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

91 Responses to The Three Alarms In A Guy’s Mind

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  1. Amelia says:


  2. Saili says:

    That’s not only happen to men!!! The Needy Alarm happen to me—> a girl… Last time I went on a date the guy was almost planning the rest of his life with me … (our first and only one date). I was scared!! And of course, that was a beginning and the end. Then he started to send me messages telling me I was the worst that even happened to him…

  3. Linda says:

    I have found myself in the same setup – a guy wanted me to become exclusive after 2 dates, he started to call me nicknames, sending me “kisses” vis texts and I had to correct him that I do not consider myself his girlfriend just yet, that I am still looking around, not wanting to be attached at this very moment to one particular guy. All I needed was more time, but his pushing ruined my curiosity and motivation.
    However, Steve, if you found the girl you are “dating” in your bedroom after 2nd “date”, there is something slightly uncommon about the behaviour of both of you. She shouldn’t even go inside your house on the 2nd date, let alone to your bedroom:) This fact alone says a lot about the self-perception of the girl and her confidence. Of course, not positive things, unfortunately. About you, too, however, because you allowed that:)

  4. Teresa says:

    Hey stephen, its a very interesting article! I think these three alarms are also valid for men…. :)

  5. Happy guy says:

    So you accept casual violence and theft on date?

  6. thoughtsonradom says:

    This is so hilarious! hahaha. So what if we reverse the situation, what if I was the writer then the guy find this out of me. I wonder how would they react. :D

  7. Rossana says:

    You know what’s this article’s key strenght? The fact it perfectly applies to both genders. It focuses on building your life and personality in a balanced, open and independent way, hence becoming attractive di per se.
    Well written, and makes a nice reading except for your date’s portrait. But she obviously is just a character in the tale.
    Greeetings :)

  8. Denise R. says:

    Oh my goodness… I was cringing the whole time I read this. It was hard to finish reading the transcript. Because I felt you Stephen, and later because I probably did that when I was younger and stupid.

  9. Vivian says:

    God she’s annoying as hell (and immature).
    You deserve better Steven!

  10. Holli Christine says:

    haha ha Stephen…that made for a great story. love the lead in and your wisdom for how to help us women. Blessings to you – and hope you have a better first date next time around :-P!

  11. Holly says:

    Did you bother to see this girl again? I wouldn’t!

  12. Janell says:

    New article, yay! It’s interesting to see a guys perspective on this matter. I have found that some men ( red flag for me, now) offer so many things on the first date that they can’t possibly commit too, like hanging out with my mom and watching her weird dramas with her, without even knowing me…I find it odd…but with practice and tons of introspection I know that I would rather see the person’s actions rather than hear them speak about what they will do.. so, it would be interesting if you wrote an article on the 3 alarms we women should look out for. Thanks for the blog post :-)

  13. Kate says:

    I’m sorry I don’t like this article it depicts the worst kind of woman. I believe this article puts women in an unfavourable light.

  14. Brandi says:

    Hi Stephen,
    This is fair enough. Though I wonder, how solid is the communication? Misunderstandings of neediness and drama abound with texting or other non face-to-face conversations. Body language is 55% of communication supposedly. I wonder the nature of the relationship and context. Someone who meets someone new right during a breakup is likely to be more “passionate” and emotionally vulnerable than someone who’s had time to move on. All depends.

  15. Julie MacKenzie says:

    Awesome article Stephen! I don’t know if I would even want to hang out with someone like that…Yikes! ;) LOL!

  16. Deborah says:

    Sometimes my gender does things that make me cringe. Although it’s a great article it’s too bad it has to be written. lol! It seems like it’s more aimed at men to help them traverse a mind-field of female emotions.


  17. Lindsay says:

    Love this Stephen! Thank you for sharing. Your articles are really helpful. Especially for genuine women who truly may not realize that little things they think are flirtatious are really not. I really appreciate your perspective and your honesty. Even though you’ve had some not so fun dates, I appreciate you sharing the good and the bad so we can learn from it. You seem like a very authentic guy who genuinely just wants to find love and teach others an effortlessness about it. So thanks again!

  18. Amanda says:

    It depends on the circumstances of the dater’s. I met an interesting elderly couple yesterday. The man who was in his 90,s but still very youthful, said that he was chasing his beautiful wife for 8 years, before he finally got her. So my take on that, is this. If after so many years he finally lands a date with this lady who happens to be the desire of his heart. He is not going to be running test or easily put off. It is not always as simple as a work interview .However having said that you do need to be alert, when dating.

  19. Nicole Panell says:

    Good stuff!!
    Thank you so much for your insight.

  20. Rebekah says:

    Well, maybe the BOOKSHELF in the BEDROOM was a bit too much for a first date. Don’t worry, my bookshelf would be too!
    He would see: “Books on relationships/dating, books on engagement/pre-marriage counseling, books on marriage, books on sex, a book or two about pregnancy, a book of baby names, even a book for new dads and parenting …. That’s about 2 shelves worth. I have equally as many for business ;)

    I put the personal ones in my bedroom and the “smarty-pants” in the office/more public space.

  21. Paty says:

    I can imagine how hard it is

  22. meg reynolds says:

    I wrote a book called, “The Marriage-Saving Mistress: Sex, Lies, & Jesus”
    I SO identify with this article!! haha. Thank you!

  23. Sydney says:

    Is it good to “pass” these three tests?


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

    Best. Article. Ever! Very fun read.

    There is always an epic saga behind everything!

  24. Bianca Santamicone says:

    I thoroughly enjoyed your article and I must admit she seemed a bit… Trying to find the correct word(s)… INSECURE. Had she been confident the fact that Stev had written a book on “how to get a guy” would be irrelevant as she could have taught him a thing or two. I must admit, first dates can be intimidating, although I have always tried to make the most of every date I have gone on.

    I never knew what really goes on in a guys mind, whether it’s during a first date, first time he laid eyes on you or post first date. But what I have learnt over the last few months is that men generally freak out over needy women and women who want serious, committed relationships from the get go. I mean, how can you want to commit to someone you don’t really know?

    Finally, the “shallow card” in my opinion is when a woman realises her “mistake” on a date of being too needy and wanting something serious from so early on, that she tries to rectify her mistake by seeming more aloof to her male date.

    At the end of the day her desperation for a serious relationship over powers who she really is and overtakes her true personality. I recently went through a breakup and the amount of nonsense and “guidance” out there for women to use in either getting your ex back or just dating advice is pathetic and downright useless. The tips and tricks which are available don’t apply to everyone. Let’s be realistic, every situation is different. I must admit that I have found the “Hussey” advice to be the most caring and genuine. Matt, you have really been such a great inspiration. I watch your vlogs, follow you on Facebook and Instagram, all of which are so truly genuine and honest. Stev really is wise beyond his years too and I have so appreciated both of your words :) You both share this unconditional kindness that so few in this world posses and it is no wonder why you are successful.

    Please come to SOUTH AFRICA. There are so many women who need your help and valid advice.

    Kind regards
    Bianca Santamicone
    South Africa

  25. Christina says:

    I wanted to comment RE: the first item and neediness. I believe it’s important to be clear about your intentions and where you are looking to take a relationship. I want to know that a relationship is going to go somewhere. I don’t want to date forever. I prefer to be up front with a man so there is no misunderstanding.

    • Anais says:

      I agree, Christina. A lot of men inspire this “neediness” among women. Men who talk a lot about the future, act very affectionate, romantic, kiss her passionately, maybe even pressure for sex. Then they don’t deliver on their promises, they’re surprised when a woman wants to know what his intentions are and he acts as though she’s “needy and crazy” or wanting to move too fast into a relationship.

      Plus a lot of men keep things ambiguous. i.e., wanting to take my number down and acting affectionate, yet I notice they don’t call to see me or ask me out. So if you only want to be my friend, act like a platonic friend and leave the romantic gestures out. Don’t come on to me all flirtatiously as though you want something more. I have developed a sharp intuition about people so I don’t over invest in men too early, fall for what they say anymore and know how to weed them out.

      Yet, I really can’t blame women who start to feel a little needy or curious to know what a guy’s intentions are towards her when he’s acting overbearingly romantic, while he may only want something casual in his life or a friend with benefits. And not all men behave this way. A lot of men today still have enough awareness and integrity to not act as though he wants the girl in a deep romantic way when he doesn’t.

      Men want a woman who invokes their masculinity and who he feels respected by. And every woman wants a man where she feels cherished, safe and secure. These behaviors I mentioned won’t inspire her to feel that way. I won’t just go with the flow and I expect a man to have clear intentions. I still have had a few men tell me straight up they want to take me on a date from the beginning, and that’s good. Keep the ambiguous “I want to be friends with you but also want to make out with you, but don’t expect anything more” away from me.

      • Esther says:


        That is why I now find it fishy when men talk a lot about the future, act very affectionate, romantic etc at the outset. It rings alarms in my intuition that they are moving things too quickly, and not realistically. Ideally, men like women should reveal themselves slowly, and not engage in a resume-like conversation and aim to reveal every single detail of their lives down to a tee. I also think its ideal to have a moderate level of friendliness, affection and passion when the relationship just started to avoid generating too much emotions of “euphoria” and blind expectations of what the relationship could be in either parties.

        I think what we can do as women is to set healthy boundaries and communicate them to any man who approaches us. If a bloke is being wildly romantic and flirty when the relationship has not reached that stage yet, let him know that you are not comfortable with his ostentatious displays. If he has integrity he will accept and respect your standards. If he does not step back and adjust, just walk away from the relationship.

        Self respect is the key to avoid turning out as a fling in a casual relationship, you need to be upfront (but not overly aggressive) about what you can and cannot accept in a relationship, as early as possible. I find that any man with a decent amount of respect for women will honour you when you step up for yourself and show him clearly what you expect and require for a relationship. It builds attraction and raises your status as a high value woman as Matthew has mentioned on his blog here. That’s what I do now with men I’m interested in, and I’ve never received a negative response when I’m candid about my expectations.

        You’re absolutely right that most men want a woman who makes them feel masculine, and that’s something I still need to learn and reflect about. But I also think that women should be just as clear about what they want as they expect from men, without the fear of emasculating them with open communication. I firmly believe that when you do communicate well with men, most of them are able to and will respect your boundaries, just for the fact that you have enough self esteem to not be a doormat girl. :)

  26. cecilia aka CC Williams says:

    Great article Stephen. The names for the alarms were perfect. So what happens when you don’t Invision yourself falling under any of these categories but find yourself being cautious, but lite where you enjoy life and know how to be serious but you connect with someone you think is a great guy who doesn’t push the envelope and let’s you go a nice relaxed speed because of where their life is and then they just stop showing up because the revelation they have had is they need to work on themselves?

  27. Jasmine says:

    That was so hilarious. Especially with the “make a mental note not to tell a girl you wrote a book on the first date”. Loved it!

  28. Aisling says:

    Hi Steve,

    Thanks for the heads up as these are definitely not characteristics you should be showing when first dating someone. However, as pointed out in a few of the comments below these are also characteristics guys should avoid when first dating someone. There have been incidents when they have and I just want to leave, but I’m terrible knowing how to appropriately and politely leave a date once I’ve decided I don’t want to see them again. Sometimes I’ve decided within the first 5 minutes and ended up being with them for another 8 hours. Any tips?

    • Sydney says:

      Why doesn’t any body ask Sydney any questions? :P You want to spend at least 20 minutes with them, I think, to not be rude. Why not just say “I’ve had a nice time with you, but I don’t think this is working out and I don’t want to take up any more of your time. It has been nice getting to know you.” Ok. Awkward and harsh and rejection sucks but it’s better than disappearing after a long date.

  29. Beth says:

    This is a great article I have seen this shoe on the other foot too where guys can be this way as well. Its good to know what things not to do to keep the Alarms from going off. It also is a good way to look for this in guys too because I am sure if guys act this way women would also run for the hills. I love the whole scenario there as well. I am assuming this is from an actual experience you have had on a date. Thanks for sharing that.

  30. BlueRain says:

    Hello Steve! It’s too bad I am french canadian. Humor is something I find often difficult to understand in another language so I’m missing half the fun! :(

    If I should choose one mistake I’m doing, it would probably be the third. I studied in social work. Even if I’m in introverted person, I work with people who have mental problems and I learned to listen more than talk.

    I have strong opinions about social justice though and have no problem of arguing with people on social media but I can’t do the same on face to face situations. So I seem like someone totaly uninteresting.

    I just look like the cute girl who never says anything and who never have an opinion over anything. Even if it’s not true that I have no goals or interests. I took photography lessons (love it but I am in learning and practising now), self-defense classes, I train to the gym regularly (lost 13 lbs since the end of may, at 128 lbs now), I volunteer at an organization to help homelesness people, I love health and nutrition related topics as well as poverty and mental health topics.

    Although, I always seem to be the uninteresting girl… And the still single one at 29.

    • BlueRain says:

      Ooops, sorry, someone wrote Steve but I just saw the name was Stephen! I am really sorry! :O

      • Sydney says:

        You are a great catch! Now, just say what you said about yourself in the comments on your next date or mention just one of those interesting things about you next time you talk to a guy!

  31. Still Single says:

    Hi Steve!

    Great article, fair points; is there any room for recovery after one of these alarms has been tripped?

  32. Amanda says:

    This is a great article! I wish I would’ve seen it sooner. I was very recently in a relationship with a man a couple years older than me (me 27 and him 30) where he just wasn’t feeling it anymore. Like something was missing. While that might be true and exactly how he was feeling, I’m positive that I have signaled all 3 of these alarms at one time or another within the 4 months of dating. I know I’ve done that in previous relationships.

    Thanks again for the insight and I’ll definitely be sharing this article with a few of my girlfriends!

    Take care

  33. Freshy says:

    hey Steve, loved the article.. so true to tell you the truth I could identify with some of those instances… love love it.

    I thought thought Matt was great, but are equally as good … love you guys.

    xxx freshy

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  35. Eliza says:

    Hi there Stephen.

    I love how your articles are written. Clear, you say what you mean to say.
    But about this one, the second alarm. The Drama Alarm. I get a little confused.
    Of course I understand what you’re saying and I can picture the (type of) person you’re describing very vividly. Bút when we really have loved someone fully and are of course a bit angry and hurt about, for example, the way they treated us or ended things.
    We’re not supposed to be a blank page no matter what has happened in life, are we? Because that would be the Shallow Alarm. (I could have phrased that sentence better but I don’t really know how in English, I’m Dutch.)
    Then it would be like: ‘but you where in a relationship/had things happen to you, how deep does her caring go?’ right?

    I suppose what I’m trying to ask is how do we find a balance between our process and connecting in a good, fun way with the other person when they try to get to know about our past. Or why we are the way we are now.

    To help you understand better I’ll give the example I’m in now. Just to put this in context, not trying to make it about me.
    Have been to art school (I’m 22), which was terribly hard on my heart and mind. But I’ve managed to stay mentally healthy while others where going insane and worse. I just cried a whole lot and decided to stop studying, stayed home for a while to recharge and then got a job.
    So the case: I am more loving and appreciating everything around me than ever and I feel so blessed with all the little things. I haven’t been able to follow the news for about two years because it just tore me up, what people do to each other, to animals, to the planet. All the destruction. I also have lived like a hermit during those years. People being nice strike me, ’cause I just wasn’t having much of those. But I can see through their intentions most of the time now.
    I am ready for all the beauty and reality of this life. I interact with people energetic and playfully and get a lot of attention.
    BUT, when someone wants to get to know me better. I simply don’t know how to manage to react in the right way. I feel allright and warm in general, but of course it stings and I’m angry/hurt.
    The reason I mentioned this is to show you that I’m not an angry person, but I do feel it. But also so much love and caring.
    The circumstances where so intense, that it just makes me feel stripped to my bones sometimes. I look at people with this look of vulnerability straight from the heart when that happens.
    Yet I feel that’s changing and I’m doing everything in my power to make it better and be better + grow.

    Do you know a way to show how loving and caring you as a person are, despite anger and hurt of kind of fresh situations, and how to show this in a simple conversation?

    I hope this was clearly written.



  36. Darlene says:

    Great read! Thank you

  37. Ashley says:

    This is such great insight!! I may be the boring one on the date. I am not the best at coming up with topics to discuss and I fear sharing opinions I have because I don’t want to come off opinionated or say something he may disagree with. I need a how to guide for this. How do you overcome shyness? I don’t have social anxiety, I just don’t know what to say on a date.

    • Ariana says:

      Hey Ashley, here are some fun questions a little more random than usual that can bring out different sides of the person you’re dating & maybe some good laughs :)

      -If you could choose to be any superhero or have any superpowers who would you choose & why?
      -Tell me something random about yourself that you wouldn’t tell someone on a first date.
      -If someone gave you a million dollars what would you do with it?
      -What are a couple top things on your bucket list?
      -If you could be anyone for a day who would you be and why?

      These are just a few, but then tell him it’s his turn to ask a question and playfully say he can’t steal any of yours & has to come up with his own. Don’t be afraid to be yourself & always always laugh & enjoy yourself. It’s extremely attractive to show you’re having fun, he’ll feel incredible about making you smile & will end up having a great time as well.

    • Anna says:

      Here is the order of conversations. Start with fun and flirty. Show wonder and appreciation of their accomplishments. Next is sexual escalation.
      This will progress over minutes, hours or even weeks.
      Listen carefully. They give you topics.
      Me: Are you enjoying the band’s music?
      He: oh yes. I love this type of music.
      Me: Great! So you know several venues in the city where you can listen to music.
      He: uh well, I only moved here a week ago.
      You can now talk about where he’s from, why he moved, his plans and goals for the next year, what other genre of music he likes, does he ️enjoy dancing, ask what types of food he likes. Recommend restaurants. Offer to be a guide to city sites. Tell him to come to group happenings. Talk about sport teams in the city. Ask about his family. Does he travel often? Movies, books, fitness, cooking, hobbies. Mostly get them talking. You listen. Ask them to describe a place they traveled to. Explain their hobby to you. Multilingual? Ask them to teach you a couple funny phrases.
      Yesterday I went to a deli. High energy and bubbly. I asked the woman employee if their coffee was good. Had she tried it? Would she recommend it? I asked her to describe the taste and aroma. I maintained eye contact and told her she’d done such a good sales job I was going to invest in their product. By now she had the same high fun energy as I did. As I waited for my change a woman and her husband hollered for me to join them at their table. Never met them before. I got the man to describe his holiday yard displays and the woman her holiday baking, family gatherings, travel plans for NYE and I basically listened.

  38. amy says:

    Hi Stephen,

    The first thing I want to say is that this is a great article :) however I have a question. I’m seeing this guys for about two months now and we’ve been already sleeping together ( I know, not smart) last week we’ve been on another date where I asked him about what we were actually been doing. I told him that I started to have feelings for him and he said that he has them too. He also just got out of an relationship and said that he isn’t looking for a serious relationship at the moment but loves hanging out with me. We used to text everyday but since then he isn’t talking to me. Can you tell me how I can fix this because I think that he lost interest in me. I also get attached to people very quickly, is there something to overcome this?

    love Amy

  39. Emily says:

    In regards to point #1, I started telling the guy I’m dating that he’s one-of-a-kind after dating just a couple of months BECAUSE I was reading your book. You and Matt talk about in a later chapter how important it is to always make your guy feel unique. Unfortunately, I think I misapplied something that’s essential later on in a relationship to an early stage when he hadn’t earned it yet and he’s reacted to that. He’s expressed that things are moving too fast and he thinks I’m over-investing in our relationship.
    And he definitely struggles with wondering if he was just in the right place at the right time. Truth be known, he was. I was seeing several guys, like I usually do, and decided this time to cut ties and date just one. I am over 30. I’ve dated a LOT of guys. I’m the woman who doesn’t have trouble getting asked out, but with sticking around/getting a guy to stick around.I decided that most of my friends who are in happy, long-term relationships only dated one person at a time, so I would experiment with that approach.
    The guy I’m with snagged a hiking trip right in the middle of two other dates I had planned. We had gone out once a month before and I’d had a great time. Then he’d disappeared. I know Matt suggests short dates at first, but this second date of ours was 16 hours long, though I didn’t even know it was a date until we were eating dinner. Had such a great time with him, great conversations, great connection that I decided to give him a go and tell the others “ta ta.” And he knows about that. And as you say will probably always be haunted by it. Is there a way to recover?

  40. Susan says:

    I sure wish I knew about this before I started dating trecentreguy

    • Susan says:

      Before I starting dating this recent guy. I surely showed some of #1 and #2. This could have rescued me! At least I know better going forward.

  41. Angela says:

    Hello Stephen!

    With this article I see not only you are a sharp and intelligent mind….you have also cool humour!
    An irresistible combination in men!

    Stephen, I’m asking you directly…. what happened then with your date?:-))
    you started with it! :-)

    I would like to tell you a short story…
    My grandmother always told me ” You can see A LOT in a man, the way he is opening and sharing an orange “.

    I was out in a first date with a guy, he bought for us pizza and a focaccia. He asked me if I wanted to eat from that focaccia, as I never tasted it before, and i said …yes.
    This guy took a piece from that focaccia, iwas sure to give me for tasting as he told, but HE ated that piece.

    Immediately I remembered the words of my grandmother and although not planned from my side, in my mind on that date, he didn’t pass this test….(but also for other reasons).


  42. Kathryn says:

    Hi Stephen,
    It’s funny as reading your blog and books we are always going to wonder, with all your insights, what sort of relationships you have yourself. As if all your knowledge would help create an instant, perfect balance. But of course life is not like that and we are all different personalities interacting with each other.
    I think all of us have been guilty of setting off one or more of these alarms. I hope we do live and learn.
    It does work both ways with the ex subject. Too much referring to them, negative and positive makes a woman think they still have feelings alive and well. Could a reunion be on the cards? How do you ever tackle the subject, if you have to, without becoming a drama queen?
    I’m articulate and love stimulating conversations but I have been on dates where I’ve been so in awe no interesting words have left my mouth. It’s like being starstruck and coming over like a vacuous idiot with nothing to say. With maturity has come a confidence deep within that would overcome this but when I was younger I must of put off many a great young man because of this.
    Men don’t want it too easy, they want to have to bring their A game, so do women!
    Thank you Stephen, you have a great sense of humour and lovely manners. x

  43. Susanne says:

    *♥:)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 :)


    • Susanne says:

      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 :)

  44. Solana says:

    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

  45. Shae says:

    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!

  46. Tracey says:

    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.”


  47. Mimi says:

    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”

  48. Susanne says:

    *♥:) 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 :)….

    • Susanne says:

      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 :)

      • Susanne says:

        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 :)♥

  49. Susanne says:

    *♥:) 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♥


  50. Randa says:

    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

  51. Shaina says:

    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!

  52. A says:

    #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!

  53. Irene says:

    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!

  54. Heather says:

    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.

    • Stephen Hussey says:

      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

  55. Beth says:

    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!

  56. Shani says:

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

  57. Elaine says:

    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

    • Stephen Hussey says:

      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

  58. Linda says:

    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?

    • Stephen Hussey says:

      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

  59. Nancy says:

    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???

    • Stephen Hussey says:

      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

      • Nancy says:

        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 … :)

  60. Leecis says:

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

  61. Priya says:

    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.

    • Stephen Hussey says:

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

  62. Leeah says:

    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!

    • Stephen Hussey says:

      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

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