Thursday, 8 November 2012

Gift ideas for her

For a lot of guys it’s still too early to start thinking about Christmas.  So you don’t make any regretful last minute decisions, here are some gift ideas for the special lady in your life.

Baby its cold outside
Help her stay warm this winter with a nice set of pyjamas.  There are some really cute ones in the shops that will make her feel cosy and snug and your Christmas angel.

Feeling French?
A stylish knitted beret will never go out of style and are a versatile winter essential.  I bought one for an ex many years ago and she still has it and thanks me every year for buying her such a warm and thoughtful gift.  A perfect gift at whatever level your relationship.

Chanel No. 5 perfume
This timeless, classy scent makes her feel elegant and refined.  It’s a legendary fragrance with a delicate floral scent that brings out the romantic in every woman.  This is one gift for the lady.

iPad mini
Out just in time for Christmas.  This smaller, sleeker version of it’s chunky older sibling will be constantly used so it’s value for money.  She can read all her favourite books, but offers more than just a pint sized kindle - scrabble on the tube to work?  For extra  brownie points why not buy her favourite books, magazines or songs so it’s ready for her!

Even if she’s not a technical wizard, she’ll make magic happen with this simple shoot-and-share camera.  They are affordable and fit easily in her holiday bag.

Chocolate truffle gift
I know it’s obvious and stereotypical but oh so true: your girl loves chocolate.  Why not buy her a gift set of various dark, milk, white…etc…chocolate.  As the chocolate melts in her mouth she’ll be melting on you.

Alphabet jumper
How many times does she come over to your and slip on one of your hoodies cause she is feeling cold?  Sure, it’s cute.  Even cuter is a snuggerly jumper with a giant first letter of her name on it!  A simple, no-frills and personal gift will be much appreciated and become an instant favourite.

Magazine subscription
Fashion, pop culture, travel and current affairs – she will be grateful for a yearlong subscription to one of her favourite celebrity gossip magazine.  This reasonably priced coffee-table conversation starter is really a gift that keeps on giving - for 12 months exactly!

Cupcake making kit
Help her unleash her inner domestic goddess.  Give the gift of sugar, spice and everything nice with an assortment of cupcake-making recipes and supplies.

MAC red lipstick
Your lady will love MAC’s red lipstick for those extra-glamorous nights when she really brings the va va voom.  This will unleash the inner glamour and lets her know just how sexy you think she is.

Who keeps your girl warm when you’re not there?  (She probably wants me but that’s for another blog).  Let her settle for the next best thing: a comfortable blanket. Every cold winter night she snuggles up in this blanket, she’ll think of cuddling up with me you.

Saturday, 27 October 2012

Random message...

Can someone help and explain the following why I've received the following text message:

"Hi, How are you? Amrita xxx"

For those who don't know, Amrita was the airhostess I dated earlier in the year (you can read about my experience with her in 'The Airhostess' entry).  I didn't keep in touch with her after our date as I didn't want to.  I'm looking for a partner, not another friend, afterall.

Why has she sent me a message after 6 months since we last met?

She is interested in me again?

Or is she just being friendly?

After dating countless other guys and comparing them, has she thought to herself that I may be the best one out of the lot?

Is she desperate?

Friday, 12 October 2012

Gift ideas for him

It’s fast approaching that time of year again.  The time of the year when people will be wracking their brains, browsing various websites and window shopping to try and find the perfect Christmas gift for their loved ones to avoid the last minute December rush when all that is left in the shop are paint brushes and washing powder.

Whilst out with friends this lunchtime the girls were all trying to think of something to buy their boyfriends that they haven’t already got.  Socks?  Aftershave?  A jar filled with air?

As girls are more organised, today I will share some tips on what will make your man excited when he unwraps his box on Christmas morning.  Rest ashore, there are no cordless power drills in this list - as much as your man would love it!

Give me some leather!
If you’ve recently started dating someone, a nice leather wallet will go down a treat.  Every man hates a wallet that will not stay closed.  Leather wallets are great for storing all the cards we carry and loose change and notes, and it should be the right size to slip into our back pockets.  Good quality leather products can last forever and never go out of style (which is very important) so you may want to also consider iPad or kindle holders if your man has either of those.

Is your man someone who likes to walk around the house and relax on a lazy Sunday morning in total luxury?  Why not drape him in a nice stylish bathrobe and spray your favourite perfume on it so when he puts it on for the first time he smells and is reminded of the thoughtful lady who bought it for him?  This is perfect for the long cold winters when he'll be spending a lot of time indoors.

Oh so cosy
Us guys aren’t very good when it comes to looking after ourselves at home which is why we rely on hand-me-down towels and bedding.  If your man is still living at home or you’re not happy sleeping in his cotton bed sheets why not buy him some plush towels or silk sheets (men love silk just as much as women).

Film collection
Who isn’t addicted to Homelands or James Bond?  Your man loves watching them because he wishes he was a spy.  An entire collection would go down a treat for him.

Cologne is just as appreciated on the first Christmas together as it is on the twentieth.

Espresso Machine
If you’re in a new relationship I would avoid this but if you’ve been dating for at least a couple of years this will be a good gift as you two know you’re in a sturdy relationship and you’ll both be enjoying the fruits of this gift.  Freshly made espresso at home is one of life’s pleasures.  Don't be surprised if you end up using it more than him and making him espresso in bed!

A classic blazer
Chosen correctly, a smart and versatile blazer can be worn with anything and your man will love it.  This is for the couple who have been together for a while.

Collector’s items
All men hope they discover a rare roman coin whilst digging up the garden or the Holy Grail whist clearing out the attic.  In the meantime, the next best thing is a limited edition watch, first copy of Lord of the Flies or a signed Guns and Roses album.

Music dock
Playing music off a smart phone or laptop is ok but there are so many portable iPod docks on the market that look seriously cool and have great sound quality.  Your man can take this with you next summer when you hit the beach in Newquay or rent a cabin in Lake District.  This gift is a statement so only get this if you’re in a serious relationship and you know you’re going to get that ring on your finger (if you haven’t already got it).

Winter accessories
Unfortunately when it comes to hats, gloves or scarves most men seem to wear items that you would probably find kids wearing on the playground.  Give your man a helping hand and buy him some grown up winter gloves, a thick woolen scarf or a smart seasonal hat.

Fancy a drink?
If you're dating a real man whose favourite tipple on a night out is whisky or cognac then he will appreciate a fine bottle of the stuff.  They vary is price greatly and is perfect at whatever stage your relationship is in.

Sport tickets
All men, no matter what age, love to see their favourite team live.  If he’s not the sporting type why not gift him tickets to see his favourite band.

There is no such thing as the “perfect” gift.  Every man is different, with unique tastes and preferences.  It’s important the gift is thoughtful.  And, at the end of the day, all your man really wants is your company and love.

Sunday, 7 October 2012

The one that got away

On Thursday 4 October 2012 I attended a ball at the Intercontinental Hotel, Park Lane, and afterwards I met up with a friend who was at a dinner date event in Mayfair.  She told me a group of them were going to Claridge’s for drink about at 1100pm and invited be to join them.

When I got arrived I said hello to my friend and noticed an attractive girl,  about 5’4”-5’7” in height (she was wearing short heels), lovely soulful eyes, wearing a really nice greyish dress, tights and works as an osteopath.  We all sat in the corner of the hotel bar and the girl and I were getting on like a house of fire.

I was wearing my tuxedo and she asked to try on my bow-tie (I only wear the real-McCoy  - I’m not a fan of clip on bow-ties or fakes).  I removed it and put it on her and we took lots of photos of her wearing it as a funky accessory and also as a hair band.  She looked cute wearing my bow tie and I let her keep it as a memento of our night.

She was there with her friend, Jas, who wore a sexy red leopard print dress and was asking me lots of questions about my job.  Both Jas and her hot osteopath friend were amazing company.

Unfortunately, I did not get the osteopaths name or number!  I am gutted.  I know I should have asked for it but we were so wrapped up in our conversation (and flirting).

I know she’s from west London and had to leave early on Friday morning to fly up to Glasgow for the day for work.

This is my plea to anyone who may know the girl I have written about.  If you know an Asian osteopath who was at a dinner dating event on Thursday 4 October and took away a bow-tie (as well as my heart) and friends with a girl called Jas, and drank a funky coffee cocktail, tell her to get in touch with me via the site.

Thank you.

Saturday, 22 September 2012

Let's text, not talk - are we losing the art of conversation?

Following my “Carnival Queen” post I have received various messages from readers who have experienced similar problems: they have enjoyed chatting to a potential boyfriend/girlfriend online, texts or on the phone but when they have met up they do not have the same rapport.

Why do some people find it more awkward and nerve-racking in face-to-face situations?  Is this new digital age breaking down traditional forms of communication?

Part of the appeal of texting or chatting on the phone is that it is easier and less intrusive.  Dan, who I met at a recent dating event, told me that online he can be whoever he wants to be: a “confident and athletic businessman” who has the world at his feet, he told me.  When he chats to girls on the phone he prepares what he is going to say in advance and what to talk about so he does not get caught short in conversation.  When I asked him how many long-term relationships (i.e. relationships that have lasted more than a year) he has had he told me “zilch.”  He explained that he found it difficult to be himself around girls as he couldn’t keep up his character.

This is what is wrong with the internet and modern technology.  It makes people forgot who they really are – and often it who they really are that a woman falls for, not the character that guy wishes he was.

Constantly texting and chatting on the phone means we lose the essential art of conversation and interpersonal skills that we, as humans, have evolved over millennia.

Dan went on to tell me he found it difficult to talk about difficult or uncomfortable topics in front of another person.

“I would rather talk about my sex life or my family situation on the phone.  When I’m in a relationship I find it hard to talk about our relationship in person and keep my feelings locked in.  I don’t know why but I just feel uncomfortable walking about important stuff when I see girls.  It's painful”

What guys like Dan do not understand is experiencing pain and being in difficult situations with loved ones is part of life.  Writing an e-mail, texting or chatting on the phone may be less painful but these guys are only cheating themselves.  By continuing to do this they are limiting their ability to form long-term relationships since they do not get to practice the art of interpreting nonverbal visual cues.  As with real reading, being able to pick up on body language takes time and a lot of experience.  By not picking up on these skills, moving forward in a relationship can be scary.

Reliance on mobiles and the internet makes it easier to avoid uncomfortable encounters.  Why express sadness or anger in person when you can commiserate or vent in a text?

It is not just about people not being able to talk about trivial or easy issues face-to-face but also emotional stuff.  Bottling up emotions is not healthy and can lead to depression and frustration.  It is important to have someone you can talk to openly about whatever topic.  There is no need to feel embarrassed.  By not having these real world experiences how can we form personal relationships?  This affects everyone in all manners of public life.  Having conversations teaches us to think, reason and self-reflect.

Whilst some people do not like talking to others in person, some people even find phone conversations difficult to manage as they have to pretend to be interested and engaging.  Others find it easier to conceal their feelings by e-mail and text as they can control the conversation and pretend to be interesting by using the various e-motions.  How many people have used smileys in their messages to ensure they do not get misinterpreted?  People can say exactly what they want to say without interruption, hesitation or repetition.  Is this unusual?  I know the older generation would not think twice about sending a message to a friend.  Older couples have their interpersonal skills ingrained in them as they have developed these over the years.  Many young couples who have grown up with text messages and social media think the virtual world is world is reality.

Personally, I have noticed I send more short, silly and random texts and emails than I used to.  Updating girlfriends on things they probably don’t care about like what I’m doing, eating or wearing, for example.  The basic chit-chat is now being lost.  In addition, our attention span is being reduced by our crave for short quick conversations that get to the point.  How many of us get bored when out partner talk for more than 30 seconds?  (Heaven forbid!)

A great example I have witnessed of how social media and texts have been ruining relationships is by writing “I’m sorry” and pressing send.  This is incredibly emotionless.  If the person who is apologising picks up the phone, or better still meets in person, and offers a complete apology this means they are fully aware they have hurt their partner and the recipient can see this in their partner’s eyes and behaviour.  The guilt of the person will result in a compassionate response.  There are many steps that are missed when you send a message.  When an apology takes place over the phone rather than in person, the visual clues are lost but the voice – and the sense of hurt and contrition it can convey – is preserved.

I know a few guy friends who have texted the obligatory “Happy birthday” so they can avoid the fake enthusiasm; or sent a message saying “Working late, sorry” to avoid talking to their girlfriend, especially if they may be out with friends or at home.  For guys, it means we avoid the “How are you?” or any awkward questioning.

I am not saying we should do away with texts (personally, I do prefer to talk to people than text so if I had my way we would do away with it – if you see my mobile phone you will notice how out of touch I am with modern technology) but couples should try and see each other as much as they can.  If you live in different cities or country’s add Skype or Facetime on occasions so you can actually see each other and interact.  Too much texting and emails will affect you.

Monday, 10 September 2012

I'm not saying she's a gold digger but...

I have not had much luck lately with meeting girls I can see myself settling with online or from dating events.  It’s not because I have not tried to like the girls but we just have not clicked.   Another reason for me not being able to find Miss. Right is because I’ve met too many girls who are after one thing as my recent phone date illustrates.

I went back to my parents home this weekend and my dad told me about a friend-of-a-friend-of-a-friend-of-a-friend who has a daughter who’s “single and ready to mingle” (only dads can talk like that).  They said she’s 25, studied Geography at Leeds her family live in Kent.  I was given her e-mail address and sent her a message with my number and a photo attached.  I got a prompt reply.

Thanks for the message.  It’s lovely to hear from you and I like your photo!  You’re very cute!! J
I work at Savills in London and live with my parents in Kent…I’ve recently returned from a fabulous holiday in Monaco…it was amazing chilling by the beach and drinking till the early morning!
It would be great to chat.  I’ve got your number saved on my phone…I’ll call you tomorrow after work!
Look forward to speaking with you!
Clare J x

I liked that she called me cute!  Other than that, it’s difficult to form an opinion on someone from just one message.  When she did call me the following day, I definitely formed an opinion of her from the questions she asked me and what she said about herself.

“I’ve heard your family have a few investments in-”

Before she could finish her sentence I had to interrupt her.  “Investments?  Who have you been talking to?”

“My dad know’s someone who knows your dad.”

“Err.  Ok.  Let’s not talk about the family, let’s talk about us.”  I had to change the topic.  It’s not that I don’t like talking about my family but what my family do is private and I am not going to talk about them to someone who is still a stranger to me.

We spoke about the Olympics briefly before she returned to the topic about my family, “How much money did your dad make from the sale of-”

“Woo, easy there cowgirl!  How do you know about that?”

“My dad’s friend told us.”
“Your dad’s friend has told you a lot about my family.  Why are you so interested in the business side so much?”

“Just interested,” she casually replied followed by a giddy laugh.

I asked her about her recent trip to Monaco and she told me about the other holidays she had taken this year.

“I spent the May bank holiday weekend in Dubai which my friend Tony paid for.”

“Did you pay him back?”

“Oh no, he offered to pay and said he wanted to treat me!”

“Treat you?  A guy will not treat a girl for nothing.  He will expect something in return.”

“Don’t be silly!” she chuckled, “He’s nice guy and wanted to take me away.  I’d always wanted to visit Dubai.”

‘Is she a gold-digger?’ I asked myself.  Everything she seems to talk about revolves about money.  Her dad drives nice cars, she enjoys luxury holidays in the south of France and Dubai, and only ever seems to shop in high-end shops.

I changed the topic and we spoke about the latest Prince Harry scandal in Vegas, and then I asked her, “What’s your ultimate dream?”

Without hesitation, “To be on the cover of Vogue!”


“Yeah, have you heard of it?”

“I know vogue is Latin for fashion.  I’m also aware Vogue is a chick’s magazine.”

“It’s the best fashion and lifestyle magazine on the planet and I want to be on it!”

Who does this girl think she is?  Cameron Diaz?  I’ve not seen a photo of her – she never e-mailed me one – and I wasn’t going to ask her how hot she rated herself because she probably would have said something outlandish to describe herself.

“That’s very ambitious!”

Clare laughed.  “Yeah, and I expect my boyfriend to be able to afford my lifestyle!  I’ve heard you live on your own in London.  How much do you earn?  If you don’t mind me asking?”

WHAT?!! How and why is she asking me that question during our first conversation?  “Sorry, I’m not going to answer that.”

I wanted to know more about her past so I asked, “Do you mind telling me why you’re single?”

“I get bored of guys easily,” she effortlessly explained, “My ex was a vet but wouldn’t take me shopping and didn’t invite me on holiday with him when he went to the Dominican Republic with his family.  Before that I dated a project manager but he moved to New York but we still keep in touch and he pays for me to visit him in his place in East Village.  I’m actually going there on November for Thanksgiving.”

“Your ex is paying you to visit him?”

“Yeah, what’s wrong with that?”

I wonder how many other of her other ex's pay for her to go on holiday.  At the rate this conversation was going I was thinking of buying her a holiday – a one-way ticket to the Moon!

“What’s wrong with expecting to be treated like a Queen?”

“Don’t you think you have to earn that?”

“Don’t you think I deserve it?” I could feel the tension in her voice as she asked me.

“No.  With me you have to earn that-” but before I could finish she interrupted me.

“You’re cheap!”

“What?” How can she call me cheap?

“If you think that then I don’t think I’m right for you and we shouldn’t be talking to each other!”

“You’re dam right Clare!  I’ve not seen a photo of you but I’m sure I could see your picture next to Gold digger in the dictionary!”

“I beg your pardon?!”

And then I heard the cut-off sound – she had hung up on me.

Whoops!  I should not have said that but she had to hear it.  From the questions she asked about my family’s investment portfolio and my bank balance, plus the way she describes her flamboyant lifestyle, she was a girl who expected her man to buy her the world.

Is Clare not aware that she may be labelled a gold digger by others?

There’s nothing wrong for girls, and guys, to expect the best but they have to remember they need to work (hard) for it.

Saturday, 1 September 2012

First time sex

Last night I was at a dinner party event in Kings Cross where I met Gary.  A smart man who told me about his new girlfriend.  Things sounded great between them and he glowed as he spoke about her.  She lives in Southampton and he is based in North West London so they try and see each other as much as they can.   They have been dating for three months but there was one thing bothering him.

“We haven’t done the business yet.”

“Sex?” I asked to double check we were on the same page.

He nodded, “We’re always flirting wildly with each other and when we meet up we stay round each other’s places, sharing the same bed and have fun but she hasn’t let me ‘park my car’ yet.”

I went on to ask him if by not having sex this meant they were not a proper couple.

“Of course we’re a couple.  I see her as my girlfriend and we’re in an exclusive relationship.  We’ve discussed this and we’re happy,” Gary explained, “We’re very happy with each other!”

“Why do you feel you need to ‘park your car’ then?  How do you feel this will improve your relationship?”

“I need it!"

For many modern men we need to be satisfied physically just as much mentally, but when is the right time for a new couple to do it for the first time?  If men had their way it would be within the first half-hour of the first date.  Fortunately, women think with their brains and make us wait (often until sperm is ready to explode from our balls).

Not all girls are hung up on waiting for a specific time frame but it is important that both of you feel comfortable and mutually know the time is right.  Gary and I spoke about how getting intimate with a new person can be clumsy and there is so much at stake the first time.  He’s ready to pounce on his girl the open she says “yes” which is a school-boy error.  Being with someone new is stressful enough because you are worried about what each other are thinking but it is important to accept that mishaps are bound to happen.

Here are some different scenarios when the girl may feel it is right for her, and the both of you.

The first date
Most relationships when sex takes place on the first date are destined to fail.  It gives both people a bad label – more often the woman than the man, sadly.  If you bed someone on the first date you have to ask yourself, “What do I want in a relationship?”  “What does she want?”  If a girl gives out this early on it is too good to be true.

The third date
If she waited about three dates it is still too uncertain to predict how the relationship will pan out.  A lot can happen in only a few dates depending on what you did.  When I reminiscence about one of my ex’s, our first two dates were amazing but afterwards the relationship went downhill.  If she had given herself up on or after the third-date I would have used her for sex.  Seriously!  Men would use a girl for sex and make her think there is more to the relationship.

If you only went clubbing on all your dates then chances are you probably don’t seriously know what makes one another tick.  It’s quite easy to predict when a (sexual) relationship is purely about lust or comfort (e.g. the rebound) rather than genuine desire to get to know the other person.

Two or three months
If your woman waits a couple of months or so, she’s probably a very sharp lady who got to know you and felt that you two were attuned on every level.  You finish each other’s sentences and know what each other is thinking (you must be compatible if you can do this), so sex will hopefully be excellent.   Keep in mind that if you only went on five dates in five months (texts and phone conversations do not count), and she gave it up on the fifth date, then that does not mean she waited five months, that means she waited five dates – a gigantic difference.

I calculate that if both a guy and girl lived in the same city and were able to meet up, in two months they would probably go on about 10 dates.  You have hopefully got to know each other reasonably well and realise whether or not there is a potential future between the pair of you.

Wedding night / Honeymoon
Some girls will wait until the ring is on their finger although that seems to be happening less and less in the MTV generation.  I must admit: I find this admirable.  I know, however, of one couple who put off having sex for this special occasion and were left disappointed by the anti-climax.

Why the let-down?  First off, just as healthy communication and common interests are important in a relationship, so is sexual compatibility if both people think sex is important (or just a bit-part) to them.

If she waits until the wedding night to give it up, she’s a respectable woman with values.  Do discuss how important sex and being intimate is to both of you, especially if one or both of you are virgins.

An exclusion relationship
When starting a new relationship one or both you may still be seeing other people to keep your options open.  If this is the case I would avoid sex at all costs as this will fuck up your relationship and your mind.

One guy I met, Tom, told me how he was dating and sleeping with a girl before she dropped the bombshell to him that she was also sleeping with another man!  It made him feel sick and he left the relationship as he found it difficult to be with a girl who was so open to sleeping around before settling down with someone.

It is important and emotionally comforting to know the person you are sharing your body with is not bedding someone else in their spare time.  This makes sex more meaningful.

As time goes by
For months you’ve been passionately kissing and groping her breasts, but you’re wondering when you’re going to park your car in her garage.  Finally, after 96 days (you know because you’ve marked the days in your blackberry calendar) you won’t be sneaking into the bathroom to finish yourself off anymore as she’s finally let you in!  Was it good?  Was it worth the wait?   Just remember, now sex is on the menu it’s important you’re imaginative and make it just as enjoyable for her as it is for you otherwise you’ll be back to finishing yourself off in private.  Communication (it always comes down to this) is important so talk about sex just as much as you talk about work, friends and other interests.

My friend Heidi enjoyed the long build she had with her current partner.  She told me the long drawn out flirtation led to more anticipation and resulted in really good sex.  Girl’s like Heidi are rational and don’t make rash decisions (which also explains why she’s successful in her job I guess).  They are keeper’s and describes Gary’s girlfriend.

Feeling comfortable and understood
Stripping down in front of someone new can be nerve-racking.  This may explain why some people use their comfort level with being naked as a way gauge if they are ready to go all the way.  Maybe one of the reason’s Gary’s girlfriend isn’t “giving out” just yet is because she’s still getting used to the idea of being naked around him?  Or maybe it is all about being understood and knowing that the both are in sync with each other’s thinking and feelings?

How long can you hold out for?
Men: if you’re dating a woman, why don’t you use your initiative and try holding out yourself?  I know that this will require a lot of control and patience on your part but, you never know, she may end up wanting you more than ever.

There is no “right time” to wait before having sex as we are all different people looking for different relationships at different stages of our life.  I would definitely advice you wait and get to know your partner first.  Why rush things if you know you are going to spend the rest of your life together?

Anticipation is the greatest aphrodisiac.  And the last time I checked, sex was still a sacred experience.