There’s a lot to love about Alaskan men, but to the layperson, it might not be obvious what makes them tick. For non-Alaskans, dating a man from the Last Frontier can mean embracing a whole new lifestyle. Stick to these 10 commandments and you’ll be well on your way to a happy relationship with your Alaskan guy.
1. Thou shalt be prepared for distance.
Maybe he works on the slope, two weeks on, two weeks off. Or he’s a commercial fisherman or service member gone for months at a time. Whatever his employment situation, dating an Alaskan man often means getting comfortable with distance. It can be tough, but it also gives you the best of both worlds — copious amounts of “me” time when he’s away, and a deeper appreciation for the time you do get to spend together.
2. Thou shalt respect his fishing addiction.
If he’s like most Alaskan men, there’s hardly anything in life more important to him than fishing. Be prepared to spend weekends at the river catching salmon, steelhead, and rainbow trout, and to smile and nod as he tells the same dubious fishing stories again and again. After you gain his trust, you may get to learn his secret fishing spots and soak up some of the well-earned knowledge he’s acquired over the years.
3. Thou shalt tolerate his crazy antics.
Tinkerers by nature, Alaskan men always have their hands dirty with one project or another. His devotion to fixing up boats or cars and wielding power tools may be admirable, but you might find his safety standards a little questionable. You’re not wrong to get nervous when he wants to take a leaky dinghy for a test run or shoot off fireworks a little close to the treeline, but eventually, you’ll learn to strike the proper balance between being supportive and giving him a needed reality check.
4. Thou shalt treat his friends like a second family.
Let’s be real, his bros are his second family — they go at least all the way back to elementary school, if not pre-K. Treat them well and they may pay you back ten-fold in embarrassing stories about how he used to eat paste, or that time he almost cut his finger off on a camping trip.
5. Thou shalt embrace facial hair.
He might get a little scruffy from time to time — when Alaskan men are on their grind or off in the middle of nowhere, shaving may not be their top priority. Even if it’s not entirely your thing, your best bet is to embrace his facial hair, and understand that growing a beard was serious a rite of passage for him in a state that fully embraces the lumberjack look.
6. Thou shalt never turn down an adventure.
Growing up in the Great Land, he spent 99 percent of his time outdoors, and his expeditions through the woods and on the water always felt like an adventure. He’s always up for good thrill, so dating him means you’ll get your fair share of adrenaline. And if you’re the plan-everything-months-in-advance type, jumping on last-minute trips with him might help you grow a spontaneous streak.
7. Thou shalt be a dog lover.
Alaskan men have a bond like no other with their dogs, who double as their constant adventure companions. You won’t get to his heart without winning over his puppy, so make sure to treat them right. You may feel like a third wheel at first, but eventually, you’ll get used to them coming along with you everywhere.
8. Thou shalt learn to love winter sports.
While your inclination might be to hull up and hibernate during the Alaskan winter, this may just be his favorite time of year. If you’re dating an Alaskan man, he’ll expect you to participate in his favorite winter sports, from skiing to pond hockey. With the right gear and some hand and foot-warmers, he might teach you to love the Alaskan winter as much as he does.
9. Thou shalt be cool with camo.
His wardrobe probably has a considerable amount of camo than he dons when he’s hunting, fishing, or just running around town. Whatever attempts you make to spiff him up, know that getting him to shed this staple is out of the question — he’ll sooner ditch you than the camo.
10. Thou shalt call it a snow machine.
That sled he carefully maintains year-round and spends all summer dreaming of riding? You know, the one he’s ready to bust out at the first dusting of flakes, and why he prays for snow to last from October through May so he can ride all winter long? It’s a snowmachine. End of story.
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