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On Life, Love and the Pursuit of Happiness

Valentines Day: The Holiday About Love that Everyone Hates

Robert Manni - Friday, February 10, 2017

I don’t hate Valentine’s Day. I dread it, and I’d like to have a chat with St. Valentine. He may be a saint, but he’s got a lot of explaining to do.  The myth behind the man is as confounding as the commercial celebration of romantic love that sprang from his legend. Was he beaten to death with clubs, beheaded after restoring sight and hearing to the daughter of his jailer, or was he a romantic legend created by Chaucer? Until the twentieth century, the tales surrounding this enigmatic man had been spun more times than a soggy towel around the dryer.  Then a slew of corporations that produce syrupy greeting cards, milk chocolate hearts, or jewelry saw the dollar signs and lovingly embraced his “brand”.  And since it’s a holiday, we are now treated to price gouging at restaurants and florists. In my informal survey the majority of men and women I spoke to conjured up emotions far from loving when they saw February 14th and that big red heart on their calendars.

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

Pressure. If you're single, Valentine’s Day reminds you very clearly that you are currently not on the invitation list to life’s love-in, making you feel less than saintly. If you’re in a relationship, then you have to step up your game and deliver the goods—big time. Women love flowers and chocolates, and like receiving them unexpectedly… on any other day. And although she’s digs jewelry, on February 14th it must be diamonds or gold, and it better sparkle. All men love seeing their woman dolled up in new lingerie, but if her outfit is really for him, who buys it for Valentine’s Day? Tiptoeing around Victoria’s Secret and sifting through teddies, garters and thongs can be unsettling. And he probably forgot what size she wears and does not want to make a mistake.  You’ve seen guys wandering around the store checking out other women’s boobs trying to figure out if they could be the same size as his girlfriend’s. And trust me - a man gets no kicks from discussing his lady’s cup size with the sales girl. Pressure.

So how do we get through this annual ordeal?

I have no clear answer. And to ratchet up my own personal helping of pressure, my wife’s birthday is on February 12th. I’m totally screwed. Okay, breathe. There’s hope. Some experts say that February 14th is the best night for single ladies to get lucky. That is, if they can rally the troops and muster up the moxie for a manhunt. So, if you are a single guy, get your butt out there.  And when you hit the bars, keep your eyes focused on those ladies on the lookout for some man-meat and off the hockey game playing on the big screen. If you’re a man in a relationship, you’ve still got time to come up with something fresh. Buy her some well-deserved pampering at a top shelf spa or offer to cook her a romantic dinner.  If you’re a woman, bust out the deep red lipstick and push up bra ensemble and rock his world. Trust me. That’s all he wants. K.I.S.S., as they say. Keep it simple, stupid! As for me, I might end up caulking the bathroom tile before taking her out to her favorite raw food restaurant.  But, I’ll do that on her birthday. Then I’ll wish for February 15th.

The Guys' Guy's Guide to Getting Married - Part 3 (The Wedding)

Robert Manni - Thursday, July 14, 2016


When it comes to weddings, I’m no expert. In fact, I avoided marriage like the plague for years until I met my wife.

However, throughout my decades of bachelorhood, I attended quite a few wedding ceremonies and have a few ideas to share about what I have seen working for the bride, the groom and the guests. There are thousands of resources you can tap and articles you can read about how to handle every aspect of your big day. So, I’m not going to get into picking out dresses and all of that. I’ll simply tackle the big picture from the perspective of a Guy’s Guy. This key to this special day is making sure the setting and ceremony are ideal for your bride and yourself. After all, if you’re lucky, you’ll only be doing this once, so why not make it a day to remember in a good way?

I got married later in life to a woman who was previously married for ten years. She told me that she didn't have fun at her first wedding because she allowed her Mom and sister to take charge of the process. In their zeal, they exceeded their duties and took over every aspect of the celebration. You may ask, “whose blame is it when this happens?” I wasn’t there, but I’ve heard this story before. I guess Mom and sis were given too much input on the venue, dress, food, photography, and just about everything else. In the end, my wife felt that the wedding was actually for the benefit of her mother and sister. The bottom line is that it was not a joyous day for her, and the marriage got off to a rocky start. So when it was our turn to tie the knot, my wife was looking forward to making her second wedding day something she could look back on with love. So with that, let’s begin our Guys’ Guy’s insights on wedding right here:

1. Start the marriage on a positive note. 

I had never been married or given much thought to the actual wedding beyond my showing up. But, I wanted to be there for my wife, be open to ideas, and show her support. And I am glad I did. She was super cool about every aspect of our wedding day and we had a great time. I believe that's one of the reasons our marriage has been successful to date.  

So when you are stressing the details of planning out your special day, keep in mind the love for your partner, the importance of keeping an open mind, and making sure that you do whatever is necessary to have a joyful wedding day. Consider your bride’s priorities and what will it take to make her day special. Whatever those things are, I suggest you go for it and don’t look back. Anything that gets your marriage off to a strong start is a wise investment.

2. Plan in advance.

This goes without saying. Venues get booked years in advance so you need to make a check list and get started early. Between the venue, food, booze, invitations, photographers, transportation, changes, etc., etc., etc., weddings can be incredibly time-consuming. I repeat; you need to plan your wedding well in advance.

3. No destinations, please.

I’ve attended a few destination weddings and they were fun, but I’ve also passed on a few of these affairs also. Nowadays, with time being such a premium and the cost of travel, it’s a lot to ask of people to hop on a plane to the Caribbean and invest a few grand and three days of their time devoted to your wedding. I know that sounds harsh, but is it possible to make your wedding somewhat accessible to the people attending? In some way, everyone has to travel to your wedding, but that does not have to include also jetting off to the islands. We’d all like to get married on the beach in Hawaii, but will you attend all the destination weddings you get invited to? This is something to consider. If you really feel it’s necessary and can pay for the guests’ rooms, then do it.

4. Keep it simple and think outside of the box.

Our wedding was very simple—we decided to get married at 11am on a Saturday morning in late June at a quaint chapel on the Jersey Shore. We keep the list of invitees to our closest friends and relatives to give the ceremony a sense of intimacy. We held our reception at a nearby restaurant. That night we held a barbeque on the beach and a blow out at our beach house with a larger group of friends and family. We were lucky. We had perfect weather, a wonderful ceremony, a great reception, a fun barbeque, and a party that lasted until 3am. It was a blast. We kept things simple, because it was what worked for us. I have been to a number of big weddings that were equally as fun; it’s really up to you and what will make you happy.

5. Go on your honeymoon right away.

I’ve heard of couples putting off their honeymoons for a few months due to work and other obligations. Try not to do this. Your marriage is a priority, and in my mind, part of the ceremony is the honeymoon. Do whatever it takes to get away with your bride within a week of the wedding. This keeps the momentum going and will pay off in spades when you look back on this milestone. The whole wedding enchilada counts, and that includes the honeymoon. As for where to go and what to do, I’ll leave that to you. After the stress of the wedding, and it is stressful, my wife and I wanted to chill at a resort with a beach. So it was off to Turks and Caicos. And we had an awesome time.

So that’s my three cents in a three-part series on when to get engaged, married, and having a great wedding. The key to success for all of these steps is to always remember the reason that you are tying the knot with this person. She or he is the one you love most and with whom you want to share your life. If you maintain this as your top priority and a major consideration in all decisions, you’re on your way to a successful engagement, wedding, and marriage. Good luck, amigos.

5 Signs He's Taking the Relationship Seriously

Robert Manni - Friday, March 18, 2016

Whether it’s in business or a relationship, getting blindsided and dumped sucks. And who hasn’t been there at least once in their lives?

You may have thought things were all rosy after a series of seemingly great meetings or dates, but the other party or person may have had a completely different take on the situation. After five interviews and meeting everyone from the CEO to the maintenance dude, you assumed the job was yours, but they never called you back. Or after that torrid weekend at the beach you thought it was true love, but he thought it was a summer fling. And he never returned your texts after that.

Unfortunately, that’s how life works, amigos, so it’s important to take stock of your business and your relationships on a regular basis. For the purposes of this post, your Guy’s Guy will share his musings on the ways women can get a read on where they stand with that special someone they’ve been dating for a few weeks or months. Let’s call this The Guys’ Guy’s Guide to Knowing It’s For Real.

So, here are five crystal clear signs your man is taking you and your relationship seriously.

1. He takes himself off the dating sites – This is huuuge. One of the toughest decisions a guy can make after he connects with a special woman is suspending his profile on all the dating apps and sites. For a lot of men this can be harder than quitting porn. Guys are visual and there is nothing like sitting back with a cold one in your tightey whiteys while surfing the dating dates for a fresh crop of female photos and profiles. I know it sounds cold, but guys like looking and playing, and these sites and apps can be addictive to men, and for women, also. So if your guy takes himself off these sites on his own, consider that a check plus. If you ask him why his profile is still active and he tells he will shut them down and does, that’s a check. If he either avoids the question or answers in Trump-like double speak, consider that a red flag. It means he’s not taking your relationship as seriously as you may have thought. Your move.

2. He asks you to go on vacation with him – When you think about it, going on vacation with someone is technically only an extended date with luggage and back-to-back sleepovers. If you’ve been seeing someone for a few months you’ve probably already slept with them or spent a weekend together. But taking a trip with someone for the first time can be a big thing. Everyone has their own style of traveling and if a couple is incompatible when they’re on the road, it could be a deal breaker. So, just the fact that he’s asked you to hop on a plane with him is a really good sign. Now all you need to do is show up, pack wisely, and be the very best version of you. You can do that.

3. He wants to introduce you to his squad – Another seemingly insignificant gesture is actually a big deal to guys. Sure you meet new people and get introduced every day on the job, but meeting a guy’s crew is for him an invitation into his inner sanctum. And depending on his taste in friends, it is not always a pretty place. Which is another good reason why meeting his friends is a good thing for assessing your relationship. Say yes if he asks you to meet his boys at the bar. You’ll learn a lot while enjoying free drinks.

4. He invites you home for a holiday – Similar to meeting his friends, meeting his family is another telling adventure and a sign that he is taking you and your relationship seriously. You will definitely learn a lot about your guy and what makes him tick once you meet his family, but the main thing is that he thinks enough of you to invite you in the first place. Do the smart thing and show up. The drinks are free again, but this time don’t get drunk.

5. He pays attention – This is the key sign that your guy is really into you. It’s all about the little things and noticing the details women notice about their guy. Whether it’s remembering which Chardonnay you prefer, noticing and complimenting your new blouse, or knowing how tired you feel after that series of big meetings, if he’s paying attention to the details of your life he’s showing you respect and is focused on making the relationship work.

Sure there are more ways of finding out if your guy is taking you and your relationship seriously, but I think these five behaviors are reliable bellwethers for clocking his interest level and for your consideration of him as keeper material.

This Week’s GUY’S GUY of the WEEK is, drum roll please…. me. After three dates I asked my wife what I needed to do to be a good boyfriend. She smiled and said, “pay attention”. That was a wake up call. I took myself off of the dating sites, focused on building this relationship I was interested in, and eventually asked for her hand in marriage exactly one year to the day later. Hey, you’ve gotta have some game to be a Guy’s Guy.

The Guys' Guy's Guide to Keeping Your Mojo Working

Robert Manni - Thursday, September 17, 2015


Most men have experienced a romantic episode where their mind and spirit were willing, but their body did not respond as nature intended.

It can happen to any guy. Too much booze or recreational drugs, a bad diet, high blood pressure, diabetes, stress, or whatever. Shit happens, and sometimes it’s in the bedroom. No man is immune from the possibility of his flag not saluting when unfurled. Unfortunately, few women understand a man’s psychological trauma from a failed interlude. No worries, amigos. Your Guy’s Guy is here to help.

I’m not a doctor nor do I play one on television. My credentials? I’m like a lot of blokes reasonably intelligent, successful and attractive with a twist. After twenty-five sex-fueled years of single life in New York City I got married five years ago. Now I’m a dad. Things have changed in all areas of my life, including the bedroom. But, as my wife or my exes will attest to, I’m a guy who loves sex. So I’ve made it my business to take care of myself so I can keep on thumping like the Energizer bunny. My goal is to share what’s worked for me over the years. As always, these are simply ideas for your consideration and potential research. But ultimately, I think us Guy’s Guys can agree that there are few better feelings than a sturdy, “Boing”.

First, let’s level set. There is a physical and a mental component to men’s arousal. The most important physical consideration by far is circulation and blood flow. Think about it. An erection occurs when your penis becomes engorged with blood. And what guy doesn’t love being engorged? Those colorful little pills advertised on television that help men get it up are all about enhancing blood flow to the penis. They work, but a healthy man doesn't necessarily need a pill to ensure proper blood flow. I’ll share some tips that address circulation. The mental side of the equation is trickier. Guys continually roll through different thoughts and emotions, and half the time we don’t even know how we feel about what’s going on in our own worlds. It’s stressful. And if the body is slow to respond, panic can set in and things may snowball quickly. That’s never a good thing. So I’ll also offer considerations for the mental side of the game.

Enough about the ground rules. In no particular order, here is my Guys’ Guy’s Guide to Keeping Your Mojo Working. Drum roll, por favor.

1. Diet – Studies have shown that a highly acidic, meat and fat based diet loaded with hidden sugars and salt, GMO’s, and chemical additives does NOT do a body good. And amigos, your penis is part of your body, so its functionality is negatively impacted by an acidic, low alkaline diet. Meat, sugar, simple carbs, gluten, caffeine, nicotine, salt, food additives, all contribute to the demise of your performance. A diet rich in organic veggies, wild caught fish and sprouted grains and supplements will help keep you on point. And we all know that drugs or too much booze can turn Mr. Happy into Mr. Droopy. Be mindful of what you consume.

2. Exercise – Want to bolster your circulation? There is no better way than a good hard workout. Cardio and strength training do wonders for keeping your blood flowing throughout your body and organs. There is no mystery to this, but due to the stresses and western diet in modern life, many guys schlep around feeling lazy and tired. Don’t let that be you. Are you walking home instead of texting Uber? Are you climbing the stairs instead standing on the escalator? The good news is that if you really don’t have time for a workout you can still do good things for yourself. Walking is great for your health and circulation, as is adding any amount of incremental cardio to your day. And guess what? Sex is cardio and it’s great exercise, too.

3. Managing Stress – There’s an old saying that “stress kills”. Sadly, it’s true for not only the body, but also for a man’s sexual performance. Sex is supposed to be a fun sport. But these days a lot of men, and surprisingly many young men, are filled with anxiety about their lives and sexual performance. Women are finally getting their long-overdue recognition, but many young dudes see this as a threat. To what, I ask? For this Guy’s Guy, there has never been a better time to be a man. Back in the day, a guy had to really work to bed lady. There was no Tinder, no texting, no “hanging out”. We had to prowl the city like lone wolves searching for prey. Then we had to introduce ourselves, buy drinks, dance, make small talk and actually charm a woman into a few dates before hopping into the sack. Nowadays, many young women are the sexual aggressors with no issues about taking the lead in the sack. That makes life easy. As long as you treat women respectfully, there is no reason a Guy’s Guy can’t enjoy a very healthy, robust sex life. These are the good old days.

So why all the stress, amigos? Relax and enjoy. There are many great looking, intelligent, capable women looking for a Guy’s Guy. But if you find yourself tightening up when it’s time to get it on, try slowing your mind down and don’t be in such a hurry to force things to happen. Kiss, cuddle, massage, laugh… If you’ve had too much to drink to perform, think of it as a lesson well-learned. Get some sleep and come back hard in the morning.

4. Supplements – If you take one thing away from this post, this tip is a gem. Since blood flow and circulation are critical to male sexual performance, there are natural supplements that help increase blood flow and oxidation. I started taking two L-Arginine and one Pycnogenol tablet twice a day for sports performance and things started happening. L-Arginine is an amino acid used by athletes. Pycnogenol, made from French maritime pine bark extract, is considered an anti-aging anti-oxidant for better skin and life-extension. You can find lots of info about it online. And since I began taking these supplements twice a day, my workouts and physical capacity has been through the roof and my libido is as strong as when I was a teenager. And it was pretty darn powerful. Just sayin’.

5. Porn, or Lack Thereof – Will everyone who likes to whack off raise your hand? Okay, that’s almost all of you. Clinical studies show that masturbation can be a healthy activity in moderation. You could even argue that masturbation is a distant cousin of meditation. But when you’re surfing porn for hours every day and always before having sex with your honey, it’s a problem; both psychologically and physically. Do you really need to think of that chick you saw online with the six-pack and giant boobs to get it up for your girlfriend? I think not. Do your best to keep the porn and stroking to a minimum. Trust me—there ain’t nothing like the real thing. If you’re with the right woman and you treat her well, she will do anything your little old imagination can come up with. Focus your energy on your partner. She’s the one who should be handling your equipment.

6. Love – One of the most fantastic nights of sex with my wife came after we attended a two-day workshop on love, guided attunements and channeling, and raising frequency. Our lovemaking was pure, clear and filled with heart-opening love. A few weeks later my wife was pregnant with our son. I’m sure I would have had no problems performing with my wife without the workshop and maybe she would have become pregnant anyway, but this is what happened. Love makes a difference, and I have always found love to be a core ingredient for great sex. Sure, lust is good, but love lifts the act to another level. And I would argue that feelings of love translate to better sexual performance because it everything feels so natural, so right. Love is ultimately what connects us.

I could go on and on, but I think you get the point. Lovemaking is a gift and the more we clear our cluttered minds and clean our bodies, the easier it is to perform like a champ. If you want to perform every time, make loving yourself and your partner the bedrock of your sex life.

Time to take my supplements…

This week’s GUY’S GUY OF THE WEEK is Vatsyayana, the author of KAMA SUTRA, the classic tome on sexual pleasure.Thanks, amigo.

5 Lessons I've Learned in Five Years of Marriage

Robert Manni - Tuesday, June 16, 2015


If life is like a box of chocolates, then marriage is a pizza pie. Every pie has the same basic ingredients, but you and your partner add distinct flavors and spices. I married later than most. In fact, I was single so long that on holidays my family stopped asking me when I was getting married. I was a happy bachelor. Although I shared a few live-in relationships and learned a thing or two about love from my partners, nothing prepared me for the commitment that comes with marriage. Maybe I’m old school because I could not ask for a woman’s hand in marriage until I was absolutely certain she was the only one for me. It’s been five years now and the time has flashed by like a blur. I’ve been up, down and all around in this short period of time and I’m glad I was lucky enough to wait for the right person to come into my life. And I was even luckier that she said yes.

I know everyone has a different experience in marriage. Some succeed and just as many fail. I also acknowledge that I am no expert, and much of what I include in this post may seem obvious to some. But here goes anyway. These are my lessons learned from five years of marriage, Guy’s Guy style.

1. Everyone is different. When you live with someone, over time you get a first hand perspective about their habits and how they roll. My wife has two masters’ degrees and is arguably the smartest person I know. So, at first I was surprised to learn that she loves to kick back and wallow in reality television and those hideous real estate fixer upper shows. And unfortunately, most of this drivel is on at the same time as my beloved Yankees and Knicks games. I usually skulk to my office and work on the computer. I never imagined such an intelligent person would consume this trash TV, but I’ve learned that this is simply her way to relax. Sigh. This is an example of how couples learn about and then deal with minor, but potentially annoying differences in lifestyles. Over time, I’ve adjusted my attitude and my routine, and once or twice I’ve even sat through “The Housewives of Beverly Hills”.

2. Change can be a good thing. To a certain extent, we are all creatures of habit. When you're single, you come and go as you please. You sleep in when you want to, watch movies until the earlier hours of the morning, and basically do whatever the hell you want to whenever you want to do it. And in a city like New York, that can be interesting, to say the least. After a few months of marriage though, you factor in how your behavioral quirks might affect your partner. So, over time, you realize that going out for a meal and drinks at 2AM is no longer such a great idea. You adjust your schedule to sync with your partner’s, and if you're a guy, it’s not a bad thing. Although I have always stayed in shape, my bachelor lifestyle was not the healthiest. Late night drinking and binging on bad food and falling asleep in front of the television were not conducive to a healthy lifestyle. Now I’m in the sack by midnight and I wake up in a good mood after a restful sleep next to my wife. And, she doesn’t even steal the covers.

3. Kids basically blow up your lifestyle. Holy shit. I had no idea that having a kid would create such a drastic change in my day-to day existence. Kids gobble up your time and continually up the ante. Just when you think you’ve got a routine set, they shift into a new phase of unpredictable behavior. And when they are young, you can never let them out of your sight. Man, that can be tiring. For a longtime bachelor, this has been a sea of change that I totally underestimated. Kids really do change everything. The good news is that you will never feel more unconditional love from another human than you do from your child. It’s a beautiful thing, and I had no idea.

4. Don’t take your partner for granted. Once you’ve been married for a year or so it’s easy to settle into a routine. Don’t do it, especially if you are a guy. Guys fall into patterns of comfort quickly and it’s easy to take what your partner does for you for granted. Big mistake, amigo. Big mistake. Marriage forces a lot of guys, myself included, to man up and stop being such selfish a-holes. I’m a work in progress, so as I evolve from a knuckle-dragging Neanderthal into a Guy's Guy, I at least make sure to tackle an increasing number of mundane tasks so my wife doesn't have to do them. When I was single, I could ignore most of this stuff for weeks, but now I am a table-clearing, dish swishing, vacuuming, garbage hauling, laundry loving, recycling, sheet changing, waste basket emptying, poop cleaning, diaper changing machine. I seek out and destroy every boring-ass menial job that comes along so I don’t leave them on my partner’s plate. It’s the least I can do for her.

5. Never stop dating. You know what I mean, and it’s easier said than done. When you’re married and have a kid, you’re pretty burned out by the end of the week. It’s hard to pull a real date together, and too often I find myself sprawled out on the couch next to my wife watching Bill Maher on Friday night instead of going out for dinner and cocktails. For now, since our little guy is a toddler and we are older parents, we regulate our “date time” to weekend lunches or earlier dinners with the little guy in tow. I guess that’s romantic in it’s own way, but I know I have to do more.

Those are just a few tidbits from what I’ve learned in five short years of marriage. I know I’m glad that I enjoyed my single life and I’m glad that I decided to wait. I also know that I need to keep improving, but at least I’m making progress.

This week’s Guy’s Guys of the Week are my parents, Serge and Carole Manni, who recently celebrated their sixty-fifth wedding anniversary (That’s a tough act to follow!). And of course, my lovely wife, Uni. God bless them.

The Guys' Guy's Guide to Self Love

Robert Manni - Tuesday, April 21, 2015


Loving is never easy. We live in a culture and time where we are made to feel separate. Religion, money, politics and race have all been leveraged to keep us apart and dissatisfied and unloved. And let’s face it; life is tough. So anything we can do to validate our self-worth and connect us through love is a good thing. But it has to start with loving ourselves.

I’d loved and lost many times when I finally realized what had been missing. Before I could truly love another person, I needed to learn how to love myself. And, for most of us, that’s no easy task. I’m not referring to narcissism or ego. There is too much of that in our world already. I mean loving yourself as our all being a part of oneness, universal consciousness, or God.

For years, no matter how much I tried or wanted it to be so, the world did not feel like a loving place. My relationships with family, friends and lovers felt forced or lacking in some way. Years went by. The clock kept ticking. Something had to change. Guy’s Guys are seekers, so I decided to delve into the concept of love and see if I could figure out how I could be a more loving individual and make my world a more loving place.

After digesting piles of spiritual books, interviewing and working with metaphysical authors, healers and spiritual personalities, I had an epiphany. I realized that I’d spent my life looking for love in all the wrong places. Whether it was the love of a woman, a friend or my family, I was looking externally. Whether this was a cry for respect or validation, my focus was pointed in the wrong direction. I realized that if I wanted to change, I needed to start by looking inside. And I am glad I did. Over the past few years, my life has changed for the better. Although I still have a long road to travel, at least I’ve made the first step on a more righteous path. Now I truly love myself, and it has made a tremendous difference in how I see the world and my fellow men and women. So allow me to share with you, The Guys’ Guy’s Guide to Self Love.

1. Forgive yourself. If you decide to stop reading here, but take this notion to heart, you will be ahead of the game. The world is a tough place and our media is always pointing out our shortcomings and how lacking we are as individuals. Of course we can’t always be right. We screw up. We fail. That’s okay, amigo. We are all on a journey and each one of us is exactly where we need to be to learn what is necessary to raise our individual frequency. Messing up is part of how we learn.

If you have a hard time forgiving yourself, how can you forgive others? If you don’t love yourself, how can you really love anyone else?

2. Be grateful. I’ve mentioned this in a number of previous blog posts, but it’s so important and so easy to do. It makes a major difference in how you view yourself and the world. This morning I was holding my young son on a shelf next to a window. It was raining hard and the droplets dotted and dripped down the pane. My son pointed at them. He pointed to the window frame, and then to the rubber seal that held the window in place. I told him what each thing was and I found myself feeling very appreciative that we were safe and sound in a warm dry condo building while a torrential rain poured outside. In many parts of the world, people still don’t have proper shelter. They still scramble to avoid the elements and find a place where it is warm and dry. Seems like a small thing, but it’s not a small thing for some less fortunate souls. So, count your many blessings, no matter how small they may be or how easy they are to overlook. It makes a big difference in how you see your world. Being grateful helps us become more loving of ourselves and our surroundings. I’m not exactly sure how the math works, but it does work out this way when you are appreciative.

3. Release fear. Many spiritual seers and pundits claim that our lives boil down to one choice. It’s the choice between love and fear. I’ve chosen fear a lot, and I am sure other people do also. Now I’m slowly, but surely shifting my frequency more based on love than fear, and it is making a major difference on my life. Again I’m not sure how it works, but choosing love really works for me.

When I choose a path of love, I also choose to love and respect myself. Next time you are challenged and need to take action ask yourself if your actions are coming from a place of love or fear. Then see how you feel in your heart after you make your decision, regardless of which path you choose.

4. Let things go. Control, fear and anger make a deadly trio that can poison our minds. Think about where you were five or ten years ago and all of the things that seemed so important. How many of them are still mission critical? That job, that girl, that race you ran. They’re all in the past now, replaced by a new list of things to keep you needy and on edge. My advice? Do your thing the best you can and then let go. Each night when I plunk my head on the pillow, I state my gratitude for all the good things in my life. Then I mentally compile all of the challenges that are on my mind. I offer it all to the universe, knowing that I am loved and that everything will work out in a way that is best for me. This nightly process has taken a great weight of my shoulders. I sleep better and feel calmer inside. I’ve heard this is called, “let go and let God”. Well-stated.

5. Acknowledge your self-worth. As simple as this sounds, many folks do not feel that they deserve to have blessings bestowed on them. They feel guilty or have been told that they are not worthy. We all came here carrying a bit of that divine spark, so we are all equally deserving of good will and love. And that means EVERYBODY. So, the best way to begin is to acknowledge yourself as part of God and deserving of love.

Maybe I’ve gotten a tad spiritual this week, but I have a responsibility. A Guy’s Guy believes that in a world where men and women are at their best, everyone wins. Learn to love yourself.

This week’s Guy’s Guys of the Week are all of my 130 guests on Guy’s Guy Radio. Each person has shared a passion, lesson or journey to help others. Thanks to all. And please check out the weekly podcasts on Blog Talk Radio and iTunes.

How to Seal the Deal and Keep it Real

Robert Manni - Thursday, January 22, 2015


Some say that for men, finding a willing sex partner has never been easier. But it’s not quite a glamorous as the media leads us to believe. After all, not every guy has six-pack abs, lots of bank and hooks up with a new hottie on Tinder every Friday night.

And although lot of young guys aspire to be a “Don Jon” style ladies man, many young bucks get sidetracked by porn, the ease of technology and watching too much sports. As a result, “hanging out” has become the new definition of dating. As a result many dudes think they have their swerve on, but are pretty limited when it comes to conversational skills and social élan.  And that’s no way to discover real intimacy with a prospective partner. Enter your Guy’s Guy with a handful of tried and true tips that can help any guy show respect for his partner while getting his ticket punched along the way. And, trust me, if you follow these guidelines word will get around with the ladies that you are one righteous hombre. Here are some ideas to keep in mind when meeting a lady of high interest. Drum roll please.

1. She wants to go to bed with you.

Women are like banks that prequalify lenders. That doesn’t mean everyone gets the loan, but if she agrees to a date, you're in a good position. Stated another way, when a woman agrees to go out on an actual (not hanging out) date with a guy, chances are she’s already thought about having sex with him. Women pay attention and they think ahead. And they don’t like wasting time. At this point it’s up to the guy not to screw things up. But, in the majority of cases that’s exactly what happens. They find ways to drop the ball, and like rookie running backs, they end up on the sidelines, hoping and waiting for their number to get called again. Keep this in mind and you are on a fast track to success.

2. Date like a Guy’s Guy.

Although she’s fitter than you and capable of tapping you out with an arm bar, today's women pine for men to treat them like ladies. That means being a gentlemen and asking her (not texting her) out by phone, or better yet, in person. That also means having a plan in mind that matches her interests. That requires some active listening on your part. She mentioned loving sushi? Need I say more about where to take her on that first real date?

When you greet her, tell her she looks pretty. Put the damn phone down and pay attention to her during dinner. Pick up the tab. Afterwards, hail a cab for her. If things go well and she invites you back to her place, good for you. That said, play it cool and don’t push her. She will let you know how you are doing, but don’t expect the whole enchilada on the first night (more to come on that). Read the signals and know when to go home. On the way home or the next day send her a thank you text. Tell her you had a great time and would like to see her again. Then follow up. That’s all, my friend. 

3. Be patient, be creative.

Good things come to those who wait and improvise. Quick story... One summer a few years back I connected with a hottie on Match. She had curves, piercing black eyes and legs to die for. Oh, I wanted her badly. The first time we met, we shared coffee at a café in the East Village. That was it. She knew she was smoking hot and I was unsure she wanted to see me again. That week I asked her out again and we met for a casual dinner. Following a late night drink she gave me a quick “goodnight” peck on the cheek. My balls ached the entire cab ride home. We met for drinks again that week with the same conclusion. Grrr.

I needed to try something different. I asked her to join me at a Fourth of July parade in the little seaside town where I have a small beach house. On a star-spangled sunny morning we stood side by side taking in the colorful wholesome, real Americana event. She was originally from Taiwan and I noticed how her eyes light up during the parade. She was totally into the pageantry. Afterwards I suggested we stop at my place for a soft drink. As we looked out at the sea I slipped my arms around her and leaned in for a kiss. She accepted my lips eagerly and a few minutes later we were rumpling my sheets like tigers in heat. Patience and creativity had paid off. 

4. Clean up your crib.

I’ll keep this short. Women appreciate a guy with clean sheets and a clean bathroom. I’ve lived in a few dumps in my day and have not always followed this rule. And on occasion I’m sure it prevented me from sealing the deal. Over time I learned that when your place sparkles, you have a much better shot at making hay with a lady. Case closed.

5. A little romance goes a long way.

The women I know really appreciate when a guy does something thoughtful. A bouquet of flowers (no special occasion required), a bottle of her favorite wine, and cooking her dinner can go a long way in sparking a woman’s interest in pleasing a guy. Think about it… And do it because you want to please her, not just for the reward.

6. Be appreciative and take care of her needs.

It took me awhile to get this one straight, but once I saw the light, my love life and sex life really took off. As a guy I know how desperate we can get when we want to get off.  But there is a big difference between getting off and making love. You can get off by yourself. You need a special lady to make love. And if you take care of her needs first and consistently, she’ll probably give you get everything you’ve dreamt about.

There’s more, lots more where that came from, but let’s put a wrap on this for now. A few insightful nuggets can go a long way in the evolution of a horn dog guy to a mature loving man.

The Guys' Guy's Guide to Listening

Robert Manni - Friday, May 30, 2014


How many times have you told a friend or colleague something of importance only to see their eyes glaze over while you pour your heart out?

Don’t worry. It’s not you. It’s them. But we’ve all been “them”. What I mean is, our crazy world and its demands set our minds on overdrive for most of the day. So unfortunately when someone is speaking to us, many times we’re either thinking of our response or what we want for lunch or that we have to pick up the dry cleaning or sex. It’s a sign of the times. Too often people talk at each other. If you don’t believe me, next time you are sitting alone, fiddling with your Samsung Galaxy, eavesdrop on those people at the adjacent table or seated close by on the train. You’ll probably hear one person dominating what is supposed to be a conversation, but is really a download. That fact is, life is tough and we all need to be heard. 

But take heed. It doesn’t have to be this way. You, yes, you, can turn one of these verbal dumping sessions into a positive experience. It takes a little work, but it can be done. Here are my Guy’s Guy tips for active listening. We’ll use the example of two BFF’s here, but the template works in business, also.

1. Take a deep breath.

Let’s say your bestie has just lost her job or she’s having  major love issues with her partner. She probably wants someone to hear her out and empathize with her struggle. She may or may not want your suggestions right now. She simply needs to hurl and you're within range, so you need to prepare yourself. Remember, we all face trouble at one time or another and it is helpful to tell them to a friend. Inhale, exhale, and get hip to the situation. It’s your time to listen.

2. Shut up.

Now that you know what the conversation is all about, you want to clam up and hear her out. If you feel it is necessary to slow her down or if you need a break, ask her something like, “so how do you feel about that?” This may get hear thinking about how to fix her problem. The same holds true in business, especially a service business. You need to find out where the pain points are before you can add value and sell a client a solution. So, do your best to keep your lips zipped and let the other person have their say before adding your two cents. It’s part of being a friend or a good business partner.

3. Think about what she is saying.

That’s code for actively listening instead of tuning out or thinking about that cute guy with the long fingers in your yoga class who reminds you of Daniel Day-Lewis. The reality is that your friend is confiding in you for a reason. She needs someone to talk to, and more importantly, she thinks highly enough of you to give you with the honor of dumping her data on you. So be the good friend you signed up to be and deploy some psychic energy so that you can help her out.

4. Ask what she’s going to do.

This will also get her thinking about solutions or what she needs. This is also a good time to ask her if she wants your point of view. If she agrees, you might start out with questions that crystallize the issue what she wants to get out of it.

Let’s say she lost her job and she’s on a rant about her a-hole boss who pushed her out. Maybe ask what would bring her the most joy career wise and the type of work would make her happy. Just your asking her this question may help her realize that she never really liked being in advertising and that she’s always wanted to open up a flower shop.

5. Ask how you can help.

This is what friends do. This is also what smart people in business do. They look for ways to be of service to their friends, colleagues and clients. Yes, I know business always comes down to making money, but business is conducted between people, so you’ve got to sharpen those people skills to get ahead, and better yet, to be of service.

At some point you’ll be the one who needs a shoulder to lean on, so be generous and sympathetic when someone starts downloading on you. Of course if their M. O. is to do this every time you get together, then you might not want to hang with them. Unfortunately, when this happens in business, you’ll either need to suck it up, or find a new client.

Are you a good listener?

This week’s Guys’ Guys of the Week are all the people who work in retail or the customer service field. They listen to people’s problems all day. They probably need someone to talk to when they get off work.

How to Make "The Talk" More Productive

Robert Manni - Friday, December 27, 2013


Let’s face it. Guys don’t like “the talk”.

In fact, most guys don’t like discussing their relationships or their feelings at all. Hey, please don’t shoot the messenger. I’m on your side, but it's time we have our own little “talk”.  I want to help you get your guy in the mindset of being open and honest about the relationship and make it as wonderful as it can be. Unfortunately, if we leave that up to men, it’s got about as much chance of succeeding as the Jamaican bobsled team winning the gold medal in the upcoming Winter Olympics. That would be great, but don’t bet on it. So ladies, please accept my Guy’s Guy tips for making the most of those “talks” with your man.

Men have a different perspective on relationships.

When a guy doesn’t have much to say you can assume he is happy with the relationship. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing. When a guy has a problem, he usually brings it up when it happens. Once it’s discussed and hopefully resolved, he moves on. If only things were that easy, right? While some ladies may fester internally about a comment or something he did for weeks or months before discussing, it might be healthier to bring it up as it happens. Of course this doesn't necessarily apply to all women or all relationships. Some women bring up each and every little thing that bothers them, whether they're right or wrong, making their man feel that he’s under attack and not making his partner happy. Although it’s the guy’s responsibility to choose how he feels, it’s also the fastest way to see a guy shut down. Do your best to find the right balance.

Timing is everything.

You don’t go ice fishing in July. And you don’t plop down next to your guy and bring up relationship issues during the seventh inning of the World Series when his team, and maybe your team, is playing (Not to say your issue is any less important than the game). The point is, you want his full attention. Find a time and a place where the two of you can relax and not be pressed for time--maybe a walk in the park or after a nice meal in your favorite restaurant. Notice I did not say in the restaurant where you’ll be sitting across from your partner. Also, do your best to avoid alcohol before the “talk”. Just trying to help.

Prioritize your issues.

The women I know really care about their relationships. And they do so to the point of occasionally obsessing about the details. It drives them crazy when their guy is all smiles yet unaware that his behavior is troubling to her and preventing their relationship from getting to the next level. And rightly so. Guys can be lazy-minded, and it is unfair that women have to harbor unhappiness because their man is not paying attention and respecting the relationship the way they are. That said it helps if you can focus the “talk” on the most important aspects of the relationship. Too many issues in one discussion can feel like a condemnation of the guy as a person. I’m not defending this response, but the fact is, guys are sensitive when it comes to their egos, so if you want to get through keep things simple. I’ll bet he’ll respond if you do. And tell him that this is important.

It’s about love, not winning.

I’m the first to admit that throughout the many “talks” I’ve had, I was usually in the wrong. Although that was never the intention, I learned through the ‘talks” to open up and view my relationships through my partners’ lens. And more often than not, her lens was filled with love, even though it may not have felt like it at the time. Like other guys, I want nothing more than to make my partner happy. So please keep in mind that if your talks are based on love and not criticism or winning an argument, I think you will find that your guy will be open and inspired to be a better and more loving partner.

Are you ready to have a productive “talk” with your guy?

How to Improve Your Chance for Romance

Robert Manni - Thursday, December 05, 2013


Once upon a time there was no Instagram, Tinder, Facebook, Match.com, Vine, and no sexting, texting, or even e-mail.

Can you imagine? If a young buck wanted to meet a nice lady, he’d take a deep breath, walk across the bar room, smile and say something clever like, “Hey, my name's Steve.”  If he was fortunate enough that she didn’t blow cigarette smoke his way, it was on him to keep the conversation going in the hopes of making a connection. This requires a real conversation, one that transcends discussing recent episodes of “The Walking Dead” or fantasy football.  Keep it real, amigo. Before we were drowning in technology, people were forced to connect face-to-face, person-to-person. It was a good way to foster social skills and the fine art of conversation. Instead of hiding behind cell phones and 140 characters on Twitter, dudes had to put themselves on the line in the hopes of as a way of making a woman feel special. With this in mind I humbly offer the Guys’ Guy’s four easy ways to polish your social skills and improve the chances for romance.

Put The Gadgets Away.

There's a million apps available to help guys out on the town connect with random women.  But texting a stranger from across the bar will not enhance your social élan. It’s much more effective to introduce yourself in person, like our friend Steve did all those years ago. Women prefer the direct approach. Just be a gentleman and don’t gawk at their boobs. When scoping out the female prospects, check the hair, the bag and the shoes. They’ll tell you a lot about a woman and how she sees herself. Once you decide whom you want to meet, think of an open-ended conversation starter that requires a real answer, not a yes or no. “Do you like pickle backs?” probably won’t get you far. Then, tuck that cell phone into your pocket, flash your best smile and make your approach.

Pay Attention.

This is the cardinal rule for connecting with women. That’s because women pay attention and have this amazing capacity to assimilate tons of detailed information about everything, including what you said two months ago about your ex. Men are not very good at this. But, guys who learn the value of active listening find themselves miles ahead of their beer swilling mates that half-listen to their female companions while they multitask by watching the game and checking for texts every two minutes. When talking with a lady, everything else takes a back seat. Period.

Get Real.

Unless you have major bank, can rhyme like Drake or look like Gosling, you are not a chick magnet. Life is not a Rick Ross video unless you are Rick Ross.  Take a deep breath, accept who you are at this moment, then smile inwardly and say, “Damn right!” It’s all good, young man. Not all women are built like fitness models and neither are you. Laugh with others, laugh at yourself and have fun meeting women. Maybe you hit it off conversationally with someone who may not be your cup of tea physically. Not a problem. You can be friends. She might make a terrific wingman, or you could be hers.  Better yet, she may have a slammin’ girlfriend that she’ll introduce you to if she hasn’t already set her sights on you. If that’s the case, be nice and be kind. Things usually work themselves out.

Follow Up.

If you master steps one through three and score her digits or more, make sure you stay the course and call her the next day. That means the next day, not next week. And it means a phone call, not a text, not a sext of your junk, or an Instagram, etc.  Let her know you had a great time with her and that you’d like to see her again. If she shares your interest, have a plan in mind. Trust me, she’ll be impressed that you’ve not only taken the time to call her, but you had the consideration to think ahead and make her life a tad easier. Woman may be more aggressive these days, but they appreciate a dude who can take the wheel and treat them special. And, women are special.

 

Are you polishing your socials skills and connecting with women?


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