Jenn is 37. Craig is 39. They’ve been together 14 years, married 10.
How did you meet?
Jenn: First day of law school, at orientation. I was so nervous. I got there late, sweating and rushing. I find one of the few open seats. Then, lo and behold, someone is later than ME! He sits down next to me. As orientation is going on, I notice that he’s looking at the sheets I’m holding in my lap. I figured he was trying to find out what classes I was in. Turns out we were both in the night classes and had several classes together. Providence.
Craig: I sat down next to her at law school orientation. I was happy that her hand was already on my seat.
What was your life like, what were you doing when you met/got together?
Jenn: I was at the end of a terribly co-dependent relationship, trying to figure out how to get out. I used to just “ghost” (disappear … fall of the face of the earth until the guy stopped calling me), but there was so much history with this guy I didn’t know how to separate. I didn’t want to be together, but I didn’t know how to be apart.
Craig: I was having a terrible time dating. I didn’t understand American women. I was ready to move back to Canada. I figured I’d give law school one year then decide what I wanted to do. I was working full time with law school at night.
Were you actively looking to be in a relationship?
Jenn: Gods no. I wanted OUT of the one I was in.
Craig: I was sort of in a relationship, but only going through the motions. I had decided to be single.
What first attracted you to him/her?
Jenn: Curly hair, glasses and most of all SUSPENDERS. SO good looking!!!
Craig: I thought she was pretty. And she had nice hair. and…*gasp* she actually seemed to want to talk to me. She also didn’t ask me what I did for a living. That was a big deal to me.
I’ve had people tell me that there was a certain instance when they ‘knew’. Was there a specific time or event when you knew that this was the person you wanted to be with long term?
Jenn: I can’t say there’s some specific instance, but there’s a story about the first time I said … or didn’t really say … I love you. That might have been when I decided that I wanted to pursue something serious with Craig. We’re sitting in a crowded bar with a bunch of friends. I’m talking to a mutual guy friend of ours telling him how I’m head over heels for Craig. Apparently (unbeknownst to me), this guy says to Craig, “I hope you’re not messing with Jenn because she really likes you.” Craig looks at me, I grin uncontrollably and then he says to me, “I love you too.”
Craig: Yeah. I just knew. I asked my dad how you know. He told me, “You just do.” So, then I bought the ring.
What if anything did you learn from previous relationships that you feel has helped you build this one?
Jenn: Honestly, part of what’s made our relationship so awesome for me is that I feel like Craig’s taught me HOW to be in a relationship. Before I was all about myself. So, mostly I learned to not be selfish, but still be yourself.
Craig: Don’t be clingy. Don’t be jealous. If she’s gonna cheat, there’s nothing you can do about it; just hope you learn about it early on. Tell her you love her. And always work through your disagreements, even if it means having a fight.
How do you feel that your creativity impacts your relationship?
Jenn: Creativity is what MAKES a relationship. That means being creative in how you care about each other, how you interact with each other and most of all what you do to … er … with each other. 😉
Craig: Spontaneousness and funny conversations.
You have varied interests, some of which over lap and some that seem to be a long way apart. What effect do you think this has on your relationship?
Jenn: We actually have a lot of overlapping interests, which is what makes conversation so much fun, in my opinion. We love science fiction, so we hypothesize a lot. Craig is very scientific and I’m more social … so I feel like we teach each other. There’s no competition between us.
Craig: The differences create a give and take. We don’t assign duties. If something needs to be done, it just gets done. That’s key. I honestly can’t tell you if I changed the last diaper or she did because it just doesn’t matter.
If you run a business together, what do you view as some of the challenges and rewards of this life style?
Jenn: Oh, I batted around the idea of us working together. Then we realized that would be insanely terrible for us. Our home lives and work lives are VERY different. We like it that way.
Craig: We would never run a business together. Period. We try to leave work at work.
On what did or do you base your decision to be married or not to be?
Jenn: I just think it’s what you do.
Craig: I think the formal acknowledgement is important whether other people want to admit it or not.
Any words of wisdom for others who think they want a relationship to last as long as yours?
Jenn: Learn but teach. Be humble but be proud. Give in but stand your ground. But above all else, be open.
Craig: This nugget is handed down from a friend of my grandfather to my parents, on the evening that my father proposed to my mother: We hope you’re as happy as we thought we would be. This actually has great meaning because if you can’t take your relationship with a grain of salt sometimes, especially if you have kids, you’re never gonna make it.