Robot Hearts: Now what?

That’s right, folks! Robot Hearts is back in action and better than ever. Banter! Thinly-veiled insults! Jack calling women crazy! What more could you want? In this edition watch as Jack and Tess offer wise counsel to a young lady stuck wondering if her friend with benefits is also looking for something more, and check out what they have to say to a young man struggling with converting digits to dates.

Question #1

I have been sleeping with this guy for almost 2 months now, one of those friends with benefits, no strings attached kind of deals. And as in most cases, I’ve started to have feelings for him, and he is showing signs that he is too. It’s not just about screwing around anymore – we’ve gone out on a date, and I stay at his place all the time. In the past month I’ve probably only stayed at my house maybe 5 times. All of my friends that know him keep asking me why we aren’t together, and I don’t really have an answer. Do you think this is just because he is hooked on the sex, or is there a possibility that he could want more??

— Catching Feelings in the West End

Tess: Well, you probably already know what I’m going to say about the “no strings attached” thing. Humbug! Perhaps some super-people exist who can engage in this kind of charade without starting to feel attached, but I have yet to meet or hear of those people (present company excluded, Jack). I think we can safely say that however unattached your intentions were, there’s no escaping it now. When you put yourselves repeatedly into an intimate situation where you’re connecting to and caring for each other — even just physically — the lines between the physical and the emotional eventually begin to blur. I hate to be blunt, but in the interest of brevity…if he hasn’t mentioned commitment yet, he probably has no mind to. For some people, the idea of feeling close to (and maybe even loved by) another person without being formally associated with her is a tantalizing prospect. Then again, instead of making assumptions you could ask him yourself about the possibility of going exclusive. Just bring it up quickly and in a straightforward manner, and it’ll be like tearing off a bandage. You will never know unless you ask, and whatever the answer is, the hard part will be over and you’ll be able to move to the next step.

Jack: Unfortunately Tess is semi-correct (weird…right?). Repeated “bumping and grinding” with the same hussy will turn even the most metallic and robotic of hearts, soft. I’ve been in a few of these situations where, as the man and the tough guy, I refuse to express any sort of feelings until the woman expresses hers. I think you just go for broke and tell this guy that you like him for more than the sex.

My gut tells me he will say the same. A fling usually isn’t characterized by constant sleepovers. Also the date would seem to signify that he actually enjoys hanging out with you outside of the bedroom. Soooo, now you have to woMAN up and do some talking. The worst he can say is “No, you’re nothing but a piece of meat that I use to satisfy my sexual urges while at the same time imagining you’re my ex-girlfriend….who is prettier.” But, hopefully he won’t say that.

Question #2

I get a fair amount of girls’ phone numbers at the bars I frequent, although my overall conversion rate (numbers that translate into dating and/or sex) is quite poor. I’m not sure if the reason for this is me or if it’s the universal flakiness of girls in general, but I need help. When should I call a girl after I get her number? I know three days is like industry standard, but it doesn’t seem to work. Help me.

— Pocket Full of Numbers in Midtown


  1. Keep getting numbers, hundreds and hundred of numbers. You may be failing at converting, but the most difficult part about picking up women is the opening or the beginning, so if you’re getting numbers, you’re doing something right. Statistically one of these numbers has to convert to sex, regardless of how much you reek of loser.
  2. Girls are flaky. They would give out their numbers to a hobo on the street corner if he said something nice. That being said, don’t get discouraged by one prospect flaking. Every guy has had a few slip through his hands (even me…. I know, big shocker there).
  3. Three days IS industry standard, but you have to find what fits you. Personally I wait 3 to 4 days and then text. Sometimes I wait 3 to 4 weeks. The point is to make it seem like you don’t care, which at first you will care, until you keep fake not-caring for a bit and then eventually you will actually not care. Got all that? Good, because once a girl senses apathy on your part they will like you more. It’s strange….

I could go on for days on this topic, but I need to leave Tess some room to throw in the whole women’s “we want you to be straight-forward”, “we wike nice guys”, blah blah blah, prospective. Try not to listen to her though. She’s just like the rest of their tribe, which is to say… a complete nutjob. Ok Tess, rip me to shreds….

Don’t forget that this is a tribe of “nutjobs” which for some reason you have an uncontrollable desire to pursue at all costs.

  1. Are these numbers fake? If she gave you the phone number “867-5309,” chances are she’s just trying to get rid of you.
  2. It’s preposterous to assume that all girls are flaky just because some of the women who’ve been clueless enough to give Jack their numbers have been flaky. I would venture to say that men are generally flakier than women, and that is why “I’ll call you tomorrow” means “I’ll call you next Thursday” in boy language. Seriously, if someone is not returning your calls — be it a romantic interest or any friend — it means you were less important than the 900 other things they’ve been doing all week. Take it as a sign and a blessing, and thank your lucky stars that you don’t have to actually maintain a relationship with that person.
  3. See #2: 3 days is indeed industry standard for men. If we’re talking about girls, I think Jack is correct in assuming that they’ll become more eager to contact you if they sense apathy. This is because they are little girls, and they’ve got plenty of time for messing with your head in between visiting the tanning salon and the extra small sale rack at Forever 21. If those creatures aren’t interested when you’ve contacted them after the very prudent 3-day waiting period, see #2 again (thank your lucky stars, etc). But if you’re looking for women of the mature, grown-up variety, I don’t think you need to cultivate a fake apathy in order to draw them in. Use this principal to filter out the true nutjobs from the desirable, pleasant females out there.
  4. Would you like to be similarly fulfilled?? Send your relationship questions to and start the argument. Also, check out past columns at Robot Hearts, keep tabs on Jack at Jack Goes Forth, and see what Tess is up to over at Parasol Party.

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    Jack Lauterback

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