Happy Valentine’s Day

Right, Valentine’s Day is geared up for couples and to a lesser extent the unrequited romances, and I can understand how some people can get unhappy about being single on Valentine’s Day, but crisis and opportunity are often found near each other. It just happens that they are often found by different people.

As Valentine’s approaches, it focuses the mind of single girls, so compared to any other time of the year, there is the highest density of

  1. Singles Events
  2. Speed dating
  3. Special offers on Internet Dating
  4. Single girls who don’t want to be single

So you have the opportunity to meet plenty of girls in the space of a couple of weeks. You may actually still be single on Valentine’s Day, but you can use the money you save on the big night for singles events, or other dates, as you potentially have plenty of them coming up.

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Some “Has Been” dating advice from William Shatner

Well, not exactly from William Shatner in person, but something I was thinking of while listening to his album “Has Been” yesterday. If you don’t have the album, you should get it right away (along with his magnificent 60′s psychedelic work The Transformed Man).

I always advise caution with anything to do with Star Trek when it comes to dating, but there is a lot to be learned from this man. First of all, Captain Kirk always got the babes, but more importantly William Shatner did plenty of other things after he beamed off the USS Enterprise for the last time.

Okay, so here’s the thing about William Shatner: it’s easy to mock him, but it’s hard to compare to him. Maybe we did all laugh when he made TJ Hooker, but really his body of work is outstanding- Star Trek, Star Trek Movies, he authored Sci Fi Books, Boston Legal, and these two albums.

Now the 60s album is plain weird. You occasionally hear William Shatner’s version of “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” on the radio, usually introduced as a novelty song gone wrong, but that does a tremendous discredit to the album as a whole. But I can understand if 60s Psychedelia isn’t your bag, baby, so if you like more conventional music look no further than Has Been.

The dating advice angle – very straightforward. In the title track, with a sort of western movie vibe to it, he meets three desperate characters, Jack, Dick and Don. They mock him as a “Has Been”.

Jack has a nickname, “Never Done”. Not as is in “He is never done” but more simply “Never Done Jack”, as in “He has never done”.

His pal Dick is not much better. His nickname is “Don’t Say”. Not as in “You don’t say?” but simply “Never Say Dick.”

And Don is known as “Two Thumbs Don” because he spends his time playing computer games.

Not being American, I don’t really appreciate the slang of “never done Jack” and “don’t say Dick”, but I get the gist of it.

These are people who criticise someone, but have never risked anything themselves, never taken a chance and so they have never lost. They laugh at Shatner’s character in the song because they feel he is a “Has Been”, but they themselves are “Never Were and Never Will Be”.

Given the choice, Shatner concludes that he would rather be a has been, because that means he actually was, he actually could be, and he could be again.

And so it is with affairs of the heart. If your pals are there goading you about your ups and downs (mainly your downs, I find) while not trying themselves, then think less of them. If they spend all their time complaining that the women aren’t good enough for them, then they will stay single.

And so will you if you pay too much heed to them.

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website update

Hi again

I have been working hard on this for a few nights now, and hopefully the new look is up to your liking. Still a few dodgy links in the site somewhere, but I am tracking them down like Tommy Lee Jones in The Fugitive, one by one and eliminating them, rehabilitating them.

If you find one, please leave a comment and I will find them a lot more quickly.

Meantime, please be patient, the transformation is almost finished stage one!

I have a few special things coming up, so stay tuned in.

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…and coming soon on Single Guy Dating Advice

Hi Folks

just a quick note to explain what has been going on at the site since my last post.

  • I have a couple of guest authors lined up. Very special ladies indeed
  • One of them, who is a professional behaviour expert is going to be running an advice and problems page, so if you have any questions – leave them in via comments or email
  • And the website itself will be having a bit of nip and tuck and a facelift in the next couple of weeks – hope you enjoy the new look!


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…and the Lord would spare Sodom for the sake of 10 righteous men.

hi guys

Don’t worry, Prospero is still at the controls here, but you didn’t hear from me for over a month!

I have been busier than expected with my regular work and then had a great holiday (with a spectacular date in the middle of it, which inspired the purchse of some suprising bed linen) and mellowed out at a rock festival 2 weeks ago.

Incidentially, if you are ever in Edinburgh for the international Fringe Festival, check out the opportunity to arrange a cyber date to meet up with at one of the shows. And there are about 5000 shows, so that should give you plenty of scope….

Interesting observation at the rock festival- one of the non musical events was rock festival speed dating, organised by a lady that writes the scripts for one of Ireland’s top soap operas. Needless to say Prospero signed up like a shot -who wouldn’t want to meet some of the bohemian babes wandering about in wellies and sunglasses?

I got a text about an hour before it was due to go ahead to tell me it was cancelled due to lack of male participants!

I replied to the organiser lady that “it was ever thus” but pointed out that the Lord was prepared to sace Sodom for the sake of 10 just men, and she should have still run the event for the sake of 10 willing men. Or just 1 – which would be me of course….

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The Dating Road to Damascus

You have to believe that the girl wants to find a guy too sometimes. Most times.

Bob Hope and Bing Crosby made a series of movies called “The Road to…” like “The Road to Singapore” and “The Road to Hong Kong”, but it was Saint Paul who took the road to Damascus, and it made him change his outlook on the world.

A friend of mine had his Road To Damascus experience while watching the Late Late Show on RTE (not to be confused with the USA one).

This is the guy I mentioned in my online dating tips who lies about his height, age and hair, and he was watching TV a few months ago and saw an interview with a single lady who made the point that she didn’t want to be single any more, and that she wanted to be part of a couple.

The topic was expanded upon with a panel discussion and comments from the audience, and it was demonstrated that there are many more like her.

My friend was astonished. “Steven, it amazed me. There are girls out there, looking for men. It isn’t just guys that are looking for girls, it is the same for them too, sometimes. There are girls wondering if they will meet a guy, girls who want to meet a guy, girls who are unhappy with being single. I thought that was just men.”

I wasn’t exactly sure what planet he had been living on before I had met him originally, but clearly he hadn’t been near any form of mass media for the 1990s.

“Hang on, did you never watch Sex and the City? Or Ally McBeal?”
“Sure why would I watch those shows, that’s just fiction.”
“CSI and all those other TV cop shows are fiction, but I understand that there are people employed by the state to stop criminals and put them in prison. If something is popular, it’s usually because a lot of people can understand it.”
“Yeah. I guess you are right.”

We’re back to Jane Austen, Sun Tzu, and Rommel again. Mostly I would advise him to remember that there is someone at the far end of his search, but he only ever thinks about it from his perspective, and he remains not only single, but unhappily so and embarks on one catastrophic romantic mission after another.

Any exploration into how human beings get along will tell you that you have much more success with your relationships if you make some effort into understanding the other person, develop an appreciation for their needs.

And if you have convinced yourself that women want to be single, then chances are that’s what you’ll find your experiences will confirm to you too.

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My Prince is looking for me…

Should the guy be looking for the girl, the girl for the guy, or both? More importantly, if someone was looking for her, would she be found? And if they were looking for you....?

Just seeking? Just being sought?

I got an email from one of my female readers last week. She shared her thoughts on dating, explained that she is never “actively looking” to be part of a couple.

“The best quote that springs to mind is from my sister. She said ‘I know Prince Charming exists. And right now he’s out there, somewhere, looking for Me’.”
Gender stereotypes aside, that is essentially what it’s all about. But there are a few other sides to this fairy tale.

  1. The handsome prince has to go out there and look. There is no point staying at home in your castle, whether you have a plasma TV and jousting games on the satellite sports or not. If you want to find the princess you have to go to her castle, and probably her kingdom. That might mean getting out of your own comfort zone, out of your own surroundings, and doing something different.
  2. But the princess needs to want to be found. – that’s the fundamental thing. I know plenty of girls that insist that the guy does the work – and that’s fine – but the guys have to know what they need to do (guys are simple creatures).
  3. I do think girls in 2011 need to meet the guys half way here. If they are “too busy” they are ultimately going to lose out too. In fact, they could do their own share of the looking, but plenty of girls still seem very reluctant to do just that, and that’s OK, that’s the gender roles that we have grown up in for years.
  4. So the guy needs to make the effort – and if he was appropriately rewarded, then why wouldn’t he?
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A dating lesson from the cockpit helps find a Bond Girl

Of course, I knew the photo she meant, this is the only photo I have of me in the cockpit of anything. But I have no idea what an R-22 was, but thankfully google rescued me from my ignorance, and I discovered it was a kind of helicopter popular amongst private pilots (often owner-pilots). I replied that actually I was at the controls of a heavy duty Sea King search and rescue helicopter, and in the interests of honesty I pointed out that I was in it as a guest, and I am not really a helicopter pilot. You may think that this would put me at a romantic disadvantage, but that helicopter’s actual pilot assured me that to date, he has impressed zero women with his job. Which came as a surprise, as it actually would impress most guys I know: he flies a monster helicopter into hell and high water to rescue people. Given that girls are not renowned for their interest in helicopters (or star trek, air guitar, darts etc) I decided not to elaborate on the aviation details, and instead asked her what was her interest in helicopters – particularly given her mention of this R-22 thing. ”…well I am a helicopter pilot.” Hmmm. The last time I saw a girl fly a helicopter was in a James Bond movie. He had a car that turned into a submarine, and I don’t, but still, how could I resist….? So the lesson is: plenty of variety in your choice of dating profile photos should cast a more diverse net, and get more interesting replies. The less you have, the less of a story you seem to have to tell, the less mystery you have. The more you have, the more girls you might connect with.

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Reason, Pascal and Whitesnake

“The heart has reasons that reason knows nothing of.”

Blaise Pascal


Here I go again, on my own, down the only road I've ever known...Blaise Pascal, with a haircut destined for hard rockin' glory he was clearly a fool for your lovin' no more.

As a mullet shaking, card carrying heavy rock fan in the 1980s, I studied the work of Whitesnake (especially their videos) and tried to live by their teachings. One of the things that struck me most was the consistent theme of love and its myriad effects on the male heart, mind and soul.

And body of course.

I read the quote from Pascal years later (in the sleeve notes of another album) and always liked it. What matter that he may well have been talking about the nature of faith rather than love, with a haircut like that, he was clearly cut out for action in an 80s Heavy Rock band. Probably with a double neck guitar and spandex trousers.

When David Coverdale,the leader of Whitesnake, gave an interview he explained that he would never tire of love, and its inspiration on his lyrics because nothing caused him that range of feelings and emotions.


Don’t underestimate what it can do to you.

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Sometimes it’s not you, it’s her.

I was gutted when Agnes Heartbreaker sent me the text :

“Apologies for not getting in touch. I have been thinking, and there will be nothing between us. I would like to wish you all the best in the future.”

She had affected me to an extent that really took me by surprise. A truly fabulous girl, who certainly appreciated Prospero’s finer points. And not even did she not call me, not even did she actually wish me all the best, she just said she would like to wish me all the best.

In much the same way that I would like to see the Taj Mahal.

I got this about one minute before I was about to start work. Which helped to take my mind off it a bit, but the flip side was that Agnes was taking my mind off work a little too. The balance of distraction came when I got another text in from my tenant to tell me that there was water pouring out of the ceiling in my house and added “and I think the mice are back”.

While there is nothing like impending structural damage and a plague of rodents to take your mind of things for a while, there was still no avoiding the eventual introspection the recurring question “well, what did I do wrong?”

So I threw that one open to the panel, and an interesting answer came back from a psychologist I know.

“I think when these things fail, deep down, you know why. At an instinctive level, it is there for you without rationalising. Sometimes you didn’t do anything wrong, you just weren’t ready for that relationship.”

Just wasn’t ready?

It didn’t feel like that to me. But what if I wasn’t the one that wasn’t ready?

The fundamental thing is that it takes two to tango. We always assume in popular culture, reinforced by books, movies, TV shows, that the guy isn’t looking for a relationship, or that the guy is incapable of one, but what if it’s the girl that gets the cold feet?

It’s sometimes (like almost every time) difficult to be objective about yourself, but trying as hard as I could that was the explanation that fits my observations most accurately. Maybe she just wasn’t that into me, but the evidence pointed otherwise, or maybe…

She wasn’t ready.

That was despite a string of relationships, a few declined proposals of marriage and one abandoned engagement. I didn’t ask her if she returned the diamond. You could expect her to be a girl that knows what she wants at this stage, but you might also read it that she was a girl that has successfully fought off success.

Either way, I don’t have a psychology certificate and until I could think of a better reason why it didn’t work, there was little to be gained from wallowing in it. It was time to get back in the chase and cherchez la femme once again.


But first, I would phone for a plumber and buy some mouse traps.

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