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Man Law #88 – Real Fights Have No Soundtrack

November 12, 2011 7 comments

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The Call. The Text. Accusations.

What do you mean "you're not a mind reader?"

If you’ve ever been in any sort of relationship, you’ve all been on the receiving end.

A few years ago and a day, thats when it all happened. I was walking. The sun was shining. Birds were chirping and then something in my pocket started to vibrate.

“You have mail.”

No, it wasn’t AOL. I said a few years ago, not the nineties. (Editorial Note: It was a Facebook message.)

Who knows where or when it started but I knew where it would end.

Some things come out of left field. Like this post. Just something that all of us go through at some point and from my brief time on this Earth seems likely to continue.

For whatever reason, women, or at least some women (and not the ones reading this, of course) know just the time and place to strike where it will hit hardest. From the second they met you, they were scanning for your Achilles’ Heel and chances are they knew where it was after a few dates but were keeping it in their back pocket for that moment when they needed it. Just when something good has happened – a birthday, promotion, a new car or apartment –  the island is in view and you’ve been at sea for months, and then the wind stops blowing.

Where do you think you’re going, Romeo?

Remember that time you forgot to bring her hot and sour soup? You ROYALLY fucked up a long time ago, and she thinks now is the perfect time to discuss it. Why not? You seem just a bit too happy for her not to be the root cause of it…

Yup.

A scandalous picture of you and some chic at the bar showed up on Facebook. You didn’t give the right response and she’s been thinking, stewing, STEAMING over it all this time. Oh, you thought she would forget about all that…

It doesn’t matter what you did, she knows you did something.

In the movies, you can always tell when something dramatic is about to happen – the lights darken, the camera pans out, the music gets more intense, and your heart starts to beat faster, but…

Real Fights Have No Soundtrack.

There is no cue or director.There is no script.

All of a sudden, you find yourself in the heart of one. And she’s not going to wait for you to remember your next line. If you’re like me, you’re only thinking one thing:

“Shit.”

It’s funny, but the right skillfully crafted message can cut deeper than the sharpest object.

I know I’ve been there. One moment, you’re humming along, all your friends seem to like you, boss pats you on the back for a job well done, the dog fixes himself dinner and takes himself out for a walk, and then all hell breaks lose.

One particular time a few years ago is seared into my memory. Tattooed, might be the more appropriate word.

Everything in my life was going up hill. I mean everything.

And then I checked my messages.

Sold at a store near you.

I don’t know what it is in the female brain that seems to find the perfect moment to cut you down to size. It’s not that guys won’t start fights. Quite the contrary. But when someone is about to punch you in the face, you usually know you’re about to get punched in the face.

But the opposite sex, they know how to knock you out before the bell started the round. DING!

There are no words of advice in this post. If you’ve read this far, you probably already know that a verbal argument with the woman you’re dating will probably only result in one outcome – your loss.

I won’t go into details but I found myself on the losing end. She had about a 20 point lead before she asked me to play. The fight had actually started months before when I was looking the other way. A suspicion that she had. And whether the suspicion was warranted or not, did.not. matter. It was my fault.

Some arguments, you’re just going to have fight your instinct if you want to keep the relationship going…Even if you win the argument, even if you convince her that she was wrong, what has that really gotten you? See, if Hollywood and Disney misled women into believing these fairy tale Princess tales, they did just as much damage to men by thinking that when you’re about to fight, the Rocky music starts playing and you’ll have a crowd cheering behind you by the end. But see, when you fight with her, you may have won, but there’ll be no-one standing in your corner…

(Picture Copyright by Bill Waterson)

The Helpless, Both Hands Up in the air gesture, is a powerful move by the female sex. Proceed with caution, Gentlemen...

The truth is, you BOTH have to want to work it out and sometimes, nothing you’re going to say is going to make any difference. In fact, in my experience, the more I said, the worse the situation became…  You two may just have to take a break and let time sort it out. She has to remember ALL the good times she had with you and for what its worth, she has to know that you feel all the pain that you’ve caused her. There may be a better way of describing this, but these are the words I have at the moment.

“We must hang together or assuredly we shall all hang separately.” – Benjamin Franklin

So, Gentlemen, this is one of those post that you just have to reflect on – there are no words of wisdom. Try Yoda. Just hold your ground, don’t lose your cool. Throw on the kevlar and keep on chucking. Real fights have no soundtrack, but as cliche as it sounds, anything worth having, is worth fighting for…

This is Ethan Bishop, Over and Out.

As always,  your comments welcome.

Man Law #72 – Detach from the Outcome: “If at first you don’t succeed, try someone else…”

February 7, 2010 3 comments

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“As soon as the desire to win emerges, one loses perspective and attempts to force the issue, which can result in defeat.” – Ancient Budo Wisdom (See the book: Budo Secrets)

There are many factors that make one attractive to the opposite sex.  One of the most PROMINENT attractors are those who appear not to be overly concerned with the outcome.  While this post is written from the male perspective, it applies to both sexes. Practitioners of this MAN LAW want things to go in their favor, however, they realize that they are not dependent on a reaction from this person.

The stars don't have to align for the first kiss. Simply don't ask questions, be confident in your movements. And go for it.

For instance, here is a sample conversation of what one might encounter in his pursuits to find – the one:

Her: “We are NOT having sex tonight.”

Your response: “OK!!! “

Her: “Good.I’m glad we made that clear.”

Her (thinks to self): WTF? Why doesn’t he like me? I better f*** him.

Now, Gentlemen, I realize this seems to be counter-intuitive, but if you get into this situation, just trust me on this one. Don’t start listing how you were on the Honor Roll in High School, played Varsity Football at Texas, and helped feed starving children in Haiti. Just STFU and say: “Ok!

And here’s the secret. You have to mean it.

Now, if you become too indifferent, too nonchalant, women will throw you into a different category. They call these guys – assholes.

And while you may have heard that being an asshole is attractive to women, it’s really a combination of other characteristics that makes him attractive. He only becomes an asshole AFTER the woman realizes that he’s not behaving as she thinks that he should.  (Editorial Note: Now, guys also have another name for a woman that fall into this category, but that’s another story.)

When we exert too much importance on a specific event, we can EASILY become overbearing and have the opposite effect of pushing that person away. We’ve all done it, I know I have.  You find yourself contacting that person way too much – you follow up the phone call, with a text, with a Facebook message, with another text, with another phone call.  If the person REALLY wanted to get back in touch with you, they would have done so after the first or second attempt.  At this point you need to do one thing and one thing only.

The Trials of Today will make you the Man of Tomorrow.

Let Go.

Or as a good friend suggested to me for a Man Law a few months ago – “If at first you don’t succeed, try someone else.

You INCREASE your value to the person of interest when you show that you are not attached to a response from her. You are not NEEDY of them.  If you’ve ever heard a girl describe a guy she went on a date with as pushy or “try hard”, he was doing too many things to impress the girl. Women sense this and a lot of times they’ll say to themselves “Why is he trying so hard? He must not have any options.”

In some regards, you can view being “detached from the outcome” as a way of being mysterious. The other person can not really tell if you are interested in them or not. When you find yourself becoming attached, you’ll spend time and effort thinking of everything right that you can do, only to have the girl think to herself “He’s cool, but he would really be great for someone else. I think we should just be friends” and she’ll turn around right after your date that night  and go home with the construction worker who asked her to buy him a PBR.

If the person is right for us, there will be PLENTY of opportunities to go on fancy dates, expensive dinners, concerts, and vacations at exotic resorts. Just because she says she is a Ford Model doesn’t mean you have to take her to the Four Seasons when you first go out with her.

Man Law #71 – Embrace Rejection!

January 30, 2010 6 comments

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(Editorial Note: Check out this CNN article of rejection letters received by famous artist and musicians: “From Warhol to Hendrix to boy in love, Rejection Letters Revealed“)

These two words might be the most powerful two words in the entire blog. In my life, I’ve been very fortunate.

This picture has ABSOLUTELY nothing to do with rejection, but for the guys out there who are going through one, it should make you feel better. Picture taken from the movie "Bitch Slap". No comment.

I’ve been rejected. A Lot.

Not just by women. Dogs. Cats. Even some trees.

Now, I’m not talking about the face slaps or the ice-in-your-face that you see in the movies type rejection.  I’ve never seen that happen (but if this has happened to you, please send in your story to ethanbishop@unbreakablemanlaws.com). The type of rejection I’m speaking of is the one where you’ve wanted a situation to turn out one way and it turned out different; WAY different.

Earlier in the blog, I posted Man Law #6 which stated that flowers were the kiss of death early on in the courtship. I still believe that. This law wasn’t born out of thin air. While many women agreed that you shouldn’t send flowers too early, other women, particularly European women (i.e. born in Europe) disagreed.  To the American women who stated they liked flowers, I THEN asked them “How many times have you actually gotten serious with a guy who gave you flowers prior to any romantic involvement?”

::crickets::

::more crickets::

Now, here is the story that led to this Law. Realize that this was not one singular event but this was the culmination where I realized that all the Shakespeare, all the Dawsons Creek, all the Wonder Years, had lied to me. Flowers – Just Don’t Do It.

Almost five years ago, I took a weekend trip up to New York to visit a childhood friend of mine I had reconnected with through Facebook. She was now attending Law School and we had decided

This just about sums it up.

to go to one of those “exclusive” Law School parties with students from Columbia and NYU.  There were a ton of beautiful people there and one in particular was a young Dominican girl from Brooklyn.  Now Lawyers and potential Lawyers are dangerous to begin with, but cute, attractive ones are downright deadly.  One thing led to another, by Monday I was home and by that Wednesday, she was my girlfriend.

Pamela Anderson once said “Don’t Get Married on Vacation” and I had done just that.  Needless to say, we parted on good terms, stayed in touch but I still had a thing or two for her. While we were still talking to each other, I ordered flowers through FTD.com to be delivered to her on Valentine’s Day (Also known by the term S.P.A.D, Single People Awareness Day.)  There are hundreds of women that are shaking their heads while they read this because flowers on Valentine’s Day is quite possibly the worst, I repeat, the WORST, thing you can do with someone you are not exclusive with.  Looking back, I really don’t have a clue what I was thinking since I wasn’t going to move to New York and she wasn’t going to drop out of Law School.  But no one was there to tell me otherwise, and what followed is what they don’t show you in the movies.

I won’t get into details of the page long letter she sent me, but what I can tell you is that we have not spoken a WORD since.

Luckily, at that time of my life I had some experience with rejection and I stepped back, recalibrated and got back on my feet again. It took about a week. But there’s been times where it took close to a year before I really felt normal again. In Christopher Nolan’s Batman Begins, there is a pretty powerful scene where the father says to Bruce:

“Why do we fall down Bruce?”

“So we learn how to pick ourselves back up.”

And this is even more true with relationships. Getting rejected or hearing the lets just be friends hurts us all but don’t try to conquer it because its going to happen no matter what. The reason why I called this “Embrace Rejection” is because you have to accept that this will happen no matter what and timing and circumstances might be going AGAINST you and have nothing to do with who you are. There are so many reasons why someone might not be on the same page as you are that its pointless to analyze these. If you find yourself constantly rationalizing someones behavior to the positive, chances are you need to pick up your stuff, say “NEXT”, and move on. Don’t let Rejection get the best of you. Step back, Brush the dust off. And learn to get back up. Each time is quicker, faster, and you grow stronger.

Man Law #71 is a condition precedent to Man Law #72 for you 1Ls. Look for it next week!

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