Back in the early 2000s Cosmopolitan’s tips on finding a man to love you are truly bizarre

At least they don’t include rusty trombones I guess

Women’s magazines can be excruciatingly embarrassing in the “advice” they try to give normal girls. It’s easy to get disheartened if every publication you read is telling you that all you should care about in this world about wine, glitter, blowjobs and rusty trombones, but look, don’t get too frustrated. It used to be much, much worse.

Obviously magazines like Cosmopolitan give some pretty rogue sex tips in 2017, but back in the late 90s and early 00s it was another world. Vintage, love it.

April 1999

“When you know tonight is going to be The Night, no matter how nervous you are, have a light breakfast and lunch, then eat a small, healthy snack in the afternoon to up your energy and keep you from keeling over from the Chianti at dinner.”

So… eat food. This advice is to consume food (but not too much food).

December 2000

Just put your fucking feet in a kettle.

“Just because your soles are back in pumps doesn’t mean you should slack off on pedicures. Get feet he’ll want to greet by indulging in this at-home treatment spiked with green tea an antioxidant that exfoliates even the roughest skin, says Roxana Pintilie, of NYC’s Warren-Tricomi Salon. Sprinkle the contents of three green-tea bags into a bowl of warm water and add some rose petals (for scent). Soak your feet for 15 minutes, then use a foot-buffing scrub and a pumice stone to smooth stubborn calluses.”

February 2001

Abandon dining decorum! Just lick things!

“At a casual restaurant, lose the fork in favor of your fingers. Look him in the eye while you lick off any excess salt or sauce.

Why he’ll melt: You’re showing him that you’re comfortable with contact, says Craven: ‘When you touch yourself in a sensuous not even sexual manner, it’s an invitation for him to think of you in those terms. ‘When he sees your self-stroking, he won’t be able to resist thinking of his own hands on you’.”

Flirt with other people! It doesn’t matter who, they can be strangers!

“Get chummy (or better, borderline flirty) with the cute bartender, doorman, or salesperson who’s helping you.

“Why he’ll melt: You’re awakening his most basic instinct competitiveness. If you keep your moves benign (too much jealousy can trigger his temper and cause major problems, warns Ruppel), he’ll be dying to let everyone know you’re his. ‘Showing him that you’re attractive to other people will remind him how lucky he is to have you,’ says Craven.”

June 2001

Found in a “dignity saving don’ts” section of a guide on how to make a man commit:

“Don’t tell him you’re hurt or mad, and don’t reprimand him for leading you on. You stayed with him – take responsibility for your actions. And if you’ve been living with him, you allowed him to be with you indefinitely without making a commitment.

“Don’t suggest going to couples therapy to discuss why he can’t commit. Men can and do commit when they love you and when you maintain your identity and self-esteem in the relationship. But they can become commitment-phobic when a woman has pursued them, is too available, or they’re just not in love with her.

“Don’t let your man brainwash you into thinking that marriage isn’t important – ‘just a piece of paper.’ If he does not want to marry you, then he’s not that in love with you – he wants the option of meeting someone else!

“Don’t let a man you have been dating for years convince you to wait until “things slow down” at work or he’s better off financially to make a commitment. There will always be work and money issues in life. They should have nothing to do with marrying you.
When a man loves you and wants to marry you, he gets down on bended knee and says something like, look, I know I’m not a millionaire, but I love you and I’d do anything for you’.”

If that wasn’t bad enough, here is some advice from a real life man they’ve included as an addendum.

“When it comes to discussing the future, men can yak up a storm — but only if the topics are limited to our careers, sports, or the new kung-fu flick we want to go see this weekend. Shift the focus to relationships, and all speech function grinds to a halt. The throat gets parched. Dizziness ensues. We men start loosening our collars: Is it just me, or is it always this hot in here?”

July 2001

Pretend you have hobbies which suit whoever you’re dating at the expense of your free time and potentially life.

“Take up extreme sports. The point here isn’t so much that you risk your life but that you actually create more of a life outside his orbit. Canceling a date because you want to make him jealous is lame, but canceling a date because, hey, you’ve got your karate classes tonight and your flying lessons tomorrow, is sort of cool. Once there’s something competing for your attention, he begins to wonder how much he really matters in your life scheme. All you’re doing is filling up your time with cool stuff he might like to do, but you’re not including him. He’s got to wonder if you’re drifting away, and in order to lay claim reasonably to more of your time, he’ll have to be explicit about how much time he wants. In other words, he’ll have to bring up The Talk.”

April 2002

“Why don’t you … Tell him you’ll grant him three wishes in the course of 24 hours. He’s sure to reciprocate tomorrow!”

I can think of some reasons why not.