Love Lan­guage

Meet our cover cou­ple, Kate and Tim Hall

Good - - CONTENTS - Words Natalie Cyra. Pho­tog­ra­phy Sara Orme

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

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