Jose Antonio Cangco

Did you ever cheat on someone? Honestly, while I am writing this two-word advice about how a girl can keep his guy and make him happy, I feel like I am selling him out. Children are the future of our society and their first role models are their parents, and a strong relationship between husbands and wives, partners or couples plays a crucial role. If it will help in any way to keep the guy happily close to the girl and in the process, perhaps including the whole family, then I have no qualms about sharing a secret.

If spilling out the beans on how to keep a guy in a blissful state is like I am turning my back on the brotherhood, girls, you also pay a token price. This advice is very simple to understand and easy to do, in fact, just a couple of words short and there is no need for you to remember a bulleted or numbered list of do’s and don’ts but the price is you have to swallow your pride.

One way of making sure the guy will be happy and stay close to you is to lift his ego. Sure, thanking him for the presents he gives you and praising his work and the big things he brings home are signs of sincere appreciation, but he may need more than these to make up for any feelings of insecurity or inadequacy he may be harboring. Because, when it comes to the great pie in the sky—love relationships—he knows, though he cannot explain how, that the fair sex comes out better and more knowledgeable than men about matters of love concerns.

This is one area where guys know they cannot compete with their partners. Even before he had chosen a girl to be his lawful and wedded wife, the guy had already segregated the big issues for her to tackle, very confident in her abilities and talents she will always be able to ferret out the solutions to love and relationship problems cropping up in the future.

On the other hand, if you want to profusely express love and tenderness for him, these will only go so far and do so much before he will start feeling suffocated with affection. Sure, you want to help and boost his ego but how will you carry on without raising his suspicions? It is sad you can lead a horse to water but you cannot make it drink, forcing the equine will only choke it. Likewise, you can guide your partner with sweet words and come-ons to achieve the kind of espousal and relationship heaven you believe is ideal, but, remember, he can always claim he has no time for intimacies and romantic togetherness. If you are unquestionably serious and strongly believe he has potential to change, and consequently want to enjoy a happy love life like it’s full of sweet meats and candied fruits, then, you have to buckle-up with a two-word advice. Once in a while, girl, you have to play dumb.

Your only objective in playing dumb is to improve love relationships. Treat him the way you do your best friend—with respect, admiration, honesty, compassion and kindness. You will never try to pull a fast one on your best friend, won’t you? It is the same with him. There is one little difference, though, and it is this: try to lower your intelligence quotient on the subject of love matters to a level that he finds comfortable and is able to understand. In this way he will not feel inferior and outsmarted.

Many really smart girls give the same advice to their closest friends when their fiancés start getting doubts and beginning to feel fidgety in what they think is a constricting and one-way relationship. There is absolutely no need to sacrifice all and out your pride when you choose to play dumb because, the beauty of it besides being a brief one-liner advice, is it is very low-key. There is absolutely no way will anybody know, except you, if your are playing dumb: you need not broadcast this in public, you can do it while walking together in the park or in the privacy of your home. More importantly, while you are doing it surreptitiously, you will be giving his ego a boost as he begins to feel confident, knowledgeable and smart. Not even a committee of love gurus will ever suspect you are playing dumb because you are doing it under wraps and cover.

This will also become your playing field—very limited and narrow containing only one subject. You can be your real self when facing the other challenges of everyday life such as commerce, religion, philosophy, politics, etc. but even if it will benefit you, resist the temptation to continue playing dumb beyond this restricted area. The red light is we do not want him to take you as far as natural goes.

Having secured this very limited area where you are going to play dumb, choose aspects and parts within and related to romantic and similar interests. Choose simple incidents and give little remarks. For example, while walking in the park you can say, “That couple looks so sweet especially when their clothes are of contrasting colors,” or while at the zoo, “Look at those love birds! They look like owls.”

If you are a smart girl, you will be able to handle most situations and make him believe he is wowing you. You see, men are not born with an innate talent to see and feel through a relationship. When a guy asks another man for advice regarding his girlfriend, the love doctor gives it not with kindness and compassion but in rough talk. Too often, the patient will come out worse after the treatment—beaten, feeling like a big ignoramus, blamed for the fiasco, and nursing a bruised ego and learning a lesson he did not see coming, will never ask his friend again.

Remember, smart girls play dumb. When one of them says her little piece to her partner, it is not be to get an answer, reaction, nor correct and guide him, rather, it is to make her guy feel good, even if only for a fraction of a time.

When playing dumb, a smart girl will prefer to drop and sideline little comments and observations instead of asking heavy questions that may frighten a guy, compelling him to answer. A light interesting quote will lift a guy’s mood if he is feeling down, especially if there is no obligation whatsoever on his part to show any agreement. Such nonchalance may be difficult to accept at first, but it is a way to developing a meaningful line of communication in the future.

The remarks you make and the questions you ask, if any, should be done sparingly, once every month or two. The timing and frequency is everything. You do not want him to suspect that you are putting him on, and it is best done when there are no other pressing matters on his mind. If you imagine a man’s mind were a lake, sometimes with big waves and sometimes with small waves and at other times as placid as a mirror, then the timing is comparable to tossing a pebble the size of a mung bean on the surface when it is calm to see if it makes any ripples.

One fault I find with you, girls, is you always throw a lot of weighty statements on your guys. These certainly make a big splash on a guy’s thoughts, but we do not really want to confound him, do we? Like my friend, Yasser, remarked to me while his wife was showing him the finer points of peeling potatoes, “If you want to be happy, don’t marry.” What she thought was light was heavy for him, and it turned his world upside down.

Finally, another remarkable thing about this two-word advice of playing dumb is you can do this only for so long, after which when your guy starts to react positively with your little remarks, you can cut down on the frequency. When he smiles after you say your little piece, this means, in body speak, that he finds you sweet. If he reacts negatively, then it means you have failed and have to start again, and postpone playing dumb and sweet for many months.

Remember girls, playing dumb is a small price to pay to make your guy feel good, lift his ego, and keep him very close to you. So, if he will ask if you have read this piece, just say, “Yes, but I do not believe any word of it.”

Copyright by the Author
(Published in the Philippine Panorama, August 15, 2010)

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