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On Life, Love and the Pursuit of Happiness

The Guys' Guy's Guide to Getting Married - Part 2 (The Engagement)

Robert Manni - Saturday, July 09, 2016


I like to keep things simple and try things once. That includes getting engaged, being married, and having a kid.

Been there done that. I’ve read a lot about putting a ring on it, most of it from the female perspective. Women have invested lots of psychic energy into the details and finer points of popping the question and the wedding. And they should be applauded for all the articles and posts, and also for putting up with their guys throughout all the ceremonial hoopla. The actual process of getting engaged is the trickiest aspect to getting married because in most cases it’s the guy who is doing the asking. With that in mind, a few young bucks have asked me to write about managing this process, so I wanted to share my Guys’ Guy’s point of view about this important milestone.

Let’s begin by clearing stating that there is no set blueprint to getting engaged. There are a lot of ways to do it right and just as many to screw it up. You can post your intentions on the scoreboard of Yankee Stadium or get down on one knee on the beach at sunset. It doesn’t matter where or how you do it, as long as it feels romantic and holds meaning for both of you. Ultimately it’s about following your heart, and then using your mind to make getting engaged a memorable event. Here are a few considerations for each of the critical steps.

1. Make sure she’s the one – There has never been a truer old adage than “fools rush in”. How many friends do you know who got married too soon to the wrong person only to find themselves in a divorce a few years later? There is always at least one broken heart and often kids involved. So what’s the hurry, people? I don’t believe in starter marriages. Instead I say wait. Wait and wait until you are sure you have found the right person to share your life with. You’ll need check marks for companionship, kindness, values, sex, and a shared sense of humor for when you’re both faced with life’s random occurrences. Then to be sure, double and triple check your heart again. If everything feels right, then go ahead, amigo, and make your move.

2. Buy a ring – If you have step one in order and you know that she is ready to commit to spending her life with you, then I suggest buying ring before asking for her hand in marriage. Some people still follow the tradition of asking her father ahead of time. If that works for you, then do it. But first ask yourself what you are going to do if he gives you the thumbs down. Hmmm. That’s tricky. In any case sniff around to see if you can sort out what type of rings she prefers. I’m not sure it’s wise to ask her friends or sisters because they might blab. But whatever you determine to be the right fit for her and your spending limit, add another twenty-five percent to your budget. You never want t take the chance of looking like a cheapskate for the rest of your life because you wanted to save some coin on the ring. Another tip is asking your married friends where they bought their rings. If you’re lucky, you might score a contact in your local Diamond District that could save you a few grand on your purchase.

3. Pop the question- She’s the one, check. Got the ring, check. Now it’s time to ask her for her hand. There are endless ways to do this, but make sure it feels romantic and special to the both of you. This way you’ll always share a great memory of when you got engaged. I asked my future wife out to dinner on a sultry summer night. We headed to an old school, cash only Italian joint in Brooklyn Heights. After our pasta and red wine, we took a walk along the Brooklyn Promenade. When we stopped to enjoy the lights of Manhattan I reached for the ring and dropped to one knee and proposed. I told her that I loved her and that she was the one for me, or something like that. Then I said, “How about it?” She laughed and said, “yes”. Okay, it wasn’t perfect, but we both have a funny memory of that wonderful evening. And she still loves her engagement and her wedding ring. We picked out the wedding band the following week.

Now, I’m not suggesting that this is the way to do it, but it worked for us. There was great food and wine, a starry summer’s night and then me on my knees. So use your noggin’, come up with a plan, buy the ring, and be ready to look into her eyes and pop the question

4. Set a date and stick to it- How many young couples do you know who say they are engaged, but never seem to lock down a date to actually get married? My advice is to do your very best to find a date within a year of your engagement. If necessary, add a few months. But that’s it. If you guys really want to get married, you’ll make locking down that big date a priority. If your timeline keeps getting pushed back and back and back, it’s not a great sign.

5. Keep it fun- After dealing with all the pressure of deciding on the right person, picking out the perfect ring, coming up with a memorable way to pop the question, and then finding a date and all of the other wedding details, it’s important to remind yourselves that the reason you are going through all of this is because you love this person more than anything and you want to have a happy, fun life together. Don’t ever forget the fun factor. If you are finding that the process is more a chore than a pleasure, remind yourself to keep it light. If the whole thing becomes a total drag, then buyer beware. Because you ain’t seen nothing yet, and by that I mean the final step in the process— the wedding.

Until next week…

The Guys' Guy's Guide to Online Dating (Part 3)

Robert Manni - Monday, May 23, 2016


I was still determined to master the art of online dating by using my skills as a long-term marketer and advertiser. I reminded myself that my profile was not for me. I was not the customer. My profile was for the person I wanted to date.

So I reviewed my profile and once again asked myself what I wanted, what made me different, and what I had to offer a woman. It’s easy to be self-critical, but we’re all special in some ways. I identified the qualities that I thought separated me from the herd and asked a few women I knew if they agreed. I asked them what they looked for in a man. Most of them wanted to date a guy with a job, a dream, confidence, and a sense of humor, kindness, and relatively good looks.  I used this feedback in my profile and made sure there were no typos or grammatical errors. I also changed my specs for the type of women I was interested in meeting. I realized I wanted to date women who knew what they wanted, shared my values, and were emotionally available. Finally, I expanded my geographic search parameters beyond the world of Manhattan and the ‘lists’. You may have read about women’s lengthy lists of must-have qualities men need to have to be even considered datable. My advice? Shake it off. Be yourself because nothing beats authenticity. Ultimately, everyone wants to be with someone who’s interested in the real person, not the “best front” we sometimes present during our initial weeks of a courtship.

Then I went back online. I decided to keep my contact rules in place before meeting anyone in person. If things did not feel right when we met, I wouldn’t waste our time. I’d share a drink and move on. However, even if there was no spark or the possibility of a romantic connection, it was important to treat the women I met respectfully. In today’s digital dating scene, it’s easy to disappear like a ghost or simply delete someone with a keystroke, but we’re dealing with people who are just like us. People who have feelings and who are also searching for a connection. So if there was no real chemistry with my date, I did my best to keep the conversation going until she finished her cocktail. It was the least I could do. As a result, some of the women that I met became friends. In fact, a few of them even set me up on dates with their cute friends. It pays to be nice.

With my newly updated profile, I was getting better responses from women than when I first signed up. When I saw someone I was attracted to, I read her profile a few times to get a sense of whom she really was. I made sure her bio wasn’t laced with, “Me, me, me…” or  “I don’t like…” I’d send a brief note— never a wink or a poke. I’d also mention something she had included in her profile—maybe that Korean dish she made or her recent trip to a yoga retreat. I might also add something about me that wasn’t in my profile. If she replied, I’d respond with another short note and my phone number, full name and personal email address. This way she could Google me to make sure I wasn’t an axe-murderer. If everything checked out, I’d suggest that all important phone call. Most women sent back their phone number so I could initiate the first call.

If the call went well, I’d suggest meeting for a glass of wine or coffee depending on her preference. A word of caution—no matter how great things might feel during the email and phone call, don’t invite someone to dinner without first meeting them in person. As mentioned, the vibe could change dramatically when meeting for the first time, and first dates can take bad turns. If you have dinner with someone you’ve never met and there’s no chemistry, it can make for a long, uncomfortable, and often awkward evening.

As I continued to date, I also continued to fine-tune my set of rules. I found that when meeting someone new, it was best to make it a short night. If things were clicking, I’d suggest a second glass of wine. If things were really going well, I’d offer to take her someplace else for a quick bite. Then I’d call it a night and hail her a cab. I found that a show of restraint added a sprinkle of mystery and stoked the anticipation of a second date. Soon I was dating more and more interesting women—clothing designers, entrepreneurs, fitness models, photojournalists, and teachers, along with selected professionals and corporate types. Most importantly, I was connecting with almost every woman. After a few months of non-stop dating, I got into a relationship with an attractive woman, took a break from the site, and dated for a year. After the relationship ran its course, I logged back on the site, reviewed my profile yet again, made a few more tweaks and in no time began dating like crazy for another year. My online dating system was working like a well-oiled machine.  Having a clear set of rules helped, but I soon found out that, as in life, when it comes to online dating there are no unbreakable rules.

Like other indulgences, online dating has a shelf life. I reached a point where I was content. My system was doing a lion’s share of the work. Dating had become easy. And as soulless as it sounds to me now, at the time, I thought I’d be happy dating for the rest of my life. Everything changed though late one night when I logged onto the site. A new woman had winked at me. She was pretty, even if her photo was a random late night selfie without makeup. I was intrigued by her photo and by the carefree flow of her profile. So I began the usual process. I emailed her and she replied the following day. We exchanged another email. The vibe felt right so I sent her my number and suggested a phone call. However, this woman did not think that a phone call was necessary. She suggested that we meet in person. I wrote back, trying my best to arrange a phone call, but she again declined. What about my rules?  I needed to make a decision.

I was torn. My rules worked. Why should I change? I read her profile again and stared at her cute photo before my intuition kicked in. This feels right, so, what the hell? It’s just a rule that I made up. We skipped the call and met on a balmy July evening. Things went well. Real well. And I wanted to see her again. I followed up by text after our date and we got together again the following week. Out of curiosity I looked up her profile again, but it was gone. When we got together for dinner I asked why her profile was hidden. She told me that she’d only signed up on the site for a three-day trial. Since she had a good time she wanted to give us a chance. She saw no reason to stay active on the site. I wisely deleted my account shortly after and we were engaged one year later. We’ve been married for six years. I know now that online dating is an art, not a science. It’s okay to go with your gut and break your rules now and then.

The bottom line is that if you pay attention to what you are putting out and who you are, online dating can be fun and fruitful. You might stub your toe and get your heart broken a few times along the way, but you can win. Always show respect for yourself and the people you meet. And, don’t take anything too seriously. Remember; dating and meeting new people can be an adventure, not something that creates anxiety. If you take the time to build your personal brand (know yourself, what you want, and what you have to offer), communicate clearly both online and in person, and display the confidence from a well-lived life, you’ll be on your way to making the right connections.

Guys' Guy's Rules to Recharge Your Dating Life

Robert Manni - Thursday, March 03, 2016


Spring is right around the corner. Birds will chirp, bees buzz for honey and the animal kingdom gets frisky. It’s time for love, people.

But finding love can be a challenge. Every single person hunting for a partner faces obstacles and hurdles, even in springtime. They might overbook their schedules, get too jammed up with work, or simply be too tired and wiped out by the end of the week to go out. Men, women, it doesn’t matter. Every so often we need to take a step back and take stock of our dating life and how we’re performing based on our expectations. Think of it as your heart’s annual review. So this year, let’s get it done in time for spring.

For many daters it’s either feast or famine when it comes to love, with dates either coming in bunches or no action whatsoever. Maybe all that swiping left and right has led to digital dating app burnout or maybe they’re just stuck. The reasons are less important than the fact that every now and then we all need to step outside ourselves and take inventory of the possible things we may be doing that prevent us from making the right love connections.

With this in mind, your Guy’s Guy again dons his thinking cap and slips on his Cupid’s arrow quiver once again to help singles take stock of some dating do’s and don’ts before heading back onto the field. Think of it as a halftime pep talk where plays are discussed, strategies are tweaked and players are reminded of who they are and what they stand for before whooping, hollering and charging back to the field to kick some ass and take some names. Okay, maybe they're not literally kicking ass. It’s more like taking names and scoring digits before making a hot connection.

Here are seven tips to power up your dating life. Drum roll please…

1. Know your brand – The most successful daters know who they are, what they stand for, and how they stand out from their competition. It’s marketing 101. You establish an authentic personal brand based on an honest assessment of who you are inside and outside, what you have to offer, and why you are uniquely qualified to be a someone’s special someone. You don't have to be a supermodel to catch a great guy. But you do need to take a look deep inside and figure out who you are, what makes you tick, and why you are an awesome catch. And then show off your confident self.

This goes for men as well as the ladies. Too many guys drink beer on their couch, watching Rangers games and getting fat, thinking they should be banging models every night. Hint: it’s not going to happen unless your name is Leo or you have a Trump-sized bank account. And, even if you carry those assets, if you are a jerk, your dating triumphs will be short-lived. All daters need to be honest about who they are and what they have to offer. That’s not a bad thing; we are all different. We are all special and we are all deserving of love. Never forget that, amigos.

2. Re-establish your goals – Following your self-assessment, ask yourself what you really want out of dating and a partner. If you’re looking for a partner, remind yourself every so often while booking dates. Or maybe you want to have fun and play the field for a while. That’s cool too, as long as you don’t lead people on who are looking for something more than a hook up.

3. Don’t overbook your schedule – Let’s face it. Some people can’t bear the thought of spending even a few hours sitting quietly at home. They want to live, live, live until they die, or so they think. The reality is that being super busy all the time and double and triple booking your schedule does not make your life any more successful or meaningful. It just makes you busy, sometimes so busy that you can’t see the forest through the trees. Too many dates and activities can hinder your ability to get to know yourself and potential partners who you want to get to know on the inside so you can understand who they are. I’m not suggesting you stay home five nights a week and miss out on all that fun. I’m merely recommending that you make time for yourself so you don’t lose track of your personal brand and stated dating goals.

4. Be open-minded – Everyone has a “type”. That’s all well and good provided that you don’t get too wrapped up in the packaging. Let’s face it; too many single young ladies turn into middle-aged single ladies because they have an endlessly growing list of attributes and must-haves for the men they date. Sure, this can be the result of having real dating experience and knowing the types of guys to avoid. I get it, but at the same time there often is a direct relationship between the length of the list and the shortage of men who fit all the desired criteria. It’s tricky, but it’s important for singles to keep an open-mind if they expect to meet interesting people and make new connections. My most successful relationships did not begin with matching a list to a person. They all began by taking a chance on getting to know someone new who was smart, attractive and nice.

5. Be kind, but firm – Karma really is a bitch and it never hurts to do the right thing. So if you feel you have given someone a fair shot and it’s simply not working for you, then by all means, let him or her know that you are not feeling sparkles. Then move on. Sure, you could also just disappear and not respond to their texts, but how would you feel if someone treated you that way? Be firm, but do your best to treat people respectfully. At the same time, respect yourself and don't waste your precious time by trying to fix guys. It's not your job.

6. Online to offline, every time – Winters can get cold in the Northeast and Midwest, but if you don’t go out, your chances of making a love connection are diminished. You need to use your time wisely, and that’s where the online dating apps and websites come in handy. I know from my personal experience that I initially connected with lots of attractive and very cool women while I sat in front of my laptop in my tighty-whiteys. And there is nothing wrong with that. In fact, nowadays that seems to be the norm. The tricky part is migrating your online connections into the offline, or “real” world. This is a mission critical step to dating success. You want to meet your digital connections in person as soon as possible and not waste time with too many texts, apps, emails and other tools in the digital landscape. If you ultimately want a real life partner to rumple the sheets with, you need to get out and make a connection in person.

7. Don’t settle or give up. Dating is not for the faint of heart. It can feel tough, cold, and heartless. But when two people click, it can be blissful and make all of your previous longing, loneliness and heartache worthwhile. The key is never giving up and never settling for less than your worth. You are a special person. You deserve love. If love emanates from you, you will attract love. If you get dumped or get hurt, brush yourself off and claim your worth. No one with self-esteem wants to be with someone who doesn't want to be with him or her. It’s that simple.

Be the light. Raise your vibration and the energy grid to meet the one who is worthy of you from that purview. Forget what’s passed and never be hard on yourself. Love yourself. Love the world. Be love. It can happen. It will happen.

This weeks GUY’S GUYS, AND GAL’S GALS OF THE WEEK are all the daters who were rewarded for their patience when a special someone finally came into their lives. Staying positive and keeping an open heart are the keys to dating successfully and making lasting connections.

The Guys' Guy's Secrets to a Successful Marriage

Robert Manni - Thursday, February 04, 2016


It took a long time for me to get married…a really long time.

In fact, I waited so long that family members didn’t badger me about this sensitive topic during holiday get-togethers. My fate appeared sealed so no one even bothered asking me any more, not even my mother. Although I had never taken the leap, I didn't have a firm stance against the institution. In fact, I looked forward to marrying and experiencing that watershed life stage. But it could only take place with one caveat. It had to feel right. Us Guy’s Guys don’t believe in half steps like starter marriages, whatever that is. Marriage is a sacrament, so unless I went all in, I wasn’t going in at all. Sure, I had a number of long-term relationships with women that I loved. But deep down I never felt right about any of those situations, so I waited and waited and waited. Of course I was at fault for not cutting things off once I knew these relationships were not going any further. I was wrong and both my partners and me paid a price in lost time because of my indecision and lollygagging. That said, I enjoyed all those relationships and did not feel a sense of failure once the window closed. I got dumped every time and you could say I deserved to learn my lessons the hard way.

After numerous forays into the online dating pool, I suddenly realized that I wasn’t getting any younger and if I was ever going to get married, it had to happen soon. There was no panic or anxiety though. I realized that I was mentally, spiritually, and physically ready to take the next step. All I needed to do was meet the right woman for me. And even though I was not dating at the time, deep down I was intuitively aware that I’d get married soon. I just felt it in my bones. One Thanksgiving Day, after dinner I told my Mom I was planning on get married the following year. She was delighted and asked me who was the lucky lady (her words, not mine). I told her I had no idea, but I knew I was ready because I had made room for the right person to come into my life. Six months later I met my future wife. We were engaged exactly one year later to the day and were married very close to one year after that. We are now closing in on six happy years of marriage and are the proud parents of a wonderful little boy. So today, your Guy’s Guy is offering his insights, limited as they may be compared to those who’ve been married way longer than me, on the things that have made my transition to married life joyful and successful.

Drum roll, please…

1. Hold out for the right partner.

This was my most important learning. I paid a price due to my age by waiting so long to get married and having a child. But I feel it was meant to be and ultimately for the best. My heart has never wavered and I have no doubts about my making the right choice. I probably would have been relatively happy if I’d have married one of my former lovers, but would I have the knowing peace of mind a man needs after making the big commitment? I’m not sure about that.

My future wife sent me a card after a few dates with a hand written inscription stating, “I believe in you.” That flipped the switch for me. Sure everything else was working out nicely, but those words every man yearns to hear from his partner. I keep the card tucked in a drawer as a reminder, although my wife frequently reminds me of her sentiments, even when the going gets tough. This made all the waiting worthwhile.

I’m sure some of you singles are questioning my simplistic purview. Finding true love is never easy and it may not happen for everyone in this lifetime. But don’t settle. Loving yourself, making room for someone, and keeping an open mind are the keys to finding the right partner. Remember that if you compromise, will you end up asking yourself if you did the right thing? Will you burn even more time in an unfulfilling relationship?

2. Know when you’re ready and then let go.

As mentioned, I created space in my heart and the right consciousness to allow a new person to come into my life. In retrospect, this was a very important aspect of making my connection. In order attract and bring the right things into our loves we need to rid ourselves of the internal clutter that bogs us down psychologically and create a warm and inviting space for new love to grow. Keep your heart open. It really works in attracting love and in many areas of our lives. Make room for what you want and have faith that you are exactly where you need to be right now. Don’t press. Let it happen.

3. Find someone who shares your values.

Some people think this means making sure you and your partner are simpatico about money and that’s really important, but values are more than just money. Values include many other aspects of partnering including how they treat people and their extended family. And not every couple is in synch with their visions concerning lifestyle, sex, children, family, work, where and how to live, and even politics. If partners disagree on core values, they’ll need to be addressed with clear, honest communication or a chasm will grow.

4. Don’t turn small stuff into big problems.

There are two things on television that I despise—real estate fixer upper shows and those damn housewives. And although my wife has two masters and is the smartest person I know, she loves watching those programs. So what’s a Guy’s Guy to do? After being single for decades I became accustomed to getting my own way all the time, so this created a potential dilemma. This was certainly more of an annoyance than a problem, but some of small stuff can blow up if people do not compromise. I thought about how generous my wife is and realized that she deserves her minor indulgence without my sniping over her shoulder while she watched her favorite housewives in Beverly Hills and Orange County. So on Tuesday nights, I retire to my study and work on my content. The real estate shows can be more of an issue because they are ubiquitous, but I tune them out, knowing that the next installment of ESPN Sports Center is only a few short hours away. Which leads me to…

5. Put your partner’s needs first.

Minor sacrifices as I described above are only the beginning to forging a fruitful marriage built on respect. I urge my wife to take break from our kid and go out with her friends. And I make it my priority to take care of the dishes, empty the garbage, recycling, and do the laundry. After all, she really takes great care of my son and me. I should do more, but I’m spoiled and bad habits don’t die easily. Being mindful of your partner is a process, but we all have to make modest sacrifices for the greater good. Which brings us to our next point…

5. Keep dating your partner.

A romantic brunch (even though I hate brunch), a movie, flowers, or a vacation are obvious ways to keep stoking the romantic fires. So are keeping up with the chores and not complaining. It’s easy to take your marriage for granted and use your partner as a sounding board and psychic dumping ground for the shitty things in your life. Try not to be that guy. You want to share your feelings and concerns with your partner, but try to also include your dreams and aspirations as well as the things you’d like to do together as part of your verbal intimacy. And keep surprising your partner. That includes you too, ladies. Make him feel like Mr. Big now and then, especially after a tough day of changing diapers and being domestic.

I’m scratching the surface to what makes a marriage work. And marriage is not always a picnic. Job stress, money, and sex become elephants in the room if we are not mindful and open to discussions. The most important question to answer is if your marriage is making you happy. If you are not happy, look into your heart and ask why. Then have a talk with your partner and see if you can reclaim the common ground that brought you together. We grow and people change. And not every marriage is going to work. But we want to respect our relationship and give it our best shot.

Marriage can be joyful. It can be fulfilling. If you keep love at the core of your marriage, you’ve give yourself the best opportunity to make it work.

This week’s Guy’s Guys of the Week are Serge and Carol Manni. My dad and mom have been married for 65 years. But they are not always in the same page. However their marriage was built on a solid foundation of love for one another. Thank you, Mom and Dad for teaching me the value of love.

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.

5 Ways to Survive a First Date

Robert Manni - Thursday, June 05, 2014


You only get one chance to make a good first impression.

When it comes to dating, truer words have never been spoken. First dates can be exhilarating, anxiety-driven, fun-filled or disastrous affairs. We’ve all been there and we’ve all had some successes and a few massive fails. That’s part of the reason we keep coming back for more—you just never know what’s in that box of chocolates, Forrest. Whether you’re a guy or a lady, there are a number of ways not punch your ticket and move on to the promised land—the second date. Assuming that there’s enough chemistry to make the initial connection, here is my Guy’s Guy list of first date pitfalls to avoid in order to make it to the second date.

Don’t show up late.

A Guy’s Guy shows up first. He never leaves a lady he’s interested in sitting alone at the bar all dressed up, nursing a cocktail. It’s rude, it’s just plain dumb and it’s an invitation for other men to move in on your turf. If you’re a lady, it’s fine to show up to fifteen minutes beyond the anointed time. Anything later and you risk the same fate as the aforementioned guy.

Don’t drink too much.

Alcohol can be a great social lubricant, especially following a hard day at work. A glass of wine, a craft beer, or a cocktail are all fun choices. If the conversation’s flowing and you can handle your booze, it’s okay to call for a refill. But after two drinks, things can go downhill quickly. It’s way too early to start sharing details of your sex life or personal history. One time, on a particularly memorable first date, after two drinks the woman professed her love for oral sex. Take one guess what was on my mind for the remainder of the evening. Yeah. You get the picture.

Have an exit strategy.

Let’s say you finally meet the guy who sent those snappy text messages and he’s less than charming in person. The lack of sparkles prompts you to hatch your escape plan, but it’s if not easy because he’s a nervous chatterbox who won’t shut up. So you make up a lie about having an interview the next morning while reaching for your bag. Awkward. It’s much better to lay the groundwork at the beginning of the date by telling him that you can only stay for one drink. This way you’re having a great time and decide to hang out, he’s going to feel like he’s the man who convinced you to change your plans. Everybody wins.

Don’t talk about your ex.

If you want to start things off on the right foot, avoid droning on about your failed relationships. This goes for guys and gals—nobody you’ve just met wants to hear the gory details of your past. Keep it light and find things to discuss that are all about the “now”. It’s all that matters anyway.

Don’t have sex with him/her.

A Guy’s Guy believes that when it comes to sex, all decisions should always be in the hands of two consenting adults. It’ll happen when it happens. Ladies: it’s perfectly fine to leave something for the imagination, or maybe even the next date. Guys: please demonstrate self-control on that first date. The woman will notice and she’ll secretly thank you for being a gentleman.

I could go on and on, but I think you get the picture. With a little planning, mindfulness and common sense, you can have a great time on that first date and maybe even turn it into the first step of a new relationship. Good luck.

Think you can make it through that first date like a pro?

Guy's Guy's Dating Basics - Part 1

Robert Manni - Friday, March 21, 2014


The more things change the more they stay the same.

Every day, month and year guys make the same basic errors in their efforts to woo a woman. With the advent of more and more technology, sometimes guys don’t even have to speak with a woman before “hanging out” with her in the hopes of getting some you know what. It’s a sad state of affairs that I felt compelled to tackle this post, but a Guy’s Guy does what’s necessary in the service of his fellow men and women. Because in a Guy’s Guy world, men and women win when they can both be at their best. So listen up fellas, and ladies, let me know how you feel about these five basic rules for men who are dating.

Respect.

You treat your best buds right. You split the last beer in the six- pack. You spring for the pizza delivered to your crib during the game.  But when it comes to women, you send them photos of your junk when you need a booty call. Not good. A rule of thumb is to treat the woman you are with, whether she is your girlfriend or someone you just met, with the same courtesy, generosity and respect that you do to your very best male friend.  She is a person, and an equal, who in most ways is just like you. And in most cases she’ll start off on her best foot by putting your needs before hers. Now of course not every woman fits this bill, but the women you want to be with do.

Call Her.

If you want to stand out from the crowd, pick up the phone and give her a call. It doesn’t matter if you’re set up a time to get together or confirming the location of your date. Notice, I said date, not hanging out. Women like hanging out, but they want to date a real man. So take a break from all the texting and call her. If your call goes to voicemail, leave a message. Don’t hang up assuming she’ll see your number and call back. And whatever it was that you wanted to talk about, make sure you tell her that you wanted to hear her voice. And if that’s not the case, why the hell are you seeing her anyway?

Be On Time.

See point one. Being on time is a sign of respect. Being late without a damn good excuse means that her time is not as valuable as yours. Women know this and do not like it when guys leave them sitting and waiting alone at a crowded bar or restaurant. If you make a habit of being late for your lady, other guys’ll hit her on, and eventually she’ll  consider the dudes who have their game on. That brings us to our next point.

Never Take A Woman For Granted.

So she really digs you and you’ve rumpled the sheets with her in every position imaginable. That does not mean she should be taken lightly or for granted. In fact, you should be treat her even better for all the things she’s done for you in and out of bed. This is an easy trap to fall into.  I’ve been there myself a few times before being dumped, and deservingly so.

Let Freedom Ring.

Being possessive or controlling is a sign of insecurity. Too many guys get their hackles up when another male takes a look at, or God forbid, says something to the women they’re with. Hey, I do not condone hitting on someone else’s date, but let’s keep things light and friendly. Not every guy is looking to jump your lady’s bones. And if you are that concerned about it, what do you do when she’s at work or out with her friends? My advice is to be confident and secure in that she chose you. Now it’s up to you to keep her interested and not screw things up.

The list of dating tips for guys goes on and on. Frankly, I’m just getting warmed up. If you take one thing away from this pointed rant it’s to treat others the way you want to be treated. And when it comes to a woman, treat her twice as well as you treat yourself. You’ll get lots of dates and the word will get around that you’re a guy who “gets it”.

Are you taking care of the basics when getting your dating game on?

5 Ways Women Sabotage Themselves With Men

Robert Manni - Friday, February 07, 2014


You’ve got to be in it to win it.

This old saying refers to dating, too. I hear from so many women who complain that they're having such a hard time meeting the right guy. With everyone working at a frantic pace just to maintain the status quo, it’s no wonder that we have little patience left when it comes to dating. We want what we want now, right ladies? Well, your Guy’s Guy is here to bring you both the bad and the good news about meeting men. Hopefully it will get you what you want, when it you want it. Here are five ways women can sabotage themselves when connecting with guys.

Always Plugged In.

I can’t tell you how many times I decided not to introduce myself to a woman because she was wearing her ear buds or playing Candy Crush on the subway. I love my music, too, but living in New York City provides me with more than enough stimulation that I don't feel a need to stay plugged in 24/7. Countless guys have told me that this is the number one deterrent to politely approaching a woman. I can’t say how much is too much, but while you were listening to Rihanna sing about “talking that talk” the cute guy sitting across from you on the E train probably decided to “walk that walk” at the 5th Avenue station instead of introducing himself. Just sayin’. 

Not Fishing Where the Fish Are.

Where can I meet a nice guy? I’ve been asked that a lot. Look around—there are guys everywhere and they're usually open to chatting up a cute woman like you.  To be more specific, you can find guys in bars, gyms, and ball games. But if these places are not your cup of tea, check out wine-tasting classes, golf course, tech stores, museums, the park, the beach, or even the laundry mat. And that’s for starters.

Traveling In Packs.

Women's rise in professional power was long overdue. That being said, it can be daunting for a guy to approach a group of women sitting at a table at a club or a bar. It’s a pressure-packed situation that most men will shy away from. You can say it’s lame, but them’s the facts. Guys like to separate a woman from the group and that’s no easy task when all of her friends are looking him over and mentally judging his every word and move. Try going out with one girlfriend and sitting at the bar instead of a table.  You’ll meet plenty of guys that way. It’s up to you how to manage their advances and all the free drinks.

Sticking Too Closely Your List.

The longer you’re single, the longer the list grows. And before you know it, you’re plucking random gray hairs and sitting on the couch on Saturday night stroking your cat, Fluffy. Not a good look. Alright, I’m being dramatic; but trust me—time files and if you keep adding to your dating criteria, you’ll shrink the pool of available dudes. If your list is longer than five, it’s too long. Another thing to consider is that sometimes traveling off the grid reaps mega rewards. Think about it.

Tossing Him Back Too Soon.

I know there’s always more fish in that online dating ocean and it’s so easy to just delete him for something as minor as walking with you on the wrong side of the sidewalk. Take it from your Guy’s Guy—men screw up, but we are resilient and we aim to please. If you give a guy a second chance over a minor indiscretion (and I don’t mean cheating), you might find out something about what he’s got inside.

 

Are you taking steps not to sabotage yourself with guys?

How to Handle a Breakup

Robert Manni - Friday, October 25, 2013


Nothing lasts forever, especially when we’re dating.

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

Don’t take it personally.

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

Be careful how you rebound.

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

Don’t take it out on your next partner.

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

Stay positive and treat yourself.

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

How do you cope with a breakup?

Five Tips to Keep Her Happy

Robert Manni - Thursday, October 03, 2013


Women are easy to please.

Really?  Yes—trust me. I’ve learned the hard way, and I continue to learn every day. Like most men, I used to view women as beautiful, exotic, unpredictable creatures; nearly impossible to figure out. I wasn’t doing the math. When guys don’t address the basics, women get complicated quickly. Like they said in Shrek, it’s all about the layers. Here are a few tips for guys that might help them keep their partners happy and their relationships on course, Guy’s Guy style.  Share them, ladies, and you might see a change for the better.

Clean Up Your Act.

Regardless of how tidy a woman may or may not be, she’s delighted when a man keeps his crib, car, clothes and body squeaky clean and smelling good. Special attention is required for the refrigerator, sink, and especially the bathroom. She’ll notice. Keeping clean is a positive way to live and it'll help guys score a check-plus on the first date and beyond. It may also up his chances at her wanting to see if his sheets and tighty whities are clean, as well. Once into a relationship, guys need to set the bar high. That means cleaning up around the house, taking out the garbage and vacuuming etc. It’s got to be done anyway, and she’ll notice.

Be Proactive.

If a woman has to keep drilling a guy about doing every little thing that’s expected, he’ll stay in the doghouse. It’s critical for men to take care of things on their own without having to be asked a million times. No one wants to be a nag, but she’ll seem like one if he doesn’t think ahead. Want to avoid “the talk”?  Anticipate a woman’s needs and address them. Surprise her with flowers, reservations at a restaurant she’s mentioned, cook her a tasty meal, order tickets for that play she wanted to see, etc. It all comes down to…

Paying Attention.

I know you've heard this one before. Even I still mess up at times. Guys have to stop thinking about themselves 24/7 and show more consideration for the one who keeps them happy. When they don’t, things get tricky and guys hear about it at the most inopportune times. I got an earful the other night right after settling in for the second half of the Cowboys-Giants game. She made a lot of great points, but maybe she should have been paying attention also—after all, she knows I’m a big Cowboys fan. Regardless, her points were on target, so I maintained eye contact throughout the “discussion”, actively listened and took her suggestions to heart.

Tell Her How You Feel.

When something’s wrong with a relationship guys often choose one of two courses of action. They do something about it or they leave. I’m not suggesting men are well adjusted in this area, but it’s usually how we roll. We’re not very good with addressing relationship issues. We try to fix things instead of discussing what’s wrong, the way women do. Men can work wonders if they listen with an open mind and express how they feel at the appropriate time. That’s not too much to ask.

Sex?

I won't go into the details, but women reward men who are creative, attentive, romantic and aim to please their partner. It’s that simple.

There are many more ways for men to keep their relationships on course, but ultimately it comes down to mutual love and respect. Men and women want the same things; they just have different ways of expressing themselves. But, that’s a good thing, isn’t it? It would be a drag if everyone were the same.

Does your guy do what it takes to keep you happy?


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