Is She Ready For a Relationship? 5 Signs You Could be Wasting Your Time

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Guys, ever been on a date with a girl where she can't stop chatting about her ex? She starts trash talking him about how he did this, did that. In the back of your mind you're thinking, 'wow this guy sounds like a real dick, I'm nothing like this guy'. 

That's sign number one

She can't stop talking about someone in her past is never a good sign. Unless the guy abused her physically or emotionally, then take it with a pinch of salt. Maybe after about 30 minutes of her whittling on about how he forgot every anniversary, pipe up with 'Hey, knock it off! I'm not here to talk about him.' To quote Bill Withers, "Put them other cats away and let me try to make something in your life." 

Sign number two

You're not the project. 

What's that mean Cryptic Carl? 

It means she has something going on in her life, that is unequivocally more important than you. The relationship is a by-product, you're the passenger. 

Her project is often 'herself'. I need to work on myself, ever had that one pulled on you only to find she's in a relationship two weeks later? I once dated a girl who was doing massive renovation work to her house. I didn't mind helping out, it felt like something we were both working towards. 

But I quickly realised that this was her house. This was her sole objective and she was not about to be derailed by the restraints of relationships. Which is fair enough. I'm wildly attracted to driven and ambitious women. I'm also mindful that I could be viewed as a distraction and any distractions or obstacles could be jettisoned/dispensed with quite ruthlessly. As it duly did. 

Sign number three

She loves to travel right? She talks about nothing else. Maybe she's already talking about her retirement plans in the Costa Brava, but guess what, she's not mentioned the key word once, "WE". 

Where are you featuring in all the grand schemes in her life? Does she envisage you both on that Morocco beach piling through the happy hour menu together?  

This is a red flag in my book. We all like to dream big sweetheart but we need to dream that dream together. 

Sign number four

She drinks like a damn fish. But you're hooked on this girl so you've also inherited a mild drinking problem. Perhaps it's the only way the two of you can have a lucid conversation. Break down the barriers of shyness. 

When a girl drinks like every night is a hen night, then she's not in the right place. Maybe you like to get a buzz on, get out on a Friday together and cut loose, but it's bad news if you're trying to catch that same buzz every Friday night. Or even in some of my own previous experiences, every night. 

There is something going on underneath. Something she thinks the booze can heal. But of course, to coin an old adage, the answer is never found at the bottom of the bottle. 

Sign number five

She's not asking you enough questions. When you're wondering whether she's into you or not ask yourself, has this girl even asked me a question in the last half hour? 

I've listened to her rabbit on about how tough it is being an influencer (which it isn't. roofing, working on a production line, being a hod carrier, digging ditches, that's tough) but she hasn't even asked what it is I want out of life. 

Any girl that lets 30 minutes go by without asking a question is a narcissist. Not a great sign she has any room in her life, when she her own inflated ego is taking up all the space. 

Please Note: I’ll be one of the men’s coaches at the Dating Show Live in June if anyone would like some one-to-one advice or support.

Mental Health | Why Social Media Can be the Catalyst

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It's been a whirlwind few weeks for me. Most of you may have guessed that something was afoot from the dogged-dour undertones in my latest stories and Instagram posts. As the old adage goes, you never really know you're on top of the mountain until you're sliding down, and conversely, never know you're in a pit, until you're forced to climb your way out. 

This past week the eyes of the world have turned to Mental Health. It seems weird that as a society we only allocate one day of the year to focus on this blithe. I've developed my entire brand around social media. In a way it defines me, it emboldens me, whilst simultaneously being a saboteur of my sanity. 

I'm sure we all know that feeling of needing attention, but there is no catharsis for the out-bleeding of emotions on social media. Although we've come to depend on that short-sweet spike of attention that comes with a flurry of likes and comments, it pales in comparison to an arm around the shoulder.

It lacks any form of nourishment and in the end, the virtual family we've become so heavily dependent on to prop us up with that false sense of appreciation, eviscerates. It compounds our hollowness as we're constantly looking for it to satiate something illusory.

Put simply, Social Media is purely a crux, a servitude for our boundless narcissism. It's not equipped to tackle nor cure such complex personal issues such as depression, heartbreak or loneliness. 

That's not to say that Social Media doesn't have it's upticks. Who's to say a simple comment or like can't be anodyne to ones insecurities or loneliness? I've carved out a career around Social Media. It keeps the lights on here in the Thompson household and both Kevin Systrom and Mike Kriege (founders of Instagram) can sit at the head of my dinner table anytime. 

For the greater good we must appreciate the very essence of what Social Media has imbued into our day to day lives. People are less likely to slip through the cracks of life now that we have a more connected society.

For example, how many times have you seen someone post or share news on a missing person or pet? I love the quote a criminologist from Florida used citing Social Media as the new milk carton campaign to find missing teens.

As a business tool it of course helps my outreach, but it also inspires me to do better. It's a fine balance, somedays social media makes my life feel a little anaemic that I'm not in that perfect relationship, on that amazing holiday, wearing that awesome coat. But conversely, we all need things to aspire to. So long as those aspirations and expectations are realistic. 

 

Christ this supposed to be a blog on positivity and gratitude Carl! 

I'll get to that at the bottom. My five things that have helped me but first I'd like to refer you to a video that has been doing the rounds, all the words in this video have resonated with me so thank you Steven Bartlett. 

Steve talks pointedly about social media being the biggest killer of relationships today. It was simpler times for our parents and grandparents that never had to combat the perils of having a thousand and one 'keenly filtered faces' being one coquettish DM away from having your partners knickers down. It's something that Steve so aptly names 'the illusion of choice'. 

The choice is another thing that magically disappears once your now re-indexed from forbidden fruit to rebound-damaged goods. 

But the biggest takeaways I got from the Steven Bartlett video was how we've now mistakenly identified what a true relationship looks like. If you took a myopic-digital analysis of all relationships it would probably look like every moment was lived on a Hollywood movie set.

You'd be drowned in a cacophony of balcony shots overlooking the Eiffel Tower or Lake Como. It would sound like the constant 'clinking' of champagne flutes and every photo would be lauded with saccharin lovey-dovey sentiments. 

No wonder we're so surprised when people break up these days. No arguments are documented online, no trouble on the home front can ever be exposed to the masses. 

"I don't get it you two seemed perfect together. You were the most romantic of couples, always declaring your unbridled affection for each other, what happened?" 

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How do I turn my life around? 

Don't take it so personally

That's right snowflakes, it's not always about you. It's sometimes about the other party not having the god damn self-awareness to know they've turned you down. Oh unrequited is the worst word in the English language isn't it? Followed by, not feeling that spark. Urggggh. Girls, keep on searching for that illusive spark. Is it a thing or have you just seen it on someone else honeymoon reel? 

Find the humour

It's the best medicine, trust me. Have a glance through your rolodex, pick out your friends you know that will cheer you up. They're probably the worst listeners also, which is fine. You're not seeking to unload all your crap onto them. You call on them to do the opposite, take your mind off it. 

Absolute radio silence

In my experience the fastest and easiest way get over a breakup is to go cold-turkey. I’ve got a really stubborn side to my personality that actually makes this possible without the need for blocking but I have to be honest, I’ve cracked and it’s most often after a few too many drinks.

However as I’m offering advice here…no more back and forth on the text, checking you're ok, wishing you happiness and all that. A clean break is what you need. If you think, 'Maybe I didn't try hard enough to keep her, I should fight more for this relationship' then you've watched too many Bridget Jones Diary movies.  

Get to work - be like Liam Neeson 

Get in shape. If you're already in shape get in better shape. The exercise will tire you out so you're not watching box sets 'til 4 in the morning. If you're already making money, make more money and revel in it. Do everything and more. Liam Neeson never turned a single script after his wife died. 

Be grateful, it's not the end of the world

Someone else is having a worse day than you. Jesus Christ did you see that story from New York about that Limo crashing on the way to a birthday party, killing all 18 people inside and two pedestrians. Four sisters died in that crash, you imagine being a parent to that? I know right, your problems aren't worth sh*t in comparison to that. 

Don't Blow it | What to Wear on a First Date

Hello gentlemen, some of you may have got wind that I'll be appearing on the The Dating Live Show in November. Over the years I've been guilty of being over meticulous when it comes to selecting outfits for dates. Ironing my pocket squares and bleaching the crepes of my outer soles with obsessive-fastidiousness. 

Having pride in your appearance is one thing, but shouldn't be done at the cost of sucking all the fun and frivolity out of fashion. 

 

1# What NOT to wear on a first date 

No gilets. I made that mistake some years ago. My primary focus was utility on this particular date. It was nippy, we had been over familiar on the texts which meant I could dress down. My date arrived looking incredibly exotic in a Burberry dress and sequin jacket. Immediately she remarked upon my gilet and scoffed. 

The date was terrible, partly because my confidence was blown before we had even reached the restaurant. 

TIP: Make the effort. This is an audition. You're not watching the footy down the pub with your mates. 

  

2# Make that change

That's right listen to immortal words of Michael Jackson. If you're going to a date straight from work then you must prepare before leaving the house. Don't crumple your date gear into a plastic bag along with your lunchtime bananas. Make the effort; it's the best way to make a first impression. 

TIP: There are plenty of clothes carriers out there to help you keep your clothes immaculate during travel. I would recommend the David Gandy designed Aerodrome travel carrier for Aspinal of London.

 

3# Don't put on a costume

You're going on a date, you're not opening a store on Savile Row and there won't be a swarm of paparazzi flocking in a rugby like scrum taking pictures of you both. My point is you don't need to wear the punisher for this one. (The punisher is the one outfit in your wardrobe you wear to stop traffic). Wear something you feel confident and comfortable in. 

TIP: Choose comfortable fabric and less constricting clothes. Don't opt for any figure hugging. There is nothing more off putting for a woman than having a button pop off and land with deft defying accuracy in her flat white or Aperol Spritz.

 

4# Smart Casual 

When I go on dates I tend to wear neutral or monochrome colours, fitted jeans, contrasting each garment but softly. Ultimately I want my outfit to be reasonably safe, no garish or bilious motifs or logos. I'm a huge proponent that you can't go far wrong with a crisp white shirt.  

Just please wear clean brogues or trainers. (Despite my self-effacing opener about bleaching the crepes of my trainers, I still dutifully clean them before leaving for a date). 

TIP: To coin a football analogy you just need to run this into the corner flag. You've done the hard work and got her on a date, don't risk going for broke on anything ostentatious. Simply obey a couple of rules; clean trainers, fitted clothes not spray on, no gambles. If you'd like to embellish the look at all accessorise a little with bands, bracelets, necklaces, certainly a watch. 

 

5# Envisage and give her something new

Dress your age. I've completely forgotten about that one. Remember you're 35 not 25, no need to rock the R2D2 tee shirt, unless you're taking her to a convention. Actually, screw that. Who cares if it's a convention, dress like you're auditioning for the role of future husband.

When you arrive on your first date you should also wear something that she hasn't seen in your online profile picture. She might see you in that outfit that you're wearing in a dozen or so Instagram posts and think you're wardrobe survives on shoestring budget. When you ask her to go halves on the coffee, no matter how 'new man' you want to come across, her suspicions will be confirmed. 

TIP: Not every date warrants a new trip to Reiss, but change the order up. Make sure there's a new combination that hasn't been snapped or seen before. If you're really on a shoestring budget ask a close friend if you can borrow 'that shirt' you like. 

  

6# Believe in yourself

You know my philosophy of never being in competition with yourself. This ideology has to be nailed down before you arrive on the date. 

You need to project the best version of yourself and your choice in wardrobe will say a lot more than the spoken word ever could.

Being comfortable and most importantly confident in the clothes you are wearing will breed confidence in other areas of your date, such as the chat and the flirty interactions.

Remember above all else, have fun. Remember to smile, like she said, 'You're never fully dressed without a smile'.  

TIP: Don't slouch; make sure your posture is not slovenly and hunched. Try and arrange the date in a venue you're familiar with to ease anxieties. Opt for comfort over style. Again, this is a date, not a lifestyle shoot for GQ. 

 

How Much of Attraction is Based on Looks?

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I want to know how much do women rate looks when it comes to attraction. The majority of women I talk to will tell you that the first thing they notice about a man walking towards them is the height. How does he carry himself? Then it's a case of working from south to north. What is he wearing on his feet? Followed by what is he overall style. Do his clothes fit? Is he slovenly or does he take pride in his appearance.

The looks are probably the last to come in to play.

So what are women looking at when it comes to a man and how can you fine tune these areas of your game?

 

Can I naturally increase my height?

There is some things that you're just going to have live with. Height being one of them. However, if you're hung up on height then you can always try some of these tricks.

Pile the hair. Assuming you have some, creating a top knot or some kind of buffoon really does gives a taller impression, again creating a more vertical line. Look for shampoo that will enhance the volume and accentuate appropriately without donning the Jedward.

Avoid horizontal lines. Yes, shame, you probably love that Breton striped tee and that leather belt that belonged to your Granddad, but they've got to go. The horizontal line that is created by the belt visually cuts the body in half.

Elongate the Neck. A long neck has the verisimilitude of length. If you're short with long hair, you'll be covering the neck and doing your height an injustice. V-necks are a decent way of exposing some extra neck but then you'll be wading into appropriate chest hair territory. 

Platform Shoes. Awhile back I highlighted the new collection from Parisian shoe maker Clergerie. They have some quite out-there designs but with a very exaggerated heel. Contradictory to that I'm going to tell you that you should pair the shoe colour with your pants, as Mia Du Plessis writes on Quora.

You need a shoe that does not contrast too heavily with trousers. Keeping your pants the same colour as your shoes will make it more difficult for the eye to distinguish where the leg ends and the foot begins. 

 

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Do women prefer muscular men?

This might sound like a no-brainer but there are some women that will scoff at the site of a muscular man. Remember Woody Allen has sex with countless women and do you think that guy ever benched more than his typewriter from one room to the other?

I've thumbed through a couple of studies that women’s past short-term sex partners would be more muscular than their other (longer term) sex partners. 

The findings show that women find muscular men sexually attractive but believe they are less likely to be committed, and further studies suggest women prefer less muscularity in a long-term partner. 

 

So should I bulk up? 

Women prefer muscles, no doubt about it. But judging by those studies, the women that go for muscles are not going to hang around for long. 

I'd recommend simply getting in between walking around weight and fighting weight. If you're currently in holiday weight mode, then you're going to have work twice as hard to get attention. 

 

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Finally, what about hair? Do women fancy bald guys at all? 

Jason Statham crushes more ass than you could possibly dream of. He's even called 'Handsome Rob' in the Italian Job remake and the dude is now 50 without a hair on his head. 

In truth some do. Some don’t. Older women are more likely to be okay with bald men than younger ones, but that's me being generalist, not based on fact. 

However, a blanket statement that does apply is that bald men are definitely more attractive than balding men.

If you shave your head it subliminally tells people you're transparent, have nothing to hide, women prefer those qualities. 

Alopecia can get you down. Luckily it's not something I have to deal with but it's one of many mens health issues that a lot of guys struggle with. 

A little side note that a lot of web forums will site Jason Statham, Vin Diesel and Yul Brynner as the sexiest bald men of all time. Only two of these gentlemen were bald. Yul Brynner shaved his head, he was bald by choice. 

That's it from me, I hope you've taken away something from this article. Ladies if you have anything to contribute then please leave a comment in the box below. 

 

The Best Books to Up Your Dating Game

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Gentleman, it's been over 13 years since many of us picked up The Game by Neil Strauss, chucked on the most bilious of shirts and peacocked up and down the streets of Soho like the horrible wretches we were. Has there been any other decent books about dating since then that will help us up our game? Here's a list I've put together for you. 

 

Confessions of a Tinderella 

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It's not all about learning chat up lines and body language. This book from Rosy Edwards talks about what Tinder can be like from the other side of the fence. Are women just as frivolous when it comes to swiping as guys? Are they any less materialistic? Rosy talks about where guys are going wrong on Tinder in a candid and hilarious way. 

 

High Fidelity - Nick Hornby

Yes it's fiction, but High Fidelity is a real page turner. The film is also a great watch and it really encompasses a spiritual journey that all men would like to embark on; hounding out our ex-girlfriends and finding out why they dumped us. 

 

You Just Don't Understand - Deborah Tannen

How often do we get to hear that? Tannen makes the important point that if two people communicate in different ways, continuing with the same approach - only trying even harder - won't solve problems when they are at cross purposes.

Not currently in print but well worth digging out if you find it pop up on eBay or in vantage market stalls. 

 

Why Men Don't Listen and Women Can't Read Maps - Allan Pease

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This book demonstrates the fundamental differences between men and women's brain circuitry. There is some clever use of humour and some nice anecdotes, which enhance the pleasure of reading this book.

It is well written and uses scientific fact very well to explain human behaviour. Slightly sexist and dated at times, so anyone that's a fan of the early James Bond films will love this. 

 

On Love and Loneliness - Krishnamurti

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Sometimes we need to pull back the onion layers on a relationship and ask what we are really in it for? Is it a quick bang? Are we filling a Dad shaped hole? (That's for the women reading, otherwise that sounds weird).

On Love and Loneliness is a compelling investigation of our intimate relationships with ourselves, others and society. 

 

Why Men are the Way They are - Warren Farrell

I once read that any man that hasn't read this book, is walking around with a blindfold on.

It's a book that sympathises with both sexes although centres on Farrell's assumption that men prioritise women's looks in their partner selection, while women have multiple criteria. 

 

How To Flirt With Women & Get What You Want: A Guide To Flirting, Dating & Seduction - Ryan Harris

This book doesn’t only tell you how to up your game, it teaches you the benefits of a positive mindset, and really engaging with mindfulness, to bring your successes to other arenas of your life.

This book focuses on creating quality connections with women, recognising and utilising your own strong points and building the confidence to use them to their fullest.

 

JOIN ME AT THE DATING SHOW LIVE 2018 - BIRMINGHAM NEC

Saturday 24th & Sunday 25th November | Day tickets £22 Weekend £45

Get your tickets here

Help for Single People | The Dating Show Live

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Single men of the world stand fast! I have the conch and this is a call to arms for all my single brothers. Converge! I have some big and exciting news that could transform your single status. The world’s biggest dating show, The Dating Show Live will be making its debut at the NEC in Birmingham on 24th and 25th November, a once a year two-day event.

First Dates, the nation’s favourite TV dating show is coming “live” to run a Café right in the middle of the Show for all visitors.

 

I'm single but quite shy, can I take a friend?

Yes, absolutely! Group tickets start at £22 if you want to bring up to 4 friends and make it a social thing. If you think that being an introvert is holding you back then Nick Davies, Hypnotherapist/Psychotherapist will be helping folk to bolster their confidence. 

He's also on hand to help anyone get a toxic relationship out of their head so they can move on and on the Sunday, will be hypnotising a guy to make him the most attractive guy in the room.

 

Carl I'm doing ok with Tinder; do I really need to go? 

Well good for you dude! But you're not doing that well on Tinder if you're still on Tinder right? Unless your end game is to stay on Tinder for as long as possible. 

If you'd like some advice on how to use Tinder to its full potential, then Mr Tinder (the man most swiped right on Tinder) will be offering advice to men on his couch in “The Sitting Room”. 

But the very question of why you'd want to remain single is a good one, lets address that for a second. 

 

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Can you be happy and single? 

Sure, it's completely doable. But it's not until you find a great partner to share your woes and celebrate your wins that you realise how vacuous your single life was. 

There's also the landmark days like Valentine’s Day. The commercialism is terribly tacky, but the underlying feeling that you're missing out on something is palpable, no matter how much you remonstrate. 

Single wedding invites. Urgghh, to be capped with a celebration of other people hopelessly in love. Being the single dude at the wedding is almost like being wheeled out in a freak show as the man with 2 heads. 

The incessant set ups from mutual friends. I get it, no one wants to see Carl lonely but I consider myself more De Niro in Heat lonely than I do Richard Richard from Bottom lonely. Thanks for the reminder of the single stigmatism thought folks. 

 

What else is on at the Live Dating Event? 

If you're still not convinced whether this is worth your time and money, then perhaps ask yourself these questions. Are you any good at Speed Dating? How's the wardrobe looking, do people ever compliment you on your style? Are you up-to-date with all the latest grooming products and advice? 

These are just some of the topics that will be covered by specialists and brands at the event. John Scott, the TVs much-loved Stylist has teamed up with Cici, Style Icon from First Dates to run live fashion makeovers.

And if all that is too much for you then there is always the safe haven of the Beer Tent.

www.thedatingshowlive.com

 

How to get a kiss on the First Date - Live the Moment

No kissing on the first date Andy Garcia said in the movie Things to do in Denver When You're Dead. That's insanity! What if it's Groundhog Day and you only have one date? What if your date gets hit by a firetruck and you need to give her the kiss of life? You need to Live the Moment sometimes and go for broke. So in this article I want to share some secrets on how to get a kiss on a first date. 

Firstly, it doesn't matter if it's the last night on earth, you won't get a kiss nor anything else if you rock up to the date with toothpaste down your tie or mud on your trainers, so let's get the wardrobe element sorted first. I have a couple of staple garments that take up the 'dating wing' of the wardrobe.

I'm not sure if it's a good thing but it's constantly evolving. This week I've made some key additions that fuse that tricky line of smart/casual perfectly. You'll want to look smart, but not stiff and certainly not as if you've just come from the office, on the way to the office, or still in the office. (If you're in the office it's not a date gentleman, it's a meeting at best). 

I have recently injected some fresh looks courtesy of JacamoA Joe Browns Dylan Blazer. It has a subtle white check over a herringbone pattern. Casualise the blazer with a smart plain coloured tee underneath. The blazer has a hint of purple in it also, slightly imperceptible but it just adds texture. 

The Long Sleeve Tan polo is erring on the casual side, but the tan is a fresh colour. So many polos come in navy which is dull with indigo jeans. You just fade into the background. Style over a white oversized tee (or simply untuck your tee) and you'll get some good contrast or 'colour spacing' as the stylists like to call it. 

The Black boots are high shine, less susceptible for getting scuffed and dirtied before, during and after the date. Will also give you an extra half inch or so in height with the reinforced heel. 

 

Make sure you touch her hand during the date. 

A girl did this to me just in casual conversation once and I've never felt more electrified in my life. It was so unexpected, nothing was insinuated, it was the most natural experience I've had. I sound like I've never been touched before right? 

If her hand is on the table opposite you, lean in and cup it, give her the punchline to a joke or something natural, and then un-cup and lean back and smile. 

 

Bring up the conversation of kissing

If you've already broached the subject, then it will grease the wheels for when you go in for the kiss at the end of the date. 

Perhaps a story of how bad your first kiss was. Maybe a story of how bad you screwed up a first date kiss and it wasn't reciprocated. Laugh about it and show her you're not egotistical, you can be self-effacing and modest.

But also joke, 'the joke is really on her because I was awarded best kisser in the class of '89'. It was the only badge I got in boy scouts.' (Obviously make that gag your own). 

 

Go for Broke

You don't have to wait until the end of the date. You can just go in for a kiss anytime you want you know. I'd try and judge the chemistry and body language beforehand, but if you're getting good signals just go for it. 

It will show you're capable of being spontaneous, ballsy, works great if you're actually none of these. She'll have to rethink her whole assessment of you. You know that's how Tommy Lee pulled Pam Anderson? He just went up to her and kissed her. 

 

Point to the cheek but then go for the lips

A little misdirection and guile is needed to pull this one off and probably a little bit cheeky, so this one comes with a warning, that you have to judge the situation prior to attempting. Effectively everyone will go for a kiss on the cheek at the end. So if you go in for a kiss on the cheek but at the last second peck her on the lips it's a brilliant boyish manoeuvre.

 

Ask her

I always forget this one but it's the most blindingly obvious. She is more than likely wanting you to kiss her, but is reticent to initiate and also doesn't want to ask herself. 

So be the man, be the GENTLEman, take advantage of how polite we are as a culture and ask her if you can have a kiss. Best of luck gentlemen, let me know how you get on. 

 

SHOP MY JACAMO STYLE EDIT

*This sponsored post was created in collaboration with Jacamo UK.

Lara from Match.com Trial/Review

A year since Match’s artificial intelligence chatbot Lara came to Facebook Messenger, daters can now use  her as their personal wingwoman through the Google Assistant. Yes, that's right I said wingwoman. "Lara can be my wingwoman anytime." Cue the climatic emotional music and hug it out!  (As a quick aside, did you see Tom Cruise posted a picture from the production of Top Gun 2? Simply wow). 

I digress. 

In a UK first, this innovation is the first time that a dating coach has come to a smart home device. The new service offers you a unique ‘daily match’, bespoke dating tips and suggestions of the best date venues, all through informal conversation.  

And about time! For all those that are reading my dating blogs, you'll appreciate I have a personal vested interested in this technology. This introduction of Lara from Match paired with Google Assistant can change the game in dating. Or should I say up YOUR game. (Deep referential sniff). 

You can strike up a chat with ease by saying, “Okay Google, talk to Lara from Match”, and through artificial intelligence and key word recognition technology, Lara understands your intentions and can hold a full conversation to help you though your dating journey.

This will come as great relief to my closest friends who must feel like they're only in my rolodex to serve as a soundboard to my dating woes. And that's something I must change. 

They'll attest to being my counsel when I need advice on what to wear, where to go, and even who to date! Now Lara does exactly that. I imagine at some point that technology will reach that point of singularity and I'll be sending Lara on these dates. 

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ME - "Hey, honey how was your date?" 

LARA - "Oh she's way out of your league Carl, plus she supports Chelsea, I should have flagged that up sooner, sorry".

Of course I jest, but Lara proactively encourages continuation of conversations by offering further dating tips and asking if you need any more advice. The more you chat to Lara and the more she gets to know you and the more tailored her answers will become.  

 

So what tips has Lara given me so far? 

I like the confidence booster tip. 

 “Strike a power pose and stand there for at least 2 minutes before your date”. 

I have employed that one. Makes sense to me to find a good relaxed posture and look that doesn't feel forced. You might consider it the Everest of male vanity, but it’s all about projecting a positive aura that others can latch on to. I stop short of slapping myself round the face and saying 'you've got this'. I save that for Kobox

 

Lara has also sent me daily matches to my phone based on the criteria I've given her. 

ME - Lara find me Scarlett Johansson 

LARA - You're looking for someone that looks like Scarlett Johansson 

ME - No find me Scarlett Johansson, the real thing. 

(Yes I know that's a gag lifted from the BBC sitcom Bottom, for those about to email me accusing me of plagiarism). 

For Match members only, Lara will help you find a date by selecting a unique member profile based on your Match search preferences (age, location and common interests) once a day. The profile details of the daily match can then be sent to a phone via SMS, allowing you to seamlessly contact your potential date.

 

Anything else? 

There are plenty of features, but I'm really just giving you a taste of my experience. 

I also found the location finder a handy tool. I know London fairly well, but finding those best kept secrets is getting increasingly harder. 

Lara can offer suggestions for the best date location. She will ask what kind of date setting you are looking for and use Google Map’s Geocoding API to make a recommendation, such as the best place for cocktails or a quieter place for coffee.

Providing you give permission, Lara will then offer to send you the details via SMS with a link to a map. The more you chat, the more Lara will learn from your dating experiences and then suggest more relevant locations in the future, based on your feedback.

 

Is this the future

A great question. Certainly the advance of chatbots have advanced immeasurably in the past couple of years. 

They've become a useful tool for businesses (so much so I'm looking at installing one to assist my customers on my Hawkins & Shepherd site as we speak). For example They certainly alleviate the mundanity of replying to everyday questions such as 'do you deliver abroad?'. Most common ones are 'what time are you open?'.

Chatbots do not require breaks, get frustrated or get tired like human employees. According to some experts, chatbots will be indistinguishable from humans by 2029. Scary or good news?

 

Before you go

For anyone about to try this new-fangled technology you should know the daily match functionality is only available for Match members. You need be signed into a Match account with Google for Lara to offer the matches.

We are always looking at the role technology can play in improving our member’s experience to offer them new ways of meeting their potential dates that will easily fit in with their busy everyday life.

Building upon the success of Lara on Facebook, we wanted to enhance and explore the possibilities of AI, which has provided us with a great outcome so far.

We look forward to developing Lara further as technology evolves.”  

Enjoy Lara (that sounds weird) and let me know how you get on.

 

How do you Know a Relationship is Exclusive?

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Ever wondered whether you're actually going out with a girl, or just so happen to be on a string of consecutive dates? Is there any way of knowing whether it's ok to hedge your bets and date other women? How do you know if she's not going on any other dates? 

I got a move for you. On the fifth date, if it's still unclear and you have an awkward break in conversation where you're groping to find something to say that's not lecherous or borne of misogyny, ask her if it's ok to set you up on a date with her sister. Then you'll know if it's exclusive or not. Of course I jest. Or do I? Seriously, it's a minefield out there. 

I can't speak on behalf of women. So for all the ladies reading, this is how you know that a man is waiting for the go-codes on whether you’re exclusive or not.

  1. He's invited you to leave your stuff in his house. Amazingly 36 per cent of Brits have deliberately left something at a date’s house in order to give them an excuse to return. I refer you to a very incisive article in The Independent by Rachel Hosie who has done her research on this one. 
     
  2. He's added you on every available social media channel. He's probably also following you in real life or has paid someone to. He wants to know what's going on, where you are, who you're hanging with. Bless him he's crazy about you. He'll certainly tag you in a few posts.
     
  3. He's calling you by something other than your name. And I don't mean fraudulently calling you by your sister’s name in the middle of some horizontal jogging. He wants to cement some idiosyncrasies into the relationship to give its own identity. If you like him, you'll inevitably do the same.
     
  4. He'll get a little weird. Perfectly normal this. He might be winding up to tell you that he's ‘all in’ with you (poker analogy). And when dudes have something bottled up, when they're out of their comfort zone they lose composure. So look for signs of him being tuned out (he's probably rehearsing the big 'are we seeing anyone else' speech in his head), clammy hands, general nervousness.
     
  5. He’ll ask you round about questions. Like ‘what can I tell people when they ask me about you’. If he’s man enough he’ll come straight out with it. Ladies remember to be nice but ruthless. If you can see it’s an iniquitous relationship, I.E you’re not into him as much as he’s into you, then don’t tag him along.

 

Top 5 Ways to Spring Clean Your Life

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Bloggers love Spring, we love it! It's the time when brands come alive and the wardrobes need revamping. But a spring clean isn't entirely exclusive to chucking all the fast fashion into a charity bin. Here's my top 5 tips on how to declutter your life and make some road for the road ahead. 

TELL HER TO HIT THE BRICKS

Is she the one for you dude? Has your relationship turned into comfort food where it's making the both of you fat? Are you careering towards a loveless marriage that will suck ten years out of your life? Seriously unpack your relationship into mini fun size Tupperware boxes and ask yourself, does this look like a fun picnic for you. 

TRAVEL CUP

£3.60 for a coffee now in Liverpool St station. With 3 new coffee shops opening a day in the UK, it's no surprise we're all skint with the amount of coffee we're consuming on a daily basis. I'll admit I don't have one in my life as of yet, but I'm flirting with this Contigo West Autoseal Coffee Cup. According to an article in the Daily Mail the average Brit spends over £2,000 a year on coffee. Did you know you had a £2k a year drug habit!?

DIGITAL DETOX

Oooh the digital ones. I picked up this little nugget from The Health Sessions run by trained psychologist Jennifer Mulder most people I know have a dozen or so INSTA pages, twitter handles and Facebook business pages that are now cyber ghost ships drifting in the ether.

Yet they still manage to ping you emails, alerts, texts, as if they're inviting you to come rescue them from the binary beyond. I managed to get rid of subscription alerts and spring clean my notifications very easily with Unroll.me

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WARDROBE

Ah yes of course it was coming. Just divorce yourself from emotion and get rid of all the crap. Everything you've not worn in the last 3-4 months, toss it! Allow yourself one sentimental piece, and hang on to the interchangeable garments that can expand your wardrobe, but the rest can be put out to pasture.

If you're looking to make a little beer money from your hand-me-downs but are struggling to shift stuff on eBay, try Depop. As recommended by Ali Gordon on the Menswear Style podcast

TAXMAN

Being a one-man band it's tough to do everything yourself. If I ever had to clone myself, I'd call him me2 and have him just handle my tax returns. (Although I'm sure me2 will become self aware and start applying for dating reality shows). I personally use XERO, cloud based software designed for SME businesses and I have it on good authority that the HMRC will only accept tax returns submitted using accounts software packages in the future. 

 

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That’s all I got for today. Let me know if you’re thinking of doing a spring clean of your life and if you have any further tips, drop me a comment in the box below.

 

What do Women Mean When They Say 'No Spark' | Dating Advice

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It seems like an implacable rebuke, how can you work your way back from 'I'm sorry, I just didn't feel any spark between us'?

The truth is you can't. Women that reached this conclusion after a first date are obviously not interested in the delayed gratification. Or perhaps don't have the time nor inclination to test the slow burn theory. I'm personally in agreement with Stella Grey from The Guardian who wrote, 

'People who won’t agree to a second date “because there was no spark” are … I hesitate to say they are idiots, but they are discounting something that could prove to be a slow burner.' 

But what are women really saying when they mean there is no spark? For guys it can be dumbfounding. Especially when guys feel they delivered their A-Game. The conversation was fluid and peppered with light-inoffensive gags, and you didn't get drunk this time, right? 

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What is the Spark? 

I'm no woman, I've never used the line. I can only assume it means one of three things.

1# A bit like style, you know it when you see it. A 'Spark' is almost this indefinable feeling that permeates through every sinew.

2# An easy-out, a line that sounds better than 'I didn't find you at all attractive, and I can't see any scenario, including one where we're both forced to repopulate the earth for the sake of mankind, where we would end up in bed together'. Bless her she's just safe guarding your feelings and keeping you in her rolodex in case she needs you to build her a website, replace her spark plugs etc., pardon the pun. (WAIT is that what they mean?). 

3# A sign of being inarticulate. I understand this one actually. They were hoping for something more than what they've got. We've all been handed a pint of lager in a plastic cup before haven't we? That feeling of loving lager, but not like that. It's not imperceptible, it's palpable. Sure we might drink the lager, but we're not hanging around here. I agree with the Date Technician on this one who says

"No spark means she may have found you interesting, and nice, and kind, and funny, but not attractive. She’s got friends for those other qualities. She’s looking for all of those things PLUS a bit extra – the thing that is going to make her think about you long after the date and waiting by the phone for you to message her." 

In conclusion, the 'no spark' line leaves you with nowhere to go. Because it's nebulous. You can't improve your spark factor. You can work on charisma, you can work on confidence, your style, all of these elements I'll be looking at in more depth. So stay tuned, keep your chin up. And if you hear the words 'no spark' think of all the times you've circumvented the truth to protect someone else's feelings. 

'Really I'm just not ready to date, think I need to work on myself for a while. No it has nothing to do with the fact you have horrible kids, look nothing like your pictures and didn't put your hand in your pocket once to buy a round'. 

The 3 Big Mistakes You’re Making Between Dates | Dating Advice

Awesome first date? No kiss at the end. Amazing 2nd date, still no kiss. Third date is beyond thunderdome; you're Mel GiveMeSome (Gibson) and she's Tina TurnMeOn, (It's a solid gag I'm sticking with it) but still no kiss! What is going on? Is it time to grow a set of balls and send her the 'are you interested or not?' text? Holster your weapon soldier.

Believe me I have been in this boat with a girl that I ended up dating for a while. I couldn't figure out if this was going great, she was just wanting to be friends, if she thought I was Don Juan De Pedro or what! We met on Tinder, we messaged each other non-stop until our first date. 

I've always been fairly good on the text chat, as all sardonic and self-effacing men with nothing to lose should be. Dates were never my strong suit at the beginning. Once I booked a restaurant in St Pancras Station for a date, and couldn't even find it. After doing about five laps around the station I gave up and bought her a Pret Sandwich. Never bothered with a follow up text for that one. But what should we do between dates? 

3 rules

Don't lose momentum

The key to dating early on, especially if you're on Tinder, is to keep up the momentum. There's really little point in playing it cool after date number one, waiting for her to text. I can't remember a time when playing it cool ever ended in a scenario that led to me getting any action, you know? 

I can't remember RSVP'ing to my friend’s wedding and putting 'my coolness' down as a plus one. Don't break a winning formula, use the same tempo that got her on the date and get her on a second date pronto. 

Don't send dick pics!

You're super horny, I get it. You might even be tempted to ask her what she's wearing to bed in the hope she says 'nothing' beckoning the - 'PROVE IT' cliché. Don't fall into the trap of doing what every other numpty is doing; sending pictures of his balls. If she is not responding to your flirty innuendos, doesn't mean she's not into you. It might. But hopefully it just means she's just classier than you. 

Don't change your profile picture

Weird one this, but if you've met your girl online, and you've been on a couple of dates, don't update your profile picture on your dating site! My mate did this one. He innocently changed his profile picture from colour to black and white because he thought it looked cooler. (Again, how's that cool thing working out for you?). Next thing you know he's sent packing. Sometimes black and white isn't worth the fight. 

My advice is don't go on the profile at all. I often hear my mates say, 'I'm only going on there (dating site) to see if she's on there'. Don't get embroiled in that rubbish. You're better than that. 

So there you go, three don'ts, and I hope this has helped you out. I have been on the online dating scene for about 2-3 years and it is hard. It is like that island in Life of Pi where nothing lives. If you have any questions, leave some notes in the comment bar below and I'll try to give you some advice.

 

SHOP MY SS18 FIRST DATE OUTFIT

5 Ways How to Overcome Rejection Like a Champ

First off it's always a bummer being on the receiving end of rejection. You have all the messy red tape and acrimony that comes with the division of equity. There's the sudden loneliness. Then of course you see them on social media with their new found love doing keepy-ups in their new Barcelona kit. God I'll never forgive you Phillip Coutinho. I digress. 

But there are ways we can handle being dumped like an absolute champ. Believe me I'm a seasoned veteran, I've been sent out on loan and told to never come back plenty of times. Here's 5 tips for you guys that will ease your suffering and get you back in the saddle. 

EVERYONE WINS

I always thought that being dumped was an entirely one sided defeat. That the dumper was always significantly 'better off' emotionally, than the dumpee. But it's not the case. Unless you're Alec Wildenstein having to shell out a cool $5.6 Billion dollars in a divorce settlement (yes I googled, most expensive divorce in history) chances are you'll both be better off. How? Because whilst you might be feeling the rejection, the heartache, become suddenly riddled with self-doubt, you're newly christened EX will be experiencing another horrible stew of emotions. She'll also be feeling insecure; questioning her decision making in the process (she didn't back a winner in you). She'll feel that void also of not having you around, a lot more than you think. 

COME BACK STRONGER

Whenever someone sh*t-canned me in a relationship I always vowed to come back stronger. You'd always see that scene in movies where the guy bumps into his ex, six months down the road and he'd be in phenomenal physical shape, in a new suit with a new hair-do, maybe ordering a Chinese meal in fluent Mandarin, you get my point. 

Call it one-upmanship, call it egocentric, who cares. You have to envisage that moment where you meet your ex, possibly by engineered circumstances and you are just on top of your game. Do what you have to. Get a personal trainer, a personal stylist, a life coach, but life is a game and you have to play to win. (Think I read that on a tweet somewhere last week). 

LISTEN

To her and to yourself. Now is the time to compartmentalise and figure out what it is that you're lacking. Are you getting repeatedly dumped? Not getting past the 3-month part of the relationship? If this scenario is pattern-forming, then something is off. It can't be because your penis too big every time right? Go away, have a think, don't get hammered every night. 

DELETE DELETE DELETE

Get her off your phonebook, your Facebook, your Christmas card list the lot! Trust me out of sight out of mind is the best way to go. You need time to grieve, she needs time to do one and think about her role in this fiasco. If she texts you and says its churlish, congratulate her on using a brilliant word, then tell her to leave you alone. If you want to be dumped like a pro just watch Clive Owen chuck Julia Roberts out of his flat in that movie Closer

START DATING IMMEDIATELY

Grieving and reflection, internalising and all these new-man actions will only get you so far down the road. You might want to also consider that you're not that bad, someone will have you. A new pursuit and something shiny and new to replace that void could be just the ticket. After all, we can't just stick with what we have to use the transfer window wisely, wait.. I think I'm still talking about Coutinho. God damn, how could you leave me Phil!! 

What to Talk About on a First Date | Preparing for a First Date

First dates, first impressions - there's no user manual.
However, there are some definite sand traps we can avoid. 
What are those potential pitfalls outside of the obvious?
How can I pre-empt those and roadblock any awkward avenues of conversation?

In today's article I want to focus on preparation ahead of first dates and hopefully impart some ideas that I bring into my key meetings. I should say upfront I'm still in the dating game and I'm going to touch on some of the tactics I adopt when I talk and meet people one on one, I believe can cross-pollinate into this topic. So let's get to it. 

Firstly, we need to address that it's not a sign of failure if a first date doesn't go to plan. Despite our greatest efforts and affectations, sometimes the chemicals accidentally flow right, sometimes they simply do not. What they shouldn't feel like, is hard work. If you're finding the gears are grinding during this first encounter with somebody, maybe she's giving you stunted replies and she's not letting you past a very guarded defense, then you should be able to fall back on some material or 'conversation stimulators'. 

Here are some upstream ideas on how to prevent falling into those pitfalls on a first date. Let’s have a look at what those pitfalls might be.

1  Conversation is thin on the ground and tough to initiate.

2  She's not what you imagined and you can tell immediately there’s no mutual attraction and there will be no second date.

3  You've left the restaurant and are out of ideas.

I'd say this is the biggest anxiety that men will have on a first date. Especially if you've been exchanging good dialogue on the phone or texting beforehand, it heightens expectation that you and your date are somehow simpatico, meant for each other. In reality, it's a lot easier to get along virtually as you have time to digest answers, think about questions, even delete initial drafts you deem too risqué. In the flesh you don't have the luxury of these filters and there is nothing to hide behind. What topics are you most likely to cover on a first date?

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NUTSHELL RESUME

This theory has been kicking around for many years and gentlemen, this is something you should have down to a fine art by now. It's basically a resume of your life/career, up to this very minute. Don't reel it off like a fact sheet, but do keep it tight like a good highlights package. Don't dwell on past relationships or ex-girlfriends and certainly don't bad mouth any. It's not a good look, it will only make you look embittered and not ready to move on. 

TALK ABOUT THE DAY

I really think you should employ this one. Mention something about your day, or something funny that happened to you on the way to the date. Don't worry if you have to massage some of the facts or make it slightly apocryphal. Something light and off the cuff will give a breezy start to the date and set the tone. It's called being disarming. A great example; I recently saw Adam Carolla, a stand-up comic and an awesome podcaster, deliver a statement at the House Oversight Committee hearing on “Challenges to Freedom of Speech on College Campuses." Before addressing the room of delegates on a very sensitive and divisive subject, he holds up a notepad next to him and asks the Speaker ‘How much would I get for this notepad on eBay.’ Improvise a little, start with something funny and make it your own. 

WHAT ABOUT WORK? 

This for some of you gentlemen could be a real conversation cul-de-sac. You might not have a great job. You're very dispassionate about your job and it's not the sort of job that can branch off into other great areas of conversation. On the flip side she might also have a job in a field of industry that you have very little knowledge on. Let’s look at these individually.

The best piece of advice I can give is to accentuate all the positives and the perks that your job brings. Even if the job is horribly monotonous you can say things like - 'I know the job doesn't sound too glamorous, and in truth it's not, but it opens up so many other doors for me. I've compiled a great rolodex of contacts within this field and have met so many interesting people. It's allowed me access to such and such, and I've met ... (fill in the blank) importantly I’m climbing the ladder and learning a great deal.’

If you can give the affectation that you're on the way up or looking to achieve more that your lot in life, it will bring a positive energy to the date which she can latch on to. Alternatively, if you love the job, all the better. But be careful not to hijack the conversation and talk endlessly about your work or your next big project. 

AND HER WORK? 

This is where a bit of due diligence is required. I'm sure you might have conversed a little before the date and have covered most of these bases, but the number one question that gets asked more frequently than not, is 'what do you do?' If she has given you the broad strokes of her job, then do your research and find out what's current within her industry. You might know somebody that is in a similar line of work, give them a call and find out what the hot button topics are. Again, she might not want to talk about work at all, so be prepared to switch gears swiftly.

There'll be no second date

It could be very evident from the get-go that there is no mutual attraction. If so, treat your date with the same respect that you would do any other. To use a boxing analogy, think of this as a light sparring session. When you finally meet someone on a date later down the road that you feel more emotionally connected to, you'll lean on these 'conditioning' dates to ensure you're not floundering. You're not ring rusty. Your muscle memory will kick in and you'll have more in the tank than you would do if you completely shut off during the date.

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Dinner's over now what? 

This is a more common dilemma than you might think. You've agreed to a designated restaurant or bar for the initial rendezvous, but neither of you have committed beyond that in case the date has gone so horribly wrong that you'll need to fabricate an exit strategy. "Oh the babysitter has just called, I need to go," or "Oh I have a deadline to meet, I need to get back now." I'm sure you might be familiar with some of these. 

A nice upstream idea, would be to plan a route from one venue to the next. If you've got a restaurant planned, look for a quirky place within walking distance. Between those venues learn something about the street or a building that has certain relevance. In London for example there are 900 buildings with blue plaques on the outside. Each plaque indicates that someone of relevance lived in that building at some point or other; from John Lennon to Ava Gardner.

Last Tip

I hope some of these words have helped you out. Remember to have fun, remember to smile and don't put too much pressure on yourself. 

 

SHOP MY FIRST DATES OUTFIT

How to date someone who is astronomically above your pay grade?

By Peter Brooker - Men's Lifestyle Editor

It can be emasculating not being the bread winner in a relationship.
Can you conceivably date someone who is astronomically above your pay grade?
Some say money is the route of all evil. Others say money can't make you happy.

As Ben Affleck said in the movie Boiler Room "People who tell you money can't bring you happiness, doesn't have any".

Whilst it might present a dozen or so compatibility issues, relationships aren't all fostered around the amount of zeros on your pay cheque. However, often many of the personality traits that define a one-percenter are the ones that you should be looking to imbibe. If they've made it to the top of the economical food chain, chances are they've had to knuckle down at some point during their lives. This could mean a lot of study, a lot of long hours, early mornings and no weekend breaks.

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Why would I want to date a one-percenter? 

This is the question you need to ask yourself. Your answer could typically be;

1 ) I'm not money orientated.
2) All you need is love, not money. (We all know the Beatles song right?)
3) I won't have anything in common with a one-percenter, why would I actively pursue one?

The truth is if I've successfully pre-empted any of your questions then mentally you're perfectly positioned to date a one-percenter. If money is no object to you then dating someone with money will make zero difference. It won't impact your beliefs or your moral compass. Your lifestyle might change, but sooner or later the money will just become background noise. If your wish-fulfillment is merely to find love and make someone happy and your core beliefs are transparent to her with zero agenda, you can easily become her next big investment. If you're looking to date a one-percenter because you feel like it could be a free meal ticket, then it will soon start to feel like an empty experience for the both of you.

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Where do I find them?

There is an old saying that money goes to money. In this case you need to be found in the right places. The mountain will not come to Moses. Throughout mankind people and money gravitate towards the big cities where the big money-making decisions are made. Of course a lot of people that have made money will also have fled to the country for a quieter life, but even those select few still migrate back to the inner cities for those key meetings or important handshakes.

TRUE STORY

I have been dating a one-percenter for the past year and a half. I found her on a dating app before I was about to fly out for a press event in Europe and I matched with my partner at an airport. This was a very central airport, in the heart of London, what she likes to call the centre of the world. I narrowed down my search on the dating app to a 5-mile radius and when I paired with my now partner, I asked her questions about travel, about art, about fine dining. I said I was just leaving the country, heading to a city where I had a limited base knowledge, and after hearing that she’d been to that city, I challenged her to recommend some restaurants, some exhibitions. I didn't know it at the time but with her being a one-percenter, she was extensively well travelled (as the majority of one-percenters are) and she came back with an entire itinerary for my trip. And guess what, when I got back to the UK I took her out for a meal and we discussed the entire trip and the plethora of museums and restaurants on the itinerary that she had dutifully put together for me.

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What does this teach us? 

It teaches us that you need to have a bit of luck, sure. Not everyone is going to match on a dating app in an airport just before they board a flight. But if you place yourself in those situations, then your enhancing your prospects of serendipity. Airports are great for this because they're typically central. Members clubs can be quite exclusive and expensive, but if you can afford it, even just for a couple of months, you'll be gilding the lily and shortening those odds. Maybe if you're thinking of joining a gym and you have a little disposable income, join the higher bracket or shell out on some extra classes as these will be frequented by the people that can afford them.

How do I live within her circle of friends? 

The biggest advice I could give anyone who finds themselves in a relationship with a high earner, is to read, read and read some more. If you're hoping this relationship will be of the perennial kind, then you need to learn a few things about how the world operates. If you have a base knowledge of who the main players are within the Oil and Gas industry, what the economic climate is currently for some of the major banks and investment firms, and politically, what is happening around the world, then at least you'll be able to tread water in some of these conversations. Maybe offer an insightful opinion they haven't heard themselves from an outsider’s point of view. The world is your oyster when it comes to information. If your dating a one-percenter and you'd like to know more about her world within the business sector, ask her to forward some email circulars she might be subscribed to, or recommend a podcast she listens to, or even watch some YouTube documentaries together.

Ultimately her friends might find these subjects in social situations a trite boring because they are immersed in these topics on a day to day basis. They'll probably be more entertained with ideas outside of this spectrum and you could be the facilitator. Perhaps sports gossip, fashion trends or latest movie rumours. A base knowledge of popular culture has its rewards as well as a good breadth of knowledge on some of the serious tones of conversation.

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Final Tip

Lastly, being introduced to friends and family can be daunting, regardless of which echelon of society they might be aggregated in. However, if you're making your partner happy and you're treating her with respect, you're presentable, then they'll look beyond the economic disparity. As I'm sure the two of you already have.

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London's Best Roof Top Pop-Up Bar | Santa Monica at SkyLounge

You may think that this post is a tad too late with summer ending however this bank holiday weekend proves otherwise, there is still life in London's roof top bars this year. Roof top bars can be hard to find as many are pop-ups or closed in winter months but I thought I would share this little gem with you. The Santa Monica rooftop bar is the perfect venue for a couple of quick beers after work, meeting up with mates or going on a date.

SANTA MONICA AT SKYLOUNGE

Situated at the Sky Lounge of the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotels, this pop-up roof top bar is open until the 30th September. With 360 degree views of the city of London, crack open a brew whilst in the comfort of some laid back Santa Monica vibes over looking London's Shard, The Walkie-Talkie and Gherkin. 

It's the perfect venue for a date-night, head over to Santa Monica Sky Lounge for some pre-drinks and nibbles before finishing the night in the SkyLounge for some fine dining. 

With the venue sorted, you might need some help deciding what to wear, what I have worn during this particular date-night is quite smart but I wanted to make a great impression as t-shirt and jeans doesn't seem to be working for me as of late!

My navy single-breasted blazer is from Scalpers a brand that I only found by wondering down Carnaby Street, you should check them out as they have some incredible menswear and they currently have a 60% off Summer Sale online. The shirt is a button-down design from Hawkins & Shepherd and the white skinny chinos are ASOS. Finishing the look, I have worn my tortoiseshell sunglasses by KITE and grey tassel loafers by Kurt Geiger.

The question is did it work? Now that would be telling ;)

 

SHOP THE LOOK

Photography by Kylie Eyra