Wit, charm and flowers are just not enough any more

Romantic - Saddam Hussein

CLIVE SMITH: Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn about Valentine’s Day

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I’ve just read that having a ‘spare tyre’ around the midriff can shrink your brain. I’m struggling to remember the word that describes that feeling of not really being bothered about it, so it must be true. Help!

But us men do feel pressure to look good. Females swoon over the likes of David Beckham and those robots in JLS and expect us to make an effort to resemble them.

My least favourite magazine in the world is Men’s Health. What an awful publication. Every week there’s a different tip on how to pull a hernia or what protein shake to drink. It should be renamed Men’s Health Warning.

But it’s not just men who are being judged harshly. I felt for TV and radio presenter Fearne Cotton this week when she ventured out for a coffee wearing no make-up and was photographed.

She was then lambasted by the national media, calling her ‘washed-out’. Unfair.

But back to us men. We have to face up to the fact that times are a-changing. No longer can we rely on our charm, wit and ability to hunt deer to gain kudos. No more are we the providers.

We know that men are stimulated visually and females emotionally. This is why women have always spent hours trying to look their best and men have just eaten another pie, swigged more beer and thought that by making her laugh and buying flowers occasionally, she will be smitten.

Well, not any more. So what’s the answer for the modern male? We can’t even show our feminine side too much these days! No longer is it OK to cry watching Ghost. So here’s what us men have to be today.

Strong but gentle, rugged but groomed, protective but emotionally tuned-in. Able to build a house AND cook the dinner and, most importantly, make our other half laugh (but not just by breaking wind).

This is all a tall order. We struggle to do more than one thing at once, so forgive us if we fall short and don’t go mad if you find us using your cleanser and moisturiser.

Oh and I’ve just remembered – the word was apathy! I’m sure many a woman reading this will be saying to herself ‘indeed’.