12 October 2017

My Tinder Soulmate Update (the FULL Story)

I bet you thought that there would never be a follow-up to My Tinder Soulmate post. To be honest, I never thought that I would ever write a follow-up post. I guess we were both wrong.
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10 October 2017

19 Things I Haven't Learnt At 19

As of this moment in time, I am officially 19 years old. We recently celebrated another birthday on this blog, but last Thursday, it was mine. I remember getting really excited nine years ago when I became 10 because I was finally 'double digits'. Seven-years-ago, when I was 12, I stopped celebrating my halves, like '12-and-a-half'. I miss those days. Maybe in six months time, I'll do a post about being '19-and-a-half' but for now, for today I'm just 19.
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8 October 2017

My Adventure in Richmond Park, London | Lost in London

Over the past few months I have asked people to slide into my emails sending me their favourite places in London hoping that when I finally got over here I could go on a whole lost of adventures. 
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3 October 2017

What I'm Studying at University + Personal Statement

At some point last week, on Twitter, I realized that I haven't yet mentioned what I'm studying at university- and I'm heading into my third week. As I've mentioned I won't be telling you what uni I'm studying at but I'm so excited to share with you what I'll be studying.
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26 September 2017

My Teenage Experiences With Alcohol

In grade 10, there was a noticeable peak in my peer's likeliness to going out. Innocent nights ending at 11 became promiscuous, alcohol-fueled jeopardous hours of darkness ending at the dawn of a new day. Clubs became popular; firstly those closer to one's homes and then further and further away. People would arrive at school on Monday and spew out their  latest revelations which their weekend had allowed them with reports of the influx, or lack thereof, of eye-candy and booze.
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24 September 2017

Stop this S***!

Do you have a memory from early on in your life which for some odd, unbeknownst reason you remember really well? Well, I do. Here's a hint: Mine involves being 7 years old, swearing and sitting in a McDonalds's drive-thru.
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19 September 2017

The Honest Truth About My Move to the UK

To tell you the truth, I've re-written the start of this blog post one thousand times over not knowing where to start- or how. One opening begins "Can I tell you what sucks? When your flatmate knocks on every door in the house offering a 'g and t' (gin and tonic)...except for yours". That was one option. I also thought about starting this by saying "I've felt less like myself in this past week than I have ever before" but then I thought that that would be too much of a depressing beginning. So, in the end. I started with this: "To tell you the truth..."
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13 September 2017

My First Day Experiences In The UK

THE NIGHT I ARRIVED:

It’s official! I’m typing this post from the United Kingdom!
I’ve been here for a total of two hours and I would be lying if I said that I hadn’t cried yet- and multiple times at that. Home sickness is a bitch. I don’t usually swear on here but special times call for special circumstances. 
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5 September 2017

Keeping My University A Secret

There is one aspect about this blog that I hope to never have to compromise one- it’s honesty. This blog is my safe space- my bridge to hide under when it rains. My only hope is that I never do anything to negatively affect the honesty that I write with and the trust that I like to think you have in me.
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29 August 2017

A Letter From My Blog to You || 2nd Blog Birthday

Dear you,

Now, I must apologise for the way I started this letter. I wish in place of 'you' could be your wonderful name, but let's just go with it, and please forgive me.
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22 August 2017

Thieves Broke Into My House and Stole...

When a lot of people think of Africa, I'm going to guess that they think about crime. I never did. Growing up in South Africa meant that I had an opportunity to see the country differently...up until today. At around noon this afternoon, I heard my generally very loud-speaking Greek granny whispering on the phone with my mom, back in South Africa- highly unusual occurrence. I knew something had happened... I just didn't know what.
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14 August 2017

How I'm Preparing to Move to London at 18 (Without My Parents)

 One month.

That's all the time between this moment here and the moment that I touch down at London's Heathrow Airport and add another city onto the already longer-than-average list of cities that I call home. I started the whole university application process about a year ago. It's unbelievable to see all those unknowns reveal themselves and lose the 'un' part. It's rather satisfying, too. And scary, but I already spoke about that here.
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2 August 2017

Moving to the UK: The Emotional Side

I don't have dreams often. Hardly ever really. Now and again though I wake up knowing I just experienced a fantastically odd adventure in my head. 10 minutes later though, I usually don't remember any of it. A few nights ago, that statement would not have been true. It was a nightmare that I still remember- almost one week on and almost 100%.

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31 July 2017

3 Unique Blogs You Have to Get Your Eyes On Today

I am a MASSIVE blog lover. I do love a good blog; Show me a string of well put together sentences, a decent layout and unique ideas and I am so there for it. I've visited tons and tons of blogs- probably nearing a few thousand. In my scouring adventures, I've found 3 blogs which I have visited consistently (and sometimes daily).
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19 July 2017

A List of Things That I Love/Hate About Blogging

We all have love-hate relationships. You know, something we can't live with or without. Something that teeters on the two opposite emotions of love and hate. I have a love-hate relationship with a lot of things: siblings, tomatoes and blogging.

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17 July 2017

Why I Consider Blogging My Dirty Little Secret

Since creating my blog back in August 2015, I've posted about my first date ever, my take on my friend's swearing habitsalcohol-induced happenings and being 18 and never been kissed. I'm not sure if you've noticed but these are revealing and vulnerable anecdotes about myself.
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11 July 2017

How I Became A South African-Greek

As I've mentioned before, I'm not fully South African, and as I've noticed over my time in Greece, I'm not fully Greek. So, I tend to double barrel my nationality title to explain my fruit salad of a situation. However, it hasn't always been that was for my family. At some stage, we were all just Greek. Here's how South Africa got into the picture.
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7 July 2017

My Greek Trip Highlights || Girl vs Greece

This isn't going to be your regular travel post. As I mentioned in this post I hate travel posts. So, I'm going to find my own unique spin on them. I've done quite a bit since I first landed in Greece. I won't go into too much detail here, but I've got some highlights from an island I visited, called Crete, as well as some pictures taken from a village, which means I get to strike more things off my summer bucket list.
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4 July 2017

Blogger's Confession: Opening Up To You

Its been a while.
Well, I mean...I haven't posted since Tuesday last week which may seems like nothing to you but its felt like a lifetime for me. I had so many posts planned for the end of June but I wouldn't put them up. Notice my wording? I could've. But, I chose not to.
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27 June 2017

Why I Stripped Down Naked in a Bush (& Strangely Loved It)

You know when you really don't want to go somewhere or you really don't want to do something but you end up going anyways and having the best time? Well, that was me yesterday.
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24 June 2017

Finding My Tinder Soulmate || Girl vs Greece


Despite the stereotypes that follow the millennial generation around, I'm not much into online dating. I think I've always known that. I've often heard about apps like Tinder and stories about how people found love. However, with that comes stories of horrific murders and rapes; That was enough to put me off of online dating... until now.
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22 June 2017

Tips to Maintain Your Weight Whilst Travelling (& Eat All The Food In The World) || Girl vs Greece

I'm surrounding by quite literally the best food in the world- from deep fried calamari, spanakopitas, loukanikopites and about one thousand and one other Grecian concoctions I'm bound to put on weight- especially if this is all I'll be eating for two months (not the I'm complaining). I haven't even mentioned the desserts.
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20 June 2017

41 Bucket List Things to Do in Greece in Summer || Girl vs Greece

I'm nearing the completion of my first week in Greece. Its been so incredibly lovely to be back to a place that is so familiar and yet so unknown. 

I've decided to show my Greece adventures in a weekly series. Each week, I'll post all my photos in the categories of 'people', 'places' and yet to be decided categories that I think are appropriate.
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18 June 2017

The Shocking Story of How My Blog Got Stolen By A Stranger

I had other plans for this post. I imagined pictures of the mediterranean ocean, sandals and a whole lot of summer. But, alas, it seems like that's just going to have to wait. This is the story of how I went to bed one night and woke up the next day with a stolen blog.
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16 June 2017

Writing A Blog Post in the Most Unexpected Place

Under normal circumstances, I’d write to you and say that on ‘my side of this world’ it’s summer…or winter etc. However, this post does not warrant normality in any from. It’s currently 00:13 according to my laptop- whether that means it’s 00:13 in South Africa or the local time at my destination, I’m not really sure. I tend to misjudge all concepts of time when I travel. Also, I’m not quite sure where exactly I currently find myself in the world…but I think I’ve just crossed over into the Northern Hemisphere. I think. I guess that means I’m headed in the right direction.
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13 June 2017

My International Flight Carry-On Essentials

I like to consider myself a seasoned traveller. In my mind, that means I've become pretty good at using planes to transport myself to different time zones and most often to better weather. However, this hasn't always been the case.
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11 June 2017

10 Things I Wish You Knew About South Africa

For many people, Africa is a distant continent. However, for me, on the most Southern tip of Africa exists a country called South Africa. As distant as this country may seem to you, I get to call it ‘home home’, as we established in this post. 
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9 June 2017

5 Staggering Unspoken Sins of the Blogging World (and How to Avoid them)

I've been in the 'Blogosphere' for some time now- enough to be able to pass commentary on it, I think. I use the term 'sin' very loosely, in the title. However, now and again I come across things that just grind me the wrong way. I'm guilty of these too. But, I'm working on them.
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7 June 2017

She Caught The European Travel Bug...

*Cough cough*
I think I've caught some kind of bug.
...I think it's a travel bug.
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4 June 2017

10 Quotes to Inspire Immediate Creativity In You Today

Chances are that if you're reading this you enjoy blogging, writing and creating. I know that sometimes creativity in some form can be in short supply. It happens to all of us at some stage or another. So, for when you just can't seem to catch that creative bug, here's a post filled with quotes that will hopefully inspire you to do what you enjoy- creating.
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31 May 2017

My List of Lasts


It's the end of May! I'm not quite sure what happened to January, February, March and April but somehow we got to May in a blink of an eye. Blink one more time. There's May gone by, too. Tomorrow is officially the 6th month of the year. WHAT?!
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28 May 2017

24 May 2017

I'm Moving to A New Country... And It's Further Than You Think

This isn't the kind of post where I tell you that I'm packing my bag and moving down the street. I'm not moving across town, either. I'm moving to a whole new continent, in another hemisphere, on the other side of the world. I'm moving to London.
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23 May 2017

My Take on Terror

In the early hours of this morning, I woke up like I do on most nights; Met with the darkness and loneliness of the 2nd or 3rd hour of the new day. I rolled over, as I always do, to check the time. This morning, I was half way between the two hours. 02:29. With some form of insomnia creeping over and into my body, I couldn't sleep. Unusually, I decided to seek companionship in my Facebook timelines, which at every odd 3 AM visit, consists of cat videos, photos from the late night partyers and Trump. This morning was different- minus Trump.
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21 May 2017

Quick and Simple Blog Makeover Tips to Implement Now (and Improve Your Blog)

Blogs are so much more than writing. They don't just have to sound good; They've got to look the part too. Aesthetics can make a huge difference in upping the way that people perceive your blog. Your blog is your creative space. You should use design to add value to your blog.
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18 May 2017

The Unexpected Story of How She Started Blogging

How I started blogging?
The Tour de France.
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16 May 2017

List of 60 New Blogs To Get Your Eyes on Now

 I've been blogging for nearly two years now, but I've only come to learn about the most important aspect of blogging in the last few months- community. There are a handful of people whom I have come to grow very fondly of; They are listed here. Some blogs have made me laugh from joy, others have shocked and surprised me and some have riveted me, they too can be found here.
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14 May 2017

Basic Beginner's Guide to Pinterest: Step-By-Step

I remember creating a Pinterest account and having NO idea what the hell was going on- not one clue. I was probably as clueless as a new-Pinterest user gets. However, I'm very glad to tell you that I've come a very long way from Steph circa. 2013. 

I've spent a lot of time on Pinterest lately, figuring out the tricks and tools needed to optimally use the seemingly confusing site. I've spent the time navigating Pinterest so you don't have to. If you're a new Pinterest user, or interested in becoming one, here's a step-by-step guide, which I promise offers insight into the world of Pinterest (which isn't as daunting as you may think).
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12 May 2017

My Life In Numbers

We don't think about it often (or I don't anyways), but numbers largely influence our life. Letters help tell us things about ourselves- like through writing- but numbers can do the same.
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10 May 2017

Surprisingly Simple Steps to Take to Improve Your Blog Writing (and See the Difference)

Essentially, a blog post is most often the arrangement of letters to make words. It goes without saying that behind every great blog, is usually a great communicator. Great writing capabilities can definitely be a useful arsenal to have in your corner.
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3 May 2017

19 & Never Been Kissed

As a naturally curious being, I often used to ask my friends when they had their first kiss (a particularly frequent question in my early days of high school). Often, and to my utter disappointment, I'd be met with answers like "when I was 11, Steph" or "when I was 13". Eventually, I stopped asking people because, at 18 years and 210 days old I've never been kissed.
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30 April 2017

Dominate the Blogging World Using Just 6 Basic Essentials Now

IMAGE: PEXELS
I've been blogging for nearly 3 summers now. Over these years, I've definitely learnt a thing (or six) that make the process easier. With no school or uni to attend this summer, you have free time to really hone in on your current blog and make it extraordinary, or create a blog from scratch; It's never too late to begin.
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26 April 2017

Quitting the Blog

 "Steph, I'm putting you in the 1,5km run on Friday" hollered my coach. "Um.., sure, sir" I mumbled in return not so confident about his athletic plan for me.
Friday came around (miraculously faster than any other week) and the massive stadium was full as far and wide as my then 13 years young eyes could see.
My coached piped up again, "You got this, Steph". In less confidence than before, I answered him again, "sure, sir".
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23 April 2017

36 Questions To Lead You To Love (& My Answers)

Science says that if you and another person- a friend, a lover or a stranger- read and respond to 36 particular questions, the chances of you falling in love increase drastically. Trust me, it's not me saying this- it's science!
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19 April 2017

What Am I?

I'm not fully South African. I'm not fully Greek. I'm a conglomeration of both.

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16 April 2017

Sit Down with Steph || Friends & Student Budget

It's Sunday which means that I'm back with the second episode in my new series where I give thoroughly thought-through advice to questions that you have sent through to me.

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12 April 2017

3 Quick and Easy Spring-Styled Looks

I don't venture much into the beauty and fashion world of blogging- which just so happens to also make up most of the blogging world. I'm not quite sure what blogger I am yet (feel free to let me know if you've already figured it out for me) but I'm definitely sure that this post falls into the blogging land-mass that is 'beauty & fashion'.
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9 April 2017

Sit Down with Steph || Anxiety & Relationships

 My idea for a Q & A series was met with such warm and open arms. Thank you for opening up to me and letting a stranger into your thoughts, worries and hearts. I really hope that I'll be able to effectively offer you my shoulder to lean on. 

In the first weekly installment of this new series, I will be answering questions sent to me regarding anxiety and relationships. In hopes of creating a safe space, I have decided to make all the questions anonymous.

Anxiety 

 'When did you notice that you had anxiety?' - Anonymous
To pre-face my answer to this questions, I would like to say that I do not suffer from anxiety. I do have anxiety (with varying severity) in different situations- but social situations particularly. However, I would not go so far as to say that I 'suffer' from it. My anxiety, at times, definitely makes me feel uncomfortable- uncomfortable to talk to people, to ask questions and sometimes to look at people, but its never been a crippling or debilitating feeling.

As I hit puberty and entered my 'teen years', I became aware that I was more anxious when meeting new people- particularly boys (and more specifically, good-looking ones). I realized that before speaking to new people, like a shop attendant, I would sometimes rehearse over and over again what I was going to say like "just this please". 

I guess, somewhere between adolescence and becoming a young-adult, I became more sensitive to what others thought of me- the way I spoke, the way I looked or the way I dressed- which may have caused and still causes my anxieties.
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'Did your friends and family support you or did they act as though you had made it up?' -Anonymous
I've mentioned my slight anxieties to my mom, who sat with me and tried to rationalize my fears. A good tip that came from our chat was to remember that whatever interaction i'm afraid of or anxious about would only last a couple of seconds, or a couple of minutes but not a lifetime (although it may feel like it sometimes). That soothed me a lot (and still does). I don't think my friends are aware of my feelings but that's because I've never led onto it- and possibly because, physically, it never hindered me.

If your parents or friends act as if you've imagined your anxieties, my advice would be: to confide in someone else. Your parents and friends want the best for you, but that doesn't mean that they will always understand what you're going through. There is always someone who will listen to you, you just have to take some care in finding them and possibly extend yourself beyond your friendship circle. Your anxieties become easier, more manageable, when they're not yours alone.

Your anxieties are very real to you. Even if others fail to see the hold that it may have over you, does not take away or eliminate the value of what you feel. 
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'Do you think you need to get a formal diagnosis to be able to say that you have anxiety?' - Anonymous
I firmly believe that a medical diagnosis is not necessary to say that you have anxiety. If I have a cough and a runny nose, I can assume that I have some sort of flu- no doctor needed. I can make that reasonable assumption based on my symptoms, intuitions and experience. Anxiety, in my opinion, is the same.
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'What are your favourite ways to keep your anxiety in check?' -Anonymous
I think that anxiety arises from fear, nervousness and vulnerability. To keep my anxiety in check, I try to remember the root cause- fear of judgement, fear of flying in case the airplane crashes, nervousness to talk in front of a crowd (both small and large) in fear of messing up. In most instances, I remind myself that this will only take up a few moments of my life. If I'm performing or speaking to strangers, I'm always comforted by the thought that if this goes incredibly wrong, the probability of ever seeing the people in the crowd again are stacked very much in my favour.

For different people, different methods will work. You should try several mental tools each time panic or anxiety arises within you. You'll begin to figure out what works for you and what doesn't and make appropriate adaptations from there. Take a moment to step away from your situation and rationalize your feelings.
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'Do you think mental health is dealt with well, or at all, in the media currently? If not, then how can we help that?' -Anonymous
I do think that more can be done with regards to supporting, encouraging and creating an inclusive community in mainstream, traditional media platforms, like TV and traditional newspapers. There are programmes and articles on mental health but they are few and far between. Media outlets need to balance the need to sell and market their product with improving quality of life by creating awareness for issues, like mental health. The media is largely dictated by its target market, because ultimately, they have to sell papers and advertisements. If the people, the viewers and readers, show interest in topics such as mental health, it will likely become more prevalent in the media, as that is what people will be interested in reading and hearing about. It seems like people's voices need to grow louder, stronger and in unison, to be heard.

Non-traditional media, like Youtube, are more effective in dealing with mental health. Youtubers (in this example) are in direct and constant communication with their viewers who are real people to them, and hence, alter their content to offer guidance and support to those interested in their content. Positive interactions on those platforms encourage people to speak up and begin a positive and uplifting dialogue on mental health.

Relationships

'I'm currently 17 and I've never had a boyfriend. Fortunately, my friends don't care and like me for who I am. I know that it's a stupid thing to worry about and I know that having or not having a boyfriend won't change anything about myself. But still I sometimes feel bad and I feel like boys are just not interested in me. 
Right now, I have a crush on a boy with whom I am acquainted with, so I feel like it would be weird if I went up to him.
Obviously, I don't want to try too hard to get a boyfriend just to have one. I just don't get why I'm so insecure about it and it makes me made that I don't care less.'
What do you think about the whole situation?' -Anonymous
Guess what Anonymous, I'm 18 (going on 19) and I've never had a boyfriend either. I'm telling you that, not so you think I'm more unqualified to offer advice then I probably already am, but because I know exactly what you're feeling and you should realize that you're not alone. Heck, I'll take it one step further and admit that at 18, I haven't even had my first kiss. You're not as alone as you may think you are. I have many friends that are in the same boat as us.

If you've ever had a 'fling' then you know that it feels good to have someone to talk to, someone who asks how your day was and someone to send those flirtatious emojis to. It's human instinct to want to be liked, needed and desired by another human. It's as natural as water.

It's okay to care. Everyone around you could be getting into relationships, moving further and further through the bases and you feel stagnant, left behind. I felt that way. My insecurities arose because I wasn't doing what my peers were doing, so I thought that obviously something was wrong with me. I had to be different from the others. The only way to over come your insecurities is to give love a chance. Go up to your acquaintance and show him what an incredible person you are. If the feeling is mutual, you'll be natural friends and can take it from there.

A good way to become friends with your mystery man is to talk about something that you have in common- like something you both enjoy doing. I know you've done that stalking and sleuthing...we all do it. Bring up something that you've noticed about him that you enjoy too. If you're both comfortable, it will show in the ease of conversation. If things don't work out, put yourself out there by meeting new people. The more options in your dating pool, the more likely you are to find a match.

Not having a boyfriend doesn't make you less anything- less desirable, less pretty or less smart. But, you seem to already know that.

I've really enjoyed giving advice. Thank you to all of those who sent through emails with questions. If you have your own advice on these topics, please do offer it in the comments below. Round 2 will be back next Sunday. Till then, send through your questions to socialspying@gmail.com, and you'll be featured in episode 2 of this new series. Remember, your anonymity is promised. The topic is yours to decide.

Till next time-
Steph

Thanks so much for stopping by. I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I enjoyed writing it! If you're feeling up to it, follow this blog on Google Friend Connect, Bloglovin', on Instagram or Twitter. Drop me an email or a message in the Blogger Contact Form and I'll get straight back to you!

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