Friendly but no-nonsense relationship and dating advice for women in their 20s and 30s, from the guy perspective. Come back for biweekly posts and "tips of the week." Skip to the advice...
I've been fielding a lot of blog questions recently about friends with benefits (FWB) relationships. Circumstances vary, but the situation usually plays out the same way: you get into a friends with benefits understanding with a guy, it seems like it might become something more, and then it ends with you getting hurt.
My previous post about guys sending mixed signals remains one of the most read on this blog, and it's the topic I receive the most questions about. But while that post used some great examples from readers (along with the advice I gave them), I've always felt like there's more to say. So picking up where I left off, I've put together a practical, step-by-step guide, from the guy perspective, explaining what to do when guys send mixed signals.
If you're reading this blog, there's a good chance you're more concerned with making sure a guy is attracted and interested in you than in pushing us away. But what if you want to make sure things don't work out with a guy you're getting to know? What if you just want to tank a budding relationship, to really make it go down in flames? Or maybe you're a little more reasonable and you actually do want things to work out with a guy -- but you think it would be helpful to have a list of don'ts to refer to. If that's the case, I can help. In fact, my idea for this post seemed so off-putting that I really wanted to get it right, so I started by polling my panel of sensitive-but-manly guy friends to get their lists of least attractive traits in a woman, and worked from that. What follows is our collective wisdom distilled into a countdown of the top five least attractive traits in a woman:
A friend and longtime reader just wrote because she's dating again and facing a dilemma. Tradition has it that the guy pays for the first date, but should you still offer to split the bill? What about after that? How many dates should the guy pay for? And when does he lose points for splitting the bill, or for letting you pay instead?
In a recent e-mail, a reader complained to me that a guy had broken up with her using the "it's not you, it's me" line. To her, this said everything you needed to know about how horrible the breakup had been: a guy she loved and trusted had dumped her with a worn-out routine.
But after I read her e-mail I had an unexpected thought. What if everyone who heard that line, or a similar one, just took it at face value? The sentiment -- that someone's change in feelings has nothing to do with you, and is in fact completely out of your control -- is, in theory, pretty comforting. It's basically an offer to walk away without any self-doubt and quickly move on. So why doesn't it feel that way when it happens?
Whether you're just checking out friends of friends on Facebook, lining up a date for the weekend on OkCupid, or looking for a future husband on Match.com, finding love online can get just as intense and confusing as the real thing. In this long-overdue post about online dating from the guy perspective, I'll list four simple rules to give you the best chance at finding love -- or whatever else you're looking for -- when you start online.
I've wanted to write this post for a long time, but it's been two weeks since I first sat down to write it and I've kept agonizing over it. I think the biggest reason is that cheating is not something terrible that men always do to women: it's something hurtful that people in (monogamous) relationships do to each other. Based on the limited research that's out there, evidence that guys cheat more than women is actually pretty slim. Cheating is equal opportunity betrayal, and that fact has kept me coming back to the bigger question of why anyone cheats.
But today I realized why I'm so sure I need to write this post about cheating, from the guy perspective. It's that comment you hear so often from women in post-infidelity situations that it's almost become cliched: "guys suck." While the anger that comes from saying or hearing those words might give you a tiny, temporary lift, I can't imagine that any woman is really comforted by this adage. So I'm writing this post to provide an alternative: an actual exploration, from the guy's perspective, of some of the reasons why guys cheat, and some ideas for how to respond when they (we) do.
My guy friends complain a lot about how hard it is to read women and guage their level of interest. For a lot of us, it feels like our lopsided burden in the dating world: even though it's up to us to make the first move, we rarely get help from women in figuring out whether we'll be successful. But I've come to realize that a lot of women have the same issue with guys. Sure, it can be obvious when a guy's hitting on you. But if it's that obvious, chances are he's not going a good job of it, and you're probably not that interested in him. Instead, what about those situations where it's not obvious: where a guy might be hitting on you, but you're not sure? Or even more tricky, when you're already acquainted with a guy, but you can't figure out if he's interested in something more?
If there's any good news about long-distance relationships, maybe it's that they suck equally for men and women. People who want to stay together when they're apart face universal challenges, regardless of gender. Still, judging by the messages I get, a lot of women are reluctant to pin their relationship issues on distance, looking instead for other explanations for struggles with trust, communication or fidelity.