Phyllis, the Kindergarten teacher-turned-model: “I’ve only spent a total of a few weeks doing online dating in my entire life because my buddy convinced me to try one of the free sites. After a few dud dates and this last girl, I’ve thrown in the towel – I’ll take my chances with the non-cyber population, thanks.
I met this girl in January and emailed back and forth with her a few times. She was very attractive (so much so that it made me wonder why she was even on a dating website) and I was stoked when she agreed to grab dinner a few weeks ago. We hit up a place near both of us and, when we sat down, she was facing a mirror over my head (and I was facing the bar and a wall of TV’s). This was the first problem because she spent the whole night looking at herself, fixing her hair, and generally mugging in the mirror. If I managed to not stare at the Sixers game on behind you, you should be able to hold the narcissism for a few hours. And you ladies talk about guys having bad manners?
As far as the conversation went, it was fine – not great but not terrible. She wasn’t the most interesting, but we only had 2 awkward silences which, for a date, isn’t that bad. I guess you don’t need to be much of a conversationalist when you’re that good looking, but if things had gone better I would’ve eventually liked for her to have had a little more to offer in the personality department.
She told me how she used to be a teacher but had recently started picking up work as a model and decided to switch careers since the money was better. She also told me she doesn’t really talk to anyone in her family, and that she hasn’t seen her siblings in years. That last part was a little weird and probably an over-share on a first date, for what it’s worth.
But the real problem started when a couple came in and was seated two tables away from us. I noticed her eyes dart up and follow them in the mirror as they walked by, and her facial expression visibly changed. I asked if she was OK and she whispered to me that the guy was her ex boyfriend, and that the girl was his new(ish) girlfriend. She apparently hadn’t seen him in several months, and I got the impression it was a drama-filled break up. I almost started laughing it was so awkward. Who runs into an ex on a date and gets seated near them?
This went on until we finished our meal (longest 45 minutes of my life) and when we got up to leave (the date was clearly over at this point) she didn’t acknowledge them, just left. I gave the dude a nod and headed out to the parking lot, where I then had to listen to her tell me all about their relationship, break up, how she didn’t expect to ever have to see him again, etc etc etc. Did I mention we were outside, in February? Yeah, not ideal.
But the date finally ended when I tried to make her feel better and said, “Well if it’s any consolation, the girl he was with wasn’t even that cute, she was just average” AND SHE BURST INTO TEARS. We both called it a night right then and there. I’ve never been so happy to get into my car in my life. Needless to say, I cancelled my account after that. No amount of hooking up I could score from those sites is worth the drama that comes with it.”
Pete: You sure about that last statement? How very un-guylike of you. A few things here: 1) You’re lucky the girl her ex was with didn’t have a ring on her finger, then you probably would’ve had to grab the butter knives off the table and hide them, 2) There is nothing worse than a hot girl (or guy, for that matter) who KNOWS they’re hot, it kills the appeal instantly, and 3) Who the heck, after 1968, names their kid Phyllis anymore? Did she also have a sister named Joyce or Barbara? Or Muriel? Talk about a throwback.
Women need to learn that, no matter what drama is swirling around in their heads, don’t spew it forth onto guys. That’s what our girl friends are for, ladies, men just zone out and look for any available outlet to escape the hail storm of emotions. Also, even without the ex theatrics, the mirror thing would’ve driven me nuts. Not to mention the crying – guys don’t do well with girl tears, understandably so. And did I mention her name was Phyllis?
Sorry the chips didn’t fall in your favor man, but at least you found out about her baggage early on and could spare yourself the trouble. The only thing worse than talking about past loves on a date is actually seeing them, and for that you should be commended for not breaking out into nervous, uncontrollable laughter. Better luck next time. I hope you at least made it home to catch the end of the game. Oh wait, you said the Sixers? Nevermind.
But, as promised, I’m delivering with ideas to make your Valentine’s Day a little more interesting this year. I’m splitting the list into NYC and LA and starting with activities prior to the 14th, because who needs to adhere to calendar confines? Psshht, not this girl.
For NYC lovebirds…
Get her dirt rock on (OK fine, hair metal, whatever): Guns N’ Roses at Roseland. You’re welcome. 2/10
Is she a fan of man’s best friend? If she can’t get into any Fashion Week events, no worries. Hit up the New Yorkie Runway Show at the pet-friendly New Yorker hotel. And no, I’m not making this up. 2/10
Does she love a man who can drain 3′s? The Knicks/Lakers game at the Garden is a solid choice (despite claims that sporting events are more for you than her – nonsense). Who needs Kobe when we have Lin and Novak – heck, ‘Melo can stay gone for all I care. Nothing says love like some hoops. 2/10
Keep her warm: What’s cooler than ice carving? Nothing. Check out the Ice Festival at Tavern in Central Park and watch the pros chip blocks of ice into Central Park icons. Cool! 2/11
Does she like wiseguys? NYC has no shortage of mob-related walking tours down in Little Italy, but this one’s a good place to start. *Note: If she prefers a more Kosher mafia, there’s also a Jewish Gangster tour. True Story. 2/11 or 2/16
Give her the gift of hockey: Is she a Lundqvist girl? Or maybe she prefers Ovechkin (I’m a Brooks girl, myself). Either way, the Rangers take on the Caps at the Garden. Guaranteed good time. 2/12
If you can’t serenade her, let someone else do it: B.B. Kings is hosting a Valentine’s Eve concert featuring the Harlem Gospel Choir. You haven’t heard people sing ’til you’ve heard this. 2/13
Maker her laugh: Cedric the Entertainer and Friends Valentine’s Show at the Beacon, because funny is sexy, too. 2/14
Say “I Do” all over again: Renew your vows at the Celebrate Love in Times Square event with a zillion other couples. How intimate! 2/14
Get your Capulet on: Nothing is more romantic than the New York City Ballet performing Romeo & Juliet on Valentine’s Day? She gets to see men in tights, and you get points for sitting through it. The things you do for love… 2/14
Does she love a good blow out? Yeaaaaah buddy! DJ Pauly D is at Pacha Valentine’s night. If she’s a Shore-head and you set this up, she’ll probably be DTF. 2/14
Put her in the mood: Filthy Gorgeous Burlesque show at the Highline. Need I say more? 2/14
For west coast lovers…
If she likes drummers…or tattoos: Travis Barker is at The Roxy on 2/10
If novelty is her thing: Bring out her competitive (and spooky) side at this Haunted Hollywood Valentine’s weekend scavenger hunt, 2/10
If classical is more her style: Take her to hear the Los Angeles Philharmonic on 2/11
For the girl who loves guys who play piano (and most of us do): The Fray is playing at The Troubador on 2/11
…Or the girl who just can’t get enough ?uest Love: The Roots (yes!) are playing at the House of Blues on 2/11
For the hipster in her: Young the Giant will be at the Wiltern on 2/11
For the sappy girl: Overdose on love at the ArcLight classic romance movie festival on 2/12
If she’s always wanted to dirty dance: You don’t have to be on Dancing With The Stars to dazzle, there’s a Tango workshop on 2/12
If you feel like watching her drool over another man: Robin Thicke is playing at the Nokia on 2/14. Swoon.
If she’s more baller than ballad girl: As with the above mention, women like sports too (well, cool women at least). There’s a Lakers/Hawks game on 2/14 or a Clips/Wizards game on 2/15 if she’s a Griffin or Paul fan (and you can convince her to wait).
Or, if you find yourself solo before Tuesday, you can always try speed dating, held 2/14 all over, but this boozy Valentine’s one sounds like fun.
* * *
How can something so fundamentally adorable come with a shelf life? Easy – because guys generally hate doing it. Any woman who has a boyfriend/husband or just access to a man she regularly cozies up to should understand this fact and behave accordingly. It’s like shopping: Women know you hate it, and yet they still expect you to accompany them, for some crazy reason. I’m staunchly opposed to making your man shop with you – unless it’s for home improvement things. But cuddling is different, because not only do we need it, we actually like it. And we want you to like it, too.
Of course there are some obvious issues to overcome when snuggling with your significant other. Sometimes it’s hot, or you’re tired, not to mention that one of you always gets stuck with what I like to call “stupid arm,” where your arm is pinned arrow straight beneath both of you. It’s an all together clumsy business at times.
But that doesn’t mean it isn’t appreciated. In general, you’re much bigger than us, and we love how in your arms we feel small and safe. Plus, it shows us that you care about keeping us around, even if it’s only for 15 minutes and after you’ve gotten laid – whatever, we’ll take it.
Women need reassurance way more than you guys do, it’s just science (or something). Men who raise the bar in the cuddling department by kissing our foreheads, stroking our arms/backs or just generally giving really good hugs are especially revered. If there was a formal ranking for such snuggling skills, these men would get five stars.
Why? Because that’s for you, it’s not for everyone else. And the rest of us don’t really want to see it, frankly. Let it be known that this is coming from a person who highly values affection and could never be with a stoic, unaffectionate male. But even I think that there’s a time and place for this stuff, and it’s usually behind closed doors. What goes on under the covers or in the comfort of your own home is your business, kindly keep it that way.
So now that I’ve made you think that I’m the kind of person who would throw things or hiss at unsuspecting couples (never!), let’s clarify your obligation – especially since Valentine’s Day is approaching – the mother of all cuddle-intensive holidays:
Do try to show your sweet side, as often as possible. Upright hugs and hair stroking are not only viable alternatives, they’re welcomed and appreciated. Don’t expect that it always requires spooning, there are other ways to show you love us…like us. My bad, where’s my head?
Do make sure to tell us how you feel from time to time, even if it’s just with a sweet email, a flower for no reason or a note tucked away somewhere. And don’t be afraid to speak up if you feel like her cuddling expectations are unreasonable. It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it, and a polite, “Maybe we can work on a happy medium here,” suggestion shouldn’t make you boyfriend road kill. At least I hope not.
Are you 15 and awkwardly making out after school before her parents get home? No?
Then what gives.
One would assume that, whether you’re in your twenties, thirties or beyond, at this point you’ve been in at the very least one serious relationship, so you’ve had constant access to a partner, and ample opportunity for practice. Even if you’ve never been the serious relationship kind, you’ve likely had more than a few dalliances with the opposite sex by now. So, when women are openly voicing their disgust amongst each other, you’ve got some ‘Splaining to do. And I’ve got my work cut out for me.
Every so often I stumble across articles where Ask-A-Chick types give advice to men about techniques in bed or foreplay where they use creepy descriptive words and make you feel like you’re reading soft-core porn. Not my style. What I can tell you is that, if you take nothing else from this or read no further, hear this: slow down. SLOW. DOWN.
There’s a time and a place for aggressive, Mountains-Of-Pent-Up-Sexual-Tension-Between-You-type make out sessions. Rolling around and hair-pulling is all well and good, when it’s called for. But, for the most part, you want to slow down and enjoy each other. So take your time, if you please.
What We Hate: I know a guy who’s nickname amongst the females who knew him was “Rape Mouth.” Yup, it’s true. I said it – and I do so with complete knowledge that making light of rape in any way, shape or form is not OK, so my apologies for repeating this not-so-PC phrase, but it’s for educational purposes. And no, despite being a smart ass, I did not coin the term. He earned that name because he had a tendency to shove his face into yours and gnaw away like you were an ice cream cone that was about to melt at any minute. Afterwards, you felt violated.
What We Like: I can’t speak for every girl, but I can tell you that for the most part women like a confident kisser. You know you’re confident when you can put little pauses in the action, playfully bite her lower lip (I said playfully – light and infrequent is the key) or put both hands on either side of her face.
There’s something about seeing a man kiss his woman while holding her face that is just too sweet – like he really, really means it. If none of this is your style, then feel free to improvise. Kissing shouldn’t be choreographed, it shouldn’t feel contrived, and it should vary greatly from one partner to the next. After a few seconds of it, you’ll be able to tell her style and, if you want, take her lead.
Please try to keep the spit thing under control, and for god’s sake don’t cram your tongues down our throats. Remember also that we wear lip gloss/stick/makeup in general, so there’s a solid chance that, if the kissing was extensive enough, when you pull back and look at us we may look a little…worse for the wear.
Likewise, if you have stubble or facial hair, don’t be surprised if our face looks like the skin equivalent of furniture stripped with sandpaper afterwards. Ouch.
I can’t even believe I’m having to lay this all out for you, but apparently some guidelines were in order. Also, fret not – I’d say the vast majority of men fall squarely in the “you’re doing fine” part of the bell curve. But if you were worried that you’re an outlier, perhaps this will help.
Whatever your method, remember this – kissing should be fun, and you should do it often. And if you needed this refresher course to get you back on track, don’t worry, it’ll be our little secret. I promise – my lips are sealed.