If Your Inner Voice Says Go To That Barbecue, Take a Listen

Married 25 Years

Cindy and Chris

Cindy and Chris own and run a boutique hotel in Cruz De Juanacaxtle, Mexico called Villa Amor DelMar and have been together 27 Years

Chris and his boat were stranded in Victoria because he needed a part and it wasn’t available–he had to wait. He called his friend to meet for a drink and his friend was going to a barbecue for the Victoria Chapter of Young Entrepreneurs Organization(YEO) and invited him along–Chris was a member of the Vancouver Chapter and he decided to go. Cindy was also a member of YEO–having her own interior design company. She was reluctant to go to the barbecue because everyone there was a couple. At the last minute, for some reason, Cindy decided to attend.

When she arrived, the evening’s hostess said, “I have a single guy here for you to meet and introduced her to Chris. Cindy claims he followed her around like a puppy for the rest of the evening and Chris says he was wagging his tail. When Cindy was ready to leave, Chris suggested they go dancing and they did at a local pub called Swans and when it closed down they moved onto another night club called Overtime which was open til 4:00 a.m. When they walked out there were two cabs out front. Chris doesn’t believe in putting ladies in cabs alone so he got in with her and when they arrived at her place he suggested he stay over in the bathtub and Cindy said, “No.”

There is an unwritten rule in the YEO that if a member comes to town from another city you need to roll out the red carpet and show them the city. When Chris called at 9:30 the next morning and asked if Cindy wanted to do something, she agreed and they spent the day together touring around Victoria. That was the beginning of their 27 year relationship. They took turns going back and forth on the ferry as Chris lived in Vancouver.

Within the first month, Cindy knew Chris was the one because she wouldn’t meet Chris’s children until she knew it was for sure and on September 25 a month and four days after the barbecue, she attended Chris’s son’s birthday party. Chris pretty much knew that night at the barbecue. Chris recalls, there was a particular walk along the ocean, staring up at the stars where they discussed their philosophy and realized they both believed in God and were both family oriented people. This walk for Chris confirmed that he’d found his next best friend and partner for life.

On May 27, 1995, around two years after they had met, Chris brought his 750 Honda motorbike over for the weekend with the wedding ring in his pocket. They drove up Vancouver Island to Parksville and Cindy wanted to see a grocery story she had designed so they headed to Rathtrevor Beach. They bought things for a beach picnic and when they were setting up, Chris snuck the ring into the top of the potato salad. Chris had said more than once that he wasn’t ready to get married so Cindy was not expecting anything. Cindy saw the ring in the potato salad and thought the lady in the deli had dropped it and proceeded to try and convince Chris that they needed to go back right away and give it to her. She repeated this a couple of times and Chris just smiled and said nothing. On the third time, Cindy figured it out. Chris got down on one knee and asked her to marry him.

BC Ferries is the largest ferry corporation in the world and ferries go back and forth between Vancouver and Victoria every hour and Chris and Cindy had spent a significant amount of time on that ferry route. So much so that Cindy’s brother joked that’s where they should get married. They thought about it and Chris wrote a letter to the Ferry Corporation and they agreed to allow them to exchange vows on the top deck of the Spirit of Vancouver Island ferry on August 27, 1995. Pictures in Stanley Park were followed by a reception held in her brother’s nightclub in Gas Town in Vancouver. One of Cindy’s fondest memories is all the little kids dancing and enjoying the disco lights.

Cindy jokes with Chris that she’ll give him one more week if he’s been good. Chris understands that what’s behind that is not taking each other for granted and appreciating each other. They respect and honour one another and they do that in a number of ways. They always say please and thank you. There is no competition about whose job is more important or whose making more money–they’re a team and they work together and help each other out. Chris and Cindy make an effort to eat together every day and say grace. They both work hard and at the same time, respect one another’s need to take a break and have a rest.

Chris asked his Mom on his parents’ fortieth wedding anniversary what their secret was and she said,

Imagine two pieces of gravel being put into a rock tumbler and eventually they knock the sharp corners off one another and they each become polished as a result.

Hi parents have now been married 65 years. Chris and Cindy know there will be ups and downs in their lives but they never quit loving each other. When they first were dating, Cindy was in the car with Chris’s young son and she opened the trunk of her car, which Chris had been driving, and found that her business files had been all strewn about because he had been driving too fast. She was mad and Chris’s son started crying because he was concerned they were going to break up. Cindy bent down and looked him in the eye and explained, “We’re not breaking up, we promised each other we will be together til the end.” His son then confessed that his Dad had taken some corners rather fast.

Eleven and a half years ago, Chris sold his company to the guy who hosted the YEO barbecue where he met Cindy. Chris and Cindy discussed going to Mexico for a one year sabbatical. Although they vacationed in Mexico every year, Cindy was initially hesitant to move there but she agreed. After two years of living and working as an interior designer in the area, they found a property and decided to turn it into a hotel. It meant giving up their dream home in Vancouver that they had just built. This decision was made after significant pray and meditation and they have never looked back having been there 11 and a half years. Chris’s background is in construction and by working together they turned it into a beautiful boutique hotel. Now they have bought the house next door and will convert it as well into hotel rooms. They work and play around the clock and have still managed to find a healthy balance.

Broadcast Love wishes Cindy and Chris all the best in their new project and we know you’ll have each other’s backs for years to come.

The Heart Has Reasons That Reason Knows Nothing Of

Nancy and Andrew

Married 12 Years

Victoria, British Columbia

This is Nancy’s favourite quote from Blaise Pascal and definitely suits their love story. I often wonder how it is that couples I have interviewed end up in the same cities and same events where they meet one another–there does not appear to be much logic to love. Nancy lived in Calgary, Alberta and was visiting a friend in Victoria and her brother whose name is also Andrew. Nancy and her girlfriend were shopping and ended up at Andrew’s surf store as a friend worked there. While talking with her friend, she mentioned she was in Victoria to visit Andrew. The now husband Andrew, went into the back of the store and asked his friend whether Nancy was serious about this Andrew guy and his friend laughed and told him it was her brother.

Right there and then after a five minute interaction, Andrew replied to his friend, “I’m pretty sure I’m going to marry that girl.”

Shortly thereafter Nancy ran into some friends from Calgary and they invited Nancy and her girlfriend to a party that night. When the two arrived, the house was packed with people. Nancy went into the kitchen to get ice where she spotted Andrew. She said it was like the scene from Big Fish where Ewen McGregor’s character sees his love interest, time stops and all he can focus on is that person. She walked right over to Andrew and interrupted his conversation “I need to talk to you.” Nancy knew she was going to marry him that night. They continued to talk the entire night and ended up sleeping over at a friends house on the couch. Andrew asked her out on a date the next night–they picked up food from Little Thai Place and went to Cadboro Beach and sat under a tree which Nancy painted and that tree is hanging up in their home.

Before cell phones, people had to remember people’s phone numbers or phone a friend who had the phone number and that is what Nancy did when she needed her friend’s phone number. She wrote the number down on a random page in Andrew’s phone book. She called her friend to say that she wasn’t coming home that night after her date with Andrew. Andrew dropped Nancy off the next morning around 6:30 am as he was planning on an early morning surf. Instead, however, he drove back to his house and searched through the phone book looking for the number Nancy had written down. Many of you won’t know what a phone book even looks like, but I will tell you they are thick with thin pages and finding one number scrawled on a random page would have been difficult. It’s the kind of thing you do if you can’t imagine saying good-bye to someone just yet. Andrew found the number and they went for breakfast. One of the things that sealed the deal for Nancy was the kind manner in which he spoke to the waitress–she knew he was a good person. When Nancy got back to Calgary, she made a care package for Andrew including a love letter, good coffee and some music and she jokingly wrote, “I’ll see you in a week.” There were cheap fares available back then and she did just that–flew back that Friday. That flight was the first of many back and forth to see one another and the beginning of their whirlwind romance.

Andrew had just gotten out of a relationship and they had planned a trip to Indonesia together and neither had cancelled their flights. He felt responsible, not wanting his ex-girlfriend to travel alone so he went on the trip in the fall. Nancy had no choice but to just be cool about it. When he came back, Andrew broke up with Nancy, not because he had reunited with his ex-girlfriend but rather because that relationship had been long distance and he didn’t want another long distance relationship. Nancy was heartbroken but she did not try to change his decision. She believes in the saying, “If you love them, let them go.” Then they didn’t talk again until November when he called to check in on her–she lied and said she was fine. That New Years Nancy had broken her collar bone and was staying at her dad’s sleeping in a chair to remain comfortable and that is where she was when she received Andrew’s call at 3:00 am on New Years’ Eve. Andrew was very amorous but Nancy gave him a cool reception which made Andrew more attracted to her–he knew he wanted to marry Nancy. Andrew came out to Calgary for business in January and they saw each other. Nancy was very cautious, partly because of her feelings and also her families’ feelings because they had seen how sad she was and weren’t sure getting back together was a good idea. When they saw each other, the romance just picked up from where they’d left off.

Their long distance romance consisted of many interesting mini-holidays because when you only get to see each other on the weekend you want to make the most of it. Andrew and Nancy were on a surf trip and he was driving her back to Vancouver airport for her flight back to Calgary. They had talked about moving in together but Nancy was cautious and had joked, “I can’t possibly move in with you because you have no room in your closet.” She flew back to Calgary and when she arrived at work the next morning, there was an email from Andrew with a pdf file of an architectural drawing of a reconfiguration of his bedroom to include a closet for Nancy. She saw the email, stood up from her desk, packed up her items and gave her boss notice. Shortly thereafter, Nancy drove to Victoria and moved in with Andrew. Despite her families’ concerns about her ability to get a job Nancy was hired her first week in Victoria and surprisingly, to her parents–not as a waitress.

Nancy reflects, “When we first met, it wasn’t the right time for Andrew and I cared enough for him that I was willing to wait for him. Andrew was the only person who had ever broken up with me and now we’re married. He made his own decisions and I need someone who is whole and complete in themselves.”

Nancy and Andrew were about to travel to Tahiti where Andrew had planned to propose on a beach. He picked the ring up the day before they were leaving and he was so excited, he couldn’t wait. Andrew asked Nancy while they were sitting on the couch that night. Nancy replied, “Of course.” like he was asking a rhetorical question. The two families were both excited about the engagement despite a few initial concerns from Nancy’s mom.

Andrew and Nancy value each other’s opinion and just naturally made decisions together from the beginning. They also have the same ideas about how money works which is such an important factor for couples and worth having a conversation about before moving in together.

Nancy mentioned their core values are the same but that doesn’t mean they agree on everything. In fact, they are both quite opinionated and differences of opinion are not unusual. Andrew is quick to add, differences of opinion don’t have to be anything more than that. You can agree to disagree.

Nancy and Andrew both have their own interests and they give each other space to pursue them. For Andrew that’s surfing and Nancy doesn’t surf because that’s his solace and she doesn’t want to interfere with that.

Broadcast Love wishes Andrew and Nancy many more fun-filled adventures together!

University Sweethearts

Married 16 Years

Jen and Steve

San Jose, California

Steve spotted Jen standing by a bike rack on the UC Davis campus and the first thing Steve noticed was Jen’s nice legs. Turned out they had several mutual friends. Jen noticed him but they didn’t really have much of a chance to get to know one another and Steve had a girlfriend so he wasn’t on Jen’s radar. Steve to study in Italy for a semester and while he was gone Jen got to know more of his friends as they were all biology majors and took most of their classes together.

Steve returned in senior year and before they dated, Jen remembers telling her girlfriends,

If I just had a chance to have one date with him, I’d be happy for the rest of my life.

Jen

Jen was head over heels before they even dated. They started to spend more time together and in February of their senior year, they went swing dancing with a group of friends–their official first date. It wasn’t long before they started to spend all their time together. Prior to meeting Steve, Jen had been focused on getting high marks–Steve was a distraction and Jen received her first B.

Even though they hadn’t been dating that long–only four or five months, they decided that where ever they went next, they would go together. Jen and Steve knew this relationship was for the long haul. Jen was planning on nursing school and Steve law school. By summer, they met each other’s families and it was a natural fit. Even their friends around them knew they would get married.

They ended up in Baltimore and Northern Virginia–only an hour apart from one another and commuted every weekend. When Jen graduated she moved to Virginia and after their engagement they bought a house and moved in together.

Steve used all of his savings as a summer associate at a law firm and bought a ring from a local jewelery boutique in Virginia. He held onto it until he could ask Jen’s parents in person for their blessing. Around New Years, he had the chance to ask Jen’s parents–he knew his dad was going to make him sweat a little bit. He had been given a big mallet from Jen’s sister as a joke to be used against spiders which he hates. Jen’s father wielded the mallet back and forth in his hand for dramatic affect while Steve asked but in the end both mom and dad gave their approval.

Jen’s parents live on the San Juan Islands and there is a hike to the top of the island and Steve had planned to ask Jen at the top of the mountain. However, Jen was sick and Steve had to postpone the plans for a day. Meanwhile, Jen’s mom had told her family and they were calling during the day to see if Jen had said yes making it difficult to keep the plan a secret. Steve managed and the next day at the top he got down on one knee and proposed.

A year later, they got married in Long Beach where Jen had grown up. They were able to have their reception at the same place where Jen’s parents held their reception thirty years earlier.

Steve wouldn’t say they are opposites because many of their values are the same but at the same time they have different strengths and weaknesses. They make a good team and their skills complement one another.

Jen says appreciating the differences in each other is important. Steve’s more relaxed about parenting and Jen is okay with that because it provides balance. Steve appreciates Jen’s organizational skills and her ability to manage the house and home and get everything done.

Broadcast Love wishes you many more years of happiness and joy.

Love At First Bite

Dave and Carol

Married over 28 Years

Carol and Dave attended the same university and in 1985 they both attended a campus party. Carol saw Dave and said to him, “My best friend’s having a party next week, why don’t you come and bring some friends?” and Dave did. At Carol’s best friend’s party she walked up and offered him some “crisps” aka potato chips. Then she offered to show him a picture of her with long hair. He was smitten. Dave asked Carol if she would like to go for a drink sometime and Carol said Yes, let’s go next week and Dave said, No, I was thinking this week. He was very keen. Their first date was at the Shoulder of Mutton Pub. Not hard to guess where this couple is from.

There were several indications that Dave was smitten with Carol. Dave would come to Carol’s house and wait while she finished getting ready and Carol and her roommates would offer him tea. Dave didn’t tell Carol for months that he didn’t like tea because he didn’t want to be rude. Carol moved to Florida in the States to work at Disney World for six months and Dave came to visit her and brought the four friends who came to the initial party with him.

Carol jokes that Dave still doesn’t know if she’s the girl for him. The truth is Carol and Dave both agreed it was pretty much love at first site. They were only 19 but at some point within the first two to three months they both knew they would be together.

Carol would say I never asked her.

Dave

About five years into our relationship, Dave remembers asking her dad for his blessing to marry Carol. Dave was nervous but he said yes and from that point on the parents started planning the wedding.

Dave says Carol would say that over that length of time–five years, that they just arrived at the conclusion that they were getting married. Dave disputes this and claims he did ask her and they planned a romantic getaway in beautiful Chester, England–one of the best-preserved medieval cities in Britain. Carol chose her ring in Chester, making it official.

Dave says that communication is what makes them work and that you need to find things that you like to do as a couple and do them as often as possible. Dave and Carol go for walks almost every evening. They also enjoy travelling together.

Carol says you have to have fun together. You need to think of the bigger picture–remembering when your head’s down and your kids are driving you mad, you’ve always got each other and you have to invest in that relationship.

Carol and Dave, Broadcast Love wishes you many more decades of fun adventures together.

Marriage is Like a Dance and This Couple Has Found Their Rhythm

Susanne and Gordon

Susanne and Gordon met in 1999 after Susanne moved from Germany to Charleston, South Carolina in the United States. Gordon had just come back from a bad knee injury. They were partnered up to perform the Snow Pas de Deux in Nutcracker. Susanne had come from a large company and in her words was quite arrogant. She didn’t like him at all at the beginning and complained quite a bit about his performance. One night they were standing in the wings and he turned to her and said,

When we get married our kids could have a German, American and Canadian passport.

Gordon

Something happened in that moment and Gordon’s comment took all her nervousness away. They did their best performance because they weren’t fighting each other anymore–they performed as a couple.

When Gordon was a young boy, his mother gave him a notebook. In the notebook, he wrote down everything he ever wanted. Susanne was in that book–he had written that he wanted to marry a European, blue-eyed, blonde-haired dancer, with an accent, preferably from Berlin, Germany. Gordon apparently believed in manifesting before it became a thing.

When Susanne wasn’t spending time with him everyday and surrounded by his energy, she realized how much she missed him. They had a break after the Nutcracker performances and Susanne could not put her finger on what she was feeling–she had this knowing that he was the one for her and she was in Charleston to meet Gordon. Susanne really fought these feelings because this was not her plan. She was engaged at the time to another man–she had moved from Germany to Charleston to be with her fiance. The engagement broke off a couple of months later–Gordon and Susanne moved in together in March.

Seven years prior to us meeting, Gordon had auditioned at the company Susanne was a part of in Berlin. They never let him in the door because he didn’t have an appointment. So they would have met seven years earlier had he been allowed to audition.

In the summer of the year they met, they moved to Portland, Oregon. When they drove to Portland from Charleston, they stopped in Las Vegas and he took Susanne to Tiffany’s to “just look at rings.” The one she liked appeared out of his pocket on a rainy day in stall 13 in a parking lot in Portland on November 29 and it was beautiful. It was after rehearsal and they had given Susanne a really hard time that day and it was Gordon’s way of just letting her know that she was loved. They were married that summer in Charleston in a beautiful church.

After Charleston, they spent about six months in Sydney, Australia. Susanne didn’t feel comfortable there and the immigration laws were very restrictive. They moved back to Germany when she was six months pregnant and lived in her mom’s basement until they found a place of their own a few weeks later in Berlin. Their first son was born in July on the night of a full moon.

By the time Susanne was thirteen, she knew Germany wasn’t the right place for her. They had travelled to visit Gordon’s parents in Victoria, British Columbia Canada a couple of times. Susanne wanted her children to have a loving set of grandparents and her mother couldn’t provide that. They packed up and moved within two months of their son’s birth and lived with Gordon’s parents for six months before finding their own place in Victoria.

Without hesitation, Susanne says, it’s Gordon’s love that has made them successful. She knows that she is the most important thing in his world and there is nothing he wouldn’t do for her. If Susanne just mentions that she doesn’t want to do something, she doesn’t even finish the sentence and he’s doing it.

They got married in their twenties and now they are in their forties and they’ve been through many things together. They went through loosing everything–all their investments in the States after building their dream ballet company. In hindsight they gave up too quickly. Ballet was Susanne’s first love. That love diminished with everything that was put on them to become a dancer and in her late twenties the pain was worse than her love of dance. It wasn’t fun anymore. They went through giving up their ballet careers together. They have raised three boys together. Through these life experiences they have changed–they are different people with different expectations.

Susanne did not grow up in a house where they ever used the words, “I love you.” She never heard it from her mother growing up. When she married Gordon she was surrounded by love 24/7. After 15 or so years she started pushing it away–old habits started to seep in and she started to not believe Gordon’s feelings. She had to really work on that and stop resisting the love he was offering and let him in. Susanne’s advice,

Tell people you love them as often as you can because you are not loosing anything. It doesn’t hurt.

Susanne

It may feel different because you aren’t used to saying it, but let your ego go and explore what’s on the other side of these words.

Broadcast Love wishes you many more years of happiness and joy and adventures in this dance called love.

Cost Benefit Analyses Aren’t Just for Finance–They also Help With Knowing When to Gracefully Walk Away

Michael and Susan

Married Over 20 Years

Michael was visiting a friend of his at Cambridge University in England and they decided to attend a formal ball at Oxford in 1998. Before it became common place to date online, there was Yahoo! Personals and this is where this couple met initially. The ball was their first ever in-person meeting about four months after they had met on-line. Michael was a former Captain in the Royal Marines and wore his uniform to the ball–mainly because he didn’t have money for a tuxedo. It was a brown serge with a red beret and sash. She was a recent newcomer to Britain as a Rhode Scholar studying at Oxford and thought he was a drum major. Susan wore a black cocktail dress and long gloves and Michael was smitten.

A month later she went back to Boston and Michael thought this would be the end of it. Three months later he found himself in Boston working at Chez Robert–he was a troubleshooter/consultant for French chefs on the east coast of the United States. Their first formal date outside their meeting at Oxford was at The Federalist in Boston. She told him she was a vegetarian and asked him to order for them. He had the duck and Susan ordered the lobster. Susan ate off his plate all night. She would like to be vegetarian but struggles.

After the second day they met in Boston, he knew she was the one. They continued this long distance relationship with Michael spending about $1000 per month on phone bills. When he proposed six months later, he realized she was the one he wanted to talk to for the rest of his life.

Susan was finishing her Phd in Boston and he was in Dallas where he was living for the time being. She called at midnight to say she had finished work for the night on her dissertation–she left her wallet at home and had no money and was hungry and it was an hour long walk home. Long before the internet, Michael, using 555-1212 (directory assistance) managed to get her a pizza at 1:30 am and a cab for to take her home. That’s true love.

Michael moved from Boston to Los Angeles where Susan’s parents’ lived. He had taken a position at the Bacara Resort in Santa Barbara. Michael was at their home and telling them of his proposal plans.

Susan’s mom asked him to take off his pants. Why? She said, “I’m going to secure the ring for you.” She sewed the ring to the inside of his pants so that he didn’t loose it.

However, this posed a problem at airport security and it had to be torn out and was very hard to explain. Typically, Michael travels very light with just a backpack. In addition to the ring sewn in his pants, his Korean mother-in-law had given him an enormous jar of kimchi and a huge bag of rice to take on the plane for Susan. It’s a wonder he isn’t still in the back room at airport security.

Susan and Michael went back to the Federalist where they had had their first official date. This time Susan ordered a steak and he proposed–nine months after their first meeting at the ball. They were married a year later. He proposed in January, her defense was in May and she was to come to Los Angeles in July.

They were planning to get married at the Ritz-Carlton Bacara Resort in Santa Barbara where Michael was currently working. However, he took a new position in San Fransisco and plans changed. Susan took a position as an adjunct professor at Stanford University in Palo Alto and that’s where they lived. They got married August 11, 2001 at the Presidio Officer’s Club in San Fransisco–they were the first ever civilian wedding held there.

There were 120 guests and Michael catered all the food. It was a combination of a buffet and sit down and it was very guest centric–so they spent their time with their guests and only ate some nibbles. They didn’t get to sit down much during the evening. Susan had three dress changes–her wedding dress–a vintage sweetheart dress bought on ebay–the shipping and tailoring was more than the cost of the dress. Michael is Chinese and she wore the traditional Chinese wedding dress that had been passed down through his family. Finally, she had a Korean dress that was so voluminous Susan had trouble fitting in the back of the car. Michael’s job–since he didn’t have to change his clothes, was to pack up some food so they could have some at the end of the evening in their room. Michael forgot. To this day, Susan reminds him that she never got to try the food at her wedding.

Michael’s secret is you can’t win every argument. Although his wife is always right. Susan is in the Department of Rhetoric–the the art of effective or persuasive speaking or writing. Obviously, he looses every argument. Being more of an economist, he gets deconstructed point by point. Michael can run the cost benefit analysis and it’s better to gracefully walk away.

A sense of humour is also very important. He wrote an app on the phone and asked his wife to tap a button whenever she had a contraction and it would show a decreasing trend on a graph and provide a projection as to when their son, Ian would be born. Michael asked Susan while she was in a tub having contractions. It wasn’t well received. He offered to press the button for her. Michael kept the data and now they can laugh about it.

Long Distance Works with Great Communication

Erik and Ellen

Married 17 Years

Erik and Ellen met at Camp Tawonga summer camp in California. Ellen had worked there in previous summers and came to visit some friends. It was Erik’s first year at the camp, having just moved from Michigan. It was the summer after college and Ellen had a job in food service in San Diego–she had a challenging night and decided that she would quit and took a job for the last session of camp.

There was an opening for a lifeguard position and Erik who was a supervisor went to the Director, and suggested that she should hire Ellen for the lifeguard position not just because she was qualified but also because the Director likened herself a bit of matchmaker and he told her that he really liked Ellen. However, one of the employees wasn’t working out as a counsellor and they were going to move him to the lifeguard position instead. Erik agreed to supervise the counsellor if she would just hire Ellen. As they say, the rest is history.

Their first year together was a lot of back and forth between San Diego where Ellen lived and the Bay area where Erik lived. The second year they dated Ellen moved to Eugene, Oregon for grad school. After this second year of long distance, Erik moved to Eugene to be with Ellen.

Both Erik and Ellen knew very quickly. Erik remembers talking to his sister after the first two weeks having met Ellen and she said to him, I think you’re going to marry her. Erik told Ellen this after only knowing her a couple of weeks. Ellen was blown away and the fact that he could even say the “m” word–she had never had a relationship on that level before. She knew it was something special and deeper. Ellen says she knew on some level that he was the one right then but it was too soon to even admit it to herself but in hindsight she knew. They spent a lot of time together over the three week camp session and by the end they knew they would remain in contact and would visit each other regularly. We had already established we were in it for the long haul. Three and a half years later he popped the question while still in Oregon and they were there for 17 years. They were married five years after they met.

The first two years of their relationship were long distance and they learned to communicate with each other–how to talk and just as important how to listen to one another. They talked everyday on the phone only seeing each other every three or four weeks. Once they had children they made a conscious effort to make time for themselves. The very year their first son was born, they went on a holiday and had Erik’s sister look after their son.

We have always had the value that the boys won’t be in the home forever–there is a life beyond them and there is value in investing in our relationship.

Erik

Investing in themselves individually is also important as they each have unique needs and that’s part of a healthy relationship.

Things have come full circle now and their two boys now attend the camp where they met. Ellen and Erik are still very connected to the camp and having a long standing community that they have connected with over the years has been a source of strength in their relationship and family life.

Broadcast Love wishes Erik and Ellen many more years of love and laughter together.

You Put My Heart In Motion

Dusty and Laylee

Married 21 Years

Dusty and Laylee met in high school at the Maxwell International Baha’i School where they attended Grades Eleven and Twelve together. Dusty had taken a year off school to travel to Manawatu with his Aunt and Uncle who worked for CUSO (Canadian University Services Overseas), his uncle was the doctor at the local hospital. Many of the island population are of the Baha’i faith and when Dusty returned to Canada he decided he wanted to attend the Maxwell School. He was in Grade 11 and Laylee was in Grade 12 so they only spent one year together at the school speaking maybe five words to each other. However, they had a moment that they both remember. They passed each other as they crossed the campus through a breezeway, their eyes locked and there was a connection–a feeling that put their hearts in motion.

Following graduation they were both living in Victoria and had a similar group of friends, centred around their faith. It was clear they liked each other and spent more and more of their time together. One of the ordinances of their faith is to investigate each other’s character before marriage. A further rule is not to be intimate until marriage and they were committed to abiding by their faith. Laylee was 19 at the time, attending university and wasn’t interested in getting married. Her parents sat her down and asked, “Are you interested in dating Dusty for the purpose of getting married? You can’t just have a boyfriend for the sake of having a boyfriend.” Dusty had told her he was ready to get married and Laylee had to break the news to him that she was not ready. Dusty was heart broken but understood and at the same time understood. They remained friends for another 2-3 years.

Laylee graduated and went on to law school. Dusty was taking early childhood education and running children’s courses related to the Baha’i Faith. He decided to do a year of service before completing his degree. Dusty returned to Manawatu to do a year of service where he helped set up classes for the children of the village. He was there for 7 months and fully immersed in this task, and completely incognito from his friends in Victoria. Dusty returned in January to Vancouver where his parents lived. When he came to visit his friends on Vancouver Island in the Spring, he brought with him his new girl friend to introduce to his friends and family. Laylee suddenly realized that he wasn’t necessarily going to wait for her to be ready–she had always thought he would. Shortly after this visit, Laylee called Dusty and asked him for lunch. At the end of their lunch, the bill was delivered and she knew she had to tell him how she felt. Laylee went into the washroom, looked in the mirror and gave herself a pep talk and said you have to tell him how you feel. Laylee went back to the table and poured her heart out to Dusty telling him she loved him and she wanted to be with him. Dusty isn’t good at hiding his emotions and she could tell that the reaction was positive which encouraged her to keep going. He just kept saying, Are you sure? repeatedly. She was frustrated by this and said, I’m so sure, that if you asked me to marry me right now I would say yes. Over the years, they have had many discussions as to whether this was Laylee’s proposal to Dusty. He says it was and Laylee claims that this was “an invitation to treat”–a legal term meaning an indication that someone is prepared to receive offers with the view of forming a binding contract. I agree with Laylee. What do you think–proposal or “an invitation to treat”?

Two weeks later, Dusty was helping Laylee move into a basement suite and they had a discussion about marriage and decided they would like to get married. There was no down on one knee or formal proposal.

Their faith has two requirements for marriage, the first being the consent of both parents. Once Dusty’s mom got over the shock–she was concerned it was so quick, consent was given. The second requirement is that you have 95 days to get married after your engagement.

The engagement was so out of the blue that when Laylee called one of her best friends who was in China at the time to tell her the news, she said, “To Who?”

They were married in August–two and a half months later with over 300 people attending. Laylee’s parents were the main organizers and there wasn’t just the wedding to organize–there were dinners for 100 people every night prior to the wedding for all the family from out of town. Laylee jokes that is was her Big Fat Persian Wedding. Dusty showed up 45 minutes late for the ceremony because he lost track of time while writing his speech. Dusty would like to apologize to anyone who attended their wedding and had to sit outside in the hottest day of the year. Overall it was a wonderful wedding and even included a dance routine to a Ricky Martin song.

Both Dusty and Laylee agree that humour is important in their relationship. You have to be able to make each other laugh and not take yourself too seriously. For Laylee, she feels the happiest when they are doing something together in the community that is meaningful and based on spiritual qualities. For example, they have devotional gatherings in their home with people from all walks of life where they discuss specific topics and people share music and poetry. There is always the reality of day to day tasks and tough times but it is better for them when they can focus on something larger than themselves. Laylee feels respectful communication is a key to their relationship. Not everyone has the same communication style and she has learned to step back when she is angry and to realize the affect of their words on one another. Laylee’s style is to deal with things right away, while Dusty needs time to process issues. Laylee has learned not to press Dusty but to wait a bit and give him time.

Dusty added that in their faith, when you come together in marriage it is likened to two bodies of water coming together–separate but together. He believes that your relationship with the Creator, as an individual, must be strong in order for you adapt to the changes as you grow as a couple.

Broadcast Love wishes Dusty and Laylee many more years of happiness and love together.

Sometimes It’s An Obstacle Course

Navigating the Obstacle Course Together

Ian and Donna

They met in 1963 on the campus on University of California, Berkeley. They were there during the free speech movement. Ian was getting his doctorate in engineering and Donna was getting a masters degree.

Donna was coming out of Tolman Hall (which has unfortunately been torn down) and they were fixing the sidewalks and things were a little wonky–you had to travel through a maze to get out. A young man was sitting with his friends and saw this attractive, bodacious (Ian’s words) woman walking and he overcame his shyness as something compelled him to start a conversation with her. He came up beside Donna and said, “This is quite an obstacle course isn’t it.?” Donna thought that was his most profound line because they have now been together for over 55 years. At times it’s been an obstacle course but it’s always been steered with love. Donna believes there was a master plan that put the two of them together and gave Ian the courage to come speak with her.

Both of them say they weren’t together long before they just knew–maybe six months. Donna had an undergrad in English and History and she had made up her mind that engineers weren’t really for her. However, the engineer who walked her through the obstacle course was able to recite poetry by heart and this made her think he was a little different than the average engineer. Ian carries that poem with him–Walt Whitman’s, There Was A Child Went Forth. Ian feels that the poem inspired him to go forth and speak to a total stranger. When they reached their destination, Ian stopped to get coffee but not without first securing Donna’s phone number. Ian called the very next night and they went to a movie and just hit it off.

Ian had a job interview for the University of Pittsburgh and he was mulling the decision over. They were in the car together and he said, “I don’t want to go to Pittsburgh without you.” Donna replied, “Are you asking me what I think you are?” and in a squeaky voice, he responded, “Yes.” There was no ring as they were too poor. They had nothing but their love and each other. They bought wedding bands for the marriage and in 2005 in Sausilito, Donna got an engagement ring. They moved to Pittsburgh which was also a smart move for Donna. A chance meeting in an elevator with Mr. Rogers, and an offer of his help to do something together, launched Donna’s career in children’s entertainment.

They get asked for advice a fair bit and their first recommendation is “Don’t Give Up!” Times get tough, you take a step back and maybe walk away from each other for awhile. Donna never went home to her mother and Ian never packed up–they stuck it out. Ian recommended, “Before you consider quitting, try therapy for yourself or couples therapy.

There’s nothing more complicated than the human mind so if you get help learning statistics why wouldn’t you get help trying to understand yourself–you can’t always figure it out on your own.

Donna

Ian says they have a lot of common interests. Donna’s involved in children’s entertainment–and Ian learned about child development and lately they’ve had great conversations about how bad the news is in terms of negativity. They turn it off, sit in their kitchen and talk because right now the world is going through a tough time. Through these conversations they have each learned a significant amount about each other and what’s important to one another.

Ian’s and Donna’s newest love is their grandson and for them it’s a whole new level of love.

Broadcast Love wishes them all the best as they continue on this obstacle course called love.

Family is Not An Important Thing, it is Everything

Tracey and Greg

Together 42 Years, Married for 37

I went to school with Tracey from Kindergarten to Grade 12 and was curious to know how she met Greg Currie. We grew up in a small town called Pilot Mound with a population of 700 people in southern Manitoba, Canada, in the heart of the prairies. Greg and Tracey lived a mere five miles apart. However, because they went to different schools, they didn’t have much contact til they were in high school. Back in the day, the two schools were rivals and the boys from one school didn’t show up at the other school or town uninvited. One of Tracey’s best friends, Mary Ellen, was Greg’s cousin and so they knew of each other through this connection. Greg, at 16, having seen Tracey was quite interested and was disappointed to hear she had a boyfriend. One day, a friend called him and said, “It’s over and Tracey is single.” Greg didn’t waste any time, he called her up on a party line and asked if she would attend his sister’s wedding the very next day. For those of you who don’t know what a party line is it involves sharing a phone line with several people who live near you–common in rural areas right up until the 90’s. Of course, people listened to one another’s conversations. Greg quipped, “It was as quick as facebook for sharing information.” On August 5, 1987, they went to the wedding together. The date went well and they have been together ever since.

The Farm

Tracey said she knew pretty much right from the beginning that Greg was the one. Tracey had it in her mind that she wanted to marry someone and live in the country. They’ve been together since they were 16 and in essence, grew up together doing all the crazy teenage antics together and sharing the milestones of high school graduation and university.

Greg says that’s not true–if Tracey knew right away, she never let on to him. It was a month before high school started up in the fall when they started dating and Greg said to his friend, “This is a girl I could probably marry.” Greg says Tracey made him do a lot of work to make sure she knew he was the one. A month or two after they’d been dating, Greg asked Tracey, “So are we going steady?” She thought it was a pretty stupid question. “Of course they were.” Greg was from a tiny town, as in a population of 200, between the two rival schools, and so he was able to attend parties in both of the larger towns without concern. This expanded their social circle and they had lots of parties to attend.

The Children

Tracey and Greg have grown and changed over the years but their core values haven’t. They both grew up in families where family came first and their extended family has continued to support them over the years. Their upbringing has influenced the way they’ve raised their children and decisions have been made from a base of love and family.

Everyone has ups and downs but if you have a strong foundation of love and you’re just stubborn enough to ride through the rough times, you know it will be worth it and you’ll come out on top.

Tracey

Greg jokes that you might also want to check with your girlfriend to see how many kids they would like. He loves his wife and his wife loves children and so they have six. If there were disagreements about issues with the children, they tried not to discuss them in front of them–they were a united front.

Greg believes that your spouse has to be your priority and you have to look after your relationship first. Your relationship is the trunk of the tree and if your kids or career become the centre of your world, it weakens the trunk. You need a strong trunk to hold up the branches. They have made a concerted effort over the years, to take time for themselves as a couple with date nights and travel.

Tracey concluded, “If you can stay close as a couple, when things come up you can handle it. It’s all challenging stuff but worth it in the end.”

The Grandchildren

Broadcast Love wishes you many more adventurous years together full of love and grandchildren.