I came to the horrible realization that I’d made the biggest mistake of my entire life shortly after moving halfway across the country for a girl. The relationship — when long distance — was light, and fun, and full of passion. But as soon as seeing each other became commonplace, I realized that the passion was gone, the fire had been extinguished, and I had, in fact, lost that lovin’ feeling.
It was 2010, I was 23, and I had no idea what I was going to do. I was too proud to ask my friends, too embarrassed to ask my parents, and too stubborn (or perhaps, immature) to actually have a rational conversation with the girl in question.
So I wrote to a podcast called My Brother, My Brother, and Me. In case you’re not familiar, it’s an advice show hosted by three brothers — Justin, Travis, and Griffin McElroy — and it is, by a generous margin, my favorite podcast of all time. It’s funny and insightful and addicting, but even more than that, it’s earnest and it’s inclusive, as proven by the response my question received way back in episode 40. I wrote:
I recently moved to a new city to be with my girlfriend (mistake?). At first it was difficult but now things are going well, and I’ve recently been hired on to do work at a really good job. However, she recently informed me that she is moving to a city an hour and a half away and said so nonchalantly, as if it had not been a consideration in the decision-making process. Is she packing her bags and moving away?
Griffin, the youngest brother, explained that the girl had given me the “Carmen Sandiego Slip,” whereas Justin, the oldest brother, offered solidarity by way of saying “that’s some cold shit.”
But then Travis, the middle brother, said “Here’s a little tough love. You might want to take a step back from the situation and take stock of the relationship because you might be too close to it and it might not be going as well as you think. It’s time to make a new home, an hour and a half away from your ex-girlfriend.”
It was hard to accept, but Travis was right. Make no mistake, My Brother, My Brother, and Me is a comedy podcast, each episode warning that the brother’s advice “should never be followed.” But I think a big reason the show is so successful, why its fans are so die-hard, is because Justin, Travis, and Griffin McElroy sincerely love their listeners.