Love, Intimacy & Connection: Vol. 2

In this juicy and personal episode, Michael is letting you take a behind-the-scenes peek into his relationship with his partner, Star.

While vacationing in Mexico, they are opening up about the lessons learned after one year together. Specifically, they’re talking about relationship dynamics including conflict, intimacy, and communication. 

They’ll be answering questions such as:

  • How have they grown over the last year?
  • What have been their biggest challenges?
  • How do they handle conflict? 
  • What are some communication do’s and don’ts? 

This intimate and honest conversation between partners is full of tips and advice for couples and singles alike. 

Referenced in today’s show- Episode 20: Love, Intimacy, & Connection (behind the scenes of a modern gay relationship)

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Hello. Hello everyone. And welcome to another episode of gay men going deeper. This is a podcast series by the gay men’s brotherhood, where we talked about personal development, mental health, and sexuality. Today I am your host. My name is Michael and I have a very, very personal episode lined up for you today. This month in the gay men’s brotherhood,

we are talking all about romantic relationships. So I thought this was a perfect time to give you guys out there. A sneak peek into my own romantic relationship. So my guest today is none other than the man who was the catalyst for my own growth in life and in relationships. He’s the kindest person I know, and also the biggest pain in my ass.

And he just so happens to be my partner star, say hello? Hello everyone. Okay, fun fact, guys, this might not be the first time you’ve heard. Start I speak. We did an episode. Our very first episode was exactly a year ago, episode number 20, called the love intimacy and connection behind the scenes of a modern day relationship.

So for those of you who listened back, then think of today’s episode as a bit of a check-in for those of you who are new. And didn’t listen to that episode, go check it out after this one, but this is actually Star’s second appearance on our podcast. So today, guys, we’re going to have some fun today. We’re going to let you in behind the scenes of our relationship,

just a little bit, we’re going to talk about what we’ve learned about ourselves. That’s the main focus today. We’re going to talk about what we’ve learned about each other and how we’ve both grown through relationships. So our hope for you today is that for those of you who are in relationship, or even if you’re not the valuable lessons that we can learn through each other in relationships.

So some things that have changed since our last or our first episode star, and I have actually moved in together since then, he has started a new job and we are currently in sunny, Puerto Vallarta. We’ve been here for an entire month, which was, I would say the best decision we’ve made. And we’re still here. We are going to stick around for a little bit longer because we decided to do that.

We actually got COVID. So That helps in the decision making. So that Actually helps with the decision making. So we are currently going to be sticking around for a little bit longer and then we’ll be back in Toronto. So, okay. So we are going to talk about a couple things in particular. We’re going to share, you know, what we think makes a strong relationship,

some of the challenges that we face and how we overcome them. And we’re going to have some fun along the way. So why don’t we start off with the very first question that we asked in the gay men’s brotherhood. So for those of you who are in the Facebook group, we asked us what are three traits of a strong relationship. So I want to start there and start,

you can go for it. Okay. Well, before we get to that can to Jack and ask you Michael, a question, I would say you’re the realist and the relationship. You’re more the realist. Okay. Did you foresee us lasting this long? No, I did not. That’s the honest truth. No, only because, I mean, I don’t think too far into the future anyway.

I don’t expect too much. I like to, I like to keep things as like, you never know. I think that keeps me open to possibilities. I guess it took the pressure off the expectations of the relationship. Right? Just go with the flow. Yes. Which is very ticketing taking it day by day. I mean, obviously I’m planning for the future,

but also not expecting it. Right. I think it’s nice. And we, we worked together during COVID. We got together during COVID we spent a lockdown together. The first, the first episode, we talked a lot about that, how we were managing that. And so, I mean, I didn’t know what was going to happen outside of COVID.

I was like, I don’t know if this relationship can stand regular life, quote, unquote, whatever that looks like. And you know, luckily here we are. So yeah. Yeah. To answer your question, I would say the three points for me, the three CS communication, compassion and compromise. Okay. Okay. Do you want me to people?

Okay. Communication. I think it’s the root of every successful relationship. There’s more communication. You are speaking two different languages and there’s nothing that can get done. I know sometimes we do feel that we speak two different languages at times We are. Oh yeah, yeah, we are. But I think at the end of the day, we both are cognizant that communication skill is very important that we do our best to actively communicate better and you can alter our communication styles to match the other person so that we are understood by our,

I think that’s been our biggest challenge by far. Yeah. By far we have challenges, which we’ll talk about in this episode. But that for me has been my biggest personal challenge is like learning how to communicate my own needs in a way that you’ll understand them and also hearing what you need without my bias, without my own filters and narratives coming through.

That’s true. Or the other ones. Yeah. Compassion, I think. Yeah. I think that you need to have compassionate relationship, especially where there may be times of broken communication and people, you have two different individuals on two different paths or playing fields that one says compassionate involve and you understand, okay, why my I is seeing or understanding something in a way that I may not say or understand it.

I could have compassion for him and through it, you know, I wouldn’t be a bitch. You know, Would you say that I’m compassionate? I think as you’ve gotten a lot further along than where we met, when we started dating, it was a challenge I would say, but now you’ve grown leaps and bounds and not feel like, I mean,

I, Yeah, it’s nice to get that acknowledgement. And just in case everyone was listening to us, so we have proof. Yes. And my final thing was a compromise. I think that should have relationship. You’d need to compromise. I mean, it’s not just a you and then me anymore. It’s an us sometimes. And I think we need to be mindful of that.

And you know, not bend backwards, always a partner, but have flexibility at least. So let me ask you a follow-up question. How do you know when you’re compromising versus when you’re settling or when you’re not compromising? I asked myself, like, I’ve learned self-talk from the last I would say. And I asked myself that same question. Like, if you need something of me or when in a situation where you prefer something and I don’t necessarily prefer it,

I asked myself, is this something I can live with the will live without? Am I able to compromise? Or is this part of my core values that is being infringed on? And yeah, lots of times it’s a compromise that I think I could easily change easily. Do I think I’ll be honest. I think you’re probably a little bit historically been better at compromising than me only because I think I have such I’m very Strong.

That’s a good words. We’ll leave it at that. Yes. I’m very independent. I’m very strong. I know what I want. And I don’t, I guess I don’t often leave room for negotiation, but I will. I can’t compromise it yet. And again, that’s another thing that you’ve grown leaps and bounds from where we first started dating as well.

So I’ll give you prompts there as well. Thank you. I love this. This is all going to be documented. I’m going to remember this forever. Okay. Mine are open and honest communication, no matter how scary it is. So I think communication is, and we’re going to talk about that for sure. Today. I think the, the emphasis on the,

no matter how scary it is, it’s really important because oftentimes communicating, it sounds nice of course, but it can be very scary. There’s lots of reasons why we might not want to communicate authentically how we feel or what our needs are. And so for me, being able to vulnerably tell your partner or anyone, really anyone that you’re in relationship with,

how you feel, how you feel about them, how you feel about what you need, what your desires are, all of that, having the courage to speak your truth, I think really makes the relationship go far. The second thing is a shared vision for the future that we are both excited about. For me personally, that’s something that is a must in any relationship.

And you know, for us, it looks like talking about our future. Even though we just said we don’t too far into the future, but having shared goals, like if I know that I want my life to look, you know, a certain way, if he doesn’t want that, then we’re not, we’re paddling in the opposite direction. We’re not going to get anywhere.

So having that shared vision I think is really helpful and that’s exciting. It keeps us excited for more and excited for what’s next and that eagerness and excitement for the future keeps us working together, which is really nice. And then finally, I would say a commitment to growth over perfection. That’s, that’s very important because when you can be in a relationship where growth is the top value,

rather than trying to be perfect, it makes things a lot more fun. First of all. And it also makes things a bit easier because you would allow each other a little bit of room to grow. And why were you allowed to have the room to grow means you allow each other to make mistakes and you kind of hold each other through it. And if you’re both committed to individual growth and growth from the relationship,

it could be a really, really fun place to be. And instead of like, you know, like in my previous relationship, I felt like I had to be this version of myself that he would love. And so that’s not the case now. And I’m like, listen, this is who I am. And it’s not always going to be pretty,

but you know, I hope you, I hope you will stay with me and, you know, hold my hand through it and vice versa. Yeah. And I think that was one of our main points when we started dating or chatting. I guess I was my, what I told you. I said, you know, be yourself. Yes. I always like to say,

show me your fangs or love you through it. You know, meaning just be authentically you. I showed him my fangs. Yeah, Yeah. Yes. And if I pointed, you just made, I, I must admit that it wasn’t something that I would think of outside of relationship, which is the growth is not something I thought of before, but coming into this relationship and realizing just how far and how much I’ve grown through this short space of time.

Yes. It’s now like a focal point for me. So tell us about that. That’s, that’s actually a great question. How have you evolved through this relationship? Oh, wow. I would have to say a lot of self-talking and self processing, my mental chatter. No, it’s not something that I would have done before and identify so much about myself that I didn’t even realize it’s small things like ego,

my ego, you know, I had no idea I had an issue with it or, you know, I was at odds with it, but Can I just ask you what that, so what, what did that mean exactly? Like how did that show up? I think for, for the person out there who might not know what having an issue with your ego is like,

how did that show up in our relationship as an issue? Okay. Okay. So for instance, let’s say that we had an, a disagreement with what to do today. For example, like you want to go to the beach and I want to stay home and knit, you know, I, and, and in that argument you probably would have said something that would trigger my sensitive self,

you know, and for me, that would have before I would have meant, okay, I have to stay angry, show him that I’m angry. It show him that I’m hurt, you know, and pick a class. And then we end up staying home and knitting anyway. And what I’ve learned is the talking to my talk to myself and listen to that.

Self-talk first be conscious of the narrative and that conversation you have playing in your mind and have the capacity and ability to tell yourself, Hey, snap, out of it, like what stupid as he’s talking about, you know, this is not you. And, you know, just take that breath and take that chance to recoup, regroup, and then come up with a better response that wouldn’t,

you know, ruin our entire day. We still get to go to the beach and it’s when we come home. Yeah. Yeah. It’s that compromise going back to your earlier point. Yeah. Okay. Solid. I know like where does knitting Maybe you’re Begging. Yeah. Okay. I want to ask that question. So how has our relationship evolved since last year?

I think that that is a big piece of it. I think what you said in the, your, your three C’s all, all three of them, I think have been for me, a big areas of growth communicating specifically in that, what I’ve learned is how to communicate in a way that’s going to get the best results for both of us, like the best outcome,

what I want to say. So if I want the outcome to be a loving, peaceful, happy relationship, which luckily we want the same outcome, then what I’ve learned is okay, communicating the way Michael wants to communicate is not going to get me very far because I, I am very direct. I like a direct approach and I can be sometimes what would you say,

like Shopper on the edges, That little sharp around the edges, which I’ve learned, this is not, it’s not going to get us any further. So what I’ve learned to do is, okay, how does star and you need to communicate. And of course still, you know, making sure that my, like, still making sure that my needs are being communicated,

but just the way in which they’re being communicated, there’s a lot more flexibility that we’re, that, that has been so, so helpful for me. That’s probably my biggest guess in terms of how our relationship has evolved together. So I think before we go further, we should indicate the way that we see relationships. And the way that I would advocate for seeing relationships is there’s Michael whole wonderful,

beautiful individual on his own. There start perfect, beautiful, wonderful whole individual on his own. And then we have this shared thing called relationship. Thank you for the visual. We have this shared relationship, which is some of me and some of him, but it’s all of me and all of him, it’s really important that we understand that we are individual people separate from our relationship and we’re coming together to share some aspects and,

and create the shared vision, as you said. And so I think for me, what, how, how our relationship has evolved is really getting clear on all of those parts and knowing that in order for our relationship to be strong, then it is within my interests also to care how star is doing obviously and vice versa. But also that I am not my relationship and neither is he.

And he is his own person with his own needs. And, you know, hopefully for a long time we can share it. We can share that commitment together. So I think that has been a big help. Also, how I think we’ve evolved is we’ve done a lot of work on our relationships. So I think me being a coach and I’m just totally passionate about personal development relationships,

And I’m also very passionate about growth. Yes. That is really the crux of our relationship as well. But in that we do a lot of work, you know, reading books, watching videos, implementing, implementing our check-ins or that we talked about. Like there’s so many things that we do journaling yes. That we do that that really helps us.

I think the way I see it as when I help myself, our relationship gets stronger, a good, a stronger version of Michael. It means a stronger relationship. Yeah. Same with me. And I think for me, what I’ve realized, what I said previously is about my ego work. I think that has also contributed to our healthy relationship because when I work on myself and my ego and being vulnerable,

which is something I had to learn to do, because to me, my culture, I equated vulnerability as weakness, you know? So it was another path that I had to go on on, on the me aspect. So I could contribute a healthy lifestyle for the us part and our relationship. And I think a vulnerability learning to be vulnerable was a big step.

Yeah. I’m a hundred percent. And the, and you have made a lot of growth there. Just like, you know, you said that I, you acknowledge my growth. I want to acknowledge yours. Thank you. Yeah, because I remember being very frustrated cause I, I see, I guess the drawback of my, my work is when I see him,

I see his bullshit all the time and it drives me crazy because I don’t want to coach him. I want to be his partner. Right. So it’s hard for me seeing through your pride, like seeing your pride and ego and be like, oh my God, we’re not going to get anywhere, but you’ve done a really good job. Let me ask me,

are you okay? Yeah, I’m fine. No, I’m like this bitch is so not okay. And like, meanwhile, if I’m not okay, you will know about it real quick. I will tell you quickly. I’m not okay. And here’s why, Yeah. It’s something I appreciate that you learn from you. And I’m glad I did the work.

Yeah. Well, we are still doing the work both of us. Right. Okay. Let’s talk a little bit about our challenges. Okay. Okay. Let’s get a little juicy here. What do you think has been our biggest challenge? Communication, no thinking necessary thinking needed. I think communication. It’s something that we’ve, we’ve had issues with in the past.

A lot more issues. I think now it flares up every so often you would see that, you know, I wish we communicated better in certain circumstances, but I think that that’s something that we’ve, we’ve had the most growth and needed the most out in like most effort in I’m going to put you on the spot, but maybe I’ll answer first. But then while I want to give you a chance to think about this,

what do you think specifically has helped with communication? Like, is there anything in particular that you think has been really beneficial? So while you think about that, I’ll answer as well. So yes, I would agree for us. Our biggest challenge is communication. Like I said earlier, learning how he needs. He, he would like me to speak to him and vice versa specifically in the element of conflict.

Of course, it’s super easy to communicate when times are good. But when I’m angry, you know, for me, if you guys aren’t aware of attachment styles, it’s definitely something to look into. Definitely. There’s lots of content out there about your attachment style. So when I’m in a conflict, what I tend to do is I want to withdraw because I sense their safety in being alone.

So for me, what that might look like is if we’re having an argument, I’ll say, listen, I don’t, I can’t, I don’t want to be a part of this. I just want to leave. So I’ll go for a walk, leave the house and say, I’m going go for a walk, peace out. I don’t want to deal with this kind of,

to run away. And of course I’m home stewing. I go, my gosh, he laughed. He doesn’t care about me. He doesn’t care or this document. Yeah. Very different, very, very different. But I think what we’ve learned is when I, so I still have a need for getting away. And I, I can’t, I can’t argue.

And I can’t communicate when I’m in it. I personally am someone who needs to withdraw, gather my thoughts, gather my feelings, calm down. And then when I come back, I’m in a much better place to get to a resolution. That’s personally how I do best with conflict, but that’s not his. So what we’ve had to figure out is okay,

if I have that need for alone time and you have a need to fix it immediately. And the opposite of a long time, how do we do both? So what we’ve done is if I do end up going for a walk, I’ll say, listen, here’s the reason why I need to get out of here for a moment. You tell me how Long I’m gonna tell you,

how long is that going to be gone for, you know, 20 minutes, half hour, whatever I’m going to go for a walk. Here’s what I’m doing. And then I come back And even before you get there, we have a code that we should, we share a code. Okay. You can tell them our codes. Okay. When we have an argument,

a disagreement, if that point where he is itching to run, he tells me my tank, my fuel tank is getting low. And we know, I know that that means, okay. He, he wants to end it quickly and have that space. That me time. Yeah. So I know, okay. It’s not to be defensive or take it personally when he actually needs to go.

I kind of wrap up my points quickly in a little tiny bowl. And I put a pin in it. Yes. Let’s say we put a pin in it. And then, and then when I come back again and for me, whereas before I would have just not said anything, walked out the door and to like leaving him, like where, where did he go?

How long is it going to be? What’s happening? It makes him worse. Now what I say is here’s, what’s happening? Here’s my need, please honor. My need. It’ll make things better for us in the future or in the long run. Right. And what, I’ve, what I’ve realized as well. Not that I want to admit it or anything,

But that time that you do go, I do take the time to process it and ask myself, what am I really making it mean? Like, how did I contribute to this argument or this disagreement? Like, could I have said anything differently to help the situation? And usually when he comes back, I’m much more able to, you know, exactly what I want to say and mean what I mean,

instead of just being emotional in the moment. Yes. Yeah. That, that high emotion in the moment, it’s not, not always a good place to, to try to resolve a conflict from. Yeah. So to answer the question about what, what are challenges is I think, is it, is it like kind of Metta to say how we handle conflict has been,

I think initially our biggest challenge, but we’re getting a lot better at it. Cause conflict happens, right? Like any relationship, anyone out there has been in a relationship and I was like, conflict happens. So disagreement to different people. Right. Very different people sometimes. But what I always say is that this conflict can bring us closer together if we so choose it.

And that’s always my choice, not always in the moment, but one cooler heads prevail. I I’m, I think, okay, this can bring us closer together. If we, if we, you know, play our cards right here, if we really learn from each other, if we open up our hearts sort of shut it down or build walls,

this could actually bring us closer. And that for me, I think has been the biggest challenge yet also the biggest growth. Yes. And that’s why I was going to, it’s like a lesson disguised for growth. Okay. And to answer your question earlier about what specifically has helped in communicate, I was thinking our self checking check-ins We do them every Sunday.

Most Sundays. Sometimes we do forget. So it’s okay guys, if you slip in there. Yeah. But yeah, we do our, check-ins ask ourselves the tough questions sometimes, even in the moment when you’re, when, when me, cause I’m mostly the one that takes a little bit to check, check my father’s off. Yeah. But even in the moment of a debate or argument and you are,

we have to do the check-ins. I do it. And after the check-ins I feel a lot better. Cause I think we ask the questions that we wouldn’t necessarily ask on a regular basis. So if we have high emotions yeah. I really like these because they give us an opportunity. Like you said to check in where normally we kind of take this for granted,

like talking about what’s going on in our internal world. We talk about what we’ve done for each other in the last week that made us feel seen, heard, and appreciated from the other. We ask, what can we do for each other in the coming week to make us feel seen, heard and appreciated. We talk about, is there anything that’s kind of like,

we’re holding on to that. One of us did that. We’re still like, we need to talk about or me to apologize, apologize for unload. And then the last one is what are we doing to create our shared vision for the future? And these are five questions that we do. And actually I need to give credit to Craig Kasey. I got these from him.

I don’t know if he got them from somewhere else, but I learned them from Craig. So thank you, Craig, what I’ve learned in those discussions. And we say this every Sunday we say, oh, I’m so glad I did this. And it doesn’t have to be long. Sometimes it’s like 10 minutes, that’s it. But what I’ve learned is like,

oh my gosh, there’s so many things that I did that I didn’t know, either contributed to Kim feeling seen, heard, and appreciated or did not contribute. And then once, you know, I’m like, okay, well now that I know that, okay, then I’ll, I’ll do, I’ll try to do better or I’ll try to do that again if it’s something positive.

And so it just gives you that really nice opportunity to check in with each other. And it’s, it’s super, I would say it’s even fun. Yeah. And it helps alleviate any sort of resentment as well. If you hold onto, you know, anything that your partner has done in the last week or so. Yeah. It gives you a space.

We have a role as well. Oh yes. We have a rule. Typically One Michael is very accomplished. I would say in, in, you know, keeping tabs on, I’m Already going with this. I’m just packing it right here. I don’t like to keep things. I don’t like to keep things in. It’s just who I am. So I really do need to,

if there is anything that’s weighing on me, I don’t want to keep it for the next week. I want to, I want to talk about it. This is me. I’m the one who usually would keep tabs on them. Yeah. Oops, sorry guys. I Shake it off. I threw, threw myself under the Bus. I’m really going to shake it up.

A few. Tend to keep things. Yeah. I’ll be the one to keep it. And which brings me to my do’s and don’ts communication. Go for it. I’ll try Jodi exploit here. So stand me if I’m wrong. Like I say, You’re also an expert in this now Learn from the best. I would say one of the dues is,

do communicate with compassion and clarity. You know, like if you have to get a message across as to what you want to sail, how you feel about a situation, like try not to beat around the Bush when you’re saying it. Just speak clearly. And remember you’re speaking with, with feelings as well. So just speak with that love that you would have when you’re in love with them.

But that same love is speak clearly and give them, give them what you have in your mind, but give them what’s in your heart. Yeah. But in your mind, but you can do so in a gentle way. Right? That’s what I’ve learned. I would say a communication don’t defensiveness, nothing will get you further away from each other. Then when you’re defensive and you’re not willing to listen and be open.

I think for me, that’s been a huge area. When I initially get defensive. If I, if I perceive that I’m being criticized, I will get defensive. And that, you know, he calls the justification. Might tell us Michael, wearing his ugly head again. Yes. Thank you, honey. Yes. We call him justification. Michael and justification.

Michael does not like to be wrong or does not like to be criticized. So when I can put that bit your way, which again, I, this is what I do when I’m on my little walks. Right. And like I’m calming down and I’m doing all the software. But anyway, when I can put that guy away and come to the table,

I’m open to hearing what he has to say. Not that I always agree with it, but at least opening to hearing his is whatever he’s got to say, then we can, we can start going somewhere from there. We can actually figure out, okay, now that I see where he’s going from. Interesting. That’s good to know. It’s good for you to know what his narrative is.

And then we can go from there. Whereas when I’m in defensive mode, it’s just, it’s not, it’s just going to anger him more. I’m going to get more angry. It’s just not a good place to be. So do whatever it takes to get yourself out of that defensiveness mode. Even if it means going for a little walk or, or just kinda calming down for a little bit.

And I guess from your point, don’t what I’ve learned personally, especially in the beginning of relationship is don’t speak from an emotional place. Meaning You need to take a breath. Like what’d you say, take, go for a walk. You need to go forward. I, in that moment, I just need to take a break and remind myself that Michael would like a certain type of communication.

And I offer that. I know that if I speak in a certain way with compassion, he hears it better. He receives it better. Instead of me in the beginning where I was very emotional and you know, come on, you know, spicy. He is. So, you know, I would interject it in like little comments, you know,

in between what I actually want to get across. And it just didn’t serve us. It really didn’t serve us. Okay. Let’s see how well he knows me. Okay. Pop quiz. Tell me something that I like in communication. Authentic and clear. Yes. Yes. I think you you’re like me to say what I want. Oh my God.

For everyone out there, whoever talks to me, just tell me what you want to say it. Yeah. I won’t, I won’t be upset. Like, let’s be clear for me. Clear communication is kind of communication. Even if it’s, even if it’s not always kind, I can take it. I prefer clarity. I prefer getting your point across in as few words as possible.

Yeah, Yeah, yeah, exactly. I like to paint a picture. I’m more, the creatives artsy-fartsy create a whole big story, a novel just for you to read the ending. Whereas with you, what I’ve learned is you like a gentle approach, like a slow gentle. If I just say, if I just say directly it’s my, it might cause a little bit of,

you might perceive that as being rough around the edges, as you say. But so I’ve learned to soften my edges and yeah. So that’s something I think we’ve learned about each other, which has helped Speak with compassion. Yeah. And we don’t always get it. Right guys. Let’s talk about that. We don’t always get it. Right. We do a lot of work on this.

That’s one of the reasons why we’re here today. I think it’s, it’s part of the being in that relationship for growth. If you can be committed to the growth, then it allows you both to have a little bit of room to fuck it up and learn from, from that. Yeah. Okay. I have one more. Do I have a lot of dues,

but for the sake of this podcast length, let’s just make it one more. This is like coach Michael talking, but it really helps when we are having any kind of conflict. I know that there’s a story going on in my brain about him And vice versa. He’s having a story about me. So there’s, you know what I want to get across.

And then there’s what he’s perceiving. I’m trying to say. So what has really helped us get clear on that is asking or telling the story I’m telling myself about you is, or the story I’m telling myself about this situation is, has been super helpful because I mean, we just did this yesterday because then when I’m like, oh, that’s how you’re receiving this.

Oh my gosh. That’s not my intention at all. What I actually mean is ABCD. Yeah. It clears up the confusion so quickly. I think that is a great thing to say. So it’s the story I’m telling myself about either this situation or this behavior or you is, and that then you can get clear on what your narrative is, what your story is and then what is actually happening.

Yeah. I agree. Yeah, really good. We have lots of those. So if you’re interested in more of these do’s and don’ts on communication, please reach out. Let me know. I have tons of these. I can help you guys out, but I don’t want to take over our entire podcast with that today. So do we have anything else?

I had just a surprise question. Yeah. Okay. I was thinking we’ve done this a year ago. It is a year since our first podcast. Where do you see us in a year from now? Hopefully at the exact same spot because my friends, we are looking out at the ocean we’re in Mexico. It’s March, sometime like it’s snowing where we live in Toronto.

So I would love more of this. I would love more travel. I would love to see us jab more adventures, more travel. Yeah. I mean really not, not too different than today. Is that, is that Allowed? Yeah. Okay. How about You? Yeah. I, I would say, yeah, the same more adventures we learned probably more stories about how we’ve grown and evolved.

You know, I would love to see how we’ve grown and evolved. Yeah. And I think in, in this pasture, looking at me individually, immune individually, like I’ve seen your growth and I’ve sensed my own growth as well. So I think more of, I suddenly it’s incredible to see what we will keep doing. So, I mean, we talk about relationships as mirrors you at the beginning and even today triggered me in so many ways.

And that’s what relationships do guys like. It’s, it’s really a good thing to listen to your triggers when it comes to other people. Even if you’re not going to spend the rest of your lives with them, that’s fine. You just, some guy you’re dating fine. We’ll listen to those triggers within because that is where the work is within you. And that is so powerful.

And all the work you do within is going to just help you for the next guy and the next guy or whoever’s there. So, so listen to those triggers, you know, star has reflected back to me so many things that I either didn’t want to see in myself or just couldn’t see it myself because I was living in an echo chamber of Michael.

But when he started reflecting back to me, I was able to be like, oh shit, okay. Well, I, I have some work to do around, you know, these few things. Right. And you had done the same for me. Like before I met you, I was on my own personal journey of self-development of growth. And,

you know, I thought was, you know, I did my work and I’m ready for a relationship and, and met him. And I thought that, okay, I’m good enough. You know, but realizing just how much work I needed to do things I didn’t see or realize you’d point out my blind spots. It took my blinders off. Yeah.

So who knows where we’d be in a year? I got, I’m very excited to see. Yeah. And it works both ways. Right. I’m curious, what is something before we met? What are some of the work that you’re doing on yourself? So I’ve I’ve before I met you and what spun me into this whole self-development was actually a breakup.

That was very Tough. It was very hard for me. And I didn’t realize how much of myself, I didn’t know, you know, basic things as like, what’s my favorite cereal for years, I’ve been purchasing cereal that my partner that then partners would like, and I didn’t know what I liked. So I bought every single cereal on the shelf.

Not at one point, you know, just every time you go visit, I try and everything, all of them, so I can narrow it down. And you know, it’s just those little key moments that you take for granted, you know? So I learned who I am and what I like. And I would hope, I mean, I always tell you this all the time.

I always said to him, like, don’t people, please me. Just tell me what you want again. Just tell me what you want and we’ll deal with it. Yeah, that’s good. I think that’s really important work to do. And I think for me, I would say I was single for what, two years, two years, which were great two great years.

But I think the work I had to do before meeting you was really learning to express what I want. So I told you guys at the beginning that my previous relationship, I felt I had to be this. I had to be this perfect version of not perfect, but this version of me who was not authentically me, who my partner would then love.

It’s like, okay, I need to be this person for you, which is not, is, is very, it’s a terrible place to be in a relationship because it doesn’t feel aligned to, to who I really am. So what I learned was I just need to show up and be authentic. And the right guy will, will, will say,

yeah, I’ll stick around for that. And this is the Other people were like Meeks. Nope. That’s okay. I would say about, yeah. If you find your tribe eventually. So I, that my advice for people or their seeking relationships, don’t change who you are, know who you are, embrace who you are and tribal follow Tribal. You’re going to have a relationship with lots Of people.

I mean, the people in your life that would come to you where there’s for relationship romantic relationship or friendship, it doesn’t matter. You know, people would quit. Yes, they will. And I I’m very happy. You mentioned that. So I think since I have the opportunity to have the closest person in my life on this podcast, which I have only done that one time,

I think we have a very unique opportunity here for the audience. And you guys will listen to me each and every week star. Why don’t you tell these people something that you know about me that maybe they don’t something that may, might surprise the audience. Okay. Let me show you one. Okay. Okay. I can handle it. Yes. Okay.

Okay. Everyone out there, what you don’t know about Michael is that When you’re vacuuming, he will walk where you already back you into the dust and come back and just trips the dust everywhere. Okay. Okay. Okay. That was one, a point though, once I Do That, I’m not looking at where you’re back giving, hunting around the house.

I think what people might not know is your fun side. Like how fun you are. Like our relationship is very, I mean, it’s, it’s, it’s a cylinder of girl. Like it’s a lot of work putting in there, but at the same time, it’s a lot of fun. Like we laugh a lot every day, you know, we,

there’s always funny. He’s hilarious. So we crack up a lot at Home. I have a dark sense of humor And I think I have that too. So I think that’s why we would crack each other up for that. Yeah. You’re very funny. But I think if that’s true, I think on this podcast, I don’t get a chance to really show that side.

So yeah. That’s nice. Yeah. That is very true. We do have a lot more fun than maybe we’re giving ourselves credit for talking about growth, which I think for me play is a really important part of, of relationships. As much as we value growth. We, I absolutely need to have that sense of play adventure. Here we are.

Right. Spontaneity. I’m very spontaneous in nature. Yeah. Yeah, because this trip was spontaneous. We were just on the couch looking at the snow. It was like, why, why are we doing this? Why Open our laptops in your air? Yeah. Okay. That’s a good One. Yeah. And what do you think? Well, the audience,

I guess don’t really know me, but what’s is one, three that you believe that you admire about me? Just one. Yeah. Just Want just one. We don’t wanna be here all night. You know, One trait. Oh my gosh. I had to pick one. I would say you are probably the person I’ve ever met. And it,

it really is something that I see, but I think a lot of people see that too. Like, but those of you who know star are not going to be surprised that I said that because it is probably one of the most obvious things about you for anyone that knows. Right. Maybe two kind sometimes like I think about other people too much. Sometimes it affects My decision.

Yes. Yeah. There is a shadow side to that. That where, where you, where you betray your own needs for other people. And that’s what I want to make sure you, My family would say, don’t cut your nose off to spoil your face kind of thing. Yes. Yeah. Another thing you’ve taught me is, Is that there’s so many other ways of being intimate,

like intimacies that such a broad spectrum. It’s not just the regular, you know, other than the male physical intimacy that we all know, there’s so many other layers and which kind of compliments my demo sexuality is because if for those of you who don’t know demisexual means that I need an emotional connection in order to be intimate, physically intimate. So when we do,

when you have moments like I gazing, or they’re just having a, a good dinner together, staring at each other and you know, kind of like dinner, which we do at home, you know, so it doesn’t be, it doesn’t have to be a special occasion per se, but just any night it could be a special night. Oh. And that kind of speaks to my Dem sexual wellness and helps me build intimacy or all other levels.

Yeah. And what about you? I know you’re a CPO sexual. Yes. So sapiosexual someone who is physically turned on, on aroused by intelligence. For those of you who don’t know what safer sexuality is, please go to my Instagram. I did a whole post on that. Well, at least not underscore coach. Okay. So for me, when I see,

so start stars building a business. And when I see him working hard towards that business, when I see that drive that ambition, like I can see his brain gears turning, seeing his brain gears, turning turns my like genitals on. So it really allows me to see a man that has that ambition to see you working hard. I think that has been one of the greatest things that I’ve learned about you is like you have this beautiful TRIBE.

And I think as a, as an entrepreneur, myself star has been very supportive of me and my own business from the beginning. And now that he has one as well, we have this kind of great dynamic where we can relate on, you know, all the usual couple of things. But also we can talk to each other about like our businesses and problem solving and like learning from each other,

which I think has been for me, it helps the connection. Yes. Hashtag and dropping their ship, entrepreneur couples, Entrepreneurial couples, stars, building a business right now. We’ll tell them about it. Okay. I, I guess the laws you wouldn’t may not know, but I’m, I’m also a business consultant. So I’m building a business consultancy business in Canada.

It’s digital. So even if you’re not in Canada, I can assist you with anything. If you have a business idea, just reach out to me and we can make it profitable. He has helped me so much in my own business. I will say that. Yeah. It’s, it’s nice to have that outside opinion because obviously when you’re in it for all the entrepreneurs out there,

when you’re in it, you know, you’re not always the most objective. Right. And you’re not always making the business decisions that are best for the business. Right. So yeah, it helps to have that, you know, objective person who knows his stuff And it helps to have someone with a great work ethic as you, because you kind of drive me to be ambitious as well,

seeing how passionate you are with your work and the joy and love that you put into your work at building a course. Like those could, I don’t know if he said it yet, but he’s building a course. I haven’t Told them yet. And it’s really good. So I, I would say, I’ll look out for it, but the, the love and the shared joy that you put into what you do has really kind of sparked my,

it always keeps the flame under my butt. Yeah, Yeah. Yeah. And that’s, that’s the thing about the intimacy, right? So there’s physical intimacy, you know, intellectual intimacy, emotional intimacy. And what’s the last one experiential intimacy, which I talk about a lot and we will get into that on future podcasts. But I think it’s really fun with your partner to explore all these different kinds of intimacy,

because it just makes it like an adventure. Like how else can we help? What’s the question I love to ask? How can I feel? How can I love you more today? Yeah. That’s a great question. How can I love you more, more today? Which is so fun. Like it just brings up so many possibilities, right? Not,

not that the love is not enough. It’s not about that. It’s just about what are all the different ways we can demonstrate an experience love together, love and intimacy together. It’s not always about sex. Although sex is fucking great. And I will always advocate for sex, But doesn’t have to be about that. Okay, guys, I think that is all we’ve got for you today.

Start, do you have any last words? I would say, join us for a navigator. Join us in another year in Another year. If you have any questions or any comments, feel free to message Michael, where are you? Oh, me. Yeah. I’ll put our info in the show notes. If you guys Want to reach out, we’d love to hear from you.

And like, if you have any questions, maybe we can do a jump on your web page and do some answer some questions. Yeah, Absolutely. Yeah. Happy to do that. Last time we had so many comments, so yeah. Please reach out. You can comment to us on YouTube or you can find this on Instagram. Like I said,

I will put that in the show notes below anything else? I think that’s it. Okay guys. Well, thank you so much for joining us. Like star said, maybe in one more year, we’ll do another one of these. This has been really fun. I’ve actually enjoyed doing this. Okay. So final words. If you guys did enjoy this podcast,

please leave us a five star rating and give us review. We will be reading out reviews on our next episode, which we will be talking more about relationships through the entire month of March. So please join us for those. If you’re not already in the gay men, going deeper membership, please join us there. That is where you can take your personal development to the next level with Matt Callen.

And I also, I want to say thank you to all of our Patrion supporters. And if you are interested in supporting our show, please join our Patreon page and go there and support us. Every thing that we get helps us build our community, which is a lot of important work we have here for gay men. Okay guys, thank you so much for joining us today and we’ll see you next time.

Thank you. Stay well.

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