Life Is Not a Reality Show (4 page)

BOOK: Life Is Not a Reality Show
13.27Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

Pay attention to the people a man chooses to spend his time and share his life with. If they’re bad news, then I’m afraid it’s bad news for you. Birds of a feather, you know? And even if your guy is different from his friends, what does he see in them? What do they say about his judgment?

You can learn a lot about a man from the company he keeps.

Now that I think of it, all of Mauricio’s friends are still with the same women they were with when we were dating. All these years later.

By the way, don’t confuse the concept of a good guy with a boring guy. A lot of women do. Just because a man is respectful and nice and behaves well and doesn’t hang out with players doesn’t mean he’s boring! Are you kidding? I would never put up with boring! It’s extremely important that the man you marry is someone you have fun with, but you have to decide what kind of fun you want to have. Do you want to be a party girl who lives on the edge and likes the drama of an unreliable man? Do you want to have the excitement of an extended adolescence with a bad boy? Or do you want to have a lasting relationship with someone you can count on
enjoy? It’s possible to find a man who has both qualities. I know, because I did!

These tips can help you determine whether a guy is right for you (emphasis on the
for you
). I’ve told you what I value in a partner, and personally I think it has all turned out pretty well for me! But you have to figure out what you really want and need, and then do your due diligence before you make that hire. What’s important to you? What are a man’s attitudes toward work and providing for a family? Is there a place for spirituality in his life? What are his hopes and dreams? What are his plans for the future? Is he someone who will treat you the way you want to be treated for the rest of your life?

When I first met Mauricio, he did not have a lot of money, certainly by Beverly Hills standards. He was only twenty-three, just starting out in life, and making a modest salary in his parents’ clothing business. He definitely wasn’t a trust-fund baby! But he did have ambition. He had a drive to make his way in life and be successful. And I knew how well he treated me and what a good father he would be.

So I thought, in the best-case scenario, Mauricio would succeed, make money, and everything would be great. Worst-case scenario, he wouldn’t—but I’m still in love with him. It’s a win-win situation for me!

Of course, love is paramount. At least for me. Some people, especially in this town, may have other priorities—like women who hunt for big bank accounts, or men who only go out with models. I can’t comment on those relationships.

I can only comment on my own relationship and the many relationships I’ve observed. Love is the essential ingredient in a successful union. But the best way to give love a chance to work its magic year in and year out is to make sure it’s based on respect and shared values.

Those are the things that will carry you through life.

Learn the Language

As you now know, I grew up in a house packed with females. I wasn’t around guys much when I was a child. I saw my father on weekends but didn’t live with him, and I never had any brothers. You might think that would have left me clueless about men, but in fact, it gave me an excellent education about the male species. I have managed to put that education to good use in my own life—and I want you to benefit from it too!

Honestly, sometimes I feel like growing up in my house was like going to Dating University. I got to learn so much about how the male mind works and, most important, how to apply that information. If I had to sum up all the knowledge I acquired at Dating U, it would boil down to this: to be successful with men—to attract a man, to encourage him to fall in love with you, to keep him once you get him!—you need to communicate on a level that men can understand.

It’s almost like they speak an entirely different language than women. We women tend to think we’re in love and want to have a guy’s children the second we meet him. Right? It’s funny, but you know it’s true. “Oh, I could see myself marrying him; he’s so cute! I like his laugh! He has a nice car! Whatever!” Guys don’t think that way. It takes a lot longer for them to come around, and they often need a lot of encouragement along the way. But just the right kind of encouragement. You have to learn their language!

Let me explain how I got my master’s in men, with a specialty in languages.

I am the youngest of three sisters. Kathy is ten years older than me and Kim is five years older. In addition to my real sisters, there were four other girls who lived off and on at my house: Sue, Roxanne, Tracy, and Wendy, all older than me. I thought of them as big sisters and still do; they continue to be very much a part of my family’s life. Two of them were Kathy’s best friends and two of them were the daughters of my mother’s best friend, who had passed away. My grandmother also lived with us. So I was surrounded by up to eight—eight!—women at any given time.

The Best Advice I Ever Got from My Mom

» Carry yourself with confidence

» Speak your mind

» Never be intimidated by anyone

» Always act like a lady

» Play hard to get—but be smart about it

» Always put your children first

» Have a signature look

» Don’t overpluck your eyebrows!

Having all those girls around meant that a lot of boy issues were discussed at my house, and my mother was the queen bee, dispensing advice left and right, especially at night after the girls would get home from dates. And I was listening in!

You see, I slept in my mother’s bed until I was fifteen years old. That may sound weird, but when I was very little, I did some horror movies, including
Halloween I
, and they left me absolutely terrified of sleeping alone in the dark. I was so scared that someone would break into my room with a knife! So my mom let me sleep with her.

This is how it would go: late at night, one of the girls would come home from being out with a boy and tiptoe into my mother’s room to see if she was awake. My mother would jump right up and turn the light on. “Oh, I’m not sleeping!” she’d say. “Okay, tell me everything from the time you got in the car.” She didn’t want to miss one detail.

When I was really young I would pretend to be asleep during the play-by-plays, but even then I’m sure I was soaking things up subliminally. As I got older, and especially when the conversation got juicy, I would pretend I was sleeping and listen to every scrumptious piece of information! It really was way too much information for my age, but it was priceless! And then when I got even older, I was allowed to openly listen in on some of it. I would sit there quietly creating a little checklist in my head. You don’t do this; you don’t do that; but you
do this. This is what works; this is what doesn’t.

The stories would go on and on, and my mom would dole out her nuggets of wisdom. Sometimes one of the girls would come in crying about something, maybe upset because the guy she went out with didn’t call her back. My mom would say, “That’s because you were an idiot and didn’t handle yourself properly!”

My mom had rules, like, “Never go too far; you have to be a lady,” or “You don’t let him do that on the first date,” or “You only do such-and-such after you’ve gotten past the fifth date.” It may seem like simple advice, the same kind of things moms have been telling their daughters forever. But the difference for me, and the reason I paid attention and filed everything away to put into practice later, was that I actually got to see it
in action
. I got to hear the real-life stories and saw what happened when the girls followed my mom’s advice—or didn’t.

Top Ten Reasons Not to Let Your
Daughter Star in a Horror Movie

10. Her friends can’t go to the premiere without their parents getting upset.

9. She’ll have psycho fans obsessed with horror films following her for her whole life.

8. She’ll never let her own children watch scary movies.

7. You’ll never let
watch her own scary movie.

6. She’ll end up with anxiety disorders.

5. She’ll have to obsessively check the back seat of her car every time she gets in it.

4. She’ll be afraid of the dark for as long as she lives.

3. She won’t want to sleep alone again until she’s eighteen.

2. She’ll have an unnatural fear of sharp objects.

And the number one reason never to let your daughter star in a horror movie:

1. She’ll never trust a man in a Halloween mask.

And now I can see in my own life how valuable that advice has been. For example, my mom always said, “Don’t sleep with him right away!” Of course she said it; wouldn’t every mom? Yeah, for a reason! It’s still just as good an idea today as it was thirty years ago. Because it’s not about the sexual customs of the day, or about upholding strict standards of conduct based on morality—well, for some people it is, and that’s fine. But even beyond that, it just makes good sense. It always has and it always will, because the basic natures of men and women don’t change.

It’s all about understanding the male brain, the big one in his head and his little brain too! Ha-ha! It’s about
being fluent
in the language of men.

A man can sleep with you and enjoy himself and never think a thing about you again. That’s just the way men are, whereas once we have sex with a man, we’re likely to start dreaming about the next step and the next, all the way to love ever after. We’re ready for him to just sweep us off to his castle already. But that’s not the way sex translates to them. It just doesn’t mean a lot in their language.

If you’re looking for something more meaningful, more exclusive, more lasting—more like
—then you have to make him wait awhile. Instead of jumping into bed the minute he shows interest in you as a sexual partner, try to wait until he truly cares about you as a person. Because if he doesn’t care about you as a person, what reason does he have to come back to you—except for more sex? If he hasn’t had a chance to get to know you, what is he going to miss? If his first experience of you is basically going to bed with you, don’t be surprised if it’s all over before it began. He’s done, he moves on, and you’ve never had a chance to get under his skin.

I certainly made my husband wait a long, long time—months, which is an especially long time when you’re seeing each other every day and every night. I’m sure some people wait a whole year, or even until they get married, to do the deed. I’m not saying you necessarily have to hold out that long, but at least let him get to know who you really are, so when he’s not with you he’ll think about you. He’ll be thinking, yeah, I like her. I’m intrigued about her. I
her. I want to know more.

I have a friend who never really bought the notion of waiting. She figured, hey, we’re in a new era; it’s not like the old days. Equality between the sexes! Women are allowed to express themselves sexually, just like men.

Well, sure we’re allowed to express ourselves sexually! But that doesn’t mean that doing so won’t have consequences. Unfortunately, that hasn’t changed. I’m not telling you that you’re a bad person if you have sex right away. I know that some long-term relationships have started that way. I’m just saying that if you really want to achieve a certain outcome, you want to be smart, which may mean delaying the big moment.

Now that friend of mine wishes she could go back and have some do-overs. She had a string of lovers and relationships that didn’t go much farther than that. For a long time the situation suited her, but eventually she got to a point where she realized she wanted more. She looked back on her affairs and thought,
Oh my God! A couple of those guys were great. They’re just the kind of men I could fall in love with. But I blew it when I had the chance!
She went through a real period of anguish, wishing she had done things differently. I felt so bad for her. Now she’s decided to pull back and approach sex with a different attitude, and she tells me she just hopes it’s not too late.

Many of the so-called rules that I learned growing up about how to look and act if you want to find a good man are based on the same principle: how you behave toward a man will affect the way he behaves toward you. The make-him-wait rule is a biggie, but there’s an even more fundamental rule that I recommend you follow. It’s so fundamental that it applies not just to men but to your whole life. Ready?

come across as confident. You must, must, must. Please!

Notice I didn’t say “You must
confident!” I’m very well aware that you can’t be confident all the time (at least I can’t!). Maybe there are people in the world who don’t experience self-doubt, and if so I envy them, because I sure have my moments from time to time. People don’t believe me when I tell them I have a very shy side. They say, “Oh yeah, hilarious!” But it’s true. Being confident and outspoken didn’t always come easily to me.

But I learned early on that when you feel insecure and totally lack confidence, you just have to fake it till you make it! If you
confident for long enough, even if you’re just pretending, eventually you will actually
confident. I swear!

You want to come across as self-assured—certainly with men and ideally with everyone—because people will respond to you so much better if you do. People want to be around someone who feels good about herself, and they automatically avoid those who are desperate for validation. Only bullies and other controlling types are drawn to individuals who advertise their poor self-esteem.

BOOK: Life Is Not a Reality Show
13.27Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

Other books

All the dear faces by Audrey Howard
The Birds by Tarjei Vesaas
Life Without Hope by Sullivan, Leo
Orphan of Mythcorp by R.S. Darling
Bird Lake Moon by Kevin Henkes
Don't Mess With Earth by Cliff Ball