Being the token single

All my friends are in couples. When did this happen? One minute I’m happily bouncing around London – me and my single mingling friends frolicking and flirting – and then I turned around and they’ve all stopped, paired off and left me to keep skipping solo. It’s like when you’re shopping with your friend and having a good chat and then you turn around to ask them a question and realise they’ve fallen in love with a dress you passed and you’ve just been talking to yourself for a solid embarrassing 30 seconds.

It obviously didn’t all happen at once – the odd couple popping up here and there, but that’s how it gets you. It’s so gradual that you don’t notice until you’re the only one left thinking, “shit, did I miss the memo?”. You do a quick scan of your Facebook friends to find an potential eligible partner, re-install Tinder only to delete it approximately 5 minutes later, re-evaluate why all your past relationships ended, write a long messy drunk diary entry trying to convince yourself that you’re fine, and then settle on texting your one other last-standing single girl friend about how you’re the only ones left.

Social situations and meeting new people are very interesting when you’re the token single. It’s as if all your coupled up friends want to live the single life vicariously through you. They ask you a million questions when they see you talking to a guy at a party and when you don’t seal the deal it feels like you’re not only letting yourself down but all your friends who are eagerly observing your actions. Watching with binoculars from the other side of the room at a party. Do they actually do this or am I just extremely self-involved? I’m not going to answer that question.

Sometimes I want to yell, ‘JUST BECAUSE YOUR LIFE IS SO BORING DOESN’T MEAN YOU HAVE TO LIVE VICARIOUSLY THROUGH ME!’ but that’s really rude and I don’t actually think life in a relationship is boring so I never say that. But sometimes I think it a little bit. I hope that doesn’t make me a bad person.

I am 24 now. This isn’t like in school where there’s a wave of people getting together and then another wave of everyone breaking up. These relationships are getting real and intense. Some go on holiday together, some live together, some are married! It happens very slowly but in the last couple months I’ve been noticing and feeling it – the older I get the harder it’s going to get. I met 2 guys recently (at different events) who I thought were attractive and cool, took one look at their left hand and there was the wedding ring. And there’s only going to be more and more of those cropping up as I stumble through my 20s. Even though I love being single and I’m so happy it’s just hit me recently that I don’t want to be left behind.

Is anyone else going through a similar thing? Is this just a phase everyone goes through in their mid-twenties? Let me know in the comments!

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Our thoughts on LOVE (Netflix)

Okay this isn’t another post about love as in the emotion, I’m not about to have another existential crisis. At least I hope not. LOVE is a new Netflix Original show and I binged watched it and I have some thoughts (naturally). I also asked my followers on Twitter what their thoughts on the show were and so I’m going to include them in this post.

LOVE is set in Los Angeles which I liked because pretty much all the shows I watch are set in New York City so ya know, LA is different. It’s written and directed by Judd Apatow – you know Knocked Up, 40 Year Old Virgin, Girls, Trainwreck – he knows this world. It was also was written by and stars Paul Rust, who I had never heard of before and also stars Gillian Jacobs who I adore from Community!

This will probably contain spoilers.

The story follows Mickey and Gus who at the beginning of the series both have break ups and find themselves single. Then they meet and the rest of the series is the two of them figuring out what the eff is going on between them and in their heads.

So here’s what you thought (yes I’m using your tweets to organise my own thoughts).

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And here we are analysing it! This is going to go well…

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Okay great start. Thanks Holly, but I kind of agree (it is getting a second series though).

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Alright let’s talk about the Manic Pixie Dream Girl thing. I think the show is definitely set up this way – Gus is the “nice” boring guy and Mickey is the wild and exciting girl. But actually they’re not that at all. Gus turns out to be a complete dick and Mickey is also super selfish and has a lot of issues.

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I kind of agree, the ‘nice guy’ trope definitely doesn’t work here because Gus is an actual arse. Sometimes I like TV with unlikeable characters and it seems you guys do too but this one just didn’t click with me. To be honest my favourite character was Bertie, Mickey’s Australian housemate – I think she stole the show and I want to see more of her!

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The bit that irks me the most about Gus’ behaviour is the ending and a few people on Twitter had problems with it too!

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YES WTF!? A girl who you’ve slept with, hurt emotionally and just had a massive argument with comes to you basically crying and desperate saying she needs to sort out her own life because she has problems with addiction and is planning on spending the next year single… and you kiss her?!!?! That’s not okay. Were you not listening?!?! I hope they just cut that clip too early and we actually missed seeing Mickey slapping Gus away.

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I agree the show wasn’t very diverse but I’m assuming because you said you didn’t finish watching it you missed the scene where they kind of address this. Kevin, Gus’ mate at work who listens to all his problems and is black, starts talking about the trope of the wise black guy in a film who is a minor character and gives all the advice. Basically, exactly what Kevin is doing. Gus says ‘oh yeah I hate it when they do that’ and Kevin surprisingly says he always loves that character and that’s what he came to LA for – he wants to act one of those guys. Unless there’s another layer here I’m missing I thought this bit was quite funny. BUT I still think it would be better to just have a more diverse cast rather than not and have to find a self-aware way to address it.

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Agree.

Going to end it here because otherwise I could go on for days (and so can you guys – the tweets are still coming in!)

Have you watched LOVE? What did you think? Do you want to watch LOVE? (although this may have put you off). Let me know in the comments!

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Girl on Girl – my new show!

HAVE YOU SEEN IT YET?! The first episode of my new webseries with Astronauts Wanted went live this week! I am so excited it’s finally here! The first episode is a chat with my dear friend, Akilah Hughes, all about dating apps!

Thank you so much to everyone who has watched it so far and loved it! And thanks to everyone spreading the message about the show – please keep doing that! Use the hashtag #girlongirlshow on Twitter and Instagram!

I just wanted to write this post to let you know the show had launched and to just explain how it came about. So I’d been working with Astronauts Wanted (AW) for a while: I’d been on their show ‘The Feels’ and I was the host of ‘#Blessed’. The producer, Lindsay Campbell, asked me what kinds of topics I would want to talk about if AW were to make another show with me and I sent her a long list that included: women, sexuality, feminism etc. They had a think about it and came up with the idea for the show ‘Girl on Girl’ and I loved it!

When I was in LA we had a meeting about themes and topics we’d want to cover, the tone of the show, the format, games and potential guests and then we got to work! Basically, lots of emailing and lots of late night calls because LA is 8 hours behind London! Finally we had our guests and themes locked for each episode, Lindsay flew all the way to London and we made the show!

Our wonderful guests (from top left going clockwise) are Athena Kugblenu, Akilah Hughes, Mae Martin, Juno Dawson Amani Al-Khatahtbeh and Luisa Omeilan! They were all such dreams to have on the show and I can’t wait for you to see the episodes. I learnt so much from talking to each of these women and I hope that comes across on the show. Also, massive shout out to Tomek, our director of photography and Silvija, our production assistant. Absolute babes.

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To keep up to date with everything ‘Girl on Girl’ you can follow us on all the social media below!

Medium: http://bit.ly/MediumGirlonGirl
TinyLetter: http://bit.ly/TinyLetterGirlonGirl
Instagram: http://bit.ly/InstagramGirlonGirl
Twitter: http://bit.ly/TwitterGirlonGirl
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Let me know your thoughts on Girl on Girl in the comments and who would you like to see as a guest?!

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I’m an introverted extrovert

I’ve been thinking about this a lot recently and it’s probably nothing new, I’m sure people have made these observations before but I just wanted to talk it through.

(that’s almost poetic)

Anyway, anyone who knows me will tell you that I am a massive extrovert. I’m loud, I thrive in social situations, I run around at parties mingling with various people, I’m good at networking with strangers, I like big groups and I’m comfortable around new people. But actually none of these things are what it means to be an extrovert. You could be an introvert and good at all these things too.

Extroversion and introversion describe where you get your energy from. I became obsessed with Myers Briggs (MBTI) when I was at university (I’m an ENFP if you were wondering) and I learnt a lot about extroversion and introversion. It’s not about being confident or shy, loud or quiet, it’s about energy. Where do you get your energy from? Is it being around other people or being on your own? And obviously for most people it’s not as black and white as that. There’s a spectrum, a sliding scale between introvert and extrovert and I would call myself an introverted extrovert.

This first came to my mind when my friend, Leena (who I talk about a lot on this blog, maybe I’m obsessed with her), called herself an extroverted introvert. Leena is loud, loves a good party, enjoys hanging out with other people, is very confident and if you first met her at a social event you’d probably think she was an extrovert. But no, Leena is an introvert. She lived on her own for a year and she literally just spent a week by herself in the lake district on a writing retreat and didn’t get bored. Even though she is really good at and enjoys doing things that are usually seen as “extroverted” ultimately it drains her and she needs to recharge her energy by being alone.

I am the opposite. I get my energy from being around other people, whether that be a group of people or just one other person. I need to get my fix of talking to someone or I slowly go insane. But I love being on my own. Right now I am writing this from my bed and I don’t plan on leaving my bed except for food breaks and I don’t want to hang out with anyone today. Not because I’m feeling sad but just because that’s how I’m feeling and what I want to do today.

Being freelance means I do spend a lot of time on my own and I’m good at it. But I also have work days where I’m surrounded by other people constantly and I come home and lock myself in my room and don’t talk to another human because I just need to do my own thing (catch up on YouTube videos, watch a TV show or film, read a book). My housemates probably see me as a bit of an introvert because I spend so much time on my own.

But here’s the catch, even though I love being alone and I very much enjoy my own company if I spend too much time like this then I get sad. Like really sad. I just wallow in self-pity and I get into this horrible funk which I can only be brought out of by speaking to another human. But usually by this point I’ve lost all my energy and I can’t bring myself to get out of bed and go talk to someone (and living in a warehouse of 12 people there is usually someone around). Sometimes I don’t even have to talk to someone else, just being in the same room as another living, breathing human being can be enough to start refuelling my energy. That is why I’m an extrovert.

My sister, on the other hand, is probably an extroverted extrovert. She gets her energy from being around other people and can’t stand being alone. Last year I received a text from her saying:

“some friends just asked me out for drinks tonight but I said no and I’m staying in by myself with Netflix and wine – are you proud of me?!”

I was so proud of her.

Even though I am loving this solitary bed working time right now, we’ll see how long it is until the funk sets in and I have to emerge from my room…

What do you think? Are you an introvert or extrovert? Can you spend loads of time on your own without getting really sad? Let me know in the comments!

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Women, Feminism and Teenagers

It was International Women’s Day on Tuesday and I spent the whole day at the Southbank Centre in London for their Women of the World Festival (WOW London). And by “whole day” I mean whole day. Other than a 10 minute walk outside where I was catcalled by some guys in the skate park (you can’t make this shit up), I was surrounded by inspiring women and feminism from 10am til 11pm. What a day.

The beginning of the day was WOW’s WonderWomen event which I managed to score a press ticket to attend. One thousand secondary school girls between the ages of 11-18 spent the day hearing incredible women talk about their heroines; learning dance routines of Beyoncé songs; learning to sing Beyoncé songs and coming up with their own feminist playlist. I sat at the back and watched it all unfold (although I was totally dancing and singing along). It was such an overwhelming experience seeing these teenage girls celebrating women – I almost cried several times. Their enthusiasm and unfiltered screaming and clapping when hearing a slam poem about how women have power and can change the world; their insightful comments about the portrayal of women in music videos and how it affects them; the support they showed each other and the women who spoke on stage, was just incredible. It gave me so much hope.

One of my favourite speakers of the day was 17 year old Jessy McCabe (@jessy_mccabe), who noticed that there were no female composers on the Edexcel Music A Level syllabus and petitioned to get that changed. And guess what?! She won. Just goes to show that it doesn’t matter who you are, what your age – just one woman can make a difference. It made me feel so excited imagining what the impact of hearing her speak would have on the 11-18 year old girls in the audience.

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WonderWomen was just the start of WOW London, the festival is still going on until Sunday 13th March. I would definitely recommend heading down to the Southbank Centre. Even though a lot of the events are sold out there’s still loads of free stuff happening, especially Saturday and Sunday! My friend, Darcy Cole, just happened to also be hanging out at the Southbank Centre and so we met up and watched some talks and Gemma Cairney DJ and interview Sister Sledge! (WE ARE FAMILY!). It’s just such a great vibe in that space.

In the evening I saw Caitlin Moran! You may already know how much I love Caitlin Moran – we filmed a video together last year when she was on her paperback tour of How To Build A Girl and now she’s written a new book Moranifesto about politics. Jude Kelly (the founder of WOW London) chatted with Caitlin on stage about her book, politics and feminism and Caitlin also read out some excerpts from the book which were brilliant and I can’t wait to read the whole thing!

I had such an incredible International Women’s Day – I couldn’t think of a better way to spend it! I will most definitely be attending various events at WOW London this weekend so if you also happen to be there please say hello! Would love to hear all your thoughts on women, feminism and teenagers in the comments!

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Birthday Books! #WorldBookDay

It’s World Book Day today! If you haven’t met me or you’re new to my blog then fyi I LOVE books! I’m trying (for a second time) to read 50 books this year but unfortunately I have a tendency to buy books faster than I read them. It was my birthday recently and my aunt, uncle & cousins gave me an Amazon voucher (thanks!) and naturally a spent it, and some, on books!

Some of these are books that I’ve had my eye on for a while and others were recommended by my friend Leena. She has a YouTube channel and talks about feminism and books amongst other things. You should definitely check it out!

Here are the books I bought! Happy Birthday, me!

Just now looking at them all together I realise there may be some kind of them… Spinster? Breaking up? Sleeping alone? Not giving a fuck? WHAT KIND OF HEAD SPACE AM I IN RIGHT NOW?!

Spinster: Making A Life of One’s Own by Kate Bolick

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With the way my life is going at the moment I think I need to learn to embrace spinsterhood. Also the subtitle of this book reminds me of what I was trying to say in the paragraph “I’m set in my ways” in my blog post on being single. I’m genuinely so interested to see what Kate Bolick has to say about relationships, being single and remaining single.

The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F**k by Sarah Knight

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The moment Leena mentioned this book I thought I have to have it! It’s sort of a parody of self-help books but it’s all about how to not give a fuck. To be honest, I’m expecting it to be actually helpful as well as really funny. I often give too many fucks and it’s exhausting caring about so many things and this book will help me budget my fuck-giving.

All This Has Nothing to do with Me by Monica Sabolo

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From what I understand this book is about a woman who fancies a guy at work and becomes quite obsessed with him. There’s art and drawings in the book like their office plan and where they sit in relation to each other. It’s meant to be pretty creepy and funny and I’m looking forward to reading something from the perspective of someone with an unhealthy fascination with another person. Maybe I can relate.

Why We Broke Up by Mark Kalman

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If you hadn’t noticed I’ve been a bit obsessed with break ups recently. With my whole blog about my favourite break up songs and then I did a show on BBC Radio 1 where I spoke about break ups and played break up songs for an hour. Fun times. This is YA book about why a couple have broken up. It’s in letter form and goes through various objects in a box that have some connection to the relationship and explain why they broke up. I’ve avoided YA fiction that focuses on romance for so long that I’m excited to read a really good one… well, an anti-romance one.

The Art of Sleeping Alone by Sophie Fontanel 

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This is the memoir of a French woman who gave up sex for a year. Needless to say I am very intrigued about the results of her pledge and curious to see if this book changes how I think about my personal relationship with sex.

Damn, there really is a theme here. I’ll let you know how I get along with them! Have you read any of these books? What did you think?

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*I am a Book Depository Affiliate and get a small cut of purchases made through my links

An Evening with Gloria Steinem and Emma Watson

Last night I was in the same room as Hermione Granger. This is going to be an intelligent blog post about feminism (I hope) but first I just need to “fan girl” a little. I breathed the same air as Emma frickin’ Watson! Completely surreal. And before you ask or assume, this wasn’t an opportunity I got because I’m a YouTuber – it was an open event to the public and I just bought a ticket.

I’m going to be honest, I didn’t know who Gloria Steinem was before I found out about this event but oh my has that woman done so many incredible things in her life. She has done a lot of living. There was a really great atmosphere at the event and even though I went on my own I made friends with a lovely woman, Nicole, from Austin who sat next to me. It was a pleasant evening and I think ‘pleasant’ is the right word to use here because even though it was a lovely experience it didn’t especially make me feel really angry and inspired to go out and change the world. And I think that’s due to the limitations of the feminism that Gloria and Emma were presenting.

First of all, Gloria Steinem is 81 years old – she fought through all of second wave feminism, broke off an engagement, had an abortion before it was legal, and she’s continued fighting. I am 24 years old and other than the sexism I’ve encountered because I’m a woman, life has been pretty great so far. I definitely felt that in a lot of her ideas and between her feminism and mine there was a generational gap, which is to be expected. I disagreed with her stance on porn, on the idea of being a “humanist” and there was not one mention of intersectionality.

If you don’t know, intersectionality is about how different parts of your identity interact which create a unique form of oppression. I experience oppression as a woman but I’m also white, straight, cis, middle class, Western, thin and able-bodied. A black transwoman will have entirely different experiences than me because of the other forms of oppression and intersectional feminism is about recognising that and including the voices of all women. Emma and Gloria did speak about the bigger picture of gender inequality such as the global economic impact and the effect it has on climate change which slightly touched on how the experiences of women around the world are different but there was no explicit talk about it or recognition of their own privilege. Not only as white women, but rich white women. Emma Watson recently announced that she is taking a break from acting to learn more about feminism and focus on her activism – I think this is awesome but if only we could all just quit our jobs to learn about feminism!

A lot of people give Emma Watson a hard time for being a “white feminist” and if we’re just using adjectives yes she’s white and yes she’s a feminist but from seeing her discuss feminism with Gloria last night I can really see that she is trying and learning. Being a feminist doesn’t mean you have all the answers, it’s a process and that definitely came across from Emma. Gloria, probably because of all her experience and age, seemed very stuck in her way about what feminism means to her but Emma seemed a lot more open to make mistakes, recognised that she didn’t know everything and was still learning because she’s only 25! That’s only a bit older than me and I saw a lot myself in her when she was stumbling over her words, losing her point half way through a sentence and asking questions when she didn’t understand something.

One thing that really irked me though was during the Q&A the only man who got hold of the mic started by saying “I think feminism would be solved if…” and started to mansplain to a room of feminists and turns out he wasn’t even asking a question – it was just a statement. Also, Emma and Gloria briefly talked about HeForShe and mentioned that there was a lot of men in the audience and then people started applauding. Not sure if they were applauding Emma and the HeForShe campaign or applauding the men. I really hope they weren’t applauding the men. Thank you very much to those men who showed up but it doesn’t deserve an applause.

Even though the event didn’t make me feel raring to go start a revolution, I’m definitely glad I went because I still learned a lot, Emma Watson was wonderful and Gloria Steinem signed my book.

I would love to hear your thoughts on intersectional feminism, generational differences between feminists and your own personal feminist journey – remembering that we don’t all have the answers now.

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How To Be Single – Film Review

Last week I went to the European Premier of the new female led comedy How To Be Single. There was a pink carpet and instead of popcorn they gave us weird tasting pink chocolate (the chocolate wasn’t pink, just the wrapper). I don’t normally do in depth film reviews but I have a lot of things on my mind about this film.

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Before we really get into it I want to say that I really liked How To Be Single (HTBS). I was laughing so hard during it and I love all the actresses it in – Rebel Wilson, Dakota Johnson, Alison Brie and Leslie Mann – I think they’re all wonderful and so funny. I’m all for a female led comedy – Bridesmaids and Pitch Perfect are some of my favourite films and although this isn’t a blog about representation I will say that we need more comedies led by black women coming out of Hollywood please.

HTBS is about 4 single ladies in New York all finding their own ways to be single. I really like how it doesn’t treat being single as a stage in between relationships but as a state of being in its own right. And I think it’s great how they show different ways of  being single, that there’s no right way to do it. Although I will say it’s not really a film about “how to be single” it’s more a film of self-discovery.

Okay, so we’ve established that I liked the film. I definitely want to see it again so I can remember some of the quotes and use them in my actual real single life. But here’s the catch – it’s not a good film. And there are several reasons for this. Let’s talk about them.

Alison Brie’s character is completely redundant 

The character Lucy could have been cut entirely and it wouldn’t have changed the film at all. She is not part of the girl gang. She doesn’t become friends with any of them, she’s just chilling out in the sidelines with her own storyline. She doesn’t interact with any of the other characters except the character Tom and she’s basically used as a device for Tom’s character development. I did like the Lucy-Tom friendship though because I thought it was setting itself up to be a massive cliché and it wasn’t but her character was still pointless.

Does it even pass the Bechdel Test?

I am aware that passing the Bechdel Test doesn’t necessarily make a film “good” but you’d expect a comedy about being single with 4 female characters in it to pass with flying colours. It does pass (I think) but barely. When the girls aren’t talking about boys they’re talking about babies, sex, body hair, getting drunk etc… Wooo! Women! There’s obviously nothing wrong with talking about these things but we talk about other stuff too.

One dimensional characters

I know I said that all the characters have different ways of living that single life. At first I thought it was great that all the characters were so different but then I thought about it more and actually we’ve gone backwards 20 years because turns out they’ve just replicated the Sex and the City characters. For real.

Robin (Rebel Wilson) = Samantha, the one that sleeps around and doesn’t settle down.

Alice (Dakota Johnson) = Carrie, completely loses herself in relationships and can’t stay single.

Meg (Leslie Mann) = Miranda, career-obsessed independent woman who actually has a heart.

Lucy (Alison Brie) = Charlotte, desperate for a relationship, marriage and children.

WHERE IS THE LIE?!

Do they even go to work?

The characters Robin and Alice meet because they work at the same place but once they’ve met we never really see them go back to work again. When Alice has her becoming-herself-montage we never see her at work, did she quit? And when Robin and Alice fall out and don’t speak for a few weeks are we supposed to believe that either one of them or both of them stopped going to work!? The location where Alice’s apartment is in Williamsburg, Brooklyn (I felt so cool that I recognised the street) would be so expensive! She needs to work!

Being single is just a piss up

First of all, if you’re not British a “piss up” is basically a booze fest. HTBS portrays single life as just going clubbing and getting drunk ALL THE TIME. I don’t know about you but my single social life consists of brunch/lunch/dinner dates with friends, hanging out at someone’s house or the occasional outing to music/comedy gigs, cultural excursions or shopping. Most of the time I spend with my friends is sober and I didn’t really get that vibe from the film. But if you want to pre-drink before going out but you don’t actually want to drink alcohol you should watch this film. It will get you pumped. I felt so drunk and ready to go clubbing after watching it and I was completely sober.

Despite all my issues with HTBS I would recommend you watching it because it’s just a really funny film that you can switch off and enjoy. Once you switch back on you end up with blog posts like this but genuinely at the time I really enjoyed this film.

Have you seen it? Are you planning to go see it? What expectations do you have for female led comedies in 2016? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!

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My Favourite Break Up Songs

So it’s Valentine’s Day this weekend and as discussed in my last blog post I have been single for 5 years. So like many others out there I have no plans for Valentine’s Day…

EXCEPT my TV show, Love Fix, airs on Valentine’s Day at 10pm on ITV2 so please watch it!

Anyway… because I will not be all loved up this year I thought I would shake things up a bit and tell you about my favourite break up songs. Now even though I have been single for 5 years I have been dating and occasionally had my heart broken and I’ve gone through a few break ups in my teens as well. This isn’t a list of THE BEST BREAK UP SONGS EVER. These are my personal favourites. I hope this introduces you to some new artists and songs and that this blog introduces you to your next break up song that you listen to whilst crying.

Also, I will warn you now. My favourite genre of music is folk so most of these will be folky songs. That’s just my jam. Deal with it.

Ghost Town by First Aid Kit

This song is not only one of my favourite break up songs it is my favourite song. Ever. By my favourite band. Ever. This song basically epitomised my love life in 2011. It’s about loving someone but not being able to give your all to them and needing to follow a different path for the time being. It’s about promising to come back to that person eventually but knowing that by the time you’re ready to be with them they’ll probably have settled down with someone else. And it’s about asking that person to remember you fondly. It gets me right in the feels! And it’s just a beautiful, heartbreaking, simple song with stunning harmonies.

Canopies and Drapes by Emmy the Great

Emmy the Great is one of my favourite lyricists. She tells vulnerable stories through her lyrics that just tell it as it is and are very funny. Canopies and Drapes is an example of a perfect break song/story. The “character” is insanely heartbroken and doing all sorts of crazy things, drinking all the time, calling him at stupid hour in the morning. Then she’s singing about all the music she’s been listening to and wants to tell her ex about. It just brilliantly brings to life that feeling of being so alone and helpless, trying to cling on to any memory of the other person, noticing their absence, trying new things and eventually moving on.

New Romantic by Laura Marling

I love this song because it’s from the perspective of the dumper not the dumpee. If you’re the person on the receiving end of this song then it’s going to be pretty harsh to hear because it’s so blunt and honest but that’s why I love it. It doesn’t hold back. New Romantic is a song version of a book that’s written with an unreliable narrator. She’s selfish and messed up but she’s honest about it. Great break up song if you’re feeling generally fed up with love and confused by the whole thing.

Pretty Girl from Michigan by The Avett Brothers

Okay this song just makes me angry listening to it again now. It reminds me of a very specific person in my life. For me personally, it feels like this specific person is singing it to me and tearing my heart out at the same time. Just listen to the lyrics. It’s this guy basically saying “whoops I shouldn’t have said/done all those things because whoops you fell in love with me and whoops I don’t love you back and actually I didn’t really mean any of it and whoops now you’re crying soz lol”. But despite the personal connection I feel to this song it is a brilliant song. Especially because it’s not often an artist will write a song from the perspective of a nasty person, usually they want you to be on their side, but with this song you can tell the person singing it isn’t great and they blame the girl’s weakness for her heartbreak and not his own behaviour. Maybe I’m too close to this song and you get something else from it?

Well there you go. Four of my favourite break up songs for very different reasons. Sorry it got a bit personal at the end there but seriously listening to that song just brings it all back and I get very angry. What do you think of these songs? Had you heard them before? I’d love to hear what you think of them! Also, if you have any personal favourite break up songs please let me know in the comments!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

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Why Am I Still Single?

It’s that time of year again. The Christmas decorations are down and the love hearts and roses have taken over. There is a section in every shop – and sometimes the whole shop – that is dedicated to Valentine’s Day and love and relationships and ew gross. To be honest, I really couldn’t care less about Valentine’s Day, the 14th February is just that – the 14th February. I’m all for celebrating love but I don’t see the point in forcing it.

There are probably loads of think pieces out there about Valentine’s Day so I’m not here to talk about that – go read those if you want to get angry about consumerism and capitalism. I’m here to talk about my singledom. It is now coming up to my 5th year anniversary of being single and it’s just hit me that that is A LOT OF YEARS. I didn’t really think it had been that long – just a year, then a couple years, then a few years and now FIVE YEARS. Not that I’m complaining, I am in fact a very happy single person – I’m just curious.

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I broke up with my last serious boyfriend in April 2011 on a bench in Paris (romantic right?). Don’t worry, I know he survived the heartbreak because he’s actually married now (found out on Facebook). Since April 2011, I have not had another serious boyfriend/partner. Yes I’ve dated people, yes I’ve slept with people, yes I’ve really really really liked a couple people and yes I’ve had my heart broken but nothing has lasted more than 2 months in the last 5 years. And I’m going to figure out why.

I’ve had a good think and I’ve come up with 5 reasons as to why I’m still single…

I am a commitment-phobe

Right after the break up I was scared of any kind of commitment. I was 19 years old and about to start university – I wanted to experience everything! But it wasn’t even as logical as that, I genuinely got scared. In the first year after the break up I dated a bunch of people and the moment it felt like it was about to get serious I ran away. Sometimes literally. After that terrifying year I calmed down a bit and felt more relaxed about the idea of meeting someone I would want to commit to. Even though I still haven’t managed it, I’ve definitely put myself out there much more and allowed myself to be vulnerable. I think now I’m only scared of commitment because I’m not used to it, I’m completely out of practice. How does a relationship work?

I am fickle

This is probably my worst trait when it comes to dating. I am so fickle. I get bored easily. I need to be constantly entertained and surprised. I also fall for people really quickly and my emotions are (usually) monogamous so when I start to fancy someone new, those feelings replace the ones I had for whoever I was dating (sorry). I like the unpredictability and spontaneity of my love life. I go on a lot of first dates. If we just text for ages after I’ll get bored and move on. Sorry not sorry to all the people I’ve ghosted.

I am fussy

Oh boy do I have standards. One of the reasons I came out of my commitment-phobe stage was because I said I’d be happy to commit if the right person came along. And I’ve refused to settle for anything less than perfect. My friend’s will tell you that I have a “type” and if you look at a line up of photos of all the people I’ve dated you’d see that they are right. There’s just a certain look/style that I’m drawn to. But that’s not enough: they need to be a feminist but I’d rather not have to talk about it; they need to be ambitious; they need to be intellectual and intelligent; they need to be adventurous; they need to not take themselves too seriously; and they need to be a whole bunch of other things. And sometimes someone is all of these things but I’m just not feeling it you know? I’ve been told by my friends many times that I should give people more of a chance to get to know them. And even though that is a lovely idea and I should probably do it I’m also really impatient and just want to move on to whatever’s next.

I’m set in my ways

Being single for 5 years is a great way to get to know yourself. I have discovered so much about myself, my body and my sexuality these past 5 years and it has been wonderful. It’s been a very formative 5 years moving out of my parents’ house and to university and then finishing university and moving to London. Lots of chances to figure out who I am and what’s important to me. I also know how I like to spend my time which is working, seeing friends, doing leisure activities and travelling. I have my own life and the idea of bringing someone else into it and having to share my time, compromise and make sacrifices doesn’t sound all that appealing to me. I like to go to the cinema by myself in the middle of the day and I just go and I don’t tell anyone. If I had a boyfriend they might get upset that I didn’t tell them I was going or they might have wanted to see that film with me which would have meant we’d have to organise a time and place when we could both go which in my opinion is not worth the hassle. It’s the cinema, you’re going to be sitting in the dark in silence for 2 hours anyway.

I’m a hopeless romantic

Despite all this I am a complete softie. I have fantasies about grand gestures of love; of moving across the world to be with someone because that’s so romantic; of kissing someone passionately after having an argument with them. I’m definitely a victim of Hollywood love stories. But then to make things even more complicated, even though I fantasise about these things happening when anyone is actually romantic towards me in real life I pretend to gag and vomit because I find those situations really uncomfortable.

So there you have it. You’ve properly gotten a look at the inner workings of my head… or heart. Maybe 2016 will be the year I find love…? But as you’ve seen I don’t think the odds are in my favour. Are you single or in a relationship? How do you feel about Valentine’s Day? Let me know in the comments.

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