Lady About London

An established socialite with far too much time on her hands

From the Mouths of Babes

I enjoy giving dating advice. I enjoy delving into other people’s issues, picking their brains and recommending books for them to read. Every story I hear, tear I see and excuse I’m told brings me one step further to fully understanding why and how men and women are just so different. But when asked for help from a teenager, it’s like teaching a toddler his ABCs. Back to basics we go!

“Elle, how do I know if she likes me?” he huffed down the phone at me. His voice has barely broken. Surely he should be playing with his transformers, not worrying about if a girl likes him or not.
“Well. When you talk to her, does she play with her hair, fix her clothes and blink a lot? Where are her feet pointing?” Rather than asking if she’s putting out, I figured I start with the simple stuff like body language.
“What? Talk to her? Oh hell no! I don’t do that!” He was clearly disgusted by the idea of communication.
“Okay. Well how are you ever going to get to know her if you don’t at least talk to her. Do you share any of the same classes at school?” I was clutching at straws. I was dealing with a school yard crush. She probably didn’t even know he existed.
“I don’t want to get to know with her. Just snog her!” he chuckled.
I removed the phone from my ear for a couple of seconds to cool my temper. What did he just say?

I’m very close with this young man. I used to be his baby sitter. I’ve known him since he was a new born and seen him morph from a Thomas the Tank Engine loving toddler to iPhone owning teenager. I thought his parents had instilled a strong sense of respect for women in him. When ever I’ve been around him, he’s always been polite, courteous and a true little gentleman in the making. I was mortified to hear him say he just wants to snog this girl and that he finds it funny to; Use, Abuse and Cruise. Not on my watch buddy!

“Excuse me young man? What did you just say? You don’t want to get to know her, you just want to snog her?” Time for a lecture.
“Yeah. I don’t want to talk to her for hours and waste my time. I just want to get with her a bit at the party and maybe then get with someone else.” He knew he was walking a fine line with me.
“And how would you feel, if a man said that about your mum, sister, cousins or even me?” The only way to get through to teenage boys is by making it personal.
“I’d want to smash his face in.” He voice was strong and loud. The little boy is definitely becoming a man… one moral lesson at a time.
“And you don’t think that maybe she has a dad, brother or uncle who would want to do the same to you? You can’t use women for your own gain and self validation. I want you to remember one thing when it comes to girls – Always treat them with the respect that you’d expect a man to show your mum, sister, me and cousins. We’re girls too.” Boom! Put that your Inspector Gadget bubble-blower pipe and smoke it!
“I’ve never thought of it like that.” I rolled my eyes. Of course he hadn’t. He’s a teenager. I’d be surprised if he thinks about anything other than skateboards and boobs.

The conversation went on and he slowly began to realise that the girls at his school are no different to the girls he’s related too. They’re not objects, they’re not there for his satisfaction and every single one of them has a male family member or friend who would beat the living crap out of him, if he hurt her.

“If I came to you and said I snogged some boy and now he’s ignoring me, what advice would you give me?” I turned the conversation around so he could see if from the girl’s point of view.
“I’d tell you that you can do better than some idiot like that.” I waited with baited breath, had he learnt the lesson correctly? “No one has the right to treat you like that and make you sad and I need to make sure that I don’t make a girl sad.” PRAISE THE LORD! The kid gets it!

He couldn’t see my smile as we were on the phone but my heart beamed with pride. Of course he will make mistakes in life and no doubt he’ll break a few hearts and have his own broken a few times along the way but as long as he’s conscious to how his actions affect others, he’s off to a good start.

“Yeah I get it. I’m not going to try and snog her at the party. You’re right Elle, her older brother is massive. He’d slaughter me!” Not quite the conclusion I was hoping he’d come out with but at least he’ll leave the girl alone, even if it is just in fear that his face will be rearranged. I’ll settle with that. Nutcase of a child.


Dating Karma: The 10 Holy Dating Commandments

You’ve heard of the 10 commandments. They’re those 10 little gold rules that you have to follow to ensure your reserved seat in the Sky Box. I’m screwed but I’m okay with my impending fate. At least St. Peter will have a good giggle when he opens his book and looks up my name.

Dating Karma on the other hand is not something that I like to mess with. There are so many things that you should never do under any circumstances unless you want to wind up single and lonely for the rest of your life. St. Peter may giggle when I stand before him and he sends me to hell, but I want to make sure I get there in one (happy and guilt free) piece.

The 10 Holy Dating Commandments:

1. You are your own person. Love yourself before expecting someone else to love you.
Be happy and honest to yourself. Self satisfaction is more important than validation from the opposite sex. So love yourself and be proud of who you are before you open the door to others. You’re the most important person in your life.

2. Don’t put yourself down.
If you get dumped, stood up, left behind, ignored etc. Pick yourself up and shake it off. Who cares what they think, remember commandment 1. Smile and the world will smile with you.

3. Set time apart from your partner/ the dating scene for you and your friends.
Don’t be a sap. Get a life outside of the dating world. Don’t live to date or for your partner. Tell your partner that you’re going out with your friends for the night and if you don’t reply to their texts, not to worry. You’re allowed a life away from your relationship and the dating world.

4. Listen to the advice that people give you.
Whether you think its crap or worldly, listen to it. Often the best advice comes for sources that you least expect. You think your grandma doesn’t understand the dating world… make her a cup of tea and ask her how she met your grandfather. Prepare for a story that may just blow your mind. Don’t dwell on things and tackle battles on your own. If you have questions, ask them! There is no shame in seeking advice from those around you.

5. Don’t be nasty or vengeful.
A) It’s not attractive. B) It’ll bring you down and leave you feeling even worse. C) You’ll never win by being a psycho. If you’re hurting, remember why you’re hurting and concentrate on you, rather than the person who made you feel this way. Focus your energy constructively rather than destructively.

6. Don’t cheat.
Pretty standard stuff. Keep it in your pants and your legs crossed. Also, bare in mind that cheating doesn’t just have to be physical, it can be emotional too. Flirting with other people, texting, e-mailing etc is just as bad and if not worse. What you’re doing is plain wrong and you know it, so don’t do it. Being ‘a player’ is not going to get anywhere in life, except maybe a trip to the hospital when someone punches you in the face for being a dickhead/bitch.

7. Don’t steal.
If you know the object of your desire has a partner, back away and leave them alone. To pursue someone unobtainable is cruel and in the end, the only person looking like a tramp/asshole is you.

8. Don’t lie.
Don’t lie to yourself. Don’t lie to your partner/ person you’re dating. Don’t lie to your friends. You might not get caught out but how can you follow commandment 1 if you’re not truthful? When you lie, you put yourself down. Maybe not down in the eyes of others but most definitely to yourself.

9. Don’t be jealous of other people’s relationships.
I know it’s hard. You see people happy and you want to be in that situation. You see a man pick a flower for his girlfriend and you wonder why your partner never does that for you. You see someone else’s girlfriend be cool with her boyfriend going away for a weekend with the boys, while your Mrs. is more worried about telling you not to go. Rather than being jealous and blaming your partner for their faults, why not talk to them about it? If you’re single, be happy for those around you. Being outwardly happy will improve your thoughts and mood. Jealously is a cruel thing and it will drive you insane if you allow it too.

10. Don’t do anything to anyone, that you wouldn’t like done to you.
Ultimately, the definition of Karma is, ‘What goes around, comes around.’ if you break the above rules, one day shit will hit the fan and you will have no one to blame but yourself. So practice treating others how you would like to be treated. Don’t ignore that text. Call them, and tell them at you’re not interested in dating them. Don’t play games with people; you never know what games they could be playing with you. Don’t mess with people’s feelings unless you want yours to be messed with. You may think it’s a laugh to date numerous people at once but one of those people may just have a few secrets of their own.

So in a nutshell the 10 golden rules of dating:
1. You are your own person. Love yourself before expecting someone else to love you.
2. Don’t put yourself down.
3. Set time apart from your partner/ the dating scene for you and your friends.
4. Listen to the advice that people give you.
5. Don’t be nasty or vengeful.
6. Don’t cheat.
7. Don’t steal.
8. Don’t lie.
9. Don’t be jealous of other people’s relationships.
10. Don’t do anything to anyone, that you wouldn’t like done to you.

Stick to these little babies and not only will you have good dating Karma but you will also feel a lot better within yourself and at the end of the day, that’s the most important thing.

No Shame in the Stride of Pride

Get with the times ladies! There is nothing shameful about enjoying your life and enjoying male company for one evening. I’m not saying go and do it every night and slut it up like there’s no next week but the ‘walk of shame’ is out-dated and frankly, why should it be shameful?

After chatting with a few girlfriends, I’ve realised that the morning after can be a really daunting thing to do if you’ve never done it before or have never been taught how to do it properly. It’s hardly something your mother is going to sit you down and talk you through. It seems that many women will actually turn down a bit of fun for fear of the following morning. So I’m opening my designer handbag of wisdom and am going to share the secrets to a classy and sassy exit, the morning after. Yes ladies, it’s no longer shameful! (Prudes – turn away now!)

STAGE 1: Safety and Logistics
Before you even consider going home with anybody, first and foremost make sure you are carrying condoms. Nine times out ten a man will have a secret stash but it will be just your luck that you find Mr. One in Ten. Safety is just as much your responsibility as his.

Before you going climbing into a taxi with the man (if he’s not putting you in a taxi to get you back to his place, he’s not worth it) ask him where he lives. You don’t want to end out in the middle of Surrey unless you live that way yourself. Use a bit of common sense and think ahead. Think about your impending exit route the following morning before you follow him to the end of the world like an undersexed, horny little kitty-cat. When you wake up it will be awkward enough without having to ask him, “So where exactly am I?”

And remember, always tell a friend where you’re going and who with. I’m not saying call your dad tell him to prepare the shotgun, but it never hurts to send a quick text to a trusted friend just to cover yourself.

STAGE 2: The Act
When you get back to his, ask to use his bathroom as soon as the opportunity is right. I can’t tell you when this will be but just make sure you do it before you’re introduced to the bedroom. Take your handbag with you! Would you leave it unattended at any other house party? This strategic toilet break is for multiple reasons:

  •  He has the chance to go into his bedroom and throw all his crap under the bed or in the wardrobe
  •  Have a wee so to avoid a possible UTI (TOP TIP: Always empty your bladder before and after sex!)
  • In your bag you should always carry q-tips. REMOVE YOUR EYELINER! This will save you from the embarrassment of Panda eyes in the morning
  • A little extra perfume never went a stray

Leave the bathroom, drink some wine, have some fun, do your thing but make sure that when your clothes come off they’re not left in a wrinkled pile on the floor. I’m not saying ask him for a coat hanger, but just strategically lay them somewhat neatly to avoid a creased outfit the next morning.

STAGE 3: Get Up and Get Out
It’s now time to wake up and face the daylight and awkwardness. Make it quick. Ideally he will offer you a shower. If he does, go for it. If he doesn’t, take the hint, he wants you gone ASAP. If you do shower, do not wash your hair. 90% of men don’t own conditioner and riding the tube at 10am in a party dress, with wet hair, is a dead giveaway that someone didn’t go home.

The ‘oversized handbag’ was not invented for fashion purposes. It was invented for girls like you and me. Inside my handbag you will always find the following:

  •  Gum/mints
  •  Travel sizes comb or brush
  • Perfume atomiser/deodorant. You can pick up an atomiser from Amazon. I got mine from Heathrow.
  • Minimal make up and q-tips (think how you would do your make up for a light brunch with a girlfriend. That’s the look you’re going for the morning after)
  • Spare pair of tights (optional in summer)
  • Flat shoes
  • The godfather of all products… travel size Batiste Dry Shampoo. I swear by this stuff! It truly is the dirty-stop-out’s secret weapon.

I don’t think I need to give you a blow by blow account of how to use these products but trust me when I say, between what he has stashes in his medicine cabinet and what you have in your handbag, you will leave his bathroom looking and smelling as fresh as a daisy.

Now obviously, you’ll be wearing the same clothes and this, my lady friends, is unavoidable. The one piece of advice I can offer when it comes to wearing the same outfit as the night/ day before, is to pretend that it’s not. Pretend you’re off to a fabulous birthday party or wedding or work or any other occasion that fits the attire you’re wearing. No one knows you wore it the night before/yesterday and with your face and hair looking fresh why should anyone suspect otherwise? Work it! On a side note, I also keep a clean pair of knickers and a fresh outfit at work. I’m never seen wearing the same thing two days in the row around the office.

Just remember, there is nothing shameful about having some adult fun. The only people who know you didn’t spend the night in your own bed are you, him and your friend who’ve probably already texted the juicy gossip too. Your face is what gives it away to the rest of the world. Be confident and proud! Have a stride of pride! And if someone does give you a funny look, simply smile, wink and say, “Jealous?”

Casual Sex

“I’m just not sure I can do the whole casual sex thing. I want to sleep with her but what happens if it ruins the potential of a relationship?” I love having male friends. They unwittingly educate me and give me a deeper insight into the male psyche. Turns out men and women sometimes think alike.
“Well I’m not your therapist. Just one of your best friends and I can tell you now, you need to get laid. Who is she anyway?” Women seem to come and go in my friend’s life. More often go than come.
“I met her about two months ago at Rachel’s party. Remember? You were there.” I studied his face and tried my hardest to remember back. “The blond girl I spent all night talking too?” It still wasn’t ringing any bells, “She’s about your height. You spoke to her briefly before you and Lacey decided to ditch the party and catch a bus. Actually, where did you two end up that night?”
I raised an eyebrow. Lacey and I really need to put on leashes when we’re drunk together. Things always end in a mess. “Wood Green. Do you have any idea how much a cab back home cost?”
My male counterpart laughed and raised his hand to the bar tender. Without a word, the barman knew what we were drinking and brought us another bottle of wine. “So what am I going to do? I like her but I want to fuck her brains out.”

Casual sex versus holding out for a relationship. It’s a tricky one. Personally, I’m all for a trusting fuck-buddy kind of set up but what happens if you fancy the pants off the person you’re sleeping with in more than just a physical sense? This I can’t answer due to the fact that I have the emotional intelligence of a five year old and I’m terrified of commitment. I wasn’t hugged much as a child. Blame my mother. But what I can tell you about casual sex is that both parties need to know where the other stands. What goes on in your head is your business but if the person you’re sleeping with, out right tells you that they just want sex; it’s up to you to process that information and chose what to do with it. If you have feelings for them and you’ve been told straight those feelings are not reciprocated, then I suggest you move on before you get hurt. No amount of orgasms are worth a broken a heart at the end of them.

My friend and I continued with our conversation of whether he should or shouldn’t make a move on her. It was very interesting to hear a man talk about feelings. And a straight man at that. He likes this girl a lot but he’s not sure how she feels about him. He wants to sleep with her, that much is obvious but is it obvious to her? Has he laid out what he wants? I’m not saying he has to get down on one knee and ask the question that ends all questions (and your life,) but more, has he sat down with her and had a chat about what each of them want from the other. He wants sex with a small side order of cuddles on Sunday afternoons. Does she want the same or does she want something entirely different?

“You’re not even sleeping with her so why are you so worried about ruining a potential relationship?” I tried to hit the nail on the head with a direct question but instead I slipped off my stool and almost spilt my wine.
“Because you’re the only female friend I have and I’ve seen the way men have treated you and I don’t like it. I don’t want to be like that with her. I want to show a little respect.” He watched me as I tried to climb back up on my stool. Wine glass is one hand and my dignity in the other. “Are you okay? God you’re a shit show at times.”
“I’m fine. Look, all I’m saying is that you’re over thinking everything. Just go with the flow. Sleep with the girl. No relationship is going to form if you don’t poke her.” The stool was causing me mountains of issues. My friend’s troubles looked small in comparison.
“Put your wine down and use both hands.” He reached out, took my wine and put it on the bar. He jumped off his stool, came around behind me and lifted me back up onto mine, before returning to his own stool. “Why am I listening to you? You can’t even climb up onto a stool.”
“You’re listening to me because like you said, I’m your only female friend and further more, I’m the only one of your friends who is a realist. You’re young, you’re fun and you’re kind of good looking if I tilt my head to the right and squint my eyes. Don’t make some sort of judgement on the situation before you sleep with her. You’re a muppet if you do. And frankly, it’s been two months and you haven’t got her into bed yet so I do not like your chances.”
“Shit, maybe you’re right. I should probably give up and find someone new. But I really like her. Maybe I should take her out one last time to be sure? I’m not going to sleep with her though. I want her to like me for me.” He looked at my vicariously as I began to slip again on my stool.
“Oh for fucks sake! I give up!” I fell off again. I wasn’t talking about the stool though.


“I can’t believe you turned him down.” Natalie picked up her china tea cup and sipped from it like a dainty little doll. “No one ever turns him down. Girls fall at his feet. I knew setting you two up would be funny.”
“I didn’t turn him down, he turned me off. He spoke badly about twitter. That’s on par with insulting my family!” I too picked up my tea cup. It was early afternoon and we’d agreed to meet at Home House for a pot of tea and some club sandwiches in the garden. I felt so grown up being sober at a time when alcohol would have been perfectly acceptable. It’s was harrowing.
“Well I don’t get twitter either.” She smirked. “But I don’t think twitter was why he kicked off. He really has a thing for you and you just calmly turned your back on him.”
“How can he have a thing for me? He watches Sky News and I watch channel 4 News. We’re just not compatible.” We really aren’t. Every date we went on, he was too busy talking for me to stop and actually talk too me. In a world according to him, girls aren’t allowed to have an opinion, let alone a twitter account.
“Channel 4 News? Why on earth do you watch that?” She’s a Sky News girl herself.
I shrugged, “It comes on after Hollyoaks.”

I’m not going to change myself for a man. Ever. I am who I am and I’m proud of myself and achievements. If a man expect me to start watching Sky News and delete my twitter account, he is sorely mistaken. This fellow, was at first very funny to be around. We’d met at a dinner party. Natalie had purposely sat us next to each other. He was extremely arrogant and extremely hostile towards anyone who questioned his arguments or political beliefs. I vote Conservative. I was safe. It was very amusing to watch him tear shreds into the only Labour voter amongst us. He came across intelligent, well spoken, highly educated, very attractive and for some bizarre reason, he took a shinning to me. As the night wore down and the wine flowed, he cornered me and swayed me into handing over my number. I knew that this was never going to go anywhere but I figured it was worth a giggle.

Our first date was horrendous. He was rude to the waiting staff, sent back a bottle of wine as he claimed it was corked (it was perfectly fine!) and spoke about how sore all his muscles where after all the tennis he’d been playing. Yawn. He didn’t impress me. He was entertaining but I was more smirking at him, rather than with him. I couldn’t get a word in edge ways and when I did, I was dismissed and scoffed at. I fast got the impression that in his world, women are to be seen and not heard. I bid him farewell with a kiss on the cheek. When I got home, I knew I should have sent him a text thanking him for dinner but I had absolutely no urge to contact him. I finally picked up my phone the following morning to do the right thing. Low and behold, the snob asked me out again for a second date.

I figured we all have those ‘off moments’ and maybe he’d just had a bad day on our previous date. But l was wrong on that assumption, the second date wasn’t much better. He took me to see a film and then on for sushi. He kept trying to cop a feel of my leg throughout the film. Second date does not equal second base buddy! I’ll make out in a cinema with a boyfriend but a man who I’m on a second date with… I do have some standard of class. The film finished and we went on for dinner. It was a quaint little sushi place. Once again, he was rude to the staff, made a mess of the table and then scoffed something about creating jobs for people with IQs lower than their shoe size. While is quips and quirks were funny, they just weren’t PC and I felt guilty for laughing.

Our third and final date was yet again another dinner. I hadn’t even got through my entree before I realised that his obnoxious behaviour wasn’t amusing me any more. By the time my main course was presented to me, I really couldn’t stand him for much longer. Needless to say, I didn’t ask to see the dessert menu. I never wanted to see him again. But I knew I had too. I had to smile and be polite to him the following week at Natalie’s birthday party.

The party was great fun and attended by all the usual suspects. As expected, the fellow cornered me and asked me why I’d dropped off the face of the earth. I politely told him that I had started seeing someone else and I just don’t think it was going to work out between us.
“Oh someone you met on twitter?” He scoffed at my hobby and I took it rather personally. I have met some of my best friends on twitter. I wasn’t going to stand around and let him insult me and them.
“Actually no. But while we’re on the topic, what is your problem with twitter? How can you hate something so much when you’ve never tried it?” Sod him, after all the bullshit arguments I’d heard him throw across numerous dinner tables, now it was my turn.
“I just thing it is an utter waste of time and for the idiots of the world.” He sipped his champagne and looked over my head like I wasn’t even there.
“Hold your horses for a moment. Are you calling me an idiot?” Who the fuck did this guy think he was?
“No. Well maybe just a little bit.” He smiled at me and rubbed the back of his hand down my right cheek. “But I like that in a girl.”
I slapped his hand off my face. “Save it and don’t touch me!” I was extremely agitated.
“You do realise what you’re turning down don’t you?” Again he looked over my head. Was this way of showing me how insignificant I was? Ironic, seeing as he was the one who’d followed me around like a little lost puppy.
“Yup.” I’d had enough.
“Good. Men like me are one in a million.” He was still looking over my head.
I rolled my eyes. I was done with this conversation and him. “You got that right!”
“At least you realise it.” He finally looked me in the eye. I took my moment while I could.
“This certainly proves the old catch phrase; it takes an idiot to know an idiot. Excuse me please.” I walked off and left him standing there alone. I could feel his eyes like daggers in the back of my head. #Loser

Ode to Elle

My first ex-boyfriend and I are still very good friends. He’s one of the first people I turn too when I need advice or a big beefy hug. He truly is one amazing man and he will always have a piece of my heart. We broke up on very amicable terms. We realised that we really are just better off as life long friends rather than anything more.

I wrote him a quick e-mail today asking how I should handle a current situation I’m in with a man. How do I know if it’s going anywhere with him? My ex-boyfriend replied with this. If anything at least he made me laugh!

Dear Men,

She’s an amazing girl and if she chooses you,
here’s a list of things to do:

Hold her hand when you cross a street.
Give her a piggy back when she has sore feet.
Tell her how much you love her everyday.
I may have been able to keep her that way.

She’s ditzy, clumsy and frightens easy.
Do not laugh at her until you get queasy.
Take endless photos of her ever expressive face.
The winks, the frowns, the smile- she’s wearing lace.

Feed her lamb chops at least once a week.
Tell her she’s beautiful whenever she’s bleak.
And tell her how much you love her everyday.
I may have been able to keep her that way.

Never take for granted her little love notes.
And always remember she loves classic quotes.
Don’t take five years to write her a love song.
A girl like her should never wait that long.

She never asks but longs to dance.
Put a flower in her hair at any given chance.
And tell her how much you love her everyday.
I may have been able to keep her that way.

She’ll treat you like a king and you’ll never be without.
When you’re angry, she’ll make you, ‘shake it out.’
Give her hungry eyes and she’ll cook you a meal.
To make you happy, she’ll beg, borrow and steal.

Make sure to tell her how much you love her everyday.
I missed this point along the way.
There’s nothing now that can be said.
Love Elle forever, she gives fucking great head!

Are You Giving Too Much?

Women who give too much. You know the kind. They meet a guy, fall in love and then suddenly she disconnects from the world and lives her life for him. I guess we all suffer from it to some extent but some women are addicted to giving. The more they give, the more they want to give as they see it makes their partner happy. Money, presents, bowing to their every whim. It’s their drug and just like kicking any addiction, it’s extremely difficult to stop.

So how do you know if you’re giving too much? Let’s look at a relationship like a plant. A plant needs three things to grow. Soil, sun and water. The soil is where the roots are. It’s where the relationship first started. Without strong support for the roots, it’s pointless giving it sun and water. It’s going to die. The sun is the everyday things. The actions that we don’t need to think or worry about. For example, going to shop and buying bread or a non flirty text asking what time you should expect him around tonight. The water on the other hand is what helps keep the plant alive and vibrant. But keep in mind you can over water a plant if you’re not careful. You don’t want to give too much or the relationship will drown. So how do you know if you’re over watering and not giving the relationship the time and space it needs to breath and blossom? Ask yourself the following questions:

• Do you call them more than they call you?
• Do you make all the plans, pay most of the time, or buy all the presents?
• Are you always doing something for them, and you feel cheated and angry because the giving is not reciprocated?
• Do you sense they’re beginning to take you for granted?
• Do you feel desperate for their love and are worried about losing them?

If you answered yes to any of the above, PUT THE WATERING CAN DOWN! You’re over giving and sinking the ship. Before you know it, he will start to resent you and you will equally start to resent him.

But how do you break this trend? I know firsthand that it is hard to say no. I’ve bailed men out of gambling debts, leant £1000 for a flat deposit, flew an ex to NY, let an ex live with me for a month rent free while he was between homes and the list goes on and on. My name is a Elle Grace; and I was addicted to giving. I just couldn’t say no. If I did say no, I felt like I was letting these men down. Looking back on it in hindsight, I realise that the only person I was letting down was myself.

It really does come down to biting your knuckle and taking a step back. ‘No’ is a perfectly acceptable response if your other half asks too much of you. And if he is asking nothing of you, don’t offer the world out to him. Yes, it’s a beautiful act to give and it’s always cute to find a hidden love note, but offering to fly him to NY when he has absolutely no means to pay you back for over 3 months? INSANE! Don’t put yourself in a position that you will later regret.

If the relationship is new and you’ve just started to plant the seed, don’t whip out that water can and fill it to the brim and dump it on the plant-plot like a crazy lady. Keep the soil damp and leave it at that. Don’t call him, don’t text him and if he asks you out on Saturday and you already have plans, arrange to meet another day. Don’t cancel and put your life on hold for a man. Do you honestly think he’d ever cancel on his mates to hang around with you? And if he did, you’d probably wonder what type of pussy-whipped idiot he is. Don’t even for a minute think he’s not thinking the same about you?

Don’t give him anything that you wouldn’t give anyone else and that includes excessive amounts of attention. Don’t go around commenting on every single facebook status he updates, infact, don’t even like them. I’m not saying don’t cyber the stalk the crap out of him, after all,deep down were all bat-shit-mental. But lay off the comments and blatantly letting him know that you had nothing better to do with your time on Tuesday night. Liking a photo that he posted five years ago is not going to win you any prizes.

If you’re the type of girl who is addictive to giving, I know it’s hard to turn off the tap but it can be done.

• Don’t call, text, facebook message, tweet etc unless you actually have something to say. It’s okay to text first but make sure it has substance and there is a reason behind why you’re making contact.
• If you’ve made all the plans for the last three dates, just stop. He’s using you. Let him sort something out or hold head up high and walk away.
• Get on with your life. He has to fit in around you and no the other way around. Under no circumstances should you bail on your friends to meet him. It’s not cool and stinks of desperations.
• If he asks you for money. Say NO! You are not a bank.
• Don’t give expensive or elaborate gifts. Maybe set a limit for each other to avoid any doubt.
• Don’t give time that you don’t have. You’re allowed time alone and don’t cut into that for him.

If your only happiness seems to stem from making your partner happy and you’re pouring yourself into their life, while ignoring your own, you need to stop and re-evaluate things. It’s fun to give and it’s beautiful to care but watch your step and don’t over the water the plant unless you want to turn it into the poisonous Water Hemlock. Remember that a cactus lives a long life and relishes in the small amount of water that it does get.

Embrace Your Inner Chloe

“Do you know who you remind me of?” He was cautious about his words. I knew whoever he was about to refer too wasn’t going to charm the pants off me.
“Who? Please don’t say someone old. I will hurt you.” I tried to smooth it out. But instead he started laughing.
“See it’s those types of statements that make you just like her. Have you ever seen the show ‘Don’t Trust the B—- In Apartment 23?’” He continued to laugh.
“No. Are you calling me a bitch? What is that show?” I had never heard of it before.
“They’ve basically moulded the character Chloe on you. Do you have a hot celebrity male friend?” He topped up my wine and continued to laugh at his own private little joke. I had no idea what he was going on about.
“I did but he’s not famous anymore. He was a one hit wonder. And he wasn’t really my friend. He was more my babysitter. My mum knew his mum and he used to get dumped with me.” I thought back to my early childhood years. He was only five years older than me. I’m legal now. I should probably look him up.
“Even better. Do yourself a favour and watch the show.”

I went home that night and found the show online. I have to say, it’s pretty damn funny but am I really like Chloe? She’s described as a girl who is a con-artist, all round party girl and has the morals of a Pirate. I can maybe see some sort of resemblance but let’s just get it out there; I have never slept a friend’s fiancé.

I only watched the second episode and I had to giggle. Have I ever pushed a man into the middle of the road? Shamefully, yes I have. But he deserved it. I also threw a burger at his head. Given the chance would I do it again? HELL YES! Okay maybe I see the guys point. I am an itty-bitty Chloe.

But is being a bitch a bad thing? If it means you’re protecting yourself and those around you, I don’t think it is. While it’s funny to compare myself to Chloe, I’m not her. I would never intentionally set out to hurt others. Apart from the guy I pushed into the road. I found out he was screwing around behind my friend’s back. He deserved it. He deserved to be nearly hit by a passing taxi and then have burger sauce splatter all over his face. Admittedly in hindsight, I really need to stop following through on my bat-shit-mental ideas while under the influence of girl talk and tequila. But see that’s what I mean by being a bitch. I had to hurt him to protect my friend. It was the least I could do and I would do it again given the chance. Don’t mess with me or my girlfriends or you will bring out my inner Chloe and I will sting.

I’ve been hurt so many times by men and I’m over it. I’m not jumping through their hoops anymore and men can smell that on me a mile away. I’m no easy feat. I’m just not someone to mess with as I will mess back. Unfortunately while I’ve seen the light and seen enough men behaving badly to learn my lesson, a lot of my girlfriends haven’t. They get screwed over, beaten up, dumped, left to cry on the street alone at 2am and one dear friend of mine was even driven to Brighton and dumped there to find her own way back. Something about leaving her as lost as she’d left him. Luckily, I was able to sort her out and get her back to London and luckily she had his credit card details so I could charge the return luxury car ride too him.

So with all my girlfriends being treated like crap, someone has to take back the control from these horrible and despicable men who have treated them this way. Now I’m not painting all men with the dickhead brush, I know so many amazing men out there and I have nothing but respect for them, but trust me, if you fuck with my friends, you’re going to have more than a few needy phone calls to deal with. So yes, maybe I am an itty-bitty Chloe, but deep down I’m a good person and I have my heart is in the right place. I guess just sometimes my execution is all wrong and maybe ever-so-slightly extreme. But would you have me any other way? …Didn’t think so.

Be a Mouse. Meek and Squeak

“Why isn’t he calling me?” Rachel, Rachel, Rachel. I love her but she’s so hopelessly and pathetically desperate that it’s often laughable.
“Did you sleep with him?” I knew the answer to this.
“Yeah. I went back to his. And?” She looked confused.
“Then he’s won and he won’t call. He got what he wanted. Have I not taught you anything? Don’t sleep with the ones you like. It’s not rocket science. Close your legs!” I shook my head. I’d warned her not to sleep with him but did she listen? Clearly not.
“But you sleep with guys and they call you back.” Rachel played with her bracelet. We all have matching bracelets and on each of our bracelets we have a single charm that represents each of us. I know it’s corny but it’s comforting to know that I have my girls where ever I am. We have each others back through rain, hail or shine.
“Yes, but I don’t like them. Or at least I pretend not to like them. Play it cool.” I looked down at my bracelet. I found the charm that represents her and squeezed it. I wished it to be her neck.
She picked up her phone and looked at the screen. “Nothing.”
I squeezed the charm a little harder.

Sometimes I wonder what some girls were fed when they were growing up. I survived on Nutella toast, Saturday morning cartoons and having it drummed into me that all men want one thing and one thing only. Deny them that one thing and they’ll chase you until they get it. Don’t sleep with the ones you like and if you do, pretend that you don’t like him. It’s confuses them and a confused man is much easier to work with than a man who’s ignoring you and dishing out high fives to his mates. Clearly some girls weren’t served up that life lesson at dinner time. Instead they were spooned fed sugar coated fairy tales and taught that Prince Charming is just one fuck away.

“Of course there’s nothing. I bet you tried to kiss him when you left in the morning. Please tell me you didn’t try to ‘sleep-in.’” I watched as she squirmed. She clearly had done both! “Jesus Rachel. Have I not taught you anything? Put your phone away. I’ll bet you £100 you’re never hearing from him again. I hate to break it too you but you’ve just made yourself overly available and in need. You botched the job.”
“No need to be so mean about it Elle! I know alright. I just really liked this one.”
Until the next one comes along and she really likes that one too and botches it! “I know. Sorry. But someone has to tell you.”
“Have you text him at all?” Maybe some damage control could still be done.
“Yeah, three times yesterday.” Or maybe not!
My jaw hit the table. “What the fuck? Three times? Dude! Seriously! At what point did you think that was going to make you look sane and attractive?”
“I don’t know. I text him when I left, then again after lunch and then another to wish him good night.” She shoved her phone in her bag and zipped it up.
“You’re kidding me right? Delete his number and all the messages. You’re never speaking to him again because guess what? He’s never going to speak to you again!”

So not only did she screw him, she’s also sending him SOS messages. And they weren’t the good kind of SOS messages either. There was no coming back from this. The ship had well and truly sailed. It was time for her to say Bon Voyage and wait on the shore for the next boat to come in. Ideally a yacht but this is Rachel where talking about. She’d settle for a pedalo.

“I suck at this.” Rachel’s face dropped even further into a face of defeat.
“No you don’t. Okay, yes you do but you’ll get the hang of it.” I picked her face up and poked her chin, “Look at you, you’re gorgeous. Men adore you but you just need to tone down the screaming decibels of usability. You want to be as quiet, sharp and as cunning as a mouse. Men want a mouse, not a roaring 747 chasing them down the runway.”
She laughed. “I need to be a mouse. Meek and squeak. Not a Jet. Roar and soar.”
“There you go. Think of it as your new mantra. Be the mouse.” Was I really referring to my friend as a rodent and was she really buying this? Oh well, at least she was smiling and not pouncing on her phone every two seconds.

Later that night I got a text from her. “Thanks for the chat earlier. Squeak!” All I could do was shake my head. I love her, I really do but there is just no helping some.

Hunters vs Does

It’s time to set the record straight! Men are not from Mars and women are not from Venus. In fact I’ll think you’ll find that men are from the garden shed and women are from the kitchen. I’m not trying to have a sexist dig here, hear me out.

Men are from the garden shed because they’re tinkers, fixers and love to be alone with their thoughts. They’re chilled out zombies who go with the flow and are quite content to sit on their own for hours contemplating life. They’re solo creatures of comfort. They work, they play, they fuck, they shit, they sleep. That’s the ideal life of a man. Women on the other hand prefer the complicated life of the kitchen. They’re always in a rush, entertaining, trying not burn something, keeping everyone satisfied and are generally more sociable. Women work, play, fuck, dance, gossip, shit, have a period and then they don’t sleep because they’re stressing about their never ending to do list.

Men and women are wired differently. We all need to accept it. I don’t class myself as a feminist. I agree with equality between the sexes but I do believe men and women play different roles within society. Women, and equally men, can do anything they put their mind too but fundamentally speaking we have our separate roles and why should we mess with that balance? You can’t claim your rights to equality without accepting the differences first.

Lets take this back to basics now. Man and woman’s main purpose on this earth is to survive, procreate, raise the procreated and then die. To do this, men are born with the instinct to sleep with as many women as possible to carry on their genes. Women on the other hand are programmed to find a partner, produce offspring, nurture them and rely on their male counterpart for security. Now obviously in this day and age our animal instincts are blurred and blind folded by what society expects of us. Men are told to find one partner and stick with her. Women are told we can work, vote, put our snotty nosed brats in childcare and burn our bras if we fancy it. It’s really no wonder the human race has gone bat-shit-mental.

Now I understand that we’re not cave men anymore and frankly thank god we’re not! I don’t fancy being chased around a forest by a club wielding man who just wants to grunt at me and put his end away. But maybe we need to stop and consider where we came from, from time to time. Men like to hunt, chase and spread their seed. Women like to feel loved, nurtured and cared for. It doesn’t matter who you are, what you do for a living or if you can vote or not, men and women are different. Accept it!

If you can’t accept the basic building blocks of where we came from, you’re never going to get ahead of the dating game. Ladies, I hate to break it to you but playing hard to get is the best way to get a man. They want what they can’t have. If you like him, make like a doe and run away. Let him stalk you. Let him scratch his head and wonder why you’re ignoring him. Let him hunt you down and think that he’s won some sort of prize (when really all his won is what you’d plan to give him from the beginning.) But at the same time, if a guy is chasing and you’re not interested, do the right thing and let him know. Men don’t have female intuition and it’s unfair to expect them to understand why you suddenly deleted him on facebook.

And the same goes to men. We ladies just want to feel special. If you make us feel special and you’re half way there. Don’t be a sex pest. Leave sex out of it. If you’re just after sex, she’ll smell it on you a mile away, warn all her friends and you’re tagged for life. If you like a girl, treat her like a princess. Take heed from my words above, she’s going to play with you. She’ll turn you down, mess you around for a bit but if you stick at it and she doesn’t delete you on facebook and tell you to fuck off, chances are you’re in. Don’t roll you’re eyes at this, we all know you love the chase. The longer the chase goes on for, the more triumphant you feel. And if you can’t be bothered to chase, than chances are you don’t really want her to begin with.

So there you have it in a nutshell. Men are men and women are women. Respect your role in the game and respect the other person’s. Obviously we’re not all going to get along and that’s fine. No says we have too. What species does? But if we all keep in the back of our minds that men like their space and women like their hugs, we’re halfway through the battle. If he doesn’t reply to your text straight away, leave him alone. He’s thinking. If she doesn’t reply to your text straight away, leave her alone. She’s letting you stew. And if days, weeks, months go by without a sign of life, cut your losses and move on. There are plenty more hunters and does in the forest to fornicate with.