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On Life, Love and the Pursuit of Happiness

The Guys' Guy's Guide to Valentine's Day

Robert Manni - Sunday, February 12, 2017


Valentine’s Day is a day most guys dread. It’s commercial, pressure-filled, and commercially exploitive. If you’re single, you might feel left out. If you’re in a relationship, you’re probably scrambling at last minute for an idea worthy of your mate. That doesn’t sound very romantic. But it doesn't have to be that way. So what can a Guy’s Guy do to make this annual toast of love work for you? The answer is simple. Personalize the day. Check your ego and make the day all about your partner. If you do, I think you’ll find more satisfaction than you could ever hope for. Here are three Guy’s Guy hacks for making this tricky day one you can truly celebrate.

1. Tried and true hacks don’t have to be boring or expected. Dinners, flowers, chocolates, jewelry, champagne, and lingerie are the standard bearers. And as long as you put some thought into it, there is nothing wrong with choosing any or all of the above. If that’s the case, what separates a champion from a chump comes down to one thing— paying attention and choosing what will please your partner. 

Take flowers, for instance. On Valentine’s Day, and in fact on any day, women love to receive flowers. But, contrary to popular belief, and although you probably can’t go wrong with them, not every woman would make a dozen red roses her first choice. I know, it sounds crazy, but women have particular tastes about everything, and choosing flowers are no exception. To make your selection special, find out her preferences ahead of time, even if it means asking her friends. ConsumerAffairs is a great resource when it comes to sorting through lots of flower delivery options, and is a great way to tailor your selection to your lover’s tastes.  

2. When love is new, you want to fan the flames. If you want to get intimate with a woman for the first time your first thought is probably buying her lingerie in the hopes that she’ll wear it for you on Valentine’s Day. But pause before picking out something small and red that’s just for you. She’s more than aware that you want her to give you the show. And unless she’s given you a big hint about what could happen on Valentine’s Day, your Guy’s Guy says don’t buy her lingerie on Valentine’s Day if you haven’t been to bed with her yet. Whatever you do, don’t make her sweat about having sex on Valentine’s Day. Be thoughtful and unpredictable. Keep her off balance and intrigue her. Pick up tickets for that show she wanted to see, cook her a special dinner, or take her someplace she’s mentioned in passing. It’s the little things that will get you over the top, amigo.

Instead of buying her a big, red printed card with a long rhyming message, pick an elegant card with very little text and craft your own heartfelt message about how fun it’s been getting to know her and what she means to you. Point out the little things you’ve noticed that make her special why you want to get to know her better. Believe me, she’ll see you’re paying attention and most likely, you won’t need that red lingerie to get where you want to go. If you express your feelings in a heartfelt way, she’ll bring it when she feels right. And when she does you’d better fasten your seat belt.

3. If you want to keep the fires burning… Again, it’s about personalization. Let’s say you buy her jewelry. Pick something out that you feel she’ll like and then kick it up a notch by inscribing it with a personal message. A former paramour once bought me a silver necklace and an understatedly elegant pendant. Nice. When I looked closer at it I noticed that she had inscribed the underside with, “Love Slave”. Talk about marking your territory. It worked. Of course once my next girlfriend took one look at it, it went to the scrap heap.

When you are in a long-term relationship or marriage the written word still goes a long way. If you buy a card, again, pick something simple and write ten special things that she does to make you love her. Tell her why she so important to you, what makes her sexy, funny, giving, etc. Let her know her in no uncertain terms that she is loved. And it won’t hurt if you clean the house and cook her a special dinner.

I think you’ve got the idea by now. The key to a successful Valentine’s Day is making it about the other person.

Are you making Valentine’s Day all about your partner?

This week’s Guy’s Guy of the Week is Paul McCartney for writing all of those wonderful silly love songs.

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.

Making Valentine's Day Work for You

Robert Manni - Friday, February 13, 2015


Valentine’s Day is a day most of us dread.

It’s commercial, pressure-filled, exploitive, and most importantly-- forced and unromantic. I’ll leave all of that to next week’s otherValentine’s Day post. But there are two ways to look at V-Day as it gets pitched our way each and every year. Whether it’s chocolate, flowers, jewelry, vibrating panties, weekend getaways, etc.—you name it and they’re selling it in fire engine red. Here are a few suggestions for how to not only cope, but to have fun and share the love. And that’s the point. Valentine’s Day should be about celebrating heart-felt love. Your Guy’s Guy suggests that the best way to make this a special occasion is by personalizing it. That means making it all about your partner…and not about you.

If love is in the air and you want to fan the flames.

If you’re a guy and you want to get intimate with a woman for the first time the tendency is to buy her lingerie, hoping that she’ll wear it for you on Valentine’s Day. Don’t do it. She is more than aware that you want the show. If you consider my suggestions and it’s meant to be, the show will open to rave reviews... and it will go on and on.  Chocolates and flowers and cards and jewelry are always welcomed, but a Guy’s Guy adds intimacy to her gifts that empower them as expressions of love. So instead of doing the expected and buying a printed card at Walgreens, buy her a card that allows you to craft your own special message to her. Remind her of all the things she does that make her special and why you want to get to know her better. Pay attention to the details the way a woman does. Believe me, she will notice and you won’t have to buy her red lingerie. She’ll bring on the black when the time is right and when she does you’d better fasten your seat belt. Other things to consider are attending events together like a sake tasting or a Broadway show that she mentions in passing. Sharing brings couples closer together.

If you want to keep the fires burning.

Again, it is all about personalization. If you buy her jewelry, have it inscribed with a special message. A former paramour once bought me a silver necklace with an understatedly elegant pendant. Nice. When I looked closer she inscribed the underside with, “Love Slave”. Talk about marking your territory. It worked. Of course when my next girlfriend took one look at it, it came off instantly. If you show some effort to personalize your gift when you are in a long-term relationship or marriage, it makes your partner feel appreciated. How about writing down the twenty things she does that make her so special. Why is she so important to your life, what makes her sexy, funny, etc? Make her feel special. That is intimacy.

Wild Cards.

If you’re going down the sexual path remember to make it all about your special someone. That’s where the lingerie and crazy stuff like vibrating panties and sex toys come into play. All good. That said, you want to make sure that there is as much giving as receiving so that the festivities go all night long. Along with the little blue pill and its ilk, there are various oils and lotions that help keep the balls in play. A quick spritz could keep the party in full swing. A real Guy’s Guy wants to make his woman happy, so that everyone wins. Remember that Valentine’s Day is all about your partner, so have fun. And play safe.

This week’s Guy’s Guy of the Week is Paul McCartney for writing all of those wonderful silly love songs.

Are you making Valentine’s Day all about your partner?

The Holiday About Love That Everyone Hates

Robert Manni - Thursday, February 12, 2015

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 his romantic legend a creation of 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 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 who is 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.

Interview with Linda Strasburg on KTalk Radio

Robert Manni - Monday, April 29, 2013

The Guys' Guy's Morning Blend Interview

Robert Manni - Friday, February 15, 2013

The Love Holiday That Everyone Hates...

Robert Manni - Thursday, February 14, 2013


Repeat after me—“I do not hate Valentine’s Day.” 

But, I dread it and I’d like to have a chat with St. Valentine. He might be a saint, but he’s got some explaining to do. The myths behind this man are as confounding as the commercial celebration of love that sprang from his legend. Was he really beaten to death with clubs, beheaded after restoring sight and hearing to the daughter of his jailer, or was his legend a creation of Chaucer? Until the twentieth century, the tales surrounding this enigmatic man were spun more times than a soggy pair of undies in the dryer. Then the corporations saw the dollar signs and produced syrupy greeting cards, milk chocolate hearts, and costume jewelry to build the “brand”. Because it’s a commercialized holiday we’re also subjected to price gouging at restaurants and florists. My informal research found that when most men and women see February 14th and that big red heart on their calendars they panic.

What comes to mind when we think of Valentine’s Day?  

Pressure. If you’re single, Valentine’s Day reminds you very clearly that if you’re not in a relationship that you’re not on the invitation list to life’s love-in. And if you’re in a relationship, then you have to up your game and deliver the goods—big time. Women love flowers and chocolates, and like receiving them unexpectedly… on any other day than Feb. 14th. And if you give her jewelry on V-Day it better be the real stuff.

Men are simple. They love seeing their women dolled up in lingerie, but if her outfit is for the man, then who buys it on Valentine’s Day? Tiptoeing around Victoria’s Secret and sifting through teddies, garters and thongs can be unsettling for a guy. And he probably forgot what size she wears and does not want to make a mistake. You’ve seen the men wandering around the lingerie department, checking out women’s boobs and wondering if they’re the same size as their girlfriend’s. Trust me—men are uncomfortable discussing cup sizes with the sales girl. That’s pressure.

So how can we get through this annual ordeal?

Be flexible and relax. My wife’s birthday is on February 12th so I’m totally screwed. But there’s hope for others. Experts say that February 14th is the best night for single ladies to get lucky. That’s if they can muster up their posse for a manhunt. So, if you are a single guy, get your butt out on that night. And when you hit the bars for once keep your eyes off the hockey game and on those ladies looking for their slice of man-meat. If you’re a guy in a relationship, buy her a well-deserved pampering at a top shelf spa or cook her a romantic dinner and give her flowers and a hand-written card. If you’re a woman, go with the lipstick and push up bra ensemble to rock his world. Trust me, that’s all he wants. As for me, I’m going to clean the condo before taking my wife out to her favorite raw food restaurant. But I’ll do that on her birthday. Then I’ll wish for February 15th.

Our Guy's Guy of the Week? Who else but Cupid, that naughty little cherub.

How to Make Valentine’s Day Work for You

Robert Manni - Thursday, February 07, 2013


Valentine’s Day is a day most of us dread.

It’s commercial, pressure-filled, exploitive, and most importantly-- forced and unromantic. I’ll leave all of that to next week’s other Valentine’s Day post. But there are two ways to look at V-Day as it gets pitched our way each and every year. Whether it’s chocolate, flowers, jewelry, vibrating panties, weekend getaways, etc.—you name it and they’re selling it in fire engine red. Here are a few suggestions for how to not only cope, but to have fun and share the love. And that’s the point. Valentine’s Day should be about celebrating heart-felt love. Your Guy’s Guy suggests that the best way to make this a special occasion is by personalizing it. That means making it all about your partner…and not about you.

If love is in the air and you want to fan the flames.

If you’re a guy and you want to get intimate with a woman for the first time the tendency is to buy her lingerie, hoping that she’ll wear it for you on Valentine’s Day. Don’t do it. She is more than aware that you want the show. If you consider my suggestions and it’s meant to be, the show will open to rave reviews... and it will go on and on.  Chocolates and flowers and cards and jewelry are always welcomed, but a Guy’s Guy adds intimacy to her gifts that empower them as expressions of love. So instead of doing the expected and buying a printed card at Walgreens, buy her a card that allows you to craft your own special message to her. Remind her of all the things she does that make her special and why you want to get to know her better. Pay attention to the details the way a woman does. Believe me, she will notice and you won’t have to buy her red lingerie. She’ll bring on the black when the time is right and when she does you’d better fasten your seat belt. Other things to consider are attending events together like a sake tasting or a Broadway show that she mentions in passing. Sharing brings couples closer together.

If you want to keep the fires burning.

Again, it is all about personalization. If you buy her jewelry, have it inscribed with a special message. A former paramour once bought me a silver necklace with an understatedly elegant pendant. Nice. When I looked closer she inscribed the underside with, “Love Slave”. Talk about marking your territory. It worked. Of course when my next girlfriend took one look at it, it came off instantly. If you show some effort to personalize your gift when you are in a long-term relationship or marriage, it makes your partner feel appreciated. How about writing down the twenty things she does that make her so special. Why is she so important to your life, what makes her sexy, funny, etc? Make her feel special. That is intimacy.

Wild Cards.

If you’re going down the sexual path remember to make it all about your special someone. That’s where the lingerie and crazy stuff like vibrating panties and sex toys come into play. All good. That said, you want to make sure that there is as much giving as receiving so that the festivities go all night long. I recently read about an “arousal gap’ between men and women. As we all know, men get worked up faster than women do and sometimes guys get too excited too quickly. Along with the little blue pill and its ilk, and the various oils and lotions that help keep the balls in play, there isbelieve it or not, a desensitizing spray for dudes called Promescent.  Women like their men to be sensitive, but not that sensitive. And men have been known to go whee-hee--and then oops.  A quick spritz could keep the party in full swing. A real Guy’s Guy wants to make his woman happy. It’s not a race to the finish line; the goal is to arrive at the same time so everyone wins. Remember that Valentine’s Day is all about your partner, so have fun. And play safe.

This week’s Guy’s Guy of the Week is Paul McCartney for writing all of those wonderful silly love songs.

Are you making Valentine’s Day all about your partner?

 

 

What's The Holiday That's All About Love But Everyone Hates?

Robert Manni - Tuesday, February 07, 2012


Image courtesy of James Logan Courier

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 his romantic legend a creation of 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 are 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 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 who is 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.


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