghetti Amatriciana, but I can kinda see where she’s headed. Love me, love my carbs / refined sugars?

The ‘Clayton’s’ Selfie

For the non-Aussies in my readership, Clayton’s was a non-alcoholic beverage that tried to pretend it was as good as booze. The catchphrase was ‘the drink you have when you are not having a drink.’

For those 40s chicks who find that anachronistic, bear in mind that it was hip in the 70s and 80s and now has faded into inevitable insecurity.  We have no time for fake booze.

So the Clayton’s Selfie is the Selfie you have when you are not having a Selfie.

It’s the celeb selfie where you are pretending its about something else other than you. Case in point was the recent Kylie Minogue pic. Artfully disguised in a series that illustrated her ah-mazing shoe collection, she posted this.

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40schick was totally sucked in.

I saw those red soles, thought: Louboutin.

I saw those coloured sparkles, thought: Arnotts 100s and 1000s biscuits.

Every man in the world, thought: Kylie still has hotpants-butt at age 45.

I’m fairly sure, with her heart still suffering its recent puncturing at the hands of Andres Veloncoso, that she was aiming for the latter.

The Ralphie

Ralph is a fairly icky Men’s magazine. Hence the Ralphie is the Selfie where you’d like to think you are just a moment away from featuring on the front cover.

It’s the selfie where you apply the best instagram filter you can find, where you secretly sneak your pic off to photoshop to lop off some arm fat, fill in some stomach creases and apply an all over tan that even your fave tanning salon can’t nail. You do your best work in a bikini, find a great background and then post it for all the world to see.

If you are Miranda Kerr, there’s no need for this fakery: you get the real deal.

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If you are the Kardashian matriarch, this is what you get.

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Honestly. If this is what Gran is up to, I fear for North West.

The Kardashelfie

Shorthand for the Kardashian selfie, everything about this reeks of the need for validation. Even in your darkest Valentines Day, vodka-infused, chick-flick watching despair you are by no means as desperate as this. This is a posting that is all about likes, about going viral on the interwebs, about being talked about: good or bad.

In Kim’s case? I want to try to explain it but I just can’t.

Nope. Just can’t.

Its potentially post-partum hormones gone wrong (of which I have no experience) or the need to keep Kanye on his toes (of which I have no experience)

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Demi Moore has been guilty of similar.

In Demi’s case, I guess its just “Damn, I paid a lot of money for this body and I may as well post it”

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The moral of the story? By this time next year we need to come up with some kind of singles ribbon badge to proclaim singleness with pride and join forces with the other ribbon-wearers.  Over cocktails and war stories about Tinder.

Anything to keep us all off Instagram.

If you are taking your online dating a little more seriously than this blog, check out this website for fabulously simple online dating advice.

Dodging the Wrecking Ball

The recent train wrecks amongst our more junior celebrities has caused me to ponder the advice that I would now give to my 20 year old self about to who to date and how to conduct myself.

Although there’s plenty to learn from in my own history, learning from one’s own mistakes is nowhere near as much fun as indulging in celebrity disaster stories. Besides, mine aren’t plastered across the interwebs for google to find (and my facebook account only goes back to 2008)

Dear 20 year old version of 40s chick, 

Have vision

I know you have no apparent psychic tendencies, but you need to be aware that what is appealing now can turn bad as quickly as you can say Disney starlet meltdown.

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…..

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There’s a theme here – it’s the talented clean-cut ones that seem to go horribly wrong. Pick a Mr Average and they are unlikely to do a Bieber on you.

Resist the bad-boy

Just as every head of lustrous locks could be sheltering inner demons and beneath glossy sparkling skin there could lurk a layer of festering rebellion, there’s no reason to go the opposite direction and date the out-and-out bad boy. It might seem like dating the unapologetic damaged rock star or your local recreational weed smoker at least means you know what you are up against, but no.

Take Pete Doherty, lead singer of a band that no one can remember, proven to be even too rock and roll for Kate Moss in her hard core rock chick days. Largely credited with Amy Winehouse’s downfall. You don’t want this.
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You might find your local equivalent of a Charlie Sheen, refreshingly upfront about his womanising tactics, to be a known quantity and consider a dabble on a light hearted basis. Consider his philandering ways as an inbuilt safeguard which will eventually grow tiresome for you, hopefully long before he starts to look like someone you’d report to the police if he was hanging round a primary school when the kiddies are let out.

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Never overlook the power of a decent wardrobe and a haircut

Even with the beer goggles on, there are some candidates you would never give a second glance. I don’t want to be all Nanna about judging and books and covers, but remind yourself that it is ALL ABOUT THE RAW MATERIAL.

Poor Jon only needed to tone down the animal print and barber the bouffant.

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Even George was in trouble whilst he was dabbling with polka dots and a mullet and benefited greatly from letting go of the eyebrows and indulging in some stubble.

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Recognise that a moustache is disposable – just know there’s a risk they’ll re-grow it in the 2013 hipster craze

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Dear younger version of 40s chick – I promise you, someday the 80s will end
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For you? Here a are couple of words of advice.

No vodka before lunch

Much can be learned from the tribulations of Lilo. Most notably, that booze before lunch is a slippery slope. Start early knocking off the vodka and OJs, everything starts to resemble your favourite tipple – orange tan, orange hair

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orange jumpsuit

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Above all, embrace your inner Disney Princess

Bear in mind that there is nothing wrong with hair extensions, a friendly smile and some prom style fashion.

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Shiny polyester in a nude colour does no one any favours and the only person who thinks Miley Cyrus looks better in the second photo is Miley Cyrus.

Good luck!
Love 40s chick xo

If you are taking your online dating a little more seriously than this blog, check out this website for fabulously simple online dating advice.

The missing link in online dating profiles – vices

There’s a gaping hole in the configuration of online dating profiles as far as I can see. No, its not the presence of a lie detector test to flush out the cads that are in fact still married and seeking a fling (although a little x box that glowed a little red light about that fact would be a welcome addition)

It’s a little section that would allow you to elaborate on your vices.

For your vices give a glimmer of insight into your personality far greater than anything that you could verbalise within your written profile. Vices give insights that demonstrate baggage far more vividly than a veiled reference to a desire to live a drama-free life, compassion more instinctive than the profile pic with your World Vision sponsor kid, and a diversity of character far greater than what you can conjure up by vomiting adjectives such as fun-loving, compassionate, caring, genuine, honest, fair etc etc zzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Vices give an insight into the areas where you see yourself as slightly less than perfect but can easily transform into something more endearing that this week’s best cute kitten video on youtube. Every vice has a silver lining.

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Try these for example. I’m not saying these are mine. Ok, yes, they are mine.

Vice #1 Lockdown for weeks while the Biggest Loser is on

Like a Kardashian drawn to a body-con leopard print, I am dragged into this reality sob-fest drama year after year. After an anxious orientation period resembling to the first term at high school, I will spend at least the first three episodes seeking a couple of champions to cheer and will be sucked in by reality-TV selective editing to feel scorn for a contestant akin to the need to boo-hiss a panto character. I will watch from the couch, usually downing carbs, (see Vice 2) issuing forth a verbal version of #biggestloser twitter feed to no one in particular as my slightly overfed new friends suffer at the mercy of the trainers and the elimination episodes.

Cue gratuitous Commando pic.

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But from this you will gain an insight into my softer side. I will cry for their history of being bullied, their banishment to the bigger ladies fashion department, their beaten-down lack of confidence and the brutality of the episode where it is revealed that their lifespan is shortened to a point that it is more likely that Lindsay Lohan will grow old than they will.

Vice #2 Carbs

My name is 40s chick and I am a carboholic. My addiction is selective – confined as it is to the white carbs – the emptiest, glycaemically-overloaded, nutritionally void, overprocessed grains that bear no resemblance to anything found in nature. Present me with a wholegrain and I will sneer and toss my head like a purebred Persian cat rejecting house-label tinned tuna. Observe me after an ill-advised dabble in an Atkins or South Beach high protein diet and I will appear as crazed as a meth addict but seeking the embrace of a slippery linguine rather than a crusty crystal. If you try to show empathy when I’m on some protein-fest by eating an ostensibly healthy Caesar salad, bear in mind that all the while I’m mentally gouging out your eyes just to get at your croutons.

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The upside? When I let go of the calorie count, you’ll share in my indulgence in risottos, *home-made lasagne (* but yes, with the béchamel from a jar), spaghetti slathered in pesto sauce and slightly over-engineered toasties. And I’ll indulge your child with Froot Loops – purely so I can filch a handful here and there.

Vice #3 Creams

Risk a glance into my bathroom cabinet and you’ll be suitably reassured by the lack of prescription pill bottles but in the same instance appalled by the oversupply of face creams. From AHA to BB to Zinc, they are all there. From my endless quest for an eye cream to dispense with puffiness, to the guilt-tripped purchases from the nice lady who does my eyebrows and casually makes reference to under-exfoliation, to my obsession with travel-sized kits induced by their sheer cuteness and portability.

The advantage? My every move I make will be improbably fragrant, there’s a chance I won’t resemble a croc-handbag once older, and you’ll be able to swipe a little Elizabeth Arden 8 hour cream if you are having a metrosexual moment.

Vice #4 Running

This and Vice #2 go hand in hand but not in the order you’d expect. I’d don’t carb so that I can run, I run so that I can carb.

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It’s a tad unsocial in that my weekend schedule will revolve around training, that despite my terror at the prospect of sub-five-star accommodation I will ditch you for running camp in a heartbeat. You will find that weekends away will inexplicably tie in a rural running event before I can kick back with you and enjoy regional produce.

But it does allow a pleasant indulgence in event T-shirts which in themselves provide reassurance that in the case of nuclear holocaust we’ll be able to clad ourselves for days in fresh T-shirts without the aid of laundry. If I get sucked into one of my hell-hole periods at work, you can be assured that even if the fridge is barren of a scrap of milk or the pantry bare of bread, you will survive in my house via the supply of running gels and powerade.

 

So I get that online dating profiles are all about highlighting karaoke skills that are second only to Beyonce’s, your ability to bust a glass ceiling as if you had the power of Wonder woman’s bracelets and Masterchef-style skills in the kitchen, but its your vices that make you real. Just keep em a little less extreme than Mesdames Cyrus and Lohan and its all good.

If you are taking your online dating a little more seriously than this blog, check out this website for fabulously simple online dating advice.