“Love is not something you attain by finding, but something you attain by nurturing.”
Relationship Status: Married (dated for seven, married for one)
What is love?
B: It’s hard work. I think too many people still don’t realize—and this is in part due to the portrayal in the media—how much they believe in a perfect, easy kind of love where they expect there’s one person out there for them who they meet and they’re so compatible that things are easy and it’s easy to love the other person. There’s the belief that there shouldn’t be any arguments… and I feel that’s how people feel true love is all the time. For us, I think we understand now that love is not like that. Love is a lot of hard work. Love is not something you attain by finding, but something you attain by nurturing.
Advice on how to keep a relationship strong?
T: Communication is so key: communicating about everything and trusting your partner. When we were dating before we were even engaged, Brian was like, “Let’s communicate as if we were married.” And I was like, “But why? We’re not married yet.” And he said, “Well if we’re going to be married what’s so wrong with communicating like we are now? Shouldn’t we be tackling how to communicate before we’re actually in that situation?”
B: In all that we did, the most important thing for us in loving was first communicating with each other: always telling each other what’s happening, what’s on our mind, and not holding back. It’s trusting each other, which means that we trust the other person is telling the truth: trusting that the other person knows what they’re talking about and respecting that. But also being vulnerable, because I think the reason that a lot of fights escalate to the point they do is because there’s no vulnerability. People in an argument want to win and it turns into this back and forth “I’m angry because of this, I’m angry because of this.” It’s not so much a conversation about: “I’m hurt because of this.”
What do you love most about each other?
B: I’ve always loved the way that Tiffany pours out love for other people, in such a natural way. I love that people see it too. She’s got a huge heart and the reason I admire it so much is because it’s hard for me to show that much love to people.
T: For me I view people as everyone is deserving of love—I’ve always lived by that. Ever since I was young, growing up in the church, I was taught Jesus loves everyone and everyone’s deserving of a chance. So for me, when I see strangers—I’ve been doing this since I was little—I’ll just start praying for them no matter what it is they’re going through. Because I think everyone deserves, everyone needs prayer, everyone’s going through something and I always think we need to show our love to them.
And what I love about Brian is his wisdom. He says I have a big heart, but his wisdom is always for other people, it’s always directed to other people. He always wants to help people and gets upset or sad when he sees them and they could be doing more for themselves. It’s also helped us in our relationship too. He’s very intentional with a lot of things, and he does things to make sure we’re going down a path that will love and will help us love each other more.
Love is… ? Fill in the blank with one word or two.
B: Love is love. God is Love.
T: I agree with both of them. Love is love and God is love. We started our relationship centred around God, it’s always been like that, and it’s huge in our relationship. For us, when God is at the centre it makes your relationship so much stronger. There were so many times we were at our lowest and we called out to Him and he helped bring us together. But I also agree that love is love in any form, that’s how God created us.
B: For me I’ve always lived by the part of the Bible where religious leaders wanted to test Jesus so they asked him: “What’s the most important commandment?” Jesus answered, “Love God and love others.” And they were so baffled by that because that was two things. But what Jesus was saying is that love isn’t one thing: it’s two sides of the same coin. If you love others you’re in part loving God, because you’re doing what we were created to do. But if you love God, truly, you’ll be loving others, because by extension that’s just who you are. So we don’t agree with a lot of the unrest in churches that are especially outspoken and hateful against people of the LGBTQ and people with different racial backgrounds, because that’s not what we were called to do. God didn’t say, “I put you on this Earth now judge each other and decide who’s worthy of love and who isn’t.” So if we just start there—if we just loved each other—things would be a lot better. That’s love to me.