Ask a Grown Man: Vol. XIII

8 Nov

Hey Grown Man,

I love the outdoors and everything about it. My idea of “a good time” involves kayaks, climbing harnesses, tents, and Wyoming.

My question is, what does this mean for my (hypothetical) lady-friend who doesn’t dig the outdoors? I can put up with cuddling on the sofa watching the Notebook, but enough’s enough.


-Mountain Man

Mountain Man,

First, I’d like to publicly chastise you for coming up with your own nickname.  How dare you sir, how dare you indeed.  As the proprietor of this here blog, I take great joy in reading a question like yours and coming up with an oh-so-witty salutation.  For instance, I might have started this reply with, “Dearest Timothy Treadwell” or “Guy Who Secretly Loves the Notebook and is Seeking My Approval for His Nicholas Sparks Obsession.”  However, you did come up with a passable nickname, so… I forgive you.  On to more pressing matters.

At least the documentary was awesome

How is a man of the wilderness able to coexist with a woman of worldliness?  Oh no, wait, here’s a better one: How can a gentlemen of the outdoors love a woman of shopping mall stores?  I should’ve quit on the first one.  Anyhow, it’s a tough question.  Because really, there’s no silver-bullet that will somehow help you and this hypothetical woman co-exist in a perfectly balanced tent and town-house life.  The real question is: To what extent are you willing to compromise? Answering this question will go a far way in solving your initial query.

Here’s what I’m talking about.  Relationships aren’t meant to change or define, but rather to refine.  It’s a fine line but one that must be guarded at all times in order to avoid resentment from either party. While a dream scenario may be to get her to completely convert and become an REI shopping, Kavu wearing, get lost and love it type of person — she just may not be wired that way. Certainly you can understand, can’t you?  You aren’t wired to enjoy an evening of window shopping, dining at Chili’s, and cuddling at home in front of the latest Julia Roberts project, “Eat, Pray, Dying Career”.  But, even though you’re not going to redefine each other as individuals, you can still meet somewhere in the middle.  So, here are your options:

1- Compromise. If this woman is worth giving and taking a little bit for, do it.  Do your best to show her what you love about nature without overwhelming her but also suck it up a bit and learn how to give a crap about her world.  Compromise is key — for both of you!

2- Cheerlead. Sometimes, there is no middle ground and you’ve got to take a sideline, cheerleader, approach.  For instance, Mrs. Grown Man likes to run marathons. I, conversely, really like to not run marathons.  Therefore, I’ve got a job to make her feel supported without directly participating in what can only be described as 26.2 miles of insanity and torture.  So, I go to the races and clap with the rest of the wise non-marathoners and I make sure to tell her how amazing she is at least 50 times for each mile she’s run.  Mountain Man, Uptown Girl may not be able to get stoked about your world and, additionally, you may not be able to get jazzed about hers.  But, can you at least be excited and supportive of the other person. Right?

3- Be done. Everyone, you need to pay attention to the next statement: Marriage doesn’t fix anything that’s busted in dating or engagement — it only magnifies it.  Therefore, Mountain Man, if this is a big issue that no amount of compromise or cheerleading can fix, you’ve got to both ask each other if this is a relationship worth keeping.  I know this is an extreme response to a difference of interests, and I really hope you guys can find a way, but if you can’t and this is a big deal, it’ll only get bigger post-nuptials.  Sorry, bud.

So as I see it, those are your three options.  My encouragement to you would be to be bold in finding which of them works for you guys and pursue it with gusto.  Also, you really should move to Wyoming — it’s freaking beautiful out there, man.

Into the Wild,

19 Responses to “Ask a Grown Man: Vol. XIII”

  1. Heather 8 November 2010 at 10:55 am #

    First of all, that trailer was sad and sobering.

    Relationships aren’t meant to change or define, but rather to refine. That is one amazingly profound truth. Thanks for sharing this.

    Maybe it’s a ‘Grown Woman’ thing, but it’s hard to take off the ‘vision changing’ spectacles when looking at a potential partner. But we can’t go into a relationship thinking the other person is a ‘fixer upper’ house, in need of structural makeovers–rather, a home that might be open to hanging some of my art on its walls, and letting me paint a few rooms.

    Great post as usual!

  2. Tiny 9 November 2010 at 9:47 am #

    In my honest opinion, you can look for overlap. Pigeon Forge,TN is a great example of this. Shopping in town, and once your out of town, your gone. As for a date compromise: if you can cook the fancy fixins that swoon her capitalistic heart, then cook it for her. After that, take said food into the wild.

  3. Tim A 13 November 2010 at 10:03 am #

    As always, I appreciate your perspective, but more than that, the semi-sarcastic, but always realistic spin on life. This post was much appreciated for the laughs, as well as the SOLID advice.


  4. lookingforsomethingtofind 19 November 2010 at 2:55 am #

    I really have nothing to add, except this post reminded me of the intro to green acres.

    Other than that good advice GM.

  5. MrMerso 2 December 2010 at 2:48 pm #

    Come on, Grown Man, we want more!

  6. Bonnie 28 December 2010 at 12:35 pm #

    We miss you, Grown Man! 😦

  7. AmyP 30 December 2010 at 9:31 pm #

    where ARE you? you’re incredibly valuable for both my knowledge of proper grown man etiquette (as well as what I’m entitled to expect of a grown man) and my very necessary procrastination process. por favor, vuelva!

  8. QueenPinky 30 December 2010 at 9:56 pm #

    what a way with words, as usual!

  9. Nifer 12 January 2011 at 10:51 pm #

    Hey GM. You might have a day job, but we want you to continue moonlighting as a blogger. It’s always funny and generally helpful. Come back!

  10. JamesW 14 January 2011 at 2:31 pm #

    GM, where’d you disappear to? We keep checking back. Hope you’re okay!

  11. Rob 24 January 2011 at 1:53 pm #

    Hey there, I don’t think I ever commented on a blog, but here it goes. We know you probably are swamped with work but just give us a shout out so all you gentleman friends know you are ok. Hope to hear from you soon.

  12. Bonnie 15 February 2011 at 4:33 pm #

    Sure wish you’d check back in, GM. Your readers are really concerned. 😦

  13. Allen 26 February 2011 at 12:42 am #

    Grown men say their goodbyes. ):

  14. lookingforsomethingtofind 21 March 2011 at 3:11 am #

    GM when you return you better have one helluva post, anyways best of luck with what ever your doing in the real world.

  15. katy {of} katy loves. 22 March 2011 at 11:48 am #

    Where are you GM? Worried about you and hope you check back in soon.

  16. jessfong 31 March 2011 at 4:53 pm #

    dear grown man,
    don’t grown men put up “gone fishing” signs or something?
    we’d like you back please.
    viewers like me.

  17. Dare Right 6 April 2011 at 2:43 am #

    Dear GM,

    I miss you so much! I like to think of you as the surrogate older bother that I’ve always wanted, and when I don’t hear from said “surrogate older brother”, I start to worry, a lot.

    I hope and pray that you and your family are doing well.

    I always enjoyed the time I spent reading your posts. My mom and I liked to read them together; it had become a little tradition of ours, and it was very fun!

    I always appreciate your sage advice and your wonderful sense of humor!

    We love you, GM!

    Your ever loyal fan,
    Dare Right

  18. Dare Right 4 May 2011 at 2:06 pm #

    Hey, GM! Wanted to drop in to let you know that I’ve got an award for you; hope you like it!

  19. free5piritphotography 14 June 2011 at 2:13 pm #

    Hey Grown Man,
    That’s some pretty sound advice. Thanks for sharing!

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