So I’m in my mid 30′s and I’ve noticed my hair starting to thin and drop back a little (receding hairline). It’s not noticeable when my hair is cut short, but when it grows out a bit, it’s apparent to someone who looks closely. I feel like it’s still early enough to be addressed before fully succumbing to the inevitability …
To me, it’s not the end of the world to start balding or having thinner hair. I’d be content and attractive keeping my head shaved.
Nonetheless, this got me researching possible solutions to either prevent or slow down the thinning and balding process. Thought I’d share my findings with other guys out there, and I’m definitely happy to learn new things, so please be sure to comment if you have any good tips.
I talked to a few friends, including a family practice doctor, and here are the 4 products I’ve decided to try:
This is the product I’ve heard the most good things about. Lots of testimonies about it’s ability to produce thicker hair. Some even claim that it regrows bald patches.
Tea Tree Oil
This is supposed to cleanse the pores and get rid of blockage that might be preventing hair growth
Tocotrienols are widely reported to be important for hair growth and… some have reported this supplement to single handedly thicken up their hair. These are taken orally.
Red Palm Tree Oil
Instead of taking tocotrienols orally, you’re applying them directly to the scalp.
A few of my friends are in open marriages. I keep company with what are often referred to as “sophisticated” or “well-educated” people… college professors, advanced professionals, CEOs, etc. I find that these are the types of people most likely to be in open marriages.
The first point I want to make: open marriages are very high risk. Some people are more risk averse than others. Just because something is risky doesn’t mean it’s not doable. Just that the risk of failure is pretty high. The rewards for those who can navigate it may be pretty high as well.
The second point I want to make: every single person I know who’s in an open marriage went through a rough patch and had to adapt the rules to fit their personalities.
The third point I want to make: I had a relationship with a married woman who was in an open marriage. Shortly afterwards, her and her husband got divorced.
The fourth point: most people are not built for open marriages. Our primitive emotions (jealousy, a desire for security, etc.) are threatened by the context of open marriage.
The fifth point: I know many well-educated and sophisticated people who aren’t in open marriages and are happy with monogamy.
Types of Open Marriages
Most of the open marriages I’ve seen can be categorized using these four categories:
where both partners tell each other everything
Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell:
both partners consent to discrete affairs that don’t intrude on family time and family life
where both partners in the open marriage have a relatively similar number of partners. an ideal, but rarely realized.
where one of the partners in the open marriage is more active than the other. much more likely outcome than symmetrical promiscuity.
Open Marriages That Work
Historically, there are many cultures in which it was assumed that the man was free to roam as long as he did not disgrace the family. That would be an example of “Asymmetrical Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and this kind of arrangement seemed to work out for the most part.
The people I know who are in open marriages today have found that Full Transparency doesn’t work and that a transition to Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell while fully honoring family responsibilities is the best model. That way there is no keeping count. And the primitive emotions aren’t constantly being tapped. As long as there is implicit consent, and discretion is taken… things seem to work out ok. But getting there appears to always involve conflict.
One further point: being in a successful open marriage requires that both partners trust each other to the nth degree. Trust each other to stay committed as primary partners. Trust each other to make smart decisions (about protection, etc.) And it also takes a culture of non-suspicion and full independence.
These things are very rare in relationships. So my advice is: don’t try an open marriage unless you’re willing to take big risks, you’re married to someone who can make smart decisions, and you’re both independently strong enough to survive the possibility of losing each other and thrive afterwards.
And here’s the final thing I’ll say: risk, in general, provides a high… a thrill. But our brains are built so that we’re never satisfied. At some point, you’ve got to draw a line on risk taking (or die at 27).
I’ve seen enough open marriages fail to say that it is very likely a bad option unless you are in extraordinary circumstances. But I’ve also seen a few open marriages produce a happy couple… so it’s not out of the question.
A friend of mine recently wrote and said:
I’m tired of people loving me for what I do, not for who I am.
I wrote back the following:
i would argue that that distinction is not sustainable. or that only a few rare people in the history of the world have been able to love the way you would like to be loved. it is far too high an expectation for the average human being.
i’ve thought about this a whole lot. it’s a mistake that eventually causes relationship breakdowns…. coasting mode. people not owning up to their social responsibilities. because social responsibilities are energy consuming responsibilities. most people desire low-energy states where they can go into “coast” mode and be loved without engaging in the game of social value. but this is an illusion. and it is not possible. in all social relationships, you have to stay interesting or attractive… as non-ideal as that may sound to you.
here’s a fact:
other people have nothing to go on except their perceptions. And their perception of us is built on a foundation of “what does that person have to offer me” … we all use each other… for better or worse. coming to peace with that fact was very important to me in my life’s journey. as was confronting the fact that part of my responsibility as a human being is to embrace human social dynamics and not feel resentful towards them.
A friend of a friend posted this to FB and I loved it. This boy has PhaseFrame to the extreme.
Note: Shawn is the dad. Caleb is the son.
Shawn: “How was school Caleb?”
Caleb: “It was good.”
Shawn: “Did you see your girlfriends today?”
Caleb: “Well, I already broke up with Sienna. She was pretty much a disaster.”
Shawn: “What happened?”
Caleb: “She was just always mean to me. Like, she asked me if I wanted to play sleeping beauty and I said yes but I was going to play basketball first, but then after I played basketball she said she didn’t want to play sleeping beauty with me anymore.”
Shawn: “So what did you do?”
Caleb: “I broke up with her.”
Shawn: “Did you tell her you wanted to break up?”
Caleb: “No. I just broke up with her. I don’t want be with someone that gives me a lot of trouble.”
Shawn: “I understand.”
Caleb: “Well, at least I still have six other girlfriends…”
The other night before bedtime my son (who is way too young to be asking questions like this) asked me “Daddy, how do you find a woman to marry?”
Alright. Suck it up. Time for a man-to-man talk.
Here’s what I said. For better or worse. It’s not perfect, but nothing is.
Hey man, you don’t have to even think about getting married for a long, long time. Not until you become a man. But when you do become a man… The most important thing: you should only get married to a woman who makes you a better man. A woman who admires you and supports your dreams. If a woman causes you a lot of trouble, or complains a lot, or asks for lots of things, you won’t want to get married to her. So take your time, see what a lot of different women are like, and if you get to a point where you want to settle down with a girl and marry her and have kids, ask yourself if she’s good enough for you. Not all women will be. Some will. None will be perfect though. Everyone makes mistakes sometimes.
There are a lot of women out there who would not be good to get married to. That’s why it’s important to take your time. A lot of men decide not to ever get married… and that’s ok too. Getting married takes a lot of work. And sometimes, people who get married stop being married.
Just remember: you should only let woman who make you a better man into your life. A woman who causes you problems and keeps you from doing what you want to do is bad. In a marriage, you are your own boss. Remember that. When it’s time… and that’s a long, long, longtime from now… only get married to a woman who helps you to be the boss of your own life.
An old lover of mine, in trying to explain that I was “the best” (which I took with a grain of salt because words are mostly meaningless) used the following metaphor::
Most other guys are the cake, Nick is the icing, and you are the candles.
I shit you not. Somehow that was supposed to be a compliment. In my mind… the cake is the substantial part, the icing makes it a little better, and the candles are just for flash.
But anyway, she tried to appease me on many occasions by explaining that I was on a whole different level than the rest of the guys in her life. Let me just stop and point out: she had lots of guys in her life, and I was happy to be one of them, because she had a 6 face with an 8-9 body.
So really, it didn’t matter much to me how I compared to the other guys in her life. As long as I got some good, intimate time with her, I was happy. At the time, I wasn’t able to be in a committed relationship anyway.
But there came a point where a whole bunch of drama and complexity entered our relationship. And this is the lesson I want to teach you all:
In her mind, I was the candles on the cake (whatever that means). All the power I had in the relationship consisted of this: take away the candles. But even if I took away the candles, she still had the icing and the cake.
For a lot of relationships, power struggles develop and people take things away (e.g. silent treatment). But the truth is, when you “take away the candles” you need to take them away not as a punishment for her. Not because you expect anything from her…. But you take away the candles because it’s what’s best for you. Because being a candle takes energy… and if the energy isn’t paying off… then you take your candles away and move on.
Moral of the story: All of your decisions should be built around this question – Does it make me a better man? Being candles on her cake… does that make me a better man? Or is it time to be candles on someone else’s cake? Perhaps, if it’s what you ultimately want… even finding someone who’ll let you be the cake, the icing and the candles all at once.
The lesson I learned was that power struggles can confuse you from focusing on the important thing: making yourself a better man.
It’s important to remember… if someone else fucks up, it’s not your duty to compromise yourself for them…. even if they expect you to.
Now, with your kids, it’s a little more complicated. You are in a sense responsible for their mistakes… but there’s only so much you can do here. You’ve got to teach them to be smart… make smart risks… thrive in life… and hope for the best. You can’t suffocate them with control. You give a little direction. A lot of time. A lot of love. And you show them how the world works.
But with adults…
If an employee fucks up, you don’t need to feel guilty about firing them.
If a friend fucks up, you don’t have to get dragged into the mess.
Forgiveness and grace are choices you can make if they make you a better man. But what I’ve found in life, is that grace and forgiveness just remove the learning opportunity. And people keep fucking up. And even the best forgivers and grace givers have limitations. Better to let natural consequences play out. That force will have a much longer lasting effect.
I’m a big believer in embracing natural consequences. It’s the best way we learn.
My dad told me a story once. About a boy who found a cocoon. The boy saw the thing inside struggling to get out. With a big smile, he unpeeled the cocoon for it, thinking he was helping it. Shortly after unpeeling it, the thing died.
Here’s the thing… the world holds us accountable. Modern society removes us from a great deal of natural accountability.
With parenting, one of my major rules is to expose my kids to as much natural consequence as possible… in other words, I let nature discipline them. Within parameters of course. I don’t allow them the chance to get severely injured. But after warning them about things, I let them make mistakes. My youngest son, who most likely has ADHD though I refuse to medicate, will acknowledge hearing a rule one second, and completely forget it the next. I tell him not to touch the electric fence (to keep the animals in) and every other time he does it mindlessly. I know he can’t get severely injured from it… so I let him experience it… and lately he’s been less inclined to touch.
As a man, I think it’s fine to show mercy and compassion… but you’ve got to be careful of creating dependencies. People need to feel the consequences of their mistakes… otherwise they don’t learn from them…. and so much of life is about trying and learning from mistakes.
So here’s the deal: sometimes you’re going to have to make choices that cause people to experience pain. Those are the choices that will ultimately test your soul as a man. But in making the right choice, and not capitulating to a false utopia… you’re making yourself a better man.
Over the last year I’ve had more than a handful of men write to me at PhaseFrame asking me about how to handle a cheating partner/wife/girlfriend, etc.
For me it’s pretty easy:
1) know what you want in life and know what you value. if being with a woman who’s faithful to you is important, than know it. own it. know your rules. and be ready to enforce them by leaving her.
2) stick to what you value even when it means giving up something you used to value.
3) do what’s going to make you a better man... for some that might mean giving the woman a second chance. for others, that’s going to mean “see ya babe”
I’m a firm believer in letting the natural consequences of action play out. So if a woman cheats, and I’ve made it clear that that’s unacceptable, then I would say “You’ve made your choice with your actions. Now go enjoy the fruits of those choices.”
I would feel comfortable doing that because I know that I have options. Several. I don’t hide that either. My partner knows it. It’s part of my conditions for being with her… and if she doesn’t like it, she can move on… and I’ll move on too.
I don’t value any woman so much that she’s irreplaceable.
Now, you may. And you may forgive her. Give her a second chance. Or many chances.
Whatever you do… make sure you’re becoming the man you want to become… and not compromising.
This is a message for you and her.
Your rules aren’t the only rules.
The major forces acting in any relationship are:
1) the universe (laws of nature, laws of attraction)
2) your particular goals and expectations
3) her particular goals and expectations
To you, the guy, I say this:
Fight like hell for #2
Support #3 if it doesn’t conflict with #1 or #2, and she’s making you a better man. But if they do conflict, don’t compromise. You gain nothing.
To her, the woman, I say this:
You want to be in a relationship with me? Then you’re going to make me a better man. It’s that simple. You demand that I compromise myself for you? Fuck you. Take your new age bullshit and feed it to some other guy. I don’t have time for it.
Now I’m not saying you haul off in anger at every little quibble. You’re a guy, you can deal with a little misbehavior. I’m talking about game changing stuff and patterns of action.