CUPID WINGMAN: FUN VALENTINE’S-RELATED ACTIVITIES

So this is what the other side of the country looks like…palm trees and low buildings. Who knew? Miss Wingman arrived safely in the City of Angels and has been soaking up the landscape (and losing her cell phone, screaming at her GPS and discovering how many things she forgot to pack) ever since. Good times!

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.

My biggest piece of advice for you is that you should aim to find new and unusual ways to have fun with the woman in your life (or man, whatever). Whether it’s something low key like sipping wine on the porch, or something spontaneous like a spur of the moment road trip, find the thing that suits who you are as a couple. There’s nothing more endearing than coordinating something that’s just so you, in our eyes. But before I get my list on, I leave you with one more kernel of Cupid-related wisdom. This one’s an oldie but goodie from my early advice days, but it’s classic Miss Wingman in tone (read: you can practically wring the sarcasm out of it). Enjoy.

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.

* * *

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ENTREPRENEURIAL WINGMAN: A LITTLE O’ THIS, A LITTLE O’ THAT.

It’s really hard to follow up yesterday’s Stamos-themed cuddle posting, but I’ll try…Big things are brewing here at Miss Wingman, starting with a little travel this week. Yes, starting today I will be bi-coastal for a bit – not to be confused with bi-curious, which is another posting entirely – but in the airport travel interim I’d like to leave you with some bits and pieces today. If we were playing Jeopardy, consider this, “I”ll take knowledge Potpourri for $1000.” Which I guess would make me Alex Trebek…bad analogy.

Anyway, with Valentine’s Day now less than a week away, I’m sure every attached male that is scrambling for ideas/gifts, if he hasn’t already. But rather than rehashing gift ideas we love once more, I thought it better to just refer you to my Fail-Safe Girl Gift Guide from the holidays, since most of those still apply. Turns out, judging from your feedback, many of you found great ideas in there, so feel free to revisit them again.

Here’s what women would want to unwrap if she’s into something: sparkly, sentimental, serene, sporty, boozy or intimate. If you’d like, you can resurrect something in the culinary idea vein, but be careful – the only things that are Valentine’s Day appropriate from that list are the glasses and the classes – and again, only if you take them together and she’s hinted at wanting them (otherwise it could be a very lonely holiday for you, my friend).

Aside from those offerings, be on the look out the next few days for a two-part list of stellar activities to do with your beloved. I’m covering everything and, since I’ll be out west, I’m including some love for the LA lovers this time, too. And yes, that’s how New Yorkers think, there are only two cities in America, and a whole lot of flyover stuff in between (or just refer to this map of our mentality). I kid, I kid!

Moreover, if you want a little extra Miss Wingman next week, you’re in luck. On Valentine’s Day, if you pick up an issue of USA Today and turn to the editorial page (or just check their website), you will find a love-themed Op-ed written by yours truly, as well as tuning into CosmoRadio’s Wake Up! With Taylor at 8:40am eastern on Sirius radio where I will be a guest that day. If you’ve never listened to Taylor and Kenny’s musings before, you’re missing out – and might I suggest starting on Tuesday…

Finally, since I would never just give you an entirely recycled post, here’s a little something – two little somethings, actually – that I stumbled upon in regards to starting your own company (How old is too old to be taken seriously? Ask these guys) and being at the helm of something huge as a youthful CEO (Are young CEO’s up to the job? Find out!).

Not only are they both interesting reads, but as someone who took the career plunge, I can appreciate the wisdom in both. Also, I know I’m not alone in dreams of lofty job pursuits, so maybe these pieces speak to you…. Go big or go home, that’s what I say.

So be good, kids (don’t fight with your brother), read up and I’ll be posting from sunnier skies before you know it. I’m contemplating provoking the TSA just to get some fun content out of it, but maybe that’s not such a good idea. I don’t play Words With Friends, either, so at least the plane leg of the trip should be smooth sailing. But probably not as good as this guy’s.

In the meantime, I leave you with this little slice of awesome for your mid week enjoyment. Because no one ever went wrong with a little Led Zeppelin.GEEK WINGMAN

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WIPE OUT: WHEN TO DELETE SOMEONE FROM YOUR PHONE AND FACEBOOK

The last time I took to my keyboard the morning after a big game, my post was brimming with Giants references and sports metaphors. Did I mention they won? Maybe you’ve heard, it’s kind of a big deal. So, today it only feels right that there be a similar tie-in, only perhaps this time I’ll wax poetic on the other side of the victory coin.

Just like I’m sure today millions of New York fans will rise and shine with a spring in their step (and most likely signs of last night’s celebration still visible), despondent Patriots fans will awake to the urge to blot out last night’s crushing defeat. You win some, you lose some. But if you’re on the latter team, sometimes you’d just as soon wipe all evidence of said loss from your memory – in real life, and in your virtual one.

This is germane to the topic of romance, too: If you’ve ever parted ways with someone post-hook up (however extensive) and you just can’t seem to erase all the evidence, perhaps it’s time to throw away their digits and de-friend them for good. Why do we collect these relationship relics? They never do us any good.

Case in point: ever notice how attempting to eliminate someone in your phone or Facebook triggers a prompt question like, “Are you sure you want to delete so and so?” It’s a cruel tease, but it speaks to our hesitation. If your gut says it’s better to say goodbye, go with it. We never go wrong when we listen to our instincts.

When should you do that, you ask? It varies. For some it’s best to expunge them from your relationship record immediately upon things going south – or silent. Whether the person disrespected you or things just plain fizzled, once it’s clear that it’s over, why wait? Just make sure you don’t add them back – that’s the tricky part.

I have a friend who periodically deletes guys from her phone so that she won’t be tempted to text or call them in moments of drunkenness, I mean weakness. For a lot of women, having that direct line to your past is like walking around with a live grenade in their purse on a Friday or Saturday night. It could go off at any time, and there will be damage.

Still others need to feel ready before pulling the plug on their old flames, even if their love has long since flat-lined. It’s like tearing off a band-aid – best if done swiftly – but often with a good amount of psyching up to do first. Whether it’s a week or a month that lapses doesn’t matter, just marinate in your misery as long as you need to until you’re ready to press the delete button – but make sure you do it.

Why am I so certain? Because if men are even remotely like women, you will not want a constant reminder and portal into the life of someone who no longer wants you. Whether it’s being forced to see her name as you casually scroll through the contacts in your phone book, or watching her come up in your news feed on Facebook, you’ll never be free if you don’t blot out these sucky little souvenirs, trust me. Why torture yourself?

If it suits you, you can do it in stages. I’ve actually vanquished people in graduated levels before. It’s like dipping your big toe into the Independent Badass pool to test the waters before diving right in – a necessary precaution from time to time. Sometimes these baby steps have involved changing the name in my phone book so that I don’t have to see it spelled out (before I’m ready to sever all ties – a wuss move, admittedly).

Other times I’ve just hidden someone from my friend list – an even bigger wuss move, and futile. You’ll still be tempted to check their page to see if they’re dating someone new – better to just delete them altogether and eliminate the drama.

In rare instances, I’ve just leveraged my disgust and deleted someone straight away. Anger is a powerful motivator, if you can get pissed and stay pissed long enough to make your departure permanent, I’d highly recommend it. You may or may not have had a say in how things ended, but this way you can at least cut the cord on your own terms.

But if ire is your catalyst, always make sure to let it go immediately after. Life’s too short to hold grudges. Moving on is the best revenge…well, that and looking awesome next time you see them. Even if there’s no ill will, sometimes it just feels good to clean house. Whatever the impetus, I implore you – be like Nike, and just do it.THAT’S WHAT SHE SAID

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YOUR PLACE OR MINE? WHAT THE CONTENTS OF YOUR BEDROOM SAY ABOUT YOU

What’s better than scoring a date with a woman? Getting her back to your place for the first time. Well actually, scoring a relationship with her would be better, but we’ll start out slowly. Baby steps.

So you’ve managed to lure her back to your lair with your smooth-talking ways, or better yet, your genuine honesty and likeable personality. But no matter – she’s there – good job. What you might not have realized is that as soon as a woman walks into your domicile, she immediately does a visual scan of the premises.

What is she looking for? Anything to give her further insight into who you are – for better or for worse. This is your chance to make a winning impression – or totally blow it – depending on the circumstances. So, a list is in order to break down the good, the bad and the you-should-probably-hide-that of what she’s thinking when analyzing your bedroom:

Cleanliness: The first thing she’ll ask herself – Is it messy? Don’t worry, most guys are messy. We can handle it. But is it reeeeeally messy? Like, she’ll be wondering if someone from Hoarders lives there messy? Oh dear, this is a problem. There’s a difference between clothes strewn about and mold growing on half-eaten snacks stuck to plates. If you can’t be bothered to at least clean up a bit before having company, we may not be inclined to visit twice.

Framed Pictures: This one’s a no-brainer. Pictures of your family? Good. Very good. Pictures of your ex? Check please! Pictures of you with your friends? This is favorable, just make sure you’re not doing anything horrifying in them. Oh, and if you have pictures of you holding babies, with children or doing anything volunteer-related, she may just sleep with you right then and there. We’re suckers for that stuff.

Bed linens: I think this one is better illustrated in photos. If you own this:

Or even this:

…if she’s like me, she’ll laugh. I think any guy who would own this is hysterical, and pretty awesome for what it’s worth. But that’s just me, and I definitely don’t represent the whole female population on that one sadly. Would I sleep with someone who owned these sheets? Probably not. And I think I DO speak for all women on that point, sorry guys.

Maybe it’s because we expect anyone who owns these sheets to also own a race car bed, a la Rick Schroder on Silver Spoons, but in general you should keep the nostalgia to a minimum.

And speaking of nostalgia…Trophies/Awards: These are great if they’re relatively recent or just for something really impressive. If your baseball team were state champions three years in a  row and you were the pitcher – even in high school – it’s still a pretty big deal. College and post-college achievements would be preferable, though.

Kindly avoid displaying things like your Perfect Attendance award from tenth grade or even your Cleanest Desk on the Sales Floor ribbon that the nice people in your office gave you last year. Award displays in general walk a fine line between being proud and narcissistic, just be careful which side of the line you’re on.

Visible Signs of Other Women: If we see any vestige of other females in your bedroom, it’s lights out – and not in a good way. Whether it’s finding discarded underthings from last week’s fling to spotting…other things (I will not elaborate, you get it), this is usually our cue to leave. Lipstick on your pillow, a number scrawled on your desk, these also fall into the same category: Thanks for playing, adios.

Speaking of women, if we spot things that are Obvious Ploys to Impress Us: rows upon rows of sneakers lined up like you’re a one-man Nike factory, a guitar that just so happens to be laying on your bed (and then you launch into a Mayer-style unplugged concert), expensive watches on display, etc., don’t think we don’t know what you’re doing there. Humility is a good thing – remember that.

And finally, your Wall Accents speak volumes. My general feeling is that men shouldn’t own posters – strike that, no one should own posters – after college. Unless you’re an extreme sports enthusiast and it’s of some snowboarder mid-insane air in some jaw-dropping stunt, it’s hard to justify. Sports are pretty much the only type of poster women would tolerate, if that. But if you display any images of scantily-clad girls, Pink Floyd album covers or Scarface imagery, you’ll probably be sleeping alone. We don’t require you to be sophisticated with your artwork (bonus points if you are!), but having a room that looks like it was decorated by Tucker Max won’t work in your favor, either.

That’s about it in terms of your boudoir, boys. I don’t want you to think that we’re constantly judging you (even though some women ARE constantly judging you), I’m just urging you to consider what impression of yourself you’re giving off to the world. No one says you have to live in Derek Jeter’s digs, just be a gentleman if you find yourself with female company. And please, whatever you do, don’t forget to make your bed.THAT’S WHAT SHE SAID

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“CAN I PULL THIS OFF?” WINGMAN: SUSPENDERS EDITION

Have you ever looked at pictures of some of the more offbeat male fashion looks and wondered if you could rock them, too? From suspenders to elbow patches to cardigan sweaters, style “risks” (if you could even call them that) abound for the unadventurous male, if he’s brave enough to banish his hesitation and try them out.

Luckily for you, Miss Wingman offers a new and recurring feature that serves as a How To guide to aid you in your closet exploits. So, if you’ve ever stared timidly at an outfit and wondered, “Could I pull that off?” this one is for you.

There are 3 basic ways to rock a pair of suspenders, in my opinion. The power broker look, the I’m-Just-Really-Laid-Back-And-Trying-To-Look-Like-I’m-Not-Trying-Too-Hard look, and the ironic hipster I’m-Trying-Way-Too-Hard look. Two of them work, one of them doesn’t. Can you guess which one?

Right, my thoughts exactly.

First up, to please the inner Chuck Bass in all of you (my bad – men don’t watch “Gossip Girl,” here’s a picture to illustrate), suspenders with a suit and a crisp oxford shirt is a great way to go to work.

But, you have to commit to it. It’s a pretty severe, corporate, Patrick Bateman in “American Psycho” kind of look, so if it means making sure your hair is in place with some pomade and that your shoes are polished to a high shine, then so be it. Just don’t have any part of your look be slovenly, or else you’ll throw it off balance.

Also, you have to be a certain type of guy to pull this off – the type of guy who eats high-powered lunches at Harry’s Steakhouse and lives in a loft in Tribeca. Otherwise you might look a little silly walking into your job at Kinko’s looking like Bill Lumbergh in “Office Space.”

Next up we have the Trying-Not-To-Look-Like-I’m-Trying-Too-Hard suspenders look found here:

And also on the casual-yet-dapper guy seen here:

The key to this look is that you have to A) roll up your sleeves a bit and unbutton your top collar button and B) a nice, chunky watch helps polish the look off, too. As long as the suspenders are on the skinnier side – button fastened or clip on, whatever your pleasure – and they’re paired with a slightly rumpled dress shirt or T-shirt look, you’re good to go.

But, beware of our last example, the Ironic Hipster look, found here by the brilliantly roaming Sartorialist:

How you know you’ve overdone it is if you pair it with really skinny pants, Converse sneakers and a fedora hat. One of these alone may not be a problem, all of them together is just too much. And speaking of things to avoid, never EVER rock suspenders shirtless or with a sleeveless undershirt.

This isn’t Chippendales and you aren’t in a naked fireman costume, so cut that s–t out please, thanks. If you really must leave the suspenders hanging down around your waist, I can’t stop you, but in general they’re better up on your shoulders where they belong.

The general idea with suspenders is that you want to embrace the whimsical, add a new accessory to the mix, or even just give a silent “F%*@ you” to belt wearers everywhere, it’s your call. Just don’t overdose on whimsy, and make sure you feel comfortable as well. If you’re not confident when you wear them, it will come through.

Don’t be scared to try out new things, but also don’t be afraid to ask what the right way to approach them is, either. In matters of style, there’s a good way and a bad way to sport everything, trust me. But when it comes to suspenders, they’re not just for holding up your pants anymore, so have a little fun.DAPPER WINGMAN

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NETIQUETTE NO NO’S: THINGS WOMEN DON’T WANT TO SEE ON FACEBOOK

Let’s face it, social networking is the best thing to happen to guys trying to get lucky since the invention of…well…women, frankly. With just a few keystrokes you have a bevvy of beautiful women who you either want to get to know, already know, or never knew you wanted to sleep with until now. It’s a world of possibility at your fingertips – literally.

But, just as social networking sites like Facebook work in your favor, they can also work against you if you don’t know what to avoid (sorry, blame Zuckerberg). Whether it’s you who’s engaging in marks of bad behavior or your friends/past relations working against you, it doesn’t really matter – it’s all filed under the heading “game killer” in the end. As I’ve said before, women have a tendency to e-stalk, so if she unearths any of the following on your profile, don’t be surprised if she starts running for the virtual hills.

Cringe-Worthy Photos: There are so many things that fall under this category, I hardly know where to begin. Oh no wait – yes I do – with anything that involves vomit, bodily functions, shotgunning/funneling beer over the age of 25, shirtless poses in bathroom mirrors or photos of you flexing in any way, shape or form. What this tells us? You’re either still pretty immature, don’t realize that you’re a narcissist, or that you have no understanding of/concern for the Internet and all that lives on it. And this is coming from a girl who’s own male friends’ immature behavior is a source of much entertainment. I may laugh, I just won’t date you. Also, I don’t care if you have The Situation’s abs, put a shirt on please.

Debbie Downer Status Updates: No one likes a person who’s negative all the time, and this goes double for Facebook. Are you constantly complaining about your life? Do you let little, fickle things get to you or love unleashing your rage to your social network? Lighten up, man. Glass half full is way sexier. I guarantee you that if you’re the All Misery All The Time Network, we’ll want to change the channel. Fast.

Friend Poaching: Under no circumstances is it acceptable for you to reach out to people on our lists and friend request total strangers. If you know our friends, that’s one thing (but still dicey, only add them if you’re certain you’re close enough for it not to be weird). Otherwise it just looks like you’re either A) potentially trying to get with our friends if it doesn’t work out B) trying to keep tabs on us and who we’re out with or C) just a social-climbing opportunist – but that one’s primarily for girls, it rarely goes the other way.

A Visible Imprint of Your Ex: Guys who keep pictures of their ex on their Facebook are a huge red flag for us. It’s understandable if you’ve just recently broken up and she was a large part of your life for an extended time, and you haven’t had a chance to pull them down yet. But once that time is up, if you want to move on and have a fighting chance with new girls, you should probably ditch the vacation shots, arm around each other photos or anything that screams that you used to sleep with another woman. Just a suggestion.

Any Women Who Like To “Hover” On Your Page: As I’ve also said before, women have a tendency to mark their territory by writing on your Facebook wall and other such stupid acts of possessiveness. It’s not terribly mature, but it’s common practice – and it’s meant to ward off other females. By constantly “Like”-ing your photos, commenting on your status updates or posting things on your wall like it’s her own personal doodle pad, women are trying to establish themselves as a formidable presence in your life, even if you don’t feel the same way. These actions are off-putting to normal girls, who will likely bow out before trying to engage in competition for your affection. Sad but true.

And finally, Annoying Relationship Blasts Of Any Kind: This usually applies to guys who fall hard for girls way too easily and then have things like the following written on their pages: “In a relationship” as their status after one or two dates, photos of them wearing matching sports gear with a girl at a game, references to having “the best girlfriend in the whole world,” etc., etc., gag. Also falling in this category are things written by a female you may or may not be formally dating, like “Hiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii” or “Miss youuuu!!” or “Can’t wait to see you,” “Awwwww, you look so cute in this pic!” or anything that emasculates you publicly. Also, it will have us thinking that if you could ever have been attracted to such a complete tool (if girls can even be called that, which I believe they can) then there’s no way you belong with us, we’re better off.

I know some of this sounds harsh, but it’s for your own good, men. If Miss Wingman is all about creating opportunities to showcase to us how great you are, then committing the sins on this list only make you get in your own way. A Facebook faux pas may not seem like a big deal, but it doesn’t help you out, either. Just remember these reminders when you sign on, or else the next time you may find the ladies logging on and losing interest.ETIQUETTE WINGMAN

*And yes, before you point it out, the quality on this clip is bootleg, at best. Sometimes Youtube videos are pretty hoopty. Sigh…

 

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THE PHASE OUT: HOW TO BOW OUT GRACEFULLY

Did you know that Miss Wingman takes requests? It’s true. It’s like Christmas (and Hanukkah) year ’round over here. And it just so happens that my latest topic request was already on deck, but now can be brought to you with one particularly funny reader’s insights into the problem. I’m talking about what to do when you think you’re being phased out of a “relationship” – or what you thought was the beginning of one, at least – when she pulls a disappearing act and you didn’t see it coming. Sniffle… It’s a common problem, but one that’s delicate.

There is a right way and a wrong way to handle being phased out by someone post-hook up, and contrary to popular belief, men, you are not the only ones to employ these tactics. You just need a little refresher course on how to conduct yourself if she stops answering your text messages and doesn’t call anymore. Of course there are extenuating circumstances – she might be going through something unexpected or just buried in work, family stuff, etc. But this is the exception, not the rule.

But generally speaking, when the romance has ended and she’s moved on from Could Be Into You-ville to Please Lose My Number-town, here’s what NOT to do, in a nutshell.

Text/email/call persistently: Even if a woman was still into you, a high volume of contact would be a delicate balancing act between “I can’t get enough of you,” and “OK you’re starting to drive me nuts now.” But when she’s already put distance between you, this type of behavior just repels her even further. And, as my reader pointed out: “If the roles were reversed and a girl was sending the “haven’t heard from you and just checking in” messages to a guy, she’d be labeled a Clingy Psycho.” Amen, sista. Right you are.

It’s a rare instance when my male readership will hear me rail against unfair double standards in dating behavior. In fact, most of the time I see more eye to eye with the guy’s side of the story and cringe when I hear about female behavior gone loco. But in this case, I’m 100% behind Reader Girl and I emphatically repeat this statement: If a woman initiates contact with you or, God forbid, tries to DTR – that’s “Define The Relationship,” for the uninitiated – she is immediately labeled a Stage 5 Clinger and has to wear a scarlet letter “P” (for psycho) amongst your social circle.

So when men engage in persistent behavior, it’s not only annoying but it also makes us mad, because it’s a reminder of the corner we’ve been painted into by the actions of the crazy outlier members of our sisterhood that we had no control over. Moral of the story: Read her Radio Silence Technique as just that – silence. And if you do reach out before you’ve caught on, definitely don’t…

Pose any contact under the guise of concern: I’m going to let Reader Girl take this one, she sounded off on these “She’s Fine” situations best by saying: “Please address when a guy starts attempting to contact you because he’s ‘concerned for your well-being.’ As in, ‘I’m concerned because I haven’t heard back from you in a while and I just want to make sure you’re okay.’

Yeah, I’m fine. If a girl wants to respond to you, she will.  If she’s stopped responding to you, and it’s been 2 days or 2 weeks, or a month, and you’ve ‘been concerned’ with her well-being at least once, if not multiple times via email, text, and voicemail – just let it go. Odds are she’s not lying face-down in a drainage ditch somewhere, she’s just not interested. She also probably tried throwing polite hints if not blatantly spelling it out for you already, and you just haven’t picked up on it yet.”

Well said, lady, well said.

Also, try to avoid getting angry if you sense you’re being phased out. Look, in the course of every person’s dating career they’ve probably both phased someone out and been phased out themselves. It happens to all of us. (And if it’s never happened to you, then consider yourself lucky. Also, the rest of us hate you now, thanks). But sending any clear signs that you’re bitter or infuriated won’t accomplish anything in the vein of endearing yourself to us further, even if it does make you feel better. Lashing out will only reinforce to us that we made the right decision to eliminate someone so immature from our lives in the first place.

So what can you do, you ask? Nothing. That’s the thing with being phased out, you can’t do anything about it other than recognize it and bow out gracefully. If you really must know what caused her to sell your stock (for educational purposes, or for your own ego – whichever) you could always ask her friends. Just realize that they might not give you a straight answer, and they’ll definitely tell her you were asking – unless they’re your friends, too.

Getting cut loose by someone, in a word, sucks. It’s a cowardly move no matter who pulls it, because what it says is, “I care more about avoiding confrontation than about your feelings.” Ouch. It makes the person who does the phasing out look bad, but if the phasee lets it go, he or she saves face – the only upside to the story. I’m not foolish enough to suggest that all men stop employing the Radio Silence Technique, though, because A) it’ll never happen and B) we do it, too. Just know that if you’re on the receiving end of it, the best thing you can do is walk away with your dignity intact by doing just that: walking away.ETIQUETTE WINGMAN

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