3 very important and often overlooked pieces of advice so obvious you'll wonder why you didn't think of them yourself, but left it up to some random hot girl to tell you. Check your skepticism and non-self-imposed celibacy at the door, and read on.
A simple yet gigantic lapse in logic somehow has gotten over the heads of even the most poon-hungry men.
Example: A male friend and I were watching football the other day. He had come over to drink and complain about his girlfriend not paying enough attention to him. At halftime I was flipping channels, and a trailer for the newest Twilight movie came on. I didn't comment at all, but instead braced myself for the inevitable onslaught of profanity and angry noises that I have come to expect from straight, macho guys when Twilight is brought up. If you don't know what this rant sounds like, just listen to the angry little train of thought that departed your Brain Station the second you read the word "Twilight" just now. Incredulous little engine, isn't it? My friend reacted much the same way:
Him: Fuck, I hate that fucking Twilight guy. He's so fucking gay.
Me: What? He's not gay, he fucks that Kristen Stewart girl who looks like she's always in pain. Did you read the books or see the movies and suffer some kind of harm because of it?
Him: No!! I don't care about that shit. It's SO stupid.
Me: Let me guess, your girlfriend loves it.
Now, I would never try to make the argument that Twilight, and its pale and pouty cast of emo kids, isn't lame in several senses of the word. It definitely is lame. It's poorly written, poorly acted, and over-franchised. But I love it for my own host of girly reasons, the same way millions of women across the world do, the way many of us womenfolk love shoes, and clothes, and gossip magazines. We love them, you don't care about them, and the world goes on like it should. These "girl things" that we love, we love for private little girly reasons that men should not even try to understand. You hear that, guys?? WE DON'T WANT YOU TO LIKE THESE THINGS. Our girly obsessions are ours, not yours, stay out, no boys allowed.
So you see, what bothers me about this male reaction is not that it somehow offends my sparkly-vampire-whore sensibilities. What drives me nuts is that 1) for some reason men see it as their duty to blindly criticize something that many of the women in their lives openly love and would drop their panties for and 2) that no men (or very few) have come to the realization that maturely accepting this ridiculous "girl thing" will earn you many more points than will enthusiastically opposing it.
(In this complicated sports metaphor, "scoring points" means "scoring chicks".)
The next time you see a Twilight poster or hear the catchy, mind numbing beat of a Justin Bieber ditty, stop mid-slur and weigh your two options.
OPTION A: Curse it out. It's SO gay. Gay enough that most of the girls you know swear they love it and want to marry it. None of them say that about you, so that makes you not "gay" at all in comparison. Hate, hate, hate away! Tell everyone in earshot just how cool you are because you do not see the appeal in what so many women are drooling and screaming over. You are so far from understanding what drives girls crazy that not only do you not see it, you actively speak out about just how awful it is. Justin Bieber makes women scream just by walking into a room, while the last woman who screamed in the same room as you was your mother when you got mud on her living room rug. This is good, because who wants to make young women scream and jump up and down with sexual excitement? Not you! That vampire can drop one-liners that give him power over millions of vaginas, so it's probably smarter to plug your ears than listen to him. With great power comes great amounts of pussy, and nobody wants that.
Wait! Hold on, you say? You DO like getting laid? You'd like a slice of that female-attention pie the Biebs and the Cullens are hogging? You can have some, it's yours! You just have to man-up and admit (only to yourself, don't worry) that you mock it out of insecurity, and not because it's actually so terrible or has caused you any real pain worse than any other bad movie you've seen over the years. That community college Psych class I took one summer is paying off here in my analysis of this overzealous male rage reaction: the reason you hate it so much is because on some level, you are jealous! Lots of guys can't get girls to pay half as much attention to them as they do to whether or not Justin Bieber got a new haircut. On some very sad, lonely level, these haters are just jealous of these creepily manicured Hollywood sex symbols that their girlfriends lust after.
And to that I say, SO FUCKING WHAT? So you're secretly pissed that Justin Bieber gets more play in one hour than you get in five years. So you wish your girlfriend would swoon over you the way she does at that Twilight dude whose face resembles a foot.
Congratulations, you're jealous! But what to do about it? The way I see it, there are only two ways to deal with jealousy, and they have very different consequences. And you, my friend, by hating on the hero instead of learning from him, have just made the wrong choice (unless your goal was to ensure that girls would continue to keep their distance- if that's the case, you're bang-on, good for you, here's a bottle of lotion, go home).
I'm not asking you to become a "Twi-hard", or even learn what one is. You don't have to put up a Justin Bieber poster in your room, or learn the names of the Twilight cast, or cover yourself in sparkly glitter body paint and brood around in a pea coat. But it seems to me that if you were smart, you would defeat the scourge that is Twilight not by opposition (which will never work, Team Edward is millions strong), but by using it to your advantage. How? By going with...
Odds are, you've sat through some bad movies in your time spent not getting laid. This is going to sound like an awful idea, but: give a few hours of your life to watching one of the Twilight movies. They're not as dreadful as you've been imagining, some of them are actually quite violent and strange. Or if that idea is too extreme for your manly lifestyle, just IMDB some quotes and practice them, or check out a few clips on YouTube. The next time you encounter Twilight, turn to the nearest girl you'd like to see naked and drop the line. You can do it sarcastically, or even with a pained expression on your face that shows just how hard it was for you to do (judging from the acting style in Twilight, the pain will actually make it more believable).
Yes, it sounds stupid. It is cheesy and sounds way too obvious to actually work, which is why most men have not figured it out yet. But men say stupid things all the time to women in an effort to get in their pants, so how stupid, really, is dropping a line from a movie girls love? When you do, she will notice you. Even if she laughs in your face, you've made an impression. The point is, you've just related to her, on a level most men cannot, have not, and loudly protest that they will not. The same goes for any Bieber song, with bonus points if you drop a "swaggy" dance move.
Maybe you don't want to casually quote Edward. That's fine. Just wait silently until a few guys around you have started bashing "Twilight", and quietly say to the girl who looks closest to tears, "I didn't think it was that bad. They really love each other!" or some vague shit like that. Just be prepared to back it up with evidence that you've actually seen the film, even if you have to claim you were dragged there on a date.
True Story: I've polled many of my hot female friends in the research I did for this article, and all of them agreed instantly that this would absolutely work. So go ahead, mock my advice and me if you want. If you need me, I'll be going out to see the new Twilight flick with my girlfriends and listen to them complain about how Edward doesn't exist.
(This one is not exclusive to men. I am actually fairly confident that women are more often the ones guilty of this turn for the worst, since women are inherently whacky and prone to flying off the handle (whereas men are inherently slow on the uptake and prone to accidentally-on-purpose cause women to fly off the handle). But for purposes of this article, and because every time this situation has happened to me it has been a man pulling the awful 180 maneuver, I'm claiming this a male mistake.)
We've all been on a date (or even in a short relationship) that was just...eh. The laws of Personal Awesomeness and Hotness Leagues dictate that the higher up on the desirability scale you fall, the higher your chances of experiencing a date with someone you find to be just...eh. Sure, the guy is nice, and somewhat entertaining, and maybe he can even make good conversation. But for some reason- whether its that you just can't see yourself in bed with him, or that he has conspicuous amounts of hair on the back of his hands, or that he reveals that he's a dedicated Irish step dancer, whatever- you just don't see it working out in the long run.
So after an awkward goodnight kiss, or maybe even a second date if you were on the fence about him, you decide that the right thing to do is to politely inform him that you would not like to go on more dates with him. You try to be diplomatic, and kind, because it sucks to get dumped, no matter how early on in the relationship it is. At first, the guy seems accepting of the news, and sends some kind of calm goodbye text that lulls you into thinking that the hard part is handled, with no fanfare or crazy...and then he snaps.
What follows is an example from my own life. I'm summarizing, but I swear this is how it went down. I had been out on two casual dates with this guy, who seemed to be an awesome person. But, I wasn't over my ex, who kept popping back into the picture, and so I didn't think it would be right to pursue things with this new guy (I'll call him Joe) until I was truly free. Also, Joe had hairy hands, but that's neither here nor there (and definitely not something I wanted touching me). The following exchange took place the night after date 2, via text message (because that's how all important conversations take place now):
Joe: Hey! I've been thinking about you a lot :) When are you free next?
Me: Hey, Joe, I'm really sorry but I've given it some thought and I don't really see this going anywhere. To be honest, I'm still going through some crap with someone else, and I don't think it would be fair to you or to myself to try to pursue something right now. I don't want to waste your time, you're a fantastic guy and I know you'll meet someone who's in a better place than I am to appreciate that. I'm sorry!!
Joe: That's fine. Thanks for letting me know. Have a nice life.
Me: You too! Maybe our paths will cross down the road some time.
[5 minutes later]
Joe: You're making a huge fucking mistake, bitch. And joke's on you, anyway, because I already met someone else, and I'm going to go out with her, so I've already moved on. You're so stupid, I can't believe you would walk away from this, wow. Enjoy your life, I hope it's really shitty, you're never going to make it as a writer, and I hope the next guy you meet breaks your heart, and you forget to file your tax returns, and the milk in your fridge goes bad...
And on and on and on like that until I recovered enough from my shock to send "shave your hands, thanks, bye", and that was that.
But, Whew!! It catches you off guard when someone who had acted totally sane and polite completely reverses their behavior to really let you have it after you cut them loose. It's understandable that people get upset when rejected; I hear it's a real bitch. But even if I did get dumped, I would not wish harm on the guy who let me down easy, or tell him I hope his life will be shitty. Why? 1) Because I'm a fundamentally balanced person not prone to overreaction and 2) because I do not want to BE THE BULLET.
The bullet. As in, "wow, I dodged a bullet on that one, man!" Think about this next time someone breaks it off with you. Put yourself in their shoes: If you're the dumper, and you break it off with someone because of poor timing, or because you just didn't really feel a spark, you aren't breaking it off with them to hurt or insult them. You really just don't want to waste anybody's time or emotions, which is the mature thing to do.
And if they take it like a man, for example, "I'm sorry you feel that way; I thought we had a good connection. I hope everything works out for you. Best of luck" or something, that's great. The dumper doesn't feel guilty, and when they reflect back on the dumpee in the time following the dumping, it will be fondly. The dumper might even realize that they did make a mistake, and decide to try again and get the dumpee back! In which case, the dumpee comes out on top with the upper hand, even more so than they did in the first place by taking it like a man and moving on calmly.
But nothing makes the person breaking it off with you more glad that they did than a reaction like Joe's. This has happened multiple times with people I had been casually seeing, and I know I cannot be the only person this has happened to. The Crazy 180 must be an ongoing and widespread problem, and will be as long as secret crazies lurk in the dating pool. I'm great, but I'm not so great that people should lose their minds at me when I say I don't really see myself going on a third date.
So what's with the sudden outburst of overreaction? Is it just so we can know for sure that we did in fact dodge a bullet? Because by freaking out, that's what you're letting the person who dumped you know. Nothing contradicts the phrase "you're making a mistake" better than acting like a huge mistake the person almost made. If you really want to let them have it, wait until they realize on their own that dumping you was a mistake, and then unleash the FURY.
The Fury: an Irish Dance Troupe
And what if they never come crawling back? That could be for a million reasons, but at least you'll know it wasn't because you flipped out like a kindergartener whose mom took away his Halloween candy. Be the bigger person, take the high road, and please, please, don't whip the car around 180 degrees and speed towards Crazytown.
I need to start this off by saying to all the desperate, lonely guys out there: I'm sorry. I'm sorry that you're sad, and that you haven't showered in two days, and that you're likely out of shape. I'm sorry that no woman seems interested in touching you or being touched by you. But you're not really alone! Everyone out there has at some point known what it's like to feel unwanted, even supermodels, and George Clooney, and the hot guy who's dating the girl you're secretly in love with. We feel you, we acknowledge you, and we sympathize with you. And we can smell you from a fucking mile away, because you reek of Desperation.
This is a paradox that is especially tricky to navigate, especially for a man with limited romantic experience. You do not love yourself, so no one loves you, and because no one loves you, you do not love yourself. If you are one of these guys, I have news for you: the difference between you and the guy you wish you were isn't most pronounced in how you look, or how much better he catches that stupid lacrosse ball, or how many sorostitutes will grind on you at the party (that he's hosting and you snuck into). The difference between you is that you do not think you are worthy of the things you want, and thus will not work to attain them. And until you do, you're stuck with your mom's basement, and Halo, and the closest you'll ever get to porking something is the time you stuck it to a ham sandwich.
To explain what I'm talking about when I say Desperation, let me refer to the sad situation of a guy I was friends with in college, "Andy".
Andy was not the type of guy I'm attracted to- he had a nice face, but he was about a hundred pounds overweight and chain smoked like the devil's limo driver. Still, he and I had common interests in music, cinema and marijuana, so we became fairly good friends, meeting up a few times a week to take bowl cruises in his station wagon. We all know what really makes a Subaru a Subaru. Light 'em if you got 'em.
But I digress. Andy would often tell me that he was very lonely. I was puzzled as to why more people didn't take the time to look beyond his less than charming exterior to see that he was a good person. He was kind of shy, and, ok, sometimes he smelled because he didn't realize that fat people need to wear more deodorant (something which I gently told him, so that he could cross that problem off the list of Girl Deterrants at work in his life). But he was compassionate, and funny, and always ready with a listening ear and a kind word for anyone who needed it. I had seen guys who were complete jerks practically beating girls off with a stick, and here was poor Andy, sitting on the outside, all alone, watching everyone else play.
Andy began to confide in me about the girls he was interested in. Soon I noticed a pattern. Each month, it was a different girl. A girl who was "just a friend", but whom he had romantic interest in. Like clockwork, Andy would get up the courage to ask the girl if she wanted to be more than friends, and she would kindly reject him. It was either "I'm seeing someone else", "I really only like you as a friend", or the classic "I'm not looking for a relationship right now". When he related these stories to me, Andy was always so sad and confused. He always said that he understood their excuse, and did not blame the girl, but as the months went on and this happened over and over, he grew increasingly fed up with always being told "no".
He did not understand that what was keeping these girls at arm's length most of all was not the weight problem or the smoking problem, both of which could be fixed with determination, but the Desperation problem. But he just could not stop trying to use his lonely state to gain pity from my friends I introduced him to, not understanding that this drove them away! We would all be coming back from a cruise, and Andy's Desperate Interrogation would start. "Hey, what are you guys doing later? Do you mind if I come with? I'm just going to go back and sit in my room alone otherwise. Can I come with you? Would that be ok? Is the party closed, or can anyone go? What about tomorrow? Well, what about in two hours? What are you doing at ten'o'clock?" Even I had begun to get sick of it.
Then, Andy decided that he was "in love" with me. He begged and pleaded with me to tell him what it was he could do to earn my love, and swore that he would "do anything". Sick of his choking Desperation causing me to constantly leave the windows of the Subaru rolled down, I told him, "You really want to know what you'd have to do? Fine. Lose one hundred pounds." You can say that's mean, but he was very unhealthy, and I knew that if he lost the weight he would actually be a very attractive guy, and that his depression would lessen as his world expanded. He thanked me for my honesty, and swore up and down that he would start immediately in trying to lose the weight, and work hard in all his free time (of which he had a ton) to do it, for me. I encouraged him to do it for himself, not for me. I told him how much happier he would be with so many more possibilities open to him, and that being in better health would improve every aspect of his world. Like this, in reverse:
Andy gave up after three days of attempted dieting. He declined my offers of help and advice, and refused to come with me on a run or to the gym. He preferred instead to sit in his room and dwell over how unfair life was. He reeked of Desperation, but had been sitting in it so long that he didn't smell it. Like a Port-A-Potty. We graduated, and eventually I deleted him off of my Facebook, because I got sick of seeing his "woe is me" posts. I knew, finally, that there was no amount of encouragement or motivation that could snap Andy out of the downward spiral he placed himself in, because he was determined to stay there. Falling is easier than climbing, but the view from the bottom is nothing compared to the view from the top.
If you relate to any of Andy's story, here is something you need to know: People care about people who care about themselves. If you do not make the effort to like yourself, or become a person you would want to hang out with, you cannot expect other people to like you or want to hang out with you either. Yes, unfortunate things happen. Ok, you might be ugly, or fat, or smell like old lasagna. But like my dad says, there is a cover for every pot, and someone out there is going to love you, provided that you take up the responsibility to treat yourself as someone who deserves to be loved in the first place.
I have known and seen too many people like Andy, who create their own problems and become so bogged down in them that they cannot get enough perspective to realize that they are the solution, too. People like Andy would rather whine about the unfairness than fight for the justice that life doesn't just hand to anyone. People like Andy will never get the girl, or lose the weight, or quit the cigarettes, or sell the fugly Subaru, because they either don't see the need for change or don't want to put the effort into making change happen.
Guys, don't be like Andy. For God's sake, quit bathing in Desperation the way middle school boys bathe in Axe, go for a run, and take a real shower. Do that enough times, and the smell of Desperation will disappear.
Unless you run by Taco Bell. Because the smell of Gorditas is the only thing more powerful than Desperation.