Last week the editrixes at YourTango compiled a list of relationship mistakes that women should stop making. The list was solid but a bit heavy on the progesterone. In the name of making this space the Hannity And Colmes of YourTango (i.e. totally impartial and fair), I've compiled a list of stuff us dudes should probably quit doing in the name of healthy love and relationships:
1. Getting philosophical during "cuddle time." Easy Nietzsche, enjoy the silence. Wait til later to tell her why Washington is holding back the electric car.
2. Watching TV, reading, surfing the interweb and/or listening to music during an important conversation. Trust me, being able to recite the highlights (and a detail or two) of what she just said can go a long way. It's going to be tough if you have to ask yourself if she said it or if Al Michaels did.
3. Leaving your shirt on during sex. Yes, I took this from Chelsea Lately but it's brilliant: There is nothing stranger than a man wearing nothing but a shirt, unless that man is also wearing sneakers and a hat.
4. Claiming not to have a girlfriend. Do you spend money on her? Has she met your friends? Have you had sober sex on several occasions? Do you spend the night? Do you eat meals together at restaurants? Are you doing the same stuff with anyone else? Yeah, she's probably your girlfriend, guy.
5. Not understanding the value of cut flowers. I know that paying money for something that is going to be all wilty in like three days seems crazy. Sometimes rooms need a little brightening. Just go with it, OK?
6. Saying "You had me at 'hello''' or "You complete me" with anything that approaches sincerity. Nevermind. If you want to quote Jerry Maguire, don't let anyone stop you.
7. Showing improper levels of jealousy. Some jealousy is good, natural and a bit flattering. Driving four hours to punch Jim Halpert in the neck is cause for concern.
8. Insisting on a level of grooming that you are in no way prepared to reciprocate. I'm with you, I'm not waxing my junk. That's final.
9. Solving every problem. Dude, sometimes we're supposed to just listen and empathize. Even if a solution is slapping you in the face like Rick James in the China Club, just listen. Maybe give advice if the same issue constantly comes up. Maybe.
10. Not taking the bait from an obvious attempt to fish a compliment. Compliment fishing, like fishing where people are swimming, is pretty annoying, but sometimes everyone needs a few kind words.
11. Taking numbers that you don't plan on calling. Honestly, is getting a whole mess of numbers still cool? Was it ever?
12. Taking your teams too seriously. Don't take your hatred for the Gators out on anyone else, OK? On a totally separate note, I'm not to be disturbed for four hours after any Clemson football loss.
13. Trying to look too cool in front of your friends. Yes, yes, bros before hos (am I using that phrase correctly?). But if you're mean to her in front of your buddies, they will not respect her. I suppose if she tries to chump you in front of your boys, though, your hands are untied.
I'd like to note that at one point or another, I have made roughly all of these mistakes. Don't be like me, kids. Also, keep in mind that the last time it was OK to be casually mean to your girlfriend (or boyfriend) was the summer of 1999. I don't know why; it was a strange time (it could have something to do with the Y2K problem).
Let us know of any other major relationship mistakes the XY crew needs to quash. (Be nice.)
1. Choosing ourselves, even if it means upsetting others and not being popular anymore. Even if it means we leave a party before anyone else because we feel tired, overwhelmed, or just plain feel done with the crowd.
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