TIME: Why did you decide to write Think Like a Guy?
DePandi: My whole life, people have been telling me that I think like a guy when it comes to dating. I was pretty carefree in relationships, and if they didn't go well, I could walk away easily. I never had my heart broken that much, because I just had a different attitude than a lot of girls did.
Was your book intuitive or did it take a lot of research?
It was intuitive. It's who I am, it really is. It's not who I want to be.
What's the goal here? Is it to get married?
It's to land the guy of your dreams in the first few dates, basically. So many girls make fatal mistakes very, very early on in the dating process.
Are these rules for life?
Once he's in love with you, you can start retiring some of the rules.
Okay, let's go through a few. You tell women, give him your phone number, but don't take his. Why?
If you meet a guy, and you take his phone number and he takes yours, and three days later he hasn't called, the truth of the matter is he probably wasn't interested in you in the first place, or he's not going to call you. So what good is it having his number? The problem is, you have a couple of glasses of wine with your friends on day three, and you find yourself calling him. You're a little unruly, and you're having a little too much fun, and then you wake up the next morning and you regret it. You can't believe you called him. So I think it's just dangerous. If he likes you, he will call you.
You advise not to tell him "your dirty laundry." Shouldn't you be honest?
This is a huge mistake. Actually, this is one of the tips I feel strongest about. Too often, girls reveal way too much on the first, second, third date: "I was abused as a child." "I don't get along with my parents." "I was in rehab." Let him fall in love with your more stable traits first. Let him fall in love with the things you're a little more proud of. Leave that other information on the back burner. It's not being dishonest; it's simply pushing those not-so-great traits aside. We do that too often, and we scare the guy off. He starts to think, oh gosh, this girl has way too much baggage for me. You don't want that. Let it come out later. Once he likes you enough, he'll take the good and the bad. He'll take it all. He'll take your baggage.
What about: never admit that you've slept with more than five guys?
This rule applies, once again, very early in the relationship. I don't care how many drinks you have, do not start talking about that wild spring break in Cancun when you slept with half the football team. Do not start revealing your sexual past with a guy. It's just not good. It's none of his business that early on; you don't know if you're going to be in a serious relationship with Mr. Second Date; you don't know where it's going to go. So why should you reveal that? It's very intimate, personal information, and I don't think you should reveal it to every guy you go out with. Once you guys are in love, and time has passed, then you can start opening up.
You tell women to talk like a lady and not a trucker. What about that?
Definitely. Especially nowadays, some girls have some pretty dirty mouths. It's just not attractive. You can speak like that with your friends, and people close with you. But I think with a guy, try to keep the profanity to a minimum, at least early on in the relationship. Don't drop the F-Bomb to describe your burger: "Boy, this is the best f---ing burger I've ever eaten in my life!" Just relax.
And the L-word? You advise letting him use that one first.
Yes. I think a guy should tell a girl he loves her first. I've heard so many stories of girls dropping the L-bomb first, and it just catches a guy off guard. He's uncomfortable. You never want to say to a guy, "I love you," and he says, "thanks." Just hold out. If you guys fall in love, he will tell you he loves you eventually.
You tell women, don't talk about picky eating and weight. Is that inappropriate talk for a date?
I think that's all talk you can have with your girlfriends and your sister. Guys don't really want to hear it. They zone out. They're not built that way. If they have that conversation, they're being forced to have it.
What would you say if someone said, Hey, you're overgeneralizing about men. You're imagining that all men are the same.
They are. [Laughs.]