Ella: What makes a guy commit? A lot of my girlfriends always complain that the guy they’re “talking to” is hesitant on being exclusive, and I hear a lot of things about how guys “won’t commit until they’re ready for a relationship,” so what flips that switch?
Rob: From my experience, and I’m not saying this is 100% every guy on earth, but if he’s hesitant it’s because he’s not that into her or he’s working on something else and hoping that works out. If you were just head over heels in love with a girl you wouldn’t say hmmm I don’t know about this. The only exception is if he just came out of a relationship and may feel like he’s rushing into something. That makes sense, but other than that hesitation is a sign of disinterest.
Rob: If a girl doesn’t text back very often is that a sign of not being interested? I don’t mean if you send her 200 texts in an hour, but if a text is sent in the morning and she doesn’t respond until that night, should that be a signal?
Ella: This one is really hard to play because either she isn’t interested and is trying to find a way to let you down, OR she really likes you but doesn’t want to be the overly eager, text-you-back-in-five-seconds person. Why we collectively decided that the person who takes the longest to text back has the upper hand is beyond me, but there’s usually a pretty solid window of about an hour or two wherein she wants to appear interested but Cool and Aloof. If she doesn’t text you back until that night, there’s a very good chance she’s not interested — because let’s face it, we all live with our phones glued to our hands. Even the longest class or meeting would give her a space to fire off a text response (and typically you don’t need more than an hour to send a screenshot of the message to your friends to dissect, analyze, and come up with a witty but engaging reply).
Ella: What’s the one thing that girls do in the ‘getting to know each other’ phase of relationships that guys wish they didn’t do? Are there any unequivocal Head For The Hills signals? Do you sit around and trade horror stories so you all know what to look out for?
Rob: You would be amazed at the stupid stuff most guys would put up with from extremely attractive girls. You don’t really realize it at the time because you just think “this must be the price I have to pay for dating someone this hot”, but after it’s over you’re like “wow what on earth was I thinking?” As you get older you realize not everyone is like that and you don’t have to tolerate insanity to be with someone you find attractive. I would say the biggest sign to bail on a relationship is extreme clinging. Like if you’re at work and she texts you saying “What are you doing?” Then 5 minutes later you get, “Why are you not answering me? Is something wrong?” Then 2 minutes after that, “Oh so I guess you’re just ignoring me now, huh?” Meanwhile you’re in a meeting trying your best to ignore the vibration party going on in your pocket because you have 620 text messages. If this is how things are now, how bad is it going to be if we’re in a relationship?
Rob: Is there ever an appropriate time to send a NSFW pic or do girls just look at the pile of laundry in the background and forward them to their friends?
Ella: If you are going to send a dick pic, please please please know that the girl you’re sending it to and 10 of her closest friends will be seeing your junk and the Coke bottle against which you are comparing it within the next 48 hours. I know people constantly try to pit men against women and vice versa by saying that men are more visual than women are, and that is really problematic (after all, there are some women who genuinely do like to look at porn and Playgirl magazines) but unless the woman you’re texting EXPLICITLY says, “send me a picture of your penis,” your best bet is to just not ever. Besides, you know how weird you feel when you open your phone in the middle of that work meeting (why are we always on our phones in meetings?) and you have to quickly shield your phone because there’s suddenly boobs on the screen? Yeah. No grown woman wants to explain a penis to her boss.
Ella: Do guys friendzone girls? Or is this a phenomenon that only happens to guys?
Rob: It definitely happens both ways. When you meet a girl that’s fun and cool to be around, but the attraction just isn’t there, it ends up in the friend zone. I get how it happens for guys and girls because you don’t want to tell someone straight up, “I think you’re fun, but I have no attraction to you whatsoever.” Instead you do this awful move where you try to hint to it through emojis and body language. We’re all garbage people and should just be upfront about our feelings, but it will never happen.
Rob: How should guys approach a girl in a bar without looking like a creep? Is it just about being attractive?
Ella: It’s really not about being attractive — I know this always sounds like a cop-out, but it’s really about the perfect balance of being confident and also respecting her space. Yes, it’s probably really loud and crowded in the bar, but grabbing a complete stranger by the arm so you can say hi or simply dancing up behind her is probably going to freak her out A LOT. (A guy tried to grab me by the arm not once but twice on a recent Saturday night and both times I immediately went on the defensive and briefly wondered if I could take him. An invasion of space is just not a good recipe. But if these are your patented moves, better be really, really, really ridiculously good-looking.) It’s better to try say hi over the din and ask if you can buy her a drink — just giving her a drink she didn’t see being made might make her wonder if there was something slipped in there — or complimenting her on her dancing ability or her hair or something. We’re all suckers for compliments.
Ella: Are guys pro-The Talk to define a relationship, or does it just happen naturally? What SHOULD happen?
Rob: If a guy doesn’t want to have The Talk, then he’s not interested in a relationship. The only reason you avoid that is because you’re playing out other options.
Rob: What do girls do when they go to the bathroom together?
Ella: Borrowing each other’s makeup, passing contraband like tampons or condoms, bitching about their underwear, adjusting their underwear, sharing a stall if the bathroom is excessively small or the line is exceedingly long, fluffing up their hair, talking about guys, talking about the cute guy five tables over, talking about how the girl at the table with the cute guy is so not into him, dissecting texts other friends have sent, daring each other to use the guy’s restroom if they really need to go, saying their heels hurt, talking loudly about how drunk they are or how they’re breaking the seal — but it’s mostly just that there’s usually a line so we like to have company while we wait. (There’s never a line with guys’ rooms.)
Ella: Is there anything girls do that makes guys automatically interested in them? Like the glasses-coming-off makeover in 90s rom-coms, but less Clark Kent archetype-y?
Rob: It varies from guy to guy, but a girl can become much, much more attractive if they share the same interests or if their sense of humors are similar. If a guy is big into basketball and this girl is going on and on about her favorite teams and has a genuine interest instead of just pretending to like something, it’s a huge plus because now you have one more thing in common. On the opposite side of that, there are things that can turn a beautiful girl into someone completely uninteresting. If your facebook posts are 9 paragraphs about how terrible your ex is and how everyone in your life causes drama, that’s going to seriously cause me to reconsider. Mainly because I’m afraid that’s going to be me in a few months if we break up. It sounds cliche, but being yourself is a great way to let a guy know if he would be interested in dating you longterm or not. Don’t pretend to like something just because you want his attention. You’ll either let him down later when you reveal you weren’t being honest, or you’ll have to pretend to enjoy something you hate FOR THE REST OF ETERNITY.
Rob: What’s something guys think is impressive but it’s actually a giant turn-off?Ella: NEGGING. Oh my God, whoever decided that the best way to get a girl to like you is to lightly disparage her seriously set the entire species back about a hundred years. My one friend called it getting Diet Insulted, because that’s what it is — it’s a compliment you’re too nervous to actually stand up and deliver. It’s much, much, much better to just be like, “Hey, for what it’s worth, I think you’re pretty,” and let it hang there than to somehow throw in a snide jab that she’d be prettier if her friend wasn’t the prettiest. If you’re so worried that she’s going to reject your compliment, don’t give it. At the very least, telling someone they’re attractive might make them feel good about themselves, which should in turn make you feel good about yourself. Never try to bring someone else’s self esteem down just so they wind up being into you. Rise up to their level instead.
Ella: Do guys share texts and convos the way girls do (up to and including those NSFW pictures)? And speaking of, do you delete those from your phone or just keep a roster even after you guys broke up?
Rob: I think it depends. If it’s from a girl you’re in a relationship with you aren’t going to share it but I’ve gotten some forwarded to me from friends of just random girls they’ve been chatting with. From my experience most are deleted after it’s over, but that’s just from guys I know. I’ve seen phones with a full roster on there.
Rob: What’s something you wish guys would do that they don’t seem to comprehend?
Ella: The absolute biggest road block I’ve encountered (and heard that my girlfriends have encountered as well) is that there is a huuuuuge difference between how guys communicate and how girls communicate. So many of my friends will say that this guy they’re into doesn’t open up, or she can’t tell if he likes her or not because he never bothers to say anything. Sometimes the little things do suffice — like if there’s some sweet gesture that just unequivocally proves that yeah, he’s into you — but we live in the era where people try to be so “cool” that those moments are rare. (They’re all the more swoon-inducing because they’re so few and far between, for the record, so if you do it, you’re going to look that much more awesome.) Let a girl know you’re into her by telling her flat out, “Hey, I’m into you. Delete your OK Cupid account, you don’t need it anymore, let’s do this thing for real.” Because my girl Lauren Conrad said it best:
(As hopelessly basic as that may be.)