quit dining with danger.

29 Jun

Quick preface: This post is written for men who are in relationships.  I apologize to the single fellas our there for the specific content.  However, I’d encourage you to stuff this knowledge in your back pocket – I promise you, you’ll need it one day.

Allow me to paint you a picture:  You spend 40+ hours a week at work and you’re a nice guy.  You take part in jeans Friday and are known to pull a couple of really zany pranks. Overall, you’re well liked and respected among your peers.  Work is good, your wife is awesome, you’re a happy man.  One day your office mate, we’ll call her Jezebel, casually says, “Hey, you wanna’ get Thai for lunch?”  Now, Jezebel isn’t asking you on a date or being weird, she’s simply wanting to combine Tofu Praram and a conversation with the office nice-guy.  The question before you now is, how do you reply?

By no means can you go out to lunch with that woman.

Grown Man, you are such a freaking prude!  What’s the big deal, she’s not into me, I’m not into her, it’s a lunch?!  Also, I reeeeeally want Shrimp Pad Thai (5 stars, extra peanuts)!

Cool it, fella.  I trust you, I really do.  And furthermore, I trust Jezebel.  The problem is, I don’t know that in every situation YOU should trust you.  Right now, your life is awesome.  But someday, the relationship you’re in might hit a speed bump and you may not be completely meshing with your wife or girlfriend.  When, not if, but when that day comes  – you need to be prepared.

If you’re having a difficult time with your significant other and you find yourself across the table from a lovely co-worker, think about how it’ll feel when she complements your great sense of humor.  Today, that compliment would be received, processed, and forgotten with the next bite of Chicken Pad Thai (damn it, they got the order wrong!).  However, if you’re in a particularly vulnerable spot (which you will be someday), that compliment could be received, processed, reworked, dwelt on, fantasized about, and manipulated.  The next thing you know, a casual lunch turns into (in your mind) a semi-date.  Now, my good man, you are on the highway to the danger zone.

Oh boy, you’re taking this WAY too far!  Nice job jumping the shark, Grown Man.

Maybe I am, but also, nobody ever goes into a good relationship expecting an affair.  Affairs happen because we don’t setup safeguards in the good days.  Because gentlemen, trust me, lean days will happen. And in those days, you will need to be armed so that you can go though them and end up on the other side without regrets and with self-respect.  Not going on solo outings is a simple rule that can save a ton of heartache.

Before you all assail me in the comments, allow me to address a few quick points:

1- Women aren’t followers who will have affairs with any guy.  Our friend Jezebel would likely reject any advance because she’s a Grown Woman.  However, every now and again, the perfect storm happens and good women and good man put themselves in vulnerable positions.  This blog is written for men who need to do their part in preventing such an occurrence.

2- In the course of your life, your lady-boss may say, “Hey, let’s grab a coffee today.”  Because she’s your boss, it’s way harder to say, “No, Grown Man says I shouldn’t.”  With this and other such difficult situations, it’s really up to you. However, I still default to not letting foxes into the henhouse.

3- If you’re single and still reading this, go and get Thai with that young-lady (as long as she’s single)! Also, take the complement and milk it for all it’s worth.  Go get ’em tiger…

4- I’ll be funnier tomorrow.

49 Responses to “quit dining with danger.”

  1. Daniel 29 June 2010 at 1:00 pm #

    Great advice for my birthday! I’ve always been Mr. Advice as they call it. But you always hit pretty much the details I push in their faces and get them out of trouble. Thanks for filling in the blanks that I miss.

    • You're a Grown Man 29 June 2010 at 1:02 pm #

      Well, Mr. Advice, HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Hope your friends take your advice and get you good gifts.

      -Mr. GM

  2. Kurt 29 June 2010 at 1:06 pm #

    Good advice, GM, good advice.

    • You're a Grown Man 29 June 2010 at 1:21 pm #

      Thanks, Kurt. I wasn’t sure how it would go over – I’m glad you liked it.

      Also, that’s a very tough picture of you…well done.

  3. mct88 29 June 2010 at 1:14 pm #

    Excellent post as usual. Hopefully it will be followed.

    • You're a Grown Man 29 June 2010 at 2:00 pm #

      Thank you, mct88. It’s good to hear that from a female perspective.

  4. Grub00 29 June 2010 at 1:40 pm #

    That picture of Glen Close was all the warning I needed. Good advice GM, keep it coming.

  5. Rob 29 June 2010 at 1:52 pm #

    Good advice. I used to be a pastor (way back when) and was told this sort of thing all the time, but nobody ever told me that I should heed it even if I weren’t a pastor. Still just as applicable today.

    • You're a Grown Man 29 June 2010 at 2:05 pm #

      Thank you, Rob, I’m glad you found it relevant. I appreciate you reading and commenting! Do you have a blog?

  6. pbandchutney 29 June 2010 at 2:15 pm #

    Great post. Hope the GMs out there listen, and listen good!

  7. Coco 29 June 2010 at 3:13 pm #

    “Quit Dining With Danger” is the best title for this advice ever.

    • You're a Grown Man 29 June 2010 at 5:04 pm #

      Thank you, it was my first attempt at a clever title. Alliteration always makes me happy.

  8. de.construct.ion 29 June 2010 at 3:14 pm #

    I love-love-love your blog. These aren’t just rules for men, they’re great rules of thumb for good people! I’ve been turning my friends on to you, I hope you see lots of added traffic.

    • You're a Grown Man 29 June 2010 at 11:31 pm #

      Three loves?! That’s awesome, thank you so much for enjoying the content and sharing it with your friends.

      Also, I’ve been enjoying the heck out of your blog (saratr1pp.wordpress.com). The loft with 4 washers and amazing but leaky windows was quite beautiful. There’s nothing like that around my neck of the woods.

      Thanks again for the kind words and taking the time to comment.

  9. Aimee Piper 29 June 2010 at 3:57 pm #

    Dear Grown Man,
    I appreciate your sense of humor, but more to the point I appreciate that you’re ‘keeping it real’. Cheers for that.

    • You're a Grown Man 29 June 2010 at 11:32 pm #

      Cheers for you, Aimee! Thank you for the kindness and affirmation of my keeping it real-ness.

  10. jameskaufholz 29 June 2010 at 4:18 pm #

    Honestly, I was making a CD for a girl I work with (because she has terrible taste in music) and I told my fiance before I started. Even that felt share-worthy. Maybe I’m crazy.

    James
    http://www.folkwaysmagazine.com

    • You're a Grown Man 29 June 2010 at 11:34 pm #

      Crazy? A bit. But one can never be too careful with mix tapes – they’ve melted many a woman’s heart.

      Thanks, as always, for reading and commenting, Sir JamesKaufholz!

  11. Heather 29 June 2010 at 4:28 pm #

    For sure–restraint isn’t all that popular these days, so it’s wonderful to see it presented logically, lovingly and with a few laughs.

    Trying to let a few go by without commenting so that my ‘thank you’s’ don’t become redundant or superficial, but you just keep cranking out such good stuff it’s hard to resist.

    • You're a Grown Man 29 June 2010 at 11:35 pm #

      Redundant or superficial? Never! My ego thrives on the approval of others. Keep the compliment train runnin…

      Just kidding. I do really appreciate your constant affirmation of the site though.

  12. lookingforsomethingtofind 29 June 2010 at 4:42 pm #

    One follow up question about this G.M., what happens if she is a female friend, that you’ve been close friends with, since before you met your significant other, but in the past, you may have been guilty of being a bit flirty with each other?

    • You're a Grown Man 29 June 2010 at 11:37 pm #

      That, “looking”, is an entirely separate post. However, I will say that your flirting with danger. And, from the little bit I know about you, I kind of get the vibe that you know that. True?

      • lookingforsomethingtofind 30 June 2010 at 1:06 am #

        Yeah, but I hate losing such a good friendship. I guess such tough descions are part of being a Grown Man.

  13. longboardu 29 June 2010 at 5:15 pm #

    I can’t say I’m with you on this one, Grown Man. This mentality has the boys sticking to the boys, the girls to the girls. It’s an old-fashioned ideal that has been going on forever, and has helped maintain the favoritism of the so-called boys’ club in the workplace — wherein you give Harold a raise because you’re pals and had a beer last week, but not Jezebel, ’cause she’s the trampy office whore who tried to get you alone with Thai food.

    Kidding aside, I’m a happy subscriber who reads your blog every time it hits the inbox, keep it up.

    • You're a Grown Man 29 June 2010 at 11:46 pm #

      Fair point, longboardu. I totally agree that boys clubs sometimes unfairly exclude women from advancements in the workplace. However, and what I probably didn’t communicate well, is that the workplace is just an easy example for any situation in life where a man and a woman may be putting themselves in harms way by taking it to the next level of friendship (i.e. hanging out).

      In any event, I’m really glad you like the blog and I appreciate you commenting. For real, thanks a ton.

      • longboardu 30 June 2010 at 1:07 pm #

        Fair enough. I still would like to think that in these modern times, men and women may get along without it having to end in knocking boots, but I can’t deny the propriety and 100% safety of your approach.

        Thanks for taking criticism like a grown man.

        • You're a Grown Man 30 June 2010 at 1:15 pm #

          Longboardu and GM, bff.

          • Paige 2 July 2010 at 2:59 am #

            Maybe the solution is inviting several other coworkers to Thai with you? So you keep the genders mixing, but eliminate the exclusivity?

            • Arlyn 7 July 2010 at 3:11 pm #

              Yes, I think that is key. I had this very discussion with my boyfriend several months back about one of his closest friends who happens to be a woman. I had no problem with their friendship, I just told him to be careful. But in the workplace, yes, one-on-one lunches with the opposite sex, unless they are bloog related, can either appear to be something else, or eventually turn into something else. Danger danger!

  14. Ashley Pariseau 29 June 2010 at 6:48 pm #

    I have always thought this, but didn’t know quite how to explain it. Very well said.

    • You're a Grown Man 29 June 2010 at 11:47 pm #

      Thanks, Ashley! Feel free to steal these words for yourself the next time you try and explain it.

  15. Jen 29 June 2010 at 10:19 pm #

    Thanks for being a true gentleman and posting this great blog for all to read! It’s a must in this day of do whatever “feels right.” These type of precautions you suggest setting up are wonderful!

    • You're a Grown Man 30 June 2010 at 9:48 am #

      Thank you, Jen, I’m really glad you think the precautions have merit.

      I’m really glad you’re reading and enjoying the blog.

  16. Amy 30 June 2010 at 1:18 pm #

    Excellent advice!

    Always lunch in threes, it keeps the office gossip down and prevents any impropriety.

  17. notanewyorker 30 June 2010 at 10:08 pm #

    Grown Man, I adore the fact that you respond to every single comment! What a polite gentleman, writing thank-you comments. Keep up the great work!

    • You're a Grown Man 1 July 2010 at 6:13 pm #

      While every comedic bone in my body wants to not comment on your comment – I simply must.

      Thank you for the encouragement and kind words – you are certainly not a New Yorker.

  18. ashleyhh 30 June 2010 at 10:27 pm #

    Interesting post. It is a weird transition period right now for me, I will admit. I have always been “one of the guys” and now that I am post college and my guy friends are settling down, I am kinda losing touch with a few of them. In some ways I understand, but in some ways, I have also dated a few guys who had female friends, and I feel like as long as they are honest and upfront, it shouldn’t be a big deal. Its a weird time in life.

    • You're a Grown Man 1 July 2010 at 6:24 pm #

      It sounds like a weird time, Ashleyhh. It’s always a tough transition when “the group” starts to pair-up and you feel like you’re the last woman standing. I’m sorry it’s hard (or weird) for you right now.

      As far as the “I have also dated a few guys who had female friends…” comment. I’m all about guys having friends that are girls. In fact, it’s good for them. This post was really about setting up fences around romantic relationships so that those friends never lead to any problems.

      At the end of the day, you’ve got to be comfortable with your own decisions, despite what some dude on a blog says. I just want guys to be really conservative and care about you and the rest of the sisters the way they should be cared about.

      Keep working on that bucket list, the storm will pass.
      http://ashleyhh.wordpress.com/before-i-kick-it/

  19. blogmella 1 July 2010 at 8:47 am #

    My first husband was “friends” with a married female colleague. They hung out, chatted and had fun. It wasn’t fun for me, or her husband, knowing they were discussing private issues, along with work ones.

    Of course, they ended up having an affair. Still, I’m rid of him now.

  20. Miss Pook 2 July 2010 at 5:55 pm #

    Best post yet. I wish my ex “Grown Man” had been shown this before he dined dangerously…

  21. Moroccomama 4 July 2010 at 8:50 am #

    Grown man, just wanted to let you know that I used some of my precious before-the-kids-wake-up alone time to catch up on your blog. That’s how good it is. In our day and age where we feel we have to re-invent and redefine EVERY kind of relationship, it’s good to land on some solid talk like this post.

    • You're a Grown Man 5 July 2010 at 10:16 pm #

      Holy smokes, pre-kid-morning-time is a magic part of the day that I’m honored to be a part of. And, thank you for the affirming words on the content of the blog – I really want Grown Man, in a way, to undefine what we’ve come to call a man. That made no sense, but I’m going with it.

      In any event, thank you for reading and commenting – I truly appreciate it.

  22. Ashley 8 July 2010 at 10:22 pm #

    Well said, GM. (May I call you GM?) This really can be a dangerous situation where you can be lulled into thinking it’s no big deal. But it certainly has the chance to turn into one.

    From a Grown Woman, thanks for all the work you’re doing to redefine a Grown Man.

  23. c 21 January 2011 at 11:36 am #

    This is something that needs to be heard for both GM & GW.
    I have always said “don’t put yourself into such a position and there won’t be any question of doing the right thing.” Keep up the good work!

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