Issue 12  •  Spring 2013

Dudes, You Can Be Better Than This

Written by Jesse Sposato and Kevin Cooke

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Nine Ways Guys Who are Almost Cool Could Try a Little Harder and Get it Right
We’re entering the age of post-post-post- (I forget which stage we’re at now) feminism, so don’t worry guys, you haven’t been labeled a bad person for simply having a Y chromosome since 1994. This list is made possible by the many cool boys that do exist. Without them, we’d have no one to base our high standards on. And FYI for beginners: these guys didn’t just get it right off the bat; they took time to learn what lists like these are all about.                          

 

 

Nine Ways Guys Who are Almost Cool Could Try a Little Harder and Get it Right

We’re entering the age of post-post-post- (I forget which stage we’re at now) feminism, so don’t worry guys, you haven’t been labeled a bad person for simply having a Y chromosome since 1994. This list is made possible by the many cool boys that do exist. Without them, we’d have no one to base our high standards on. And FYI for beginners: these guys didn’t just get it right off the bat; they took time to learn what lists like these are all about.

1. Personality matters
It really does count. If you have a healthy narcissism, enough to know you're handsome, please don't think that's enough to rely on. Boys, please listen up. As much as you may not think this, girls would rather date a guy with a good personality than a dumb hunk. Truly, personality is the most attractive quality. This is not a cheesy old wives’ tale, it really is the deal.

2. Potential mistakes
Everyone is going to make mistakes—it's human—but remember to be aware that your decisions also affect your girlfriend, crush, girl you just started dating, etc. Rather than begging for an apology later, think before you do things that are clearly going to be weird, like breaking plans minutes before you're supposed to meet up, to chill with your bros instead—really, like you couldn't have thought of that sooner? There is a well-documented history of guys screwing up—don't let that get your goat—but be aware of that history, it's surmountable. You can rise above guilt by association.

3. Your band

Your band actually kind of rules, but it's a major turnoff when you think so more than a girl does. Whether it's your job/play/baseball team/art opening/bakeoff/book club/D&D day, we've all got things we value, and your rock collection should be one of (I hope) many things you value, but not your sole obsession and talking point.

4. Listen up
There are moments on this list that might be a bit abstract, even vague. This is not one of them. Be a good listener! And part of being a good listener is paring down your 2,137 stories into the quintessential two or three that are really worth hearing. Over time, if a girl ends up liking you, she will be more than happy to listen to all of those other 2,134 stories. Please don’t try to cram them in on the first two dates.

5. Double standards
Guess what? Girls don’t really dig it when you expect things of them that you don’t expect of yourself. If you’re going to have high standards of what you’re looking for in a lady, that’s cool, but you have to live up to those standards yourself. If you don’t want your girl to get jealous, you can’t act jealous yourself. You want your own space, alone time, bro time—cool—but don’t get mad when it’s girls’ night out and you’re not invited. Some space is good; so is keeping it equal.

6. Record collection
So, are you one of those guys that, when you look at your seven best friends, you realize they're all dudes…and when you look at your record collection and bookshelf, you realize the same: all of your records are made by male rockers? Don’t just say you respect girls making art, and talk about how smart and cool you think girls are. Show it (don’t tell it) by actually listening to music girls make, and reading books they write. Girls are kind of cool, you know…and kind of like smart and talented too.

7. Don't be shy
That's awesome that you tell all your friends your girl is cool, but what would be even cooler is if you just told your girl straight up. Girls want to know when you really dig them—the guessing game gets old quickly. And hearing it through the grapevine is just not as good as hearing it from you.

8. Make a move
Just because ladies have come a long way since the Sadie Hawkins dance (that special occasion where girls ask the guys out)—and today’s girl can, will, and do ask guys out, initiate the first kiss, and carry protection in their purses—does not mean, guys, that you're off the hook. You can still find it in yourself to do these things even though you might not “have to” like guys once did. (In the next issue, we turn the tables and this exact point will be on the tips for girls list...the line is fine.)

9. Not your bro

Not all, but many of the girls you meet may be cool and even chill. They can be honest and down to hang, but there is a thin line here that shouldn’t be crossed—you just can't expect your girlfriend to bro down with you totally. Also, don’t “third wheel” a best friend into all of your hangouts when it’s quite clear the dragging wheel is the one you say I love you to when you turn out the lights. The girlfriend/boyfriend dynamic should take on many dimensions, including best friendship. Don’t confuse the relationship version with the kind you have with your closest homeboys.
 
Illustrations by Lisa Ramsey

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