Editor’s Note: I’ve received so many emails from you out there asking to see women on the site. I’ve listened.
Here is the first installment of a series called Ploomy Girl. It’s simple too, just real women who want to tell you something.
I never claimed to be an expert on anything, let alone something as broad and varied as What Men Need to Know. When it comes down to it, I have only a fuzzy idea of what it is girls need to know—I’m still learning. But when Ploomy invited me to share advice and wisdom from my perspective, I had no shortage of ideas that might help clear some of the fog stagnating between the sexes. I’ve been lucky enough in love and have, for the most part, dated interesting, intelligent and respectful guys. But that doesn’t mean we don’t all make mistakes, and if I could go back in time here’s a list of considerations I might sneak under the pillow of love interests:
1. Be Passionate
What makes people interesting and who they are are their hobbies and creative pursuits. Put your heart and soul into what you love and people will be drawn to you. Your interest could be anything; playing the guitar, going rock climbing, collecting obscure 70′s movies, or conducting dangerous science experiments- in fact, the more the merrier! Surround yourself with what interests you, inspires you, and makes you feel good. Not only can people pick up on your energy and enthusiasm, but you’ll never be short of anything to talk about. Find what it is you love and become an expert. Don’t do anything half-assed though, there’s nothing more frustrating than talent lost to laziness.
2. Your Life is Your Responsibility
Save me the pity stories. Obviously not everyone is dealt the same hand of good fortune, but our choices and attitude in life ultimately will determine the outcome, not your messed up parents or bullies in high school. Your choices, big and small, will lead you into the career of your dreams or into working an entry level retail job and living with your parents at 30. It’s up to you. Take an active role in your choices and think about the future without living in the future. Take care of yourself, pay your bills on time, do your job or school work well, treat others with respect and consideration, make connections with everyone (you never know when a casual new friend will help get you a job), and live your life according to some basic morals or principals.
3. Take Care of Your Body and Appearance
I’m not going to lie and say looks aren’t important (Although if you are an interesting and passionate person, you can get away with not being a total hottie). The first impression is everything, and in the long run keeping yourself together will help keep a relationship together. I’m not advocating every guy wear pressed slacks and button up shirts, far from it—but whatever you do wear put some thought into the personality you are projecting. Maybe you are a web developer and wear nice denim and graphic t-shirts. Maybe you are in a band and wear thrifted cut off shorts and head bands. Maybe you are really into sports so you wear something comfortable that will allow you to move around at any time. What you wear does say a lot about you and will attract certain types of people. And perhaps more importantly, think about what you put into your body. Most people I know, including myself, don’t eat meat because of the environmental and health implications. Getting exercise is also crucial. Personally I hate the gym, so I get my workouts by commuting to work on bike. Taking care of yourself is a lot of work but you will be rewarded by being a happier person, attracting other happy and healthy people, and living a longer and better life.
4. Care About the World Outside Yourself
That guy who talks his head off for hours about nothing other than himself is gonna get real played out, real fast. If you aren’t concerned or conscientious about the world as a whole and your own community, you probably aren’t concerned or conscientious about yourself and the people in your life on a deeper level. Stay up to date with the news, be community-minded, and understand that your consumer choices do make an impact and you have the opportunity to make better choices and make a difference. Something as simple as not being registered to vote is a big turn off to me because it tells me that you’re not really interested in, or paying attention to, what’s going on around you on a larger scale. Have a heart, but don’t brag or pat yourself on the back for caring.
5. Be a Gentleman Sometimes
There is nothing sexier than a charming and well put together man. So why not be a gentleman all the time? These days I think people are more casual in everything they do and frankly I couldn’t be happier about that! I would hate it if all my guy friends were serious and well behaved (although I could really do without the potty humor all the time), how boring! However, that makes being a gentleman at the right times even more important because it is special and rare. Girls love to dress up and go on traditional dates for special occasions, even the tougher independent ones (like me). We also don’t want to hear you whine about how you have to wear a suit to a wedding or family event—it’s immature and irritating. Simple things like holding doors open for women and being polite at the dinner table go a long way and make you feel good.
6. Be an Asshole Sometimes
I can see the flame wars and angry emails already—but this is important and something most women wouldn’t dare admit to. Most of us fantasize about dangerous mysterious wild men at some point, but we know that that sort of person isn’t good for a long term relationship. Younger girls may go for the asshole types in early relationships, but sooner or later they learn from their mistakes. See, being an asshole and disrespectful in general is not the point and will leave you unsatisfied and lonely later in life. But always being the Nice Guy, being “nice” in bed, and giving too many compliments or praises is smothering and you will come off as clingy. It’s too easy and predictable. Don’t be a pushover and leave some mystery in the mix. Just don’t take it too far or you’ll be sending the wrong signals and the whole thing will fall apart.
7. Try New Things
Nothing beats falling in love. That feeling never lasts in the same way, but there are things you can do to keep it alive or alternately, make some of your first dates really exciting or memorable. According to this article in the NY Times, trying new things sparks a chemical reaction in your brain that will make you have feelings of love and excitement. Don’t let yourself fall into a rut or a routine in your life or in bed. Find hidden areas of your nearest city to explore at night (try not to get arrested), participate in a flash mob or parade, find a local Ghetto Gourmet dinner and get involved, go to an event that is outside of your usual scene, climb a tree and watch the sunset, go on a roadtrip, make music together, or go camping in winter. Do something that puts you both outside of your usual comfort zone and it will bring you closer together.
8. Learn a Skill that you Can Share with Your Partner
So maybe this is just a sneaky little move on my part to plug one of my favorite ever turn ons: Guys that Cook. Guys, the way to a woman’s heart is through her stomach, it’s true! Sharing something like a delicious and unique well-cooked meal with your partner will make them appreciate you even more, and I promise you’ll get something back in return. If you are a hopeless chef like I am, you can either learn by reading various food blogs or pick up something else. Since I’m the hopeless chef, I repay my boyfriend for his delicious cocktails and meals by cleaning our apartment, doing design work for his music projects, or in other ways… Use your imagination.
9. Dating Rules Exist for a Reason
I had to learn this one the hard way. Social “rules” can be hard to pin down and are blurry depending on your morals and life philosophy, but they are important. Don’t date your friend’s ex. Don’t date someone young enough to be your daughter or old enough to be your mother. Don’t cheat or sneak around behind your partner’s back. Don’t date in the same small social circles. Don’t act desperate. Etc. The reason these “rules” exist is because they will either drive people away from you or lead to a lot of pain and heartbreak. If something feels wrong, I know you’re going to be even MORE attracted to it, but in the long run it will probably not lead to good things and doing things you know might hurt other people doesn’t make you such a great person.
You might also find the following blog post interesting - Inspirational Runners 014 : Richie Hardcore.
10. Stick A Fork in It
Perhaps the biggest mistake made in relationships is not knowing when to quit. This is confusing grey area, to be sure, but in the end you need to trust your instincts. I’m not that dense, I realize the people tend to stay in relationships they are not happy with because they are lonely, like the sex, or because they are too scared to get out. I find this to be really lame and a disservice to everyone. Constantly second guessing your relationship doesn’t exactly lead you to be your comfortable fun-loving self, and staying in a relationship you aren’t into is simply a waste of time. I’ve found that when I dated guys who acted aloof and mysterious, it was intriguing at first but after a few months it gets really, really old. If you’re there for the sex then you need to make your intentions clear and stick with them—your partner will appreciate your honesty and maybe you can work out the perfect arrangement. If not, move on, and don’t look back.
Related Blog Post: Well Known Facts
The truth is, everything I’ve said here applies to women as much as it applies to men and I certainly think most women (including me) have a lot to learn. Trust your instincts. Realize that you will get back what you give, and that you have control over the sorts of people you attract. Don’t be a lazy slob and spend all your time playing World of Warcraft. Be true to yourself and the people around you. Keep doing what you love and people will notice. Nobody is perfect and everyone makes mistakes, but if you are patient and work on making your life the best it can be, I guarantee you will find what you are looking for. xo
Related Article - Does Goodness Always Mean Niceness?