In Partnership With
Monocycle: Episode 28, Relationships

There’s a special guest today! Here’s a hint: he loves sleep!


In partnership with Zola

This week’s episode of Monocycle features a special guest co-host who I have renamed Slumbraham in the four years we’ve been married. This nugget of information is important given the episode’s range of topics — relationships, learning to live with our partners and ultimately forfeiting selfishness in favor of sacrifice — particularly because he cites “an inability to nap as freely” as one of the hardest parts of marriage. I’ll let you take it from here, hope you enjoy the episode and I also want to thank Zola — the first official sponsor of Monocycle, weeee! — for signing on to keep our portable sound booth up and running.

Monocycle is edited by Nicholas Quazzy Alexander; Logo illustration by Kelly Shami; photograph by Krista Anna Lewis from Man Repeller’s “Would You Ever Let Your Romantic Counterpart Dress You?”


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  • Shulie

    I loved this post, as a single person I feel it offered great insight.
    Leandra, what did you feel- if anything that you had to give up for marriage?
    Also love you!

    • Leandra Medine

      The 11pm episode of Friends on cable (Abie can’t sleep w noise) and also, being SUPER spontaneous. I am the kind of person who is totally energized by the realm of fierce and immense possibility (getting on a plane on a whim, etc) — that you can be and do whatever you want whenever you want but Abie is very calculated and meticulous about plans and expectations/hates surprises. But even that, I have learned is a key part of why we work. My spontaneity can totally be mistaken, or simply referenced as irrational, erratic behavior and when it DOES manifest that way, Abie brings me back to reality.

      • Senka

        Is Abie by any chance a Taurus? The description you gave sounded so.

  • Lacey K.

    can i make a suggestion? i love the authenticity and brutal honesty of posts like this, and many other articles you write on here (such as the money diaries one, or the SATC relationships one). your instagram is so fun and such a respite for me during tough days, but i would also love to see the realism you show here evidenced on the form of social media where the facade of total, carefree happiness is the most prevalent. have you ever thought about doing a week of instagrams on manrepeller’s instagram of just your raw, unadulterated reality? i think that would be so cool.

    • Lou

      YES! I completely I agree w this. Many friends of mine don’t understand why I LOVE this blog so much because they only see the insta and find it obnoxious. I have many times had to convince them to go to the site, and that the site’s tone is very different.

      • Leandra Medine

        Oh! Obnoxious? How so. This is really great feedback. Thanks for sharing — really important for us to get consistent sense of how our output is being received!

      • Senka

        I actually find that slight discrepancy between the site and many serious topics and issues it covers (relationships, feminism, racism, mental health), and humorous and visually engaging instagram to be a good balance. Man repeller is and was my go to online woman community.

  • Ashley Robinson

    I just got engaged to a man who applauded my desire to get married in Naeem Khan’s ball skirt/pants dress from a few years back – something I never thought I’d find. And despite how steadfastly he refuses to be man repelled, I’ve suffered from my share of mini meltdowns since the engagement. Holy shit! Marriage!
    I so appreciate the conversations you facilitate by letting us see your relationship, and now I want to know: does everyone freak out after the question is popped and you promise to become capital-p Partners for Life??

    • Leandra Medine

      I think so! But I can’t be sure. To be honest I was floored by how infrequently people talk about how scary it is to say, essentially, “yeah, I’ll spend the REST OF MY LIFE waking up next to you and giving us stuff I like to do stuff you like, and make kids together” etc. I found myself toiling with what I was getting into over and over during my engagement period. What I will say is that it’s normal that you’re asking yourself questions. It doesn’t mean you’re marrying the wrong person, or that you made a mistake. I think it makes you thoughtful and self aware

    • YES. Both of us.

      We’ve been cracking jokes about The Earnestness of Marriage after getting hitched to compensate for that … jittery emotional mini explosions before the procedure … 🙂

  • damn! I’m navigating my first serious relationship (at 25 I’m a little late to the game but, shrug). this podcast, coupled with alain de botton’s recent article on the nytimes about managing expectations with marriage that I read the other day, have been like a little free therapy session about relationships — a reminder and lesson on respect, empathy, tolerance, the likes. thanks for posting! enjoyed this one a lot. you and abie are definitely a role model for me. x

    • Leandra Medine

      Fun fact! Alain de Bottom and I share a birthday.

  • Noe

    As always, another insightful episode of Monocycle. I’m curious what you, Leandra and Abie, think the biggest difference is between being in a long-term relationship versus being married. Why get married at all?

  • Amy Mills

    The only thing better than Leandra is Leandra when Abie’s nearby

  • Ruci

    Leandra M, I have really really liked the last three episodes of Monocycle. You are really good at getting me thinking and I appreciate that a lot. Also I like your discussions with Abie and I think he should be a guest star again!

  • Rayna Tobin

    Leandra, I cannot get enough of Monocycle and how real and raw, but yet still clearly thought out, each episode is. They always make me think and as someone who has never been in a serious relationship, this one was no different. I loved hearing what you and Abie had to say and getting a man’s perspective on relationships was really interesting for me as well. Can’t wait for next week’s episode!

  • Monica Reida

    This is exactly what I needed to listen to since I am currently in a relationship with someone and I find it to be more serious than most of my relationships and I like the person more than I usually do, which is causing me to freak out. Thank you so much, Leandra and Abie, because listening to the two of you discuss relationships helps me feel better as I’m navigating my own.

  • Delaney

    Yay Slumbraham! Super interesting Monocycle. The notion that if you won’t allow yourself to exit a relationship (in the healthiest way possible), that you will figure out any problem is really cool. But I have a question: how do you use that tool in a relationship where there is no pinpointed problem; just an elephant in the room where both parties are in discomfort/disagreement all the time?

  • Tiffany W

    I really enjoyed this week’s discussion and would love it if both you and abie spoke more about the fundamental differences in how men and women experience dating and how ultimately this affects when men v women feel the “aha I love you” moment. A lot of dating articles emphasize this experience from the woman’s pov and it would be fantastic to hear both sides. cheers!

  • Dear Leandra,

    is such a surprise every-time I hear your podcast (on the positive side sure). Certainly you don’t have to leave him, and you don’t have to give up on your dream to become parents. I didn’t have the courage to write you a comment on the podcast “not pregnant”, but I wrote you a letter though…which I am still hoping to find the courage and send it to you…
    Coming back to the argument parents, I don’t think one side or the other should feel guilty as far as I personally think (being a parent) both me and my husband are guilty on pursuing on having our child and future to come though. If there is going to be a person who one day might make you feel a little bit guilty is going to be your baby (who I know it will come very soon, you simply have to believe and never give up). I can tell you that the moment they will come as much as you both will be as ready as you know, you will feel that you are not capable at all, that you are continuing on making mistakes, that why you had to go through all that pain when at the end of the day, you continue to have still pain…but at that instant moment his/her smile/gesture will show you that nothing has gone in vain…and the equation of Slumbraham aka your husband, when a child will fulfill your lives, of bad days and good days is not going to be even even, but the good things will dominate and you will see that is worth living every moment of the life and it totally have a great relevance…cause as my father use to say: “Other’s wives and your children are the prettiest and best in the world”.

  • Listening to this week’s podcast, I’m uncomfortable enough with the conversation about innate differences between men versus women under the guises that the sample size for this may be two individuals, or the social circles of two individuals, and there’s limited reason to believe differences of opinion or behavior are chalked up to gender rather than to purely individual nuance, or socially or culturally specific encoded modes of behavior. It not only can be exclusionary to anyone who doesn’t meet these demarcations of gender-determined behavior and somehow makes them less “man” or “woman,” but it also removes a bit of personal responsibility for our own behavior. Under the guises of staying as woke as possible, I just urge thoughtful language on this.

  • molly_maureen

    Especially enjoyed this podcast as I am a young (23) married woman like yourself, and found Abie’s and your observations relatable and true. (My husband and I recently celebrated our first wedding anniversary, so I’m wondering: is there anything that’s become easier (or maybe harder) since your first year of marriage?

  • Zsofi

    Since your advises on first dates, how was yours, guys?

  • Jacqueline Rudman

    lovin’ your podcasts! very therapeutic, inspirational and funny!! xx

  • Taylor

    Hey Leandra, how do you manage expectations with your significant other, especially when the initial “wooing” phase of your relationship is way in the past? Do you just kind of get used to the routine or should you still expect some level of romance/spontaneity out of your relationship? Help (*said in super pitiful voice*).

  • Valeria Barrera

    I’m so late to replying but (like an excellent millennial) I’m binge-listening to all of them because I realized THIS was what I was missing lately: an honest, friendly, and candid voice giving me a life pep-talk! It felt like a wake-up slap in the face when you both agreed that men and women will react differently to the same situation. I’ve always hated feeling like the crazy, overreactive person in the relationship while my significant other just seems to keep cool at all times. But such a great reminder to always remain understanding, kind, and respectful. That’s what makes a connection so special and distinct… all the differences. I love your podcast.