Because I couldn’t find a functional relationship in my own city, apparently I thought getting involved in a long distance relationship would help my situation. Cue the Hahahahahas. Don’t ask me what I was thinking. It was probably something along the lines of: Bah! All you need is love! How could this ever go wrong? 

Riiight.

You know, I do suffer from blonde moments from time to time and it’s safe to say this was clearly one of them. I just forgot how to brain for a hot minute and didn’t realize what I was signing up for. The six-pack and dimples caught me off guard. Summer of 2014 wasn’t chock-full of sound decisions.

Maybe I’m one of those people who suffered an unfortunate streak of bad luck or just caught a real case of the fuckits, but I ended up in a place where I was willing to try something different. I dated some absolute morons back in the day, maybe I just needed to retire the Montreal scene for a while and branch out. I’m not saying it was the best idea. I guess it’s like anal sex; can’t knock it ’til you try it.

According to Stats Can, 7% of Canadians are engaged in a long distance relationship. That’s like 2.4 million people having phone sex! The real kicker? Roughly 1/3 of young adults are in a LDR. Well color me fifty shades of shocked.

Before you pity those who find themselves in this situation, just remember that’s one in three people who’d rather have a long distance relationship over the option of dating your ass, who lives next door. Ouch. I’ll just let that sink in for a second.

Every relationship is different. LDRs are no exception. For one thing, most long-distance ménages don’t necessarily start out that way. Change of circumstances, like professional or academic obligations, is often the reason behind LDRs. I have a friend who once sustained a long distance relationship for a year while studying overseas.

A year of blue balls is a long fucking time, but 4 years were already invested in her relationship. Makes sense! You figure the reason behind any sane person willingly adding MORE challenges to their relationship is to preserve an already existing one; one you’ve actually poured time, energy, and sometimes tears into.

So why on earth begin a relationship in a long-distance context? You’d think that something like a border and 1000 km would discourage one from pursuing said relationship. It’s not like I couldn’t score a date in Montreal if I set my mind to it.

Why go the extra mile?

As previously mentioned, I met Mr. Washboard Abs this past summer while he was visiting Montreal. I was never unaware of the distance factor. Spending his last night in town together happened because… well, DAMN GURL, that’s what happens after too many glasses of Sauvignon Blanc with a cute stranger. A one night stand!

Until it wasn’t.

I didn’t really choose to be in a long distance relationship so much as I accidentally stumbled into one. When I said yes to seeing W.A. again, it was with absolute fucking naiveté. I truly believed I was in full control of my emotions.

Let’s be honest; I’m a terrible flyer and wouldn’t be taking several planes if I didn’t really, like really, like the guy in the first place. And what happens when you spend more time getting to know somebody you have great chemistry with? Bingo. You fall for him. I’m telling you, you can’t outsmart your heart’s stupidity.

Never would I have willingly signed up for an LDR. I simply brushed off reality long enough to find myself too invested in something that just calling off wasn’t the easiest of options anymore. Shit happens.

If you take W.A.’s case however, his motivations for taking up a long distance relationship were out of necessity. Guy work-travels so much that my living in Montreal made little difference anyways. Sometimes, it’s what suits someone’s lifestyle.

In the end, it’s all about the desire to connect. It’s that fucking simple. Clearly, our needs in romantic relationships are more emotional than physical.

Granted, sharing your day in-person is ten times better than exchanging over a pixilated Skype session. Yes, it’s hard to sustain a long distance relationship, but then again it’s just as hard to find somebody to connect with in the first place.

There’s no secret to it. You take it day by day, just like any other couple. ‘Normal’ relationship or not, we’re all in the same fucking boat.

Featured photo by Lara Binamé / www.larabiname.com

When I’m single, I usually have very short windows of opportunity to embrace singlehood to the fullest. I know this might pass off as wildly obnoxious, it is, but that’s just how it’s happened for me (so bite me).

There are downsides to this however: being the “perpetually-in-a-relationship” one within your mostly single group of friends feels like you’re missing out on the fun stupid shit and raunchy/sexy/embarrassing tale-telling that usually result from bachelordom. And so, when the chance came around again during summer of 2014, yours truly jumped on the virtual bandwagon.

I had never done online dating nor been on a blind date before, so, being an overachiever on a time-constraint, I orchestrated an online-dating blind first date. Yup, you heard me. How the fuck does that happen? Guy and I exchanged many emails, but no pictures. I thought, hell, here’s an intelligent motherfucker that can hold a conversation. How refreshing! So screw the pictures, let’s just meet. And why not; two birds one stone, right? As it turns out, I clearly needed to rethink my strategy because that meet-up was the first and the last nail in the coffin of my budding tech-savvy dating life.

Worst date ever. On the plus side, it’s also my best “worst date” story to date.

So, I meet this guy, Old Port, public area. Oh dear god.

Let’s just say I was banking on his “really nice personality”.

Jardin Nelson, the place I suggested, had too long of a wait, so we went elsewhere. RELIEF. I can still show my face there! But hey, calm your tits. Before you start labeling me as a shallow bitch (I am, but not the point), let me clarify: this guy was a world-class jerk.

The fake name, fake age, and what I suspect as fake teeth, should’ve sounded the first alarm. I tell myself to be open-minded. Personality, Personality, Personality. We sit down, order a pitcher of sangria.

Rookie mistake. Never commit to more than a glass of anything before the other person can open his/her mouth. Because once we were served, my “intelligent conversationalist” (cannot air quote this enough) went on a tirade about questions like “Why men make more money than women?” [Hint: they’re the smarter gender, apparently] And ,continued his monologue on the things he loves most in life: cars, money, bitches. Surprise surprise, his parents were not on that list. Way to leave a lasting impression, bro.

This experience made me realize a couple of things.

First, I’m way too polite for my own good because, yes, I stayed to finish the whole pitcher. I had a “Let’s embrace the insanity” moment. Plus, I can’t think of a more appropriate time for alcohol. Next time, I know to pick my jaw off the table and unapologetically walk the fuck out.

Second, it’s too easy to get enthralled over the ‘ideal’ picture someone paints about themselves online. Over half the people admit to lying online on some level, if that’s not the shadiest shit you’ve ever heard. Face-to-face real-time responses, that’s a better indicator of someone’s true nature; not the well thought-up words put on paper, or a webpage.

Would I ever try online dating again? Holy fuck. Not at this point in my life. Maybe one day, when I can dedicate some proper time in getting to know somebody, do my homework, and not rush through the process the way I did. For now, I’ll stick to good ol’ fashioned bar hookups, cause that’s still working fine for me. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!

Til then, I’ll remain content by online dating vicariously through my friends, snatching their phones and playing the “hot or not” game on their Tinder accounts. Shhh!

Living in this city is one hell of a social experiment. You come to face, and sometimes date, a variety of people from different backgrounds and with different personalities. All sorts of shapes and sizes… if you know what I mean. Still, you’ll always encounter some kind of crazy. If you’ve ever left the house, you know what I’m talking about.

Yeah yeah, it’s an opportunity for gaining fresh perspectives. Still. Dating is hard, it’ll Jedi mind fuck with your head, and when you fall it’s rarely graceful.

I am an adult (I checked) and I still screw up. A lot. I wear too short skirts on windy days, forget to pack an adequate amount of tampons before heading out, or occasionally get blackout drunk on a Tuesday night. Dating, however, takes the cake. Or the pie. Whatever gets thrown in my face first.

Oddly enough, I tend to be the go-to person among my friends when it comes to relationship troubles. Don’t know if I should be flattered because I’m a comforting person, or slightly offended because I’m seen as an expert in failed relationships? Eh, maybe my friends haven’t caught on to that last part yet.

Clearly, there’s no shortage of dumbass-baggery in my little black book. I can’t say I know everything there is to know about relationship dynamics (false modesty- I do). Point being, this isn’t an advice column.

I was told once that the point of life is to fail at greater and greater things. Meaning our cumulative fuck-ups are a measure of ascension. Mildly comforting? Look, the way I see it: life tends to come served with a heaping side of “fuck you”, and since we’re all in it for the long haul (optimistically) we need to cut ourselves some slack, right? I do so with a sprinkle of sarcasm and self-deprecation in my morning coffee. What’s your coping mechanism?

I have no issue spreading it for the world to see (pun intended), but I don’t want this to turn into some narcissistic platform either. My goal here is to simply start a conversation. With firsthand account stuff.

Some horror stories, mostly reflections, definitely lots of questioning. It’s a learning-on-the-job kinda thing, ya feel me?

But whatever the case, no cookie-cutter bullshit. If you want “47 ways to please your man”, then go to your nearest pharmacy and pick up a Marie-Claire.

Hi, I’m Jules. It’s nice to meet you. Welcome to Relationship Rants.

Featured photo by Albert Zablit / www.albertzablit.com

Let’s face it, dating ain’t easy. Whether you’re newly separated or a veteran on the scene, you’re always looking for dating tips and advice. Here are 8 tips that should help you get on the right track when on the hunt for that special someone.

1. Get things in order

Developing a serious relationship is about two lives working together like a well oiled machine. Make sure you have important aspects of your life together, like your career, living situation and relationships with friends and family.

2. Know what you want

Being clear with yourself about what you want will save you time and spare your or someone else’s feelings in the long run. A simple way toget started is to create a list of non-negotiables and work on understanding your needs before you put yourself on the market. Bonus: People like people who know what they want.

Know what you want

3. Get real

Be honest with yourself about what you have and are willing to offer as part of a relationship and consider what you expect, and more importantly deserve, from someone else.

4. Be prepared

Mentally prepare yourself to enter the dating scene. Don’t expect that you will bump into Mr/Mrs. Perfect in a grocery aisle tomorrow. Instead, keep in mind that you will need to make an effort to try new things in order to meet new people.

5. Ease up on the pressure

Dating with the goal of finding your next relationship is fine, but making it your sole purpose can backfire. The pressure can cause you to miss out on the enjoyment of dating itself or worse, it can scare someone you’re interested in away.

6. Don’t be afraid to reject

There’s no sugar coating it, rejection is a part of dating, and there is no upside to dragging something out with someone you know isn’t right for you.  Rejection is part of the game so try your best to stay positive and view any kind of rejection as an opportunity to better yourself.

7. Never settle

It’s a big red flag if you have to talk yourself into being with someone. Remember that it’s your life and that you can trust your gut. If you ever find yourself in a position where you think you might just settle for “Mr/Mrs. Right Now” instead of “Mr/Mrs. Right”,  take a little “me” time. The short break from the dating scene will be just what you need.

8. Have fun

Dating should be fun. Make sure you are enjoying yourself while you’re on the hunt for that special someone. So relax and embrace it for what it is; the opportunity to meet new people, try new things and learn more about yourself.

Kavvita Ajwani is the president of Montreal’s newest speed dating company, Dashing Date. Check out their calendar for all upcoming events. 

 

Do you have a couple friends that you’d also like to do the horizontal mambo with? We all do, but how do you get it across without the awkwardness if your friend isn’t down to fuck. Well leave it to the pioneers of the internet to solve your problems. A new facebook app called Bangwithfriends allows you to anonymously select all the friends you would hook up with, without them knowing unless they are DTF too.

The app is so simple it’ll leave you wondering why you didn’t think of it first. To get started you install the app, then it lists all your Facebook friends of the opposite sex. You click if you’d like to “bang” them, and no one ever knows… that is, unless one of those friends installed the app and elected to bang you, too. If the app detects a match the two of you will receive an email notification. What happens after that is up to you. Bang With Friends is definitely an interesting take on matchmaking but is it worth a try… even if just “for science”?

The app was created by 3 college friends to practice their pimping skills to revolutionize dating (or at least hooking up). They say that the app was simply conceived to avoid some of the awkwardness regarding dating and hooking up when you don’t know if the other person is interested. They admit that the site is not perfect and are working on some tweeks.

how to bang

At the moment there is no way to filter your list of potential fuck candidates so you may see images of relatives, exes and friends already married or in relationships (if you know what’s good for you don’t click these). Seeing your mom as a candidate to bang isn’t exactly up there on most people’s lists of turn ons. Also there doesn’t seem to be a way to un-select people if you accidentally click on the crazy girl from LA that you met during a 3 day rave years ago…

So is this site a good thing? bad thing? or just another part of the internet? Well we’ll just have to wait and see how this social experiment plays out. Do you have an opinion? Do you have a problem with this app objectifying your friends? women? men? Will this app bring an end to the “friend zone”? Let us know what you think in the comments.

Dating sucks, like, 87% of the time for most people. You could be a blindingly attractive, tremendously intelligent, endlessly witty charmer with a let’s-save-Lassie heart and moves like Don Draper, but if the latest “catch” you reeled in off PlentyOfFish.com is flossing their teeth at the table in front of you or drenching your meticulously coiffed ‘do with torrential spittle as they wax on prosaically about “films” you’ve never heard of… sorry, still sucks.

Or, worse, if five perfect weeks down the line, your would-be lover decides to dump you after a break-through group therapy sesh. Yeah, that sucks way more. Unfortunately, these scenarios happen to everyone (except for high school sweethearts, but that comes with its own set of problems). The best thing you can do is sit back with some buddies, open up a few bottles of booze, and champion the art of turning painful moments into hilarious anecdotes. It’s what our generation is best at. Just look online.

People love exposing themselves on the Internet: enviable Instagrams of bacon-y grilled cheese sandwiches, tweets lambasting the latest political scandal (wait, some rich white Republican in Missouri said something predictably anatomically incorrect about how vaginas work and you disagree with him and also the state of American democracy? Damn that 140 character limit! People need to know!), Facebook Mommy status updates about toddlers starting soccer, blogs and blogs on blogs….. I could go on.

However, when you combine the sheer entertainment value of that really good dating story and our collective inclination to over-share, magic happens. Or maybe just the feeling of relief that the person you’re reading about isn’t you.

This week is all about dating blogs. As technology progresses, so do the preconceived notions and definitions accompanying sex and relationships. Dating blogs don’t just mimic a gaggle of girls around a wine-stained table bitching about men anymore (but that’s fun, too). They can offer insightful perspectives on polyamory, single-parent dating, long-distance relationships, and, y’know, simply confused strangers just trying to make something happen – or at least, get laid. Which in itself is kind of nice.

SEXY TYPEWRITER

Sofi Papamarkos (National Post freelancer and all-around sexy typewriter) really covers all the single-girl bases, from horrible (and hilarious/insane/cringe-inspiring) dating profile photos to pics or not “leagues” exist (answer: not really), sliding into how women resent all of their past and future girlfriends (just try to argue this one). She’s the brassy dame you want to take out for margaritas and babble over your love life with, only to be told “Girl, have some goddamned self-respect and dump that loser”. And, girl, you will.

TOBEASLUT.COM

Speaking of redefining social constructs, women who enjoy sex? We’re just people now. Not promiscuous she-devils, not funbags of STIs or messed up nymphos, and certainly not sluts, because, hello, everybody enjoys sex. And sex is one of very many topics that is still taboo for most people, especially women, to write about.

This woman, Caitlin K. Roberts, uses her blog and Toronto sex-centric events like Crush Night and Body Pride, drawing in hundreds to rethink relationships and sexuality. Roberts doesn’t write about painful first dates (she’s engaged to be married), she instead shares intelligent thoughts about marriage, what it means to really pleasure oneself, and conscious sexual acceptance.

 

AND THAT’S WHY YOU’RE SINGLE

Because let’s face it – most of us are lost in that department. That’s why dating sites and dating blogs and “Dear Annie” exist. This blog answers any and all questions about dating with none of the tip-toeing politeness (aka bullshit) that accompanies discussions about feelings. People submit long-winded questions about new beaus or dating problems and Moxie, a 40-something public speaker offers her outside perspective, which is usually pretty spot-on, if not a touch bitter. But I guess that’s what happens when your biological clock has hit its alarm clock years ago and your career revolves around listening to peoples’ relationship problems.

With the arrival of last week’s solstice, summer is finally in full swing, and no other season brings out the fine looking people this city is known for with such sweaty fervor. And while the movies have turned it into a well-worn cliche, there is still something to be said for the summer romance. Wintertime couplings tend to involve hibernation and bonding over favorite movies or TV shows, where as summer love has the potential for those unforgettable, sun-soaked adventures that can form the base of a strong union or help bored couples bust out  of our their dull ruts. Here are my favorite summer date suggestions that won’t break the bank:

The Art Of Summer

Experiencing something new together is a great way to get to know someone. The permanent collection at the Musee Des Beaux-Arts (1380 Sherbrooke Street West) is free at all times. It features a unique array of Canadian and international art spanning many centuries that ranges from Egyptian and African sculptures to the massively chaotic canvasses of Jean-Paul Riopelle. The Musee D’Art Contemporain de Montreal (185 Sainte-Catherine West) is free on Wednesday evenings from 5-9pm. Their current exhibition, ZOO, might inspire you to unleash some of your inner animal magnetism, as it explores the role of animals and nature in today’s universe. Highlights include Trevor Gould’s installation in the Sculpture Garden and the Canadian premiere of the work “Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads: Gold” by controversial Chinese artist and political dissident Ai Weiwei

If you’re trying to impress an art-lover with less mainstream tastes, try Under Pressure’s Fresh Paint Gallery (180 Sainte-Catherine East). Led by Sterling Downey, it focuses on the many facets of street art and its unconventional methods like spray paint, sculptures, serigraphy, and multimedia installations. Between August 2011 and August 2012, over a hundred local and international artists will display their work at this up-and-coming space.

Added bonus: Museums are air-conditioned!

Date of the Dead

Going for an afternoon walk up the mountain is about as cliche as the summer romance itself, so you can turn that tired idea on its head by exploring the other side of the mountain, starting with the expansive Mount-Royal and Notre-Dame-des-Neiges cemeteries. The latter contains over 5,300 trees, about a hundred of which are from the natural forest that stood on the spot before the cemetery’s founding in 1854. Look for the 250-year old oak tree by the John Paul II mausoleum and the final resting places of Montreal legends such as Maurice Richard and Mordecai Richler.

Added bonus: if you go at night, your date might get spooked and run to you for comfort!

It’s Not What You’re Like, It’s What You Like

Even though July 1st is Montreal’s unofficial moving day, the city’s sidewalks and alleys are filled weekly all summer long with heaping piles of unwanted clothes, chipped set of unmatched dishes and furniture that just wouldn’t fit in the truck. Take your sweetie scavenging and you can have fun imaging the lives these discarded objects had before they were so casually tossed aside. If garbage picking isn’t quite your style, similar entertainment can be sought at garage sales or church bazaars.

Added bonus: the better the bargain, the more turned on I am!

*                                                                                      *                                                                                   *

Last week, we received the shocking news of the abrupt end of the Montreal Mirror, a paper I’d read faithfully for the duration of my 10 years in Montreal. Often I would read it backwards by starting with Sasha’s informative and eloquent sex advice column where she helped out the lovers, the loveless and the lovelorn… who can now direct their most burning questions to morningafter@forgetthebox.net.

 

Last week, I had the pleasure of attending my first Plateau casserole march. I marched with a few small groups up and down St. Denis, the sound of about a hundred or so collective casseroles clanging in my ears, satisfying my thirst for noise-making. But right when I was about to head back home, I came upon the biggest march I’d encountered yet. It was a steady stream that engulfed at least ten full blocks of Mont-Royal. The energy was positively electric – young marching with old, French marching with English, a sea of red squares and passionate people proudly standing up for what they believe in. I watched, first in utter amazement at the power of the people… and then I started to feel quite turned on.

There’s just something about revolution that’s so damn sexy, and I’m not the only one that thinks so. Earlier this month, Kenza Chaouia started the @Manifdating account on Twitter as a forum for “protest buddies” who met on the streets of Montreal to reconnect. Since then, the account has grown to over 500 followers looking for love in all the red places.

“This isn’t only for people looking for love,” she explained. “It’s also helpful for people looking for friendship.”

While it’s easy to get swept up in the romantic fervor of a protest, hooking up with your “manifcrush” requires a certain degree of tact and etiquette. Manifdating offers the following dating tips for protestors:

– Lend your manifcrush your phone so they can tweet at the SPVM. Everyone likes a hero.

– Nothing says love like giving your significant other your vinegar-soaked bandana when the tear-gas comes

– If a fellow protestor drops their spoon, lock eyes and pick it up. Everyone loves a good Samaritan.

– If you don’t have an umbrella, make sure to bring a big enough casserole so both you and your crush can hide under it.

– This is the only moment you will ever be allowed to wear matching red outfits. Make the most of it.

– When you like what you see, keep it classy. Respect is everything.

– Impress your protester crush with high-quality cookware.

– Blow kisses together at the riot cops.

– Pin your twitter handle to the back of your square and offer it to your manifcrush.

So you’ve figured out what to do, but what about the right things to say? The streets are alive with chants like “SO SO SO, Solidarité, SO SO SO, So Do My”, but that may be a bit forward for a first-time encounter. Here are some pick-up lines and conversation starters to use next time you’re out on the streets:

“Baby, let’s smash the state and fornicate”

“This pot isn’t the only thing I’m good at banging!”

“You don’t have to protest to get through to my heart.”

“Baby, if you play your cards right I’ll let you hold more than just my placard.”

“I’d wear plastic handcuffs and spend the night at the back of the bus for you.”

“Baby, let me put the “man” in your manifestation”

“I wish I was your casserole so you’d tap me.”

Finally, casseroles aren’t the only way to make noise. Once you’ve wooed your manifcrush and successfully lured them back to your bedroom, I recommend engaging in the loudest sex you can at 8:00 pm in solidarity with the pot-bangers. Fuck la loi speciale, literally. I proudly support orgasms for social change and making love, not war. Perhaps you’ll even inspire your neighbors to do the same!

 * Photos by Chris Zacchia

“There’s one thing I want to say, so I’ll be brave
You were what I wanted
I gave what I gave
I’m not sorry I met you
I’m not sorry it’s over
I’m not sorry there’s nothing to save”

Your Ex-Lover Is Dead by Stars

We all have two or three of those people in our lives that when we see them walking towards us, we cross to the other side of the street. We avoid their favorite haunts, we bypass parties that they might be attending, and we even refuse to enter restaurants when they are sitting in the front window. Most of those are former lovers with whom the relationship soured or that we culled from our lives before anything serious developed.

So what, if anything, do we owe people we went on a few dates with then decided not to proceed? Do we always have to be friends in the end??

Last weekend, I’ll admit I fled instead of facing an awkward conversation with a guy I met while on rebound last summer. At the time, I was getting over an intense love affair and figured the best way to get over someone was to get under someone.

But it isn’t always that simple. In this particular case, an unfamiliar touch just made me long for my former lover even more. And, as if matters weren’t complicated enough, now I was seemingly leading on a perfectly nice guy into thinking we were about to start something.

I’m not particularly proud of this, but I avoided his calls for as long as possible before squeaking out an email explaining how he might have gotten the idea that I wasn’t interested when I didn’t return any of his calls. I’d like to think I have decent instincts when it comes to dating, whereas some are completely clueless. If you call me three times and I don’t respond, chances are I don’t want to see you again.   I may be busy, but I’m never too busy to pick up the phone and return a call to someone I really want to see again.

By the time I returned home from a more delicious breakfast than I would have gotten had I not fled, I had received a passive aggressive five paragraph email where the amount of times he stressed there were no hard feelings was tantamount to admitting there were hard feelings. Just wanted to let you know I’m the bigger person here, his email seemed to say.

So here’s my question for you readers: did I owe him that grown-up conversation where we pretend to care about each other’s lives or was I justified in turning around and hitting up another one of this city’s fine breakfast establishments?