The upsides of being a model are amazing – from travelling the world to going to the best events – but the dayto-day difficulties in managing personal relationships can be challenging. In my twenties and thirties, relationships were sometimes superficial, but when I met Federica, I felt I needed to know her. We danced, kissed, and I jokingly asked her to come home with me. She declined, but grabbed my phone and took a picture of us for Instagram. For our second date, we went to Barbados, and two years later I proposed.
As a married man, there have been times when women have made a move – taken a seat next to me at events and asked “Where to next?” or leant in for a kiss when we’re introduced. I’m always polite, but very firm, and luckily Federica can laugh about the stories. I’m in a WhatsApp group with other male models, and we sometimes chat about the inappropriate or wild things we’re sent on Instagram – we make light of it as you can’t take it seriously.
As modelling involves posing confidently for a brand you are the face of, people can make snap judgements, labelling you as materialistic or arrogant. Having dyslexia has meant I don’t consider myself traditionally academic or confident in certain areas, which can be tough, but Federica’s helped me with this, and appreciates we have different types of intelligence, making us stronger as a team. People hide behind a six-pack and a beautiful face, or a job title and a PhD. She’s shown me that speaking from the heart is the best way to connect to everybody, no matter what their job.