Episode 4: Can you fall in love before meeting in-person?
Kanu: Welcome to Real Love Real Stories the podcast. A platform for couples to share their love stories and for singles to find hope. This is Kanu, I'm the host and you are listening to episode number four. In this episode I'm talking to Patrick and Tina. Enjoy their love story.
Kanu: Welcome to episode number four. Thank you for being a part of it.
Tina: Thank you.
Patrick: Absolutely yeah.
Kanu: So to start off with, the podcast is really to share your love journey, your love story with everyone. To start off with, do you want to talk about how your love journey began?
Tina: Do you wanna go or do you want me to go?
Patrick: Go ahead.
Tina: So it's 19 years ago. So we've been together for 19 and married for. Almost 16 and it feels like-
Patrick: 50 years. Some days maybe some days 80 years.
Tina: Some days just like yesterday. So we kind of we met unconventionally. Well it was unconventional 18 years ago. Today people meet online and over the phone all the time. But we started before the days of texting and Facebook and you know face timing and all that kind of stuff. And I lived in New York City and Patrick lived in Minnesota and we had met through businesses. He worked for the airlines and I worked for a travel agency so that was how we came to know each other but just over the phone and just through business. You know how you always have those boxes when you move that never get opened and they never get cleaned out. And then one day you're like oh what's in this box. I'm like oh it's my work stuff and look at Pat's number see what he's doing and I did it. I called him up like 'Do you remember me?' And he's like 'Tina! How you doing?' And that's how we got started, with it talking on the phone.
Patrick: Back in the calling cards days.
Tina: We were charged for long distance and you know you had to make sure that
you use those calling cards, so that you can get the most time on the phone. And only pay like twenty dollars. Then we we talked for many months over the phone and he said you know ‘you should come visit me you should just come visit the Midwest.’ And I said sure I'll do that I'll get on a plane and I'll come meet someone I've never seen before. I did it.
Tina: My mother was terrified that I was like going to my death. She thought I was gonna go see this crazy person.
Tina: And that was all she wrote.
Kanu: Oh ok. So Patrick when you gave Tina your phone number, was it business-related or did you have any hopes that perhaps things would developed into something else?
Patrick: Oh I knew I had her hooked. I knew once I baited her with that phone
number, I knew.
Tina: *sarcastically* You played me?! Your plan worked.
Patrick: I've always been about connections and meeting new people making new friends. That's probably what it initially started out as. I gave her that number specifically I remember telling her that, you know it kind of sucks that I won't get to talk to you every day, so here's my number and my address and let's just keep in contact.
Kanu: Had you seen each other's pictures at the time?
Tina: Not at that time. We sent each other pictures right before I was supposed to fly to Minnesota to meet him. So he sent me a picture and I sent him a picture so that I would know who I was looking for. So that was the days when you could meet people at the gate. There were no security check lines that you had to go through. So you can meet people at the gate and so I had to know what the person that was picking me up looked like.
Kanu: But you knew that you liked talking to each other. There was that connection before you even -
Patrick: I think we knew we loved each other prior to meeting each other.
Tina: Yes,yes. Neither one of us said it though
Tina: Neither one of us. We kept it very, you know we just kind of stayed on either side of that line. It wasn't until we actually met each other in person that we were kind of like ‘oh I have such feelings for you.’
Kanu: Oh I love it. So how long was that you were talking before you got to meet in person.
Patrick: Oh that's got to be two or three years I think. Business wise and then personal combined at all probably two to three years talking on the phone.
Tina: Initially it was just a business relationship. I handled you know accounts that came into the travel agency and then that was for probably a good year and a half almost two years.
Tina: Then once I moved back to Pennsylvania and we started talking personal, that was probably just under a year that we were talking you know it was not work-related.
Tina: We were keeping it very friendship though.
Kanu: Yeah you must have spent a lot of money on calling cards then right?
Tina: Oh we did.
Patrick: I think the calling cards were a two-hour limit on the calling cards. We burned through one a day.
Tina: Yeah well towards the end right before we left it was one. Yeah you bought one and I bought one. You call me, then I call you. It was ridiculous. I look back now and I'm just like oh my poor mother. I understand why she was so frustrated.
Patrick: Yeah because we didn't have cell phones back then.
Tina: No, there were no cell phones. Well, there were cell phones but boy oh boy they were the big chunky ones that had the one little flippy flap and the big antenna that pulled up. You couldn't spend more than like a minute on it or you were racking up like 20 bucks or something.
Kanu: So there was no way that your mother could check on you to see if you were ok and how things were going?
Tina: There was no way. But I did tell her that I would call her once I got there and I did. It was fine and obviously I was fine. It's funny now because we have children, three of them and-
Patrick: Imagine what comes out of loving somebody so much that these human beings appear out of nowhere.
Tina: I know like, who are these people?
Patrick: That's what you people have to look forward to, little human beings running around.
Tina: Well but our daughter is 15 so if I imagine her even in like 10 years, if she were to just like pick up and go meet some guy she'd never met I'd be like, ‘oh my gosh!’ and I have to watch what I say because I kind of did that
Patrick: Yeah, yeah.
Kanu: Okay so you meet up for the first time you, get off the plane and then you meet up for the first time. What was it like when you actually like you know next to each other and what was the chemistry like?
Tina: You mean after he actually like let me find him?
Kanu: Oh you couldn’t find each other?
Tina: Because I got off the plane and he was hiding. So I get off the plane and I'm all excited about this guy that I'm gonna meet him and I just know that like I'm in love with him and I'm hoping that he's in love with me. And I get off the plane and I'm and I'm looking and there's people and there's this big tourist group. I'm trying to look like where's this guy in this picture. And he's at the next gate watching me look around.
Patrick: Let her freak out a little bit.
Tina: He let me freak out. So immediately I'm making a plan, okay what do I need to do? I need to find someplace to stay, a hotel to stay in Minneapolis. So that I can get the next flight out and go home. But then he showed his face so after that little debacle-
Patrick: Oh it was funny.
Tina: No I'm sure it was very funny, but I was dying at the moment
Kanu: How long were you hiding Patrick?
Patrick: I wasn't hiding, I was sitting on a bench that was the next gate. So she couldn't see me . I was just kind of chuckling and laughing to myself waiting to see if she'd actually find me so
Tina: That is his personality, so it's been like almost twenty years of the same thing. He does this stuff all the time. That is his sense of humor there and it was funny afterwards.
Tina: But once we were together, it was actually kind of weird.
Patrick: It was bizarre
Tina: Because we'd spent so much time talking on the phone and so much time really just kind of getting to know each other, you really feel connected to this voice on the other end of the line. I knew this voice intimately. I could tell when he was sad, when he was happy, when he was frustrated. I could read it. Then to sit there and look at him and hear that voice come out of a stranger's mouth-
Patrick: it's bizarre, weird
Tina: It was just kind of weird. At one point we both looked each other then we're like, ‘ how about we just turn around and talk to each other.’ So we kind of turned our backs to each other and were like, ‘does this work better?’ And he's like this‘ this works better.’ I'm like oh boy this is gonna take some getting used to. It didn't take long, it was alright by the end of the evening. But it was just initially kind of very different.
Patrick: Yeah, it was different.
Kanu: That's funny. So how long did you stay in Minneapolis when you went to visit the first time?
Tina: Oh I was just there for the weekend wasn’t?
Patrick: Thursday through Sunday.
Tina: Yeah I flew out on a Thursday and then I came home on a Sunday.
Kanu: So when you left, what were you thinking? Did you think you were gonna see him again? Patrick were you're missing her? What was going on there?
Patrick: Well I think before she even left, we already made plans to see each other.
Patrick: So then it was my turn to fly out East.
Tina: Yeah so he came out to Pennsylvania then.
Patrick: And I think it was maybe two months later
Kanu: Sounds like you were going back and forth visiting each other. So at what
point, Patrick, do you propose?
Patrick: Oh well I moved out to Pennsylvania first.
Patrick: The reason why is because I wanted to date her officially. I couldn't date her from 1,200 miles away. So we did that and I moved out there, got my own place, got my own job. She helped me find a place out there and worked out there and then it was-
Tina: You proposed the following February
Tina: And then we got married
Patrick: the following July
Kanu: Two to three years of talking on the phone. One year after meeting, the proposal happened.
Tina: Just under a year and a half. Then about a year later no year-and-a-half later, February to July
Tina: February all the way around to July.
Patrick: So the only thing that happened really quick in our relationship, is when I decided to move. So from the time she first came out, to the time I moved to Pennsylvania, was about six months. But then afterwards, it was another two years or so before we got married.
Tina: Yeah. And that wasn't really, I mean we just kind of we knew that we were gonna be planning the wedding, paying for the wedding and we just I don't know we were living together, we didn't have any reason. We were just kind of wanting to do it on our own terms.
Patrick: Yeah. We were paying for it on our own.
Tina: So we just kind of really scraped up, save money, you know.
Kanu: That's awesome. So what qualities do you like about each other?
Patrick: Well she has the most beautiful elbows I've ever seen on a woman. They're impeccable. I go to sleep dreaming about them at night, I wake up thinking about them.
Tina: That’s sort of like a running joke in our household. You know there's sometimes when you're with your spouse and sometimes you're just like you get bogged down with like you know life. Sometimes I just look at him I'm like, I just need some love from you. I need some words from you words you know just tell me something, and he'll always say give the most beautiful elbows. Or your big toe is so wonderful on your left foot.
Kanu:That is so funny.
Tina: Just a little humor too you know the stresses of life sometimes.
Kanu: Yeah. You actually remind me of the time when I asked this guy I was dating I was like you know what quality about me do you like? He said I like your hair. I was like okay..?
Patrick: I mean I think for me, I think everything I like about Tina is all internal versus external.
Patrick: That's what drew me to her. I mean her outside appearances I mean was just a bonus. But you know, just somebody I was looking to be a friend with. Somebody who had the capacity to love, to share, care and be kind and compassionate. You know all the things that are internal. External was just extra.
Tina: You know and I would say that what drew me to him initially, was his compassion and his big heart and the support that he exhibited for myself and for people around him. And 19 years later it's still the same thing that just it just knocks me over sometimes. I always say that Patrick loves without rules, you know everybody's in the pool. You know if you're a fellow human being he just he just loves you just for existing. He doesn't come with any of the mistrust or you know sometimes we can become jaded because people have you know burn bridges with us or hurt us or betrayed us. He just doesn't have it. Sometimes I'm like they're not your friends. And he says Tina, they're a human being. And I just love them. I just love them like they are. That's a really great check in for me sometimes.
Kanu: What's your secret Patrick? How do you get to be like that? I need to be like like that.
Patrick: I'm lazy. It takes more work to not like people and not throw love at people, than it does to just do it.
Tina: Yeah it does take a lot of effort to be angry and to hold on to you know, mistrust. Is that the key?
Patrick: I think so. I'm just kind of lazy.
Tina: We're gonna like write that down,'just be lazy'. Love one another, just be lazy.
Patrick: Because love flows right.
Patrick: Anything versus love, is not a flow. It's a result of resistance. So I just kind of let it happen.
Kanu: Wow that's really awesome. Yeah. So we talked about the qualities you like about each other, what about those little annoyances about each other?
Patrick: We don't have enough time for that on the podcast.
Tina: You know my number one pet peeve, is those socks. He just he walks out of them, one foot then the other foot and then leaves them where they are.
Patrick: If that's the worst you get, your getting pretty damn good.
Tina: I'm never going win. Yeah, damn good. It is pretty good. It is just your socks. That's my biggest pet peeve.
Kanu: Not clothes? I mean just the socks?
Tina: You know he gets the clothes in the laundry basket, the socks never make it. They never make it, like he takes them off and they land right there. They stay there.
Patrick: See I don't really see what's wrong with that.
Tina: I know. I know you don't, except that when when it's time to do laundry, they don't get washed.
Patrick: Then they get thrown in the basket.
Tina: They get thrown in the basket after the laundry is done.
Patrick: So they can be done for the next time. That's why I have 60 pairs of socks.
Tina: That is true. He as an ungodly amount of socks. So it used to be that I would just think, 'Well that's fine. I'm going to leave them on the floor, I won't pick them. Just let him be without socks.' He just went out and bought more socks. And he can go like like three weeks without washing socks because he's got a clean pair in the drawer. So I gave up the socks stay where they are, when he wants the wash that he throws them in the laundry and I don't worry about it.
Tina: Oh my god thats funny. What about you Patrick?
Patrick: Yeah I don't know that I really have anything with Tina. When she does things that annoy me, I'll tell her. And then she just keeps doing it. I guess that's one of the things that annoy me. I don't know if it's just our relationship or women in general or what, but she feels the need to repeat herself because I'm not bright enough to pick up what she's saying.
Tina: No, no. It's not that you're because you're very bright. It's just that I'm not sure he understands my point of view so I need to rephrase it in a different way.
Patrick: 60,000 times
Tina: Maybe not 60, at least ten different times. Just so he understands my point. And usually by the third or fourth one he's like I got it, I got it, I got it. Then I'm like, I don't think you do because if I just explain it to you in this way, you'll understand me.
Kanu: It must be working because 19 years later, you're still together.
Tina: 19 years, we are still together.
Patrick: Well you just heard about this.
Tina: That's right.
Kanu: Oh my gosh. So I understand that you two work together.
Patrick: We do. We have a life coaching business, where we're integral coaches and we deal with a lot of topics like this. With the relationships and that kind of thing.
Tina: Yeah. Self-love and confidence.
Patrick: Because a lot of people are suffering.
Patrick: So part of that is to learn how to love yourself, so you can give it to others. Then when you learn how to do that, you can communicate well in your relationship is possible.
Kanu: It's interesting you say that because myself, as a single person on this journey of love. You know I've tried it all from online dating, from being hooked up friends, from everything. Not until now did I realize that, I need to work on myself first, before I can have room for somebody to come into my life.
Tina: Yeah. Yeah.
Kanu: With that came me relocating from Oregon to Phoenix. There's an abundance of sunshine, that helps too.
Kanu: It's the time that I spend working on me.
Kanu: It sounds like that's something you guys work with too.
Patrick: Yeah because I mean once you find yourself then you're going to start attracting the right people to you. If you feel like crap about yourself, people are going to see that they're not going to want to be a part of that. Tina doesn't like me using the phrase, but when you're vibrating on a higher level, you start attracting the things that belong to you. That you deserve coming to you. When you're vibrating on a low level, like you're depressed and
Tina: You're not liking yourself. Yeah it really reflects.
Patrick: You start to attract the crap that comes to you.
Tina: Yeah. On the other side of it too is that if you are always seeking a partner to fill that space in you that's missing, you'll always be left disappointed. They'll never be able to fill it. You'll always be let down. So you have to start first with you. Then once you do that, then you can find that partner that can meet you where you are and compliment you, not complete you. Like you compliment each other.
Patrick: It's a team. It's not 'I'.
Tina: You're a whole person all on your own.
Tina: You need to find another whole person.
Kanu: So you can compliment each other.
Tina: Compliment each other.
Patrick: Yeah that's huge.
Kanu: I wonder if that speaks to the whole idea of you know people always say when you start dating like a guy cheats or something, every other guy that you date after that it's like the same type of guy. That has the same sort of cheating behavior. So I wonder if that's what you are describing Patrick about attracting.
Patrick: Yeah. There's a reason why people keep attracting the same thing. Once you figure out what it is about you that's attracting those people. It's not about them. It's about you. Yeah. Once you figured out what it is about you, then you have the capability of making a change and growing in your life. Then you're going to start seeing a full circle come around. Where then you're going to start attracting the right people to you because you feel worthy. You feel loved, you feel confident. Those types of qualities people want to be around.
Tina: You need to be able to find a partner who can stand side by side with you and not who can you can either let you be in the spotlight. He's in the spotlight, you're standing side by side. Neither one of you overshadows the other.
Tina: But someone who can stand side by side with you and not be intimidated and not intimidate you. You know because over a long period of time, there's going to be times where you're in the front and he's in the back and he's supporting you. And other times where that might be flip flopped and you're supporting him and other times where you just stand side by side just doing it together. Life is multifaceted. So you know it might be that in your career you're in the front and he is supporting but when it's on the home front you're side by side.
Patrick: See what I mean.
Patrick: She what I mean. She is explaining the same thing to you, 10 different times. Thank you for proving that.
Tina: She was feeling it because she understands. Oh honey, it's OK.
Kanu: Oh my gosh you guys are so fun. You know seriously I want to do an episode with a group of single women together, and you as a couple that is making it successful for 19 years. Just looking at you, I can see that you guys compliment each other. You know I would love to have a discussion with some of the women in the same situation I am, talking.
Tina: That would be a lot of fun to do.
Kanu: So that might be a bonus episode coming through and maybe we can talk about that off line.
Patrick: Think about this and this is very it is a very simple way of looking at it. We all wear signs on her forehead right. Those signs project out. Some of these signs we don't read, because we can't see it. But everybody else is reading it.
Kanu: That's a question you're giving to people.
Patrick: So what's that sign on your forehead saying to everybody.
Patrick: And I'm not asking them to tell me I'm asking you, that's wearing that specific sign. What what are you telling people?
Patrick: Are you are you telling them I love you or are you telling them I absolutely care about you or are you telling them that I'm open to new things? I'm adventurous. What are the telling these people that you're walking by on a daily basis. There is a reason why the term exists, know thyself. There is a reason for that. And that comes directly to the core of you. You have to know who you are.
Patrick: You have to love who you are. And you have to be willing to stand in that truth being who you are.
Patrick: OK. The other thing is you have to be open to possibilities.
Kanu: That one is a tough one.
Patrick: It is because we judge. We judge on external and you won't get anything from judging externally because you won't get to see what's truly golden inside somebody. And that takes time to develop.
Tina: Yeah. And it's work not to initially judge because we make snap decisions all day long. I mean you know, something as simple as like what do I want to drink. What do I want to eat. Am I going to go right or left. Like you make decisions all day long and sometimes our decisions help guide us. Sometimes we and make those decisions based on past information that has stayed with us. So sometimes it's just pausing.
Patrick: Oh yeah I want to say one other thing too that snapping of the fingers that annoys me too. She just like snaps fingers and then she'll point. I want to make sure I got that in this too.
Tina: But I have the pointing really good and the snapping is really good. I worked on that. Oh honey I'm snapping all day long now.
Kanu: You guys are so fun! I could talk to you forever.
Patrick: I think her advice would be different too for people who just got married. Our advice would be different for people who have been married five years. Our advice is going to be different for people who are married 15.
Patrick: It's all a process.
Tina: Yeah. I think the other thing to keep in mind is that like you hear this you hear 19 years and you're like wow you guys are amazing. But you know, there were points in our life where we weren't sure we were gonna make it. And there were times where we questioned whether we really wanted to be with you know I loved him but he couldn't stand me or he loved me and I just couldn't stand him. I think the thing to remember is that, life has hills and valleys.
Tina: And it's it's making a commitment through good times and bad. Acknowledging that there will be times there will be rough patches. There will be times where you're not on the same page. But so long as you do not assassinate each other's character. So long as you learn how to fight fair.
Patrick: There are fighting there's rules to fighting in a relationship
Tina: You will fight. You will be angry. There has to be room for that because we are human. But so long as you know you have rules for fighting and you have rules. No assassinating characters I know I'm repeating myself.
Patrick: See? You just keep proving my point. I love this.
Tina: I was trying to help you out baby. How many people out there are going to be thinking she's repeating herself again? Well now I am really going to pay attention now! That's going to be my that's going to be my signature thing the snapping and the repeating.
Kanu: I love it. Oh my god. Like I said I would talk to you guys forever. But I do want to thank you for taking time to chat with me and sharing your story.
Tina: It's been a lot of fun.
Kanu: Thank you much for being a part of this. I really appreciate that.
Tina: Absolutely. Thanks for taking the time with us.
Kanu: Thanks for tuning into this week's episode. I hope you enjoyed it. Do you have a love story to share? Do you know a couple with a love story? Send me an email email@example.com and also follow me on Instagram and Facebook under Real Love Real Stories. Till next time.