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The Relationship Game: Play Chess, Not Checkers

See the couple in that picture up there? Guys, we’ve all been there. Getting those questions from your wife or significant other that twist a knot in your chest, tighten your sphincter, and make it hard to breathe.

There is no universal solution to this problem, no “knick of time” answer, that pulls your ass out of the fiery cauldron that awaits if you answer unwisely. These questions, though seemingly innocent on the surface, have dynamic, fluid, ever-changing answers depending on the time of day, day of the month, month of the year, her girlfriend’s drama, work, kids–you get it.

I’m not talking about easy questions that people joke about, like “Do I look fat in this dress?,” “Do you like my hair?” or “Why are you staring at that woman?” Standard answers apply: No, Yes, and because she looks (fill in the blank as long as it’s negative). I’m talking about the insidious ones that can lead to Armageddon, if you’re not careful and agile.

Here’s an example of some dialogue that you might experience:

HER: Want to go out for dinner?

HIM: Sure! What kind of food do you want?

And the game is afoot.

HER: I don’t care.

TRAP!! This is a trap! Don’t answer right away.

HIM: How about Italian?

HER: No, I don’t want Italian.

Ugh. Okay, you can still salvage this unless you say…

HIM: But you said you didn’t care!

Oh, it’s on.

HER: I don’t! I just don’t want Italian.

It is imperative that going forward you use extreme caution.

HIM: Alright, how about Chinese?

HER: MSG makes me bloat.

So, hopefully by now you understand that she DOES care about dinner. You can either continue listing food genres, or you can turn this potential shit show around!

HIM: Yeah, me too! Well, honey, you choose and I’ll be happy with whatever.

Your move, baby.

HER: How about that new place, “Pine Cones and Tofu?”

DANGER WILL ROBINSON!!! She’s diabolical and has set another Trap! She wants you to say no, because she doesn’t want to go there either. But that way YOU look bad! So you have two choices: you can play checkers, or you can play chess. If you’re playing checkers, which I don’t recommend, your answer is:

HIM: Yuck, no!

And then she jumps all your checkers pieces, gets her Kings, and kicks your ass. But, if you play chess, your answer is:

HIM: Sounds good!

Check. If she really wants to go, then except for your horrible dining experience, you win and probably score tonight. If you’ve called her bluff, she chooses Italian as if it was her idea. And you win again, as long as you shut up. Not a freakin’ word! So now, actually, it’s checkmate.

I know it’s hard for guys, but my advice is “Think before you Speak.” Consider all the potential pitfalls, and choose the least painful path! Be like this couple!

couple older

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About The Author:

Larry Pollack

Larry Pollack

Larry Pollack is a board certified plastic surgeon for 30 years and a writer for even longer. He has written a pilot script for a TV show called “Manopause” as well as a spec script for a horror film called “Spore.” He attended UCLA and majored in Political Science. He trained in Plastic Surgery at the University of New Mexico Hospital in Albuquerque.

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