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Forget cat ladies: the real tribes of modern dating, from fantasists to routiners | Life and style



Ten years ago, in my second year at university, I threw a Lord of the Rings-themed party. I would be embarrassed about committing this to print had it not been in New Zealand, where all parties are Lord of the Rings-themed.

I was a Ringwraith, having spent an unfeasible amount of money on eBay for a hobby horse. Some guests on the way to my house in costume, were accosted by strangers of about our age, who asked: were they going to a Lord of the Rings-themed party?

Why, yes, said my guests, magnanimously – come along!

“Hang on,” said one man, hurriedly turning back down the hill. “I’ll run home and grab my sword.”

And that is how my party came to be gatecrashed by a stranger wearing a cloak and wielding a very real sword. That is also how I know that comedian Hana Michels was right when she declared: “Sword guys are a thing.” Writing on The Cut website in 2017, Michels defined the distinct type of “man who collects swords, values swords, or has ever used the phrase: ‘Respect the blade.’” Her authority? She had had sex with them. All of them, she said confidently. “I spent three years of my life with a man who owns a Klingon Bat’leth. And a cane sword.”

One of the unintended consequences of the search for love is encountering members of small but distinct subsections of society with whom we would not ordinarily cross paths. The homogenising effect of dating-app algorithms pairing like with like may be denying us opportunities to discover a new “type”.

Dating is, at best, an enjoyable way of meeting new people and forging relationships. At its worst, it can be thought of as an anthropological survey, the results of which we can hopefully draw on years later and nod sagely: “Oh, yes. They’re a thing. And I’ve had sex with them.” These are the tropes and tribes of modern dating.

Dog girls

“There is no better demonstration of sexism in our society,” Michels wrote, “than the fact that we talk about cat ladies but not sword guys (and I do not mean to disparage either).” For what it’s worth, this list is intended in the same spirit. Cat ownership may be seen as an (often sexist) symbol of having given up on love, but in the search for it dogs are far more visible. Dating app users, especially (though not exclusively) straight women, love dogs. There is a reason men pose for photos with dogs they don’t own.

“A huge number of women have profiles with things like ‘Obsessed with dogs’; ‘Only swiping right for your dog’; ‘Looking for someone to get a dog with’ – it’s almost like a formula,” reports my friend, a straight man. He has a phobia, so rules himself out of responding to women who say on their profiles: “If you don’t like dogs, we can’t be friends.” And as an out-and-proud dog girl myself, the knowledge that a relationship is the most practical/feasible route to having one of my own is something that I actively have to counter in assessing potential partners: do I actually like them? Or would I just put up with them for a dog?

‘No Vacancy’

They say that they are looking for a relationship, but as you get to know them it increasingly becomes clear that this spot in their life is, in fact, already occupied – usually by the spectre of an ex, who they find cause to bring up all the time. Being with them brings to mind that Black Mirror episode where new partners have preordained expiry dates, and dating is merely a self-serving means of getting over somebody else.

It is not always romantic baggage – sometimes there is an overly involved best friend or, heaven forbid, parent. Reddit’s relationships forum of 2.7 million members is full of threads questioning the closeness of grown adults to their mother or father. One representative summary reads: “I’m not sure if this closeness between my boyfriend and his mom is normal, or if this is ultimately going to destroy our relationship.”


The polar opposite of the above are those looking explicitly for A Boyfriend, or A Girlfriend – any one will do. They will hint about your moving in and “joke” about your wedding, uncomfortably early on. You’d have beautiful children together, they say, before they even know your middle name.

They are usually Piscean, if you have any truck with that sort of thing. The most compelling case for astrology is that author Jonathan Safran Foer is a Pisces and he allegedly left his wife for Natalie Portman … without conferring with Portman first.

Domestic blitzed

THE WIRE - SEASON ONEPicture shows: l-r Wallace (Michael B Jordan), Malik “Poot” Carr (Tray Chaney), D Angelo Barksdale (Larry Gilliard, Jr.) and Preston “Bodie” Broadus (JD Williams). (c) HBO TX:

‘It’s not until you’ve finished all of The Wire that it dawns on you: have you gone anywhere together?’ Photograph: BBC/HBO

Some fantasies, of course, are co-created. There are some pairings where you so easily construct a cosy world for two – getting takeaway and watching telly, moving between the bed and the sofa – it is as if you have been together for years after a few weeks of dating. It’s not until you’ve finished all of The Wire that it dawns on you: have you gone anywhere or done anything together, beyond get brunch? Have you ever been in the presence of a third party?

Relationships can get surprisingly far on food, sex and the mutual consumption of content alone. It may be that, months in, you may not even have had an actual conversation – which is how I once came to discover that I had been going out with a 9/11 “truther” conspiracy theorist.

The makeover candidate

At the other end of the spectrum are people who will put a chair in front of a TV in an otherwise empty room, and call it a home; who own precisely enough crockery and bedlinen to serve their needs (just about) alone. Their only domestic concession to the jump from student living to adulthood has been putting their Reservoir Dogs poster in a frame. Substitute Le Chat Noir for women, because women can slum it, too – though let’s be honest: they usually don’t.

The Ned’s Club Lounge at London Fashion Week Men’s: 8ON8 Presented By GQ ChinaLONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 05: Jonathan Van Ness attends the 8ON8 presented By GQ China show at the Ned’s Club Lounge at London Fashion Week Men’s at The Truman Brewery on January 5, 2020 in London, England. (Photo by David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images for The Ned)

Mattress talk … Jonathan Van Ness. Photograph: David M Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images for The Ned

These are the men (I’m just going to say it) whose friends and family, privately despairing over their living standards, might once have hoped some hapless woman would come along and “sort out”. Now, in these more enlightened times, they appeal to Queer Eye, as Laurie Penny wrote in The Baffler, to teach “basic life-skills like learning to clean your room and deal with your childhood traumas”. To quote the Queer Eye star Jonathan Van Ness: “What? You just said you have never shopped for a fucking mattress?!”

Born performers

All the world’s a stage for this lot. With the slightest encouragement – and quite often none at all – they will be delighted to read aloud to you, or perform Under the Bridge on their acoustic guitar. The best-case scenario is that they find one another: think of the US businesswoman Jennifer Arcuri’s happy reminiscence of her honeymoon period with our elected leader, where mutual quoting of Shakespeare’s Sonnet 29 had “a weird sense of foreplay”. Not that that ended especially well.


The biggest challenge of dating as a straight feminist woman, assuming you are looking for a life partner, is identifying a properly feminist man. There is a vast expanse of questionable grey area to navigate before you get to the unapologetic pick-up artists and misogynists – and even those are not always easy to identify from three old photos and an emoji bio. “Softbois”, for instance, present as emotionally open and in tune, and may simply be attempting to bond over bands and your mutual “brokenness” – or may be masters of emotional manipulation. (@beam_me_up_softboi, on Instagram, is a mind-boggling resource.)


High Angle View Of Woman Sleeping On Bed

Too late to date … a couple of friends have ended promising relationships with night owls because they like to sleep by 9pm. Photograph: Adam Kuylenstierna/EyeEm/Getty Images/EyeEm

After you have been single for any length of time, you tend to become an expert in how to make yourself happy. This is a mixed blessing. Yes, it is probably necessary for lifelong contentment, and certainly for happy and healthy relationships. But when you could write a user manual of many pages for yourself – down to optimum mealtimes, bedtimes and downtimes – you can get a bit, uh, rigid about sticking to it.

One of the most enjoyable parts of dating, anthropologically speaking, is the insight into the highly specific ways that other people live their lives. You would be surprised at how many people cannot get to sleep without an episode of Friends on Netflix, or white noise on Spotify, or the comfort of a cuddly toy – even when someone else is sleeping over, even for the first time.

Though they may sound fairly superficial, these preferences or quirks can easily prove the hurdles at which new partners fall. A couple of friends have ended promising relationships with night owls because they prefer being in bed by 9pm. Many people are also reluctant to compromise their diet or exercise regimen for a potential partner, meaning your choice of dating venue or activity might be determined by whether they are fasting, or cutting, or currently in ketosis or out. That’s not even to mention the teetotallers. How they do it, I’ve got no idea.



Adorable Mac style Pocket Pillows by Throwboy on Kickstarter now




Throwboy first came to our attention with their full-sized pillows shaped like retro Mac computers and other popular Apple products. I own five of them, or at least I did until my children swiped all but one of them. CEO Hoyos initially just made the pillows for his girlfriend, who loved them so much she posted photos online. The photos went viral, so Hoyos put them on Kickstarter, and after a successful campaign, a business was born. Throwboy’s newest endeavor is a miniature-sized version of these popular pillows.

The new Pocket Pillows are crafted from soft vegan fine-grain plush. The bottom half is filled with poly pellets to give the pillow some heft, while the top half is filled with poly fiber stuffing for softness. The details are embroidered on with satin stitching.

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Available to reserve on Kickstarter now, the pocket-sized Mac-style pillows are being made in two different styles to start: the original 1984 Mac computer, and the beautiful Bondi blue 1998 Mac. If the campaign is successful, more styles will follow. As with any Kickstarter campaign, the earlier you invest, the better price you’ll get, but it’s not without risk since not every Kickstarter project goes into production. Throwboy is offering a Super Early Bird special at $11 and an Early Bird at $13, while the regular price will be $19.

Throwboy Pocket Pillows

Mac-ify your desk with a cute beanbag plush toy shaped like your favorite computer.

Join the Kickstarter campaign to be amongst the first to get this handheld retro Mac styled executive toy. Choose from two styles, 1984 or 1998.


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beautiful and awesome bridal mahandi design for women’s and girl’s


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Teaching Millennials the Truth About Abortion — Women of GraceWomen of Grace




Commentary by Susan Brinkmann, OCDS

Polls have found that seven out of 10 young voters support restrictions on abortion, results that are giving pro-life women the perfect opportunity to use their feminine genius to open the eyes of young women to the truth about U.S. abortion law that is too often hidden behind “reproductive rights” misinformation.

The Christian Post is reported on the poll which was released last year by Students for Life of America’s Institute for Pro-Life Advancement. Conducted by the polling company, inc./Woman Trend, it found that only seven percent of millennials – people between the ages of 22 and 36 – support taxpayer funding for abortions and abortion without any legal restrictions.

On the other hand, 70 percent of those surveyed said they support limits on abortion with 42 percent saying they oppose abortion “broadly.”

Even though equal numbers identify as “pro-life” and “pro-choice,” being “pro-choice” doesn’t necessarily mean that they support abortion on demand through nine months of pregnancy. Pollsters found that many millennials (28%) support specific policies such as parental notification, limiting late-term abortion, and halting government funding of the practice.

The poll also found that 41 percent support overturning Roe v. Wade with 51 percent saying they opposed Roe after learning that it allows abortion through all nine months of pregnancy.

Millennials would also like to have the right to vote on abortion-related policy and want a voice in forming abortion policy.

Fifty-six percent oppose selling chemical abortion drugs on-line or dropping the requirement for a physical exam because of the risks to women.

By a three-to-one margin, (48% vs. 17%) millennials said they prefer that their tax monies go to Federally Qualified Health Centers rather than Planned Parenthood.

While this poll is definitely bad news for anyone who thinks millennials are an automatic vote for abortion on demand, folks on the pro-abortion side of the aisle can also learn some valuable lessons from these findings.

As Kristan Hawkins, president of Students for Life, explained to the Post, “ . . .[L]abels like pro-life, pro-choice, access, health, or women’s rights often camouflage the true realities of the policies that today crisscross the country,” Hawkins told the Post.

What we need to do is unveil the “nitty gritty details” of abortion law so that the younger generation can see just how radical some of these laws really are.

“Especially as we talk with Millennials, who are often outside the political structure of Washington, D.C., the anti-abortion movement must be clear on what we are advancing and its impact on mothers, the preborn and taxpayers,” said Hawkins.

Women play a key role in providing vital information about respect for life, particularly when it comes to mentoring younger women, too many of whom are falling into the “pink hat” movement due to the prevalence of misinformation on the subject of “reproductive rights.” There are a few simple things we can do to change that!

First, remember that we have been called to “watch carefully over the future of our race” and to do so by employing our feminine genius which has equipped us for just such an endeavor. We have the sensitivity to understand the hearts of others, the receptivity to be open to the gift of life no matter what form it takes, the generosity to make ourselves available to those who need us, and the maternal instinct that promotes unity and peace in the human family.

Second, we need the grace to learn how to apply this genius to the world around us. This is why our first line of defense must always be prayer – to God the Father asking for the grace to use the gifts of our feminine genius for His sake, to God the Son for the grace to endure whatever hardships this might entail, and God the Holy Spirit for the wisdom and love we need to convey the truth to those who might not be open to hearing it.

Third, we must do our homework! Stay abreast of the truth about abortion and “reproductive rights” law in the US by taking the time to visit pro-life websites and conservative news outlets such as this one. The vast majority of mainstream media is pro-abortion and often presents a distorted view of the pro-life position, often referencing it as “fanatical” or “anti-woman.” This makes alternative news outlets the only source of factual information on the pro-life position.

Always remember that many of those who are promoting the culture of death also do their homework even though they don’t have any more time than we do. But passion to promote their cause fuels them to do whatever it takes to win over the minds and hearts of others.

However, we are not fueled by human passions which are swayed by every turn of the wind. Our fuel is the grace of God which gives us a supernatural strength to not only engage in the fight, but to do so with wisdom and grace.

© All Rights Reserved, Living His Life Abundantly®/Women of Grace®

Want to learn more about your genius? Sign up for the Women of Grace® Foundational Study program and learn all about it!



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