Jenni Trent Hughes is a relationship expert who you may recognise from shows such as Channel 4’s dating show, Perfect Match, and she was also a behavioural observationist on Big Brother’s Little Brother. Now, she has been appointment as eHarmony.co.uk's first UK based relationship expert and is on the site herself. Female First gave her a good grilling on all things relationships!
Best date you’ve ever been on?
Jenni Trent Hughes – “Walking across Brooklyn Bridge at 2:00am in the middle of a thunderstorm. A great date is never about what you do, and always about who you're doing it with.”
Best relationship advice ever given to you/ you’ve ever given out?
JTH – “’Stay in the moment’ and ‘Wear comfortable shoes’ both at the top of the list.”
Number one tip for internet dating novices?
JTH – “Stay grounded, be yourself and don't use old photos!”
If you’ve started chatting to someone online how long should you wait to go on a real life date?
JTH – “I say between one to two weeks is a reasonable wait.”
What’s the worst thing a guy could do on a date?
JTH – “Talk badly about his past girlfriends. It is disrespectful and inappropriate. You can tell a lot about a man's character by how he speaks about women in his past and women in general.”
Three things not to say on a first date?
JTH – “’So why exactly did your last relationship end?’ ‘My last relationship ended because......’ ‘When can I meet your mother?’”
Best tip for ensuring a second date?
JTH – “Be sure to tell the person how much you've enjoyed the evening and suggest other activities that you might enjoy. ‘This was really great, there's another one happening in a couple of weeks.....’”
How can you tell if there is compatibility on a date?
JTH – “Time flies by. There is loads to talk about. A lot of laughing and spirited conversation. You don't want it to end.”
How do you tell if a guy really wants a relationship with you?
JTH – “He says so is the Number One way. He starts introducing you to people in his life - first his friends then his family. You start doing ordinary things together like grocery shopping. He mentions doing things together months into the future. And back to the first and most reliable indicator - ...he says so.”
Favourite date movie of all time?
JTH – “Shrek (the original)”
Who is your celebrity dream date?
JTH – “ Damien Lewis, Damien Lewis, and if he's not available then I'll take Damien Lewis.”
What’s your favourite love song?
JTH – “'You Go To My Head'. You Tube it and get out the tissues.”
Who should pay on a date?
JTH – “It depends. Someone has just asked me on a date involving an airline ticket - I think it only fair that he pays. Coffee and a cupcake is within my budget so for that I'm happy to pay.”
When to have the ‘are we official’ conversation?
JTH – “Some people are official after three weeks, some three months, others three years. There is no hard and fast rule except that both people need to be in total agreement that you're now ready to commit to making a serious effort to see where the relationship can go.”
How long do I leave it before saying I love you?
JTH – “I think that you should say 'I love you' when you feel it. But be very very careful about the how and the when because once you've said it you can't take it back. There are many ways to show I love you before you actually say the words. I am currently teaching myself how to say it in sign language so that I can say it when I feel ready without fear that it's too early.”
Is it ever ok to sleep with a guy on a first date?
JTH – “You should never sleep with anyone until you totally 100% feel the time is right. Not when they insist the time is right, not your mother or your friends; not a 'How To Get Your Man' book - just YOU. Sometimes a first date may feel perfectly right, but if so then be sure to be 'safe'.”