This request came in from a reader of a previous column and it is a question I get asked a lot. "How do I keep a guy interested?" "What should I do to keep his attention?" "Why did you stop calling?".
I think this is a great way to start the new year and a fresh approach to your relationship. A lot of women turn men off without even realising it. Let's be honest, getting a guy interested and keeping him interested are two very different things. So let's talk a little about a few things that can help keep your flame from dwindling like a match in Hurricane Sandy.
Maintain a life
Ladies, if your man insists on having your life being about nothing else but him, that's a red flag. We got interested in you because you're your own person, so have your own interests, friends and hobbies. Do your own thing, which means you won't be dependent on us for a social life. Being clingy is a Highway 2000 route to being single. Being too available can come across as desperate and a turn-off. We like a little chase. If you're always there then...
Take an interest in our hobbies
This might seem to contradict what I just said, but it doesn't. As thrilling as your day, your friends, your cute pair of shoes and your ex are, it doesn't mean that it should monopolise our conversations. Instead of going on and on about those things, how about you find out what we like? Football, cars, off-roading, lizard watching or snail collecting. Whatever it is, take an active interest in something we love to do. The key thing is pick something you see yourself doing because we don't want you to fake it, but we also want to know you're willing to try new things, especially things that we're really into.
Laughter is the best medicine
Don't take yourselves so seriously. Being able to make us laugh and laughing with us are very important. If you can make us smile with your wit, clever jokes or sarcasm, it's a plus. Don't be afraid to show us your funny side because as Kartel said 'We nuh wah nuh boring gyal'.
A+ for appearance
We know looks aren't everything and believe it or not, guys aren't as shallow as you think. But looks are a far cry from carrying yourself like a wet mop. Even if we're in a relationship, we want to feel like you've made an effort for us. We don't expect you to roll out of the house looking like Beyoncé every day, but keep it cute and simple and put an effort into taking care of yourself and how you look. And you should expect the same from us.
Keep crazy in check
We know that at times you may feel insecure or threatened by other women, including the female friends in our lives. And we know that you've heard that men like their women crazy. But ladies, you have got to keep that crazy in line. Stalking our FB and Twitter pages, going through our phones and public displays of jealousy are a complete turn-off. If you keep this up, the relationship won't progress — unless both of you are insane.
Be spontaneous. Do something unexpected; surprise us from time to time. Cook our favourite meal just because, buy a gift for no special occasion, take us out on a date where you have planned everything... Keep us intrigued.
There's nothing wrong and everything right about making us feel good about ourselves, and yes, we know this goes both ways. Make us feel appreciated; show appreciation for the things that we may have done for you, whether we did so accidentally or intentionally. Pay attention and listen to our goals and dreams. We may have had a rough day or we accomplished something at school or work. We're not looking for a second mother or to be babied, but be there for us when we need support or someone to listen and fuel our drive. Stroke our ego.
Don't try to change us
You will know what we're like pretty much 10 minutes into meeting us. If you choose to keep going then three months later don't expect a brand new man. Respect and tolerate our preferences; if we weren't into pottery and poetry in the beginning we are not going to be into it three months later. If we didn't like cuddling on a Sunday and watching Lifetime with you, then we're not going to like it now. Don't force us to do things we don't like; it just makes us annoyed and we will avoid you. Allow us to find something you like that we like too on our own.
We're not dating your friends
We understand that there are times you need to turn to your friends for advice. However, if we begin to feel like we're in a relationship with all your friends and that our relationship is a public one, it is going to be a problem. Be selective in who you discuss things with; we certainly don't want your friends calling and messaging us about our relationship. This is a no PING Zone!
Be confident and friendly
Speaking of friends, be confident, independent and able to hang out in any situation, especially if our friends are involved. Nothing is sexier than a woman that can hold her own and is fun to be around. Shy girls are great, but we don't want to feel as if we have to babysit you every time we go somewhere. If you can't be around our friends or no-one likes having you around, we will stop bringing you around.