The Three Alarms In A Guy’s Mind

Stephen Hussey

Enter Stephen

Prologue – An awkward first date conversation…


Location: Bedroom. Bookshelf area.

Her: Oh my God. Is this the relationship book you wrote?

Steve: Well, co-wrote.

Her: (Sarcastically) Oh sorry, “co-wrote” then. Can I read it?

I already regret ever mentioning it.

Steve: Um…maybe another time.

But it’s too late. She’s taken position in my office chair and is thumbing through the pages of ‘Get The Guy’, gasping and giggling excitedly at chapter titles when she scans the contents page.

Her: I cannot believe you wrote a book telling women how to get men. This is ridiculously unfair! Have you been judging me this whole date? You’ve so been judging me this whole date. Do you keep a record of what every woman you date says so you can write about in your book?

Steve: The book’s already finished. But anyway, no! Ok, I think it’s time to put the book back on the shelf now!

I try to grab the book from her hands but she hides it under her arm out of reach.

Her: Noooo! I bet you’ve been judging me this whole date.

Steve: Doesn’t everyone judge everyone a bit on a date?

Her: I suppose. But you probably have all these special little tests in your head that women have to pass in a guy’s mind to tell whether she’s worth keeping.

Steve: That’s ridiculous. Of course I don’t.

I make a mental note of the title ‘tests women have to pass in a guy’s mind’, and remind myself to write it down later…

Tests Women Have To Pass In A Guy’s Mind

There are three alarms in every guy’s mind.

If any of these get tripped early on, during either a first-date or that post-first-date-kinda-sorta seeing each other ‘middle period’ it’s guaranteed to make him back away fast.

Set these alarms off at your peril.

1. The Needy Alarm

Her affection is weirdly strong.

It’s only been two dates. She keeps saying how special and one-of-a-kind he is, but he hasn’t done anything to prove that yet. She thinks I’m a great guy already? How could she even know that?

He feels like he’s won a little too easily. And then he gets a horrible sinking feeling – Could any guy have gotten this girl? Does she even care about me at all, or would she have been happy with any semi-decent guy that came along?

He senses that his only achievement might have been being at the right place at the right time. He’s having buyer’s remorse. He doesn’t feel like he has to bring his A-game around this girl. He feels like she would want him no matter what he did.

It’s not that he doesn’t love all the affection and compliments. He just doesn’t feel like he’s earned them yet.

He’s being pushed to make big decisions a little too soon.

His needy alarm tells him he’s being trapped. What if I change my mind about things next week? Is she going to be difficult about it and upset?

Suddenly she’s asking him if he’s serious. It’s fast. It’s only been a couple of weeks. He doesn’t really know, but he’s being pressured to state all his future intentions.

The single life now looks to him like a golden meadow of freedom and happiness.

He can’t wait to get back to it.

2. The Drama Alarm

She got all weird when she talked about her ex. Weird and angry.

There was a flash of pent up rage, just for a second. She got emotional, resentful (maybe tearful) and then quickly suppressed it. There’s some epic saga hiding there.

She seems to be constantly on the edge of blowing up over something. He feels like he’s being judged constantly. He feels like every false move is being tallied up against him.

He said he would be busy the next couple of days with work and she gave him the cold shoulder. He dropped her a text to see how day was going. She just replied: “it’s fine” and wouldn’t return his messages for the next two days.

The silent treatment.

Drama. He’s seen it before. Tiptoeing around explosive topics that set off her anger. Jealousy. Petty fights over non-events. Suspicion. She keeps saying she’s “fiery” and “passionate”, and now he’s questioning if fiery passion is an overrated combination.

He decides to stop the show now before the real drama begins.

3. The Shallow Alarm

She’s cute, but has she got a life or goals or interests that engage her and bring meaning to her world?

Everything she says seems kind of vague and airy. She spends most of her time going to parties, at least that’s what it sounds like, since it’s all she talks about.

She hasn’t got many opinions, and in group conversations she seems kind of lost, sometimes just bored.

At first he thinks it’s because he’s just boring.

But then he realises it might be because she’s shallow. And he doesn’t mean that in a mean way. Hey, relax man, she’s a nice person, don’t be so judgmental. She’s fun and brings a good energy to the party.

But then they go for dinner together and he finds himself scratching around for conversations. Awkward silences prevail. Conversation is about as deep as a teacup. When he talks about something intellectual she looks directly through him, smiles and says “that’s nice”.

And she is nice. But maybe just nice.

He imagines how many more ‘just nice’ dinners they’ll have to endure together.

He realises skipping dessert might be better for his health.




Her: Are you done?

Steve: Huh?

Her: Or are you still thinking about whether I’ve passed your little tests for the first date?

Steve: Hey, come on. I showed you the book. Now you have to be nice to me.

Her: Ok. How do you rate this date so far then, Mr. Relationship Expert?

Steve: (in despair) Please stop. I beg you. It was going so well up until now.

Her: I’m only teasing (she punches my arm playfully). God, you can be so dramatic.

Steve: (laughing) Ok, we’re DEFINITELY putting the book back on the shelf now.

Her: No way. I’m not even sure we can go out now.

Steve: Aw, come on.

Her: Hmm…maybe one more chance, since i’ve caused you so much pain (we both laugh). But I’m taking the book with me. Sorry, you’re never getting this back.

I stop laughing. 

I suddenly have an idea for another article: ‘Books you will never tell someone you wrote on a first date ever again…’



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Photo credit: Beth19

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91 Replies to “The Three Alarms In A Guy’s Mind”

  • LOVE! So true. Very much of a “check yourself” article which I adore. And I think you could probably think of a few more alarms!! What about “Three Alarms in Guy’s Mind-Part TWO? P.S. Dating a relationship expert WOULD be intimidating… Probably a third date topic!!! Sounds like she already read the book though as she nailed the close of said convo… ;p Thanks Steve-Excellent article!

    1. That’s really kind of you Leeah, thanks! I was thinking there could be Part Two to this piece at a later date…

      Stephen x

  • I would say, it was a sweet date! She seemed playful and I think people need to be playful at least a little bit. It brings much more fun and energy in a relationship. You should definitely call her. But that’s just my opinion.

    1. haha I guess when I wrote about my dating life I was always going to be inviting opinions – thanks for the advice Priya :) x

  • Love the spoonful of sugary humor to go with the learning pill. I am guilty of #s 1&3. UKGH!
    Keep it comming, Stephen.

  • Ok … this is going to sound ridiculous I’m sure … but what if you think you have done alarm #1, is there ever a chance to go back and correct it or is it just to late and the girl should just move on???

    1. It very much depends on whether he’s made his mind up and moved on. Sometimes it’s better to just note where you messed up, put it behind you, and start moving forward with your dating life. Any repeated contact at this point has the potential to just make things worse. Thanks for commenting Nancy x

      1. Thanks for the response Stephen. Appreciate what you are saying, and of course I don’t want to make it worse. Taking your advice and moving forward with my dating life… If it’s meant to be … :)

  • Don’t you think it’s interesting how many mental notes we make while talking to someone we are interested in. So many judgements passes through our minds. I can usually feel the moment when someone is ‘judging’ me… positively and negatively (can’t really judge them for it because hey…I’m doing the same thing).
    But it’s so annoying because that makes me think too much during a date while I just want to enjoy it. How to stop overthinking and how to avoid your date doing the same thing too?

    1. I think even though many judgments go through people’s minds that doesn’t mean it has to psyche us out. It’s part of life that has to be accepted – also, it can mean that people are judging all the great things about you, not just the bad. The article is only meant to point out some common traits that men instinctively avoid, but it shouldn’t stop you being relaxed and “in the moment”. All the best Linda. x

  • I’m loving the ‘double-Hussey’ combo we get. You on a weds and Matt on a Sunday. You’re both a strict part of my rituals and making time for me! Thank you!
    Totally guilty of #1. I also used to be really really ‘nice’. I now aim to be anything but nice.
    I love the way you both use real life situations to make us feel that your input is coming from what you have had to learn yourselves along the way. I agree with a comment below, she does sound playful and fun! ;)
    Thank you Stephen. Love your work.
    XX Elaine XX

    1. Well, it’s great to be kind, you just never want to be “only nice”. Nice on its own doesn’t lead to attraction. Thanks a lot Elaine, glad your making time to keep up with both Husseys lol x

  • I am overjoyed that none of these things sound like me. I was slightly nervous before reading each one. So helpful! Thank you!

  • I can honestly say I am none of those but, I guess my biggest problem is getting myself out more to actually meet new guys once I meet people I have no problem conversing and I am definitely not a drama queen I try to steer clear of it myself. Needy not lol! The Hussey brothers strike again lol thanks for the article I am really enjoying the info and the insight thanks. I will make sure I use it for good and not evil muahahaha! Joking!

  • You can sort of see that she was trying to be playful but she doesn’t understand the nuances of a good tease. To be a good tease, the joke must never be on the recipient and that’s where she went wrong. The fact is, you wrote a book which suggests that you’re pretty serious about the subject. She would have done better had she acknowledged the effort and research and that could have led to a quietly intimate moment between both. Once she had established her admiration, her line about being judged (said playfully) would have been better received.

    With that said, it’s so easy to get these things wrong. Which is why I LOVE the content you put out. It’s so much more than dating advice, you’re teaching life skills.

    Having invested in Matthew’s FTTMR, I’m starting to go on lots of dates and, although I’m having such a nice time, the worst part of this is that I’m STILL MAKING MISTAKES. Gah. Just this week, I ruined a potential situation by getting a little too ‘clear’ on the fact that I wanted this guy to stop texting me every day (for a month – with no date!) and call me instead. Now, it’s true, it may not have turned into anything, but I should have been super careful with the tone of my text. Playful would have been infinitely better. It may not have worked, but I would have nailed that particular skill. (Oh, it hurts to screw up…)

    But, I’m getting there. And, instead of putting on the radio, in the morning, I play one of Matthew’s videos whilst getting ready for the day. They’re so good, each time I listen to them, I hear something new. Wonderful stuff. Thank you.

    1. Thanks so much Heather – sometimes it’s just about making lots of little mistakes until you refine the way you communicate. Thanks for your nice words, glad you’re enjoying the blogs. x

  • It was fun to read!
    “Testing” goes both ways, I guess. I agree with the comments below and just want to add: the first date/dates should have an easiness. That way your significant other is more likely to be fun and playful. It’s more about the connection and the vibe between both of you.
    All the best!

    1. Definitely goes both ways – there could be a good version of this piece written one from the woman’s perspective ;)

  • #1 is hard. It’s hard not to be an affectionate, nice person just because the guy hasn’t earned it yet. I think with the right guy, it won’t matter. He’ll love it. With the wrong guy, he’ll feel uncomfortable. One lesson I’ve learned if I’m doing nice things, he should be doing them for me too. Just shouldn’t be one-sided. It’s weird how early on guys think they’ve ‘won’. She’s just being nice, why not relax and enjoy it?

    “Suddenly she’s asking him if he’s serious. It’s fast. It’s only been a couple of weeks. He doesn’t really know, but he’s being pressured to state all his future intentions.”

    I’m cool with not asking about seriousness, if he’s cool with things not moving forward sexually. They go hand in hand. Some women think:

    “Suddenly he wants to have sex. It’s fast. It’s only been a couple of weeks. She isn’t sure and is feeling a little pressured.”

    It is what it is, Stephen. He’s probably wondering why she can’t relax and just enjoy where they are. If only we all could be honest about what we are really thinking!

  • Hi there Stephen,
    Thank you for a great article. I definitely understand what you explained in regards to alarm #1 but it leads me to a question. What do you feel is the best way for a woman to express her appreciation of the unique qualities which she is finding in the man she is dating without it turning into an alarm #1 situation in the man’s mind? We all want to be acknowledged as being unique, and often women are able to use their mutant powers to see through façade and to the heart and intent of someone rather quickly . This allows us to feel very appreciative when we encounter something authentic. How is this appreciation best transmitted in order that the goal of acknowledging the man is met in ways he can appreciate? Thank you for your time and have a great day!

  • hahahaha!! Good LORD! Now is when I’m actually glad I don’t have a bookshelf or anything in my bedroom but a matress… and an unused journal on the floor…

    Anyways I actually admire your patience on this awkward first date. If this same scenario happened with me and a guy I’d have sent him back home by “Her: (Sarcastically) Oh sorry, “co-wrote” then. Can I read it?” yyyep…

    This definitely applies to both genders. Out of the top of my head I’d also add “the one who thinks EVERYTHING you say is SUPER FUNNY or AMAZING” (To which I can’t avoid thinking: do yourself a favor and get a life…or personality!)

    Anyways had a good laugh with this piece so keep rocking aaand now it’s my turn to say STAY OUT OF TROUBLE!! HA! :P

  • *♥:) Dear wonderful Hussey brothers :)♥*

    I ♥ LOVE of the 3 alarms in a guy’s mind :)
    Because it’s so so so so true :)

    True LOVE is the strongest element :)
    ♥♥True LOVE♥♥True LOVE♥♥True LOVE
    True LOVE connects hearts in the best way ♥—♥—♥—♥
    —> heart connection established

    That is why I agree to 1) 2) 3) :)

    1) Neediness < true LOVE
    2) Shallowness < true LOVE
    3) Drama Neediness,shallowness, drama: unable to connect hearts in the best way

    That is why I agree:
    It’s good to set off these 3 alarms :)
    + On the first dates: love the person as human being :)

    After all, we (men & women)are human beings :) and deserve true LOVE & PEACE & that is why I hope everybody can set all these 3 alarms off :)

    I thank you Hussey brothers for this amazing blog :)

    ♥PEACE & HUGS♥


  • *♥:) Dear wonderful Hussey brothers :)♥*

    I ♥ LOVE of the 3 alarms in a guy’s mind :)
    Because it’s so so so so true :)
    True LOVE is the strongest element :)
    ♥♥True LOVE♥♥True LOVE♥♥True LOVE
    True LOVE connects hearts in the best way ♥—♥—♥—♥
    —> heart connection established

    That is why I agree to 1) 2) 3) :)

    1) Neediness < true LOVE
    2) Shallowness < true LOVE
    3) Drama < true LOVE

    Neediness,shallowness, drama: unable to connect hearts in the best way

    That is why I agree:
    It’s good to set off these 3 alarms :)

    + On the first dates: love the person as human being :)
    After all, we (men & women)are human beings :) and deserve true LOVE & PEACE & that is why I hope everybody can set all these 3 alarms off :)

    I thank you wonderful Hussey brothers :)
    Truly enjoyed reading & commenting :)
    Once again: a very beautiful blog :)

    ♥PEACE & HUGS♥


    Ps. Can you delete the comment below because I forgot to write 3) Drama < true LOVE :)….

    1. Agree to 1: Set off the needy alarm :)

      ♥ to compliment Jesus Christ & good-hearted human beings :)

      Thank God it’s a kind of passion and I’m not needy at all :)

      1. Ps. Can you delete the comment below because I forgot to write 3) Drama < true LOVE :)…

        The one above this comment is fine :)
        ♥Thank you very much :)♥

  • I read your article and it would be great to get a female counter perspective as sometimes the neediness comes from not getting anything back and thus overcompensating, the creation of drama because quite possibly her man/relationship is not interesting enough and the “shallowness” due either to holding it in that she may be dating a show-off or that it is early in the relationship and preferring to keep it light.

    “What would men be without women? Scarce sir, mighty scarce”

  • I’m enjoying these blogs…been getting back into the GTG programs since it’s time to focus on me.

    I’m not too worried about these 3 alarms, but am concerned about how to respond if/when asked about past relationships. I haven’t had many serious boyfriends, but have dated (not too successfully) and do have a big social circle of friends. I wouldn’t want to avoid the question, but worry a response could led the guy to think “what’s wrong with her.”


  • What a vast ocean we cross while navigating through relationships. We are guilty of not being genuine out of an effort to put forth our best selves, yet we end up getting caught in a net of being too nice and perhaps without any inner kindling. We’re playing a game by not giving away too much at first (to keep the other person guessing) and then at some point the game is shed away and you’re left with the true person. It seems strange that we start with varying degrees of artifice to get at the truth in the end.

    Men seem to want the girl who is engaging and enigmatic, yet can laugh and be completely ridiculous. They want the intelligent girl who is a combination of grace and femininity, but who can wear a baseball cap and defend her opinions over a pizza. And women want the same set of opposites that resonate so well together.

    As far as the alarms go, I think one must always trust one’s instincts, but not be afraid to try to dig for a little more out of someone. Sometimes it’s how someone asks something that will elicit the opinions/answers they’re looking for.

    Keep up the wonderful work, Stephen – I find your articles thoughtful and sharp!

  • Great article.

    Is there a way to overcome needyness?

    I usually get emotionaly atach really fast. I really want to be in love and in a great relationship. I kine of need the how to guide. Hehe

  • *♥:)Dear Hussey brothers :)♥*

    It’s 6:25 am & I read what happened to Matt in the gym :(

    May our heavenly father, Jesus Christ and millions of angels be with you :)& Kiss your heart :)

    ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥In the name of LOVE, pain go away♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥
    ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥PEACE be with us♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

    Jesus Christ: “For I am the Lord, your healer” (2 Moses 15:26)

    ♥May Jesus hold us very very very close to his heart♥ :)

    LOVE & PEACE :)


    1. Oh Gym alarm!
      May Jesus set it off :)
      & Hope Matt is all well again :)

      I wish you well :)

      ♥ your blog “3 alarms in a guy’s mind” & I’ve commented a few hours ago :)(see comments below…about 5 comments below this comment :)

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