Modern dating 101

I haven’t written a dating post (or in fact, any post) for a while, so I thought I would jump on and write a comprehensive assessment of all your dating options as a millennial in 2017. So much choice, lucky you.

You’d think that in the era of modern dating, with so many options, it would be a lot easier to find the love of your life. I mean, statistically, you’re a lot more likely to find ‘the one’, when you have access to a much greater dating pool, but it’s also a lot more challenging to weed out the creepy men who are just wanting to know the colour of your underwear (yes, I am unfortunately speaking from experience). So, here you go, this is the #sejoverview of your current dating options when you’re a single pringle wanting to mingle.

#TINDER

I’ve written quite a few posts on ye olde Tinder, but it’s 100% worth mentioning again. It’s easily accessible and has the great feature where you can filter out people based on their age and location. Such advancement we’ve made in the world today. It’s fabulous for seeing some of the world’s most fabulous pick up lines – the most recent personal favourites of mine have been gifs. Why present a witty quip, when you can send a picture of a rolling seal? What an art form. You get what you pay for with this one (yes I have a free account), but you can’t expect too much when you’re judging people based on what they look like (I am a sucker for a man in a suit). So the verdict on Tinder is a definite quantity over quality, but you may find the odd gem.

#BUMBLE

This one will be incredibly short, as I don’t actually have a Bumble account. Apparently this is better than Tinder but again, yet to be proven. I couldn’t be bothered having 2 dating apps on my phone and after finding out that women have to do the talking on this one, I was instantly turned off. No, I don’t think it’s empowering. Men apparently think it’s great. You only have 24 hours to reply to a message, so this one requires some serious commitment and let’s face it, if you wanted commitment, you prooobbabbbllyy wouldn’t be trying to hook up with someone via an app…

#DATING WEBSITE e.g. Elite Singles

For research purposes, I did actually make an account on Elite Singles. However, I don’t actually think there is anything elite about this website. I didn’t exactly invest a lot of time in this one, but I found the website to be clunky, confusing and convoluted (the trifactor of C’s). I went on the website once, found that it matched me with a dairy owner in Mt Roskill and a plumber in Red Beach. No offense to either profession, but not quite what I was hoping for. I immediately lost interest, but boy did Elite Singles play the clingy ex – sending me emails every couple of days telling me I had a match. I did not return. Verdict – eehhhhhhhh not my recommendation, I honestly think Tinder works better than this website (which by the way, doesn’t supply photos or info for free users).

#THE HOUSE PARTY

I’m a big fan of the house party vibe, which works exceedingly well in a flatting situation where your flatmates bring their hot friends over. My top tip here is try and get hot people to move in when you’re filling up your flat (like attracts like, you see). Then, all you need to do is strategically plan a house warming party and ta dah, you have your optimal moment. I will warn you against getting too drunk when you’re trying this play, as it’s really not a good look when you crash out at 11pm (absolutely not speaking from experience here). House parties are a lot quieter than a bar, for example, which makes it a lot easier to have a conversation and find out if this person is worth your time and attention (which is, as we know, invaluable – if you can’t give more than 10 seconds to tweet, how are you going to spend 10 minutes on a conversation?). Verdict – house parties are a great way to meet people/potential datees.

#TOWN

I have never once met anyone of value in town, but let my bias stop you from getting out of your shell and dancing the night away with some interesting (and potentially attractive) lad or lass. I have 2 good friends who met in town and are now married, so keep this option open. It does help if you’re an extrovert and willing to meet people, but some extra liquid courage never goes amiss. Town is also a fantastic place to test out some weird pick up lines on people you may never see again. Featuring the #HPpickuplines; “Are you a Snitch? Because you’re by far the greatest catch here.”, or “I may not be the boy who lived, but I can still be your chosen one.” (Gold!). This also helps weed out the weirdos who haven’t read Harry Potter… Verdict on town – very very hit and miss, always bring a wing man/woman.

#NETWORKING EVENTS

We finish this list (it is getting rather long, phew!), with a personal favourite of mine – the networking event. Who said networking events had to be for making business connections (I mean that’s what they write in the advertising copy, but really, any opportunity eh?). This is a sure fire way to meet up and coming young professionals like yourself. My tip for such a situation is to be the one that fills the silence. I was recently in a lift with a bunch of young professionals and it was awkwardly quiet, cue SEJ with a witty comment; “goodness it’s like human tetris in here” – I will now forever be known as the girl who made the awkward lift moment…a whole lot more awkward #sorrynotsorry. Verdict on this one – always maintain professionalism; feel free to add them on LinkedIn, but slowly make your move in a professional and quiet way. Go networking!

There you have it, a great overview of all (well a good selection of) the different platforms you can meet the weird and wonderful partners that this world has to offer. Cast your net wide and test out those Harry Potter pick up lines.

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#sejtips – living the single life

Aside from my pretty serious commitment to the gym, I’ve now been single for a pretty much record amount of time. Proud of me. I’ve decided to write this most as a celebration of being able to be alone; in a happy relationship with me, myself and I (and my dog.) I have quite a few friends in relationships, or who are married to work/study so I’ve become pretty good at masturdating (thanks for this beautiful neologism Katie) and third wheeling. Enjoy the singledom and remember that not that long ago (back when a common cold was a death sentence), you would be married with children by now, or be written off as a crazy spinster (I’ll take the spinster option with six cats please).

Because lists are nice and a convenient way of writing, here is a collection, in list form, of my favourite tips for living the single high life and mingling like a true single pringle.

  • Get some rad hobbies. Being single is way easier when you’re doing something to occupy your time. You’ll stop noticing all the cute couple photos on your Facebook feed and reaching for a bottle of wine every time someone from your year group gets married/has a baby. Some serious #sejtips for great hobbies (watch out, it’s a list within a list #crazy #listception):
    • Crochet (not good if you’re sad about being single – those needles are sharp)
    • Colouring in  – super versatile and therapeutic, 10/10
    • Cooking/baking – make sure you post this on your Instagram with #wife/husband me
    • Roller blading – yes it’s a thing for those among us who are blessed with coordination
    • Take up salsa dancing – also great if you’re low key trying to meet a gorgeous Spaniard (dreams are free: mostly it’s middle aged men and their wives at salsa)
  • Right, enough hobbies. The next great tip for living up your single life is to get comfortable eating on your own. This was a particular challenge for me as I always felt like Nigel no mates when I went to a cafe and ordered for one. There’s a lot of articles on how great it is to go out on your own (masturdating) and I recommend everyone (single or not) trying it out at least once. Start small. Go for a coffee and read the paper; you’ll look sophisticated and intelligent, or maybe take a notebook and write introspective thoughts (my shopping list for later). Just leave the colouring book at home.
  • Go out and talk to people! Probably not the greatest advice if you’re an introvert petrified at the thought of talking to people, but luckily I’m super confident, so this isn’t an issue for me. Find your confident friend and get them to wingman/woman you out on the town. Depending on your preference, you may want to start in a safe social space – go to meetup.com and find an interesting group to join. Now is a great time to start learning Japanese (remember the hobbies?). If you’re more adventurous, like myself, just get yourself along to your local bar (I recommend Grey Goose or Long Room) and stare at someone until they talk to you – this tried and true method works every time.
  • Don’t be afraid to 3rd wheel it. A tricycle is way more stable than a bike – which is why we give them to toddlers. Find your favourite couple and start inviting yourself on their dates. Make sure they’re a nice friendly couple who won’t canoodle in the corner whilst you’re carrying the karoake squad. Even better when you have more than one fave couple that you can rotate. Enjoy the break from solitaire and get right into competitive game of Go Fish/whatever normal couples do these days.
  • Master the art of treating yourself. Because, you’re worth it. Don’t let being single be an obstacle to getting flowers ‘just cause’. Buy that extra pair of shoes, send yourself cupcakes: treat yo’self – you deserve it. I’ve become a pro at taking romantic candlelit baths with myself and an audiobook (Harry Potter is the only man I need in my life). Don’t forget to look in the mirror and tell yourself how great you are – who else is gonna do it?

I could probably write more about how great it is to rid yourself of the shackles of the mandatory date night, but I don’t want to alienate those who are happily sailing the river on their relation ship (#punny). So, my single ladies and lads – don’t think of single as a prison sentence condemning you to staying home and writing blog posts watching an entire season of Riverdale, see it for the exciting opportunity that it is! If that’s not quite doing it for you, then I suggest half a dozen cats – they’ll keep you busy.

Being convincingly adult…

I’m currently sitting in a hotel room on the edge of the earth (okay Palmerston North isn’t actually thaatt bad!). Today’s post was supposed to be a riveting read about the wonderful world of Tinder and the promised blog on modern dating. However, after a successful weekend trip to Kmart, buying such exciting homewares as tea towels, bucket and steam mop, I’ve instead decided to write this post about the current bane of my existence: being an adult.

Now I know everyone reading this knows how challenging it is to wake up every morning and pretend to be a fully functional adult human being. When I was younger, all I wanted to be was an adult and now I’m here, I’ve begun to realise just how shit it actually is – there are so many little things that my parents did for me that I never noticed. When cast out into the cruel world of flatting and working full time, the gaps in my knowledge have become painfully obvious (but it’s okay because mum and dad are on speed-dial).

So today’s post is for those out there that need a little more help maintaining the charade of adulting. And because I’m a millennial and millennials like lists, it’s coming to you in the form of beautiful bullets. Here are (a selection of) the things my mum told me, the things I wish my mum told me and the shit that no one bothered to mention because it’s supposed to be ‘common sense’. It’s a fairly broad list, so enjoy:

  • Don’t sign a lease. Don’t do it. Live at home, live in a motel, couch surf – do whatever it is you have to do to avoid being fiscally and responsible for an actual house full of people. Can’t stress this one enough. Always get someone more adult to do this for you and trust me that person isn’t you. So far my lease holding experience has involved ongoing email battles about curtains (yes, curtains), trading gardening for pizza and having the pleasure of locating a new washing machine 2 days before the Christmas break. Last time – save yourself the stress and just don’t do it.
  • If you completely missed the first point and somehow ended up being the lease holder, here are some quick tips for managing yo flat:
    • Create a flat account for expenses so you don’t have to worry about reimbursing for toilet paper and rubbish bags (because no one ever keeps receipts and rubbish bags do NOT cost $50), it’s also handy for outgoing debits of internet and power
    • Highly recommend Flick Electric as your electricity provider. Why? They have an app. Always go with the app. Oh and they’re cheaper too… But the app is super cool and allows you to keep track of what you’re spending. And they bill out weekly, but app!
    • Have a flat Facebook page. Mostly you can post pass-ag comments about who stole your bananas… But really, great way to keep everyone up to date with fun things like flat inspections
    • There’s 100 more tips I could write, but honestly the best one is to probably chill out and accept that everyone works differently and important things will get done and for everything else… (there’s Mastercard) – nah, it’ll happen when it happens!
  • Another sub list coming here – things adults have in their kitchens that you didn’t think about until you were cooking and realised you didn’t have it:
    • Strainer & sieve
    • Tea towels. Heaps. Especially in a flat – you’ll need like 50
    • Dish drainer ($8 at Kmart – what a win!)
    • Goldilocks scrubbing thing so you can scrub off the burn from that recipe that seemed really basic on Pinterest…
    • Tongs, serving spoon with holes in it, serving spoon without holes in it
    • Glad wrap & assorted collection of containers with and without lids
    • Paper towels – for all those times you were mixing pancake batter and spilled half of it on the floor
    • Mixing bowls and measuring cups
    • There’s probably more of these things, but #protip you can avoid buying any of these things if you survive off frozen meals and takeout
  • Baking soda and vinegar will basically clean about anything – suitable to clean your carpet, your white jeans, your towels and apparently one cup of vinegar will clean your washing machine, so chuck one of those in there once a week

In true blog fashion, it has occurred to me whilst writing this that this list could absolutely go on forever. So I’m going to cap it at there for now and consider this to be a part one – covering small elements of flatting/home life. As, after all, this is a blog for/by millennials and the attention span isn’t overly high, because well – have you seen that video of the bunny being rescued?

Fun with money

The first thing I will say is that this title is probably very misleading. This post isn’t about the fun you can have dropping a couple of hundred thousand dollars at the Gucci store. This is about the fun things I’ve learned that really aren’t that fun, but help me have fun (this is a very overt way of saying that if you budget well, you can have all the dollarz to buy new shoes AND pay your rent- what?!).

I’m the first to admit that I’m really not that great with money. My brother was always the one into finance and I made it through being the hippy, happy-go-lucky one. That was until I learned about monthly pay runs. When I was a student, I was being paid fortnightly in my part time job – that was hard enough! Once I left uni, I found the next greatest challenge wasn’t a lack of money, it was a great lack of financial planning. It was a steep learning curve after spending a week eating almost exclusively tuna and rice (no I don’t regret buying that extra kookai dress on sale).

If you’re like me, you’re well aware that there zillions of resources online to help you out with budgeting etc., but have absolutely no motivation to troll through them. Like yes, duh, of course it’s helpful to put your spare change in a jar and see how much you get after 365 days. However, actual cash and I rarely make friends, so in reality, a lot of these tips just aren’t that applicable. Thus (I love the word thus..), I decided to compile all the things I’ve learned since converting to monthly salary that mean I don’t run out of money for essential things like Taco Tuesday at Mexicali Fresh. And here they are:

  1. Budget. Ain’t no way you’re going to get through the month without some sort of figures guiding your spending. Trust me – $20 for dinner out here and $5 for coffee there really adds up and before you know it you’re back to instant coffee for the next 3 weeks. My friend gave me a great website (shout out to Katie for being a solid good adult) that has an excel budget template that I use. I update my spending weekly (or at least try to, it’s important to have aspirations). If you spend more on one category consistently, it may be good to adjust your budget.
  2. Utilise online banking; i.e. be the dick at the checkout who stands there idly on your phone transferring money to the account that’s linked to your card. This way, every time you make a purchase, you’re forced to think about what you’re spending money on and how much you have left for that thing. For example, I added online accounts to my ASB where I transfer lump sums for food, rent, entertainment and petrol at the beginning of the month. I consider these to be essentials and this way know that at least I’ll be able to drive to work 25 days into the pay cycle.
  3. Be promiscuous – have relationships with multiple banks. My best saving tip is to sign on with another bank where you have just a savings account that’s not linked to any card.  When I get paid, I transfer a certain amount of my pay to this account and aim to leave it there. If I need to tap into my savings because the dog peed on my laptop and no longer works (yes this actually happened -_-), then it takes at least a day to process and I know that I’m not just wasting money on the pair of shoes that are only on sale today…
  4. Know that shit happens. When doing your budget, try and set aside money for the annoying things that you can’t plan for. Like your car breaking down on the way to Tauranga or the aforementioned laptop issue. My friend has two savings accounts – one for long term (your Bali trip this September) and one for emergencies. Disclaimer –  I don’t actually do this, but if I was properly money savvy, I would…
  5. At the risk of letting this run on, I’ll wrap it up for a nice even 5. My final money saving tip seems pretty basic, but is worth a mention – find another things to do. I would say a good 90% of my spending seems to go on food and eating out. My suggestion is to turn cooking parties into social gatherings. A personal favourite is to go for a walk (it helps to pitch it as an ‘adventure’) and then make brunch at home afterwards. You can do french toast and champagne for about $8 per person, opposed to an easy $25+ in a cafe.

There you have it  – 5 somewhat easy ways to be better with money and show off how successful you are as an adult human being. Now reward yourself with a nice bottle of champagne. Go on, you earned it. Jokes, remember how much better that champagne will taste from a vineyard in France #savinggoals.

Me – curly girl and a millennial, obviously…

15288703_10154700619022910_2297009838370415093_oFor those who don’t know me, I’m Sara. I’m many things, but I guess one of the most defining attributes of me is my curly hair, curly nature and all round curly way of doing things. I never quite coped with straight lines and my journey so far (forgive me, this isn’t another self motivational, enjoy the journey style blog) has been anything but a straight path well traveled. I spent a lot of time trying to motivate myself to write and it occurred to me that I simply haven’t found the right ‘me’ to write from. So here I am, brand new blog, same me, same ideas, but packaged in a new way (yes that is a fancy new theme, thank you for asking).

The best tip I ever received as a writer, apart from spending an inevitable lifetime reading great works, was to write about what you know. In this primordial post, I thought it would be good to give a glimpse of what I know and hence what I will end up writing about. As you’d guessed from the name, not only am I a curly girl, but I’m also a millennial (plain and simple curly girl was taken, but this will do). For some reason, millennials are the subject of much research and fascination. Gen X just don’t get us! Not sure why… To make a long story short, I’ll write about being a millennial, things that interest me as a millennial and kind of package it in as a survival guide/interesting read.

I’ll write about writing, modern dating, studying, budgeting, potentially good cafes and things to do in Auckland – don’t want to narrow my audience base too much here! I’ll keep this first post short and sweet with the promise of more to come. I can’t promise that this blog will be the motivational piece to inspire you to climb Everest, but hopefully you’ll stumble across some useful tips to write that 10 000 word thesis without pulling an all-nighter (trust me, I never had to!). Let’s see where this goes, hopefully you’re as excited as I am!