Behind the Curtain: Daniel Goddard
You know him best as the dashing Cane Ashby, one half of one of daytime television’s most beloved couples, Cane & Lily – aka “Lane.” Who hasn’t loved watching Cane and Lily’s marriage grow and evolve and be tested and challenged and still always manage to always beat the odds on The Young & the Restless? And as devoted of a husband and father as his fictional counterpart is, fans everywhere will be delighted to learn that Daniel Goddard is even more so in real life. Like Cane, Daniel is a one-woman man with two little ones and a busy career. When we spoke, he was juggling driving his son to a tennis lesson, learning lines for a new scene at work, and picking up soup for his lovely wife, Rachael, who was battling the flu. “Never a dull moment!” he said with a chuckle, single-handedly putting to rest the age-old argument that men don’t know how to multi-task.
Growing up watching The Young & the Restless, I’ve been a longtime follower of Daniel’s on Twitter, and had really started to take notice of his tweets over the past few weeks. While he’s always been a positive, interesting person to follow, lately he’s been dispensing wonderful little nuggets of truth and power that made me curious to know more about the man behind them. As it turns out, Daniel has FAR more wisdom to share than can be contained in 140 characters or less. And when I approached him about doing one of my “Behind the Curtain” interviews, to shed light on some of the most burning questions us ladies have about dating and relationships from the male perspective…I was thrilled when he said yes. (I can also say that I had so many “Aha”! moments during this interview, I lost count).
Sometimes you peek behind the curtain of someone’s life who you admire only to discover in disappointment that the “Wizard” was just an ordinary man after all.
But every once in awhile, you peek behind the curtain and find that the truth of the person is even more beautiful than the image you had of them.
Here’s what happened when I went “Behind the Curtain” with Daniel Goddard.
The Single Woman: Okay, so you’re happily married in real life, you’re happily married on Y&R – CLEARLY you must know something that a lot of people don’t (LOL!)…what’s the secret to a happy marriage/relationship?
Daniel Goddard: Respect. Respect comes in many different shapes in sizes. You have to respect yourself, your partner, their family, etc. Any way you look at it, it comes down to acknowledging that it takes two people to make a relationship work. You have to have a conscious understanding of what the other person wants to maintain and nurture and keep the relationship healthy. Two people either grow together in a parallel or they grow apart. I’ve been with Rachael for 15 years. If I was the same person I was 15 years ago, then I haven’t grown at all. It’s not healthy to be in a relationship if there’s no growth. You as a person have to grow. You also have to choose a person who is growing with you on the journey, understanding that you both want to be in a relationship, the person you are with brings out the best in you, you bring out the best in them, and you both encourage each other to become better. It’s an exciting journey.
TheSW: How did you and Rachael meet?
DG: I was working in Denzel Washington’s restaurant and Rachel came in. I was standing there talking to one of the other waiters and I said: “You don’t meet girls anymore that make you go WOW,“ and then I looked up…and I saw Rachael. She asked me where a table was and we started talking. She gave me her number, and I took ten days to call her.
TheSW: Wow! Ten days! I think some of my readers will be surprised to hear that. Typically if a guy waits that long, we think it means he’s not that interested…but your situation proves that theory wrong!
DG: I knew when I met her that she was ‘The One.’ But I waited ten days because I had to make sure that all my ducks were in a row and I was prepared to go into this and not ruin it. I knew that this was something that didn’t happen very often.
TheSW: People say that when they meet the one they’re supposed to be with, they just “know.” But how did you know?
DG: When I met her, first of all, I was in a mindset where I was ready to receive her. I was in a mindset before I met Rachael where I was willing and open to meet her, and when it came along I wasn’t expecting it and I wasn’t looking for it. I didn’t meet her going “I hope this works, I hope this works, I hope this works.” I KNEW it was going to work. And I knew after the ten days that it was going to work because I was in a place where it was ABLE to work. If you trace back the head space you were in when you met a person, you’ll generally find that there was a commonality in how open you were as a person in all aspects of your life when you met them. Openness allows people to come into your life. For example, I’ve gone to auditions that I KNEW when I read for it, I was going to get the job because I was open to the situation. I would leave that audition and I’d go to the supermarket to get something, and I knew when I walked in that there was an openness about me. People would ask me, “How are you doing?” The cashier would say “How was your day? How are you doing?” But then I’ve had horrible auditions, when I would feel that I wasn’t even going to come close to getting it. I’d leave the audition in a bad mood, go to the same supermarket, and it’s almost like the people would run away and wouldn’t even make eye contact. There’s a flow to having an openness about you as a person that attracts people. And with that, you find other open people as well, and that’s when you mesh. You have to be ready, you have to want it, and you have to be open to it when it comes along.
TheSW: You’ve taken a very positive approach with your tweets lately, so clearly you’re a positive person. Do you have a favorite quote or piece of advice someone has given you?
DG: My favorite quote is “Man cannot discover new oceans until he has the courage to lose sight of the shore.” (Andre Gide)
TheSW: I love that one! Okay, one of the questions my readers always seem to have is: “How do I know if he’s really into me?” I tend to go by the He’s Just Not That Into You philosophy of: If he’s REALLY into you, you won’t be questioning it, you’ll know. From the male perspective – can you shed light on this for us? Are men REALLY that complicated, or are they pretty straightforward and women are just overthinking things & MAKING them complicated?
DG: My take on the whole He’s Just Not That Into You thing: I think it’s fantastic. If they’re not into you, it’s like “Fantastic! Thanks for letting me know now as opposed to making me think you’re into me, and then six months down the road I find out you’re not.” If he’s into you, he’s into you. If he’s into you, he’s going to want to call you and going to want to take you out. You won’t have to worry because he will be putting himself out there. To find a partner that you can raise a family with, where the man will be there and be a great role model for the kids, and the man will be there and love the woman, you have to find someone who’s into you. So if they’re not into you, say “Thank you and see you later!” As a woman, you have to have the confidence in yourself to know that you deserve someone who is into you. Don’t play the games. There are no games to be played here. It’s very cut and dry. If they’re into you, they’re into you, if they’re not, they did you a great service. If they text you instead of calling you, they don’t want a conversation on the phone. Don’t play the games with the person. Be honest with yourself to know what you want as a person. Value yourself enough to know – they’re not going to play a texting game with you if they’re into you. At the same time, don’t make it so over-complicated that you scare the guy away. It should be simple. Like dancing.
TheSW: Which brings me to….the infamous question: Do men really ever get “intimidated” by a woman for being too smart or too confident or too successful, etc. etc.? Or is this just something us ladies tell ourselves to feel better about it if a guy isn’t showing interest?
DG: Only if the man is into the woman. Pure and simple. If a man is not into a woman, he couldn’t care if she is the greatest runner, jumper, baker, swimmer, knitter…it doesn’t matter. He couldn’t care less. It comes back to basic dating chemistry. You meet someone and there’s a chemical reaction that happens with that person. It’s inexplicable. People will say “I don’t get it,” but a couple gets it. My wife and I had a thing when we first started dating where I could smell a certain spot on her neck, and the first time I smelled that spot, it was very chemically pleasing to me. Now, I didn’t meet her and within five seconds stick my nose in her neck (Side note from TheSW: I died laughing at this). But we had an equal understanding of common sense, of different things that we found socially pleasing, intellectually pleasing, emotionally pleasing, physically pleasing, etc.
It goes back to – Don’t settle. Don’t say “I’m single, I wish I had a boyfriend” and then the first person that gives you the time of day say: “This is the one.” Believe in the fact that you will find the person that you’re meant to be with if you put yourself out there and meet different people. You have to leave the house to get a job, you have to leave the house to find food. You have to put yourself out there. If they say no, so what? Who cares? They’re doing you a favor. The last thing you would want is to be with that person. Why would you be offended by someone who said no to you? Be more offended by someone who says yes and then you go out on a date and they treat you disrespectfully . Believe in yourself. Believe you deserve to have great things happen to you and you will have great things happen to you.
TheSW: Along those same lines, are men really ever “afraid of commitment”? Or is this just another excuse?
DG: This would be comparable to the woman saying “I can’t go out on a date because I have to wash my hair.” For a guy to say “I’m afraid of commitment,” he couldn’t put it any clearer to a girl in saying: “I have zero interest in being committed to you.” Now if he’s saying “I’m afraid of commitment because I was in a relationship before and I had my heart hurt,” well, that’s a different conversation than if it’s a blatant “Nah, I’m not into commitment.” Why would you want to try and change a person who says he’s “afraid of commitment”? It’s like buying a car and the moment you test drive it, there’s a noise in the engine, but you liked the color of the paint, or the shape of the body. Eventually the engine will fail and you have two choices: Either park it in the driveway, or spend a lot of time and money trying to get it fixed. Either way, you wind up stuck with a lemon. If a man says he’s afraid of commitment, he’s just not that into you possibly, and if that’s the case, say “Thanks for telling me.” It’s better than going into a relationship and six months in the guy starts acting all weird and says: “This is too much for me.”
TheSW: It all seems to come back to communication. How important is communication in a successful relationship? Sometimes it seems like men just shut down and go hot and cold and refuse to communicate. What is the best way, from the male perspective, for a woman to handle that?
DG: You are going to find people and men in relationships that have their own things going on. Men are very complicated creatures. They’re also incredibly simple. Men like to live in their heads. We like to sit there and figure out how to fix things. We’re fixers. We like to fix things. A man is an accumulation of experience and moments of learned responses. So a woman needs to understand that if it’s a new relationship, don’t bring past experiences into the relationship. If the man is doing something that upsets you, and you want him to know, you have to say certain things. Men like to hear certain words: “Sweetheart, baby, I love you.” Men are very needy. We have very fragile egos. If he’s doing something that bothers you, tell him: “Sweetheart, I love you, but I need to tell you, this is driving me crazy.” And then you’ll have a laugh and he’ll go: “Okay!” Tell him. Explain why. The man doesn’t know it doesn’t work. He doesn’t always know what he’s doing wrong. If a man goes hot and cold, he’s either using bad information and trying to figure out why something’s happened or what he did wrong – or he just might be in his head because he’s trying to figure out something for work. You’ve got to understand that we’re very different people Communicate. Communicate. See if there’s something you can contribute to help him fix it. When you do that, I guarantee you the man will go: “I’ve got a keeper in this woman. She saw that I wasn’t feeling good and instead of thinking something was wrong with me, or wondering what’s wrong with me, she talked to me about it she cares.” The power of conversation and the power of listening and the power of communication – there’s nothing like it.
TheSW: Another hot-button topic in dating these days: The pursuit. I firmly believe that the man should be the one to pursue the woman, but in this day and age, that’s almost viewed as “old fashioned.” What do you think about this?
DG: Men are hunters and women are gatherers. Men hunt because it’s within our DNA to want to hunt. Men like to go out and conquer. You can always conform to the ideology that a man should pursue a woman. But if you look at nature, when a female cat is in heat she makes such a noise that every male cat in the area knows she’s in heat. When you look at a female baboon, when they’re in heat, the rear end of the female baboon changes color and every male baboon knows that she’s in heat. If you want to parallel this to men and women: the female has to give the man a clue that she’s attracted to the male to incite the male to pursue her.
TheSW: What final words of advice do you have for the single ladies?
DG: Embrace your singleness. Being single is a wonderful thing. When you are single, you are able to become everything that you want to be for yourself. Once you have become that, you are then able to give to somebody else. You’re able to give that time that you have put into yourself and the lessons you’ve learned and the experiences that you have gone through that will make you the best you can be. Being single allows for that. When you’re in a relationship, if you don’t nurture the relationship and the other person, it will suffer and it will die. You need to be able to appreciate being single because that is when you will grow the most, and with that growth, you’ll come to know what you’re looking for. You’ll know what you’re worth. You’ll appreciate yourself and set standards for what you expect in another person. Then when you meet that person, you’re able to grow together as a unit and become a very successful partnership and eventually become great parents. You have to appreciate that singleness is a great time in your life. Don’t hope it ends to be in a relationship. Don’t think that your worth is less when you’re single than your worth when you’re in relationship. You’re just as worthwhile in a relationship or single. Remember that you are a winner and you are here to be happy. Great things will happen to you when you respect yourself and embrace that you are here on this planet to do something wonderful. Find whatever it is that’s wonderful and do it. And with that you will attract someone wonderful.
You can see Daniel every weekday on The Young & the Restless on CBS. You can also follow him on Twitter @DanielGoddard. (You won’t regret it!)
About “Behind the Curtain”: The Single Woman’s “Behind the Curtain” series goes where no woman has gone before – inside the male mind – to reveal the answers to some of the most compelling and relevant relationship questions by some of pop culture’s most compelling and relevant figures.
If you LOVED this interview and have a burning question for Daniel, you can now ask for his advice in our new “He Said, She Said” blog series! Here’s how to submit your question!