Season 3, Episode 65: I had LOW standards! Feat: The Misterfella

SEASON 3, EPISODE 65

SHOW NOTES

I have learned so much about expectations in my new relationship with The Misterfella. So today he is chatting with us about where his self-worth stems from, why he shows up the way he does in a relationship, and how we can also ask for what we want and need in our relationships.

To put it bluntly friend, I had LOW standards, low expectations, and it took me until my 30s to learn that I get to set my own expectations in a relationship.

Maybe what you’re asking for in a relationship isn’t crazy. Let’s chat about this, friend! Thank you for showing up here each week and pre-ordering my memoir, Nothing is Missing! You can grab your bonuses for pre-ordering here!

Listen on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Google, or iHeartRadio

Season 3, Episode 65

Nicole:

Hey friends. So you know that whenever the Misterfella comes in, we’re usually talking about like, something crazy in our relationship or something that’s come up or whatever. But y’all get it, you know our relationship, we share it on social, all that stuff, ask me questions in the DM, we’ll get to it. And maybe we’ll follow up later, as things change.

What I want to do today and this is really like, vulnerable, transparent, whatever you want to call it. I am bringing in the Misterfella to pick his brain for y’all live and in-person. Because the way he thinks, trips me out sometimes. And I’m going to be very vulnerable and saying this, I have not had the best luck in relationships. And you’ve heard me talk about this, with starting fresh, starting over, I go into it in detail in my book, Nothing is Missing, which is available now for sale – everywhere books are sold: Amazon, Barnes and Noble. Grab your copy. I’m super excited to get into your hands because it really does add color to a lot of what we talk about here through stories and lessons and all that jazz.

But honestly, part of what makes the book so good is a lot of what I’ve learned in being in a healthy relationship. And some of this I’ve learned literally just because this guy that I’m with was raised so differently from me. Now, I do want to throw out as a caveat. You know, some people may say, Well, it’s because he is a male because he is white, because he is privileged. All those things are true. He does have those privileged things. What I am talking about here today is that this man has incredible parents, like they are imperfect, like all parents are, but they have done a really good job raising him around his mindset and his sense of self worth. And that has really shown up and how he picks who he is with, myself notwithstanding. No I’m a hot mess. I really am literally just trying to figure out why he even plays with me like this? I don’t know.

But all that being said, he is here today. And I’m really excited for you all to learn more about how he has approached picking his partners, what he has learned to tolerate and not tolerate within a relationship and how he gets himself out of tough spots.

We talk so much about fresh start, but it’s the ending and getting out of them to get your fresh start that is so important. So today, we have the Misterfella, Alex. Hey, babe!

Alex:

Hey, what’s up?

Nicole:

Thanks for being here. I’m excited that you’re here. I’m treating you like an interview guest.

Alex:
Let’s go.

Nicole:

It’s different. It is different. It is. It is different. I’m excited. Yeah, cuz you know what? Yeah, cuz, you know, normally, we’re hearing we were talking about our relationship or giggling and whatever else, you know, but like, we got coffee. We are

Alex:

I know! It’s a vibe.

Nicole:

It is a vibe. I’ve said this before, even when you’re not around. I really admire the way you think, you know, like, even though we’re in a relationship, you’re someone that I would pick to be friends with, you know, like, because I just liked the way you.

Alex:
Because I’m awesome.

Nicole:

It’s not. I mean, yes. Yes. No, but no, it’s because you’re humble.

Alex:

Oh, yeah, super humble. Well, so humble.

Nicole:

No, no, but seriously, seriously. No, it’s not that it’s the fact that you there is a cool confidence and certainty that isn’t egotistical around the way you approach relationships. Does that make sense?

Alex:

Mmmhmm yes.

Nicole:

When I say that, yeah, like it’s an awareness that I can tell is rooted. I’ve met a few people in my life like this. Another one is this amazing woman that I’ve mentioned. I don’t think I’ve mentioned here to this group of friends, but her name’s Precious Lee. She’s a supermodel. And she is phenomenal. Like when I tell you this woman is a powerhouse. And we were working on an opportunity together here in Los Angeles. And when I sat down and heard the way that this woman talked about, spoke about herself, and she said her mom, you know, always told her like, Girl Like, you’re amazing. Don’t settle for less than you deserve. Like, you are the greatest thing that’s ever walked. And it wasn’t ego-based. You know what I mean? It was just simply like, no, like, I bring a lot to the table, like, why would I settle?

You have that same energy and it doesn’t feel like snotty or weird, you know? Does it sound crazy?

Alex:

I know, I know what you’re saying you know what I’m saying I’m it’s funny because I’m now thinking about where that comes from.

Nicole:

Oh, I’m excited because I want it. Let’s first, let’s talk about what it is. So part of why I think this conversation is important is as women especially black women, women have you know We’re all women and black women of color are all marginalized. And because of that, we’re often told that if we are braggy, if we have standards, if we are in relationships who are not receiving what we deserve, that we may be asking for too much, or we have an ego or we are, you know, just over the top. And that has become perpetuated and become worse, because we’re now seeing conversations online about women saying things like, oh, no, he’s not taking me on an ice cream date. Oh, he’s not taking me for coffee, like he better be creative and inventive, or put down some money if he means it. And there is such a split perspective about that, because there’s some sort of identification in the date, correlating with people seeing the worth of the woman.

Alex:

Yeah.

Nicole:

Have you seen those sorts of conversations?

Alex:

Of course, yeah, of course. And I’ve you know, there are, there’s definitely split thoughts on it, you know, because on one hand, it’s like, oh, yeah, I really want to impress this girl, let me get, let me put that. But on the other hand, there are plenty of guys with money where that money actually is meaningless to them. And they’re like, Yeah, I’ll throw down a couple bills or you know, whatever it is for this date. And it actually doesn’t mean anything, you’re essentially trying to just wine and dine just to like get in their pants.

Nicole:

Yep, talk about it, tell the truth. That is the truth.

Alex:

Or there’s the other side, there’s like somebody who like, oh, let’s get some ice cream or coffee to sit down, actually get to know the person because you’re interested in the person and not trying to impress them. So there’s both sides because you want to show you care. But you also want to not, you don’t want to feel like like, I don’t know, you’re buying them…

Nicole:

What type of guy are you?

Alex:

I’m the like, let’s go bowling guy.

Nicole:

So you like an activity.

Alex:

I like an activity where we can, like, just loosen up, you know, just relax. And also something to keep us entertained but we can also have conversation in the meantime, you know…

Nicole:

For a first date, though, because that was a good amount of time. Bowling is like an hour and some change. It can be.

Alex:

It can be and it’s good. Because if you’re having a good time, you can always pay for another game. But if it’s terrible, you spent like an hour and a half.

Nicole:

That’s a lot.

Alex:
Relatively short date.

Nicole:

You think that’s a short day, an hour and a half? Oh, man, some people can’t get 20 minutes for me. I’m expensive.

Alex:

I mean, I have gone. I mean, I’ve gone on a date before where I pieced out like 30 minutes. Like it’s not like I was like, Oh, this is clearly just like not it, you know?

Nicole:

Wow. But was it like a date that was styled to be an hour and a half?

Alex:

It was like a coffee date? Probably.

Nicole:
Yeah, it was just like a casual. So I’m gonna tell you my take on that. And this is something that I ran into when I was dating, like while when I met you, but even before I met you, because I obviously stopped dating after haha. So I ran into this where I would get sort of the mixed bag, right? And I would get the guys who maybe got some inclination that I come from means myself like I have my own, that would then try to like overdo it. You know? And I mean, I’ve told you about some of these dates, like…

Alex:

You’re so used to a certain standard and they’re like, Oh, I gotta either meet that or superseded it.

Nicole:

And only use to the standard as an assumptive right? Because you know, me, I shop at Target. I cook my own meals, like I’m not fancy, but you actually probably have nicer tastes than I do when it comes to the day to day. I guess, I pretty much don’t care.

Alex:

Wait, we have this recorded, right? This is recorded. I’m gonna need that cut out. It’s going to be my ringtone.

Nicole:

Oh, no. Listen, listen, you know that I’m only picking in certain areas. I like a nice meal. Right? But I can make one myself. And I also like to travel well. Those are really the areas where I care the most. I like and my maybe my housing like I like to make sure my home is like safe and clean. But other than that, I’m not. Where else am I really, I shop on Amazon. I shop at Target. I cook like I’m just not super fancy fancy like that.

Like and whereas a lot of like I’m not a shoe. I don’t have closets full of shoes and handbags and gems. I have a couple of nice pieces.

Alex:

You have a couple of nice pieces and you really appreciate good, good well cooked and seasoned food. And your season is very, I said what I said.

Nicole:
It’s true, it’s true.

Alex:

And you like to travel well.

Nicole:

Right? Well, yeah, and so like, but that’s also because I don’t vacation enough so but I do. Now all that being said, though, people would think like I’ve had guys show up on dates be like, Oh, I got you this handbag, you know, like designer bags, and I’m just like, it’s weird.

Alex:

Weird.

Nicole:

So it always strikes me as strange. So like, I did coffee dates, and I liked them because they were respectful of my time. And it was an initial introduction and then we would commit to, it’s kind of like in business or in consulting. It’s like the discovery call but before the actual session. It’s like an intake form before we sit down for the actual VIP day.

Alex:

Sure, yeah.

Nicole:
So like that makes sense to me. But you know, a lot of women you know, in this argument are saying hey, this date thing is correlated with how much you value this initial interaction or how badly you want a wife from but it’s like, I don’t even know you yet. Like, that’s my take on it. Right? Yeah. And I still think that, you know, being respectful that all exists outside of the construct of the date is how you treat me on the date. You know what I mean? Like I’ve gone on, my first marriage. I believe I can even say that, Oh, my first marriage started with a quick date. You know, it was just like getting crepes, whatever else, you know, and look at how it turned out. Right? You know what I mean? So I just don’t think that the two are and I’ve been whisked away, like I have had full on fancy dates, you know, and I did not marry those guys. So…

Alex:

Right. And it’s and now I’m just curious, and I’m sure maybe some of the listeners are curious. Like, for an example, you said, somebody got you a bag?

Nicole:
Yes.

Alex:

Like what is like the most outrageous thing somebody like, gave you on a first date?

Nicole:

So I will tell you the most outrageous first date I was on was not, it wasn’t just about the gift. It was about the date. It was, Do you mind? Do you mind for me to do like, surprise, you know, do you want me to just do like a surprise for you. And I was like, Sure, which was weird to me, because I was kind of like, it’s all a surprise. But this person was a public figure. So I didn’t worry that they weren’t going to murder me, we were set up by our agents. So on this first date, they picked me up. Then they drove me to a private airfield. And when I got onto the plane, there was a purse in my seat in a box, you know, which I recognized the designer box and the size and so I knew it was a bag probably, it was a bag. And then we went to a private dinner at a fancy restaurant. You look like you’re cringing right?

Alex:

No, no, no, no, go.

Nicole:
Yeah, it was nice. Yeah, it’s a whole. It’s a whole lot. When we went to the dinner. With each course of the meal. It was a five course meal. There was a small gift. So there was like jewelry or whatever. And for me, I was like…

Alex:
What type of jewelry?

Nicole:

Cartier. Yeah, like actual like, it wasn’t, but it wasn’t expensive. Cartier was like 2000, 4000. It wasn’t like, like 15 or 10,000 Cartier, you know what I mean? Make no mistake, that’s a lot of money. Like, I’m just saying that the way Cartier is set up, like the a five course meal could be it could be equivalent to a single piece too. So it was just a lot, apparently, yes, I would say like gifts wise, they probably came out of pocket 25G’s for a date. And then if you count the flight alone, you know, flying private, they didn’t own the jet. You know what I mean? It was chartered, but I would say that they it was probably like between 30 and 40k. And it just wasn’t required.

I literally was like, look, I mean, honestly, I would have given you two to three days if you would have just wrote me the check. Just give me the three days. And the thing is, there was I’m not the type like…

Alex:

Right, like, here’s $25k, go pay some bills. <laughs>

Nicole:

I just, it was just weird. And it’s like I what I also thought was funny about it was I’m not the Instagram, there’s a category right of the lady who readily makes it clear that they are available for dating at a certain price point, you know, and I’m not that type. There’s nothing about me that indicated whatsoever that I was the, you know, showing myself, my wares on the net, you know, and you can just kind of this is what you’ll get from me to date this way. Right? Like, that’s just not my energy. And we were set up by my agent.

Alex:

And so how did the date go? So the person was nice. I also felt like just to be fair, also that this type of data is the type of date that they like. So does that make sense? Also, even though I felt like they were trying to impress me, it didn’t feel like a unique date with me in mind. And it also if they were trying to do something special, it wasn’t about me. And then it also felt like, but it didn’t feel like it was like this is how they travel or this is the type of life they have. Right. So you know, okay, yeah, right. But ultimately, I was like, we can be friends. Like it wasn’t something I was that entered, the conversation was kind of lacking. They were headed in a path in their life where I could tell they were looking for someone who would stay home, you know, and like be we had things in common like we wanted family. You know, all that, but I just was not right for them, for what they wanted.

Alex:

And so I got you a salmon roll.

Nicole:

You did. It was so sweet. I loved it so much.

Alex:
It’s so funny because comparatively it’s like okay, if you’re talking about the amount of money somebody’s going to spend…

Nicole:
No it was the intention.

Alex:
You got somebody who spent 25k or whatever more gifts and a lavish first date and we got sushi and I got you a salmon roll.

Nicole:
It’s true.

Alex:
And now we’re engaged.

Nicole:

That’s true. I came in on our first date. And I arrived a few minutes after you, maybe like 10-15 minutes after I arrived. You already ordered a couple of food items. You didn’t do the full thing but you’re like just in case you arrived hungry? Right? Because it was a little it was a latest dinner. It was like seven you’d already know. And I remember thinking to myself, I will never forget it registered. I was like how thoughtful, you know and like that to me, resonated.

Alex:

Yeah. And it’s like, so it’s just like funny. It’s those little things. It’s not the amount of money. It’s like the thought and the intention and just getting to know a person.

Nicole:
And which brings us to to the thing that I, you know, this conversation that’s happening where they’re like, you know, what messaging are you sending as a woman when you’re willing to accept a hey, let’s meet up for an ice cream cone, it’s a heatwave, sis. The message is, it’s hot outside.

Alex:

Because it’s hot, it’s gonna feel really good. And let us help. You know, like, yeah, right?

Nicole:

But, but you know, some, some women also are like, no, like, I want you to put money behind your intention, which I can, I can understand that.

Alex:
I can understand both sides of it, you know, and it’s like, if you really care and want impressed, like, go for like a nice dinner, but you know what I mean, like, a nice dinner is fine, it’s a good gesture.

Nicole:

But also, just be real, I feel like that’s reserved for if I knew you before, or if you were introduced to me through someone, like maybe, but if I want, if a guy really goes, not all out, but plans a little bit second date, to me, that’s a second date thing, because now I feel like you’re doing it for me. And ideally, you’ll integrate things that you may have learned during the first date.

Alex:

So on the first date, I learned you like this type of food. So let’s go here.

Nicole:
Right! That seems more meaningful to me. So in any case, all that being said, let’s talk about how this relates to this sense of worth this, you know, all these pieces are choosing your partners. So I’ll kick it off with my vulnerable share. You know, with my previous relationships, one of the things that ultimately I think led to the demise of, I’ve had multiple relationships, you know, my previous relationships was that I quickly, it’s a very, like consistent pattern, I would enter the relationship with an expectation of how the relationship would go, which is always a downfall, relationships should develop together, right?

That is something I’m doing right in this one, right. But I would come up with an expectation, this is what a boyfriend is, and this is how a girlfriend is, right? And then I would do the relationship and I would find that certain things that I think are standard in a relationship, whether it is being helpful towards your partner, being kind towards, you know, their family, or their peers, being encouraging of their goals and aspirations, showing up on time for things you say you will do, you know, even if you read my book, domestic violence, you know, like, there are different aspects, you know, that came up during, you know, many of my previous relationships that were, shockingly, to me, at least a surprise that weren’t in the understanding, right, that, like, we’re all on the same page.

And what’s interesting about that, is that part of what led to the demise of the relationship was that I would stay in these relationships way too long, you know, like, my domestic violence relationship was I was much, much younger, you know, I was in like, not even in my 20s, you know, it was one of my first boyfriends that I’d ever had. And I literally, was with the person who would convince me that like, well, this was a one off. You don’t I mean, or this was because I came home in this state or whatever.

And so I talk about it in the book, and I think a lot of people would be surprised to know that about me. But, you know, I thought that like, Oh, this is the standard. And then when I realized that wasn’t the standard, that was when I would leave. Until now in my 30s, you know, I’ve officially learned that no, you set your standard, you know, what I mean? And someone and they’re also things that are really, truly just standard, like your partner being kind to you is normal. Like, that’s why you’re in a relationship, right?

And if someone is constantly convincing you that that’s not the case, then that’s not the right partner. So I’m even saying these things I’m looking at you like, right, I feel like that’s how it goes.

Alex:

You’re on the right track.

Nicole:

Yeah. So our relationship, obviously, never none of these things have ever been an issue. But you’ve not you haven’t had this problem in your dating?

Alex:

Like, domestic violence?

Nicole:

No, no, of course not. That has not been an issue in yours. But I’m just saying that, like, you haven’t had the issue of recalibration of your standards, even though you’ve…

Alex:
No there was.

Nicole:

Ok well tell me more about that because what I’m talking about is the fact that like, you have always been very clear, like, no, like, my partner should be good to me. Like, that’s something that like whether or not you’ve accepted less, but you’ve always known it.

Alex:

I’ve always known it, but because I’m very empathetic, and I try to be understanding and always give the benefit of the doubt, you know, and I always try to see the best in people, you know, just like you do. And you know, I had an experience where I stayed in a situation that wasn’t super, it wasn’t, it wasn’t physically abusive, but it was more mentally, emotionally and emotionally.

Nicole:

So tell me more about first the part where it’s like getting your understanding of how a good relationship should be and look, where on earth did you get that from? I grew up and my parents were not great together. I talked about that in the book. They were not good together. I would wish they’d get divorced. You know what I mean? They were not good. And all my relationships therefore were… I just thought a woman’s job was to serve. Right. That was her greatest value.

Alex:

Yeah, I mean, I mean, yeah, my parents were a good example to me. For a lot of things, you know, like, I would see them fall asleep on the couch together, or my mom would get her hair done, my dad would always make sure he complimented her or found something to compliment her, you know…

Nicole:

He still touches her butt.

Alex:
He still touches her butt. Sorry parents, putting you on blast, but…

Nicole:

It’s true, though. It’s like we noticed and I love it.

Alex:

You know, my dad sometimes, like pat my mom on the butt. I’m like, those are like the little things you know, I observed and like, you know, picked up and they probably have no idea that I but it stuck with you. But it stuck with me, stuff like that stuck with me or like my. So the whole sense of self worth and understanding there. It’s so silly.

So my dad had like two sayings that he would repeat to me growing up that I never thought much of or I’m like, Dad, you’re a broken record. You know, like, Yeah, I heard you, I get it. Blah, blah, blah. So he was always in, he would always say it in this silly voice, which made it stuck even more, because I’m ridiculous like that. He’d always be, Be yourself! Be yourself. You know, he would always just say it in this silly voice.

Nicole:
When would he say this? Like, if you like, asked him for advice?

Alex:

Like if my friends were doing something or I saw something on TV, he’d be like, no matter what, be yourself, you know, you know, it’s like, I don’t know what accent it is.

Nicole:

He is a silly guy.

Alex:

Yeah he’s a silly guy and that’s why I am the way I am. Yeah, but it was just like the be yourself thing and, you know, he always said, do what you love, and the money will come. And those two phrases, like, for me kind of created this framework for myself, where it’s like, if, okay, I always live my life by the golden rule, treat others the way you want to be treated. And so if I always stick to that, then, you know, hopefully, I’m always doing the right thing.

Nicole:
So it has informed your decision making.

Alex:
And informed my decision making. And, you know, when you know, in life, you come across things, and that are, you know, just not positive influences for your life.

Nicole:
Let’s keep it real, like, what, like, when you’re because you’re in music…

Alex:
I’m in the music industry, everywhere you go it’s like sex, drugs, and rock and roll.

Nicole:
You just have to decide all the time.

Alex:
I’ve run into all the things and it’s just like, you have to decide what’s right for you. And you know, and I have in the back of my head, my dad being like be yourself.

Nicole:

And so but like, how did you decide what was your self versus the self that was required or required or requested?

Alex:

Well, because I would listen to what my gut was telling me if I saw that all these people are doing something and I didn’t want to do it, then I didn’t.

Nicole:

Can we pause on that for a second, because that’s the thing. Listening to your gut is something that I know that for me, was like, routed out. Like it’s part of the like being in bad relationships, because one of the sort of symptoms, that relationship that isn’t great is someone making a question your gut, you know, and your intuition. I’ve talked about this before, here, you know, with fresh starts, no one has ever, ever said, Oh, man, I went with my intuition. And what a horrible idea that was, you know what I mean? I listen to my gut, and what a fail, you know, people are always like, I listen to my gut, and thank God or I should have listened to my gut. And I wish I knew.

And so, I’m telling you in relationships, one of the things that I’ve seen, at least in my relationships is like, a symptom of me knowing the eventual demise was I wasn’t listening to my gut, right? But you grew up knowing that it was, because your dad would say, be yourself, that your gut was something that was worth listening to.

Alex:

Yeah, yeah, for sure.

Nicole:
It’s a big deal.

Alex:

And so, you know, like, for example, you know, when I was in college, I was with somebody who drank a lot. And it was like a constant issue. And I tried, we tried to work it out. And I just realized over time, I’m like, I deserve you know, better than this. And then I broke it off, you know, I was with another girl for like, five years. And I never proposed or I never really saw a marriage happening, because it just wasn’t right, because she was kind of trying to, you know, she was Haitian, and she was brought up with a certain image of what a wife should be, should the value know the value system there.

And, you know, at the time, I wasn’t looking for the perfect housewife, I was looking for something else at the time, you know, I would align with you or something that would align with me because what everyone is looking for Isn’t this like, textbook thing. Everyone has different values, and everyone has something that they everyone has a different image of what they want in their life, and it’s important to get to know it’s great for the right person or person or yeah, she’s rather a different person, but that’s not what I what I wanted, you know, at the time.

So it was just, you know, listening to my intuition that like, I’m like on paper, you know, these are all the things but it just didn’t align with what I wanted. And it just, it wasn’t gonna work.

Nicole:

And so what happened? Because I brought this up with you before, and I want to have this conversation in front of my friends cuz I think it’s valuable. So you were in these relationships for a while. And that’s the thing that I think, you know, I’m hoping anyone who’s in a relationship because something that lands on my DMs a lot that you know, I would talk to you about is like people saying, I’m trying to get up the guts to get divorced or change my job or change my situation and getting up the guts, well, hey, your gut is clearly already telling you, the minute that you start feeling that it’s probably not right is probably the first step towards it being over, you know what I mean.

Alex:

Yeah but it’s a very big leap from feeling something was right. And then to actually do something about it.

Nicole:

Yes, yes. So how do we help people make that leap? What were some of the things you are looking for? Because I know that for me, I knew from probably and I talked about this, you know, one year into my relationship, we were having issues, right. And I’ve talked about this the entire time, because, you know, my entire marriage, I’ve been public on social media. So I’ve talked about that. We’ve had to get counseling here, we are still working on things here.

Even in the pandemic, I was like, well, we are on a thread, you know what I mean? So people have seen it coming. I’ve never tried to pretend like my relationships where I was never that person. But I didn’t listen to my gut. And if my gut knew one year in what you know, I have no regrets. I have zero regrets about being married to my partner, zero, you know what I mean, and I have zero regrets about having my babies and having the life that I had, if it got me here, everything was right, you know, so I have no regrets. And I don’t have anything evil or terrible to say about this person. Because in the season I was in, it served what it needed to serve.

But I absolutely knew things one year in before I finished the 12 year relationship, and I did not listen to them. And I probably did three to four years in that relationship that didn’t need to be there. You know, and they need to be there for other reasons. But you know, I probably could have just peaced out, stage left, to the left, to the left. So that being said, Why do you think he stayed? Like what signs for me it was that I was ignoring things because I was told hey, no, you should expect this. How dare you ask for this? This is normal. You know…

Alex:

For me, there was always the element of, oh, maybe they’ll come around maybe though, changing Listen, or be willing to do this other thing.

Nicole:

So it’s like looking at what do they call it? Looking at the potential? Not the person?

Alex:

Yeah, looking at the potential of what could be. But you know, after some time, you know, it’s a combination of that. And then also, the part of it is that I don’t want to make anyone feel bad. I don’t want to hurt anybody.

Nicole:
Well, that’s just you’d being nice,

Alex:
Yeah, but that’s probably a lot of people you stay, because you’re like, oh, that’s mean, like, I don’t want them to feel bad, it’s gonna break their heart, I feel so bad, right? And that’s a big part of it is that like, there is no way, when you start to realize there’s no way to fix your circumstance without hurting somebody else.

Nicole:
Or yourself! It’s someone’s gonna hurt, it’s either you in the relationship or…

Alex:
Somebody in this situation is going to hurt and the longer you stay, the more it will hurt. And that is a hard realization, because it forces you to do this really uncomfortable thing.

Nicole:

I just had a like, I’m not kidding. You just gave me like a Aha moment, you know, because that was something that came to me during my, like, sort of big split, you know, was that one of the big turning points was my partner saying, like, you know, I want more, I want different, I want whatever. And me looking at them saying, I don’t know if I can do that for you. And not even like when I tell you heart of hearts, like Oh, I feel even teary about it now, which is, I gotta tell you so weird to feel this way in front of you, you know, but I wish I could have done that for them. You know, it was this, like, I wanted my marriage, you know, and I guess it doesn’t feel weird because you know who I am, you know, how I committed and how I love hard and I am all in and I wanted it to work so badly. You know, and I wish I could have been what they were asking for. But I also could feel that I was like, I can’t even do this and if I stay I’m like, they look hurt. You may mean they look hurt. And if I continue to stay here and not be this thing that they think they need. I just keep hurting them. And that’s not okay.

Alex:

Yeah, it’s but it’s one of those things, you just don’t want to hurt them. You want to try to work it out.

Nicole:
And if I stayed longer, I would have heard of them more. Or at least they would have thought I was hurting them more or whatever. You know what I mean? Whatever it’s in their brain because they want certain things feel deprived from whatever…

Alex:
And the longer you stay, the more the relationship goes on. The more stuff you deal with together, the deeper your relationship goes. So when you finally break it, I mean it just hurts that much more…

Nicole:
But you can get past it.

Alex:

And like the bottom I mean like I feel like the bottom line of it is like whether you make that decision today or tomorrow, it’s knowing that you have to make that decision and actually making it. You know?

Nicole:
That’s so true. I think one of the things that I find to be interesting is like for me, I kept on so so the phrase I often use, and I talk, I use this phrase in my book, and I go into detail around it. But it’s a phrase that I don’t think I’ve talked about much here, but I’ll talk about it now is that in my relationships, it felt like happiness was a moving target.

It felt like once we would hit a certain goal, it felt like, Okay, well, I know, we hit this goal, but I don’t feel happiness so it’s actually this goal. Now, to some extent, you know, if you’re like, quote, unquote, power couple, whatever, you know, there’s nothing wrong with having ambition and drive and pushing it. But then there’s also when it’s not that when it’s like, I cannot find joy and contentment, because, well, nothing I do is made up, right, because, you know, I’m dealing with my own junk, right.

So part of, you know, that was something I was used to, for my own parents from, you know, all this stuff that I detail in, in, you know, text, right, but I will say that, there’s also the element of that being in a relationship where it’s like, no, and you’re crazy for thinking that this would have been good enough, you know, or you’re crazy for expecting me to show up this way. Or you’re crazy for thinking, I don’t have a right to tell you that it should be this, or it should be that or this is what I want. Or no, I can never do that thing, or I can’t be that thing. So I’m not gonna lie to you, when you talk about the, you know, the girl that you had a long term relationship with who was a housewife, like, in my head, I’m like, she was goals.

Like, I’m like, I know, that sounds crazy. Because I mean, I got you now so don’t worry about it. Like, it’s fine. But like, she took care of her home, she had a great job. She was kind of I know that there are elements there, you know, to remain offline, because you know, personal relationships. We always respect, you know, our previous partners. But overall…

Alex:
Overall she was great.

Nicole:
She was beautiful. She was smart, you know, like, you know, all of those things. So it’s just interesting to me. How did you keep yourself from not convincing yourself that you were the problem? Because here you are with someone. I know. You just took a deep breath. I’m just saying, how do you know you weren’t the problem?

Alex:

I mean, I guess I don’t.

Nicole:
Oop!

Alex:
I guess I guess I don’t know.

Nicole:

What is it? Taylor Swift says, Hi. I’m the problem. It’s me. Right?

Alex:

Yeah, right. I mean, I guess I don’t, but all I know is that it wasn’t working. And I wasn’t like, I wasn’t like super satisfied in my relationship. You know, there would be so many things, where we wouldn’t match up with things that we liked or things that they’re things that I convinced myself wasn’t important to me. Or wasn’t about my okay, just because she doesn’t like, I can just let that go. Whatever. Yeah, I mean, like that, whatever. I’m not gonna break up someone because of that, like, that’s fine, you know, or like, Oh, she’s not into this, like, Oh, I like to do this kind of activity. And she doesn’t. But little did I know all these little activities, this is how I like to spend my time.

Nicole:
This is the way you build a life.

Alex:
This is what forms your life is the way you spend your time. And if you don’t like to spend your time in a similar way, and it’s always the little things, right? It’s always like the little things.

Nicole:
Like I want to make dinner together. I want to watch a scary movie together. I want to blah blah blah, right? Like when we first got together, so I know I don’t know Nicole trivia hate scary movies. Hate horror, hate scary movies.

Alex:
So here’s the thing too. She also hated scary movies. Yeah, she hated horror and I was really really deep into it at that time.

Nicole:
You like a scary move.

Alex:
And I went and and the way that and that is a small thing, right? A seemingly small thing but the way in which it actually impacted our relationship Yeah, I would frequently stay, she would go to bed and I would stay up so I could watch a scary movie.

Nicole:
The latest movie or whatever it is or true crime thing or whatever that you want, some horror movie.

Alex:
And I could watch what I wanted to watch after she went to bed and so just because of that, we never really went to bed together. You know, and that’s a big thing for a couple to go to bed together. And just because she didn’t like horror movies, you know, it made me stay up and I could do my thing. Yeah, and just because she didn’t like to and I’m like okay, maybe I need somebody who’s, you know, I don’t need it all the time but like…

Nicole:

Well that’s how we handle it like you know, I don’t like scary stuff. So I’m like we can watch it during the daytime…

Alex:

But right but bless you I mean you’re trying to figure out my muscle like so I don’t even needed all the time just like you don’t I mean I don’t need to watch a horror movie daily or like crazy stuff but like once in awhile.

Nicole:
But if there’s a big one that comes out like I understand that like it’s a big deal that and also you know that I’ve categories I will never touch like I don’t like the creepy psychological ya know? Demonic weird stuff like I don’t even need that energy. But if it’s just like a psychological true crime thriller, you know, like I don’t even I don’t love those either, but I can I can make it happen. 

Alex:

I mean, we watched Black mirror yesterday.

Nicole:
Like I’m flexing my my scary muscle, but I’m also doing that because one, I see some of the value that can be very interesting. But also, you know, I want to be with you and learn more about what you like.

Alex:

And that’s the thing is like that you you making the effort to like, appreciate and like what I like, yeah, me, you know, and I’m like if you’re into something, you know, there’s shows that you’re into or too.

Nicole:
Well, we were watching Dance mob the other day and he was like, Oh, are they up against Candy Apple Dance Center again? And I was like stop.

Alex:

What’s candy apples doing this week?

Nicole:

You get into and it’s really funny. <both laugh>

And so I think that one of the things that’s a call out here that is powerful for me, and hopefully for my friends that are listening is that y’all? Listen, I need you to absorb some of the energy of what he’s saying here where he’s like, look, I realize that yeah, maybe I’m the problem. You know, maybe I’m the one who doesn’t like the same stuff or doesn’t appreciate that they want to be this housewife. And maybe that is the perfect ideal. But you know what, that’s okay, because that’s who I am.

Alex:

And I’ll and I’ll add to this. So with her specifically, a big thing was if there was a problem, or if we got into an argument or whatever, she would just sweep it under the rug and pretend like there was no problem because she wanted to be this Instagrammable perfect couple that like everything was great. And I’m like, everything isn’t great, we need to talk about this, this and this. And she wanted to pretend, you know, like that it wasn’t an issue. So whether I’m the problem or not, I was the only one trying to tackle any problems, right? I don’t know if I was creating them right, or whatever. But at least I wanted to talk about them and try to work it out and she didn’t. And that was ultimately what what broke it.

Nicole:

And again, that’s the thing, too, is like I just again, I want people to really pick that up is, even if the things you’re asking for can feel ridiculous. And I’m not kidding, this is literally what changed my life, I would say this is almost one of the starting points of starting over, was realizing that maybe the things I am asking for are ridiculous. Maybe the things that I say that I want are not standard, you know, according to what I’m hearing from my partner after 10 years, 12 years 15, 20 of a relationship, to five years of relationship. But so, and that is the energy you have that like, you know, we joke all the time about privilege, and you know, or not joke about it, but we talk about privilege, and we talk about, you know how some people on this earth walk around with the energy of, it’s not gonna be me, I’m gonna do what I want, you know, like, maybe this was one of those places where we all deserve to have a little bit of that energy.

Alex:

Yeah, I mean, you you want what you want, you know, there is I think there is a delicate balance to that.

Nicole:
Sure, we got to grow, we got to get to grow. Yes you’ve got to grow and give.

Alex:

And also we can’t just expect everything just because like, I mean, but if you do, go find yourself a man or a woman that provides all those extra things.

Nicole:

Yes. I’m not even mad at the woman who wants to be with the guy who pays all the bills and all that like…

Alex:

Because there are guys who would love to do that in that dynamic. And that’s what that for it worked for them. So if that works, and you deserve says, Go get it, I’m not mad. And if you’re not in that situation, if you want all the things and you’re with somebody who’s not giving them to you, you know, I guess you know, go get it. And if, you know, hopefully that person who doesn’t want to give all the things will realize that like they’re with somebody who wants like, like, would that person want to be with somebody who wants all those things? Right? You’re not the somebody who wants to give all those.

Nicole:
Right. Just being in a partnership with someone who the expectations are matched up, right, needs to be matched. I will say that. And you know, I don’t know if I’ve said this before here, maybe it’s just the style of conversation we’re having. But you know, being in a relationship with you, you know, I have really had to own up to what I didn’t do well, in my previous relationship. I think I have said that before in my previous relationship, because, you know, some of the things my partner was asking for 100% I think were realistic things to ask for, you know, and it felt like in that partnership, they were not things that I could do for a variety of reasons, some of which are very well informed on, you know, where it was like, I can’t give in this way, you know, like, because of the nature of our relationship.

However, I have no problem giving him that way in this relationship, and I think sometimes we’ll often get caught up in the will if you did this, then I would do this, you know, and I’ve had to learn that no, like, there are times where I’ll do things for you, or with you or for us, you know, and it’s not by prompting, but I don’t even want to say I don’t believe in testing a relationship, but it’s almost like a trust play. Where it’s like, you’ve never let me down. I say this all the time. Like you never let me down in response.

So even if I feel myself cringe or feel triggered that something will come up where I’m like, Oh, he’s not gonna do it. He’s not gonna do the right thing. He’s gonna be mad, he’s gonna whatever, you always respond in a way that soothes my soul, you know, and that has really helped me heal and grow and build a healthy relationship. So it’s just weird place where Maybe the standard is the standard with you. You know, and it wasn’t the standard with my partner.

Alex:

I mean, you know, that’s just part. That’s also, that’s our standard.

Nicole:

I guess it’s the definition of it, too. Yeah. So I guess it does boil down to that thing. It’s so interest, I guess it does boil down to that thing that you know, you’re saying, which is like, you even if what you’re asking for feels crazy. You’re allowed to be crazy, like, just go find out with the person that your crazies match up?

Alex:

No, like, right. But you also have to understand, like, if you’re asking for crazy, you need to know that you’re asking for all of us extra, you can’t expect like this a standard.

Nicole:

No, no, no, but that’s what I say. But that’s the whole point of what I’m saying is it’s not asking for crazy, like, for real for real, because, for instance, let’s just use, like proper working scenario. If I’m like, hey, I need to be in a relationship with someone who is going to make me breakfast every morning, girl, find yourself a chef, you know what I mean. If that’s what he wants, if that’s how that works out. Because asking that if somebody who likes to sleep until noon, and you get up at eight, that sounds crazy in that relationship, but the request itself is not crazy. You know what I mean? So like, I just look at my previous relationships and some of the things that were asked of me like, I could never you not I mean, like and for that person, I would never and I will never you know what I mean? Like and that is clearly you know, just how it’s set up. But for you, like there’s some things you asked me and I’m doing them before you even ask me like, we laugh sometimes, like when we’re on a good roll and you’ve been just top tier, you know what I mean? You’re like, oh, that’s all I had to do. And I’m like anything, any baby. I made you a meal? You don’t mean, we call it lovey week, right?

Alex:

<laughs>

Nicole:
Why you even laughing?

Alex:

Lovey week, it’s true. It’s true.

Nicole:

What do you what do you what do you need up? Let me make him a meal. Let me just like I’ll be on like some superduper extra. You know, when that happens? I’m like, what do you need? Babe? I got you. Yeah, like,

Alex:

And I’m, I don’t know, I’m easy. You made me some food? I love you. 

Nicole:

But then let’s call it out though. Maybe you are the issue. You are the problem. Oh, here’s why. Oh. So I have seen you come home after a gig or whatever else and I have like a hot plate of your faves. And you’re like, I can’t believe this meal is here. Your ex-girlfriend used to do that for you all the time. She would have food. You’ve told me everything. First of all, you have dated women of color. Okay, you were fed.

Alex:

They’re were all excellent cooks.

Nicole:

They fed you. They did so why are you sitting here acting like they weren’t stacking up? Do you know what I mean? Like, but when I do it, it’s Oh baby. Oh, baby.

Alex:

When they did it, I was the same way.

Nicole:

Oh, you just liked a meal. This talk is over, shoutout to all his exes. Amazing. Shout out to all his exes. You were amazing. He’s the issue.

Alex:

<laughs>

Nicole:

No, I don’t, I got the ring. Seriously, though, I have learned so much being in a relationship with you about learning how to flex my expectations, and that it really isn’t about sort of the give and take transactional nature of a relationship. Because if you find yourself in a relationship where it’s tit for tat, you did this, or I do this, or I do this because you do this. And happiness is a moving target and we’re setting different standards. The truth is when you’re in a partnership that flows properly that person just it’s like a giving circle that you just want to be part of.

Alex:

Yeah, there’s like a, it’s funny, there’s this movie that always stuck with me. And I apply it to music and I apply it to life and it’s so it’s a movie called The Robots. Would you talk about with oh my god, the comedian, Robin Williams. And anyway, there’s a saying in that movie, it’s all about inventors and they say see need, fill a need. Mm hmm. And that saying I’m always like, okay, you know, sometimes I don’t see the need and so it’s not filled, right? But if I do see it, you know, I’m like, Oh, the trash needs to go out.

Nicole:
Yes you’re very thoughtful.

Alex:

Or like you know what I mean? Like if you just see something you see a gap somewhere you see you need you fill it you know you just like take care of something that you notice can be done but you’re trying to be helpful like that.

Nicole:

I’ve been in relationships where my previous partners have looked me dead in the face and said I am not a thoughtful person. Yeah, and for some reason I thought that would change. No, they said it that’s all me you don’t have you told me who you Well, but I will say that one of the things just using this past week for an example, you know, I started recording the audio book, nothing is missing my book and you knew that I’ve been building up to this, you know, you in particular being in the industry know what it’s like to be in the studio for hours trying to get whatever the footage is, whatever the clip is, whatever you need. And I didn’t even know what I was getting into, I kind of was like, I’ll get myself ready, I’ll kind of whatever, you know, and you came into the studio with me in the morning, just to make sure you know, everything was lined up.

Alex:

Like this is a big undertaking.

Nicole:

Yeah. And you were like, I just and also blending your expertise, you’ve done this for a long time, you know that, you know what I sound like, you know what I sound like, when I don’t sound good, you know, you know, my energy levels, everything. So you just came in, in the beginning, you were only there for like, 90 minutes an hour, you know, something like that, if that, you know, just to make sure I was good, you know, but then while I was gone, and in the studio, you took care of the baby, you made the bed, like just all the little attention things, you know, oh, you got me flowers and a note, you know, and like, I come back and I’m like, it was just the minute I walked in and I saw all of that.

Also, knowing the day you had, like you had your own studio stuff, you had your own things you had to before you had shows coming up, and you somehow manage, I still don’t know, to this moment how you managed to do all of it. And honestly, the thing that occurred to me was like he is treating me the way that I’ve treated my previous partners, and I didn’t have to ask for it. Like, he sees my worth. And he treated me as such.

And the first thing I wanted to do was, like not in a transactional way, was like, How can I make it easier for him? You know, like, so what does he need? Does he need a meal? Does it need food? Does he whatever and I was like, Okay, I’m gonna cook, I’ll figure something out and starting point. You know what I mean? Let me create space here for this. I’ll take the baby to school in the morning. So you can sleep in like, you know what I mean?

And I think that that’s where, I don’t know, that’s where it starts working. But I want I’m with someone who makes you want to do that, not just through what they do, but the way they show up.

Alex:
Yeah.

Nicole:

Yeah. So just letting you know, friend, if you’re listening this conversation if you feel like you’ve got a big, crazy, audacious, hairy list of things that you’ve got to have. You’re not crazy for having that list. You just got to find someone who wants to give it to you. It’s that simple.

 
In this episode, Alex and I chat about:
  • What his dad would repeat to him and how it informed his decisions,
  • The rules he lives by and what difference they’ve made,
  • What we both think of fancy dates,
  • Why listening to your gut comes naturally to The Misterfella, and
  • Why I had such low standards in my previous relationships

Resources and links mentioned in this episode:
  • Pre-order my memoir, Nothing is Missing, HERE!
  • Send me a DM on Instagram and Facebook!
  • Book a 20 min call to see if working together is the right next step for you!
  • Don’t miss our last chat about the habit I HAD to change to move through my darkest post-divorce days – listen here!
  • I love reading your reviews of the show! You can share your thoughts on Apple here!

More about The Nicole Walters Podcast:

If you’re looking for the strategies and encouragement to pursue a life of purpose, this is the podcast for you! Week after week Nicole Walters will have you laughing hysterically while frantically taking notes as she shares her own personal stories and answers your DMs about life, business, and everything in between.

As a self-made multimillionaire and founder of the digital education firm, Inherit Learning Company, Nicole Walters is the “tell-it-like-it-is” best friend that you can’t wait to hang out with next.

When Nicole shows up, she shows OUT, so tune in each week for a laugh, a best friend chat, plus the strategies and encouragement you need to confidently live a life of purpose.

Follow Nicole on IG @NicoleWalters and visit inheritlearningcompany.com today and click the button to join our betterment community. Your membership gives you access to a world of people and tools focused on helping you build the life you want.