UAC 136 | Perspectives On Relationships

 

Because of the differences in the way people live their lives, it’s natural that everyone will have differing perspectives on relationships. But from the easy to the hard, it’s undeniable that relationships are ultimately enriching parts of the human experience. Thane Marcus Ringler is joined by Gabe Conte and Chad Masters – both influencers as well as married men. Together, Thane, Gabe, and Chad do a roundtable on the enriching power of relationships whether you’ve been married a while, a newlywed, or just about to dive feet first into marriage.

Listen to the podcast here:

Gabe Conte And Chad Masters: Roundtable On Relationships, Marriage, And Being Men

This is a show all about learning how to live a good life. We believe that it takes living with intention in the tension. That is our catchy mantra because we believe that life is filled with many tensions. The best way to live in the middle of those tensions is with intentionality, infusing intention into all that we do. This show is about sharing stories from other people who are doing that and are learning about life in the process of becoming which we are all in as we hope to be lifelong learners and lifelong Up and Comers. There are few great ways you can help us out. If you enjoy this episode, please consider leaving us a rating and review on iTunes. This is a great way to help us out. The second great way is by sharing this episode on the socials. Take a screenshot of it on your phone, share it, and post it on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook. Name it and tag us, @UpAndComersShow. We’d love to hear from you. If you want to support our show financially, we do have a Patreon. It’s a great way to support us with monthly donations. If you have a business that you’d like to partner together with, we are actively looking for partnerships. Send us an email to TheUpAndComersShow@Gmail.com.

To give a little shout out to one of our ratings and reviews, we had a review that said, “Great insight and inspiring. It is cool to know the guests on the show share their knowledge and inspiring advice. Thane does a great job asking questions that dive deep into what motivates people. I get motivated by reading the answers. I would recommend this to anyone feeling stuck or looking to get a roadmap by learning what others have gone through.” That is a sweet review. We’d appreciate it if you leave one as well. We’ll be reading another one next time. It is the fellowship episode, which is more peer-to-peer conversations, but it’s what I would call A Roundtable Fellowship episode, which is more than me and another person. There will be three of us.

In this episode, we’ve got Gabe Conte. Gabe is a YouTuber, influencers, entrepreneur, musician and actor. Gabriel Conte is an LA-based, 25-year-old living counter-culturally for the name of Jesus. He was born and raised in South Florida. He began his professional journey through the once-popular short-form video app, Vine, in his first year of college. Years later, he was able to transfer what he built into a professional digital entertainment career as an influencer YouTuber that ultimately led him to Los Angeles in the summer of 2015. Since then, Gabriel has continued to grow his following. He already has a wife, who he married in December 2016. He builds his career both in digital and traditional entertainment as an actor, musician, and entrepreneur. Through his entire journey, he never lost sight of the true reason for everything he was building and continuing to stay the course dedicated to his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Our second guest is Chad Masters. He’s a newlywed professional model, grad student and social media influencer, originally from Florida, but based in LA. He is expanding his reach of sharing the Gospel of Christ and what he defined as Gorilla Ministry, where he and his wife approached ways of sharing the gospel with a unique spin on it. Gabe and Chad have both been guests on the show before. Chad was on the show back on episode 99 and Gabe was on the show in episode 103. Those were awesome times with each of them, but this is a roundtable on relationships, on marriage, and on being men.

This is a fun three-way conversation where we get to dive into all things, relationships. It’s especially unique because Gabe has been married for several years. Chad has been married for about a year and I’m approaching that season. With that, it provides three different perspectives that we get to bounce off each other and talk about what’s been helpful, what we’ve learned from and other perspectives that we have on relationships, marriage and being men. This is one you’ll get a kick out of and enjoy and also hopefully, be encouraged and learn something from.

Gabe and Chad, welcome to the show again, round two.

Except we’re both here at this time.

It’s a roundtable round two.

UAC 136 | Perspectives On Relationships

 

I’m going to step off this track. It is like the Step Brothers of Prestige Worldwide.

We are here in the beautiful apartment that Chad is a leaser. I’m excited to dive in about all things relationships with you both because we’ve got to come to a nice little ladder. Several months for me in a relationship and engaged. Chad married for a year and Gabe married for several years and longer with dating as well on both those. I thought it’d be fun to gather up the homies and talk a little bit about what we’ve learned with relationships. What do you guys think?

I love marriage. It is great.

It is genuinely the best. I’m not saying that if you’re not married, you’re not experiencing the best, but we love it. It gets a bad track record from movies, magazines or the way people share about it. My wife and I want to be a voice that marriage is great.

To piggyback what you’re saying, there’s a season for singleness as well. I remember before I got into a relationship with Jess. You want to be in a relationship and there are that constant drive and desire for love that you want, but that season of singleness allows you to focus a lot on yourself. Not in a selfish way, but your relationship with God, your work, your passions and your friendships. There’s something beneficial for this season of singleness that I went through before Jess came in the picture, which helps me become a better husband. That’s something I’m an advocate for.

Here’s a question for both of you guys. This is something that I think about often because I have friends in all different life stages. One thing that I wonder is how much singleness is too much singleness? How much individuality do you get to a point where you start to build habits that are maybe not the best to bring into the marriage? For you, you’re getting married super young. It’s great because you get to become who you are together versus someone who’s been single longer or been dating around a little bit longer. They’re becoming more of who they are as single and alone outside of marriage. I do wonder at what point are there diminishing returns on growth in that singleness season for the buzzword? I wonder, if there is a point when it’s almost hurtful if you are looking for marriage? It’s something that I do think about because Tori and I got married when I was 28. You got married when you’re 22. I was six years older and I’ve lived in many different countries or states. Marriage has been such a reflection of some of the stuff that you’re not very proud of. Tori and I were talking like, “If you’re not taking care of your skin, you can look in the mirror and you can see the reflection on your skin.”

You’re a tomato when you don’t put on the sunscreen.

You can see the effects. When I’m not taking good care of her, I can see it reflected back to me. What’s been interesting is, me, getting married a little bit later in life, I’ve seen how much more selfishness I’ve brought to it and the deep habits. I would love to know your opinion on that.

It’s both ends. Most answers in life are in the gray, which is yes and no. With singleness, it is interesting that the longer you go live as a single person, the more you know yourself, which is helpful. That’s not always true, that’s a generalization. If you do the work, you know yourself better. When you’re coming into a relationship, you’re merging two lives, which are already known in a sense versus discovering them together. That is a big difference. That’s why it’s harder to find a fit or someone that you feel compatible with later on. I don’t think that means it’s better or worse. I think it’s a different journey.

UAC 136 | Perspectives On Relationships

 

It’s definitely different because on the flip side of it, which I am agreeing with you, people who are a little bit older, they have more grounding of who they are. They know what they’re willing to accept and not accept. Maybe it can be easier for them to date because they take someone out for coffee and they hear some things, they cut it right then and there. They already know who they are and the other person will probably know who they are because they are a little bit older. They have their standards. They commit and they move with it. Whereas, I think a fear of getting married younger can be, “Have you figured out who you are?” What happens when you turn 30 and you’re like, “Who am I? I never did this. I never did that.” That side of it too which can be almost a negative for getting married young. That’s something I think about because I wish I could have married my wife at twenty. I would have many more years of experience with her, but would I be the same person I am? I don’t know.

You wouldn’t because it’s a different path.

It’s so gray. Even looking at the Bible, there’s someone like Paul who was single, but he did so much for the Kingdom of God. I do believe that some people are called to be single. They’re especially picked by God to have a huge effect on the Kingdom of God, which I think is noble. I couldn’t do it. As far as the timeline thing of whether you are single for longer or shorter, whether you get married when you’re older or younger. Whatever it may be, it is such a gray area. Chad, you compared to me, you didn’t find your relationship with God until way later in life. That affected your growth as a Christian, your maturity there, and when you were ready to get married. I grew up with Jesus in my life the whole time, so this was a different path.

That’s is generally true. The most important caveat is that each path can be what’s best for you. That helps us hold it with an open hand knowing that it looks like, “I don’t have the answer for you. I may have an answer that’s generally true and that may be helpful, but for your situation and who you are, there’s a unique path and there’s wisdom that we can apply.” It is a personal journey, which that gray thing.

It got in my head when Gabe mentioned Paul, do you know what scripture that is where basically Paul was saying that it’s better to be single?

I don’t remember the exact place it in, but Paul was an advocate for singleness. Jesus was obviously single. What would Jesus have been like in a marriage? That’s something that I’ve been thinking about.

He is married to the church.

It’s interesting to think about him as a husband and what role or how that would have looked like. Obviously, the body is the bride and Jesus is the groom. That’s the illustration that he fulfilled. Tim Keller had a good sermon series on this based on his book, The Meaning of Marriage. He talked about how you see God’s design and creation with a man being created of nothing, but it wasn’t complete. He had to make a woman out of man, which is showing that that’s the completion of God in man and woman. It says that in Genesis. They complete each other, but they aren’t required to be a whole human, which is an interesting concept.

Marriage is refined communication that stems from a place of truly loving your partner. Click To Tweet

I read that. It was one of the last days in January in that devotional, but it was mentioned that in terms of how it is exactly what you’re saying about the whole complimenting versus completing. The way that whenever God saw a man was unfit to be alone, he made him a helper. Clearly, if a man needs a helper, there are things he can’t do and there are things that a woman is made to do that man can’t. They help each other. That was a cool thing that I didn’t realize until later into my first year of marriage. I’ve been married for so long.

You are an experienced, seasoned husband.

It was a thing for me. I wasn’t looking at my wife as someone who’s going to be adding a ton of things that I can’t do. Don’t get me wrong. I’m cherishing her and I love what she has added to my life, but I wasn’t looking at her as the beautiful, unique creation that’s made for things that I can’t do to help me with certain things and me help her with her. That helped me create a deeper love for her, which I thought was interesting because I was only looking at her through my own man’s eyes versus the way God saw her in creating her. I’ve seen her the way I created in my own head.

This gets me to a sweet question I’m curious to know you guys on, what are your learnings most in your marriage?

It’s refined communication that stems from a place of fully loving Jess as best as I can. I’m learning how much more I need to communicate. That’s different than talking because we talk all the time, day in and day out. It is communicating on an emotional level, even about our schedules. It all needs to stem from a place of love, where I want our relationship to be the best. I care for her and I want the best for her. Therefore, I’m going to openly communicate about everything, the good and the bad. I’ll be open about the mistakes I’m making and she’s open about mistakes she’s making or whatever it is. We’ll have that open form of communication between each other and in our household that is fully rooted in love.

I would love to piggyback off of that. I tend to default as a husband as someone who, “I’m committed to before romance.” Even when if I’m not feeling it, I’m going to pursue because of my covenant with my wife and underneath God. I tend to fall on that side of the spectrum. Other people tend to fall more on the, “I’m not feeling loved,” spectrum which is totally okay. I tend to fall on the side of, “Even if I’m not feeling it, I’m committed to certain things.” God has been hooking it up. To piggyback off the communication thing that you said. Tori and I were sitting right on this couch and we had a very uncomfortable conversation. It was an hour and a half long. We were talking about exactly what you’re saying. This is like, “This is the way I felt when you said that or when you did that.” We both were sharing and willing to receive the correction or the notes. This is where it gets awkward. We felt connected after that conversation. There were times when we were sitting next to each other with our arms crossed, we could tell we were closed off. We don’t want to hear those things.

God made me feel special because I got to voice the stuff that I was concerned with. She did the same thing for me. I thought it was going to cause a problem, but it ended up bringing us so much closer. I started to feel it was no longer the duty of, “I need to do what’s best for our marriage.” I started to feel more connected and more intimate with her. That’s one thing that I want to dive into. Being more open to the feelings because I had seen some of my friend’s marriages. I’m not knocking them at all, but I saw that it could be difficult in a lot of ways. I saw that they were bringing a lot of themselves to it. For me, I wanted to be very careful to not bring too much of that selfish Chad to it because I am very selfish in a lot of ways. I’ve been proactive. I started denying any feelings. I’ve started to suppress them and that wasn’t good for me. It was good for our marriage in a way because I’m not walking around saying, “Do this.” I’m not like my feelings are controlling our relationship, but I think I’m getting to a safe place where I’m excited to feel the love languages in action, receive them, and share them. That was a really sweet thing that God did for us.

UAC 136 | Perspectives On Relationships

 

It was cool to know because that’s something that is pretty true across the board, especially for men. Talking about our feelings and being open and honest, especially in a relationship. It is something that I’ve been learning a ton about. One of the things that’s come to my mind a lot is that if it’s going to work, you have to do the work, anything. A successful friendship takes work and you do the work because you want to be friends. How much more so a marriage, your wife and a relationship? There are times where I went through a season where I was suppressing feelings. It’s like, “Don’t feel that. Don’t think that. Change that,” versus communicating it. That’s not helpful for the marriage in the long run. It may be helpful for the relationship in the short run, but it doesn’t do the work of deepening it and making it more unified and whole and connected in the long run. In my shorter time, I’ve experienced some of that, which is that opening up about your feelings is painful and hard at the moment. That’s the work that’s needed to get to where you need to be, where you know each other in the deepest, most intimate way.

Those moments are what caused couples to argue. That’s why when I was explaining my side of it, I wanted to solidify the approach of love. You have to understand what the end goal is. For Jess and I, the end goal is until death do us part. Because I want us to have a healthy marriage, I don’t want us to be on bad terms. We have to have this conversation, how do I best approach that so that we stay on good terms, even though this is such a sensitive issue that we’re having? You have to approach it tactfully and lovingly. I have to approach it with Jesse’s best interest in my mind rather than my own. I’m very selfish and it takes a lot for me to be able to do that. I always have to keep myself in check in that regard.

This is something that Tori and I talked about during that conversation. We’ve been learning to not take things personally. I’ve been encouraging her to talk. I’ll give you a little example. There are times I’m in traffic in Los Angeles and I’m not happy. I’m sure I’m the only one who’s ever experienced that in my life. It’ll all get frustrated. One of the things that I’ve had to talk to Tori about was that I’m getting frustrated and then something happens and then I lash out at her. She receives it as a personal attack. I’m not justifying my lash out because I was sending in my anger there. She then starts to feel disconnected from me and then it starts to go downhill from there. One thing I’ve tried to help her understand that, “Whenever I do have those moments, I’m not mad at you. I’m just mad. I’m not happy.” Whenever we’re having that conversation was to receive some of those things and not take them personally because we’re on the same team.

Our end goal is until death do us part. It does not bode well for me to purposefully or intentionally upset my wife. Why would I ever want to do that? I live with her. If she’s able to look at me as if I have the best intentions and to assume the best in what I’m trying to do, I’m going to fall short all the time. If she is able to assume that I’m not trying to personally attack her or offend her with maybe a comment here and there or that conversation we had. What’s helping us is to revise that marriage is a sanctifying process. We’re being made more into the image of Christ. We’re justified but we’re being sanctified. Whenever we’re able to look at each other as imperfect people who are going to have slip-ups here and there. Have you guys seen that super cheesy Christian movie called the War Room?

I haven’t seen any yet.

We’ve watched the movie 30 times and we definitely recommend it. One of the big themes of the movie is to know who the real enemy is. Your spouse is not your enemy. They are being affected either by their environment or their upbringing or maybe they’re having a hard time. It could even be being attacked spiritually. When you realize that you’re on the same team and you both commit to that, you’ll be like, “We’re in this together. I’m not trying to personally attack you here.” That’s helped us a lot because it’s able to help us be more open about our feelings and to share more like what you and Jess have been doing. That really helped us.

Partner is something that we’ve been talking a lot about. This is your partner and you want to be on the same team with your partner and build each other up versus tear each other down. I love that know who the real enemy is. That’s a great way to frame it for ourselves and learning not to take things personally is always hard, regardless of if that’s a marriage or in life. We become better humans when we do that. For both of you, what’s taking you the longest to learn in marriage?

It’s the thing I’ve struggled with the most. There are things that I still haven’t clicked on. Do you guys know the whole love language? Hers is physical touch. It’s funny because as we were getting married, we took the test and we learned that she was Physical Touch and I’m Quality Time. After we got married, we have so much of that physical touch and we have so much quality time because we live and we work together. She’s Words of Affirmation and I’m Acts of Service. It’s changed.

It’s a quiz that you answer, but as you know yourself more and you go back and answer those questions, they might change because you’re more aware of something in your personality than you were before.

UAC 136 | Perspectives On Relationships

 

I do such a poor job at loving her the way she wants to be loved. I’ll love her the way I want to be loved. It’s obnoxious. We all bring a present home. She doesn’t want presents. I will put my phone away and we’re having quality time. We were watching a TV show, “This is great. I’m loving her.” I’ll do these different things and she doesn’t receive them that way. That’s not a fault of her at all. Even during this conversation, I am reminding myself like, “Chad, you need to look at her for the way that she wants to receive love and show her with it.” Not just pour some sugar up, but to overflow her cup with that. That’s something that’s not clicking. I don’t know, but I know.

You’re working on it. I’m going to piggyback you with my answer. That same thing is learning the other person’s love language because Jess is Quality Time. When we took the test, it ranks them with numbers you can get. The highest ones are usually around 12 or 13. If you have a low one, it’s 2 or 3. Jess’ Quality Time was thirteen. When I took the test, mine was two. When we looked at that, it opened our eyes. I was sitting there and I was like, “This makes sense. I know what I need to work on.” It’s still a struggle. It’s not like I’m snapped into being the perfect husband because I know her love language. I am Words of Affirmation. I was always like, “I love you, this and that,” Whatever I like to say, I say things and I’m like, “I’m awesome. I’m the greatest husband.” It’s the quality time that I need to be focusing on, which I don’t naturally do. I have to learn then it can cause a thing if I’m not spending the quality time with her that she needs. It’s funny because we work together too and we spent so much time together, but that’s not the quality time that she wants. Even though we spent the whole day and we’ve been working together, at the end of the day, she wants us to cook dinner together, put the phones away, sit on the couch, talk, and catch up on our feelings. She wants that quality time where I’m like, “I’m checking out.” It’s learning our spouse’s love language.

We both took it and it’s interesting. My answers were all based on the experience so far. It wasn’t based on what’s at my core, it is based on what have I experienced because I was pretty much across the board pretty even. The highest was seven which is giving gifts. I was like, “What in the world?” She was like, “I don’t know if I’ve given you any gifts. You haven’t felt loved by me.” I’m like, “I don’t think that’s right.” I think the reason that is because we’ve been distant. It’s not like an active part of our lives. I have my doubts about how much it gets to the core of a love language, but it speaks more to the situation we’re in and the time we’re in, which can be useful. It’s a tool in that sense.

It is hard to understand another human in an intimate, deep way that marriage requires in some senses. That’s what you guys are both talking. It was showing grace to the other person, as much as they show grace to you. Especially, it’s true for me, as a distance. We have to show even more grace and forgiveness to each other than any other season because it’s hard to stay connected. It’s hard to fully understand what each other needs or wants in situations because you’re not even in the same location. We have to emphasize how can we show grace to each other. We both don’t do a great job with that all the time. It’s true even on a daily level for you. Even when you live together, if you’re working together or something comes up, if you’re apart for a day, you still have to show yourself and each other grace in that which is a practice.

I have a question for you, guys. I’m flipping the question around, has there been a time or an experience where you’re trying to help them understand something about you? For example, I was sharing how I feel disconnected from her love languages because I don’t need those. I’m trying to come around to better understand her, but where have you had to try to help her understand you? I’ll give you an example. Tori and I were filming a video. We were talking about the most surprising thing about marriage for each other. This has been her answer since we’ve been dating pretty much. She was shocked by how much alone time I need. She was sharing on the video that whenever I would want to be alone, I would wake up super early and come out on the couch. I wouldn’t have those morning cuddles, which she loves because Physical Touch is her love language. I’ll be on a couch and she would feel rejected.

She wasn’t looking at it from a standpoint of how can she bless me with alone time because I’m what you call an extroverted introvert. I love my alone time. I get recharged. It’s the best, but she looked at it as if, “Are we disconnecting? Are we off? Are we not okay? Should we talk?” It was funny because I’m out here getting ready for marriage and she was receiving it as if I’m avoiding her. I’m not saying she’s wrong because I probably should’ve communicated like, “I need some downtime to charge the batteries.” I could have communicated that better. We’ve had to work through that to help her see that she’s blessed me by giving me 30 minutes where I need time to collect myself.

I 100% agree with that because I’m like that too. That morning you come out a little early. It’s still dark. You sip on your coffee, you read the word, and you’re spending time with God like that. It’s the best. It is the time that you get to recharge in that moment in the morning and get ready for the day.

Has Jess struggled with that?

She’s like that too. I think she’s learned to cherish those alone moments, especially since we spend every second together since we work together. It hasn’t been caused a tiff between us, but something that I’ve had to help her understand. It’s the mirror image of what we were talking with I’m trying to learn and understand her love language, her giving to me the words of affirmation. I can’t speak about it because it’s not announced yet, but there’s a project I’ve been working on where I felt like she was unhappy with me about the whole thing. I was like, “Why do you hate that I’m doing this? I’m trying to work on something. Is it because we’re not working on it together?” I was like, “Why are you angry with me?” She was like, “I’m not.” I was like, “What are you talking about? You’re not saying anything about it.”

If you have such high expectations, no one, not even your spouse, can please you. Click To Tweet

She wasn’t giving you words, so you see it as negative.

She wasn’t constantly encouraging me about it. We were aware of our love languages and stuff like that so it opened the conversation of, “I need something. Tell me I’m doing a good job.” It’s an equal opposite.

What about you, Thane?

For us, it’s a unique journey in the sense that it’s been a shorter sprint in some senses. It’s a distance. It elevates a lot of different things including fear. We both have fears like we all do as humans. At times, when you’re disconnected, those fears get elevated. When there are misunderstandings, the thing that I want most for both of us is that we assume the best out of the other person in those moments. That’s something that takes time as you build trust, but that’s what I would say, I’ve been trying to emphasize that’s what I desire.

That is also somewhat specific to men. Out of what men value, they value respect, probably more than almost anything out of their significant other or their spouse. This is from different books I’ve read, and these are generalizations, but oftentimes, a woman wants unconditional love that is constant. Their complimentary core needs there. Most of what we look for stems from that, probably. For me, it has been assuming the best, even in misunderstandings so that we can work through things in a healthier way because it’s a battle working through things sometimes.

Do you care if I close up one loose end that I forgot to talk about when I asked you a question earlier? Remember when I asked you about that verse where Paul said, “If you’re married, you serve two people, you serve God and your spouse.” One thing I wanted to share about that is I totally get it. There are times when I would rather have two hours of quiet time, prayer and intercession for my friends. There are times I want that but I do need to make sure that we’re working on things or I’m cooking her breakfast or whatever that is. There is a split sometimes, but the way that Tori and I have gone about it has been great. We heard this talk once by Rich Wilkerson Jr. He said, “Marriage is either your biggest asset or your greatest liability.” We are championing each other’s strengths and who God is making us to be, we feel like we’re both serving God together. We don’t feel like we’re serving two masters. We feel like we’re serving one master by loving each other correctly. That’s the way he received that. It’s been fun to feel connected and to feel like whenever I’m serving my wife, I’m serving God. It’s like in that sermon with Pastor Josh, Colossians 3:23, “Work hard and work hardest for God and not for man.” I feel that even my marriage, a lot of my desire to love my wife is because God’s given me that.

That goes along with worshiping God because, in culture, we think so much of worshiping God as singing songs before the sermon. Where worshiping God is pleasing him in every aspect and facet of your life. One is in your marriage and treating your wife right. If it stems from the place of, “I need to do right by God, to love my wife.” It is the same with work. It is the same with every single aspect of your life that needs to be worked at extremely hard because it is a form of worship towards God.

I’ve heard worship defined before as what you do in response to what God has done. I love that.

The other verse has been a lot of getting dive into that. Mark 10:45 has been on my mind. It came up as, “For even the Son of Man came not to be served, but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many.” If God can come and serve and not be served, that’s the least we can do, especially in our marriage. That’s been something that I’ve been reminding myself of. It’s funny is this concept of dying to self. God’s story is all about death and rebirth. Renewal and new life. You see that through salvation, through marriage, and in little moments all throughout our lives. It’s like we’re constantly, “How can I die to myself deeper, further, more to become alive to this new redeemed, better version?” That’s the work that God’s constantly doing. It happens with salvation at a point, but then it happens continually deeper and deeper. In my perspective, marriage is an amplifier and constant help in that process.

UAC 136 | Perspectives On Relationships

 

For me, going on that talk track, I was thinking about my wife because a lot of the time, she wants to feel that romantic desired love. I tend to fall on that side. That’s very much like, “I love you because I love you.” There’s nothing I can do that would make God love me more than he already does. That’s the way I try to love my wife. It’s not your attributes that are making me love you, but she also wants to feel desired. She doesn’t want it to feel like it’s an obligation. I’ve been struggling in that tight rope of how do I help her feel good about herself and desired? I was joking with a friend and we’re talking about relationships and stuff. He’d said that he wants a woman for the five Hs. He wants them to be holy, healthy, hot, horny and happy. I was like, “That’s awesome because I have all of those in my wife.” I’m jacked about it. I think where we get in trouble by looking at someone as if what they’re offering us, are they the five Hs? Do they look, talk and worship a certain way? It’s all about what we’re getting from our spouse versus what we’re giving to our spouse.

My best friend, Anthony, said to me one time before I was married. We’re at a pizza joint in Tampa, Florida. He said, “Chad, marriage isn’t for you.” I’m like, “Anthony, chill. The Bachelors called me thirteen times to be on show. I’m an eligible one. What do you mean by that?” He was like, “You don’t marry someone for the way that they make you feel. You marry someone for the way you want to make them feel.” When you look at those five Hs I mentioned, what if that girl isn’t always healthy? What if she’s not always holy? What if she’s not always happy? You don’t have the right to unloved her.

What if she’s not always horny?

That too. It’s a real thing. It’s great to talk about what to look for in a spouse, but I also think it’s equally important to think about what you want to offer the spouse, which is this self-sacrificing.

To piggyback off of you, when you’re saying like, “You love her because you love her.” It should enable you to want to fill those desires that she has because you love her. They piggyback each other in a way, which is a cool way of looking at it. Because quality time isn’t my love language, I don’t feel like spending quality time with Jess. Because I love her, I know that I need to spend that time with her because I know it’ll make her feel loved.

That’s a great way to put it because I was always looking at it like a tight rope, where I’m trying to do both but in the wrong way.

They complement each other.

It’s almost by knowing and loving her because I love her, I will seek to love her the way that she desires to be loved.

God loves us because he loves us, but he’s also going to fill our every desire and our every need.

UAC 136 | Perspectives On Relationships

 

There is a great quote by Millard Fuller. He said, “It’s a lot easier to act your way into a new way of thinking than to think your way into a new way of acting.” A lot of times we think, since love is a choice, it also at times is a feeling. When the feeling is not there, we have to choose to make the choice regardless of how we feel. I think that’s been one I’m re-preaching myself because that’s what then leads to the connection, the support, or the love that our spouse or partner needs. I also had a conversation about this with a friend.

He said that he was talking about one of his friends who was dating a girl like, “I was dating a girl. She was 90% or 95% of what I’m looking for and this other girl is the other 10%.” What struck me was I think a much healthier way to think about this is you have 50% and someone else’s 50%. How can you find that 100% that you’re looking for because you don’t have 100%? You’re looking for someone. Why are you assuming that you have 100%, then someone else you know is supposed to match your 100%? That’s not how it works.

Keep your expectations low and then your significant other will surprise you. If you have such high expectations, no one’s going to please you. Not your friends, not your family, not your spouse or your girlfriend, your job, anything. It’s going to be miserable because you’re going to be on your high horse with these high expectations and everything’s going to disappoint you. Where if you have low expectations because people are human and are not perfect, we sin and fail at so much every day and you’re aware of that, you’re going to be able to forgive, to love, and ultimately understand where people are coming from.

I totally agree with that. I heard a sermon once that there are certain things you should expect in a relationship. I’ve learned a lot by what you’ve said because I think that’s what helps me not take things personally in my marriage. By realizing that I’m not expecting her to be this girl on this pedestal that I’ve put her there. She’s not asking to be up in that thing, but I put her up there. When she falls off, I’m upset because she’s fallen off to something that she didn’t even ask the beyond. That’s not fair.

I heard a sermon once that was cool was, “You cannot expect what you do not express.” I think for me, one thing, when you are going to have expectations in a relationship like, “I expect you to not cheat on me.” There are certain things that are healthy. It’s good to express those things because if you are walking around assuming that the person knows that expectation, then you’re setting them up to fail. You invited them to play a game that they don’t even know that they’re playing. Can you imagine coming over to a friend’s house and then like, “We’re playing Catan,” and you’re not mentally prepared. I need to be mentally prepared to play Catan because there’s going to be some words exchanged. It’s a game that I have to be like, “Am I going to ruin this friendship?”

One other thing that was curious about from you guys was speaking to us as men, what have you guys seen or found within us? What are some of the core weaknesses that we uniquely struggle with as men?

We don’t think about their feelings. We’re selfish.

This is my opinion. I do think men have the ability to push out emotions and push through things. There are times when Tori and I will be working together. Sometimes you had an argument that morning and you’re not wanting to work together. I can shut it off and perform. She needs me to sit down and hear her out before she can work together because she needs to feel connected. I’m not saying one’s right or wrong, but I need to do a better job of understanding that she can’t shut it off as I can. I don’t think it’s healthy for me to shut it off.

Men have the ability to push out emotions and push through things. Click To Tweet

It’s the same with us as well.

I’m reading a book called Under Saturn’s Shadow. It’s fascinating.

If I’m walking in a bookstore and I’m in the adult section because I’m mature and then I see a book called Under Saturn’ Shadow, I’ll be like, “How were you recommended this book?”

It was because he’s mature.

It was on some podcasts. I heard it recommended once or twice so I put it to my list. It sounded fascinating and I eventually got it. It’s about the wounding of men and the necessary journey that men travel on. It speaks to the lack of a rite of passage for men in society, which is very true. A lot of in past cultures or societies, there was a lot of healthier initiation from boys to men that our culture doesn’t have in any form. For women, there are some semblances that plugged into the whole becoming of age with puberty.

There’s some of that that naturally happens that’s different for women than men. Nonetheless, it’s a fascinating discussion on how can we help boys become men and how can we move through the necessary departure from what he calls the mother complex, which is a dependency on your family a lot of times and your upbringing. It’s an interesting overview, but it’s made me think a lot about as men, how we can overcome some of what the culture has prescribed as masculinity that’s helpful or not helpful? How can we express what God has designed us to live out as men?

You answered that yourself before when you said acting away in a new way of thinking versus thinking your way into a new way of acting. Within Christianity, there’s so much that men take away that’s good for them as a person to better themselves become a better person in society, a better husband, a better friend. All of those things are baked into Christianity, but you don’t naturally act your way into thinking that way. You’ve changed over time in your way of thinking of how however it happens. Jesus creeps his way in. Your mind starts beginning to change on a lot of those subjects. Your Bible is a guide to change the way you act, which I think is something that is missing because our culture is on this crazy path. The culture and society itself are changing the way men act because you want to be accepted and you want to act like everyone else to be accepted. That changes the way you think about things.

I totally agree with what you guys are saying because I was listening to a talk by Tim Keller and he was talking about how beneficial marriage is for both spouses. I’ll give two quick examples of each situation. Men tend to be less agreeable than women. The thing is when men enter into a relationship and/or marriage, they’re challenged with starting to agreeing more. They need to be a team. They need to work it. They need to co-parent. They need to do these things. It challenges men in a way where they’re becoming better for society by becoming more agreeable. Even for women, studies, statistics and all that stuff have shown that women who are married and have sexual relations with that one spouse will, have a healthier and more satisfying sex life than the woman who isn’t. This is not me making this up. These studies are showing this. It’s funny how marriage can challenge you and offer you things that make you into a better person and a more fulfilling life. That’s what’s written and people were like, “That’s a book of rules.” Whenever you look at the way people are experiencing these things, you’re seeing that society’s flourishing because of it. People are feeling more fulfilled and people are feeling more connected to others because of it.

It’s a sweet mechanism. There’s no denying the design and the intent in that, which is pretty powerful to see and experience is way more powerful. It’s a beautiful thing. We could talk forever about this and this has been sweet and there’s so much to learn and to be learned from each other, from this journey and this experience. I want to end with a random one-off that I thought would be fun. This is an interesting question. If you did not have to sleep, how would you spend the extra eight hours? What would you do with eight extra hours a day?

The first thing that came to my mind was I would have more fun. You guys have heard it before, but the top three things that people say on their death bed are the people wish they would have spent more time with their family. They would have worked less and they would have a stress-less. Because I try to spend a significant number of hours in my day working as some type of creative aspect, I would definitely try to enjoy it more that way as I do get to that point in my life, I’m not looking back with regret.

I agree with that, but then realistically looking at it, not that you didn’t look at it realistically. That would be the norm if people didn’t have to sleep. Ratio-wise, we’d be doing the same things we’re doing in sixteen hours that we’d be doing it in 24 hours. Instead of the 8 or 9-hour workday, you’d have your 11 to 12-hour workday. Everything that you’re doing would be extended.

I recant my answer. If I didn’t sleep, I would probably try to sleep because I love to sleep that I value it.

We value it because we have to sleep.

I don’t have to work out, but I do because it’s fun. It’s like getting to a paralytic state and just laying there.

I wrote a blog post about asymmetry in life. I wonder how we’d be as humans if we didn’t have to sleep because it helps us put us in our place of like, “We don’t run the world. We’re not the center of the universe because we have to sleep. That’s something we’re dependent on. It’s out of our control.” The other is like, “We only sleep for eight hours and we’re awake for the rest of 24 so that’s not symmetrical. It’s not balanced.” It shows us that life isn’t balanced too, which is interesting. All that to say is I’m glad and I’m thankful for sleep.

I wish I would have appreciated it when I was younger. I feel like I missed out on several good years where I had opportunities to sleep. You don’t have the time and you’re like trying to crunch in and get a good night’s sleep.

If you had to give one piece of relational or marriage advice, what would your little nugget be to close on?

The advice I always give to any couples or anyone who’s entering a new relationship or they’re about to get married is to keep your expectations low.

For me, I love this quote that, “God doesn’t have a perfect person for you, but he does have a person that’s perfect for you.” As you’re pursuing marriage or pursuing whatever, I would encourage you to realize that marriage takes work, but it shouldn’t feel like it. As you find someone, I would encourage you to be ready to put in some late nights and hard hours. Tori and I aren’t always having conversations as we shared about, but you have to be so open to that. When you find someone who’s willing to commit to you and work at it and grow with you, you’re going to change. Marriage is going to change you. I’m different than what I was when we first started dating. She’s embraced that change and I’ve embraced the way she changes. When you find someone who’s willing to embrace the changes that you’re going through, lock it down. Quit living in that ether of, “Are they the right person or not? Are they committed to you?” If so, then sign the paper, get married.

Keep expectations low and there isn’t a perfect person, but there’s a person who is perfect for you. Gents, this has been awesome. Thanks again for coming on. Until next time, I hope this has been fun for the readers. We hope you have an Up and Coming week because we out.

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About Gabe Conte

UAC 136 | Perspectives On RelationshipsYouTuber, Influencer, Entrepreneur, Musician, and Actor, Gabriel Conte is an LA-based 25-year-old living counter-culturally for the name of Jesus. Born and raised in South Florida he began his professional journey through the once-popular, short-form video app, Vine in his first year of college. Two years later he was able to transfer what he build info a professional, digital entertainment career as an influencer/YouTuber that led him to Los Angeles in the summer of 2015.

Since then, Gabriel has continued to grow his follow with his now wife who he married in December 2016 and build his career both in digital and traditional entertainment as an actor, musician, and entrepreneur. Through his entire journey He never lost site of the true reason for everything he was building and continued to stay the course, dedicated to his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

About Chad Masters

UAC 136 | Perspectives On RelationshipsChad is a 20-something newlywed, professional model, grad student and social media influencer.

Originally from Florida, but based in LA he is expanding his reach of sharing the Gospel of Christ in what he likes to define as ‘guerrilla ministry’, where he and his wife approach ways of sharing the gospel with a unique spin on it!

 

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