What was your first impression of each other?
Jacob: My immediate reaction was – she looks good and I’m not being catfished haha. First impression after our first date was that I had a lot of fun spending time with her and that it went really well, and I had evidence that it did (Rachel note: lol we made out).
Rachel: I guess I’ll follow you and say that my immediate reaction was that you were cute (and tall!). And after our first date, I thought you were sweet, and a little nerdy (very ok with that) and easy to talk to!
What is your favorite thing about each other?
J: I’ve been thinking about this for a little while – what impresses me most about her is how smart she is. she’s incredibly smart, and the things she catches that I don’t catch always impresses me, in small ways and socially. But I think my favorite thing about her is how intentionally she shows up in relationships in general – in ours, in friendships, with family. But specifically in our relationship the two words that keep coming up are her consistency and her honesty. Because I really value the consistency she puts into our relationship and in considering our lives together. And with honesty, she is always willing and able to communicate her wants and needs, concerns and frustrations, and beauty of our life, and she’s very honestly bringing herself to the table.
R: it’s hard to choose just one!! I think my favorite thing about witnessing him in the world is watching the ways in which his deep kindness manifests in every single interaction he has. He is just such a good person in the truest sense of the word and I feel so lucky that he chose me to be his partner in life and that I get to learn from and witness all of his goodness. And specifically in our relationship, my favorite thing about him is the thought and care he puts into showing up for us in both the good times and the challenging. I know with 100% certainty that he has our collective best interest in heart because I have seen firsthand the thought and time he puts into his words and responses. He’s also very hot, which is an added benefit.
How long have you two been together for?
A little over two years.
What is your number one tip for resolving conflict?
J: One of my favorite ways to address conflict, especially if it’s consistent and small, is to have a “quarterly connect” where you sit down on a regular basis to discuss what’s going well, where there are opportunities, and what each of us would like to focus on in the coming months. It gives the space to discuss things that might be really prickly in the moment after the dust settles you can actually have a productive conversation. In individual conflicts, my biggest piece of advice is to really sit down and process through your feelings, what led to the conflict, to take the time to sit with it because it’s really important to understand your true feelings on something. It puts the onus on me to do that emotional labor up front instead of immediately throwing my partner into it. Then after I’ve done the initial processing, if it’s still sitting with me, we discuss and I’ve given it the thought to approach it in a caring way.
R: My number one tip is to assume best intent. When you assume best intent there’s much less defense you have to play, and you can actually get down to the root of the conflict. I think this has its caveats though, as you’ve gotta really trust yourself and your partner to show up honestly and in kindness. It doesn’t really hold up if one person has any amount of malicious intent.
What’s most important to you in a relationship?
J: for me it’s to make sure you’re continuing to date and spend quality time together in an intentional way.
R: for me, it’s consistent, healthy communication and trust in one another. I feel like both Jacob and I have each others best interests at heart which makes everything we do easier.
What are your thoughts on couples therapy? If you’ve attended therapy, what have you learned?
Both: I think couples therapy can be an incredible tool in a relationship, especially if it can be hard to find a space to connect and communicate honestly and openly. I think it’s also a great way to navigate big changes together intentionally, and to ensure you’re not missing something when going through that change. We’ve both attended therapy individually and I think our takeaways are that it’s SO nice to have a neutral (but also equipped) third party to problem solve with.
Describe how you met in emojis:
What’s your rose/bud/thorn?
- Rose: We prioritize healthy and consistent communication always. Because that’s top of mind for both of us, we are able to show up in conflict and in celebratory times with the utmost respect for one another.
- Bud: We are working on prioritizing separate time! When we moved in together it became really easy to assume that any free time was going to be spent together, and along the way I think we both realized that spending time apart intentionally allows us to show up fully and with care in the times we are together. We’ve implemented ‘Wandering Wednesdays’ where one of us leaves the apartment for the evening to spend time on their own and the other gets to stay home and do whatever their hearts desire.
- Thorn: We recently got engaged and with that comes the intention to join one another’s families. I think the thing we’re excited to work on and to get better at is learning how to show up for each other when family things get hard, and to figure out how to advocate for each other to our families (i.e. how Jacob can show up and participate when things get intense with my family, or visa versa).