Wayne: Moose, microbrews and common-law marriages -- life is different in Alaska. So is negotiating dating and relationships, which is why Wanda and I roll our eyes when we read about national dating trends. But we also believe that love is love no matter your area code, so when an interesting commentary bubbles up, we take notice and share with our loyal readers -- either to inform or to share a communal laugh about how they do it Outside.
Here are two recent articles that got our attention ...
Researchers interviewed 900 women and asked how they would distribute their minutes on "a perfect day" on MSN.com's Heart Beat Blog. Romantic time with their partner topped the charts at 106 minutes. (Socializing was second at 82 minutes, followed by relaxing for 78 minutes, eating for 75 minutes and exercise for 68 minutes.)
Wayne: 106 minutes of romance a day? Get real, ladies! I know this is your perfect day scenario and all but remember that the world record for most consecutive minutes dedicated to romance by a male is 103 and that mark has stood since the Shakespeare era. Anything beyond 35 minutes per day would crush the average man.
It's time to think outside the heart-shaped-chocolates box. Let's combine romance with exercise, socializing and relaxing time. Most men can certainly handle two hours of that, which should leave more than six hours for football and chicken wings.
Wanda: Hold up -- mix romance and exercise? There's only one kind of exercise that I consider romantic. OK, maybe dancing too. But swinging bats for a co-ed league or scrambling up mountainsides sets a different mood than soft candlelight and sweet nothings. Just because you're doing it together doesn't earn it the romance badge.
I concur: Romance doesn't just mean flowers, carriage rides and over-the-top extravagance. It's all about quality time. Sometimes nothing beats sharing a drink and a nice meal, or curling up together for a movie. That said -- 106 minutes? Ladies, that's almost two hours! Who has that kind of time?
Can men and women be just friends? It's the age-old debate that found new life when a recent survey by those Romeos with pocket protectors at Scientific America quizzed 88 boy-girl friend combos. Surprise -- women think it's possible; men don't.
Wanda: Here's a study I can buy into. The article explains (amusingly) that while women generally don't look at male pals sexually, guys frequently fantasize about getting freaky with female friends. Shocking? Not exactly. This lines up with previous research that shows while women usually cheat for emotional reasons, men do it for sex.
Simply put, science supports the notion that women are more emotionally driven, while men are creatures of comfort and urges. Let's ask my good friend Wayne.
Wayne? Why are you looking at me like that?
Wayne: Wanda, you sure look sexy when you type ...
It's true, our simple boy brains wander to sex every seven seconds, and when we're bored with our love lives, in the midst of a dry spell or completely out of original Scarlett Johansson fantasies, our daydreams can turn to women in our immediate circles -- friends, best friend's sisters, coworkers.
We usually have just enough sense to know it's a bad idea to hook up but that doesn't mean we don't give in to the urges. You don't need to be a scientist to predict that boys will be boys.
How many romantic minutes would you like to squeeze into a dream day? Can Alaska men and women just be friends? Are the odds still good but the goods still odd in the Alaska dating scene? Share your thoughts on trends and dating disasters with Wanda and Wayne at firstname.lastname@example.org.