Cosmopolitan magazine has become notorious for dishing out insane love and sex advice since the sixties, convincing women they should try “having sex on the hood of a parked car,” or “masturbate their men with grapes” to maintain their relationships. Its words of romantic wisdom are intense, sometimes unbelievable, and almost all the time, just plain crazy.
But who does the pre-Cosmo girl turn to? For the romantically—and sexually—curious teen set, Seventeen magazine claims to have all the answers. What does his text really mean?, the glossy promises to answer. “Does he like you… or not?” It’ll help you figure it out. It even swears to know “The flirting moves he’ll love.”
Besides being seriously sexist towards men (who evidently have no hobbies other than sports and… sports), Seventeen’s Ultimate Guide to Guys: What He Really Thinks About Flirting, Dating, Relationships, and YOU! Is a frightening how-to book that aims to help its middle-to-high school audience “[navigate] first crushes, kisses, and love.” Self-described as a “must-have manual to what he is thinking on flirting, dating relationships, and falling in love,” Seventeen’s guide to guys will cause anyone even slightly past their treacherous teenage dating years to let out a huge sigh of relief—and a laugh or two. The Daily Beast sifted through the dos and don’ts of the magazine’s relationship insight to glean the seventeen worst tidbits of advice:
1. Of the “Sneaky Ways to Score Flirting Confidence,” Seventeen suggests learning to speak ‘guy,’ because speaking ‘girl’ obviously just isn’t enough. “When you’re hanging out with guy friends, pay attention to what they talk about and what cracks them up.” So yes, it’s totally cool to yap about sports, crazy hook-ups, and action movies (throughout the book, these seem to be guys’ only interests). “Being totally comfortable in guy-world helps you hold your own around a cutie you like, and may even give you a few jokes to steal.” I would suggest, however, leaving the farting jokes behind.
2. Are you looking to have the perfect first convo, but always find yourself worried to make the move? Are you always thinking, “If he wanted to talk to me, he’d come talk to me?” Fear not. Seventeen says “feel out his interest. Ask a casual question to put his nerves at ease—like “Do you think it’s okay if I parked in the driveway?” Hmm. Is it his house? Why does he care? Not sure the old car in the driveway trick is bound to get the ball rolling.
3. How to make a guy remember you? Easy, just memorize an LOL-worthy quote. “Guys all have the same interests”—really???—“and find the same things funny”—this is starting to get a bit sexist towards men, no?—“so if a girl quotes anything from Family Guy or a Will Ferrell movie, she’s hilarious.” Thank you, Joseph, 22, for your words of wisdom.
4. Sneak into his routine. AKA: Stalk him. “Every day, my girl friend would stop by my lunch table to talk,” said Michael, age 19. “I got used to seeing her regularly and started looking forward to her dropping by. One day it hit me that I want to spend even more time with her.” See, sometimes it’s okay to obsessively hunt someone down.
5. Texts can be hot or not, and one of the hottest, according to Seventeen is “What would we be doing if I was with u right now?” (Please note abbreviated spelling). “He’ll immediately think about kissing you (whether or not he admits it!).” A) This message seems a little dirty. B) Aren’t these girls supposed to be in high school?
6. It can be hard to decode a guy’s text. So what does he really mean when he shoots you a message that reads, “You still at the party?” According to Seventeen, “If he’s trying to find you at the end of the night, he wants to hook up. If you don’t want a random make-out, wait until the morning to write back.” If he’s sending you that message in the wee hours of the morning, I’m sure a steamy make-out sesh is definitely not what he has in mind.
7. Want to use Facebook to help push your relationship forward? Then make your status an inside joke, duh! “Your secret shout-out will become a cute way to stay on his mind. Ignore the ‘???’ comments from your friends and wait for his ‘like’ to make the next move.” Or, since Seventeen assures that men are simple individuals, he probably won’t even know the joke was directed towards him.
8. It’s romantic if a guy holds near your neck, right? WRONG. “Holding you in a vulnerable spot in public is sketchy—like he’s trying to get the upper hand.” I guess all terms of endearment have alternate motives. Trust no one.
9. What does he really mean when he says, “Wanna just hang out at my house tonight?” Clearly, he just wants to hook up. “This guy isn’t inviting you over to watch a movie—he wants to make out with you until your parents call and tell you it’s time to come home." But only until your parent call. Then he doesn’t want to make out anymore.
10. Dylan, age 18, says his favorite pre-date ritual is to pump his ego. “I wink at myself in the mirror and say, ‘You ready to go, Big Guy?’” The only person I feel bad for is Dylan’s date.
11. The ultimate date spot? Build-A-Bear. “My date and I were walking around the mall,” said 18-year-old Celestina. “We passed the Build-a-Bear workshop and I made a joke about how I had always wanted to go growing up… It was so fun to act like a kid: I picked out a monkey, and my guy got into choosing the clothes. We named him Elmer.”
12. “My date and I went to Burger King and ordered our meals. The total came to 15 bucks, so I pulled out my wallet—only to find the receipt for $20 headphones I’d bought earlier that day and forgotten about! So she had to pay. Oops!” Lessons learned about Darin? He’s selfish. And cheap (hello, who takes their date to Burger King?). Seventeen, however, thinks it’s adorable that even “real guys” can have “humiliating date snafus.”
13. If you want to stay on his mind, talk about sports. Again, all guys care about is sports. “Steer the convo toward an upcoming event—like March Madness or the Super Bowl—and bet on how it’ll turn out.” Just don’t bet too much money.
14. Want to keep him wanting more? Save your best story for next time you’re together. “At the end of the night, tease him with a juicy nugget of info. (“Next time, remind me to tell you about my crazy spring break in Daytona.”) He’ll push you to spill, but wave him off and say, “Sorry—got to get inside! It’s that kind of story that needs telling over cheese fries…” A) What high schooler has a crazy Daytona Beach spring break story!?!?!? B) Pretty sure this story just sounds slutty.
15. What’s his number two rule in the make-out playbook? Dibs expire after two months! That’s right, his best friend may still be heartbroken after his ex, but two months after their messy break-up, she’s fair game. “That’s enough time for my buddy to snap out of it,” Anthony, 19, assures. “The only exception is if she broke his heart, then I wait four months—to be fair to him.” Now that’s a true friend.
16. If you’re in relationship purgatory, the best way to define your relationship is to pretend your BFF asked. “Everyone is wondering what the deal is between you two, so turn their nosiness into a good thing. Casually say to him, ‘My friends keep asking what’s going on between us. What should I tell them?’” Smooth. So, so, smooth.
17. Is he in love with you? Well, if he uses the “L” word, he must be. “When he starts to think his feeling for you are love, he’ll use the actual word more often in conversation. (“I love hanging out with you.”)” Does he say he LOVES sports? Or action movies? Then he must be totally in love with you.