Photography: Tan Wei Te, Art direction: Alice Chua, Styling: Violet Foo, Shirt & sweater: Christian Dior, Hair: Ash Loi/ The Atelier, using Sebastian Professional, Makeup: Keith Bryant Lee
Got a relationship problem? Jason Godfrey (as seen above), our resident columnist and man about town, is here to help.
SHE ASKS: “My man will never say that he’s angry to my face, but will send me passive-aggressive text messages like, ‘A good girlfriend would not have done this’, before stonewalling me for hours. Why does he find it hard to communicate?”
JAY SAYS: “Some guys don’t communicate well. I’m not sure what his reasons are but the onus is on you to initiate some kind of mature discussion. When he sends you these messages, call him immediately to talk.
Or better yet, if you know the sort of situations that will elicit his stonewalling phase, pre-empt it by forcing him to talk.
By engaging in rational discussion that doesn’t degenerate into a screaming match, he should become more comfortable simply talking with you.
Trying to sort out relationship problems over text is a sure-fire way to make things worse.”
SHE ASKS: “I put in a lot of effort to make handmade cards and photo albums for my man … but he leaves them neglected on a dusty shelf. Should I stop trying so hard and just get him a watch?”
JAY SAYS: “How do you tell if a card is neglected? It’s not like it will ‘die’ if it goes unfed or unwatered.
Guys are very practical, to the point of seeming cold at times. Your man was never going to take your handmade cards under the comforter and cuddle with them.
Be assured that he appreciates your efforts, though he might not show it. If you want to see appreciation, get him a watch, and every time he wears it you can smile knowing he likes your gift.
If the watch ends up on a dusty shelf, now that’s neglect.”
SHE ASKS: “I dislike dating apps and prefer to meet guys in real life. Do you have any tips on how to chat a guy up, without coming across as weird and desperate?”
JAY SAYS: “I’m always amazed that girls need help talking to guys. Guys will sit and talk to you; you don’t even have to say much.
The key to not looking weird and desperate is picking up on the other person’s cues.
If the guy is smiling and laughing, and asking you questions, then he’s genuinely enjoying talking to you.
If he’s squinting, frowning and giving you monosyllabic answers, it’s a sign that you shouldn’t try too hard to keep the conversation going.
The key to talking to guys – and it’s the same for talking to anyone – is to just ask questions about them. People love to talk about themselves.
If they don’t ask you any questions back, though, that’s a sign to get out of there ASAP.”
Image: DreamPictures/Blend Images/Corbis
SHE ASKS: “My boyfriend’s friends love to rag him about his past relationships (he was quite a ladies’ man). They’ll embarrass him by telling me about his past conquests in lurid detail. I laugh along because I want his friends to like me … but what they do bugs me. How do I deal?”
JAY SAYS: “Well, if “lurid detail” is approaching Fifty Shades of Grey lurid, then you have every reason to tell your boyfriend that his friends make you uncomfortable. He should be able to stop them.
But if it’s the usual male self-congratulatory, hand-slapping kind of talk, let the baby have his bottle.
Take comfort in the fact that your BF probably wasn’t that great at picking up girls anyway. Few things are as good as what a group of reminiscing guys makes them out to be.”
Watch Jason give love advice! We’ve put together the best of Jason’s relationship advice in an exclusive compilation. Download the digital edition of Her World February from the Apple App Store or Google Play to watch the videos.
This story was first published in Her World magazine February 2015.