As I said last week, a solid, well-rounded partner will never give you the hook for talking about something that genuinely excites you. They’ll nod, say things like, “No way!” or “Craaaazy” and support your need to update, debate and ruminate. But sometimes, there are topics the ladies would just be glad to eliminate.
Don’t think of it as being restrained. Think of it as being…enlightened.
After polling a number of Toronto women, both single and in relationships, here are 9 things that men tend to bring up more than never for which the average woman doesn’t quite share the same passion…
1. Your Fantasy Sports Team
You know it’s fake, right? It has the word “Fantasy” in the name. I mean, the players are real and you can win money sometimes, but you don’t actually have a team. It’s enough that some men (read: large boys) spend hours a day fiddling with their hypothetical rosters but when they start getting emotional and lamenting over draft picks, bad trades and sprained ankles? Much like the team itself, it’s probably safest to keep this topic non-existent around the ladies.
2. Your Fantasy Sports Team
Yes, again. Seriously, don’t ever talk about this.
3. The Girl That Flirted With You Today
I know. It feels good. Few things are more invigorating to the male ego than a woman donating unsolicited attention and indirectly saying, “Ya, you’ve got a chance”. And most people get that. But really only the guys want to hear about it. First of all, here’s some rough math: for every one girl that has flirted with you, there are approximately eighty-seven thousand men, three hundred women and eleven representatives of another species that have flirted with your girlfriend/wife. Like I said, it’s rough math, but a valuable guideline for some baseline perspective if nothing else. Second of all, there are rarely prizes awarded for being simultaneously desirable and committed; that’s synonymous with being in a healthy relationship. So again, best to save these highlight reels for boys’ night unless you want to bore, annoy or provoke.
4. Literally Anything To Do With Video Games
Everyone likes an escape once in a while, but most girls don’t want to hear about it if you’re going to a magical land where you’re a sniper, a car-thief vigilante in Portland or a cartoon football team. Much like the fantasy sports stuff, the departure from reality here is a major hurdle to interest, but so is the weird obsession with kicking fake ass; it’s just not very exciting to anyone but you and especially not to women who weren’t planning on hanging out with a teenager. And if you let it leak that you bought a headset so you can trash-talk anonymous virgins in South America during penalty shots, don’t be surprised if girls start jamming the “Eject” button.
5. How Expensive Haircuts Have Gotten
It is frustrating that a $25 haircut in a big city is now as rare as a well-respected parking cop. Those were the glory days when you could just show up at Gorgio’s without an appointment, tell him, “I’d like it shorter than now” and walk out 20 minutes later with a fresh dome and enough money left over for a shawarma and a pint. It sucks that those days are all but vanished, but guess what: women never had those days. It has always cost them a small business loan for a cut-and-a-style so unless you’re planning on investing in clippers or a man-bun, try to keep this particular topic under your hat.
6. How Bad Your _____ Smells
At some point, everyone is going to have something that smells terrible, be it a sandal, an undergarment or an armpit. It’s a part of life. That doesn’t mean it should be a part of conversation. If your hockey equipment smells like a rat spleen, just do something about it sans announcement and definitely sans request for corroboration. If it’s a stinky shirt, a salty shoe or a…well anything, it’s probably wise to keep your nose and your mouth plugged for a while.
7. That Thing You Were Pretty Good At In University
University was one big peak-party for a lot of people. Sports, theater, chugging and just about any other passion-hobby that tends to generate $0 of income often fades into distant memory or a rec league shortly after graduation. And while everyone likes to reminisce at some point or another, men have been known to replay their crowning amateur achievements like a 2 year old who wishes Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star was an 18-hour opus. It’s kinda nice to know, and it can come in handy for gifts and cocktail conversations, but for the most part, you can keep this to a few bullet points on the optional second page of your verbal résumé.
8. Your Job Lingo
If you’re going to tell work war stories – and many guys do – many ladies would prefer it if you didn’t try to couple them with the world’s most boring Rosetta Stone CD. If you start using acronyms other than WTF and P in V (though the latter would indicate one of your more interesting work fables), you can assume that you’re losing your audience. The best stories are the ones where you don’t have to teach people stuff they’ll only ever use to understand your stories, so keep the dictionary in your pocket and try to stick to the terms everyone knows…like, “Shhhhhhhh”
9. How Much Money That Guy You Know Makes
Respect for other people’s achievements and ambition-by-inspiration are excellent qualities. But spending minutes at a time verbally inflating some other guy’s financial penis is probably going to bore the average lady or work against your best interests. Success stories appeal to both sexes, but in this context it’s best to go with dramatic back-story and high-level flattery – or witty sarcastic resentment – and stay out of other dudes’ wallets…especially if it’s bigger than yours.