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trim your balls
In part one of a two-episode series, we explore the concepts of passion and intimacy from Dr. Robert Sternberg’s Triangular Theory of Love. We address how men get it wrong in these two areas and how they can change their attitudes, actions, and attributes to have a healthier partnership.
Questions answered in this episode:
- What are the factors that create a healthy sense of passion in a relationship?
- How do you develop intimacy with your partner?
- What is the role of commitment in good relationships?
- How do we improve our ability to resolve conflicts in romantic relationships?
Other topics discussed:
- How the non-alpha handles passion
- The role of fun and humor in creating passion
- Increasing your attractiveness without overdoing it
- How arousal works
- Some differences in sexual fulfillment for men and women
- Intimacy defined
- How the average guy messes up intimacy
- Increasing friendship and conversation
- How her closeness with her friends and your bonding with your own tribe of dudes improves your sense of intimacy in your romantic relationship
Mike Spurgin (00:05):
Suppose you’re in a relationship that isn’t working or certainly not as well as you would like it to. Maybe there isn’t enough of something, something he wants had something you don’t know exactly what it is that’s missing. You feel a growing emptiness. I want to do what you can to salvage this thing and while it takes two willing parties to make a relationship work, we’re going to discuss some things today that might help you at least identify what may not be working and how you might make some adjustments to have a happier relationship than you do now and we’re going to present four critical elements to a happy partnership and what you might want to do to try to fix what isn’t working.
Brad Singletary (01:21):
Welcome back you guys. Brad Singletary here. Welcome back to the alpha quorum show. I’m here with my buddy taco Mike. How you doing man? How you super rad, how you survive in this week. We’re, we’re, we’re really into this thing pretty, pretty well now about three weeks. This whole Corona thing. How are you guys, this is the real deal. This is a big deal.
Mike Spurgin (01:37):
People are flaming out, people are doing great, people are thriving, people are crashing and burning. I’m seeing it all. I’m kind of like been monitoring what some of the dudes have been saying and I’ve seen both sides. Like there’s guys who are treating this and using this as like this huge jumpstart to all kinds of cool things that maybe they’ve just need to get going in their life. Guys see this as opportunities and as many of them as the dudes are freaking out, tripping out triple balls. It’s both sides.
Brad Singletary (02:01):
I loved your, your video of you riding your bike down some stairs on the strip. That was so cool. That looked like you had a whole group of guys with you. I have some buddies who like to ride bikes and we took the opportunity. These are bicycles. I know you talk about dirt bikes. These are, he’s not on a dirt bike on the strip. He’s out with bicycles with his buddies. That was awesome to see you guys.
Mike Spurgin (02:19):
Yeah, it was good cause there’s nobody down there. There’s no pedestrians, there’s no vehicle traffic, no foot traffic. And it’s illegal to ride bicycles on the Las Vegas strip except when there’s a pandemic and there’s no people there. And so I thought, wow, what a great opportunity to go ride bicycles, sell me a couple other dads and our boys. We went down and we rode bicycles down the strip. We kind of bombed through the fashion show mall. We went over curbs and downstairs and it was awesome.
Brad Singletary (02:46):
That was awesome. Good to see you guys out there doing that. So we’ve got a great we’ve got a great show planned today. We’re going to be talking about some of the building blocks of a solid relationship. Some of our content is going to be borrowed. A professor, Robert Sternberg. Dr Sternberg is a professor of human development in the college of human ecology at Cornell university. He attended Yale and Stanford university and is considered one of the top 100 psychologists of the 20th century. His model that I saw a few years ago, I really just liked, this model’s very simplistic, but I love it. His model is called the triangular theory of love and it teaches that there are three important elements to a loving relationship, passion, intimacy and commitment. And we’re going to kind of break those down and talk about what each of those mean.
Brad Singletary (03:37):
And really, I guess the point of this Mike, is to help guys have a simple framework to kind of evaluate their relationship, what’s working, what isn’t and where do you kind of categorize the part that’s not working. So if you have none of those three passion, intimacy or commitment, you have no relationship. Makes sense. If you have intimacy only, and we’re going to define these a little more clearly later, but if you have intimacy only, you have a buddy. So there’s no commitment and there’s no, or you have like a hook out, you’ve got a booty call and no passion. Yeah. So if there’s, if there’s passion only, maybe that’s just your kind of lovers spring fling type of situation. If you have commitment only and no passion or intimacy, that’s just, you kind of have a roommate, you’re together, you’ve decided that you’re going to be together.
Brad Singletary (04:25):
But no connection in terms of warmth and intimacy and no passion. You’re like roommates. Some of you have those marriages and relationships. I hear it all the time. If you have intimacy and commitment, that’s just a friendship. That’s a BFF. What he calls companion at love intimacy and passion. Now that’s the love affair. That’s the romantic kind of thing. There’s no commitment there, but you’re close and you have this passionate connection. I won’t go through all of these combinations here, but basically he calls non love. The absence of all three and consummate love is when you have all of those, all of those three combined characteristics. And he kind of has this, this triangular model. I’ll post in the in the, in the notes here, a graphic that he uses that kinda describes this. But each of these things can strengthen the other.
Brad Singletary (05:19):
So if you have a very close intimacy, a level of connection that can increase the passion in your relationship. So there’s a few questions that we’re going to answer today. What are the factors that can create a healthy sense of passion in a relationship? How do you develop intimacy with your partner? What is the role of commitment in good relationships? And how do we improve our ability to resolve conflicts? There’s something that I added that’s the fourth leg on this little table here. How do we improve our ability to resolve conflicts in relationships, not just single cherry bringing it in serious. Each of these could be there. I’ll show maybe one day. We, we, we do actually break these down a little bit more, but I love these little, these types of frameworks where a guy can kind of review where he’s at on through some model that we may present and see how he’s doing. So let’s talk about passion. What do we mean by that? What are we talking about when we’re talking about passion? So this guy, dr Sternberg, he’s referring to the romance, the physical attraction sexual fulfillment. This includes fun, arousal, satisfaction, those kinds of things. Passion. I think we can we understand where you were. Just come up from there. Mike, I’m curious. How does the guy who’s not very alpha, how does he handle passion in his relationship? What’s he doing?
Mike Spurgin (06:44):
So you’re talking about passion. I mean, I thought I want to put a framework on this. Understand it. So passion doesn’t just mean like sexual intimacy, sexual passion, you’re just,
Brad Singletary (06:52):
Are you painting a broad picture of like, yeah, I would say he’s talking about kind of intensity of feeling. He’s talking about excitement, fun. And yes, he is talking about the, you know, maybe the physical, sexual type of connection. But there’s other things there too. This the energy exchange of energy between you. Okay. So the question was again, how does the guy who doesn’t know what he’s doing, the non alpha, you’re the T. Okay. So your team advisor, who’s doing the clumsy dude.
Mike Spurgin (07:22):
Okay. The high school frat boy who likes still thinks you like he’s smooth and putting moves on on his, on his woman. So how are we defining this in terms of like, this is our spouse, this is our wife. Okay. So are you, you were thinking, we’ve got a guy who is married and is a clumsy lover. He is a he’s a groper. He’s, he’s, he’s a fast mover. He doesn’t understand how to read cues. He doesn’t know how to read the temperature of his wife. He doesn’t know how to sense that the mood is there or isn’t there. He doesn’t know how to help facilitate the mood. And the things that he’s doing is either helping his cause or hurting his cause. Like he’s completely blind, oblivious and unaware of any of that.
Brad Singletary (08:08):
Is that kind of a, yeah, exactly. So he’s complaining that the passion is dead or she won’t have sex with me or whatever, but he doesn’t understand his own, his own contribution to that lacking.
Mike Spurgin (08:20):
So I was, it’s funny that we are talking about this exact topic because the other day I don’t know why this thought stream crossed my mind, but I have done a lot of gardening, a little like agricultural farming, like urban farming greenhouse. I’ve had greenhouses all kinds of ways that I’ve been involved in that sort of hobby and pursuit. And one of the things that has occurred to me is that I don’t create the plant, but I create the conditions that facilitate a successful plant. So I don’t get to, I don’t have the power or I don’t get, create a seed. I don’t get to create the biochemical reactions that happen between the seed and the soil and the water and the sunlight. The transference of the of all of those biochemical forces, all that energy that’s happening back and forth. I don’t get to create any of that.
Mike Spurgin (09:10):
That’s all been predetermined. So it’s all been set. All I can do is facilitate the success of that. I can either help it or hurt it based on too much or too little of something. And that is absolutely how it is in my, maybe I was thinking about my wife and just sort of all those dynamics. I don’t get to create what she thinks, how she feels. I have no, those, those sort of like pieces of energy are inside of her and I don’t, I don’t, I didn’t shape them or create them. But what I can do and what’s what, what I can take, not take, I want to be careful with that word. As an alpha, what I can do is I can learn and mature and facilitate all of the right conditions to create the right environment for whatever outcome it is that, that I want to have or I need to have. So I’ve got needs, she’s got needs and I have wants. And so if I can be mature and realize, here’s a quick aside, maybe I’ve got some wants that I shouldn’t have. Maybe I want some things sexually that are just ridiculous. So maybe I need to get a hobby.
Mike Spurgin (10:15):
Maybe I need to get a punching bag down in the basement and I need to work some of that weirdness out. Like it’s not wrong. Let me say this very carefully. It’s not wrong to have super weird interests or wants nothing wrong with that. What may be wrong is introducing that or forcing or coercing someone else who doesn’t share that into that. Then it becomes wrong. And if your in a situation where you want something that’s too weird for her, you need to believe that off. Like I don’t know what to tell you. You’re, you’re pissing her off, you’re ruining your cause if you want to continue, if you trying to force those things. I’ve had you’ve, have you ever had a conversation with a guy like that?
Brad Singletary (10:53):
Oh yeah. I mean things about like, I will just say like anal sex or whatever kind of thing that they, that they may be trying to push and they don’t, they don’t understand why their partner isn’t giving them this funky thing that for them is, you know, I don’t know the specifics you get. I think they know what we’re talking about here. We’ll keep this family rated. Right. Anyway, so I love what you’re talking about. The law of the harvest type of thing. You’re the gardener. You don’t create the seed, you don’t create the plant. You just produce the conditions that may help this thing thrive or not. You know, if the tomatoes aren’t blooming, if nothing’s growing in your little in your little square foot garden over there and you’re in the passion in your relationship, you gotta be looking at what are you, what are you adding? What’s what, what is there too much of or not enough of? That’s what you’re saying. Brilliant, brilliant vision. Visual.
Mike Spurgin (11:44):
Yeah. So that farmer, he’s got to put in the work, the front end work. Like he has to understand the plant. He has to understand soil. Like there’s a, there’s some groundwork that that guy needs to invest in, put some time in to figure that stuff out. And so you’re in a relationship. Here’s this alpha dude. He’s in a relationship with a woman. This is like a huge greenhouse of like all kinds of nuttiness and, and he better he be like, why wouldn’t he put in the time and the works to try to like figure some of this stuff out. So watch her read some stuff, listen to some stuff, put in some time, some backend time before he’s ready, you know? So tomatoes, zucchini, broccoli, you’re gonna, you’re gonna grow different things. They’re different conditions, different seasons. Like, do you need to understand that? And so this dude, he, why wouldn’t he invest some time into figuring out what it means to be in a relationship? Read some books, do some stuff, listen to a podcast. Hell, listen to the podcast. Listen to this one.
Brad Singletary (12:41):
I like it. So we’re talking about passion. So that includes the sexual stuff, but it also means so much more. W what are other, what are other ways in your mind that passion kind of shows up in a healthy relationship? I mean, we, we think of it in terms of the sparks and the, you know, sexual energy. But what other ways can we foster that? What else does that mean for a healthy relationship? Passion.
Mike Spurgin (13:03):
I’ll tell your mind and I want to hear yours. So one of the things I think that is important for a dude to do is to create a fun atmosphere in his relationship where both of your guards are down and then your what’s, but like, you’re playful, you’re goofing off with each other, you’re having little moments of fun throughout the day. And that’s all sort of like
Brad Singletary (13:23):
Emotional foreplay. Right? Okay. Yes. So I think that’s super important. What did, what did you, I can’t tell you the number of women, the female clients that I’ve had that have referred to the song from the eighties girls just want to have fun and guys are just kind of so serious or they’re so wrapped up in their work and they want, they’re, the women just, you know, they want to have a little bit of fun and that may mean a night of dancing or going to a concert. It might mean exploring some new thing or travel and the guy doesn’t want to travel or he only travels alone or he doesn’t want to spend the money on the thing that she may want to do out there on date night or whatever. So passion is created with fun and novel experiences. Those are some of the things that I, I think keeps it interesting. There’s some, there’s freshness to it. There’s some research somewhere that I’ve came across in the last couple decades that I’ve been doing this about the couples who have a high level of novelty in their relationship or new experiences, they fare better. There’s new things going on and they don’t always do the same thing all the time and they have fresh experiences.
Mike Spurgin (14:33):
That’s a good one. You know, I know guys who get dug into like patterns and routines. I don’t know why men do this, but I’ve seen myself done this a little bit to decide like I’m not going to do that thing once. Okay. Here’s a really good example. When Lisa and I were newly married, I’m a traveler and have traveled a ton and did a ton of beforehand, mostly in the U S mostly on motorcycles and mostly seeing things within the U S and for whatever reason I was kind of dug in on that. My wife, she has been exposed to global travel and has traveled all over the world before we were married. She had, she’s clocked a bazillion miles traveling all over the world. So we decided, you know, we’d get in the relationship and we’re gonna travel together. And so I was super dug in and thought that my way was better.
Mike Spurgin (15:16):
Like, I just wanted to, we’re going to travel but we’re just going to, you know, like road trip in the U S cause that’s kind of what I was sad set in my ways for. And then had resisted going, going international. And then it worked out that we went to Italy, we went with a friend, we went to Naples, we went to Sicily, we traveled for like two weeks through Italy and it was mind blowing. It was insane how awesome I was. And I totally learned what an idiot I was at like getting dug in and thinking whatever way I was in was stuck and it was the better way. So guys tend to do this thing where like we only want to do what we want to do the way we want to do it. And our wives may not have like good ideas or good advice or good suggestions. And I would say to me personally, when I do that then and then I wonder why I don’t get good sex or I don’t have the relationship, whatever the dynamic of my relationship is down. And I look at all these factors of like why it may be for sure 50% of that is me. Probably 90% of it might be me. And the things I am not wanting to do and I’m closed off to. So do you ever get any stories about where you’ve kind of realized you’re an idiot?
Brad Singletary (16:26):
I’m such an idiot and I’m a pretty serious guy? You know, I guess I don’t. I, I, I’m, I’m, I’m not a very fun dude. You know, I, I enjoy fun, but I’m just always in my head. I’m always thinking, and something that has occurred to me over, over, through, throughout my life in terms of my romantic relationships has been that I can be boring and boring is not good. And people like surprises and people like things to be, you know, interesting. And sometimes that means bringing something to them, some gift. Sometimes that means a type of quality time that they, you know, appreciate. And maybe it’s something completely random. Maybe it’s a trip somewhere that isn’t well-planned. Maybe it’s the thing that isn’t quite figured out, but you just show up and you can be spontaneous.
Mike Spurgin (17:19):
Let it unfold. Let’s see what happens, see what happens. And that’s part of it
Brad Singletary (17:23):
Venture and and to not be so fussy that we didn’t check everything on the list that goes to be packed in the, in the vehicle to go take this [inaudible]
Mike Spurgin (17:32):
Cause that seems like your tendency is to spreadsheet out the thing and if we’re gonna if we’re going to go somewhere, we first need to have about a two week planning session before that and then the, all of the mechanations like getting everything ready,
Brad Singletary (17:45):
You end up talking yourself out of it because of money or whatever. The, the kind of thing. That’s how I’ve been super lame, not really is not really pushing forward and, and, and making the cool thing happen. Jump in first. Think later.
Mike Spurgin (17:58):
You got any stories of where you did jump into something and do something outside of like your comfort zone outside of what you normally would have done and how did it go?
Brad Singletary (18:10):
Well, there was this one time that I’d dance around in my underwear in a way that was very uncharacteristic of me and I will be posting any videos of that. But but I kind of thought of, I kinda thought of some Jack Black, you know, you know, Jack Black, the actor and the, and there’s a great video right now of him. [inaudible] Got a cowboy hat.
Mike Spurgin (18:29):
People love that guy because he’s so self. He’s like, he lacks that self-awareness. Like he just hangs it out in their shame. No shame.
Brad Singletary (18:36):
No, he doesn’t care. I haven’t give a crap. And every woman I’ve ever seen watch him do some of these things. If I’m w, you know, with my family members or my wife or other people I’ve seen, and you look over at the woman who’s watching Jack Black dance around, she’s smiling and is not because of his sexy body. That’s not what they’re interested in. It’s because he’s got a freedom to him. That’s something I’m trying to work on for myself is just to be able to let go a little bit, be a little bit silly. And you know, not hold back and not worry so much about what people think of me. We got my, my kids a karaoke machine recently and I found it very difficult to sing this silly, just go for whatever, you know, and that’s what everyone does. Maybe that’s why everybody drinks when they do karaoke too. But anyway, that’s a solid even work on is this the ability to kind of just not care about how I look and how I seem and just go kind of go for it. That’s just cut loose. Yeah, just cut loose. So
Mike Spurgin (19:31):
I was watching something on YouTube the other day and was, it was a, it was a male and a female psychologist and they were like comparing notes of just that, the careers that they had had and like what, how do they perceive? And though the woman, she happened to have a lot of clientele who were like very high level Hollywood people, movie stars, people who were like famous and good-looking. Right? And so the guy asked her, he said, you know, you’re dealing with all these people who have very high levels of maybe Oh, what’s the word I’m trying to find. Standards, very high standards, okay. In, in, in mates, in relationships. You know, and she, and he, his question was something like, do these beautiful women have a really hard time? Because you know, it’s they’re super intimidating. And she said no because these women are no different.
Mike Spurgin (20:17):
These beautiful rich women are no different than any other woman. And something to the effect that she said on the is exactly to the, to this point, one of the highest markers of like attractiveness, his sense of humor, sense of humor, sense of humor and then the ability to not be so self aware that you can’t have fun and enjoy and cut loose. And so the punchline, the takeaway was like these super hot rich chicks will take an average Joe if he’s got a gray, a kickass personality, knows how to have fun, makes her laugh. It gives her an enjoyable ride. Having fun. That’s very high on her list. It, all of those other things that, you know, superficial things are probably important to you, but that’s like a huge thing. I think guys need to hear that. I think this, this what we’re saying right now, guys need to hear this and remember this, that being spontaneous, being fun, having fun with your kids, having fun with your wife, doing things that are unplanned and, and this is passion, right?
Mike Spurgin (21:14):
Doesn’t this get to passion? Sure it does, doesn’t it?
Brad Singletary (21:16):
So you make them laugh and you’d be surprised what happens beyond that. Yeah. You were talking about the beautiful person who’s with the average guy. I remember this really good looking girl that I’d liked in college. She told me that her dream guy was David Letterman. You know, so this is, I guess we’re 1819 years old at the time. And this girl I found really attractive. She said that David letter, I’m like David Letterman, dorky older guy. Let her in the what but because it was because of the sense of humor. And I’ve heard this so many times when people, they tell me all kinds of things in this office, but you know, it’s a lot of times those kind of celebrity crushes and things have to do with the person. That can be fun. So passion is created with fun.
Mike Spurgin (22:02):
What else goes along with that? We’re talking about the physical connection, maybe the sensual stuff, you know, sexual things, attractiveness. I think if you want to be attractive, you should put in a little bit of work. You should put in a tiny bit of care. I know that there are not all guys are the same and I know guys who spend more time on personal parents and women and, and I would say that those are, those bad’s probably rare. Probably the typical guy has considerably less. F spends less effort than that and is more of a slob. I think that the two extremes, you’ve got a slob and then a guy who’s like urban sexual or metro-sexual. That’s right. Metro-Sexual yeah, sure. Just, and that’s just a guy and that’s not a put down. I guess that’s just a guy who is very attentive to his personal appearance and that’s completely okay.
Mike Spurgin (22:51):
Just like it is as if you’re a slob. That’s okay. You just have to be willing to accept the consequences if those are conditions that for your garden, right. Those are the things that you, the passion isn’t working out the way you want to. Maybe it has to do with the fact that you don’t shower regularly enough. You know, you don’t brush your teeth. You know, I’ve heard this so many times for women, like he really stinks. Like he needs to like, I dunno, trim his balls, whatever, whatever she, whatever she prefers, you got to know what that is. I figured that out. You got to put it in the work, smells, you know, your clothing, those kinds of things matter. I again, I think, yes, the, not only do they matter, but there are consequences to everything that you do. And so if you want an outcome that you need to evaluate and determine what sort of input you could have to get that outcome so that metro-sexual dude looks cute, looks good, styling there.
Mike Spurgin (23:40):
Could be a consequence of that. That could be a huge turnoff to women. Women may be intimidated by that. He’s prettier than me. So like that may be serving some sort of, you know, ego stretch and there’s a consequence. Like there’s might be a reason for that. And then the dude who’s a slob, yeah, he’s free and he’s doing what he wants and F everybody else, I’m just living my, I’m living my bliss or whatever. Cool bro. Like cool story. There’s a consequence to that. And so you just have to be a realist and say, however I am in this sort of like line, there’s a consequence. And so as with most things, somewhere in the middle is probably ideal. And so whatever that looks like for you, if you could like, try to target that and I think to your point, ride really, really good. Try to update your wardrobe a little bit. Try to maybe upgrade or downgrade. Like what if you just took one click in either direction and see how that goes, see what happens, see what happens.
Brad Singletary (24:33):
Yeah. You’ve, you’ve probably gotten the feedback and if you’re paying attention, and that may be a theme that you hear throughout this show today as you are already getting the feedback. If you’re attentive and you’re aware and you’re discerning and you are listening, you’re getting some feedback. The reason I have a beard is because my wife likes it. She asked me to never shave my beard and I probably never will do that. There was a time I really kind of struggled with that for many years. I, in my job, I had to be clean shaven and whatever and I’ve just felt like that was more professional. I, I can’t stand the way that guy looks now. And so I, I do this because this is what my wife likes me to do. Fascinating. And I’ve grown to love it. I like it too. But it’s interesting that I had a little bit of a, had to grow through some things in order to accept that I have this kind of weird multicolored graying red beard that is super distinguished, but it’s intentional. That’s the point. That’s the point of this, that you’re, the things you’re talking about, wardrobe, how you smell, what’s your haircut like and what are the things you wear. Make it intentional, make there be some purpose behind that. Not just this is what I have. I don’t want to spend the money unless your girls into that you want to do thrift store shopping and she thinks that’s cool, go for it. You know, and maybe that will create the conditions to make your garden grow.
Mike Spurgin (25:54):
That is fascinating about your beard. I got rid of my beard because my wife gave me clear sort of feeling her feedback that she wasn’t into it. I want a beard, I want, I do, I miss it. I felt so good with it and I would’ve let it go. Go, go. It would’ve been like a chest beard. It would be that thing that like I wouldn’t have to wear a shirt because he top yes hundred percent but I got rid of it because it wasn’t her thing. That’s cool. That’s good. So reading the, reading the vibe overtly and covertly from your wife, like she’s sending you signals, pick up on that shes and then just suck it up. Like if she does or doesn’t like a thing, I don’t take it personally. Like she, she may not be doing a very good job of explaining it. She may not be laying it out for you and like very sympathetic or compassionate term. She just may be up looking
Brad Singletary (26:44):
At you in sand. I hate that. Right. Whatever. Get over it. Kay. Forgive her for being a terrible communicator in that way. She, she might be super passionate about it and that’s why she is coming at you and it feels like it’s some sort of an attack and that could be something needs to get worked out, but try to get over it, just hear it for what it is and then try to deed to deescalate your, own, your own defensiveness about it. And just see if you can grow. Yeah, that’s just data. That’s information. That’s, that’s you checking the soil. That’s you looking to see whether or not this is working. And then you have to make an adjustment. I’ve been that way with things like cologne. Mike mentioned this cologne, this is only some of the cologne that I have in my office here, but so there are certain kinds of smells that I like and I would wear them all the time cause I’d like to walk around smelling myself and I found out that’s my wife doesn’t like that.
Brad Singletary (27:40):
And so I kinda had to change some of that. And I know some of the things that she prefers and I’ve avoided some of the things that she doesn’t like. And it depends on what you’re after. If I want to walk around smelling good and smelling myself, the passion in my relationship may be affected. If I want to tune in to what she’s into, whatever that means. How I look, how address the kinds of fun things I like to do or not do, it’s gonna make a difference. I want to just, we could probably have a whole show on like sexual satisfaction, but I just want to hit some things for the guy who’s listening and he’s like, yeah, the passion, my relationship is totally dead. I heard a guy one time, just hit a few points here, Mike, and then we’ll move forward. But I heard a guy one time ask his wife at the end of, you know, at the end of the marriage she’s basically moving out and he said, why did we never have sex?
Brad Singletary (28:30):
And the wife said, because you you’re no good at it. And he never knew that, but he realized that he wasn’t very experienced before they got married. He whatever he learned, he probably learned from porn and he just did not know what he was supposed to be doing sexually. So I guess we don’t need to get into a hole. We could probably have a whole show on this and get into some real specifics, but generally what are men doing in the, in the, in the sexual connection itself to ruin the passion? I don’t talk to guys, my guys, I don’t talk specifically about this. So let me just tell you maybe what my own personal thoughts are and understandings are. I think that once you are engaged there then I think maybe I’ve heard this a lot that maybe I’ve heard this anecdotally or Reddit, but is it the case, maybe I’ll ask you, is it the case that most men are typically fast and selfish when it comes to sexual engagement? That’s a great way to summarize it. Fast and selfish. They have no idea of the warmup. You know, they have no idea that the idea that this is a building process for them and they can just, you know, the wind blows, they have the Sprite right there ready to go and they can literally be done and, and the jokes are real. I mean that’s exactly what women are complaining about. You know, it’s does nothing for me.
Mike Spurgin (29:55):
Erection to like asleep snoring on your side of the bed. Minutes four, five, six, seven, eight minutes. Yes. If you’re, I would say this, if your sexual interaction isn’t lasting a half an hour to an hour, like check checkmate dude. Like wake up. Yeah, seriously. So walk us through then what you think is that, that sort of like ideal format or what does a guy need to know?
Brad Singletary (30:17):
I just think he needs to understand some things about anatomy. I think he needs to understand that she’s not like him. And I heard somebody, I don’t know if as a comedian or a professor, I don’t know where I heard this, but it was talking about how men’s organs are external and they’re more easily stimulated. Some of the women’s, you know, anatomically some of their things are internally and it takes, you got, you know, they’re not as easily, math is way different. The math is different. And so their response to the build up, I love the, I think it was Jeff Foxworthy who talked about, you know, women are like diesel engines. You know, it takes a while to get warmed up, but they can go a long, long time. That’s great. But men are more like bottle rockets. That’s great. So the truth is that, yeah, it does take a little bit more time for their kind of arousal to happen.
Brad Singletary (31:09):
And for the, for the whole, you know, for the whole experience to be meaningful to them. And I think that if men kind of put their partner first in terms of the terms of the sexual attention, you’re going to be a lot better off in the long run, in the long run. You just, you did, you just do it first. Because what happens when you’re, when you’re done, you’re ready to be done. You’re ready to, you think you’re, you’re done. Well, you in maybe in all things put her first. And I think that’s included here.
Mike Spurgin (31:38):
Why doesn’t the sexual interaction have like this long lead up of say, you know, throughout the whole day, of course. And then dudes, are you like rubbing feet? Are you rubbing shoulders? Are you like, you know, you know what? Everybody loves to have their head scratch. Like pet her hair. You’re like, these are real simple, beautiful tender, sort of loving things that I think w if they’re not like folded into this whole beautiful interaction, then the dude is being selfish and the dude doesn’t understand and that’s okay. But homeboy needs to like get his, get his act together. And, and like you had said I think we talked about this. Maybe we will have some good books or some articles or something we can point dudes to, cause maybe we’ve just got dudes out there who are completely oblivious. And that’s, that’s probably most of it.
Mike Spurgin (32:26):
I think that there’s guys who are like straight up selfish and they’re idiots and they’re knuckleheads and those are the, you know, wham. Bam. Thank you ma’am. Even with their wife, those guys are in bad sexual relationships and they’re too stubborn and aren’t going to change. That’s not our guy. But for the guy who’s just hopelessly ignorant and, and, and, and, and innocently ignorant, right? Cause maybe he grew up in, and this is a lot of us, you said this, most of our understandings about sex probably come from porn or movies. They don’t come from conversations with older men. They don’t come from watching our parents that, you know what’s fascinating is we used to live together in like communal societies where multigenerational groups live together. And then we also lived in small habitation where mom and dad were like fricking getting it on in the other room or were in the room with them.
Mike Spurgin (33:22):
And we’re trying to like pretend we’re asleep while that’s happening. What does that movie dances with wolves where the guy’s, he’s laying there in the teepee and then the husband and wife are getting it on and then he’s, he rolls over and like they’re away, you know, they make eye contact all with each other and then he like, Oh shit. And he rolls away, pretends he didn’t see it like we used to. We used to interact in a way where we could see these dynamics at play and I think we probably had conversations with men, older men, and they walked us through this stuff. Now it seems to be that we have the pendant, it’s so weird. The public pendulum has gone the other way where people publicly act like prudes generally except for frat boys and party girls who are out there on YouTube, you know, lifting their shirts up and, and that’s one extreme. And so that’s an outlier. But typically I think most of us are in these households where it’s really pretty like we don’t talk about sex and if there’s any religion involved in our families, the shame of surrounding that. And so where do boys go to get their sort of understanding education, this stuff probably porn, right? And so they probably terribly trained and so that is it their fault? Yes and no. And so I think it would be good if we had some resources on that.
Brad Singletary (34:38):
We’ll share some things. One thing that I found, just an interesting as I’ve surveyed people over the years, is that men kind of expect sex at night. This is their, they’re weighed, unwind, they’ve got this tension for the day. They kind of think that’s the ideal way to end the day. We’re going to have sex and go to sleep. And that’s just almost all men. That’s kind of what they want. I find that most women are not interested in doing that at night because they need to feel relaxed. So men need sex to relax and women need to be relaxed in order to enjoy sex. And so I find, and I just ask because I’m curious now, even if it’s not relevant necessarily to their case, do you prefer to do this in the morning? Most women are telling me they liked the morning sex and guys are like, if they go to sleep without it, they’re, they’re feeling likeS shortchanged and like they’ve got, you know, and they’re buttered and their missed out butter Bart, but Howard over it.
Brad Singletary (35:31):
And so they there’s so many things about our needs and our fulfillment. That’s, I think about the anatomy itself. There’s, there was an inverted you know, there’s, our parts are opposites and so very often in so much of this, and we talk about passion, there’s this inverted this opposites that we have to tune into. I want to keep moving on here. One of the, before we do that, one last thought on this. Do you think it would be fair to say that the alpha should own up to the, to these disparate like realities and then accept it. So rather than putting on her, you, so if you’re an alpha, rather than putting on your wife to adapt, come to my side, what would it be fair to say that as an alpha you adapt. Yes, you adapt. You recognize that she may be interested in that one day a month and that may be totally normal for her.
Brad Singletary (36:26):
And you want to do this every day. You’ve got this twice a week, dr Oz I think was on Oprah or somewhere before he got famous about, Oh, two times a week. That’s a normal, healthy sex life or whatever. Guys have these whatever expectation, and I think you’re exactly right. You adjust to the reality rather than forcing the reality. And there’s so much of this kind of alpha stuff out there that’s about how to have more sex and how to be. That’s all about selfish being a narcissistic dog. We don’t, we’re not, we’re not with that brand of alpha. We’re talking about how you take care of yourself by taking care of other people and adjusting to the reality acceptance. Man, there’s so much health than just accepting things as they are. And you do the adapting. You do the adjusting. Love it.
Brad Singletary (37:16):
One of the words. So the next thing was about, so the three things that a doctor, the doctor Sternberg here said that we need is passion, intimacy, and commitment. What’s the difference between passion and intimacy? Because a lot of times you say, how’s the intimacy in your marriage? And people start talking about sex. So what is, what is intimacy we’re talking about here? He’s, he’s making a difference. He’s talking about the closeness. So the feelings of connectedness, bonding, the warmth and that’s different from, from sex. I think intimacy is generally we’re talking about the emotional connection. One of the things that I did in my past as part of my as part of my social work career was I worked in adoption. And as we talk about intimacy and how to, how to build that, I had an interesting experience for S for almost 10 years.
Brad Singletary (38:17):
I think it was, I worked in adoption. So a child is placed with a family, an adoptive family. And then we would go into their home for several months afterward to monitor how things are going and so forth. And one of the fears that people always had is they adopted children who were their biological children was to say, Hey, how, how am I gonna know if I’m going to love this baby or not? I’m going to, how am I going to love this kid? And the answer was always, well, you feed them and you hold them and you talk to them and you play with him and you and you teach them and you spend time with them. And that, that always seemed to happen. You claim them, you claim them as yours. And so that was one of the things we look for. Are they saying, Oh, our daughter is doing so well. And so that was one of the indicators of a kind of intimacy with this child and their parents. So back to romantic relationships. Let’s talk Mike, about ways that people can increase the intimacy in their relationship. If that’s one of the building blocks and one of the most important things, first of all, how does the average guy see intimacy? How is it, what’s his understanding of the emotional connection? Low and
Mike Spurgin (39:31):
Poor, right? Yes. Because I think, I think it’s true what you said. Most guys, whenever they hear the word intimacy, and it’s probably, I probably do that too. I think of sex value equate the two words. It’s the same word. And while there is sexual intimacy, there’s also emotional intimacy and, and I probably don’t automatically, my mind probably doesn’t automatically go to the other one. And that’s a flaw because it is probably, if I want this, if I want sexual intimacy, then I need to mature up my emotional intimacy. So that area needs to be really strong. I think it’s a really amazing sort of experience that you brought up there with adoption because here you have, you have, you have disparate people and you know, think about this, the only people in our lives that we are in relationship with that we didn’t automatically come.
Mike Spurgin (40:29):
How do I want to say this? The people that were in relationship, the people we choose, our spouse, we chose them, right? We weren’t born to them. They, we didn’t by default, we’re not in a relationship with them. We choose, we have chosen them to be in a lifelong committed relationship. And how do, how did we bond to our partner, our spouse? We did it through everything you just said there. And so that oxytocin is created when we serve, when we spend time we’ll, you said the three T’s, time, touch, talk, all of those things. That’s how we develop a relationship with our spouse. And then if we adopt, and incidentally I have an adopted son, my Elijah, my son is adopted. And that’s how I bonded with him is those things and continue to rebound with him and my wife and anyone that I want to be in a relationship with.
Mike Spurgin (41:16):
It’s just these basic things. And so that’s how, that’s freaking how humans have relationships is you spend time with people, you, you look for ways to have contacts. You, you talk, touch, spend time. These are things you, if you’ve read or know who the, the, what’s the book, the five love languages, Gary Chapman, Gary Chapman, the five love languages, very common. A lot of people have read that and, and understand that and are trying to like even do that in their own lives and relationships. If you care enough to be selfless enough and then do those things and then be sensitive to those things, you will just have good vegetables in your garden. It’s just that, it’s that simple formula of like, if I want to have good tomatoes, then I just need to put in the right. I just need to create the right environment, put in the right systems and then automatically up magically I’ll have great tomatoes, there’ll be pest, there’ll be invaders, there’ll be things that’ll come in and have to be on guard and diligent for and watch for.
Mike Spurgin (42:22):
But if I put in the correct formula to get good tomatoes, then I just will get good tomatoes. So these things seem complicated and they are, I’m not trying to downplay the realities in the fact that like all of these are challenging and difficult and sometimes gut wrenching because we, we may have, I may have. So if I say it like this, I may have history, I may have wounds, I may have injuries, emotional, spiritual, whatever, that, that are preventing me or, or stifling me from having, you know, these really good, rich relationships. Those are issues. Those are problems I need to work that crap out. So an alpha recognizes and is a realist and says to himself, objectively, I don’t do a good job when this situation arises. What do I gotta do to work that through to work that out? So in my greenhouse analogy, sometimes there’ll be an invader that’ll come in and get some white fungus or some, some flies.
Mike Spurgin (43:29):
And that’s a result of like temperature that’s gone awry or wa soil pH that’s gone awry. Or are these other things that are happening that are creating the symptom? So the symptom is what I see on the leaf. The, the, the cause is something else. And I need to get to the root of that and figure that out. So the symptom is the fact that like, my, my F my 18 year old daughter doesn’t want to talk to me or be in the same room with me. That’s the symptom. The cause goes way deeper than that. And, and the dude needs to like own that fact that, you know, just real, it just be a realist about that. Like, my teenage daughter doesn’t want, he doesn’t want to see my face. What’s up with that? Some of that’s on her, but I probably contributed to that. So I think that there’s just so many ways to go about discussing this one that are worth the time and effort to do it. So I think about intimacy in a romantic relationship. That’s really the friendship part to me. I heard somewhere, I don’t where I saw this or heard it. Someone
Brad Singletary (44:32):
Talked about a friend knows your favorite song and they sing it to you. They sing it to you when you, when you need it. And I really liked that because so much of the intimate connection, intimacy, the warmth, the emotional bonding comes from just knowing the preferences and the needs of the other person. Gary John Gottman, the Gottman Institute, they have a little exercise called love maps. And really basically that’s kind of the, almost like the newlywed game or it’s a, it’s a little bit of a, a questionnaire about how well do you know your spouse or your partner? Do you know their favorite color? Or even, I can’t tell you how many men don’t know the favorite food and the favorite color and whether or not they like this type of, you know, clothing or, you know, if they were going to buy a gift, they have no idea even where they would go to find a start, how to, where to begin with that.
Brad Singletary (45:28):
And so it’s really knowing and having an interest in the other person listening to them, you know, think about what a friend would do to your, with your woman. A friend would listen, a friend would be on their side, a friend would take their side. You know, there’s some drama at their job. Her friend would take her side, even if she’s full of shit, they’re just going to accept and love and know where a really sad case I had recently, and this has been a, this is a 25 year relationship, I’m working with this couple, the wife maybe she’s a typical, a typical feminine where she, you know, has a need to talk and you know, she comes home and he needs to really kind of vent all these things. And her husband looks at her and kind of says, why do I care?
Brad Singletary (46:16):
And he has, there are things about this relationship that he’s unfulfilled about trust me, but he he has no idea that what’s missing here is this is this intimacy part. He’s not her friend. And so he makes her feel like crap when she comes home to say, you wouldn’t believe what happened at work today and what’s going on between these people and this and this drama. And he looks it over, he looks over at her and it’s like, who gives a shit? That’s kinda the worst case that’s on the far end of your not being her friend. And it’s just sad to me to see how men don’t understand the impact of that kind of, you know, what happens in the, in the bigger picture when they can’t, can’t
Mike Spurgin (46:57):
Be close that way. That makes me think about that. That quote, the opposite of love is not hate. It’s apathy and so didn’t, didn’t you have a note in here that said one of the greatest markers of a relationship is lack of interest. Do you remember that? Maybe that’s further down. Maybe we’re going to get to that, but I thought that was something that was, and they got, then the Gottman Institute talks about that too. Like one of the precursors of a relationship that is kind of, I don’t think
Brad Singletary (47:30):
There’s any relationships that unsalvageable but a relationship that is really doomed is that too harsh of a word is one where there is, there’s no passion, there’s no way. So like, let me say it this way. If you are eliciting anger from your spouse, there’s love there. There’s, there’s your, your, your bringing emotion out. There’s emotion may be negative and it may not be worth, you may not look at it as positive, but it is positive because there’s still emotion there. It’s when you’re interacting with their spouse and they don’t give a crap about it. You’re here, you’re not here. None of it matters to them. That’s red flag, red danger zone. Is that what you’ve seen? Yeah. So conflict is a form of intimacy too. There’s caring. Yeah. You know, and I see people who maybe they’re even years into a divorce and if they’re still fighting to me that says there’s still some unresolved stuff there.
Brad Singletary (48:21):
I like what you said about the opposite of love is not hate. It is apathy. And I think men are just, cause we’re emotionally kind of tuned off. You just start this segment you were talking about men do this poorly and well it’s a matter of like emotional intelligence, reading the cues, looking at nonverbal expressions or even just the outright. She comes out and she’s crying and a guy freaks out. He doesn’t know what to do with that. He’s afraid of these tears. And what does a friend do? What does a person who has a healthy intimacy with his wife do when she’s crying? What would it guide you? Who’s trying to steal your wife away? Do he would hug her. He would say, Oh baby. He would wipe her tears and just say, come, come. Let me come for you. You know, I’ll be your strength.
Brad Singletary (49:10):
Why can’t the dude be that way? Why does it, why does a woman have to have an affair? Right? Be attracted to another man at with the w with the intent of having an affair to get the sort of like emotional support that she’s after. Why can’t I do that to my wife now? Serious? Yeah. That’s a great question. Yeah, so this is, you know, men are so interested in the passion one and they don’t realize how they’re damaging that one. They’re not emotionally tuned in a conversation. You know, I think about, that’s what girls do a lot of times when they’re talking to the friend, they’re just talking and sometimes that is the solution. Just you don’t have to try to fix it. She’s talking to you. She’s venting off something. That’s one way to increase the intimacy is to just hold space for whatever she’s feeling.
Brad Singletary (50:00):
Hold space for that. I was a, a few years ago, I wrote a blog article about this a few years ago. I was at a cheesecake factory on Valentine’s day and there’s a long line and I kind of interviewed these couples. I saw these older couples and I said, Hey, what you, okay, it’s Valentine’s day. I’m a therapist and I work with couples and I’m interested. And why are you, how long have you been together? 40 years. You’ve been together 40 years. What’s made it work? It’s Valentine’s day. We’re all just waiting for tables and cheese, cake factory. And this one guy, I’ll never forget, he was from some like Eastern Indian country. I don’t know what, where it was, but he said, the trick is listen to her and I can’t even, I don’t even know the accent, but he says, listen to her. And he just kept saying that over and over, listen to her.
Brad Singletary (50:50):
Well, I felt like I was having this profound experience with this dude. We had a three minute conversation. He kept telling me to listen to her. I did not realize at the time that my wife was fuming. She was mad at me because this was our first date and have way too long because of our kids. We have six boys and it’s hard to get away sometimes. Our first date in a very long time, she was dressed up looking so good and I’m in the cheesecake factory talking to this dude thinking about my next blog article, not paying attention to her, not doing what this guy is telling you to do, telling me this. And he just caught smiled like, here’s the irony, like Gandhi or something. He’s looking at me like, listen to her and if I could just have looked over and seen, and then I got mad that she was mad.
Brad Singletary (51:37):
I thought, Hey, I’m just, look, I’m just having social conversation here. She wanted me to be looking at her and listening to her just like the man was saying. So. So intimacy is so many ways to, to create that and develop that, but to be a friends, you know, have conversation. There’s so many different types of intimacy. You know, spiritual intimacy, emotional stuff is what we’ve been talking about. Financial intimacy maybe, or you have intimacy over, I don’t know, Lord of the rings or a Harry Potter or whatever, you know entertainment type of intimacy. But there’s so many ways to develop that. You just have to believe that you can improve it and start paying attention.
Mike Spurgin (52:18):
Can I throw this out there? So I think women’s, I think women probably generally don’t get this, that their husband is not their best. Let me say this carefully. Let me see. Let me think this through. Just I want to get my words right. So I think women typically generally understand that their husband, their boyfriend, whatever, is not their girlfriend. He is a, he is his own little creature. She wants that relational, conversational intimacy with him. But I think she also gets that he’s not her girlfriend. Right? And, and to the dude, dudes, husbands, boyfriends, we should be tolerant. Not, it’s how I want to, I just want to pick really good words here. We should be compassionate and sympathetic to the fact that we give our wives and girlfriends enough latitude to maintain, to keep and maintain their relationships with their girlfriends, with their chick friends.
Mike Spurgin (53:21):
And so it is important for us to I almost use the word allow cause that’s wrong. We’re not allowing her, she doesn’t need our approval or permission to go forward. It may be support. Support it. Yes. So I want to be very far, I want to be thoughtful here with these vocabulary words because words matter and I do not want to create the thought or belief that I’m saying we’re letting baby. I’m letting you go out tonight with your friends. I’m giving you permission to go out and see your, see that guy’s a jerk. That guy’s an ass. So if you’re the kind of guy and straight up, if you’re the kind of guy who is controlling and and is, is then putting weird constraints on your wife and when she goes out with her friends, then you’re an idiot. You’re a jackass. Let me just qualify that though because there’s a flip side and I can hear the flip side of that.
Mike Spurgin (54:18):
Maybe she’s got super toxic friends. So maybe this dude, I mean, you know, these are never black and white, there’s never absolutes. So you want to like really take this. And I don’t want to present this as in black and white either. But in general terms, most dudes, most most I think, I think most women don’t have toxic friends. And I think most guys are not controlling assholes. Those are the outliers, right? But those situations exist. So for most of us, we’re married to very sensible wives with very sensible, really who and, and our wives have very sensible friendships and their friends are sound and wise and good influences and offer good structural support. And so men should encourage, maybe this is the word I want to use. Dudes, encourage your wife to go out and spend time with her. High level, high quality friends and wives, encourage her husband to go out for bro time with his high quality friends, with the, with the guys who speak wisdom into his life.
Mike Spurgin (55:21):
And into his world. And so if both parties have really good high level relationships outside of that bonded relationship and, and both trust that the friend groups that they have on the other side, that should be encouraged on both sides. It’s dangerous though if if like if my wife has good high level friends but I’m of my friends are jerks and idiots and all we, you know, then I think my wife should use suspicious and maybe a little thoughtful and careful about me going out and I don’t know how she can coach me into finding a better friend group, but that’s probably needs to happen or I need to check myself and realize my friends are idiots. So it’s interesting. First thing
Brad Singletary (56:03):
We’re talking about intimacy and we’re saying sometimes that is fostered by them going away from you by them going to have intimacy elsewhere. They’re going to have intimacy with their friends, they’re going to go be close with their girlfriends or you might need that with your dude time. So I find that as a problem in so many relationships, especially like say an insecure beta type man. I’ve been that guy before where I was afraid for them to be almost out of my side. I was afraid for them to go off and have fun and laugh all night or to enjoy a festival or walking around some parade or whatever it might be like, Oh no, she’s having a good time with other people. I see people who even do that with their, with their families and stuff like that. They’re, you know, they, they go on a trip, they travel with their, with the the other, you know, with her family brothers and sisters, adult family or whatever.
Brad Singletary (57:00):
And the guy is so worked up and worried about that and it just, that’s a, that’s, that’s one of those narcissistic, selfish, controlling, insecure. You’ve got a problem if you, if you, if, if these are healthy, nontoxic people who your, your woman is just trying to, to get some of those needs met in a healthy way and you can’t support that and encourage it, that’s a problem. But it does. I think when when there is a safe, healthy connection to other people, we’re bringing this back to intimacy and romantic relationship that really does foster that some time away and Mike does it. He goes all the way out of the country for that. I think it’s, I think it’s super important for each of us to spend time outside of that little bubble with each other and then get fed and get lifted up and get like energized and pumped up.
Brad Singletary (57:54):
Have that away time cause then the reunion time is sweeter. It’s better. Yeah. I’ve missed you and and and and coming back together feels great. All right. Any other thoughts on building intimacy in a romantic relationship? Ah, no. I think we hit it but I’ll hopefully in the comments you guys are like gonna throw up some new thoughts or new ideas or maybe extra things that we could use as ideas for like future conversations or have those conversations in the chat in that Facebook or YouTube or wherever you’re listening this, wherever there is the chance to throw up comments, please do it. We find that most of our listeners are coming through iTunes. So we’re asking you to leave a rating and review there. Follow us on Instagram. Our handle is at alpha quorum like us on Facebook. Share feedback wherever you, wherever you can where if you know Mike or myself, our phone numbers through social media, we’d love to just hear what it is that, that you, how you see our show and what do you think it is that we can improve. Appreciate you being with us. Men change their lives by working with the tribe of men to improve their actions, attitudes and attributes.