I hear it all the time. “Why do women only like jerks?”

It’s the battle cry of nice guys everywhere lamenting their sweetness stigma. Treat a girl like gold and she walks all over you. She loses interest. She tells her friends she’s just not that into you. Make yourself inaccessible, mysterious and aloof, and BAM! She’s all over you. Ignore us and we’re giddy, be a player and we drool. It defies logic. It sucks. And also, it’s mostly your fault.

There’s a difference between being a good guy and being a Nice Guy. Good guys are decent, know they can get laid by other women, but still choose to be with us (swoon). Nice Guys don’t exude the confidence we look for telling us that they’re a catch. Nice guys put it all out there too soon, don’t leave us with anything more to learn about you down the line, and usually go home alone. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

In order to determine the exact right equation for precisely how much Jerk + Nice Guy = You Getting The Girl, first we have to start with the basics, boys. And that all centers around one indisputable fact: There are two kinds of women out there. Those that have learned-slash-matured, and those that haven’t yet.

In the spirit of female camaraderie, I’ll add this disclaimer…No judgment regarding the latter group. None whatsoever. It’s just that whether your nice guy ways bore us or bait us has everything to do with what side of the invisible line that divides every female’s dating life we happen to be on.

In the simplest of terms, it’s not you, it’s us.

When we’re younger, we love the chase. The “Does he or doesn’t he like me?” intrigue. The sick challenge of whether we can be the one to capture your full attention and reform you, or whether you’ll cling to your bad boy ways. Let’s face it, broads dig the drama. (I know, I know, we suck). But at some point, whether it’s in our late 20s, early 30s, or just after we’ve endured one too many crying sessions, we throw in the towel and put both feet over the line.

From then on, if you dog us, lead us on or just don’t appreciate what we have to offer, you’re dead where you stand. Dating roadkill, it’s true. You can be as much of a nice guy as you’d like, because we’ll just keep lapping up how fantastic a guy you are, lucky for us. We’ll never look back or stop to pine away over the jerks in our rear view mirror. The trick is knowing which side of the line the girl you’re into is on, and only you can be the judge of that.

But then, most of you won’t encounter this evolved type of girl in your daily dating lives anyway. Unless you were born before 1985. So for those of you still dabbling in the former group, here’s what you need to know about mastering the nice guy handicap.

*Always start out nice. When first we encounter you, be on your best behavior. Seem engaged in our conversation, interested in our company, and generally just be yourself. We need this initial reassurance to want to pursue something romantic. Then after you’ve gotten our attention, you can always dial back on the good guy routine.

*Be available, but not too available. There’s a fine line between making us feel like a priority, and making us feel like the only thing you have going on in your life. When planning a date, get at least one face-to-face in the books. This gives us just enough of a sense of who you are to get us hooked. But the next time we try to arrange a meet up? Be busy. Tell us you’ve got a work thing, you’ve got a friend’s dinner, whatever. Then suggest another day, perhaps next week.

Just leave us anxiously waiting to see you again (but not for too long), so that when we finally do, we’re excited. Try to always leave us wanting more. And it wouldn’t hurt to be the first one to call it a night, either.

*Remember the big things, like what our siblings’ names are, but forget the little things - like how we went to a wedding last weekend out of town. Oh, you did? Oh I hadn’t even noticed that we didn’t speak, I was too busy having a fun weekend with my friends. Oh right, you did say something about that. It’s not like I was sitting around wondering how many of the groom’s single friends you were dancing with and when you’d be back home or anything…

Repeat after me, boys. Play. It. Cool.

*Text, don’t call AT FIRST. But after you’ve hooked up? Call, don’t text. This shows you respect us. Also, ask us about our day when we do speak. It shows that you care what’s going on in our world. But make sure to space those calls out, and let us be surprised to hear from you when we do. Absence makes the heart grow fonder. Also, it makes us wonder what the hell you’re up to or if you’re thinking about us, too.

*Introduce us to your best friend, but make sure we see that your other friends (read: female “friends”) are an active presence on your Facebook page. Women always want what other women covet, and your appeal will skyrocket if you seem like there are other prospects circling you, too.

*This goes double for your phone and our perception of your dating life. It wouldn’t hurt if you appear to receive a text or two while you’re with us, even if that text was pre-arranged with a buddy or comes in the form of a work email. Allow me to clarify: I don’t want you to actually BE texting other girls or multi-tasking other females at the same time that you’re pursuing us. But it won’t kill us if we wondered if you were. In a non-possessive, psycho way, of course.

Striking the right balance to get us hooked on you is all about figuring out just how much “jerk” to inject into the nice, respectful routine. Not the other way around. I repeat: NOT THE OTHER WAY AROUND. Because in the end, if you’re too much of a prick, i.e. treating us poorly when we’re together, the only girl that’ll be responsive to that is one with fundamental self-esteem issues. She’ll seek your approval because she lacks confidence, and derives much of her worth from other people. Yikes…major yikes.

The girl that lets you be too much of a jerk feeds off of drama, and not to sound like your mother, but you don’t want those girls anyway.

So don’t sweat the nice guy label, unless you’re only in it for the one-and-done hook up. In that case, D-bag away my friend, because tons of women fall for that shiz every day. But it’s beneath you, or at least it should be. The wise man knows when it’s time to grow up.

And hey, there are always outliers. My own personal dating experience strongly rebuffs the conventional wisdom that nice guys finish last, as every one of my ex-boyfriends have been bona fide sweethearts, total gentlemen and nice guys to the core. (Well, not every single one, a bad apple or two may have snuck in, but only by accident). But, I realize that this anomaly is the exception and not the rule, so ignore my penchant for good guys and stick to the advice above.

Whatever you do, recognize that we only get bored when we feel like it’s too easy. And hey – you guys should be familiar with that notion, you’re the ones who perfected it. So keep us guessing, keep us hungry, but keep being (sorta) sweet, too.

Because dating isn’t a sprint, it’s a marathon, and you’ll want to have some nice guy gas left in the tank when we finally step over that line.THAT’S WHAT SHE SAID

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It’s that time of year again, gentlemen. The Irish-fueled equivalent of New Year’s Eve, Halloween and Superbowl Sunday all rolled into one sloppy, joyful, day drinking event. It’s one giant green-clad amateur hour…and it’s outstanding.

At least in NYC it is, or any major city and it’s environs (although I’d wager a guess that sidewalk vomit-dodging is the toughest here). But what St. Paddy’s also means, in addition to copious amounts of green beer, Guinness and Jameson shots, is that everyone will be out and about and in a good mood. Prime opportunity for picking up some cute lasses at the bar, boys.

Granted, you might argue that trying to spit game while 10 beers deep is a bad idea, I’ll remind you that A) liquid courage is sometimes a good thing and B) Miss Wingman hates the idea of “game” anyway. Just be your charming, leprechaun pin-wearing self, and it’ll all fall into place. If you do it right, she may just kiss you…not because you’re Irish, but because you’re awesome. But first, remember these guidelines…

1) Know your goal for the day. Are you looking to capitalize on the many social settings where you could spot a cute friend-of-a-friend type you might actually be interested in pursuing? Or are you just looking for a drunken fling to cap off the revelry? It’s OK if it’s the latter, just don’t approach the two the same way, boys. We know the difference.

2) Look extra handsome. This one seems obvious, but in order to offset your head to toe green attire and (most likely) beer splattered shirt, you should class it up a little if possible. Try layering a button-down shirt over that Guinness tee, or at least wear your least hideous shoes. It’s hard to look dapper on a novelty holiday, but as a favor to me, kindly try.

3) Play the numbers game. If you spot a cute female parade-watcher nearby, or think the girl ordering shots seems like your type, assess your condition – and hers – and assign it a number.

On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being “Why the hell are you sober?” 10 being “Where’s the nearest E.R.?” and 8 being the teetering, getting-tossed-out-of-bars kind of drunk, please play it safe, gentlemen. Don’t approach her if you’re above a 6.5…or if she is, for that matter. Slow blinking isn’t sexy, kids. Neither is having a virtual stranger puke on you.

4. Remember her name, remember her name, remember her name. Nothing will kill your game when calling her mid-week like not knowing if she’s a Danielle or a Desiree, trust me. Make sure to commit your target’s young lady’s name and her digits to your phone, even if “Jennifer” looks like dJnnifeR with drunken typos.

And just hope her name isn’t close to an actual word, or else Auto Correct is your worst enemy.

And finally, 5). Pay attention to the signs. Did she offer to buy you and your friends a round to thank you for bank rolling her drinks all night? Thoughtful. Was she down with late night pizza or even (gasp!) suggest it herself as a solid end to the evening? Low maintenance! If she’s seen you sloppily devouring a drunken slice whilst slumped on a curb and she still likes you, this girl’s a keeper.

But on the flip side, if your day ends in girl tears after someone spilled a drink on her, she lost her hoodie, whatever – this is not a good sign. Drama’s still drama, drunk or not. You deserve to set the bar higher.

So that’s it, fellas. My heartfelt suggestions for finding a female to sham-rock your world this weekend. Hopefully she’ll intoxicate you with her beauty & wit, and you don’t wake up finding that her appeal was just plain old intoxication. Either way, may the luck o’ the Irish be with you. And if not, there’s always college hoops to cheer you up. Slainte –MW.ETIQUETTE WINGMAN

*Miss Wingman note: I leave you with one of my favorite St. Patrick’s Day themes, though forgive me, it’s for sentimental reasons. So if your Irish drinking songs tend to be more bandwagon, then here you go. (And psst! There are other bands than Dropkick Murphy’s, fyi). If you’re more of a St. Paddy’s purist, a la Pogues & Dubliners, then here’s an authentic little link of your own. To everyone else, enjoy.

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Maybe it’s because Miss Wingman has recently spent time in sunnier climates, but all those shirtless men got me thinking… Summer’s right around the corner, boys. (OK fine, maybe not around the corner, but with any luck it’ll be here before we know it). And, lucky for us, that means that you’ll be shedding those layers and showing a little skin. Thus, you might want to know what message your tattoo(s) send to the female population.

So if you’re inked up, listen up, because I’m talking to you.

Full disclosure, Miss Wingman has some ink of her own. How much? None of your damn business. Unless you know me personally (those in the know, know). That said, one of the most annoying questions you can ask a tattooed person is the meaning behind their design. Even the most well thought-out artwork can sound trite when explained in brief.

So, far be it from me to judge the inspiration behind your tats, but I will tell you what their placement on your body says to women at large.

Forearm: Whether you’re a hipster, a musician, or just fancy yourself a tough guy, this spot isn’t just for sailors and inmates anymore. You can’t go wrong with a well-placed forearm tattoo, it’s one of Miss Wingman’s personal favorites. And pretty damn sexy if you ask me. That said, it’s also highly visible real estate, so make sure whatever you’re rocking is worthy of display (but we’ll get to that later).

Knuckles, wrists, elbows: Hey, if you can take the pain, more power to you. It’s a bold display but one that women don’t mind at all. Just don’t pull a Rick Ross and get “GFID” on your digits (meaning “God Forgives, I Don’t”). That’s just downright terrifying.

Bicep: I’m not anti-bicep tattoo at all, for the record. I am, however, totally anti-tribal armband or barbed wire armband. Why? Because unless you’re in prison or “down the shore” (that’s the Jersey shore, for the uninitiated), you have no excuse for such douchery. Is your name Vin Diesel? No? Then cut that sh*t out.

Chest: This is another winner with the ladies, but only if you have pecs like the aforementioned. Just steer clear of things that take up your whole chest. Quotes? Good. Serpents and giant crucifixes? Bad.

Everywhere: If you’re so covered that blank skin is a scarce commodity, this is alarming as all hell to us. Close-minded? Perhaps, but even the guy from “Prison Break” looked creepy in blanket ink, and he was smokin’ hot.

Back: This one’s a matter of geography. If your back was a map of the U.S., then anything in the Maine to Oregon/Washington vicinities is A-OK. Upper back/shoulder pieces are pretty manly, as far as ink goes. It also doesn’t hurt if you look like David Beckham, for the record.

But if it’s in the Florida/Texas/Southern California region? Dicey, to say the least. Why? Because tramp stamps aren’t hot on guys. Hell, some of you would argue they’re not even hot on women.  Best to avoid, in this girl’s opinion.

Ribs: Having amassed some personal experience with this one, all I can say is that if you rock the rib tat, you are – in a word – hardcore. Two thumbs up. One for it looking cool, and one for your incredibly high threshold for pain.

Legs: Again, a matter of northern vs. southern hemispheres. Thigh: good. Calf? Just fine. Ankle? Eh, not so much.

Maybe it’s because that’s another area commonly associated with female artwork, but a good rule of thumb is this: If we’re able to make an X-chromosome association with your tat, that’s generally not winning you any points for masculinity. Better to go with somewhere tougher, like your face.

I’m kidding. Please don’t.

Tattoos above the shoulders typically come down to execution and context. As in, it depends on how aesthetically pleasing they are, and what the person sporting them is like. Neck tat on a creative, independent type? Can definitely be pulled off, and I’ve seen some dudes do it well. Face tat indicating how many kills you’ve had? No bueno. Tear drops only work if you’re on “The Wire.” Sorry guys.

What are some other places we’d scratch our heads if we found a little skin art? These are pretty self-explanatory I think… groin, arse, belly button region, eyes. You know – the usual.

Whatever your preferred locale, wear it proudly. But allow me to end this post with a plea for all of you considering adornment: Think before you ink. Make sure you really like what you’ve chosen. And then sleep on it some more.

I say this from experience (but no worries, some talented cover artists and hours of pain have restored my love in all of my artwork). Consider it a Miss Wingman PSA, especially if you care what the ladies think.

So, here’s to the hope of warmer weather and a little beach time in your future. You don’t need to cover your tats up on our account, unless it’s with sunscreen, of course.DAPPER WINGMAN

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Hello there, my faithful procrastinators. I’ve returned after a lengthy break, indeed it’s true. Please forgive me my absence, but Miss Wingman had to recharge her batteries and soak up all the best things in life before returning to a New York state of mind, freezing temps and milestone: another birthday.

Yes the calendar pages have been torn off to reveal that I am, despite my best efforts, getting older. But, lucky for me, with each passing year the only thing I know for certain is that surrounding yourself with all good things is a surefire way to be happy.

Eh, scratch that – that’s not the only thing I know for certain. I’ve actually amassed quite a collection of truths and ruminations, as evidenced by my single favorite written post thus far – last year’s “Birthday Wingman: Life Lessons and Wisdom From The Smartass Mind.” If you managed to miss it the first time around, kindly correct that now. I promise it’ll be worth the detour.

But back to what this past year has shown me – other than that guys gravitate towards ugly footwear, and that playoff beards and exit interviews are awesome…man-gagement rings, not so much. In taking inventory of the myriad blessings in my kickass life, I’ve decided to continue the tradition and impart some more insight onto reading masses.

I give you (drum roll please)…

Fifteen Things You Should’ve Learned By Your 30′s. It’s useful for both men and for the ladies, since so many outstanding females seem to read this site, too.

Thirty what, you ask? None of your damn business.

*Friends are not one size fits all, and reconnecting is never accidental. Figuring out what each of them brings into your life, however small, is the key to staying happy.

(So is vodka. And DVR. And a solid playlist on a long drive. Just don’t mix the first with the last, obviously).

*Hard as I try, the Kardashians aren’t going away any time soon (ugh). Neither is the Harlem Shake, LeBron James, Kate Upton’s boobs, or people who still say “bling” after 2003.

*Try every day to be the person who dresses your best, complains the least and offers the most kindness to total strangers.

*There is nothing that some belly laughter, a Giants/Yankees/Rangers win, a long run or live music can’t fix. Oh, and truffle fries. Truffle fries heal, too.

*The best pick up line is, “Hi, I’m ______.” Accompanied with a smile. It’ll almost always get you a foot in the door.

*Timing REALLY IS everything. We could’ve all lived a dozen different versions of our lives if this or that played out a minute later. But it happens how it happens when you’re ready, and not a moment sooner.

*Eat dessert. Even if it means extra cardio miles. Life’s too short not to indulge.

*Don’t believe in luck, there’s no such thing. There is, however, divine intervention, serendipity, and solid preparation. The first two are easier to believe in, it’s that last one that tends to be the hardest.

*Read a lot. Even if it’s just the articles in Maxim. Learning new perspectives or vocab words will compensate for all the time you didn’t spend paying attention in high school English.

*Know what to do if you find the (possible) love of your life, but don’t beat yourself up if it doesn’t work out. Sometimes having “the one that got away,” helps us learn how to hold on better the next time.

*If you don’t like where you get up and go every morning, find a new landscape. No amount of money or security is worth your peace of mind, despite what the world tells you.

*Avoid posting TV spoilers on social media. It makes the rest of us hate you.

*Life will break your heart, count on it. Whether from a sports team, unfulfilled dreams, or saying goodbye, you will be leveled more than once. The best way to bounce back is to grieve, use the pain to launch yourself forward and upward, then hug the people who helped you get there.

*Pay attention to people’s names when introduced, announcements on the subway, and when a woman gets her hair done. We want you to notice.

*Never make anti-Red Sox or Patriots comments in mixed company. Someone’s always from Boston. Same goes for off-color ethnic jokes, but for entirely different reasons.

And there you have it. The factoids & falsehoods I’ve sifted through over the years. Sure, I could go on about the benefits of always carrying Purell, never watching FOX News and not asking about ex-girlfriends, but this is the gist of it, for the most part.

I leave you now with the same closing words as last year, as they’re just as true today as they ever were. “And finally, what I’ve realized only now but have probably known all along: I’m not getting older, I’m just getting more awesome.”

My love to you all. –MWTHAT’S WHAT SHE SAID

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(*Rubs eyes) Faaaahhhhhhhk. Monday already?


Well if you’re like Miss Wingman, you might’ve had a little too much fun watching the Superbowl last night, too. And you might also be one of the many Americans who begrudgingly dragged their tired asses into work this morning planning to covertly “desk nap” and avoid anything that requires real brain function until quitting time. (Just remember to prop your chin up, the head nod jolting you awake is a dead giveaway). There isn’t enough caffeine in New York today to fix my stupor. I know I’m not alone.

So in the spirit of football hangover camaraderie, I thought I’d provide you with a solution to your misery. It’s simple, it’s logic-driven, and it might just save all of those people out there who are phoning it in today, too.

I give you “The Scientific Hangover Cure,” brought to you by the folks at ASAPScience. They’re the nerds who know that no one liked chemistry in high school, but are using it to explain the really important questions in life, like why we procrastinate, what really happens during the big “O,” the effects of weed on the body and, of course, the piece de resistance: why you get morning wood. Pretty clever, if you ask me.

But today their useful tips might be particularly helpful to all of us, especially anyone who happens to live in, say, Baltimore. I’m bummed that it wasn’t a match up like last year (Best. New York. Moment. Ever.), but they still gave us a good game, power outage or not.

So slump down in your chair, take a sip of your venti whatever, and try to stay awake long enough to watch this fun little clip. And if you’re the curious type that needs to know how your body got so jacked up in the first place, other than, you know, those rounds of shots I – um, I mean you – kept taking, here’s your explanation.

Hang in there, fly under the radar today, and congrats to all you Ravens fans out there. You certainly earned it.GEEK WINGMAN

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When it comes to men, there’s nothing sexier to women than a big, huge…heart.

What’d you think I was going to say? Pervs.

That’s why this year, you should clear a little space in your schedule to grab a shovel, or a soup ladle, or a storybook and lend your time to someone in need. You don’t have to sacrifice every Saturday, and you don’t need to go very far – there are all types of opportunities in every local community, just check sites like VolunteerMatch to get started.

From neighborhood beautification projects, to Habitat for Humanity, to Meals on Wheels or even Big Brothers/Big Sisters, there’s a million and one ways to make a difference. Just log on, type in what project interests you, and voila! Let the giving begin.

And if being a do-gooder doesn’t come naturally to you, allow me to persuade you with the following reasons: 1) Because it really does make you feel better inside to pay it forward. Think I’m lying? No amount of manual labor or it’s measurable results could match the satisfaction you’ll feel from seeing gratitude on someone’s face. You’ll get more out if it than the recipients, trust me.

Secondly, for the less altruistic man, because it ups your desirability with the ladies. (Read: it may even get you laid). See? If I can’t appeal to your kindness, I’ll appeal to your libido. Whatever works.

Now, I’m not suggesting you join a charitable organization so that you can pick off broads to try and score with, I’m just saying that if we know volunteering is what you’re into, we may just be more into you as a result.

And finally, for the free T-Shirt.

Which, if you wear to the gym next time you work out, might just, oh I don’ t know…possibly catch the attention of some broads with whom you end up scoring. Synergy, boys, it’s a beautiful thing.

Just take my advice and please leave your acts of kindness off of social media. Posting “Look-At-Me-I’m-Such-A-Good-Person” uploads to Facebook kills the generosity part, I’m afraid.

And if you’re still not convinced, you can always donate your money instead of your time. Organizations like the Red Cross are constantly seeking donations. Sometimes reaching into your wallet just comes easier to some people than reaching for some work gloves, I get it.

Hopefully the next time you’re faced with the choice between watching the games all afternoon or giving back, you’ll at least contemplate the latter – as a favor to me. If you’re blessed enough to have the means to be reading this site, then you certainly have more than a lot of other people. If you never lose sight of that, I promise your grace will serve you well.

Because in the end, you may not always feel responsibility for your fellow man, but you should feel a sense of accountability to yourself. And you’ll sleep better at night – literally – if you help a total stranger.

So give generously, gentlemen. Give often. And as always, give without expectation.ETIQUETTE WINGMAN

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Whilst trolling the web today, Miss Wingman came across something so disturbing it made me stop in my tracks. It was so unnerving, so heinous and ill-advised, that I just couldn’t help but comment to you, the reading masses.

So brace yourselves, boys, because what I’m about to show you is in no way endorsed by this site, myself personally, or I’m pretty sure females ANYWHERE.

What could possibly offend me more than the punishing, excruciating cold we’re being served up by Mother Nature this week? THIS.

Yes, the style blogs are now reporting the return of the Man Turtleneck. (Thanks a lot, Paris Fashion Week runways). But please, ignore this trending alert. Shun it, avert your eyes, and if any of your buddies attempts to pull this off, it is your duty as a card-carrying member of the testosterone club to point/laugh/refuse to be seen with him until he changes his clothes.

It’s OK, really. I give you permission.

Now, I know it’s frigid as hell right now. (And no, even an ass raping by Old Man Winter isn’t grounds to bust out those 180′s, boys – I know some of you are contemplating it). But even a severe cold snap is no excuse for wearing the Man Turtleneck.

Are you Steve Jobs? Is this 2nd grade and you’re also wearing bib-front snow pants? No? Then cut that sh*t out. Mock or full-neck, cable knit or just cotton, I can’t think of a single instance where I’ve thought a man looked sexy wearing this. Or would consider sleeping with him. Sure, male models with their chiseled jaw lines and perfect pecs look like they can pull this off. But I assure you, even they look douchey to women.

And trying to hide it under a rugged jacket or pair it with a sports coat isn’t acceptable, so don’t try to sneak that by us, either. Just stick to your regulation wool sweaters and cozy flannels until the mercury stops assaulting us, and I assure you your love life will fare much better than the dude’s who tries to look like the 4th member of The Lonely Island.

If you’re still unclear about what’s considered acceptable male fashion trends, gentlemen, then stick to this rule of thumb: If childhood pictures exist of you wearing said item (or worse, wearing matching outfits with your siblings), please leave that trend where it belongs…retired, permanently. Good luck, stay warm, and for the love of God, just invest in a scarf.DAPPER WINGMAN

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