Meet our cover couple, Kate and Tim Hall
Meet Good’s cover couple Kate and Tim Hall. At 20 and 27 respectively, they may be young, but they know a thing or two about what makes a healthy relationship. Here is their story.
How did you meet?
Tim: I’ve known Kate’s family since I was 11. Her dad, a vet, put my family dog down. So, growing up, I loosely associated Kate with that memory. But I don’t hold it against her… much. We had stayed in touch via the local youth group, but our friendship only began to take off when we started playing in a musical duo together, called Becoming Mesha. After hearing Kate sing I invited her to collaborate on a project I was working on, and after hearing us sing together, her mum offered our services for a mutual friend’s wedding. I think it’s fair to say you can’t practise singing love longs with someone and not fall in love with them. The rest is history.
Kate: In December we will have been together for five years.
How did you know you had fallen in love with each other?
Kate: Our relationship grew over time, there was never a pivotal moment, but several little moments and gestures that were built upon – and are still growing today. I remember a few moments, like when he boldly (and unexpectedly) stopped at my house on Christmas Day and introduced himself to my extended family with great confidence. My mum called it at the beginning – she had never heard me laugh so much as when I was around him.
Tim: We started out as friends. Through and through, nothing more. We have a fairly large age gap, so she didn’t even cross my mind for years. But after our musical collaboration, it became undeniable that feelings had emerged. How could I tell I was in love with her? I had peace in my mind and in my chest when I thought of my future, and wanted her with me in whatever life held (soppy, but true).
How do you balance a relationship with leading a busy lifestyle?
Tim: It’s a balance, and we don’t always win, but we are always trying. To say that we lead busy lives is an understatement (for Kate at least). While she’s running around like a mad woman, I’m usually somewhere taking it easy, asking her to sit down with me for 20 minutes and enjoy a hot drink. It’s our differences and unique strengths that balance each other out, and help us meet in the middle. My placid and relaxed nature helps slow her down before she burns out, and her whirlwind of activity and passions edges me on and helps fuel my own drive. Together we make a good team.
How do you overcome your differences?
Kate: When differences are highlighted as points of contention, we talk it out. We say it how it is, and know and trust each other well enough to listen, solve the issue, and move on.
Tim: Disagreements are often the zest of life. For me, the trick is to always stay open to receiving feedback and criticism. I believe listening is the foundation stone to any good relationship. Listening isn’t just being quiet while the other speaks, nor is it hearing them and forming your rebuttal at the same time in the back of your mind. It is the act of hearing their perspective, asking for clarity and not cutting them off till they’ve finished. This way they have felt (and are) heard, you fully know their perspective, and can then deal with the issue at hand, and not bicker over the petty offences and the bitter emotions of being spoken over or ignored. True listening helps us overcome differences.
Have you ever been given some really great advice about relationships?
Kate: The best thing I have ever learnt is from my parents. Go on dates, have adventures and don’t forget to hold hands! I suppose it is easy to get into the rhythm of life and forget the fun you had when you were young.
Do you have any relationship ‘rules’?
Tim: When we are having a serious, emotional, vulnerable or difficult conversation, it’s our rule to make sure we are touching in some way. This could simply be holding hands, or sitting so close that our knees touch. Verbally we may be disagreeing or critiquing one another, with emotions running high, but by touching we are subconsciously affirming and supporting one another. Touch can say “I’m here, even though I disagree with you right now”, “I’m not going anywhere, even though it may sound that way” and “I still love you, even though I’m mad”. The hard part is to not let go.
What is your love language? (The way you express your love for your partner).
Kate: Mine differ between giving and receiving. Physical touch is my number one love language to receive. My problems are often solved with a hug, and a squeeze of the hand or kiss on the lips. I love giving with gifts – handmade, recycled and things made with a lot of thought.
Tim: My ‘love tank’ gets filled in many ways, the major being quality time and words of affirmation. But it must be given genuinely. When it is, it makes me feel appreciated, loved and seen.
“Go on dates, have adventures and don’t forget to hold hands!” Kate Hall “Listening is the foundation stone to any relationship.” Tim Hall
30s Nick Thomson and Johan Niemand Ages 35, 34 Together five years Do you have any relationship rules? Nick: We acknowledge disproportionate reactions can happen from time to time and we get over them fast. We never go to bed on an argument and we always say “I love you” before we go to sleep or when we are away from each other. What is your love language? Johan: We will often squeeze in on the piano stool and have a sing together. Nick leaves notes occasionally and often will just ring me on his way somewhere to check in and, in his words, “just wanting to hear my voice” which I think is quite sweet.
40s Sarah and Vincent Heeringa Ages 47, 49 Married 26 years Have you ever received some great relationship advice – and what was it? Someone once told us that life is longer than you think. There are different seasons to go through and the important thing is that your relationship can adapt to change. It helps when you respect each other. Do you have any relationship rules? Always try to be kind to each other. Try not to go to bed mad – but don’t stay up and fight either. Give yourself time to get perspective before talking about difficult things. Sometimes it’s better not to put every thought you have into words. Don’t say what can’t be unsaid.
50s Lynne and Steve Dickinson Ages 52, 59 Together 20 years What do you think the secret is to a healthy, long-lasting relationship? Making sure you are both on the same page about what you want in life, with each other and your family and then regularly check your emotional compass to make sure you are heading in the same direction. What is your love language? We both know the importance of making sure we each feel loved and I think our key is awareness – it’s never just one thing. Sometimes it may be flowers or cards and other times it’s help where most needed. Working together means we are very aware of each other’s needs and stresses – sometimes simply making a nice lunch when the other person is busy is just what is needed.
80s June and Tom Fisher Ages both 83 Married 60 years Every relationship has hard times – how have you managed to get through yours? Never bear grudges – talk things through and move on. Look forward to the next steps in marriage and have a close family network. A sense of humour is also a big help! What is your love language? June: After 60 years it’s the daily things – like Tom cooking lovely meals.
For more on Kate and Tim’s love story and ethically conscious life follow @kategumbrell