I’m sorry to say I haven’t had the easiest time finding men to speak with for the podcast.
I maintain my theory that men do actually care about weddings, though arguably less than women on the whole, but are rarely offered the space to exercise that caring. So when I was introduced to Nate Bagley via Elle & Zach I was pretty intrigued by this story of a man in search of honest love.
As the story goes (please watch his Ted Talk for the full enchilada) Nate was fed up after a slew of crappy relationships, and rather than point fingers at the women he had dated he acknowledged that the common thread in this series of event was him. He set out on an epic cross country exploration in search of people who had somehow, against the odds, made it work - and work well.
For his podcast The Loveumentary he spoke with couples off all shapes and sizes about what made their love “extraordinary” and the results are pretty fantastic. What is even more fantastic, is that Nate has found himself somebody to love and as a result of that exploration he is far more capable of doing that - and doing it well.
I loved hearing him reflect on his difficulty understanding how his wife processes sadness, and his own efforts at self soothing. Navigating the complexities of emotional reaction and pattern has to be the most difficult part of a long term relationship. It certainly has been for me.
Even knowing Patrick as well as I do, I still find myself attempting telepathy when his silence feels like a nagging voice in my head saying “You’re the problem.” It has taken me years to translate his moods and I can't even begin to imagine how flabbergasting my emotional roller coaster must be for him to decipher and maneuver.
We may never understand one another completely, and I think that's sort of the point.
We are an enigma to even ourselves and though the equation ME + YOU may seem simple, the complex web of evolving emotions and intricacies that lie inside of each of us means that if we remain kind, aware, and eternally curious... we need never get bored.
But it all begins with intention. You have to be willing to do the work. There is no romance in our earthly existence that genuinely mimics the pristine story book love of literature. It is messy, and complex and as such, is awarded to those who are willing to be and do better.
So let's get to it. Extraordinary love is waiting.