We spoke to these Baltimore couples to get their honest thoughts on what it takes to sustain love in a relationship in the city.
In a city of over 2 million, you never know who you’ll meet on any given day, or how you’ll meet them. In some cases here, the love of your life could be someone you met at a summer camp when you were 13 and in other situations, a chance encounter at Euphoria. Nonetheless, one thing I can say is that Baltimore has a habit of bringing you a life partner at a time where you may or may not be at the moment looking and for a fact, the love that you both will share is unlike anything you may have thought. I can attest to this as one point in time, this was myself.
Initially my goal was to showcase three couples and ask them general questions about their relationships. You know, the “How did you both meet?” or “What made you decide this person was the one?” However, I realized that very quickly the generic approach wouldn’t cut it, so I switched gears and focused on a different aspect of what being in a relationship is like with Baltimore couples – overall what has made them stay together. It’s easy to ask a couple how they decided to take the plunge to become a unit, but nobody ever asks about what a partner embodies that allows them to say that in this lifetime, this is who they would choose over and over again if they had the opportunity.
So, I decided to ask one person from each featured couple some questions, but most importantly, the biggest inquires like, “Describe your partner in one word and how that strengthens your relationship and yourself.” The answers below are the most important things that for any relationship hold the building blocks for longevity.
Spirituality does seem to play a primary role for many couples. The reasons for spiritual connectedness differ, but one common element is that it provides another level of empowerment to the relationship itself. Its one thing for a partner to pray for you and offer their best, but another for a partner to consistently pour into you with affirmations fostering your growth. “Kam is extremely spiritual” is what leaves Chris Cassius‘ thoughts after a long, thoughtful pause over Zoom. [Miss] Kam being that way he explains deepens the bond that they have, further affirming that her possessing that trait allows for a love deeper than what anybody would understand on the surface. In our meeting, he describes her as his twin flame and I could tell that he meant that. Even though he grew up going to church, as an adult, he found himself straying away from it and since forming a unit with Kam, he has found himself leaning more into that energy to not only understand himself but also her as a whole. With spirituality at the forefront for them, he shares that it has and continues to allow for a steady foundation that offer them a chance to be successful in their relationship with each other.
The words we use day in and day out with our partners are powerful. Quite often, we don’t even realize how much of an influence on our partner those words can have. The fact is, we all benefit from reassurance and encouragement. They’re a verbal sign of our love for our partners and James – most popularly known as trainer @mrtrained2go_ – describes his girlfriend Aliya as being a catalyst that consistently pushes him to understand that he can do anything he puts his mind to. In our conversation, he reveals that even through his ups and downs, she never doubts him or his ability to show up and show out. The relationship that they have allows him to be vulnerable in a sense that he sincerely trusts her. For him, it’s also the affirmation that there’s someone that genuinely cares about him more than he does and also that they’re in sync that assures him Aliya is special. When you get older you realize that a huge piece to a thriving relationship is the assurance and for these two, they make sure to own that.
The rewards of patience in a relationship are well worth the time and effort put in. By being patient and understanding with each other every day, you can work together to create a happy, healthy relationship. A love story that I had the opportunity of watching unfold since I was 23 was Brandon and Julia. It’s not very often to see a love that’s stood the test of time, but with them, I and others have not only been able to watch it flourish, but also thrive. I asked Julia to describe her husband Brandon in one word and she responded with patient. “Brandon is patient,” she tells me. “He’s incredibly patient with not only me and our relationship, but also with himself.” Patience in a relationship is key because that’s what allows you both to sit and thoroughly evaluate each and every situation that you may endure together. Julia explains that Brandon embodying this has given them the opportunity to support each other as they continue to better themselves. With patience sometimes being overlooked as a foundational component, the Austins make sure to put it into the routine of their everyday life.
There you have it. Three couples, three different building blocks and, unknowingly, three different definitions of what love can look like if you constantly practice these principles and put your best foot forward each day.