Spring 2011 - Royal Wedding Issue
  Ask Hillie

Dear Readers,

Spring; what a wonderful time of the year! It is considered to be the time of renewal, rebirth & reawakening. We celebrate the longer days & tend to feel more at peace with the world as nature unfolds before us. In fact this is where the Spring season got its name as it mirrors the "springing" up of plants.

This month especially celebrates new beginnings, the most talked about of course is the wedding of Kate Middleton and Prince William, the start of I hope of many happily married years together; plus a bonus for us as we begin another long holiday weekend.

This month Dinner Dates decided to take our guests to new venues for us and so far each one has been a great success. For example last Saturday we had our champagne drinks reception in the Champagne Bar at St Pancras Station followed by dinner at St Pancras Grand; quite bizarre but it worked and everyone thoroughly enjoyed themselves. This Sunday we are learning to make easy after work suppers at La Cucina Caldesi and I for one can't wait to go to the Old Vic in a week's time to see the much celebrated 'Cause Celebre' starring Niamh Cusak and Anne-Marie Duff.

I wonder what new beginnings lie in store for you; whatever they are I hope you enjoy my "New Beginnings" article below.

Have a great month,

Best wishes

Hillie Marshall


Every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end." Spring heralds the end of winter and, as we see signs of renewal hope rises up in us. Just as flowers start to break through we feel a new energy rise up inside ourselves, inspiring us on to a fresh start and greater things.

Now is the time to spring clean your life! Here are a few suggestions:

• Start with sorting out your house and/or office and getting rid of the all the things you don't need; make space for new things.

• Get moving and do some exercise. Make use of the lighter mornings and go for an early morning walk before work. Go to the gym for a workout, exercise or yoga class and develop even more energy to start the day.

• Start a healthy diet and flush out all those winter comfort food toxins. Now is the time for fresh fruit, salads, juices and lots of water.

• Forget old resentments; try compassion and forgiveness and make a new start wherever you can.

• Make a wish list of everything you want to do and achieve in your life and decide that there is no time like the present to make a start.

• If you are ever going to take a risk in your life now is the time to do it. Remember the old adage "Nothing ventured, nothing gained'.

Some of you, like the Royal couple, may be looking forward to ending your single status and planning your married life ahead but for many Spring has heralded the end of a relationship and the beginning of learning to be single again. If this is the case here are a few points you might like to consider:

You will experience a period of grieving and you may be in shock for some time at the 'death' of your relationship and go through a rollercoaster of emotions. Although you may feel alone in your situation, even a failure that things didn't work out, I can assure you that there are thousands of other people who are experiencing the same emotions as you this very minute. There are also thousands of men and women every day who get through their grief and find new happiness. Rejection is a fact of life; it's how you deal with it that counts.

"The first step towards getting somewhere is to decide that you are not going to stay where you are." At some point you have to 'pick yourself up, dust yourself up, dust yourself down and start all over again". This may sound daunting; it probably is but you'll be amazed how much better you feel once you determine to change the direction of your life and your self esteem and energy will be renewed.

My advice to newly single people is always the same; don't go looking for a new relationship straight away; give yourself time to heal. Rebound relationships rarely work out and may well make you feel twice as bad as you are feeling now when they fail. Forget chasing the opposite sex, just spend quality time with your friends and family and plan how you can make new friends to widen your social life.

Write a list of everything you enjoy doing and would like to do and determine to make a start on them as soon as possible. If you enjoy sports then join an appropriate club and meet others who enjoy the same pursuits; if you have always wanted to speak another language then enrol with your local authority classes and see how your horizon widens as you gain new skills.

Be as positive as you can and thought block the negative feelings which keep creeping into your mind. The world is your mirror and reflects the way you think about yourself. When you don't like you, you will tend to find fault in others and this will turn people away from you. When you like yourself, you will hopefully treat others in a fair and pleasant way and draw them to you.

Be proud of your successes and learn from your mistakes. Love yourself and others will love you; respect yourself and they will respect you. If you have self-love you will treat others as you expect to be treated yourself. You will be proud of your successes without feeling that you have constantly to tell everyone else about them and you will accept and be kind to yourself about your failures. If you have behaved in a way that you feel ashamed of, stop the self loathing now. Learn from your mistakes and resolve not to repeat them - don't let them destroy your self worth. You deserve to be loved, liked and treated well, not because you are a champion tennis player, pop star, or the chairman of a large public company, but because you are you; be proud of yourself.

No one is perfect. All anyone can do is to try to do the best they can. Treat people with compassion and keep an open mind. Let go, go with the flow and who knows what exciting things will open up to you.

New life and new opportunities will be awakening around all of us so just open up your heart and enjoy every precious present moment!


Your chance to get your worries off your chest
Whether it's marriage guidance, relationship advice, workplace or career difficulties, or family problems I'm here to help. A problem shared is a problem halved, so if something is getting you down or troubling you please email me at [email protected]

Dear Hillie
My question is what is the best way to deal with unwanted attention? I had a guy interested in me. We met for a drink but I didn't really feel any spark or connection with him. He later asked me out again to which I said politely no thanks and that I only wanted to be friends, nothing else. He's still texting me but I am ignoring them. I feel a bit mean ignoring them but really don't want to be rude!

Hillie says:
Maybe when you told him you wanted to be friends you gave him hope, so you need to put him out of his misery as soon as possible. If you really don't want to see or hear from this guy again you must tell him. Text or call him and firmly let him know you have changed your mind and that now you don't want to see or hear from him again, even as a friend. Sometimes it's better to be 'cruel' to be kind.

Dear Hillie
I've been single now for over four years since I broke up with my husband. I'm 37 and I'm scared I'll never find someone else. My friends keep setting me up on blind dates which I find excruciating and I've also tried Internet dating but the men never turn out to be as good as they seem when you meet them in the flesh. I've tried speed dating and that didn't work, are there any alternatives?

Hillie says:
Thank your friends for their efforts but tell them you want to give all blind dating, whether it's through them, via the internet or speed dating, a miss for a while. Then take a deep breath, relax, make yourself a hot drink and make a conscious decision to stop feeling desperate to get a Date. Being desperate won't help you and may well, although you probably think your feelings don't show, put men off. Forget looking for a new partner and write down a wish list of everything you have ever wanted to do and start making them happen. You should try to widen your social circle and join in as many different pursuits as you can such as a health club, sports club, evening classes, amateur dramatics and a social events and holiday company such as Dinner Dates where you can make new single friends of both sexes. Meeting new people will open up all kinds of new avenues as you meet their friends and join in their activities. Once you begin feeling happy and fulfilled in yourself with a new circle of friends, who knows what will happen!

Dear Hillie
Rachel and I have been friends since prep school and have always been very close. Recently I had to leave my flat and Rachel let me stay with her and her partner Andrew until I found a new flat. The more time I spent with Andrew, the more I knew we had something between us and last week, whilst Rachel was at work, we made love in their bed. Although Rachel is my best friend I feel Andrew could be the great love of my life. What shall I do?

Hillie says:
Move out at once! Rachel was a good friend to you when you had difficulties and you have totally abused her friendship; who needs enemies with a friend like you around! Also what sort of a man is Andrew to betray his girlfriend in her own bed under her own roof? If he can behave in this way to her then be assured he would probably do the same to you too. There are certain unwritten rules in life and one of them is 'look but don't touch a friend's present or ex-partner'! If you have any loyal feelings left for your friend, you will make sure she never hears about any of this from either of you.

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