25 things a man should never say to a woman

Women really aren’t as difficult to understand as the opposite sex would have you believe.  We really are pretty straight forward.  Any men reading this – pay attention to the following.  To the women readers – pass this on to the man/men in your life to read.  It will hopefully lead to a more harmonious life for all.  Gents, just remember to never say any of the following to us and all will be well in the world...
  1.      You look tired.
To a woman this means: you look like shit.
  1.      My ex used to do that too.
Never EVER compare your new girlfriend to your ex. Ever.
  1.      I can’t believe you finished all of that!
Woah, are you saying I’m fat?
  1.      Are you going out dressed like that?
This triggers the following thought process: Do I look fat?  Does he not find me attractive?  Do I need new clothes? 
  1.      Is that all you are wearing?
Excuse me, you’re not my dad. 
  1.      Oh, is she the fit one?
WARNING: A question like this will probably trigger a deathly stare. 
  1.      I told you so.
Don’t ever go there.  Women are always right.  It will serve you well to remember this.
  1.      It’s nice that you don’t really care how you look.
If we are spending time with you in our joggers with a scruffy knot tied on our head and a bare face it’s because we are comfortable with you, not because we don’t care how we look.  Instead of the above sentence, replace with ‘I like the natural look, it’s nice that you feel comfortable enough with me to go for that’.
  1.      Maybe you need a bigger size?
Three words: Can. Of. Worms. 
  1. Stop nagging me!
We wouldn’t need to nag if you did it the first time we asked.
  1. Will you iron my shirt for work tomorrow please?
Only if you’re wearing it as we iron.  Guys, you really need to learn this vital life skill (or learn to live with creases).
  1. Do you want me to park it for you?
  1. This is a 40 zone not a 30.
SHUT UP! There is nothing worse than a know-it-all, male, back seat driver.
  1. Aww look, your first wrinkle/grey hair!
This is never ok.
  1. Calm down, dear
Don’t tell us to calm down, this will just make us more angry.
  1. You’re so hormonal, is it that time of the month?
We don’t like this.  Just as you don’t like it when we talk tampons and sanitary towels. Leave the subject alone.
  1. I thought you were going to the hairdressers?
Pay more attention.  Compliment on our hair even if it looks no different.
  1. Have you seen that new exercise DVD advertised?
Do you think I’m fat?
  1. What’s happened to your eyebrows?
Don’t ever mention our brows unless you are complimenting them.  If they look like caterpillars, or are barely even there, we will know about it.
  1. Do you really need another pair of shoes?
  1. Just remind me when your birthday is...
Always have a diary to avoid the consequences of this question.
  1. You’re turning into your mother!
Unless this is meant as a compliment, don’t say it.
  1. Make me a sandwich.
This is only ever an acceptable demand if we get something in return.
  1. ...but you didn’t text.
Ah, but did YOU text?  No.
  1. What’s the point?
If we have asked to do something there will be a point to it.  Don’t question it.  If you want an easy life just do it.
The basic message is to think before you speak.  Would you like it if a woman commented on your weight, your driving, or your fit friends?  I didn’t think so.  If you follow this easy ‘what not to do’ guide you will find that your life is free of hassle, backlash and unhappy women. 


Controversy surrounding the use of the C-word

The C-word is one of the most contested words in the English language.  ‘Not appropriate’, ‘unnecessary’, and ‘uncalled for’ are just a few of the ways its use is condemned.  I am, of course, talking about Christmas.  Scrooges across the land hate the word even being mentioned before 1stDecember; but with 99 days until the big day it would seem that the countdown is on for some.
Advent calendars, selection boxes and mince pies are already claiming their shelf space in supermarkets and it won’t be long before Christmas adverts are being sneakily slipped in the breaks between Corrie. 
A lot of people complain about the use of the C-word any earlier than December itself, but it pays to be organised for this time of year.  Christmas shopping is as equally enjoyable as it is stressful.  Late night shopping in York is one of my favourite times of year – getting all wrapped up and wandering around the streets lined with Christmas lights while enjoying a Baileys hot chocolate.  But it is equally stressful with crowds of people bustling around desperate to find a bargain and to grab the latest top presents.
Every year you hear of friends and family who claim they are starting their Christmas shopping ‘early this year’.  My friend said it to me just the other day – and we are only mid-September!
Yes, being organised has its benefits.  The cost is spread out over a longer period so seems much less harsh; and you can avoid the hustle and bustle that is the last few shopping days before Christmas.  But you can’t beat that Christmassy feeling you get when you are strolling through the streets all wrapped up while a brass band play Christmas songs or a choir entertain with well-known carols.
I love Christmas.  Winter nights getting cosy in front of the fire; eating your body weight in seasonal goodies; and parties left, right and centre.  There are bank holidays galore and the January sales are just around the corner.  Huge tins of chocolates are practically being given away by supermarkets and the Coca Cola advert is on television.  And, of course, not forgetting the work Christmas do.  (Unfortunately for me, I have forgotten everything that happened on my Christmas do last year.  Except the fact I ended up in A&E the next morning.)
It’s acceptable to watch Elf, The Polar Express, and The Grinch; as well as the hundreds of other festive films.  There are Christmas specials of your favourite television shows; The X Factor final is nearing; there’s a race for the coveted ‘Christmas Number One’ (with not a Christmas song in sight); and Slade, Mariah Carey, and Wham are played everywhere you go. 
Everyone dreams of a ‘White Christmas’ and gets excited at the first snowfall; the outdoor ice rinks pop up across the country; and the mulled wine is back (wahoo!).  John Lewis outdoes its previous Christmas advert; everything sparkles and is covered in glitter; and Christmas decorations are suspended, stuck, and stood on any available space.  Most importantly, you get to see friends and family who you normally don’t get chance to catch up with. 
For people with young children Christmas is a magical time, and they probably avoid the use of the C-word too early to prevent too much excitement building up.  Although, the threat that Santa can see everything that is going on is an excellent tactic to use all year round.  The anticipation on Christmas Eve and the elation on Christmas morning is something that cannot be described.  Gathered around the tree with your loved ones, opening presents, chocolate for breakfast, enjoying the smell of the Christmas dinner cooking away...
If you aren’t excited about Christmas after reading all of that, come back in a month.  99 days is a long way off, after all, with Halloween and bonfire night to come first.  But get used to the C-word being dropped more and more often as we inch closer and closer to the festive period.
Of course, there are still going to be those who are unable to get excited about Christmas.  Whilst it is a happy time for the majority of people it is tinged with sadness for some.  This must always be remembered when Christmas is being forced upon them by every high street, television screen, and radio in the land.  Not everyone is fortunate enough to be able to spend Christmas with their loved ones and all of us who are must be very grateful for that fact. 


The changing face of online dating

Match.com, uniformdating.com...  You wouldn't find many 18-30 year-olds signing up to these sites.  The stigma that is attached to online dating paints the picture of someone who is in the autumn of their life and desperately searching for a companion.  For the millions of single people out there, online dating it seen as very much a last resort.

For single twenty-somethings, online dating is a no-no.  Until now, that is.  A new dating app has taken off which has given online dating a much needed face lift.

Tinder is growing by the day as thousands more people sign themselves up and enter into the game.  The app connects to your Facebook profile and uses a selection of your profile pictures and your profile information in order to build your Tinder profile.  Then, using your current location, it suggests people who are nearby to you.  If you like them, you say so.  If you don't, you say no and move on to the next person.

The brilliant thing about this app is that if someone doesn't like you back, they never have to find out that you liked them.  Better than that is when you like someone who also likes you and you get the exciting message informing you that you have a match.  You then have the option to message this person and strike up a conversation.

The key thing to note about this app is the option to 'send a message or keep playing'.  Essentially, this is a game.  An ego boost which picks you up when you are having a bad day.  There are people on it looking for fun, looking for something serious, and, most commonly, looking for something casual.

So does this mark a change in the perception of online dating?  With the app growing by the day it seems that young people are embracing the dating game and jumping on board the Tinder band wagon.  Over the last few days I have been playing the Tinder game and have met some really interesting people.  I am not on it looking for a date or to meet up with any of the people on there, but a lot of the people that I have spoken to are.  This tells me that the online dating stigma has been removed, with more and more people keen to join in the fun.

Allegedly, the app is popular with celebrities.  Unfortunately, I have not come across Prince Harry on it yet.  Although I would probably need to extend my 30 mile radius first.  I have, however, found a lot of people I know from school or college.  This presents a slight dilemma - do you like their profile to be polite?  Or do you risk giving them the wrong message?  Have they seen you too and have jumped to conclusions as to why you are there?

Of course, there are the risks that there are with online dating.  Do you know that the person you are talking to is the person that you see in the photo?  Is the person really as genuine as they seem?  And do you go and meet up with someone you have met over the internet?  I would still view Tinder with the same caution as I would any other dating website.  But, then again, I would never meet up with anyone I met through the app.

It is just a fun and exciting past time which makes you feel better about yourself without the rejection and the knock backs.  It's an easy way to meet people near you, if that is what you are looking for.  It's the perfect way to find like-minded people who are looking for something casual, serious, or a friendship.  All of this without the shame of admitting that you are a member of an online dating site.

The novelty is starting to wear off a bit now, though.  Last night, I received a message from a guy I was matched with which said 'I put the STD in STUD, now all I need is U'.  Wow.

Tinder has passed the time at work, given my ego a big boost, let me chat to some weird/interesting people, and taught me that the perception of online dating has definitely changed.  It is challenging, head-on, the stereotypes of people who use online dating sites and shows how technology is influencing that change.


40 Days of Dating

An unlucky in love pair of best friends in New York have made the headlines recently following their decision to date one another for 40 days as part of an experiment.
The pair, Jessica Walsh and Tim Goodman, had been best friends for four years before deciding to embark on the 40 day relationship after they both found themselves single at the same time.  They agreed on six rules: seeing each other every day, going on three dates a week, completing a daily questionnaire, visiting a couples' therapist every week, going on a weekend trip together, and abstaining from dating, kissing or having sex with anyone else.  Complete monogamy. 
But would you consider dating one of your best friends if you were yet to find ‘The One’?  And can you really ever escape the ‘friend zone’?
I think it would be a possibility.  There’s always the worry that things will not work out and your friendship, as a consequence, will be ruined.  But what if it did work out?  You’d have the best friendship in the world then!
Blurring the lines between a friendship and a relationship can have its complications but it can also have numerous benefits - you already know each other really well, and most probably each other’s family; you feel comfortable in each other’s company; and you’ll already know each other’s circle of friends. 
Of course, there’s the awkwardness which could occur if/when things began to get intimate.  Even if you have previously harboured feelings for your best friend it will always be a bit strange the first time you endeavour to cross that line.  More often than not, best friends of the opposite sex see each other as siblings rather than anything else. 
But how would all of this play out during a 40 day trial relationship?
Changing your relationship status on Facebook, going on dates, suddenly being a couple... all overnight!  No gradual build up of feelings, just a sudden change of labels and ‘rules’.
Yes, it sounds like a fun experiment and it’s always nice to be able to know the answer to ‘what if..’  But it can also come across a bit desperate.  Why try and force a relationship between the two of you when you are such good friends already?  Surely if anything was ever going to develop it would happen naturally, over time.
I suppose the best way to think about it is like a test drive.  You have to test drive a new car before purchase because you don’t know how it is going to suit you, how it is going to drive, and how much it is going to cost you.  The exact same principles apply for a relationship.
I’m not sure whether I, personally, would ever embark on such a trial.  Although, who’s to say anyone would want to take me on for a 40 day trial!
If you want to read about how the experiment worked for Jessica and Tim their daily diary entries can be found on: http://fortydaysofdating.com/


'Cheers' to drunk texting!

No doubt the majority of people reading this will have been there: you have just poured yourself another drink, where the spirit heavily outweighs the mixer, and out comes the phone.  You find yourself squinting at the screen attempting to send a text which you, no doubt, will regret in the morning.  However, under the influence of Captain Smirnoff, everything seems like a good idea.

Whether you are drunkenly texting your best friend declaring your love for them, or emphatically trying to get in contact with everyone in your phone, we have all done it. 

Under the influence of alcohol, everything seems like a good idea.  ‘Cna i coome bcak toyousr?vvv’ (Translation: Can I come back to yours????) is possibly the best/worst, and most common, drunken text.

Texts like this are never looked at in a very good light.  The desperation that oozes out of such texts sometimes is beyond humiliating.

That aside, I think that drunk texts are actually shown in an unnecessarily bad light.  I saw a quote a few weeks ago which summed it up nicely:

 ‘I don’t understand people who think drunk texts are annoying.  I think drunk texts are so cute. Just think of it this way: you’re who that person is thinking of when their brain isn’t functioning properly; you’re who that person is thinking of when they can’t even form coherent sentences; and you’re on that person’s mind when they have the motor skills of an infant.  That’s all pretty awesome to me!’

Of course, drunk texts are annoying for the recipient: tucked up in bed, fast asleep at 3am only to be rudely awoken & bombarded with messages/phone calls by a boozy individual begging for a conversation. But I would prefer to look at it the way the person above has.

This is probably because I am guilty of sending many a drunken text in my time.  I have lost count of the number of mornings I have woken up red-faced after checking my sent messages from the night before and discovered what my alcohol-infused alter-ego is capable of after a few too many jagers.

And just when I thought there was nothing worse than the shame of drunk texting along comes snapchat.  With that you have no evidence of what you sent - just a list of recipients who have been lucky enough to be inundated with your snaps from throughout the evening.

After the feeling of invincibility wears off, none of the above ever seems like a good idea and you swear you will never do it again.  Until the next time you climb aboard the vodka vessel, that is.