1. If you’re confused about whether a guy likes you or not, that’s probably not good. Confusion in romance belongs only in romantic comedies because it suspends the plot, but suspense in real life sucks. So try not to analyze the events. The truth will reveal itself without you having to do anything.
2. Sometimes guys flirt with you or pay attention to you because it makes them feel good about themselves. (Hey, we do it, too.)
3. Even a guy who will admit that you’re better looking than him should still be able to tell you you’re beautiful. If he holds back in order to control the situation, or to keep you, or keep you down, he’s got issues.
4. Don’t help him ask you out by texting him something nice or polite. I’m glad you’re more outgoing and thoughtful than he is, but he doesn’t want the help.
5. Guys want to get busy more than anything. They’ll say anything to close the deal.
6. It’s shocking how much guys will talk about marriage. Until there’s a ring on your finger, it will be better for you if you pretend you’re deaf.
7. It’s better not to lift a finger in the beginning.
8. In the early stages, giving him presents is too much. Generosity looks desperate to guys. You may be a great shopper and gift-wrapper; it may be his birthday and you may be wild about birthdays — even still, he’ll think you’re just wild about him. Too wild.
9. Guys just do not think like girls. I wish I’d had a brother. Real boys are nothing like the boys in movies.
10. They might take a decade to mature. Don’t hope they’ll grow up or be ready in the next six months.
11. Even if your family thinks there’s going to be a marriage, don’t let them spoil your guy. Yes, he’s grateful you gave him your car when he moved out of NYC, but he would rather have had to work for it.
12. Learn to cook. Learn to cook well. I see now that it would have won me a lot of points. A LOT.
13. Just because he might be smarter than you or more talented at certain things doesn’t mean he’s your servant and won’t mind doing all your homework/research/chores.
14. Guys get resentful, too.
15. You’re special, unique, and important, but you’re not a princess — no matter what Daddy says (although for the record, my dad calls me “Erin”).
16. It’s okay to say no. It’s more than okay. It’s always okay. If he stops calling (and many, many, many will), you’re only weeding out the guys who aren’t truly interested in you as a person. Time saved!
17. Playing it safe guarantees you’ll have more time and energy to think about your grades or your work. Less drama in your life will always be better and healthier for you.
18. You deserve to be treated like a human being.
19. Your wants and needs are just as important as his, and if you don’t express them because you think it will scare him away, then you’re saying you don’t count as much as he does.
20. Even sophisticated people with professional jobs can have tempers or hit you or use foul language. I’ve known men who dressed like diplomats but they were ugly human beings.
21. You can’t force chemistry. If you like him as a friend, the attraction might grow, but if it doesn’t, don’t force it. And don’t waste his time.
22. Ease up on the sauce. Alcohol clouds your judgment.
23. No boyfriend-girlfriend relationship starts with a 1 a.m. booty text.
24. When a guy has taken you to Applebee’s five times and you say you want to treat him, he’ll be psyched. But secretly he’ll freak out if you take him to Ruth’s Chris, even just the one teeny time. Don’t try to match him one Ruth’s Chris for five Applebee’s. Take him out, but go to T.G.I. Friday’s.
25. Women love attention. A guy needs to be pretty crazy about you in order for him to pay enough attention to make you happy long-term.
26. My mom always said, “Men don’t think.” I thought she meant, “They are mistaken in their thoughts.” But they’re just not thinking anything at all. About you. They’re watching the game. That’s why they haven’t called.
27. There should be a medium ground between workaholism and his absolute devotion. “The knight departing for new adventures offends his lady, yet she has nothing but contempt for him if he remains at her feet” (Simone de Beauvoir, The Second Sex, 658).
28. Never underestimate the quality of “interesting.” Men want someone interesting. They really do. Find some hobbies.
29. What are you hoping to gain by hooking up with this guy? If the answer is “him,” that’s a bad deal for you. “The woman gives herself, the man adds to himself by taking her” (de Beauvoir 659).
30. Expectations? They’ll ruin every dating experience you have.
31. You will never understand men. Just try to understand yourself.