Male Call: When The Going Gets Tough


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Click to read more about James Roberts.

 By James Roberts

We have to fess up to a guilty pleasure: Naked and Afraid. Nooo…not the Male Call Advisory Board on a skinny dipping expedition. We’re talking about a cable TV reality show where two strangers ─ a man and a woman ─ have to take off their clothes and survive in a hostile jungle or on a mosquito-infested beach with only the food and water they can forage for under a nasty-looking rock or scoop out of a bacteria-ridden creek.

What invariably happens is that the going gets tough and along the way the two parties re-enact the five stages of the classic dating timeline (which we may have just made up):

  1. Hopefulness: “Gee, I hope he/she will be a good partner and help us both have a satisfying and memorable experience. What a great adventure we’re on!”
  2. Disillusionment: “Hmm…he’s awfully bossy.” And, “All she wants to do is weave straw hats.”
  3. Overpromising and under-delivering: “When I said I could make a fire in three hours I really meant in 12 days.” And, “I’m an excellent forager…in a Whole Foods market.”
  4. Violent diarrhea, vomiting and incessant whining.
  5. Understanding of personal limitations and reconciliation of differences or vow of perpetual enmity.

Actually, now that we look at the list, this is pretty similar to a few road trips we’ve been on, including number four.

For some reason, it’s usually the guy who has to have his own way and pout when he doesn’t get it and the woman who goes out scooping up tree larvae, mealworms and coconuts (which the guy then claims he’s tired of).

When the going gets tough…people’s personalities come out.

As a result of this sciencey-sounding principle, we propose two simple rules to make your dating experience more fulfilling.

  • You must make a mandatory day trip in a car. Once you’ve proven that you can survive a road trip together, you’re allowed a weekend overnight getaway.
  • No planning for a future event for a period longer than you’ve been together. That is, if you’ve been going out for two weeks in October, you can’t plan something two months out…like Christmas or New Years. If you’ve been going out six weeks, you can plan an event six weeks out.

We’d also like to suggest that you cut your prospect some slack if he (and, of course, it’s always a “he”) says one stupid or thoughtless unromantic thing off the top of his head in the heat of a “situation.”

Of course, following these principles doesn’t guarantee that your Jekyll won’t turn into Hyde when a problem arises, but at least it gives you a running start toward the door.

Need a guy’s perspective? Jot a note to Male Call at jrobertpenn@aol.com or check out the Male Call archives at www.words-in-action.com

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