Matt Townsend is a communication and relationship guru. He does marriage and relationship counseling, runs workshops and seminars, and even has his own radio show on KSL on Saturday mornings. He's quite the funny man, which made his fireside easy to enjoy and relate too. Let me be honest. Sometimes when I hear there is a fireside about "relationships, dating, or marriage" I roll my eyes a little bit. I really enjoy them, and am often excited to go listen, but I also feel like we hear about it a LOT in Utah. Thus, when they told me the speaker was this hilarious guy, I was really excited about it - and rightly so.
The fireside was fantastic and he made some really good points. If I'm being 100% honest, as much as I enjoyed it, I felt as though he could have tied things together at the end a little bit better. He spent the majority of the time talking about the differences between men and woman, which was quite funny. He wrapped up with the 7 Basic Needs in a relationship - STARVED (I'll get to that). He was great! I just felt as though he rushed the ending together and didn't really talk about, "This is HOW women and men are so different from each other. Now, let's talk about how we can reconcile these differences and learn how to better communicate with those differences in mind."
This might be a "DUH" connection for some, and I honestly feel like I drew that the connections myself. However, as a public speaker making differences of thought by gender the MAIN focus of his fireside, it would have created a stronger finish by tying these things together. Instead, he chose to throw in the 7 Basic Needs of a relationship and hope people created the connections themselves.
Before going any further, here are the 7 Basic Needs of a relationship that he talked about. These are his words and some of his ideas, but I put my own ideas of what he meant into areas he was slim on discussing -->
Safety - Thinking about the issues in a relationship and where lie the real problems. For example, one partner might be frustrated that another bought more than was needed at the store when grocery shopping, but the real issue is that they are worried about being financially stable. Or, one partner might be worried because they're partner saw an R-rated film, but it isn't really about that. It's about feeling spiritually safe, and for that person, an R-rated film is not okay. It usually comes back to feeling financially, emotionally, physically, and spiritually safe. Also, it's usually women that feel the need in this area more than the man - and I buy that.
Trust - It's about trusting someone's character and their competency.
Appreciation - I think this also relates back to how someone feels and gives love. I'm an individual who needs to have words of affirmation - aka: I like to hear someone say "I love you, " or, "You are beautiful." I've realized that I also like to hear (and say) "Thank You," sometimes. I don't need it in everything, but as an overall for my effort in the workplace, or when I do something bigger in a relationship, a simple "Thanks" does wonders for me. I can say it's not important, but it is to me.
Respect - For woman, it's about being respected as a woman and as an equal in your partnership. For me, it's also about not being treated as an object or convenience. For the man, this is about being respected as "a man," a provider, and a presiding figure in the home. It's about feeling like the woman trusts them, depends on them, and can be sensitive to their ego. I don't mean that in a demeaning way either. We ALL have egos, but Matt talked about this (and the guys there agreed - I agreed). Men tend to have their egos bruised easier than women, and their partners need to be sensitive to that and understand how to deal. This is said to be needed more by the man - and I buy that, too.
Validation - Validate your partner. Make them feel as though they are special to you, appreciated for all they do, and loved for who they are. (Click on the word Validation for one of the BEST YouTube/Short Films you have ever seen... really.)
Evaluation - Evaluate where you're relationship is at or going, and what is great about it, or could improve. Recognize the positive!
Dedication - You should be dedicated and faithful to your partner. Make them a priority in your life, and you should be a priority in their life. One of my favorite quotes is, "Never make someone a priority in your life when you're merely an option in their life." I don't know who said that originally... but my old roommate Melissa gets the credit as far as I'm concerned.
Going downward, as an Acrostic Poem, these words spell STARVED. If your friend or partner isn't giving these things inside of the relationship, then they're starving you of the things that you need. Along with that, if you are not receiving those things, it's hard to give them and vice verse. Thus came the quote from Mr. Townsend, "Starved people starve people." Makes sense to me.
Now, here were some highlights and great quotes from the evening (funnier ones first):
"Men can talk with half of their brains.... Women use their whole brains with communication. What a waste!"
"Who do you think the best multi-takers are? I'll give you a hint... Men use one-third of their brains while sleeping, and that is solely to keep them breathing... Women us two-thirds of their brain while sleeping. They're thinking about their friends, their family and thinking, 'What else can I put in my purse? A tourniquet! I don't have one of those...' If you have a uterus, you're a multi-tasker."
To relate to the quote above, near the beginning of his lecture, he held up a woman's purse and guy's wallet. He talked about how the woman is born with the innate drive to nurture others. The purse is for everyone, but the wallet is for the individual's needs. Then, he took out the woman's wallet and compared THAT to a man's wallet and it was double the size. He shook the purse and said, "Hear that? She has change, not because she might need it, but someone might!" He continued, "When a woman comes home, the kids think, 'Santa's home!'"
"Men bond in action and through activities. Women bond through talking. An example of the difference is with babies. What does a woman do? She picks up the kids and puts it right there [in front of her face]! She starts the baby talk going with them. What does the man do? He picks up that baby and starts bouncin' em'... He's throwin' em in the air saying, "Turn off that fan and look how high they can go!' For woman, as a baby it's a human being, for men... it's a puppet."
Relating to how women bond by going to the restroom in groups - "If you meet a guy who bonds in the bathroom - RUN!"
"Women talk about everything. They come back from the doctor's office, go to a party, and say, 'Holy Mammogram!,' to which all the other ladies come running to swap stories... A guy never comes in and says, "Holy Prostate Exam!' Never."
"[Men] We wanna fight in the morning and make-out in the afternoon."
Relating to taking out the garbage and his opinion on how woman should ask their man to take out the trash - "Big stud, with bulging muscles so big... take those guns and get the garbage and I'll kiss on you for an hour."
"We all have one... A Corpus Callosum- It's so hot."
Relating to the difference between men & women's Corpus Callosum - "Woman are like super-highways, while men are like a nice country road... one a mule... with asthma."
Woman: "Do I have to tell you everything?!"
Man: "If you want me to know!"
Woman: "You should know."
Man: "You should kiss me more - we're even."
"The same sociality you had here you'll have there... That means if you're awkward here... Yep, you're still gonna be awkward there."
Relating to what dads say when protecting mom - "I'll kill ya kid and make another that looks just like you!"
Now, for a more serious note, and a good note to end on...
"The priesthood is a form of bonding. Let men bond to you that way... You need to choose a man with the the priesthood... A man without the priesthood is half a man."
"You're partner will be the one to carry your cross [like Peter carried the Savior's cross]. You are now in the midst of finding a cross-bearer."
I loved that note and thought it perfect to end on. We are all trying to find someone who can help us go through the burdens of life with a little more ease, and to hold us up when we can no longer do it on our own. We will always have our Savior there, but it's nice that we can also have someone physically there in our lives. We're all trying to find an eternal cross-bearer... Are you willing to be that for someone else?
Song of the Day: Here is a current love of my musical life - International Love, by Chris Brown... AMAZING. Enjoy!