It’s been a while since I’ve done a ‘Your Stories’ post and I’m so sorry it’s been so long! I just love reading and hearing about how couples meet and getting a bit of insight into their relationships and lives. I’m so fascinated by the fact that there are so many people in the world yet something draws us to that one particular person at a particular moment in our lives and it just feels so right. That’s how it was with my husband and I and that’s how it was with Jonelle and her husband Gerard when they first met. Jonele is a wife, mom and blogger at Tyranny of Pink, an inspirational lifestyle and parenting blog with a focus on living life positively, purposefully and authentically. This is their story.
How long have you been together?
I met Gerard in February 2009 and we got married in December 2012. It was a bit of a whirlwind romance, we moved in together after 3 months of dating which was different for me as I’d never lived with anyone before. I am fiercely independent and never wanted to share my space with anyone before him. We got engaged a year later. When you know, you know!
How many children do you have and what are their ages?
We have a son called Oden who just turned one on the 4th September. I can’t actually believe how fast this time has gone by. It feels like only yesterday he was in my tummy and I had grand plans for his future. Now he’s one and already showing us every single day that he won’t be dictated to. He is who he is and he knows what he does and doesn’t like. Like peas for example. They are a huge NO.
How did having children change/affect your relationship?
My son’s birth was a little crazy. I ended up having 6 surgeries and I’ve only just recovered from the last one which was four months ago. I spent most of the last year in and out of hospital and my husband was forced to take on almost all the responsibility of taking care of me and our new baby. It really showed me how dependable he is and reminded me daily why I love him so much. It was hard for all of us but he was a trooper so I’d say having a baby really solidified our relationship under the hardest circumstances. I think a lot of people would fall apart under those circumstances but it made us stronger as a unit.
How did you first meet?
I love our story. We met at Ramfest, a rock festival. I was there with a friend after she managed to persuade me at the last-minute to come with her to the festival. When she decided to go sleep before Lark (one of my favourite local bands at the time) had played, I went off to find some new friends to watch the band with. I saw a guy with the hugest mohawk I’d ever seen and decided that he looked like he’d be fun. Gerard was in his group of friends and we saw each other and just immediately hit it off. We spent the rest of the night just walking around and talking and it was just so easy. There was no effort required to be around him and I just knew then that this guy was special. We had both come out of really awful relationships and wanted to just take time out on our own so we didn’t even exchange numbers. He tracked me down on Facebook though. I love social media.
What was it about your partner that you were first attracted to?
We just had this weird random connection. It wasn’t anything I’d experienced before. We looked at each other and sparks were flying and we just fell into a comfortable zone. Although it was the first time we’d met, we spent hours just talking and it felt unforced and natural. I just loved that. He was smart and funny and easy to be around. It felt so right.
What was the proposal like?
We went to Swaziland, where I’m originally from, for my friend’s wedding and afterwards we flew to Zanzibar. It was my birthday and he told me to close my eyes while he gets my present. When I opened my eyes, he was on his knee in front of me. I was totally shocked and surprised. I cried and he always laughs because I basically grabbed the ring and put it on my own finger! I was so excited! It was seriously magical!
Do you do date nights? If so, what do you normally do?
We used to have a lot more of them but since having Oden we try as often as we can but it’s not like it used to be. We both love good food and wine so date nights for us are always going to dinner at a restaurant somewhere. Our favourite in the area (Blouberg in Cape Town) is a fine dining restaurant called Homespun. They have amazing food. We also love going out for a good steak dinner!
What has been one of your most romantic moments together?
Gerard surprised me with a weekend away to Old Mac Daddy’s in Elgin Valley. It was winter and cold and rainy and we spent most of the weekend indoors drinking wine. There was this moment we were looking out over the misty valley below us and we both just knew, that was where we’d have our wedding. It was romantic and beautiful and everything about that moment was perfect. We booked our wedding there and as expected, it was magical.
What is your idea of the ‘perfect relationship’?
I think a perfect relationship is one that you’re happy in. For us, trust, honesty and respect are pretty important but so is being loving and caring. We want to see each other succeed and be happy and we make the effort to be present in each others lives. We speak about our day every day and we try to squeeze time in for us at the end of a long day. Even if it’s just the 5 minutes before falling asleep when we’re alone and we chat about our day and the plans for tomorrow. I think every relationship is different and different people have different priorities and values. The perfect relationship is the one that works for you and that makes your life better.
“The perfect relationship is the one that works for you and that makes your life better.”
I love that! Thank you so much for sharing your story! If you’d like to find out more about Jonelle, you can head on over and visit her at her blog.