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On Life, Love and the Pursuit of Happiness

5 Ways Men Can Man Up, Now

Robert Manni - Thursday, April 04, 2013


The advice I read from the plethora of dating gurus, the more I scratch head and wonder what's really going on.

If men have really become so lame that they need to be reminded that texting photos of their private parts to prospective paramours is a bad idea, then the bar has been lowered too far. Keeping this in mind, I present to you five key areas where men can easily up their game and connect with women.

1. Honesty - This one is numero uno, and for good reason. Besides a Swiss bank account or Ryan Gosling's charm, honesty is probably the most desired trait a woman looks for in a man. And, it's a foundation for being a Guy’s Guy. Simply put, women want men to have goals and be the best version of themselves. If you don’t have honesty committed to muscle memory, you’re going to have trouble with your relationships and with life in general.

2. Reality – So many guys want the bling and the babes, but don’t have much to offer in return. If you’re still living with your Mom, we understand, but don’t expect Beyonce to leave Jay-Z so she can hang in your basement and play video games. For the most part, you usually find a mate that plays at your speed, so if you want a thoroughbred, you better have the chops to beat the competition around the track. Too many young bucks want to date women with bodies like strippers while they have blubber guts from pounding too many McRibs. Get real, amigo.

3. Generosity - Women do not like tightwads. Sure, thriftiness comes in handy, but you’ve got to bust out the cash when you hit it off with the right girl. If she is the right one, she won’t take you to the cleaners.  So if she passes muster after a Chardonnay date, ante up and take her to a nice restaurant and PAY THE BILL. No splitting the check on the first date. And put her in a cab after that good night smooch. Even if she wanted to knock boots, she’ll want to tear you apart if she sees you have control of your urges. Trust me, it will be worth the short wait.

4. Empathy – Guess what? Being a woman is hard. Guys can roll out of bed and show up. Women are pressured into bringing it every day of the week. The clothes, the shoes, the hair, the bag. The list keeps going. And she has to take care of your shit, too. A woman’s work truly is never done. Cut her a break, brother.

5. Integrity – If you say you are going to call her, hit up her digits. If you’re no longer interested in dating her, let her know so she can move on. Don’t use a woman with an open heart. Yes, every guy, including myself, has succumbed to his libido and kept doing the walk of shame with a woman he was no longer interested in for one reason only. SEX. Find another lady.

There are lots more where this came from, but ask yourself or your man if he knows how to man up.

Our Guy's Guy of the Week is wrestler Bruno Sammartino, for his long-overdue election to the WWE Hall of Fame.

The Top 10 Guy's Guy Movies

Robert Manni - Thursday, March 28, 2013


Films and Guy’s Guys go hand-in-hand.

Men like cutting to the chase and although at times we come across as blunt instruments, men everywhere love the power of story to make their point.  Story can live in a documentary as well as a fictional tale, and as each decade in film has evolved, so have men. Films for Guy’s Guys hold great meaning as they reflect aspects of their life, love and the pursuit of happiness. If you are a woman and you often ask yourself why guys like certain movies, you might find that they probablyokay, hopefully have a few themes in common regardless of the genre. They are truth, integrity, and courage. These are traits that most men aspire to, but are challenged to achieve regardless of the time frame.  Other criteriagreat dialogue, humor, positivity.

So without further ado, in no particular order, here are ten of my favorite Guy’s Guy movies.

10. Point Break: Dirty Dancing aside, arguably the underrated Patrick Swayze’s best performance as a surfer, Svengali, surfer-crook, Bodhi, who squares off against Keanu Reeves’s undercover FBI agent, Jonny Utah. Amazing Guy’s Guy dialogue: "If you want the ultimate, you've got to be willing to pay the ultimate price. It's not tragic to die doing what you love."

9. SwingersThe introduction of Vince Vaughn as Trent, a flawed friend and womanizer to Jon Favreau’s Mikey.  Mikey is the Guy’s Guy who learns how to let go so the right things can enter his life. Brilliant script, on-point dialogue and a positive, yet non-sanctimonious message that leaves guys uplifted. "You’re so money and you don’t even know it."

8. Rocky: The original is a masterpiece. Each overlooked character (Rocky, Mickey, Adrian, Paulie) has the same challengegetting their long, overdue opportunity. What most viewers fail to remember is that Rocky lost the fight, despite going the distance. But that’s what countsa true Guy’s Guy message.  "And if I can go that distance, ya see, and that bell rings, ya know, and I'm still standin', I'm gonna know for the first time in my life, ya see, that I weren't just another bum from the neighborhood."

7. Jerry McGuireLet’s admit it. Tom Cruise can act. In this tale of maintaining integrity in a disingenuous business, Jerry takes his one client and finds a way to keep rolling while learning how to be a better man. Wonderful Guy’s Guy stuff.  "I hated myself.... No, I hated my place in the world."

6. The Pope of Greenwich VillageA pre-The Wrestler Mickey Rourke stars as, Charlie, an Italian-American who lives on the fringes of the mob and is at a crossroads. Yes, life is all about the choices we make. This one takes a deep dive on the meaning of friendship. Eric Roberts’ over-the-top performance as Paulie steals the show. An underrated Guy’s Guy classic. "Outgrow him? I dunno Diane, Maybe WASP's outgrow people. I'm Italian. We outgrow pants, not people." 

5. Silver Linings Playbook: In a movie culture built around superheroes, violence, franchises and sequels SLP shatters the usual boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy gets girl back, rom-com template. Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence shine in the adaptation from Matthew Quick’s excellent, yet under-the-radar 2008 novel about love and the power of positive thinking.  This is the Guy’s Guy rom-com…for now. Just wait. "I am practicing being kind over being right."

4. Groundhog DayBill Murray stares in this comedy classic that tackles the theme of creating our own reality in a non-preachy way. This is one of those movies that you can jump right into and watch whenever it pops on the screen when you’re surfing the dial. It’s that good. "I told you. I wake up every day, right here, right in Punxsutawney, and it's always February 2nd, and there's nothing I can do about it."

3. Wall StreetCome on. You like this movie. It captures the late eighties culture as well as anything has, maybe with the exception of Flock of Seagulls. Charlie Sheen’s Bud Fox takes on Michael Douglas’s Gordon Gekko in a high-stakes game of money manipulation and perception.  They battle to a draw, but Sheen keeps his soul in tact. "The main thing about money, Bud, is that it makes you do things you don't want to do."

2. On the WaterfrontYeah, this is real old school, but it gets right into man’s moral fiber and how decisions define one man from another. Brando is at his finest as he takes on the mob, love, and morality. Heavy-duty Guy’s Guy themes abound. Yeah, he could have been a contender. "Conscience... that stuff can drive you nuts!"

1. The Good, The Bad and The UglyThe ultimate western features Clint and Eli Wallach’s classic Tuco in a three-way battle over a chest of gold and a game of life and death that’s full of tasty twists. This sprawling film is underscored by a deep anti-war theme. Eastwood is only referred to as Blondie and only has fifty-seven bits of dialogue, but they all hit the mark. "You see, in this world there's two kinds of people, my friend: Those with loaded guns and those who dig. You dig."

Yes, I omitted Scarface, The Dirty Dozen, Walk The Line and so many other great Guy’s Guy films. The point is there are so many wonderful pieces of celluloid that help interpret and define men. Thanks to all these great movies for the quotes.

Do you have a favorite Guy’s Guy film?

This week’s Guy’s Guy of the Week is Sly Stallone for writing Rocky, and having the cajones to insist on the starring role.

In A Culture Built Around Judging, How Can We Possibly Get Along?

Robert Manni - Thursday, March 21, 2013



Turn on any media outlet and there is a show built around judging others.

 When Survivor made its debut over ten years ago, the winning contestant was the person who demonstrated the best survival skills in the classic sensesuccessfully foraging for food in the jungle while avoiding getting nipped by a crocodile. Over time, the template seems to have changed to get rid of the most skilled contestant and form “alliances” that determine who will be the next person to be backstabbed by a small coalition of players who come together to destroy the others. Yes, watching the drama unfold can be fun, but I think you can see how the game has changed. And this mentality has permeated many other areas of our modern lives, for better, but mostly for worse.

Reality television keeps rolling throughout our culture.

Most reality shows fall into one of three categoriesthose featuring people we feel superior to (Swamp Brothers, Hillbilly Handfishing, Jersey Shore, Honey Boo Boo, Buckwild, and on and on) shows that make us aspire to live like the cast (Kim and Kourtney Take Miami, Vanderpump Rules, The Real Housewives of…, Top Chef, The Millionaire Matchmaker etc.), and the competition shows (Chopped, Cupcake Wars, Iron Chef, Amazing Race, American Idol, The Voice, etc.)  What all of these media offerings have in common is that they are built around judgment. I hate her, his food sucks, what a loser, you’re chopped, and so on. It’s all about I win, you lose, he sucks, whatever. All of these programs are built around conflict, which is a core component of storytelling, but life is not all about conflict and our culture is more than a story.

How the culture of judging has embedded itself into our culture.

I’m as competitive as the next Guy’s Guy, but I prefer competition to result in growth and improvement. Competition in business is healthy.  Consumers weigh in and companies launch or evolve their products. Most products are sold based on how they meet that consumer need. They usually stand on their own without trashing the competition. Sure in a few cases this has worked, but it has been done playfully as in the successful campaigns ads for 1800 tequila and Apple.

But it’s not quite the same nowadays with the people in business. People call when they need something. If not, it’s rare to hear from anyone or get a call back from even people you know. People are busy, but courtesy has taken a backseat to expediency and the new attitude of judging what’s in it for me? That’s a result of our judgmental culture. People too often see others as commodities and means for rewarding themselves, and that’s it. Friendships are few and loyalty has been reduced to a cherished and rare commodity.

Unfortunately, the excessive sniping and clawing and rejecting that predominates much of reality television permeates people’s behavior in the real world. The online dating world can be a cold place. You can dump someone without ever interacting with him or her again.  Just delete them and move on. Feelings? What? Many online players are serial daters who are endlessly getting laid and trading up. His checklist and her checklist are all that matters. If you don’t stack up, you’re out. That’s just the way it is for many folks, but you do not have to live that way.

What can we do?

We all have free will and can chose to live life our own way. And that’s how it should be. Guy’s Guys and their female counterparts take the time to get to know people and are mindful about treating others with respect. It’s so easy to judge, but have you ever noticed the empty feeling inside when we trash another person? Yeah, we’ve all done it. The question to ask yourself is have you imagined yourself as the target of someone else’s judgments? Think about it next time you’re about to go negative.

Our Guy's Guy of the Week is Thich Nhat Hahn—one of the most respected Zen masters in the world.

Are you doing what it takes to transcend our culture of judgments? 

Things Guy's Guys Like

Robert Manni - Thursday, February 28, 2013


“Hey, just what is a guy’s guy, anyway?”

That’s a fair question that I hear a lot.  In an age where men have never been freer to be whoever they want, it’s never been less clear who they really are. Enter the Guy’s Guy, an updated, more casual, less macho version of the traditional Man’s Man. And unlike his predecessor, today’s Guy’s Guy celebrates the overdue recognition of women and sees their ascension as inevitable and a win-win for everyone.  And there is a need for Guy’s Guys. Young men lack role models and middle-age dudes are being increasingly overlooked or demonized for the past sins of their predecessors (thanks, Newt). But, that’s show biz. I think we’d all agree that women would welcome a return of masculinity, but in a more circumspect and open-minded form. Some Guy’s Guys traits are casual confidence, seductive integrity, timeless style, and emotional intelligence. There’s more, but that’s for another blog post.

So to help clarify what is and what is not representative of today’s Guy’s Guys, in no particular order, here is my subjective list, which is always subject to change. Drum roll, please…

Stuff Guy’s Guys Like

Convertibles, mutts, a great pair of legs, wooden shoe trees, ice pops, margaritas while looking out over the ocean, knowing that the back page of the newspaper has the good news, Thanksgiving, summer dresses, the World Series, sex,  Steve McQueen, wiffle ball, holding hands, a perfectly poured Guinness, the beach, “Swingers”, a long run, football weather, sleigh riding, your Mom, Bob Marley, clean sheets regardless of their thread count, sinking your putt on a par five, a handshake deal, sex, Central Park, breakfast over brunch, Bukowski, the NFL Playoffs, “Chopped”, kids, tee shirts and jeans, fit women, vinyl, Bobby Darin, East Coast, salty snacks, fishing, passion, “Sideways”, books, tools, fish, random acts of kindness, animals, sleeping, morning wood,  crisp C-notes, iPhones, sunshine, waking up early, avocados, broken-in Levis, 70’s movies, “Siddhartha”, independence, World Cup, Rolling Stones, black bras and thongs, Clint Eastwood westerns, cash, the Rat Pack, surfing, that old leather jacket, Mexican food, New York, the smell of a fresh cut lawn, sweat, playing hoops without a net, mountain bikes, women on top, loyalty, acing a presentation, Jennifer Lawrence in “Silver Linings Playbook”, rock music with a horn section, sunset, knowing when to shut up, confident women, a 10 handicap, free wifi, the zoo, sixties television series, Sunday mornings, a clean bathroom, anything in a burger bun, pets, integrity, “The Sopranos”, Super Bowl Sunday, St Patrick’s Day, summer nights, jazz, having a woman as your best friend.

Stuff Guy’s Guy Don’t Like

Housewife shows, matrix management teams, Honey Boo Boo (WTF?), newscasters standing up, automatic weapons, last call, pralines, gossip, the Twilight series (sorry), passive aggressive women, emoticons, retargeted ads, iced wedding cake vodka, People’s Choice Awards (WTF?), cupcake worship, walking while texting, the fine print, insurance companies trying to be your friend, music acts that can’t play instruments, hyper-cuts and edits on ESPN, reverse mortgages and the actors who tout them, crème fraiche, Starbucks addictions, fast food, ballet flats on hot chicks, hard stops, “I’m a branding expert”, style over substance, lying, political war hawks who never served, phonies, girlfriends who flirt with your best bud, micro-managing, only hiring people who can’t take your job, smoking, reneging on deals, media that propagates fear, those animal hats with really long ears, dividing up the check to the penny, white furniture and shag carpets, owners of small yappy dogs that leave them in their apartments all day, overpriced brunch, cheap stereo equipment, Kathy Lee Gifford, the MTA, litter, people who keep their cell phone on speaker, hard drugs, long lines, bad pizza, jury duty, people who swear in front of kids, drunken NY Jets fans, procrastination.

As mentioned, these are directional and subject to change at any time. Who knows, maybe I’ll be selling reverse mortgages someday. Nah.

Do you agree with how a Guy’s Guy sees his world?

This week’s Guy’s Guys of the Week are the folks at Google who are giving sections of Manhattan free wifi.

What Women Don't Know About Men (Part 2)

Robert Manni - Thursday, February 21, 2013


Listen ladies, we’re all human, but the similarities stop there.
How many times have you heard from a guy who was just dumped by his long time partner, that he had no idea that there were problems? A lot, right? There’s a reason for that. And remember the time when you bought a birthday card for his mother, and he just grunted before asking you to sign it from the both of you? The point is that men and women approach life and experience relationships differently. That doesn't mean that men and women can't evolve or improve their relationships. It means that there are things that men and women need to know about each other before any real progress can be made. I’m a Guy’s Guy, so let’s focus on men first. Here are a few pointers to help you understand how men think and what you can do about it.

1. Men are not that complicated. You’re probably already aware of this, but you might need a reminder. Sure, dudes have layers, but for the most part it’s "what you see is what you get". Guys are straightforward and lay things on the line, especially with each other. We don’t dance around with our feelings. And if we are having a problem with our relationship, we say so. If we don’t bring anything up, consider us happy. If that black bustier and thong ensemble turns your guy on, he’ll probably expect you to wear it every Saturday night until hell freezes over. But if you can top it, he’s game. Men can be that simple. I’m not saying that this is necessarily a good thing, but at least we’re predictable and we’ve got to start the conversation somewhere.

2. Men don’t pay attention. You might think and secretly hope that we’re paying attention to the little things the way you are, but unfortunately we’re not. So when he brings home a bouquet of fresh flowers because you mentioned liking daisies, it’s a small act but at the same time a big deal for a guy. It means he’s paying attention and you acknowledge it, which is really cool. Unfortunately guys suck at paying attention, so these tender moments can be far too rare. But don’t abandon hope. He did bring you those flowers.

3. Men can’t read your mind. I've written about this in a previous blog, but I feel it bears repeating. This is a personal pet peeve of mine. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve dealt with women in relationships and business where all of a sudden (at least it seemed that way to me) they just picked up and walked. And they seemed pissed about it. As a result, like other dudes, I’ve come close to having abandonment issues. It’s this passive aggressive behavior that bugs me. Unlike women, men don’t hold their feelings in, solemnly fuming or grousing to our friends about the relationship, prior to finally breaking up two years later. If we’re no longer interested, we’ll most likely say something to that effect and hear you out even if we’re set on dumping you. We’re just wired that way and it’s much cleaner. You might want to give it a try. Of course there are guys who keep a broken relationship going for the sex, but they always end up being the one that gets dumped.

So what can we do? Just being aware of our differences is a good place to start. Men need to shape up quickly if they plan on keeping up with all of the strides women are making and their long overdue recognition. The best thing men can do is pay attention a lot more closely to their partner’s needs. Women are amazing at this, but they can’t expect men to just lock in and get it. Guys need a little prodding now and then. Try to be as clear to your guy as he is with his friends. Put your guns on the table. No secret pouting or carping about him with your girlfriends. Be crystal clear and talk it out. Guys will get the message if you communicate with them the way they talk to each other.

Our Guy's Guy of the Week is David O. Russell for directing Silver Linings Playbook, a film about men and women learning to understand each other.

Do you think you know everything you need to know about men?

What Women Don't Know About Men (Part 1)

Robert Manni - Thursday, January 31, 2013

There are still some glaring misconceptions about men. Here are some truths.

1. We want you to win.

This is a time of great recognition, achievement, and ascension for women. It's long overdue and well-deserved. As I constantly state: women’s success is a very good thing for men. When women succeed we can all be happy, and have a little more cash in the pockets of our skinny jeans.

You know that old saying, “Happy wife means a happy life”? It’s true, whether you're married or not. If your female partner is smiling, it’s a very good thing for you, amigo. That’s one less thing to worry about. And I promise you that your female companion is pulling hard for you. Women want their men to succeed and despite all of the hating and misogyny that gets played out in our pop culture, Guy’s Guys want women to succeed also. Let’s keep that as our baseline. Ladies, not only do we want you to get what you want, but we also want you to get what you need.

2. Most guys like sports, but to different degrees.

If you walk the streets of Manhattan on a Sunday afternoon, you might think that with all of the NFL jerseys you see that every guy is totally into football. Sure, a lot of men love managing their fantasy teams, but there are lots of guys who could care less about the plight of the Jets, Giants or Dallas Cowboys. That said, they probably have their pet team or sport or player that they follow. Maybe a guy hates football, but loves tennis and follows Roger Federer. Not all men are jocks and even the ones that are have other interests, even if at times they seem addicted to ESPN's SportsCenter.

Men like sports for three reasons: escapism, real-life drama, and unpredictability. Unlike those housewives shows, where you’re always just a moment away from an insult or a bitch slap, with sporting events, you’re never quite sure of the outcome. Just ask Manny Pacquaio. It’s about personal preference and one size not fitting all. I’ll bet most guys prefer a hearty breakfast to brunch, but even if your guy isn’t football crazy don’t assume he wants to go to Café Cluney this Sunday. Just like you, we have layers. But, I’ve yet to meet a woman who doesn’t enjoy watching House Hunters International…

3. Men don’t talk about sex with each other.

Women pay attention. Thank God. Men are lousy at paying attention. Sad, but true. And, unlike female gatherings, when men get together we don’t sit around and talk about women, our girlfriends or having sex with them. If a guy ever needs to talk about something personal with another guy, he will pick one of his best buds and have a one-on-one. That’s it. There is no, “And then she did this really weird thing with her hoo ha…” We don’t do that. Ever.

4. Men can’t read your mind.

I’m devoting a blog post on this topic in the near future, but for now let me make this crystal clear. We don’t know what you are thinking. How many times have you heard that a woman has dumped a guy and the guy was totally blindsided? He had no idea that there were deep-seated issues in the relationship before he got whacked. You’ve heard this song a thousand times. Guys assume that if you don’t say anything that things are just peachy. That’s because when guys have a problem they say so. Ladies, please let guys know when there are storm clouds on the horizon. Guys want you to be happy. If you give them a fair warning you'll find yourself pleasantly surprised at how they respond.

In a change of pace, our Girl's Girl of the Week is Angelina Jolie, for being able to lock down a Guy's Guy like Brad Pitt.

Think you have any misconceptions about men?



Are You Better Off Single?

Robert Manni - Thursday, January 17, 2013


A recent study by the U.S. Census found that over 43% of Americans between 18 and 49 were single.

And over half of them were women. That number has increased by twenty percent since 1980. Amazing. And, only one person inhabits 46% of households. Well, it’s not the same person, but you know what I mean. So in many ways, we are becoming a nation of singles. There are pros and cons to being single and a bunch of experts and bloggers will tell you about the ever-changing rules of how they to live their life and how you should live yours. Ultimately, what really matters is if you are happy with yourself and the life that you choose.

Your Guy’s Guy remained single for many years. In fact, I was single for so long that at family get-togethers no one even asked me when I was getting married. Now that’s being single for a long time. Then, one day a few years back, I casually mentioned to my Mom that I would be getting married the following year. She was understandably startled, and asked who I was marrying. I told her that I had no idea, but that I knew it would happen. And, surprisingly, I met someone special, got engaged, and was married the following year. I’ve been happy ever since, though that’s not to say that I didn't enjoy my single life.

There are a few ways to be single. First, you can be completely unattached and on your own. Maybe you’re searching for someone or maybe not. Another way to be single is if you are dating. You still consider yourself single and not tied down, except on those special Saturday nights when you play a little cowboy and cowgirl rodeo. Or, you’re in a relationship, but not married, so you consider yourself technically single. Whether you decide to exercise your “single” options is another matter. Let’s look at the pros and cons of each state of being single.

1. On your own.

A lot of guys and many women fall into this category of trolling the bars and clubs and gyms and wherever else you decide to hunt. You're out so much that at home your staples are ramen noodles, a comfy couch, and a media diet of ESPN or DWTS. You’re probably interested in finding a partner, even if only casually and occasionally, but sometimes it's hard work.

I’ve been in this special place, and at times it can be a blast. You are free to go wherever you choose or just sit at home in your sweats and twist open a few cold ones while watching the Knicks game. But over time, you don’t love being alone onthose Saturday nights while your besties are hooked up.

This version of single works better when you're in your twenties than in your forties. By the time you reach forty, you may not mind staying home on a Saturday night. At this stage, you probably prefer snuggling on the couch with an attractive partner who knows how to whip up a great meal and pour a glass of Sancerre more than being alone and stretching out like Al Bundy with one hand tucked in your waistband and the other around a can of PBR. Just sayin’. No judgments, but ultimately, people are meant to be together.

2. Dating.

Some people can date up a storm and they love it. Most men enjoy a variety of partners, especially for a roll in the hay. Women like having a stable of different go-to guys for different activities. Stud boy for sexual release, the intellectual to see that French flick, and maybe a gay friend for lunch. It’s a great time in life and it’s great to mix it up. Usually though, at some point things get complicated and you need to make decisions and do the necessary house cleaning with your group of partners. That can get sticky. I’ll risk being taken to task here, but from my experience, women still are a bit more interested than guys in dating when it leads to a relationship rather than it leading to just more dating. A generalization, but worthy of consideration. And again, no judgments. Whatever works at the time is all that matters.

3. Single, but in a relationship.

We’ve all been here. Because a guy has not put a ring on it, a woman is still technically single. So, she can do as she pleases and date whoever she wants. But does she? This one is tricky for the ladies. At times they remain in a relationship far too long, hoping their guy will pay attention and make a commitment, or not. Many guys still consider the word commitment as a death sentence or form of punishment. They fear settling down. I know that I did. A famous former athlete once said that you can go far deeper in every way with one special lady than when you are juggling multiple partners. Although I loved my variety, I now agree. Women really know how to give when they feel loved, and that’s a wonderful thing.

There are many ways to be single and they can all be good. So can being in a committed relationship. What matters is that whatever status of “singlehood” that you’re currently in, you make it work for you. Make yourself happy first. Then, if you choose, you can share it someone else.

Our Guy’s Guy of the Week is none other than George Clooney—one happily single guy.

Are you in the right stage of “single” to make you happy?

How to Jumpstart Your Dating Life in 2013

Robert Manni - Thursday, December 27, 2012


With New Year's right around the corner, it is easy to get discouraged by thinking about all the things that sucked in 2012. From Sandy to horrible shootings... 2012 was a challenge. But a new beginning follows each year-end and it is up to you to take charge of your life. And the best way to get started is by having a plan, so here are some Guy’s Guy resolutions for sparking up your dating life and igniting love in the new year.

1. Let Go Of The Past

It’s easy to get all mopey if your love life did not shine as brightly as you wanted during this crazy past year. There was so much toxic news spewed out by the media—the endless financial crisis, nauseating politics,  and another batch of housewife shows. What to do? Start by breathing and letting go of 2012. You made it through the haze, kiddo, so give yourself a pat on the back and remind yourself of all of the good things you accomplished like not saying anything when that big, smelly guy squeezed into the middle seat next to you on the C train last August and would not stop moaning and slurping as he stared at that toe cleavage in your Jimmy Choos the entire ride to 96th Street or when… oh, you know what I mean.  It doesn’t matter because that was last year and it’s over. Let it go, baby.

2. Live Right Now

The new year comes with the possibilities for change. It only takes one connection between two people to forge the bond for a great couple. Decide what you want in your partner and why. Then ask yourself if you're being realistic and fair to your suitors. Don’t ask for the moon if all you are offering is green cheese.

3. Ditch The List

That’s right. Take that damn checklist—you know the one that starts with his being a six foot three investment banker with smoldering eyes and thirty million in an offshore account just waiting to be spent on you. Yeah, that one. Toss it before it imprisons you. When you’re open-minded, life brings surprises. When you get controlling, you also get frown lines and crows feet, and them's for the birds, not for chicks like you. If you always get everything you wanted whenever you wanted it, either your name is Beyonce or you’re an heiress. For the rest of us, and no one is suggesting that you sell yourself short, but if you are weighed down by so many rules, you’ll diminish your sparkling energy, which is what attracts the dudes. Does that make sense?

4. Big Smile, Please

Nothing generates a better reaction that smiles and laughter. When you lose your sense of humor, things can get dreary pretty quickly. And don’t be concerned if every date doesn’t turn out perfectly. Move on, keep your head up and smile. There are a lot more where he came from. Believe me.

5. Get Up, Get Out

Unless you want to spend your weekends uploading your pictures on FB again, do what Mick Jagger suggests. "Get up, get out, get into something new". Action creates action, ladies. Decide what flips your switch and get moving. Take a wine class, run the park, learn Mandarin, or have cocktails with an old friend. Staying on the couch with sweet lovable Fluffy is comforting, but it will not help you meet The One. He’s out there doing something and hoping to meet someone just like you.

I know this can be easier said than done, but you can do it. Remember, no one has a better handle on your future than you.

Are you ready for a new beginning or will you drop the ball after New Year's Eve?

This week's Guy's Guy of the week is Ryan Seacrest. Not our prototypical Guy's Guy, but he was handed the baton by Dick Clark so let's give him his props.

What Is A Guy's Guy And Why Does It Matter Now?

Robert Manni - Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Over the past thirty years the paths of women and men have changed dramatically. While women have been on straight trajectory of achievement, accomplishment, and long overdue recognition, men now find themselves in a tough spot. This comes at a time when men have never been freer to be who they want, but it's also never been less clear who they are. My novel, The Guys’ Guy’s Guide to Love, tackles this issue through the power of story that gives women a peek behind the curtains into the world of modern men. It’s a story about men, written for women. The male characters are flawed, yet likable, and hopefully I provided some insights into the lives of today’s men with a nod to how they hunt, feed and of course, mate. The time is now to generate awareness for what today’s men can be and address the growing need to bridge the gap between the sexes. And isn’t it ironic that with all of the technology that connects us, communication between the sexes has never been in such a dire state? We’re heading in different directions. Enter Guy’s Guys.

So What Is A Guy’s Guy?

Simply stated, a Guy’s Guy is a contemporary Man’s Man, with a nod to a return to the casual confidence and seductive integrity of the classic male, but updated to reflect the belief that everybody wins when men and women can be at their best. In other words, a Guy’s Guy welcomes the rise of women while competing with them for love, sex, power and money in a time where everyone’s playing for keeps. Guy’s Guys exude unassuming strength, timeless style, and emotional intelligence while enjoying healthy relationships and joyful, open living. Drop back twenty-five years or so ago and the new man back then had just transcended the attitude that relegated women to the kitchen and the bedroom. Of course, today’s Guy’s Guy is way, way beyond that. He sees women as equal across the board and treats them respectfully without resorting to the predictable patronization just to get them into the sack. And as far as business goes, it’s game on and no glass ceilings. You might be rolling your eyes, but it can be done and Guy’s Guys can help make it happen.

Is There A Guy’s Guy Code?

This is not about Guy’s Guy rulebooks, lists, or tricks and pick up lines that will get them laid. Today’s Guy’s Guys are out there, finding their way in a tough environment while maintaining their own values. It can be a difficult line to walk when you’re a young man caught in a culture that places them somewhere between the mixed messages of MMA and manscaping. A lot of young dudes are getting conflicting signals about who they are because there are no realistic role models for young men. It’s all about preening power studs, metrosexuals, geeks, or superheroes and what can men really learn from them? Women can help by paying attention and helping men shape their values and perspectives.

So What’s Next?

Over the next few months I’ll be sharing some of my Guy’s Guy stories and insights about men… and relationships with GalTime’s wonderful audience. I hope I can occasionally make you smile and rethink some of your ideas about modern men and what makes them tick. After all, the truth is not so bad. Or is it?

You can decide for yourselves.

Our Guy's Guy of the Week is Bradley Cooper, for entering a dance contest to win the girl in "Silver Linings Playbook".

Is Your Man a Guy’s Guy?

Why The Rolling Stones Matter To Guy's Guys

Robert Manni - Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Guys’ Guys need good music and for the past fifty years, the Stones have spun a wicked soundtrack. Like them or not, you have to admit the Stones have withstood time. Despite the arrival of disco, rap, hip hop, electronica, house, world, and competitors as talented as Nirvana, Guns and Roses and Led Zeppelin, only the Stones have kept it together and rolled for the past five decades. And while in six short years the Beatles songs lifted us to ethereal heights that will never be matched, the Stones grounded us in the real world. No yellow submarines or Bungalow Bills here. The Stones wrote classic rock songs about the challenges we face every day, and that’s why they matter - especially to Guys’ Guys.  In this rapidly changing world and a music industry that breeds acts that are as disposable as a soiled pair of Depends, the Stones have time and gravitas on their side.   But can they still roll or are their steel wheels too creaky?   Despite some tour dates being pushed back a bit because “they weren't ready” and with little new music to speak of for the past seven years, The Rolling Stones still rocked the house at the Barclay Center this past Saturday. As quick as you can say “Start Me Up”, Mick will once again move like Jagger. Okay, you have probably figured out that I really like the Rolling Stones. The main reason is that in a strange way, their music helped me develop from angry young man to my hopefully mellower current persona. Here are a few songs that were guideposts for my evolution as a Guy’s Guy.

1- Brown Sugar - Every few months, my mom would drive to the retail district of Hackensack, NJ to shop. There was a record store near the Fox movie theater that carried the latest records. I was in school so I’d write her a list. I’d give mom the money and she’d buy me one or two albums. On one particular trip she returned wielding copies of, The Monkees, “Headquarters” and the Stones epic “Sticky Fingers” albums. Needless to say she frowned when she handed over the Stones album with Andy Warhol’s black and white photo of a guy’s bulging package and the silver zipper on the cover. Hilarious. The moment I heard the song’s opening riff of Brown Sugar that sounded like the gears of a high-octane V-8 engine kicking in, everything changed. I was alive. Since my family lived only minutes from my school, I listened to that song and album every day for the next year when I’d stop home at lunchtime and have a sandwich and a dish of Jell-O with my Mom. I applaud her for never complaining as she was subjected to songs like  “Bitch” and “Can’t You Hear Me Knocking?” as we ate. It was a great time in my life-bonding with mom while listening to the Stones. Although I was now bursting with testosterone, I realized that my mom was also my friend. Cool.

2- Shattered - “Some Girls” was all about New York City. It was raw and insidious in its charm.  The final song, “Shattered” featured lyrics like, “Love and hope and sex and dreams and still surviving on the street” and “Rats on the West Side, bed bugs uptown”. It painted the Manhattan of that time with a brazenly accurate brush. I was still living in Jersey in those days, but I’d drive across the bridge to visit my friends in the city. We partied like wild boys until five in the morning and crash wherever. I remember walking up after an all-nighter on the closet floor of a woman’s apartment with my body entwined with one of her girlfriends.  Those were fun, innocent times and compared to today’s hard-edged nightlife. I found my drug and it was New York City.

3- Start Me Up - Probably one of the most overplayed radio songs of all time, but infectious just the same. Who could shy away from Keith’s opening riff and Mick’s declaration that the girl he sang about could make a dead man come? That’s some woman. I heard the song for the first time while partying in the back of a car cruising up Wilshire in LA while with a buddy from college and his friends. It was the eighties now and things were changing. I was too. At the time, it was all about heading west and discovering America.

4- Anybody Seen My Baby? - The underrated “Bridges to Babylon” album featured a single with Mick sing-speaking his lament about a great girl that had disappeared into thin air. At the time, like my character Max Hallyday, the protagonist in my novel, THE GUYS’ GUY’S GUIDE TO LOVE, I had just left a job I really loved for the promise of money and power. I got some of that, but I also got a wake up call about what really matters in life and it really stuck in my brain. I learned that you could never go back.

5- A Bigger Bang - When the Stones last release came out a few years ago, everything in my life had been blown up in some way. I was completely on my own. It was a very free feeling so I decided that I’d take a risk and write a kick-ass novel that would make people feel good. The CD sounded like the Stones were playing in my living room and the songs were relatively light versus their former harder edge. The digital download provided a great soundtrack for my long runs in Central Park and at the shore and the more circumspect songs helped me work out the novel’s plot twists and turns as I loped along. The music was transformative and the collection of songs provided an ongoing narrative and tone for my protagonist, Max Hallyday.

For most of us music plays a part in modern life. The Rolling Stones have grown up with me and for that I will always be grateful. While they pull themselves together for their final tour, I’m working on my next book and waiting on my lifelong musical friends.

Our Guy's Guy of the Week is none other than Mick Jagger, one of the original Guy's Guys in rock & roll.

So which songs have inspired you? Maybe it's time to listen to them again.


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