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#46 Relationship by Design with Jon Parsons

Hey there, lovers of love and relationships! We're bringing you into the heart of mine and Jon's world today as we bare all about our 'relationship by design.' With a whopping 28 years under our belt, we've got a thing or two to share.

Even something as simple as watching a movie morphs into a lesson on respecting autonomy. And not forgetting our 'love on each other time', a simple yet powerful strategy we've adopted to keep our relationship alive and humming.

So, whether you're single, dating, or have several anniversaries behind you, join us and find some pearls of wisdom to light your way on your relationship journey.

Since you’re ready to become your favorite version of you, book a consult to learn more about working with me as your coach.

"Our relationship is a design that allows room for 'do-overs', providing a safe haven for mistakes and growth."

What you'll learn in this episode:

  • The importance of having space for personal growth in a relationship

  • How to create a 'safe haven' for mistakes within the relationship

  • The delicate balance of maintaining autonomy and nurturing intimacy in a relationship

  • Prioritizing 'love on each other time', a strategy to keep their relationship alive and thriving

"We want to be gentle with each other and recognize each other's tenderness."

Mentioned in this episode:

  • Jess Johnson - Certified Professional Life Coach & EFT Practitioner

Be sure to sign up for a consult to see if coaching with me is the right fit for you. Join me on a powerful journey to become your favorite you.

Listen to the full episode:

Read the full episode transcript

 Hey, this is Melissa Parsons, and you are listening to the Your Favorite You Podcast. I'm a certified life coach with an advanced certification in deep dive coaching. The purpose of this podcast is to help brilliant women, like you, with beautiful brains create the life you've been dreaming of with intention.

My goal is to help you find your favorite version of you by teaching you how to treat yourself as your own best friend. If this sounds incredible to you and you want practical tips on changing-up how you treat yourself, then you're in the right place. Just so you know, I'm a huge fan of using all of the words available to me in the English language, so please proceed with caution if young ears are around.

Well, hi everybody. Welcome back to Your Favorite You. We once again have one of my favorite people on the planet joining us as a guest. After he came on the first time, he enjoyed it so much. He immediately said, when can I be on again? So, like the good wife that I am, I made him wait for a little while, but here he is and he's back.

So welcome back to the podcast, Jon Parsons.

Jon: I. I don't recall lobbying to be a repeat guest. I mean, I think I did say something at the end of the first podcast, but it was sort of in jest. But here I am again.

Melissa: Yay. Well, first we want to thank Jon's administrative assistant, Laura Hanley, for which this podcast may not have gone off the ground today.

Earlier this week I asked Jon to find some time in his calendar and he said that I needed to contact his people. So, if anyone knows the two of us, you should know better than to challenge me like that. I immediately got on a text thread with Laura, and she helped me find this time to interview and talk with my hubby.

So, thank you, Laura. If you're listening, we appreciate you. The reason I wanted to have Jon on the podcast again is because he and I were on a walk, I don't know, a couple weeks ago now, right babe? And we were just talking about our relationship, and he said something like, I'm the only person that would want to spend the extended amount of time that we were spending on this walk together.

And I said, oh, why do you think that is? And do you remember what you said, babe?

Jon: Not exactly, but. I view this as more of a me problem than anything else, but that's okay. No, I don't remember.

Melissa: Well, your answer was sunk. Cost bias.

Jon: You better explain what that means.

Melissa: It means no, you explain what it means actually.

Jon: So, some cost bias is basically when you put a lot of effort into something, so much effort into something that the thought of abandoning ship or changing the plan is too painful relative to the amount of effort you've put into it. Now you have to understand that this is the kind of shit that Melissa and I say all the time to one another, and it's a lovey jab.

I wasn't serious, but people what a jack.

Yeah, no. Basically I was saying, hey, listen, 28 years you know, that's a lot of sunk cost.

Melissa: Yes. And anybody who knows us would know for sure that you were joking. And we laughed and laughed about it. But then it did have me asking you, okay. We had created this kind of relationship by design. I don't know if you want to call it a manifesto or something that we created a couple years ago and we put it on our bathroom mirror and we try to live by it in our relationship and I don't want anyone to think that.

We are holding up our relationship as some like paragon of virtue, or that we somehow don't have problems, that we don't get into arguments. I mean, we just got into one this morning. It was short lived. Don't make that face, you know, we did. I wish you guys could see him. I might have to put this on the YouTube channel, but we got into one this morning and of course it's already over in our prior dealings with one another.

A little argument over the side eye in the bathroom would have, you know, would've lasted way more than the 15 minutes that it lasted this morning. And I don't even know if it was that long, but I don't want anyone to think that we're like holding up our relationship as perfect. But I do think that we have worked really hard to make it what we want it to be.

And when we were out on the walk, I said, is there anything from our relationship by design that we need to renegotiate? Is there anything on the list that we want to take off? Is there anything on the list that we want to add? And you said what babe? I think you,

Jon: I don't remember what I said.

Melissa: Like you said, no, there's nothing that you needed that we needed to change, that we were good, but that we were both open to the idea that there would be something that we could renegotiate.

Jon: if we wanted to.

I think that's right. I don't, so. This is coming off. This is a fantastic podcast. So, so far with me, not remembering any of the questions that my wife is asking me. But yeah, I think that's right. I don't recall the exact conversation. Maybe you resonated with you at the time more than 'cause I was just sort of screwing around, making comments about things, but, I would probably not call it a manifesto because manifestos now make me feel like we're like, it was something that people who do bad things have on social media in terms.

So, I would say it's our mantra or our bill of rights or guiding principles kind of thing that sort of shape how we do. And it's there in the middle of the bathroom mirror that we share. I don't read it every day, but it's there and occasionally I glance at it, it grounds me to where we are.

Melissa: Okay.

So, I printed out a copy of it. I took a picture of it this morning when we were in the bathroom before the argument, and well.

Jon: maybe let, hang on a second. Now you've teased this twice. This is bullshit. Now I need to get it out there. Okay. So not to belabor things here, but I have two jobs now at my, at.

Where I work is huge and it's exciting, but there's a lot. And my schedule's changed. So today I was running late, and Melissa saw that I had gotten off the Peloton and I was ready to jump in the shower and then it's the fastest I've seen her get out of bed to get in the shower in like months. But she basically boxed me out and got into the shower ahead of me, first of all.

And then when she's doing all these calisthenics to get her hair done and everything, she dropped the back of her earring and is looking down. At the floor, like backing up, wandering around, trying to find the back of this earring when I'm late trying to get ready. And she bumps into me. And so, I gently use the back of my hand to ease her out of the way.

I got the don't fucking touch me look on her face. And that sort of evolved into a little bit of a conversation. Yes. That lasted a few minutes. So anyway, but yes, her point. Was in the past that would've blossomed into a whole day thing and maybe passive aggressive comments. And we were, we would use the stuff we were stressed about to.

To outlet it on each other, but we don't do that anymore. And now I'm sitting here laughing at her as we're doing this podcast.

Melissa: Yes. Perfect. That was a very good description of what happened this morning, and let me offer that, these are the earrings that you purchased for me when I was pregnant with Owen.

They're little diamond studs that you got me and one for each boy. And so, they're very meaningful to me. And when I realized that the backing was gone and I could lose the earring, it kind of put me into a little bit of a sympathetic activation state. So, there might have been a side eye, you might be right.

Jon: Oh man, that's awesome. My, my day is complete now.

Melissa: Okay. Anyway, so let's get back to this relationship by design. And I do the idea of it being a guiding principle, so, or them being guiding principles. So, there are eight of them. The first one is that we are both safe to feel and express any emotion respectfully to one another.

Why do you think we needed that rule?

Jon: Well, because we're two different people and we have two very busy lives that are independent of one another, that we're both part of. So, you have your life that I'm part of, and you, I have mine that you're a part of mine. And sometimes things happen in those spaces that we're not connected to directly but affect how we feel about ourselves or how we approach situations.

And we may not understand that at the time of the interaction. And so, giving us this, each other, the space to have that freedom to say that or to express whatever's going on. Not take it personally immediately is a big deal.

Melissa: Yeah, and I mean, I think that before, just to kind of riff on what you were saying, like there was a lot of pushing emotions down, pushing them away, not expressing them, not being willing to feel them.

The one emotion that we had no problem feeling and expressing toward one another was anger. We both used to be very quick to anger and that type of thing. I don't think we were.

Jon: angry with each other. Honestly, a lot of that, I don't think, I think a lot of that anger was focused frustration and anxiety and stress about other things in our lives, that the outlet was anger.

But a lot of times, I'm not sure that the reason that we were actually having the anger was related to the situation we were dealing with. Between the two of us, it was something else in our, at least in my life,

Melissa: Yeah. Yeah, and I mean, I would say one of the things that I coach a lot of people on is the fact that anger is usually a cover emotion.

So, it is covering up fear, it is covering up anxiety, it's covering up sadness, that type of thing. And in our society where we have all been socialized, it is much safer to express anger than it is to express fear, anxiety, sadness. So, I just want to normalize the fact that if the listeners are expressing anger at their partner, like you said, it might not be anger actually at them.

It's anger about other things that are happening. But your partner's, the person who's there when you feel safe and you're at home and you can express it and that type of thing. Or it might be that they're using anger to cover up some other emotion that they might be feeling. Does that make sense, babe?

Totally. Okay. Wanna go on to number two? Feel like we've Absolutely. Okay. Number two, it is okay that we make mistakes and are less than perfect. I don't know what you're talking about. Tell me why you think this one was necessary to go on the list.

Jon: Oh, come on. We're both physicians, we're trained that making mistakes causes bad outcomes.

So, we have this culture of perfectionism that we carry with us on a daily basis. Also, probably less me in my opinion than you, but there is like a very strong perfectionism gene that runs through you. And so, your ideas of how things need to be done, were very defined in the past and that is the way it was done.

This is the way we do it. So that all folds into the same concept where, you know, it's okay that we make mistakes. It doesn't make you less of a person or less of a value to the relationship and the way we do things doesn't always have to be exactly the way. The other person thinks it needs to be done.

We still work on this one a lot. Oh yeah,

Melissa: for sure. We still work on all of these. Let's be clear, there's a reason that it's still on the bathroom mirror and a reason that we need to remind ourselves.

Jon: you're pretty perfect.

Melissa: Still, I mean, thank you, but that is not my goal anymore. Yeah. I mean, I think, I don't know, being socialized too.

I think as a woman in the society that I grew up in, you know, there's this idea that we should want to have it all quote unquote, and there's it's an impossibility. And so, there's this kind of push and pull between thinking that we should want it all and have it all. And then knowing that it's not possible, Yeah, just trying to make everything picture perfect.

I mean, I've talked about this before and it's not a surprise, like this is a very common trait in the rein line. So, my maternal line that, you know, Perfection is the way to go. And, you know, bucking hundreds of years of that in one lifetime is, you know, it's just something that I'm obviously going to continuously be working on.

But I think we both have gotten better. Oh yeah. At letting the other person make mistakes and recognizing, oh, that was just like a momentary thing. It wasn't something that we need to. Belabor or I think the concept of do-overs that Maggie taught me and then I brought to you, and you were totally in on practicing has really helped us to be able to say, I need a do-over.

Can we do it again? And I start over. Agree. And it just brings for me, in our relationship, this degree of safety like. We can make mistakes, we can ask for a do-over, we can do it again. We might do it wrong. The second time we can ask for a do over. There's no, the amount of do-overs is not finite.

Jon: Yeah.

It's if you're playing a video game and you want to start it over and you know, as you, you screwed up the first round of whatever you're doing. It's, no, it's sort of like that. Honestly, there's no penalty. You just get to start it over.

Melissa: Yeah, we get to respawn. Yeah. That's fun. Alright, anything else you want to say about number two?

Okay. Number three. Neither of us will attempt to control the other. We realize this is not possible. Now I want to take full responsibility. I am a control enthusiast. I'm a recovering control enthusiast, and I want to call you out a little bit. You are too.

Jon: Someone cut my mic. I know what you're talking about.

Melissa: Not to the degree, I mean, to varying degrees,

Jon: but yeah, I don't think I ever denied that. I wasn't. Yes, I think that's true. But in our relationship, and this is going to sound like I'm trying to justify things, but let's just be honest. The frequency with which you have tried to c steer into my lane to control me feels more significant than me into your lane.

Sure, yes. Do I have a control gene? Of course, I do. I mean, this is a lot of different reasons why that's developed in me, but it is exponentially better than it has ever been. And that space that we've allowed each to develop between the two of us to give us our room, to live our lives without the other person, having immediate access to that space has been awesome.

Melissa: Yeah. So good. Why do you think you developed a control gene? Are you willing to share?

Jon: it's probably a longer conversation that this podcast has time for? There are probably multiple layers to it. The way I grew up and sort of being. Quite independent and during growing and during my growing up, figuring out how to do things on my own, what I do for a living, working in the I C U or managing lots of executive level folks.

Probably all those things, to be honest with you, being, I don't know anybody that if they really looked at themselves, feels if they’re, if they admit to themselves that they're a control enthusiast, which feels good. Most, at least in my experience, most people who are controlled enthusiast, if you want to say it that way, they do that out of anxiety or fear of losing control and just being themselves and allowing people around them to be themselves is anxiety provoking for them.

So, they tend to try to invade into those folks' lanes what they're doing and to justify their anxiety about what's going on.

Melissa: Yeah, and I mean, I think that the idea of having our own lane and staying in our own lane and recognizing when we're not in our own lane or somebody's drifting into our own lane, I think that analogy has worked so well for us.

Jon: Oh yeah. It's, well, I mean, yeah, I mean we, I don't want to make this a two podcast, but that's one bullet of our list that probably is neon. With blinking lights, because I really do think that's one of the most fundamental things that we've done is just respect each other's space and knowing that we support each other's space, but we don't have to be involved in everything that person does, has been pretty liberating.

Melissa: So, this might sound nebulous for the people who are listening. So, do you mind giving an example of what happens with us being in our own lane? What does that mean on a random day of the week at our house?

Jon: Well, basically now, I mean, it's d it's a little bit related to the fact that our kids are 21 and 18 and, yeah.

They're independent. And so we don't have to al always collaborate with one another to figure out what the hell we're doing with our children 'cause they're on their own. But basically, I go to work, I do my thing, I have early meetings, I have late meetings. I want to work out whenever I want to work out. You have calls all throughout the day doing your thing in your studio, doing your thing.

If you're doing your thing, I don't barge in and say, Hey, what's for dinner? Or, hey, what are we doing? It's we have this sort of mutual respect for what we're doing now. You still will call me on occasion when I'm rounding in the intensive care unit to ask me some random questions.

Yeah. But it a lot, most of the time that's just to be lovey. But that's a pair. Probably not the best example, but that's the best one I can think of off the top of my head is we, is, we both have our life streams that we're living. And we, if either one of us needs the other one, we're always there immediately to support if something's going on.

But we don't, our existence isn't dependent on the other person's experience, I guess is what I'm trying to say.

Melissa: Yeah, I mean, I think like for a, just a concrete example, I have not yet seen the Barbie movie. I definitely want to go see the Barbie movie. I asked you if you wanted to see the Barbie movie, you said, no thank you.

No fucking way. He really is a

Jon: feminist guy. I am. I didn't mean it like that, but no, I do not. I have a desire to carve three and a half hours of my life to go sit in a theater with people that I don't really want to be near to watch. Margo Robbie in Pink for two and a. Okay. Now you're seeing now that was a little bit of the, if this was on the video, you would've seen, I got a hand motion there basically telling me to zip it.

Melissa: Cut. Cut.

Jon: Yeah, that's a perfect example. We're talking about giving each other space. You don't make hand motions telling the other person to shut their face.

Melissa: Like I said, this is a great example of how we're not perfect. So, I asked if you wanted to go. You said No. I said OKAY. I'm going to go on my own, go with my girlfriends, go with somebody who wants to go.

Eventually, you'll probably watch the movie or something at home, like it's not a problem. In the past, like I would have tried to guilt you into coming. Made you feel bad, you would've said yes. You would've been resenting me. You would've been hating the fact that you're sitting in the theater with the strangers.

So, I'm chomping away on popcorn and sucking down my water like and now it's just not a problem.

Jon: That visual was way too real for me. I need a minute to recover.

Melissa: Okay, no problem. I wanted to give people a concrete example of what that looks like. That's a good one. Okay. Number four, we would like to forgive and be forgiven easily and quickly.

Why do you think we needed this one?

Jon: Oh, because we would have epic petty disagreements that would last days. That would, it would never be like, well, not never, but like most times it was never aggressive or loud. It could be, but not always, but it would just perpetuate until like it could, we went for days.

Or we would just sort of, one of us would cave in and just I'm done with this, and we would make up, but now this morning is a perfect example. I mean, I was annoyed with you, and I drove, I said goodbye. We were loving when I, but I was still annoyed. And then I felt as soon as I hit the driveway and I'm like, no, I don't want to her to feel bad.

So, I called, and we were good before they got onto the highway, so but that we wasted a lot of time and of our lives. With negative emotions about shit that we could have remedied very quickly if we just decided we were going to do it together.

Melissa: Yeah. And I would like to offer that, like we would make up, but we would never really come to the core essence of what the issue was.

So, we would make up and then, you know, time would go on and we hadn't really. Got into the root of the problem so things would just build up again until it happened again. And like it was just like, I can remember, and I haven't thought this thought in so long, but I can remember like one of my go-to thoughts when we would get into an argument was like, here we go again.

This is just a pattern. Here we go again. And I'm like so proud of myself and proud of you, and proud of us because. I literally cannot tell you the last time I thought that thought where I used to have it like multiple times a week. I

Jon: remember you had ways of saying, here we go again. Multiple ways, nonverbal ways, facial expressions, eye rolls, verbal verbally.

Yeah, I remember all of it.

Melissa: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. What do you think is the thing that keeps people from forgiving quickly and easily?

Jon: To say there's to forgive somebody or to say that they're sorry, either one. Well, I mean, I think people are afraid to admit that they made a mistake and then I think that's, why they are reluctant to say they're sorry.

And I think people were reluctant to forgive people 'cause they use it as power to keep like a scoreboard kind of thing. You know? Remember that time you did that, and you could use it in a future situation and, but if you forgive somebody, it's sort of the scores are zero.

Melissa: Yeah. I can't remember the last time that we've brought past fights into fights.

Jon: We barely even fight anymore. I mean, so I, I don't remember either.

Melissa: Yeah, it's fun. It's fun to not fight all the time. Okay. Ready for number five? We want to appreciate how far we've come since 1995 and keep perspective.

Jon: that's sunk cost bias. I think that's another way of saying that.

Melissa: It is. And I think that to give you some props, like you have always been good at zooming out and seeing things from 30,000 feet where I tended to be stuck in the weeds, in the muck and that type of thing, and.

So, I think that this rule or mantra is really for me to help me to zoom out and have perspective about how far we've come.

Jon: I don't think it's just about you. I mean, I think about this one where keeping things in perspective. When I look back at 1995 when we were first your medical students and.

Where we are today. So much has happened in the meantime and so when things happen to me or that are stress me out or anxiety provoking and there's a lot of that in my world right now and say it helps me realize like it's not by itself, it's not a big deal. I don't like it being too stressed out about presentations anymore, or typical conversations at work, or even the boys, you know, just don't.

And it's because I realized over time that. Individual episodes of things in your life. Really, most of them don't have a lot of significance in the grand scheme of your entire existence. Some of them do obviously, life changing events, but a lot of them don't. Most of them don't, and so, I'm much better at letting things just roll off me than, you know, I don't give them second thoughts like I would paralyze me in the past.

Now a lot of that's with my own coaching, but that's where I

Melissa: Do that. Do you want, do you want to shout out your coach?

Jon: Oh sure. My, my coach Jess Johnson is, she's amazing. She's been life-changing for me in so many ways, so just helped me become a more grounded, peaceful, relaxed person.

Melissa: She's going to love hearing that.

We will link to Jess's info in the show notes. Of course. Thank you, Jess. We love you both. Okay. Number six. Are you ready? We want to be gentle with each other and recognize each other's tenderness. What do you think?

Jon: about that? Well, I think that really speaks to, although we're in our lanes and I really want to say although we're in our own lanes, it is not that we're trying to separate from one another.

It's we giving each other space to have our existence together without the other person manipulating that experience for the other person. So, but sometimes when you're in your own lane, you get something happens where you're tender or you're, your feelings get hurt, not by each other necessarily, but something happens where you're upset or you're anxious, or you're not feeling your best or something's bothering you and you.

Need the other person to help you, you know, love on each other, support each other, that kind of thing. So that happens a lot. I will say, this is one that I still think, in my opinion, that I would like us to work on even a more because you are this uber successful podcast, life coach superstar, you don't have as much time for me, and sometimes I have to.

When I need you, you're, you can't be there right when I need you to be there. And it's not because you don't want to be, because you're doing your thing. And sometimes I think that results in, and it happens probably both ways, but that's just my perception where I'm a little bit on the struggle bus and you don't recognize it.

So, this is one that I think is something we continually need to pay attention to.

Melissa: Yeah, I mean, I think. This might have come from when we read the Making Marriage Simple book and they talked about how, like we know after we've been with our partner for any period of time, we know what their tender spots are, and if we are not fighting fair, we tend to go for those wounds and those tender spots and that type of thing because we know that.

We will make a mark and that type of thing. And so, I think this came from that. Let's see each other's wounds for what they are and try to help each other heal the wounds by putting love on them and you know that type of thing. But also, not going in and poking at them when we're not getting along and that type of thing.

Jon: It's funny you say that because I don't. Remember why that got on the list. That probably is correct. That sounds right on. But then, I don't think of it that way anymore because we don't do that. As I can remember many times over our almost 30 years together, where we would be in an argument and one of us would say something that would stop the argument in the tracks.

It would end the argument at the time because it was just devastating to hear that kind of a comment. I don't even remember those happenings, but I don't remember what we used to say. This is where I view it now, and maybe my brain is framing it in a different way than you, but either way it works.

Melissa: I think we're saying the same thing, like we don't poke at each other's wounds anymore. What I'm hearing you say is that maybe you need me to love on you a little bit more, so that any wound that you might have and needing of tenderness, like I'm right there to help you.

Jon: Yeah, like when you're married to Taylor Swift and that kind of a schedule, I mean, sometimes you, you need some, you need her to take a pause from the tour to recognize the people setting up the set, you know?

Melissa: I love it. Okay. I will take that tay-tay, and I think maybe we need to institute again, we had this practice where in the calendar I would put like schedule time, like love on each other. Time Sounds awesome. So, we should do that again,

Jon: I think. I think I'm open in October. That sounds great.

Melissa: No, what that means is, like putting something on the schedule.

I can remember it was like we had it, I don't know why we stopped doing it, but it was like every night at 7:00 PM after dinner, after things were cleaned up and that type of thing. I normally come back in here in my office and do some work, and then I. I would have the 7:00 PM Love on Jon time and you would come in and say, it's my turn like this.

You're working on my appointment and that type of thing. And then we would go and just talk to each other and snuggle and love on each other and that type of thing so we can reinstitute that. See, we didn't need to renegotiate things we didn't even know. Go. I love it. Okay, awesome. Number seven, I think encompasses kind of all the other ones, but I like it.

It says we want a peaceful home.

Jon: Yeah. The nice thing about this is it doesn't always have to be exactly re related to why it got on the list to begin with, but it can be applied to what is going on in your life now. But my recollection was that you wanted, we wanted the boys to want to come back. And spend time with us.

Spend. And if they were like that place is a fucking shit show. And they, these assholes argue all the time, I'm outta here when I'm 21, was the reason we wanted them to not have to endure our arguments.

Melissa: Yeah. And I think we've done a pretty good job of that.

Jon: What's not to like about having steak and baked potato put in front of me for free.

Melissa: and without any side of argument?

I love it. I love it. The last one is the best one, and it is, we want to stay sexy forever. What does that mean to you?

Jon: Man. Well, I mean it, and it can mean anything, but to me it means that I want to have a relationship as we get older, where even though we might have a few miles on the engine, that we still, the.

Wanna be rev the engine, so to speak. And intimacy and physical connection is important to both of us. Probably. It feels like sometimes more to me, but probably just 'cause I'm a guy, but maybe not. But to me, I think that having that intimacy is part of relationships. So, to keep that passion. At the forefront is really, I think where it resonates to

Melissa: me.

Yeah. Yeah. I think that's so true. And wanting to think of each other in that way and to want to be there and participate and all of that and knowing that because we have all these other things that we're working on, like that's going to be, in my mind, an inevitability.

Jon: So, I mean, I don't have any frame of reference other than you.

But at some level, I have to think that other people, when they know that their partner feels like they're, Hey, you're hot. Right? Knowing you know that your partner thinks you're hot. It really feels good, you know, that they're like, I know that my partner's attracted to me and that she wants to drop my bones here and there.

I mean, that's a nice feeling. If you don't have that person in your life that you know is there, that feels that way about you. It's sometimes, I can imagine that might feel like there's some level of emptiness there or something missing. It doesn't matter. I don't care who it is or what they look like or what any of that shit, I don't, doesn't matter to me, but to me that's really where.

Like today I'm at work and I'm seeing you on the screen and y'all think you look hot and that, I hope that makes you.

Melissa: feel good. Yeah, same. Same. So, I was coaching in my group yesterday and we were talking about sex and sexuality and pleasure and desire and intimacy and all of that. And you know, we were saying about like the stereotype that in order for men to feel emotionally connected to their partner, there has to be intimacy.

And in order for women to want to be intimate with their partner, there has to be emotional connection. What do you think about that? I.

Jon: I don't know. I mean, is that true? I mean, I don't think you can put a label like that on everybody, and there's probably an element of truth both ways that way.

I mean, with that statement.

Melissa: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. I think just the bias, the skew is women need emotional connection to want to get naked, and men need get naked to have emotional connection.

Jon: Maybe that, probably superficially. That's probably true, to be honest. And if you're a 19-year-old guy and you're out at the dorm or frat party and someone's hot and you want to hook up with them, probably don't need emotional connection there, right?

But when you're in a relationship with somebody, and I'll just be honest, like I don't want to go here, but sometimes you want me to be ready to go in 42 seconds and there's no emotional connection. Hey, I got an opening here, let's go. And I'm like, hang on a second, I'm in my fifties.

I need a little, you got to. You know, let the coals, the embers get a hot, I mean, on the bottom of the fire here, you wouldn't go blow torch. And then I'll say, hey, listen, I need a little bit more time. I need a little bit more cultivation. No, you don't. You, yeah.

Melissa: I forget that you're not 19.

Jon: then, I mean, I'll be honest.

And then sometimes you're like, oh, it's a couple times recently you said. I, not directly, but is it because you're not attracted to me or some bullshit? I'm like, no, it's because I was doing something else 10 seconds ago and I'm 50 fucking one years old, and I. Sometimes you got to get that, you know, crank that engine a couple times before it's going to purr for you.

Now it's probably T m I for all the listeners out there,

Melissa: but I love it. They're going to love it so much. So good. Honey, you've never been sexier.

Jon: I need some emotional connection.

Melissa: That's so good to know. See here, I was thinking that I was the only one who needed it, but you need it too, and this is going to help us so much.

Yes, I'm glad and hopefully help the listeners.

Jon: That's always the goal. Let's help the listeners.

Melissa: Oh, my goodness. All right, babe, I know you've got to go 'cause you've got meetings all day, but is there anything else that you want to say before I

Jon: let you go? No, I mean, I don't want people to think that we have this thing pasted on our bathroom mirror and that we stare at it and evaluate it.

No, it's just there. Sometimes I look at it, I'm like, that's pretty. And then I put like little post-it notes here and there. Occasionally I have to make jokes about how we're doing and stuff, and I still have my Covid vaccine sticker up there. You know, I mean, little things that are meaningful to both of us, but it's sort of guiding principles that.

Now, if you had asked me for this podcast, could I recite all 12 these? No. Could I recite many of them? Yeah, probably. But they've sort of been incorporated in the d n a of our relationship that I don't have to think about them as much anymore because it becomes sort of, of our habits.

Melissa: Yeah, and I mean, this has been up in the mirror for three, four years now, and really this is the first time we're.

Talking about it since we put it up there deeply and it's the first time we've really asked if we needed to renegotiate anything in it. So, it's not like we're sitting down every Friday trying to add to the list or decide if we want to keep living by this list or not.

Jon: And I guess I'll close with like way going back to the start of the podcast when you told the anecdote about us walking together and.

Me saying you're the only person that I would want to, that's sort of an embodiment of this list because I just feel comfortable and in a great space with you. And I think this list has gotten us there in the past. We might've gone on walks like that where we might've bickered.

Melissa: Yeah, I love it. Not that we never bicker, 'cause we do like we've bickered a couple times on this podcast, but.

Jon: I don't think we bickered at all. Not on bicker scale, didn't register.

Melissa: I love it. Thank you for taking your time out. I love you. I hope you have a great day. You too.

Jon: Love you too. Thanks everybody. Apologize in advance. Take care. Bye.

Thank you for listening to the podcast and loving on me all the time. Now that my group launch is closed, I am opening up two spots to work with me one-on-one. If one-on-one coaching is more your jam, please reach out to me to book a consult by going to my website,, and clicking on the Work with Me tab.

I would love to discuss with you how I can help you on a one-on-one basis. Talk to you soon.

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