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  • Writer's pictureEmmaleen Muldoon

What is love? Catherine and Paul

Updated: Aug 16, 2019

“When there are storms we always come back to that, we always come back to each other"

Paul and Catherine

Catherine and Paul have been together for fifteen years and have two children. They live in Shoeburyness, England. Paul grew up close by in Canvey Island, and Catherine grew up in neighboring Southend-on-Sea. They met in November 2003 in a nightclub when they were twenty-five and twenty-six respectively and ended up moving in with one another just six weeks later.

I couldn’t wait to speak to Catherine and Paul about what makes a successful relationship and see what love means to them.

Catherine was feeling very happy the night they met, she had had a good business idea that day and was on cloud nine. She was with her friends in the nightclub randomly talking to everyone she met and feeling cheery. She walked up to Paul and asked him, “are you happy” to which his reply was “at this particular moment in time, I’m ecstatic.” Catherine said, “I had spotted him earlier in the night and was drawn to his strong presence. He was tall and attractive, but it was the way he held himself and that he appeared quietly confident that made me want to approach him”. The fact that Catherine was so happy that night had struck a chord with Paul as he had always had a positive attitude. As he explained, “I was raised with a, don’t be sad, always be happy mentality.”

They became engaged precisely one year to the day after meeting. Paul recalls, “I had been planning it for a while, we were having a fireworks party that night at our house as it was close to Guy Fawkes night.” Catherine explained, “I didn’t think a ring would be involved. That morning Paul brought me up a breakfast tray in bed. I saw a funny look on his face, and then I saw it right there, in the flowers, there was a ring. He got down on one knee and asked me. I wanted to push the tray out of the way so that I could hug him.

They were married a year and a half later. They had their ceremony in a church and then the reception at a golf club. A horse and carriage took them from the church to the reception along the seafront. Paul said, “that carriage journey was the best part of the day; it was our time to be alone together and reflect on what we had just done.” Catherine said, “we were sipping champagne, and people were cheering at us, it made me feel like royalty.”

When reflecting on why they wanted to get married, Catherine said, “I knew before he even proposed that he was the one. All the qualities were there, underneath the butterflies, there was this calm; it felt safe and stable. I thought that was the most important need for a long-term solid foundation. When there are storms, we always come back to that, we always come back to each other.” Paul agreed, “I found that we were very compatible, we are a classic case of opposites attract, we really complimented each other. We got on so well. She was so kind and thoughtful to me and to everyone, plus she was very attractive, so that was it.”

Catherine explained “We just knew, we moved in with one another after six weeks, with my previous boyfriend I had told him that I wouldn’t move in with someone until I had known them for three years. That was obviously an excuse, I know that now”

Emmaleen: Can you share a loving story from your relationship?

Catherine: “I have been doing a lot of personal growth recently, and I found this course that I wanted to take, it was quite expensive, but I really wanted to do it and had mentioned it to Paul. I woke up one day and saw that the course deadline was that morning. I booked the course without checking with Paul. I was worried about what he may say when he came home from work. When I told him, he hugged me and said, ‘I’m so proud of you. I don’t want ever want to hold you back. I’m here for you’ I was so happy that he supported my dreams.”

What is the key to a happy relationship?

Paul: “Communication is a big factor. Being able to talk to each other and not shying away. A good sense of humor is important and not taking everything so seriously all the time. Showing kindness to each other and yourself.

Catherine: Working on yourself so that you are not projecting your needs onto others. You need to learn your own ways to create happiness and invite that person in, rather than make it their job to make you happy.”

What is love?

Catherine: “Providing one another with unconditional acceptance, accepting ourselves first and then each other. Allowing the other person to grow in our journey; while loving ourselves first.”

Paul: “Love is Catherine, and love is my children. It’s the unconditional bond, knowing that no matter what, they are there for you. They love you when you’re sad and laugh with you when you’re happy. It’s the unexplainable warm feeling inside.

What advice do you have for someone looking for love?

Paul: “Don’t look too hard for it and don’t force it, it will come when you least expect it. Be patient. It may come soon, or you may have to wait.

Catherine: “If you are not in a relationship, then take that time for you, work on you. I was so happy on the day that we met and I attracted someone on a higher vibration. If you are looking, make sure you know yourself first. Don’t be looking for a projector for someone to ‘complete you.’ I don’t think that is healthy, you are already whole. People who are prepared to be part of that, respect that you have boundaries and want to choose you.”

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