E136: How Men Think (with Daniel)
Laugh Your Way to a Better Marriage by Pastor Mark Gungor
Daniel’s other episodes:
Questions for Reflection
In each episode, we offer you a few prompts to think about how that day's conversation applies to you. You might pause the podcast and answer them right then and there, but if you keep a journal (Steph and Beth both do), feel free to download and print a PDF of the Questions for Reflection we've made just for you:
Landscape or Portrait
Beth Demme (00:03):
Welcome to the Discovering Our Scars podcast.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (00:05):
Where we share personal experiences so we can learn from each other.
Beth Demme (00:08):
Our mission is to talk about things you might relate to, but that you don't hear being discussed in other places.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (00:13):
Our hope is that you're encouraged to have honest conversations with people in your own life. I'm Steph.
Beth Demme (00:17):
And I'm Beth. On today's show, we're going to have an honest conversation titled, "How Men Think, with Daniel." Hey, Daniel.
Hey. How's it going?
Stephanie Kostopoulos (00:26):
Going well. So, we have had you on the podcast twice before, and so this is going to be the third time. You will be our first three-peat guest. How do you feel about that?
I'm starting to think I'm a masochist or sadist. Which is the one that enjoys putting themselves through pain?
Stephanie Kostopoulos (00:45):
I don't know. We'll Google that. Actually, no, let's not Google that.
Beth Demme (00:49):
Let's not. I don't want that my search history.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (00:50):
Turn off Safe Search.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (00:52):
Yeah. So, you are in Orlando and we are here in Tallahassee, so we're excited to be able to do this conversation because we actually had you on two years ago.
Beth Demme (01:01):
Yeah, it's been a while.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (01:02):
And we had always planned for this to be the third episode with you. And then I think after that second episode, I think Beth was like, "I can't do another Daniel episode."
Beth Demme (01:10):
It wasn't me. No, it wasn't me.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (01:11):
That second episode, just a reminder, was "Can a Conservative and a Liberal Have an Honest Conversation?
Beth Demme (01:17):
And I'm not the conservative.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (01:19):
And the answer was yes, but it's painful.
Beth Demme (01:22):
Oh, it wasn't painful. It wasn't so bad, was it?
Stephanie Kostopoulos (01:25):
I enjoyed it.
No, it was great. I enjoyed it. I had a great time.
Beth Demme (01:27):
I enjoyed it.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (01:28):
Yeah. Okay, okay. It only took two years though, to get him back on the podcast. I'm not sure then the answer, the reason for that. So, we're excited to have you here today. And the reason why this title came up is because years ago, Daniel, I don't even know if you remember this, but I was having a conversation with you, and I think I was doing online dating at the time, and so I was talking to you about this and I was like, "I just don't know if this guy is interested."
And you were like, "Hey, let me tell you how it is. If a guy's interested, you're going to know it. They're going to pursue you, and that's how you'll know they're interested." And it was something that was so simple, but also so like, "What? That's how I'll know?" Because I feel like just in general, women make things more complicated in some respects with dating and things.
Beth Demme (02:20):
Yeah, maybe in dating. Yeah.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (02:21):
And when you told me that, I was just like, "Okay." And I will tell you, ever since you told me that, I have noticed that, that I have had guys in the past that have... I know they're interested because they're willing to do X, Y, and Z to spend time with me. So, that was a... Wow, if you want to know how men think, why don't you ask a man? Right? So, we're going to ask a man.
Seems so simple.
Beth Demme (02:47):
But I will say that not a lot of men would be willing to sit in the hot seat, like you are. And actually, when Steph and I were planning this episode, she was like, "Well, Beth, what do you think? Do you think your husband would be willing to have a conversation like this?" And I was like, "Yeah, absolutely." And so, then last night I was like, "Oh gosh, let me tell you about the episode we're going to record tomorrow." And he was like, "Wow, I would never agree to do that." So, he thinks you're very brave or something.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (03:12):
You're a great representation of the men, I guess.
Beth Demme (03:16):
But his reluctance kind of clued me into how grateful I need to be that you're willing to have this conversation with us, because it's not something that everybody would be willing to do. So, thank you.
Anytime. I love being here. Yeah. I was thinking about from your perspective, if my wife was doing a podcast and she asked me on, would I still say yes? I think I would. But it would be, I might approach some of the honesty a little differently. Tone it, pull it back just a little bit. I don't know, it's an interesting thought exercise. Yeah, Jess and I have very honest conversations a lot of the time, but I don't have to live with you guys.
Beth Demme (03:55):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (03:56):
That's true. Oh, interesting. Yeah, I can see where that... Yeah. So, we've mentioned this in the previous episodes, but Daniel, you are someone that I call my bro because you are like a brother to me. So, that's also, I think something that is important to know, is you're so willing to have just real honest conversations with me, and forever, not just on a podcast, but since I've known you.
Beth Demme (04:17):
In real life.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (04:18):
Yeah. I've known you...
Stephanie Kostopoulos (04:21):
Yeah, that sounds right.
Beth Demme (04:22):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (04:23):
Is that 13 years?
Beth Demme (04:24):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (04:24):
Oh my goodness.
Yeah. We've got history.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (04:27):
Oh, my God. Yeah. Wow. Have you been married 13 years?
11? Let me see. 20... Yeah.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (04:33):
You guys were engaged-
Almost... Yeah, so 12 years. It'll be 13 in November.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (04:37):
Okay, yeah. Because you were engaged when I met you. I remember that. So, that's actually, I think that's a good starting point. So, we met at Apple, we worked together at Apple and became friends. So, when a man meets a new woman, what is the first thing they think about?
So, think about it like browsing a bookstore. First thing you notice, men are very, very visual creatures. We're extremely visual creatures. And so, the first thing we notice is the looks. All right, is there something about... and it goes just beyond, does she have nice boobs, right? I mean, obviously we notice those things as well, but it goes beyond that. It's like, what's her personality? What's her... We try and glean some of that information. It's like looking at a cover of a book. You're not going to pick up, start reading the inside of a book if the cover doesn't interest you as a male. So, that's usually the first thing. Also the eyes and smile are very important because I mean, that's where the true connection comes from. So, it's like, "Oh, nice ass. All right. Oh, she's got a good rack on her. Oh, those are beautiful eyes. Let me talk to her. Let's see what's in the book here."
Stephanie Kostopoulos (05:54):
And obviously, this is Daniel speaking, but I'm going to let him speak for all men. I think that's great. I think-
Stephanie Kostopoulos (06:00):
I'm just going to allow that.
Beth Demme (06:01):
Based on his last answer, I don't know that all men will be okay with that.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (06:05):
I'm just going to... obviously this is Daniel, but I'm also going to give it a blanket statement, all men. So, are you saying that this is what men think of for any woman they meet, even after you're married, this is what you think about?
Yeah, yeah. Now, obviously I'm going to preface everything I say in this podcast with, there are stereotypes, there's a majority that think a certain way, and there's always outliers. Here's men, here's women. I think of it like a Venn diagram. There's going to be some crossover in the Venn diagram. There's going to be outliers. And so, obviously stereotypes don't apply to everybody. It's more of a gradient on where you fall in line with that. So, I'm going to try to keep everything as simple as possible, but just understand that that doesn't apply to 100% of everybody.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (06:57):
Yeah. Of course. Of course.
Yeah. It's not a binary thing.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (06:59):
Yeah, I could never speak for all women. So, I totally agree.
It's a lot of responsibility to fill my shorts.
Beth Demme (07:04):
Yes, it is. It is.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (07:05):
So, you notice this about, and this is probably something that happens in a split second. It's not something where you're like, "Okay, number one, number two." It's probably how I notice things about a person, just automatically. So, that's what you're saying, that if you meet a woman, that's the things that any woman, even an older woman, any woman, you just notice these things.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (07:26):
And it's not necessarily, you're noticing them because you want to date these women. It's just what you notice because you're a man.
Yep. I mean, the sex element's always in the background there. It's just kind of a biological component of being male. Just like every male of every species of animal, their number one goal is to go out into the world and spread their genetics. Whereas women are the gatekeepers to the future of our society, civilization, and basically all future history. So, females seem to be more prone to being more selective, whereas men aren't quite as selective. We have our preferences, but that idea, pushing our genetics out into the world for future generations is always there. So, yeah, I mean, it doesn't matter the age, it's all motives behind why you want to speak to that person or why you want to introduce yourself to that person. But the first thing you always notice is physical attributes and then it's face and how you present yourself.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (08:39):
So, when we met, we were in a professional setting, so you had to talk to me. But when we more became friends, can a man and a woman just be friends?
Well, I think we're proof of that.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (08:54):
I mean, I would agree. How did that come about though?
So, I noticed in your set of questions here, what was the first thing I thought when I saw you?
Stephanie Kostopoulos (09:01):
Okay. All right, here we go.
Beth Demme (09:05):
Do you really want him to answer this?
Stephanie Kostopoulos (09:07):
I mean, I do but-
We're trying to have honest... How does the podcast start? What do you guys say at the beginning of the podcast?
Stephanie Kostopoulos (09:15):
Honest conversations, yes. Yes, sure. Go ahead. What did you first...
So, I thought you were beautiful. I thought your smile lit up the room. And so, that's something that's like, all right, I want to be around this person, whether it's to be friends or something else, that's to be determined-
Stephanie Kostopoulos (09:40):
But would you have even thought something else? You were engaged at the time.
Yeah. That's off the table at that point.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (09:41):
Yeah, that would've been off the table. You wouldn't even have considered it, right?
Exactly. Yep. So, that wasn't even an option. But you had an attractive personality just in the way... your expressions. Does that make sense?
Stephanie Kostopoulos (09:59):
My smile won him.
Beth Demme (09:59):
But by his own list, that would be the third thing he would look at. So-
Stephanie Kostopoulos (10:02):
Beth Demme (10:02):
... once he saw the other things, it's-
I'm trying to keep it clean. So, I obviously, just like every other person there, I did a scan. That's just kind of, it's second nature. It's just something that happens.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (10:21):
Yeah, it's not intentional. It's something even conscious or [inaudible 00:10:23]. Yeah.
It happens intuitively.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (10:24):
So, what is the first thing men think about other men?
Usually, it's threat level. So, physical attributes. And there's a certain level of respect that you can see as well, like appreciation. So, it's like, I appreciate a nice butt on a woman, or a rack, right? But for men, if I look at men, are they broad shoulders, do they have good muscles? There's a certain level of appreciation that you can have for other men and their physical attributes. But typically, what it is, is there's a threat level assessment that you do when you look at another man, and that's more of a protective instinct.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (11:03):
If they're a threat to you. If they could beat you up kind of thing?
Stephanie Kostopoulos (11:07):
Well, isn't that most men, could beat you up?
Oh, thank you. Thank you very much. I see what you did there.
Beth Demme (11:12):
I see what you did there. That's why I don't have any guy friends.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (11:16):
Oh, no. Why are all his friends girls?
It's how they present themselves as well. And so, I start a lot of friendships with guys, but then, and I guess it's the same thing with women, it's the person, once you start reading the book and start understanding the personality, their likes, their dislikes, either that friendship falls off or it stays.
Beth Demme (11:43):
I feel like these questions have baited you into being very superficial. So, I just want to know if you're really that superficial or if it's just like-
Stephanie Kostopoulos (11:55):
Okay, Beth, to be fair though, when he's talking, but this is Daniel, so none of this surprises me. But I will say, if I meet a man, that will run through my head, if they're attractive, there's a part of me that's like, "This is an attractive man." There was someone I just met the other day. I was like, "Dang." But it doesn't mean I want to go be with this person, but I can recognize someone that's attractive. Or if their personality is infectious and someone I want to spend time with. I wouldn't say that we're not noticing those same things. He's just verbalizing in a way that I don't think that we necessarily would.
Beth Demme (12:35):
I just am going to stick by the superficial comment because I don't think that I... I mean, I know I make superficial judgments about people all the time. I think that that is just part of how-
Stephanie Kostopoulos (12:45):
Yeah, just human.
Beth Demme (12:45):
... humans operate. But I think that we've put Daniel in this position where he sounds really superficial, in a way that I don't think he is.
So, when you meet someone you've never met before, you never had a conversation with them, how do you judge whether you have a conversation with them?
Beth Demme (13:05):
For me, I'm more likely to judge their clothes than their physicality. And I recognize that that's superficial. I'm owning that.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (13:12):
But that all goes into your... Yeah, and that's kind of what I mean, is you have initial thoughts about people that you're not even necessarily being conscious of. It's just, these are things you notice. I had a car accident a couple, whatever ago, and there was things I noticed about the driver right away. It's just the things that pop in your head right away when you see somebody. So, he's just verbalizing in a way that I don't think... I wouldn't say I notice guy's butts. That's not something I would say, but-
Beth Demme (13:44):
Well, I only notice if they're wearing jeans that have embroidery on the back pockets, because I think that is so tacky. I will not.
Beth Demme (13:52):
I don't enjoy that.
That's douchebag level.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (13:55):
Yeah, sometimes I notice things that are too out there, like that. Those are things I'll notice because it's like, "What?"
Beth Demme (14:02):
Right. But again, for me, that's clothes. It's not the body, it's the clothes. Yeah.
And that's a great example. And I also mentioned clothes earlier as well. I think I just put it as the way they're put together. So, that's obviously an outward reflection of who they are, how well they take care of themselves. But the embroidery on the jeans thing, let's say that you see that and you're like, "All right, I'm not going to start a conversation with this person." It's different if you're forced into a conversation, you're checking out at a register or something like that. You're not going to go pursue that. Now, what if he is traveling from out of town, lost his bag, and that's what his brother wears, and he's wearing that just that one day, but he does... his clothes.
And so, we've superficially discounted this person without digging further, which I think is fine. I think there's a lot of missed opportunities that happen there and missed relationships because of just seeing this one sliver of this person's life and making a judgment to not pursue any kind of engagement with them. However, I think that's fine because there's so many people in the world and there's so many engagements, and we just can't go up to every single person to give them that second chance in that moment. And this of course, is just with pursuing a topic of conversation with a stranger.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (15:14):
So, Daniel, are men simpler, less complicated than women?
Yes and no.
Beth Demme (15:21):
Okay. That's a complicated answer.
Next question. All right. So, it was funny because the first time I had this conversation was actually in high school. We were sitting around it. We had guys and girls sitting at the table, friends of mine, and one of the girls was complaining about her boyfriend being too complicated. And us, as guys were like, "Ah, no, no, no. We're actually very simple creatures." And so, we ran a poll. It was a very simple poll. Obviously it's not something that could hold up in a scientific paper, but we asked, I think it was about, we got 130 students at our high school.
Beth Demme (15:57):
That's a pretty big sample size.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (15:57):
Outside of social media.
It is a big sample size.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (16:00):
No social media.
So, we asked everybody, "What are three things you can't live without?" And we asked, half of the audience was female, half the audience was male. The list that the males came up with was cut down basically to, I think it was 19 items or less than that. For women, it was about 110, I think, items. So, it was rather interesting. Obviously, correlation there, I'm not really sure. But for men, that list, and I really wish I could remember some of the items. It was a really funny example of men's needs versus female needs, at least, I think in this situation.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (16:45):
What were your three that you couldn't live without?
I don't remember, and it would've changed by now.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (16:50):
Well, what are they now? What can't you live without?
Family, greyhound, car.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (16:55):
Yes. I wouldn't put car in there, but I'm-
Stephanie Kostopoulos (16:58):
Yeah, family, greyhound for sure.
Beth Demme (17:00):
I wouldn't want to try to live without a car.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (17:01):
Beth Demme (17:03):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (17:03):
Beth Demme (17:03):
Just one that runs is all I need.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (17:05):
Yeah, but your cars, I think your husband would say cars too.
Beth Demme (17:07):
He would say cars. He would definitely put a plural on it.
I mean, it's a symbol of freedom. I mean, growing up, that was the first time that I ever felt totally free and independent. You know, you had a bicycle before that, and that gave you a limited sense, but your range was dictated by how far you could ride. And so, having a car, I could go wherever I wanted. And it was just more kind of a symbol, I think, of freedom.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (17:37):
Why do men, a lot of times park backwards in a parking lot?
There's several reasons. One is safety and security. So, if something happens, you need to get out of there quickly. I think it's a small... Yeah, it's a quick getaway. If there's an accident or something like that, or some emergency, you can get out of there a lot quicker. You don't have to worry about backing into other people trying to leave. So, that's one. Two is your car looks better. You can see the front of your car when you leave to go. And my car has got a sexy ass, but the front of it, that's its personality. So, that's another one. And two, it's just kind of a skill boast.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (18:23):
All three of those seem completely accurate to me.
Beth Demme (18:27):
Sometimes it's easier to back in. I mean, I probably only back into a parking space maybe 20% of the time. It's not often, but sometimes it's just easier.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (18:35):
I've never backed into a parking space. It seems super difficult.
Beth Demme (18:39):
No, it's really-
Stephanie Kostopoulos (18:39):
I will pull through a space, but-
Beth Demme (18:42):
No, sometimes the way some of the parking lots are laid out, it's just easier to go past it and then back in because you've got the backup cameras and it's just, you can get a better angle-
Yeah, especially if the empty parking space is on your right. You got oncoming cars coming the other way.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (18:55):
Maybe she's right.
You have to go past it, but you want that, and then you back in. Yeah.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (18:58):
Maybe I should try it. My MINI Cooper is very cute. The front of it.
Beth Demme (19:01):
There you go. That's right.
And it's so tiny.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (19:01):
It's so tiny. It's cute.
It can park anywhere.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (19:05):
I will tell you, I asked that because my mom absolutely hates when men do that because she thinks that they're driving past, but then they drive past and then back in. So, then she doesn't realize that they're trying to get in that space.
Beth Demme (19:19):
It takes longer.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (19:20):
Yeah. And it annoys the heck out of her. Me, it doesn't really bother me. But I was just curious what he would say about that. Well, that leads me into a good question. Daniel, what do men think about on the daily?
As little as humanly possible.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (19:36):
That's the quote for this episode.
We have a singular goal, and that is to get to a place where we can do nothing.
Beth Demme (19:47):
It's as simple as that. I mean, that's why anytime you present a problem to a male, their first response is, "How do I fix it?" And that was a big issue in my wife and I's relationship for a long time, is she'd come complain about something and my first response is, "Let's fix it so it's not a thing." And then I can go back to doing nothing. But that's not what she wanted. Sometimes-
Beth Demme (20:15):
I can [inaudible 00:20:16].
So, in learning that about each other, the differences between us as male and female and how our approach is to things, was obviously a big thing that we had to work on with our relationship. It took a long time. But that's it, we want to think about as little as possible, and we want to fix things as quickly as possible in order to, getting back to achieving the glorious nothing. Well, and here's a great example. Nunnery versus monks. Nuns, a nunnery, they're always doing something. They're always finding something to do. They're always engaged in something. Monks, their goal is to sit and stare at a wall. How much outreach do monks do, versus how much outreach do nunneries do?
Stephanie Kostopoulos (21:04):
So, when you are doing nothing, what do you do? What is your nothing?
It could be driving, it could be playing a video game. It could be-
Stephanie Kostopoulos (21:12):
Okay, so playing a video game would be nothing to me.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (21:17):
So, your nothing would be not producing something.
Beth Demme (21:21):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (21:23):
So, watching TV, watching a movie, building Lego, that would be nothing.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (21:27):
Okay, so when nothing is relaxing, let me do my things as fast as I can, so then I can do nothing and not have to be productive.
Beth Demme (21:35):
Yeah. My husband said that actually, when I was talking about this episode, he was like, "I love to drive because the only thing I have to think about when I'm driving is surviving. As long as I don't crash the car, I don't have to think about anything else." So, it's as close to nothing as you can get.
Yeah. Yeah. Zen.
Beth Demme (21:57):
I heard a pastor one time, I'm trying to remember his name, it was Mark something. I'll try to find a link and put a link in the show notes. But he talked about how men have this nothing box in their minds. They always want to be in this place where they're... So, when you say to them, "What are you thinking about?" And they say, "Nothing." They really mean it, nothing. And then it's like, "Okay, well, can I get in your nothing box with you?" "No, because then there'll be something in my nothing box. Just leave my nothing box alone. I just want to think about nothing."
Stephanie Kostopoulos (22:25):
Yeah. That's a good question.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (22:27):
Is that true? When you ask a man, what are they thinking? They say, "Nothing." Is that true? You're thinking about nothing?
Stephanie Kostopoulos (22:34):
What does that feel like?
Beth Demme (22:35):
Yeah, what is that-
Stephanie Kostopoulos (22:36):
What is that? I don't understand.
Beth Demme (22:39):
What must that be like?
Stephanie Kostopoulos (22:39):
Explain what that is like.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (22:41):
But what is that, must be like-
Beth Demme (22:43):
It doesn't sound glorious. It sounds empty and lonely-
Stephanie Kostopoulos (22:45):
No, it sounds like that would be the greatest thing, to be able to think about nothing. As someone that overthinks everything and has anxiety because of it, I would love to find the nothing box. How do I find it?
That sounds exhausting.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (22:57):
Which store do I find that at? Can I build it? I have lumber. Can I build this-
Beth Demme (23:01):
I heard Apple made one.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (23:03):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (23:04):
If they did, I would've already had 12, in all the colors. Sorry. How do I find the nothing box?
I think it's just, it's the baseline. It's our baseline. It's our brain's resting point. So, I don't-
Stephanie Kostopoulos (23:18):
It's like a biological place that we don't have.
Beth Demme (23:21):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (23:22):
Biologically, we have a, what is it, X and Y. And we're... What are we?
Beth Demme (23:26):
We're XX. We're XX, he's XY.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (23:30):
So, maybe we can't have-
Beth Demme (23:31):
It comes with the Y chromosome, apparently, the nothing box.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (23:33):
The nothing box is the Y.
Is the Y.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (23:35):
And you're asking why about the nothing box.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (23:39):
And I'm over-analyzing the nothing box. Now, I'm going to spend 12 days just like, "Where do I find the nothing box? Where is this box? Maybe if I build a physical box and I can stare at it, and then there'll be nothing in it."
Well, I think-
Stephanie Kostopoulos (23:52):
Wow, it's exhausting being a female.
I think a lot of these questions come down to serotonin levels and dopamine, where we get our dopamine. So, I know I get a massive dopamine hit from driving my car and working on my car and working with wood, making wood projects. I was going to say working with my wood, but that's inappropriate. So, I think it's the dopamine.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (24:19):
I think a lot of that, yeah.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (24:23):
So, do men need alone time?
Stephanie Kostopoulos (24:26):
Is that where they get to spend time in their nothing box, when they're alone?
Yes. Yep. It's either working in the garage, watching a TV show, browsing on Reddits, things like that. And it's funny because if I'm at home and I've done everything I need to do for the day, and I want to have that nothing time. And if Jess is in the house, I can't have that time because she's always finding something else to do. Everything can be done, but she's always going to find something else. It interrupts that nothing time for me.
And it also makes me feel guilty because she's always finding something else to do. I know I've achieved everything for the day. Anything else can be done tomorrow. And so, now I'm feeling guilty because it now looks like I'm being lazy and just sitting there doing nothing, which I am trying to do that because I did everything else. And so, I want to help her with whatever she's doing. But then I never get that nothing time. And she also needs alone time as well. She's an introverted personality and she loses energy the more she's around other people. So, she needs to have some alone time as well.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (25:39):
So, how much nothing time do you need each day?
I think it's probably, if I'm doing more mental problem-solving, then I'll probably need more time.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (25:48):
Yeah. I agree. I call it downtime or just-
Stephanie Kostopoulos (25:54):
... time to... Yeah, that's something that I definitely, after I have dinner, I pretty much am not super productive. I maybe have a couple things, but I just need time to... and I usually watch TV, YouTube, things like that. Now, I want to call it my nothing time.
Beth Demme (26:11):
Yeah, [inaudible 00:26:12].
Stephanie Kostopoulos (26:11):
I like that idea because we always talk about being productive. And that's something that as women, we overdo. It's scheduling in nothing time.
Beth Demme (26:21):
I was just going to say, I think I'm going to put that on my schedule.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (26:23):
Yeah, schedule our nothing time.
Beth Demme (26:23):
Yeah, I'm going to put it on my to-do list to have some nothing time.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (26:25):
It took a man for us to actually see it. Sounds about right.
Beth Demme (26:29):
I'm giving him no credit.
I like that you called it that, because that kind of sets the standard and the expectation for yourself. If you call it nothing time, then you know, okay, that's what it is. Yeah. One of the areas that I would get most frustrated with Jess over, was we'd sit down for movie time, we'd watch a movie, and then 30 to 45 minutes into the movie, guess what? She gets up and starts doing dishes.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (26:53):
Beth Demme (26:53):
This is movie time.
Beth Demme (26:56):
And all of a sudden I hear dishes clanging in the background. I'm like, "What the hell?"
Beth Demme (27:00):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (27:02):
I'm with you. I actually do the same thing.
Beth Demme (27:05):
Why do men get married? What do men expect out of a relationship or out of marriage? Because I wonder if it's different than what women are looking for.
That's a really interesting question because it's counterintuitive to the biological nature of men. So, if we look at Mother Nature as an example, the male species is designed to go out and try and get their genetics passed on. And so, it doesn't make sense to be monogamous from a biological standpoint. Now, marriage overall protects the woman more than the man, because it restricts the man to one person, as opposed to just causing genetic chaos, I guess. But I don't know any different than how I am. And I know a lot of men are different in this regard. I'm a very committed, loyal person. I'm a one-woman person.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (28:05):
Well, why did you want to marry Jess?
I want to spend the rest of my life with her.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (28:10):
She's a great partner. She's my best friend. She's somebody that I can spend every day with, and she's up in Live Oak and we miss each other. We can spend every single day with... We've worked together. We've worked in the same office together. We've run the same business together before in the past. So, I don't ever get sick of her. I need my nothing time, but that has nothing to do with her specifically.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (28:34):
How did you know? What was the moment where you knew you wanted to spend the rest of your life with her?
We met at an early age. She was 17. I was 18, freshman, second day of orientation at FSU. Now, it's funny because just a little backstory, I had just gotten out of a long relationship from high school and we were both going to different colleges, so we decided to split it up. And so, I go to college, I'm like, "You know what? I've had nothing but long relationships ever since I started dating." I always had, it was always over a year. And so, I get to college and I'm like, "You know what? Screw it. I'm going to get as many girls' numbers as possible. I'm going to go have fun. I'm going to go on dates and I'm going to have sex." That was my goal.
Beth Demme (29:19):
Welcome to Florida State.
And that's what I did. But it was funny because I had dates lined up, on the first day I was there, I had five dates lined up already-
Beth Demme (29:29):
... with five different women. And I met Jess, and we hung out during orientation, for that orientation session. And she was the only girl I didn't get her number, but something was bugging me in the back of my head. Something told me I need to stay in contact with this girl. And so, we just happened to be in another orientation session later that day or the next day, I can't remember. And I was like, "I got to get your number." And so, I got her number. Because we were so young, we were also stupid. As teenagers, we think we're invincible and we do dumb things. She did far less dumb things than I did.
We went through all that together. And we had arguments, we had fights, but we always came out on top and we always worked through it. And some of those issues came back up because we forgot our previous ways of resolving or preventing that from happening. And so, some things we've had to work on multiple times over the years. But it's just, I think I get a big dopamine hit from being around her. I love being around her. And we've been through the shit together. Every year we're stronger as a couple.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (30:40):
What's the secret to your marriage?
All right. It's like a tripod. If any one of these legs is too short, the tripod falls over. And that's going to be sex, communication, money. If there's issues in any one of those three, you have issues. And every single argument, every single fight we've ever had can be related to one of those three things. And we've experienced issues in all three.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (31:08):
So, do you think you would ever get divorced?
No. I mean, not to get too dark, but I think the only thing that could potentially cause something like that would be untimely death of Scarlet. That would probably be the only thing, because I know Jess, I know what kind of woman she is. She's never going to do anything to jeopardize the relationship. I know who I am. She knows who I am, and I'm never going to do anything to jeopardize. So, it's not going to be, and any issues we've been through, we've been able to work through. It would take an act of God for that to happen. And I think even in the worst case scenario that I mentioned, I don't think that would do it.
Beth Demme (31:50):
Yeah, unfortunately, I have seen couples experience that kind of loss. And the couples who are really solid before it happens, just draw closer together. And not every marriage can survive it, but not every marriage can survive anything. So, yeah.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (32:10):
We're good friends. You have other female friends. How does Jess feel about you having female friends, having lunch with a female, and vice versa, her having male friends, having lunch with a male. What are the thoughts on that?
Sleeping over at a female friend's house.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (32:35):
Yeah. Well, you've done that at my house many times.
I have, yeah.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (32:36):
Yeah. Yes. Correct. Yes, how does she feel about that? Yep.
She knows who I am. I mate for life and that's it. No, it's funny because a lot of the guy friends that I have, their wives are a lot more jealousy prone, and they can react even if they go talk to another female. I don't know if it's just the way Jess and I's relationship started, or if it's just part of her personality. I don't think she's a very jealous person to begin with. I don't really ever see anything there. I was a photographer, and so I was always shooting female models and shot some topless ones in my apartment in Tallahassee when I was going to college. And Jess was even there for some of them. But she was never like, "I need to be there, or I don't want you doing this." We had kind of a pretty good bead on certain aspects of our personalities, I think, early on. And I think that helps.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (33:26):
And I can totally see that with you guys. I've never seen her seem upset that I'm at the house or jealous or anything. There's never been anything close to that at all. It's just like-
Beth Demme (33:37):
Because you guys couldn't be friends if that were true. You couldn't be friends if it made her uncomfortable.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (33:41):
Exactly. Yeah. And there's been, I mean, I've been at his house with just him so many times and he's been at my house so many times. There's never any issue.
Yeah. I think that's important. I think it's something all relationships should be at that level of comfort. At least that's a goal, right? Because there's so many life experiences that you can miss out on. I love people. I love learning about them. I love hearing their stories. There's so many great relationships and experiences that I would've missed out on if I was with somebody that denied me that.
Beth Demme (34:17):
So, I'm assuming when Jess hangs out with a guy or has lunch or something, or has guy friends, that you're cool with it just the same way.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (34:25):
Do men need mandates?
I think it comes down to extrovert versus introvert. So, I do. Last weekend actually, I went on a cruise with my buddy Javon. We're in two separate cars, not talking to each other over the phone, just cruising.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (34:43):
Oh, cruising in a car.
Beth Demme (34:44):
In separate cars.
Beth Demme (34:48):
My husband does that. He'll take his Jeep and he'll go out in the woods and he'll call a buddy and they'll be in their Jeeps together, not communicating at all, but going on the same-
Stephanie Kostopoulos (34:59):
As a safety thing?
Beth Demme (35:00):
... dirt roads and stuff.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (35:00):
Is it like a safety thing?
Stephanie Kostopoulos (35:02):
You get to enjoy your car, yourself, but enjoying the same activity with a buddy. And it's different than...
Beth Demme (35:11):
One of my rituals is, there's a really windy road that's like five minutes down the road. And so, typically for lunchtime, I'll have a quick lunch, and then I will go cruise this windy road in my car, come back, and it's such a great dopamine hit that it just energizes me for the rest of the day. But when I went cruising with Javon, that was even better. And yeah, we stopped afterwards and we talked about-
Stephanie Kostopoulos (35:37):
Oh, you did talk.
Beth Demme (35:40):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (35:40):
Because you were an extrovert though. He also needed a little bit-
Beth Demme (35:42):
Oh, maybe that's why. Maybe that's why. I can't imagine just getting in my car just to be like-
Stephanie Kostopoulos (35:48):
I have never-
Beth Demme (35:48):
... "Oh, I'm going to go drive for 10 minutes. It'll make me feel good."
Stephanie Kostopoulos (35:51):
I have never. Oh my gosh. I would love to hear when Daniel invited his friend, I want to hear how that conversation went, like, "Hey man, you want to go cruising?" "Yeah, man, let's do it." "All right. See you in five." "Cool." Is that how it goes? I just want to hear how the conversation goes-
That was way too many words.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (36:14):
Oh. It's a text. "Cruising?" Or just a car? Is it just a text?
Stephanie Kostopoulos (36:21):
Beth Demme (36:21):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (36:24):
Do men struggle with self-confidence?
100%. But I have actually seen a therapist. Jess was seeing a therapist for a while, and I suffer from confidence issues and self-doubt through, just from my experience with diabetes, as part of my body has failed me. So, you're not operating the way you should operate. Something's wrong, you're broken. So, that's had issues, lasting effects. So, I talked to a therapist and I was as honest as I am with you guys today. It's just sometimes it's a matter of talking it out and experiencing a different perspective on the issue.
Beth Demme (37:05):
So, I observed, my husband and I met when we were really young too, just like you and your wife.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (37:10):
You were even younger. High school.
Beth Demme (37:12):
Yes, we were in high school.
Beth Demme (37:13):
So, I observed this in him, and now I see it in my son, who's 20. And there's something, I think the only way to describe it is that there's this, particularly around age 20, 18 to 25, where they're like this strange mix of absolute bravado and an absolute lack of confidence. And those two things sound like they couldn't work together. But I just see it so much. I don't know how else to describe it. Do you know what I mean?
I know exactly what you mean.
Beth Demme (37:51):
Take a look at National Geographics and find some colorful looking male bird trying to entice a female.
Beth Demme (38:00):
Yup. And so, it's just a matter of... And some of the bravado is a show because you're still learning yourself, and learning yourself, there's a lot of questioning. And some bravado's just blind bravado, but they're peacocking, essentially.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (38:21):
So, when guys are being cocky and just acting like they know everything and they're the coolest, but then really they just have no self-confidence?
Beth Demme (38:29):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (38:30):
It's kind of like overcompensating.
Look at my feathers.
Beth Demme (38:32):
Right, look at my feathers. Also, I just want to affirm that I think going to see a counselor is great. I think everybody should, should, should, should, should. I'm going to should on everybody right now. I think you should do that.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (38:43):
Yes. Well, I make-
Beth Demme (38:44):
Everybody in my-
I highly recommend it.
Beth Demme (38:45):
Everybody in my family does it. Well, I mean, in my nuclear family, not my extended family.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (38:49):
Oh, I do want to say, actually the first episode we ever did with Daniel was about diabetes. So, we'll put a link to that in the show notes because he talked openly and honestly with us about that. But back to how men think. So, question for you, Daniel. Do you agree that men get better with age, but women just get old? Because I feel like that's a stereotype.
I'm going to get the eyes for this one. Yes.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (39:14):
I'm not done.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (39:16):
All right. So, I do think men at least age better than women. I think a lot of women would agree with this. Jess agrees with me on this one.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (39:26):
You got to explain what you mean by that. What do you mean they age better? Do you mean their looks or their personality or they're skill levels?
Externally, I think men age better than women, typically.
Beth Demme (39:41):
And yet they die younger than women.
Beth Demme (39:44):
So, who's actually better at aging?
We keep our looks better, but then it has a toll. So, internally, personality-wise, I think women mature much faster than men. And there's a biological reason for that as well. There's a certain biological clock on how long you can produce babies, whereas men don't have that biological clock. So, we're not as pressured to hurry up our lives and get our stuff in order, which has also led to big issues with men just not maturing quick enough and not getting their stuff in order quickly enough. And so, that's a real negative component of that. So, I think men make greater strides later in life, I think, because you guys figured that stuff out well before us. That's a really tough question, and it's a minefield.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (40:44):
Would it be fair to say that women get better sooner and stay that way? Or are you thinking women get better and then they just go down the hill?
No, it's thinking about a curve, start down here, and you kind of go up and then it kind of rounds off, but then it still goes up because you still have life experiences throughout the rest of your life. So, you're still learning, you're still growing. And I mean, that should be the pursuit of everybody. So, I think you hit maturity a lot faster and then hopefully everybody's still going up like that. Whereas men are more of an inverse curve where it's like we stay down here, and then I think it's kind of the opposite, if you just invert that curve. And at some point, same thing with guys, we kind of level off a little bit, but hopefully still learning, growing. But every day you live, it's a new life experience, it's hopefully teaching you something.
Beth Demme (41:50):
Well, one of the life experiences that you have is that you are a dad. I wonder how raising a daughter has changed how you look at women.
I mean, it's obviously changed how I look at women a lot. And part of that's just being married to Jess, I've learned a lot about women that way. But learning about women growing from that stage of being a newborn baby to a nine-year-old girl, it's beautiful. And it's funny to see different aspects that are just human nature versus aspects of us imparting our knowledge and our experiences on her. So, just seeing her personal preferences grow and change is really, really interesting, what she's drawn to naturally.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (42:43):
So, I'm curious, what do you tell your daughter about boys? Because with me, you told me like it is.
I will murder them. Actually-
Stephanie Kostopoulos (42:52):
You tell your daughter that you should murder boys? That you will murder boys?
That I will, yeah.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (42:57):
I just mean in general. The opposite gender in general. What do you tell her? Not necessarily boys she's interested in, but as you know, every boy that she meets is going to be interested in her at first. They're going to wonder about that.
Yeah, she's going to be a good looking girl when she grows up, and that terrifies me.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (43:12):
She's so adorable.
But I did actually tell her that I would murder her boyfriends. And so-
Stephanie Kostopoulos (43:17):
That's so stereotype. Why? You don't do stereotypes. That's such a stereotype, for dads to do that.
Well, she had a brilliant response.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (43:24):
She goes, "Daddy, I have a million boyfriends. Are you going to kill a million of them?"
Beth Demme (43:32):
She can dish it back. Yep.
Beth Demme (43:34):
I believe that.
Very, very proud of her on that response. My approach is just making sure that she's got a very strong moral compass and pride in herself. I think if you have that tool set, you'll identify dangers, because there's too many situations, too many variables to narrow it down and be like, "All right." I think just dealing with being hurt and having a good, strong moral compass and a good foundation of values, I think is the most important thing that I can teach her.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (44:11):
What if she doesn't want to date guys?
That's fine too.
Beth Demme (44:16):
Who are the three best men in all of history?
The Wright brothers, Steve Jobs, and Martin Luther King, Jr.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (44:26):
Okay. I think I can agree with that. It's a good list. I know Beth would've put Jesus on the list.
Beth Demme (44:33):
I would've put Jesus on the list. Yeah.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (44:35):
So, you did miss out on the opportunity-
Oh, I missed the extra credit point.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (44:38):
Maybe the Wright brothers were driving Jesus, or flying him in the plane. We weren't sure. We weren't there. We weren't sure. Do men change with age? So, you're 40 now. Were you any different at 25?
Yeah, my knees didn't hurt.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (44:52):
That's true. So, some things don't get better.
I was young and stupid at 25.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (44:59):
You were young and stupid at 40? What did you say? I didn't hear it.
Beth Demme (45:03):
Can you still be young at 40? I guess it depends who you ask. I don't know.
It's your personality.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (45:08):
His brain is young at 40, or his thoughts, you know.
Yeah, even 80. Yeah, your thoughts. So, it's-
Stephanie Kostopoulos (45:14):
Your body is dead, but your thoughts are young.
Yeah. My brain always thinks that I'm at least 15 years younger than I actually am. And then my knees remind me that I'm not.
Beth Demme (45:25):
Aw. But wouldn't it be kind of a bummer-
Beth Demme (45:28):
I mean, physically obviously it's different, but wouldn't it be kind of a bummer to be the same person at 40 that you were at 25? No, I want to grow and-
Stephanie Kostopoulos (45:36):
Beth Demme (45:37):
... evolve and-
Stephanie Kostopoulos (45:37):
Beth Demme (45:38):
... learn. Yeah.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (45:38):
I think it's almost impossible to be the same person, because you just learn so much on a daily basis.
I agree with both of you guys on that. So, yeah, it's impossible to be the same person unless you just sat in a prison cell on isolation. Actually, you'd still be different because-
Beth Demme (45:58):
You'd probably go crazy.
... all that time. Yeah, all that time would drive you nuts. So, yeah, it's just time changes us, experiences change us. And I think it's just a matter of whether you grow and learn from those experiences or you revert. And the goal should always be to grow and learn. Everything should be a learning experience. And that's why I like the phrase, hurry up and fail. Try something. You're going to screw it up and that's a learning. And then you go and revise your strategy. Do it again until you succeed. And you get better and better.
Beth Demme (46:32):
Okay. Wait, one last question. I just remembered that we wanted to ask you this, but are men sad or jealous that they can't give birth to children?
No. No. Remember how we want to go back to doing nothing? Well, now our body's doing two of something, so there's nothing about that experience. I respect the miracle of life and what you women go through when you have a child. And I've been there for that experience and I've been there to support, but no, I don't want anything inside my body.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (47:12):
Well, Daniel, thank you so much for being here for a third time.
Beth Demme (47:16):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (47:17):
Three-peat. Very much appreciate it. Now that we've done the episode, I do give you props for-
Beth Demme (47:25):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (47:26):
... agreeing to do it and actually doing it and being honest.
Beth Demme (47:29):
Yes. Thank you so much. We really appreciate it.
Yeah, thanks for having me on. I hope... trying to say things honestly, from a guy's perspective without sounding too coarse. But we're kind of rough around the edges in general. We see the world differently than women do. And so, definitely, I'd like to do the reverse, where I ask you guys questions about how you think as women.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (48:00):
Beth Demme (48:00):
This might be a fourth-peat.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (48:02):
Maybe it's the fourth.
Beth Demme (48:03):
Yeah, might be a fourth-peat episode.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (48:06):
A fourth-peat. Okay, okay.
Beth Demme (48:06):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (48:06):
All right. Got to have-
Beth Demme (48:07):
Although, we might need to also have your wife on for that one.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (48:11):
Yeah, maybe we have Jess on too.
That would be awesome.
Beth Demme (48:15):
That'd be our first time with two guests too.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (48:16):
Beth Demme (48:17):
This could be so revolutionary.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (48:18):
That'd be very exciting. Very exciting. And then we'll get your daughter on-
Stephanie Kostopoulos (48:21):
... and your dog on. Everyone's on the podcast.
The whole family.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (48:25):
Are you writing this down, Beth?
Beth Demme (48:27):
I'm making a mental note.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (48:28):
Mental note. Okay. Awesome. All right. Well, thank you again so much for being on the show. At the end of each episode, we end with questions for reflection. These are questions based on today's show that Beth will read and leave a little pause between for you to answer yourself, or you can find a PDF on our website.
Beth Demme (48:46):
Number one, what did you agree with Daniel about today? Number two, what did you disagree with Daniel about today? Number three, who are the men who've been influential in your life? Reflect on what makes them influential. And number four, is your best friend a different gender than you? Why or why not?
Stephanie Kostopoulos (49:09):
This has been the Discovering Our Scars podcast. Thank you for joining us.
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Mental Health Advocate. Author. Podcast Host. DIYer. Greyhound Mom.
I'm a mom who laughs a lot, mainly at myself. #UMC Pastor, recent Seminary grad, public speaker, blogger, and sometimes lawyer. Learning to #LiveLoved.