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On Life, Love and the Pursuit of Happiness

How to Man Up for a Breakup

Robert Manni - Friday, April 22, 2016

Is breaking up really so hard to do? There are lots of articles and blog posts in cyberspace providing today’s young bucks with the latest tips on how to meet, connect, and score with the ladies. That’s a good thing because the behavior of fellas is under scrutiny, and in some cases attacked.  I recently launched my debut novel, THE GUYS’ GUY’S GUIDE TO LOVE, where Max Hallyday, the main character, is convinced by his ex to write a column about men for her start up girl power mag. His column is called, “The Guys’ Guy’s…” yeah, you get the rest. Yes, I wrote a novel with some tough love advice for the ladies sprinkled with some seasoned saltiness, but I’m no Miss Manners for dudes. Hopwever, I’ll take on a tough topic and shed wisdom on the flip side of hooking up. Here are my five older bull essentials for breaking up.

1. Be mindful. Think things through before you make your move. I’m referring to how to end a real relationship like a man, not how to disappear into thin air after a Jager-fueled one-night stand with a woman you met in the bar after the Rangers game. This means that you’ve dated the woman in question for at least a month and the two of you have done your share of partying and sheet rumpling. She’s displayed her body to you and you know damn well that she is interested in being more than friends with benefits or a random hook up. If this is the case and you’re just not feeling it, it’s time to do step up and do the right thing. After all, you like her, and if she were a guy friend, you would not disrespect him. So once you’ve made up you mind about your feelings (you do have feelings), there’s no turning back.

2. Make the break in person and pick the right location. First, no texting or phone calls. And although it sounds like something out of a spy movie, it’s easier to break the news in a public location, and in a best case scenario, outdoors where there is a busy crowd in motion. I’d avoid sitting face-to-face in a restaurant unless you want to see what her radicchio with balsamic vinaigrette dressing looks like after it’s been dumped on your shirt.  Pick someplace romantic, like Central Park, where you can sit side by side and watch all the good-looking people run, walk, and bike past the two of you.  This will remind her of our world in motion, full of desirable, potential new partners. 

3. Be direct and do not place blame. Okay, she’s a great girl and you really enjoy hanging out with her. But, although you’ve giving the relationship a proper chance, you’re just not feeling it. That’s okay, bro. It happens. Over time you’ll become more circumspect and more adept at qualifying your partners early on while at the same time learning to be more sensitive to a woman’s feelings. But ultimately, the heart wants what it wants, and if the tables were turned, she’d move on also. Every situation is different, so I can’t suggest you the words for you to use, but you need to be straight up and let her go like a real man. So take a deep breath and tell her the truth without getting into the weeds with details, even if she farts under the covers. The bottom line is that although you really dig her, you don’t see the potential for a long-term relationship. It’s not about you, or her. Focus on the ‘us’, and remember that ‘us’ takes two. 

4. Be kind. Truism. Women do not like getting dumped. And that means they don’t like it a lot more than guys don’t like it. Guys become accustomed to rejection since in the majority of cases, even though women are doing the capturing; men still do most of the hunting. No woman wants to be rejected, especially after she has shared her body and bared her soul to a guy. Once a woman opens up the window to her emotions, she’s vulnerable. It’s important that you realize that at that juncture she will do her best to make the relationship work. She wants your happy place to be with her, so how bad is that? Just be nice and do whatever you can to not hurt her any more than she feels that you are already hurting her, even if ultimately, you’re doing her a favor. And when it’s over, that’s it. No slinking back for a little something, something when your inner horn doggie wants a treat. Let her go.

5. Relax. No matter how bad you may feel if and when her waterworks start flowing, ultimately she does not want to be with a guy who isn’t totally into her. And trust me, if she is as cool as you think she is, she will shake you off (after you leave) and move on faster than you think. And if she turns on you, brace yourself and be understanding.  She may also have issues about letting go. The key is to be gentle, but firm. After all, would you want to be with someone who does not share the same feelings about you? I think not. And that’s the truth, amigo.

When It's Time, Are You Ready To Deliver The News Like A Man?

How to End a Relationship the Right Way

Robert Manni - Friday, April 18, 2014


Getting dumped can suck, but most guys are used to it.

We’ve either been or known the guy that’s been blindsided and dumped by his lady. It’s not fun, but guys usually dust themselves off and dive back into the dating pool even if the pain still festers inside. I would be easy to take out our frustrations on the next woman we date. But what does that accomplish? Instead I suggest walking a few steps in a woman’s shoes and consider how she feels after a guy she really digs throws her to the wayside. To make a better world someone needs to take the high road. Here are my five Guy’s Guy tips for manning up for a break up.

1. Be mindful before making your move.

I’m referring to how to bring closure to a relationship. I’m referring to cutting the cord with a woman you’ve dated for at least a couple of months. She’s offered her body in intimate ways and you know damn well she’s interested in being more than friends with benefits. So if you’re just not feeling it, let her down gently and move on. That means no more booty calls. Let her find someone who wants to be with her for more than one more night of rumpling the sheets.

2. Break up in person in a suitable location.

That means no disappearing or dumping her by text or phone call. Pick a public location, preferably outdoors with lots of people in motion. I suggest avoiding sitting face-to-face in a crowded restaurant unless you want to risk seeing what her radicchio salad with balsamic vinaigrette dressing looks like on your shirt. Pick someplace like Central Park where you can sit side-by-side watching good-looking people run, walk, and bike past you. This will remind her that the world keeps turning and is filled with potential new partners. 

3. Be direct without placing blame.

Okay, she’s a great girl and you enjoy hanging out with her. But, you’ve given the relationship a chance and now you’re just not feeling it. That’s okay, bro. Over time you’ll become more adept at qualifying your partners early on so you don’t waste each other’s time or needlessly hurt their feelings. Every situation is different, so I can’t suggest the words for you. Once you’ve decided that things aren’t working take a deep breath and tell her how you feel without blaming her or getting into the weeds with details, even if she farts in bed. The bottom line is that you don’t see the potential for a long-term relationship. So it’s not about you or her. It’s about ‘us’ and ‘us’ means two people. 

4. Be kind.

No woman likes being rejected, especially after she’s shared her body and bared her soul with a guy. Once a woman opens up her emotional windows, she’s understandably vulnerable. So be mindful and choose words that avoid hurting her any more than she feels you already have, even if in the long run you’re doing her a favor. And when it’s over, that’s it. Again, no slinking back for a little something something every time your inner horn doggie wants a treat. Let her go, amigo.

No matter how bad you may feel if her tears start to flow, ultimately no woman wants to be with a guy who isn’t totally into her. And trust me, if she is as cool as you think she was for dating you, after you leave she’ll move on faster than you’d expect. And ultimately, that’s a good thing for both of you.

When it's time to call it quits, will you show some class when delivering the news?

 

This week’s Guys Guy of the Week is Jimmy Kimmel for remaining friends and still doing some comedy bits with ex-girlfriend Sarah Silverman.

How to Handle a Breakup

Robert Manni - Friday, October 25, 2013


Nothing lasts forever, especially when we’re dating.

At one point or another, everyone gets dumped. Sometimes it comes as a surprise. It can be emotional. It can feel like the end of the world, but it’s not. We survive, and in most cases, we look back a year later and consider how better off we are and why the heck we stuck in that other relationship for that long. So, it’s important that we handle the drama and the deluge when it happens. Here are my four tips for handling a break up, Guy’s Guy style. 

Don’t take it personally.

This is the biggest challenge. When we get dumped, we automatically think there's something wrong with us. We feel inadequate and insecure. How could he or she not love me anymore? Of course it would be helpful to know if some part of our behavior had become a deal breaker, but that might not be the case. He or she might just not be feelin’ it anymore. Maybe they connected with someone else (it happens), or they evolved in a way that the two of you remaining together just didn’t fit in with their plans. Hey, none of those options strokes our ego, but it’s not a condemnation of us. It is about them and sometimes facing the facts softens the blow. After all, who wants to be in a relationship with someone who doesn't want to be with us?

Be careful how you rebound.

Naturally, if our ex hooks up with someone new, we might want to show them a thing or two by showing a new partner a thing or two or three in the sack. Take that, MF! That might be a fun way of expunging the past, but it can make us feel worse. Maybe not, but that kind of sex is usually purely physical while the hurt is emotional. Take steps to get your head on straight and address your emotions prior to hooking up.

Don’t take it out on your next partner.

Whether you decide to date up a storm or just hook up for awhile (again, I recommend dealing with the emotional baggage first), make sure that you don't take your breakup frustrations out on someone new. Regardless of the situation, they need to be treated with the same respect that you seek. Let’s not turn things into a subconscious, vicious circle of “he or she hurt me, so I’ll hurt you”. That reckless behavior of defeats the purpose of starting fresh and it actually ends up hurting us because we are not acting out of love.

Stay positive and treat yourself.

Love hurts, and when we face up to the fact that our partner may no longer feel the same way about us, it can be devastating. Take heed, friends. You are not alone. We’ve all been dumped and after licking our emotional wounds, we deserve a treat. Take a vacation, join a club, take a fitness class or just do something that your ex wasn’t into that you missed out on because he or she wouldn't participate. Who knows? You might meet someone new in that kick boxing class. I met a lot of really cool women when I went online for datessome became lovers, some became friends, and some I never saw again. In any case, I met new people with new ideas from all over the country and the world, and it really is a big world out there. And you're an important part of it because, after all, there is no one quite like you. But, that’s for your new partner to find out. Good luck and stay positive! 

How do you cope with a breakup?

How To Know When It's Time To Go

Robert Manni - Thursday, November 15, 2012


Yogi Berra said, “It ain’t over until it’s over,” but is this true?

In many instances, this Guy’s Guy says no. It can be over way before it’s officially "over". I'm sure you have all been in one of those relationships where for a myriad of reasons you stick with it, even though there are overriding, unresolved issues that prevent it from growing. And that’s the point. Like a plant, healthy relationships keep blossoming. An unhealthy relationship remains stagnant, and any growth is like a weed—random and at times unhealthy in what manifests. Sometimes what emanates from a tainted relationship chokes off the beauty and joy that a healthy relationship can foster.

It’s never easy to walk away, but are you really doing yourself a favor by staying in what you know deep down is fatally flawed? Your time is better spent healing and moving on versus prolonging the inevitable.  It’s worth noting that many men, myself included, never know what hit them when a woman finally lowers the boom. Women can hang in there even when they know it’s not working and some of them insist that the guy should know that something is wrong. Good luck with that, ladies. But that’s for another column. Let’s get down to business and review some of the telltale signs that you’re LTR has come to a grinding halt. This way you can both have a conversation and either address the issues or move along.

No Communication

Just think how many of your friends talk endlessly about what’s wrong with their relationship and do not have that same conversation with their partner AND stay in that same relationship for what seems like an eternity? Healthy relationships are about communication. Couples in love enjoy conversing about anything and everything. And, guys, it’s not all about how you feel about stuff. It’s about sharing and actively listening to the one you love. Okay, so you may not be all that interested in her psychic development yoga class, but listen up and learn. You can go back to your fantasy football lineup soon enough. This means something to her and it could probably help you, dude.  The flip side is when women drone on about their job. Ladies, try and keep it contained. Guys have enough work-related stress of their own and they are programmed to solve problems so if you do not want a solution, go easy on the download.

No Joy

Sounds pretty obvious, but we all need to check in every now and then and ask ourselves if this relationship is making us happy. Again, think of how many of your friends complain about their partner yet keep on going. For a solution, see point one. When couples enjoy each other’s company, the talk flows easy and the laughter follows. Yeah, it’s that simple.

No Sex

Do I even need to go here? Maybe a little. What I call "no sex" really means no sex that includes communication and joy. A-ha! Think about the times when you two went through the motions and released tension by getting off. I’ve been there and I get it. It feels real good and maybe you wore those black panties and five-inch heels that make him so crazy for you. I like them, too, but I’ll bet that if he kisses your fingers and takes his time because he wants you to know how much he loves you it feels even better.  Wham-bam has a role, but true love takes the time to satisfy both partners physically and emotionally.

No Regrets

The last place you want to be in a relationship that is ultimately unsatisfying. Staying in it only makes matters worse. So dig deep down and ask yourself if you are really happy with this person. If the answer is no, you may end up wallowing in the regret zone, which is not to be mistaken with your happy place. You deserve better, so either have the straight up talk and fix things or agree to disagree and move on. You do not want to invest your valuable time in something that doesn't bring you joy on a daily basis. I have been there and so have you, but have no regrets. It brought us to now and that’s the only place to be. Now go make the most of it.   

Guy's Guy of the Week: Yogi Berra, not only for being one the Yankees' all-time greats, but for always calling things how he sees them.

Is your relationship still fulfilling? Know when it's time to go.

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Image courtesy of Getty Images.

Sex with Your Ex: The Agony and The Ex-tasy

Robert Manni - Thursday, October 25, 2012

We’ve all been there. You look down at your phone and you see her face and number. You exhale and answer the call. A few hours later you’re drinking wine with her at an outdoor table near Gramercy Park. Two glasses of Chardonnay later you’re both hungry so you hit the Mexican joint nearby that you two used to enjoy. This time the enchiladas were not a flavorful as you recalled. 

An hour later the sun has gone down and you’re back at your crib. You stare at yourself in the bathroom mirror, wondering if this is a good idea. Then you shrug and return to the bedroom where she’s stretched out naked on your bed with the sheet barely draped around her torso. An hour later it’s all over and she’s fastening her bra and then pulling her hair back. Then, she’s gone and you’re staring at ESPN. Victory….or defeat. You decide.

That’s pretty much how it goes when you hook up with your ex. The motivation could be anything from you missed each other, you’re both horny, you want revenge or closure, you just enjoy spending time together, or the sex was always mind-blowing so what could wrong with another taste? I don’t have a surefire answer for you, amigo, but I’ve been there more than once and what I was always reminded of was that there was a reason that my ex was just that — my ex.

A Few Examples As Food For Thought…

My live-in relationship ended on a sour note. So she rented an apartment a few blocks up the street from me on the West Side. Out of all the gin joints in the world… Anyway, one thing led to another and soon we were having a bite to eat and then dessert on top of my bed on a regular basis.

I was thinking that this was not so bad. I get the sex and not the headache from an overall unsatisfying relationship, which was no one’s fault but our own. We just did not talk about things, and we did not talk about this either until she cut it off, again. This was because the last time she left my flat she put her blouse on backwards and her new boyfriend busted her. 

The joke was on me, but ultimately to my relief she married the guy and they are living happily ever after. That’s good, but it did not do much for me at the time. But, I did get my rocks off when I was still stinging from the initial break up. Good or bad? Eh, I’d call it a draw.

Drop back ten years in time. My high school sweetheart had unceremoniously dumped me during college. I was hurt because of her callousness in how she handled it. I ran into her about five years later in the city. She was living with three girlfriends from college. I brought my friends along and we all went out on the town until the wee hours. I ended up back at her place in bed… with her. I delighted in having her one more time. But, I was not all that attracted to her at this point and the sex became closure for me. I was officially over her forever. I’m sure she felt the same, but I did get a thrill out of seducing her that one last time. But it was all about ego and self-gratification. I guess that at the time I needed it.

There have been others, but as we get a bit older it gets more complicated. I almost dove back in the sack with an ex about five years ago, but if I did there would be strings attached, so I tiptoed through our meeting and eventually sent her on her way without busting a move. Oh yeah, I wanted to get it on, but I knew that it would lead to discussing the relationship again and by now it was over. She’s beautiful, but I did not feel comfortable “taking” what I could have just for my own short-term jollies. We meant more to one another so it would not have been a cool move.  Someone would have been hurt…I think. But, I could be wrong. Maybe she just wanted to rock it one more time.

But that’s the thing. Going back to your ex for sex is more complicated than it seems. Unless you have a clear understanding about what the expectations are, then you need to be mindful of your feelings and those of your ex partner. No one wants to open up old wounds. But, every situation is different so you never know…

Guy’s Guy of The Week: Chris Brown (and Rihanna for that matter) for braving the intricacies of the Ex-factor.

What has your experience been with sex with your ex? 

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Image courtesy of Blogspot.com

How Long Is Too Long To Wait For A Man?

Robert Manni - Wednesday, April 18, 2012

 

Image Courtesy of HBO

How long is too long to wait for a man? 

Women have an uncanny instinct for knowing when they meet the right guy. Or do they? Unfortunately, in too many cases the men delay all efforts to move the relationship ahead. So the women are resigned to waiting for their guy to figure out who they are and when they are ready. The process can take years. It’s so prevalent that the new movie, “The Five Year Engagement” tackles the issue.

 Make no mistake about it; the male delay game is insidious. It’s unfair to women and a cop-out for men. And yes, I was guilty. I participated in a long-term live-in relationship with a terrific partner that ultimately went kaput. I take full responsibility and learned a great lesson when it was over. However, we both paid a price, and if I have one regret, it’s that we could have fished or cut bait a lot sooner. 

 Why do men stall? 

It’s not that they want to waste your time and their time. They’re usually afraid of making the wrong decision or missing out on all the hot women that they are probably not dating anyway. It’s that simple. But, the universe has a great sense of humor and it dishes out ironic lessons if we pay attention. In my case, by the time I was ready to take the next step and get married, my partner had had enough of my shenanigans and for her, it was over. And once a woman checks out emotionally, it’s O-V-E-R. Most guys don’t realize that until the door slams in their face.  My final instructions were not to be at home when the moving van pulled up.  I looked into the mirror and admitted that although I messed up, I learned my lesson. And, I did. From that moment on I developed a deeper appreciation of a woman’s patience and a greater sense of urgency for finding and securing the right partner. The good news is that it all worked out. My ex was married within a year and after a few laps around the online dating pond and a handful of wonderful, yet brief relationships, the right woman found me. And, after I swam into her net, we were engaged exactly one year later and married one year from then. And, I’ve never been happier. 

I accepted my mishandling of someone’s heart and was blessed and given another chance.  Unfortunately, not every couple experiences life the same way. Too many great women are left waiting and too many men spend their time waffling instead of taking action. 

 What can men and women do? 

Acknowledging that every situation is different and life often gets in the way, it is critical that couples discuss what they want in clear terms along with their thoughts about timing. That does not mean during the first date. Wait until you are in an exclusive relationship. At that point, once you lay your cards on the table, there are no surprises. A lot of women I’ve spoken with expect a man to know what’s on their mind. Sorry ladies. We don’t. 

 Most men are problem solvers. If something is wrong, men will express their feelings clearly.  So, if they don’t hear their partner stating her concerns about the relationship (I don’t mean leaving the seat up) in direct terms, men think everything’s cool. They are not going to pay attention until you are packing your bags.  When men are being men and women are being women, this is what happens. So we have to go take that extra step to find out how our partner feels about the relationship. Guys will do their best to avoid this, but if you sit them down and let them know that this is very important to you, they will pay attention. If they don’t, why are you bothering with this guy? 

So if you’re a woman who feels that she is with the right guy, but he seems content to keep you waiting indefinitely, you need to have a heart-to-heart with him right now. And if he waffles a bit too much, then ask yourself if the relationship is toast and if you would ultimately be better off moving on. 

 What are YOU doing to move your relationship forward?

How To Man Up For A Break Up

Robert Manni - Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Photo courtesy of CarbonNYC

Is breaking up really so hard to do? There are lots of articles and blog posts in cyberspace providing today’s young bucks with the latest tips on how to meet, connect, and score with the ladies. That’s a good thing because the behavior of fellas is under scrutiny, and in some cases attacked.  I recently launched my debut novel, THE GUYS’ GUY’S GUIDE TO LOVE, where Max Hallyday, the main character, is convinced by his ex to write a column about men for her start up girl power mag. His column is called, “The Guys’ Guy’s…” yeah, you get the rest. Yes, I wrote a novel with some tough love advice for the ladies sprinkled with some seasoned saltiness, but I’m no Miss Manners for dudes. Hopwever, I’ll take on a tough topic and shed wisdom on the flip side of hooking up. Here are my five older bull essentials for breaking up.

1- Be mindful. Think things through before you make your move. I’m referring to how to end a real relationship like a man, not how to disappear into thin air after a Jager-fueled one-night stand with a woman you met in the bar after the Rangers game. This means that you’ve dated the woman in question for at least a month and the two of you have done your share of partying and sheet rumpling. She’s displayed her body to you and you know damn well that she is interested in being more than friends with benefits or a random hook up. If this is the case and you’re just not feeling it, it’s time to do step up and do the right thing. After all, you like her, and if she were a guy friend, you would not disrespect him. So once you’ve made up you mind about your feelings (you do have feelings), there’s no turning back.

2- Make the break in person and pick the right location. First, no texting or phone calls. And although it sounds like something out of a spy movie, it’s easier to break the news in a public location, and in a best case scenario, outdoors where there is a busy crowd in motion. I’d avoid sitting face-to-face in a restaurant unless you want to see what her radicchio with balsamic vinaigrette dressing looks like after it’s been dumped on your shirt.  Pick someplace romantic, like Central Park, where you can sit side by side and watch all the good-looking people run, walk, and bike past the two of you.  This will remind her of our world in motion, full of desirable, potential new partners. 

3- Be direct and do not place blame. Okay, she’s a great girl and you really enjoy hanging out with her. But, although you’ve giving the relationship a proper chance, you’re just not feeling it. That’s okay, bro. It happens. Over time you’ll become more circumspect and more adept at qualifying your partners early on while at the same time learning to be more sensitive to a woman’s feelings. But ultimately, the heart wants what it wants, and if the tables were turned, she’d move on also. Every situation is different, so I can’t suggest you the words for you to use, but you need to be straight up and let her go like a real man. So take a deep breath and tell her the truth without getting into the weeds with details, even if she farts under the covers. The bottom line is that although you really dig her, you don’t see the potential for a long-term relationship. It’s not about you, or her. Focus on the ‘us’, and remember that ‘us’ takes two. 

4- Be kind. Truism. Women do not like getting dumped. And that means they don’t like it a lot more than guys don’t like it. Guys become accustomed to rejection since in the majority of cases, even though women are doing the capturing; men still do most of the hunting. No woman wants to be rejected, especially after she has shared her body and bared her soul to a guy. Once a woman opens up the window to her emotions, she’s vulnerable. It’s important that you realize that at that juncture she will do her best to make the relationship work. She wants your happy place to be with her, so how bad is that? Just be nice and do whatever you can to not hurt her any more than she feels that you are already hurting her, even if ultimately, you’re doing her a favor. And when it’s over, that’s it. No slinking back for a little something, something when your inner horn doggie wants a treat. Let her go.

5- Relax. No matter how bad you may feel if and when her waterworks start flowing, ultimately she does not want to be with a guy who isn’t totally into her. And trust me, if she is as cool as you think she is, she will shake you off (after you leave) and move on faster than you think. And if she turns on you, brace yourself and be understanding.  She may also have issues about letting go. The key is to be gentle, but firm. After all, would you want to be with someone who does not share the same feelings about you? I think not. And that’s the truth, amigo.

When It's Time, Are You Ready To Deliver The News Like A Man?



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