Lovebirds 2014; Couple Five: Doug & Tracy

Lovebirds 2014; Couple Five: Doug & Tracy

Here is the story of the FIFTH of 5 Lovebirds that I set out to interview as part of my life coaching business, working with couples. I figured the best way to get people involved was to get them involved! And I did that by asking if I can interview them. I am passionate about romance. Read more to find out what they had to say! Happy Valentines Day!

Couple Five: Doug and Tracy

Met: at church when they were both 13

These two literally finish each other’s – sentences. Both of them have attended church since childhood. He had a BMX and a skateboard. She was a pastor’s daughter. He likes lots of attention and makes lots of noise, and she cheers him on from the sidelines. She keeps the home where he comes to recoup. They are truly united and have lots of laughs in the meantime.

The first Meeting:

Doug: Isabel Church was our home church and Peguis youth would come in for the service. It was a always a bunch of close friends and a big group.

Tracy: We were both 16 years old. We’re the same age.

Doug: I lived on Alexander, I was drummer. My house was always the gathering place for family and friends. Everyone would say “Let’s going to Doug’s”. We had a big circle of friends so we were together a lot of the time.

Tracy: One night some of the friends went out to go and watch the planes take off. We were entertaining some friends that were visiting from the states and that’s what we decided to do.

Doug: Tracy had already graduated by 16.

Tracy: And Doug was still finishing school. We knew each other pretty well from the Camp meetings.

Doug: The meetings would travel to different places, and our families would follow. We would always meet up together in our group of friends.

Tracy: I remember the Doug was so fussy, I would try to set him up with friends many times, but he always had a reason why he didn’t want to. But while we were watching the planes he put his head on my lap so you could watch the sky.

Doug: Yeah and she kissed me. I was lying on her lap and she just started getting closer and closer to me.

Tracy: I figured he must want me to kiss him, so I did. And then we were scared to see each other. We were so nervous to see each other. We were disappointed because we thought we ruined it. We were such good friends, now that we kissed we ruined it. It scared us.

Doug: Tracy lived in Peguis.

Tracy: And Doug lived in Winnipeg.

Doug: We got married at 21.

Tracy: Although after we felt disappointed that we ruined our relationship, it felt so natural to kiss.

Doug: I got locked out of my house that night. I had to climb into my bedroom window. But yeah, the kisses did feel right. And when we continued hanging out, we just kissing all the time. After her parents found out, I would phone and ask for Tracy. Her mom would answer and just say, “No, she’s not home” and hang up.

Tracy: My dad was a pastor and he told me that I shouldn’t like Doug that way. My sister is the one that told on me. My dad told me, “Doug is like a son to me. You shouldn’t have kissed him”. When I was 17 I moved to Winnipeg and we would just hang out and date. I lived with my sister and he was still in high school.

Doug: I went to my dad and I told him that I wanted to get married, he told me, “Wait another year.” So I waited two years, and I decided to call my dad again. I said, “Dad, I am getting married January 19.” He said, “Why don’t you wait another year and see if you still want to?” I told him, “Dad, I waited two years. I waited a year longer that what you told me to wait. That’s already two years. I’m getting married.”

Tracy: He would ask me every day if I would marry him. I kept saying no and then I finally said, “Yes, okay pick a date.”

Doug: I didn’t want to waste any time. She said she needed three months to plan the wedding so I said, “Okay January 21.” It was the coldest day of the year, 1991.

Tracy: So we got married and we got a place together. I had all of the furniture.

Doug: I brought all the plates! I used to work delivering pizza, and I would always go to Domo to fill up for gas. And every day I would get one or two pieces of the dinner sets they used to give you. So when we moved in, all I had was plates. Tracy didn’t even like them. We never even use them.

What you admire about the other:

Doug: We are such opposites. We believe that opposites attract because we are totally opposite. She’s very clean and organized and I don’t want to make the bed. But together we balance. She’s so different than I am and if you look for someone who is the same as you, you might not get what you want. We never get tired of each other.

Tracy: That was how I knew he was for me; I didn’t get sick of him. I couldn’t get enough of him and then one day I just thought, “I think I love him.”

Doug: We started out as really good friends before any intimacy. If you base relationships on what is physical, it’ll only take you so far. If you can put up with them for a friend, that’s the good foundation.

Tracy: We have the same consensus; beliefs and values and morals and principles are the same. We established a relationship and we are good friends.

Doug: We were friends since we were 13 to 21. We knew each other and established our relationship.
I had to think about who will be a good friend. It has to be someone who is a really good friend. We traveled a lot and there were a lot of girls who would call me on the phone and write letters. We didn’t have Facebook back then. When we got engaged there were women calling me and telling me how much they loved me…so I had options, lots of friends that were girls. I would get trails of letters and we would record cassette tapes and send messages back-and-forth.

Tracy: We never let family interfere with our relationship. We never allowed any one to influence our control or let their input impact our decisions in our marriage. We had to cut some ties with family. I was brought up to believe my husband is the head of my home. And so I’ve always been strong to not allowing outside influences to interfere in our relationship.

On spending time together:

Doug: We live our own separate lives. We have individuality, but at the same time we do everything together. We eat together, we shop together – all of our main events are together.

Tracy: I don’t hang out with a bunch of people. Doug is my best friend.

Doug: I like to be around a bunch of my friends and be around a bunch of people, but it’s always good to come home. Tracy experienced some stress at work years ago and she likes to be away from crowds. She doesn’t like functions and crowds as much as I do.

Tracy: I like to be in the background. I know my husband is the head of the home. He is strong and I feel safe and secure. It’s been good for the way that we raise our son, with good morals. I live vicariously through Doug. I like to take care of our home and take pride in caring for our home.

Doug: We recently went on a cruise. It was such a special time for us. We spent 14 days on the European cruise and it was lots of fun and lots of free time to be with each other. We got to do our own thing – it was really a highlight for us.

Advice to others on healthy relationships:

Doug: I tell my son Isaiah, that you have to work at it. It takes work for a good relationship and there’s good things and there’s bad things before you mold into one. You have to make some compromise. There some things that I don’t like to do that I will do for her and she does the same for me. Sometimes you have to learn when to shut your mouth, and just nod and agree. Like me, I make the bed now. Lots of laughter. In the end you become one. We balance and I need her for that. When she is not there, I do things I shouldn’t – like spending money on rockets and lanterns.

Tracy: We still like to do our own thing. It’s fun. It’s the security of being together.

Doug: Especially after being on the road. We come together to recuperate and reconnect, and having that safe connection at home. We like being home together.

Tracy: We always eat our meals together and spend time together. We like to eat out a lot. That’s a treat to ourselves now that our son is older.

Doug: We value our time together and eating is a sociable time. And I’m very sociable.

Three words to describe each other:

Doug: My other half

Tracy: My better half.

Doug: That’s acceptable.

Secrets to a happy marriage:

Doug: We have to have a sense of humor, we understand each other.

Tracy: We never argue or fight

Doug: That’s what courting is for. We worked out our emotions; our arguments. And we just grew together, and over time we just and understand each other better and we have become one.

Tracy: We also agreed a long time ago that we wouldn’t have any alcohol in our family. We stay away from alcohol and we don’t let anything interfere with our life and our relationship.

Doug: You have to become friends and learn to compromise. You need to love and respect each other and learn to forgive and forget.

Tracy: You have to go back to what you have been taught, back to your teachings.

Lovebirds 2014; Couple Four: Melissa & Cecil

Lovebirds 2014; Couple Four: Melissa & Cecil

Here is the story of the fourth of 5 Lovebirds that I set out to interview as part of my life coaching business, working with couples. I figured the best way to get people involved was to get them involved! And I did that by asking if I can interview them. I am passionate about romance. Read more to find out what they had to say! Happy Valentines Day!

Couple Four: Melissa & Cecil

Met: In 2003 at Sundance, were friends for years prior to a relationship.

They became best friends while getting to know each other through Sundance and Ceremonies. They never considered a potential ‘couples’ relationship as they were both attached and they attended the same ceremonies. It was a scary time, but love conquers everything – even outside interference. They work hard at their relationship. They are great friends and great strength to each other.

The first Meeting:

Melissa: We both found ourselves available for a relationship around the same time. We would use BBM on our BlackBerries and most of it was support to each other. And then we would go out to do small things like going to Walmart, and it just became so much fun. Doing regular everyday things became a lot of fun.

First assumptions:

Cecil: I always thought that she was very quiet. As I got to know her socially, I learned how much she loved humor. And I really love to hear her laugh. She has an infectious laugh.

Melissa: I was intimidated by him. He was so confident and articulate, and he has such a strong presence. It’s still true for him today. He is very intelligent and down to earth. And a great sense of humor.

What is admired of the other:

Melissa: I admire that he puts his heart in everything that he does. He is always thinking about future plans and being inspired by what he wants to do in the community.

Cecil: Her compassion; how much she cares for people. She likes to make life better for all of the people that she works with, other midwife students. She thinks about how she can implement changes not just for her but for the rest of the midwives who will be going after her. And she doesn’t look at others like they are competition; she just asks ‘why wouldn’t we work together?’ And she’s always thinking about their families. When we were still only friends I remember coaching her at ceremonies about getting into midwifery. She was so passionate about it. I knew she had to do it.

Important foundations of a healthy relationship:

Cecil: Faith, spirituality, strength, commonality. Sweats and ceremony are a healthy release.

Melissa: Trust, communication – a safe place to express ourselves. We look out for each other. We know when the other one needs ceremony or strength.

Cecil: Melissa is very intuitive.

Melissa: And we have a little dog too.

Cecil: Yeah, we have a little dog too. We are very open with our ceremony family and that is a real benefit to our
relationship. Learning the way each other deals with stress; its constant work and balance.

On the importance of dating:

Melissa: We enjoy dating and making time together – to go to a movie or something.

Cecil: The times that we travel together are the best. I used to travel alone on my motorcycle and now we drive together and we can discuss what happened on the way back. It’s very healing, just the sharing what we learned on the way home. Taking a regular experience for me, has made it so much more to do it together.

Melissa: Going away together is always so much fun, I love times when we get to go away, like to Minneapolis.

Advice you would give to others:

Melissa: I would say trust the process of the relationship; have faith that everything happens for reason. I would ask myself “is this too good to be true?”

What is fun:

Cecil: A healthy sexual relationship. Not enough people will talk about that, but the way that we connect emotionally and mentally is great. Our community can’t really talk about having healthy sexual relationships. We were brought up in a time where it was a dirty thing because of our history and residential school etc., but adult time is very important. It’s important to take time to be with each other and be together. Favorite memories are also just lying in bed laughing.

Melissa: We like to challenge each other and make each other laugh, I think that we really inspire each other with our passion and excitement in what each of us wants to do. We are always promoting positive things.

Cecil: We connect on all of those levels, our interests and our lifestyle. It’s amazing to be in love with my best friend.

Three words to describe the other:

Melissa: Strong, sensitive, loving.

Cecil: Strong, passionate, loving

Advice to self on the first date and to others:

Melissa: Be gentle with each other.

Cecil: Support each other’s dreams

Future plan:

Melissa: New adventures, changing careers. He will be retiring in a couple of years and I will be a midwifery graduate. It’s exciting to think about all of the possibilities. We like to be spontaneous and enjoy each other every day of the year.

On Valentines:

Cecil: We will probably do something to acknowledge it, but I like to do small things all the time, not just for one day.

Melissa: I like the fact that everyone is thinking about love on the same day every year.

Lovebirds 2014; Couple three: Cheri & Jaime

Lovebirds 2014; Couple three: Cheri & Jamie

Here is the story of the third of 5 Lovebirds that I set out to interview as part of my life coaching business, working with couples. I figured the best way to get people involved was to get them involved! And I did that by asking if I can interview them. I am passionate about romance. Read more to find out what they had to say! And an extra special Happy Valentines Day to these two, it’s their 15th year anniversary!!!

Couple three: Cheri & Jaime
Met: 1997 Winnipeg Adult Education Centre, Math Class

These two would open up an orphanage at their first opportunity. She is the sweetest, most gentle person, and he is the cool dude who couldn’t live without her. She sets out the strategic plan and he brings the power to execute it. Together, they are an amazing balance of oneness.

The first Meeting:

Cheri: I went to Winnipeg Adult Ed to do some upgrading so that I could get into a massage therapy course. I had to upgrade my math. I was focused on school. That’s the only reason I was there.

Jaime: I was upgrading because I had moved from the Philippines recently. I sucked at math. I was sitting at the back of the class with my big ear phones on. Cheri was way up at the front, she was really pretty up at the front. And she had some Filipino friends, so I knew I had an ‘in’. [We laughed. ]

Cheri: I didn’t know that he was trying to get my attention. I would wonder to myself “Why does he wear those big head phones and dress like that?”

Jaime: I had a Princess Leia thing going on, they were so big.

Cheri: So he started to make his way closer to me, one seat closer at a time, and closer and closer. And eventually he was next to me. He tried to ask this girl to switch – she was pregnant and almost due. I said “She`s going to be gone to have her baby soon, can’t you wait till then to take her spot?”.

Jaime: All of my friends liked her and thought she was hot. And we would all sit around and wait for her to walk by. I decided to ask her for help with my math.

Cheri: I don’t think we even worked on his math.

Jaime: I genuinely needed help with my math. They look at each other, trying to prove each other’s story. Laughing.

Jaime: We would go to the Y together, downtown to work out after school. I asked Cheri to come out for something to eat with me and my friends. There were a bunch of us. She was like one of the boys.
I knew she was cool right away. I admired that she was genuine. She was really interested in teaching me math.

Cheri: It was so funny because we went out to eat burgers and they were taking so long to eat and every time they would take a bite from their burger, they would all stop to wipe their faces with a napkin and it was like they were all in unison. I thought “What is wrong with these guys? They can’t even eat a burger!”

Jaime: We were all shocked because we had a girl eating with us. We didn’t know what to do. We forgot how to eat. Plus I was really impressed, she finished her whole burger.

Cheri: Yeah, I just ate it. I was like, “I don’t have time for this!“

Jaime: I liked that right away – a girl that likes to eat. I don’t have to be shy around her. I can eat what I want and not get hungry.

Qualities most admired:

Cheri: My grandma really liked him. I used to take care of my grandma. So Jaime would walk me to her place and sometimes he would come in and help me do her laundry.

Jaime: Yeah, I thought she was great; it was awesome that she took care of her family. I was brought up like that. That was important to me.

Cheri: He was always very supportive and helpful towards me and my family. I used to bring my little sister out too.

Best friends:

Cheri: We became really close. We hung out all the time, in a group of friends.

Jaime: We used to ask each other about dating other people. We never thought of us dating. One night, a bunch of us had plans to go out and she was going to set me up with one of her friends.

Cheri: We went out to a bar, a bunch of us. And I saw Jaime dancing with this girl I set him up with. And I saw them holding hands. Suddenly, I felt this bad feeling in my stomach. Just like..ugh..this isn’t right.

Jaime: She was holding my hand. I wasn’t holding her hand! And I tried to buy Cheri a drink. But she didn’t accept it. She said she wasn’t drinking. And then I saw her later at the bar and some guys showed up and bought her a drink and she took it.

Cheri: That wasn’t what it looked like. It was some really good friends of my late cousin, I couldn’t say no. They had looked out for me. It would have been rude for me to say no.

Jaime: So I saw that and was like, I’m done. I’m going home. I’m not having a good nigh anyway. That was February 13th.

Cheri: So the next day, I was at my Grandma’s. She asked me where Jaime was. I told her “I gave him away to another girl, Grandma”. And she said “What? Get him on the phone right now.” So I had to call Jaime. My Grandma took the phone.

Jaime: So her grandma called me and said “I heard you were mad at Cheri?” and I said “I’m not mad at her, I love your granddaughter.” And she said “What? You love her?” and I went “Wait, wait..” Laughing.

Cheri: My Granny handed me the phone and said, “Cheri, he loves you.”

Jaime: It was getting late. But we decided to hang out that night. It was February 14th. Fifteen years ago this year.

What is admired the most.

Cheri: I admire that he is hard working, he is committed and he provides for us. He is so laid back, outgoing and community minded. I am too, but I would do something in the community; like make a donation, but he goes out to volunteer. He has high energy. He’s a good father, he’s faithful. He’s honest. He is my best friend. There is nothing we can’t talk about, I don’t ever feel like he is going to judge me and we have a good team effort.

Jaime: Cheri and I grew up together. She has a good sense of direction. I always say that if it weren’t for her, I’d still be living in my dad’s basement. She keeps me straight. I can just be me and she is my best friend. She’s good too, she can read people, she’s so good at that and I trust her for it. She helped me grow. She lets me spread my wings. We have good team work.

On partner’s passions.

Cheri: Again I would have to say community involvement, he really gets involved and we go along with him, he’s helped raise so much money for so many things and it’s just because he likes to do it, not for recognition. It’s all outside his own work.

Important foundations to a healthy relationship:

Cheri: Communication, making sure to say the small things to show each other you appreciate each other, remembering to put your partner first, trust, being friends. Date night, holding hands! Gratitude, telling your partner that you love them.

Jaime: yeah, telling them that you love them, courtship, nurture your relationship

Cheri: We never argue. When we have disagreements, we have discussions. Especially when it comes to the kids, we discuss everything. We play a lot and do a lot of activities as a family. We are always doing activities.

Jaime: Cheri said to me the other day “we haven’t done something as a family in a little while, because it’s so cold outside”. I said “what do you mean? We were outside shovelling all together the other day!” [continues laughing].
If you settle and get comfortable and stop impressing your partner, your relationship will crumble.

Cheri: It is so easy to get busy.

Jaime: You would turn into room-mates, and you don’t want that. Make all the time you have alone into a date. Going to wal-mart can be a date! Be creative and make the time if you want it to work.

Most memorable date:

Cheri: We went to Vancouver for three days and saw Justin Timberlake and Jay Z. It was perfect.

Jaime: We also went to go and watch an NBA game, it was so nice to get away. We got lost when we were in Vancouver, we went into Stanley Park and we got lost. It was a good thing we were on motorized bikes. It was such a hot day!

Most memorable gift:

Jaime: Do kids count? I would have to say Jeremiah. [Their 12 year old son].

Cheri: Yeah, Jeremiah bonded us for real. We’re really not into material things.

Advice to yourself on your first date:

Jaime: Lost the hat & pick up your pants! [Breaks out with laughter again.] I thought I was so cool. And save money.

Cheri: We were young when we moved in together and were having a baby. I would say ‘just relax’. We were always penny pinching and stressed.

The most fun in your relationship:

Jaime: Every day is fun. Activities with the kids, enjoy the family. We just bought a cabin and we are looking forward to our first full season in the cabin.

Cheri: We enjoy each other constantly.

Jaime: We are not shy to show each other affection.

The awesome in your relationship:

Jaime: Filipinos are loud. We have great big birthday parties. But it was the first time with Jaime where we had cake and opening up gifts like that.
What inspires your relationship

Cheri: He is always determined. We got our starter home when we said we were going to, he’s always made sure we had a home for our family.

Jaime: She always had a plan for us; she knew what steps for us to take toward our goals.

Cheri: You just have to put it out there. Put out the intentions. You both have to want it.

Three words that describe each other:

Cheri: Energetic, Happy and stable.

Jaime: Grounded, smart, loving. What I love is that she has no reservation. Nothing is fake. Like with the burgers, there’s no play. I’m hungry…eat the burger!

Secrets to happiness:

Jaime: Celebrating milestones. [He looks at her]. I know it’s been 15 years but it doesn’t seem that long.

Cheri: It’s the little things that we appreciate. Acknowledgement of each other. I’m happy with a slow-dance.

Jaime: Oh, that’s one of the secrets…a solid play list!

Cheri: Honesty, open communication and listening.

Jaime: Forgive and move forward. This is a team. And don’t stop dating. Have dreams and goals. Cheri is the planner. She has clear vision. We put it into action. Love what you do together. Make it fun. Play. Volunteer together.

Future plans:

Cheri: Hawaii

Jaime: Africa!

Lovebirds 2014; Couple two: Carmen and Rick

Lovebirds 2014; Couple two: Carmen and Rick

Here is the second of 5 Lovebirds that I set out to interview as part of my life coaching business, working with couples. I figured the best way to get people involved was to get them involved! And I did that by asking if I can interview them. I am passionate about romance. Read more to find out what they had to say! Happy Valentines Day!

These two are past the interest and desire to waste any time trying to meet someone in a bar or other social events. They chose the daring adventure of meeting online and understand that you don’t find the type of person you really want to date in a bar environment anyway. You get to observe profiles, get a sign of people’s communication styles through how and what they chose to share, and you get to make safe choices from the comfort of your own home. She had pretty much given up on the idea that she would ever find the love of her life. And he didn’t even fit the criteria that she had listed on her profile. They are adorable; just looking at them made me want to giggle because I can see joy all around them. He’s 64, she’s 58.

Couple two: Carmen and Rick
Met: Online: June 18th, 2013 Officially: June 28th, 2013

The first Meeting:

Carmen: I sent him a message based on his profile and his picture online.

Rick: I wasn’t in her age bracket, according to what she was looking for.

Carmen: I saw a picture of him and thought; well he doesn’t look that bad for an old guy! We laughed.

Rick: She liked what she read so she sent me a picture, because she didn’t have a picture up.

Carmen: I have a profile in the community so I didn’t want to put it out there. When I sent him the picture, he didn’t respond right away so I was hurt. I thought ‘screw this’. So I decided to take the high road. I sent him a message and said “I guess there was no interest, good luck with your search.” And while I was trying to delete my profile, he sent a message saying…

Rick: ‘On the contrary, I find you attractive and interesting but you look like my ex-girlfriend and her daughter’s name is Carmen’. We laughed so hard. I had to think, do I want to date someone who reminds me of my ex-girlfriend? Well…so I thought I’d give it a try and we arranged a phone conversation.

Rick: When we talked on the phone, it was an easy connection. We could talk easily, lots of chemistry, conversation flows, lots of likes and dislikes and it just seemed like a really nice fit.

Carmen: from the 21st of June to the 28th, we spent about 40 hours on the phone. We talked about everything!

Rick: It’s an inner thing that you know. You know that it really feels comfortable. There is no demands, just easy living and it’s been that way the whole 7 months. She’s considerate and understanding and has the core values of what I was looking in for someone. She doesn’t take herself too seriously and is always considerate of others.

Carmen: I don’t think people pay enough attention to the signs of when things are not feeling right. People just kind of discount it but if people pay more attention to when their gut is telling them no, then when their gut is telling them yes, they would do a lot better.

First assumptions of the other:

Carmen: he was so easy to talk to and such a good communicator. That was so important to me and we just talk all the time. That was the first thing. I just knew that he was what he said he was. The person I was going to meet face to face was who he said he was.

Rick: same for me.

Qualities most admired about each other:

Rick: her consideration of others, her generosity to others, understanding and loving, caring.

Carmen: for me it’s all the same, he has a great sense of humor and he is even keeled. I never have to wonder if he’s going to be in a bad mood, or if I have to worry about how is going to be.

Rick: she always has a smile on her face. I never have to worry if I have to walk on egg shells. Even when she is not feeling good, she’s so easy to get a long with.

Carmen: And I can be the silliest person I need to be or want to be with him. And we can laugh until our stomachs are aching.

Rick: We both say that we have never laughed as much as we have laughed together over the last seven months. And we’re still laughing.

Carmen: I wake up in the middle of the night and I’ll just start laughing because of something stupid or funny I remembered happened during the day and then he asks me, “What are you laughing about?” And so I realize I’ve woken him up and I start laughing harder and I can’t even tell him why I’m laughing and next thing you know he’s laughing and it’s just ridiculous. It’s hilarious.

Passions adored about each other:

Carmen: Honesty and truthfulness and being up front. His son is so important to him, he only has his sister left in his family and that’s very important to him.

Rick: Her consideration for others. He turns to her, You are always putting others before yourself.
That’s number one. Her kindness and generosity; she always puts herself in other people’s positions, and she seems to grasp what they are dealing with and she responds accordingly. It’s very unique. She is self-made success. I admire that. Nothing was given to her. She worked hard for everything she has; she earned it.

Carmen: Rick’s work ethic. He built himself up as well, put himself through university. He did all of those things on his own too.

Rick: She has a kind heart. And I hear that from others. It was how her friends see her too.

On online dating/building profiles:

Carmen: In his profile he was looking for long term relationship, and I had listed that I was looking for casual dating because I didn’t think in no way would I find Rick. I thought well if I could just find someone to go on a date with once in a while, that maybe that was all I wanted.

Traditions in our relationship:

Carmen: In the seven months that we have been together, we have been together every day. We kind of have a nice Saturday morning tradition where we just enjoy our mornings in bed, with the news and our papers and checking out Facebook.

Rick: and it’s just something that we just kind of do that we don’t realize we do, but just enjoying that time together.

Carmen: we’ve grown so quickly in our relationship; it’s like we’ve been together forever. We work well in the kitchen together, we hold hands. We like to give greeting cards and touch base with a nice connection. And we give each other little gifts all the time.

On the importance of continuing to date:

It is very, VERY! If we are always doing the same thing, it becomes too routine. We have to do something different; whether it is out for dinner or a walk. We don’t want to get into that predictable schedule; we want to keep the spark. I always let him know he’s my sweetheart. Find ways to stay connected mentally emotionally, spiritually.

Rick: Yeah, dinner out to someplace you’ve never been is always nice. Go for a walk when the weather is nice.

Important foundations of a healthy relationship:

Rick: that two people are considerate of each other; one person is not always expected to be responsible for say, making supper. Changing up the routine.

Carmen: Honesty, consideration, laughter, laughter, laughter. Sense of humor is so important. We have to be able to laugh together. And I can’t imagine how many hours we’ve spent talking! Some of it is goofy, we feel like 14 year olds.

Rick: And not having the fear to share your inner feelings that the other person is going to lose it on you. True intimacy is really sharing what’s in your heart, without any fear from how the other person is going to react.

Most memorable date:

Rick: Carmen took me out to Gimli. I call that a date! This was something that she totally went out of her way. It was so considerate, for her to do this kind of surprise for someone.

Carmen: He’s a big race guy. I told him not to book anything on a Saturday. He asked for hints of where we were going; my hint was “perimeter”. He guessed “the States”, I said, “No, it’s not the states.” We stopped for lunch and he thought that was the surprise. But after lunch, we drove out to the race tracks to meet with David Rinehart, the Formula four Driver. And he got to ride in a car with one of the guys going 170 kms on the track. It was a very interesting event. Very Cool.

Carmen: My most memorable date is our first ‘real’ date. We went out for our first real date for dinner in Kenora. The server was welcoming us and said “Are you two celebrating, like your 25th anniversary?” And we laughed.

Rick: yeah because we’re so old! Lauging and we said, “No, more like 25 minutes!”.

Any advice you would give yourself for you on your first date:

Rick: Open the garage door before you leave

Carmen: He almost drove out of his garage door. I got face scrub in my eyes. We were so nervous.

Rick: we spent so much time on the phone that even though we were nervous, we knew exactly who we were going out to meet. It was the natural next step.

Most fun:

Rick: The laughter. We connect with each other in our humor and it’s so much fun.

Carmen: I can do the most stupid thing and he’ll just laugh at me and say “That’s my girl”. And we just laugh.

Rick: She lets me be me and it just lets me be free, with no pressure. It’s easy living.

Carmen: Our friends give us so many compliments. To hear “I’m jealous of what you have,” and “We approve of the two of you, we want to host your wedding when you’re ready,” and “You’re so happy, it’s so great to see,” is just amazing to hear. And it’s so nice to have family and friends welcome and approve of each of us.

Rick: My son calls her more than he calls me.

Three words to describe the other:

Carmen: Kind, funny & loving.

Rick: Considerate, loving and cute.

Carmen: If you have to guess in a relationship, “Does he love me?” or, “Is this right?” Then it isn’t.

Future plans:

Rick: I really appreciate her being in my life.

Carmen: I really can’t imagine. From the beginning, we knew that, “Finally, this was it!”Building a home and marriage… I never imagined in my life, we are working towards! I just can`t imagine spending the rest of my life without him.

On Valentine’s day:

Rick: We recognize and appreciate each other every day, but Valentine’s is a day for something special for someone; but something simple, so the other knows you are thinking about them.

Carmen: I lost my dad on Valentine’s Day 28 years ago. So I tend to not want to celebrate it ever. I stop shopping, I dread the cards coming out and I try to bypass all of Valentine`s. Valentine`s is the trigger for my reminders of the loss of my dad. This is the first time ever, I look forward to it. I couldn’t wait to go out and find him a card and get him something nice. I’m not afraid of it this year!

Carmen’s out going advice to others:

No matter what your age or background, don’t ever give up on finding real love! When you least expect it…

Lovebirds 2014; Couple one: Crystel and Ian

Lovebirds 2014; Couple one: Crystel and Ian

Here are the stories of 5 Lovebirds that I set out to interview as part of my life coaching business, working with couples. I figured the best way to get people involved was to get them involved! And I did that by asking if I can interview them. I am passionate about romance. Read more to find out what they had to say! Happy Valentines Day!

Met: Initially May 2000, officially 2001

When these this couple walked into the Forks market to meet me, it looked like she was bouncing as she hung on to his arm. He is tall, handsome, a complete gentlemen. She smiles and asks for some hot chocolate. Off he goes. These two whisper to each other in public places and nothing gets in the way of their loving stares at each other, checking each other out.

The first Meeting:

Ian: I was visiting my brother (who was dating Crystel’s friend) in Winnipeg, from BC. The first time I saw Crystel we sat at the kitchen table. She was eating poutine. She didn’t say a word. I thought she was cute, but I was thinking “I probably shouldn’t hit on her”, even though I wanted to. The next time I was visiting, my brother had to go to the hospital.
Crystel was there when it happened and she left me a really long note. I appreciated that she was thinking of me and left the note but in the whole letter, she never said what happened. All I knew was that there was blood everywhere.
There is a lot of laughing happening, especially because we know that his brother turned our fine.

Crystel: I really liked him too. I thought he was quiet and mysterious. And he was sexy. But I wasn’t going to say anything.

Assumptions of one another:

Ian: I made an assumption that she knew me. She knew my brother pretty well and so I assumed that she knew all about me.

Crystel: I admired that he was and is athletic, he’s very patient and that he seeks spirituality.

Ian: I admire that Crystel is compassionate, stubborn, (He likes a challenge), and spiritual.
Most important foundations to a healthy relationship:

Both: We value our spiritual connection, and communication, honesty with each other. They look at each other and nod.

Ian: and knowing when to say ‘Yes dear’. They laugh.

Crystel: That took him a long time to learn that!

Ian: We smudge and pray together and with our children.

Crystel: We drum and sing as a family and do a check in with each other when we smudge. We say how we are feeling and it brings us close as a family to share that. We go to the Sweat Lodge, Sundance, and enjoy spiritual therapy. And we inspired each other to stop having alcohol in our lives. For me to have Ian In this journey helped me to be stronger.
We also do an activity called Temperature Reading. This was Ian’s idea. It makes us set aside a time to tell each other what we appreciate about each other, look at our calendar, discuss weekly plans, future plans and goals and clarify any misunderstandings that might have happened over the week. It’s very useful.
The importance of continuing to date:

Ian: Huge! It’s very important. It’s fun and we enjoy it. It’s part of our routine.

Crystel: Sometimes we are home a lot and I’m content. Sometimes it’s spontaneous, Ian will just ask me “Want to go out tonight?” and other times we just make plans to go out.

Most memorable date:

They look at each other in agreement: This last one, on December 31st, 2013. We went out dancing and laughing, we had a great time.

Ian: They are all good.

Most memorable gift:

Crystel: When Ian and I were long-distance dating,(Him Vancouver, Her Winnipeg,) I received a package in the mail. It was a braid of sweetgrass with a carved handle made of driftwood. He carved it. It looked like an eagle. Another gift he sent me one time was a VHS. He had a movie he wanted me to see and we couldn’t watch it together, so he mailed it to me. It was Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. I watched it with my parents.

Ian: My most memorable gift, I would have to say my children.
If I could give myself advice when we started dating:

Ian: practice the words “Yes Dear.” We laugh

Crystel: Set boundaries.

Inspiration:

Ian: I love that Crystel is an activist type of person, and I am not.
Three words to describe each other:

Ian: She is beautiful, spiritual. And ditsy.
Crystel: Ian is dedicated, he’s loving and patient.

Funny first date-ish story:

Ian: I liked to take Crystel out to new restaurants, of different ethnicities. When I would drop her off at home, her granny used to say “Where did he take you this time?” It was so cute.

Crystel: I was visiting Ian in Vancouver and he wanted to take me out on Valentine’s but he didn’t make any reservations. We went out to a restaurant on Commercial drive and Ian got yelled at by the maitre’d. It was so funny. He told Ian, “Don’t you know this is the busiest night of the year!”

Ian: Last year in Vancouver something pretty funny happened, at English Bay. We were relaxing on the beach and there was this man running around in the sand giving away clothes to people. And he came walking by us and I could see him going towards Crystel. He was handing her some clothes, I could see from the corner of my eye and I was thinking, “Oh no, she’s going to take it!” She asked him, “What size is it?” and he said, “Size slutty!” It was his girlfriend’s and they got into a fight so he was giving her things away. It was very funny!

Secrets to a happy marriage:

Ian: We don’t have the answers. We use tools, we see a spiritual therapist together…that helps and we celebrate our relationship. The exercise of going to see our spiritual therapist makes it special. It’s worth going to see her. It’s reminders that our marriage is special.

Crystel: Going to see her was Ian’s idea. I don’t know why he doesn’t just listen to me. She says laughing

Ian: It nice to have someone celebrate your marriage.

Future Plans:

Ian: More travelling.

Crystel: Agrees. Lots of travelling.

Lovebirds 2014

Lovebirds 2014

“You are such a romantic” someone once said to me. I got a little embarrassed…but I am so passionate about romance. I think this passion came forward for me when I wrote two separate Maid of Honor speeches a few years ago.

But maybe what I think romance is, and what others think it is, is different. Is romance something that people read about in books? Is romance a tale with fantasy and made up heroes and exaggerated daydreams?

I am a romantic. I believe in love, romantic spirit, courtship and men being gentlemen. John Gray describes your soul mate as being someone who shares all of physical chemistry, emotional chemistry, mental chemistry and spiritual chemistry.

I set out to find some real, true love stories within my networks, to highlight and celebrate examples of couples who I believe are “doing it right” because based on the foundations of a healthy relationship they desire and plan (and work) to keep love alive in their lives. They love each other (and like each other), they are honest, respectable, hardworking people… and I admire what they have. I am however, quite in love as well.

I set out to find the love stories because as a Life Coach, I aim to work with couples. Work with them in the capacity of goal planning and strengthening connections on new levels. I thought the best way to get them involved was to get them involved. I am so thankful that they welcomed this opportunity to celebrate their story. The fact that it fell around Valentine’s Day was not complete coincidence. I thought it was a good time to poke that elephant in the room and get people talking about romance. This project was very welcomed and I’m happy to say that I have more couples to interview which I see as a great year round project.

I know that Love is real and being “in-love” is attainable. A good place to start is that it comes from being content in all areas of your life and includes some self-love, accepting that you deserve to be in love and have the love you want.

Relationships should not be like tabloid relationships; meet someone, date for a week, have sex and maybe learn his middle name. That does not equal the commitment mark and is not a foundation for a long term successful relationship, if you haven’t already noticed.

Women should be courted; we love it, first of all. And this should never stop. If it has stopped, start doing it again and don’t give up. And women need to accept and acknowledge this courtship, receiving of courtship does not mean you jeopardize being a strong independent woman, but allowing him to do the little things (and asking for him to do it is ok too) and really thanking him for doing them, excluding all complaints, will go a real distance.

Important components in a good healthy relationship:
• acceptance, of yourself and each other
• communication, with honesty, understanding plus interesting and enjoyable conversation
• cherishing – each other
• and laughter, lots of laughter.

I don’t claim to have all the answers, I don’t have ‘professional relationship training/expertise’, but I do know what I have learned while feeding my curiosity about loving relationships, reading, talking to people, reading some more and a little bit of experience.

Let me share the true love stories with you, of those who have shared with me, from a perspective of love for romance. I am quite sure you will enjoy the sweet stories of these lovebirds and I will share them with you tomorrow.

Jessica Dumas
Certified Life Coach