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Safety on your first date

Since you know very little about your date, it is wise to be a sensible and a little cautious.

Coffee or lunch in the daytime is a good place to start, as you will have the opportunity to chat in a friendly environment to see what you have in common. If you find it’s not for you, it is easy to make an excuse and leave without leading the other party on.

If you do meet in the evening choose a well-lit and popular venue. Chat to the bar staff or waitress so that they will remember you and your date.

Don’t invite someone back to your place or go to your dates home until you know them a lot better

Make sure some of your friends know where you are going and at what time. Text them before you get there, and then again after the date so that they know you are safe. Anyway, they are bound to want to know what happened!

Friends increase your earning power?

Results of research carried out on 10,000 US students over a 35 year period show that each extra friend they had at school increases friends have funearnings by $2.

The reasoning behind the results is that those with the most friends have the best social skills, so perform better in today’s business environment where teamwork and emotional intelligence are highly valued.

Generally people have five to ten close friends which may include family, a circle of around 20 outside that, and around 150 in total, which is seen as the optimum number.

Clearly friendship encompasses many levels of intimacy, going from complete confidence with ones closest friends to nodding acquaintance with distant work colleagues.

As relationships develop, people move from one level to another as each persons circumstances change, be it moving house, getting divorced or changing jobs.

The key thing is keeping up the habit of making new friends. It boosts your self-esteem, ensures that you enjoy life and can share your interest with other people and if you want who knows where that can lead!

Body language talks

It’s a frightening thought, but over 80% of communication is non-verbal. Around 70% of the non-verbal communication is body language while the remaining 30% is made up from the tone of your voice. So what we actually say is pretty unimportant!

So how does it work? When people make eye contact, if there is a spark of interest, they raise their eyebrows fractionally in a movement that takes abouEncounters in Barcelonat a fifth of a second. Watch out for it, blink and you will miss it.

The next stage is watching your mouth when you are talking and glancing at all points south.

People also unconsciously mimic one anther too, so leaning forward or mirroring posture are typical positive body language signals. If you are trying to control you own body language, subtlety is key to success, make it look too obvious and you will be found out straight away.

Probably the best way of using body language is to be aware of the signals in the person you are talking to, to see if you are making the right impression.

A Medieval love story– Abelard & Hèloise

Petrus Abelard was a French intellectual who taught at Notre Dame school. His most famous student was the only female he ever taught, Hèloise, who lived with her uncle near the cathedral church of Notre Dame. She was only 16 when they met, but she already had a reputation for being exceptionally gifted. Hèloise attended some of Abelard’s lectures, then her uncle, Fulbert, hired him to become her tutor. He moved into her house and, before long, they fell in love.

They seemed like the perfect couple but, one night, Fulbert caught them together. Abelard was forced out of the house immediately, and all Paris heard of the scandal. Soon after, Hèloise discovered that she was pregnant, and managed to get a letter to Abelard. In Fulbert’s absence Abelard took his lover to his family home in Brittany, where she gave birth to their son.

Abelard wanted to marry Hèloise, on condition that the marriage was kept secret, but she refused this. However, he and Fulbert insisted and the ceremony went ahead. To keep it secret, Abelard then returned to his lodgings whilst Hèloise stayed with Fulbert, but Fulbert then broke his promise, and spread the news of the wedding. He and Hèloise had a series of heated arguments, which resulted in Abelard taking her to a convent at Argenteuil, where she stayed.

Fulbert was furious, and persuaded some others to help him take revenge. They broke into Abelard’s lodgings one night, and castrated him. Poor Hèloise blamed herself for Abelard’s plight, and decided to shut herself away – she became a nun. Abelard also wanted solitude, and took Holy Orders at St. Denis, the most prestigious abbey in France. Here, he hoped to revive his intellectual career, but one of his books was deemed ‘heretical’, he was initially imprisoned then, after his release he became a hermit, returning to monastic life when he was elected abbot of St. Gilda’s monastery, in Brittany.

He continued in there, hating his task, for several years, only leaving when he heard that Hèloise and her nuns had been expelled from their convent. He established them in a new convent, the Paraclete, with Hèloise as the abbess, before returning to his hated role at St. Giles, where he remained for 8 years.

Although they continued to exchange letters, Abelard and Hèloise never met again. After yet more intellectual arguments, Abelard travelled to the great abbey at Cluny, which was to be his home for the rest of his life. He died there at the age of 63. His body was taken to Hèloise at the Paraclete, where he was buried. 22 years later, Hèloise died, and was buried next to him – lovers finally reunited.

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