Michele and Tom
Tom and Michele met online. On the site that they were on, you put up your profile and it asks for a radius of how far a distance from where you live you are willing to meet someone and then you receive a list of similar people. You review them and decide if you would be interested in contacting them. Tom’s profile came up and Michele decided to message him. She said to herself, “No one knows but me that I’m contacting him so if he’s not interested there are no hurt feelings and I won’t feel rejected. Tom answered right away. For some reason it was the only time Michele blocked her phone number after selecting him so she would be doing the calling. The following day, Michele decided to reach out to Tom. It happened to be Boxing Day and she was out shopping. Tom was leaving for Saskatoon, Saskatchewan with his kids to visit his family. On December 30, after Tom returned they went for a drink. When they were talking on the phone they went through the usual questions, like Where are you from? and Where did you grow up? Michele said, “I’m from a small town and I’m sure you’ve never heard of it. Tom said “Try me.” She said “Pilot Mound, Manitoba.” Tom said “Do you know the Brooks’? and Michele replied “Yes” and Tom asked further, “Do you know Derek Brooks?” Michele in shock replied, “I used to babysit him and now he is one of my closest friends.” Michele is from the same home town as me and it has a population of 700 people so you can imagine that she was quite surprised when their two worlds collided.
It was a Thursday when they met and Michele had plans for New Years’ Eve and Tom came with her to a party and met several of her friends. Two days later Michele took Tom to one of her closest friends’ for dinner.
Tom commented that, “It’s easy enough to sort out what you have in common and your interests through your on-line profiles and having both coming from previous relationships you have realistic expectations. You’re down to earth and more practical.” For Tom, if nothing else it was a bit of a pasttime-looking through profiles.
They started dating with greater frequency after New Years. Within four or five months they had a pretty good idea that they wanted to be together. Michele started to bring little end tables over and knickknacks to his house to make it look more cosy. After five months they decided they would just move in together. Tom said they were so comfortable and it felt right almost immediately. They were compatible and had everything they were each looking for.
Michele knew pretty quickly Tom was the one for her. She knew what she did and didn’t want and for her it was just all there with Tom. They didn’t make the commitment til a few months in but they knew beforehand. Early on in the relationship, Michele talked to a friend who had known Tom for years through business dealings and her friend commented, “If I had to describe Tom in one word it would be genuine.” It’s an amazing way to describe someone and her friend’s comments made a big impression on Michele.
Michele’s children were adults and living in a different province. Tom’s children were 12 and 14 and he saw his children at different times of the week and on the weekend. It was not an issue at all, rather it was just a matter of everyone finding the new norm and establishing their relationship.
June 1st 2011, was the day Tom and Michele moved in together. That weekend they were lying in bed on Sunday morning having a practical discussion about their relationship and the fact they now lived under one roof. I think we had decided what we wanted in the other person and Tom just very casually proposed, “Why don’t we just get married?” Tom remarked, “We are both relationship people–we crave having someone in our lives. Since we were going to be together anyway we might as well get married.
The following year Tom and Michele were married by a Justice of the Peace in the Fort Gary Hotel in Winnipeg, Manitoba in front of a small group of friends and family.
Tom says he knows it’s a cliche, but appreciate what you have.
It’s just being able to sit back appreciate someone else’s company appreciate your quality of life and appreciate being able to laugh and just enjoy things and having stability and security and that feeling of being appreciated and loved by someone else. Those are the things that are super meaningful and if you take that into account and you understand what’s really important, it makes life a whole not easier. You’re not chasing some crazy rainbow that isn’t all that important.
Michele agrees 100 percent. Her wish is that everyone else laughs as much as we do–tears in eyes laughter. We enjoy each other’s company and he is my very best friend and there is no one I would rather spend time with. We have fun together–we play the music loud and car dance just getting the groceries.
When they moved back to Manitoba, Michele tried to book the table at the bar where they first had met and had a drink together and then Covid hit and the bars were closed. Some people have struggled in the pandemic because they have no outside social circle but we have enjoyed each other’s company. When they only wanted one person per household to do errands it was tough because they do everything together whether it’s getting groceries or going to the mall. They don’t like to go on their own because they really do enjoy each other’s company.
Michele says the biggest thing they work at every day is communication. Our communication styles are completely different. There are different things you can adjust. For example, how you do things to fit with how your partner does them or things you can meld together to match your partner’s way of doing something. Communication styles aren’t like that. You have to learn what your partner’s style is, understand it and appreciate it.
“I’m a talker,” says Michele. “I don’t need a yes or no but I do need to say all the words that are in my head. Tom is not. He is a muller and if something comes up he doesn’t react to the conversation. It feels to me sometimes and what I’ve had to get past, is the feeling that he’s shut down when really he just needs time to process.” If they are having an emotional discussion their extreme communication styles makes it tough. If it’s household things it’s not really difficult. They’ve grown the most from their abilty to adapt to their different styles.
Broadcast Love wishes Michele and Tom many more years of laughter and joy together!