Girl, if you’re wondering
If I want you to
I want you to
I want you to
So make a move
‘Cause I ain’t got all night
[wpaudio url="http://www.hookingupsmart.com/wp-content/uploads/I Want You To.mp3" text = "Weezer - I Want You To"]
First thing, click on the audioplayer above, it’s my favorite new song and it’s perfect for this post!
Is there a better poster boy on the planet for nice guys than Rivers Cuomo? This quintessentially shy and awkward boy is the creative genius that is Weezer, one of my most favorite bands ever. Rivers Cuomo has been a phenomenal success for years, but in 2006 he went back to finish college, earning a degree in English from Harvard at the age of 35. Smart guy. He also married Kyoko Ito that summer, his girlfriend of nine years who had introduced herself to him as a devout fan. Smart girl.
Recently in NYC, Leighton Meester joined him on stage to sing a duet of I Want You To.
Afterwards, she tweeted that Rivers was “perfection in a bottle.” He hasn’t done too badly for himself, has he?
He’s a fascinating case study, but the main reason I use him to introduce this post is because he is the kind of guy women should go for. I think he’s adorable, but even if he’s not your type, the point is the same. He would never in a million years have sent a roadie into the audience to scoop up Kyoko Ito, Tucker Max-style. She must have tenaciously waited around and assertively expressed her admiration. He took the bait. Her assertiveness is probably a wonderful complement to his passivity. Not your typical ‘guy meets girl’ story by any means.
In my last post, I talked about the importance of choosing Dads over Cads. Where are we going to find these delightful men? How will we meet them if they’re spending all their time playing guitar in their garage or World of Warcraft in the blue glow of their laptop screens? Getting guys to show up is a real issue, one that has been addressed by Obsidian, a blogger I respect highly. I’ll talk to the guys directly in the next post. For now, though, it’s Ladies First. Let’s get to it.
The Prince Charming Myth
From the time we’re two or three, we start watching Disney movies and begin indulging in the notion that someday a fabulous man is going to discover us and carry us off into the sunset. The worst thing about this fantasy is that it stipulates that women be passive. That wasn’t such a big problem through most of history. Love matches for marriage were rare, and when they did occur men were the pursuers. Today, the guy who pursues you confidently, calling you Babe and offering to buy you a drink, may not be Prince Charming. In fact, he’s more likely a man whore. This means that women need to take greater responsibility in their interactions with men to weed out the unworthy ones and reward the deserving ones.
Since I started writing about relationships, I’ve asked every couple I’ve come into contact with how they met. The vast majority of couples met:
- at school
- at work
- through friends
- in random encounters
You may not need much help with the first three possibilities. However, a woman is foolish if she is not ready at all times to take advantage of random encounters.
Decide what you want and then go get it.
Where to Find the Good Guys
I’ve written about this before, but it bears repeating. This isn’t exactly the Theory of Relativity, though. It’s a matter of common sense and strategic thinking. (I actually thought about hitting the streets with my iPhone videocamera to show you how easily I could chat up all sorts of cute guys, but I decided I would come of as a Deranged Cougar Wannabe. Awkward! So you’re going to have to take my word on this.)
1. Think about what kind of guys you like.
2. Figure out where they are.
3. Go there.
It’s that simple.
Do you like guys wielding hammers? Sign up for a Habitat for Humanity build.
Are you political? Join the Young Democrats or the Young Republicans. Pick a highly trendy cause, like energy or the environment. Show up and help plan an initiative.
Do you like writer types? Write for the newspaper. Don’t just contribute articles, though. Get involved with the editorial staff and work late into the night with other people who share a common goal.
Do you have a soft spot for emo types like I do? Check out the local music scene. Become a regular. Bring friends, be a loyal fan. (OMG, do not become like Mel on Flight of the Conchords!)
Are you a runner? Don’t train for a marathon by yourself, or with a gf. Find a marathon training group. Every single city with a marathon has them. Go to a store where they sell stuff for runners and ask about running groups. Every college has groups as well.
Gyms are good places to meet guys, but my advice is to avoid the guys who are really jacked. Huge biceps often reflect a huge ego. Don’t stay in the elliptical estrogen zone the whole time! Lift some free weights. Do some stretching. Spend some time with your heart rate in the zone where speech is still possible.
Artsy? Go to the singles night at an art museum. You’ll meet guys who are at least willing to pretend they like art.
Are you studying too much to do all this extra stuff? Start looking at the library as a petri dish for romance with a fellow brainiac.
Are you a dog fanatic? That’s the easiest one of all. Dog lovers congregate so that their dogs can. It’s the perfect setup.
How to Interact With a Cute Stranger
1. Make eye contact with any guy you think may be even remotely appealing. This isn’t just for romance – I make eye contact with as many people as I can, every day. I nod or say hello to anyone who doesn’t avert their eyes. The eyes are the windows of the soul. They are the point of entry.
2. If you have made eye contact, and your brain tells you “CUTE GUY,” hold it for three seconds. Three seconds is the magic number. It’s the threshold for indicating attraction.
3. If he looks back, and you still think he’s cute, smile. Think of it this way:
- Men want sex. Any eligible man would be delighted to think that today when he stops in at Starbucks, he is going to meet a woman who might become a sexual partner.
- Women grant access to sex. We are the gatekeepers.
- When a man is standing at the gate, and you look like a guard at Buckingham Palace, he moves along. No one knows what the palace guard is really thinking, but few people would consider him a likely future acquaintance.
- When you smile, you admit the possibility that the gate may open at some future point.
4. TAKE THAT CELL PHONE OFF YOUR EAR. Do you see the irony of cell phones preventing communication? Would you ever say a word to someone having a conversation on a cell phone? Cell phones pass the time when you are out and about doing errands, but they make random encounters impossible. Same goes for earplugs. Get them outta there.
5. For the truly brave, flirt openly. Steve Santagati, who wrote The MANual (actually a good advice book for women), describes how once a woman in South Africa came up to him on the street and said, “You’re a biscuit!” He didn’t know what that meant (it means hot), but he was so charmed by her feisty confidence that he followed her and asked her out.
Once I was at a block party, and someone handed me an imported beer. It didn’t have a twist-off cap. I looked around and spotted a really cute guy about 20 feet away. He was just hanging out with his friends. I went up to him and said, “Hey, you look like the kind of a guy who would have a beer opener on his keychain. Can you open this for me?” He said, “Whoa! Why would you say that?” I replied, “I just have a hunch. I can’t get this beer open.” Grinning, he pulled out his keys, and opened my beer. We dated for a few months. (He turned out to be kind of a dud, but you get the point.)
6. Keep in mind that you will have random encounters with taken, even married guys. So keep your wits about you and proceed with reasonable caution.
The bottom line is that you need to clearly indicate your interest if a guy is going to get the message. Women are afraid to show intent, and this is a mistake. We are interested in meeting men who do not assume that every woman wants them. They require encouragement to press forward.
How to Pounce on a Guy Who is Already a Friend
1. If you’re crushing on a good friend, you are going to start freaking out about the risk of losing his friendship. This makes no sense. Your feelings are already changing and stressing the friendship. Do you really want to commit to years of pretending indifference? In my experience guys are ALWAYS willing to risk the friendship if they’re feeling it. The trickiest part is not wanting to feel like a fool if your feelings are not reciprocated. Sorry, but you need to embrace the humiliation. I’ve always tended to go for broke in these matters, as you know. I played the fool for my husband way back when while he dithered. Remember, you get what you ask for in life (at least some of the time).
2. Change things up. Touch him in a new way. Make more eye contact. Sit closer. Tease him.
3. Stop using him as a crying shoulder. And don’t let him use you for girl counsel either.
4. Trust your gut. You’ll know early on whether there’s sexual tension. If you want more, you will have to man up and take the plunge (see #1).