1. Yoga. You may feel as if you’re trapped in an endless self-empowerment workshop. But you’ll also probably be the only man in a hot, enclosed space full of beautiful women in clingy clothing.
2. Having her drive. It establishes your commitment to a relationship based on gender equality. Plus, you pick the music.
3. Black-and-white movies. Dropping an All About Eve reference may elicit blank stares, but knowledge of this genre makes you a person of intrigue. Besides, you’ll learn a lot more about moving through the world from Cary Grant than from Spike TV.
4. Superhero cartoons. A solid relationship with nerd culture enables you to connect with nephews and sons. The sad truth is, Pokémon isn’t going away.
5. Small dogs. Okay, they’re neurotic face lickers with breathing problems. They’re also the next-cutest thing to human babies, and merely having one in your proximity makes you look like a caring person. If you can take care of a pug, you can take care of anything.
6. Snuggling. If done properly and consistently, it leads to the Promised Land. Or possibly to more snuggling, but this is a calculated risk.
7. French cheese. Though most of the good stuff smells like Nicolas Sarkozy’s private apartment, cheese really is the most incredible food in the world. Start with a ripe Epoisses, and then let your cheesemonger take you deep.
8. Makeover shows. There’s nothing like watching perky strangers barge into someone’s life, only to find it empty. The shows are formulaic and fake, yes, but you’re getting free tips from professionals who would otherwise charge thousands.
9. Tea. We’re not talking crappy dorm-room stashes of Lemon Lift and Constant Comment, but the real stuff: first-flush Darjeeling and South African rooibos. Men have been drinking it for thousands of years, it tastes great, and it doesn’t crack you out like coffee.
10. Video games. “I play a buttload of Grand Theft Auto” isn’t exactly a calling card, but there’s something to be said about keeping certain childhood enthusiasms alive. It’s still socially acceptable to play Monopoly or Scrabble, so why not Centipede or Mario Kart? Stay in touch with your younger self without the trauma of having to go through puberty again.
11. Country music. Your snobbery betrays ignorance. Some of the greatest songs in the North American canon have come out of this genre. Also, if you think you have problems, just listen to some Merle Haggard. You’ll feel a lot better.
12. Street-cart food. Your odds of a little gastrointestinal distress may increase slightly, but it’s immensely satisfying to eat out at a most basic level. You could discover a brand-new taste that will change the way you think about, say, Sri Lanka. At the very least, you’ll have a cheap lunch.
13. Staying home alone on a Saturday night. This could mean a beer at the kitchen table, a long, mopey bath, and an early bedtime. Or you could revel in the solitude and freedom. On weekends, everything is more crowded and expensive. Go out on a Tuesday, when the crowds are scarce and the beer is heavily discounted.