Courtney Arnett and Brian Kelly are Chicago transplants to LA who used to live together and once went to a 1920's themed engagement party that sounds really insufferable. Courtney told me she would come on the show with her ex and tell the story of a fight that ended with makeup sex in the bathroom of said engagement party. THAT IS WHAT SHE TOLD ME, OKAY? Nobody had any idea that this one would end up going where it did. Buckle your seatbelt around your frail little heart, because this is a doozy.
Nick and Danielle have been together for four years, and this is their second time dating. They met while they were students studying abroad in London, broke up when they moved to different places, and got back together a couple of years later. Their fight now is about whether or not to move in together – Nick wants to, Dani does not. Also we discuss how “the ball’s in your court” is not a good metaphor – are you not on the same court? Are you not even playing basketball or tennis together? How is nobody talking about this?!?!
"What makes a healthy relationship? Two healthy people that come together as independent people and then evolve as partners.” Justin and Isley are two Long Island badasses who have been married for 45 years! Their arguments have changed in many ways – Isley is now retired, the kids are grown up, and their arguing has evolved the way they have evolved as people. Justin is a therapist so we get a lot of real solid actual advice instead of the ramblings of some crazy single chick! We talk about the five stages of marriage (hint: if you get to stage four, you’re gonna go the distance), and the importance of working on your relationship by working on yourself. Justin and Isley are Rachel's parents! Check out their episode to see how Rachel and Matt are similar and different from Justin and Isley.
Chase and Chris have been together for 13 months and they met on TINDER! They have disagreements from time to time but on the whole they’re very compatible - no raised voices and no not speaking to each other. Their biggest challenge is managing their time - making sure they have enough time for each other and for their friends. Also, Chris coming to understand Chase’s career as a creative and the uncertainty - and sometimes days of nothing on the calendar - was somewhat of a hurdle that they very successfully cleared! They are naturally very similar and come from very similar backgrounds, except that Chris is from a talk-it-out family and Chase is now. Listen to see how compatibilty, maturity, and experience can make a new relationship easy. Julia references this New York Times article on “greedy marriages” https://nyti.ms/2zxyro7 and this amazing twitter thread about good-seeming partners coming from fucked up families:
Ari and Betsy have been together for NINETEEN years...but it “feels like twenty!” They look VERY young for a couple who got MARRIED ten years ago and have three young boys! The great majority of their fights, especially their pre-children fights, occurred either en route to or returning from the IKEA in New Jersey. Ari & Betsy fight a lot more than they ever did before the kids. They chat with Julia about the ‘mental load’ that women have to bear in many heteronormative relationships while men remain exempt...a load that Julia is all too familiar with. Ari and Betsy’s families’ approach fights in VERY different ways, which has forced them both to come to terms with aspects of their past that now inform their relationship with each other and the ways in which they rear their “three white men in a world where a lot of the problems are caused by white men”. Julia learns about the power of what Ari and Betsy call “confederate [obsolete] currency,” and how this can aid the end of a fight. What changes in an argument when the goal is no longer to “win” the fight but rather to end the fighting? Can you peacefully end a fight without fully recognizing that your opponent might be right after all? And, ultimately, do you want to be right or do you want to be happy?
Tyler & Dashia are about to celebrate their SIXTEENTH wedding anniversary but they’ve been together for TWENTY years! Self-identified “harmless pranksters,” they’re perfect for one another. Their main conflicts revolve around spending habits: Tyler is more conservative with his money and Dashia appreciates being able to buy herself something nice – be that a 120 minute massage or a fun weekend vacation. They chat with Julia about fights centering on chores and driving, the relative fairness of their contributions, and the fact that they are seen by some friends as “brutal” fighters. Tyler & Dashia also give Julia SO MANY tools to add to her growing repertoire of ways to effectively fight in relationships. Their twenty years together have seen A LOT of change and overall progress toward working with and for each others as partners as well as toward learning to appreciate each other’s backgrounds and understand how their values play into the person they are today.
Johnny and Kellynn are MARRIED PEOPLE and PARENTS. They have been together for 21 years! They got together while performing on a tour of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Kellynn runs hot and Johnny is more mellow; Kellynn is a morning person and Johnny is a night owl, and Kellynn moves fast and Johnny moves slow. They discuss the conflict leading up to their getting engaged - Kellynn was ready and wanting to move into the next phase of the relationship, and Johnny was moving more slowly than she would have liked. They also discuss the major conflict surrounding whether to stay in Los Angeles after having kids or move back to the Midwest. They also chat with Julia about deep text conversations, the time Johnny flipped a table and then kicked himself out of the bar, and whether a relationship with no fights is sustainable. Check out Julia and Johnny’s other podcast, Mouth Feelings on Apple Podcasts.
John & Taylor have been dating for TEN MONTHS and living together for LESS THAN THREE WEEKS!!! When it came to moving in together, John brought up the idea because Taylor, having been the first to ask John out and the first to “say the L word,” was hesitant to move too fast and John knew that he needed to take back some of the initiative. Some questions raised in this episode are: are they a Perfect Couple™️? Will they be back on Honey to discuss more fights? Did John just propose to Taylor on the air?!? These two are VERY complementary of one another: Taylor is an amazing chef who teaches John to cook while John is a pop culture guru who enjoys revisiting his favorite films to share them with Taylor. Having both come from smaller towns and religious families, they’re able to help each other navigate the juxtapositions of their lives in LA today and that of their family and friends from their childhood.
Bryan and John are FUN and MARRIED! To prove both of those points, they just celebrated their wedding anniversary over fried chicken and champagne!! They met in 2010 when John was invited to be the guest storyteller for a show that Bryan’s improv group was hosting but a very LOUD bar prevented them from initially getting together. Julia chats with them about an ongoing fight, Britney vs. Madonna, and how their style of conflict is very light on the confrontation. Both of them self-identify as “low-key” people who are devoted to different things, so neither of them have to make much of a sacrifice to accommodate the other’s passions. They also talk about how Bryan’s dad’s death, which happened early on in their relationship, propelled their relationship forward as they each learned how to express and deal with unexpected grief.
Check out Bryan’s podcast ALL about Gwyneth Paltrow and her “lifestyle brand”: Goop Yourself
Here’s that NYTimes article about Britney Spears’ conservatorship: Is Britney Spears Ready to Stand on her Own? (May 2016)
Give a listen to Ptolemy & Shelly’s episode of Honey for more baby rearing (not pie-rearing) dos and don’ts: Part 1: I Feel Like I’m Dying and Part 2: The Darkest Time
Brandon and Lexi got MARRIED THIS PAST SATURDAY! Congratulations! They have been together for three and a half years! Their first two dates were fairly unconventional but they got pretty serious shortly thereafter AND their second date involved their first fight, so naturally Julia is VERY excited to chat with them. Their main “fights” center around miscommunication, prematurely rehashing old fights, and, as of late, the essentiality of wax table cloths at their wedding! They also cover Brandon’s parents, who have yet to embrace Lexi as an important person in Brandon’s life – much less the mother of their potential future grandchildren. If a couple’s style of wedding planning is any indication of who they are as a unit and what they value in each other, look no further than this wedding – a short and sweet service, handcrafted tables (WHICH BRANDON MADE), a chicken and waffles truck, a raw oyster bar (!), and a BIG party with all their closest friends...what an absolute blast! Congratulations on your marriage and the years of happiness to come!
Micah and Keylee have been MARRIED for FOUR YEARS and are VERY CHILL. They met in Texas while starring as “kind of friends-with-benefits” in a play when Keylee was still in finishing her degree and got married shortly after her graduation. Julia chats with them about getting married young, growing up with somewhat parallel family dynamics, and how they deal with stress when working together on set. Micah is the first to admit that he fights dirty, which goes over well within his family but can be difficult for Keylee to work with. Though they’ve gone through a few tough times, they’ve also done a good amount of preventative counseling, which makes it easier to acknowledge the root of their fights before they become too difficult to address. Micah and Keylee fight mostly when “life feels like it’s squeezing” one of them, but generally get over conflict best when other people are around...except for maybe a fight about karaoke? For a couple that married so young, they sure do have a lot figured out!
Erika & Frida are ENGAGED! They met on TINDER just about two years ago and, despite the fact that neither Erika nor Frida was “looking for a serious relationship,” they’ve been together ever since! When they first got together, Frida was an exchange student visiting from Sweden, but decided to extend her stay because things with Erika were going so well...they even had their first “marriage convo” AFTER THREE WEEKS! Their one major conflict centered around a Thanksgiving with Erika’s family shortly after Erika came out. Even though both Erika and Frida KNEW they shared something special, it was difficult to get Erika’s family on board, which meant that a trip that should have been fun and exciting turned out to be awkward and ultimately took a lot of time and energy to recover from. They also chat with Julia about dealing with friends not adapting well to their burgeoning relationship, and about how blended families – and the nuanced relationships that come out of them – often require more sensitivity and care. Julia is HAVING A MOMENT as she does NOT believe in soul mates, but she thinks Erika and Frida…are. Congratulations on your engagement, Erika & Frida!
Deb & Dani have been MARRIED for EXACTLY THREE WEEKS!!! They met about six and a half years ago through a mutual friend and were good friends for about two years before they started dating. Though Deb had never dated a woman before, Dani was crushing on Deb HARD… and flirted her way into Deb’s heart. Deb and Dani address conflict in very different ways; Deb tends to get emotional while Dani is much more logical and calm when they’re arguing. Julia chats with them about some pretty substantial arguments that have come up surrounding who does the dishes – and when – and the “proper way” to address the compost bin (they live in San Francisco, just roll with it), as well as The Sandals fight that has everything - dog, finances, managing emotion, WOW what a fight!
Jonathan & Natalie have been together for FOUR YEARS! They met through mutual friends while in line at UCB...and Natalie was crushing on Jonathan hard! Things moved forward when they were out one evening and Jonathan invited Natalie to make out with him in his car. And the rest is history! Julia chats with them about their families and, specifically, the unique ways in which their families influenced the ways in which THEY fight (it’s not what you’d expect!). They also chat about Jonathan’s tone, how most of their fights involve a good cry or two, and how their slightly different political views have created some tension from time to time. It is clear that Jonathan and Natalie really love each other and have found ways to work through their disagreements so that neither of them feel as though they are compromising too much of themselves for the other person, but are living in a way that allows their partner to grow and learn at the same time.
Sarah and Clay have been together for SEVEN YEARS! They met at a college improv festival but the initial “lightning strike” wasn’t necessarily there. Still, they kept up an inside joke through Facebook (posting on each other’s walls...remember the good old days?) for a few years and later reconnected when Sarah visited friends in California. After a great first date at her high school reunion, Sarah and Clay spent a week “moping and G-chatting” once Sarah had to go home to New York but they did NOT want to fall into the long distance relationship trap...until the day they decided to just say YES to the relationship. 7 years later and and they now live together! Their disagreements tend to come back to two things: Sarah is an extrovert, Clay is an introvert, and they have very different love languages. Clay is VERY detail-oriented, which sometimes annoys Sarah; while Sarah needs more validation than Clay organically gives her.
Jess and James have been MARRIED for almost NINE years, together for FOURTEEN, and are just a hoot! They have two young children who have taught them A LOT about how to be good partners in life. Neither Jess nor James really care about celebrating anniversaries (or remembering them, for that matter), especially the more arbitrary ones. Their first anniversary involved eating nachos and watching football on their couch when they still lived in Brooklyn, if that gives you any idea. They describe conflict in their relationship as “getting snippy” with one another, rather than “full on fights.” Julia chats with them about the flawed concept of “newness,” the difference between romance and affection, how the ways in which their way their families of origin navigated conflict contributed to some misunderstandings early on, and about how important it is to feel listened to and to make their children feel as though they are listened to...
Jess was a guest on episode 10 of Under Her Eye (“The Worst Shopping Partner Ever,” June 2017) and you can listen to that here.
Anne and Brian have been together for FIFTEEN YEARS, married for 12½, engaged for two, and they became engaged after only FOUR MONTHS (only the second fastest engagement on Honey). They met at a dance festival in Maine where Anne was a student and Brian was a dancer, and they immediately knew they had something special. This episode explores their fights that surround travel – mainly about personal space and deciding where to go, their fights about where to live and for how long, and how they’ve learned to support one another through thick and thin. Julia chats with them about their rules for themselves in order to solve and prevent conflicts in their relationship – most fights happen when they’re hungry and/or tired. They constantly reaffirm their vows, which are fun and beautiful and keep things exciting 15 years in. Honey listeners also will learn the power of old-school letters both in fights and in reaffirming love for one another. And a special source of fights makes a return to Honey, DRIVING and BOARD GAMES! This is one relationship where there is NO! ROOM! FOR! SCRABBLE! We mention: David & Becca (#1 fastest engagement), Pete & Jen, and Sarah & Billy.
This is a truly special episode. Minhdzuy and Amber JUST BROKE UP after 2 ½ years together. (They broke up six days before this recording.) Their relationship did not end with a fight, but with a realization that they had grown out of it. They share a unique perspective on breaking up while still playing a part in each other’s day-to-day lives while they work on finding new places to live, life outside the relationship, ect. Julia chats with them about spirituality, a beautiful metaphor about puzzle pieces, and a less beautiful but no less true metaphor about dirty bath water. Can your relationship and career blossom at the same time? How does the fear of what you might lose in a breakup contribute to your commitment to staying together? At the end of the day, relationships are hard and take a lot of effort. Even though breaking up might not have been the easy route for Minhdzuy and Amber, it was the step they each needed to take to move forward.
Katie and Matt have been dating for TEN MONTHS! They met doing sketch comedy in Los Angeles but really connected at a meetup for a Facebook group comprised of “sad freelance comedians who need an excuse to get out of the house(!!!)”. Julia chats with them about how important it is to know your partner’s “endgame” – even if that endgame doesn’t include you yet – and how their different backgrounds (his parents are the model of a long-standing healthy relationship while she’s an only child whose parents divorced when she was two years old) play into their expectations of one another. The conflict that they’ve dealt with concerns communication – basically, not knowing if you’re “official enough” to bring something up when it bothers you – and money – they have different goals for their professional lives and that has led to some ruffled feathers from time to time. Since they’ve been doing the long-distance thing for the bulk of their relationship, the time they do spend together is usually really special and they try to not take it for granted...but there’s nothing wrong with lounging around on the couch all day every once in awhile!
Callbacks and Show Notes:
Jonathan and Natalie’s episode will be released in early September.
Katie’s episode of Under Her Eye: http://www.whatsacreative.com/episodes/episode-10-the-worst-shopping-partner-ever/
Emily and Jeff are long distance relationship survivors - they spent 3 of their 4 years together apart! They met in college where Jeff DID NOT catcall her to join his choir group. They deliberate as to whether Pikachu are really the “best” Pokémon or just the favorite for people who aren’t true Pokémon fans...JUICY! Over the years, they have learned the importance of communication, and especially being upfront with how you feel. Julia chats with them about one of their primary conflicts, which centers around the time that they spend with each other asking things of each other that go beyond their partner’s comfort zone. This conflict has taught them that sometimes you’ll never resolve differences in a relationship, but you have to learn how to deal with them. Emily has learned to be more confident in expressing disagreement in the relationship, and Jeff has learned to be more flexible and accommodating.
Rian & Grace (Wonder Woman)
Stephen and Alyse (Theory of Reasonable Doubt)
Quinn and Caro have been dating for THREE YEARS AND NINE MONTHS. After meeting playing husband and wife at Murry's Dinner Playhouse (seriously) in Arkansas, the two discovered they had just as much chemistry offstage as on. At first Caro was guarded and unready to open up to a relationship with Quinn, but eventually learned that she was falling just as much for him as he was for her. Both have learned to be aware of each other’s sensitivity and the difficulty of wearing so many hats in the relationship. We learn about the importance of cancellation etiquette (don’t tell us when you cancel, it’ll just bum us out!) and also, always give flowers. Never DON’T give flowers. Why wouldn’t you?
Nina and Kyle have been dating for THREE AND A HALF years and living together for most of that time! They met through improv, but really, Nina just crashed Kyle’s birthday party with Lyndsey (“The Juice,” May 2016) and Kyle was a little salty about it! Eventually, Nina slid into his snapchats and the rest is history. One of their ongoing discussions centers around one of them not waiting for the other before binge-watching a TV show that they have started together. They also discuss how so much of working on your relationship has to do with working on yourself (à la Justin and Eisley’s episode, “The Marriage Map,” February 2016) and how important personal growth – career- or mental health-wise – is to the durability of a romantic partnership. Since they’ve been living together, their relationship has taken on a few different forms: most recently, they’ve started working out together which has been not only fun and exciting, but also a huge confidence-builder for both Nina and Kyle!
Lyndsey & Nick (“The Juice,” May 2016) http://www.whatsacreative.com/episodes/the-juice-lyndsey-nick
Justin & Isley (“The Marriage Map,” February 2017) http://www.whatsacreative.com/episodes/the-marriage-map-justin-isley/
Rian and Grace are NEWLYWEDS and an OkCupid success story! They fight about the appropriate time to tell your partner your real opinion about something that’s important them, and giving your partner the freedom to be mad at you without taking it personally. Since they’ve been married, Rian has had to learn that Grace is allowed to have feelings and that he can’t expect to fix things right away. We talk about how much our friends and family – especially people we look up to as “role models” – influence the adults and spouses we become, the importance of owning up to your anxieties and standing up for what (and who) you believe in. Now that Grace and Rian are thinking about having a child, they also disagree about when to have the baby and about who will be the stay-at-home parent when the time comes. Both of them love what they do – Grace is a producer and Rian is a comedian – but they want to be realistic when looking into the future together. This episode is heartwarming, funny, and, if you ask me, HIGHLY relatable. Enjoy!
Jess and Elena (Turbo Down, April 2017) - http://www.whatsacreative.com/episodes/turbo-down-jess-elena/
Cody and Sarah are NOT daters! Still, they’re together and have been for 10 +/- 2 months (depending on who you ask)! Sarah moved in with Cody two months ago and they fight about how much space each other’s stuff takes up in the apartment–and the relevance of that stuff in their lives. Sarah desperately wants a dog but Cody doesn’t seem to be budging anytime soon. We discuss dealing with your significant other’s quirks that can invade your own space and your idea of who you are, as well as the ‘rules’ they have for keeping their time together as phone-free as possible and why it’s important to “go to bed friends.” Both Cody and Sarah value their independence, which required a bit of adjustment in the beginning, but the future looks BRIGHT for these two! This episode is chock-full of great date ideas, funny one-liners, and Great British positivity! Enjoy! Allison & Jimmy (Ghost, Dec. 2016) http://www.whatsacreative.com/episodes/ghost-allison-jimmy/
Welcome to Part 2 of Ptolemy and Shelly, buckle your seatbelts! In Part 2, we discuss the challenges of staying connected to your partner after having a child, as well as how to move past the darkest times in a relationship, whether or not it’s strictly necessary to totally let go of resentments, and the importance of having a physical space that is comfortable and safe for both people. We also discuss what movies and TV shows approach capturing what it’s like to be in a happy relationship that requires work.