Ask a Grown Man: Vol. X

24 Aug

Oh man, we’re gonna get deeeeeep today.  Dr. Frasier Crane will now take your calls…


Hi GM,
So, should Grown Men look for a mother for their children or the romantic “love-of-my-life-butterflies-in-the-stomach-the-one” woman?

-Kris Arruda


I’m not going to lie. I cringed when reading your question for the first time.  There was something in me that just wanted to get a posse of women, come to what I’m quite sure must be your bachelor pad, and scream…



But then I realized that a) it wouldn’t be cool for me to be hanging out with a posse of women, b) I think you live in Brazil which is really quite a commitment for just yelling five words, and c) you’ve brought up an interesting point that bears discussing.

Let’s talk about the “love-of-my-life-butterflies-in-the-stomach-the-one” woman.  Because what we miss is what those butterflies are and what they aren’t.  They are, typically, lust and attraction, you know — the mojo.  And, because we’re essentially big dumb animals, it’s okay and normal to feel attraction to another person.  Butterflies are a good feeling and are designed, as a single man, to cue us in to women who we may be compatible with and therefore further the species via procreation.  However, the “butterflies in the stomach” feeling has less to do with long-term monogamy and more to do with a sense of compatibility which, don’t get me wrong, is extremely important — but is not the whole story.

Because what butterflies aren’t are indicators that we’ve found “the one.”  This is our brain tricking itself into thinking that attraction+physical contact=good relationship.  Our brain, however, is not always connected to the heart and needs to realize that initial attraction is common throughout animals, but emotional attraction is unique to only our species.  You may hear that other animals have the same level to connect, but believe me, dolphins don’t write love songs.  Wow, profound.

Mother or butterflies?So Kris, my good man, here’s what I want you to know.  The “mother of your children” (i.e. your wife and life-long parter) should be a woman who gives you those butterflies, who you totally go nuts over and can’t stop dreaming about, who you make mix tapes for, who you write poems for that will one day embarrass you and be locked in a box, and who your brain is screaming at you to procreate with because she’s giving you that wonderful, indescribable, mojo.  However, and this is a big however, there may be times in even the best relationships where you don’t feel the initial crazy lust/attraction/animal instinct feelings.  That doesn’t mean she’s not crazy-attractive, and it certainly doesn’t mean that you’ve traded romantic love for a less exciting version of it.  It means you’ve got work to do.

Sometimes, you’re going to have to wake up and say to yourself, “Today, I’m going to be a better husband.”  Sometimes, you’ve got to realize that it’s been way too long since you dated your wife.  Sometimes, you’ve got to charge the paddles and shock the heart into beating again.  Believe me, putting work into the marriage will insure that you never have to choose between “butterflies” (lust and attraction) and wife (love) — you get both.

Kris, I’m sure you wanted a funnier answer, but I’ve got a solemn duty to reinvent masculinity.  I hope you understand.  Good luck finding “her.”  Trust me, it’s well worth it.

“Butterfly kisses…”,

After dating someone who turned out to be Less Than A Grown Man for 5 years (and yes, shame on me for not realizing it sooner), I’m now stumped as to how to approach the dating scene. Where-oh-where can I find nice Grown Men in their 30s and 40s? Suggestions, please! Or, better yet, personal referrals… 🙂




Single sister,

First, I’ve got to correct you on something.  There’s no “shame” in dating the wrong guy for a while.  Maybe you learned something, maybe you didn’t?  Either way, you didn’t get married and you realized, at some point, that he was less than fantastic.  You did a good thing by getting out, even if it took a while.  And in fairness to you, guys can be pretty cunning — I’m working on fixing that.

Second, I have no idea how to approach the dating scene other than to say that any scene that is designed for dating is likely going to be a disaster.  My advice: find a place that has a bunch of people your age and dive in.  Maybe a sports league, a church, or a 21 Jump Street fan club?  I think I’m giving you bad advice now.  Anyhow, just don’t go to bars or shady online sites.  Guys who go there are more like the 5-year-disaster type and not like the future Mr. Fantastic.

Finally, I don’t have any personal referrals.  But fellas, if you’re reading this and feel you might be a good candidate, please email…


Mr. Right,

That’s all for today, gentlemen.  Until next week, keep asking those great questions.

11 Responses to “Ask a Grown Man: Vol. X”

  1. Sholeh 24 August 2010 at 12:32 pm #

    First of all, love the 21 Jump Street reference. I had some kids look at me blankly the other day when I referenced it. *sigh*

    As for finding guys (question #2), has this person considered asking friends for introductions? I also agree that she should consider joining an organization, but one that she is actually interested in, as well. Don’t join the local skydiving club if you’re afraid of heights. There are a ton of volunteer/mentoring/Rotary/etc groups. Finding a guy who has a sense of responsibility is more likely in those types of groups.

    • You're a Grown Man 24 August 2010 at 12:50 pm #

      Great call, Sholeh! We more of this good advice from the Grown Women out there to round out this post. Thank you.

  2. Alfie 24 August 2010 at 3:08 pm #

    I am tempted to translate all of your postings in Spanish to help reinvent masculinity in the Latino world.

    • Grown Man 24 August 2010 at 3:16 pm #

      Oh my gosh, that would be amazing! Let me know if you do it.

  3. Coco 24 August 2010 at 6:07 pm #

    I’m disagreeing only slightly this time, GM. Joining clubs and groups is good if that’s your bag, but frankly, I’m not much of a club joiner and I know a lot of Grown Women feel the same. Many people automatically discount dating sites, but if I were to ever have to start dating again, I’d figure…what the heck?

    Of course, you have to stay away from the obvious freak attractors, like OKCupid and Zoosk and (I’m not making that one up, hand to God), but if you’re lonely and looking to meet Grown Men, there’s no harm in checking out a semi-reputable dating site.

  4. spiritofshizuku 24 August 2010 at 8:49 pm #

    GM, your Frasier reference = Best reference ever!

    Also, great advice, as always!

  5. Reflections 25 August 2010 at 8:40 am #

    Um. Dolphins DO write and sing love songs to their mates… it’s part of their reproductive approach. Just saying. Otherwise, great post.

  6. Kris Arruda 25 August 2010 at 12:43 pm #

    Oh GM, is hard to grow up. Never imagined that would need so much effort to make a relationship work.

    But thanks, makes sense.

  7. Strick 26 August 2010 at 5:48 pm #

    Maybe not dolphins buy don’t whales sing, maybe they are bleeding out their hearts with under water mix tapes…

  8. lookingforsomethingtofind 28 August 2010 at 5:03 am #

    I disagree with GM here. The way I know I’ve found someone I really like, is when you talk to them, you don’t feel butterflies, you feel just really calm, and comfortable, talking to said woman just feels so easy, and you look forward to it, like you looked forward to recess in grammar school. Even if she is really good looking, you don’t notice it, one way of the other, because it’s the conversation and interactions that you love most about being around her. It doesn’t mean it’s gonna last forever, but it means it’s real, at least that is my opinion.

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