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On Life, Love and the Pursuit of Happiness

3 Big Reasons Why Men Should Get Married. Really.

Robert Manni - Wednesday, September 12, 2012

          

When He Knows It’s Time
 

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

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

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

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

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

What do you think are the benefits of being married?

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

Is There Such A Thing As Love At First Sight?

Robert Manni - Wednesday, September 05, 2012

           

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Have you ever experienced “love at first sight”?

4 Must-Dos To Get That Second Date

Robert Manni - Wednesday, July 25, 2012

        

After connecting online and finessing a great first meet up, what does a Guy’s Guy do to make sure he secures the next date? “Just don’t throw up on his shoes.” That’s what an ex-boss advised me before my meeting a potentially game-changing new client.  It looked like a slam-dunk, but in advertising clients have the final say, and I needed the gig. The meeting went fine, but I was reminded to never take anything for granted. It’s the same in dating.   You sent her email and she responded. Then after a quick exchange you connected by phone and you both liked the sound of each other’s voice. So you met at Craft Bar for a glass of Riesling. Lots of laughs and eye contact. You’re thinking that she is awesome. Then comes a second goblet of wine and possibly a savory appetizer to wash down. Okay, that’s enough for the first meeting. Now what?  

1 – Know When To Say Good Night.

I don’t relish coming across as Ms. Manners for dudes, but the world was a simpler place when Ms M. was doling out her advice. After a couple of glasses of vino, you both might feel super comfy and think that you really know one another. Guess what? You don’t. Of course you have to follow your inner compass when deciding if sharing a light dinner with her is in order, but your Guy’s Guy says “proceed with caution”. You had a nice time. You already won. Don’t be greedy. So, pick up the tab, unless she insists on splitting it, help her with her jacket, and always hail a cab for her. Make sure you tell her how much you enjoyed meeting her and that you will call her soon. Wave goodnight. Exhale. You did well, amigo.  

2 - Follow Up Like A Pro.

You might be tempted to get all texty with her now. Don’t. If you must send something, then send one text and keep it short and sweet. Wait an hour or so after the date and hit her up after you think she’s slipped into her jammies. “Had a great time! Can’t wait to see you again.” Or anything that says that you are a Guy’s Guy and not a night stalker.  

3- Stay The Course.

Although we could successfully argue that it may not always be the case with their behavior (ladies, have a sense of humor por favor), women seek consistency in a guy. That means being both reliable and somewhat predictable in a good way. So if you’ve told her that you will call her, then call her within a day or two. You want to keep her on her toes, but you also want to reassure her that you are a smooth, confident dudester.  

4 - Call, Don’t Text.

Call her. No texting, no email. Call. And have a really cool idea in mind for your next date. When you call remember to make her laugh and always ask her how her day is going before you ask her out again. It’s the little things that count, my friend. When she says yes, be enthusiastic and tell her that you will take care of the arrangements for meeting up that weekend or whenever. Don’t ask her out that night. Let the apprehension and anticipation build up. It’s called foreplay. Then when the big night arrives put on some nice duds and go for it. And, always, always relax, be yourself, and have fun.  


Guy’s Guy of The Week:  Adam Sandler in the movie 50 First Dates  

What are your favorite ways to secure a second date?

image courtesy of http://www.date-night.co.uk/


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