LIVE: English Conversation Lesson: Relationships!


Vanessa: Hello.


Welcome to today's special live English lesson here on the Speak English with Vanessa YouTube


I'm Vanessa.

Dan: I'm Dan.

Vanessa: And this is my husband Dan.

Today, we're going to be doing something a little bit special.

Usually we talk about specific vocabulary, specific grammar points, but today we're going

to be having a natural conversation with some of our top relationships, specifically romantic

relationship, tips.

Dan: Ooh, we're going to talk about love today.

Vanessa: Yeah.

I feel like this is a really great chance for you because we're going to be just having

a conversation together, but as we say new vocabulary, we're going to try to explain

it as best as we can.

Dan: Sure.

Vanessa: This is something that doesn't happen when you're having a conversation with someone

in your office or maybe a friend from another country.

You're just having a conversation, but there's not a chance to stop and talk about the words

that you're using.

So hopefully today during our conversation, as new vocabulary comes up, as new vocabulary

arises ... That's a great phrasal verb.

It comes up.

We're going to explain it as best as we can.

Make sure to take some notes.

Make sure to review this if you need to for the vocabulary and also for any romantic relationship

tips that we have to offer.

Dan: We're going to give some tips today.

Although, these are just very personal tips, right?

Vanessa: Yeah.

Dan: Every relationship is unique, right?

Vanessa: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Dan: I would say we have a very unique relationship.

We're both kind of unusual people.

Vanessa: So, let's start with a couple pieces of factual information.

How long have we ... This is a kind of test.

How long- Dan: Oh, it's a test for me.

Vanessa: How long have we been married?

Dan: We've been married eight years.

Vanessa: Oh, he passed the test.

Dan: Woo!

Vanessa: This year in August it will be nine years.

So, we've been married eight and a half years or so.

Dan: Which is a long time for the average American of our age, because we're only 30.

Vanessa: One.

Dan: 31.

Oh, we're 31.

So, we've been married a little while.

Vanessa: Yes.

When did we meet each other?

Dan: We met each other the very first day of college.

Vanessa: And I was- Dan: Which is university in other countries.

Vanessa: Yes, so I was 17 years old, but I was almost 18.

The next week was my birthday, so I was pretty much 18 years old and you were 18, too, right?

Dan: Mm-hmm (affirmative).


Vanessa: So, we've known each other for quite a long time from 18 to 31.

What is that?

13 years?

A long time.

A lot has happened during that time.

I think knowing someone, being in a relationship with someone for 13 years is normal for maybe

our parent's generation, but for our generation it's something that's a little bit surprising.

When people meet us, they're surprised that we are 31 and we've been married for eight


Dan: Yeah, and that we've only dated each other for a really long time.

Vanessa: Yes.

Dan: That's not very usual, I don't think.

Vanessa: Yeah, and that we still like each other.

I think that there's a lot of- Dan: Do we?

Vanessa: You'll find out today.

Dan: We do.

Vanessa: There's a lot of things that we do in our relationship or principles that we

have that have really helped us to maintain a healthy, strong relationship, and those

are the two words that I want to focus on today is having a healthy relationship, not

just how to find a boyfriend.

I can't give you advice on that, but ... or find a girlfriend.

But having a healthy relationship and having a strong relationship, it means that you feel

confident in your relationship.

You feel confident in yourself- Dan: Yes.

Vanessa: ... when you're part of that relationship.

Dan: And it means it will last a long time.

If you want to have children, it will be a good relationship to have children.

Because really, if you're going to get married, it's probably mostly to have children, in

my personal opinion.

Vanessa: So today, before we get started, I'd like to give a couple disclaimers.

First of all, we have a unique situation that we met each other when we were young.

All of these are personal tips, but that's all we can do is share from our personal lives.

We have not been married for 50 years.

I know there are plenty of people who have been together much longer than us, so take

it with a grain of salt.

Dan: Yes.

But, apparently it's working.

Vanessa: It's working so far.

I'm curious, can we talk about that first expression?

Because this is key for all of our tips today.

Dan: Which one?

Vanessa: Take it with a grain of salt.

Dan: Take it with a grain of salt.

Vanessa: Take it with a grain of salt.

What does that mean?

Dan: This is an expression that just means don't take everything we say word for word

and believe everything.

Vanessa: Yeah, it's just- Dan: We think you should believe it, but it's-

Vanessa: [inaudible 00:04:50].

Dan: Basically, just remember that it's our opinion.

Vanessa: Yeah, it's just our opinion.

It's just something that's worked for us.

So, you can use this expression if ... It's great if you're giving advice if you want

to be humble.

Because, you're not saying ... I don't want say, "My relationship advice is the best advice."

No, no, no.

I don't want say that because it's just my personal experience.

So if you give someone advice, maybe you know some things about cars and your friends asks

you, "Can you look at the tires of my car?

I think something's wrong."

You could give some advice, but then you might say, "Well, take it with a grain of salt.

I'm an amateur.

You should just go to a mechanic."

Dan: Yes.

Vanessa: So, just please take our advice with Take it with a grain of salt.

This lovely idiom.

And let's start with our first tip today.

Dan: Yeah, should we start with the first one?

Vanessa: Yeah.

Dan: Sure.

Vanessa: Dan gave a couple tips.

I give a couple tips.

Dan: My first tip is more for the beginning of your relationship.

So, it's not even really during your relationship at all.

This is the pregame, we might say.

And that is to make sure you're a good fit at the beginning.

So, we can talk about the expression good fit.

So, it's kind of like clothes, right?

Vanessa: Yes.

This shirt is a good fit for Dan.

It's not too big.

It's not too small.

It fits his body.

Dan: It's a good fit.

Vanessa: Yes.

Dan: But, you can use that for people in relationships, too, right?

So, I would say Vanessa and I are a good fit.

Vanessa: You can kind of imagine maybe a puzzle piece that your personalities fit together.

So if you meet someone and you think, "Oh, this person is a wonderful match for my-"

Dan: Good fit, not feet.

Vanessa: Yeah, not your feet.

Dan: Fit.

Vanessa: A fit.


You could say, "Oh, I'm so excited because we've already been on three dates and we're

such a good fit for each other."

Dan: Yes.

Vanessa: This is great.

You complement each other.

Dan: Connected to that, I would say don't rush.

So, don't rush into a relationship.

For example, for Vanessa and I, we knew each other for six months before we even dated.

After dating, we didn't live together for four years?

Vanessa: Yes, and I've, of course, this is a little bit unusual.

Dan: And we were young.

We were young.

Vanessa: Because we were so young.

Dan: But, my point is that you don't want to rush into a relationship.

So maybe this happens to a guy a lot.

You see a girl and she's so beautiful and you can't even contain yourself.

You just want to go after her and talk to her.

Maybe you're not a really good fit.

You're not a really good fit personality-wise.

You can't hold a conversation.

You don't like to go and do things together.

Well, your relationship is going to be a lot more fun and a lot more enjoyable if you know

at the very beginning before you live together if you get along, if you're a good fit.

Vanessa: Sure.

The word that Dan used, one of you asked in the chat box, is F-I-T, fit.

We are a good fit for each other.

Then, Dan also said, "Don't rush."

R-U-S-H, R-U-S-H, rush.

Dan: Don't rush.

Vanessa: Yes.

Dan: Yes.

Vanessa: I think this also shows confidence in yourself because if you rush, maybe you

make some fast decisions really quickly.

Maybe it shows, "Oh, I need to do this or else he won't like me."

Well, it's okay.

Make yourself comfortable.

Dan: Yes.

Vanessa: Make yourself comfortable in your relationship.

That's important.

Dan: There's another expression we can use for this.

But sometimes this is used in medicine, but- Vanessa: Oh, yeah?

Dan: ... you'd say, "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure."

Vanessa: Oh, this is a lovely ... This is a proverb, actually.

Dan: It's a proverb.

Vanessa: I think Benjamin Franklin might have said this.

So here- Dan: I bet some Chinese person said it.

Vanessa: Maybe so.

Everything originated in China, right?

Dan: Yeah.

Vanessa: So, we could say an ounce of prevention ... So, this is a small quantity.

Dan: Yeah, a little bit of prevention, which means something you do before a problem.

Vanessa: Helps a lot in the future.

So if you're careful a little bit at the beginning, it will help so much.

We could say it will pay off.

So, Dan's advice here is at the beginning to be careful.

Choose the right person.

I actually watched a TED Talk recently because I was thinking about this topic, and I had

a lot of doubts because we are not perfect.

So, I thought, "Can we give any tips or advice?

We're just humans.

How can we share information about this?"

So, I did some ... a little bit of research, and I found something quite interesting.

One of the marriage experts who I was listening to, she said usually couples seek help in

two situations.

They seek help with marital counseling, this is after you're married, you're having problems

and you talk to a therapist.

In that way, it's too late.

You're already married.

Dan: Yes.

Vanessa: Maybe you can get divorced, but that's a big deal.

Dan: Yes.

Vanessa: The second situation is premarital counseling.

If you get married in an English-speaking country, or at least in the US, this is so


Premarital counseling, usually you need to have some kind of therapy with maybe a pastor

or with someone before you get married.

But this, the lady that I was watching, she said, "It's already almost too late because

you already chose the person who you're going to marry."

So if you have some kind of prevention in the past, if you've already thought about,

"Who is a good fit for me?

Are we a good fit?" you really had some good insight into your relationship, then, okay,

premarital counseling is helpful, but it's not going to change your life because you're

already a good fit.

Dan: The most important thing is having a vision and principles for yourself and you

look at your partner or your potential partner and say, "Does this match?

Will this be a good fit?"

Vanessa: Yes.

So, I think this is a good time to say that for us, we are still a very normal couple

in many ways.

We still have difficulties.

We still argue about things.

Dan: We're not perfect.

Vanessa: No, we are not perfect.

Dan: Are we?

Vanessa: No.

I think that this is something that for the current age, when you can see things on the

internet, when you can see things on social media, it's kind of like ... At least for

women, it's kind of like watching a romantic comedy movie.

You might see this perfect image of this wonderful couple in the movie, but that's not reality.

So when you see struggle in your own relationship, you feel like, "It's the end.

It's so terrible."

But really, it's just real life.

So, I think it's really important to not compare your relationship with something that's not

realistic, like a movie or just some kind of social media image.

Dan: Yes.

Vanessa: So, that's kind of another disclaimer.

Dan: But you can compare with us because we're real.

Vanessa: We're pretty real.

Dan: This is real advice.

Vanessa: But, I think what they see of our relationship is not every day.

Dan: No.

Vanessa: So, that's what I mean.

Dan: We'll get into the other things.

Vanessa: Yes.

Dan: Let's move on.

Vanessa: Yes.

Let's move on to my tip.

So, Dan's tips were kind of serious.

My tips are kind of light.


Dan: As you can tell, Vanessa's very happy.

Vanessa: Well, I wanted to share some things that have personally really helped me in our

relationship beyond the general principles, and this is to have fun together.

I think that this can apply before you are married, but also during your marriage.

I know that we have some friends who have been together for a long time, and then, even

though they both like each other, they feel like, "Eh, there's nothing special any more.

Maybe we shouldn't be together."

Of course, everyone has their own situation, but for us, it's been really helpful to have

some common activities that we really like to do together.

There's actually a bunch of studies that show having a relationship, people who are 100

years old or pretty old and they've been in a relationship for a while, something that

has helped them is to have fun together, because you're not always going to be a honeymoon

couple who just met each other.

You're going to be just normal people.

So, what are some things- Dan: And this don't have to be everything.

Vanessa: Oh, yeah.

Dan: You don't have to enjoy everything together, right?

I have a hobby.

I like to watch ice hockey.

She will not watch a hockey game with me at all.

That's my thing.

It's okay.

Vanessa: I occasionally ask you about it or occasionally ... I have enough knowledge now

from living with you, but it's not ... We don't do everything together.

Dan: No, but it's just some things.

It's very good if you like to do some things together.

It will make your relationship more enjoyable overall.

So for example, we like to go on hikes.

We'll walk up.

We'll hike up a mountain together, and we'll have a conversation, and we'll be doing something


And it's really- Vanessa: Yeah, and then it's something that

later you can reflect on.

"Oh, remember when we went on that hike?"

You have more in common and you can talk about other things.

Dan: Yeah, or traveling, too.

Many of you who are into English probably also like to travel.

So, I remember very fondly going to Europe with my wife, because Europe is very enjoyable.

There's a lot of beautiful buildings and lots of places to go and see.

So, it's a fun thing that you can do together.

Vanessa: Yeah, I think that it could be something simple, like hiking, even enjoying cooking

meals together.

We like to play games.

Dan: Yes.

Vanessa: We like to play board games.

Dan: We play board games.

Vanessa: We like to play disc golf, which is like throwing a frisbee together.

We like to run around in the park together.

We like these fun things.

Something that the marriage counselor who I was watching that video about, something

that she mentioned is that sometimes after you've been with someone for a long time,

your relationship tends to get more serious.

Not just serious as in your going to stay together, but serious as in your demeanor.

Demeanor means your face, your attitude.

Your attitude becomes really serious because you're talking about daily life, your job.

Are you doing the dishes?

Who's cooking dinner?

Where's our baby?

Just factual things.

Dan: Yes.

Vanessa: Not really fun things.

So, she said it's really important to add fun into your life instead of just those kind

of, "Okay, how much money do we have?"

Dan: Busy details.

Vanessa: "Can we do this?"

Yeah, those kind of serious things.

It's good to insert some fun into your life.

Dan: If you have time.

Vanessa: Yeah.

It could even be something small, like listening to music together.

Dan: Sure.

Vanessa: Something that you can enjoy as a couple.

Dan: Somebody asked, "What's a board game?"

Or how to spell board game.


Vanessa: Yes.

Dan: Board game.

It's a tabletop game, a game you play on the table.

Vanessa: Yes.

Dan: Like cards or Monopoly.

That's a perfect example.

Vanessa: We don't really play Monopoly, but there are lots of great board games.

Maybe we should make a video of a board game some time.

Dan: Yeah, definitely.

Vanessa: It could be a fun time.

All right, let's go on to the next tip that you have.

What's your next tip?

Dan: So my next tip ... Mine are all negative.

Vanessa: Serious tip.

Dan: It is don't make excuses or place blame.

Now, sometimes you're going to do these things, so let's-

Vanessa: Can you explain the word blame?

Dan: Yeah.

Vanessa: Because that's kind of a complex word.

Dan: So if you place blame, which is B-L-A-M-E, that means you are saying to somebody else,

"It's your fault."

Vanessa: You're pointing your finger.

Dan: "You did this.

It's your problem.

You, you, you," and not never yourself.

Don't make excuses would be if you do something wrong, if you say something bad, or you make

a mistake.

If you make an excuse, you're always saying something like, "Well, I was tired," or, "Well,

I was really busy and I didn't have time to do this or that."

You know, this is making excuses.

It's coming up with reasons why you were bad or you didn't do things as good as you could.

So if you do these things a lot, if you place blame or you make excuses very frequently,

then your relationship will get not very enjoyable.

Vanessa: Yeah, we can even use the word crumble.

Dan: Ooh, crumble.

Vanessa: Crumble, we can imagine a cookie.

When you break a cookie, it crumbles.

It breaks into little pieces.

So, we can use this figuratively to say, "Our relationship is crumbling."

Dan: Yes, place blame.

That's right.

Somebody wrote, "Place blame."

Vanessa: Yes.

Don't place blame.

Dan: A lot of times, you can get into blame games.

Vanessa: Oh, this is a good idiom.

Don't play the blame game.

Dan: A lot of times, if you blame somebody, if you say, "This is your fault.

Why did you do this?"

Maybe they'll say, "No, it's your fault," and you'll just go back and forth and back

and forth.

Vanessa: This is the blame game.

It's not good.

I think that in this situation this is an important time to have insight into yourself

and insight into the other, your partner.

The word insight, we can imagine, in, inside, and sight.

You're seeing into yourself.

So in this situation, let's take a concrete example.

This is something that happens in our house.

I'm sure it happens in your house, too.

The dishes.

We actually just got a dishwasher, so it has been amazing.

But if we had some dishes in the sink, maybe Dan thought that I was going to do them.

I thought that Dan was going to do them.

Then, I say, "Ugh!

Why didn't you do the dishes?"

Well, I'm blaming him.

But also, I don't have insight into why he didn't do them.

So, maybe I say, "Why didn't you do them?"

And he says, "I'm too tired.

I don't want do them.

I thought you were going to do them."

Well, here I didn't realize, "Oh, he's tired," and he didn't realize that I thought he was

going to do.

We don't have this spoken communication connection about who should do it.

So this, I feel like this kind of blame can often be resolved with a couple deep breaths.

Okay, it's just the dishes.

This is small things.

Dan: Yes.

Vanessa: It's choosing your battles.

Dan: Yes.

Vanessa: This is a common expression that we use in relationships, often with the word


Pick your battles or choose your battles.

This word, B-A-T-T-L-E-S, what does it mean to say pick your battles?

Dan: Pick your battle means don't argue about everything.

If you're going to get angry or frustrated, then choose something important, not lots

of little problems.

Vanessa: Yeah, we often call this nagging, N-A-G-G-I-N-G.

Dan: Nagging.

Vanessa: We can imagine the stereotypical, usually it's a woman, a stereotypical woman

in a movie.

The wife is saying, "Hey, pick up your clothes.

Why didn't you do that?

Oh, why are you still sleeping?

Get out of bed.

Blah, blah, blah."

This is nagging.

Nobody likes nagging.

No one wants to nag, and no one wants to be nagged.

Dan: I think maybe an extra bit of advice, you said take a deep breath.

This is a good idea.

Take a deep breath.

If you're feeling a little angry at your partner, before you say something, just breathe.

Because, I mean, I know we look very happy all the time, but we get angry with each other,


Vanessa: It's true.

Dan: I promise you it happens.

I've had to learn, especially me.

Sometimes I get a little bit ... I have a temper.

I can get angry.

Vanessa: He can get upset at times.

Dan: I can get angry sometimes.

Vanessa: I think everybody can get upset sometimes.

Dan: So, I've had to learn to stop and take a little breath before I say something.

Because when you're angry, you might say something really mean.

And if you take ... If you say something really bad, your partner is going to remember that.

Vanessa: Yes.

Dan: So you don't want to let a lot of those bad words build up over time.

Vanessa: I think we're going to talk about this more with Dan's third tip about how to

not let things build up.

Build up means your anger is growing inside of you and you explode.

In Dan's third tip, we're going to talk more about that.

But before we go on to my tip, I feel like not blaming, picking your battles, all of

this deals with the category of emotional regulation.

This is kind of a fancy word.

I read this in one of the articles that I was reading about this topic, relationship

advice, and I feel like it covers so many great things.

Regulating yourself.

Am I just lashing out?

Lashing out is like a whip [inaudible 00:22:13] with your words.

Lashing out, or am I being rational?

Am I being thoughtful?

Also, when someone else, if Dan criticizes me or if Dan says, "Hey, you said you were

going to do the dishes and you didn't do them.

Why didn't you do them?"

I need to have emotional regulation.

Personally, I don't like it when people tell me what to do.

I'm very stubborn.

Maybe you're like this, too.

So in this situation, I need to feel okay with some uncomfortable feelings.

When someone corrects me, I need to take a deep breath.

Okay, I'll do it.

Dan: Yes.

Vanessa: And I can't just yell at him immediately.

I need some emotional regulation.

Dan: Somebody said, "I breathe every morning to control anger."

Vanessa: Good idea.

Dan: Words show.

That's a good one.

Breathe every day.

Vanessa: Yes, take some deep breaths I think in this situation, making sure that you are

not immediately getting upset at the other person and also not getting upset when people

correct you.

Dan: Yeah, meditation or yoga, that would probably help with this situation.

And it's more difficult for some people than others.

Vanessa: Yeah, certainly.

Dan: I know I have more trouble with emotional regulation than Vanessa, which I think is

a little unusual.

Maybe the stereotype is that the woman is usually more emotional.

Vanessa is a very steady person.

It's amazing.

Vanessa: We can use a great expression here, even keel.

Dan: Even keeled, yes.

Vanessa: This is E-V-E-N K-E-E-L, even keel.

I think this refers to a boat, like a boat that's flat.

It's not going one way or the other.

If you are even keeled, it means that you're not swinging from emotional.

"Oh, I'm really angry."

Dan: Happy, sad.

Vanessa: "Oh, I'm really happy."

Yes, or like you're instantly angry.

You are even keeled.

Dan: Yeah, steady person is another way to put it.


Vanessa: So you could say, "I would like to marry someone who is even keeled," or, "I

need someone who's even keeled so that they will help me as well to manage myself."

Dan: Yes.

Vanessa: This really goes with my second tip.

My second tip is quite specific.

It is something that's helped us a lot, which is-

Dan: It's even keel.

Vanessa: Yes.

Dan: K-E-E-L.

Vanessa: Oh, great.

Thank you for writing that in the live comments.

That's excellent.

My second comment is to delegate chores or specific tasks.

Dan: A specific one.

Vanessa: This is really specific, but I feel like for me, maybe for me as a woman, in my

experience, usually this chore ... Chores means doing the dishes, tidying up, cleaning

the bathroom, sweeping the floor, household things.

This often is just what the wife does.

So if the wife doesn't want to do everything, it's so important to have a real conversation

together about all topics, especially if this really bugs you.

Bugs you means bothers you.

If it's something that's really important to you, don't be afraid to have a conversation

about it.

So, Dan and I have done this.

We continually do this to change our roles and to change our specific things that we're


But, we say, "Okay.

So, I feel like I've been doing a lot of laundry, and maybe the dishes haven't been done often.

So, how can we make this more even?"

Really, this delegation ... Can you explain the word delegation or to delegate.

Dan: Delegate just means that you are choosing what the different things people are doing.

A lot of times, if somebody is a delegator, like if Vanessa delegates, then she is telling

everybody what to do.

But if we're delegating together, we're both choosing what chores we want to do.

I would add to this that this definitely depends on your relationship.

So in some relationship, the man works all day and the woman works at home.

In that sense, it makes perfect sense for the woman to do more chores.

Vanessa: The woman to do more.


Dan: But, in a lot of lot of relationships nowadays, both the man and the woman work.

Vanessa: So, you've got a lot of roles to do.

Dan: Now you have to delegate.

Because if the man and the woman are both working, then you need to decide.

It's more important today to be on a good connect because you have to choose who is

doing what in the house, because it's not really fair if the man and the woman and working

for the woman to still do all the chores.

That ain't fair.

Vanessa: Yeah.

So in this situation, it's really worked well for us to say, "Okay, Dan always does the


And I, because we have a toddler, he's one and a half years old, I feed our baby.

I nurse our baby a lot still.

So, this takes up a lot of my time, so I ... This is my job.

I feed.

I nurse our toddler and Dan does the laundry.

He has to go all the way to the basement.

He has to wait in the middle of the night for the laundry to be finished.

This is a difficult task that I don't want to do.

And he can't nurse our baby.

Dan: Yes.

Vanessa: So here, we delegate.

Dan: And we're saying delegate, D-E-L-E-G-A-T-E, not delicate.

Vanessa: Yeah, it doesn't have a C. It has a G.

Dan: Delegate.

You can also say negotiate.

Vanessa: We nee to negotiate our roles.

Dan: Negotiate is, "All right, I want to do this, but I don't really want to do this."

So, you're deciding and you're giving and you're taking.

This is for a lot of relationships as well.

You have to negotiate.

Vanessa: I think the general principle that we're talking about here is just good communication,

that do not expect your partner, your husband or your wife, to read your mind.

This means reading your thoughts.

I've noticed that for me ... I think this is maybe true.

I'm making a lot of generalizations here.

I think it's general- Dan: You have to.

Vanessa: ... generally true that it's good to be clear and straightforward.

Straightforward means- Dan: Especially with a man.

Vanessa: ... very clear with your husband.

That if I beat around the bush, this means says something indirectly, sometimes Dan doesn't

get it.

So, I need to be clear and say, "Oh, there's ... " This is beating around the bush.

If I said, "Oh, I don't have any socks," that's beating around the bush.

Being clear is, "Have you done the laundry?

I need more socks."

Dan: Yes.

Vanessa: This is very clear, so realizing that the other person cannot read your mind.

If I said, "Oh, I don't want anything for my birthday.

You don't need to buy me anything."


Maybe he's going to believe that, but really in my heart I really want a present.

Just tell him.

"I would like a present.

Please find me something special from your heart.


Dan: Yes.

Although, on the flip side, if you're a guy, it's better if you know these things already.

Vanessa: But, I'm saying as a couple, it's good to be clear and straightforward.

Dan: I think more for things you want in daily life, not gifts.

Like doing the laundry, it's better to just say, "Hey, I need the laundry done soon, please."

Vanessa: Yeah, sure.

Or to just be on top of it.

Dan: That's more direct.

Vanessa: Yes, so let's go on.

We said to delegate some chores, delegate some tasks.

Recently, we just booked a special vacation, and Dan booked our rental car, and I booked

the places where we're going to stay.

Dan: Oh, yes.

We delegated because I said, "I don't want to plan the vacation, all of the travel details

where we're going," because I was a little nervous about that.

But, I said, "I'll plan the transportation.

I'll do the car, and where we're going, and the driving, and that kind of thing."

Vanessa: Yeah, and I planned.

Dan: I'm cool with that.

Vanessa: I planned where we're going to stay, and Dan planned the car.

This, for me, it split.

It divided the work.

I didn't need to do everything.

Dan didn't need to do everything, but we both did ... We negotiated some kind of equal thing

with each other, which is something I really appreciate about our relationship.

All right, we are going a little bit long here, so let's go on to-

Dan: The last one.

Vanessa: ... the third tip, which is very specific as well.

It's something that I think ... I don't know many other couples who do this, but I think

it's something that's really worked well for us.

So, what is your third, your third tip, our fifth tip together, our final tip for the

healthy- Dan: My final tip-

Vanessa: Yes.

Dan: ... for a good and strong relationship- Vanessa: Yes.

Dan: ... is to check in regularly.

Vanessa: Check in.

Dan: We have check in.

Vanessa: A wonderful phrasal verb.

Dan: Yes, check in.

This means that you are planning a day or a date where you are going to talk about important

things, or you're going to plan a conversation.

Vanessa: Yes.

Dan: So if you check in with each other, maybe you ask, "How are you feeling?

How are you feeling about- " Vanessa: Your week.

Dan: " ... the school our kid is going to," or, "How do you feel about ... " Yeah, how

do you feel about the week?

Vanessa: How was your week last week?

Dan: You're checking in.

Vanessa: Yes.

Dan: This is, check in can me a lot of different things.

A lot of times, if you see check in, it just means that you are going to a hotel and they're

going to write you in to the hotel.

Vanessa: I'm going to check in to the hotel at 10 AM.

But here we're talking about emotionally.

Dan: But if you emotionally check in with each other, or it might not even be emotional.

It could be the kind of things you're doing in the week, maybe a little more pragmatic.

Vanessa: So the specific way that this plays out ... Plays out is another phrasal verbs

that this goes in our relationship is we have meetings once a week every Sunday when our

baby, our toddler, our child, is taking a nap.

We have an organized meeting.

Dan: We call it a meeting.

It's not really a meeting.

Vanessa: It's organized.

I think that sometimes a date, you just eat together and talk together about anything,

but I really appreciate that it's organized because we were talking about before letting

your anger build up.

This is terrible thing for you.

It's terrible for your relationship.

But I know every Sunday we're going to have a meeting.

So if there's something big that I want to talk about, I can talk about it on ... Of

course I can talk about it at that moment if I wanted to.

Dan: "Would you say check in is analyze?"

Somebody asked.

Vanessa: Oh, we could analyze our week.

Dan: If we're checking in.

Vanessa: Checking in with each other.

Dan: It could have some analyzation.


Vanessa: Sure, you can analyze each other.

Dan: You can analyze.

Vanessa: Or analyze your week.

Dan: Yeah, it's more just a time to really ... It's where you say it's okay to talk about

maybe the problems of the week or how you felt.

So for example, in our check-in time, in our meeting, we always rate the week one to five.

Vanessa: Let's talk about how do we start.

So, on Sunday, our child takes a nap.

We usually drink some tea or coffee, and we sit down at the dinner table.

What's the first thing that we do?

This is just what we created.

Dan: This is what we do.

Vanessa: Yeah.

Dan: So first, we try to say two things that we appreciate about each other.

Vanessa: Something very specific.

Dan: We try to say something nice about each other.

Vanessa: Because often, maybe there's some kind of criticism.

"Oh, I was really upset because you didn't do the laundry for three days."

There's can be some things that are a little bit difficult that we talk about, so it's

always good to start with something positive.

So for us, we say, "I appreciate that you made an amazing dinner last night.

I also was really thankful that you took our car to the mechanic to get the oil changed."

Okay, simple, clear, very specific.

And for me, it feels- Dan: Women like this a lot.

Vanessa: It feels really good.

It feels really good because I know that I do a lot of things, and I know that Dan doesn't

need to say, "Thank you for picking up our baby's toys.

Thank you for doing this."

Dan: Yes.

Vanessa: He doesn't need to say thank you for everything.

Dan: I appreciate this.

Vanessa: Yeah.

Dan: Yeah, you don't go through everything.

Just choose two specific things.

Vanessa: So it makes me feel good.

Dan: "Wow.

I really appreciated that you watched Theo."

Theo's our baby.

"I appreciate you watched Theo for two hours while I went to a movie," for example.

Vanessa: "While I exercised.

Thank you."

Dan: "Wow.

That was really great of you."

Vanessa: And it feels good to be appreciated.

So, this is what we do at the very beginning.

Then, what happens next?

Dan: Then we rank our week, right?

One to five, how was our week?

"My week was a 3.5."

Vanessa: And why.

Dan: And then why.

Vanessa: What happened?

Dan: "Yeah, well, blah, blah, blah."

You go over what liked about the week, what you didn't like, how it could be better.

So if you do this every week, then you're kind of ... You're checking in with each other.

Then, you're thinking, "Well, what could make the next week a little better."

Vanessa: And you used a great phrasal verb here.

You go over the week.

Go over doesn't mean literally over.

Here, it means you're just discussing.

You're going in detail about the week.

"I rate this past week a 3.8 because this happened, but also this happened."

It helps you to kind of review the week.

Then, if something made you feel negative, it's a good time to say, "Oh, but I didn't

sleep enough.

I felt so tired all week.

So, maybe this week I'm going to try to do something better."

And that's kind of the next part, is we talk about the details of ... "Next week, here's

our plans.

Next week, I'm going to try to go to bed at this time.

I have a lot of work to do, so I'm going to try to do it in the morning.

How can we work together?"

It's like a meeting.

I feel like it's like a meeting.

Dan: Yes.

Vanessa: It's pretty organized, but- Dan: And again, another ... One more disclaimer

is this is very important for us because we have a very open schedule.

We don't have traditional jobs.

So if you don't have a traditional job, if you're an entrepreneur, if you spend a lot

of time working together, like we have to work together-

Vanessa: A lot for everything.

Dan: So, we're almost like business partners, really.

So, it's important to do this.

Some other people, I think you could do this maybe once a month because maybe the man is

working here and the woman's here, and they're a little more separate.

You know, that's okay, too.

You don't have to do everything together.

Vanessa: Something that we often do during this meeting, we've missed a little bit, but

for about three maybe four years, once a month during that meeting, we keep track of our


I know that money fights are often the biggest problems in relationships.

Dan: You should talk about money.

If you're married, you got to talk about money [inaudible 00:37:29].

Vanessa: Something that has been good for us is we have an Excel spreadsheet.

This is quite detailed into our personal life, but we have an Excel spreadsheet and at the

end of the month we look at our bank account.

"Okay, here's a grocery store purchase," and we put it in the Excel spreadsheet and we

add up.

We spent this much money for groceries.

We add up.

We spent this much money for car gas.

When you can look at the numbers, it helps you together to see the facts.

It's not me being upset because we spent too much money, Dan being upset because I bought


Dan: Yes.

Vanessa: No, we just see the facts.

Dan: And this would be a situation where you can't blame or make excuses.

Vanessa: Yeah, because there's the facts.

So, I feel like for me, I love to save money.

Dan does not spend very much money, but he doesn't-

Dan: I spend more money than you.

Vanessa: He spends a little bit more than me.

We're quite similar that we don't spend a lot of money.

But for me, it feels so nice to see our money on a paper and to know, "Okay, we can ... " It

gives me permission to ... We can go out to a restaurant.

It's fine.

It gives me permission to relax a little bit.

Or maybe for you, if your finances are tight, I talked about this in a recent YouTube video

about learning English for free, you can know, "Okay, maybe we need to not go out to a restaurant."

If one of you, your husband or your wife spends a lot of money, this is a good way to be clear

and honest in your relationship and look at your finances together.

I know that a lot of people don't do this and that when they do this, it gives so much


It relieves so much stress because usually one person in your relationship feels more

stress about money than the other person.

So, it's really nice to be on the same page.

This is a great expression.

You are on the same, like a piece of paper.

On the same page.

Dan: We're on the same page.

Vanessa: Yes.

Dan: We agree.

Vanessa: Yes.

Dan: That's basically what it means.

Vanessa: It just means you both agree.

I want to be on the same page with you, so let's check in with each other once a week.

Let's do some fun activity together.

Let's go hiking together and try to have fun and relieve our stresses.

So, these are our general tips.

Dan: These are our tips.

I would just say remember number one.

That's the most important.

Vanessa: Make sure you're a good fit.

Dan: Get in the relationship with the right person.

Because let's say you want to talk about money.

It's going to be very hard to talk about money with somebody who is irresponsible with money.

You have to make sure the person you're getting in a relationship with is already good money.

Otherwise, it's going to be- Vanessa: Quite difficult.

Dan: ... even more challenging.

Vanessa: Yes.

Dan: But, that to say it's not impossible.

You might be in a relationship with somebody who's not good with money.

You can still work something out.

Vanessa: I think that something for us, if we have ... Let's imagine, hypothetically,

that I'm really bad with money and Dan is really good with money.

If Dan is really concerned about this, it's probably a problem anyway.

But if Dan is concerned about it, he can't ... Maybe I'm looking at my phone.

He can't say to me all of a sudden, "Hey!

Why did we have this purchase?

What are you doing?"

I'm not in the right mindset to discuss this.

So, I feel like something that's worked for us when there's a problem that's really important

to one of us, saying, "Hey, when you have a moment, can we talk about something really

important," or, "I saw this purchase here and it's really important to me that we talk

about it."

Be serious.

It's important to you, so don't just have ... Make sure you have emotional regulation.

Don't just explode about it, but say, "Hey, this is really important.

Can we talk about?"

And look at each other's eyes.

Look at each other and say, "Hey, this is really important to me.

Can we please go through our finances?

Let's go through our bank account and make a list and see how much we're spending.

This would really be important to me."

Try to appeal to their care for you.

Dan cares for me.

I care for him.

So if he says, "This is so important to me.

Let's please talk about it," of course.

I want to Dan to be not stressed.

So when you take the time to talk about something important like that, it means so much more.

If you just said, "Hey, what are you doing?" and then I'm doing something else, it's just

going to create an argument because my mind is not there.

Dan's emotional regulation is everywhere.

So, talking a moment, "Can we really talk about this?

This is so important to me."

Dan: Yeah, or, "Can we talk about this later?"

Vanessa: Yeah, yeah.

That's really- Dan: That [inaudible 00:42:26] that can help,


You don't want to talk.

You want to bring up stuff in the moment all of the sudden.

That really helps.

Somebody said they're confused about which number we're on.

I don't think we've been organized.

Sorry, everybody.

Vanessa: Dan wrote three tips.

I wrote two tips.

So, we had one tip, one tip, one tip, one tip, one tip, one tip, one tip.

So, Dan has three.

I know we said we have five tips.

There's five total.

Dan: But, we've been adding a lot of stuff, so ...

Vanessa: Yes.

We're talking about now the conclusion.

So, the reason why I wanted to talk about this kind of unusual topic today, giving just

our personal relationship advice, is for two reasons.

Number one, Valentine's Day is coming quite soon, so you might be preparing for your relationship,

something for your relationship, maybe thinking about relationships a little bit more.

Valentine's Day is coming up in February.

And number two is in our monthly English course, the Fearless Fluency Club, we have a special

set in February.

This is where I interview a therapist.

Dan: Ooh.

Vanessa: She's not a relationship therapist.

She is an eating disorder therapist.

Dan: Very different.

Vanessa: But, she is a therapist and she deals with people who are coming to her with problems.

So, I kind of wanted to imitate that a little bit.

So, what I'd like to do now is I would like to share my screen with you to show you if

you would like to continue to learn with us, if you would like to continue this idea of

deepening your English through real English conversations-

Dan: Yes, and in a more organized fashion.

This is more a causal conversation- Vanessa: This is a casual chitchat.

Dan: ... we're having with you today.

Vanessa: Yes.

So, I would like to share my screen with you to show you.

Let's take a look here.

You can see this is our Fearless Fluency Club page where you can click the link in the description

and join our course.

You can find out much more information about each of the lessons here.

But what I'd like to do is give you a little sneak preview into the February lesson set.

Here you can see February 2019.

We have each month there is a special ... This is a course guide in general for how to use

the course.

This is a monthly lesson set guide.

We're going to be talking about therapy with Elaine.

Elaine is a professional counselor or therapist.

In this lesson set, we talk about a lot of vocabulary that she used in our conversation.

Dan: Hey look.

There's blame.

Vanessa: Oh, we talked about blame.


Oh, you're already ahead of the game.

Then, we talk about grammar.

Oh, we're going to be talking about really, so, too, these kind of intensifiers, at all.

I noticed we used at all in our conversation, actually.

Then, we talk about some specific pronunciation.

So, let's take a look.

Here you can see the vocabulary lesson with Dan and I.

There's two parts to this vocabulary lesson.

The grammar lesson where I explain these important expressions for intensifying your conversation.

There's an MP3.

You can download it.

Also, the transcript of the full lesson so that you can follow word for word.

This is helpful for everyone, but it's especially helpful if you are maybe a high beginning,

low intermediate, because it's good to catch every single word.

Then, we have the pronunciation lesson so you can learn some specific pronunciation


If you have watched any of my pronunciation lessons here on YouTube, this lesson is quite


We shadow, and repeat, and practice individual sounds.

Then, we have the special conversation with my friend Elaine, who is an eating disorder


She talks about going to therapy, this process of helping people with something that's really

personal, really personal, and sharing that with a stranger and how she helps people,

especially she helps young people in her field.

But, she goes through this and talks about it in detail.

It's quite interesting to see the insight into her job.

Then, in the course, we have the story.

The story is a unique thing here.

We have different audio recordings of the story.

This is a combination of all the vocabulary, grammar, pronunciation, plus some extra vocabulary

from the full lesson set.

This is about going to therapy.

It's kind of a fiction story.

But, you can use and see all of the vocabulary in a different context.

So, I hope that this will help to just add to your knowledge of the vocabulary and grammar

and see it in a different context.

There are questions so you can practice answering questions.

It's kind of a controlled speaking practice and also different verb tenses so that you

can practice different verb tenses.

All right, I'm going to bring back our video here.

So if you would like to join us monthly in the Fearless Fluency Club and to practice

these conversations together with us, you are welcome to join the Fearless Fluency Club

now in January or in February.

If you join in January, you'll get the January lesson set immediately.

Then, in the month of February, February 1st, you'll get access to this special lesson set

with Elaine.

It is $35 per month, but please use the coupon code new.

If you use the coupon code new, N-E-W, you only get it for $5.

Dan: $5.

Vanessa: You have a $30 discount, which is great for the first month.

Try the course.

You pay $5.

If you don't like it, cancel.

If it's a good fit for you, you can continue in the course and your English will grow day

by day.

You're welcome to join us.

Many members speak together on Skype and Google Hangouts weekly, daily.

They practice speaking together.

This is a great way to meet friends from around the world.

Dan: Yes.

Vanessa: Also, you're not paying for expensive Skype lessons.

Instead, you're speaking with other people who are also learning, who are like you.

Dan: It's a community.

Vanessa: Yes, so you can feel comfortable speaking with them.

And at the end of each month, we have a group Google Hangout with me so you'll be able to

chat with me in this group Google Hangout.

It's super fun.

We have a good time together and you get just a chance to meet each other and also meet

me and practice speaking a bit.

But, thank you so much for joining me.

I want to know in the comments, what is your number one relationship tips?

Dan: Yeah, share your tips.

Vanessa: Yes.

Dan: Tell us.

Vanessa: Yes.

Dan: How can we have a better relationship?

Vanessa: Yes, of course.

We are always open to expanding, and growing, and strengthening our relationship, but also

for other people.

It's interesting to see what worked for you, maybe what didn't work for you.

Give us some things not to do.

So, I hope that this lesson has been useful to you and we'll see you again next Friday

for a new lesson here on my YouTube channel.

I'll see you again the next time.

Dan: Bye, everybody.

Vanessa: Bye.

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