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”

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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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!

  • 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.


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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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 :-)

  • 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!

  • 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.

  • 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 :)

  • 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

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

  • 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:)

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