Wise Guys: What Do You Wish You’d Known About Relationships Earlier?

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Advice from three of EMandLO.com’s guy friends. This week they answer the following: What do you wish you had known about relationships when you were younger? To ask the guys your own question, click here.

Married Straight Guy (Irad Eyal of Sexdegrees.net): I’m going to take this way back and interpret “younger” to mean 13. I rode the (big) yellow bus to junior high and every day I would sit behind Nicole, the most beautiful girl in school. Or at least on the bus. And I had a huge crush on her (awww). And somehow I wrangled a situation where we held hands on the ride, me leaning forward against the back of her bench with my arm wrenched over the top and our sweaty palms engaged (ewww). It was exquisite torture. We did this for weeks. And yet, it never occurred to me that she might actually like me, and that I could take this to the next level… getting laid or trading friendship bracelets or whatever comes after handholding. And then it was over (ohhh). I was an idiot. But what I’ve learned over the years is I’m still an idiot. That’s not going to change. And so I wish that instead of trying to fathom the unfathomable, i.e., the mind of this girl, I had known to just talk to her about it. So that’s my message, just talk about these things if you want to figure them out, that’s the only way. And Nicole, if you’re out there, call me.

Single Straight Guy (Colin Adamo of Hooking Up & Staying Hooked): It’s hard to be brief considering I have developed my complete answer into the website Hooking Up & Staying Hooked. But the simplest thing I wish I had known is to realize when you’ve lost. Whether it’s a sweetheart’s attention, a lover’s heart, or an argument you have to know when you’ve lost. Being a hopeless romantic and pining after a potential partner’s affection that will never actually be isn’t as noble as it sounds. Taking someone you care about for granted can let an important person slip through your fingers before you realized how much they mattered. And sometimes no matter how right you think you are — you’re wrong. You’ll lose plenty of crushes, special someones and disputes, but the only thing that’s worse is never realizing it. Oh… and lube.

terence_100Committed Gay Guy (Terence): When I was younger I was told relationships are hard, you’ve got to work at it, but no one said relationships change, you change, your partner changes, and the world around you changes. And with that I should’ve been told the magic word: compromise. No relationship is ever 50/50. Every single moment of every day, it’s at least 51/49 in one or the other’s favor. So get on with it and compromise.

Our “guys” are a rotating group of contributors. Irad Eyal is a writer, TV producer, and founder of celebrity gossip site Sexdegrees.netColin Adamo is a recent Yale grad and author/blogger behind Hooking Up & Staying Hooked, the only sex and relationships resource specifically for high school guys; and Terence is an American living in Sydney. To ask the guys your own question, click here.


  1. Also, like Colin said, I wish I’d learned earlier to spot the difference between women who dug me and women who didn’t. To think of all the time I wasted chasing go-nowhere prospects.

    In my adult life that’s been a HUGE time-and-feelings saver. I now waste no time pursuing unresponsive women.

  2. Its never been about 49/51 or any other similar ratio. Its about giving 100/100. Always has been.

  3. I wish I could tell my 20 year old self:

    “Your girlfriend sucks. She treats you like shit. The only reason you stay with her is because she’s a steady sex partner, and you’re scared you won’t find another. But you will.”

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