Lovers talking Love
Valentines Day may be a manufactured, highly commercialized capitalistic sales day, but do we really need this "Hallmark Holiday" to recognize or celebrate how lucky we are to love and be loved?
This Valentines, we chatted with five individuals who we know are true lovers. Although this holiday was not everyone's cup of tea, there was a shared relatability of working hard for loving others and yourself, efforts they all believe in, at the heart level.
Whether married, dating, or thriving solo, their stories bring on that gushy feeling inside. Cheers to love at its highest, and lowest, and everything it teaches along the way.
Jake + Noelle
Hive: What is the first thing that you do to start your day together?
Jake: Usually we wake up and say “we get another day”, we kiss each other, then we see which one is more perked up to go make coffee.
Noelle: Jake usually wakes up a little before me, and I wake up and he's next to me. We often start our days with the term “we get another day” because it's an expression of gratitude. He's a morning person and I'm not and that's just who we are and there's no shame in it, we actually love it about each other. He makes me my coffee, we hand grind our beans for a french press because those kinds of things connect us to those things because a hot cup of Guatemala coffee is a privilege and a gift that I don't ever want to take for granted. He never wakes me up before my body wakes me up. This has been a year of getting my health back and it's been so great. We don't have to rush anything, we take our time and I'm so grateful. It sets the tone for the whole day.
H: Did you guys quarantine together? How has the pandemic affected your relationship?
J: Yeah we quarantined. But, yeah, we have such a good relationship that if anything it deepened it. We would want to do things together. That's our life anyways, we just really like being together.
N: We did. I would say that we've only had a positive impact from the pandemic. In the beginning there was a lot of information up in the air and we were all being as cautious as we could. I did a lot of baking, pretzels, cinnamon rolls, food was important! It was this little celebration like we were here, we were together, so let's make it special. We watched a ton of shows, listened to music. It probably affected Jake socially more than me. We're both probably considered introverts but Jake needs more social interaction than I do but we've worked through it.
How did you meet?
J: We met in 2009, at Pacsun in the Silver Lake Mall. She was working, I was 21, You know when you see that person and you're just like damn, that's it for me. I went to a house party and met this girl who worked at pacsun and I asked her if she knew Noelle and she was like “That's my boss, she's married, that's weird” and I was like “I know, i'm just so in love with her”. 2015 is when we got together after I moved back home from philadelphia, she just went through a divorce and I had to strike while the iron was hot, like you're not gonna be with anyone else but me.
N: We met at Pacsun in the Silver Lake Mall. I was working there, I managed that store with my friend, and we met in 2010. I'm really cautious in relationships. I know all the rules and I go slow in relationships but to me all relationships are just chemistry, it doesn't matter if it's romantic or platonic or whatever it's just love that I share in this existence of my life. There was just something about him that I thought “this guy has to be happy, he has to be successful, he can't be hurt,” I just had this thing. The first time he came in he bought two Volcom polo shirts and it was something like two for forty dollars or something, and mind you he was like twenty-two or twenty-three or something, a baby. And he put down fifty dollars and was like “keep the change” like he was trying to be smooth. I’m in retail management! I was like “are you tipping me?” Like could I get fired for this? But it turned into the really funny joke about the guy that tipped me at Pacsun. A few years later the universe bumped us back into one another and that's when our friendship started.
First impression? Was it correct?
J: I thought that she was full of light and turns out she is. So yeah, that was a good call.
N: Jake came into the store and for me it was instant recognition; I was talking to him about this tonight, there's some people in my life where its just instant recognition and I don't know if its, like, a past lives thing or if we were something to each other in another parallel existence, I really don't know, but my heart towards Jake right when I saw him was just deep affection. It was this thing of “I have to see this guy do well in life” and it was more important to me than it should have been for a stranger.
H: How do you overcome lulls within a long-term relationship?
J: I think that life can just be so busy so we make sure to have a night spending time together once a week. Honestly just putting our phones down. That's hard, it's really hard. At certain times of night we just start focusing on one another and when you're doing that your energy just starts mesing. When you're not and your energy is in so many places, with our different schedules now, making time for Easter is important. We just have a lot of fun together too, we like to dance together in the kitchen. Sometimes the eggs get overcooked because we're dancing but it's worth it, they're just eggs.
N: Times of lower energy feel like times of rest to me. I don’t expect us to always be hot and spicy, it’s not realistic. We are desperately attracted to one another so that helps, we just really like each other so that's just an energy thing. I mean he's the sexiest man i've ever seen in my whole life and every time I look at him I’m like “damn!” But, ya know, life has different energies, you go through seasons and some of them are lower and some of them are higher and they're all good. The universe's main job is keeping balance, not keeping us feeling that “thing” that everyone is chasing, that one hundred percent high. And highs don't mean anything without your lows.
H: What has this relationship taught you about yourself?
J: So much. That I have a lot of past triggers and wounds that came out that I needed to address in order to be more whole within myself. Like to sit. I'm sorry I am bringing this back from this previous relationship, I'm sorry that's hurting you, I will do better.
N: That I’m worthy of love. It’s been one of the biggest lessons of my life and he forces me to see it every single day. His mantra in the beginning, when he was pursuing me and I was fighting him, he would say “no days off, I’m not taking one day off from loving you” and he hasn't. Every single day he shows me that I am worthy of love and care; which I had been taught prior to that, that I certainly wasn't.
Hive: How are you spending your Valentine's day?
Jaeden: I've kind of been avoiding it, the subject of relationships and things like that. Im probably just going to watch a movie..hopefully some of my single friends will be around.
H: What is the most surprising thing you've learned about yourself in the last year?
J: I actually learned near the beginning of quarantine...I met somebody and experienced a new thing that I hadn’t yet experienced which was being attracted to someone of the same sex. So I recently took on the term ‘bisexual’ because I had the revelation within the last year. I’m like, attracted to everybody; not what I used to think was just women. So that was really interesting and, yeah, that was almost exactly a year ago.
H:What do you look for in a partner?
J: There are a lot of things that everyone looks for, good sense of humor, outgoing, creative, and that kind of thing. But if there was something that I looked for that is different than of or those it would probably be the ability to look past what others think of you. In regards to the way you express yourself, how you speak to others in conversation, how you speak to me. just express yourself without fear of judgement
H: What have been some of the challenges of dating in lockdown?
J: Usually before quarantine you would meet people around town, doing the things you enjoy and finding people with similar interests that way. It's turned to mostly online as of late which is much more difficult because I mean, a lot of people say they’re bad texters but I really just have a hard time relating with people through just text. I’m a very physical person and I like to express my thoughts in ways that aren't just words so connecting with people emotionally has been a lot more interesting and more of a struggle than it used to be. It’s happened a few times where I thought I really related with someone online and then we meet in person at a coffee shop, masks on and stuff, and I just didn't have any connection to them. I spent all this time thinking that I did and it's just a really big letdown.
H: What love story/movie/song is your favorite?
J: Favorite love movie is Portrait of a Lady on Fire of course. Song would have to be "3 Days" by Rhye, "At last" by Ella Fitzgerald, "Cayendo" by Frank Ocean, "Nothing Compares to You" by Sinead Oconnor. I could go on forever I guess... I mainly listen to love songs!
H: What is the best part of being single?
J: Opportunity. When you're in a relationship you spend most of your time with that person. Most of your energy, your thoughts, are dedicated to thinking about them and doing things that aren't necessarily just for them but for you too but you’re doing it together. I feel like it’s just more all consuming whereas when you’re single you spend more of your time thinking about ways to do creative projects or self improvement. Opposed to trying to alter or change yourself to cater to the needs of someone else. It has just been fun to focus more on myself.
H: What makes you the happiest?
J: I think there's a few things. This kind of negates the last point but when you do have someone there that cares about you and loves you no matter what decisions you make or how you're feeling; whether it’s happy or sad there's just always someone there who accepts every part of you. That feeling, I’d say, is probably the closest I’ve gotten to pure joy. If there is someone there to make you snap out of it and just enjoy the present moment instead of worrying about the future or the past. I just feel the most in the moment when I'm with someone else. It doesn't have to be a relationship like that but just being around people that I know feel that towards me is just really joyful.
H: How do you practice self love and acceptance?
J: I practice self love by getting raspberry white chocolate truffle haagen dazs ice cream and watching a sad movie with a glass of wine. Or I go on a walk to a good cafe downtown and get a coffee. I basically just spend some time alone because I rarely do that anymore. It’s nice.
H: Do you think there is a soulmate out there for everyone?
J: That's a tricky one. I've definitely had relationships where i thought i'd achieved that but then I met someone who just blew that last one out of the water. I think it depends on your own definition of “soulmates.” I do believe that you can make connections with some people that are far more in depth and gratifying and meaningful than they are with other people. I don't know if I would call that a soulmate?
H: What is the best relationship advice that you've received that you would like to pass on to others?
J: If you find that you're constantly searching for the feeling of a soulmate and feeling accepted in every way and looking for that one feeling that you get when you have that person that you love so much next to you, you'll find it a lot slower. Just let your life play out, learn new things, meet new people, and things will come your way. Let love find you as opposed to spending so much time trying to find it because you'll just find yourself so terribly disappointed a lot of the time. I feel like a lot of the time i'm just constantly racing to get to where I need to be in regards to my love life and if i just let it all play out then i know someday it will all just happen.
Tiana + Emily
Hive: What's the first thing either of you do to start your day together?
Tiana: When we get a day together we usually put on music and make breakfast. Waffles.
Emily: Yeah, make breakfast and make the dogs breakfast together.
T: We always put on something jazzy like Marvin Gaye or something from my Woodstock playlist like Janis Joplin or Jimi. There were a couple of days during the summer where I’d put on motown just to get us hyped for the day.
E: We get really pumped for the day.
H: Did you quarantine together and how has the pandemic affected your relationship?
E: We weren't working for like two months straight and just spent a lot of time in the house together. Our first six months together were basically quarantining. We watched way too much Survivor. We’re camping nerds so we learned a lot.
T: It was fun, we started dating, well she asked me to be her girlfriend right before quarantine on December 27th so it went by super fast and we made a list of things we wanted to do and just checked them off day by day. We cooked a lot. We learned how to make lots of yummy things and played a lot of scrabble and binged Survivor.
H: How did you meet?
E: Work originally. We met through Dockside and she actually trained me as a hostess.
T: I actually started like a week before her so why I was training her I don't know, I think it was just because I already had hosting experience. Yeah I trained her and we were friendly for the first year; I mean we weren’t best friends or anything and then we became best friends probably a year after that. We just had this group of friends at Dockside and we all became really good friends. Yeah, she stuck by my side through a pretty nasty breakup and we've been really close ever since.
E: Our trip to Spain is a whole other story.
H: What was your first impression of this person and do you feel this impression was correct?
T: We were just such different people back then!
E: We met in my sophomore year of highschool, I really looked up to her then.
T: When I first met Emily and was just getting to know her I loved how she just said and did whatever she wanted and was who she was. There was not anything she did that made me think she was trying to impress anybody and she was just like ‘this is me and i'm having fun’ and I wanted to be more like that big time so I started hanging out with her.
H: How do you work through the lulls that can occur in a long term relationship?
T: We actually just kind of went through that. This is my first, like, long term relationship. I've done the break up and get back together over a couple years type of thing but this is my first over a year, stay together, figure all the things out. You just have to talk about it. Just realizing too, that you're giving the person you're talking to the reassurance that, as cliche as it sounds, it's us against the issue not us against each other. Taking the time to set yourself outside of the picture and figure out what they're going though without making it about you; which is really hard because the relationship is about you essentially but sometimes you have to put that on the back burner for a little while.
E: It's so much easier said than done but opening up to each other about how we’re feeling and our emotions. Especially for me, it's always been hard for me to open up and say exactly how I'm feeling but she's made it super easy to do that and feel comfortable. I feel like with the support of each other and trusting each other we can openly communicate with how we're feeling and that has been the only reason we've gotten through anything really. It's hard with past relationships where it's always against the person like “you did this to me” or “I did this to you” but her and I have learned how to sit down and say “why is this happening?” Not necessarily why did you do this to me but why did you go through this.
H: What has this relationship taught you about yourself?
T: That I’m safe to be myself. Challenged, but safe to speak my truth and know that I have support from her.
E: It's really cool to see. It taught me how to love myself a lot better. She's really good at balancing loving others but also taking great care of herself and that's something I’m still learning how to do, finding time for myself while also loving her.
H:What do you think are the key ingredients to maintaining a long-term relationship?
T: Making time. I find that when we make time for one another we look forward to our date nights even though we see eachother everyday. It's so special to me to have something to look forward to, something together.
E: Having open ears, and an open heart. Being willing to check in with your partner and yourself. Making sure that you're listening to what they're saying and responding with love and respect.
Big thanks and much gratitude for all who shared glimpses and insights into their unique love relationship.
Sharing our stories is so important, it’s how we can learn just how much more there is still to learn about ourselves, each other, and of this wonderful thing we call love.