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What Women Want

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*If you liked this post, you’ll want to follow the Facebook Page. I’m Ramya Pandyan (a.k.a. Ideasmith) and I’m on Twitter and Instagram

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10 Dating Don’ts For Men

So I just read this article by [Redacted] Guy (yes, that’s what he calls himself) about the ten things he wishes his dates wouldn’t do while out with him. He asks for suggestions, so here are mine. Considering it’s a long list (List! List! My favorite word again!), I put it up as a post. Here’s what I soooo wish guys wouldn’t do when on a date with me.

1. Staring at my bust

There is just no excuse for this. Without entirely condoning it, I’m willing to see that a random guy on a bus or across the street may do this. He has the right to look where he wants. And I have the right to mentally strike him off my list of people I would ever go out with. But when I’m on a date with you, I don’t have that option anymore. Not at least till the end of the date, I’m at least that nice. Be nice to me and don’t treat me like a sex object the very minute we start the date.

2. Ogling other women

This follows from the first since some men use the excuse that ‘I can’t look at you so I’ll look at others’. We’re out on a date. That means you and I are getting together to spend some time with each other. Focus on the last three words. One date does not tie you to me but it does warrant the courtesy of your undivided attention at least.

3. Boasting

Showing off probably comes naturally to the male species especially when in the presence of the opposite sex. Animals do it, insects do it and human men do it too. Only don’t go on and on about it. The showing off is a mating ritual among the aforementioned life forms and ceases once the connection has been made. Assume that the connection has been made the minute the date has been accepted. There’s really no reason to go on and on about the number of foreign trips you go on, how earth-shatteringly important you are to your company, how you were having tea last week with the Dalai Lama and how many thousand books you read in the past year. It’s off-putting and most importantly it’s boring. I tuned out the minute you started throwing numbers at me.

4. Not listening at all

It’s a conversation. That means both people talk and listen. Talk some, I’ll listen. Then I’ll talk and you need to do more than stare around the room, ask the waiter for refills and interrupt to tell me about the movie I saw. Believe me, I could interest you with more than my bust. I have a sense of humour, an opinion and intelligence too. Give me a chance to let you see that too.

5. Calling me things like ‘Babe’, ‘Sweetheart’ or ‘Honeybun’

It’s a first date. I could be your girlfriend but I’m not, yet. We could be friends but we haven’t gotten to the place, right now. Undue familiarity and worse, sexist phrases are instant turn-offs. I have a name, use it. I might permit you to give me a nickname, but at least be original.

6. Playing SuperShrink

You’ve probably heard that women dabble in pop psychology. Maybe I have issues. Everyone does, it’s normal. Don’t put me under a microscope and psycho-analyze me on a date. It’s immensely offensive to tell me I am afraid of getting too close to men because of my Electra complex. If you’re a doctor, that’s work during a leisure activity. BORING. If you’re not a doctor, it tells me you’re just being a creep.

7. Caveating

It’s not cool to be commitment-phobic. I am not concerned with how messy your love life has been so far or how busy you are at work. You can go for a movie alone or have lunch on your own if those are true. If this date is happening, it’s because you agreed to it. Don’t waste my time and yours by coming to a date and then telling me why it can’t go further. If it’s not coming along as well as you thought, just tell me so. I may be disappointed but that’s better than being disgusted. If you’re that terrified of telling me the truth, at least wait till the date’s over. Don’t scuttle it while it’s in progress.

8. Bringing other people along

Are you serious? Friends? Mothers? Siblings? Colleagues? If it’s a date, it’s between two people. Any more and it’s a party, a group or worse – an orgy. I’ve nothing against meeting big groups of people. But not on a date. You ask people out because you want to spend time with them alone. You accept a date for the same reason. For group dos, you get invited and drop in or not. It’s different. Please get that, it messes things up if you don’t.

9. Self-help style follow throughs

This is important. If the date went well, it’s okay to keep in touch. Strike that, it’s good form, it’s good for you and for me to keep in touch. Please forget what you heard about waiting 2 days before calling (or whatever it was you learnt in school and college). Those games are for adolescents. Send a text message saying it was fun and you’d like to catch up again. Add me on Facebook. Email or drop me a note. Open a chat window and say hi. There are loads of embarrassment-free ways to say that you liked what you saw and would like to know more.

10. Being a jerk

This is super-critical so listen up: Do everything or anything in point.9 only, repeat ONLY if you are interested in going out again. There’s no easy way to say that it didn’t quite ‘happen’ so just don’t say anything at all. But don’t prolong the agony by keeping up the conversation. We’ve spent some time in each other’s company. If it didn’t work out, there’s no reason to waste any more of each other’s time. You don’t get brownie NiceGuy points for acting interested when you are not.

~O~O~O~O~O~O~

* A version is posted to Yahoo! Real Beauty.

Manguide 3: Hobbies & Interests

We know where they live. We know what they do for a living. But what do they do that makes their life more than an existance?

I used to wonder at people who had no hobbies or interests at all….I mean, what is that all about???!!! Now I know a new breed of people. The kind who grew up from the ones I mentioned earlier and ‘cultivated’ a few hobbies. I know it is perfectly appropriate to say that a hobby is cultivated but well…that’s just it, isn’t it? As far as I’m concerned, you love doing what you love doing because you love doing it. Simple? Not to a lot of people apparantly. So here’s a sassy ode to my favorite species of lab rats and the things that they claim to enjoy doing! Ha!

The Bibliophile: Okay scream your lungs hoarse, men, before you proceed reading. Yes, tell me that some of you actually do enjoy reading. Fine, now that we have that out of the way, here’s why I don’t believe you. I claim to love reading. I like some authors, some ideologies, some styles of writing and I know why I like them. I think over what I read and I have an opinion. Reading is, I have said before, like sitting inside another person’s head and seeing the world through their eyes. But it doesn’t stop there!!!! I am so sick, sick, sick and tired of men who parrot out things other people have said. Like hello, I know some brilliant people have said some brilliant things but quoting them ad nauseum does not make you appear intelligent, it just reminds me of a tape-recorder. And oh, by the way Peter Drucker, business periodicals and Chicken Soup for the soul don’t count as signs that you are a bibliophile. So for gawdssakes, ladies, before drooling over the ‘intellectual’ find out whether that’s second-hand intelligence that you’re being fed!

The Listener: Likewise actually where music is concerned, as for books. Moreover I want to strangle the person who said ‘If music be the food of love…’ (oh deyaam, was that Shakespeare?). Beware, beware, beware of the specimen that has a song for every one of your moods, women. That’s a man who has been reading ‘How to hook a woman by snooping into her playlist’. Yeah, yeah I’m a cynic. And I’ve just heard too many renditions of ‘Lady in Red’. I have nothing against romantic numbers but its fun to turn around and tell the guy you dig Floyd and Maiden and see what he comes up with then.

The Musician: As opposed to the above species that only listens to music, this one actually makes music. Now he may be good or he may not. I’ve known a few and I can tell you most artists, even the amateurs are faintly temperamental. Which is probably part of their allure (oh, ask me!!) On the other hand, do be prepared to become the audience for the anthology of your new boyfriend’s compositions. Not to mention private renditions of their works-in-progress. A song, just like a building can be a masterpiece when complete. But just like the brick-laying and cement-mixing isn’t pretty, the process of finding the correct tune, getting it right on those instruments is fairly nerve-wracking (especially if you have to listen to ever goddamn plink and wrong boom-thump) Another point to note is he’s likely to have some kind of a band, even if they only play in the car park (we don’t have that many garages here!) And no, if you think you like one musician and you’ll love the lot, you’re likely to be disappointed. It was a musician-boyfriend who pointed out the different personality types in a band. He said,

The lead guitarist is probably a charmer, the smooth talker, who gets in with all the babes. He’s the most visible one of course. The drummer is likely to be anti-social, which is why he prefers sitting behind the huge set up making big noise and not being disturbed by the world.

Ah, and what did my boyfriend do? He was the bass guitarist, easy-going and charming enough to be part of the ‘front’ but not so ambitious as to want to upstage the lead. I validate that as well as his observation of the rest of the band. Pick your musician with care.

The Traveller: Now this type is fairly fascinating for his multiple exposure. I’m however crossed by the sneaky suspicion that he views the world by a Marie Antoinette-esque viewpoint, oblivious to the idea that most people wouldn’t choose to live in shanties, dirty roads et al if they had a choice. Besides, you know what someone’s grandma said (mine didn’t, she wouldn’t have approved of dating!)…”Don’t fall in love with a traveller, I’ll tell you why, he’ll take you to the airport and kiss you goodbye.” Well, realistically speaking this is obviously a man who likes a change in scenery ever so often so what does that say about his stability? Debatable I know, but worth thinking about.

The Conoisseur: Oh god, how I hate/loathe/detest/abhor this type! His muse may be wine, fine art or literature. Whatever it is, you can be assured that you won’t be spared without a lesson at every opportunity. And no, don’t think it’ll work out well if you share the taste. The conoisseur is snobbish about his interest and it defines him. He’ll brook no competition and it will perpetually be a game of one-upmanship of who knows better. Blah, who gives a damn…I know I’ve wanted to stuff the grand interest in some extremely uncomfortable places.

The Couch Potato: Ah, the only real hobby that my generation has. It’s called the idiot box, darling, but the idiots sit outside it not inside. Nuff’ said.

The Monitor Maniac: Okay, this is a tad different from Couch Potato. The internet is a smorgasbord of delights after all. Gaming, chat, blogging and let’s not forget…porn. There’s a whole new world in there! So what’re you doing outside it, baby? Perhaps you met online. Chweet. Maybe you should keep it that way instead of trying to take it offline. ‘Never the twain shall meet. So forget about the “Do you think we should meet?” It spells doom for an online relationship in the exact same way that three other little words do on a real-world relationship.

The Gamer: As specifically different from Couch Potato and Monitor Maniac. Some things that should be warning signs. 1. He enjoys speeding, fighting and cussing. 2. He is thrilled by the idea of hitting a few buttons and changing lives. 3. His latest score defines how happy he is. Once again, he’s similar to the Conoisseur in that his interest governs his sense of self-worth and while he may seem to gravitate to you on the grounds of shared interest, he most certainly won’t brook any competition. Well, go battle it out over the joysticks if you like. I’ve thrown the damn lot out of the window with the remote control.

The Artist: Now this type I do like. Also unlike the Gamer/Conoisseur, there’s no such a thing as competition among those who love their art and are confident about it. If you share the interest, you might even learn something from each other. On the other hand, there is the temperament, weirdness and the addictions that build the stereotype. Ah well, roll me another joint baby…

The Sportsman: This one as different from the Gamer since he plays games in the real world, not on a computer/TV screen/mobile phone. I don’t actually know too many of this type, possibly since I gravitate to the more ‘heavy-head’ types. I imagine the guy would be quite pleasant if he played some sort of team sport though there’s the whole thing of his having way too many ‘boys’ nights out’. I’m mortally afraid (like every other woman) of the locker-room talk phenomena as well. But that’s unfair I guess, men gossip as a rule, behind lockers or water-coolers. On the other hand, this type is likely to be closer to the whole virile-brutal-masculine thought than his less ‘active’ counterparts. Well, if you can bear to live in ‘Oog hunt. Oog kill. Oog be number 1.’ land, then he’s the one for you. Besides he’ll come in useful if you’re faced by a gang of hooligans.

The Gastronome: I never know what to say to this type. I’m after all, someone who thinks that food is fuel to the body-machine and nothing more. Also, the typical Indian man who loves food is scandalised by the thought of a woman who doesn’t enjoy cooking and horrors, admits to it as well! Whatever on earth can be so interesting about eating? I’m flummoxed. But well, this man is probably the easiest to hook with the age-old wisdom of the way to a man’s heart being through his stomach. Hmm, just watch it with the oily snacks though, you don’t want that adage to refer to cholestrol and have him blame you for his deteriorating health.

The Chef: Yes, this type I am absolutely floored by. When a woman can go out and do things that men have been doing for years, what’s better than a man who comes in and does what we’ve been doing for years? A man who likes cooking is a big, big, big turn-on. Besides this is one interest he can’t fib about. 🙂

Have fun with the boys….just check in on how they’re having their fun!

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