Issue 12  •  Spring 2013

I Don’t Think in This Situation I’m Actually Being a Weirdo

Written by Jesse Sposato and Kevin Cooke
 Active ImageNine Ways Girls Who Almost Get it Right Can Seal the Deal
Ladies, let’s be frank, you can do better than this. What guy wouldn’t want to spend their time with a smart, ambitious, creative, and foxy lady? Many of them would…but you still have to play your cards right. Not for their sake, please, but for your own, and yes, in turn it will surely benefit your man as well.
Nine Ways Girls Who Almost Get it Right Can Seal the Deal

Ladies, let’s be frank, you can do better than this. What guy wouldn’t want to spend their time with a smart, ambitious, creative, and foxy lady? Many of them would…but you still have to play your cards right. Not for their sake, please, but for your own, and yes, in turn it will surely benefit your man as well.

This list points out the ways women may occasionally overcompensate, overestimate, or undervalue themselves, their guy, or their relationship together. To be fair, in case you missed it, we did cover the improvements guys need to make already in the last issue; you can check it out here. Another thing we should make clear early on is that these lists rely on the subtleties of contradiction. In other words, playing it cool and freaking out unnecessarily often straddle the same thin line, so make sure to pay very close attention.

We aren’t relationship experts, but we have been around long enough, dated and and observed enough, to form some pretty solid ideas. And please, tell us what you think—if you agree, disagree, or aren’t sure—we would love to hear about it.

1. Don’t rush things!

The first few months are the best part, but you’ll never enjoy them if you obsess over a boy’s reaction the whole time. Boys are strange cats, rare breeds…they’re not as out of touch as you think they are, but they are generally more calculating by nature. It’s not just a cliché, it’s a gender difference. Boys are cautious, often times too much so…maybe they’re just wimps, but maybe, just maybe they’re okay dudes just waiting for the right lady.

2. No compromises
Okay fine, of course you should compromise—it’s an important part of being in a relationship, hopefully you know that—but don’t make compromises too big. Don’t overextend the favor by making leaps too large, or jumps you don’t think would be equally reciprocated. The truth is, cool dudes don’t want you to placate. As much as they will bait you with wonderful Gouda and Brie, don’t fall into their mousetraps. The arc of a boy's wants is abnormal—where they initially want to be appeased, they are ultimately dissatisfied with the comfort of overindulgence—or wait...that actually seems normal.

3. Mama's Boy's Gonna Knock You Out
A way to a man’s heart might be via his stomach, but don’t start your relationship by being his mommy. He will get the idea and latch on to it fast…after that, you can never turn back. Cooking, cleaning, and wearing heels at the same time is relationship heroin for boys…definitely stay away.

4. Independence Day
This is a fun one—doing exactly what you want is good for you and good for your guy. A little bit of selfishness can go a long way to a healthy relationship; where it often gets overdone on the guy's side, it's almost underplayed on the girl's side. Keep your independence no matter what! Call your girlfriends; meet the gays for drinks. Maintain that shit or before you know it, you’re bored and no one calls you anymore.

5. Bonobos
Check out these apes—they know what they want. While this list is about the underestimation of boys, don't be caught overestimating them either. Guys love a girl that will announce the right feeling at the right time, but that doesn't mean popping out the "I love you" before it's warranted...it might come to bite you in the ass. Think...has this ever happened to you? Chances are it has, or it will...unless you heed this advice.

6. No nagging!

Boys being who they are, when problems arrive, you may feel compelled to overanalyze them to compensate for that enigmatic male aloofness. However, this can lead to the exacerbation of the problem. Biological fact: repetition is anathema to boys. Your instincts are probably correct—boys can be short on words and therefore seem to be apathetic to the problem or grievance, so just relax. They tend to be distant. But if he’s a good one... Not that he's right and you're wrong, but remember, the middle ground can be further away than you think.

7. Choose Wisely
Yes, boyfriends are your fail-safe when you have no one else to drag with you to a show or a charity event and vice versa, but you can't abuse your power. If you overplay your hand, he might edit out some of the things you truly wanted him to go to rather than the ones where you simply needed a partner that didn't necessarily have to be him. Maybe he will say no to being your date at your best friend's wedding, but he might say yes to a trip to LensCrafters at the mall. If you ask him to do everything, he can only say yes to so much.

8. The Shape of Things
It's fun to have an exchange of ideas—that stamp collection your BF is really into—maybe it's actually cool once he explains it a little bit better. On the other hand, maybe you've got some good advice on your BF's beard—it should be a little shorter perhaps—and that's cool too. That's the yin and yang of relationships, which can be really fun…but don't get carried away. There has been a postfeminist tendency, not rampant but potent enough to be noted, of girls trying to shape their boys' looks and attitudes. Granted it's tempting—they tend to be a mess—but it's entirely impractical to think you can change who somebody is. In the end, you wind up falling in love with yourself rather than enjoying the company of your great new boyfriend.

9. Therapy
It's the 21st century. Therapy rules. But behold, therapy is not relationship coaching. Remember you're seeking guidance, not a list of die-hard rules to follow. Listen to your therapist's relationship suggestions, but don't blindly adhere to every last word. In the same respect, if you aren't in therapy, remember that your boyfriend is probably not qualified to be a stand-in (unless he is in fact a therapist, then you've got a whole other set of other problems to think about, which requires its own list). Though your BF should love the subtleties of you and understand things no one else can, it's his shoulder you rely on, not the degree he never had.

Things You Can Do Instead of Pining Over Your Man:

Girls Poker Night, Charades, Pet Your Poodle Party, That Trip to Madagascar, Girls Volleyball Club, Dress Up Night, Hockey, Fast-forwarding, Developing Conspiracy Theories, or wait…why in the world think about homeboys too much, staring at the wall might prove more exhilarating.

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