Mindfully Masculine: Personal Growth and Mental Health for Men

The New Jersey Hike and More About Space

October 30, 2023 Mindfully Masculine Media LLC | Charles & Dan Episode 103
Mindfully Masculine: Personal Growth and Mental Health for Men
The New Jersey Hike and More About Space
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Ever found yourself on a gruelling 30-mile hike, trading tales with a bell-clad hiker and wondering how to keep your sanity intact? Or maybe, you found yourself pondering the delicate dance of asking for space within relationships? That's where our adventures took us in this episode, and we can't wait to share all the juicy details with you.

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Dan:

Good afternoon sir.

Charles:

Hi Dan, how are you? I'm well, thanks, good good. I got back from New Jersey on Monday night and I brought a cold home with me. Mmm, yeah, I tested and I am COVID negative, so I don't have that, although today is October 4th, I believe. So at 2.20, we had the test of the emergency broadcast system on all of our cell phones. I did hear it and it activated the microchip that they installed with my COVID vaccine. Oh, okay so now I've got this craving for brains, so we'll see how this turns out how it destroys our society.

Dan:

Now can we get a little bit more specific here? What kind of brains are you? You know I'm not a real aficionado of brains.

Charles:

Are there certain? Yeah, what are human brains?

Dan:

Human seems to be at the top of the list.

Charles:

Apparently that makes you sick. I've learned that in some various zombie movies, that oh or, like you know, post-apocalyptic movies where brains have prions that live in them, Okay and like, if you eat human brains you're guaranteed to get some version of mad cow disease.

Dan:

Is that like a real? I don't know. I mean because? So the huge thing is because you know, a lot of people eat organ meats and a lot of times it's brain from. I mean there is some brain from cows and things like that, yeah, and I mean it's not human brain, but I'm just wondering. That's interesting.

Charles:

I remember multiple movies about, you know, dystopian futures, post-apocalyptic nightmare worlds, blah, blah, blah.

Dan:

Yeah, eat everything but the brain. Where?

Charles:

people go cannibal and they end up getting sick and going crazy because they're eating brains and brains have All right, we just need to get Hannibal Lecter on the podcast for next.

Dan:

Yeah. He's a fictional character, he's real slow at responding to email. He's just gonna pop my balloon right there.

Charles:

Boom, you watched Hannibal on the TV show, right. That was such a good show For the best TV shows of all time.

Dan:

I couldn't believe that was on regular TV and you could see it at 10 o'clock. Yeah, I mean, how graphic that was. I couldn't believe it. Like, yeah, that kind of gave me nightmares at times. It was but acting was unbelievable Biolistically the way that it looked.

Charles:

I mean the clothes they wore the way the scenes were lit. Yeah, that was.

Dan:

I mean even just the storyline, yeah, Psychological twists and yeah, best shows of all time.

Charles:

I love that show.

Dan:

Yeah, I wish they kept that one going.

Charles:

Yeah, that would have been great and yeah, I wish that it was on long enough because eventually NBC Universal, I think, bought whoever Because they couldn't mention Clarisse in it, because of like rights issues, because, like, certain studios had certain rights to some books and not other books. Oh, interesting yeah. And eventually, I believe, nbc Universal bought whoever had the rights to the Silence of the Lambs book. So if it just hung out for another couple seasons they would have been able to do the whole Silence of the Lambs story over a season of cannibal.

Dan:

That's the way. That's the way, that's the way it got confusing, because you're like where does this fit in with the other movies? Right, or with the movies, yeah, yeah.

Charles:

Yeah, that would have been pretty amazing if they could have done the whole Silence of the Lambs story spread across a season of Hannibal.

Dan:

Yeah, that was a great show. I mean, look, hey, anybody listening to this podcast, get on it, I'll get back, get on it. So, okay, yeah, how was the how?

Charles:

was your trip, the trip. Okay. So the first day I get up to New York City at like 7.45 in the morning, land at LaGuardia, I take the bus into the city and then I just kind of walk around and hang out for a long time. And you know, my plan was to take it easy the day before the hike but I still ended up getting like 25,000 steps or something ridiculous. I was just walking all over Manhattan because I cannot do it. Yeah and yeah, what did you do? What did you see? Let's see, I went. God, I can't even remember.

Charles:

I'm pretty hopped up on DayQual right now and it's affecting my memory. I know I spent some time around Macy's Herald Square area because that's just so centrally located. It's kind of my go-to. I did look into there is a service in New York called Nap York where you can rent like a little bed in a pod by the hour to take naps. Love it Right at my alley. So I thought about doing that. I didn't end up doing it on this trip, but I think in the future it's something that I may do, especially if I and it wasn't going to be that like for five hours of napping was only going to be like $70.

Dan:

Oh, wow, that's a long nap though. Five hours of napping.

Charles:

I call that a moderate. I mean need some time to watch ASMR videos and some time to catch up on Netflix episodes.

Dan:

I mean I'm lucky if I get five hours of sleep at night, so that's a long, that's insane, right? I mean a long nap for me is an hour, so usually. Yeah, I'm usually back up again in the afternoon.

Charles:

I don't consider that. I'm regular. I don't consider it a nap. Unless I get two to three hours, that's a nap for me. Okay. A cat nap is anything less than that, okay. Yeah, I want two to three hours of actual sleep. Full Charles nap is two to three hours. Yeah, got it. Yeah, I want the other people in the house if there are any to be able to watch a full movie while I'm asleep.

Dan:

Interesting measuring stick.

Charles:

Yeah, so tell me about the hike and then I got my rental car at. I went a little early for my rental car, got my rental car a little early, then drove to Parsippany which man, there are a lot of terrible drivers in New Jersey and then they come down here and bring it with them. So that's, you're welcome. Yeah, I drove to the Whole Foods in Parsippany, which is very close to my hotel, and I did make a purchase that I'm glad I finally pulled the trigger on, which is a pair of official Apple earbuds with the Lightning connector so that when I'm out all day and my, I got the new Gen 3 AirPods and they're awesome.

Charles:

They don't fit my ears quite as well as the original generation did, but they're good. I haven't lost one yet. They haven't fallen out of my ears, but the battery life on them is so much better than my old original AirPods that I bought. But to have a pair that I could stick in my pocket or my fanny pack, where I don't need batteries for them at all, I could just plug them directly into the phone, and they were like $15.99 for a pair of those. Yep.

Dan:

I still use them. I don't use.

Charles:

AirPods. I use them as a backup where I never have to, because my plan was like I'm going to have to have my battery pack to. I had my original Gen 1 AirPods and my Gen 3. And so when one dies I'll plug the other one in, and then when that charges up, I was like no, I just yeah, now I can just keep the old school ones as a backup and use those. Nice, all right.

Charles:

So the hike starts at 6.45 in the morning. It was about an hour drive from where I was staying, no, maybe less than that, about 45 minutes drive, and it was still fairly dark-ish and fairly cold-ish out, but I was wearing my convertible pants. Oh, I went on a whole thing on our last episode about getting rid of my hiking boots. Glad I didn't do that because everything was so wet up there. There were times where I would have had water up to the ankle of my trail running shoes Because I had my mid-length boots. I was able to stay dry. So those hiking boots are here to stay. I'm going to keep those forever.

Charles:

I use the Moab, maybe the Moab 2 mids in Gore-Tex, and they served me well on this trip. I was glad that I had them instead of just my Nova 2 trail runners. There was a lot of water, there was a lot of elevation. I mean, there was a lot of elevation. I want to say I think it was mile 11 or 14 where over one mile I went up like 1300 feet and it didn't get technical to the point where you needed gear or anything, but there was some scrambling where you had to reach up to the rock and pull yourself up. Oh yeah.

Dan:

That's no joke, man. I would not expect them to throw that into a 30-mile track. All right, a couple of miles. You know you got a little bit of scrambling to do.

Charles:

Yeah, yeah, it makes me I really want to go back and do my first long distance hike that I ever did was Grandfather Mountain up in North Carolina outside of Banner Elk, and that took me, I want to say, 14 hours to do that whole hike and I hit every peak on Grandfather Mountain and then back down to the trail of my car and gone Like car door to car door is 14 hours. I was younger when I did that, but I was also I think I was also quite a bit more overweight than I am now. So part of me wants to go do that hike again to kind of test my performance to see. Would it be easier now because I'm better shape, or would it be harder because I'm older and my joints have seen a little bit more mileage?

Dan:

That would be an interesting experiment. I think you should do it. I think I will.

Charles:

I think I will. I did start hitting the ibuprofen on this hike every rest area it took like three pills to deal with. For me it's mostly hip pain that I get the hips sort of wear out before anything else. I'm lucky my ankles and my knees tend to hold up. I don't really. They don't start complaining to me much, but my hips do get a bit sore on these long hikes. And I made it worse by going with the heavily weighted fanny pack without any shoulder straps. I thought would be a good move, was not a great move.

Charles:

I also didn't drink enough water to make. I had two 18 ounce bottles that I would refill cap off at every aid station and I didn't even finish one of the 18 ounce bottles between aid stations. So either I wasn't, you know I'm not a, you need to drink more water. You need to drink more water, guy. I tend to think my body's gonna tell me when I'm thirsty, when I'm thirsty, I'll just drink water. I did try liquid IV. I got the packets because for the sugar, for the salts, for the electrolytes, blah, blah, blah, hated the taste and didn't drink it at all. So I went through one packet of that and I was like, screw this, I'm going back to just spring water, and so I don't know. I didn't feel like I was having an issue with you. Know, at every aid station God they had this was the best food of any of these hikes that I've done. Okay, so Pee tails, they had peanut butter and either strawberry or grape jam sandwiches, and every they had half bananas.

Dan:

And this is the best food you've had.

Charles:

Yes, but the last, the last aid station here's where it gets good. I think on the last episode I said that the one in Tennessee had monster energy drinks, but they were hot. This one had cold, monster white and monster strawberry on ice. Oh boy, and hot tomato soup or chili at the last aid station too. Nice, I'm all about that chili. I had a bold chili and I had a monster strawberry at the last aid station. It definitely helped power me through to the end and it was a big help.

Dan:

How many miles in was that?

Charles:

last 16 miles in.

Dan:

Okay, so you did another four. I did another four after that All right.

Charles:

The the chili. I'll be honest, the chili made me fart a lot on those last four miles, but you know you're outdoors Sure and I walked so slow that there were not very many people behind me.

Dan:

I mean, you need something to scare the bears if you don't have a bell on your backpack, right, yeah, let me tell you what.

Charles:

Oh my gosh, I forgot to mention that on my my survey after the event. There was a gal that I guess was afraid of having a close encounter of the bear kind, but on boom. So she had a bell on the outside of her backpack and it was a bell with wind chimes like next to it, so it would like ring the whole.

Dan:

Every step she took it would ring and Well, that's how you know the reindeer on the roof, right, God I?

Charles:

And this was a woman who didn't appear to me like she was an avid hiker, I mean, based on the fact that she had the bell and the fact that she had a body type that you know like hiking was not her thing. She was trying to get this done. She wanted to get out there and get it done. Was she going for? Did you have a conversation?

Dan:

with her by any means or by any chance.

Charles:

Or over here.

Dan:

Like was she going?

Charles:

for all 30? I don't know. We did not have. We had a conversation briefly. I did not mention her bell, so you did get her number, I did not get her number.

Dan:

Oh, I thought you said you had a conversation.

Charles:

I had a conversation with her. You can. You can talk to women without the express purpose of trying to date them Really, okay, so I so I. Interesting theory you read in other books. Okay Written by Chris.

Charles:

Can well. But yeah, we had a conversation and yeah, she she was. She was a slower walker as I am, but Sounds like two peas in a pod to me. All the other conversations I had with other hikers were about her and her bell, pretty much All right. I mean, people were like there was a lot of conversations like what is the deal with that lady and her bell?

Dan:

What's the deal with the bell?

Charles:

And I was. It was. I tell you like it got. It got me to increase my face, just so that I wouldn't just constantly hear it, because I mean you think like what's the big deal? But it's like Every step man.

Charles:

Every Nails on a blackboard oh yeah, why don't you turn your alarm clock to go on at 11 o'clock at night and just try to sleep through it all night, going off? Oh it is. Yeah, it was driving me crazy and driving other people crazy too, based on the conversations about it. And, again, like like I told you, there's almost a thousand people that do these, these events. Yeah, so you got to watch for bears? Don't have to. There's loud people going through the woods. You do not have to worry about bears or boar or Alligators or anything.

Charles:

It's just so many loud people. I mean I didn't see a single. I've not seen a single deer on one of these things. And I've gone in Florida, tennessee, new Jersey. Now you don't see wildlife because there's too many loud people stomping through the woods.

Dan:

Ugly Americans stomping through the woods.

Charles:

Yeah, so that that drove me crazy just listening to the bell. Yeah, but I didn't. I didn't hear the bell the first the whole time, because either she got too slow, I got too slow, or a bear eater One or the other. Yeah, you hear the? The irony, yeah. Would that be the irony. Yeah, captain Hook's alligator.

Dan:

Oh, my God Right.

Charles:

You hear him come around because of the clock? Yeah, so that was one of the things when they had that situation at Disney World a few years ago where a toddler got eaten by an alligator and so they responded to it by basically rounding up and killing every alligator on Disney property, and I was like that that's that seems like a bit of a.

Dan:

What does that do?

Charles:

That's a bit of an overreaction, I would say. Why don't you just feed them all clocks that be? That'd be more on point with the Disney theme.

Dan:

Oh no.

Charles:

Oh, my God.

Dan:

Yeah, I am yeah.

Charles:

So anyway, I I don't know man it was, it was a grueling 20. It my Alba, watch that I did 22 miles because there was one point around mile 11 when I was feeling pretty crappy and I walked for about half a mile and I was like then I realized, oh no, I need to go to the bathroom, and so that I had to walk back half a mile to the aid station and yeah, well, ok.

Charles:

And that added a mile to the trip. So, yeah, and I think them, I had other hikers tell me that they thought that their their as the the estimate and the mile markers were a little bit off because most people finished around the 21, 22 mile. So I plan to do 30, but I was good, I just went so slow because, number one, I think I was getting sick. I think I caught something on the plane ride up and I was starting to feel the the burden of that on the hike and then I had to go back for the bathroom and the elevation was quite brutal, more than more than I'm used to. If I was, if anybody showed me that that plan that route on like a smartphone and then the elevation changes and I was just trying to play like a hiking trip. I've been like, oh, that's a two day trip easily. I'm going to do that. I'm going to do that two days, I'm not going to try to do that in one day. Yeah, yeah, yeah. And yeah, it was. It was a rough one I'm.

Charles:

So I finished the 20 and I got my stupid little medallion that I think I left in the rental car. When I check you, check out at the end. Yeah, you know you don't, don't let them. You don't want the people stuck with the idea that there might be somebody still on the trail. So you got to do your check out. They're like OK, do you want your middle name on the certificate? I was like you keep the certificate, it's fine. Yeah, it's like I know I finished. You know I finished. There's a substandard picture to me. Picture me crossing the finish line. That's, that's good enough. We don't need to worry about it.

Dan:

Well, god, you got all the boxes checked yeah.

Charles:

So I finished and then the next day I hung out at my hotel room right until checkout, napping. Then I went to, oh my, my heavy fanny pack that I was so tired of carrying by this point. I went to the local Walmart, picked myself up a cardboard box and a roll of tape, put it in the box, taped it up, wrote my address on it, went to the post office and I just I sent that fanny pack home. So my flight home, all I had was my phone and my wallet and my car keys and nothing else. Well, why did you do that? Because I did not want that fanny, that heavy freaking fanny pack, on my hips anymore. I didn't want to make it security. I didn't want to. I didn't want to have to manage it while I was waiting for my flight.

Dan:

Oh, I didn't realize it was that much work, oh my God yeah.

Charles:

When I mean it. Yeah, it doesn't like you can't just sit it next to you like a backpack, it doesn't like stand up next to your seat. Oh, it was. It was just a hat. I just I was tired of having it on me, I didn't want anymore. So sick of this thing, I'm so sick of it. I spent the $14 to just you to just, yeah, send mail back to myself. And yeah, I was. I was tired of that. I was tired of looking at the thing.

Charles:

Oh, my God it's so funny, I just couldn't stand it anymore.

Dan:

That's probably the funniest part of the story. I just said it whole.

Charles:

Yeah, and then, god, the drive back to driving in and out of New York City is such a pain in the ass. Oh my God, the traffic, the tolls, dude.

Dan:

I mean listen, I'm gonna say, I told you so I was just flying in Newark, or even Philly.

Charles:

Philly is even.

Dan:

you know it's a little bit easier to get in New Jersey. I mean, for years I commuted in and out and it's just, even on a good day it's work man, mentally, physically, emotionally at times, coming in and out of the city from Jersey.

Charles:

Yeah.

Dan:

Yeah, the, I didn't realize You're doing the driving yeah.

Charles:

The George Washington Bridge. I mean the tolls in and out of LaGuardia, from LaGuardia to New Jersey and back again, were like $30 each way. Oh, yeah, they've gone up a little bit. Yeah, I've been there. Yeah, like literally $29 each way on just tolls.

Charles:

Yeah, I remember it was down to like 10 or whatever and that was expensive at the time, but yeah, and Jesus yeah, george Washington Bridge is six lanes on the lower level, three in each direction, and six lanes on the top level, mm-hmm, and still like a crawl. I mean even the times, you know I did it on Saturday and Monday midday, certainly not rush hour. I mean it was like one o'clock on a Monday and it was still just absolutely I remember.

Dan:

I mean, for a few months I commuted in with a stick and as my car and it was, yeah, my left leg got a workout with that clutch man. It was not fun. That's when people complain about traffic down here in Orlando.

Charles:

Yeah.

Dan:

I'm like uh-uh, I'm like we don't have traffic here because stuff keeps moving Like rarely, like if things are to stand still, in my experience it's for maybe a couple of minutes, like up there at all the bridges and tunnels. I mean it would be like you wouldn't move for like 10 minutes, 15 minutes, and then you'd move a little bit Five feet Right and then you stop again and it was just yeah, man driving me insane mentally.

Charles:

And then I had the for my last trip to New York. You know I thought of man, this would be really cool to take my RV up to upstate New York, like an hour or two outside of the city, okay, and live up there for like October, November, december. That'd be. That's my favorite time of year. It'd be, great to do upstate New York, and then I thought about taking my camper across the GW. How much of a freaking nightmare. That would be yeah.

Dan:

It'd be. Only you only do it like once one way and once the other way. It's you know.

Charles:

Yeah, but you still yeah, but I don't, because I don't think there's any other way to do it to get to upstate, I mean unless I went like way out to Western New York and came back. Yeah, no, I don't know that there's another way to do it. I mean that is 95.

Dan:

Yeah, I mean you could do you go from New Jersey into upstate New York?

Charles:

Okay, so I could skip going near the city. Yeah.

Dan:

Yeah, if you wanted to go up New Jersey and then, yeah, just go to the tip of New Jersey. I mean it'd take a little bit longer, but it'll be more scenic too. Okay, definitely, yeah, maybe I would consider doing that then?

Charles:

Mm-hmm, yeah, because the idea of, because I did see trucks and campers have to take the upper level of the yeah, yeah, can't do the only only part of the city's view, I would.

Dan:

I would not be going into New York. No, if I'm going to upstate, yeah. If I'm going to New Jersey, I'm going, I'm going through New Jersey. Okay, yeah, yeah, yeah.

Charles:

So that that is something that I'm considering for, trying to see if I could pull off next year.

Dan:

Yeah.

Charles:

I mean because number one. You know, if airfare remains cheap-ish like it is now, I could definitely come back to Florida every couple of weeks.

Dan:

And uh Handle your customers yeah.

Charles:

Yeah, and so that's, that's something I I might think about.

Dan:

All right.

Charles:

Because going to spend time in the city and spending time you know upstate, you know sleep in the hollow Irving area was really cool in late September. So I think do in October, november, december up there would be a lot of fun. Make sure your heat's working yeah. Well, I'll have the new heater installed. I may do that this weekend, depending on how my condition improves. Oh, okay, last thing to say before we start Mm-hmm, uh, my friend Megan said she listens to the podcast and she said that she really enjoyed the refrigerator banter.

Dan:

Oh, she's like fridge banter, huh. But what, what?

Charles:

It's pretty much it's pretty much over now. So I told her I might have to sabotage your refrigerator just so we have more refrigerator stuff to talk about, more, more. Yeah, so I filled one of your ice trays with gasoline and we'll see oh nice.

Dan:

See what that uh Fingers crossed, what that leads to Fingers crossed on some sort of explosion.

Charles:

Oh, and you ordered me some new keto chow flavors. I get to try pumpkin spice and eggnog, yeah, which I am Really excited about.

Dan:

Are we going with heavy cream or butter, with those?

Charles:

Ooh, good question. You know what I'm saying? Yeah, but look, man, I think. I think I would probably say butter with pumpkin spice and heavy cream with eggnog.

Dan:

Yep, that's that would be my that would be my choice too.

Charles:

And now, what about with butterscotch? You gotta go with butter for butterscotch, right? Probably yeah, probably yeah, just because that's, that's when they just introduced, which I will probably order here the next week. Yeah, because I'll have in the next week. I'll get to try eggnog, I'll try pumpkin spice and then I'll order some butterscotch, assuming I'm going to love it. I do think I'm done with bulk bags, though. I think I'm going to switch to all the individual. It's so much more convenient to store.

Dan:

Oh, absolutely yeah, but for me I think I'm going to continue with the, because I love that peanut butter, one flavor the most, yeah.

Dan:

I think that I go through that so quick. So the downside, though, is I'll find excuses to take. I will tend to take little bits of the like a half, a scoop or a quarter scoop of the peanut butter, and that's kind of messed with my diet a little bit, instead of versus if I had it in a packet. I don't want to have to open up the whole packet and then, like, measure that out whatever. So, yeah, I might, I might skip the bulk bag of peanut butter as well.

Charles:

Well, I've got a about half a bulk bag of peanut butter. You can have if you want it.

Dan:

Oh, maybe. Yeah, I'll trade you some. I've got some of those stuff I've got.

Charles:

Chocolate toffee, which I like. Yeah, I've got peanut butter and salted caramel. Salted caramel is not near as good in bulk as it is in the individual one All right. Some of the people in the KetoChile group on Facebook have said that yeah, it just doesn't. The bulk bag just doesn't taste as good as the individually wrapped ones, which you can. You can understand that the air and the humidity would, even in a sealed bulk, you know container, it's going to mess with the flavor where those individually wrapped ones stay completely sealed.

Dan:

The whole time. Yeah, that's true. I guess it's kind of like with the soda to like a can of soda sometimes is much better than the bottle and stuff. So yeah, for sure.

Charles:

I can see that. Yeah, I'm excited about trying those new flavors though, and yeah, I know we've talked about it before, but, man, any kind of diet compliance when you're sick is so freaking hard or traveling.

Dan:

Yeah, traveling or both, anything right, it's all new. Anything that disrupts, yeah, man, your normal habits and routines, and environment.

Charles:

Yeah, crazy. On days that I just work from home and I don't have a plan to go out and do anything social, I can stick to my shakes maybe a can of tuna, fish or a can of chicken and make, just make up a real low calorie chicken salad. It's easy. It's so easy to just stick to it when I don't have other stuff going on. Yeah, but the more variation you introduce into your schedule, the harder it is to make sure you get your steps in or make sure you eat the way you want to. And it's like you. Almost it's crazy for me because, like variety and switching things up is one of my core values that I love in life. Being able to have every day is a little different, but when it comes to trying to comply with any kind of health goals, it makes it so much harder.

Dan:

You got it. Just plan in advance and give yourself a little bit of flexibility too, right? So just maybe don't expect to be compliant with everything, but say, okay, I'm going to be compliant with two meals or one meal or whatever, and then so at least it's better than not planning anything out at all. And when that happens, you know, you know you run amok and you kind of. You're subject to the environment that you're in and yeah, Okay, let's talk.

Charles:

Let's talk about this chapter. Attraction grows in space. The quote is eroticism resides in the ambiguous space between anxiety and fascination. That's a quote by Esther Perrell, who is awesome. I love her. Yeah, I don't think we're going to go too long on this chapter, because we've talked a fair amount of space or about space, in the last few chapters, because number one, as I said recently, the necessity for space in your romantic relationships is probably the primary lesson that I've learned from my last relationship. And number two, he alludes to it in chapters leading up to this before dedicating a whole chapter to it. I mean, one of the big problems that some of the ladies in these case studies have had with their guy is not enough space, and I don't know, have you seen lack of space strangle the attraction in any of your relationships?

Dan:

No, no, not at all. Yeah, of course, of course, yeah, and I think I've mentioned it too previously. It's especially when I was younger, it was that I would remove my possibility for having space because I'd spend all my time with, you know, my girlfriend and I would basically like blow off invitations from friends to do things, to spend time with my girlfriend, and that you know. Then obviously you really kind of lose each other and you lose your sense of individuality. And, yeah, absolutely, I'm absolutely guilty of spending too much and it's enjoyable.

Dan:

So you know, what I kind of realized is that you need to get uncomfortable if you're going to introduce space, because that's not what you want. Right, you get the dopamine and the oxytocin from spending all that time with that person, especially at the beginning. Right, you get that limerence and those great feelings, and so you have to actually get uncomfortable to stop that, take a pause from that and do something that is less enjoyable. But you know, the value is there because it's going to give you both that time and space. It's going to make things even better. When you come back together again, you'll kind of reenergize a little bit of those good feelings again, because now you've taken a break from it. It's kind of like drugs you get. Basically you just kind of get used to the way you know drinking or getting high feels, and then it's, you know, less impactful by constantly feeding it. Where you give your receptors a chance to get a little break from that. When you come back together again, you have a little bit more of that spark, right.

Charles:

Yeah, and that's where the boy, dopamine it's a tricky one.

Charles:

Love it, Love the dopamine, Love it, but also I mean just trying just seeing what it can do to you and the patterns that it can put you in, because dopamine isn't just about pleasure, it's about the anticipation of pleasure.

Charles:

Right, and one of the things I've noticed is I would still feel that drive to spend time around my partner and suffocator a little bit with my presence, even after it stopped being as fun as it was back in the beginning of the relationship. Okay, Because dopamine tells you if you're around her, then it's possible that you might be able to recapture that feeling of how things were interesting back then. Yeah, and so even after the point where being around each other it's not as fun as it was in the beginning, but your brain is tricking you into you still need to kind of be around her all the time, because then those good feelings could potentially this could be the time that you feel that thing again. So you don't want to risk not feeling that, do you? So you better spend all your time around her, because it might kick in and things might be the way that they were before.

Dan:

That, and I believe dopamine is involved in helping form neural pathways in terms of helping you remember things that feel good.

Dan:

So when we're out, when we're, humans 10,000 years ago, when we were looking for food and we are scouring food and we'd find berries or something with a little bit of sugar, something is sweet. We needed those calories to survive. It would trigger a dopamine response and that would help us remember where that berry bush was and make us want to go and find that again. And so now, if you are associating those dopamine hits with pleasurable experiences with your girlfriend, yeah, your brain is going to be when you're spending time with her, you're thinking, hey, this is going to be another great experience because you're associating your presence with her as potentially having and it's you may not be doing all of those same exciting things that you did at the beginning of the relationship or where those neural pathways got formed. And then potentially it's kind of it becomes almost like a habit type of situation. At that point I spend, I'm spending time with the girlfriend and therefore that's going to feel good and yeah, and that's not always, doesn't always remain and usually fades pretty quickly.

Charles:

Right, yeah, and I mean it's like the folks that get heavy into drug use talk about. You know they start. They're not doing the heroin or the crack because it still feels amazing. They're doing it because they're chasing the feeling of what it felt like the first time they did, chasing that high. It's that first high that you want to get back. And yeah, I mean that leads us to both suffocate our partners and stick and stick to relationships that we probably shouldn't be in any longer.

Dan:

Yeah.

Charles:

Where, yeah, but it felt so good that those first couple of months, man, they were amazing. And you know, if we, if her and I just both dedicate ourselves to it, I'm sure we can get that back. And you know, I'm sure on some level you can get it back if you both work toward it. But part of that working toward it is is not just being all up in each other's face.

Dan:

Right. Right, it's not continuing those good feelings, it's getting uncomfortable to base. The way to do it is to get uncomfortable, break that pattern right and give yourself those space. And it's interesting, I had a little bit of a reminder of trying to get uncomfortable in different situations and practicing that discomfort. So I was at the gym the other day and you know, I'm sure, as you know, when you're working out somebody's like waiting for a machine for you and sometimes, sometimes they just like linger and you, but you know they're waiting for your machine but they won't say anything. Other times they'll ask you oh, how much time you got left, or how many reps you got left, and I found in the past I would not take as much time in between my sets when somebody is waiting.

Charles:

And I know somebody's waiting.

Dan:

Absolutely. And the thing is, if I'm following a protocol, I'm like, okay, I'm going to be doing this many reps and this many, this much rest in between my sets. And when I was younger I would sacrifice that and I'd be like, oh, I want inconvenience to this other person, so I'm going to mess with my whole workout protocol because I want to let them have the machine sooner rather than later. And this was like I think it was yesterday or the day before. I said, nope, I'm going to let myself feel uncomfortable and practice feeling uncomfortable. So I stood there and I'm like, no, I'm going to, I'm going to honor my stopwatch and I'm not going to start my exercise again until I'm ready to go.

Dan:

And I mean, I wasn't great, I still. I didn't want to look at the guy. I kind of turned my back because I still was uncomfortable, but it was just uncomfortable enough to wait. The funny thing was, when I turned back around, he wasn't even looking. He was off and doing his own thing. He could give a crap about how long I was taking, to be honest with you. And so I was like, oh, look at my head messing with me how?

Charles:

uh, just curious, how long were you resting between sets?

Dan:

It was three minutes it was. I had one set left and and he had asked me about 30 seconds into my three minute rest, so it was only two and a half minutes I needed to and then do like eight more reps and it was it. It wasn't anything crazy, you know, it wasn't like oh, he asked me and I had like five sets, so, yeah, and I was, and I found myself having the urge to fighting, the urge to hop on the on the on the machine a little bit earlier, I mean at probably a minute in 30 seconds in. Yeah, but I waited the whole thing.

Dan:

I got uncomfortable and I was like, no, I'm gonna, I'm gonna, I'm gonna practice feeling uncomfortable and the more the way, the way I look at it is, the more I can do those little things of getting uncomfortable in situations like I was telling you the other day. I was waiting online at the airport and I was, I think I was telling texting you whatever and people were like you know, the people in front of me had like, walked and left a big gap and I purposely didn't close that gap, even though I knew people were behind me, they didn't say anything, but I I felt uncomfortable leaving that gap there and I let that happen for like just a minute. That little thing was so uncomfortable but yeah, it helped me kind of fight that urge and my theory is that's going to help me kind of wake up and feel a little bit uncomfortable when, when it's more important, yeah, yeah, so it's.

Charles:

So. It's wild to think about how much of our time we spend performing actions that are just really designed to show everybody else hey, I'm a good member of the of the tribe, you can count on me, I'll do the socially appropriate thing so that we get that, you know right, that feedback, or just we feel like we fit in, we we feel like nobody's going to want to kick us out.

Charles:

Crazy, how dominant that is it really is how much of our time is dedicated to doing things that will make other people feel like, oh, he's, he's an okay guy, it's okay to have him, keep him around, yep, and yeah, I think, the the less time we spend doing that, the the happier we probably will be Ultimately. I believe so. But yeah, to get used to it is is pretty rough, but yeah, so, uh, campbell says in this chapter, when a um, when a woman loses attraction for a man, it's usually because the man failed to bring enough space and distance into the relationship. And, uh, you know, I, I think I agree with him, I think I think he's right, I think you know, the more, the more you want to treat your partner as your mommy, who's always there to you know, give you that sense of easier anxiety and soothe, soothe your anxiety, then, yeah, the less she's going to feel like a romantic partner, the more she's going to feel like a mommy and she doesn't want to be your mommy.

Dan:

Yeah, it's interesting that the concept of bringing space into the relationship kind of falls on the man's shoulders. Well, why is that not? I mean, I'm sure there's a logical explanation for that.

Charles:

Yeah, let's think about that. Um, I mean we're. Why does not?

Dan:

a woman default to doing that Two because you know.

Charles:

I don't know. I think, how does that work? I think, uh, well, that's a good question. I think the I mean it's going to feel natural for the least, the least anxious person in the coupling is going to probably feel good, point Like they. Like they want the space. Yeah, I mean, look at my past relationship, my, my ex. She asked for it. I just didn't feel like giving it to her, okay.

Dan:

Okay. So I guess it depends on, because you just talk about, yeah, the, the personality types a little bit here right, Like whether you've got your, your, your, your attachments. So maybe, maybe, that it's, maybe, yeah, I mean maybe it comes based on that rather than that it's necessarily falls on the man's shoulders, right?

Charles:

Yeah, I mean I?

Dan:

what do we default to based on our attachment style?

Charles:

I mean I told you a few weeks ago I, I imagine the girl on a dating app that, uh, like the second day we were talking, she second, third day we were talking, she was already sending me good morning texts. And the nerve, I mean this is before I had even met her in person. Like I gave her my phone number and she's already, you know, next to me, how's your day going? And good morning. And I was. I was like after two days of that, I was like I'm out there's and I just had to. I was like look up, this isn't going to work out. Wish you the best. And that was it.

Charles:

Yeah and um, yeah, when, when you don't feel like you have, I mean would you communicate that you don't want any space that sends a lot of other sub messages along, like I don't have a lot of appeal to other potential partners, I don't have a lot going on in my life, I don't have. I mean there's, there's a lot of negative messages that you accidentally send. When you're sending the message of no, no, I don't want any space. No, spaces, is is, is what I need. Yeah, there's just there's so many undercurrents of other messages that you're just like you're, you put a lot out there that is unappealing, yeah, and I mean, realize it when you're in the middle of doing it, right, right, but it adds up for sure it.

Dan:

It shows, I think, a level of. I just I guess the, the, the, the attitude or the, the thought process from somebody who does that it's not most likely going to be based in reality. A lot of times I feel like that, that is, it could be a little bit it's, it's, they're making assumptions and they are too vested too soon because there's not evidence. Things like you said you haven't even met her person yet and so she's already going to that level. It's like, well, what do you think it like? Where, where's your thought process going here?

Charles:

that makes you feel like we are almost married already Right, and whether somebody you've just met or it's an existing partner is when you communicate desperation and scarcity, it lowers your value in their eyes and they're going to. I mean nobody wants to feel like they're the prize in the relationship. You think you do but you don't Right, I mean you wanna feel like they care about you, but nobody wants to be on a pedestal.

Charles:

You wanna feel like you've won the prize, not like you are the prize Right, correct, yes, and so yeah when you're.

Dan:

Same thing when guys put a girl on a pedestal Right. Same thing like she's putting you on a pedestal already and it's like all right, it's flattering, but at the same time it's not healthy, it's not. It's not gonna induce you to have attraction for her either.

Charles:

Yeah, the most successful relationships is where I believe both people feel like they're lucky to have found their partner. Absolutely, I agree with that, and not like I'm the hot one, I'm the smart one, and that takes time.

Dan:

I'm the rich one, and then the one who bagged me Right and that takes time to figure out. Okay, you gotta see the person in different environments and different experiences and see how they handle themselves. It's not just a one-dimensional. Oh, you wrote a funny profile, right, this is.

Charles:

yeah, you've lit up my life now Right and again. That's where the need for space comes in, where you should be. Space should feel valuable to you, like it's like when you're getting space from your partner, you should be like, okay, this is great, because this means that they've got their own interests that they can take pleasure out of and they can enjoy. And I can spend time with my friends, I can spend time catching up on that show them excited about. I can spend time working on my career or my side hustle. I mean, ideally, space is good for both of you because you both have other things going on besides just the partnership that you're in.

Dan:

And by having those other things, you bring those things into the relationship. Right exactly. If you don't have the time to do those things, then what value are you then continuing to add into the relationship? You're not.

Charles:

Yeah, you should constantly be bringing new and exciting things into your relationship that you can share with your partner, right, and not just. You know the yeah, like I said, the idea of just two people sitting on their couch, some TV show that they watched a million times playing in the background while you're both screwing around on your phones yeah, that's. I mean that is. Isn't that a?

Dan:

love language. Isn't that quality time? I thought you were to find that as quality time. No.

Charles:

It is low quality time and yeah, but that is a lot of people's definition of hell, just where you're stuck in that routine and that monotony.

Dan:

I mean I've been there and you don't really. It doesn't feel like hell when you're in the middle of it. No, uh-uh.

Charles:

But when you look back on it, or when one partner decides that it's hell and they kind of come to the conclusion before you do like, yeah, you know it's tough though, but sometimes you will look back at a relationship and be like, yeah, the last few months of that relationship we were not having much fun together. We were mostly just kind of killing time with each other.

Dan:

Yeah, just like everything else, you got to be intentional with it, right, right. And talking about, you know planning dates and continuing to do that as well, so do we want to get into the example here?

Charles:

Yeah, yeah, we can quickly go over this case study, so there's not a ton to gather from it that we haven't already said. But basically, this couple, jacob and Emily, were married for seven years. She hits him with an unexpected bombshell of I Want to Divorce, which you know. Usually the I think we've talked about women initiate 70 to 75% of breakups and in the moment it feels like a surprise to the guy pretty much every time, but then when the guy looks back at it it's like no, you know, the last 20, 25% of this relationship were not great for either of us, and usually breakups happen for a reason, and the reason is usually the same. The reason is one partner has lost romantic, emotional attraction for the other partner.

Charles:

One partner has decided that okay, things are not going to get better, things aren't going to turn around, and there are better options for me whether that's being alone or being with somebody else than just sticking with this relationship as it is. And so that's where Emily in this story has come through. She wanted love, she wanted passion, she wanted to feel alive and as far as she was concerned, her relationship had become dull and lifeless, and when she asked Jacob for space, he wouldn't give it to her. There's two versions of that. There's the one where you get asked for space and you pretend to be supportive and you pretend to be accommodating for that request and then you just don't give it to her. And then there's a version where you're like no, I'm not giving you any space. And I feel guys probably tend to go with option number one If their partner's even brave enough to ask for the space, which many women are not that's hard to ask for, and that's the thing is.

Dan:

When you ask for that, a lot of times that's going to open up a discussion. What do you mean? You need to ask what does that mean? Are we you know?

Charles:

are you breaking up with me? Do you not love me anymore?

Dan:

Do you love me anymore? Are you going to date other people? What does that look like? Get detailed, because that's such a vague term space. What does that mean? It's just like you're living together. How does that work Right? He actually does mention a decent solution there, which is occasionally sleep in different beds.

Charles:

Yes, I thought that was interesting and yeah, the sleeping in different beds is something that I know a lot of older couples do, Sometimes as a result of sleep apnea, sometimes as a result of, you know, some like it hotter, some like it colder, and yeah, I think there's it's tough to get used to sleeping with somebody after you have been living alone for a while, Mm-hmm. And you know, on one hand, I enjoy the. I think I've told you before I may have shared on podcasts the optimal situation for me, which I don't even have the capacity to live out right now, because I live in a camper with a queen-sized bed, but the optimal situation is a king-sized bed where there are are only two people, obviously, Maybe not so obviously, not so obviously these days.

Charles:

no, oh yeah, I guess there are throuples out there. If you're a thruple, email me, because that sounds wild and I wanna hear details. We will interview.

Charles:

Yeah, we'll invite you to Orlando, we'll give you a voice changer and we'll put you in shadows if you want, but I'd love to hear the dynamics of that. But anyway. So two people in a bed, a king-size bed no big dogs that take up a lot of real estate I mean, cats can take up a lot of real estate too but a king-size bed, two people, where I can roll over on my left or right side, depending on where the door or the TV are. That determines what side of the bed is mine One side where I can roll over and hug a pillow, or I can roll over the other direction and hug my partner. That's the optimal for me. Yeah, but short of that, if one or both of us have queen-size beds or smaller, I think my preference would be have sex in one of the beds and then the end of the night I go home to sleep in my own bed. That's where I'm at right now. Okay, yeah, sleeping in somebody else's bed, man, that is a real challenge.

Dan:

It can be, it can be. And then there's so many things in terms of how hot do they want it, the temperature of the mattress, what the mattress is made out of, how much heat that keeps Are you hot, is it cold. Does it right, does it right. And then you know how, where the sheets made out of, where the sheets made out of, how firm are the pillows, how much blankets or sheets does she like versus what you like? I, yeah, all those things, really I've wrestled with those for sure.

Dan:

I feel like this is a concern of 40 year old men, not necessarily younger guys, no, no, no no uh-oh, I have a little bit of a princess when I'm sleeping and honestly.

Charles:

But you know, that said, if the sex is good enough and frequent enough, there are a lot of things that you will put up with, Absolutely, absolutely. I'll sleep on a parking lot next to a dumpster if the sex is good. Not multiple nights in a row, mind you, but just for one night, sure.

Dan:

One night. One night, what the hell.

Charles:

Yeah, under a bridge in downtown Los Angeles. I mean, you know, if it's blowing my mind, then you know we'll do what we have to do. Chili peppers have a song about it, so they were doing a lot of drugs when they were.

Dan:

Under the bridge in downtown.

Charles:

All right. So yeah, where I got some love, I think that's enough on space. But yeah, the biggest thing to remember is Give it. Give space, and if your partner is brave enough to ask you for space, don't freak out about it.

Dan:

Right and that's the thing too is, you know, I mean, yeah, it's probably an indication of a problem, but don't blow it up into a bigger problem than it is. And, you know, use that as an opportunity to have a conversation and maybe get specific in terms of what does that actually look like when the rubber meets the road. In terms of space, does that mean she's sleeping in the guest room once in a while or, you know, in the kids room once in a while? Or does it mean, you know, you guys need to get some hobbies outside of what you're currently doing by yourselves. Maybe start working out by yourself instead of together, or whatever that is. But, and I think, by having those conversations and figuring out, okay, what does that actually mean, that'll probably relieve a lot of that anxiety thinking, oh, she doesn't love me anymore. The fact that she's not saying, hey, I want a divorce, she's going home, want space that in and of itself shows, I feel, like she cares enough to try something to fix something Right.

Charles:

Yeah. And I would say, boy, if you wanna take on and handle that anxiety, it's like we said in a recent episode you know, the guys in the military who were the special operators that would initiate violence would deal with less PTSD than the guys that would just randomly have violence happen to them. If you wanna deal with space in your relationship with as little anxiety as possible, you be the one that broaches the conversation. You be the one that says hey, I'm listening to this wacky podcast by these two guys in Orlando and I'm just curious do you feel like we've got enough space in our relationship? And if you're the one to bring it up, then if she says you know, actually, that's something that I was hoping we could talk about, I do feel a little stuffy in this relationship you will feel far less anxiety than when she drops it on you like, hey, there's something I wanted to mention to you.

Charles:

I think we might need a little more space in our relationship. The first option will feel a lot easier to handle than the second option, but in either case, if she is the one that brings it up, you may need to immediately go into that. Okay, let's take a half hour. I need to go for a walk. I need to let these my initial adrenaline response calm down before I can have a talk with you about bringing some space into our relationship, because I know on the multiple occasions my partner brought it up it set me to 10 pretty quick.

Dan:

So and then I think, if you're gonna have the discussion, be prepared to get granular and it sounds a little bit cold or robotic, but figure out okay. What does that look like in terms of what are you gonna do, what is she gonna do? And then what are the ground rules, like, can you only be with guys or could it be like a mixed crowd of whatever you're doing? If you're doing it, then it could right.

Charles:

From another standpoint of like okay, so you want some space. How many breakfasts should we eat together per week? How many times should we have dinner together per week? How many date nights should we have? How many TV nights should we have? I mean, you could absolutely do all that too. I think you should do that too, absolutely. Yeah, Like when I'm out there engaging in my own stuff, is it cool if I hang out with friends that are guys, friends that are girls yeah, it's important. Friends that maybe I used to hook up with. Are you cool with them being in my social circle.

Dan:

Yeah right, yeah, spill it out so that somebody's less likely to make assumptions based on information that they don't have right? And then are you guys gonna come back and talk about that and say, like, what did you? Is that an expectation? All right, you did your girls' night, I did my guys' night. Maybe one person might be expecting oh yeah, we're gonna say everything that we did and I'm gonna talk about, and then I'm gonna expect you to plan that out in advance so that you can come back and, if anything, I mean, use that as maybe a date night. It'd be great.

Dan:

So now you guys have something extra to talk about on your date night. Maybe you can discuss what you did, you know, on your own, in your own space. And she did within her own space, like during a meal, and all of a sudden it's like, oh hey, there's things you know, there's new things being introduced, and that's I mean, look, I haven't done this. This is all coming from my brain or whatever, and thinking this is a great idea, at least you know on paper. So we'll see if anybody's have. If anybody's done that, please let us know. Right Us.

Charles:

And do as we strive to do, not not just as we do. Right, yeah, yeah. But yeah, you do need to have some of those conversations, because last thing you want to do you know Jacob and Emily. If Emily is like, instead of asking for the divorce, if she's like, hey, I need some more space, and Jacob's like, okay, cool. And then you know, next week, jacob's like, hey, remember my ex-girlfriend Sally? I had sex with her this week because you wanted space. Remember, right, yeah, we were on a break.

Dan:

We were on a break, right, yeah, so I mean you could see we talked about that too, right? It's an indicate like she wanted space he didn't give it to. She didn't ask for a divorce right away, she asked for space first, right? And so, hey, yeah, she's acknowledging like things need to change up. But don't take it to that extreme where it's like, oh my god, yeah, you're asking for space there. You know things, the world's crumbling type of thing.

Charles:

Yeah.

Dan:

Which a lot of us will tend to do.

Charles:

Yeah, which is, you know, a reminder from a 3% man, which I revisited recently by Coach Corey Wayne. One of the things that he says that resonates with me and I know that you know everybody every guy gets to pretty much have their own definition of masculinity and what it means to them, and I'm fine with that. But the one thing that he says that resonates with me is masculinity is calm, and the version of it that I want to embody, at least, is there's an undercurrent of calmness where when someone brings something to you that's upsetting, part of your job as a man, as I define it, is you got to keep things calm. You don't get to just freak out and have emotional outbursts whenever something unexpected happens to you. Your job, what you're bringing to the table and whatever relationship you're in again, as I define it for myself, is calmness, yeah.

Dan:

You can't really appropriately assess a situation if your emotions are running wild anyway. So to really yeah, it just you could, but it's going to be a lot more challenging.

Charles:

Yeah, one of the Facebook groups you and I are a member of in the Orlando area, somebody said you know what are some questions that you ask potential partners to try to get to know them better, understand their nature, and one girl's contribution was asking your partner how they handle big emotions when they arise. That's a great answer. That's a good question to ask. Not a lot of us think about that. Yeah and yeah and when. And there's a lot of wrong answers to that, like oh, I don't have big emotions, I control my emotions. I mean, when somebody says something like that, it's like Interesting, okay, red sirens and red lights going off, not just red flags, yeah, but yeah, that is a. That's a a topic that we you know the kind of books you and I read talk about a lot is. You know, feelings, thoughts, emotions and in the moment they're, they're meant to be observed, not to be 100% trusted.

Dan:

Mm, hmm.

Charles:

You know, just by default, believe your feelings, believe your emotions and believe your thoughts. You observe them first, I would say, label them and then and then evaluate what they mean and what they're trying to tell you, not just believe them and go through 100%. You know, yeah, bust through the door, yeah, yeah. So, okay, cool that's, we got through another chapter on on space. And, yeah, I would encourage guys to not be afraid of it. Space in your, in your partnership, is your friend. It's not an enemy that you need to fight against. Well said, all right. Thanks, dan. I hope you don't get sick. Thanks me too. All right, bye, have a good one.

Intro and Updates
Space, Space, and More Space!
Observe and Evaluate Feelings in Relationships