Dear Angels, What’s the done thing with long-distance relationships? If the other person is coming back, can they work?
DM, via e-mail
Angel Jen: I believe in fate. It sounds like a cop out, but I actually do think things happen for a reason. Obviously the longer you’re apart, the harder it’ll be, but if you love each other and you know you’ll be together again, the relationship is worth fighting for. Give it a go. At least the distance makes breaking up easier if it does have to happen.
Angel Eleanor: I think it depends on how long you have been together and how far you will be apart. If the length of time away is anything more than half the time you have already spent together, forget it. I have spent more time than I care to remember on the wrong side of the departure gate at Heathrow and I wouldn’t recommend it. In my experience, absence doesn’t make the heart grow fonder, it makes the heart grow suspicious and resentful.
Dear Angels, I’m having a fairly major wardrobe overhaul/clear out. What are the clothing items that instantly switch you off a man?
Jason Phillips, Tooting
Angel Anna: There’s a fine line in male fashion between making an effort and trying too hard. For example, swapping your favourite baggy denims for a slightly more fitted shape is making an effort. Squish a pair of manly thighs into white skinnies and the pain in your testicles should tell you that you’re trying too hard. Anything in the ‘try-hard’ category should go, including flat caps (make that all ‘fashion’ headwear), anything with a giant logo, fat footballer ties, denim jackets, linen trousers, leather boots, short-sleeved shirts (sorry), smelly shoes and, most controversially, anything that’s lost its shape or colour. Even if you love it. And here’s a deal – if you extend your purge to some of the horrors lurking in the underwear drawer, we’ll be inspired to do the same.
Angel Eleanor: I used to think a good perv over Tim Lovejoy on Soccer AM was the best cure for a Saturday morning hangover. That all changed when the camera panned out to reveal he was wearing skinny jeans. I accept there are some odd girls who like that sort of thing, but not me. I would get rid of anything overtly ‘fashionable’. I’ve read FHM enough to know that men think women’s fashion is ridiculous. Well, back at you. If I wanted someone in drainpipes, plimsoles and a cardie I would go out with one of my crack-addict patients.
Dear Angels, I’ve had sexual ‘flunks’ with a couple of one-night stands recently and am worried about it happening again given I am now with a girl I really like? Does it matter? Will she forgive me, or do I need to get it right and, if so, how?
Anon, via e-mail
Angel Jen: Hmmn, you kind of need to get it right. Don’t talk to her about it yet – she might think you’re a bit weird and won’t want to hear about your one-night stands. Just have a few beers, but not too many – you don’t want floppage – and go for it. Go for lots of foreplay. She’ll be impressed that you’re interested and it’ll turn you both on. But don’t be too ready. You don’t want ‘four pumps, all done’. Good luck.
Angel Steph: The two most common ‘flunks’ are coming too soon and not staying hard. Condoms reduce sensation, helping you last longer. If you still don’t think you’ll last, go down on her until she’s begging you to penetrate her. That way she will remember you as a generous lover. As far as staying hard goes, don’t drink too much. You might feel like 007, but it won’t help.
Dear Angels, I recently read Gordon Ramsay swearing off about how “fucking unacceptable” it was when men took women to a restaurant and then took the seat facing the room. I’d never even thought of this, and have probably been offending women left, right and centre for the last ten years. Any other obvious dinner-date howlers I should look out for?
Mike Harvey, via e-mail
Angel Steph: Unless your date is extremely refined don’t stress, it’s all about manners and manliness. Hold doors open for her as you enter the restaurant, don’t pretend to know all about wine (simply ask the waiter to recommend a glass to go with your food) and don’t ever tell her what to eat. Only start eating once your date has her meal in front of her (it should have been served first anyway). It’s a nice touch if you pay whilst she uses the ladies to avoid any embarrassment over the bill. And if you can’t afford a meal, ask her for a drink rather than dinner; splitting the bill on the first date makes you look cheap.
Angel Anna: Every girl has pet hates (mine, I’m afraid, is the seat facing the wall), but in general any minor annoyances are outweighed by our interest in you as a whole package. And that can’t really be altered for a dinner date. As a general rule, always ask her what she’d like first, whether that’s which seat, sparkling or still water, red or white wine, chips or mash, and so on. If she doesn’t mind, make a decision or ask for a recommendation to avoid that sappy ‘no one minds’ stalemate. Other common dinner-date howlers include speaking loudly and too much (usually combined with listening too little) and pretending to know lots about food/wine/whisky.