In case you missed reading about us in the media in a recent edition of the New Zealand Woman’s Weekly, here is the article. Special thanks go to Aroha Awarau from NZWW for allowing us to tell our story, to Bernadette Peters for photographing us and to Christiana Cleland for doing Natasha’s makeup. We hope you enjoy reading it just as much as we enjoyed telling it.
“My husband Russell (35) and I have been deeply in love with each other ever since we met on an internet dating site eight years ago. When we married in 2011, it cemented our love. I’m a former school teacher and Russell is in the army. But for someone who works in a macho world, Russell is such a romantic. When we started going out he used to take me on some amazing dates and made an effort to make me feel special. We wanted to use our experience to help other couples in the romance department so we started our own business – Romantic Gestures – and we’ve become professional romance planners.
I had been single for six years, raising my two children Ashley (17) and Hemi (16) before I met Russell. When I was ready to date again, it was very daunting. Internet dating was a new phenomenon, and I met some men on the web who turned out to be not so nice. I learned to keep my expectations low, and just go with the flow. Russell had also had some very unpleasant experiences with online dating – one woman even stalked him. He was very wary and cautious as a result. When we met, I honestly thought that I was not all that desirable – old, and a single mum. I wondered if anybody was going to want me.
I contacted Russell because his profile picture had initially caught my eye – a topless pic showing his abs. But when I met him he was a real gentleman – the kind of guy that would pull the chair out or open the door for you. I was smitten and we got on very well. In fact, Russell told me he knew he was in love from the very first week! When he proposed, he blindfolded me and drove me to the restaurant where we had enjoyed our first date to ask for my hand in marriage, in a room full of diners. We married in Palmerston North on May 21, 2011 in a Narnia themed wedding, with me arriving in a horse and carriage.
Our friends and family were really impressed with the fact we had always scheduled monthly date nights, and encouraged me to start my own business to help other couples reignite passion in their relationships. Our clients come from all around the country. By understanding how to incorporate romance into our own relationship, Russell and I share tips and recommendations on activities that can reignite romance, like organising special date nights or romantic getaways. These tips come from personal experiences and have formed the basis of our love. Russell is in charge of the business and paper work side of things and I look after the clients.
We were targeting men to start with, because we felt that it was the guys who most needed help. But we’ve noticed that more and more women are calling us. We also help couples identify their own “language of love” whether that be through gifts, quality time, words of affirmation, acts of service or physical touch. It’s a concept that everybody has a specific love language, and if we all spoke our partner’s love language we could understand each other better. We’re so successful, that some counsellors have been recommending us to couples who are on the brink of separation. We really try to prevent people from falling out of love and getting a divorce. The key to a long relationship is making an effort to spend quality time with each other. As long as you can put in that extra mile for your loved one, they will really appreciate it”.
The secret to lasting love is: Never go to bed angry. Always deal with the issues on the day and never take them into the next.
The best advice I’ve given my children is: Admit when you’re wrong. Own up to your mistakes and move forward.
If I had to choose between chocolate and flowers: I’d go for quality chocolate. Life is too short to eat bad chocolate.