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One of the greatest failings of men is the belief that we actually understand women. Somewhere in our handbook, it’s been written that we should act as if we know all about the fairer sex and what makes them tick. It’s a mistake. How do I know? Because Maria Menounos—Extra TV host, author, producer, and all-around amazing multitalent—told me so. We met up for coffee and a chat to help flesh out this story. Simple enough, right? Wrong. We talked, debated, listened, and ultimately came to a shared conclusion: that you, the MF reader, don’t need a story about Maria Menounos. You need her advice, and you’d be better served hearing it directly from her. Lucky for you, she was happy to oblige in this open letter to men everywhere.
I probably have as much to say to your girlfriends as I do to you. I can’t help it, based on some of the nightmares I see and hear about out there. I’ll try to be fair to both sides, and as gentle as possible. But beware, I’m brutally honest.
Okay guys, when it comes to your relationships, support your partners, girlfriends, and wives in their lives, dreams, and careers as strongly as you would support your best friend. And speaking of that, if your girlfriend or wife isn’t your best friend, then she shouldn’t be your romantic partner, either. I see lots of guys who fail to get behind their partners—some even stand in the way of the other’s dreams, and it’s tragic. And, oh, yeah, I see as many women thwart their guy’s goals and dreams. I’ve seen too many talented guy friends fail to achieve, or even pursue, their dream because it didn’t fit into girlfriend or wifey’s white-picket- fence plans. So, support your girlfriend or wife, and expect her to support you!
And you know what else? All this doesn’t apply just to business; it applies to your social life, too. Guys, if your girl wants you to take her out someplace special or visit with her parents, do it. Help her around the house, and maintain the level of courtesy, manners, and politeness you hopefully had on your first date. As for your girlfriends, wives, and partners, they need to reciprocate. They need to either get into football or let you watch your games in peace. As far as dragging you to every niece, nephew, and cousin’s birthday, briss, and baptism, they need to let that stuff go, too. And tell them not to nag. I find myself doing it to my boyfriend, Kevin, sometimes, too, but I always try to catch myself. Nagging throughout a relationship will do serious damage.
When it comes to your love life and intimacy, you both have to put in the work. We as women still love to be romanced and seduced. You need to work as hard to please us as you want us to please you. Again, expect your partner to do the same. Guys are wired differently, and many of you have greater needs in that space. We need to be more sensitive to that.
As far as personal grooming and style are concerned, be open to what’s new. You don’t have to be a fashion icon, but it doesn’t take much time or even money to dress with the decade. And girls, you don’t have to stop caring about yourself once you settle down. It never hurts to keep fit, either. The bottom line is, partners can’t just “quit” when they get together.
Also, instead of getting mad at each other over little things, try using humor and laughing things off. And, no matter how your family, friends, or partners may pressure you, do not get forced into marriage. And if you can’t be monogamous, then for sure don’t get married!
If you’re single and looking for a life partner, have passion for your work and your hobbies—it’s a huge turn-on. No matter what you do for work, where you live, how you dress, or what you drive, own who you are. I fell for my boyfriend when he was driving a van, living in a basement and working as a carnie. I’m proud to say I drove that van, lived in that basement, and even worked alongside him selling sausages and fried dough. I did it because he owned every part of his lifestyle. He was passionate about TV and film and a career in it. As part of his plan, he worked summers in the carnival business so he could save enough money to travel to Hollywood each winter. Everyone laughed and pointed fingers at him, and even at me for dating him. But I loved the fact that he didn’t care, that he had a dream and the guts to pursue it. I was on board to help him, and I did. Later, he helped me get my first job on TV. Today, he’s the same guy—he could drive a Bentley, but he still drives a van.
The other lesson in it all is to never judge a potential partner by their status or how much money they make. If a girl is truly a decent, hardworking person who treats you well, that’s all you need. If she has those qualities and so do you, the money will come. I promise.
Now go get yourselves a great girl—and tell them Maria sent you!
The Extras of Maria Menounos:
This is one girl who really is almost everywhere. Here’s the tale of the tape for this star’s daily commitments
Host of Extra, Dancing with the Stars alum, frequent WWE diva, and future Oxygen network docu-personality.
Her words: “Wrestling, dancing, hosting, acting—I love leaving my comfort zone.”
Creator of afterbuzztv.com–an online network providing post-show commentary for some of your favorite programs.
Her words: “for live discussion about your favorite TV shows, afterbuzztv.com is the place.”
Produced the upcoming flick Serial Buddies with her boyfriend.
Her words: “I hoard vacation time just to make movies.”
The face of Rickland Orchards’ Greek Yogurt Bars—a high-protein snack that fits into any active lifestyle.
Her words: “delicious, nutritious, and Greek. How can I resist?”
Author of NYT best-seller The Every-Girl’s Guide to Life.
Her words: “fulfills my passion for sharing information.”