A Recipe For Relationship Success

We all want to have our cake and eat it too and, as the old adage goes, if you’re going to bake a cake then you’re going to need to break some eggs.  You may be happy with a Coles-brand sponge or maybe you’re the kind of person that dreams of a multi-layered rainbow cake romance. Perhaps you’re a new-age paleo/vegan/ gluten-free  romantic and you need some kind of flourless carrot cake love. Whatever your hungry heart desires, like cake, a good relationship requires some methodical mixing of ingredients and a good pinch of patience.

We’ve all sat back and wondered why such a promising love was such a flop. You started out with a picture of a Women’s Weekly birthday cake and before you know it you’re elbows deep in a singe-crusted, oozy topping, food dyed disaster. You’re weeping on the floor of the kitchen, covered of course, in the main ingredient: flour. No relationship, no love, no cake. Just a big bloody mess and a torn up photo of a multi-layered, dinosaur cake with green butter icing and peppermint leaf spikes.  The white dust settled on every surface quietly transforms into gelatinous papier mache glue as it mingles with your cascading tears.

Such life events show us that it’s not a matter of following a simple recipe. Being human – all too human – we rush into things. We miss crucial steps, skip ahead, think we know best, ignore the oven timer and become completely distracted watching Family Feud, delivering a half-baked, lackluster love, droopy and distinctly lacking some key ingredient. So what are the essentials?

Obviously there’s got to be flour, you are trying to bake a cake after all.  I’ll call the flour (or almond meal if you’re that way inclined) love. . All you need is love, right? Love is all you need. That’s what I was told. Wrong. Whatever it is your heart desires from love, you’re going to need more than just flour. You’re also going to need a raising agent, a spark, a chemical reaction, something to turn a bowl of beige stodge into a fluffly delight. Without baking powder, you’ll end up making friendship crepes. Now, if you have flour and baking powder then you can have a crack at damper – you might even magic up some play-dough or a scone – but you’re still only half way to a relationship.

Holding the cake together is the eggs, the milk, the butter or the mashed bananas for my vegan friends. Key binders in a love cake might seem critically obvious, but they are often the most neglected component. Your eggless cake is the relationship your peers turn their nose up at. The foray that causes you to fall out with old friends. It’s trust, respect, communication, equality, understanding, acceptance, openness. Without a minimum of three of these components the partnerships skews towards ownership. Old eggs in your love meringue ruin your chances at that soft, fluffy, melt-in-your-mouth goodness, delivering instead a disappointing dish that really should go straight in the bin.

A cake should be sweet and it needs measures of kindness, caring, thoughtfulness; all that vom-worthy couple stuff. But there’s no level of garnish that can can uncook a catastrophy. No extravagant couple holiday, kissing selfie profile pic, overtly affectionate post or tacky couple tatt that can overcome a blundered base. There is no measure of silver cashews that can convincingly bedazzle a bland bundt cake. Some of us think we want a hot partner, nice dinners, holidays, presents. While a thick layer of icing can mask a dry cake, remember that the best chocolate brownie needs no extra decoration.

In truth, you can’t make a cake without flour. You also cannot call a bag of flour a cake. It’s not enough to fight for a relationship because you’re in love. If you are missing trust, respect, dignity, honesty and communication, it’s going to be a shitshow,  not a souffle . Too many times I hear vile, unhealthy and downright repulsive behaviour condoned and defended by love. So babe, what you’re telling me Neanderthal Neil can be excused for crushing you confidence, destroying your friendships and ruining your life? “…but, but you don’t understand, we’re in love.”

Mmm. Cool story. Neil is not a masterpiece, he’s got less personality of a bag of sugar and is not a healthy or balanced addition to your diet. You may as well throw fistfuls of flour at each other to show your love, it’s roughly the same result as your dysfunctional relationship. He makes everyone around you sick, most of all you, whilst you trip-out on some kind of delusional sugar high. “Ohhhh doctor I know I have type two diabetes…. But, but you don’t understand, Neil and I are in love. Neil doesn’t mean to destroy my health. I couldn’t possibly end it with Neil, Neil, love, Sugar, love blah blah blah”

*Self-destructs in a puff of sprinkles*

In the past we’ve all hoped for a bombe alaska and instead landed a cream pie to the face. In hindsight it’s generally safe to say the measurements were a bit off. Next time if you’re thinking of baking a cake with someone check your shopping basket first before you hit the check out.

The proof is in the pudding.

img_2407

 

Don’t forget to ‘like’ Life in Arcadia on Facebook and join in for daily lols on instagram and twitter @lifeinarcadia (links in menu tab) xx

 

 

 

Breaking the Bro Code

Article 150. No sex with your bro’s ex. It is never, EVER permissible for a bro to sleep with his bro’s ex. Violating this code is worse than killing a bro.

Amendment: A bro is entitled to have sex with his bro’s ex if she initiates it, is really hot, or his bro is out of town or in a different room.

The Bro Code: an age old set of rules and expectations between one friend and another that stipulates “bros before hoes” or “sisters before misters”. The basic premise is that you don’t screw your friends over for the opportunity to get your kit off with someone of the opposite sex. Also included in what I thought was a universal set of rules is the notion that you generally do not try and consort with one of your best mate’s exes, especially behind their back. In a tough dating landscape where the upper quartile of candidates is not always readily accessible there will be times when you want to cross over dating pools with significant friends, but these should always be navigated with honesty and communication: “so babe, you know that smoking hot babe of a guy that you chewed up and spat out for no good reason at all, apart from some flimsy reasoning like “he had a funny walk” or, “I dunno really, just wasn’t feeling it?”… Can we talk about that?”

Obviously you don’t want to be some sad homeless person cashing in people’s discarded exes for a 5c refund at the collection depot, but sometimes one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. This means that it’s always going to need assessment on a case by case basis. I have witnessed desperate girls throw away year-long friendships for a guy that they know full well was an absolute jerk. Yet still they ruin a friendship by trying to date this guy against their behind their best friend’s back or against their wishes. When karma comes around and he ditches you in a few months you’ll be left in friendless, boy-less limbo. Didn’t you get the memo, sister? Unauthorised bro breaches will get you banished.

So in the world of mates-before-dates what is acceptable and what is not? I am not going to try to write a set of rules about waiting periods or measures of loyalty or subsequent strategies for tackling a hoe vs bro situation but I’m more than happy to give you a few instances of what is not cool and you can work out the rest for yourselves. Recently, whilst I’ve been minding my own business and going about my life in the usual haphazard manner, I have encountered some rather disconcerting advances from bros who are painfully oblivious and – frankly – totally unconcerned with the code.

I have found myself being engaged on just about every platform you can imagine by guys who have been romantically associated with my friends or are chums with guys I’ve dated. I am not exaggerating when I say face-to-face, Instagram, Facebook and even LinkedIn (believe it or not) have all been hunting grounds for these avid recyclers. So far, pretty much the only medium I haven’t been contacted on is Twitter… but please feel free to tweet your date invites to @_JulesReed with the hash tags #brofail and #shitbloke2015.

If you can sense a little bit of harboured resentment then you are not wrong. The fact that a guy would try to chat me up without his mate’s knowledge is incredibly insulting because it implies that he thinks I’m the kind of girl that might want to be a party to that. Dude, I am far from a hoe and I have no intention of creeping around in the shadows with you, which would only cheapen us both. You obviously have incredibly low Bro Code standards and if you don’t take me seriously enough to inform the relevant parties then kindly jog on, mate. I am not an easy target and I certainly am not a group project for you and all your friends to contribute to. I have zero interest in your poor morals and terrible judgement and I have half a mind to issue a public warning to your friends and all their exes: watch out, snakes on the loose.

I know it can be really hard meeting people – especially if your friend is some kind of lady killer or serial dater. When you keep company with people who have excellent taste but unrealistically high standards, there are likely to be a lot of high-quality factory seconds that never make it to market. What a waste. If your friends go through candidates with potential talent like a man-flu victim goes through tissues then you need to weigh up the situation and decide if the risk is really worth the reward.

You’re entering dangerous territory so you need to be sure that they are a high quality pre-loved garment and not a shiny piece of trash. I am sure there are a lot of potentially amazing relationships that haven’t happened because everyone was trying too hard so uphold the bro rules that they never risked asking for permission. Categorically, the appropriateness of pursuing something like this is going to be very different if there is a two Tinder date history compared to a two-year relationship (proceed at your own risk).

In all parts of life you have to remember that if you never ask the hard questions then answer is always no. Even if you do ask and the answer is no then at least you won’t die wondering, but with a sensitive topic like this you really need to pick your battles. It goes without saying that you shouldn’t be dogging your mate for an easy target; if all you’re looking for is a bit of fun then don’t shit where you eat. Go get a dating app, go to a night club or try some good old-fashioned Facebook stalking rather than trawling your bro’s dating archives for inspiration.

To summarise, it should be overwhelmingly obvious that if you are not willing to have a conversation with your mate about your intentions but you are willing to bang their ex then you are being a selfish, disrespectful tosser to everyone involved. For instance, if the situation was reversed and you would feel inclined to smack your mate for trying to mess around with your ex then you are in serious violation of the Bro Code. So please, save us all the hassle and just punch yourself in the face.

Cheers bro.

[Thanks for reading, remember to subscribe to email notifications via the link in the menu tool bar so you never miss a post, Jules x]