Beliefnet
Make Your Relationship Work

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I’m seeing a theme among the thousands of questions that I am getting from you. They all go something like this:

“My guy never calls but says it’s because he’s really busy and blah blah blah…”

“A guy I like said he wants to ask me out but hasn’t. Does that mean blah blah blah…”

“We had sex and now I hardly ever hear from him. Is he not into me anymore or does he blah blah blah blah.”

Ladies, ladies, ladies. Listen to your friend Alex. I’ve been walking this earth a while, and I’ve learned a few things about people. Here are two big ones:

1. Talk is cheap

He told you this and that and the other. Fine. I’m not saying he’s a liar; I’m saying that talk is cheap. People often say what they want to do without stopping to think it all the way through. They mean well, but they are misleading not just you, but themselves, too. Others are just flat-out liars.

In creative writing courses they teach you that the best way to illustrate someone’s character is through action, not talk. Think about it: which is a more powerful statement, a guy telling you, “I like to help people” or a guy volunteering at a soup kitchen every weekend? Show, don’t tell, they say, because what people do is far more believable than what people say.

2. Men are fairly simple creatures

At the risk of sounding like I’m dogging out my fellow XYers, I believe that men are fairly simple to understand. Just watch us. Our actions speak far louder than our words. When we want something, we usually go right after it. When I need new socks, I go to the socks store, I find the socks, I buy the socks and I leave, socks in hand. End of story. I don’t stop to look at socks, I don’t try on belts, I don’t look for a sale flyer to see what t-shirts might be on sale week after next. I buy the socks and I beat it.

Ok, so what’s your point, McNeal? This: if a guy likes you, you will know it. Let me repeat that for those of you in the cheap seats:

If a guy likes you, you will know it.

He will call. He will text. He will ask you out. He will Twit you or Facebook you or Skype you. He will blow off friends and old girlfriends and studying and the frat bash and soccer practice and anything else that prevents him from seeing you. He will bug the crap out of you and he won’t make excuses about why he isn’t bugging the crap out of you.

If you go out once and he doesn’t ask you out again, he’s no longer interested. If you sleep with a guy and never hear from him again, he got what he wanted. If he dates you but still keeps other women within close reach, he might be interested in you, but not exclusively.

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but if you suspect that he’s not into you, he probably isn’t. There’s an old saying: when someone shows you who they really are, believe them.

As usual, there are always exceptions. By no means am I telling you to mistrust everything a guy says. I think most of us mean well, and there can be good reasons you haven’t heard from us. But there aren’t many good reasons. How long does it take to text? Shoot an e-mail? Call?

What I’m saying is that if a guy says one thing and does another, believe the actions.

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Ok, so you’ve been dating your guy for a bit and you have a hunch the two of you are about to get nekkid, perhaps even on your next date. First of all, congrats — sex is fun. You’ll enjoy it. But it’s easy to take a wrong turn in the sack, so whether this is your first, fifth or fiftieth time doing the horizontal bop, remember these few simple rules for keeping things light and lively. These apply to you, too, guys, so pay attention.

1) Don’t mention any other sex partner. Ever.

“Touch me there. Oh yeah, that’s it. My ex used to do that.” It’s like he’s suddenly there with us. Instant limp-on.

2) Don’t barf on him

You did tequila shots all night and now you’re ripping each others’ clothes off. Fine, unless you can’t hold your liquor. Once in college I was making out with this young lady after a party at which we’d both consumed copious amounts of alcohol. Things were getting hot and heavy when suddenly she looked at me, smiled, and said, “Hang on,” then turned her head and puked all over my floor. Maybe it was my kissing, I thought, until she wiped her mouth and was ready to go some more. Uh, no.

3) Don’t laugh at his junk

My friend Deb dated a guy who was a bodybuilder, so the first time they got naked, she was shocked at his lack of equipment. It caught her so off guard that she did the unthinkable: she laughed. Just a little laugh, and then she caught herself, but it was too late. The guy got pissed and left. She felt terrible. The lesson here? Guys can be sensitive about their junk, even guys who are hung, so the first time you’re about to get it on, be ready for an anaconda, a garden snake or anything in-between.

4) Don’t get distracted

Two weeks ago my buddy Tom said he and his wife were doing the deed when he caught her looking over his shoulder watching TV. “Why the hell did you have the TV on?” I asked. “I dunno,” he said. “It just was.” Oy. You can’t really blame his wife — Conan was on. But we all want a bed partner who’s in the moment, so if you want a good sex session, get rid of all distractions before getting busy. In other words, Tivo that shit.

5) Don’t scream like a maniac

Sure, guys love a woman who’s vocal in the sack, but there’s a limit. If you start shrieking like a porn star, it’s a little disconcerting. We’re glad it feels good, and we hate to hold you back, but the neighbors are gonna call the cops if you keep that up, so can you bring it down a notch? Thanks.

6) Being silent

Yo, you still with me or did you fall asleep? Yes, I realize that if you aren’t making any noise, I’m probably doing something wrong. Or maybe you’re just the quiet type. Either way, it’s a drag. If it doesn’t feel good, tell me and I’ll try something else. If you never make any noise in the sack, well, that’s your prerogative, but it’s not much fun. They have this new thing now called feedback. You should look into it.

7) Asking if I’m close

Well, I was…

8) Crushing my head

You’ve been working out, haven’t you? I’m glad it feels good, but breathing is kind of a must for me, so could you loosen up the Thighs Of Death a little? Thanks. (For women, the equivalent is when a guy holds your head down there.)

9) Barking orders

Yes! There! No! Lower! Wait! To the left! Left! Oh yeah! Faster! Faster! Slow down! Other side! No! Move your leg! Not there! Up! Up! Other hand! Higher! Yes! No! Down! Down! Okay! No! Yes! Harder! Harder! Do it! Do it! 

Being vocal and asking for what you want? Good. Barking orders at me like I’m Ben-Hur rowing a Roman warship? Not good. There’s a fine line there. You’ll know it when you find it.

10) Unauthorized rear entry

One of my college roomies was making out with a young lady when he suddenly realized her finger was in a certain orifice where he wasn’t expecting company. Some guys like that sort of thing, and some guys don’t. It’s probably best to know which is which before you start digging around.

11) Stopping at the wrong time

How can I say this? When you’re drilling for oil and the oil starts gushing, for god’s sake, don’t stop drilling. That’s the time to drill even faster until the oil stops flowing.

Have fun and good luck.

Photo by Brianna Santellan on Unsplash

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You just got dumped, and you’re devastated. You never saw it coming. Or maybe you did the dumping, and now you feel like a monster for breaking someone’s heart. The tears won’t stop. You feel worthless. The whole world is in a tailspin, and you can’t even imagine how to move on. All you want to do is get in bed, curl up into a ball, and never come out.

Heartbreak sucks. We’ve all been there. Sure, you have to grieve, cry, wallow, at least for a day or two, but you can’t stay in bed forever. That’s why your buddy the Wise-Ass is here to yank the covers off you (OMG sorry, didn’t know you were naked under there!). So get up, get dressed, wipe those rabid raccoon eyes, and let me show you how the shake off a little bit of those Mean Reds.

I’m not talking about long-term solutions here; this isn’t about the weeks and months ahead. This is about today. This is about feeling better right now. We’ll deal with tomorrow tomorrow.

Get out of town

Take a trip somewhere, anywhere. Car, plane, bus–just go. New surroundings have a way of changing your perspective and clearing your head. Some call it a retreat. I call it getting the heck out of Dodge because Dodge bums you out right now. Go. Disappear for a few days. But on second though, skip the bus–it’s depressing.

Get a massage

Indulge and de-stress yourself with a full-body massage. Let someone pamper you. It’s okay if you cry–a massage therapist friend tells me people cry on her table all the time. It’s a release, just like the release of those toxins from your muscles.

Get a workout

Yeah, yeah, I know–exercise is the last thing you want to do right now. Do it anyway. Sweat off those blues. Run and swim and kick-box away that anger. I don’t have to tell you about endorphins–you know the deal.

Help someone else

Helping others is the best way to get your mind off your own troubles for a few hours. Soup kitchen, women’s shelter, pet adoption at the local Petco–spend a day doing something nice for others and watch your mood improve.

Laugh

Laughter isn’t the best medicine – Xanax is. But laughter is definitely in the top five. Think of things that make you laugh, and seek them out: a funny friend, a movie you love, a book, people trying to ice skate but busting their butts instead. Go find your funny place and get laughing.

Notice what this list does not include: drinking yourself stupid, contacting your ex, jumping into a stranger’s bed, eating 14 pies. Those will only make you feel worse. Also, some people will tell you to write down all your feelings in a journal or letter, which is a great idea, but not now. That’s for later. You need some time and space before you dive back into that muck.

Now get up and get going. And believe me when I tell you that this too shall pass. I know you can’t see it right now, but you will be all right. You will survive this.

Photo by Kseniya Petukhova on Unsplash

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Everyone and their Grandma seem to be texting these days, seeing how it’s almost impossible to find a phone that doesn’t have a full keyboard.  When you have something simple and quick to say, for example, “Look I’m sorry I shaved your cat, but get over it,” it can be convenient, but if you’re trying to convey any kind of love, affection, emotion, or desire to fornicate (“did they just say fornicate?”- Yes, yes we did!) it can be a huge pain in the buttocks.  Don’t worry though; we got you covered with everything you’ll need to know…

DO:

KISS – No, not the kind where two lips connect.  We’re talking about the rule of KISS aka Keep ISimple Stupid. If you have a sexy one-liner that you think will make your crush blush, by all means text it.  Just make sure they don’t have to scratch their heads to figure out what you’re saying.

DO NOT:

Write like you’re in second grade – Keep your grammar game tight, Plz and thk u. While texting may be a casual way to communicate, you still need to take the time and make your message readable.  The last thing you want is to blow your chance with a special someone because they don’t have a degree in kindergarten spelling.

DO:

Let them know you’re thinking of them when you’re not together – There’s nothing better than receiving a random message from the person you love.  Use a text to remind someone that you’re still laughing about a joke you shared or that you can’t stop thinking about last night’s Flintstone’s episode when they “made your bed rock” (wink wink)

DO NOT

Use it as a substitute for face time – The only way to make your relationship really special is to spend time getting to know each other. So if you’re texting to replace a date, watch a movie, or have an important conversation, than you’re probably going to send the message that you’re too busy for your loved one.  Which means it’s only a matter of time until they’re too busy for you.

DO:

Use some humor and inside jokes – Yes, it can be hard to sense sarcasm through a text message but if you and your lover have a little joke together than send away.  Avoid getting stuck in one of those boring conversations that covers topics such as “What did you have for dinner tonight?” and “How was work?”- Save those text conversations for Mom and Dad.  Instead, spice up the convo with a little flirting and teasing.

Fair warning: be careful with sarcasm because what you meant to be a funny joke can easily be taken as a relationship ender. For example, answering the question, “What are you up to tonight?” with a response like, “Spending time with my mistress.”

DO NOT:

Pull a Tiger Woods – It’s easy to get caught up in sexy conversation and say something you normally wouldn’t behind the confidence of your iPhone screen, but unless you are in a rock solid relationship, don’t say something that can be used against you. It’s not a good idea to tell other people’s secrets or even your own when it’s just one click away from being spread all over the world.