More Than a Couple of Couples Get Real About Love

  • Laura and Mois Medine, married for 30 years as of Saturday, February 20th.

    Laura: The best parts of being in a relationship are the companionship, friendship and constant exchange of ideas and thoughts. We are a team working toward the same goal. Two things I love most about Mois: his optimism and his joie de vivre.

    However…when he travels out of town, the best part of being alone for me is watching some oldie TV shows and not being made fun of.

    Relationships are all about give-and-take and finding that common denominator that will make you both happy.

    Together we have raised 4 amazing children — our pride and joy! Next, I am ready to embark on another 30-year journey with this guy."
  • Mois: "Whenever I am down and gloomy, Laura is there to cheer me up and make me feel strong. If I feel like talking about something that bothers me, it's great to have someone I trust. She’s someone with whom I can bounce ideas back and forth. Whenever I feel really happy, it’s a great feeling to be able to share it with someone. Life would be pretty empty without my soul mate.

    Everybody needs a little time out sometimes, some space. Spending time alone gives me an opportunity to get connected to my higher self, to search for meaning, to analyze events, plan for the future. On the other hand, sometimes I need to be alone to get the wild out of me. It’s important to have some freedom.

    My wife is very supportive. I mean, 100% supportive. I could be in a conflict with someone else, and I could be clearly wrong, at fault, guilty. But Laura always believes in me and she makes me feel like I did the right thing. It feels great to know that someone is so loyal to you.

    My advice: Make sure that you find your match in this world; don't settle for less. Make sure that this person you’re considering spending a big part of your life with is someone you are proud of and has the qualities you like in a person.

    Finally, one should know when to hush and go for a walk.”
  • Alyssa Reeder and Matt McIntyre, together for 3 years.

    Alyssa: "The best part of being in a relationship is having someone to let you into the apartment when you forget your keys.

    The best part of being alone is doing everything on your own time.

    I love that there's nothing remotely insincere about Matt. He says exactly what he means, which is a really refreshing quality. Also, I like his face. It's a good face.

    Advice to someone already in a relationship: Have your own life and your own interests outside of your relationship."
  • Matt: "I love that she's always pushing me out of my comfort zone, but the best part of being in a relationship is having someone to go on last minute trips with.

    Also, you never run out of hair ties when you have a girlfriend."
  • Johnny Cooper and Courtney Love, engaged after 12.5 years of dating and almost 8 years of living together

    Johnny: "The best part of being in a relationship is that chores are cut in half. Just kidding I don't do chores. Just kidding again, I walk the dog? In all honesty, the best thing is being able to share all of the really weird shit you do alone with someone who loves you enough to join in. Courtney is the actual yin to my yang.

    Long-lasting relationships can be hard work but communication is king. If you and your partner can't be lovers and business partners then it's not going to work. On the other hand, I've been out of the game so long that anything I tell you would probably send a normal person packing immediately. God speed."
  • Courtney: "The best part of being in a relationship is that I get to come home to my best friend every day. No matter what I encounter in life, I know I will always have him to experience it with me.

    It's hard to pinpoint one thing that you love about someone, but I am so grateful to his mother for teaching him how to be respectful, sensitive, and to be true to himself.

    He taught me to not care so much about what others think and to live my life the way I want.

    My advice to others: choose your battles!"
  • David James Parsons and Josh Allen, dating for four months

    David: "We started talking (sexting, really) around August, but — and here’s a typical New York story — he lives on the Upper East Side, and I’m on the Upper West. The 1 and 6 trains don’t intersect! Plus, I work days, and he works nights and weekends. It took a long time for us to find a time to meet in person, but we found our rhythm.

    I wasn’t necessarily looking for a relationship when I met him, but when you meet the right guy, I suppose you just know it’s meant to be. I don’t really even think of what we have as “being in a relationship.” It’s more of a feeling that this is exactly where I should be. I love that sense of calm security.

    I always enjoyed the sense of freedom when I was alone, that I didn’t have to consider anyone else in my actions. When I was a dick as a single guy, at least I was only a dick to myself. I don’t envy Josh for having to deal with me, sometimes. He’s a saint.

    Something I absolutely adore about Josh is his sense of ambition. It’s such a sexy trait to see that he’s smart and self-driven, and also not smug about it. I also love his butt."
  • Josh Allen: "The best part about being in a good relationship is knowing someone is thinking about you when you’re not standing right in front of them. Knowing someone else is looking out for you gives you +10 Bravery.

    The best part about being alone is your ability to completely focus on something. If you want to kick all the ass at your job, you can completely ignore the outside world and kill it. If you want to forget about everything and just get crazy hot at the gym for three months, do it! I can still do those things now, but I just want to find all the time I can to touch David’s butt.

    Something I love about David is the life he has cultivated for himself and the way his friendships matter so much. And how he brings me doughnuts and doesn’t get creeped out when I stare at him. Also he has a sweet butt. Such a nice butt. One thing I love is his butt.

    I’m terribly under-qualified to be giving anyone relationship advice so I guess I’d just say that if you have fallen in love with someone, tell them. If they reciprocate, then tell them every day. It doesn’t get old."
  • Vivek Anand and Sonia Gupta, married for 1.5 years after 9 years of dating


    Vivek: "Being in a relationship means that you always have someone by your side. Someone to watch TV with, someone to go out with, or someone just to talk to. You grow closer to that person with each experience you share.

    The best part of being alone is that it gives you time to reflect on what is actually important to you and to figure out what you want from life. Sonia and I spent a good portion of our relationship being long-distance and while it was challenging, it allowed us to mature as individuals.

    My advice to anyone looking for companionship: Don’t rush the process. Often times people fall in love with the idea of a relationship more than the person themselves. It sounds cheesy, but I believe that everything happens for a reason and you may end up with someone that you never expected. Keep your mind open and find someone you actually enjoy being around."
  • Sonia: "The greatest thing about being in a relationship is that you have a ride-or-die partner for life. There is complete trust in that individual being there for you, whenever you need it, no questions asked.

    Viv and I worked together on parts of the company he founded, The Dhobi. The best part of working together was knowing that we both felt equally as dedicated to the success of the project and business. It can be challenging to have differing viewpoints on the same decision when working with a significant other, but the key is to know both of your strengths from a skill perspective, and when to back down if the other person feels passionately.

    My advice to anyone who is looking: instead of searching for someone who fills random boxes, look for someone who would be an awesome teammate."
  • Rachel Foullon and Ian Cooper, together since 1997, married in 2008, baby in December 2015

    "We problem-solve best together, but we are most creative when we’re alone. As sculptors, it’s ideal to have both kinds of time.

    The best part of being in a relationship is feeling at home anywhere in the world when we’re together.

    Our advice to anyone looking for a companion: Be incredibly honest with yourself about who or what kind of person makes you the happiest. When you find them, work to keep them.

    If you're already in a relationship: When an argument or a tension starts to take a really dark turn, take a time-out together; just stop and ask each other whether this fight is really worth it — the pain, the misery, the bad feeling. It probably isn’t. Make a decision to cut through the BS, be honest about what’s going on, and get to the other side of it as efficiently as possible so you can feel good again together."
  • Rachel: "Ian is a bright, warm light in the world — his presence just makes everyone around him feel good, and I am just so grateful to get to be around that light every day."

    Ian: "Rachel is undoubtedly the captain of our ship. All of the seismic growth in our life together stems — or is spurned by — her incredible drive and clarity of vision. It’s intoxicating to be in this riptide with her, and I owe so much of my confidence as an artist and a person to her.

    I also love her innate instinct for knowing precisely what we need to eat next."
  • Matt Thompson and Alex Smit, dating for 1 year, 9 months

    Matt: "The best part of being in a relationship is being in an intimate partnership and having someone, but having alone time is important, too.

    When you're in a serious relationship, your lives, friends and even interests start to blend together, and I think that having time to yourself allows you to reconnect with who you are and your personal identity, which only adds to the health of any relationship.

    I love that Alex is very convicted and confident in who he is and that, though our personalities differ quite markedly, we have a really nice sense of balance in our relationship. Not to mention he's pretty easy on the eyes…

    Advice: always be willing to a) apologize, b) admit when you're wrong."
  • Alex Smit: “Getting a hug and a kiss from someone who cares about you — whether it’s your best day or your worst day — makes the best better and the worst not so bad.

    Something I love about him is his passion. I’ve seen him practically pass out from the joy of walking down a beautiful street. Matt doesn’t just like something; he truly, wholeheartedly loves it."

    The best partners will challenge you and that’s okay. The relationships that matter are the ones that make you want to be the best version of yourself."
  • Elizabeth and Joe Fuller: friends since age 12, married for 3.5 years

    Elizabeth: "Best part of being in a relationship: There is a moment when you're out with a group of people and you look around the bar and for a split second you think, 'Thank god I have you.'

    That passing second is so quick you don’t have time to acknowledge the gravity of your thought. Despite what you’ve gone through as a couple, despite what you’ve done to hurt your partner — or what they’ve done to hurt you — you are just so happy you picked them and they picked you.


    And that's the thing about marriage that's so precious. That's the thing that you can't quit and you can't throw away: That feeling of feeling whole by someone else's presence and knowing that you get to leave this bar and go home with them to a place that's more secure than any conversation you've had with people tonight. That feeling of being on a silent and secret team, just you and them against the world, even when fully unspoken. That's the best part of marriage to me."
  • Joe: "We have talked every day since we were 12 years old, and through high school we became best friends. We were very platonic until we were 22 and she couldn't resist me. We got engaged 2 years later and got married in 2012.

    We have a unique relationship; our foundation is that we were best friends first, so we genuinely look forward to hanging out with each other. The camaraderie is the best part.

    Something I love about her is that she doesn't allow us to settle when we're capable of being better. I think it's important to take inventory of your life and have someone who encourages you to improve. She does that for us.

    To anyone in a relationship, understand that the person you're with will change. As your partner evolves, you have to continue to choose them first and love them. If both people commit to prioritizing the other person's needs, you can last through difficult times. Also, if you can, marry your best friend."
  • Sydney Green and Jordan Burke, dating for 11 months, just moved in together. Next step is getting a miniature bulldog named Nana.

    Sydney: "Having someone to complete food quests with is the best part of being in a relationship.

    The best part of being alone is getting the garlic bagel with onions on it and not feeling like a gross smelly weirdo.

    Jordan makes me laugh like no one else; her Dr. Evil impression is out of control. And she is literally the cutest person in the entire world.

    I found a relationship when I really was least expecting it. So to everyone else who’s looking, I suggest they try to be relaxed and keep an open mind. When you find the right person it will feel like you found the missing piece."
  • Jordan: "The best part of being in a relationship is having someone who knows what you’re thinking without having to say anything. We just have to look at one another and we get it! It's the best in awkward social situations because we always end up in conspiratorial laughter. It's just fun.

    The best part of being alone is having zero shame when being a total slob. Which maybe isn't a good thing?

    Sydney makes me feel entirely comfortable being myself, though. I also love how she’ll just randomly break out into song.

    My advice to anyone who is looking to be in a relationship: don’t settle, because when you find the perfect person you’ll realize it was worth the wait, and the all those cringe-worthy dates that at one point felt wildly discouraging will be nothing but funny memories."
  • Katharine Kjerland: "I Am Single, Hear Me Roar"

    "I have not always been single and honestly don’t feel single in the sense of singularity. I have been married a few times (we won't count) and my last long-term relationship was over 30 years ago. In the meantime, I’ve raised a son and a daughter. I've helped raise 3 wonderful grandchildren. I have had a long career, several actually, including working for Halston for many years and eventually starting my own floral design business. I have shared Monday mornings with friends at the flower market for as long as I can remember. If that’s what being single is, then I love it!"
  • "The best parts of being single: the freedom to do what you want, where you want, when you want. And of course, having a true sense of independence. I fill my days with things I love doing and people I love. 

    I wouldn't tell someone not to try out a relationship, however. You'll never know unless you try.

    Borrowing from Lucille Ball, 'I'd rather regret the things I've done than regret the things I haven't done.'"
  • Jessica Templin King and Kaki King: Married since 2012, parents to a daughter named Cooper Llewelyn King

    Jessica: "We married almost exactly 1 year after we started dating. (We knew pretty quickly — let's just say it wasn't the first time at the rodeo for either of us.)

    We are better together than we are individually. I love the way we balance each other out, and we're laughing no matter what we are doing. Even standing in an endless line is more fun together.

    The best part of being alone? Orderly bedsheets.

    Love is the basis of any relationship, of course, but it is important to remember that you have to work well together. You have to make decisions well together and be on the same page with money, goals and planning. Appreciation is important too. Letting the other person know that you appreciate what they bring to your life and relationship.

    Also...bring flowers for no reason at all."

    (Photographed by Shervin Lainez)
  • Kaki: "The best part of being in a relationship is that the huge question of "who will I end up being with" is answered. Wondering about that and trying to find that person takes up an enormous amount of energy.

    Being alone is when you get to satisfy all of the needs you have that aren't met by your relationship. And this is very, very healthy for a partnership to survive.

    I love Jessica's sense of humor. I've never laughed so hard in my life as I have with her.

    Having the same values and the same big picture is more important than liking the same kind of music or agreeing that dogs are better than cats. Don't get bogged down in minutia. You can grow common interests together, but values and long term goals are much more important."

    (Photographed by Shervin Lainez)
  • Maria Kontovas and Christopher Gerson, friends for 4 years, dated for 1.5 years, engaged for 1 year, married for 1 month

    Maria: "I love knowing that I always have someone by my side. Whether it's for the little things or the big things, the good things or the bad things, he's kind of stuck with me for all of it. That's pretty cool.

    When my mom passed away in 2014, Chris's being there meant I didn't have to go through it alone. And last year, when I launched my own business, he was behind me every step of the way. It was so difficult for me to walk away from a corporate job to do something totally unknown but he was certain it was the right move and still tells me all the time how proud he is. That kind of unwavering support is an amazing thing to have.

    I think that some relationships don't work out because there's something better waiting for you. I'm also a big believer of falling in love with yourself first — it's so important to know who you are and what you want out of life before you try to give yourself to another person."
  • Christopher: "Anyone can have a great vacation in Paris or enjoy a fancy dinner. But what makes our relationship so special is that being in it makes all the other stuff wonderful, too: Saturday mornings lazing in bed working through a crossword puzzle together; walking through Central Park with coffee and our dog, Bentley; grocery shopping together. That last one is actually a huge plus of being in a relationship. Having one person stand in the long line while the other finishes the shopping – clutch. Things that used to be chores become fun because you’re doing them with someone you love.

    I think both Maria and I would agree that we married our best friend. It’s cliché, I know. But you’re going to be spending A LOT of time with this person. If you feel like you have to put on an act for someone, they’re not right for you. If you’re uncomfortable around that person, they’re not right for you. If you feel like you have to hide your quirks, they’re not right for you. If you can be yourself and the other person loves you because of your quirks and not despite them, that’s a good sign.

    As for advice to those already in relationships, don’t keep score. You’re both on the same team."
  • Phillip Salem and Jonathan Armenti, together for 4.5 years, engaged in April


    "The next step in our relationship would be to elope somewhere fun and plan a big party in the city with our friends and family. We're going the very non-traditional route regarding wedding planning. We just want a big party with lots of food and dancing. Cut the speeches and the first dances and get right down to business.

    The best part of being in a relationship is that I have someone to listen to me sing in the car and go to Mariah Carey concerts with!

    The best part of being alone is a spotless apartment.

    I love that Jonathan pretends to laugh at my jokes. He is my number 1 fan and extremely supportive of my career and goals in life.  He is also a great dad to our fluffy toy poodle, Coco.

    My advice to anyone looking: don't settle for assholes."
  • Jonathan: The best part of being in a relationship is the security. If I were to go through some sort of catastrophe — personal, professional, or otherwise — Phillip would be there for me. It's an unconditional kind of support. He has a big heart. It's one of my favorite things about him. (His big heart and his big thighs.)

    Are you familiar with Sex and the City? If so, you'll understand "SSB: Secret Single Behavior,” those little things you do when nobody is around to see. Now that we live together, I appreciate the occasional hour alone to engage in some quality SSB.

    Advice to anyone looking for companionship: be savvy, but not cynical. Don't jump to conclusions about people, and don't anticipate that you will be disappointed. Allow yourself time to process before having your close friends weigh in, and communicate in a way that is deliberate and respectful.

    To the person already in a relationship: I will quote Phillip here and say, ‘Don't get too comfortable.’ Make it known how much you appreciate your partner and try not to take for granted all the ways in which he/she improves your quality of life.”
  • Tanuj Parikh and Sujata Hingorani, together since fall 2011, engaged since January 16, 2015, getting married on May 14, 2016

    Tanuj: "The best part of being in a relationship is having someone who knows me better than anyone else, better than I know myself.

    It manifests as a level of trust and mutual understanding that gets deeper over time, and it creates an unbelievably comforting and reassuring source of calm and strength, particularly when you realize that just about everything else in your life is subject to change without warning. 

    My favorite thing about Sujata is that when she cares for someone (a family member, a friend, a coworker), it’s 100% and unconditional.

    My advice to anyone in a relationship: Inspire each other to peak goofiness, privately and publicly."

    (Photographed by James Anderson)
  • Sujata: "You can always count on your partner to understand you in a way that no one else can, and to know your feelings without you ever having to state them.

    Tanuj is my #1 fan and cheerleader. His support is invaluable and he has pushed me to greater heights, both personally and professionally. Your companion should encourage you to be the best version of yourself."

    (Photographed by James Anderson)
Amelia Diamond | February 26, 2016

13 pairs of partners and one solo artist on what being in a relationship means

Every relationship is different. There are no set rules for guaranteed success, no universal guide, no answer key located in the back of the textbook like there was in grade school math. (Wouldn’t that be nice?) But there are stories. These stories that we share — the funny ones, the sad ones, the honest ones — they act as headlights to help us find our own narratives. Or at the very least, they make for good reading during whatever leg of the journey we so happen to be on.

Which is why we asked 13 couples and one wise single woman to tell us parts of their stories. It’s less about “how we met” and more about the best parts: the best parts of being in a relationship, the best part of being alone, the best part about the partner and of course, the best advice each person has to give, because even though we don’t always ask for it, it’s nice to know it lives somewhere cozy, just in case you need it. You know?

You know. Click through the above and add your own stories to the comments below.

Photographed by Simon Chetrit.

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  • Alessandra

    In a world and society where rules and “dos and don’ts” often seem to reign supreme, we forget that at the end of the day, love is a unique and individual thing. This put such a smile on my face.

    • Amelia Diamond

      I’m so glad! Eff the rules!

    • So true! Couldn’t agree more. Even today when I see my gf, I feel so satisfied, that this one thing, is what I have done right in a pitiful life I’ve had.
      Manish @ https://www.coupondaddy.in/stores/paytm/

  • Elizabeth Tamkin

    cutest story 2016. love is so diverse and seeing it from different couples makes me hopeful about the beauty in life.

    • Yvonne Dunlevie

      Elizabeth Tamkin you are the beauty in my life

      • Amelia Diamond

        omg you two..

  • wow, loved reading these! i def LOL’d at ‘single, hear me roar.’

    • Amelia Diamond

      she’s so cool

  • Aydan

    This just rings so true! I love all of the different perspectives and different relationships. Everyone is so right — you never know when it will hit, but when it does you know! Def a good way to start of my Friday reading these!

  • meme

    Loved this. A lot of good common sense be kind to each other kind of advice.

  • allie

    I really appreciate the diversity of couples! Great job.

  • Stephanie

    Ok this was the sweetest post ever! How did you find all these couples + single? Were they randoms off the street or are they friends or a little of both?

    • Leandra Medine

      combo platter!

      • Lua Jane

        Leandra, you have so much of your dad’s features and expressions.

  • I read this while getting a pedicure. Thanks for adding some love to my already lovely lunch break. And slide 16— anxiety PLEASE BE CAREFUL ON THAT ROOF.

    • Yvonne Dunlevie

      HAD SAME ANXIETY

  • Kristin Kelly

    Such a great article. As someone who is struggling with the place my relationship is in at the moment I took the advice to heart. Rachel and Ian’s advice about taking a timeout during an argument was exactly what I needed to hear – it can solve many problems if you reevaluate whether or not it’s worth the pain that comes from fighting. Please continue sharing stories like this – it makes me hopeful that by taking the right steps and appreciating each other, couples can make it for the long haul.

  • mollie blackwood

    I love Love. I also love Leandra’s mom’s hair. Precious parents.

  • MMR

    I was expecting to see MR and Abbie come up! Great post

  • Loved every bit of this: the unique stories, bits of advice, and sweet words of love. Thank you for such a great story! xoxo

  • Esty Turner

    This was such a sweet post. I really like how almost all the couples featured were just regular people (not that there is anything wrong with being a famous creative director of some label or artist or designer or DJ.) It made a concept that’s so abstract seem so much more down-to-earth and real. One of my all-time favorite posts on MR.

  • Jessica Peterson

    As I read through these, I wanted to pick a favorite and quickly realized that they’re all fave-worthy. Love, commitment, fidelity, loyalty all come in different packages. Sharing the better part of the last 10 years with my husband has been great fun. Making memories that no one else can touch – that no one else can ever know – that neither of you can ever forget. Then living every day together knowing that these moments will also become your fondest memories. It’s thrilling, to put it lightly.

  • yona

    this was really refreshing amelia!

  • This was a really cool article, I loved it. Great job as always!
    http://www.nuunablog.com

  • kforkarli

    I loved his! I’d have loved to see Leandra and Abie as a surprise at the end!

  • Jeanne Zamansky

    Very sweet to see you parents Leandra ! Mine have been married for 40 years (they’re not that old they just got married at 20) but I could never ask them for advice, like they are my parents and not real human beings who are in love. Even though I know they are and I think that gives me confidence for the future 😉

  • The Medine’s are prefect, and Mrs. Medine’s hair is bitchin! That rooftop picture was not doable for me, I had to scroll down so I couldn’t see her cute shoes hanging off the edge 0_o

  • ashley

    The rainbow bagel!! #NOM