Afternoon Tea at Royal Garden Hotel London

Afternoon tea at royal garden kensington
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C and I are big fans of Afternoon Tea, who isn’t?! He may not be so much of a sucker for the sweet stuff as I am, but he loves the whole quintessentially British affair. I’ve even spotted his pinky sticking out when he uses the dinky bone china cups!

Courtesy of my lovely sister Sally (thanks for the Christmas gift!) today we were off for a date day together - first to Kensington Palace and then on to indulge in afternoon tea at the Royal Garden Hotel a few minutes walk away.

We arrived a little early for our 1pm reservation as the temperature outside was pushing it’s way past 28 degrees. It was hot hot hot! As we walked through the doors and the cool air con hit, it was a moment of pure bliss! We were led into the bar to enjoy an ice cold coke and cool down before 1pm arrived and we were taken to our table in the Park Terrace.

Bring me cake!

Bring me the cakes!

First impression? There was a really lack of charm. It’s quite a modern hotel inside and perhaps that’s why, it was all very ‘white’ and ‘workey’. 1pm is the first sitting for afternoon tea so no surprise there was no real atmosphere yet but before long the small area was full including a big hen party – a regular sight at any afternoon tea. This time there were no willy bopper hats though ;)

We were impressed by the teas and we liked the added touch that they bring over the teas in jars for you to have a smell and decide which one you would like.

tea at royal garden hotel

After ohhing and arring and sniffing every bottle (classy) I opted for a very exotic English breakfast tea! C went for a ‘Blooming Jewel’ – a white flower tea that blooms in the pot.

We were asked whether we wanted to upgrade to the Royal Tea which included a glass of Théophile Roederer NV champagne and strawberries drizzled with balsamic but we declined. I think the heat must have sent me crazy to decline champagne ;)

The tea arrived and we watched the flower bloom. Shame the pot wasn’t a little bigger as it was hard to see. My tea was lovely and strong but….and do say if you think i’m being a bit of a tea geek here….wouldn’t you think that at a 5* hotel, when they’ve gone through all the fuss of getting you sniffing the teas you would have tea leaves? Alas, as I peered into my beautiful looking tea pot I was dismayed to find a lone tea bag bobbing up and down. Sob. As lovely tasting as the tea was, this is afternoon tea. Come on Royal Garden Hotel, part and parcel of afternoon tea is faffing with the strainers!

tea at royal garden hotel

Shortly after our sandwiches were brought over and we were a little surprised that we had a plate each with them piled on. It didn’t look bad, just not quite the elegant presentation that comes with teeny tiny sandwiches.

royal garden hotel afternoon tea review sandwiches

After doing a swap (me nabbing Cs chicken and egg mayo sandwiches) we dived in. The sandwiches were very good apart from the somewhat random ‘tomato salsa’. Red onion overdrive! A good selection and plenty, just presented a little poorly with some token green stuff on top which I believe is there to make you feel good about yourself before you shovel in pounds of sugar.

Which brings me onto the good stuff! The cakes and scones arrived and they did not disappoint. Spot on. 4 warm scones nestled under cover on the bottom tier of the cake stand. 2 of which were delicately infused with cinnamon and they were nothing short of amazing. Delicious. Who would have thought cinnamon in scones could taste so damn good?! Plenty of cream and I was impressed by the different takes on the jam – what seemed to be homemade strawberry and a tasty pineapple.

cake tier at royal garden hotels

The cakes were equally good though by this point we were pathetically full. Again we’re blaming it on the heat and not the fact we are wusses and can’t handle a few sandwiches and cakes ;)

On the middle tier were 4 small slices of different loaf cakes – chocolate, cherry, plain and fruit. All very good.

cake

The pastries were a chocolate and coffee tart, a coconut macaroon cake (to die for), a raspberry swirl cake and if my memory is correct (it was 5 hours ago!) a lemon cake with fondant. All were tasty.

Cakes

We had read before that if you want more scones you will be charged extra but we were so full we didn’t manage to eat everything we had but we did sample everything and it gets a thumbs up for taste.

Would I go again for afternoon tea? Probably not. It’s good value at £26 per person which for London is very good but there was a real lack of ‘experience’ and for me, that’s what I love about this tradition. The table next to us was so close that we had to resist whispering sweet nothings to one another so I wouldn’t recommend for a date! A nice place to take your mum when in London but there are far too many afternoon teas to sample across London to stick to the same one.

That being said I would gladly indulge in one of those cinnamon scones again! ;)

Happy dating
Cx

To book afternoon tea at the Royal Garden Hotel, Kensington in the Park Terrace please visit: Royal Garden Hotel

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Should You Hold Onto Gifts From Your Ex?

should you keep gifts from an ex teddy image
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I have a beautiful chunky amber ring I wear everyday – I feel naked without it! I look at it and it just feels so me! It was also a gift from my ex-boyfriend.

I can’t believe you still wear that” a friend said in disbelief.

Like my friend, I have always been a firm believer ex’s are in the past for a reason, we learn from them and move on leaving them in the past, along with mementos of the relationship. Things that were once adored and sacred but are now a reminder of a past love. The teddy bears, the love notes, the ticket stubs from your first date.

So what’s changed?

I feel secure. I feel safe in my relationship, content and fulfilled. In the past I have made ex’s throw away photos, trinkets and once even a board game that were given to them by their ex. I know, sign me up for the dr! Now I know why I behaved like that. I felt threated that these possessions marked a hidden love my partner had for his ex. I didn’t like that someone had ‘been there before me’. I wanted to be the one and only. That’s fine if I was 16 but in my mid 20’s it was unlikely to find a guy who had never been on a date before. More importantly would I want to meet a guy who had never been on a date?!

Our past experiences, and most importantly the way we deal with them, are what shape us to who we are today. For most of us, we have been in relationships in the past. We have a history.

What does holding onto a gift from an ex mean?

It doesn’t mean they still love their ex nor does it mean you are second best.

Think back to any significant period in your life – university, the holiday of a lifetime, a big birthday. Have you held onto something that reminds you of that time? Perhaps it’s a photo, a vase that caught your eye in the Moroccan markets or in the case of my friend Emma, a garden gnome presented to her at an awards ceremony! Unless you take the ‘no clutter’ approach, you’ve probably amassed a random selection of bits and bobs throughout your life journey.

Why then, if it’s ok to hold onto mementoes of those occasions, should we not hold onto anything from a past relationship that was a huge part of our life for x amount of years. Rather than seeing your partners ex as a threat, see them as the person who ironed out the creases ;) The person you adore and who adores you back. They are a part of your partners past, you are their present and future.

I have a confession

After my ‘heartbreak in Hong Kong’ (I moved to HK with an ex, who cheated on and dumped me shortly after moving my life there, leaving me in the City alone) I jumped into a relationship. I was still hurting and in a crazy jealous place. My new guy had a painting on the wall. One day I took it down and on the back there was a love message. I was livid. I went berserk, accusing him of still loving her and generally being an all-round crazy woman. At the time it didn’t feel crazy, I felt insecure, angry, jealous and hurt. Looking back, I’m embarrassed by my behaviour. Do you know why he had the painting on the wall? Because he liked it, as did I till that point. That was it. Did he pine for her? No? But my stroppy teenage girl behaviour wasn’t making him a big fan of me either.

“I’m upset my boyfriend has photos and presents from his ex girlfriend”

If there is something your partner has that you’re not comfortable with, talk to him. Open communication will help resolve the issue without coming to blows. Talk to him before your mind starts forming assumptions. Our minds like to do that ;)

Encourage him to have a memory box – or rename it something less cliché and manly! Any bits and pieces from his ex go in there and the box goes away. Memories are in our mind and hearts but it’s completely acceptable to want to hold onto a few physical memories. I have a box which has cards and gifts from my childhood sweethearts – I had a few! Every now and again when back home I dig it out and I love sifting through the plastic rose and a personal favourite - the forever friend’s earrings!

Be respectful with past relationship mementoes and encourage your boyfriend to be the same. If he respects you, he will. Know where your line is.

Here are a few conversation starters to bring up the issue before it becomes a big deal:

  1. I’ve noticed you have lots of photos of (ex). It makes me feel uncomfortable; lets have a chat about it.
  2. I’ve been thinking about that lamp (ex) brought you. I think it’s looking a bit tired now, let’s get a new one this weekend when we go shopping.
  3. I’ve got a box with things from my ex in, how do you feel about doing the same?

Don’t forget – your partner has chosen to be with you. He wants to send his life with YOU, nobody else. Think of the bigger picture, this huge issue for you right now will be a teeny tiny blip 20 years down the line when you’re still happily in love :)

Much Love

Cx

Want relationship and dating advice straight to your inbox from the UKs Best Matchmaker?  Sign up for my FREE newsletter at www.carolinebrealey.co.uk to get the juicy stuff every Friday!

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Matchmaking Service for Pets – Yes Really!

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A new matchmaking service has launched in China….for animals!

That’s right, you can now enlist a matchmaker to find your dog his bitch (excuse the pun), your cockatoo his bird of fancy and your pussycat her fluffy feline.

Not only will the matchmakers find your dog the love of their life, they will also throw the wedding of the century (perhaps) for them.

Pets can even go through the motions of having a wedding ceremony, including miniature wedding dresses and tuxedos, bridal bouquets, balloons and a “marriage certificate” signed with paw prints, for just 300 yuan ($48). Forget Kim Kardashian this is the wedding you want an invite too!

Alas, not even animals escape the heartache that an ending marriage can bring. Two schnauzers have had to be separated after the owners fought over who the puppies belonged too. Coming in the way of true doggy love – shame on them!

I want to hear from you, would you use a matchmaking to find you pet love? Share your thoughts below.

Much Love

Cx

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What You Can Learn From a Bad Date

what you can learn from a bad date
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There’s nothing quite like the anticipation of a date.

The excitement and slight nausea all rolled into one that forms the butterflies flapping around in your stomach. The heady anticipation that this could be it. This could be ‘the one’. Followed by the crashing back down to reality when you realise it’s unlikely that Jon, the Adonis who filled your online dating website screen, is going to be the one for you. You’re basing that judgement on the fact the man in front of you is definitely 20 years older, smells like a garbage truck and appears to be missing a front tooth.

When a date doesn’t go as planned and you’re left disappointed it really is a crappy feeling. You go from high to low in the space of an evening and feel back at square one. Its part and parcel of dating. What really matters though is what you take away from the date.

Each date is a unique experience. One you cannot predict. In reality there are very few really ‘bad’ dates that happen. A bad date to me is where something truly awful happens. If the guy is boring, argumentative or just downright weird – it’s an experience. Ok maybe not one you want to relive but nonetheless you can learn from it.

Reflection

6 dates in a row have been a wash out. Why? This is a perfect opportunity to reflect on your dates and your dating patterns. Looking back what do the dates share in common? Perhaps you are going for a certain ‘type’ or putting too tight restrictions on whom you’re willing to meet. For example if all your dates have been with big shots in the City and you’ve found them dull you might want to mix it up. Go out with people from all walks of life, with new stories, views and experiences to share. Reflect on yourself. Perhaps you also need to take responsibility for a date not going well. Did you make an effort to engage conversation? What did you contribute to the date? Think about what you can learn from your behaviour and how you might behave differently in a similar situation in the future.

Finally, reflecting back on the date now – what did you learn? It doesn’t need to be ground breaking but each experience we have we learn something new about ourselves and/or confirm a belief we have. Knowing yourself will lead to happier, more positive dating experiences.

Expectations

Keep your expectations in check. Wealthy, 6’3 versions of Bradley Cooper are had to come by! On a serious note though, the limitations you are imposing could be playing a major part of an unsuccessful date. We can easily get swept along with the tick lists, the must haves and the non-negotiable. Would you compromise personality for height, humour for working in a specific sector or compassion and trust for living down the road from you? No, of course you wouldn’t. But could it be that you’re doing that inadvertently by imposing so many barriers before you even sit down with someone for a glass of wine? Take time out to think about what is truly important for you in a relationship and the qualities and character of the person you hope to one day share a life with. Base your expectation on those things – they are the benchmark.

Never see a date as a waste of time. See it for what it is – a wonderful opportunity to share a short amount of time with someone new. If the magic and mystifying spark is there, it’s the cherry on the big cake of what is your fabulous life :)

Safe dating

Cx

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How to Let a Guy know You’re Interested

How to let a guy know you're interested
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He’s hot, you’re cute and you should totally be together. Only problem? He’s not a mind reader. He doesn’t know you spend your working day practising your new signature with his surname or refresh his twitter page every few hours. You don’t do that do you? Course you don’t, ahem, let’s move on….

Guys have got a raw deal. They’re expected to come over to us, strike up a conversation, be hilariously witty, smart and kind all in one go. They have a few seconds to impress us. It’s no surprise then, that guys appreciate a clear ‘come and talk to me’ signal. Here’s how to give that signal whilst maintaining your cool…..

7 Tips to Let a Guy know you’re interested

Eye Contact

One of the most powerful tools you have – your eyes. If you’ve ever experienced eye contact in a flirting situation before, you know how amazing it can be. You catch their eye, you spend maybe just 2 seconds looking at one another and that’s all that’s needed to get the butterflies going.

There’s a fine line between a subtle ‘meeting of the eyes’ and a full blown ‘my god you are hot and I can’t stop staring’ eye contact. Don’t keep staring in his direction. Gaze around the room, from time to time looking in his direction. If he looks up and catches your eye hold your gaze for a count of 3 then lower your eyes. 3 seconds is longer than you think – try it now.

Smile

Obvious? Not always. If you’re focussing on getting their attention you can get so wrapped up you forget to smile! You stare and don’t smile…creepy alert! Smiling is free, sexy and sends a clear message – I’m happy, I’m into you and I’m fun. :)

‘My Friend Fancies You’

Being a matchmaker has taught me that 1) dating doesn’t get easier as you get older and 2) the playground antics/games still apply no matter whether you’re single, divorced, a dating virgin or an experienced pro. Sometimes you just gotta suck it up and accept that dating can be a bit embarrassing. But if it means you mean the love of your life who the hell cares?! Think of the end game. Ask your friends to work their magic and play matchmaker.

They can subtly (hopefully) let slip to your love interest that not only are you super awesome but you kind of think the same of him. They shouldn’t completely let the cat out the bag but they can drop enough hints so you are on his radar.

Banter

He’s made the effort to come over. He says hi. You say hi back. Then you watch him sweat whilst he tries to strike up a conversation. Help the poor guy out! Flirting works 2 ways. If you close up he’s going to think you were eyeing up the guy next to him and make a dash for it. Ask him questions, make general chit chat about where you are and engage in a bit of friendly banter.

Tease

And I don’t mean your hair – though that’s a good idea! A bit of gentle teasing and playful banter will keep him on his toes and get things fired up between the 2 of you. Playful jokes and a few pokes in the ribs is all in good jest, just don’t go too far. There’s a fine line between a joke and offending someone. Oh and remember – if you dish it out be prepared to accept it back with style.

‘Say my name, Say my name’

“So Darren, what do you do when you’re not out causing trouble on a Friday night?” Said with a smile and a cheeky glint in your eye naturally ;) it’s amazing the difference using someone’s name can have. He’ll know you’re listening and he’ll feel the centre of your attention which is exactly where you want him.

Get Touchy

A simple squeeze of his arm whilst you wind him up a tad? Smart move. Guys like to be touched, who doesn’t? Done correctly it can be very effective in letting him know you’re interested. A quick graze of the hand, squeeze of the shoulder or brush of the arm when stood next to one another is a sure fire way to prick his interest.

So there you have it, top tips to show you’re into him. Have you noticed I missed an important tip off? You could just tell him. But that’s too easy and where’s the fun in that?! :)

Got a great way to let a guy to know that you’re interested in him? Then I want to hear from you, share your top tip below.

Happy Flirting

Cx

 

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My Interview With Emily at I Heart My Life

Caroline Brealey dating expert
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I was really honoured to be interviewed by Emily at I Heart My Life the other week. We talked about starting Mutual Attraction, where I was in my early 20′s and the path I’ve taken over the past 10 years. What advice I would give to my 20 something self (cut back on the booze!) and my experience of using a life coach to achieve my dreams.

You can watch and hear my interview here….

Note to future self – don’t have a coke before an interview as you will be hyper and ease up on the crazy facial expressions :P

 

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Top 5 Tips on Getting Back on the Dating Scene

tips for getting over a broken heart
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Breakups suck! Nobody knows that more than Laura Yates, the author of todays guest blog post.  I am sure she won’t mind me saying that having been on the end of a breakup she knows what she’s talking about! Laura has 5 awesome top tips to getting back on the dating scene to share with you….

Breakups are usually quite awful experiences. Even in those rare ones where you come away feeling positive, the transition of going from being in a relationship to being single and ‘getting back out there’ can feel incredibly overwhelming.

Having recently gone through a breakup, I’m now in that frame of mind where I feel ready to start meeting other people. So yes, I’m dipping my toe in the dating waters! And I’m excited! I’m not specifically setting out to look for my future hubby but I’m keeping an open mind. I’ve learnt a few things as I’m going through this experience and I hope that these will be useful for you too!

1) Make sure you’re ready but always stay open-minded

Yes, it’s very important to take all the time you need to get back out there and I don’t personally recommend delving headfirst in dating or rebound dating. However, and I do think this is a really big however – keep an open mind! When we think of ‘dating’ we tend to think of more facilitated dating scenarios like dating sites and singles events and the like. But everyday is an opportunity to meet someone! In the supermarket, at the gym, on the tube, in the street. The sooner you get into the habit of opening yourself up to this the more chances of meeting people quite randomly and naturally will pop up. Even if you don’t feel quite ready to ‘date’, start working on things like smiling at people and making eye contact as these can be a real game changer. Even if you’re lacking in confidence (which you well might be after a breakup), try and push yourself a little or fake it until you make it because it’s great practice in fine-tuning those social and body language skills that are crucial when it comes to dating.

2) Don’t man hate

When we’ve been hurt and treated badly – especially if this has happened more than once, it can be easy to think that ‘all men are the same’. They’re not. There are nice people just like you out there – lots of them! You have to let go of that negative attitude because it actually cuts you off from the good ones as you’re indirectly looking for the not so nice ones. If like me, you’re a believer of the Law of Attraction, you’ll know that what you think, you attract. Ever wondered why some people seem to end up in a cycle of bad relationships? They most likely subconsciously look for the same type of people.

3) Love at first sight Vs getting to know

I have to admit, I’m a hopeless romantic. I love the idea of love at first sight, being whisked off and proposed to after 2 weeks of meeting the love of my life – and I do believe that can happen! But when you have that limited mindset, it sort of restricts your view of all the possibilities out there. As an example, I’ve had an experience recently with someone who I went on a first date with. It was great – as good as first dates could ever go really! But I’m not sure exactly how attracted I am to this man. I didn’t feel that intense ‘love at first’ sight feeling. But I’m going out with him again because there’s absolutely no reason not to. And I was attracted to him. That all or nothing love story is fantastic but how many equal stories do you also hear about people who’ve fallen in love with someone they’ve known for years? I’m not suggesting you settle for less than you deserve but give people a chance and an opportunity for something to develop. Sometimes it being less intense at the start is a good thing as the relationship can evolve naturally and grow into something more long lasting and solid.

4) Be good to yourself

Breakups can leave you feeling pretty crappy in yourself so this time alone is an opportunity to put yourself first and do the things that make you feel amazing. Pamper sessions, going to that exercise class that you never made time for, taking yourself for a weekend away – the more spontaneous the better! When you feel great in yourself, this will show and instantly make you more alluring to prospective dates!

5) Learn from your breakup

Even in the relationships where one person has suffered more, there are usually things that both people do that they might not want to repeat in their next one. Be honest with yourself about what you can do better on. These can be emotional and practical factors. So maybe you were too hot headed and spoke or did things without thinking first. How could you work on that to avoid it happening so much in the future? Or were you limited when it came to more practical tasks like cooking (and I use this as a personal example – I’m not suggesting all women should be amazing cooks!) Use this time alone wisely as a positive self-improvement exercise. Not only will you learn new things, which you’ll benefit from as an individual, but you’ll be an even better version of your already amazing self when it comes to your next relationship!

When you get into the right mindset, dating should and can be really enjoyable! No matter how seriously or casually you approach it, it’s an opportunity to meet new people, broaden your social horizons and help you get a clearer idea of exactly what you’re looking for in a prospective partner. So keep and open mind, go with it, look after you and have fun!

 

Bio: Laura Yates is a coach and mentor from the UK. She coaches in the areas of relationships and confidence and believes that when you give yourself permission to step towards what you love, amazing things can happen. Follow Laura here on Facebook!

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7 Ways You Can Become Irresistibly Attractive (That You Don’t Normally Hear)

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I’ve got a real treat for you today. The super fantabulous Monika Nybom,  Transformational Dating and Relationship Coach who works with those who desire loving relationships, has written a post just for you. Yes you! Last week when we were gossiping, erm I mean working, via Skype Monika said so many things that had me nodding along in agreement that I had to ask her to get some of her thoughts down to share with you guys.  Monika has 7 golden nuggets of advice for you on becoming irresistibly attractive….because who doesn’t want that?!

7 Ways You Can Become Irresistibly Attractive

Look, you are amazing. You don’t need any advice on how you should talk, what you should wear, and how you should act. What you need is to celebrate yourself, fall deeply in love with who you are, and promote your strengths. That’s attraction. This means you stop criticising yourself. Stop it. I mean it. It’s not working for you, and if it was, you wouldn’t be reading this. There’s nothing wrong with seeking advice, but learn to take only that which speaks to your heart. The rest is meant for someone else.

Here are seven ways you can become more attractive and happier.

1) Start by embracing your vulnerability:

If you’re having trouble opening up to another person, it could be that you are afraid of being vulnerable. Being vulnerable means being authentic, but before you can share your most intimate self with others, you must learn to accept yourself. Start by challenging your perceived flaws. Are your flaws really flaws? What if someone else sees it as a positive trait? When I was in my early teens, I was teased because I had slanted eyes. Today, it’s what people compliment me on the most. It’s what makes me unique. In the words of Dr. Dain Heer from Access Consciousness, “What if every wrongness of you is actually a strong-ness of you?” Read that last sentence a few times and let it sink in.

2) Make self-love a priority:

Before you can share love with others, you must learn to love yourself. That’s the only way it works because you can’t receive from others that which you can’t give to yourself. By making self-love a priority, you learn to appreciate yourself in ways you never knew were possible. This boosts your inner power, confidence, and self-worth, which exudes attractiveness. The most effective way to boost self-appreciation is to invoke it daily. Do this by taking a few moments every day to give yourself compliments in the mirror. Use Louise Hay’s “I love you” mirror exercise and tell your reflection that you love who you are. You can say anything you like to your reflection, and remember to keep it empowering and positive.

  3) Become mindful in your relationships and in your life:

We spend most of our time being too busy to stop and appreciate life as we’re living it. When was the last time you made a conscious effort to live in the present? Being present will help you to slow down and focus on your surroundings. Remind yourself throughout the day to periodically stop what you’re doing and bring yourself to awareness. Ask yourself questions like, “What am I seeing, feeling and hearing right now?” I also tell myself, “I’m here now,” to bring myself back from the past or imaginary future. Do whatever works for you while keeping in mind that the present moment is the only moment in which you can capture opportunities. Learn to honour it.

4) Integrate Meditation into your daily routine:

Meditation is an excellent tool for relaxation, reflection, and for grounding yourself in the present moment. Meditation connects you with your wise inner self and authentic desires, making it worth your while to include it in your daily schedule. If you are a beginner, start with 10 minutes per day. All you need to do is find a quiet space where you can clear your head of all thoughts and concentrate on your breathing. Imagine serene imagery and focus on releasing any negative energy you may have. If you need help getting started, join my free member list and receive a guided meditation upon signing up. It’s 10 minutes long, and you can download it on your phone and listen to it wherever you are. Take me to where I can sign up!

5) Enjoy your own company:

When was the last time you treated yourself to a night out alone? Being alone shouldn’t be miserable. In fact, learning to enjoy your time alone will improve the quality of your romantic relationships. Whole people are perfectly fine enjoying time by themselves. In fact, they think they are pretty good fun to be around and even enjoy their own company. If you’re able to take on the world solo, dating will be a breeze. The next time you have a weekend to yourself, pamper yourself and live a little. Go out for a movie, treat yourself to dinner, and revel in your own company. Be mindful of how it feels. Enjoy the journey without judgment. Just be. Be who you are, and get familiar with how that feels. Remember to be kind to yourself in the process.

6) Be grateful:

Gratitude increases the amount of dopamine produced by the brain, improving your mood and making you happier overall. Give your brain a boost by reminding yourself daily of everything you are grateful for. Express gratitude for everything, even the small stuff like a little getting extra sleep or eating an especially good meal. Giving gratitude changes your reference point for happiness because it helps you realise that you actually have more than you thought. Everyone has something to be grateful for, especially in times of hardship, and it actually feels liberating to give thanks when life is not working out. Try it. It really works. On a bad day, I remind myself that I am healthy, my children are healthy, and that I have a roof over my head. Imagining life for me without these things makes me appreciate my life despite everything negative that I might be experiencing. On a good day, being grateful will just make you feel even better than you already do.

7) Let go of the past:

Don’t let past transgressions hold you back from romantic fulfillment. Bitterness and regret will taint your relationships and prevent you from forming meaningful connections. The past is gone—learn from it and move on. There’s something positive to learn from every situation in life. Learn the positive lesson, forgive those who have wronged you, forgive the situation, and let it go. Forgiveness isn’t for anyone else; it’s only for you. When you forgive easily, it frees up more space for you to be here now. It frees up space for you to be open to new opportunities. You never know who you’ll meet tomorrow, so learn to trust in your life instead of trying to control it, and let go of whatever is holding you back.

Are there any areas that you are struggling with when it comes to attracting loving relationships? I’d love to hear your thoughts. Let me know, and I will do my best to help you out.

With much love and gratitude,

Monika xox

Monika is a Transformational Dating and Relationship Coach who works with successful, dynamic professionals who desire loving relationships. She is flippin awesome and can be found over at Monika Nymbom where you can sign up to get her FREE newsletter full of goodies, endless advice and words of wisdom. Go check her out!

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Why Are Men Scared of Women Who Want Children?

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When did women become scared to say what they really want – children?

‘Don’t scare a guy off by talking about babies’.

How many times have you read that advice? I have been nodding along frantically to a recent article that appeared in the Daily Mail by Olivia Fane whose 2 eldest sons (oldest being 30) would rather gauge out their eyes with a rusty spoon than have children! Why are men scared of girls who want children the original article

“so opposed are these chaps to committing that I can’t help but feel that young women often keep their broodiness well hidden, playing at being independent career girls to avoid scaring them off. And when these women reveal their true intentions, their boyfriends bolt” – Olivia Fane

I don’t think she’s saying all women who have a career want to stop and make babies but I think she is right that most of us are too nervy to say it. How has it become that women are too afraid to speak out about a desire to have children when a) it’s a natural instinct, we don’t go through the joy of periods for no reason after all and b) it’s kind of important in populating the world.

But despite that, we have to keep our feelings and desires under wrap for fear of either not being able to get a boyfriend or seeing said boyfriend running for the hills. Instead we hide our true feelings, push them to the back of our mind and only broach the subject when we’re feeling ‘brave’. What a shame that something so natural and something that can bring so much joy should be treated this way. Let’s take a look at why the modern man is afraid to have children.

Why Are Men Scared of Women Who Say They Want Children:

Not having enough money

I’m sure my parents won’t mind me saying that at the age of 18 and 21 when they had their 1st child (my big brother Julian) they had not a penny to their name. So much so their honeymoon was in Wolverhampton where my dad was in his final year at University – every girls dream honeymoon destination ;) Was it ideal? No. Did they manage? Yes. Dad got a job and mum looked after Julian before going onto have 4 more children. People say ‘it was easier in those days as things were cheaper’. Maybe that’s true but it’s all relative. Perhaps we’re more material these days putting more emphasis on having luxury items – ipads, laptops, HD tvs etc which are no longer seen as luxury but as ‘must haves’. Kids will wreak havoc with your finances there’s no doubt about that and yes it is sensible to be earning a good wage and to not rely on others or the government for money to raise your children. But are you waiting till you earn a 6 figure salary?

What’s the magic number you have to have in the bank before having children? It doesn’t exist.

Not having the time

I’ve heard this a lot from guys ‘I just don’t have the time for a baby’.

You will always fill your time. You will find things to do and in this day and age if you want to do something every night of the week you can. Men who have particularly high pressured jobs, or who work long hours often feel they don’t have the time to dedicate to raising a child. But often when babies come along priorities get shifted. You realise that you don’t have to attend dinner meetings with clients 3 nights a week, 1 is sufficient. But hey if you have nothing better to do then sure you’re going to go to all 3. If anything your time management skills become top notch! You may need to make compromises but actually, if we take control of our time, look at what’s really important for us to do and others which are ‘optional’ you’re likely to find you have far more time than you think.

Equally if someone tells you that at the moment a child is not their focus and they want to develop their career that shouldn’t be something to be sniffed at. We all have different priorities at different time, the questions is – are your and your partners priorities aligned?

Not feeling ready/not the right time

Honestly? I’m not sure I’ll ever feel like it’s the right time to have children. I’m sure I’ll feel all the above – I don’t have enough money, time etc but I know they’ll come a day when I go ‘sod it’! I’m not there yet, I like the idea of having a family and I know I want it, just not quite yet. If you wait for the ideal moment to crop up you may be waiting a long time but often guys are waiting for a moment to hit them. To suddenly feel wildly broody and that they want to procreate caveman style! That moment might never come and that’s fine, it doesn’t happen for everyone but guys, don’t wait for the ‘perfect opportunity’ as perfection, even in timing, rarely exists.

As the saying goes ‘if you wait till you feel ready, you will never have children’.

Worried about being a good father

My other half C and I talk about having a family from time to time. He has shared with me a few of his worries – if he lost his job how will we survive, he’s worried about brining children up in London and interestingly that he’s worried if we have a son he won’t know how to be a good dad. He feels he has more to teach a little girl than a boy. It sounds a little silly but it’s actually something that he’s genuinely concerned about. Sometimes it’s not the thought of having a family that is daunting; it’s the thought of how to be a good father to those children. C often says ‘I won’t know what to do’ well join the club buddy because nor do I! It’s a real fear though for a lot of guys so ladies let’s do what we can to help guys know they will be awesome dads one day!

Fear of splitting up/finances in a break up!

The most liked comment on the original Daily Mail article reads:

“Most men like the idea of family, what they don’t like is an expectation that they have to pay for everything and a divorce system that suddenly assumes women are completely incapable individuals who must be given 50% of everything no matter what they contributed and are entitled to live off someone else for the rest of their life.”

Excuse me a moment while I go jump off a cliff. Is this dude for real? At the time of writing this blog post this comment has over 800 ‘thumbs up’. I’m not unrealistic. I know not all marriages last and there’s a lot of bitterness. But to say women get 50% ‘no matter what they contributed’? It’s enough to make any mothers blood boil. I don’t know this guy’s story or what he’s been through but I think nurturing, raising and educating his children contributes quite a lot personally. Yup I am on my high horse! That being said I do get it from the guy’s side that in some cases the settlements can seem far more in favour towards the woman but each case and circumstance is so different you can’t make a general sweeping statement.

The Positives!

Let’s focus on the positives though for a moment – there are guys out there who can’t think of anything more awesome than brining children into this world. They are happy to talk about it openly and it’s so refreshing. How do I know they exist? I meet them! I recently interviewed a 28 year old guy who told me openly ‘I don’t want kids yet but when I meet the right woman and we’ve spent some time getting to know one another and having adventures, it will definitely be high on my agenda, I love kids’!

Great stuff, what’s the harm in talking about it? Why do ladies have to hold back on their feeling about what they really want, if it is indeed children?

Final Word

Men, I love you, but it’s time to man the hell up and use those dangly bits you’ve been given! A woman should never be afraid, anxious or scared to say what she wants in life – this is 2014! You might not be on the same page at the moment, but that doesn’t mean you can’t talk about it. Equally ladies, if you do want kids at the moment, accept that right now, he may not be thinking the same and vice versa. Talk to one another; see whether you are at least on the same wavelength. Neither of you should feel pushed into something you do or don’t want to do. But most of all ladies don’t let others judge you for saying you want children and if they can’t hack you even mention it? Perhaps they’re not they’re not the right one for you….

What do you think – are guys really scared of women who vocalise that they want kids? Or is it just a case of wrong guy right time? Share below.

Much Love

Cx

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Finding Love After Life Throws You a Curve Ball

when life throws you a curve ball
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Earlier this week I had a meeting that I shall remember for the rest of my life.

I met Lizzy* at an upmarket hotel lounge to chat over becoming a member of Mutual Attraction. We call this an ‘initial consultation’ but it’s really just fancy words for ‘tea, gossip and getting to know you’ – my favourite kinda meeting! ;)

She was shy and a tad nervous. You see, unlike most of my lovely clients Lizzy has met the love of her life. She adores his very being. They were married, had 2 children and 1 on the way. Life was as blissful as could be. One night shortly after finding out they were expecting bambino #3 he didn’t come home. He wasn’t held up at work and he wasn’t doing a last minute shop for groceries. He had been killed on his way home in a traffic accident. The love of her life, the father of her children cruelly taken away.

Lizzy told me about the next few years – a whirlwind of sadness, bitterness, anger, hurt and the odd moment of happiness that made her feel so guilty she would cry. Slowly she began piecing back her life, small step, and in time she began to start living instead of existing. She started to enjoy life, to reflect. She began living for the moment, cherishing each day.

Now 4 years later here she was, sat in front of me looking fabulous! Radiating happiness. Nerves gone the minute she sat down and before long we were chatting like long lost friends and had moved on to the super important stuff:

Ohh your shoes are lovely where are they from? I MUST have them!”

This woman was without a doubt the most inspirational human being I have ever been honoured to spend time with. She had been fortunate she said, ‘to have experienced what true love really felt like’ and that she wanted to feel it again. That she knew it was possible and hadn’t given up hope. She would never give up hope, she knew it was worth fighting for.

She knows it’s not going to be an easy ride.

“I’ve got more baggage than EasyJet baggage claim!” she laughed.

Is that stopping her, holding her back in any way?! Not a chance.

“What I’ve been through has made me more open minded, accepting of others and I will grasp every opportunity that comes my way. I CHOOSE to see the positive in everything. There’s no point getting hung up on the little things in life. In the grand scheme of things, and life is a grand scheme, they mean bugger all.”

She took the words right outta my mouth!

So why did I share this with you today? Because the sun is shining, the weekend is almost upon us and I want you to adopt Lizzie’s attitude. To go out there, experience and live the life that’s there waiting for you. Every teeny bit of it. To not dwell on the hurt or pain from past experiences and relationships that are holding you back. To let yourself go and to allow yourself to enjoy what’s on offer. And there is a HECK OF A LOT on offer so no excuses pretty lady! Live for the moment. Not thinking of yesterday and nor of tomorrow. Appreciate what you have right now.

So much love and appreciation for all of you, thanks for reading

Be Happy

Cx

*I’m all over confidentiality like honey on a hot biscuit which is why Lizzy is a made up name.

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