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.

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. 

 

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