As much as you ladies want female domination over the opposite sex to be as simple as a left-punch-kick-punch combo, the method to our madness isn't just knowing what cards to play, but when and how to use it. So mixed metaphors aside, I officially betray my own species and give you the Dude Dossier (or "The Manual on Men Maneuvering and Manipulation"). After all, Every Girl Has Got To Know...
- ...How To Slow Him Down.
Have you ever wondered why guys trip out on fast cars so much? That's because guys aren't built with speed gauges. So whether it's cars, pizza, homework, or relationships, we don't really care how fast we're going just as long as we get there. Dudes have no concept of too fast or too slow, especially when it comes to boy-girl scenarios. If we could skip the awkward parts and jump right into the, ahem, action, then that's just great! That's why it's crucial for a girl to know when to slow us down. Let's say you've been seeing this guy for two weeks now, and although you're really into him, locking lips isn't part of the program yet. Unfortunately, you've had to play volleyball with his puckered lips every time the two of you are left alone. So what's a girl to do? First thing's first, and this is important: make eye contact. Make it clear that what you're about to say isn't a flirty girly thing (yeah, I know, we're that clueless). Then get straight to the point, and tell him you're not ready to get physical with him. It also helps to use the words "slow down." This injects us with a concept of speed, and we become aware that we're going too fast.
- ...When He Wants To Be Left Alone.
Remember when I said guys aren't complicated creatures? Well, this is where it gets a bit tricky. Unlike girls, whose biological warning devices tell the entire world when "we time" ends, and "me time" begins, guys just play the entire thing by ear. That means even we don't know when we feel like ditching the dames to hang out with the crew. And a girl who knows when a guy needs to be by himself or with his kind is sure to be considered God's gift to dudekind. So when does a guy want to be left alone? Get a clue when he starts wondering aloud about his friends, or when he starts looking bored and irritable. You can also take a hint when you notice that he either skirts the issue or refuses to make plans for the weekend. Be an all-star gal pal by beating us to the punch and suggesting straight away that we might need time to be by ourselves. This will not only show your amazing grasp of the male brain, but prove that you have a life of your own, too.
- ...How To Compliment Him.
Just like rejection, compliments have to be dealt with the right amount of finesse. We fold like a cheap card table when we're being complimented, whether it's about our hair, clothes, or our natural ability to make funny noises. A girl has to know how to pile it on without patronizing us or feeding our ravenous egos. If there's something about us that you like, tell us straight away. On the other hand, since we're a self-conscious species, it doesn't help when you fixate on it for a long time, as if it were some escaped zoo animal. Just toss us a compliment cookie, and we'll be gobbling it up with gratitude.
- ...How To Turn Him Down.
Here's the situation: a guy's been the coyote to your roadrunner, with flowers, chocolates, and love letters as his weapons of choice. He's been on your tail since the first mushy text message he's ever sent you, and you've been avoiding him for the past few weeks. He's just not your type, and worse, he can't seem to buy a clue. So how do you thumb him off without looking like the swell-headed monster from the planet Rejection? Turning a guy down is as awkward as plucking your eyebrows: it needs to be done but it never seems to be done right. It's bad enough you're going to hurt him, you'll need to kiss his boo-boo and somehow make it better. First of all, stop running. Let him catch you, considering this probably will be the last time he ever will. Then offer your appreciation for the attention he's been showing, never mind the baduy texts. Then tell him the truth- but not all of it. Say you can't see yourself romantically involved with him or he's not your type-not "Animal Planet poster boys aren't really my type." Then slap on the emotional band-aid by telling him there are other girls out there who probably deserve him more than you do. That should get you on Santa's good-girl list.
- ...How To Get Him To Open Up.
I know enough about girls to say that chicks dig the touchy-feely-weepy stuff. When something bums you out, you automatically get in touch with your gal pal and spill. Not just a dry "I'm so pissed," but a complete blow-by-blow account on the reason behind your rant, possibly with some waterworks. But when a dude has a chip on his shoulder, it stays there. Our friends are hardly privy to our personals, what more the opposite sex? So how does a girl pry open a boy's heart? Before I give you the key, let me tell you how not to get us to spill. You won't get us to open up by using the quiet time between conversations to ask, "What're you thinking?" It drives us crazy because we swear we're not thinking about anything. Maybe basketball, comic books, or even our algebra homework, but nothing too complicated like solving world hunger. The best way to get us to talk is to start by sharing stories without hogging the conversation (it's not because we don't want to listen, but because it's going to pressure us into matching your soliloquy's word count). Then ask us what we feel, not what we think. It's easier for guys to put into words what we feel instead of what we think. And most importantly, show us that baring our souls are worth the risk by listening closely to what we have to say.
- ...How To Keep Him Hooked.
Sure, it's easy dishing out advice on how to snag a guy. But tagging and bagging him is a whole different story. Say you've nailed a potential Romeo. He's been sending quotes from John Mayer's lyrics, treating you to milkshakes, and even watching your volleyball practice. But just as he's putting so much effort into sweeping you off your feet, so should you- to keep him coming back. One thing guys don't appreciate is the cold shoulder. Never play the deadma card, unless you're looking into a doomed future with the dude. But don't throw yourself at him either. I know this may sound like Oprah, but reach into your self-esteem and use this confidence to flirt a little. Flirting lets us know there's a chance you may like us, without giving too much away. Fish aren't yanked out of the river, they're baited out of it.
- ...How To Speak "Guy-Nese."
Back in World War II, the Allied Forces infiltrated the Germans primarily by speaking their code, giving them a huge edge over the Axis powers. My point? The key to understanding boys is by breaking the code of what they like and talk about. I know a bunch of dudes who flip over Pia Guanio not only because she looks like a goddess in high heels, but because she knows her NBA. Try to strike common ground. If he likes Eminem, share everything you know about Slim Shady. Although it might feel contrived, do a little research on what you know he likes, whether it's F1 cars or Samurai X. You'll get to understand him better, and you might even be in his next conversation with his buds.
- ...How To Do His Homework.
Just joking! (Gotcha!)
Dealing with dudes isn't exactly rocket science, nor is it, as John Mayer put it, "a quick game of chess with a salt and pepper shaker." Just as long as you know these seven simple solutions, understanding guys shouldn't be too hard to pin down. Now if only it were as easy to understand girls...