Hi, loves! Will I see you tomorrow at the Rules seminar in NYC at 7PM? Details on their website. I look forward to meeting you!
So, my dears, how did Valentine’s Day go?
He loves me:
He planned ahead/scheduled me well in advance of Valentine’s Day.
He made reservations/plans for something or somewhere he knew I would enjoy.
He told me he loves me.
He introduced me to his friends/parents/children.
He bought/made/gave me a romantic gift. Money is not the objective here; it’s romance. As CUAOs, we would prefer a card with a poem he wrote inside and signed “Love, …” over something practical that he spends beaucoup bucks on. So: card with poem/song he wrote over iPad, flowers over laptop, jewelry over expensive kitchen appliance, weekend trip over new car… you get the picture. Gifts are a great way to gauge how he feels about you. If he loves you, he doesn’t buy you something he would buy his grandmother. She gets the silk scarf and/or bouquet of daisies; you get the heart necklace and/or a dozen red roses. She gets the #1 Nana necklace; you get the sparkly diamond engagement ring. So be honest with yourself: Was it a romantic gift? If not, it’s a good time to take a good look at this relationship…
He loves me not (Probably—there’s a SLIM possibility he’s very spoiled or that a terrible precedent was set at the beginning of the relationship):
He waited until the last minute and asked the same day or night before.
He took me to the least romantic pub in existence where he watched xyz sports game/whatever was on the TV more than he spoke to me.
He bought me a coffee pot and zero flowers or candy.
He somehow made it sound like it would be SO romantic if I cooked dinner for us… But really, it just meant that I got stuck grocery shopping, paying for the food, lugging it home, cooking and cleaning, setting the mood, and all that joker did was bring the wine!
He makes me second-guess myself all the time. Is this a relationship or not? Is he just killing time? Just wanted a date so he doesn’t feel like a loser on the romance holiday?
He completely skipped Valentine’s Day but he called me for a date the next weekend…
He took me out on Saturday night (or ON Valentine’s Day) but didn’t actually acknowledge the holiday. (Even though I wore red and heart-shaped earrings.)
We’ve been “together” for 6 months. He got me a card and flowers, but he didn’t sign the card “Love, …” and, come to think of it, he never says it.
He invited me me over. He made dinner (a BIG batch of lasagna he intends separate into portions to eat every day for lunch this week). While we ate, we watched a movie he had pirated. But it feels like it was just really a ploy to get me into bed because immediately after dinner, we had sex, then he went directly to sleep.
So are you still plucking the flower or do you have a clear picture? Are you feeling blue because something on the list above happened to you? Don’t worry—you’re not alone in this. The above scenarios are ALL true stories that have happened either to me or one of my besties. We are in this together, ladies. Let’s change it!
Maybe there are some gray areas or you’re in the “bad precedent group” and you need to chat about and/or fix it– that’s fine too. Maybe you know the Rules but your mom/girlfriend/sister thinks you’re being too picky or crazy or overanalyzing and you need a fellow CUAO to look at it with fresh eyes. I’m here for you. Shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or head to my Consultations page and fill in the boxes. We can sort this out together. Why not, right? Do you have more time to waste if he’s not in love with you yet?
All the love!
So, ladies… What is your job on Valentine’s Day? To be aware and observe!
Has he asked you to be his Valentine and pinned you down for a date yet?
Has he made reservations or plans for the date?
Has he been dropping or picking up hints about a gift?
Has he asked/figured out your favorite flower or your preference toward silver/gold/white gold, or white/milk/dark chocolate, etc.?
Does he use the “L” word?
Have you only been together for a few weeks? …And you’re not sure how he feels quite yet?
Is he acting disgruntled about this “fake holiday that was only invented to sell cards and chocolate”?
Is he bitter and resentful that there’s a holiday where he’s “expected to compete with other men to show how much I love my woman… because I love you every day and why should I be forced to prove it today?”?
Is he cranky that “everything will be crowded and overpriced.” Then asks you if you’re “sure you REALLY want to do something on such a silly ‘holiday’?”
(Are you reliving a crappy past relationship after having read the above quotes? Me too. I won’t name names, but they’re actual quotes. Take some deep breaths and let that go, because it will only poison a new relationship. Let the new guy have his clean slate!)
Now is the time you get to see how he really feels about you; so keep your eyes and ears open and your mouth shut. A man in love acts much differently than a man that is not. So pay attention! We will reconvene when Vday is over to assess the situation.
A little prep on your part:
So… What if he “forgets” or never mentions Valentine’s Day?
If he doesn’t mention it, you don’t either! As far as you are concerned, you have other plans (that he can wonder but will never know about). Don’t sit home sad. Get dressed up, go out, and find a new man! Or do what my bestie and I used to do on Vday when we were single at the same time: dress up in adorably festive outfits and hit a restaurant that’s not exactly a date spot for a newer couple… For us it was the spiciest Szechuan we could find. Tearing and snotting (so very ladylike, I know) over our bowls of dumplings in chili oil and spicy beef noodle soup was so much fun we didn’t give a second thought to Vday (except that we bought each other chocolate and/or flowers)! Also in the category of “non-date food,” anything awkward, super spicy, and/or messy to eat: chicken wings, BBQ ribs, tacos, burgers, ramen, crab legs…
What about a gift for him?
No mushy cards, chocolate, jewelry, poetry, champagne, etc.! Reread the part in The Rules about what kind of gifts are appropriate to give him (or my previous post about gifting– but choose a smaller gift than you would get him for Christmas or his birthday. No need to break the bank.). Hint: If you’ve only been on a few dates, the answer is “nothing.”
P.S. Dress nicely, keep your manners about you, and don’t forget to say thank you (sans gushing).
P.P.S. Don’t rope yourself into planning and cooking the romantic dinner for Valentine’s Day! It’s a TRAP! You’ll get stuck with the trip to the store, the expense of the food, the planning and cooking of the menu, the burden of entertaining- driving yourself nuts cleaning your place, possible dish duty, cleaning linens, and you’re the one setting the romantic tone! How wooed can you feel if it’s all your responsibility? Leave the romance up to him- until it’s his birthday, or you’re married (and even then, do you want to do the cooking and romancing on your anniversary??)
Love and luck!
There were a TON of pictures to choose from to pair with this post: morbidly obese men sitting at the computer in their underwear, creepy, thin men smiling that smile we hope never to see in person, hidden cameras, mug shots, dirty old men wearing blatently suggestive t-shirts, the list goes on… I went this picture because of its generally ominous feeling.
So ladies, do me (and yourself) a favor. When you are giving a new man your email address, don’t give him the one that’s your email@example.com. I realize this might be helpful for work, for people that you’ve already deemed safe, but it’s dangerous to use this as your main email, to chat with new men, and with people you’ve never met. Online stalkers are crafty. From your name, they can find you on Facebook, Instagram, your high school or college alumni website, your company’s website, find your address, see where you check-in on Yelp or FB or Foursquare… and show up… (with their vans). Aside from the fact that Rules Girls don’t check-in and tell everyone what we are up to at every minute, make sure your profiles are private to the public. If you’re on any dating sites that give your last name because it’s linked through Facebook, and they want to “create a genuine atmosphere” or whatever, change your last name to something fake, or use initials or your middle name on FB. Better safe than sorry.
Love and Luck!
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‘Tis the season to be giving… But what should that look like? I know a lot of you are super conscientious and are already thinking about shopping for your boyfriend’s [insert your particular gift-giving holiday for the season here] gift. I’m going to give this one to you straight. Here are the “Do’s” and “Do not’s.”
What NOT to get him:
- Anything that is mushy/romantic (no pictures, poetry, jewelry, chocolate, cologne, or love songs). Let him be the romance factory in the relationship.
- Anything that tries to change him or forces your taste on him. (You want him to wear button-down shirts, but he doesn’t like them. You think he looks great in yellow; he knows he looks like Big Bird. You want him to read a book on politics or relationships or business…) You love him for who he is!
- Anything sneaky or manipulative (You want to place reminders of yourself in his home so you buy him throw pillows for his couch, or a blanket for his bed, or plates, or wine glasses, or monogrammed towels, etc. Pictures also fall into this category.) If he loves you, he is already thinking about you all the time. If he isn’t, why are you buying him a gift? Register for all that stuff together when you’re planning the wedding!
- Anything alive.
So what kind of gift DO we give the man in our life? Something he will like, fits his interests, and doesn’t break the bank (no more than $50-100). Here are some ideas:
- Bottle of whisk(e)y (rye, scotch, bourbon), rum, brandy, or tequila
- Small batch craft beer (You can customize a 6-pack in a worthy beer store.)
- Beer recipe book (recipes that mimic famous brews) since everyone is into brewing these days
- A book on a (nonromantic) topic he would enjoy: sports statistics, woodworking, horror or sci-fi novel, a travel book about what/where to eat in Japan because he will be there for business next month (not the honeymoon trip you’re dreaming of), the Civil War, the history of tattoos, etc.
- A hat: baseball, flat cap, winter
- Hoodie/sweater/button-down/polo shirt
- Gloves and/or a scarf (Store-bought. Do not make these.)
- Sweatshirt/T-shirt of his favorite sports team
- A video game
- A DVD (documentary, action movie, superhero movie, Best of xyz Sporting Event) he’d like and some snacks: Sriracha popcorn, pistachios, mixed nuts, pretzels, beef jerky, etc.
- Miracle Berry Tablets and a bag of lemons, limes, and oranges (And I highly recommend some Tums for after he raids the entire fridge.)
- Geeky gadgets or t-shirts
- A fancy straightedge razor
So what do you get the guy…
…you’ve been seeing for a month? Nothing! It’s only been a month! Don’t scare the dude away.
…you’re married to? Anything he would like!
Have you been having trouble figuring out where to meet men? Bars are either too crowded, loud, not the right vibe… You work with mostly women… Your hobbies are typically of the female persuasion… Your friends have dropped the ball in introducing you to anyone… The dating sites aren’t getting you very far… Whatever the reason, you’ve got to start thinking outside of the box to meet Mr. Right.
Step #1: Start thinking about the kind of man you want to meet. Is he into art? A sports fan? An avid reader? A firefighter?
Step #2: Get your butt to an art museum or gallery opening, a baseball/football/volleyball/hockey/soccer game, the book store/library, or a chili cook-off!
In my case, I love a good food festival! But I’m not going to go to a wine and cheese festival in the hopes of meeting a straight guy; it just doesn’t happen… No, typically, those attendants will be couples, groups of girlfriends, gay men– all good people… It’s just not the place to go to meet my Mr. Right. What is a good place, you ask? Well for me, it’s THIS:
Pig Island. It’s a festival of men’s favorite things: unlimited beer, whiskey, and meat. To quote straight from the website…
“…the tasting event will be tasking area chefs to create ambitious dishes using hogs from Flying Pigs Farm as their inspiration. For attendees, it’s about … delicious bites of pork, from pulled pork to whole-roasted beasts to hot dogs and beyond… In addition to all the pork belly (and shoulder and chops and ribs), they’ll have plenty of free-flowing beer, cider and wine (all included in the ticket), plus a brand new ‘Whiskey Tent’ that sounds both amazing and dangerous.” The Gothamist, Pig Island Preview.
So if you’re going to be in the NYC area (I know, I knowwww! It’s Brooklyn… But you don’t have to live there, just visit for the afternoon) on Saturday, September 12, 2015, from 11:30-4:00, go enjoy some delicious food, have a drink or two, and mosey around so Mr. Right can find you. Just remember to let him talk to you first!
Here’s a link to Pulsd Pig Island $65 General Admission ticket. (Have you heard of Pulsd? It’s similar to Groupon.) They have tickets at a 30% discount from the official Pig Island website.
Welcome to Advice by Alicia! I am thrilled to be here to answer your dating scene questions and spread this wealth of knowledge known as The Rules (TM).
Having been a Rules Girl, or CUAO (Creature Unlike Any Other), for sometime, I decided I should make it official and become a Certified Rules Dating Coach. Many of my friends and I live and breathe The Rules(TM). We practice dialogue with each other, take turns being strong and steadfast in The Rules when the other is weak, and share in our Rules successes! In fact, my best friend is engaged and planning her wedding to a wonderful man thanks to The Rules! (My prediction: I will be wearing red and carrying roses. Can’t wait!)
What are The Rules? Visit my About the Rules page to find out more!