Things look a little different on our eight-year anniversary than they did in any previous year. But with everything going on in the world, it's made me even more appreciative for my relationship with Geoffrey. I can't imagine what life would look like right now without him by my side. Since we've answered a lot of editorial team generated questions over the years, we decided to open it up to my Instagram followers who sent these in last week:
Emily: I was 24 and G was 33 when we first started dating, which, at the time, felt much more dramatic than it does after having been together for twelve years. It really was never something I'd classify as "hard," though that's coming from the younger person's perspective who had never lived with a significant other before. Right in the beginning, though, the hardest part was trusting myself that I'd really found as good of a relationship as it appeared. I knew right from the beginning that Geoffrey was someone I could see myself marrying, but since I still felt so young to find "the one," I questioned if the timing was right. Luckily I went with my gut and it was one of the best decisions I've ever made. The best part was being with someone so emotionally mature who knew what he wanted and had no desire to play games. I found his self assuredness and confidence so sexy!
Geoffrey: It was primarily cultural references that we’d make to each other, thinking the other person was well-versed in what was popular when they were 16. Considering the almost 10-year age gap, my '80s movie references often landed with a thud.
Emily: We've grown together by working on ourselves individually and also identifying areas that need improvement when we're in a disagreement. One of the things I'm really proud of is how we fight. It sounds weird, but couples will inevitably argue and making sure you listen to the other person, refrain from yelling (easier said than done), and know when to say, "You're right, I'm sorry" is important.
Geoffrey: We are very open about how we embrace therapy and have both made concerted efforts to work on ourselves to improve the way we communicate, raise our daughter, and balance the separation of work from personal life. The biggest growth I’ve seen has been the understanding that we’re going to weave back and forth across the mental/emotional highway, but nudging back to the middle is the surest way to keep happy and secure.
Emily: It sounds cheesy, but there's not much I don't love about Geoffrey. The one thing that comes to mind, though, is video games. I'd never been with someone who played video games, so initially I was admittedly a bit judgmental. It's not that it's necessarily something I love about him now, but rather respect and appreciate that it brings him joy.
Geoffrey: Her empathy towards almost everyone and everything. Emily wears her heart on her sleeve and is the first person to lend a hand, shed a tear, or answer to the call of a friend (or stray animal) in need. You’d think that I wouldn’t have to learn to the love that, but I wasn’t raised with that mindset and often saw it as a sign of weakness if a person cried at a movie, or was overcome with emotion at seeing others suffer. Clearly, I had a lot to learn and thankfully she’s been the best teacher.
Emily: A little bit of both? I didn't leave our first meeting (which happened coincidentally a few minutes from where we now live) utterly infatuated and in love, but I also couldn't stop thinking of G. We became friends first, though I think it was pretty clear to both of us that we were falling in love.
Geoffrey: It was a switch for me. I was sure of what I wanted and knew she embodied it.
Emily: I was confused about a lot of things at 24, but knew that he pretty much epitomized everything I'd always looked for and wanted from a partner. He was (and still is!) funny, sweet, smart, thoughtful, and even keeled, and I'd never been with anyone who'd encapsulated all of those things. While I hadn't been looking for a serious relationship when we first started dating, I also immediately found the idea of not being with him forever almost inconceivable. And beyond all of his incredible qualities, it was also how I felt about myself that I really loved. He made me feel appreciated, admired, and allowed me the space to be who I am while being my biggest support system.
Geoffrey: She made me feel secure in who I was and in our relationship. There were no surprises or games. Emily was transparent when we first got together that she wasn’t 100% sure about the next steps, but she communicated that honestly and it set the tone for everything that followed.
Emily: It's not that we were ever in a place where we needed to reconnect, but soon after we first started working together full-time with other employees, things were certainly more tense. While we'd mastered the art of communicating effectively and respecting one another as significant others, we hadn't figured out how to effectively work together. There was a lot of unspoken resentment and frustration, which never leads to anything good. As soon as we addressed the issues we were facing at the office, everything else fell into place. We also had to set new boundaries for when we would talk about work so that after hours, we could just focus on our relationship and not our business. Also, little getaways always help!
Geoffrey: For a couple that spends almost 24/7 together, you’d think you’d never need to reconnect, but that’s not the case. The best example I can think of was taking our trip to Paris, without Sloan. It was our first trip since her birth and one of the places on our bucket list. We’d been working and raising our daughter without thought of anything else and began to lose sight of who we were as a couple, beyond being business partners and parents. It was an amazing experience and helped remind us that we have to nurture every aspect of our relationship.
Emily: Go out for sushi!
Geoffrey: We originally had a trip scheduled for early April, so I’d love to get that rescheduled. But, going on a date to our favorite sushi restaurant also sounds pretty perfect.
Emily: To be honest, they're often rooted in the same issues, which I suppose isn't a surprise. We rarely fight about work while we're home, so that's a plus of having an office space (well, when we're not quarantined at home, that is) since it helps create that much-needed separation between work and home. When we fight as a couple, it's typically pretty short-lived since it means it's happening in front of Sloan. Even if we're pissed off and heated, we try not to raise our voices or hit below the belt, which usually means a compromise on both parts. Plus, we really dislike the drama of an argument and will both do everything in our power to get back to being a loving couple.
Geoffrey: A fight is a fight, regardless of the context or location. We try to stay focused on what the disagreement is actually about, without bringing tangential arguments into the mix, and take accountability if one of us is clearly in the wrong. Usually, it’s me.