Episode 8: How high school sweethearts are still madly in love 20 years later
How 2 high School Sweethearts are still madly in love 20 years later
Kanu:Welcome to real love stories the podcast, a platform for a couples to share their love stories and for singles to find hope. I'm Kanu, I'm the host and you are a tuning into episode number eight. I want to introduce my couple for episode eight. I have Scott and Tanya. Enjoy their love story. Welcome Scott and Tanya to episode 8 and thank you so much for being a part of this.
Tanya:Thanks for having us.
Kanu:Yeah, absolutely. So, as you both know this podcast is about couples sharing their love story. So let's start off by you guys explaining to us and telling us how your love journey began.
Scott:It's a while back.
Tanya:A long time ago.
Kanu:Like how many years ago?
Tanya:It will be 26 in December.
Kanu:Oh, my goodness.
Tanya:So, we met in high school. I was a freshman and he was a senior and I had a Spanish class in an outbuilding that he had an Economic class in and we met along the walk out to those classes in high school. Then one day he called me out the blue and asked me to go to a movie and I was like, "What?" Because I had no idea that he was interested in me and we started talking and we met at the Christmas dance and I wasn't really allowed to date because I was a freshman and he was a senior but we started. My parents met him and was like he's really sweet and so we started going together as ‘high schoolers.’ Back then he actually... The way that he asked me to be his girlfriend was he left six yellow roses and six pink roses on my porch on Christmas day with a card that had these two ice skaters on it and when I opened it, they came together and it said, 'Will you be my one and only?’ It was so sweet.
Kanu:Oh my gosh. That's so cute.
Tanya:Yeah, so that's how we started dating way back.
Kanu:Aw, you're high-school sweethearts.
Tanya:We are, yeah.
Kanu:That's so awesome. You know, I love that because there is no question at all whether you're in a relationship or not. He said it right there and it's either yes or no, right?
Kanu:Yeah. So, Scott how was that for you? How did you...? So you were walking, I guess going past each other between classes. Tell me from your perspective, when you saw her what did you think?
Scott:Well a friend of mine pointed her out to me and then I couldn't stop noticing after that. Luckily she was friends with one of my friends, somebody I knew from the neighborhood that I had known for years was one of her friends. So I kind of had an in that way and apparently her friend kind of liked me so it was sort of like a bait-and -switch kind of thing, I guess. But I would walk with both of them and I just noticed that... Maybe she could tell you. I don't know.
Kanu:Do you remember the movie you watched? You talked about here asking
Tanya:I don't remember. I think I was so nervous during the movie that I wasn't watching the movie.
Scott:I remember. Your other friend went.
Tanya: Yeah, I had to take a friend to the movie with me.
Scott:I remember you must have asked to move.
Tanya: Cause I was young you know, 14 and I don't remember, honestly. I was kind of like looking at him the whole time and then wondering what he was thinking and I was nervous. I had no idea what we'd be like.
Scott: And my parents had two cars. I didn't have a car but my mom had this little two-seater sports car and then we had a minivan and I wanted to take the cool car but they made me take the minivan. This was like my first time ever taking anybody out. So I get there with the minivan, the mom mobile, and then take her and her friend to this movie.
Kanu:Oh, that's so cute.
Scott:Yeah, it's an interesting start.
Kanu:Wow, that's so awesome. Oh my gosh, that's so cute. So how long did you date before you got engaged? What was the process from that?
Scott: Well I was a senior and she was a freshman so all through her high school we were just hanging out. I would actually find a way I could spend time with her. So I would get up early in the morning and even though I was a college student, I didn't have to get up until later. But I get up early in the morning to take her to school every day and then you know, that happened for years and we'd` hang out on the weekends maybe after school.
Tanya:Yeah, we and... So we got engaged when I was 19. So we dated for a while, I was still pretty young to get engaged and we got married when I was 20 and he was 24. And it was actually when we got engaged, I was in college at that point, he was in his last year of college, I think. Yeah and the way that we got engaged was he took me to this restaurant. It was actually on February the 13th. So it was a Friday the 13th because we both had to work on Valentine's Day so we're celebrating a day early because we're college students and we had to work jobs to pay for things. So actually, what happened was we were at dinner and I went to the bathroom and I came back and there was this huge bouquet a red roses, long-stemmed, on the table. Yeah, there was two and everybody was staring at me.
Scott:Yeah, cause the whole restaurant kind of figured it out that... Cause it was a very big display of two giant bouquets. So it sort of got everybody's attention and when she came out, it got really quiet.
Tanya:I was like, "Why is everybody looking at me?" and then I see these huge bouquets and he's on his knees and yeah, he handed me like a sign saying, "Will you marry me?" And it was so sweet.
Scott:I knew I was going to get choked up, so I had to write something down just in case. So my backup plan became the way I asked her.
Tanya:And this is before Pinterest and all of those things. So it was beautiful but when he gave me, he asked me to be his wife and I said yes.
Kanu:Wow, that's so cute. So what happens in the restaurant? Everybody was quiet, they're all watching this happening...
Scott:And there was an applause.
Tanya:Yeah, they clapped for us and it was really cool. The manager came over and he had been really weird like prior to that the whole day and I'm like, "What is wrong with you? Are you sick? Like what's going on? You're like really off." And now I know why.
Kanu:Yeah. Oh, that's so cute. So then how long after that did you stay engaged and then had the wedding?
Tanya:We were engaged for a year. So we were engaged February 13th of '98 and we were married February 27th of '99. But I should mention during the time that we were engaged, I mentioned I was in college, I did a study abroad in Europe. So we were planning the wedding, went to see Europe, he was still in Portland where are we're from and I was overseas during that time frame. We didn't have social media. It wasn't easy to contact home. If you called home it was really expensive. Even email wasn't that big thing so we didn't have that kind of contact while I was in Europe.
Kanu:Oh wow. How long were you in Europe?
Tanya:Just over three months. I traveled around and did a study about the University of London.
Tanya:Yeah and I came back, and we got married on my winter break. It was like a long weekend and we got married. So it was awesome.
Kanu:What makes your relationship work?
Scott: Well probably my really good understanding of ... I would say that there is a lot that is difficult about our relationship and I guess when all the stereotypes have difficulties in relationships, I think we have them. So what makes it work is really several things like talking about when we accidentally hurt each other or have a grace and forgiveness for those times and I think a lot of patience, a lot of trying to make it okay to be different because we're very different.
Scott:And trying to keep ourselves from making those differences wrong. Those are the things that have over time really been the key things. Plus a lot of sex.
Tanya:I also think that we've put in a lot of hard work into our relationship cause we've gone through different seasons of life. We've gone through some really great seasons and we've gone through some seasons that are really hard and I think a lot of couples that have been in some of the situations that we've encountered would have just called it quits. But the hard work that we've done and we continue to do and we focus... We do put a focus on the relationship. I think what you focus on is where you're going to see growth. When you take your focus off of growing and being in the relationship, which we've done in the past, things start happening. We try to be intentional about our relationship even though we have three kids that keep us on our toes. We own two businesses that are quite busy - they're in seasons of growth. But we still make our relationship a top priority.
Kanu:Yeah, that's awesome. So, Scott, you brought this up. Now I'm going to have to ask. I want to ask about your personal sexual life but I've heard that when people have been married as long as you guys have been that the sex life is one of the things that goes very quickly. Look like it's not the case for you guys but what do you think of that whole subject of sex?
Scott:I think it's really important. I mean, let me just say that we've seen everything in our own relationship. We have experienced rock bottom. We have experienced highs. Where I do consider us, even with everything that Tanya said, we do work hard on stuff. I do consider us pretty lucky. You know, it's not... You can probably do everything right but still end up not having a fairy tale or whatever. So I think a little bit of luck also plays in.
But as far as what she said is true. When it comes to sex, that's one thing that is really important and in our life and in our marriage live we've let that not be so important. We've kind of swept it under the rug. We've ignored it. We've been frustrated, both of us have been frustrated for different reasons and we made it a priority to make that a priority. And it's something, just like everything else, it's something you have to be intentional about. And we have been really intentional about it. We still work on everything and we definitely work on that.
We're always trying to grow in the area of sex, passion, desire, eroticism, all of that stuff. You're right, most couples don't do but in my opinion, sex is the glue of a long-term relationship. I mean, it's the only thing that separates any other relationship you have and so if that goes away, it's not a love relationship anymore. I mean, you can have... I mean, I know older couples, very old couples, elderly couples who sex becomes less important and they have more of that agape love and not so much of the Eros love. That's important too, obviously. I mean, we're not there yet so I don't know. We'll see when we get there but from what I've heard from older couples is it doesn't become such a priority someday but for us it really is and we know that when we're having a lot of sex, we get along better and when we're not we tend to have a little bit of an edge to us, you know.
Kanu:Thanks for sharing this. You guys are the first couple that I have talked about sex with and so I appreciate you being open to talking about it. I actually want to do at some point a whole episode about sex.
Scott:I'm up for that one.
Kanu:I will keep you guys in mind for sure.
Tanya:Yeah, we're an open book with that because nobody talks about it. I mean people are suffering in silence and thinking that they're the only one especially with these issues. So many people don't want to talk about it. They're ashamed. So we are open and people ask because we want to be able to share authentically what has helped our relationship.
Scott:We have been having sex for lots of years but definitely we're having the best sex of our lives in recent years. Hopefully... I don't know it's like layers of onions. How amazing can it get? I mean, it feels like it's amazing but I keep seeing it gets even better. So we're always looking for the next level.
Kanu:Yeah, that's awesome. I'm sure there are a lot of couples that might want to chat with you about that and ask for advice to sort of help them in their relationships as well. So if you're open to that we can always ask people, send them your way to have that discussion. Because you're right Tanya, this is something that people don't talk about a lot. So if I may switch gears just a little, how about... You guys have been married for about 20 years. What are some of the little things that maybe you do with each other, maybe some annoyances between the two of you that you probably would do if you were not in love?
Scott:Well I have to confess that recently, I've gotten myself in trouble cause we are a bit in the public with our own businesses and stuff and so that exact topic for example, I may have overstepped my bounds a few times recently. So I'm going to tread really carefully right now and I'm going to let her go. Say whatever you want.
Tanya: Well I can tell you that Scott gets annoyed by. I leave the almond butter out pretty much on a daily basis with the knives and the paper towel because I make this particular snack and Scott is super organized, very clean, very OCD and I'm probably what you call kind of a mess, like hot mess. You know, one of those people who starts the task and then I'm starting another task. So I might be making something over here and these little messes happen. I clean them up eventually but I'm not as you know... But when he is... He uses the almond butter out. Say I do it pretty much every day and everything. It's gotten to a point where even the kids are like, "Mom, Dad's gonna see that.' So we joke about it but I would say that that's probably the biggest thing is that he is you know... I'm constantly and everything that I do that kind of drives him crazy but he did a solution for it.I tend to lose car keys and when I lose my car keys, I just go take his car keys and then I lose his. So he got those little tiles, those square tiles from Amazon and put them on those so now when I leave my car keys, he pops his phone out and finds my keys.
Tanya:And so as far as he goes, I think the biggest thing is probably the flossing.' Scott is one of those people who flosses every day, sometimes twice a day. He flosses out like in the living room and while he's talking to you and there is like food. It's like he[inaudible 00:19:56] like, "Guh. Dusty
Scott:It's not good foreplay I've learned.
Tanya:Yeah, I'm like if you're looking for something tonight , you'd better go do that like you in the bathroom.
Kanu:That is so funny. You know, I, I never actually talked about the reasons why I ask this question. I was married before and my ex-husband would take a shower and scrunch the shower curtain and just leave it like that and I for whatever reason I like to draw it back so it nicely dries and you know, couldn't usually as a design on it. So, I want that to be shown and it used to drive me nuts like it became this source of our fighting was this shower curtains. So, I'm always interested in hearing from couples, like what is the one thing that drives you nuts, that you deal with in their relationship. So, I wanted to put a little context as to why I asked that question,
Scott:Yeah, we love that question we ask it all the time with the couples we work with it's an important thing because what we, what we think is, and what we found is, if you let that stuff bother you, it really can be frustrating and aggravating and painful. And so, we try to, we try to get ourselves over that stuff and just kind of make a joke out of it and we try to encourage others to do that too.
Kanu:So, the flip side of that, what is the one quality that you love about each other?
Tanya:Do you want to go first or me ? I think for me is that Scott's very steady, like very steady emotion. He's very solid, like rock solid. And so, I have kind of emotions, you know, all over the map and he just bring like that sense of stability and calmness. And so, I really appreciate that because it, you know, it'll instantly, like usually calm me down.
Scott:And I could probably go on a long list. But what really comes to mind is you know, I say this a lot if I didn't marry Tanya, my life would look pretty dark. I would probably have a steady job. I would come home, turn on the TV, eat nachos and ice cream in front of the TV and go to bed and do that every single day. And people, people might invite me out to things, and I would not go because naturally my bent is to not be social, to not be externally processing. I just kind of like to just be in my own world and she brings such life and light to my world and
Tanya:He's gonna make me cry
Scott:I just love, I mean, just looking at her smile on her face. I mean it does it all and that's the way she is. Her personality just lights up a room and that brings a lot of spice and flavor to my world and as she was saying, there's emotion all over the board, you know, it can be a storm or it can just be happy, go lucky. But, if you want that passion, that kind of person, you got to take that whole spectrum and I've really learned to appreciate all of it and it's a, exciting, passionate a world with her.
Kanu:Oh, that's so awesome, and you know kudos to you for being able to ... for both of you actually, for being able to say that out loud. One of the things that I've learned from couples is that they feel the same way that you feel, but they can't express it in such a beautiful way the way that you both expressed about each other. So, I mean kudos to you guys for, for that for sure.
Tanya:Thank you . Yeah, it’s those things that drive us crazy about each other, like you said, are little annoyances, but they're also the things that bring us the greatest joy in our relationship because like he said, he would be sitting, eating nachos and ice cream every day and I would probably just be out traveling and probably would have no stability in my life. I would have no money because I would spend it all on socks and it' would be, it'd be chaotic, and you really need both. So, they ground its really fun and it keeps it interesting.
Kanu:That's beautiful. So just based on what you were saying, it sounds to me that you are into eating healthy, into exercising and in to going out and about and enjoying each other's company, in a social setting outside of your home. Is that about, right?
Tanya:Yeah, and we also love traveling like I mentioned in the beginning I went to Europe, I had never... I had been at that point in my life I had been to Tijuana, Mexico, which is not, just across the California border. I had been to North Dakota to visit family and really hadn't been anywhere else except for where we lived, and my dream was to travel and Scott's Like why would you to do that? And I started ... we started traveling after we were married, and he fell in love with it and so we actually travel quite a bit it something that our family really enjoys doing.
Kanu:That's great. What's been your most favorite or memorable vacation that you've taken as a family?
Scott:As a family it's been Europe, we spent a couple months in Europe. We actually packed up the house and moved out and didn't promise we were coming back. We didn't know if we were going to come back. So, we spent a couple months over there, France and Italy and we just kind of you know, we went and didn't plan on coming back and then eventually we realized we really wanted to come back all of our ... her parents, my parents, all of our extended family is all here in this local area in Portland. So, we realized, our kid was... our oldest was just over 10 at the time and [inaudible 27:03 ]decade. And we realized we really want our kids to be rooted with their family, with their grandparents and get them through school and then see where we go from there. But we kind of long-term dream about being all over the world, after our kids kind of get through school.
Scott:But we have to mention our favorite trip as a couple.
Tanya:Yeah, in the Dominican Republic we had an amazing trip that was... the beaches were beautiful. The room was gorgeous.
Scott:That has been by far the most romantic and it was also not just the most romantic, definitely the most erotic place we been...
Tanya:Yeah. It was really cool
Scott:Greece was very romantic too.
Tanya:We went to Greece, just this past May and that was amazing. We have a lot of really good memories traveling .
Scott:I like Mexico too.
Tanya:Yeah, we... we just love, we love experiencing new places.
Kanu:That's awesome. So, it sounds like you have, trips that you take just the two [crosstalk]
Scott:We are intentional about that, kind of at least every year,
Tanya:Yeah, we ...
Scott:Almost every year and we always have an amazing time of connection and intimacy renewal.
Tanya:Childcare is always a really hard thing for us, we've had to hire people to watch our children and we've relied on family, but at the end of the day we used to use the kids as an excuse not to travel or not to go on a date or not to do things. But the best gift we can actually give our children is two in love parents that are happy, that provide that for them. And we realized that and so we do go on trips with just us and the kids are like, wait, is this a mom and Dad trip or is this a family trip? And sometimes they're like, wait we want to go there, but we take them on great trips as well, but sometimes in really crazy seasons of life we may just get away to a hotel for the night locally or we live really close to the Oregon coast, so we might just get away for two nights just to reconnect and be taken out of our busy life and focus on each other. And so, we're very intentional and sometimes it takes some super creative planning to make that happen. Our kids are thriving I believe because of that.
Kanu:My head is spinning with all of these ideas of like little episodes about how to take time for the couple and the kids stay home kind of thing. So, my head is spinning right now about some bonus episodes to come in the future.
Kanu:Oh, I love that. So okay, you know, I'm single and I'm looking, what advice would you have for me and others in my situation where ...we want to meet somebody and look at each other the way that you guys are looking at each other and I want to meet that person. What advice would you have for somebody like me
Tanya:Well first off , I would be intentional. What are you looking for? Because I always hear people like... I'm a lot of single girlfriends as well and we have clients that are single. And I say what are you looking for? And sometimes they know and sometimes they actually don't know. But as you said before where you put your focus is where you're gonna start seeing change. So, really thinking about, okay, what, you know, what type of person do I want to do I want to meet, it's going to be a forefront of your head , then making sure it's also realistic. That's another think and this is probably going to get me in trouble with some of your listeners, but I firmly believe that the Bachelor and the Bachelorette are great shows, but they've given a lot of people unrealistic expectations of dating and relationships and you know, what it's like. And so, I was like, okay, are you like doing the bachelor version or are you doing the realistic version of what you're looking for?
Scott:There's probably a few things that we could say what not to do. We've seen some destructive or bad patterns that don't seem to work. Well-being, owning your own happiness, your own unhappiness. If you wake up in the morning and you're feeling resentful instead of taking it out on another person own that and understand why you're feeling resentful and get yourself in a place where you're happy, you're able to contribute. And that's definitely not easy it's definitely not a thing that a lot of people do in our society. Our society is full of a bunch of whiners and entitled people. If you put two of those together in a couple you get a crappy situation. So, you put two people into a couple who make their own selves happy like I wrote recently about does your spouse make you happy. Right, so we say that all the time, you make me so happy and it's cute.
Scott:But the truth is it doesn't make me do anything, I'm happy if I choose to be happy and a depressed person or a person who is always irritated or a person who is always looking at this as their problem is choosing that behavior, choosing that thinking. And so, we have a process that we that we worked through. But it's all in your head it is using your thoughts, so that just maybe even this concept of thinking about I got to own my own happiness ,I can't say that she's making me happy or making me not happy ,I got to be happy myself. And so, you're basically coming to that relationship with a full cup instead of saying I need my cup filled. Two filled cups coming together we can do a lot, but if we're just there to complete each other, like the whole Jerry Maguire thing right? It's romantic, but it's crap like hey I'm here because we're awesome, I'm awesome lets go do awesome things together would be a better Jerry McGuire line.
Kanu:Yeah, so you talked a little bit about, you know, you said you help people with that. Do you want to tell people what you guys do?
Tanya:Yeah, we'd love to. So, we are marriage and relationship coaches and we work with married couples, engaged couples, singles and our company is called 'Marriage Architects" and what we believe in is building... you know, a lot of people spend a lot of time building their dream home, but they don't actually put a lot of time into building their dream relationship. And if we did do that and we treated it like we were building our own custom home, I think it would be a lot more fulfilled relationships. So, we help people take them through a process and especially our couples with a blueprint to their dream marriage. And then with singles, we work with them on helping them feel...because we haven't... we have another person on staff [inaudible35:47 ]Megan and she works...and we do as well with singles and helping them going through their process like any past baggage any that they've had from other relationships .Really define what they're looking for in a relationship so that they can attract that person that they ultimately want and finding that fulfillment.
Kanu:It sounds like an audience has something to look forward to. It sounds like they might be some collaboration there in terms of a retreat that we will announce soon. Yeah, so definitely more and more things to look forward to. Yeah, so I want to take this time to thank you both very, very much for being a part of my podcast and sharing your love story. Yeah, so thank you so much for taking time with me today.
Scott:Thank you [crosstalk ]
Tanya:Thank you so much. It's been fun.
Kanu:Thanks for tuning into this week's episode. I really hope you enjoyed it. Do you have a love story, or do you know somebody with the love story? If so, shoot me an email. Kanukayi@gmail.com. Please go to my YouTube channel. Real love, real stories, podcast and subscribe and also follow me on Instagram and Facebook realloverealstories. Till next time.