broken heart, celibacy, life, love, relationships, thoughts

A dating apps detox

dating app.pngI’ve read quite a few articles recently about the experience to ditch the dating apps for a while. I tried Tinder and Bumble, only to give up after one day, as I was overwhelmed  with the big number of profiles. When you have too many choices, you tend to make no decision at all, says Sheena Iyengar, a professor of Columbia University. It’s true for me.

But one of the articles raises a point: in real life, it’s difficult to spot those who are single in a bar or a cocktail party right away. It’s not indicated on their forehead “Usually, after five minutes, the guy I just chatted with told me about his girlfriend. But I can notice right away the ring on his finger if he’s married” says one of my single friends, who’s still looking for the right one.

On the dating sites and the dating apps, it’s easier, because you know everyone is looking for someone single or a least available. There’s a single tag on everyone. It’s not the case in real life. You have to ask, or to guess. The ring on the finger is a good clue, though. Usually, those who are  not married, but in a relationship, will tell you very quickly they have a girlfriend, or a boyfriend, because you can flirt  with a gay man without notice it right away. Only liars will hide their relationship status to you. It’s big warning. Those who are really single are either the perpetual bachelor, who refuses to get hitched and collected women, or those who are pessimist about their chance to seduce the opposite sex. They are generally difficult to approach.

If you are addicted to dating apps, a detox of dating apps is probably daunted for you, because you have to manage a problem you forgot when you had your dating apps: the anxiety of waiting for a answer without having the option to turn immediately to someone else. If your date in real life doesn’t offer you the satisfaction you were looking for, you don’t have the option to return to your other potential partners you easily find on dating sites and apps. If you do find a match, you can also be tempted to search for a better option, if you have the habit to do so with the dating apps.

But you have less options than on dating apps. So, you can’t be overwhelmed by too many choices to make. It’s not easy, though, to find someone single and available in real life. Except maybe if he’s a friend of your friends, who know about his relationship status. Friends can be helpful in those situations, and you even have the chance to know a little bit about your potential partner through what your friends know about him/her. They are probably the best indicators to your choice, better than the stars on a profile on Tinder (given by other women/men who dated the guy), not very accurate.


Divorces on the rise


Divorce in dictionary

In his book “The End of Power”, Moses Naim indicates even the conservative Persian Gulf States are hit by a rise of divorce rates. It reaches 20 % in Saudi Arabia, to my astonishment, 26% in the United Arab Emirates, and even 37% in Kuwait. According to the author, this higher divorce rate is correlated to education.  In Kuwait, the rate of divorce soars to 47% among couples in which both couples hold a university degree.

That would explain why I do have some readers from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and in the United Arab Emirates.This still surprises me.

Here in the West, divorces are holding steady. But this year, three of my friends announced they were getting separated from their significant other. One of them didn’t have the choice, as her husband announced to her he has a new love in his life and wanted to live with her.

In my friends’cases, it was the man who initiated the break up. But generally, women are responsible for the separation, as they don’t accept the social sacrifice of standing behind their husband. We don’t accept to be considered less than our husband. But the same goes for men. One of my male friends who left his relationship this year told me he had enough to be considered as the weakest one in his couple. Contempt is the worst apocalypse of a relationship.

But it is difficult to find our equal. And today, with dating sites, we all get the impression there is somewhere someone who will be our perfect match, even if we’re not perfect ourselves.

But is there a perfect match?

If there was a perfect match, I guess many couples would get divorce right now. With one of my friends, who’s single, we always laugh about those couples we know who are not very well assorted. Yes, look around you. There is always one couple who fall in this category.

One of them did surprise us as we have known each other since high school. I always thought he would be married to a fellow classmate, who’s now a general attorney. But she married someone older than her. He married another classmate, but I would have never bet on their couple. Five years ago, he joined Facebook, and posted lots of pictures of him partying with his friends and coworkers, including pictures of him with women,  but his wife has never appeared on the pictures. Usually, couples do publish pictures of them from time to time on Facebook. I even do it with my lover…

My friend is also surprised by this couple. We have bet it won’t last. Recently, the classmate joined Facebook. I guess it is to watch over her husband. I’ve noticed a friend of mine got the same problem. His significant other joined Facebook years after he first joined, and she’s been frantically liking all of his posts ever since. Because since he joined Facebook, he has been liking a lot of posts from women, especially those where they are hanging in a bikini…

But if you pick a womanizer, chances are your relationship is ill fated.

It seems we’re getting less forgiving than before.


The year review

So, this year is almost at the end. Like all the years before, it’s my review of the year. Feel free to use the same questions.

1. What did you do in 2015 that you’d never done before? A book signing, at the biggest annual book fair in my country.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?  No, because I didn’t make resolutions this year. But I will do for the next year.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth? Yes.

4. Did anyone close to you die? No

5. What countries did you visit? Iceland, The Netherlands, France, Italy, Great Britain

6. What would you like to have in 2016 that you lacked in 2015? Mutual love

7. What dates from 2015 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

March 1: the day of my book signing

May 30:


November 15: when my little princess was born.

November 18: I was the moderator of a debate where one of the speakers was too afraid to come because of the terrorist attacks in Paris the day before.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year? My book signing

9. What was your biggest failure? It’s not failure, but rejections hurt.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury? Yes.

11. What was the best thing you bought? Chairs.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration? Emma Watson, for her speech at the even UN Women’s HeforShe campaign


13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed? extremists of all kinds.

14. Where did most of your money go? travels.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about? Going to Iceland. Seeing icebergs for the first time of my life. Expo Milano 2015

16. What song will always remind you of 2015?

Time – Pink Floyd (because of B.)
17. Compared to this time last year, are you: (a) happier or sadder? (b) thinner or fatter? (c) richer or poorer?

Sadder. Neither thinner nor fatter. Richer.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?

Being more able to defend myself against critics.

Accepting more invitations.

Traveling more.

Seeing more exhibitions.

Going to lectures and the opera.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?

Sitting home alone.

Spending time to wait for people who don’t give a damn about me.

20. How did you spend Christmas?

With my family.

21. Did you fall in love in 2015?

Yes, with my little niece.

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year? Yes

24. What was the best book you read?  Swimming with sharks – My journey into the world of the Bankers by the anthropologist  Joris Luyendijk.  I’ve never been so into a non fiction book.

25. What was your greatest musical discovery? Christine and the Queens

26. What did you want and get? A renewed friendship with a friend I lost.

27. What did you want and not get? A nice place to live. Publicity for my book. A real relationship.

28. What was your favorite film of this year? Irrational man


29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

Visiting the Expo Milano 2015IMG_0754

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?   Luck in love, for a change

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2015?

It was black, black, black, as one of my coworkers complained. That’s ok, I like this color.

32. What kept you sane? My friends and family.

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most? Justin Trudeau, Canada’s Prime minister

34. What political issue stirred you the most?  The rise of nationalism.

35. Who did you miss? some of my friends

36. Who was the best new person you met? X. A great, great, great and kind cook.

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2015. Ask questions, and listen.

38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.

But I got a blank space baby
And I’ll write your name


Happy Holidays

broken heart, celibacy, life, love, men, thoughts, women

Dating a less educated


According to a research, college-educated women are less likely to marry men with less education. Why? I guess there’s a simple reason: we’re looking for our equal.

Personally, I would have a hard time dating a man with less education than me. Because I look for someone who is able to stand a decent conversation with me.  When I was on a dating site, I left a lot of pictures of me in a museum, an exhibition, a book reading, … None of the men who sent me a message did notice that or recognize the background. Even the men I sent messages didn’t ask questions about my pictures.  I only received compliments on my looks.

Ok, I set the game high, but hey, I have the right to be picky. I know I can only become boring to a guy who doesn’t give a damn about museums, exhibitions, books, culture,…

Yet, one of my friends, who’s a PhD, is married to a man who works for a museum.  She met him in an exhibition, and was amazed by his knowledge on art. Her husband didn’t go to College, yet, he managed to learn a lot on his own.

That means that less educated men are not as stupid as we think. There’s also another factor to consider. In the US, university fees have gone through the roof, growing ten times over the last decade. A lot of people turn to debt to finance their study, and some give up because of that.

In Europe, except in the UK, university fees are not as high as in the US. “The real intelligent people risk to turn away from US Colleges because of their high fees, it’s not a good math” said one of my friends.

So, I don’t believe the dating scene is terrible for women right now. Yes, Tinder and other apps give men the impression there’s a surplus of women. But so are traditional dating sites, if you consider so. If you don’t want to participate to that hookup culture, then don’t.

I guess it’s important to work on the quality of your relationships. Including with your friends, because relationships that last have a better chance if your significant other is part of your group of friends. My friend, who’s a PhD, met her husband through their common friends.

broken heart, celibacy, life, love, men, relationships, thoughts, women

The guy you don’t want to date: 5) the jealous competitive


The jealous competitive guy can be spot because he will always have bad remarks to make to you. Especially when you announce good news about your career, your life, your achievement,…

He’s the one who will tell you  could have done better instead of being genuinely happy about what happened to you. He won’t hesitate to tell you have put on weight (even if it’s not true) and that you should do more exercises even if you run like crazy  between your professional appointments and wear a zero size.

He’s very critical. All the time. He doesn’t appreciate life and he’s not grateful. Because inside of him, he’s just a loser, who’s mad at the world because he could be more successful.

Let’s face it, we can all be jealous sometimes. But most of us keep this feeling inside and some even use that energy to start a project. And we forget about it.

The jealous guy will tell you he’s jealous. But instead of telling you he’s jealous, he will make derogatory remarks about you.

But don’t worry, you’re not the only person who receives his critics. He will also talk shit behind his “friends” ‘back.

He’s not nice. And he can make you feel like shit. But there’s an easy way to neutralize him, by asking him why he just said the mean sentence or question about you. Usually, he will have a hard time to answer your question.

Another way is to tell him his remarks are mean, by telling him how hurt you are by his remarks. If he’s not a monster, he will realize he’s mean with you, and remind not to say the same thing to you again.

I have a  friend who is the jealous type. But over the years, I’ve been able to neutralize him, by simply asking him why he makes bad remarks.

broken heart, celibacy, life, love, men, relationships, thoughts, women

Contempt: a relationship deal-breaker


John Gottman, a psychologist, has listed  the four horsemen of apocalypse of relationships. The worst horseman is contempt, according to him.

Contempt communicates disgust to the person it is directly toward. It happens when one of the partner in the relationship feels superior to the other. It involves a lot of negative criticisms to the other half of the couple. And Gottman says it’s the kiss of death of a relationship. Because on the long run, the “weak” partner will just have enough of being treated with disregard.

Relationships that work require couples who treat each other as equal. Unfortunately, I’ve experienced a lot of bad relationships where my ex’s used to feel superior to me.

One of my ex’s constantly criticized my studies, saying I wouldn’t go far with journalism. I don’t know how far I will go with my profession, but so far, it’s been good to me.

Another one mocked my humble beginnings, like François Hollande, the French President, did with Valerie Trierwieler, as she wrote in her book “Thank you for this moment”. Yet, she didn’t dump his a… She got defensive (another horseman according to Gottman), bitter, and he eventually dumped her.

In a perfect world, we would all fall in love with our equal, and live ever after together.

But we don’t live in a perfect world.

Recently, one of my coworkers almost cried in front of me. I asked her why  she was so sad, and she replied she had some problems with her significant other. We were in the queue for our lunch, and the waiter heard our conversation. He said he was often treated bad by his lovers. He asked my coworker if she wanted to have a chat with him over a coffee sometimes (he’s gay, BTW) . My coworker smiled.

Later, she told me her significant other doesn’t like her friends, and gets mean every time she sees them. It always ends with a fight. Her significant other also tells her how to dress. She’s also bipolar. I asked my coworker if her friends like her significant other. She replied negatively. I also asked her if she was happy. She took a moment to reply. “I love her” she said.

Yet, I can’t help thinking her relationship is ill fated.

Why is it so difficult to find someone who treats us like an equal?

life, love, men, relationships, thoughts, women

Living apart, together


I don’t want to ever live with a woman again. I’m better off living alone in my apartment” says one of my friends, who recently left his ex-significant other because she was very mean with him.

He has moved in his apartment six months ago, and since then, he has decided not to live again with someone else. “All my relationships were failed. I’m difficult to live with. I want to have space, calm and time alone to write, to just be myself,…” he says.

His last relationship was a bit in a hurry. After his divorce, he quickly moved in a new house he bought with his next woman. His relationship lasted 4 years, until he fainted at home. He called me in tears, saying he had enough, and told me she was very mean with him, always shouting at him. He never mentioned that before. I told him to immediately leave. He stayed in a hotel for two months, and broke his relationship, before finding a new place to live.

Eventually, he will find someone else. But I guess this time, he won’t be in a hurry to live with her.

To be fair, if I ever find love again, I don’t want to live with my significant other too. Like my friend, I do enjoy waking up in the morning without any rush, any noise. I do enjoy living alone too. Especially during the week, very chaotic.

In our western societies, more and more couples choose to live apart together. They only see each other on the weekends, but during the week, they live apart.

Some do that for practical reasons. “We live together during the weekends, in the house we bought together after we got married. But I found a new job 200 kilometers apart from where we live, and she didn’t want to leave her job, her friends and family here, so we have found a small apartment next to my job, where I live during the weeks, and I go back in our house during the weekends” says one of my former coworkers.

In fact, most of the couples living apart together fall into this category. But there are also couples who don’t want to change their life after they met their significant other. “I met him a a cocktail party five years ago. I didn’t expect to find love again after my divorce, fifteen years ago.  I didn’t expect him. But he was absolutely charming. Both of us have children from our previous marriages. But my sons are not living with me during the weeks, because they go to college. His daughter is also studying abroad. I didn’t want to move out of my house to live with him. He didn’t want to move out his house too. But we decided to open our home for each other. He can always come at my place, while I can always go at his place. Whenever I have some days off, I can spend some time at his place. Usually, we spend the weekends at this place“, M., 50, says.

So, do you think it’s better to live apart together, or to live together?