October 15, 2019
Jeremy & Larissa
Hey there! Jeremy and Larissa here. We have been together nearly 10 years and married for 3. We met in high school when we were 15 and were married on the beach at 21. We couldn’t really be more opposite – Jeremy is an engineer and Larissa a filmmaker, one introverted, one extroverted… which definitely has its challenges but also brings out beautiful sides in each other and rubs off those ‘rough edges’ 😉 We are blessed to now run a business together full time from home, called Page and Pine. We are soaking up this stage of life spending so much time together and building our business before kids come along – which we’d like to have 6 of!
1. TELL US YOUR SIMPLE LOVE STORY
J & L: We met in highschool when we were 15. Jeremy was in the grade above and our ‘groups’ became friends, so we knew of each other. One day our friends just decided we would be good together and started teasing us about dating, running off whenever we were together so that we were forced to talk. I guess it worked, because a few months later we actually started dating! We dated for 5 years before getting engaged and Jeremy popped the question at the beach in the same spot he asked me out. It was right before we left for 6 months on university exchange to America – to separate unis 2 hours apart. He called my engagement ring his ‘insurance’ while we were apart! We were engaged for a year, and planned our wedding in 6 months when we returned, while working 3 jobs between us and both studying full time. It was a busy time! No wonder we spent most of our honeymoon sleeping 😉
2. DESCRIBE ONE WAY YOU EACH INTENTIONALLY GROW YOUR LOVE
J: Since we both work from home we spend a lot of time together. It can be easy to fall into the habit of simply treating each other as a coworker. While it is often necessary to be professional in order to be productive this can sometimes squash the flame of love between us during the day. To counter this I try to take time to (without interrupting her workflow) surprise Larissa with random hugs, kisses, encouragement and compliments. Sometimes it is as simple as randomly hugging her from behind and telling her I love her, sometimes it is complimenting her on a design or creation. Doing this breaks the “coworker” tensions and reminds both of us to relax and have fun doing what we love from home with the person we love.
L: Something we’ve done since the day we got married is have a screen free bedroom. It’s a simple thing, but it makes such a huge difference. Jeremy is the last person I talk to at night and I’m the first person he talks to in the morning. If we wake up in the middle of the night, we chat instead of scrolling! It’s in these little moments that love grows deeper I think – little moments that are often filled with screens if we let them. We always go to bed together and get up together – perks of both having the same work schedule. Our bedroom is our ‘haven’, a private little space just for us to be together and connect. The only time we have screens there is when we intentionally watch a movie together (we don’t have a TV, so we use our laptop in bed). It has worked wonders for our marriage!
3. SHARE YOUR MOST RECENT, OR FAVOURITE GO-TO DATE
J: We often take time to go on a casual date at least once or twice a week which likely involves takeaway pizza at a chilled location such as down by the lake. However, the last official date we had was a couple of weeks ago for our anniversary where we had a couples massage followed by dinner out at a quiet Italian restaurant. We both love massages and were in desperate need of one after getting through the busiest time of year for our business. We love to give each other quality back massages at home but it is even better receiving an amazing massage and knowing your spouse is receiving the same thing at the same time. If you like massages I would highly recommend this, it is worth every dollar. Afterwards we relaxed with a glass of wine and one of favourite cuisines, Italian. We intentionally left our phones behind and made an extra effort to give each other our undivided attention. We were able to relax, joke, laugh and enjoy our food without distraction.
L: We do a lot of things together that we probably wouldn’t call ‘dates’, but I guess they could be! We often go for bike rides together and chat along the way. Or we go kayaking together on the lake, or swimming together at the beach and getting hot chips and sitting on the sand. We do these things every couple of days, so not so much ‘dates’ but just quality time together in nature. Probably our most common go-to date is pizza and a board game by the lake, or taking dinner and a laptop in the car down to the beach and watching a movie together there. It just changes it up from always eating and watching movies at home. \
5. SHARE YOUR BEST PIECE OF ADVICE TO KEEP A MARRIAGE THRIVING
J: Before being a couple each person has to start out single. Transitioning between being single, dating, engaged and finally married and adjusting to the changing relationship dynamics and roles can be tough. After we got married I quickly realised that I (at that point) was quite a selfish person. I had to learn that we were now one person and that I would have to start to think of both us and not just myself. I did a lot of this learning early on without help or advice which I wish I had. We both now have “mentors” who we can turn to for advice and can bounce ideas off. People who we trust and who aren’t afraid to tell it like it is. I definitely recommend having someone like this (of the same gender as you) who you are close to, both relationally and geographically and who ideally is at least one life stage ahead of you. And when things get tough, don’t hesitate to call them for help. Other than having a mentor I recommend to have clear communication with your spouse, don’t stop talking and communicating and be kind. If you can’t communicate without being unkind, try hugging it out and then try writing letters to each other so everyone can communicate their thoughts without interruption. Never stop communicating, be kind and find someone who can be your mentor.
L: Honestly? Hug LOTS. Say ‘I love you’ lots. Kiss lots, have sex lots. We’re both affectionate people so these things come pretty naturally for us, but it is something we’ve really built into our relationship and keeps it thriving. Even when we’re frustrated or arguing we sometimes just hug and keep arguing while we’re hugging – because it reminds us that we really do love each other and that we’re a team. It brings us back from being on opposite sides of something to feel like we’re working on it together so that we can create the marriage and life that we want. We also read the Bible out loud to each other and it has the same effect. Like we’re a team, trying to figure out life and faith together and we can do it as long as we stick together. We had a really rough start to marriage, but affection really kept our love going through that time and still does.