I’ve always loved reading men’s magazines – GQ, Maxim, Details, Esquire – to see what advice men are getting about dating. I’ll never forget the time when, for three weeks, the guy who I had been seeing (seeing = hooking up and IMing with) went completely MIA. About an hour after writing him off entirely, I received a lovely email explaining that he’d been busy with work, and he knew that “other guys say this all the time, and it must sound SO cliche,” but that he really meant it and felt terrible and wanted to see me. I was charmed, of course, and immediately headed over to his place, only to later find the latest copy of a men’s magazine on his coffee table with an article about “10 Ways To Convince Her That You’re Sorry For Your Bad Behavior (Even If You’re Not).” His email, almost word-for-word, was front and center on the list. Needless to say, our relationship fizzled pretty quickly after that.
But forget the media – what do REAL men say to each other about love? Not journalists, or editors, or Dr. Phil knockoffs. But your father, your professor, your co-worker, your neighbor…real, normal guys, like the ones that you and I will probably end up with. A new site, “The Man’s Guide To Love,” offers a series of glimpses into these guys’ thoughts. Or more specifically, into this question:
“If you had one piece of advice that you’d give another man about love, what would it be?”
The video clips of men answering this question are everything that you might hope – they are, at turns, funny, surprising, insightful and honest. They’re a reminder that every guy (and consequently, every relationship that you have with one) is a product of his unique set of experiences, emotions and opinions. Regardless of the claims that scientific studies and women’s magazines may make, men are not all cut from the exact same cloth. If they were, then the makers of this site would’ve asked hundreds of men this question and gotten hundreds of the same answers. That’s clearly not what happened – here are excerpts from a few of my favorites:
Michael, 57 – “Sometimes the best way to express your love is through silence.”
Victor, 40 (and wearing a Halloween mask) – “Get her really mad. I mean really, really mad.”
Darren, 45 – “Your job is to hold them together, just as much as it is for them to hold you together.”
Bob, 41 – “Be yourself, and someone will gravitate towards you. It’s weird, but it works.”
Ron, 52 – “Bottom line, it comes down to sex. And lots of it.”
As I suspect that it’s meant to, this project got me thinking about what I would say, if faced with a camera and a surprisingly complex question. Here’s my answer, for both men and women (and beautifully depicted around 1:54 in the above clip from Before Sunset, one half of my favorite cinematic romance ever):
Never let a real connection pass you by. Don’t let circumstances, expectations, rules or insecurities get in the way of allowing you and someone else to explore the potential of a true spark. You may end up with The One Who You Weren’t Able To Make It Work With or The One Who Didn’t Feel The Same Way or The One Who Ended Up Being A Disappointment or The One Who Broke Your Heart. But you should never set yourself up for The One Who Got Away. Love is too amazing, and genuine connection is too rare, to let life get in the way.
Jess is the co-creator of Dating & Hookup, alongside her childhood best friend Becky Lynch, and is the author of the book - yep! - Dating & Hookup. She never tires of hearing your post-dating stories. She wants you to enjoy your love life, and is full of advice on how to do so.
datingandhookup.com is a website that explores modern romance in the Millennial era – which, let’s be honest, looks nothing like we were taught to expect. We feature essays, advice and social commentary with humor, compassion and brains, and we vow never, ever to publish a piece called “The 10 Best Ways to Satisfy Your Man in Bed”. Do click to submit your work to us. We love you.
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