Relationship Fitness

S1 Care E1: Who am I?

In this first episode, Vince addresses the question: What qualifies him to host a podcast, write a book and launch a service at RelationshipWorkout.com to help men choose a better partner and be a better partner in their intimate relationships?

After all, he’s not a psychologist, nor does he have any degrees in areas even remotely related to being a relationship expert. In fact, his degrees are in business and computer science. In addition, most of his career certainly wasn’t focused on counseling people on their relationships. In fact, a majority of his career has been in high tech, albeit more recently focusing on business-to-business storytelling.

So, why should you listen to his relationship advice?

The story begins with in many ways Vince is a typical guy — a product of divorced parents and thirty years of making mistake after mistake unsuccessfully looking for his Person. But from this foundation if you will, grew a need (some might call it an obsession) to answer three fundamental questions:

  1. How can you choose a better partner for yourself?
  2. How can you be a better partner for the person you choose?
  3. How can you gauge the quality of your relationship? How good is it? How bad is it?

Now after spending 15-years married to his Person, Vince wants to share what’s he’s learned — along with the insights from Relationship Experts — with other men to help our journeys to improving the quality of our intimate relationships.

Welcome to Relationship Workout for Men, a podcast dedicated to helping men be intentional in choosing a better partner, and being a better partner for the person they choose. 

I am your host, Vince Vasquez, the author of the book Relationship Workout for Men and the co-founder of Relationship Workout, an AI-powered, self-care service to assess and improve the quality of your intimate relationship for both men and women.

So, who am I, and what qualifies me to write a book to help men in their relationships. And why did I create Relationship Workout in the first place? 

For starters, I’m not a psychologist, nor do I have any degrees in areas even remotely related to being a relationship expert. In fact, I have graduate degrees in business and computer engineering.

My career certainly wasn’t focused on counseling people on their relationships. In fact, a majority of my career has been in high tech, albeit more recently focused on business-to-business storytelling.

So, why do I feel qualified to write a book that gives relationship advice?

Well, in many ways, I’m just a typical guy. My parents divorced when I was sixteen. I never spoke to my father nor mother about how to date or what makes for a good marriage. Over the years, I talked to friends as I was dating, but they were as clueless as I was, as we mostly focused just on how “hot” she was and what hobbies we shared.

Put simply, I had no idea what I was doing in the world of dating. In my twenties, I dated any woman that I was attracted to and who showed interest in me. In my thirties, I became more serious about finding my future wife. But with each relationship came the same cycle: Meet, develop feelings, build hopes of a future together and then (for a variety of reasons) breakup. 

So even though I yearned to find the Hollywood ending, white picket fence family that I never experienced in my childhood, for over two decades I was stuck in this same cycle. I was a serial dater as I notched over a dozen four month to four year relationships that all ended in failure.

I then met a woman whom I was sure was “the One.” Now, in my late thirties, I thought I had finally found my Soulmate. I was ecstatic. My search was finally over – or so I thought. Two years later, this relationship crashed and burned and I was left wondering: “What just happened?” How could I have been so wrong about her and about us? 

After licking my wounds for a few months, I concluded that either:

  • I was choosing to date women who were not good partners for me, AND/OR 
  • I was not being a good partner for the women I was choosing (and were choosing me). 

After all, if I was choosing a good partner for me, AND I was being a good partner for her, then I would think we’d have a good chance of having a good relationship that could actually last. 

Of course, this begged the follow-up question: What does it mean to be good (versus bad) in a relationship? And what is a good (versus bad) relationship?

This led me to one of my first aha moments. By structuring these relationship questions around what is good and what is bad, I was really asking questions around quality. My line of thought then evolved into asking what are the core attributes important to having a high versus low quality relationship? As a simple example, being honest and maintaining trust seemed like an obvious core attribute that would increase the quality of a relationship. 

In parallel, I could see that I wasn’t the only one struggling to find lasting love. Most of my married friends were either in unhappy marriages or divorced. And some of these divorces were absolutely brutal – filled with pain and fighting that lasted years and depleted bank accounts. Of course, one doesn’t have to look far to see that divorce is a broader social issue. 

My single friends had it rough as well. I heard story after story from friends complaining about their relationships – happy and in love one moment, downright miserable the next. Many singles seemed to be struggling with the same fundamental question: “Should I stay, or should I go?” And, of course, we were all tired of the cycle of yet again re-entering the dating scene.

Yes, there are certainly happy, long-term relationships out there; yet even some of those seem like lucky rolls of the dice. One friend told me that he chose his wife of nineteen years back when he was twenty-two because of a book that she had recommended to him “just blew him away.” In his next breath, he admitted that he got lucky. Most of us aren’t so lucky.

In any case, way back in 2003, I knew I definitely didn’t have the answers to these questions of how to be a good partner, how to choose a good partner, and how to gauge the quality of my relationship. 

So, with broken heart, I gave in and went to the self-help, relationship shelves of the local bookstore. There, all I found was bookshelf after bookshelf of books filled with good advice but seemingly written for women – not in a voice written for me, a guy. 

On one hand, this seemed to make sense as the stereotype goes that guys don’t read relationship books. Seemed like a bit of a catch-22 to me. After all, it’s not that us guys can’t use help with our relationships, nor are we completely disinterested in having good long-term relationships. In fact, I’ve never met a guy who wasn’t interested in learning answers to these fundamental questions that I was asking. So, although I did read many of the books I found on relationships along with adjacent topics, such as communications, grief and gratitude, I decided to also take a journey to answer these questions for myself, and then attempt to capture the resulting insights in a book written for men. 

For no other reason, my hope was this intentional work would help me in my own relationship.

Now, fast forward to the present – I have a wonderful wife, Brenda, whom I’ve been with for well over 15 years, and we also have two amazing sons together. So, after spending three decades looking for “the One” and over fifteen years being with “the One” – experiencing a host of challenges as is typical of a married couple with children – I felt ready to share what I’ve learned through both direct experience and tireless research with others through Relationship Workout.

For me, Relationship Workout for men includes the information and insights I wish I had access to when I started dating seriously. It’s what I wish my parents had shared with me. It’s what I wish a friend had pointed me to when seeing me struggle yet again with heartache. It’s what I keep going back to for strengthening reminders when I contribute drama to my own marriage.  

It’s the proverbial “if I had only known then what I know now.” If I had, I might have avoided a lot of my own emotional heartaches and no doubt broken fewer hearts. 

My hope is early on in dating, and before they fall madly in love with each other, men and women will be more thoughtful in the questions they ask each other to reveal any potential obvious compatibility concerns. 

My hope is that men and women will intentionally address and resolve whatever behavior they may have this is contributing to drama into their relationship. 

Ultimately, I invite you to commit yourself to being the best and strongest partner you can be with the objective of experiencing perpetual fun, joy and love in the relationship you choose.

One last housekeeping note: Relationship Workout for Men will likely incorporate a lot of locker room talk, as it’s intended to be a frank conversation to men and for men.

Vince is the co-founder of RelationshipFitness.com and RelationshipWorkout.com

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