Blog Posts by David Zinczenko

  • 4 fights that guys want to avoid

    Typically, guys like fights when they're at a hockey game, or watching reality TV. But guys don't particularly like fights when they happen in relationships.

    We shy away from confrontation for several reasons: first, men win arguments with women about as often as the Detroit Lions win football games.

    Second, we don't have that much we want to argue about. When Rodney King asked, "Can't we all just get along?" there were millions of guys nodding their heads, asking the same thing. For the vast majority of guys, fighting is failure, and quite possibly a violation of local noise ordinances.

    We may have a few little things to quibble about (Where in the world did you put my Strokes concert T-shirt?), but for the most part, we'll do anything to avoid conflict, especially these types of conflict:

    The "Blackberry" Fight

    You look at it too much. Does that thing always have to be on? You work way too much! You're right, you're right, and you're right. When a man's work is

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  • 4 things he wants in a wife

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    I have a friend who spent two weeks in Europe with his girlfriend, and some of it didn't go too well. He didn't like the haircut she got pre-trip.

    She didn't like the way his eye wandered on the streets of Paris. They fought some. So when my friend got back home, he asked a wise friend (no, certainly not me) what he should do.

    Here's the advice he got: Every relationship is going to come up against some obstacles. They'll either break it up, or make it stronger. If it ends, it wasn't meant to be. If you push through, the relationship will be better than ever.

    That's stuck with me for a long time, in part because my friend is now 21 years into marriage with that one-time girlfriend. So I'm just guessing that their relationship grew stronger when they faced obstacles. What made the difference for my friend, and for guys in general, when they face that step-up or break-up moment? Here are some ideas....

    Marriage Maker 1: (In)dependence

    Guys like all the things

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  • 4 ways to connect with him

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    If there's a No. 1 complaint about men, it's that they don't listen. In fact, one Men's Health survey shows that 70 percent of women complain that their men don't listen to them at least some of the time.

    To which most guys would reply: "What did you say, hon?" But in defense of my fellow men (and myself), I believe that only half of the fault lies with us. For a guy, talking to us is a lot like making love: We, too, need to be warmed up, and the mood and the time have to be right.

    Fact is, your man may be dodging "meaningful" relationship conversations not because he can't stand them or fears them, but because he's just not prepared to talk at the times you approach him.

    You can increase your chances of being heard, and earning a response, by maximizing his listening powers and attention span. Here are four ways to achieve that.

    Pick the Right Time

    To you, his schedule of "important" basketball games and "critical" fantasy baseball planning sessions and

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  • 6 things that scare your man

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    A lot of guys try to give the impression that they're calm and cool, that they can handle the pressure, that they think worrying is for wimps.

    And the sad part is, the women in their lives sometimes buy this act, or even encourage it. Heck, if he isn't worried, they can feel calmer, too. Maybe you buy the act because the only time you see emotion in your man is when he's watching his favorite baseball team fall apart at the end of a game.

    Or maybe it's because the only time you've seen him sweat was when he had to wear a suit to an August wedding. Or maybe it's because the last time you asked him, "Aren't you worried?" he responded with a dismissive, "Nah."

    While men pretend that they're wired with steel cable, not nerves, they have their shakedown moments, too. Here are some of the biggest worries that can weigh on a guy's mind.

    That He's Going to Lose His Hair

    Yes, I know it seems surface-level to worry about such a vanity issue as baldness, but lots of guys

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  • 5 Reasons He Might Cheat

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    When a high-profile man is caught with someone other than his wife, it's enough to get the collective voice of women asking a whole bunch of why questions.

    Why do men cheat? Why can't they control themselves? Why do they have to pay for it? The answer may seem simple at first (if he's not being satisfied at home, he'll roam the neighborhood). But the reasons are a little more nuanced than that.

    Some guys are simply serial cheaters - think about the trail of rumors that followed Bill Clinton into the White House. But other guys seem like upstanding citizens until wham, bam, thank you ma'am, they show exactly how low they're willing to go. What is it, then, that triggers a normally faithful man to cross the line from being committed to breaking trust, from home cooking to ordering out?

    1. Power (or Cash)
    It's not to say that entry-level men who make minimum salaries don't cheat, but it's also pretty clear that powerful men with the means to withdraw hefty sums of cash

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  • 6 Things he REALLY wants for Father's Day

    Getty ImagesGetty ImagesGranted, every father has a different take on his big day. Some guys want techie gifts. Some guys yearn for a guilt-free round of golf. Some guys want scrawled evidence from his kids that they think he's the greatest human being alive-the more primitively personal the card, the better; this ain't a Hallmark moment. It goes without saying that the greatest gift in the world for a father is a hug from his tykes (and a kiss from the woman who deserves most of the credit, anyway), but he'll also appreciate a little something extra on the greatest guy day of the year. (OK, maybe second greatest, after Super Bowl Sunday.) If you're searching for some novel ideas to rescue you from the tie cliche, here are some can't-miss suggestions:

    1. Thirty Minutes Quiet Time on the Couch
    The man's tired. It's three o'clock, he's on the couch, Tiger and Lefty are battling it out in the U.S. Open (but not on the climactic holes, yet), and he wants to drift off for 20 to 30 minutes free of a child's

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  • Are his standards too high?

    There's absolutely nothing wrong with a man or woman making sure they get what they want out of a relationship. Whether or not you have (or he has) a literal checklist of an ideal mate or just a mental one doesn't matter. But what about the guy whose standards are so high-we're talking Mt. Everest here-that he'll never make it over the hump into a successful relationship? Maybe you can't take your relationship to the next level because his standards are just impossible. Maybe you're Ms. Right-Here-Right-Now, but he's still looking for Ms. Doesn't Exist. Here are some signs that, indeed, it's not you: Even a supermodel brain surgeon isn't going to make this guy happy.

    He's Literally Looking
    A guy may scan the room to look for friends, colleagues, or the waitress (just to order a drink). But if his eyes are beaming around like search lights while he's talking to you, then it's time for you to be on the lookout: He's very likely to be searching for the next opportunity.

    His Longest

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  • Get him to listen to you

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    Sometimes your guy's attention isn't focused where you want it to be: on you. Maybe he's spent the last month obsessing over the playoffs, and when he wasn't doing that, he was fiddling with his work email on a Blackberry, or simply wondering how the heck he got sucked into digging David Archuleta in his Idol time. No matter what his distractions, they're no excuse for spacing out when you're trying to tell him about your lousy work day or give him the latest update on your sister's fiancé.

    So how do you make him swivel his neck back into proper position-and keep his attention squarely focused on you? Speak his language. After all, if you can keep him from drifting away, it'll help keep you from drifting apart.

    Ask him for help up front

    Guys know that half the reason you're telling us about your problem is because you need to vent, and that means you need us to just listen. And we respect that. But you can ensure that he'll be more focused on your problem if you tell him from the

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  • How does he judge you?

    photo credit: Kevin Winter / Staff / Getty Imagesphoto credit: Kevin Winter / Staff / Getty ImagesI know it can be pretty hard to understand what a guy's thinking-especially when he's thinking about you. Does he like that new top you bought? What does he really think about your mother? Is he answering the does-this-make-me-look-fat question honestly? Some of that, of course, depends on what kind of guy you're with-and how he reaches his verdicts about you. One way to think about it is to compare your guy to the three most-watched judges in the country right now: the ones on American Idol.

    If he's like Randy....

    He's indifferent.

    Oh, he can get excited sometimes, but his steady stream of "I don't know, dawg, it was just aw-right" lines means he's not ready to commit-for better or worse. He's ho-humming about your skirt, your cooking, your job problems, your relationship. The occasional glimpses of enthusiasm are enough to keep you jazzed, but, frankly, one of the other two extremes would be a little more exciting.

    If he's like Simon...

    He has no filter whatsoever.

    Most guys,

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  • Does he still want you?

    photo credit: Getty Imagesphoto credit: Getty ImagesIt's something we all wonder. No matter how heated the break-up, most of us spend at least a little time thinking about our exes and wondering if somehow, some way, some day we'll get back together. Maybe it's because we needed a little time apart to put all the good stuff in perspective, or maybe it's because once we've fished the seas again, we realize that, no, there aren't really all that many prized species in there after all. In any case, wouldn't you like to know whether he's moved on or stuck on you? Here, some ways that can help you figure it out.

    1. Decode His Out-of-the-Blue E-Mail
    The two of you break up, you vow never to speak again to the lout. And you don't, until your inbox pings, his name shows up, and the subject line reads, "hey." A peace offering or a sneaky way for him to weasel his way back into your life? From what he writes, it'll seem like he's just trying to be friends (a recap of how it's going, an allusion to the woman he's dating). Not so fast. If he

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