The Lovestruck Relationship Experiment: What Are You Thinking? Part 2 with Tess Brigham
4:22PM Jul 4, 2022
If you think back to school, we've all conducted plenty of experiments during lab science. But have you ever put love to the test? I'm Sarah window.
I'm Alicia Rive. Welcome to lovestruck daily where we discuss all things love, everyone. I'm in love with you. To you. Good to see you. I'm in love with you. Sara?
How good are you at ending conversations? Barry? Are you? I'm terrible at it. Will you teach me your secrets? I don't know how to end a single conversation. I will talk to somebody forever.
Okay, so this is probably the whitest thing I will say. This week, I saw a New Yorker cartoon once. That was some dude saying, Well, this conversation isn't going to end itself. And because I talked to a lot of people in my family and my familiar family circle, who like a really good on ramp to a conversation, even if the actual reason you're talking to them is one question and one answer. They love a real good long on ramp and a real good off ramp. And I have so little patience for that. I'm like, okay, yep. Great. Thanks very much. We'll talk soon, bye. I gotta go. Or, or I used to have a signal. When Adam got stuck on the phone, he would signal me and I'd be like, Adam, I really need your help. I'm really sorry.
Yeah, I need I need people like that. Like, I need you to get me out of things. Because I, I've mentioned before I have ADHD, and when I'm not interested in a conversation, I am in physical pain. It hurts me to stand there and listen any further. And so but I don't know how to get out of things politely. So when I was young, what I used to do, it was very impolite. I would just be like, I'm done. Now I walk away. And I, I was told that that was not an appropriate way to end a conversation with somebody want to be present. And I remember one time I was on a first date. And the guy was like talking, talking, talking. And it had been like three hours and I was miserable, like, ready to get out. And I got a flash flood warning on my phone. And so I looked at it and I was like, thank God and I said I have to go it's been a flood. And I walked out but that was the time that a flash flood warning saved my life. So yeah, I am not good at it. But I'm trying to learn how to just gracefully be like, that was a lovely conversation. Goodbye.
It was so lovely to meet you. My favourite has always been the number of Southern women I know who said Well, I'm gonna let you go. Oh, I
do love. Yeah, that is very graceful. I think the I think the accent helps that though. Like where you can be like, Oh, yeah. Thank you for letting me go.
Yeah, it's very graceful. Well, the asking when a conversation should end is harrowing. But then think about whether the other person wants the conversation to end. Yikes. Yeah, it's it's very
hard to know what another person is thinking. And we are talking and thinking about this. This week. We are discussing the Harvard study on this very subject. It is the 2021 Harvard study, do conversations and when people want them to buy Adam strani Daniel Gilbert cast Cooney and Timothy Wilson, and during this experiment, the researchers paired up to interview two strangers for 45 minute conversations and then spoke to them individually about their thoughts on the process. And the study found that only 2% of the conversations ended when both participants wanted to. So today we are going to adapt this experiment for love straw, which means we aren't running conversations. We're running dates. And today we're actually running a date between a married couple who are very near and dear to our hearts and probably familiar to many of our listeners. Jen, who is our editor, fantastic editor and makes us sound wonderful. Hi Jen and her husband Jesse. We are also welcoming tests Brigham, who CNBC name the millennial therapist due to her 15 years of experience helping young people find their purpose and create confidence and she's going to help us today. She is the author of like now a radically Practical Guide to like in your 20s and is the creator of the true you coaching course series. Her work has been featured in The New York Times Forbes and the Huffington Post. I mean, what a great what a great person to help us facilitate this conversation today.
Welcome, Tez, thank you so much for joining us. We really appreciate it. Thank you for having me. You've been coined by CNBC as the millennial therapist. Thank you, we need it. Really appreciate that. And you have about 15 years of experience helping Young people find their purpose and create confidence which I love. Can you tell us a little bit more about your credentials and what you do? Sure,
I am a licenced psychotherapist, and I'm a board certified coach. So I, you know, I take both of these modalities and I mush them together to help my clients not only gain insight into why they're doing what they're doing, but also, the great thing about coaching is it's about action. Right? If you don't change things in your everyday life, day in and day out, nothing in your life is going to change.
And today joining tests, we also have a Jen and Jesse, Jen is, of course, our fabulous editor who you hear in our credits. And of course, she and Jesse have already been on our show, talking about their love story. So very excited to welcome them both back.
Thank you for having us. Thank
you. And Tess is going to basically run a little I don't want to call it a test. Just just a fun time here.
Jesse. Yeah. And
we're gonna have them talk and test is going to jump in, and we're gonna see what happens. So tests would you like to take over?
Sure. So Jen and Jesse are married? And can you tell me how long you've been married?
Eight years long time we've been together since high school.
Okay. So unlike a first date, you both know a lot about each other already. And I've had millions of conversations. But we would like to just hear a very natural conversation between as natural as it can get between the two of you for the next 1015 minutes. And you know, you can go back, you can pick whatever topic but if you want to go back to a really happy memory, or a memory of when the two of you first met or even your first date, we'd love to hear it
I mean, the first time we met it was at our friend Hannah's house, but I feel like our real first day was the movies when we went to go see Juno.
Yeah, was that Christmas? Because you and Hannah went to see a movie every Christmas.
Yeah. My, the biggest thing I remember from that, which you probably know exactly what it is. Is when you were walking next to me and Jared was like trying to goad you into holding my hand so he literally kicked you nervous? Yeah. Oh, to be jeans again. So I don't think I'll ever forget that is very cute. But I don't think I'd ever really been on a like regular date. Before that. Yeah, have you? You'd been on like a sim. Um, thing?
Yeah, like once or twice, like, like to see a movie and stuff but like nothing serious. And then
it wasn't long after that, that we decided to make it official so to speak.
The same the same day. I was gonna ask you, you asked
me to do it. I do like to control the moment, apparently.
Well, that's fine. takes the pressure off of me.
And were you already driving at that point? I forget. Did you have a licence when we met?
Yeah, I must have because I was 17.
Okay. Yeah, cuz I do remember you picking me up in the van. Oh, yeah.
He's that like, talk to me.
I feel like the dash had this weird thing where it made like a clicking sound that I was like it he's not concerned about it. I guess I'm
was that the one that had? That must have been the van that had a little button for the horn because the I do because the one time I got pulled over in college, the cop was like, that's not gonna shoot missiles or something is it? It was it was it was just a little button next to the steering wheel wired in.
I can like remember being out and like getting into the car for the first time with you. And it just being like, this is weird, but like, in a good way.
I remember one of the times I left after, you know, we were hanging out there. You told me to drive safe and I was like, I feel like no one's ever told me.
Like, I'd like to see you again.
Yeah. I don't mean that and as sad away as that sounds, but it was it was sweet. I was like, Oh, she cares if I you know get in a car crash.
Man, low bar for me
because the two of you have been together so long do you go back in and reminisce about these things
when something comes up? Or if like we're hanging out with friends and something about our past comes up, but I don't think we've ever like made an effort. to talk about it. Yeah.
Are you you're both working at home. Okay, so you're you see each other all day every day. Yeah. So, okay. And we still like each other. What was the last thing that you thought about?
Was it that I sounds awful? Was it that I sort of dismissed your religion?
And now we're going to take a quick break, but don't go anywhere because the story will continue
was it that I sort of dismissed your religion? That sounds so much worse than I? I feel like that's the actual last thing that we had, like, I'm upset. Yeah, we
don't really fight off. Yeah. It was like some show someone was talking about their thing. And I kind of dismissed it as silly. And then Jen said something like, oh, yeah, like yours is any less silly, which, like I get, I get where she was coming from, but it did her at the time,
I could have approached it a little better. Like, you know, don't challenge other's beliefs when yours can also be looked at the same way. So I could tell he was upset, but he didn't want to say anything right away. I think that evening, he was like, he said this thing. And it really bothered me. And I was like, didn't even cross my mind that that would be like, problematic. But now, but thinking back on it, I was like, I see where you're coming from? Yes, I probably should approach it a little differently. Not said the thing I was exactly thinking.
So is that usually how stuff goes, when something bothers you, you don't react right away, you think about it, and then go back to the person. That's pretty common. Yeah, we
have opposite styles, I over communicate, and I want to, I want to like talk it out, when there's something going wrong. And Jesse needs to like, sit with himself and like, observe within, and then talk
about it. Like I need the time to be able to articulate, we've gotten way better at it. But overall, we've always had pretty good communication, too. Thankfully,
we're kind of a boring couple, honestly. But in the best way.
We always joke with our friends that we're one person.
So I want to ask each of you individual questions. So let's start with Jen. And Jesse is going to take his headphones off. So he's not part of this discussion. So Jen's answers don't influence Jesse in any way, shape, or form. So in these can be very quick, on a scale of one to 10. How much did you enjoy the conversation?
I would give it an EIGHT. Okay,
and with that same scale, how would you perceive Jesse enjoyed the conversation?
I'm probably a seven. All right.
So was there a point in the conversation where you felt like you were ready for the conversation to end?
Um, no. And this probably comes from being in a very long term relationship. But I could talk to him like all day.
Do you have any idea what do you think Jesse wanted? Do you think that he wanted to keep the conversation going or stop it? At any point,
he probably would be done sooner than me because he isn't as much of a talker. But I think if we were continuing to like reminisce, he would indulge me and enjoy it. All right,
so we're gonna switch it up, Jesse, come back. Jen is taking off her. Okay. All right, Jessie. So very quickly, and you don't have to share whatever you'd like. But how much did you enjoy this conversation?
Very much. I like talking to my wife. That's why I married her.
And then on a scale of one to 1010 being the highest. How much did you enjoy the conversation? Nine? And how much and the same scale? How much do you think Jen enjoyed the conversation? 9.59. So, overall, how do you think the conversation went?
Mostly good, I feel like we never are like, given a prompt, and just like told to start talking about it. So it was a little different for us. But you know, once we knew what we were talking about, I think it went fine.
Is there a point in the conversation where you felt like you were ready for the conversation to end?
Only a little bit our I feel like the first date sorry, there's not like too much to it so so at the end of it was like, Well, yeah, that's That's it. That's what happened.
So after the first date, conversation, the you feel like the conversation could end right there.
Yeah, I think so. Okay, Have we covered, we covered what we needed to?
Got it? Okay.
So do you have any idea of when you think if there was a point at which you think she wanted to end the conversation?
probably not. I feel like she's more talkative than me in general. Like, I do more more of the listening, and she does more of the talking. So I feel like she's happy coming up with new topics. So I think she was probably fine with it.
Those are all the questions, Jen, come back.
So, obviously, there's a reason why you've been together for 13 years. I mean, you could hear it and see it very clearly. The like, natural rhythm and flow of the way in which you communicate with each other. I think what's really important with couples is there's a lot of awareness awareness of, you know, this is sort of this is how she communicates. This is how he communicates. You know, this is, this is what I know, Jen, when you mentioned, like, oh, he usually needs some time and space, let's, that's the empathy respecting your partner's way about like thinking. So even though maybe you want to talk about it right away, that maybe that's not always the best for the conversation. So overall, you both you both enjoyed it, you know, you obviously want to keep talking to each other. And you definitely say that Jen's the more talkative one, and that maybe Jessie wanted to end it a little bit earlier than Jen would. And the one to 10 I thought was really interesting, because Jen's numbers were in terms of how much she enjoyed it was eight, and how much Jesse enjoyed, it was seven, and Jesse was nine and then 9.5. So you weren't, it wasn't one of you didn't say two. So I mean, you're not.
Not that far. We were both right, that Jen probably enjoyed it.
So I think that's it's very, very interesting. And like I said before, it's obvious why the two of you have been together for a long time.
And like, of course, I know that we're married, but it's always nice to hear that he wants to keep talking to me. This is fun. So thank
you so much. Yeah, thank you.
Well, test that was delightful. Thank you so much for facilitating that. They are so cute. Yes, they are. So what what is your sort of general takeaway, listening to them and asking them questions? What did you What did you take from? Well,
you know, you could see very clearly how natural they were finishing each other's sentences, you know, laughing about the same things, these memories that they have they're set in their minds are very, very clear. The therapist and me, of course, had to ask about like, when do you fight? And well, how did I what does that look like? Because I could imagine that the two of them couldn't possibly be this happy. Like, this couldn't be every conversation in their lives. But you can see that they've both spent a lot of time and energy working on their communication skills, because they met so early, they grew up together, right? You know, usually we don't have those kinds of tools at 16 1718 years old. But the fact that they're able to now as adults keep communicating and want to keep communicating. And I think any couple after the pandemic still want to talk to each other is always a good sign that I've been trapped in the house
together, I met my fiance about a month before the pandemic started. And that's sort of our go to like if we could survive a pandemic. Let's see each other I think I think we're good because we only saw each other for so very long. Was there anything that's like surprised you in there when they you know, any, any feedback that they gave you that that might maybe throw you for a loop or anything like that? Yes. Hold tight. We'll be right back.
I think that what was really interesting is that he had this very firm memory of she told me to drive safely, and that this has been in his mind this entire time. And maybe he said that to her before they've had this conversation before. But it's a very interesting thing, because it sounds like it really encapsulates the relationship and encapsulate sort of like this, this person cared about me. No one had ever asked that of me before. Empathy is such it's the superhuman tool that everybody needs to cultivate and work on, which is really learning how to be present with the other person and to be able to put yourself in their shoes for just a moment or two, you just because you're putting yourself in someone else's shoes, doesn't mean you're agreeing with them. So you saw that in the conversation, right? Jen had made a comment about his religion. And so but she was able to go back to him when he approached her and say, you know, I'm sorry, you're right. So even though they have these different ideas of religion and different belief systems, when it comes to that, she could easily say, Yeah, you're right, the way in which I dismissed you in that moment in time, could be I can imagine was very, very hurtful. She didn't agree with him. She's not, she's not, you know, converting. She's just simply being present and saying, You know what, I own that you're right, I can see how that would bother you. And I think that that's the part that's really important, because it's the couples have to really understand, you know, where the other person is coming from, why they may be feeling the way they can feel, why they're feeling what they're feeling. And even if maybe it's not how you would ever feel about it. It's the willingness to say, Okay, let me give me a second, let me really try to get and see that from your perspective. But I think it's interesting, because they're this couple that's been together for a long time, you know, when you think about first dates, right, and you think about when you're going into a first date, or when you're first meeting someone, you know, nothing about them, right? It's all fresh, like, everything is fresh and new. And so with Jessie, and Jen, you know, they they went into this conversation, understanding and knowing who the other person is, yeah. And so what I tell people, especially my clients, when they're going to meet someone new, or on a date, it's like, let go of, you've got to walk into the state thinking, I'm just gonna have this really interesting conversation with this new person that I'm meeting, every the people walk into date dating situations, or cocktail parties, or networking events, they walk into them with just this huge agenda, or fears around like, no one's gonna want to talk to me, or this person is going to be terrible, or oh, they're going to be great. They're going to be the love of my life. And the best way to walk into difficult conversations, new conversations, Crucial Conversations, is taking a little time before you get there to be present, be present with yourself be present, and like how am I feeling right now? Because that is what is going to help your conversational skills, it's what's going to help you listen better, is to get present and really figure out, I'm coming on this date, I don't know who this person is, or if I'm going to like them or not. But I'm going to have a good conversation with this stranger. There is no algorithm to know why two people are going to be right for each other. Right? It's not until two people get in the exact same room at the exact same time. That you know, is there some there there. I think that anybody I mean, we can all have a really good conversation over the phone or via text with anybody we all have at least if you're a certain age, you'll you'll have at least an hour worth of material for your life. Right? This is where I grew up. This is where I went to college. These are my questions, right? So people a lot of times see that, oh, we you know, we grew up in the same way. Or we're, you know, we both like dogs, or we both, you know, like to snowboard or whatever it is like, Oh, we're so compatible. But it's not until you get into a room with someone and you feel something there's gotta be, there's gotta be sparks. There's gotta be something, or there's got to be at least the inkling of something of like, oh, this is really good. And you don't know that until you're in the
same room with someone. Absolutely. I thought it was interesting when you were just to go back to Jen and Jesse for a minute, where you noted that Jessie likes to take a beat to talk about things. And I think that's true for a lot of relationships where you have like a mismatch where somebody wants to jump in right away and somebody needs like, Okay, I need a day to process this and get away. How do you navigate that sort of situation? Like what is a couple to do? Do they meet somewhere in the middle? Do they take a beat? Do they wait for the other like the more hesitant partner what's what's the best approach?
Yeah, I think a lot of it is the couple in their dynamics, but I do I think that it's trying to it's trying to find somewhere in the middle that satisfies both people and maybe they're, you know, it's neither their first choice but it's, it's a good in between state, the person who wants to talk about it right away that that person is a bit more anxious, and what the other person who needs a beat really you just need to allow, you know, that anxious person needs some sort of level of reassurance that you know, I'm I'm you know, not harbouring a grudge or, you know, I so that just to understand a little bit of this is why I need to take this beat. You know, I'm not I'm not angry at you or I'm not this or I'm not that I just need to take it in and process it. So if you reassure the anxious one, you're going to be okay, you know, then that should help you create some distance, what happens usually is, is that the person who wants distance just runs in the opposite direction, and doesn't stay long enough to explain themselves. And so I think that Jen mentioned this, that she's an over communicator, and you know, an over communication is better than no communication, you know, someone telling you too many things is sometimes better than nothing. So, knowing what it is that the person wants ahead of time, just like everyone likes to have an agenda before a meeting, like people want to know what's going to happen before it's gonna happen, because that's when our anxiety gets triggered when we, when we don't have all the facts, our brains fill in the gaps. And because we're human beings, and we're designed for survival, we tend to fill in the gaps with negativity with fears with the worst case scenario.
Yeah, that's, that's a great, larger takeaway, I think, what is your best piece of advice? For somebody who's maybe going about to go out on their first date with someone, they're worried about the conversation flowing? What What's your best number one piece of advice for them,
spend a little time before the date. I would, I do think that people who are who practice some sort of meditation or mindfulness, and I know people hear this constantly and I insert irell here, but it is really one of the best ways to learn how to not only manage your anxiety, but also to be present in the present moment. And the more that you can be present in the present moment, the more that you're going to enjoy the conversation. So I would say you know, practice some mindfulness, be present, maybe listen to a meditation, and then remind yourself this does not need to be the love of my life. This does not need to be life changing, that this that I am meeting this new and interesting person. And my goal is to have a new interesting conversation with this stranger and whatever happens happens,
and tests where can people find you if they're looking for you on the internet? Sure. So
just go to my website, www dot test Brigham coaching.com I have everything there my services, what I do and I have programmes and books and lots of different stuff, so just go to the website.
Awesome. Thank you so much for joining us today. Thank you extremely educational and always you know a treat to have Jen and Jesse to so
Sarah, that was such an educational conversation and I could listen to Jen and Jesse forever. They are my favourite boring couple. One of my favourite board goals.
I love walking down their memory lane. It is very scenic. It is very comfortable. There's no insects it's very lovely. Let's walk down their memory lane anytime forever.
And Tess was was fantastic as well and gave some great advice. So what is your love to go for our listeners today?
Well tested something that I'd never heard before. When you don't have all the facts your brain fills in the gaps Oh my Yes. Does my brain do that rule? Yes. And when you're thinking about whether or not someone likes you or wants to keep talking to you and you don't know it's it's a big internal narrative that you're going to construct? Yes, they do or no they don't I don't know. I don't I know that's a lot so yeah. When you don't have all the facts your brain fills in the gaps.
Yep. 100% We would
like to know what you're thinking please email us at lovestruck daily at frolic dot media. If you have a love story to share, you want to talk to us. We would love to hear your memory lane. You can follow us on Instagram and Twitter at lovestruck daily. If you would send us a review, we would absolutely love it. Our researcher is Jesse Epstein. Our editor is Jen Jacobs. We are produced by Abigail steckler and little Scorpion studios with executive producer frolic media. This is an iHeartRadio podcast but until then we wish you a very conversational happily ever after. I'm in love with love with you. I'm in love with you