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On Life, Love and the Pursuit of Happiness

How Learning to Navigate Change Will Help You Succeed in Dating

Robert Manni - Monday, February 26, 2018

What happened to men? Nobody knows what they are doing anymore—especially the men.

There's no denying that women are on the rise and finally getting the recognition they’ve long deserved. The future is about the ascension of women and they are not going to take crap from men, especially those in power any more. But, that is not bad news for guys. If you are a real man, a Guys Guy if you will, there has never been a better time for dating. Women want the world to be a place where both men and women stand side by side and win. And that’s a very good thing. But right now, there is a communication chasm between the sexes. With all the changes and the #MeToo movement, many men don’t know who they are or how to act with women. Our culture is changing and if guys don’t learn how to adapt, it will seriously impact their ability to attract women and build relationships. Today’s women are shaking up the world and making things happen so understandably, they want to date men who know who they are, what they want, and focused on becoming the best they can be.

Let’s first acknowledge that men have an identity problem.

With their overdue recognition and all the success women are experiencing today many men find themselves out of touch, falling behind or out of sight. Men are at a crossroads in how they see themselves and how they fit in. A lot of guys’ masculinity is caught somewhere between the MMA and manscaping, and that’s no place to be. We are facing a male crisis and it’s up to men to evolve so women will appreciate and respect them. The good news is women are on men’s side. They want men to succeed. So fellas, it’s up to us do whatever needs to be done to get back in the game. Here are a few suggestions to help men be their best and become more attractive to women as people and potential partners.

1. Celebrate women

Men need to realize that women are not the enemy. They should support women's achievements in the workplace and throughout our society. A real man wants his partner to succeed and shows pride in her success. This is a quality that today’s women seek out. Men need to learn how to celebrate women. Women’s ascension and recognition is not a threat. It’s actually very good for men. With women taking on more of the heavy lifting and financial responsibilities, men are free to grow in other areas, including their education, spirituality, emotional intelligence and things they can do for their partner beyond providing for them financially. Today’s women are offering men this gift. It’s up to men to accept it and work on themselves. That’s seems like a good deal to me.

2. Go inside

It's an old adage, but the answers do come from within. The media is constantly bombarding us with fear and worry. Media and its forms of messaging intrudes into our subconscious so it distracts and hypnotizes us. For today’s men to maintain a true sense of self they need to learn how to "tune into themselves and tune out the noise." Although some men are exploring spirituality, holistic practices for optimal health, ways of getting in touch with themselves, the vast majority of following this path are still women. It’s time for guys to take that trip inside to learn what makes them tick and what is most important in life and to the women they love. Energetic practices including Reiki, hypnosis, meditation, tai chi, yoga, and even calligraphy are a few of the disciplines that show positive effects on men's self-knowledge and wellbeing. Women are good at sensing and reading energy, and a man with balanced, positive energy sends the right message to potential partners. But it’s an inside job.

3. Eat to win.

The benefits of cleaning up one’s body shows up many ways. Cutting back or eliminating habits like smoking, alcohol, red meat, preservatives, GMO's, dairy, and sugar not only improve a man’s physical well being, it also increases his mental clarity and his appearance. Autoimmune diseases begin in the gut, which is proven to work as our second brain. That means making the right choices when it comes to food and drink. Diet is an issue that many men overlook.

Too many guys still eat and drink the way they did in college. Men in their thirties are for the first time being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s symptoms which arguably due to diet and stress. . Unfortunately, many men still eat what tastes good rather than what's good for them. As a result, many men are becoming obese and breaking down much earlier nowadays. This is not sexy. Back pain, hip replacements, etc. take their toll on how a guy feels and appears to the opposite sex. Men prefer fit women and so it’s fair that women want men fit and capable of dealing with modern life’s challenges. Guys, evolving your diet as you age is critical to your appearance and mental fitness. Even modest change in diet has benefits. If you take care of yourself in a responsible way, and that does not mean you have to be a bodybuilder, women will respect your effort and find you more attractive.

4. A man is more than his job.

Many men define themselves solely by their jobs title and weekly paycheck. Sure, the economy's tough and we need that cash to keep us rolling in the style we’re accustomed to, but in today there is no job security. Jobs and titles change and most eventually fade away, leaving many men alone, and depressed with an identity crisis. So yes, money counts, but for a man to be truly successful and as attractive as possible to women, it's important for a man to know and love the guy he’ll spending the rest of your days with—himself.

No matter how smart or successful a man is, it's game over when he thinks he knows everything. Education keeps men on point and there are infinite opportunities for men to feed their minds and nurture their souls. Take a class, read a book, study a language, learn an instrument, practice yoga. Life is short. Take the time to do what strokes your passion. Discover the things that bring you joy. The more a man learns the more curious he becomes and the more interesting he will be to his partner. Knowledge is sexy.

Our world is changing, but there has never been a better time to be a man. Women are watching us closely, and I assure you that they are seeking qualities in their men beyond the size of their wallet and biceps. Men and abs help, but ultimately, today’s women want to date guys who know themselves and maintain a curiosity and passion for life. When a man develops these qualities, it definitely shows. And if men recognize and respect women, they can become very desirable to the ladies.

It's up men to take advantage of the resources available to live as vibrantly as possible. If guys make the effort to accept change and work on themselves, lots of available, intelligent and attractive women will be there to welcome them with open arms.

The Guys' Guy's Guide to Valentine's Day

Robert Manni - Monday, February 12, 2018

Valentine’s Day is a day most guys dread. It’s commercial, pressure packed, and commercially exploitative.

If you’re single, you’ll feel left out. If you’re in a relationship, you’re running around at last minute looking for a cool gift for your lover. That’s not very romantic. But it doesn't have to be that way. What can a Guy’s Guy do to make this annual task of love work for you? The answer is to get out of the equation. Check your ego and make February 14th day all about your partner. If you personalize the day for her, you’ll get more satisfaction than you could hope for. Here are three Guy’s Guy hacks for turning this challenging into a day you truly celebrate.

1. Tried and true ideas can work if they are not the expected. Dinners, flowers, chocolates, jewelry, champagne, and lingerie have been the standard bearers. If you customize them, there is nothing wrong with choosing any or all of the above. If that’s the case, what separates a champion from a chump comes down to one thing— paying attention, personalizing the gift, and choosing something that first pleases your partner.

On Valentine’s Day, and on any day, women love receiving flowers. But, contrary to popular thinking, not every woman considers a dozen red roses her first choice. As you know, women have particular tastes about everything, and preferences for flowers are no exception. To make your choice special, find out which flowers she prefers ahead of time, even if you need to ask her friends.

2. When love is new, fan the flames. If you want to get intimate with a woman for the first time you are probably considering buying lingerie in the hopes that she’ll wear it for you on Valentine’s Day. But pause before picking out something small and red and just for you. She’s more than aware that you want her to give you the show. But unless she’s given you a big hint about recreational activities for Valentine’s Day, your Guy’s Guy says DO NOT buy her lingerie for Valentine’s Day if you haven’t been to bed with her yet. Take your time and don’t make her feel like she’s under pressure about getting it on with you on Valentine’s Day. If you want to get her in bed, there are other less obvious ways than buying her lingerie. Start by being thoughtful and unpredictable. Keep her off balance, be romantic, and use the element of surprise. Pick up tickets for that show she wanted to see, cook her a special dinner, or take her to that place she mentioned in passing or to somewhere she’s always wanted to go. The little things will get you over the top, amigo.

And instead of buying a big, red printed card with a long rhyming message, pick put a classy, elegant card with very little text so you can scribble your own heartfelt message about how much fun it is getting to know her and how much she means to you. Point out the little things you’ve noticed about her that make her special and why you want to get to know her better. Believe me, she’ll notice that you’re paying attention, and most likely you won’t need that red lingerie to get where you want to go. She’ll have something picked out just for you. If you express your feelings in a heartfelt way, she’ll bring it on when the time is right. And when she does decide to rock your world, fasten your seat belt.

3. Keep the fires burning… Again, it’s about personalization. If you buy her jewelry pick something that you think she’ll like and then kick it up a notch by inscribing it with a personal message. A former paramour once bought me a silver necklace and an understated pendant. Nice. When I looked closer at it I noticed that she had inscribed on the underside, “Love Slave”. Talk about marking your territory. It worked. Of course once my next girlfriend took one look at it, it went to the scrap heap.

Whether you are in a long-term relationship or marriage the written word really goes a long way. If you buy a card, write in it the ten special things that she does that make you love her. Tell her why she all those reasons why she’s so important to you or what makes her sexy and fun and giving. Let her know her in no uncertain terms that she is the one for you. And it won’t hurt if you clean the house before cooking her a special dinner.

You’ve got the idea now amigo. The key to a successful Valentine’s Day is making the dreaded day all about the other person. Then it becomes a good day.

This week’s Guy’s Guy of the Week is Paul McCartney. After all, isn’t he the Beatle who wrote all those silly love songs?

Valentines Day: The Holiday About Love that Everyone Hates

Robert Manni - Friday, February 09, 2018

No, I don’t hate Valentine’s Day. I dread it.

I’d like to have a chat with good old St. Valentine. He may be a saint, but he’s got some explaining to do. The myth behind the man is as confounding as the commercial celebration of romantic love that sprang from his legend. What happened to this guy? Was he beaten to death with clubs, beheaded after restoring sight and hearing to the daughter of his jailer, or was he just a romantic legend created by Chaucer? Until the twentieth century, the tales surrounding this man had been spun more times than a soggy gym towel in the dryer. Eventually people figured out ways to make money and the real myth was born that we know today. Corporations that produce syrupy greeting cards, milk chocolate hearts, and jewelry saw the dollar signs and lovingly embraced Saint’s “brand”.  And since it’s a holiday, we are subjected to price gouging at restaurants and florists. In my informal survey the majority of men and women I spoke to conjured up emotions far from loving when they saw February 14th and a big red heart on their calendars.

What’s the word that comes to mind when men and women think of Valentine’s Day? 

Pressure. If you're single, Valentine’s Day reminds you that you are currently not on the invitation list to life’s love-in, which only makes you feel lonely and less than saintly. If you’re in a relationship, you have to step up your game and deliver the goods—big time. Women still dig flowers and chocolates, and receiving them unexpectedly… on any other day. And women love jewelry, but on February 14th it has to sparkle and be made of diamonds or gold.

Guys love seeing their woman dolled up in red lingerie, but consider this before making the purchase. Is that outfit for her or for the dude who buys it on Valentine’s Day? Tiptoeing around Victoria’s Secret and sifting through teddies, garters and thongs can be uncomfortable. A lot of guys are unsure as to what size she wears and they do not want to make a mistake.  You’ve seen them wandering around Victoria’s Secret checking out other women’s boobs while trying to figure out if they’re the same size as his girlfriend. It’s nerve-racking. Trust me - a man gets no kicks from discussing his lady’s cup size with the sales girl.

So how do guys get through this annual ordeal?

I have no clear answer. And, dialing up my own personal pressure cooker, my wife’s birthday is February 12th. I’m totally screwed. But there’s hope for some, even those not in a relationship. Some experts say that February 14th is the best night for single ladies to get lucky. That is, if they can rally their squad and muster up the juice for a manhunt. So, if you are a single guy, get your butt to the bars. And when you get there, keep your eyes off the hoops game playing on the big screen and open for those ladies on the lookout for some fresh man-meat.

If you’re a guy in a relationship, you’ve still got time to come up with something cool. Consider buying her a well-deserved pampering session at a top shelf spa. Or, maybe offer to cook her a romantic dinner. If you’re a woman, bust out the deep red lipstick and push up bra ensemble and rock his world. Trust me. That’s all he wants. As for me, I might end up cleaning the bathroom before taking my wife to her favorite restaurant. Then I’ll wish for February 15th.

This week’s GUY’S GUY of the WEEK is Saint Valentine. He was an interesting guy and a saint. It’s not his fault that his life’s work was high jacked by commerciality.

5 Reasons the Eagles Lose the Big Game

Robert Manni - Friday, February 02, 2018

Don’t believe the hype. I’ve watched every Super Bowl, and besides enjoying a few timeless games, I learned one thing. Immediately following the end of the NFC and AFC Championship games, trust your gut and pick the team you feel will win the Super Bowl.

If you are a betting Guy’s Guy, place your bets with friends or whoever as soon as Vegas posts the spread.  The tricky part is…don’t change your mind.

It’s amazing how many tales are spun in the two weeks leading up to the Super Bowl. If you swallow all the hype served up during those fourteen days, you’ll be convinced that the Eagles are going to maul the Patriots. You might bet big on the Eagles—maybe even offer to give points. Don’t do that. The NFL and media-driven hype machine are powerful. Why? Follow the money. Over 110 million people watch the Super Bowl. That’s a lot of Pepsi and Doritos. The NFL’s marketing machine needs to create a narrative that generates interest and drama in the game to attract a monster audience for its biggest event of the year. If you’re a sports fan, you know that the NFL’s ratings are down. They need a really big viewer turnout this Sunday night to protect their image.

Putting the hype machine aside, your Guy’s Guy is setting things straight by sharing five reasons why the Eagles won’t win the big game. For context, I’d like nothing more than the New England dynasty to end dramatically this week. I attended Villanova University for my undergraduate studies, and after living four years on the Main Line, I came to respect the Eagles for their grit and heart. I hope they win their first Super Bowl. But they won’t. Here’s why:

1. The Eagles defense is strong, but… There has been so much written about the speed, strength, and surge of Philly’s interior defense. The pundits tell us the way to beat Tom Brady is pressure up the middle, and that’s exactly what Philly’s Fletcher Cox led D-line does so well. What they don’t tell us is that a few weeks ago Eli Manning, QB of this year’s woefully bad New York Giants, passed for 429 yards as he shredded the Eagles porous secondary. Malcolm Jenkins is Philly’s lone star in the secondary. He won’t be enough to hold down a scrappy group of Patriot receivers and the massive Rob Gronkowski at tight end.

2. New England’s underrated defense and offensive line – Like I said, we’re hearing all about the ferociousness of Philly’s pass rush and defensive front line, but nothing about a Patriot offensive line. Let’s not forget that in the AFC Championship game, the vaunted Jaguar defense was sealed off and remained on their heels throughout the second half.  The Pats have a stout offensive line that usually knows how to protect Tom Brady. The other thing we’re not hearing much about is New England’s underrated defense, led by coach Matt Patricia. This group improved as the season progressed and let up a total of just 80 points in their last five games. Patricia is a whiz at shutting down his opponent’s top two offensive weapons. His schemes take them right out of the game. The Eagles do have decent running backs and wide receivers. They are balanced, but they have no real superstars on offense. They will have trouble scoring points. That projects a Patriot win if they score over seventeen points against Philly. They will.

3. Nick Foles – I was one of the numbskulls who bought into the Nick Foles hype when he replaced Carson Wentz after his injury. As a result, I lost my fantasy football championship when Foles only scored nine fantasy points in a December night game after the Raiders had been eliminated. Wentz, the Eagles starter, is a young stud QB. He is not easily replaced. Nick Foles is a capable journeyman who had a handful of eye-opening performances and some major duds. I don’t see him outdueling arguably the greatest quarterback of all time on the biggest stage he’s ever been on. A lot of people are wondering which Nick Foles will show up on Sunday. Your Guy’s Guy says it will be the run of the mill journeyman who throws two interceptions after seeing his trusty tight end, Zach Ertz, covered like a blanket.

4. Tom Brady – GOAT? It’s hard to argue against it, but he’s had a few strokes of luck in past Super Bowls against Seattle, and most recently Atlanta. And, he’s forty years old. That’s not enough reason for me to bet against him. He might be this year’s Most Valuable Player and his passing is as accurate as ever. How can you bet against this guy? I’m not. I say he throws three touchdown passes on Sunday.

5. Belechick – GOAT? Arguably. Bill Belechick is not a guy I’d ever root for. He abandoned the Jets, has been caught cheating, and comes across as miserable and kind of a dick. But, he’s a winner and he’s proven he will do anything to win. The Eagles are not a complicated team. They have good balance, pride, and a burning desire to avenge their loss in the 2004 Super Bowl to this same Patriot team. It would be nice if they won. But they don’t have enough weapons. They run a predictable, conservative game plan, and have a second string QB. They cannot afford to make mistakes this week. That does not add up to the Lombardi Trophy.

So there you have it, the cold hard truth about Sunday’s big game. It’s going to be another painful-to-watch victory for the Patriots, unless you are a Patriot fan. Most fans will be pulling for an upset. Sorry, it isn’t happening. Not with Nick Foles at the helm. Maybe next year though…

Final score New England 30 Philadelphia 20, and only due to a let game surge by the Eagles.

This week’s Guys’ Guys of the Week are the New England Patriots. Yikes, it was painful to type that, but a Guy’s Guy means being a good sport, having integrity and recognizing greatness. This is a great team that knows how to adjust during the game and almost always find a way to win.

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