Hey, dear listeners, today's guest is Adam Brody, who, you know from The O.C. promising young woman and the kid detective. I knew Adam first as my co-star and smiley face. And even though he questions that performance, I think he was fantastic. I so enjoyed catching up with him. Later in the episode, I'm joined again by dating coach, matchmaker and founder of Level Connections April buya. April has some great advice for today's caller. And I also see Steph, as always, thank you for your kind words, reviews and telling your friends about our show.
It makes me so happy to watch the unqualified community grow. I also want to thank you for your openness in sharing your stories. If you want to write to us, just go to unqualified dotcom and look for the link. Now, here's Adam Brody.
Ladies and gentlemen, you were listening to Unqualified with your host unifiers. Hi, how are you? I'm good, how are you doing? I'm good. How old are your kids now? Five and seven months. Seven months? Yeah. You guys are in the thick of it.
It's an OK time to do it. We've been in our house all year. Like to have a newborn. It's what you want to do anyway. So, I mean, I don't want to make light of the horror show the dystopia that we're living through, but some of the time it has been OK for us.
Yeah, I think that's OK. Yeah. To find the life in it. Yeah, exactly.
And it's been a time of kind of peace for me. Sure. I mean so we saw the kid detective last night. It is fucking rad. Thanks. Thanks. When I was watching it Adam, I wondered if you had a similar experience and then I found out it was different. But when you read the kid detective, as I had when I read Smiley Face in terms of how there's delicious dialogue, these like offbeat characters. And I felt the same way with Jane and Smiley Face, which, of course you were in and brilliant.
And did you feel, though, like that same kind of euphoria? I was. Listen to your podcast Comedy Bang Bang. And you mentioned that the director had approached you with it a few years prior. Yeah, yeah.
I mean, it was a more piecemeal process. He approached me at a film festival in like twenty twelve, and he had another movie down the street that he was involved in at Slamdance. That was really good. And eventually, like we met in L.A. later than he shared with me, he wrote the first Akshara didn't know what the mystery was going to be, didn't know if the kid should go to the city and solve a mystery or stay in town.
We talked about that and then disappeared for a year and came back and gave me the rest. But based on his other movie that he didn't direct persay, but essentially directed and based on the first quality of writing and the quality of humor in the first 30 pages, he was just a voice that I was very excited to work with. He was a voice that was so funny, so offbeat, such dark humor with like a veneer of innocence and then a great commercial premise on top.
But again, premises are only as good as the quality of writing and the role in all that. So it's like line for line, such quotable, funny stuff. It was exciting in that. OK, here's something I can now take around and I'm always looking for stuff not not aggressively, but if something falls in my lap and it has occasionally I've tried to get things made before and never gotten past the finish line.
But it was like, okay, here's a great hopefully to be soon full script that will be great to take around and pitch. I like selling something if I really like it. I don't want to bullshit anyone, but if I can be passionate about something, I'm happy to go pitch it.
So I was excited about that. But I guess less than exciting in that he was not a Hollywood outsider. I mean, he's not a kid anymore, but at the time felt like it and certainly like an industry outsider mostly. And even though eventually the script I got was like to me a full on, like it should win the blacklist for beyond that kind of thing, you know, if it was being sent around, it wasn't. And nobody saw, nobody knows.
And it's not in that world. And so it's like hopefully we can get it made. And it was a five, six year process of just trying to get people on the phone and trying to get to meetings and trying to pitch it to people both like cool indie outfits that don't actually have any money or rich oil assholes that don't know anything about movies. Right. Right. And it was boring. And I sort of gave up on it the last couple of years.
I was like, let's make it a TV show. Let's cut it off. It's a long script. And he kept the faith and we finally did make it. And so it was so surreal after such a long time to be on the set of the kid detective. You know, I couldn't believe it happened. And it's been so gratifying just because I believed in him. I knew his voice was great. Seven years ago, I said to my agent, I'm like, why the fuck don't you represent this guy?
But like, they're not into that. They're like, we need people we can make money off of right now. And if they're like in L.A. pitching shows, fine, but otherwise we'll wait till someone's a star or whatever. But to me, I'm like, this is an unsung talent that's very unique. And I read a lot of stuff. And this is some of my favorite. And he also wrote this part for me, saw something in me I'm pretty confident actor.
I feel like I have a pretty objective view of what I can do well and what I can. And I don't lack for confidence in the right kind of roles and stuff. But I wasn't getting offered this kind of thing either, you know, and he believed in me from Jump and we kind of believed in each other for a long time. And here we were seven, eight years later on the set doing what we wanted to do. And I think it's been overdue in a way.
I feel like I haven't gotten a chance to quite do it in that way for a long time. I've been doing this. So anyway, it's very satisfying.
Did you have that feeling that I had when I was making Smiley Face where I'd be up at 5:00 in the morning, but truly excited to save my dialogue, like getting that feeling of like, OK, this is going to be a really fun see, like every scene felt that way to me. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. And that feels rare and really special.
This one was. But it was also my most one of my most trying in a way. I sort of threw my back out early on. I got sick like twice. I just because I was in actuality also really hands on producing it and a lot of ways.
And so we were casting throughout. The whole thing, we were like helping people's wardrobes locations, so I was also somewhat preoccupied with that in a very exciting way. I mean, sometimes acting is very boring. You know, you're creative for 15 minutes a day and then the rest is just watching people light and kind of like getting changed in and out of different outfits. And this was something where I felt like I got to be creative for 80 percent of the day, which was very fun as far as the dialogue goes.
It's funny because we had a lot of you know, I was this guy and he was my guy and he's basically a first time director and you can help guide it, but otherwise you do it. And also, just in terms of the pacing, obviously seen the movie and, you know, go somewhere a little serious. And he always had an eye towards that and knew the whole thing had to be at a certain somber level for that to work at all.
And while I was aware of that, too, and agreed with that, sometimes what would normally happen is I would do the first take just like a four pretty low. I was of the opinion that, like, if this movie's not funny, it's not going to be good.
I don't care how good the ending is or the themes or whatever, like it has to live as a comedy and then everything else is icing on the cake. But I would come in before he would hammer it down, hammer it down. He'd be like, yeah, just like that's like way too much. I be really, really.
Oh, that's funny, because I was going to tell you, I was really impressed by how subtle and nuanced your performance was.
Yeah. Like really so less. And I was like, well I could like throw my weight around and my foot down. I think I'm going to do it. How if I want you just back off. But I'm like, it's either going to be good because he's a genius or it's not. I'll give my input. But truthfully, like, I'm not going to muscle this into being a great movie that he doesn't see. It really lives and dies with him.
And so I guess I'm going to trust him. And so I basically did, even though I pushed my energy up a little, I chose to, like, not put my foot down and go with the flow and glad I did because I love the movie and we got into a rhythm by the end that was mostly good. And we're certainly close now.
A promising young woman and kid detective have been my favorite movies I've seen last year because I, I love tonally surprising movies. And you were in both of them.
So Adam, if you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?
You know, for the moment, I feel like I'm in the rare privilege where I can live anywhere in the world, kind of maybe. And for now I choose Los Angeles.
But that could change. What about if you had a year's sabbatical? Right. Right. I haven't been to Hawaii all that much, but I have a friend who lives there, and that sounds pretty great for my needs.
But you're comfortable in Southern California? I like L.A. because it has a cosmopolitan side and I also surf a lot and I'm at the beach a lot, so I feel like I get a nice foot in both worlds. And from San Diego, I grew up in Southern California, the shadow of it. It loomed very large in the mythology of my youth. I feel like every 80s and 90s movie was set in L.A. and so it's my New York.
You know, it feels like Los Angeles provides a service, like I'm using the location. Sure. To make money.
Yeah, I understand there isn't any feeling of home relief that washes over me when I return to Los Angeles. Right. All right. Do you believe in ghosts or aliens? Ghosts? No. Aliens? Yes. Do you judge people who believe in ghosts silently?
Yeah, I don't I don't know. I'm too old or too cynical. Yeah. Is it cynical? I don't know. I guess so. It could also be wise.
I don't think I let myself get swept away with stuff like that. And I had kind of the same mindset towards like astrology.
Well I mean go a little more incendiary, but I'm very atheist, so I just don't, I just don't. It all smacks of religion to me and wishful thinking. And not that I don't have my own wishful thinking in my hopes for society. And I think we've been on a nice arc of elevating ourselves as a species. But even conspiracy theories, you know, there's such an element of wishful thinking to me in that it's like, yeah, wouldn't it be great if someone controlled anything?
How nice. Even if JFK was assassinated or some horrible plot? It's way more terrifying to think that, like, just an asshole with a gun can upend history like that, then, well, there is a shadowy people that do have their hands on the controls and were guided by something besides all these micro decisions.
My parents are atheist, but they were never overt about it. But I wasn't raised with religion. Same. So I have a lot of morbid things around the house. I have a lot of skeletons. And I think that it's because I take comfort in what I believe is the dust that we become like if I can grapple with that idea, somehow, the inevitable won't take me by surprise.
Yeah, no, I know. I mean, I think that's horror. I think that's being interested in the macabre and I often think that's true or I'm just fascinated because it's so terrifying to me. That's the real problem with life for me that I'm constantly trying to grapple with. My biggest complaint about life is that it ends. I'm always grappling with that. And I wish that I could be religious and I can't force myself to believe anything. But it sounds nice.
I'm envious in a way. I wasn't raised with religion, although my parents did make me go to Hebrew school just because they felt guilty. And I was. Bitter about that, but with our daughter, it's funny, it's like we're pretty truthful with her. I mean, she knows that people die and hopefully live a hundred years, maybe more eventually. I don't know. Ultimately, I'm sure it will depress her like it probably depresses me. But as of now, it doesn't scare her.
You know, it's like that's the norm. And we had a dog die and she was there for all of it. And we've been very honest with her about death. And she's adapted and adjusted to it quite well as far as I'm concerned.
Adam, I just promised our listeners like romance. We just gave them death.
OK, did you crash hard in, like third grade? Would you consider yourself a romantic? And let's explore these things.
Yes, I was I was kind of one of the earliest, I think, in my class to have. I got a girlfriend. Yeah. Very much romantic. Early, interestingly, or funnily enough or not at all, the first two girls who I would consider like brief girlfriends, one in like second grade and one in sixth grade, both were very much tomboys and turned out to be lesbians. One was in second grade and played hockey, and the other girl was a very short little Jewish girl who was just super talented at basketball in sixth grade, choosier all the time.
I was in fifth grade anyways. Yeah, I was a romantic elementary school in my life.
I think that I was very much a romantic. I wanted to escape and I wanted to like, crush on the dude. And I feel like I felt in love frequently. But that intensity or level of love has shifted. As I get older, it shifted more just in maturity like you mean it's less intense or it's more measured. It's more about the person as opposed to me. Right, OK. I think that those early crushes up to my 20s was less about who that person was or is and like, oh my God, that hot guy likes me.
Yeah, right. OK, at what age do you feel like you first fell in love?
It's hard because love is like this very definitive word that it's love or it's not love. And where I certainly think there's a spectrum and I don't know, you can get into semantics a little bit like on one hand, this girl that I dated probably for a month, maybe a week, I don't remember now, but like in fifth grade, I was in love with her. Like she broke up with me or dated someone else and it hurt. Yeah, but I mean, what's love?
And I guess I don't have a definition. I just know that as you get older and obviously, you know, someone more, you know, more of the facets of them and more than that.
Right. You share a history. Right. That's also what I think differentiates you with someone, because there's a lot of people that you might be compatible with on this earth. But it's also like the history than the life you share together that adds up to your love, not just them specifically and only them. It's what you've done together, be it kids, be it family, be it inside jokes.
I mean, you can take the love out of and say best friends to, you know, it's how well you know each other and all the things you share, not just everything that makes this person's DNA. It's the act of sharing a life with someone.
Did you ever make any life changes or life choices for a relationship or a woman?
Yes, my wife. But marriage and being an adult and having a family, it was a new frontier for me where before that I kind of felt like I don't have to change like me. Or if you don't like me, then you don't like me. And this is who I am. And it's unreasonable to ask anyone to change anything. But if you're in a long commitment, you know, and you've got responsibilities, I do understand now it's still a struggle, but that it's healthy to kind of adjust a few things that might be not so healthy in your own right.
And someone can help you with that. But also like compromise, like there are compromises that need to be made if you're going to share a life with someone. And it doesn't all have to be negative. And in fact, some of it, if not all of it, can be positive.
I went to a particular college for my high school boyfriend who broke up with me two weeks then, but it was also the best school I got into.
Adam, I was introduced to you, I believe, through a group of friends that I was sort of very much on the periphery of. But do you remember those times at all? We don't have to go anywhere with this. Yes. Yes. No, no, no. Let's please. Yeah, I do.
I remember hanging out at, like, Veronique's house. Do you remember any of those days?
Yes, I remember that. And I think I was hanging out with, like, MTV's undressed kind of actor crew. I was in a Valley crew. I also might say I lived in Hollywood, but it felt like a distinct Valley crew.
Yeah, my ex husband, Ben, the first one. I'm really sophisticated at all.
I say that because. How young did you get married at? Twenty seven. Yeah, that's you.
You know how memory like there's a bit of revision. It also kind of intensifies in my memory. I can't gauge how accurate this was. I really didn't want to get married, but that's my memory. Maybe if somebody had said something like that to me.
Yeah that sounds like a good reason to not do it. Yeah, but I imagine you learned some stuff.
Yeah, I think the good thing that it gave me it sort of. Read me up to kind of just focus on my career during those essential times while you were married, your son. Yeah, like I had the safety of a relationship. Yeah. And the goal was like, how do I pay rent? You know what I mean? Like the intensity of the hustle in your twenties. I mean, don't you look back on that, like driving to auditions and like the constant feeling of lack of job security all the time.
It's been nice to get older and not feel not as anxious. Yeah.
I mean, in terms of job security, it's scary at first because you forgo a traditional career and education to do this job that has really no fallback plan. And for me anyways, I started cold when I was 19 instead of going to college, but I had no experience. I didn't even know if I'd be good. And I was like, I'll try it. And every step father I got into the pool, the farther I got away from land.
And on one hand I started to work relatively quickly. So it was exciting. I felt like, OK, I'll definitely keep going. I would have turned back if it was not happening.
But at the same time, again, the more you go down this road, the more the other road fades in the distance. And yeah, for a long time I was still like, I don't know. I don't know if I've earned a place for a long time in this career. As you get older and you keep working and the sun keeps coming up and you start to go, wow, I've I've been doing this for 20 years and look at us and we're still here and we're still working.
And there's not even that many more people coming at our age.
They're all yours. Yeah, I like that. You're right.
So, like, I think we've earned it. And at the same time, new thoughts about it percolate. On one hand it's exciting. You get more say you get to produce stuff, you get to be more of a senior on set. You have more confidence and you have more feels like choice. And on the other hand, I start to feel old on set and I'm like, man, these are all kids. And this food, what used to be good is just like starts to seem like garbage and really unhealthy and wow, starting to get tedious.
Just like I'm gonna sit in this chair like, oh, you got a little green room for me in the Arby's kitchen where we're shooting. And I'll just post up here by the roaches for a little bit and let me know and has got to milk me.
And I don't know, you know, there's something like it's at once has all the great qualities of a very childlike profession and some of the bad ones, too, or occasionally I'm like, it's nice to perform, but I don't know. But the romance is gone.
Not always. Not always. Yeah. OK, Adam, what is the longest time you've been single?
Not to toot my own horn, but I think it's been pretty healthy. I don't jump from one relationship to another. And at the same time I wasn't perpetually single. I've had a relationship my early twenties for I think two or three years, then in my mid twenties for three years. Then when I was like late twenties with like a year off in between each one, maybe two years off, another relationship for two years, then a year or two off and then been married for seven years.
How did you meet Leighton? Well, I was on the scene and I was coming to an end and Gossip Girl was starting. And so Josh Schwartz produced both shows.
And literally the first time we met, that whole cast was eating at Canter's. And I lived at Canter's for like my entire twenties. And I was leaving and he introduced all of us and then boom dinner like two or three times over the next couple of years. Then we did this movie together, the oranges. I was seeing someone of the time we were together. So we met kind of through mutual work, friends off and on. And then we didn't get together till about a year after that movie when I was single.
Did you flag her?
I mean, obviously, right. I was very attracted to her from Jump. She's a heavenly creature. She's gorgeous, but I had no idea whether she was a good person or not.
And in fact, kind of assumed she probably wasn't for like the first handful of years that I didn't know her just because, I don't know, Gossip Girl and not that I tagged all actresses with that or anything. I didn't. And I like to date actors and I never believe that stigma or some people is very cool to be like I don't date an actress, you know, was so fucking dumb. I mean, like, why two beautiful and smart.
We're the best. Sure, we're selfish and fucking dramatic, but we're so much fun.
Well, these are male actors saying this too, so it's hypocritical. I can see if you weren't in the industry, by all means, don't. But like. Right. Don't be an actor telling me anyways. Right.
And the one person I'm thinking of who was pacifically like this was his manager is married to an actor now. So and happily by all accounts.
So yeah, I thought she was gorgeous. And even when we did the movie, there was like chemistry there. But I was seeing someone and I was like, oh, she's cool. But I still didn't know. And that continued even to when we first started dating, I was like, I'm not sure. And come to find out, like, she's literally Joan of Arc. She's like the strongest, best person I know. She's my moral compass and North Star, and I just can't say enough good things about her character.
It's crazy. She's the kind of person or like even as a four year old, she would have been perfect. And nobody has a bad thing to say about her. She's never been rude to like a single person in her life, except and I give her credit for this paparazzi where, like, I'm too self-conscious. I wouldn't say rude, but like, you know, people get her to try and sign some sex. The old photo or something that aren't fans, but they pretend to be fans and forgive me, but it's sort of a bottom feeding thing.
I'm just out of self-consciousness. I'm like, I need them to like me, so I'll just do it. And she's has no problem in like you can hear me. I don't care. But if you're like a person is genuine, no genuine person has a single bad thing. I'm really happy for you.
Thank you. All right, Adam, what intimidates you? I'd say performing.
Not always. Once I'm comfortable and I'm acclimated, then it's really fun almost in any venue.
But I didn't do this job because I thought, like, God, I'm so outgoing.
I think most people don't, actually. But even though I want it in the right circumstance, I do. I like attention and all that. But it's intimidating the most when I have the most out of body experiences when I'm backstage and I'm about to get pushed out on to completely.
And I'm just like, I can't fucking believe I do this for a living. Like there's a comedian is doing this thing. There's a band, there's a crowd. Someone else is out there being funny. I'm going to go do an improv conversation with anecdotes and try and be charming with the comedian who does a living. It's going to be six minutes. Lots of people are watching and I'm backstage and I get to go out. And that got people like with the headset on go to follow that tape, Mark.
When they go, they're going to count you in. You're going to go have fun. And I always take a breath and I go like, I can't believe I do this. This is so not natural for me playing your own character.
Yeah, I like it after I go out and like, the first joke lands and then I do have a nice time. I prefer this. I'd rather talk for an hour. I had to put on an outfit, drive somewhere, do a preinterview six minutes and there's that embarrassing moment where you really kind of need people to tell you that it went well.
It's always feels a little lackluster. I feel like I was a little flat footed so that even though ultimately when I'm out there, most of the time I end up enjoying myself. But right before I'm like, I can't believe it. Whereas I remember Topher Grace at a party randomly and he was saying like, oh yeah, people understand. Like, you kind of alluded to it, but I'm normally playing a character for me. That's not true. It's not that I'm so in character when I'm on set.
And if you said if I showed up to set and they're like, you're on in three, two, one action, like I'd be just as nervous, it's that you can only have nerves for like 30 minutes and then your body can't do it. So if I have enough time to sit around, then my nerves are gone and I can be comfortable of that.
OK, what was the best advice you've ever been given?
I guess a small thing, but since the election and my wife's suggestion has put like a 30 minute Twitter lock on my phone. And I just found that up until the election I was like, look, I can't do anything else.
I just want to watch. It's just this is for all the marbles and I'm glued to it. And then after and I don't think, like, social media is inherently evil. I think there's so much positive that comes from it. And it's interesting. And but for me, many Republicans are just trolls. It's like I don't need to go on and spend all day, like getting mad at whatever Ted Cruz says, like don't give him attention. And so 30 minutes was good.
I can still do as much NPR as I want and my blood pressure's stable.
I was going to ask you what your relationship was with social media. I really just do Twitter. I'm fascinated by it. It's interesting. I haven't done Instagram, although it intrigues me. But I know that these are Pandora's box and once I go, I won't come back. And I was really late to Twitter, but glad to do it. But I do think getting mad at these like conservative troll tweets all day isn't healthy for me, although I'm glad somebody is responding and burning them.
But like, I think there's a healthy level and I don't know. I mean, it's certainly a powerful tool and not an art form all itself. But there are people who are born to do that who are the best at that. And funny enough, I've definitely made a conscious decision. My Twitter is literally pretty much organically, either exclusively like political read tweets or like I'm pushing a work thing and that's it. And I've made a semi-conscious decision.
It happened organically, mostly. But like, if I think of a joke in the day, I could start tweeting that stuff. But then two things might happen. One, as an actor, I'm allowing a level of access. Now, that's my medium, too. And I feel like does it take away from the scarcity of my performance elsewhere? I don't know. Probably not. But maybe and also consideration is like it's cool. And I like a lot of people that do it a lot.
I follow a lot of funny people that just something happens, they order a churro and then they tweet about the funny turo.
I've sort of tried to not let my brain do that yet because then I'm always going to be half in cyberspace, too, you know, and I don't know how I feel about that. I know we're only going one way. My wife and I have this argument all the time and it's fake or whatever. I don't think so. You know, and I think like even Instagram, which I'm not on, but I feel like we're all presenting a facade of who we want people to see, too.
You don't know inside my mind and even I don't know certain reaches of my mind. And yes, you're once removed and Instagram and you can have filters and you have more control. But same as if you're writing this script, like your truth kind of bubbles up to the surface no matter how hard you try to say otherwise.
This episode of Unqualified is brought to you in part by thread up who wants to know how to get a pair of Joe's jeans for under 30 dollars? Lululemon leggings up to 90 percent off free people for just six dollars. The secret to your new closet is thread up. Thread Up is one of the world's largest online consignment and thrift stores. With low prices you won't find anywhere else. They carry over thirty five thousand big name and luxury brands, including all your favorites like Zara made well, J.Crew and Nike.
Handbags, shoes, accessories, activewear, sweaters, designer dresses, anything and everything you could want at prices you won't believe. Just customize your search by size, style and budget to find the best deals instantly. Whenever I need a break from bingeing reality TV, I check out the thread up website to see what's new. The combination of surfing and the convenience of online shopping makes thread up unlike any thrift store you've ever known. So get the styles you love at a fraction of the price you look and feel good with thread up and for unqualified listeners.
Here's an exclusive offer just for you. Get an extra 30 percent off your first order at threat of dotcom. Flash on it. That's t h r e d up dotcom slash eight and A for thirty percent off your first order thread up dotcom slash onna for an extra thirty percent off today. Terms supply.
OK, here's something to get excited about. ABC has a new comedy brought to you and starring the one and only Topher Grace, who we all first fell in love with on that 70s Show. His new show is called Home Economics. And no, it has nothing to do with high school classes. It's about three adult siblings who each have wildly different financial situations. The older brother is in the top one percent of the top one percent. He may have all sorts of problems, but money isn't one of them.
The younger sister is at the other end of the spectrum, struggling with her wife and two kids to get by. Topher Grace plays Tom, the middle sibling. He's been a successful novelist in the past, but his last few books haven't done so well. Now he's written another book, and what his siblings don't know is that it's all about them. Home Economics premieres Wednesday, April seven, at eight thirty seven thirty Central Right after the Goldbergs. What talent or ability would you most like to have?
I would love to be able to read a book in 20 minutes. You do have time to read. I wish I know that because I listened to you and DAX talk about strange angel Angel, how you pulled that from the depths.
Yeah. Will you tell us a little bit about it? Sure. It's a biography about Jack Parsons.
Marvel Whiteside Parsons is his full name. And if you like L.A. at all and you're interested in L.A. and L.A. history and not just the Hollywood of it, it's such a great cross-section of so many things. His life basically takes place from about the 20s to like nineteen fifty two. He's a home trained explosives expert, so he was like blowing shit up in the canyon in Pasadena.
Home trained also ultimately blows himself up at thirty seven years old in his garage, invented before people even thought rockets could work in space in an offshoot of Caltech. They weren't allowed on campus, but him and two other people, he invented rocket fuel. And the other people, they invented the canister and essentially invented rockets. So he invented rockets. When people didn't even think rockets theoretically could work in space, they ultimately got the money to do it through World War Two anyways.
True. Like punk rock star, home trained scientist and Blacksheep simultaneously is very into science fiction. L.A. is also the hub of American science fiction. Ray Bradbury and Isaac Asimov and Robert Heinlein, L. Ron Hubbard. All these people were hanging out downtown L.A. He gets into a black magic, Selema. It's called it's like a sex magic cult, if you will, or just religion or whatever you want to call it. He starts becoming a sort of wizard of that in Pasadena in his house.
It's free love. It's sex, magic. So his wife, but ultimately kind of falls in love or lust with her younger sister.
They get married. He's trying to have tantric like spells. And ultimately, a young L. Ron Hubbard stays with them. L. Ron runs off with his wife, who was previously his old wife's younger sister. Anyways, I had the rights to this in my mid twenties and tried to make it for a while. Expensive movie couldn't do it. It's hard to do. And then Ridley Scott's company scooped it up and made it on CBS. But I was annoyed because I couldn't even get like in the room.
Oh, I didn't know the story ended like this shit. But regardless, it's the only version of that story. But I wouldn't call the definitive one. It's still cool. I liked what I saw of it. And it's just a fascinating world.
And there you go, man. I'm embarrassed that I have not read for so long.
Everyone's got different habits. I guarantee you intake just as much good information. I mean, my wife, I read more than Layton, but she listens to more informative, interesting podcasts than I do. So I'm always jealous. I see you're walking around and she's got an earbud in and I'm like, God, that's cool. She's just getting it done. And I wish I had more time to read it. I feel like if I really carved it out, but no, I fight to read thirty minutes a day.
I certainly am on my phone reading stuff on my phone. I'd like to just sit down and read a book in our day. I used to watch kids, certainly with Cornton. Harder to come by, but it happens.
Yeah. What is a trait you dislike in others? It's the trait that I dislike most in myself. I don't think I suffer from it terribly. But just when somebody isn't a good listener and when conversations get too one sided, obviously this is a podcast and an interview. But in general I try to have very well rounded, two sided conversations with people. And I know some people that are extraordinarily bad at that.
We are in an industry of self-absorption.
Yeah, it's self-absorbed, but it's also like, oh, you're an accountant. OK, well, let me ask you and you can go down that rabbit hole and all professions are interesting in some way or another, but everyone's seen a movie and has an opinion on that. So it's a very easy one for everyone to talk about and people tend to be curious. And so it's nice. And I like answering questions about it. I'm never bothered. I'm always like flattered and enjoy hearing myself talk.
But it's something that I don't want to do to an obnoxious degree.
Adam, this isn't one of my regular questions, but did you have a fun time making Smiley face with me?
You know? Well, I'll tell you the truth. Oh, no, listen, you're lovely. Here we are and we're lovely. We have the same managers at the time. That's how I got that job. And Greg was nice. I remember feeling like two things. One, while the movie is awesome and you're awesome in it, and it just happened to me before I made a good movie and I just happen to hate my performance.
You're so great. Why are you talking about. I appreciate it.
I'm not a fan of that one. And it's not that I'm never a fan of. I am hypercritical, but I've been happy with stuff I've done and that's one where I don't know, it just didn't.
Adam, you got to watch it again. You know, it's been well over decades, so maybe you got to watch it again. I should say again, it's been a long time. We play off of each other really well. I am convinced that your memory would be revised because I loved acting with you. I loved making that movie.
Oh, I hope we get to do it more. And I did love acting with you and I really like the movie. And that's kind of what hurts about it. I really like it. I feel the same way about Mr. and Mrs. Smith. I have a small part in that. The movie's awesome is always. An awesome and I just like kind of cover my eyes with that well, in my experience, it's really hard to come into a movie like I had a small role in Lost in Translation at a really small role in Brokeback Mountain.
Yeah, but you're so good in those.
But I felt that out of sync ness that you get when a movie's been shooting for a minute. You're not quite sure like the tone. I remember in Lost in Translation, we shot my scenes like the very last week in Tokyo and I was like, I'm the loudest thing these people have ever heard.
I'm fucking this all up. I was just really intimidated and felt that I was really fucking up the movie because Scarlett and Yvonne like their tone when you spoke about Kid Detective Shafqat.
Yeah, but that's what's so great about you in that. Well, I'm hoping that you'll have the same feeling maybe. Yeah.
And, you know, sometimes I'm always, you know. Yes. What's intimidating and we're talking about talk shows. I feel the same way. Am I going on a set for a day or two? Yeah. You're walking into a party. You don't know everyone. Let's run it. Let's put it on its feet. And everyone's looking like, I guess this is how I'm going to do it. And your debut in it for yourself and like one hundred people.
But I've also walked into those situations and been like, I just save this thing or whatever, you know, not quite. But like, you can just tell it's working and everyone's excited by what you're doing right away.
And then again, other times not so much. I will give it a watch because I always liked the movie.
You said, I think all of our beats are pretty great. I'm very biased. But there's this beat where you're, like, threatening me, Jane. It's like what? Like you're going to break my legs or something. You're like, no, I'm not going to fucking break your legs. And I'm like, well, what then? And you say, like, I don't know, maybe I'll take your furniture or something. Yeah, you're fantastic.
I did not do that justice, but please check it out.
No, you did. I'm sure you did it better than I did, but I will. And the lines are good. No argument with the lines.
All right. On what occasion do you lie or do you lie?
I mean, I would say to a fault maybe and not because I'm righteous, but because in a way, I'm self-conscious. Sometimes the more honorable way is to lie. And I can't not say what I think. I can't not spill my guts.
I can't not talk a bunch of shit right away. So so-and-so came over. How was it? Well, I mean, you know, it's pretty complicated. I mean, the guy's a fucking asshole or whatever, you know, and it's like sometimes take the high road. And so in the negative sense, I don't lie enough.
All right. When have you thrown caution to the wind?
Pretty cautious person, you know? I mean, again, I think like as a performer, there's a leap of faith.
You just take your arm to go out there and just start dancin. And that always blows my mind as I'm about to do it, because it doesn't seem like ingrained in who I am at all. And it always feels like a challenge every time, unless it's a very low stakes situation, in which case I'm supremely confident.
I always think about right before somebody calls action, being a baseball player, stepping up to the plate, you're on your own and the pressure's on and you kind of don't have a fucking choice at that point. There's a feeling of specific aloneness. Yeah, yeah. Even though you're in a team. Yeah, yeah.
Obviously breathing is a big part of staying calm and focused in all sorts of sports are what have you. But I got really into I'm sort of out of it now, but for ten years I got super into boxing and it's so much easier to think. A lot of it's about rhythm but a lot of it's about always in the corner, like breathe and breathe and breathe through it.
And someone slowly, not me, but, you know, it's just about like controlling your breath and shit's getting hot and you're just like staying calm. You're spending as little energy as possible and just breathing. And I just rightly or wrongly, because going out on the Seth Meyers show is not like being in the ring with someone trying to kill you. But I do think about breath in that regard as like a boxer getting a breath.
Did you find the same kind of control with surfing? Yes. Not so much surfing, as much as like surviving out. You know, if it gets a little heavy, big waves coming out, you're going to go under for a minute. It's like you've got to breathe. And the real thing about surfing that's even a little different and spooky is like giving up control for a minute. Some people are natural at it. I had to work out.
I'm still working at it, knowledgable a surfer as I am. I'm not particularly brave about it, but when a big enough waves coming, we like, I can't even swim. So I need to just breathe and let it take me for a little bit and then all sort of don't fight it for a minute. And then when it's all clear, swim up. That's a breath thing. I still work on the. Do you still surf? I grew up doing it.
It was sort of my entire high school identity.
I know. Apparently you skipped school to surf. Yeah.
I mean, I slept through all of high school because I was just surfing and then my dad and I had a terrible relationship through high school because of it.
Are you close with your dad now? Yeah, I'm close to both my parents.
He was always like, God damn it, he was just a grump in high school. I blame him. I do. I actually don't blame me. I think there is a way they could have spoken to me and we could have figured out something. But he was just overworked and grumpy.
You were like a surfer kid. You know, like you weren't agitated, you weren't looking for a fight? No, not at all. Not at all. My boring high school, the academy there didn't interest me. I didn't even realize I was, like, smart until I was in my 20s and lived here. And it's like, oh, I can read. I like books. And I just think there was a way probably to engage with me without necessarily having the money for a different school or we didn't.
But like, I think there was a way to engage and find some common ground.
It's generational, too, you know. I mean, do I surf now? I do a lot now. I didn't for, like, all of my 20s and half of my 30s and then kind of picked it back up in my mid thirties again. And now it's like, great, my two lives have dovetailed and it's a nice work life balance.
I'm not a strong enough swimmer. The ocean doesn't make me comfortable, but it's something I envy because the way it's described as though you're sort of harnessing energy, which sounds thrilling, it's something you have to work at.
I wasn't like a fish as a kid or like my first day at the beach. I knew that I was home or anything like that. It was cold and sandy and dirty and scary. And I was just like really into the movie North Shore and then Point Break.
And I was like, I'm determined to do this. And then you love it and then you get comfortable. But it was something that I decided I wanted to do before the true love of the elements spoke to me.
Yeah. What is your greatest extravagance as I get older food becoming like a foodie. Yeah, you have to like truffles. Like what's good food. You know, I should be eating a lower tier of food on the regular, like healthy. But, you know, I wasn't even Posman seen for like most of this quarantine in the last four months. I got it. And I've just been like eating on a budgetary level. Right. I should not spend as much on.
You know, sushi. It's so easy, though. It's a nice treat. And like I said, as I get older, I'm just more interested in it, too. It's not there wasn't as big a thing. I just my standards have gone up.
Adam, when or where are you happiest or most content? Well, I'm so lucky to have such a wonderful partner and such an amazing subjectively of course, but also objectively, like my daughter is so charming and just so fun. Such good company, such good company. Anything with them. We'll go to the beach my wife surfs to now and we'll kind of trade off doing that. Hanging at home is just lovely with everyone. And then I also like to go with my daughter a lot of places.
We're going to pick her up today from school and we're going to go grocery shopping together. And I'm looking forward to it.
I love that. Do you have a favorite movie that you could watch over and over?
It's now the movies and you will know this. How old's your. He's a cool.
Yeah. Jackson Yeah. It's a blast. You know, obviously, like it's the kids movies that you watch over and over again. And I can talk a lot about how kind of rediscovering or discovering new movies through my daughter's eyes. I had brothers didn't watch any of the female centric ones growing up. And one's on repeat and it changes a lot. But I'd never seen Sound of Music and now I've seen it forty times. And that's as good a movie as you can make.
It's pretty great.
It's so good in this year, too. Was an interesting year to discover it because it's all about like family and it's about love and it's beautiful music. But it's also so melancholy because it's such a bittersweet ending. They're fleeing their home as it falls to fascism and it just felt like timely.
Yeah, coralline too. I will say that one is so surreal and trippy that you can kind of watch it forever. It's so full of symbolism that it's like a little bit out of reach. So it bears repeating viewing and it's just mesmerizing to look at, OK, do you have a greatest regret?
Not really. I mean, speaking in school earlier, like, I wish I would have been interested earlier. I'm happy I didn't go to college. NPR was my college as I was driving around auditions. I'm happy because I'm very happy in my life. And so, no, I don't have a greatest regret. I could have started reading a little earlier, but to whom would you most like to apologize and why?
That's a good question. One that's so small into private, but it has been eating at me. This person doesn't even know. But I said some gossip to someone else, like a sort of armchair Freudian analyze someone that I know. Right? I don't know. I still feel terrible about that, even though there's only one person and I'm sure they've forgotten. And I just think about that is a year ago and so ugly, I want to see that person again to say I'm sorry for saying that to you, even though it's about the other person and they'll never know.
I know I'm not walking around with a lot of guilt, honestly. Like I'll say this to society at large.
I've been very, very blessed and so much of it is good fortune.
And I haven't given back nearly as much as I want to and plan to. And that's the biggest guilt I walk around with.
Adam, what relationship advice could you give our listeners? Well, I guess there's two halves. But while on one hand I love analyzing in a Freudian way, I love digging into somebody's peculiarities and trauma and habits and all that. But I think that at the same time, a lot of people and this is maybe unromantic.
Or maybe just like harsh, but a lot of times people over analyze relationships because they maybe have trouble sometimes facing the truth that that person just doesn't love them as much or the other person just doesn't love or isn't attracted to enough or, you know, it's like often I find it's a little simpler. And I see this a lot in fiction and in movies where someone broke the character's heart. And it's not just for them to get over that. It's really the journey is for them to realize that they never love that person in the first place.
In the end, they're like, oh, wait, I guess I only love that person because I thought I was what I was supposed to do. I was so caught up in trying to be this person that I was in love, but I'm not even in love with that person anyway.
And it's like, no, sometimes you're in love with someone and they are not in love with you. And you've got to swallow that and find someone who appreciates you. And that's most of it.
Yeah. You know, and it hurts. It hurts.
It's an ego blow, but, you know. Yeah. Adam, do you have guilty pleasures, reality television wise? Yeah, a few years ago now.
But we did like three, four seasons of The Bachelor Bachelorette, the certainly guilty pleasure and is enjoyable. And then obviously it's repetitious. The thing I don't understand about that show, and I guess they know what they're doing, but it's weird, like the magic of it is how bland it is, which creeps me out because it's like I understand they might not be the most interesting people, but everyone's interesting and everyone's got some peculiarities. And you're on a helicopter going to a mountaintop, like somebody farted, somebody, like, said something interesting and you literally cut any bit of personality out of it that happened organically to just stick to your the five lines of the show for twenty seasons.
Are you here for the right reasons? You really opening up?
I really think I'm starting to fall. Yeah. Yeah. The bakery, it's crazy.
It's like we're only talking in the most primary colors and that's it. And I don't want to and to whitewash it of all personality is it gives me the creeps.
Adam, I'm a fan of it. I find it fascinating how the player feels interchangeable, of course. And it feels like ninety percent of the participants are vulnerable to the very emotional experience. Yeah, yeah. Regardless of the players that will fascinate me to no end. I think for the rest of time I say, get back on that horse, Adam. Yeah, I got to move on. But you should move on. You really should. But other guilty pleasures, it started as a guilty pleasure and then it got serious.
But we did two different Nexium documentaries, the kalt ones, and it started as guilty because like we've seen a lot of cult stuff. We know some of this is just like trauma porn. But then you get involved and there's a lot of real stuff. There's a lot of real footage of the guy who's like, awful and hysterical.
Has a stranger ever changed your life one time surfing? The only time I ever thought I think I might be drowning, I was like fifteen. You know, there's this thing you could do called ditching your board where like, if a big wave comes in, you don't want to hang on your board and go under it. You can just, like, let your board go, but you have a leash and you swim under it. And I did.
And my leash broke. My board went in and I'm out there. I'm sure it wasn't even big. I was just little and not a particularly strong swimmer, nor was I like particularly calm. I remember sort of giving up a little, not like I'm going to die now, but just like I don't think I can swim anymore. I just just going to sit here and wave my arm. And this other long haired guy seemed like a man of the time, probably was twenty one, but maybe he was thirty, I don't know, paddled over and brought me in, possibly saved my life.
I thanked him and then two weeks later I was walking by. I saw him like against a wall change in his words. He was like, oh there's the guy who saved my life. And I was like Oh I can see his boss.
And then he saw the testicles of your hero. Yeah, that's right. Adam, what do you think is the meaning of life?
I can make it very primal and say just to survive feeding your body calories as long as you can being an atheist.
But I would also say that that coincides with, fortunately, making the world a better place and making it more equitable and giving people more freedom. It's not a coincidence to me that, yes, we've broad strokes have become more and moral and more civilized, but it's also because greater cooperation breeds greater food for everyone we gain in power as we cooperate on larger and larger levels. And that's why back to social media and stuff, while it has frightening elements in the future, is very frightening and terrifying because it's changing so rapidly.
The power of the hive mind. You know, it's how these social revolutions have been able to rip through society. I almost feel like it's like a bug getting fixed. It happens online. Our society just like gets an update upgrade in like a year or a month and will only happen faster and faster. But anyways, I guess all to say, leaving the place better than you found it and striving for yourself and everyone, happiness, health and freedom and equality.
And I think all that stuff just fortunately goes hand in hand as an. Do you resent that a lot of people believe that morality is tied to religion? I don't resent anyone's individual belief, but I do resent and I watch a lot of Bill Maher and I hate so much of this takes on so many things nowadays, especially I think he's like two generations behind. I just think he's like Bob Hope now. But I do appreciate on an intellectual level him going, why can't anyone talk about religion on an intellectual level?
The fact that, like, we don't even have, to my knowledge, like an atheist, Senator Joe Biden is the only one who probably could have won, in part because he's the only one saying, praise Jesus, you know, and like as just intellectually as a species trying to figure out how are we going to feed everyone?
How are we going to give everyone longer life and more freedom and ensure that this planet works and is more renewable?
And we've got to still cater to Depay service to the obligation that we've put on our leaders. I don't mean to finish your sentence. Please, please. No, but I think that's where you're going, right, that we have to spend energy honoring very strong beliefs that a lot of people have that don't always feel particularly relevant to practical issues.
And in fact, where I start to take a little issue with and I know this is literally blasphemous and I know that it's still more religious people than not even in America. I'm all for practicing and believing whatever you want. But I do think you can have cognitive dissonance and you can believe something that's not inherently science based. There's plenty of devout religious scientists, I guess maybe not plenty, but a lot. And then you can go have an analytical debate about molecules.
But I just wish we didn't have to cater to it so much because it doesn't feel to me particularly helpful in today's problems. And I find that I have was taught and can teach plenty good morality without religion. And while I do understand there's a lot of good things, community tradition, there's rich mythology, there's art, there's a lot to admire. But you asked me, has religion cause more good or bad? The fact that it's tough to answer to me is not the best endorsement.
What do you crave more of?
Yeah, I mean, very existential angst back to my atheist nature. But I mean, the biggest downer about not believing in an afterlife is that this is it. And I think I'll always want more. And I would say that one of the things that makes me the happiest about getting older and I want to see where the world goes, I'm very curious and I think we're changing so fast that it's very exciting. Yeah. You know, 20, 50 is not going to look anything like this.
Hopefully I'll be alive to see it. But having kids is like the thing that makes getting older excited. You know, there's nothing I want to see besides what the world looks like. I want to be 60 years old. But what's exciting about being 60 is that my daughter will be twenty five. And that's thrilling. And so, you know, I'll always, I'm assuming, want longer life. I do look forward to watching my kids grow up.
This is connected in an odd way, but you really get a kick out of, like watching the rover landing on Mars. Like, I love the idea that, fuck, we tried. I mean, I didn't do shit, but the effort of answering our questions, we're still striving. And I imagine that's just a part of humanity and that is exciting to me. That gives me a feeling of optimism, like when we spoke earlier about aliens. I love that.
You know, at some point maybe this earth will be discovered and the effort put into an attempt to communicate, an attempt to seek knowledge that excites me. That makes me proud. Yeah.
I get so discouraged. And again, you can go on Twitter and just be like, this is unbelievable. And I hate that we're always having to, like, drag the back of the class forward. And I feel like all the real ideas are over here and being discussed. But then you've got to tailor it to the stragglers. But lo and behold, we've been moving the ball forward as a species this entire time and it should continue even if ecological disaster strikes and even if 90 percent of the world dies, the technology and the knowledge that we've acquired will live on.
And I don't think it'll be like, well, back to the Stone Ages. I think it'll roughly pick up right where it left off. And like I said, I'm so excited. I hope I get to be around for the next 50 plus years because it's going to be a lot more radical than the last 50 years. And that was pretty heavy, too.
I love that. Hey, Adam, I can't thank you enough. Will you please watch our scenes and smiley face? I will. OK, Adam, thanks again. Truly. Thanks. This is so fun. Yeah, appreciate it.
By adding this episode of Unqualified is brought to you in part by imperfect foods. When I was 11 I had a sticker that read Nobody's Perfect. It was the way to let myself off the hook because my friend Kate was so pretty. Groceries have even stricter standards than 11 year olds, and every year billions of pounds of food go to waste, often for just not. Meeting the strict cosmetic standards of grocery stores, Imperfect Foods is on a mission to change the way we see groceries.
They want to encourage a kinder, less wasteful world by offering sustainable, affordable groceries delivered straight to your door. All you have to do is sign up, create your flexible, personalized grocery plan, and then shop online each week. Right now, Imperfect Foods is offering unqualified listeners 20 percent off, plus free shipping on your first order. When you go to imperfect foods dotcom and use promo code on, that's 20 percent off plus free shipping at I and p e r f city food dot dotcom promo code and a so try and perfect foods now and for a limited time, get 20 percent off plus free shipping on your first order.
Go to imperfect foods dotcom and remember to use the promo code onna to sign up. Thank you dear listeners. Your support of our sponsors supports unqualified.
OK, everyone, I am happy to welcome back dating coach, matchmaker and friend April buya April has been doing this for a while and I'm so grateful to have her join unqualified. You can learn more about April at level connections dotcom. Hi, April. Hi, Ana. It's so good to be here. All right, let's call Ashley. Hey, how are you? I'm OK. This is April. April is a dating expert, coach and matchmaker.
She's the creator of the game changing online dating and introduction service level. So she's fantastic. Ashley, thank you for doing this. Will you tell us what's happening? So my partner and I have been together for about five years now and in the last probably six or seven months, I just feel comfortable and comfortable is good, but I feel like I love him, but I'm not in love with him anymore. And we got engaged in twenty nineteen and the wedding's at the end of this year and I'm kind of grappling with how do I deal with this feeling, do I just go with it.
I wonder if you be analyzing your relationship like this if it weren't for the upcoming wedding.
Yeah, it happens a lot. The engagement in the old days was for a different reason. It is now. And I think the way we have to look at engagement now is trying something on at a deeper level. You have not yet committed to the marriage. You have committed to engagement, to work on a plan for marriage, but you have the ability to move on. And I think I'd love to ask you, what if you go for it, like fast forward 10, 15, 20 years.
Are you in the right relationship?
That's the thing I'm having a hard time with. He is someone I love so deeply and he's such a big part of my life. But I don't know if he's the romantic partner that I need for the rest of my life.
I view it now as a stronger move to break off an engagement. And what really resonates about your letter to me is that you write, I don't want to hurt him, but I don't feel like he can be OK on his own without me. That speaks so much to me. He doesn't know how to function in life. He doesn't know how to make a dentist appointment. He doesn't know how to like.
And he loves me so much because he needs me so much. I'm worried, actually, that I'm also weighing heavy with my own experience in this situation.
I appreciate the perspective, though, getting someone else's view from when they've gone through that and kind of making that decision, because that's one of the sides of weighing is what outcome am I looking at and how is this going to work? I'm not scared of divorce. So your life just gets so intertwined together and it's how do I do this? How do I start taking apart? Actually, do you mind my asking how old you are? I just turned 30 April.
I don't know. What are your thoughts about this as a whole?
Well, you said you actually don't mind divorce, but you're also hyper aware that you're combining family. There is a pressure at your age. All of your friends are starting to get married. They're starting to family plan. And unfortunately, we see a lot of people on the other side of that 15 years in and they're dividing up their assets and their kids. But I don't even want to talk about that. I'm most interested in asking you what you love about him, because you also said you're afraid he can't exist without you.
But you also kind of said that about you. Like you said, I don't know if I want to know my life without him in it. So can you share more with us about him, what you love about him?
I love what a good person he is and I love how deeply he cares for everyone and what time and respect he puts to everything in his life. And there's so much that he does that I just I care so deeply about. And I love him as a person. But it's trying to grapple with the the loss of attraction, the loss of that spark that really kind of draws you to someone. He's someone that I could picture for the rest of my life.
It's my best friend, but I don't know how that is going to translate romantically. And he's a great life partner and he's everything that I want in a partner. But when I'm not feeling that towards him, it's hard.
So it's just physical. You get along great. It's just the physical spark is gone. Yeah. Yeah, that's hard. Did you ever have it? We did the first couple of years, probably the most, and then I think it was probably after the second year when I first kind of got that feeling when, you know, something's off. But it was like, I'll ignore it, they'll figure it out, we'll get through it. And it went away for a while and then it came back and then it came back worse.
I was like, do I just deal with it? No, no, not at all. When we first meet somebody, there's a guarantee that we're physically attracted. Right. If we're going to see somebody again, that means we've done a buy in on, like I find you physically attractive. So if it fades, we got to connect it back to something else because his looks haven't changed. So you're saying the physical thing is gone? So as women, when our physical spark goes away, it's deeper than just the look.
It's something else that's wrong in the relationship. And I think as women, we feel it right, like we feel it in our bodies. We know exactly what's going on. Elvis has left the building when we no longer want to kiss and want to be intimate with someone. And you have to listen to that. I would love to figure out how to tie this back to what is missing for the chemical spark. My perspective is that between this last year and the pressure of marriage anyway, I think it's kind of hard to gauge things right now.
I mean, you're young. Maybe it's still like a desiring of other life experiences. I don't know.
I mean, this last year has definitely been hard. You're kind of forced together, even more so. And it's that loss of your individuality, because everything you do is together. And with getting engaged in twenty nineteen, everything right after that was all wedding planning and there was really no time to think. And then at the start of last year, we bought a house together. And then all of a sudden we were stuck inside together and everything was paused, now I'm just here with my thoughts and it's on thank.
You know, Ashleigh, a lot of people have gotten together during covid and a lot of people have partied. A lot of people said there's going to be a lot of pandemic babies.
And I was like, yeah, there's going to be some Vanderbeke babies, but there's going to be a lot of pandemic divorces, too. You know, it's like you're sitting on the couch with this person that you're with all the time and you don't have the outlets that you once had, the travel and the friends and the going out and you're looking at each other going, who the heck are you and who am I? And is this what I want?
We've all, by the way, to make you feel a little bit better. We've all had like some serious evaluation of our own lives and marriages and my husband still around.
But I'm getting the feeling this is just totally an intuitive hit, that you feel like physical spark and connection is down on the list of priority and you're feeling guilt and shame for ending the relationship over something you think is superficial. Very much so. So what we have to do is we have to tie it together to something that you think is real and important, and then once you do that, you're going to have an easier path for a graceful exit.
You don't want to tell your friends and family and him and his family this isn't going to work because I just wasn't attracted. There's always more to that because unless he completely changed his looks.
No, OK, you don't get like a big mustache or anything. It is deeper. And as a woman entering into your thirties, which is such massive growth time, you've got to figure that out. So you should figure out what you love about them and what isn't working for you. Stop talking about the attraction, because that's not helping you make your decision and you have to make this decision soon. OK, let's say you take the path of I want to postpone this.
I'm not quite sure, honey, where I'm at right now, I'm feeling like the wedding is looming over me in a way that's really stressful and I'm not enjoying it. I want to push this because I need more time. And this is just one option. And I'm sure April has a few different avenues for you to take. But would you get pressure from your friends and family? Are you getting a lot of mother in law or your mom like wedding, wedding, wedding, wedding stuff?
I'm getting a fair bit, but it's probably one of the few perks of covid is that everything's gotten pushed. Our wedding actually got pushed once already. And so postponing, I don't think would be that hard to do. We lose a couple of deposits, but if it made things easier for me, I think I could definitely do that. And it's something I have thought about. The question becomes more so am I just pushing it down the line? Honest, right.
You could put a pin in this. It's OK to kick the can down the road because of this time. Here's what I like with guys. I like to get their buy in on stuff. So we're trying to create the three of us are sitting here. We're trying to create the solution and figure out how to help you. But I'm a big fan of going back to the guy, back to your guy and saying something's up. I don't know if it's the year that we've all had or the pressure of the wedding date, but something is kind of amiss in me.
I'm trying to get my brain around it. Do you feel it? Because actually guaranteed when you're not inspired by somebody, you can feel it. They may not talk about it, but they know they're just avoiding it. Because if you're not happy in it and you're not excited and let to see him, why would he want to marry you? If you love him, why would you want to put him in a position of marrying a woman that doesn't get excited about being his wife?
Yeah, and I think it's another long conversation we need to have, and it will definitely be coming up soon. And I think it's a good idea to postpone. I've been in relationships where I feel like the person like we talked about like really needs me. And that is a burden that's really hard, especially when I was trying to build my career. And especially in your twenties and into your thirties. You have to prioritize yourself. You have to kind of be selfish if you want to achieve, at least for me, the goals that I wanted to achieve.
And that was really hard. And it drove me further and further from the person that neediness and that feeling of like said he's going to be late again for that thing. Like I found myself in more of a parental role, which is horrible, but it's in the realm of the partner needing more from me than I needed from them. That made me feel really stuck. And I didn't feel very courageous. I think that any breakup is kind of an act of courage because it's scary to break up, especially when you guys have a house and pets.
Yeah. And Ashley, I hope that I'm not doomsdays in your relationship because I don't know if that's the case. It could be this time. You know, it could be as you guys, like, see other friends and as we're all reopening because you can see him through other people's eyes. That can also be an attractant. April, what are your thoughts on these things? I mean, to me, it sounds like Ashley wants to break up and needs the courage, but I also don't want to be seen planting.
Yeah, there are people that come along in our lives that we think should be our life partner and they can be a soul mate and not be your husband or wife. I think what's really going on is that you guys are family, you guys are connected. You guys have like a soulmate thing. And what I would love to tell you to take some pressure off your shoulders is the bond, the friendship, because it sounds like you guys are friends.
Which is why the chemistry is watered down. Normally, that feeling doesn't happen in a long time into a marriage. And by the way, people do become best friends when they start to have a family. That's what it's meant to do. And that's why people take a hike at the end of their marriage, like we don't have chemistry anymore. But it's because the design is to be friends, right? We have to biologically be buddies and friends to raise kids.
But you're not married yet. You're only 30. I can hear it in your voice. There's just no excitement. But you feel calm and you feel a sense of safety, consistency, security. He's a good guy. He would never hurt you. What I want to tell you is that you get to have it all. You get to have him and your future, because if the bond is real and the connection is real, he's not going anywhere.
You may not marry him, but he's in your life. You know, Ana and I talk a lot and I've told Ana about a man in my life that I thought I was going to marry. And we had many, many years together and I had such a hard time extricating myself from it. I couldn't figure out why. But we didn't have that big passion. But we had love. We had friendship. And to this day, we are family.
I go to see his wife in Oregon all the time, like we are spending birthdays together this month. He's never left my life. So I want to just tell you that story because he was worth keeping around and clearly I was for him too. So what you're trying to do is you're trying to decide for your future and you're kind of mourning a death at the same time. And you don't have to even if there's a little bit of a break and a valley and his ego gets bruised from this and he wants to sort of pull away from you, you have to kind of just be calm and have faith like he will come back into my life.
He will be a friend again. He will be somebody that I can go to. And by the way, when I tell people this story, most people on, I think that I'm nuts. Like, how could you possibly be friends with an ex?
I think it's so fucking rad, April. And you get to do it when the relationship is pure. And what you have to look at is, thank God there's no passion, because with the absence of passion, you get to build a friendship because that's what you guys were always supposed to be. You just got caught up in this love and commitment thing thinking it needed to be marriage. And what you're really supposed to be is friends. But make no mistake, my guy and I worked really hard.
Like we shed tears and spent hours, like, really trying hard at this friendship. It didn't come naturally. And we both had to just kind of sit back and relax, do the good work and know that we were going to always have one another. So that will happen for you. I'm not saying it's easy, but it can happen if John and I were to tell you today you can have him in your life and not go down this marital path.
Would that make you happy? You probably you get to share dogs, you know, that was the bond with my ex, Ana, is that we have this dog in common and next thing I knew, it was like, can you take her now? Can you take her for the weekend? And we didn't have a child together, but that darn dog kept us in each other's lives. You know, I know it's hard. Like when you have property, when you have children, when you have dogs.
We're not making light of this. This is a big deal. But honest, coming from experience of divorce. And what she's telling you is you can stop now or pace yourself or put a pin in it before you get so entrenched in more property, children in laws. You marry somebody, you marry their whole family, Ashleigh. Like what would it feel like if April and I were like, you know what? We made the phone calls to the venues.
They're totally fine.
Let's do it.
Would you feel that weight lifted a little bit? Like would there be a do you think you would have a sense of physical relief?
I think there would be some relief, and I do think postponing at least will be a good starting point as we work on things during my divorces and my breakup, my family and friends have always surprised me in like we're there for you immediately, kind of no questions asked.
And I hope that you have that kind of support, because I do know that sometimes families, they get all excited about a fucking wedding and then that is on you.
I wish I could take that stress away from you. I don't think there's any shame. I have a couple of friends who broke off engagements, and I've always told them, like, that is just so wise. Like I didn't do that. I was too proud or embarrassed when I really could have saved all of us at a time.
So I hope that whatever you decide, you'll find people that will be very supportive of this decision that may surprise you and really nice ways. OK, April. Now, will you tell Ashley about some conversations that she could have with her partner? Absolutely. The first conversation, Ashley, is with yourself. What's missing? Once you figure out what's missing for you, that's impacting your chemistry. Figure out if it's anything he can do something about because you can't throw that on someone when it's just their trait.
The next thing is I want to ask you, what do you want to do? So before you have any conversation, you got to figure out your why. Why am I doing it and what do I want to do? Do you want to be single again? Because right now I can't tell what you want. I can tell what you don't want and what you're scared about. But you haven't said, hey, on April, here's what I want.
Can you help me figure out how to get there? So can you give us a sentence? That's what I don't know. You don't know. So we can't pull it out of you right now? No. Right. OK, so when you don't know what you want, you got to go quiet because bringing him into conversation right now can be a little tricky. You got to spend some time, go for a drive, figure out like, what do I really want if everyone is OK and everybody can get out of this relatively unscathed and don't think ten, twenty years down the line like one bite at a time, don't put so much pressure on yourself.
Also, when we struggle with the concept of leaving someone because we are afraid that they're not going to be OK without us, that's a lie. We tell ourselves.
Oh, what do you mean, April? I've told myself that lie alone. I know. I know.
I heard you because, Ana, you're telling your story of like they need me, they need me, they need me. And even though it pulled you away and pushed you away and possibly out the door, you got something out of being needed. Yeah. So deep down, we got to call ourselves on our own shit. We can wingin wine all day and say I needed in this, but we're getting something out of it. And there's an addiction there.
To a lot of you, Ashley, your definition of love could be safety. It could come from childhood. So safety means love to you, but you're growing out of that a little bit. You're just at a new phase of life. You know, for example, I have a lot of clients that need me and they're texting me a lot and messaging me. And I'll look to my friends or my husband. I'll say, oh, my gosh, everybody's calling me.
But guess what? I'll give everybody my time and I'll over give. And then I'm depleted from what I think is generosity. But what's really going on is I like to be significant and I like to be of help and I like to be needed. Once I figure that out, everything got solved. I think I'm out of that stage now. April. Well, yeah, I feel like I've been so helpless.
Everybody has been doing everything for me this last year. So you just got to kick back and go. I don't know. I don't know. Do it for me. Yeah.
So does that make sense, Ashley? Because I think you like the safety and the security and you say that he won't be OK without you. But I think you have to also look back at yourself and put the mirror in front of your face and say, wait a minute, I'm getting something out of this, too. I like being the glue. I like being needed. I like somebody relying on me. And what you said earlier about his safety, stability, consistency, anybody who has those kinds of traits will always be OK.
He's going to be a thousand percent fine. That was something that I learned that they were fine, but they always are. I mean, this is men we're talking about, even like on a first date that I set up, guys will always get really sad when I have to go back and say, you know, she wasn't interested and here's why. And I've got to kind of take care of them emotionally. They're cranky and they're upset for about twenty four hours.
And then forty eight hours later, it's like. Who else you got? So he will be fine if his life was a mess and you were the glue, then I can understand and even more so you'd have to go. But I think the conversation you should be having is first with yourself. What do you want? Forget about him for a second. What do you want? And then once you figure out what you want, this is your partner.
This is your boyfriend. This is your friend. Probably one of your best friends. This is a guy you're thinking about spending the rest of your life with. If you can't go to him and get his input on this, then you definitely shouldn't be getting married because marriage requires absolute transparency. I do think it's hard to gauge after this year of confinement. I almost want to give Ashley like a couple of months to examine that. And in the meantime, maybe you can tell your partner all of the things of this last year makes me not look forward to our wedding.
I need to push it or postpone it. What do you think, April? Like, how does that practical conversation work just like that?
Honestly, it's that easy, because I think you're right. Let's not underestimate what we're all going through that we all have like this general malaise right now. So maybe making big, powerful decisions is not appropriate. That's why we're kind of telling you to kick the can. It's not disingenuous as much as it it's like something is going on. I need to figure out if this is just sort of what's been going on in our world or if it's us.
And I think it's better if we just put a pin in this for now and take a step back. I'm not leaving you because that's too sharp of a turn, by the way, I don't believe in cutting your nose to spite your face, like because I think what happens when we make, like, radical shifts, we hurt ourselves. Let's just baby step it. I love honest advice about just saying, like, we're not going to make any powerful decisions.
Let's just slow it up, take the date off the calendar and then honestly wrap everything with what do you think? That's great advice. Well, I took your advice on a hot button. See, now I'm bummed because I'm not needed.
Oh, you are, April. Oh, my God. OK. Everything I say, I feel like I've learned a little bit. I've learned things from you so much. But Ashley, how do you anticipate his reaction if you said I need to have more normalcy in my life and there isn't any rush. There's never a rush to get married. That's the most important decision you'll make. And time is only beneficial. How do you anticipate his reaction?
Will he be in shock? Do you think he has an inkling?
We've talked about it a little bit already. Just trying to explain that. I'm trying to understand my own feelings right now. And I think he would want to talk about it a bit. But I do think he'd be understanding and I think with everything that's been going on, especially in the last year, time is not an issue. We have lots of it. So let's take a little bit more, because I think sometimes to the stress of the engagement, it's just a lot of pressure.
And you're about to enter your thirties, which is a great decade. I got divorced when I turned 30 and I got divorced again when I turned 40.
So that's what those decades are for. Does he get pressure from his family in terms of the wedding? Will he say, my mom's going to be upset or my dad OK?
Yeah, I think his parents would be understanding they're very excited for it, as are mine. But they understand. We want to take a little bit more time.
I think that's so wise. And I think you can tell them it's been a year of confinement. It should be a fun anticipation. If your partner says to you, everyone's going to be so disappointed or anything. It's not about them. It really isn't. This is about you, too. It's a fun day for them. It's not their lives. I think I found out later a lot of people in my life were like, what?
No, we never thought you should have married great right now. Yeah, yeah. I would just recommend postponing it. If your partner says, well, when do you think when will you be ready or when do you want to do that? I would say that is just something I can't gauge yet. I want the world to reemerge again. You know, maybe, Ashley, you have a little bit of a mild depression, too, with the circumstances.
And maybe you can say I just need time. April, what do you think? Is that good language to use in terms of postponing one hundred percent?
But I also think you need to use we more often than you use I that's how you get in and collaboration and you get him to have his own sense of responsibility of this relationship. Because would you want to be with somebody if they were calling us today and saying just not feeling it anymore, would you want that person in your life? Letting go of people is a gift. It's not selfish. It's a gift. Like let them go so that they can be that person in someone else's eyes.
So I love everything on it is saying I love the framing of it. I would include we what do you think we should do? And also tapping into your own sense of loving comfort, making a break for your need of comfort because you're in need of comfort. It's not just you being a people pleaser. It's also you feel comfortable in this space being this person and knowing that you're going to be OK without him, too, because I think that's your bigger question.
You just haven't said it. I wonder if you could do a little evaluation, like the first of every month for the next four months, just do a gauge of how you're feeling, because I think right now, logistically, it also sounds like it would be very hard to leave him just in terms of the house and the pets and everything. And I don't know if I'm advocating for that, but I do think keeping tabs as best you can.
Do you think one of the reasons right now is also life experience, the idea that you might miss out on adventures or independent decision making?
I think independent decision making, that's probably one of the things the last year has just been the hardest with this. Everything has been collaborative and so kind of lose that sense of individuality and your individual choice. Regaining that in the next coming months will be very interesting.
I know it's all not super fast. No, it's not fun, but it's a lot more to kind of get me started. And right now, that's kind of what I need. I need to do something. It's somewhere to get me going, get me thinking and thinking about myself, too, rather than just him. Yeah.
My mom used to always tell me to be selfish and love and I didn't really understand what it meant for a long time. But I think what she meant was that the only way to love properly is if it's sort of from a place of selfishness, I guess is what she was trying to tell me.
Yeah, it's self care because we're most lovable and desirable when we practice really good self care. That's why she said that it's different from being selfish. At the top of all of this. You said that you just weren't kind of interested in him that way. The attraction kind of had waned. But what you're really missing is your individuality at a time where you need that. You're not ready for a total co partnership collaboration because you want to find your own voice.
And it's being put in the box of I'm not feeling the spark. That's why this has been so interesting is you're now learning that it's much bigger than what you actually originally thought. And that's why this is not his fault and it's not your fault. Nobody's at fault. He can't do anything about that. You're just really coming into your own. And I know for a fact that we don't really learn or grow as much when we're in partnerships as we do when we're alone.
So don't worry so much maybe. Yeah, you're going to lose some deposits, but don't worry so much about ending and moving out. That's a lot to take on right now. My guess is you won't do it. If we said move out at the end of the week, split up the dogs, you won't do it. It's too much. So one bit at a time, instead of saying you're going to end the marriage or end the relationship, just have a conversation this weekend when it's quiet.
He's in a good space of listening. Just sit down with them to talk about something and share your feelings and get his feelings. Keep going back to what do you think, honey? That makes a lot of sense. How about just saying if I'm feeling sort of a pause, how does that make you feel? And do you still want to marry me? If I feel this way, that gives them more to chew on. And then you're not doing something to him.
You're giving him an opportunity to make a decision. Yeah. So, April, what are great words to use? How should she open this conversation? It's the sandwich. You start with something positive. You throw in the truth and you end with something loving and positive, because when you frame it with acceptance and love, you have a space of listening and you start with something is going on that I need your help with. So if you say I need your help with something, then you slide in.
I am getting nervous about this date and it's not wedding jitters. It's something else. I'm feeling a disconnect. I don't know if it's because of what's been going on. I don't know if it's because the wedding. All I know is that it might not be the best time for us to move forward with the wedding when I don't know why I'm feeling this way. And I need the space to figure that out. Not away from you, but I just need some more time.
And that wedding date is looming over us right now. And then immediately go back to what do you think as you listen to this? What are you what's going through your head as I'm telling you this, use words of affirmation. Honey, sweetie, you're amazing, right? Let him know that he is safe in this environment to talk about this with you. I don't think it's going to be as tragic as you think. I think you're going to be very surprised with him going, yeah, I've been feeling lately like you're a little distant, actually.
Here's what I always do in those awful conversations, though. I attempt to write something down and then I really have to force myself. To stop talking, which is really hard, what do they say in sales? You go to buy a car and the guy says, well, your lease payment is going to be seven ninety nine a month. And then they're trained to slide it over to you and not try to defend the price. They're trying to slide that paperwork over to you with your lease rate and then they're supposed to sit back and zip it in sales.
The first person who speaks loses. So if you want to get his buy in, like, say it and then come up for air and stop and literally force yourself to stop. That's good advice. Donna, thanks. Oh, well, I do it all the time. I will say what you think and then I'll just ramble on about some fucking story in college or something. I don't know.
I'm sure this feels like such a heavy weight on you right now. It sounds like you can't really escape thinking about it.
It's kind of like when you've got your fingers and the Chinese finger trap and you keep pulling at it and the more you pull, the tighter it gets and you can't quite figure out how to get out of it. It's that feeling. Wow, that's definitely not somebody who should walk down the aisle in September. You should be absolutely jumping up and down right now. Yeah, this is not the time to get married. It is hard, but it's only because it's still a mystery.
You're holding the space and container for too many people. The vendors, your guy, your family, his family, your friends, his friends. Like just hold the space and container for yourself and stop there. We know that everybody's going to rally around you just like his friends did when they were like, yeah, we never thought you should have married him. You're going to get more support than you actually know right now because you're just in your head.
You got to get it out of your mouth, get it out into the real world. You'll be very surprised and delighted by how much support you've got, and it takes a lot of strength to have this conversation and it will continue like, you know, with family and stuff. But it is so much better than you walking down the aisle feeling like how you're feeling right now. I really admire my friends that broke off engagements because I think at the time it is harder than getting a divorce, but it's so much better for you to be proactive at this stage.
Having that voice that you're ignoring, I guess.
God, I don't envy you, but I'm really proud of you. Thank you. I really am.
Like, I wish I had had the kind of courage to ask for some outside advice and outside thoughts. I never did. I just suppressed. And I was like, yep, I'm getting married. Just too proud, I guess. Or maybe just not communicative enough. Thank you so much for your help, both of you. I appreciate it.
I wish I could be like, no, you're in love and if you love, you're just not in love and you get to have him in your life as long as you want him.
I'm not only proud of you like I was saying, but I'm excited for you. I'm excited for this next stage and evolution of this relationship because the wheels are already set in motion. Right. What is to be is already happening. You're just trying to catch up to what is. So stop thinking that you're doing everything it's already been designed and that you are going to be OK. He's going to be OK. And my intuition is telling me you guys are going to be in each other's lives for a very, very long time.
So let's not mourn a death and a divorce and a separation. Let's not do it all at the same time. Let's look forward to what is going to happen with you guys and how fulfilling this is going to be. At some point, you're going to end up with the person that absolutely lights you up from within and you deserve that very much so, yeah.
So Ashley, though, just to reiterate, baby steps. Yes. Step number one, small sandwich conversation and all you're doing right now is pushing the date. I do want to be careful about how you phrase things with your partner not pushing the date, because then there's more expectation, then there's more anger.
See, this is the guy. This is the kind of trouble I get myself into if you don't want to push the date, because then it really will get pushed and then you're going to have a lot of anxiety.
You want to just pause on getting married. Oh, Ashley, I wish I could give you a hug.
I can I can feel your sadness. I can feel your just like it's like you're not fully breathing. Yeah. Thank you for your emotional. Sorry. Our conversation.
It's OK, Ashley. I'm really sorry.
You know, this is where I'm not going to get woo woo. But honestly, this is where faith and trust comes in. Sometimes you just have to know that it's going to be OK even if you don't have any signs that it is just sort of borrow our confidence right now. You're going to be great when you finally do get married to him or someone else.
I can officiate on a can officiate.
I'll be the one on the dance floor making a complete jerk out of myself. It'll be great. Thank you both so much for your help. I really, really appreciate it.
Ashley, I love you and I really am honored that you shared all this personal stuff with us.
Thank you. Yeah, you got this. Ashley, thank you so much. Much.
Honestly, April, as usual, you're fantastic. I love you. I love you back. Thank you so much. And I will see you next time. We'll see you next time. All right. Bye bye.