Wednesday, July 27, 2011
In my work I’m often astounded by what I see & hear goes on in the dating world. Clients recounting their stories to me can induce a range of emotions – bewilderment, empathy, second hand grief, amusement or embarrassment. What I always try to do is get two sides of the story (because except for the most blatant cases of abuse or wrong doing) there are always two sides - if not four or five...
I decided early on in the conception stages of my business that I was only going to accept clients that can truly contribute to a relationship as they are in a good and healthy relationship with themselves. Or if they were not – I would help them get there before I introduce them to a potential partner. It is only fair to the other party – and (this takes some convincing) to themselves. I tell my clients to look in the mirror and if they truly like what they see – then that is what is projected out to the world. If they look in the mirror and see someone who is; depressed, out of shape & not doing anything about it, miserable, needy, anxious, bitter, reliant on drugs or alcohol or in denial, then that is what other people will see – eventually even if not straight away.
Often the scariest part of embarking on a new relationship is being truly honest with ourselves. We can’t lie to ourselves for long. We try but it doesn’t cut it in the actual reality of our lives. Living real takes courage and commitment. And the rewards are there in spades if we can truly do it. This is not something we do once, but every day. If that sounds like hard work – it depends on how far back you have to go. Running a marathon is impossible for someone who hasn’t run further than the bathroom in the past year. It’s a lot easier for someone who has put in training every day.
It is such an uplifting and amazing feeling when I meet men and women alike who truly like themselves and are in healthy and real relationships with themselves. They set the bar high – and I tell them they have to – for other people (potential partners) because they can. Realistic high markers I call them, and I encourage that. What I don’t condone (and concede I can’t help) are the unrealistic markers who seem to need another person to lift them to a status that is neither possible nor healthy. There are many examples of this. What I’m exploring today are the men who are intent on finding a princess but are not prepared to accept the everyday woman. And the woman who cannot accept the fact that even Cinderella (the most famous princess of all, in my book anyway) was first introduced to the world in rags and working out with a mop & bucket.
Cinderella is a pretty cool chick, if you think about it. First of all – she wasn’t a victim. Several accounts of her have us believe that she sings while she does the housework and, instead of feeling sorry for herself around her horrific sisters, she just gets on with the job. I like to believe that Cinders had the self-belief and knowledge to know that if you truly like who you are, work hard on yourself (can you imagine her abs from all that floor scrubbing? Or her inner strength from all the silent mantras she had to repeat daily?) you can overcome any circumstances and rise up to happiness & an amazing life.
I’m not advocating – waiting on a Prince Charming to save you. Far from it. Cinders saved herself. She didn’t balk at the prospect of going to the ball. She accepted help from those she needed to get herself there (outsource people, outsource) and had the inner confidence to strut it out on the dance floor and wow her prince.
The other big tip here ladies is that she adhered to a curfew. The midnight call is a great one to remember. Her prince was left charmed, intrigued and still in pursuit. What if she’d said “Stuff it! I’m probably never going to see this man again and I’m enjoying this never ending supply of vodka & orange too much. I’m staying” and woken up in her dirty work clothes with a shocking hangover and regret. She possesses a bit of a slutty side – which is great when in a relationship (lucky Prince of Charm) but, like all good things, is desired more if given in increments – rather than all at once. If she’d let the coach turn into a pumpkin and had no ride home her prince wouldn’t exactly be going the length and breadth of the land to find her. She was right there in front of him – along with her vomit bucket. You hear what I’m saying here girls don’t you? Go home! And wait for him to call you. Because he will. If he likes you. And if you like you. And if he doesn’t then he’s not your prince. He’s still out there. You just have to believe it. Keep the bar raised. The right man will not make you lower it.
And guys – when Prince Charming did go out in search of the lovely, enchanting, sexy woman he met the night before, he found her. She didn’t look the same as the night before. She was wearing some god awful house dress. But he could still see the lovely, enchanting, sexy woman underneath, despite her lack of trimmings. He didn’t need all that to know that the essence of her was fantastic and he couldn’t wait to get to know this down to earth chick as well as the mythical creature he’d been dreaming about since she left him. He knows that life (he comes from a very practical kingdom where his parents taught him to look after himself and not take advantage of privilege) is not always a fairy tale. And that Cinders will probably piss him off no end (her singing is actually really bad and she insists on staying in touch with those bitches of sisters) sometimes but he loves that part of her too. She’s real. But, just remember - she still needs to get dressed up for the ball every now and then…..
Posted by Janie Bentley at 12:26 PM
Wednesday, July 20, 2011
Set along the strip on café’s at Teneriffe in between The London Club and Claret House, this is a little gem. Sunny in the morning which in a godsend on a windy wintery morning, the crowd is very Teneriffe aka young, relaxed, beautiful & seem to have their own unique time schedule.
I hadn’t had breakfast so I ordered scrambled eggs which were to die for. The juice list was expansive (this is what they are famous for – you can even add alcohol after 10am). I went for the non-alcoholic variety of apple, pineapple & mint. Was amazing. You could almost taste the tree still in the fruit (in a good way) . And my good old favourite English breakfast tea was in a good (non leaky) pot with an excellent strainer that you didn’t have to wrestle with or find a large chunk of tea at the bottom. You would be surprised how many people (insert Don Burke) up tea – believe me and it annoys the hell out of me.
The first girl serving me seemed like she wanted to be anywhere else but (she may have been having a bad day or just broken up with her boyfriend) but the next guy and the staff inside were all great, cheerful and warm. I bought a chocolate crackle for the boys and accidently left it there. Half way up the street, one of the guys runs up and gives it to me with a massive smile and a “you forgot your crackle”. Was a nice gesture and a gentle reminder to always remember my crackle...
This could be a good regular for a resident or worker of Teneriffe. Sorry I can’t report on the coffee but it looked and smelled great if that’s any help? And heading into the summer months – those juices are serious stuff for the healthy de toxers out there.
So for locals a big tick. Cannot comment for the weekend. Can imagine they would get extremely busy. Although I did notice they serve breakfast till 5pm! (see told you Teneriffe has its own time zone).
Posted by Janie Bentley at 2:08 PM
Monday, July 18, 2011
Okay I think I can safely say that we are all getting a little bit over Adele? Are people downloading her songs twice, three times? Not sure how it’s possible that she keeps topping the charts.
Anyway – I have an alternative for you. I've been listening to Christina Perri’s Lovestrong album and I highly recommend it. She’s no manufactured artist either. Having taught herself how to play guitar as a 16-year-old by watching a videotape of Shannon Hoon from the group Blind Melon.
She’s obviously got some relationship angst/recover kudos too. She moved to Los Angeles on her 21st birthday (gutsy move) Later that year she got married but then divorced 18 months later. She wrote Jar of Hearts when she moved temporarily back to her home town of Philadelphia.
Now living in LA again, having waitressed & song written her way to some success. The album is quirky & with depth. It’s a great one for an early dater or someone getting over a guy. It’s more upbeat than Adele – and less self pitying. It’s about karma and self will and belief. Guys – you will understand women through this album and women – you will search a bit more of yourself I think.
I believe in the power or music in dating. I survived many a rough ride and got back on my feet through it’s power. My tip – download this onto your ipod and hit the pavement. These lovely winter days are calling us for some exercise. Get lost in the melody and empower yourself with good thoughts and vibes. You never know who you might run into on the path.
Posted by Janie Bentley at 11:27 AM
Monday, July 4, 2011
Okay if you live locally to this place - this is it!!
Coffee excellent, owners & baristas are warm and friendly. You feel as if you've just stepped into someones home - except you don't feel weird or uncomfortable - so more like you best friend's home than a strangers. Be preparted for them to chat amongst themselves though - loudly. Every one of them seems to really love being there. That is such a lovley difference to this place. Not a sulky or bored waiter in sight.
These people will get to know you for sure and would probably be more than happy to chalk up a few set ups!
Food is amazing. I had muesli with fresh, natural yogurt & honey. The aromas coming from the baked goods very tempting in winter I have to say... There are also lots of yummy things on the shelves such as fresh honey to take home.
There is an outside area, as well as cosy interior and plenty of mags and newspapers so you can take your time.
Popular on Saturdays so you may need to wait for a table and go on a sunny, non windy day if you plan to sit outside. Otherwise shelter inside in the warm.
Rating 41/2 stars out of 5
116 Manson Road, Hendra
Monday - Friday: 6:00 AM - 2:00 PM
Saturday: 7:00 AM - 1:00 PM
Sunday: 7:00 AM - 1:00 PM
Posted by Janie Bentley at 1:31 PM
Friday, June 24, 2011
Okay first of all - this place was packed! I arrived at around 9:30 and had two meetings so left around 11:45am. The crowd died down a bit after the first rush who were mainly milling around waiting for take aways.
The vibe was very cool. A little bit Melbourne (aided by the fact that it just a little obscure and hard to find at first). The crowd was 70/30 - more men than women (bonus girls!!) and a mix of professional (I heard a lot of engineering& mining speak) artistic and the odd (grovified) government worker.
Staff were efficient and pleasant. Don't think they would have much time for matchmaking though - and that just wouldn't be cool....
Coffee okay.. I was a bit disappointed to be honest. My skinny latte (I asked for large so they served it in a giant tea cup) wasn't great. The milk had obviously been sitting in the milk jug and they had re-heated it (%^&$!!!) and not even well enough. I would be prepared to give them another go though. Obviously all those people wouldn't line up for bad coffee every day. The other coffee I saw looked great and there were certainly no complaints from my two clients.
I didn't eat but I must say the food looked amazing. Door stopper toast! Think I'd have to pass on that unless I was just coming from a workout. The scrambled eggs and smoked salmon at the next table looked scrumptious. The poor girl eating them must have felt extremely protective of her plate as I kept staring! She sort of shuffled in her seat so my view was hindered.
The exposed pipes and shabby warehouse feel was surprisingly cosy & warm. I spied many a lap top and could easily have hung out longer myself. I wasn't made to feel guilty about just ordering coffee and taking up a table either.
It didn't really feel like a typical "Brisbane" cafe. It was a cool (and warm) way to start the day. And would be a very cool way to get a date. At least you would know how they like their coffee!
Overall - GREAT for ambiance and a good place to meet. You will have to be a regular though to get noticed. Word of advice - don't go in a group. Go alone.
RATING OUT OF 5... 3 1/2
Posted by Janie Bentley at 10:00 AM
Tuesday, June 21, 2011
Okay - if I hear the term "man drought" again I'm going to scream. There is no drought girls. It's a self fulfilling myth. 40+ men are not an endangered species, perhaps just a protected species....
I will admit (and work to rectify every day)that there is a discrepancy in the number of single women and men over 35. So many of my clients ask me why this is so. Truth is - I don't know. I have a theory though, of course! And yes it does start with that bloody biological clock that we all know & love/hate. And the panic button that sits right next to it on the shelf. Here's the thing - men don't like panic buttons. They run a mile from them. They like to feel relaxed, comfortable & unpressured. Hence the younger woman phenomenon is not always just about the way women look - but the vibe that younger women give off. They don't seem to want to put men into a time capsule and press the go fast button. Of course there are exceptions to the rule of this. And the generalisations are not coming from me - so please redirect your hate mail to email@example.com. But this is a common theme coming from men whom I talk to every week. A lot of these men would love to have children, but they don't want to feel like sperm donors. Once again - not my words....
The biggest thing I can say to women is relax. I know that is hard. Believe me - I've been there. I had M in my 20s and since have longed for another child - but only if I met the "right man". I will admit that my search for this man was consumed with wanting to have another child. It wasn't until I realised this myself and changed the way I was thinking that I actually met someone who is the man I would love to have a child with. I can remember at one point about 3 or 4 months before I met S, I called my sister and I was crying on the phone. I was grieving for the child (in my mind I always envisaged a little girl) I wasn't going to have. I said to R (my older sister) that I was "letting her go". Every date I went on after that point wasn't tainted by my father check list. I relaxed. And I mean truly. This takes work and being really, really honest and true to yourself. But it worked. When I met S (and we all know how that happened by now I think) I was in a good place. I had let "her" go but guess what? S asked me on our first date if I would ever consider having a child again. In fact - he went further than that. He said something to the effect of "we both have boys and that's fantastic. Do you ever wish sometimes you could have a girl too?" I nearly fell of my bar stool. I had a met a man who ticked all my boxes and he was now asking me the question I had previously subconsciously been asking all the wrong men.
The whole relaxed approach is not just directed at women with maternal cravings, either. It goes towards everyone men, women - young & old. If you've been single for ages - stop worrying about it! You probably have better wardrobes and far more stamps on your passports than your married friends with kids. You will have learnt so much about yourself and made you so much more interesting. Be proud of your singledom - not ashamed.
I've decided to start "LITTLE DATING DIARY" for several reasons. This whole notion of relaxed dating is one of them and paramount to my business. If you can get into your head, and then subsequently your life, that you are fine as you are - being single and happy, strong and excited about what life brings you every day - then good things - and amazing things will happen. I want to help you do this by suggested good places to go to meet people and to get a daily vibe that makes you feel great about your day. There's a plethora of coffee shops for instance that attractive men and women go to every day and they are not connecting with each other. What a waste!
What LITTLE DATING DIARY is going to do is rate for you good cafes in terms of vibe, potential attractive partners and the sort of staff that will help in the matchmaking for you.
This is what you have to do. First of all - get up earlier. Exercise if you can - so you are already feeling wonderful. Hard I know in winter, but it works. Plus you have earned your latte. Instead of ordering that take away coffee (whilst simultaneously checking your Facebook on your iphone or answering emails) - go in, sit down and enjoy your surroundings. Make this a regular occurrence. Oh - and look great! Dress up - and feel desirable. Okay so now you are mentally picturing getting up the same time as Lisa Wilkinson - but you don't have to necessarily. Perhaps you can exercise the night before. And get a new weekday make up routine that works for you but doesn't take ages to apply. Put out your clothes (and shoes!!) the night before so you don't have that decision (and hunting in the case of my shoes anyway) to deal with the next morning.
Go to that same cafe every day for at least a month (preferable at the same time)and see if you notice any men (this entry is largely directed to women looking for men - sorry - but of course the same applies in the reverse)that are also there. They may be ordering take aways initially but BINGO! if they start sitting down too. You don't have to approach them. In fact - don't! Be alluring - but subtly see if they notice you after the 3rd of 4th time and let them know that you notice them.
LITTLE DATING DIARY will give you tips and suggestions at least once a week as to the best places to go.
Follow this blog and my twitter and Facebook pages to see to see the first.
I have many more suggestions up my sleeve believe me....
I love what I do and the one on one dates that I organise are a wonderful facet to dating. But the whole concetp of angelfish connections is about mixing it up. Sure - let me introduce you to really qualified people - but enjoy the search yourself too. It can be fun! What I'm hoping LITTLE DATING DIARY is going to do it put some fun back into your life.
Talk to you soon. I'm off to spy on some more baristas.....
Posted by Janie Bentley at 10:12 AM
Sunday, June 5, 2011
I went on a date last night. A parent date. Not meaning it to sound weird I guess it’s necessary to define the word “date”. My good buddy dictionary.com tells me there are 20 different meanings to this word. I guess the one I am meaning is that M (my 11 year old son) and I fixed a time and a place to spend some time together – just the two of us.
It was rather spontaneous. My father has Season (well Life really but that’s an aside) tickets to the Rugby and couldn’t use them last night. As we have J this weekend one or both of the adults needed to stay home. I could have given them away (they are great seats & I’m sure there are some people I need to butter up at the moment). It came to me though that what I really wanted to do was to spend some one on one time with my son – not ferrying to and from school or supervising homework or telling him to clean up his room – but real time – talking and laughing and listening time.
We had a dinner at a restaurant where M would have, one year ago, turned his nose up at and refused. S & I (and a lot of credit has to go to S here) have been working on M’s palette and trying to improve his curiosity about food. It is working.
There were no single tables left so we were given two seats opposite each other on a long communal table with four other couples – two couples to each side of us. The man sitting to M’s left gave us and then M a good long stare as if to say “wtf?”. He didn’t look at me again as he was probably feeling my “wtf!” back good and strong and he knows a lioness mother when he sees one.
M told me his meal was “No offence Mum but the best lamb I have ever tasted”. None taken. It was slow cooked, braised lamb off the shoulder, literally falling off at the touch of the fork. It felt good and warming - both the food and the sharing. My Pinot and his lemonade went down well too and I put aside my PM ban of carbohydrates for garlic bread (by this I mean a whole garlic bulb with its head chopped, roasted and served with ciabatta bread or it’s Spanish equivalent).
After our peasant style meal M asked if I wanted to “go and explore” before the rugby started. I must have looked a bit dubious or at least confused. He explained that we “haven’t spent much time in the area” and that it would be good to “explore”. That word again. It’s a wonderful word. I felt like a kid again. Remembering that feeling of excitement regarding unknown terrain in terms of cupboards, trees and “Private Property Do Not Trespass” signs.
Leaving a Paddington restaurant though it was difficult to know what he meant – or expected. Window shopping didn’t seem to be cutting it. So we walked down to the ground. Perhaps the bogans outside the Caxton were going to be enough of an eye opener for M in terms of adventure. I tried as best as I could to shield him from this kind of “exploration” though. This time the “Private Property” sign was one that I erected and adhered to myself.
Once at the ground it was evident from M that my iphone wasn’t entirely welcome. I begged 2 mins so that I could check in on FB and talk to my best friend who was also at the ground. Somewhat sated I put it away. M’s look of approval my reward. I was hardly going to ask for permission to tweet.
We had a great night. I did sneak a few texts to my husband, which were apparently okay as they were “about the game, you’re alright Mum”. But M and I chatted & laughed and just loved hanging out. He was wonderful company. The real eye opener, though, was me. I was wonderful company. I wasn’t nagging or pleading or lecturing. I wasn’t hurried or dismissive or worried about anything other than the here and now (oh and the Bogans at the Caxton but that was only fleeting). I was a good date. I was a good parent date.
I tell a lot of my clients to spend time with their partners and spouses. This is becoming a well known catch cry in modern society. “Date nights” are common entries in our Outlook calenders. But how often do we do parent dates? Like any other kind of get-to-know-you scenario they seem to work better with one on one. I know this is hard logistically for many. Multiple children + minimal time combined with scrutinised entertainment funds doesn’t easily equate to one child and parent date nights. But if you can, try it.
I love this picture I found. Not only because of the action with the father and daughter, but because of the care and time the father obviously put into dressing her. And having fun with that. Not taking everything so seriously. I think that’s the key. I kept hugging my son and telling him I loved him. This is not unusual – but it was so profound last night I wanted to yell it out rather than whisper it. And I enjoyed myself. That is I found my own company a good thing. I found my inner explorer again. And I liked her.
Posted by Janie Bentley at 10:30 AM
Saturday, May 21, 2011
Swallowing razor sharp, massive, gigantic pills. Ms Morissette my mouth is clearly bigger than yours.
Sometimes it’s not enough to have a “a good heart’. I’ve been told I have a good heart so many times in my life….. If I had a dollar… blah, blah, blah….I’d own homes in Point Piper, Manhattan & Lake Como (all very realistic goals for me at this point in life of course). But sadly, sometimes this statement comes with a “but” at the end of it. Because, equally sadly, I stuff up. I say too much. Or things I don’t mean. I have inherited a bad mouth gene. No – I don’t gutter talk (oh well okay sometimes I swear a bit but that’s not what I mean) I mean I say things that hurt people and can’t take them back.
For someone who believes in the power of language it is really difficult for me to hear things that I have said to other people that will remain with them forever. I get on my high horse and, especially under the influence of alcohol (which is a whole other story in itself) I shout down from that horse words that are often over dramatized and well – just plain untrue.
It’s taking a lot to write this blog. Its one thing to admit you are wrong – and another to make it public – but I feel that I should and I want to. I found out today I said something to a very dear friend of mine at our Christmas party (the worst night of my life incidentally) that I don’t even mean or think. I was questioning her judgement and, looking back, I clearly had no right. I don’t want to be cryptic nor do I want to give too much away for the sake of my friend – but needless to say I hurt her. And it has taken her until now to tell me. I am so glad she did as it comes in a week of reflection and fixing mistakes. Not all of mine – but in what I do – the buck basically stops with me. If one of my clients behaves badly – it reflects on me and the business. I care deeply about my clients and people in general so I will go into major protection mode to make sure that happens.
Instinct is a huge flag that is often waving in our faces wildly but we choose to grab it, wrap it up, and put it away in the cupboard, knowing all the while, we should be hoisting it up that flag pole and giving it the respect and acknowledgement it deserves. Compromised principles are my kryptonite. They eat away at me and torment me. I have been having trouble sleeping properly wrestling with an issue that I am hopefully resolving, through the help of my amazing and wise and tolerant husband.
With regards to myself I am working through some things about me that in the past I found it hard to face – let alone resolve. Not making excuses for myself is the first lesson. The second is saying “fix it”. Don’t drink so much if you are going to hurt people when you do it. It’s fun for a while but then it’s just boring. The apostles put water with their wine for a reason I guess. Again – hard things for me to be writing about here – but I’m doing so in the knowledge that I am rarely a hypocrite. No longer am I just going to go through life meaning well. What I said to my friend at the Christmas party wasn’t living well. It was thoughtless because I wasn’t thinking. Thought and rationality had gone home when it was clear that I should have.
My friend was gracious and lovely and worked it through herself & had already forgiven me by the time we caught up. But it will be a lot longer till I ever forgive myself. And I’m going to use this as another example of ways I need to grow and change and heal.
As for my badly behaved client– well I guess they will only change if they think what they are doing is bad. It is just up to me not to tolerate and accept that behaviour in my business.
I can only control what is in my grasp. And being the best person I can be. So big, massive pills for me to swallow this week – guess they fit in easily into my big mouth.
Posted by Janie Bentley at 2:39 PM
Monday, May 9, 2011
There was a lot of talk about behinds last weekend. No – not the AFL kind- I mean bottoms, buttocks, bums! First Pippa Middleton’s is fantastic. And the world saw it. Her dress was stunning. Her hair & make up – perfect. What a lot of people seemed to concentrate on though was her rear end. A facebook page was even set up (with a very substantial number of hits) heralding it.
I heard this morning that she’s been offered $5 Mil to do one scene in an “adult” film. Who are they kidding and why did they even bother to ask. The Royal family vetoed The Chaser. They are hardly going to allow the sister of the future Queen to do Pippa Does Paris are they? Besides that would be a huge slight to Margaret. No one ever asked her to get her gear off and get paid for it…. I don’t think…
The other bottom of interest was Karl Stefanovic’s wife’s. I haven’t seen it personally but I take his word for it – as it seems so does the rest of Australia. The Today’s Show’s ratings have climbed even further – thanks to Karl – or his wife’s personal training commitments. After I heard his silver Logie speech I didn’t even bother staying up for the Gold. I knew it was in the bag. And I couldn’t stomach anymore Andre Rieu (sorry- that’s just me).
A man who tells the country that he loves his wife’s arse is a national treasure. No matter what anyone says – this is a great compliment. Let’s face it, Karl is a massive flirt. He makes women feel good about themselves. This is an art. But in order for him not to be seen as a sleaze – he needs to show the world that he loves and admires his wife. Karl is not stupid. Nor is his wife. Hugh Jackman is another example. He is the furthest thing from sleazy and obviously and openly adores his wife – yet he still makes women feel wonderful in his presence. Karl had to step it up a gear to get his message across. The twinkle in his eye and “appreciative” comments on and to women are not relationship applications – just gestures of good will. At least I hope this is the case…
Across the board- usually if someone is confident in life and in a relationship – compliments to their partner will not be an issue. I have been in past relationships when I was punished if a man looked at me – let alone gave me a compliment. I was told that I must be encouraging it. I know some women who have openly admitted that they prefer to go out with less attractive men as it makes them feel more secure and hot.
Someone accused me of this once. I reluctantly had to admit that – no – this was not my objective – as these men didn’t consider themselves less attractive – and certainly didn’t make me feel very secure. I went out with a chronic flirt once. He would flirt with waitresses, other school mums, my friends. I think he drew the line at my sisters and mother (much to my relief) but he once was so overtly ogling my cousin that I felt (and she too as a matter of fact) sick to the point of revulsion.
These type of flirts do not make anyone feel good – except themselves. A good flirt knows how to read the lay of the land. They don’t make anyone feel uncomfortable. Karl made women and wives Australia wide happy for he and his wife. He made his wife feel desirable and “hot”. Samantha Armytage seemed to be the only one with an issue. But there is my point again…. If she was feeling a lot better about her own physique she may have been more open to the cuteness of Cassie’s.
And I’m sure Pippa Middleton’s boyfriend is as proud as punch whilst quietly suggesting that wholesome rom coms are his movie genre of choice…
Posted by Janie Bentley at 11:14 AM
Monday, April 18, 2011
FLIRTING, FRIENDS AND FAUX PAS
Seems there is a bit of confusion out there in the dating marketplace about flirting and friendships. It has been a wonderful week and angelfish has had some fascinating conversations and feedback on dates & blossoming romances across the city.
Conversations and deeper thought has arisen from some areas of conjecture. Areas of discussion are inter-related but for the purpose of this blog and your understanding I will cover them separately.
The first – flirting. Okay so we know that it feels good to flirt – and be flirted with. Provided you actually like that person and they don’t creep you out. I actually put in my wedding vows that “I promise to flirt with you and be silly” as we often forget to do this with our partners. But that is a whole other area of discussion. At the moment we are talking early dating. So what came up this week was that one party (happens to be female) expressed the desire for the other party (male) to flirt. This was feedback given to me –and to be passed on the man. Now it seems that not much flirting went on from both sides on the date but somehow it was made known that there was interest. Flirting is an art but it comes naturally to some people, and not to others. I suppose it is always difficult for men to know when to flirt, to get the green light so to speak. My advice would be to be a bit game guys. If in doubt – and you are attracted to and like the woman – make her feel good. Put yourself out there a bit. What’s the worst that can happen? She doesn’t flutter her eye lashes back at you? She doesn’t play with her hair or laugh at your bad joke? In all seriousness the worst that really can happen is that she thinks you are not interested on anything other than a platonic level and puts you in the “friends box”. That’s not a box you really want to be in believe me as it’s really hard to climb out of.
Which leads me to the second conundrum for some this week. When is a date a date and how do you know if you're a friend or potential partner? Now I am all for men & women being friends. The friendships I have with men are so treasured and very insightful. It is also essential to be friends with your partner –and hold out for the physical relationship for a bit (again this is a topic for another blog) but I’m talking about if the lines are blurred and you just don’t know yet. My husband was totally across this subject last night when talking to one of our friends. We were talking about the subject of men and women talking to other men and women about men and women. Are you with me? Stay there – you will get it. I’ll paint the picture and make some names up for you. Okay so Leo asks Elizabeth over for dinner. Elizabeth doesn’t know whether this is for a date or just as friends. Leo’s casual nature is confusing and, whilst she is excited and really looking forward to the date, she just doesn’t know how to classify it or how to act entirely. How should she dress? Should she bring wine? Is it really okay to talk in depth about exes? Leo is a charming and engaging man. Conversation is rich and easy. But he seems to answer her questions by telling Elizabeth about his recent (the night before in fact) dates and questions arising from that. So Elizabeth (herself extremely attractive and intelligent & quite a catch) sees it as quite a blatant fact that she is a friend so then puts Leo in the friend’s box. S’s point last night is that men should, in the company of attractive women, never relegate them to counsellor role if they are single. If they are single and attractive and in your company then to be asked about other women is kind of…. Insulting and confusing. No one likes to feel ignored, is S’s point.
On the other side of the flirting fest though - if you ladies want a man to flirt - then flirt first! It's 2011 and no one is going to condemn you for a subtly suggestive compliment.
Seems to me that people (both sexes) are so afraid of going out on a limb that they are missing vital clues and suggestions that could lead to a very happy and sustainable relationship. There is nothing wrong with flirting or asking questions. Or being the first to say something. It’s the old adage – never regret what you do (unless it’s a crime of course) but what you don’t do.
Carpe diem! And seize it with gusto. Probably best to start with hand holding first though...
Posted by Janie Bentley at 1:45 PM
Monday, April 11, 2011
A lot of people I've spoken to recently are not aware of how the date of Easter Sunday is determined each year.
This year it's exceptionally late. No - Coles & Woolworths don't lobby government bodies and say they need more marketing time. The Easter Bunny doesn't just make random appearances across the country proclaiming kids can now eat chocolate. According to the English book of Common Prayer, "Easter Day is the first Sunday after the full moon which happens upon, or next after the 21st day of March; and if the full moon happens upon a Sunday, Easter Day is the Sunday after."
Why such an odd definition? March 21 is the vernal equinox -- the day on which the length of daylight equals the length of darkness as the days are lengthening in the spring. The traditional Jewish calendar is based on moon phases, which is how the phase of the moon enters into the definition -- when they were determining what day Easter would fall on, they deferred to the Jewish practice of using moon phases to decide the timing of holidays.
Using this method, Easter can only occur between March 22 and April 25.
For some, the lengthier time between Christmas and Easter this year has been a relief. A lot of singles dread the holidays. They are reminded of being single - often. Family get togethers, parties and holidays have to be fronted up alone.
I am so proud of some of my clients. They are tackling the cliche head on and organising holidays & events that embrace being single. Personally I would rather be in Bali with 5 great single friends than having to cook lunch for 10 intoxicated relatives any day but a lot of people just don't see it that way when they are in the single zone.
I'm not accepting any wallows this year. Christmas I will tolerate some sniffles - for 3 hours maximum and only on Christmas morning. Easter is not a time for being depressed however. It is for celebrating new life - and miracles.
So if single - get out of your comfort zone. Do something you have never done before. Go somewhere you've never been before.
A lovely friend of mine told me yesterday that she and her flatmate plan to do something different every week in order to meet someone new. This is a grand plan. It could be something as simple as walking to the shop rather than driving. If I had been driving to the gym instead of walking the day I met my husband it would never have happened & I would have had two less people to buy Easter eggs for this year. It could be sparking up a conversation with the cute guy in line at the servo. It could be going to that film festival instead going to the same pub with the same friends that you have been doing since day dot.
Get out and about. Make like the Easter bunny! And enjoy it -wherever you are or whomever you are with.
This space is a no sook zone. xx
Posted by Janie Bentley at 3:55 PM
Monday, March 14, 2011
I'm getting married next weekend. There are butterflies on steroids in my stomach as I write those words. The wedding is bringing out so many conflicting emotions in me. For a bride who was determined not to get stressed I certainly did a good job of it this weekend. The scene in our living room last night was so cliched I would have cringed if it had been a scene on TV. I would have watched it of course, but with mild disdain & a whole lot of superior, "that would never be us"...
Let me paint the picture a little more clearly. Things are coming together pretty well (I have just left my desk briefly to find some wood to touch - am back now) and we have collected some really amazing memories along the way of people offering out of the blue to help and give so generously it has blown us away. Like the guy who offered us his stunning beach front garden to hold the ceremony in. We met him that day & he offered it to us on the spot. Unbelievable! And how I wanted a Bentley - as that will be my new name - and a 1956 convertible Bentley became available to us.. the stories continue..
But last night we still hadn't chosen our menu or locked in the the final details of the catering company's equipment. I was sitting at the computer, sighing heavily, and "placing" items rather heavily down on the desk after use. Then, not receiving the response I was looking for - namely an inquiry into my temporary insanity - I stepped it up a gear. "What are you watching?" came with one of my best eye rolls yet. S was watching the Grand Final of the football(soccer). He explained to me the significance of it in animated and inclusive terms, clearly inviting me to join in the momentous occasion. Not to be drawn in, I accompanied my mouse slamming and Bill Steam Shovel impersonations with the, mother of all man fears, nagging. Encountering an almost out of body experience I listened to myself. I was horrible! Golf and sport, even poor S's commitment to the heavy load of work he has on right now got an absolute bashing. Ridiculous threats of guests starving and pining for an ale at the wedding fell on deaf ears. He was trying to watch the soccer for God's sake.
So what did I do? I sat down and watched one of the most brilliant, nerve-racking and exhilarating spectacles of sport I have watched in a long time. I killed my inner Bridezilla and fist pumped along with the rest of the city. Needless to say the catering organisation got done later that night. And I will not lie and say the conversation didn't get heated at some points..... Bridzilla was apparently not dead - just sleeping.
I am trying to remember that this is not all about next Saturday. That this is the beginning of our married life together. I don't want S to remember a nagging, mean nightmare of a bride. I want to be serene, thoughtful and get back my sense of humour. So I'm using this blog to: 1. Apologise somewhat publicly to my beautiful fiance who is actually being really tolerant & thoughtful but I think also finding it hard to keep his sense of humour and 2. Send a message to all future brides and wives....maintain dignity and sense of self.
That woman I heard and saw last night was a pain in the butt. Late last night and again this morning, I was honest and upfront with her and left nothing to her imagination. She is an unwanted guest in our home..... and she's definitely not invited to the wedding!
Posted by Janie Bentley at 9:44 AM