3.7 The 10 nastiest things men have said to me.

1. “You’re only pretty when you smile.”
Doesn’t everyone look better when they smile? So many people walk around looking like they’ve smelt something bad, but do I tell them their face looks like that? No. So, smile – because right now someone thinks you’re ugly.

2. “You’re Italian, so you must be hairy.” 
Yeah and I’ve got a salami in my handbag too. No really I do. That’s as silly as saying. “Oh you’re a dude – you must think about beer and sex all day”. Hmmm. Anyway I’m not – please refer to point 5 below.

3. “You don’t have thin legs… You’ve got sturdy legs.” 
True, I’m no Elle Macpherson-elevator-legs but girls take this stuff to chubby-legs heart. Well except when I wore that mini skirt last week and those short shorts today. I’ll be getting my leg guns out as long as I can, thank you, because I heard there’s a cut-off age for bum shorts once you’ve had a baby – said Britney Spears never.

4. “Your eyes are really big. Actually they’re too big.” 
Well sorry I won the Anne Hathaway genetics lottery Mr Perfect – having big eyes isn’t really a bad quality to have. I can see things like douche bags a mile away and bat my lashes out of tram tickets, so shoo! Go find a smaller owl-eyed girl to play with. (I’ve also had, “You’ve got eyes like a cow” multiple times, but this one’s easily fixed with a “Mooo”.)

5. “Your hair’s a bit thin on top – you’d better watch that.” 
I’ve graced this tendril topic before on my blog. Yes, I have thin hair, and yes, I dye my hair dark so my scalp looks a little Edward Scissorhands. But chances are you’ll be receding sooner than you can say “40th birthday party” so give this little haired Lorenza a rest.

6. “You’re much prettier in photos” 
This fella’s second language being English I tried to help him out with, “Do you mean that I’m photogenic?” But apparently no, he was adamant it was photos I looked better in than real life. Well Photoshop me! I’ll take that as a compliment, only people’s names that end in “Victoria’s Secret” have that on their CV.

7. “She’s only here for today, so make no emotional investment in her.” 
Nothing to do with dating this time, it was a freelance placement in an office full of muscle-laden men. It didn’t stop there. When I asked where the bathroom was, they told me I could pee in the bushes. Ahh male dominated offices – not for faint-bladdered.

8. “You look well European, you can’t be Australian.” (Cockney accent necessary). 
Ahh the British. Yes, we’re all blonde-haired, blue-eyed Lara Bingles down here love! Even with the brown hair I still get to ride a Kangaroo to school, so nerr.

9. “I’m attracted to you and I want to have sex with you but I don’t want you as a girlfriend.” 
I’m sure the look on my face at this point was only one thing: Confusion. I mean how could anyone not want me as a girlfriend? I’m awesome! Jokes aside, if only every guy was this forthright and honest I would have saved an awful lot of tight dresses and time.

10. “Your nose looks a lot bigger when you part your hair in the middle.”
Just kidding, no man said that! My Mum said it when I was 17 and I’ve had a side fringe ever since.

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3.6 A spoon full of smile, half a cup of intrigue and a pound of uncertainty.

I’ve found the perfect recipe to dating. Well maybe it’s not a Women’s Weekly worthy recipe – but it requires scales or cups or varying degrees of anything that can measure equal parts of ‘like’. After years upon years of dating I’ve concluded; a relationship can only blossom (yes I said blossom) when there’s the same amount of like/ lust/ scaredy cattiness tugging on both sides of the does-she/he-like-me-too? whiskers of the cat.

We’ve all been there. You’re absolutely gushing over this new guy/ girl you’ve met – you’ve had a date or a few dates, it’s ramping up, you’re clearing your Saturday for waxing and blow drying when Tuesday’s toddled by, Wednesday’s humped along and now you’ve checked your phone 14 thousand times yet the dribble of flirty fun texts that weren’t really mentioning anything of a meetup but SURELY that’s what he was getting at with all those winky smiley faces right? Have now become nothing. Cold hard iPhone cracks of sweet nothing. You might even send another message… but regret it exactly 14 seconds, minutes, hours and possibly days and years if you’re me later when there’s still no response.

Were you too keen? Did you smell like curry on that last date? Did you put too many suggestive eggplant emoticons in that last text? Should you have not sent the topless selfie? Kidding. Who does that? At least crop your head off for that’s-not-me to the colleagues and lawyers for hooters sake.

Anyway it’s none of that, trust me. Dudes love curry. Simple thing is: You both weren’t feeling, having, parading, gushing or simply equal measuring in the same amount of like.

I’ve dated guys I was ahhing and mmming over. Yet the way-too-soon moment of receiving the “Sitting at the train station thinking of you…” text. I threw him straight in the ‘He likes me too much and I don’t like him that much and now shit’s just weird’ pile. Urgh. Had he left that another few weeks or even to the next date I probably would have swooned. Probably.

You need the cat and mouse. You need the pull and tug (that didn’t sound right) you need the thrill and squealing suspense. You need to stare at your screen and get Samsung butterflies when that text appears – not have four on your screen before you’ve even date-debriefed to the housemates. Because it’s no fun when someone obviously likes you, so early on, is it?

I’ve been there when a housemate gave a girl a bunch of flowers. Second date. With an… “I love you”. Oh gosh it was terrifying, unbelievable cute and oh-so-wrong all at the same time. Thank goodness this was uni days and he will have learned by now if he didn’t already from the cringes and wide eyes from those of us standing around. I don’t think I’ll ever forget the look on her face. Scared.

I liken this a little to housemate hunting or job interviewing – you’re both checking each out, you don’t want to be too keen but if you like them you’ve got to show enough interest to make them think they want you in their life. Acting all omg-I-love-your-paisley-couch is basically taking your date diamond ring shopping.

It’s such a delicate recipe I can see how so many people get it wrong. Yet I don’t think there’s a perfect way to knead that dough or cookie cutter those biscuits or measure that perfect amount of like someone has for you. You’ve just got to jump in there heart first, hands floured and hope to hell they’ve got that non stick, self raising flour, same level of like to share.

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3.3 Thirty things I’ve learned about Men.

1. If a man doesn’t call you, he doesn’t like you. Stop staring at your phone, yes you gave him the right number.

2. It’s very hard to be friends with a man unless he’s an ex, your Dad, your brother or gay.

3. That man at work. Yup, he’s thought about having sex with you.

5. Men who say “They’re not sure about you yet…” Stop waiting for them, they’ll never be sure about you.

6. First 3 months? They’re dating girls other than you. Or certainly having sex with them.

7. The best man you know has probably cheated.

8. The most popular, well liked, charming one definitely has.

9. Meet a man on holiday? Please leave him on holiday. No good will come of it once you’re home.

10. Men do nice things for you when they like you.

11. Men will chase after you when they like you.

12. A man who likes you won’t be scared when you chase back.

13. Men fart. A lot. Seriously they’re just holding them in right now.

14. Men who wear Lycra and cycle seem to want to wax everything.

15. Laptops are what men watch porn with. Nom nom. Wash your hands after use.

16. If a man calls after 9pm he doesn’t see you as girlfriend material. Ever.

17. Men like long hair, they’re lying when they say your short hair-cut looks nice.

18. When you remove men off Facebook they seem to get really upset about it. They’ll even call you immature then stalk you on Linked-In.

19. Men who don’t call or message within a day of a sleepover have simply ticked you off their to-do list.

20. Men are happy to have grown up conversations. They’re not going to run to the man caves like we tend to think.

21. When your brother says you wear too much makeup… you probably do.

22. If a man you’re dating bangs on about how hot your friends are… dump him.

23. If a man is rude to you in front of your friends… dump him.

24. If a man ever hits you or knocks you down even if it’s an accident… tell your Dad.

25. Men can be and will be just as soppy and caring as girls.

26. Just tell a man what you want rather than dancing around the subject. It works much faster. I said FASTER.

27. Men think about you long after you’ve forgotten about them.

28. If a man books you a plane, train, or ferry ticket to see him. Keep a hold of him.

29. Most men aren’t freaked out by periods.

30. A man will wait for you. Whether it’s a date, to have a baby or when you just need longer to do your hair.

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2.8 I can’t speak to my boyfriend for ten days.

I can’t speak to my boyfriend for ten days and no we’re not doing some new-wave couples therapy – Cripes! It’s only been 3 months, 25 days, 12 hours and 3 minutes. It’s just that he’s in Africa.

So that means no emails, no texts, no Whatsapp, no Twitter, no Instagram, no nothing. In fact the only bullet point listed under the ‘communication’ tab on the website of his accommodation was “satellite phone in emergency” and I’m thinking sending your girlfriend an emoticon of an eggplant doesn’t really count as an emergency (not that he’d ever send that).

This is the only bad thing about dating a travel writer. (No really, that’s it) This is the longest we’ve not had contact since the four months before we even met. It sucks. I’m not going to lie, yesterday I was moping around like an emo-riffic teenager. Little Miss Hrumpf at everything. Of course I want my coffee black, salad if it comes in black too thanks. Today is better, I’m busying myself with powerpoints, work and what-not and that’s what Wednesday’s are for right?

In what situation these days do we ever have to go ten days without some form of communication though? Sure Dad goes on fishing trips for five days and I know some of you have husbands that work on the mines and all that catching up on “Australia’s Next Top Model” and re-arranging his sock drawer is fun for the first fourteen seconds. But you still have that option to call at the end of the day or on your lunch break if you really need to know where that hammer is. Which you shouldn’t have to do anyway – as you’re a woman and finding things you’re not supposed to is easier than CIA child’s play.

I’ve got ways to deal with the impending nine more days of staring at my phone waiting for it to breathe life in the form of text from another latitude of this world: There’s that $200 worth of fabric I bought at Lincraft to make a skirting-start on, there’s that thing you do Monday to Friday called work, there’s that Tan track I live right near to run around. But after all that sewing, working and running all I want to do is send or receive a message to or from the boyfriend and I can’t! Hrumpf.

This makes me worry how addicted I’ve become to my phone, or to the communication or to social media – or to the whole she-twitter-book-bang? I’ve really cut back my Facebook usage since being back in Australia – I can see my friends at lunch, hear about their hangovers and see their new haircuts in person. And I don’t need to be posting 14,000 pics of myself because a) I’m not travelling so it’s not very exciting and b) I’m not posting pics of bars in Melbourne – that’s boring (and secret). It’s more fun to laugh at people from Sydney trying to find them. (Yes down that alley and through the nondescript door) So maybe my love-stalk-affair with Facebook really has worn off.

I keep reading articles saying to get off Facebook because it’s making you jealous, fat and miserable with your life. Oh Facebook-effing-please. I feel like that walking around on my lunch break and not just from eating $15 worth of sushi because goddamn I missed it so much the last two we-don’t-have-sushi-years-in-London. There’s enough skinny, well dressed, made up to high-heeled heaven women wondering the streets to make me feel frumpy without Facebook enough.

So when it comes to all this jealousy and cursing the skinny people who are meant to be your 648 ‘friends’ on Facebook, clearly I’m a little weird because seeing ‘friends’ on sailboats in Croatia and climbing mountains in Switzerland spurred me on as I was never much the traveller and seeing these pretty pictures on Facebook gave me a kick up the get-out-there-and-do-it-yourself-butt. Though I can’t really say all those babies on my news-feed are doing the same thing for me… yet.

So I’m down to eight point five days now of zero boyfriend communication and I’m keeping busy with insta-whatsapp-tweeting-the-crap out of every friend-and-thing-I-have. As I figure while my boyfriend can’t Instagram photos of what he’s eating, someone’s got to pick up the pancake slack. Till then I’ll telepathically tell him I miss him and to hurry up and use that satellite phone for an emoticon emergency.

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2.5 Date a guy who…

Date a guy who remembers your friend’s names and the things you babble about them that have no significance to him whatsoever. Even if that means three different Lauren’s and two Michelle’s, ohh hang on… maybe that makes things easier.

Date a guy who doesn’t care you have spots on your face that are currently destroying your life and your ability to go out in public or face the checkout girl and says you’re still pretty and doesn’t stare at them like everyone else.

Date a guy who sees you have potential for something and gently suggests you have a go at it without being pushy and boosts your confidence in a non ‘hmm is he just saying this to be nice way?’ And maintains support even if you’re really crap at it.

Date a guy who buys you a new scarf when you’ve lost your favourite one and are still pining for it holes and all calling cab companies asking if they’ve seen it three weeks later and are a little worried how attached you’ve became to something so grey and long.

Date a guy who books you a stupidly expensive flight to see him even though you’ll only see him for seventeen hours and at least six of them you’ll be asleep and you if you had enough cash you’d be doing the exact same thing.

Date a guy who gives you cuddles when you have a disgusting head cold and the molten lava spewing forth from your face is enough to make even your Mum throw tissues at you and calmly go back to watching Days of Our Lives.

Date a guy who comes to the hospital straight after he gets off a flight and asks the reception desk three times till he gets to see you AND brings you salt and vinegar chips.

Date a guy who knows by one look, you want to go, you’ve had enough gin, your friend is boring the beejeebus out of you, or uTorrent is complete and you need to watch Games of Thrones NOW.

Date a guy who can cook. Not just heat up pasta sauce and boil some water cook. I mean he can actually cook really good meals with ingredients you can’t even pronounce the names of. (Stop eating them, you’re getting fat)

Date a guy who doesn’t think you’re weird – even if 94.6% of the other guys you’ve dated have said you’re weird and maybe you are.

Date a guy who doesn’t make fun of your sequined slippers or you love affair for Pantone paraphernalia and won’t poke fun of anything he knows you like anyway because he knows that’s a douchy thing to do.

Date a guy who will be supportive through shitty times for you. Whether that’s unemployment, losing friends or your twenty eight day emotional hide the china mood swings.

Date a guy who’s eager to make future plans with you without getting all weirded out and doesn’t flinch when making plans to book a holiday months in advance.

Date a guy who will talk through a fight like a mature adult and not stomp off to his man cave immediately or fight with low emotional blows that aim to hurt you or win the argument.

Date a guy who Skypes you from Fiji – not to gloat (you hope) but to see your face because he’s tired of his plunge pool, palm trees and pina coladas.

Date a guy who can calm you down, hold your hand and reassure you everything’s going to be fine when you’re utterly flipping out over missing a flight, a leg, or an iPhone.

Date a guy who offers to help when you’re fumbling with jacket, handbag and flailing like the independent woman you are refusing it while you find that ringing phone.

Date a guy who isn’t… imaginary.

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