Michelle Garforth has successfully secured her name on both sides of the Atlantic as a highly respected international TV Anchor, Producer and Journalist. She has been described as being like a breath of fresh air on camera; articulate, knowledgeable and approachable. You may recognise her from the current tv show Wild Ltd on SABC2.

RT: What is your current relationship status? And why?

MG: I’m single, that is why we are talking and why, well that is a little more complicated I think, um why happily single. I would prefer to rather be single than to be in a relationship that is not a 125% true, honest, loving and healthy. So I go for the full nine yards so to speak, as opposed to settling for 2nd best.

RT: What are the characteristics and qualities you find attractive in a man? And Why?

MG: It varies, and I would say a lot of it has to do with the person’s soul and charisma because that is what shines forward. Yes, there will be a physical attraction but it is so much about what is inside that comes out and that which you see first and that is what you are attracted to first. If you talk about physical attributes that I look at – eyes, they are definitely the spiritual window of the soul, men’s hands are intriguing – their wrists, that sense of testosterone and manliness, what makes a man a man! That is definitely what I notice the eyes, the hands, and the light of the person.

RT: You are talking about the inside, how do you go about finding that out because you know you get the first impression, surely you can’t get a sense of his soul, spirituality and charisma just be looking at him.

MG: Agreed, and I think that is where you need to open up the book and read that chapter and spend some time talking, asking certain pertinent questions to find out people’s opinions and view points. And perhaps help them understand what their thinking is on a certain topic. So yes it is about spending time and communicating to get closer to their heart.

RT: There is no such thing as a 50/ 50 relationship, I think someone is always in control

MG: I think it is a hundred percent on either side, I also think that those percentages will change and shape and grow and sometimes there will be a dent on the one side and then it will spring back again. Because you can’t be expected to be the strong leader or equal partner all the time, that is what a relationship is, is having someone to lean on when you most need it. And then allowing them and being a pillar of strength for them to lean on you.

Michelle Garforth

RT: How do you as a woman get what you want in a relationship?

MG: I am not very manipulative and conniving, I tend to be very straight up and honest and clear from the point of view I come from. In terms of getting what I want, I tend to get what I want because I am able to state what I want.

RT: What things that men do could be a turn off?

MG: I don’t like deceit and lies, I don’t like ego, I don’t like veiled hidden agendas, I am not one who is turned on by manipulative business practice in order to get what they are wanting, that for me doesn’t work, I prefer honest clear human beings.

RT: Have you had that kind of experience where somebody has tried to seduce you, sort of ulterior motives?

MG: Very much so. And I think when ever you are in the public eye, then immediately you are put on a pedestal of some sort in somebodies eyes. Unfortunately that is not the reality of it, from Mick Jagger, to J Lo and right through to Michelle Garforth or Gareth Cliff, we are just human beings. We have lives, emotions, depressions, upsets, joy, happiness, frustrations, and it just so happens that we make our money in the public eye. We are not on a pedestal and I think very often what happens when you get into relationships when you are in the capacity of a celebrity (we have gotta find another word for celebrity), you fall off your pedestal.

RT: Do you believe in opposites attract and why?

MG: I do believe opposites attract, my best friend Kim from the age of 12, we are totally different human beings, I am a traveller and an adventurer, Kim is very much a home body, has found the most wonderful life in being a superb mother. We are pro departs in terms of personality yet we get on like a house on fire, there is a wonderful sanctuary that we have together in our friendship. And so yes I do think that opposites attract and they do balance each other out. {mosimage}

RT: Do you believe in love at first sight? And why?

MG: I do. Because I have experienced it. I met my husband, I was married, Mark died in a plane crash in 1998, but I met Mark – literally looked at him and knew you are the man I am going to marry. I just knew immediately and we were married within a 3 month time frame, and the best way I can describe it is laying eyes on another person and going wow, this is it. And I think it is very much a personal decision and commitment in that you make it work to go further.

RT: What is the worst pick-up line ever used on you by a man, and how did you respond?

MG: Do men still use pick-up lines? I mean I know that there is a flirtatiousness and a banter of one liners…

RT: Oay so what is the worst approach you have ever had?

MG: I don’t like teasing, I don’t like it when people tease each other, and I find that there is a lot of negative that happens in that teasing moment. And because it is coming from a man, he tends to be stronger physical and comes across as being a bit of a bully. And so I really don’t like teasing and I find a lot of men do that, they think it is attractive to put you down. It so does not work for me.

RT: What is the most embarrassing date you have been on?

MG: I think blind dates are embarrassing in that you know you are being set up by friends with somebody they perceive you to like, and I have got to tell you every single blind date that I have been on, does not work! Which is an interesting process then, because do your friends really know you?

RT: And what is the most exciting date you have ever been on?

MG: I would say, well the most exciting date was actually when I got married. Mark and I sky dived, he sky dived into the wedding. And the first date we officially went on, we went up to Leopard Rock near Sun City, and we went Sky Diving on a date.

RT: How do men react when you are along vs when you are in a group?

MG: Well when I am alone I tend to be more girly and when I am in a group as one is, I tend to be louder and more chatty, and how do they react to me in those two different persona’s… I say if they know the heart of you they are able to transition in and out of those different zones quite easily.

RT: How has the Feminist Revolution affected women in the 21st century?

MG: Oh my goodness, I think life for our generation of women is a challenge, lets say that. Because we are working, men are having to perceive us as workers – we have hours just as they do. We are earning the same now, we are also demanding of our work hours: saying honey I will be home at 6pm, are you making the dinner tonight? Why is it always the women’s duty? And I do believe that South Africa is in an interesting social climate because of apartheid, our men were never educated as they were overseas, with basic things such as Mens magazines, fashion, grooming, those sort of things. So we in terms of South Africa, feel that our men have caught up graciously and very quickly, but we did go through a period where women needed to be women and there has been an incredible emotional, psychological growth within the men in Johannesburg, Cape Town, our South African society which is wonderful. The adaption to the new way of women. We do need two salaries, in order to have a household. So yes we are living in interesting times, and are definitely in the forefront, we are almost pioneers in the new civilisation.

RT: What kind of relationship issues do you and your girlfriends discuss most often?

MG: I think we discuss, and there are many topics, but I would say it is the business of getting the balance right in our lives, so that we can contribute to healthier more functional relationships with our men. Really I would say that is what it is, how do we juggle this better, how do we time manage, how do we improve our time management at the office, how do we pull in projects and still be moms and supportive partners in our husband’s careers? There is a lot of pressure and in terms of my girlfriends that is what we spend a lot of time discussing, and I think we also spend a lot of time talking about how clear we are on the types of relationships we are looking for. We want healthy functional situations that are communicative with your one on one person.

RT: Do you have any suggestions about what women can do differently to be more successful in dating and relationships with men?

MG: I guess if I had tips I wouldn’t be single… But I think it is a process of when you are committed to go out on a date, and I think dating is important, it is a vital valuable thing to be doing, putting yourself out there. You are not going to find the man of your dreams by staying at home and eating popcorn and watching movies. You have got to put yourself in that social situation. And when you are, I think it is a case of trusting your gut instinct and using your intelligence, your integrity but asking certain pertinently placed questions, to find out more about that person in a quick changeable manner, as opposed to leaving it up to the guys. You know be the master of your own destiny.

RT: Do you have any suggestions on how guys should approach women?

MG: Yes, I think you know what, if you like somebody as a man just approach her in that true, honest manner and say hi my name is Charles and I think you are wonderful…. I would love to take you out for dinner and get to know you better, I like what I am seeing.

{mosimage}RT: What is your idea of an ideal date?

MG: Ideal date, oh my goodness there are so many options. I am one for picnics, I love picnics! I like to pack a basket, I prefer it than going to a restaurant. Pack a basket, go and sit by a river and chill with the birds and the trees, and nice bottle of champagne, I love dry champagne. Some nice picky foods: strawberries and some carrots, cold meats etc… Just to sit in nature and talk!

Michelle Garforth

RT: What do you think of speed dating? And would you try it?

MG: I would love to, and I think it is a good idea, it buys a little into my concept of love at first sight, and also I think trusting your gut instinct when you lay eyes on somebody.

RT: What do you think of online dating and would you try it?

MG: I haven’t tried it in that I have logged on to one of the websites, and kind of put myself out there with a profile, I haven’t. I know a lot of my girlfriends have, especially ages like 35 to say 48 are doing it, and successfully. It seems to be in a protected environment, in that the girls are smart and they are looking after themselves, I think it is a little bit dangerous. But women are doing it and they are doing it successfully and there are a lot of successful stories out of it. From my perspective, I mean I have friends from all over the world that I can talk to on certain levels but you know at the end of the day they live in a foreign country and I am here. It tends to be a little fantastical that a relationship will ensue, lets be honest you are really continents divided. So I take it day by day and as things are meant to happen in my life they do.

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