JANA HOCKING’S words of wisdom for newly-single Carrie Bickmore after TV star announced shock split

Dating guru JANA HOCKING’S rules of engagement for newly-single Carrie Bickmore after the TV star announced shock split from her partner of 11 years: ‘Get on Raya, head to Westfield, and experiment with women’

Dear Carrie,

First of all, let me congratulate you on your breakup glow up. Those pictures of you in Byron rocking a yellow swimsuit are fire! You’ve never looked so good. I have no doubt the blokes will be sliding into your Insta DM’s pronto.  

Of course, I don’t know if you’re having an good old-fashioned cry while watching The Notebook with a big glass of chardonnay. Or if you’re doing cartwheels around the house and smiling at yourself in the mirror at the thought of your new future. Or… somewhere in between.

What I do want to say is, whether you’re at the start or end of the seven stages of a break up – shock, denial, anger, bargaining, sadness, acceptance and then that wonderful feeling of hope… welcome to the fold!

We singletons are a rowdy bunch, but good lord do we have some fun.

Jana, left, with friends at a recent event at Icebergs in Bondi

Jana, left, with friends at a recent event at Icebergs in Bondi

'Once you embrace the idea of being single, you're in for a ridiculously good time,' says Jana

‘Once you embrace the idea of being single, you’re in for a ridiculously good time,’ says Jana

Honestly, I’m quietly chuffed for you. You have your freedom back and sure, it might suck at the moment, but once you embrace the idea of being single, you’re in for a ridiculously good time.

You see, there’s no more fighting over the TV remote control, nagging them to put their dirty socks in the washing basket, listening to them snore from their hairy nostrils late at night. Nope, you’ve got that whole bed to yourself and free rein over Netflix. Another episode of Bridgerton? I think so!

But I’m going to be honest with you, the dating landscape has changed quite a lot since you were last single. In fact, you’re in for a bit of a shock. First, there’s the dating apps, which you will probably find a little daunting at first. I suggest Raya for a fancy celebrity like yourself.

Carrie rocking a yellow swimsuit in Byron Bay, a couple of weeks before announcing her break-up with Chris Walker

Carrie rocking a yellow swimsuit in Byron Bay, a couple of weeks before announcing her break-up with Chris Walker

Carrie and her Chris in happier times. In her break-up post, Carrie wrote: 'It's with immense sadness that Chris and I have decided to separate. While this is a tough time, our focus is on parenting, loving and supporting our three children Ollie, Evie and Addie with everything that we've got'

Carrie and her Chris in happier times. In her break-up post, Carrie wrote: ‘It’s with immense sadness that Chris and I have decided to separate. While this is a tough time, our focus is on parenting, loving and supporting our three children Ollie, Evie and Addie with everything that we’ve got’

Plus, the rules seem to have changed quite a lot. We no longer pick up the phone to ask someone on a date, oh no. Texting is always preferable – and that can come via WhatsApp, Instagram or your standard texting service. Plus there’s none of this ridiculous ‘let’s go for a meal’ business on the first date. Stick to a drink just in case you need to make a fast exit.

Come to think of it, there’s a lot of new dating lingo that will have you scratching your head, so I’ve put together a cheat sheet of five key things you’re going to discover:

Let’s start with…  

ENM = Ethically Non-Monogamous: Oh yes, all the cool kids put ENM in their dating profiles these days. You see, no longer do people date just one person at a time. Oh no, expect to be put on a rotating roster, and you know what, why not do so yourself. Get yourself a couple of guys to date. Try on a few hats and see which one fits best. Date outside your normal preference. Perhaps give a tradie a go.

Or if you really want to explore…

Experimentation: Why not paddle in the lady pond for a little while? Experimentation is so hot right now. No longer is there a stigma against bisexuals, well at least not in my friendship group. Sure, back in the day there was pressure to stay in your lane – gay or straight, but these days lots of people are dabbling on both sides of the gender scale. Why not go for a cocktail with that girl you’ve always thought was a bit cute.

Jana at the Babylon Premiere in Sydney

'We singletons are a rowdy bunch, but good lord do we have some fun'

Jana at the Babylon Premiere in Sydney: ‘We singletons are a rowdy bunch, but good lord do we have some fun’

Situationships: These days you are more likely to find yourself in a situationship rather than a relationship. Sounds confusing right? Well that’s because it is. It’s defined as less than a relationship, but more than a casual encounter or booty call. Basically we’ve all become a little squirmy at the idea of being in a fully-fledged relationship. Yep commitment is out, sorta/kinda is in.

You’ll probably find yourself trying to explain it to friends and it will go something along the lines of ‘well we’re seeing each other, but like, it’s not official.’ (Even if you’ve been seeing each other for months… possible a year).

Backburner relationships: At some stage you’re going to start wondering whatever happened to your first love. Or that bloke you were seeing before your last relationship really launched. Anyone who has ever made your heart or loins go a little bonkers is known as a backburner. Someone you want to revisit. A ghost of boyfriends past shall we say.

It’s highly likely you will ponder what happened to an ex lover who was good in bed and debate whether you should get back in contact. Spoiler alert: you will, and you will be desperate to see if that flame is still there.

I don’t mind the idea of a backburner relationship, but don’t be surprised if nothing has changed and you quickly remember why you broke up (or stopped sleeping together) in the first place.  

Brown flags: These you want to avoid at all costs. Sure, you’ve heard to the red flags you want to avoid in relationships, but brown flags are the definition of torture. It’s matching with a guy on a dating app and him doing the bare minimum to woo you. You ask him how his day was, he replies ‘good’. You ask him what plans he has for the weekend, he says ‘just chilling’. By now you’re waiting for him to follow up with a question for you… but you get crickets.  

Carrie pictured with female colleagues and friends at The Project just a couple of months before she announced her split from partner Chris Walker

Carrie pictured with female colleagues and friends at The Project just a couple of months before she announced her split from partner Chris Walker 

There are a thousand other dating terms and words of warning I could give you, 
but some you are just going to have to experience yourself. That’s the joy of dating. You never know what to expect next. If it’s good, you can gleefully enjoy those butterflies. If it’s bad, it makes for a great story at your next dinner party.

So, when you’re ready, head to Westfield, pick yourself up some fun party frocks, treat yourself to a spray tan, maybe get a cute manicure and get on out there. There’s lots of fun to be had.

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