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On Life, Love and the Pursuit of Happiness

The Guys' Guy's Rules About Rules

Robert Manni - Friday, April 19, 2013

Rule number one: There is no such thing as fight club.

Let’s start with that thought in mind. In my opinion, there's no specific set rules when it comes to guys, gals and dating. I'm a firm believer that women and men deserve respect as adults who can think for themselves. There are tons of books on this subjectmost of them written by women for women. Now don’t take this the wrong way: I respect everyone’s right to have an opinion and everyone’s right to buy a book someone’s perspective about building successful relationships. And all of this is just one guy’s point of view. There’s one thing to consider though; most of the books about men are written by women. I’m more of a fan when the writers are accredited experts, psychologists or doctors of human behavior who address their subject matter from a purely objective perspective. But, we know that’s rarely the case. So many times it’s ladies telling ladies what they need to know about men. There’s only one problem with that approach. They’re not men and as we know, it’s not easy to crawl inside the head of the opposite sex.

How Guys Roll

For better or for worse, when it comes to love, most men wing it. Sorry ladies, but that’s how most guys dive into the dating pool. With a nod to today’s technology, a guy sees a woman he likes and strikes up a conversation. From there, it’s on. Sometimes things work out; many times they don’t. When it doesn't work out, the guy brushes himself off and starts the process again. Of course men need to be more circumspect about what happened and what they might do differently before jumping back into the dating pool. But we know that they don’t always do this. It’s one of the reasons I write my blog and at times take guys to task. If a guy made a mistake, it usually has something to do with him not paying attention. Guys are not very good at that and we usually don’t tell each other how to date. Most men do their own thing and don’t overthink what comes natural. Sure, guys need to evolve and do a better job of being aware of a woman’s emotional and physical needs, but I doubt women want men to enter into a state of paralysis through analysis where they become afraid to make a move. A bit more thoughtfulness will help though.

Women’s Rules About Guys

I’ve read the most popular books on this subject and found them well-intended and well-written with some excellent tips for ladies about how to steer a relationship. Bravo. Thumbs down though when they declare an unbreakable code of actions and behaviors. I’m also a tad disturbed by what I interpreted as a controlling tonality and preying on women’s self-esteem.  You know, where they tell you that the guy doesn’t find you attractive (gee, thanks) or some laundry list of do’s and don’ts about how to interact with men.  Maybe it’s me, but the women I know are whip-smart, successful and capable of making good decisions. I wonder why women find it necessary to live by other women’s standards and specific behaviors. Just asking. Not responding to an text or email before a set number of hours have elapsed? Really? I assume this is meant to be empowering, but a woman needing to be told how long to wait for anything? Women deserve better, especially from other women. And as a guy, I’m not crazy about some of what I’ve read and interpreted as generalizations about men, like we were beamed down from Planet Neanderthal. Love is a two-way street. Let’s look for ways to treat everyone with respect so we can all enjoy the ride. Grammar school was a good venue for digesting someone’s list of do’s and don’ts. We’re all adults here.

What Can We Do?

I was on a media tour right before Valentine’s Day. All of the female hosts who interviewed me wanted to know what women can do to bridge the gap between the sexes. Needless to say I was thrilled by this question. It will be the topic of an upcoming column. Until then I leave you with the following.

At the end of one of my interviews, one of the hosts read the following passage from my novel, THE GUYS’ GUY’S GUIDE TO LOVE. The main character, Max Hallyday, discusses the growing chasm between the sexes with his womanizing best friend, Roger Fox.

“You know, Roger, we all have our issues, but men and women aren’t that different. We’re searching for the same things in life. And when you get to the heart of it, everyone needs to be loved. So why do men and women keep analyzing each other when the truth is so…simple?”

Our Guy's Guy of the Week is Bukowski for breaking all the rules.

Are you living life by your own rules?


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