Tag Archives: dating

Friend zoned or Relationship Potential?

6 Feb

Every woman is different. Surprise! So there is no sure fire way of knowing what those signals you think you’re getting actually mean. Does she want to hook up? Be your friend? Your girlfriend? Something in the murky in-between? Believe us when we tell you, we know it’s frustrating. We feel the same way about guys. In an ideal world, everyone would just come right out and say what they want, but alas, the rest of the world is not the Man’s Guide and don’t quite seem capable of that. So you must do your best to puzzle out just what it means when she texts you at 2am on a Saturday for no apparent reason or asks you to have lunch, hopefully with a little help from us.
There remains a large portion of the female population who (wrongly, in our opinion) believe that it is up to the man to make the first move. So she manoeuvres and manipulates the situation to give you every opportunity to make that move without ever indicating that she wants you to. Women, huh? Who’d want one? Well you, apparently, so listen up. Just do it if you want to, make a move that is. If you think you’re getting signals, but you’re not sure, it is okay to ask. If you don’t want to ask her directly, do some scouting with a close friend of hers.
You are allowed to some situation manipulation of your own. Invite her over to your suite to hang out and watch a movie or something and reach for her hand or put your arm around her. Her reaction is going to tell you pretty much all you need to know. If she pulls her hand away, she’s not interested (or just really hates hands, it’s a thing, we swear). The arm on the shoulders is a little harder to judge but a good rule of thumb is: if she pushes your arm off, she’s not interested; if she snuggles closer, you’re in with a shout. There is an annoying in between possibility where she doesn’t remove your arm but also doesn’t react to it, might be she’s trying to figure out what you mean by it.
Next step goes one of two ways, basically. She’s snuggled in and you move in for a kiss. Or, you tell her you like her and have a massively awkward conversation about how you both feel. We suggest the former, it’s much more romantic that way and then you can talk about what it meant, when there’s something to talk about.


Texting Etiquette

5 Feb

Now that you know how to write a text properly, let’s talk about actually sending those texts. People like to text. People like it when their texts get responses. This is something very basic  you should probably have learned by now. We’ve seen a lot of relationships, and we’ve come to the conclusions that most (but certainly not all) men are rather poor communicators, especially when their significant other is not immediately before their eyes. Ok, so you were busy, but it might be nice if you spared five seconds of your time to send her a sweet, thoughtful text that told her that you were thinking about her. Living at college in very close proximity to your significant other means that you should probably have some sort of communication every day. This doesn’t mean that you have to spend four hours together every night, but the very least that you can do is send her a text in the afternoon so that when she gets out of class, she knows that you care.

So what exactly counts as enough? It doesn’t have to be something sappy like, “I haven’t seen you in 10 hours, I miss you.” Just something like a memory, or “I was just thinking about you and wanted to see how you were doing” or “How’s your day going?” or a random observation on your life. Better yet, ask her if she’s free to hang out later so you can actually see each other. A relationship cannot survive on texting alone, and we therefore recommend that you see each other regularly. On the other hand, texting throughout the day demonstrates that you are letting this relationship exist even when you are not together. It is a way of showing that she can be in your life even when you two are apart.

Now if she sends you a text in the middle of the afternoon, you are expected to respond. Even though there might not be an explicit question in there, you are still expected to respond. And you should do so within an acceptable amount of time. Eight hours to send something back is a bit too much, and she’s probably been checking her phone for the last two of them, hoping for some sign that you are still alive. You don’t have to be an insta-texter (that’s an intant-texter, the kind that replies immediately to any text received. We’re talking like a couple of seconds), but two to four hours is a reasonable stretch. Did she say, “So I was just thinking of the time when we climbed to the top of Phelps” or “The radiators in the L and B room are so annoying” or “My TA is really mean”? These are not random observations. The sub-text is: I want to talk to you about the things that are happening in my life, but since you’re not here with me right now, I thought I would text you instead and it would be nice if you offered an observation/sympathy/condolence/even a ‘haha’ but especially nice if you suggested that we go get coffee later so I can actually see your face. Yup, all of those emotions were in that really short text. Short texts can be a sign that she is being passive aggressive, especially in they end with a period. Did she text, “fine.” in response to a question? That’s not good. In general, longer responses are better. If you are the type that has your phone growing out of your fingertips, she’s probably noticed, and if you fail to respond in a reasonable length of time, she’s going to think that you are purposefully ignoring her. You’re going to have a lot of explaining to do in that case.

Another note on texting is that when you two are together, back away from the phone. Put it down, don’t look at it. Out to dinner with the lady? Keep your phone in your jacket pocket, not on the table, not in your pants pocket (where it will distract you). You’re supposed to be spending time together, so focus your attention on her, not on the people that are interrupting your together-time. Of course, these rules apply to her as well. Take a time out from your smart-phone, Apple-product, Google-laced, Reddit-sponsored lives and experience the real world for just a little bit.

The Art of Conversation

3 Feb

As a fantastic conversationalist and all-around good generator of words, many people have asked us, hey, Yale Man’s Guide, how do you do it? How is it that you can seem to talk to anybody, about any given topic, and trick them into thinking you’re interesting? Well, there’s a simple answer, folks: there’s a system! You can’t just go into life unprepared – you need to have a game plan. Much like the machete that you must you for texting, a new bit of rainforest equipment is necessary for entering the danger field of CONVERSATION. We speak, of course, of the Indiana Jones fedora (don’t front like it’s not useful; tell us of one mosquito bite Indy got on his noggin). This particular fedora is our special list of conversation-starters, topics to talk about that no Yale man can be without (Disclaimer: you can totally be without this). Edited to make them a bit more appealing to the ladies, and here we go:

  1. Have you been to the steam tunnels? (This works best if you’ve actually been to the steam tunnels. Alternate delivery, which must be done in the deep Batman voice: I’ve BEEN to the tunnels)
  2. What do you think they do in Skull and Bones? Like, kinky stuff?
  3. Have you ever been to a (A Different Drum show/Shades concert/ Shabbat dinner)? They sure can (dance! / sing! / eat challah)
  4. Want to grab lunch? Let’s go to Berkeley; it probably won’t be crowded.
  5. What do you think of Ronnell? Like really THINK about him? Do you think he’s a family man? I bet his wife really loves him… he’s cool.
  6. Marry, boff, kill: President Levin, Provost Salovey , Dean Gentry.
  7. Have you seen that sports game? Ha! Neither have I.
  8. Have you seen this fine blog called “By Yale Women for Yale Men”? Very useful. And witty!

And then there’s the one thing we suggest you DO NOT talk about, based off our very scientific poll of ourselves. MUTUAL FRIENDS. You’re never going to learn about the person you’re talking to if you are talking about other people. And this conversation can get really awkward, especially if one of you doesn’t like said mutual friend/ acquaintance. It usually goes,

1st person, who likes mutual friend: “Oh, do you know Lamp McThermos???”

2nd person, who thinks mutual friend is a bitchy cheese-for-brains mouthbreather: “Yeah… she’s… interesting…”

And then our good friend Awkward Silence pays a visit.

Seriously guys, you can do better…. with this fedora.

Yale Man’s Guide to Hook Ups

24 Jan

The very first rule of a hook up: don’t assume it’s going to end in sex. It might. But it might not. Just because a girl leaves Toads with you to go back to your suite, doesn’t mean she wants sex. Realistically, she’s not really super excited to see the paper you got published in the Yale Historical Review and things are probably going to get physical, but that does not mean she wants sex. She might want to make out, she might want to make out a lot, but don’t assume that means she wants to go further. But, you cry, how am I supposed to know? You don’t. Quite possibly, she hasn’t even decided yet. The best approach is every time you make a move to go further, ask “Is this okay?” If she says yes, you’re golden. If she says no, go back to whatever you were doing before. If you’re as good as you hope you are, you might just get her hot and bothered enough to make that very move on her own. This applies to you too. If you’re with a girl and you don’t want to go further, you don’t have to. Please don’t feel as though you’re violating some Guy Code or something stupid like that. Do not have sex just because you think you should.

As far as specifics are concerned: this is a hook up. That means she has absolutely no obligation to put her mouth anywhere near your penis. Nor should you feel obligated to go down on her. If you’re cool with it, more (tongue) power to you but giving oral sex to a person you’re probably seeing naked for the first time is not, nor should it be, expected. This also means that if she tells you she doesn’t want to have sex, it is not under any circumstances okay to say “It’s okay, you can just blow me instead.” For many women, giving a guy head is a way bigger deal than actual intercourse.

If you do end up having sex, yay! If it’s your first hook-up (or first time), relax. Don’t constantly ask if she likes what you’re doing; trust her to tell you if she doesn’t. Ladies: for God’s sake, speak up. If you don’t like something, tell him. If you like something, tell him! Don’t be too ambitious. Chances are, you haven’t known her long enough to find out if she’ll be able to get her legs into the position you saw in that porno that time (and unless your hook up is on the gym team or Yale Ballet, she probably can’t).

Afterwards, take your cue from her. Try not to kick her out at 4am, especially if it’s winter. It’s just good manners to let her stay the night. If she starts getting dressed in silence and doesn’t make eye contact, she probably wants to leave like, five minutes ago, so you should probably let her. But if she’s chatting while she starts scrabbling around for her panties and asking if you can see her bra, she’d probably like you to tell her she doesn’t have to leave.

Lastly, have fun. Hook ups are not supposed to be stressful. In fact, they’re supposed to be the opposite of stressful.

The Yale Man’s Guide to Gift Giving

23 Jan

If you’re like most of the guys we know, you hate shopping and the mere mention of a mall makes you want to cling to your x-box controller and never let go. But fear not! There’s this clever thing called the internet which means you can shop and kill zombies without leaving your suite. If you don’t know what you’re looking for, online shopping can be a daunting task so try to at least have an idea in mind before you begin. Otherwise, you’ll emerge two hours later, sweating, and having panic bought her a crystal figurine which looks awfully similar to that one on your Grandmother’s mantelpiece.

Chances are, if she has a birthday coming up, she’s dropping hints. Pay attention! Much as you might wish that we women would just tell you straight out what we want, it’s not going to happen. You can ask, and we might give you some suggestions. It’s unlikely but, hey, you never know. What’s more likely is that you’ll hear something like “I don’t know” or “whatever you want to get me”. We here at Men’s Guide understand that this is frustrating and that it makes your task 10x harder and we encourage women to be forthright and ask for what they want. But until then, you’re going to have to work off the hints she drops.

The key word once again is thoughtful. It doesn’t have to cost the earth to get the message across. And the message is always essentially the same: I care about you and I think about you. Don’t be too extravagant, especially if you know she can’t afford to do the same in return, you’ll only make her feel bad. Birthday’s and Christmas (or any other winter time holiday – we’re non-denominational here at Men’s Guide) are the time for gifts she wants but wouldn’t buy for herself. Anything that could realistically be called useful is probably a no-no. That means you cannot buy her a pen (unless she’s a writer, and then it had better be a really nice pen) or any kind of stationery. It doesn’t even have to be a physical thing. See the Yale Man’s Guide to Romance for how to plan a Big Romantic Gesture.

Take a look around her suite. Did her favourite author just publish a new book?  Does she collect anything you could buy her an addition to? (If she does, and it’s My Little Ponies or unicorns then we suggest you run as far away as possible as fast as possible). Generic gifts are boring and usually suggest a lack of interest and/or emotion and should therefore be avoided at all costs. Concert tickets or tickets to a Broadway show make great gifts but be wary of buying too long in advance. In the honeymoon stage of your relationship, a gig in 3 months might not seem all that long away, but a whole lot can happen in 3 months and you don’t want to shell out the money only for her to take that section asshole she spent all semester complaining to you about.

Most important: DON’T PANIC. That saying about it being the thought that counts? It’s a cliché for a reason. If she cares enough about you, she’ll pretend to like what you bought but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t make the effort.

Yale Man’s Guide to Romance

22 Jan

News flash. Girls like romance. Earth shattering stuff, huh? And if you think you’ve found the one girl at Yale who thinks romance is dumb. You’re wrong. Romance isn’t just Candy Hearts and Flowers (the stuff she thinks is dumb), it’s figuring out what matters to her. There are different kinds of Romance too.

1.The Big Romantic Gesture

This should be used sparingly and carefully. Anniversaries? Yes. Our Second Tuesday Together? No (See – The Small Romantic Gesture). Be wary of using the BRG as a form of apology. If she comes to associate BRGs with you having fucked up in some way, she’ll assume you have something to apologise for every time, even if you don’t. Also, do not pull out the BRG too early! This should really be reserved for when the relationship can realistically be called long term. Think 6 months+. You don’t want to scare her off by being overly intense too soon.

When planning your BRG, try to take her interests and personality into account. If she hates getting dressed up, dinner and dancing probably isn’t for her. Similarly, the BRG is not the time to introduce her to your passion for extreme sports or LARPing. It should be about her and showing her how much you care. This might mean a trip to the firing range. Or a night at the opera. Or going to a strip club. Or a picnic and poetry on East Rock.

Be creative, be thoughtful and good luck!

2.The Small Romantic Gesture

The SRG is for more every-day displays of affection than the BRG. Want to commemorate your Second Tuesday Together? This is the gesture for you. It should, as the title suggests, be small. That means it should not occupy a whole day or cost you a fortune. The SRG should be adorable and, you guessed it, thoughtful. Is she really stressed out with classes? Suggest a 30 minute study break and give her a massage or bring her favourite Claire’s cupcake to her in Bass. Is she sick? Do a quick Rite-Aid run and bring her a little care package (think: tissues, Nyquil, chocolate and trashy magazines). Again, be thoughtful, and tailor your SRG to her specific interests and needs. Nothing will make her happier than the “he remembered!” feeling she’ll get when you do something she mentioned in passing 2 weeks ago.

3.The Romance of the Every-day.

By no means assume that romance should be reserved for special occasions. There is a place for it in the day-to-day of relationships too. This doesn’t mean you should be bankrupting yourself by bringing her roses every morning, this kind of romance is subtler, and ultimately more special, than all the Gestures (Big or Small) combined. This is the romance which remembers what she takes in her coffee and the names of her close friends. Knowing her schedule and not putting unreasonable demands on her time. Showing up to meet her after her shift at the Buttery to walk her back to her suite. Remembering when she has a big interview or a midterm and asking how it went. You might think these are little things, but trust is, she notices every one. She also notices what you say. Tell her she looks pretty today, or that her hair smells good. Tell her you miss her when you’re apart. Tell her you want her when you’re together. And when the time is right, whether that’s at the end of a BRG or sitting on the futon watching Comedy Central, tell her you love her

The Ground Rules: Interacting with Women on a day-to-day basis (Part 1)

22 Jan

            Yale is about 51% percent female: this means that you will be seeing women on a daily basis. Try not to get too excited (because that just makes it awkward for the rest of us). So while you might have gone to an all-boys school in the hills of Montana, you will now be surrounded by women and (gasp, scream, cry and horror!) living in quite close proximity to them. Your entryway will be co-ed freshman year, and you might even be sharing a bathroom with a girl down the road. This means that there are some basic ways to treat women that you should keep in mind.

1. Be respectful! – Although we may be living in the 21st century, chivalry is sure as hell not dead; it’s just been updated. However, there are a couple of things that girls will notice that you do that they will appreciate. For instance, opening a door for a woman is always nice and takes almost no effort. For your part, you will be forever marked as gallant (this is a good thing). Furthermore, if there is only one seat left in a lecture hall and a woman is standing there, offer her the seat before taking it yourself. She does not have to accept, but she will appreciate the offer.

Since you will most likely be living with women, there are other ways to help out your female companions in the entry-way. If there is a bug, and she asks you to kill it, it is polite of you to comply with the request (although though in this day and age, a girl should really be able to squash said insect by herself, but if you hear her scream in the bathroom, it might be nice of you to come to her rescue). Once you have used your superhuman hunting powers on the pathetic, innocent and quite harmless cockroach, pick it up and throw it out. You kill it, you clean it up. It may seem unfair of you to be saddled with this difficulty and nuisance, but you are a Yale Man and should therefore be unafraid of bugs. It is polite and she will be grateful to you for at least a period of two months. If you’re sharing a bathroom with women, do not show yourself to be discomforted by feminine items in the bathroom, such as tampons. Tampons are not weapons of mass destruction. We promise, they will not hurt you, so try not to freak out if you see one. If you’re sharing a bathroom with a girl, she will inevitably have her period. It happens, it’s hormones, now get over it. Also, if the soap runs out of the dispenser, resist the urge to snag a bit of her face wash, which she has so nicely stored in the bathroom shelve as a replacement. She will notice if face wash goes missing and she will not be pleased. One last note on bathrooms: if you sprinkle when you tinkle, be a sweet and clean the seat.

In terms of language, let’s be real – we’re living in modern times, not the Yale of the 1920’s. People curse, a lot. However, when meeting a woman for the first time, it is best to use more polite language. You do not want her to think that you don’t know anything other than four letter words. Use of gratuitous language is, well, gratuitous, so until you’ve become friends, hold off on the swearing. On that note, never should you ever use a certain four-letter word beginning with C that generally refers to a part of female anatomy. We repeat, NEVER. This word, while commonly used in Britain as slang, has not quite transitioned in America and is off-limits. It’s employment in day-to-day conversation will raise eyebrows and probably make everyone uncomfortable.

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