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On Life, Love and the Pursuit of Happiness

Sex on the First Date: Old Story, New Twist

Robert Manni - Thursday, November 29, 2012


You just met five minutes ago and he’s already thinking about the two of you in bed.

Ouch. I guess you were hoping for more, especially since your girlfriend gave him a thumbs up as a stand up guy.  But trust me; sex is already on his mind. Maybe it’s on yours as well.  So don’t fret. Take a deep breath and smile as you swirl that glass of Chardonnay. He’s just acting on instincts, and as my Mom likes to say, “This too shall pass.”

We all know that you only get one chance to make a good first impression and for a guy, a lot of it is about how a woman looks and handles herself. Yes, it can be shallow and superficial, but you have a choice. Either try in vain to change the psychological programming of modern men or exhale and steer the conversation in a positive way until he comes back down to Earth. Women also have their ways of checking out a guy. They look at his clothes, eyes, hands, butt, smile, shoes and then they find out what he does for a living and what makes him tick. We all want to get to know a little bit about the other person before letting down our guard. What many guys don’t understand is that to most women, they are strange and mysterious creatures until they reveal pieces of mission critical information about themselves. And what women sometimes fail to understand is that while he’s answering your questions, the right side of the guy’s brain is wondering what it would be like frolicking in bed with you. Now, I’m not saying that this is the only thing on his mind as he sits across from you, but yes, it is the elephant in the room.

SO WHAT’S THIS HAVE TO DO WITH HOPPING IN BED WITH SOMEONE ON THE FIRST DATE?

I’m getting there. So let’s say that his eyes and smile sparkle and you both laugh easily over that glass of wine. And the conversation flows smoothly in a way that makes you both feel comfortable. That’s nice. And by now, you may have already considered what it would be like to date this guy. You like him and you want to know more. And, he feels the same. And both of you have been on a lot of lousy online dates since you both broke it off with your ex’s.

Of course, you’ll have another glass of wine and, yes, you’d love some of those savory appetizers. You two are having a ball. And after you put your phone away, maybe you wonder what it would be like to jump this guy’s bones. And, yes, he is thinking the same about you. After he grabs the check, you leave together for a light dinner or dessert both wondering where this may be leading.

Let’s face it. We’ve all been there. There is nothing wrong with it. But, is it wise to do the deed on the first night? That’s a loaded question. Here are two-sides of the issue.

PRO

You are both adults.  You bust your butt all day at your job and you want what you want when you want it. That’s understandable. So, if it feels right, you just might feel like accompanying him back to his place to rumple up his 800 count sheets.  Hey, this relationship could be off to an explosive beginning. And, it can work from there. Why not?  And if it does not rock your world, chalk it up to, oops.

There is nothing wrong with going for what feels right as long as you are responsible for your actions. Who knows how this could play out? Depending on how you feel, he could be ‘The One’, a f--- buddy/new friend with benefits, or whatever the heck you want him to be. It’s your life and you are going to live it your way. You know that this is a rare occasion, but, dammit, maybe you feel like doing it with this guy, tonight.

And, don’t think he’s not a little apprehensive about this, too. If he’s not a lunatic, he wants it and he probably really likes what he sees in you, but he does not want to go so fast that he scares you away. At the same he’s thinking that this is how things are supposed to work. Work hard. Play hard. Then figure it out.

CON

 What’s the hurry? If things were going well, wouldn’t it be better to let the fires simmer for a few days before the big event? I mean, regardless of how chock full your schedule may be, I’m sure you can find time for this exciting new person in your life.

And, what if he takes you for granted, or worse? Most guys I now will wonder if you are so quick to drop your thong if this is what happens every time a dude springs for drinks and dinner. Did I hear “deal-breaker”? And, you are not that type of girl, are you now? Even worsemaybe he’s a wham bam machine and you are just the latest in a long line who have fallen prey to his steely green eyes and electric smile. Oops, you’ve been had.

I could go on and on, but you get the picture.

SOLUTION

Keep your wits about you and use your common sense. This Guy’s Guy believes that when the time is right, good things happen. That very well may be on the first date or on the seventh date. There are no hard rules to follow beyond keeping your inner compass pointed squarely at what feels right for you. And if your new man is a bona fide Guy’s Guy, he’ll understand and respect you for your decision to hold off for now. Just make sure that when the moment arrives, you make it worth the wait. ;) Yeah, I just used an emoticon.

 

Guy’s Guy of The Week: “That guy” you met online that you're seeing this weekend.

 

IS SEX ON THE FIRST DATE ON YOUR MENU? WHY OR WHY NOT?

The Guys' Guy's Guide To Thanksgiving

Robert Manni - Wednesday, November 21, 2012


Why am I thankful that my ex broke up with me?

Life is a trickster. It always seems like it’s running two steps ahead. By the time we catch up and process what’s happened, it’s already off making more mischief that we don’t understand. That’s why along with the great food and family sharing, Thanksgiving is a great time to take a half step back to review our lives and be thankful for all of our experiences. The trick is finding the lesson to be learned from what is happening in our lives.

Getting back to the headline, no one likes being dumped. And like most guys, I’ve been dumped a number of times. At the time it seemed like my world was crashing down. But now, although I wish nothing but the best for all of my ex-girlfriends, I’m glad that they are my ex’s. Over time I realized that there was a missing component in each and every one of these relationships. Should either of us have known about this missing link and moved on sooner? Probably, but we didn’t.  We shared some good times and hopefully learned something about ourselves from our time together. I’m sure you have been there and I know it can be daunting for the heart to look into the endless abyss. But there is a reason for hope. That reason is you. 

Okay, it took me an extra decade or two, but I stayed focused and optimistic and continued to work on myself to be a better partner and a better man. I remain a work in progress, but things are coming together and I’ve never been happier. I’m very appreciative this Thanksgiving and accountable for my choices. And, I’m alive and have a new opportunity each and every day. That’s all I can ask for.

Here are a few reasons live in a state of constant appreciation.

No one else can make you happy.
Happiness comes from within. I think you’d agree that it is difficult to love another if you do not first love who and what you are. At times this is easier said than done, but it’s sagely advice that we’ve all heard a thousand times. And, it’s true. Loving yourself does not mean being selfish, but knowing who you are and what you are makes a difference in how you celebrate each day. We are all one consciousness.

Letting go can give you a better handle on your life.
Sometimes a setback can be a step forward. Living in New York is a trip. There are so many super-intelligent, talented, and successful individuals here, yet many of them walk around looking quite displeased. You can see it in their faces. People invest a lot of their energy trying to control every aspect of their experience. Although we are responsible for our actions, we cannot control everything that happens to us. We all know that shit happens. If you loosen up that death grip on your day-to-day world, you’ll probably be in a better position to shake off and move on from the setbacks that inevitably occur. Maybe you didn’t get that guy you thought was right for you, but you ended up with another dude that suits you far better. Or you are blessed with the time to get to know yourself better. When we can relax and have faith in ourselves things work out for us in a way that allows us to grow. If you’re not feeling it, try digging down deep to find what you need to learn. It’s there for you if you can let go, quiet your mind, and ask for it. And when you get that insight, be thankful and keep moving.

Make every day Thanksgiving.
Everyone has to do what works for them. I’m no Dr. Phil, but I’ve found that when I begin each day in a state of appreciation and end each night the same way, I feel blessed and sleep like a baby. We all have to find our own methods and path, but being thankful works for me.

I thank you all for being in my life and for the lessons our connection is bringing forward.  Have a great, restful weekend. I’ll be back at you with more Guy’s Guy musings next week.  

Our Guy’s Guys of the Week are Chris Christie and Barack Obama. Why? Because I’m also especially thankful that they were able to put politics aside and work together to help the Jersey Shore in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.     

What are you thankful for this Thanksgiving?

The Surprising Results of Fasting - A Six Day Experiment

Robert Manni - Thursday, November 08, 2012


Sometimes our world moves a bit too quickly for us to enjoy each moment in the fullest sense. So slowing down now and then can be a good thing. I recently came off of my first ever fast. And yes, it did slow me down among other things. Between the two days of drinking veggie shakes before and one day after, I did not eat solid food for nine days. It’s no picnic so you need a reason to fast.

A little background. I have not eaten beef, pork, or lamb for the past four years. This year I have finally eliminated poultry from my diet. This raised my energy level and provided some rest and relief for my internal system. I became ill about three weeks after initially eliminating meat, but it was a function of my cells releasing stored toxins into my blood stream. Since then I have felt great although I have put on a few pounds over the past few years. Maybe I replaced the meat with carbs. Not sure, but I have been on a cardio rampage all year, but shedding pounds has been a slow process.

But I digress. Fasting was an amazing experience. Here is how it worked with a few highlights and insights, Guy’s Guy style.

Getting Started

To prepare for fasting I consumed only protein and veggie shakes for two days. On the third day I drank a half-gallon of water and sea salt and eliminated anything and everything in my colon. Hello, fasting. For the next six days the only thing I consumed was a powdered mix of maple syrup, cayenne pepper, and lemon with water. It tastes like it sounds. Weird.

The First Three Days

For some odd reason I found myself watching shows on the Food Network and The Travel Channel that focus on preparing and eating mega portions of meaty, indulgent dishes. Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, Man Vs Food, Bizarre Foods, and Chopped streamed endlessly across my flat screen. I also found myself almost instinctively popping up and walking into the kitchen for a snack that I would not be having. It was habit. I realized that a good portion of my eating was from habit. I came to the conclusion that I was a nervous eater with little sense of portion control. These epiphanies were breakthroughs. I looked in the mirror and saw a glutton looking back. I was determined to take charge of my eating habits once and for all. For context, I’m in pretty good shape, having run three marathons over the past decade along with pounding out about a million push-ups. Plus, I walk everywhere in Manhattan so at 5’10” and 185 pounds, I am no couch potato. I am a Guy’s Guy who likes to indulge in tasty food and drink every now and then. But, I wanted to get a handle on my waistline and my perspective on food. How did I feel? Not bad. I was hungry the first day, but my body had plenty of stored resources to work off so I quickly acclimated to not eating. My tongue was coated and my body odor was heightened. I still did cardio–an hour on the elliptical trainer every day. Sweating felt tremendous.

Days Three Through Six

After three days I dismissed the possibility of eating and remained committed to my maple, pepper, lemon mix. That was my reality. I noticed how many restaurants there are in New York each time I walked down the street, but I did not consider entering them. I was in the zone. I noticed a visible change in my body. After three days of fasting your body starts burning off fat. I was getting smaller. I am sure the cardio helped. I did not feel any less strength during my workouts and I felt good so I stuck with the program. I was still watching the food shows and was now craving those burgers and fries I had given up years ago. My wife, who has fasted before and was fasting with me, told me that this was due to the stored fat in my cells releasing the residual toxins from the meat into my bloodstream. Whatever. I craved a big-ass bacon cheeseburger.

The End and the New Beginning

By the fifth day I was planning out what I wanted to eat following the fast. No decisions, but it was fun fantasizing. I decided that for a rookie, a six-day fast was pretty good. I had lost weight each day and looked visibly different from days four, five and six. On the final day my wife and I took an all day spiritual workshop in New York led by Paul Selig.  It was a ninety-five-degree Saturday in Manhattan and I wondered why I chose this over the beach. But after a few hours, I was very pleased with my choice and it was a great way of wrapping up the fast. Afterwards, we walked to the West Village and happily ordered veggie smoothies to break the fast. Sip, sip. Mmmmm. Had to begin slowly, but by the next evening we were ready for a light meal. All in all I lost fifteen pounds. I looked good. My eyes were bright and clear and I felt great. And, I learned a lot about my habits. I’ve gained a few pounds back, but I have a better handle on my eating habits and I will fast again. I am working to eliminate sugars and unnecessary carbs from my diet and have cut waaaaay back on alcohol. The bottom line is I feel more calm and relaxed. And I no longer crave those burgers I saw on TV! I know people who’ve fasted for forty days, but I’m happy with my first six-day experiment. I do not necessarily recommend fasting for everyone, but for me it was a worthwhile journey.

Guy's Guy of the Week: Mahatma Gandhi, for his 21-day fast for self-purification in 1933.

What benefits will fasting give you? Try it.

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Image courtesty of Getty Images.

Get Your Story Told – A Roadmap To Publishing Your Book

Robert Manni - Wednesday, October 03, 2012

            

So you think you’ve got what it takes to write a novel?

Good for you, that’s a great start. I’ll bet you have a story in you that people would be interested in. The trick is finding the right story, finding your voice, weaving them together, and then learning how to sell your work. Easier said than done.  Whenever I am asked about why I decided to write a novel I offer the same response. It has to be more than something you want to do. It has to be something that you have to do. The good news is that there are more opportunities than ever to get your message to consumers. It’s up to you to come up with the content that readers can relate to in an emotional way.

Where does one begin the journey?

It all begins with having a burning desire to share your story and message with the world. That does not mean your story has to be about your fascinating life. In fact, I’d strongly suggest that unless something extraordinary has happened to you like chewing off your arm to stay alive in the wilderness or swimming the English Channel backwards with a blind kitten strapped to your chest that you consider creating a story that is not about you per se, but something that is written symbolically that provides the reader with your view of our world. Thich Nhat Hahn said that everyone should write a book about himself or herself and I agree. It is a cathartic experience that provides many benefits to the writer. There is a sense of accomplishment and a great therapeutic release upon the completion of one’s personal story. That does not mean that it is meant for mass consumption.

Writing a novel requires developing a story that is crafted with the universal storytelling techniques that have been twisted, turned and stretched, but have never gone out of style. It’s all about what the main character wants and what is preventing him or her from achieving their goal. Sounds pretty simple, but try integrating that notion with a host of characters, scenes and subplots and you may find that things get complicated fairly quickly.

It took me exactly two years of writing and submitting what I now consider my “practice novel” before I felt that I had learned enough to really give it my best shot with another book that was not about me. In fact I found that using archetypes and writing in the third person freed me up to make my points about life, love and the pursuit of happiness. So much material deluges the publishing industry that it is trained to say, “No” to almost every manuscript that comes across their desk almost by instinct. But since the industry was late to embrace the power of digital publishing, writers who truly have great stories to tell are now being given an opportunity to reach an audience. Independent and hybrid publishing are not options for writers who can’t make it in the ‘real world of traditional publishing’. They are liberating models that actually make sense in a radically changed publishing landscape.

Okay, so what’s the best game plan?

For me, step one was having a fresh story that I was uniquely qualified to craft. I saw the rapid ascent of women in today’s world as a very good thing. Go for it, ladies. This is quite different to the mixed signals being sent out to men. There has never been a time where men have been freer to be whoever they want and at the same time less clear about who they are.  I decided to weave that notion into a modern love story about men that both women and men could relate to. So, I wrote, THE GUYS’ GUY’S GUIDE TO LOVE. Over and over and over and over again. I’m sure I submitted earlier versions of the work too soon and I paid the price with numerous rejections before landing a literary agent. After a year, I realized that although I had a good story and against all odds had landed a top agent, my agent was not right for my book. Grrrr. So I cut ties and submitted my novel to just one small publishing house. They liked the book and I was on my way. That said, I have had to do almost all of the marketing, promoting, etc., but the upside is huge as I build my platform and I control the process and own the material. Nice. Now it is up to me to hone my voice and grow my brand.

What else do I need to know?

You need three things to succeed once you put the book out. Belief in yourself and your message, relentless attention to manifesting your goal, and a team of individuals who believe in you and your work. Oh, yeah. You need to keep writing - fiction, non-fiction, blog posts, Tweets, and whatever it takes to get people to know you, what makes you tick and how your work relates to their lives.  It’s not about you. It’s about them.

Guy’s Guy of The Week: Tim Berners-Lee and Robert Cailliau, inventors of the world wide web who made it possible for everyone to share their voice in new ways.

So, what’s stopping you from writing your own story?

A Guy's Guy's Observations About The NYC Subway System

Robert Manni - Wednesday, September 19, 2012
          


The NYC subways are fascinating. 


Sure, it is a matter of taste, but there are some interesting things happening below the surface of the greatest city in the world. Over the past month, I decided to turn the drudgery of my subterranean journeys throughout the city into a palette of observations to share with you. Mind you, as filthy and unbearable as the subways are in general, they reach a new level of tedium during the summer when the temperatures soar and the air stagnates along the platforms. I’m sure that I am only scratching the surface, but here goes. Let’s file this one under “the Guys’ Guy’s pursuit of happiness”. 

1-    New Yorkers read. Having spent a few months handing out branded bookmarks for my novel, THE GUYS GUY’S GUIDE TO LOVE, to unsuspecting riders who either had a physical book or e-reader in tow, I can happily report that reading is not dead my friends. I see novels, non-fiction, graphic novels, magazines, newspapers, and mobile devices all being used for reading. Of course it’s done partially to pass the time, but it is still good news. We have a literate population in transit below the city right now. Reading nurtures the mind. Digital games can be fun, but many are based on reaction and nothing more. Read on, New York! 

2-    Tuning out. I’m not one for plugging my ear buds in the second I leave my apartment. New York has plenty of stimuli without my requiring a soundtrack for every moment of my day. Of course if it’s a long ride and I did not remember to bring any reading material, I too enjoy listening to some tasty tracks while the trains rattle along. But what concerns me is that too many people stare straight ahead with ear buds connected to their iPods. And as a guy I notice way too many pretty young women doing exactly that. They are basically unapproachable. Yeah, I know there are creepy guys everywhere, but if you want the New York experience, you’ve got to mix it up with random people now and then. It’s called communication. Live a little. 

3-    Entertainment. Yesterday as I rode and switched trains between Lafayette and Broadway to West 116th Street, I was treated to an accordion player, a magician (this was a first), acapella singers, a man playing Chinese songs on the flute, and those “dancers” who swing around the poles inside of the cars. If this had been, “American Idol”, the magician would have gotten my vote. So if you forget your mobile device and your book, you can still be entertained underground. 

4-    Dress code. Let’s face it. People dress poorly in general, and although there are always good-looking women (and dudes) in skimpy outfits riding the train in the summer, I’ve noticed that a major portion of subway riders wear something with the Nike swoosh on it. Lots of chunky basketball shoes, sweats, shirts and hats are adorned by this popular symbol. If you don’t believe me, spend one ride counting how many pairs of Nike footwear you see on the train. You’ll be amazed. 

5-    Strollers. God bless all of the Moms who have to schlep their kids, toys, and that stroller on and off of the train and up and down those flights of stairs. This is no easy task. Hey fellas, if you see a lady wielding one of those heavy strollers toward the stairs, please offer to help her carry it for her. 

6-    The Happy Tourists. If you want to spot the tourists on the train, look for the animated faces that look like they are on a ride at Disneyworld. If you want to identify the New Yorker, look for the impassive, detached faces staring straight ahead or at their phone. Tourists seem to love the subway, but of course that’s because they don’t have to deal with it every day like we do. But, it is refreshing to see some semblance of delight underground. A great thing about New Yorkers, though, is that they will stumble over each other to be helpful and give directions. 

7-    The Map. Don’t sit in front of it unless you enjoy leaning to the side while confused tourists stand directly in front of you and stare past you at it…for what seems like an eternity. Not a big deal, but just sit there sometime and you’ll see what I mean. 

8-    The Ads. For every boring global brand that patronizes New Yorkers with one of those cars dressed up in a series of ads that say, “Hey, New York, grab some (European-owned mass-produced beer that was formerly an iconic American brand),” we have the local ads that delight the locals. Accordion wrestling, Dr. Zizmor-the dermatologist, and the storage facilities are but a few of my favorite brands that have produced fun local campaigns. 

This is but a smattering of underground observations. The point is that if you maintain a positive perspective, you can even have a few laughs while riding the NYC subway system. 

Guy’s Guy of The Week: Ralph Kramden of “The Honeymooners” for being a hard-working transit worker with a dream. 

Seen anything interesting lately while riding the C train?

3 Big Reasons Why Men Should Get Married. Really.

Robert Manni - Wednesday, September 12, 2012

          

When He Knows It’s Time
 

A few years ago, I would have never written this column. Never! Call me a late bloomer. I was single in New York City for over twenty-five years. That’s not a world’s record and I am sure many of you ladies know lots of guys in the city who are not interested in marriage. And I managed to remain single longer than all of my friends and colleagues. But, lucky for me, I met the right woman and one year later, to the day, I popped the question. And another year later, almost to the day, we got hitched. We just celebrated our second anniversary and I now have the insights of a few years of married life under my belt.  And, it’s been great. I’m really glad I first dated to my heart’s desire and I’m even happier that I found a wonderful partner. Here are a few things that convinced me of the virtues of this age-old institution. Quick disclaimer—I realize that every marriage, like every relationship, like every snowflake is different, so I am only speaking of my experience. Here goes… 

1 - Better Diet.  For some reason, I stopped eating beef, pork and lamb the evening I met my wife. Knowing that she was a vegetarian, I did not order a bloody cheeseburger on our first casual date.  And I have never looked back. Recently, I stopped eating poultry, too. Thankfully, my wife never asked me to change my carnivorous habits. But she noticed my mealtime choices, and on her own met me halfway by shifting to a diet that now includes fish. I know that she would prefer that we both existed on veggies and various forms of non-animal protein, but she is a very wise and giving person and it is working out nicely. I feel great. Hey, I did the whole bachelor thing—you’ve probably dated a guy whose staples were ketchup, toilet paper, beer, and ESPN. I pigged out at business dinners and worked out enough to maintain my fitness, but it took a woman’s touch to gently guide me to healthier dietary choices. The bonus is that my energy level is way up and I do not miss the meat or the bacon. That’s just me, but I attribute it to my wife’s quiet leadership by example. She has the metabolism of a hummingbird. She loves to eat and she’s an amazing cook so there is always great-tasting food in our home. Bonus points. 

2 - Better Friendship. Better Sex. If you are a married guy and your wife is not your best friend, to me that’s a red flag. Healthy couples like to spend time together. I’ve been in a few ongoing relationships where we spent most of the time rumpling the sheets. No complaints, but eventually we had to get up and go out and that’s when the issues surfaced. You can have great sexual chemistry and not much else in common. Maybe that is ironic, but I took it for what it was, went back for more, and I do not look back. Thankfully, my marriage is robust in this area too, which brings us to… Another blogger asked your Guy’s Guy to write something about what men want. Brilliant topic. But, the answer is short. In fact it is only one word: More. Yep, that’s what men want. For me, and I am sure for other guys (see Mick Jagger), ‘more’ meant a variety of partners. I get it. That said, I always recalled reading a quote by a handsome, professional football star who said that he had learned that you can go deeper with the right woman than you can by sharing your swimmers with a half-dozen ladies. It stuck in my mind and I finally realized that he was right. Of course, I took my time to find out. In fact, I took as much time as possible to find out. 

3 - Better Health. I’m sure you have all read about the studies that claim married guys outlive their single counterparts. Men are lonely, solitary hunters. That’s what we do. And, most of us do not eat that well, we do not get enough sleep and we spend too much time watching sports, drinking beer and chasing women. That’s after spending ten hours a day competing in our jobs and dealing with the stress that comes form urban living, high-pressure careers and a shit economy.  Of course married guys (if they are with the right woman) live longer. 
 
I can go on and on, and I am not trying to score brownie points with you or my wife. I’m just doing what Guy’s Guys do. We call them as we see them and we learn from our mistakes. So next time you hear one of the guys (especially if he is over forty) crowing about how great it is to be single and prowling the bars in the city, ask him a few questions about all of the above. You may get an interesting response. 

Guy’s Guy of The Week: Warren Beatty, for finally getting hitched in a happy marriage with Annette Bening after years of being a playboy. 

What do you think are the benefits of being married?

image courtesy of http://www.25karats.com/

Is There Such A Thing As Love At First Sight?

Robert Manni - Wednesday, September 05, 2012

           

Is love at first sight a myth or reality? After asking a number of women and men there is one overriding truth. There is no shortage of opinions on the subject and I’ve come away from my research without a clear-cut answer. Most people seem to think that the concept is true, but when I probed I found out that there were other steps necessary in connecting beyond a random look and there are plenty of instances where people thought it was love at first sight, but things never ended up going anywhere. 

For guys, there is plenty of lust at first sight. We all know that dudes are visual. If a woman who looks like Megan Fox happens to strut by, most red-blooded all-American males would feel a rush come over them. I’m not saying this would constitute an official, B-O-I-N-G, but a lot of sexual thoughts may emerge quite rapidly. Over time most guys have their type blondes, Asian hotties, long hair, bubble butts, and more recently women who are super fit. It doesn’t matter. The point is that men are visual and immediately respond to the purely physical assets of a woman. I’m not condoning this, but it’s not going to change that much. The best we can hope for is that the female object of desire has an energy that the man connects with. That goes a long way in turning the ship from purely physical attraction to something potentially more long lasting. 

So what happens? A guy sees his “type” and he is attracted. Then he follows his you-know-what and makes contact with the woman with whom he thinks he’s found “love at first sight”. Then, over time he realizes that she does not fit most of his other criteria. Maybe she hates sports or meat or New Jersey or his music, but it soon becomes apparent that this is not a good match. Most guys will hang in there until the woman cuts them out, not bothering with any circumspection that could help them become more self-aware and sensitive to themselves, and the fact that women are more than pretty creatures. 

On the flip side, I have been told by a number of guys that as soon as they met their partner, they knew that she was “The One”.  Great. But, that was after they had an actual conversation, date, or something more than a lecherous look at their girl. The first time I saw my wife I was waiting on the church steps at the corner of 79th Street and Broadway. I looked across the street diagonally and she was the first person that I laid eyes on. When we actually met at the adjacent corner, she greeted me with a smile and I gave her a hug. I had never hugged upon meeting a first date, so maybe I experienced a form of “love at first sight”. 

For women, there is usually more than a guy’s looks. Consider this. Women are into men’s looks more than ever, but at the same time, women usually dig a bit deeper. Sure, women have their types also. Tall, sparkling eyes, washboard abs (good luck with that), a cute butt, are common physical characteristics that women like to see in a guy. There are also the intangibles like long fingers, a certain height or type of hair, and a Swiss bank account but at least that’s more than long legs, big boobs, and a perky ass which is about as exotic as a lot of men get. Women think through and discuss a lot of guy-related issues ad nauseam with their girlfriends, and thank goodness they do. But often, by the time a dude says hello, he’s already been sliced, diced and in many cases flung into the scrap heap before he’s had a fair chance to connect with her. On the other hand, women have intuition, and many of them are sensitive to a guy’s energy. So if he’s creepy, they know. And if he has a nice smile, they might overlook his khaki pants, cargo shorts, or tribal tattoo at least for the first date. Lots of women I know insist that they knew that when they met their guy, they knew that he was “The One”. But, they all stated that they knew when they “met” not when they looked at him. A-ha. 

There is no set answer to this question about “love at first sight”.  But wouldn’t it be great if we all looked a little closer and a bit deeper at our potential partners before decreeing that they were either toast or “The One”? 

Guy’s Guy of The Week: Romeo, and Juliet, for immortalizing the idea of love at first sight, whether you believe in it or not. 

Have you ever experienced “love at first sight”?

How To Reel In A Great Catch By The End Of The Summer

Robert Manni - Wednesday, August 22, 2012


        


Fishing and dating - not so different 

Yes, we’re almost at the end of another steamy summer in the city. Whether it’s enjoying a Dunkin’ Donuts Coolatta, a frosty brew, or just slouching down in your seat in a cool dark movie theater everyone has their own special way of relaxing and keeping cool in the hot weather. I’m a beach Guy’s Guy and I prefer chilling at my place at the Jersey Shore. No GTL for me, but lots of time outdoors, playing golf, running on the boards, and enjoying the ocean. Come to think of it, last weekend I noticed a school of fish pass by while I was heading out to body surf. Unfortunately, the fish did not literally speak to me, but they did spark an idea about the correlations between dating and fishing so here are a few ideas to consider that might raise the tide to complete your Summer of Love. 

Check the surf.  They don’t call it surfing the internet without a good reason. This is 2012 and if you are between 21-50 and single…or not, you have probably dipped your toes into the online dating waters. And, why not? What once was considered an act of desperation is now the norm for most “swingles”. There is an endless wave of attractive, intelligent people many of them just like you who are just a click away on the myriad of dating sites that are now specialized to meet almost any criteria you can think of in a potential partner. Of course meeting new people the old fashion way like, “Hi, my name is Luke”, never goes out of style. But everyone is so busy and those iPod ear buds tend to get stuck into our ears, so actually meeting new people organically seems to have gone the way of the rotary phone for a great number of us. But, that’s for another blog post. This about getting online and putting your best face, er, I mean profile forward. 

 Fish where the fish are.  Old saying, still true. Besides surfing the internet for love, summer is the perfect time to get outside of your crib and meet new friends and lovers. If you are looking for a guy, you might find them running in the park, at a ball game, having a cocktail at a sports bar or cocktail lounge, or at an outdoor class like sailing or kayaking. Frankly, dudes are everywhere and in the warmer months, they can easily be spotted and captured outdoors. And if you are seeking a pretty lady, there is no better place to find them than a class, yoga, cooking or wine tasting, or at an outdoor café sipping Chardonnay with their best girlfriends. And don’t they look fine in those summer dresses or short shorts. 

Use the right bait. Okay it is summer, but you can do better than ordering hot dogs and then smothering them in ketchup on a first date. Okay, one frank if you are attending a cookout, especially since Labor Day is coming up, but don’t forget to throw some colorful veggies on that paper plate also. In these days of judging one another to no end, a new friend will check out what and how you eat. Think about that before putting on that white shirt, fellas. Speaking of which, if you are invited to a party, whether it is a barbeque or at a polo match, do your best to show up and dress appropriately. Yes I know they are back in “fashion”, but leave your oversized Hawaiian shirt where it belongs…in the closet. 

Get fishing and reel them in like a pro. Did I mention it’s almost the end of summer and if you haven’t already, it’s the time to cut loose and have some fun? Whether you are looking for a short, flirty fling or a more meaningful relationship now is the time to focus your attention on your goal and make it happen. I assure you that it will not happen if you stay home watching the new season of “Swamp Brothers” or “The Bachelorette”. And if you are the shy type, get yourself a wingman or wing woman, get cleaned up and start casting your lines in the water. When you look good, you feel good, and when you feel good you attract what you desire. Now you’re ready to cut bait and start fishing. 


Guy’s Guy of The Week: The Old Man from Ernest Hemmingway’s novel, The Old Man and the Sea, for sticking with his strategy until he landed his prize. 

What are your ways of reeling in your catch of the day?

 

5 Words To Make You Happy, Right Now

Robert Manni - Wednesday, August 15, 2012


              


Do you ever ask yourself if you are a happy camper? 


No? Please do so. Like, very soon. These are busy times and even us Guy’s Guys get caught up in doing all of those tasks that we need to, well…do, without asking ourselves if this is the way we want to live our lives. It’s important to pause and I promise you that if you step back and allow circumspection to enter your busy, worried life you will reap benefits that most other folks will never experience. By the way there is nothing wrong with living a life filled with pleasure. In fact, I suggest that this is the precise reason that we’ve all been tossed into this global human salad. All that this Guy’s Guy is saying is that your life is valuable and precious and you owe it to yourself to make sure that you are doing all that you can to make yourself happy. Here are a few tips that have helped me keep smiling in the face of an upside-down world.

1. Breathe. 

Yes, you know the old trick of inhaling and then exhaling. How you breathe is of the utmost importance. I’ve done my share of huffing and puffing and that’s no way to go through life. Hopefully, your life is a marathon and not a sprint, and if you are in it for the long haul you’ve got to find your rhythm and breathing long and slow is a perfect recipe for relaxation and maximizing energy. Many yogis claim that each person has a precise number of breaths in them and once you have exhaled your capacity, it’s over. I have no way of knowing if this is exactly what they mean or how you project or measure that, but I do know that if you are so busy that you are limited to an endless series of quick short breaths, you’re probably not going to last that long or be having a grand old time during your short time around the track. Be mindful of your breathing and sloooow down, baby.  Let’s make this dance last.

2. Forgive.

Let’s be frank. There are plenty of a-holes out there. We know it all so well. The guy who doesn’t give up his subway seat to the pregnant lady, the couple sitting behind you that never shuts up during “Moonrise Kingdom”, the colleague who tries to take credit for your ideas while bad-mouthing you behind your back every chance he gets, and all the individuals who enter our lives to teach us about ourselves in some ironic way. I’ve found that forgiving them in your heart is the best policy for creating happiness. There will never be a shortage of these annoying people, but you can do something about it in a way that sends them some semblance of positivity while releasing them from you consciousness. Anything that you do besides forgiving them, like hating them or getting angry, seems to backfire and weigh us down. I know it can be a challenge, but do whatever you can to stop judging. Our world is perfect in its seeming imperfections. 

3. Create. 

Expressing ourselves in ways that stretch us is wonderful, freeing, and rewarding. And, I’ll bet it can make you happy. Write a song, tell a joke, draw a picture of your cat, or whatever feels comfortable in allowing you a form of self-expression. I promise that once you get your work of art the way you want it to be it will put a smile on your face. If you do not have an artistic bent, then tell a good story in conversation or just smile more. It will help you find joy and that ain’t so bad. 

4. Appreciate.

Missing the last B train can be a drag, but just think, you might meet the love of your life on the 59th Street subway platform while waiting for the next C train to chug up to the station. The mariachi band, that old guy playing the “Theme to The Godfather” on his accordion, or even those kettle drummers, might inspire some new thoughts in you. Or not. Okay, I’m reaching here, but it helps if you do everything that you can to make circumstances serve you. You know that the glass is half full and all of that. But guess what? It really works. The more time you spend being pissed off about what did or did not happen, the less time you have to allow the things you want to happen, happen. That’s how it works. 

5. Believe In Abundance. 

There are two views of the world we live in. The first belief is that we live in a finite realm where there is only so much to go around. That means if I get something, there is less for you. The second perspective is one of an infinite universe. In this configuration mankind has not even scratched the surface of its possibilities. More for me, more for you, more for us. I vote for this perspective. It keeps me sharing and it keeps me smiling inside. Who says we can’t have more? Not this Guy’s Guy.  I believe in abundance and I hope you do also. 


Guy's Guy of The Week: Eckhart Tolle for The Power of Now

What else can you do to be a happier person right NOW?



The Guy To Avoid - You've Been Warned

Robert Manni - Wednesday, August 08, 2012

            

You’ve been enjoying your summer of love, let your hair down, and met some interesting guys – maybe even someone you think is extra special. But before you get too cozy you may want to do a quick reality check with man about town Rod, the quintessential Guy’s Guy who bats for the ladies by dishing out the truth about men.  Rod is the pseudonym of Max Hallyday, the protagonist in my novel The Guys’ Guy’s Guide To Love. In the novel, Rod teaches women how to win by penning a column exposing the deepest and darkest dating secrets of men.  Here’s one for all you ladies who deserve a man that’s worthy of you.

 

The Guy To Avoid, Part Two    

We all know him. He’s the guy we just can’t resist, even if you’re a guy and he’s one of your friends. Maybe he’s a bit taller and better looking, his words flow as naturally as honey from a comb, and everything seems to fall the right way for him. And I’ll bet if YOU were a guy, you’d want to be just like him and have your way with all of those silly girls you know. And so we’re drawn to him like moths to a flame, and eventually our wings are singed. Because, ladies, it is all about him, and if you don’t figure that out early in the game, you’ll find out the hard way. And I know that no matter how clear a picture I paint of this sociopath, a lot of you will succumb to his charms anyway. He’s that good at what he does. It’s understandable, because we all want to know why his world seems like a cooler place that the one I’ll face every day. He has a gift, and he uses it on you.    

We’re infatuated by his clever comments and his version of the truth. He weaves his verbal tapestry effortlessly. He’s funny and clever and he looks right into your eyes while flashing that trademark smile. Pretty soon, ladies, you’re in his apartment and on your back. And before you know it, your heart’s been broken. You might take it out on the next suitor who comes calling. Let him pay for that other guy’s sins while he moves on to the next woman. So it becomes a vicious cycle of who can get what from the opposite sex until it grinds down our collective innocence like grist for the mill.  

Not a very pretty picture, is it? Remember ladies, you asked for the truth. So what can a nice girl like you do to protect herself from this testosterone-fueled guided missile shooting through the city? I can share a few pointers about him, but ultimately, you’re on your own. He prefers the good-looking ones. He says that beautiful women are more interesting because they’re taken to the best places, unlike some of their less physically gifted sisters who spend too many Saturday nights at home on the couch becoming even less interesting.  

Oops. That hurts, doesn’t it? This is what he believes and his behavior reflects these twisted, cynical thoughts. But when he’s with you, he makes you feel like the prettiest girl in the room. He focuses on you like a prowling jungle cat hungry for those pretty gazelles that run so fast and taste so good. So he stays close and listens and watches until he makes his move. And when he’s done with you and that body you worked on all winter in those torturous Pilates and spin classes, he licks his lips and moves on, temporarily satiated until the next pretty one comes along.  

He’s always one step ahead of you. He goes the extra mile, putting two profiles on those online dating profiles because he says it casts a wider net.  He deletes the leftovers and keeps moving. With the time he invests in hunting, he learns your habits and what you respond to. He talks freely about how awesome his last girlfriend was and how they are still friends. And, oh yeah, it was totally his fault that the relationship didn’t work out. But he knows better now, because of what he’s lost. And yes, ladies, he’s ready for a committed relationship. At least that’s what he says. Just don’t gain any weight, have a painful period, let your boobs sag or any gray hairs show, and never back off on giving him that oral sex that he craves, because if you do, he’s gone. He meets women everywhere. And he sees through lots of women like you who live in New York, no matter how confident they act or deep down how alone and insecure they sometimes feel.  

Now don’t get mad. You asked. So protect yourself, and keep asking all of these questions that can reveal a man’s true character. I don’t mean what school he attended or how much money he makes at that hedge fund where he works. I mean you need to find out how he treats people, like his family and friends and other women, because that’s what really counts. Do whatever is necessary to find out if he’ll respect the most important relationship of his life: that special relationship with you.  

Until next time,  

Rod  

Guy's Guy of the Week: Derek Jeter -  not the one to avoid, but a Guy's Guy who knows how to score on and off the field.  



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