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Man Theory – The Balance Beam Theory

August 29, 2011 4 comments

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It’s been a few months since I’ve written a Man Law or Man Theory, and TONIGHT, I thought it was time to change ALL that so sit back,  relax and enjoy the entry!

For the past few years, I think men everywhere have been aware of the idea that women like to test us. They like to see HOW we handle certain situations and in many ways, they create these situations to see what WE are made of and if we are the right one for them.

I have yet to meet a woman who will come forward and say that they actively test guys. Specifically, they will not tell you, “Hey, this is a test, I want to see how you handle this situation, go run around this play area, I’m going to monitor your behavior and I’ll let you know if I like what I see…”  It’s not even clear if they are AWARE of how this comes across to us or why we feel that way at times. But I know I’m not the first to experience this and men everywhere can collectively sigh, shake their head and say aloud to the computer “ALAS, but ’tis true.”

First, it’s quite common for the female of the species, whether its primates, birds or fish, to want to know that their man is MAN ENOUGH to protect them.  You’ll see males everywhere battle for territory, ram their horns, display their feathers, and do their dance in order to attract the attention of the female. It’s very natural and after all, if they are pregnant with offspring, they probably won’t be running around with the bow and arrow chasing down the kill and they need to feel that their man will provide for them. I know a number of women in the 21st century would like to think they can handle all of this without a man, and there are many of them out there that can, but some, deep down, know that it’s in our male nature to want to handle these sorts of things.  After all, if they are the brains of the relationship, we are the muscle, or at least that’s how it was at one point.

So what is Balance Beam Theory, you ask? Here, I’ll tell you.

If you think of every woman as a gymnastics coach, YOU, gentlemen, are on the far side of a 20-30 foot long balance beam.  When you see a woman of interest, your job is to make it across this balance beam and she will throw everything at you to see if you can handle all that may occur in a relationship with her.  When you step on the beam, you are on display, and you can think of it as a march to the scaffold with her being the final decision point as to whether or not you’ll be beheaded even if you make it across. There are people (her friends) who are throwing things at you, rotten eggs and tomatoes, all the dirt that has been dug up on you, combat boots, anything not staked to the ground and within her grasp, trying to actively knock you off balance. You may even make it across, only for the American Idol judges to give you all ones and zeroes, but you have to finish in the first place to know where you stand.

Now women are smart. They are REAL smart. And they talk. So just about every woman out there has about 4-5 men (all on varying length balance beams), probably more, that are actively pursuing her and she knows it. She’s not dumb. So the woman is standing on the opposite end of the beam, and she has a whip in her hand. You only have a limited time frame to make it across and if you fall off, she might not let you back on, not if you failed the wrong test since they all have different levels of importance. Some women may value integrity while others value openness and honesty. It’s different for everyone.

The funny thing is that just about every guy out there (Editorial Note: every hetero guy…) is on SOME sort of balance beam. Whether he would like to admit it or not, he had to do SOMETHING to prove to her that he wasn’t just some average guy on the street. Women don’t have the time to fool around with all the guys who are after them, they may make it “easier” for some who have proven it in other ways, but in general, ALL of us have to go through some sort of mental and physical aptitude test. Are you up for the position? Because if not, there are plenty of applicants.

So, as a man, what do you do, what CAN you do? First thing you can do is realize that you aren’t going to always make it across. It’s not possible. Some of these women need you to not only hold your balance but do flips, jumping jacks, somersaults and they don’t care WHAT you do, you aren’t going to make it.

Don’t worry about them.

What doesn’t throw you off, will make you stronger though, and that experience will prepare you for the NEXT woman you cross paths with and this is just as important.  She’s building you up and you need to appreciate this because if you make it across, in most cases, it will be worth it. She’ll feel confident that you are the guy who knows how to deal with all the situational drama that you may come across in a relationship with her and she also knows that you were up for the task.  You were man enough and if you make it, good job, you deserve a pat on the back (cause she will probably be angry at you anyway for taking so long.)

Another thing you have to remember while you are up there on display, is to STAY FOCUSED. Hold your ground, maintain your base, and stay steady for ANYTHING that might happen in the moment.  Just because you see something on the side that’s about to get launched at you doesn’t mean you have to jump off to dodge it. Instead, greet it head on, make friends with it, you have to maintain your focus and in this case, it’s her. Most of us already know and HAVE what it takes to get across, but we forget in the heat of the moment.

Now, to leave you with something meaningful and something you walk away with if nothing at all from this post, in the words of a famous writer, some know him as the author of the “Song of Ice and Fire” series:

“Fear cuts deeper than swords”- George R.R. Martin

If you remember where you stand, your feet will take you where you  need to go… 

As always, welcoming comments and criticisms.

This is Ethan Bishop. Over and out.

Man Law #87 – Five Days Together is Two Days Too Many…

June 14, 2011 3 comments

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K.I.S.S. Keep. It. Short. Stupid. Never spend more than three days together (at first).

::Names and Dates Have been Changed To Protect The Innocent. ::

A few weeks ago, possibly years, or maybe yesterday, I  invited someone to stay with me for a few days, lets call her Lena. This wasn’t just anyone but someone who I “might” start dating.  I say “might” because sometimes you don’t know you two dated until you see a Facebook status update stating how some “douchebag” hasn’t talked to her in months and by “douchebag” she means you…

Too Much Salt, Spoils The Meal...

Through e-mails and Facebook, we got along great. The attraction was there.  A few exchanges of pictures and it was clear…


When we finally decided to meet for the first time, I made the mistake that anyone who was thinking clearly would have seen from the next country over. She lived a short plane flight away and so when I invited her down, I thought “Who knows when the next time we’d see each other would be? 3-5 Days sounds good. What difference could two extra days make?”

A HUGE Difference.

For what its worth, a serious family issue arose the very next day after she arrived.  So serious in fact, that Lena was debating leaving that same night. Luckily, everyone turned out ok and everything went alright.  No one can control these things but when you barely know the person, this leaves some understandable awkwardness. If it was just a single night out, rescheduling would be the obvious choice, but there was nowhere for either of us to go! And this left us to an area of co-habitation..

When you live with roomates, no matter how great you got along before, they will find a way to piss you off. One person likes the temperature to read TROPICAL while the other prefers it slightly above freezing. (Editorial Note: If the other residents of the household have a year-round fur coat and walk on all fours, you might be able to tell which type you are dealing with.) One person will leave the kitchen light on at night, while another never puts the dishes away since everyone else was unknowingly hired as a maid service when the lease was signed. These aren’t things you can REALLY tell about a person until you start living with them…

And then you find out.

So when you start seeing someone, as much as you might like them, make sure you schedule some down time apart. Too much time together can  exhaust anyone. The funny thing is – I know this, I knew this, and the second I was face-to-face in that exact same situation, forgot it.

The Unbreakable Man Laws (n) – an online mental reminder list of all the mistakes I never want to make again!

If the two of you connected quickly in one form or another, Its too much and you don’t have the history of previous experience to give you the necessary “oomph” that is needed. A lot of women (and some men) will say, “Hey, if he can’t remember to put the toilet seat down, maybe he won’t remember to show up for the wedding either…NEXT” It sounds funny at first, but guys have been thrown to the curb for much less. (i.e. “He said he was on a diet and he just ordered a cheeseburger. I guess he’s not the one.” True story).

I’ll take it one step further to say that unless you’ve gotten into a solid argument with the other person (and for one, I don’t believe people can have a real relationship if you never argue), don’t spend more than three days of uninterrupted time with her. Wait until that first REAL argument. If she has thrown objects at you, DING DING DING, thats an even better indicator that you are ready to go for that fourth day.

With this past instance, because we had gone through several weeks of talking solely through e-mail and Facebook (luckily for me, we both hate the phone), when we finally met in person, I think we became too comfortable. After the third day of spending every waking moment together, you may inadvertently start slipping into behavior of a past relationship and unconsciously start acting in a way that isn’t appropriate for whom you are with right now. And that is exactly what happened.

In retrospect, I learned a lot from the experience. Sometimes you have to lose to win.   While I have no regrets and despite how things turned out in the end, I had a fantastic time.  I pretty much always have a good time. While I made a lot of mistakes with her mostly within the 72 hour mark, I think most of them would have been overlooked had there been some down time and space between us. Will we meet again sometime in the future, no one knows, but I’ll be sure not to make this same mistake again. You live, you learn… I’ll be sure to take different steps with the next person.

Who knows, maybe I should have shown up at the airport with flowers?


So Gentlemen, next time you invite that lady friend down to stay with you, or if she lives only fifteen minutes away, make sure you don’t rush into things and spend too much time together.  As much as you want to connect, that time apart is just as important to have,  as the time together.

This is a Public Service Announcement from Ethan Bishop.

Making mistakes right around the clock, so you don’t have to…

And Lena, if you happen to stumble upon this post many years in the future, know this:

“My fault, my failure, is not in the passions I have, but in my lack of control of them.”  – Jack Kerouac

Inviting any and all to comment.

Man Law #86 – Kiss Her Like You Mean It!

May 28, 2011 1 comment

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A friend of mine recently posted a video of her marriage proposal on Facebook – Now, besides the fact that the proposal idea was completely original and unique in that it was tailored to HER, there were a few points that people happened to notice and comment on more so than the proposal itself…

The Kiss...

The Kiss.

You’ve heard it before and you’ll hear it again –  A kiss tells A LOT about a person.  There’s plenty of different types of kissers but one thing is for sure. A good kiss should have the other person begging for a second one. She should WANT to continue it. And the only way that I know of doing this, is being absolutely – in the moment – while you kiss her.

So what do I mean by – in the moment.

A good kiss, a good FIRST kiss, is a bit like you and her freezing in time while everyone else in the room melts away *instantly*. You know it’s about to get to this moment, when you are kissing her and you have cognitive awareness that there are other people in the room and all of a sudden you just say – “ FUCK IT.” It really should be “f—k them” because everything else is unimportant. During this moment, the two of you are completely engaged. And this is where you have to make it count.

Kisses must flow.

You and this person need to be fighting over positioning. She is pulling you into her as you are pulling her back into you. She is grabbing your lapels, you are physically moving into her, and this embrace can be likened to the embrace of savages. As this is our most base instinct. (I know this is deep right now but deal with it for a second).

If you are growing squeamish at this point, it’s best if you turn back now… In fact, leave your man card at the door, you won’t be needing it…

During each moment of the kiss, be aware of the sensitivity and the amount of pressure exerted on the lips. I say this because you need to be aware of what’s going on in the moment. If she is standing like a stick figure and passively allowing you to kiss her, chances are, she’s not really into it. She doesn’t want to turn away but she’s honored that you are willing to take a chance at rejection.  Usually this turns out to mean one thing.


In 2011, “Boyfriend” is a subjective term.  In this case, it refers to any person she is engaged with sexually that would be pissed off if she knew the two of you were swapping saliva. This could be anything from a guy she went on one or two dates with or a guy she is currently engaged to…You can’t do anything about him right now, but if you do know she is seeing someone (or feel a ring on her finger, whichever comes first), don’t cross the streams and leave this for him to take care of… Moving on…

 There is nothing worse than a static kisser.

Your mouth should never just move up and down, up and down, ones(1) and zeroes (0),  like a peg on an assembly line. But it should flow into the next iteration of the movement. Think: WAVES. Water. Flowing.  Everything should be smooth, graceful, and even. While you should be aware of your mouth, your entire body should be involved. Feel the ground beneath your feet. I’m serious. Are you firm? Leaning in, Leaning out?  Get it? A good kiss involves every part of your body from the mouth down to your toes.

Step into her. Grab the small of her back to pull her close. Cup the side of her face in your one hand. Cup the back of her neck. Use BOTH hands to cup her face. Hold it for an instant while you let the moment – sizzle. This is your time. Own it.

A good kiss doesn't just involve the tongue...but the lips as well...suck 'em!

A good kiss, should have her reeling back and saying to herself…Wow.

Where did this guy come from?

Now there are a few people who don’t believe in public displays of affection and there is certainly a time or place for this…but if there is one thing you need to take away from this Man Law…it’s the following…

When it comes to PASSION, it’s always the right time…

This is Ethan Bishop.

Over and out.

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