It matters if you buy a house, get engaged, get married and have a baby in that order. But it matters more if you don't. They are the reason my colleague's face drops when she sees pictures of her friends with houses and husbands on Facebook, while she raises her son in a rented flat with her boyfriend.
I thought long and hard about kids and realised a dog would give me more freedom. There are other upsides to dog-ownership, too, like exercise. Tilly is always keen for a walk unlike all the kids I've met who need to be bribed to turn off their technology.
All in all, it feels fantastic to have arrived at this unconscious state of being gay. I used to wake up and the first thing I'd think about would be 'coming out'. Now I wake up and worry about the things I should be worried about: do I have enough petrol in my car to get to work? Do I have anything in the fridge for dinner tonight? Am I going to finish this work on time?
This discontentment may take the shape of anger, resentment or even rage or, on the other side of emotional scale, be experienced in the form of sadness, despair or depression. It's important to acknowledge that these feelings are normal, and most importantly temporary.
I'm not saying that you have to care about every single thing, but caring enough to give this issue a little thought, and caring enough to let people know what you think, can create the open channel of communication, which is key to building relationships.
I hear so often that people are too scared to leave and decide to settle for what they know. Sometimes there are good reasons to stay. However in some cases there are better reasons to leave.
There are often occasions when working, even if you are loving the work that you do, when you lack motivation. This can, of course, be detrimental to your business, your health and your relationships.
Exploring what's inside this hidden closet of yours can be like opening a Pandora's Box. When you discover what you've stuffed in there, perhaps you might decide it's time for a spring clean. In a relationship the darkest part of you will often come out of the closet.
At the time, it was certainly easier for me to avoid a big falling out. I felt no animosity towards anyone, just no longer had the same desire to hang out. Would admitting this have been fairer on them, or served only to lessen my own guilt?
With that tiny bit of energy left that you have (ok, so that energy doesn't exist, but for the sake of my blog post pretend it does), grab your other half, stick on that wedding song, slow dance, and remember how you felt that day. What you can tell the Bride is that it won't be easy, but it will be worth it.
I don't want to say thank you for parenting, it's a job we both accepted the minute the pregnancy test turned positive, in fact it's something we committed to by disposing of the contraceptives. I want to thank you for the things you have done for me since we have become parents.
After a while we start to get a little too comfortable. We realise that person isn't going to breakup with us for some of our tiny idiosyncracies and that they love us for who we are. Who we really are (ahem) right?
As much as I can appreciate that finances should be private to some extent, and that individuals have a right to be considered separately from their partners, I just can't imagine keeping a secret credit card or putting lots of effort into hiding big purchases from my partner on a regular basis. I certainly wouldn't dream of hiding £100,000 from him!
Despite the questionable dress code and cost of bikes, being a Mamil has its benefits. For men, it can provide a relatively tame outlet for midlife angst while, for women, it can help by addressing primeval needs (theirs) and facilitating much-needed me time (ours).
Most people like or need to think that abusive relationships are black and white, but they're not are they? We know that. The abusive men we love or have loved don't start out hurting us at the beginning nor are they always total monsters. That's what makes it all so confusing and so hard.
People were welcoming and warm and quick to laugh. Almost nothing happened on time. Meetings started when they started and went on longer than expected. African Time existed in the Western Cape, too; it reminded me in this way of a less eccentric Kenya.