5 “Romantic” Things Guys Really Need to Stop Doing

man and woman kissing in rain

“Ugh, get the hell off me.”

Saying “You’re not like other girls.”

Hold it right there, sir. Some of my very best friends are girls. Seriously though, who is even flattered by this? I feel like even the most diehard Hillary-hating “I don’t need feminism because…” internalized misogynists wouldn’t be impressed. The logic we’re supposed to get on board with? Women are bad. You are a woman but you are less bad. Um, swoon? Are you actually that hard-up for things to compliment me on that you have to wildly grasp at straws and diss my entire peer group? Ouch. And also, considering it’s a peer group that encompasses a wide variety of characteristics and passions — not to mention includes the likes of Madeline Albright, Oprah, and my kickass mom, friends, etc — thanks, bro, but I think I’ll stay where I’m at. I’m in pretty freaking great company. Nice try, though.

Wanting to kiss in the rain.

What’s the worst part of kissing? Barring extreme cases like lips getting caught on braces (which yes, is totally a thing, see Lewin, Katie, circa 8th grade grad dance,) it’s the unwarranted wetness. So I know, let’s add even MORE moisture, of the cold and clammy variety. Or we could do this inside, where it’s warm and where my bangs aren’t splitting down the middle giving me a Mr. Bean-esque fivehead. Some people insist kissing in the rain is an iconic romantic experience. But the rest of us think it feels like the angels are licking our face, like a million overzealous celestial Frenching noobs, and would rather skip straight to the piña colada phase.

Trying to make morning love — at least in the beginning.

This one might be a personal particularity, but I defy you to find one person who looks and smells their best in the AM. If you do, congratulations, have all the bacon, coffee, and cronuts, and also YOU ARE A LIAR. Whether it’s a Brazilian-style shave or a simple swipe of deodorant, everyone’s got some sort of necessary morning grooming routine that transforms them from a crusty sleep monster into a functioning human being. Once I was seeing this guy who thought it was cute to drop by unexpectedly to wake me up. He probably anticipated an adorably-tousled version of me, but surprise! My “just rolled out of bed” look I rock when we meet up for breakfast is actually the product of meticulous primping and oh hey, strands of my hair are clumped together with my own drool. Unless we’ve been dating or having sleepovers for 2+ months, don’t come near me until I’ve had thorough access to mouthwash, a comb, and a liter of Diet Coke. Also, head’s up, I sleep in period-stained granny panties and an ancient enormous Bible camp t-shirt that exclaims “I’m on a God adventure!” So there’s that.

In this vein, telling me I look better sans make-up.

NO NO NO. Somehow guys have gotten the erroneous idea that this is a touching platitude, but this Drake-inspired lie needs to be eradicated pronto. My face is my canvas and I don’t slave over it, braving break-outs and eyelash curler mishaps, only to have my art dismissed so cavalierly. You are not an evolved male, you are a tourist at the Met in socks and sandals professing to prefer paint-by-numbers to Picasso. This is not a Bruno Mars video, my self-confidence does not need to be bolstered, and I know darn well that I look amaaaaazing just the way I am, but I also spent the better part of the last 15 minutes essentially poking my own eyes with a smoky brown micro-weapon. Show a little goddamn appreciation, you Philistine!

Using the pet name “baby.”

Now hear me out! I know everyone and their mother (ugh, sorry for that visual) has at some point either used or responded to this ubiquitous pet name. In fact, according to this admittedly kinda janky-looking site, it’s the most common romantic English nickname. Yes, somebody somewhere funded that study. (Sidenote: this website also thoughtfully provides a disclaimer stating that these monikers shouldn’t be used on strangers — cat callers take note!)

But let’s step back and take a moment to think about the babies in our life. Sure, at their best, and for roughly four-minute increments, max, they’re kind of cute, but they’re also, you know, BABIES. That, depending on their mood, scream in the grocery store (YOLO!) or look disarmingly unperturbed for someone sitting in their own poop. Literally nothing about them is romantic, and there is really no excuse for calling your significant other by a pet name reminiscent of diaper rash and spit-up towels, especially considering the myriad alternatives – “Love Monkey” and “Wookums” among them.