Sometime last year, I wrote an article about How To Be A Gentleman. At the time, I was coming from the perspective of an exasperated single girl who had had her fair share of disappointments, compounded with horror stories from friends about men’s bad behaviour. It was hard to believe there are still some decent, upright gentlemen out there because we only ever met them once in a blue moon, and usually they were taken. But things changed quite a bit for me since then, and I have started to see that sometimes women, even those who you thought have got it all together, also behave in appalling ways. This makes it very difficult for good men to find them or treat them well. One thing that’s sometimes difficult for us women to accept is, if we want to be with Mr. Right, we also have to work on becoming Miss Right, not Miss Right-Now.
Here’s a list of things to avoid if you want to be treated like a lady, with suggestions and comments coming from aggrieved gentlemen. I hope you don’t spot any familiar actions, and if you do, may you acknowledge them and stop them accordingly.
- Don’t be Bratinella. Realize that the world does not only revolve around you. It is such a turn-off for guys to encounter a very demanding woman who expects him to drop everything just to cater to her every whim. If you need him to do something for you, there is a nice way to ask instead of acting as though his servitude is a given. And if for a valid reason he cannot do what you ask, don’t get mad or resentful–he isn’t under your employ and you are technically not entitled to demand for stuff. Be considerate and easy to be with, and stop trying to prove whether he really loves you by asking him to do random crazy things like buy you milk tea and deliver it to your house in the middle of the night.
- Don’t swing branches. We always talk about men who are players, but what of the woman who leads men on and keeps them on ‘reserve’ like a bunch of spare tires? Okay, so it’s nice to feel adored and get lots of attention, but remember that a bird in the hand is always better than two in a bush. Don’t play with people’s feelings just to make yourself feel good. Sure, it may be a lot of fun to have plenty of suitors, but nothing beats knowing that there is one person who’s got your back for always. Now, if you are in a committed relationship and just aren’t happy anymore and you’ve met someone else you want to be with, do the right thing and come clean. It’s pointless hanging on to your boyfriend just because you’re not that sure about the other guy’s affections yet. Be honest with yourself and with the man you’re with, you owe him that at least.
- Don’t air your dirty laundry in public. Yes some men do kiss and tell, but women can do much, much worse. It is just awful to be telling people about private matters that should only be kept between you and your partner. I once went to a party where this girl was sharing totally intimate details about her husband that left all of us horrified, and people are still cracking jokes about the poor guy to this day (and he doesn’t even know it). Also, there are girls who rant all over Facebook, much to the glee of everyone else who just enjoy the drama and entertainment value of it all. Really, where is the sense of proper decorum these days? Didn’t your mother teach you anything?
- Don’t have unrealistic expectations. Here’s something I need to remind myself of too. Perhaps those romance movies, books and TV shows have spoiled us for good, but lots of women are just too idealistic and have such high expectations that no guy can possible meet. Many women want a man who spews poetry and love letters, sends obnoxious flowers to your office, cooks dinner, plans fancy dinner dates and romantic getaways, gives us jewelry, takes us shopping, the works. But we forget that there are men who would gladly make the effort to get along with your friends and family, hold your hand when you’re nervous, drive for hours just to get to you, say something silly to make you laugh, call you just because, install your cabinet or set up your computer, listen to your crazy ramblings and remain patient even when you’re throwing a tantrum. The everyday things count for more than any grand gesture. But well, if you happen to find a guy who does all that and still manages to surprise you with something sweet, thank your lucky stars and hold on to him!
- Don’t be too high maintenance or materialistic. Guys want to be with girls who they can feel comfortable with, someone they can imagine waking up with and spending the rest of their lives with. That vision does not always include a hair iron, full-on makeup, decked out clothes and high heels. Sure, it rocks his world if you look like a million bucks when you’re stepping out for a party, but you should also be able to take it easy on regular days and be comfortable in your own skin. Imagine what a letdown it would be if you can’t be available for spontaneous, spur of the moment trips just because your hair doesn’t look perfect! Also, don’t gauge a man’s feelings by the price tag of the gifts he hands over to you. A sweet, well thought out present is a lot more telling than an expensive but impersonal item.
- Don’t be too bossy. There are also some women who have taken their independence way too seriously and act like they own the world. Ok, so you may have a glamorous, high-paying job, you probably earn more than your partner ever could, but you really shouldn’t boss him around or tell him what to do. If you’re used to calling all the shots in the office, try not to carry that power trip all the way home—that translates to planning everything, deciding where to go and what dish to order and whatever else. You’ve got to allow a man to actually be a man, otherwise he will grow resentful and unhappy.
- Don’t be raunchy. Okay, a number of guys have told me that to them, there are two types of women: the ones they respect, bring home to mom and eventually marry, and the ones they sleep with, go mad about, but eventually leave. Usually they can tell from the first time they meet a girl which category she belongs to. And usually, the girl’s behaviour reinforces this ‘categorization’. So if you’re dressing in skimpy clothing, showing off tattoos on your boob, posting raunchy photos online, getting wasted or drugged up at parties, sleeping around and you think that’s what excites a man—well, yes, you’re probably right. But the excitement is temporary, and afterwards, they simply think of you as ‘cheap’ and move on to their next craze or they meet the woman of their dreams and marry her instead. Avoid falling into that pit, because it’s so hard to erase people’s impressions of you, and no matter how sexy or empowered you may feel one minute, you could also feel used and discarded like an old toy the next.
- Don’t be clingy. Ever watch “How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days”? It’s just insane to meet a guy and suddenly let your whole world revolve around him—you call him constantly and get upset when he doesn’t call you, you shower him with gifts, you start practicing your signature with his last name, you’ve named your future children and dog, you baby talk, you want to be with him 24/7 and get hurt when he wants to hang out with his friends, you go on a jealous rampage with any girl in sight… you know the deal. You might as well hammer in the last nail in the coffin, baby, because that relationship is dead.
- Don’t be pretentious. You are who you are and what you need is someone who will love you in that way exactly. There is no need to pretend that you are anything else—that you are wealthier or more popular or anything other than your amazing self, flaws and all. Of course there are things we need to improve on, things we want to avoid, things we want to change about ourselves and that’s ok. But if you want to be loved, the most important thing you need to learn is to love yourself first, to know how to make yourself happy, to be clear about your goals and life direction because a relationship with someone, no matter if he is the most perfect man in the universe, cannot do that for you.
Perhaps you can think of your own item number 10? Send me your thoughts at the Kikay page on Facebook or tweet @MiaZamora116! Cheers to becoming someone’s Miss Right!