Munir Bello gives some sage advice to the opposite sex about understanding men.
One day, I was writing in a cafe and a group of women came in for a boozy lunch. They were talking about men and I got roped into the conversation because I was close by.
Lots of questions were asked and the general consensus was that, we don’t make it easy. I’ve heard this mentioned time and again, so I decided to put this list of FAQs together, hope it helps.
First impressions: How do I know if he’s being serious or just leading me on?
It’s really tricky to know because some guys are great bullshit artists. If you’re not sure, then take the time to get to know them properly and over time their true character will be revealed. Rushing in is the worst thing you can do if you’re unsure.
We don’t have anything in common, will it last?
You don’t have to like everything he likes and vice versa. If you share basic values, that’s a good start. You don’t both have to like train spotting, collecting postage stamps, salsa dancing, mountain climbing, eating skinless chicken or whatever takes your fancy in order for the relationship to have legs.
The Phone Rule: How long after the first date should I wait to call?
If you even have to ask then you’re in trouble right from the start. If he likes you, then he won’t mind receiving a text or phone call afterwards. If you had a good time say so and if he thinks you’re being too keen, well then quite frankly, fuck him. (Not in the literal sense I might add).
A guy I’ve just started seeing takes days to return my calls/text messages, should I be worried?
Personally I think so. In this day and age, people are very attached to their phone. Some will even take it to the toilet. It takes seconds to return a message and minutes to do a number two, if you catch my drift. So if you’re getting messages returned many days later than when they were first sent, that’s not a good omen. The excuse, “I’ve been really busy” actually means, “I had more important things to do.” I think it’s definitely worth telling him that his irregular/late responses are pissing you off. That way you’ll know if he’s really interested because he’ll either get his act together or slip under the radar.
We went out and had really good first date but I never heard from him, WHY?
YOU had a good time, maybe he thought you were cool or saw you more as a friend. Doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with you. He just needed to grow a pair of balls and tell you that it won’t go further romantically. If he didn’t then it’s not worth losing sleep over.
Sex: Is it OK to sleep with a man on the first date?
This question gets asked all the time. There’s no right or wrong answer. If he thinks less of you for doing it then in my opinion he’s retarded. He should also be worried about what you think of him because unless it was a solo act then it’s pretty likely that he took part. I know lots of couples who did it after the first date (some of whom are married). The best answer to that question is that, it depends on the man. Should you choose to do it then it’s at your own risk and for God’s sake put a latex ring on it.
My boyfriend claims he has a low sex drive and we hardly sleep together. Is he just not interested?
I struggled with how best to answer this one for ages. In an ideal world the best way to find out would be to call his exes and ask them if he was the same with them, but we don’t live in an ideal world. I was once told that the worst sex for a man can be is good, so if he’s not putting out regularly then you might want to put the kettle on, grind some coffee beans and have a long chat about it. I guess everyone is different in that department but if you’re that worried about it, only he can provide you with the answer.
How many past sexual partners is too many?
Depends on the guy, when I asked around, the general consensus was 10 or more. Bearing in mind that the average number of men that a woman has been with, according to internet research is 20, there are a lot of guys out there that might be spending the rest of their lives either as single or deluded. In my opinion, your past is your past, therefore none of my business, meaning that as long as you’re not bragging about it (if it is what you would consider high) then it’s not a problem.
Do men want women to lie about how many men they’ve slept with?
Hell no! The truth will come out anyway and if the truth bothers someone you’re with then, that person isn’t for you.
The sex isn’t very good, how do I broach the subject?
Openly. You don’t want to spend the rest of your life having bad sex with that person, so I think it should be mentioned. Be sensitive to how they might react and be prepared to give a list of suggestions that’ll help them improve. Solutions, not problems. They’ll thank you for it.
I don’t believe in sex before marriage, when should I mention this?
The sooner, the better. I don’t mean that you should introduce yourself as, “My name is Emily and I don’t believe in sex before marriage.” It all boils down to sharing the same values and you’d like to know early on if it is a problem for the guy, so that you both don’t end up in an uncomfortable situation.
Marriage: After 5 years is it OK to give him the ultimatum of putting a ring on it?
If you believe in marriage then it’s worth making sure that he does as well. After 5 years of dating, if you guys are young then there’s no rush, however if you guys are older, it’s worth asking if he plans on proposing. It’s not advisable to put a gun to his head and demand that he marry you, but it’s important to let him know how you feel. Ultimatums are tough because they can lead to resentment, so tread softly.
Money: I earn a high salary, is it intimidating for a man to date someone earning more than he does?
Not anymore. With the evolution of the feminist movement, more women are advancing in the work place and many hold high positions with very good salaries. If a guy feels intimidated by your spending power then it’s probably because he has a small cock. He should appreciate your perseverance and ambition, if he doesn’t you should kick him to the curb and find someone who will. It’s not your fault.
First date rule on who pays the bill?
Traditionally the man has always paid for the first date. It’s nice if somebody offers to split the bill but it’s rare they’ll be expected to chip in. The only time when an exception should be made is if the first date is in a high-end restaurant chosen by you. If it is a chain or a fast food place (hopefully not) then he should pay.
How do I pay for things without emasculating a man who can’t afford them?
If it’s in a public place, then don’t make a parade of showing your card because he will feel embarrassed. I once saw a couple out and the lady paid for the meal, which isn’t a problem. The guy flushed red when she waved her card in the air like a traffic controller for all to see. She made a big show of letting everyone know that the meal was on her and gave him what she thought was a reassuring pat as if to say, “I understand you can’t afford it”. Public shaming, never good.
My boyfriend has a lot of potential, I’ve just spotted a job that’s up for grabs, how do I suggest he applies for it without hurting his ego/belittling his current job?
If he is aware that he can do better, then he won’t mind you looking out for him. It is your joint future that you’re securing after all. Best thing to do if you’re someone who wants an ambitious boyfriend, is to gauge it on the first date. How he talks about what he does for a living will give you a few clues. “I’m trying to do………”= Ambitious “I’ve been licking envelopes for 20 years and I hate it, but there’s nothing better out there”= Unambitious
Integration: Should I be worried if he hasn’t asked me to meet his family/friends?
If you’re thinking that after a day then he should be worried. If it’s been 9 months or more and it’s only been just you two, then you should be worried. (Exceptions can be made for orphans who are only children re family). On the friends side of things, if you’ve not met a single one after 3 months, there better be a good explanation.
My boyfriend always goes out without me, should I be worried?
Not if he’s going out to work, but if he continually goes out with his friends and never takes you out it’s worth asking why that is as there might be a valid reason. If it persists, then there are 2 examples of when it is a problem, 1) The friends do bring their partners and you’re the only partner not present. 2) If it is always at the expense of you two going out.
We’re different religions, is there any hope?
It’s not the end of the world. If he comes from a family that expect you to convert and you don’t think it’s an option, then don’t get involved with him. I personally think it’s worth addressing religion early on so that there are no mixed signals. Some people say you shouldn’t but I disagree. It’s worth knowing. Political affiliation is probably more likely to get an arched eyebrow if broached.
Kids: Is it too soon to mention babies after a few dates?
Making them? Yes. Wanting to have them one day? No. It’s managing expectations.
My boyfriend says he doesn’t want kids, can I change his mind?
Depends on how old he is and his reason for not wanting them. It also depends on the guy. Lots of people have changed their mind. Equally lots of people haven’t.
My boyfriend doesn’t get on with my kids, how do I handle this?
I don’t have any kids so I’m not in a position to say, but if I did, I’d prefer that there was harmony in my household. Some kids are very protective of their mothers and so won’t let a stranger in easily. The guy needs to understand that. Be honest with yourself, because if your kid is a brat who hates everyone then you just have to bite the bullet and hope that the guy doesn’t wake up with your child on top of him, holding a gun to his mouth.
I don’t want kids, when do I tell the guy?
I’d say quite early on because if he does, then it is a deal breaker.
I can’t have kids, when do I tell the guy?
Early on again. If he has a problem with it, do you really want him in your life?
I don’t get on with my boyfriends’ kids, how do I handle this?
Be very sensitive. If the guy is a realist and his kid lacks social skills, he’ll know this and therefore should be understanding. If, however, there is a genuine reason for you to not like the child, then the relationship will be hard, because the parent is more likely to side with their own child.
When is a good time to mention living together?
You can’t put a time on it because it’s different for every couple. Some wait years, some practically end up doing it right from the beginning, all will know in their hearts when the time is right.
Are men comfortable with women being friends with an ex?
Some are, some aren’t. The ones that aren’t, never will be. Even though sometimes it is completely innocent, some men are intimidated by friendships with exes. Worth mentioning early on if that ex is a true friend that adds value to your life.
Is age just a number? I like younger men.
Tread softly here. Some guys like to think that they like older women but after a few months they change their mind. If you’re older and can’t have kids but the guy wants kids and is unwilling to adopt, then leave it. There are a lot of guys out there in happy relationships with older women, overall I don’t think it is a problem but it depends on how big the gap is.
He cheated on me, should I take him back?
This is a personal opinion, No. If you take him back, it’d have to be on the condition that it is forgiven and never mentioned which is easier said than done.
Mark Mutton, a funny, cynical salesman has just been made aware that with four weeks, five days and 14 hours to go before their wedding, that it is called off by Samantha Johnson, his fiancee.
He has a series of comical flashbacks before arriving back to the moment. Mark has led a hilarious existence and he is proud to share them with you. You’re taken on a tour of his view on relationships, sex and dating. This is a novel about relationships from the point of view of a man boy. Classic Man-Lit for women.
Munir Bello was born in Nigeria and moved to England at the age of 10. He went to school in Sussex and then University in Essex. He currently lives alone in Maida Vale, London. His first book is called The Break Up Recipe which has become an underground success. He has plans to write further books on a variety of subjects.