What is love? Christie and Robbie
Updated: Aug 16, 2019
"I believe in soul-mates, wait long enough, and they will turn up. Don’t worry about settling down by a certain age; I got married when I was thirty-nine, and I have had the best love story"
Christie and Robbie have been together for twenty-four years and married for seventeen. They live together in Scotch Plains, New Jersey; Christie comes from a small town in Massachusetts, and Robbie was raised in New Jersey.
Christie moved to New York City after college, the draw of the big city and bright lights calling her. In 1995, Robbie, an aspiring actor, was also living in New York; Christie at the time was as working as a director’s assistant. They met during a screenplay read-through. Christie said, “I had to give him notes on his performance; thankfully, he was good.”
I couldn’t wait to speak to Christie and Robbie about what makes a successful relationship and see what love means to them.
At the time when they met, Christie had a boyfriend, and so they started as friends. After a few months, Christie’s birthday came around, her boyfriend failed to recognize it, and eventually, their relationship began to fall apart. Christie recalled, “Finally, it was apparent that the man I was dating wasn’t the man for me, and then there Robbie was.”
Christie recalls, “We were dating for a while, but something was holding me back; he almost seemed too nice. He played softball at the time, my friend and I went to watch him play one day. Robbie played center field, during the game the ball came towards him and was heading to the chain-link fence behind him. Robbie ran back towards the fence and jumped into it to catch the ball; he had the marks from the fence on his forehead. He was insane; I turned to my friend and said ‘he is the man for me.’ I think I needed to see a little crazy.”
Robbie said, “For me, I knew that she was the one for me after a trip to New Orleans, my most favourite city in the world. We drove down together; it took twenty-four hours. The journey and the vacation was completely easy. I knew then that she just fits, we had the best time.”
They dated for five and a half years before getting engaged, Robbie had insecurities about settling down into marriage as a struggling filmmaker (he had now made the leap from acting to film-making.) Robbie said, "I was always thinking when I make that movie that does well that I can settle down.”
One day he was due to travel to Las Vegas to work as a camera person on a project when the shoot got cancelled. Robbie recalls, “It was all paid for, and so I thought, why not go anyway? While there I got to thinking about the wonderful girl I had at home, I went to the blackjack table, and I decided that if I win, I would put the money towards a ring and propose. For two days straight I just couldn’t lose, although I’ve spent a decent amount of time at the tables, I have never seen anything like it. I took it as a sign that she was the right person, and it was the right time.”
Robbie surprised Christie with a holiday to the Bahamas for her thirtieth birthday, while there on their last night Robbie proposed on their hotel balcony. Robbie said, “We are both Willy Wonka fans, and so I made her a ‘golden ticket’ and told her that she had won a trip away with me.”
Christie added, “I had no idea that he was taking me away or where we were going, he had spoken to my work and managed to arrange my time off. He told me what to pack and took me to the airport, we nearly didn’t make it on the plane, and we ran all the way to the gate. That started a whole series of mishaps on the vacation, including the hotel not having our booking when we arrived and a moped accident, but thankfully we got there, and the proposal was wonderful.”
Emmaleen: Can you tell us a loving story from your relationship?
Robbie: “Four years ago, I was diagnosed with stage IV cancer; it was a really rough time for me but also for Christie. I had chemo and radiation and lost around thirty percent of my body weight. I was so sick, and for three months Christie didn’t sleep at all, she would lay awake and watch me, making sure I was okay every time I made a sound.”
Christie: “When you love somebody, a situation like this can make you go one way or another. It strengthened our relationship in ways we didn’t know it could be. It puts into perspective what it would be like not to have that person if there is any silver lining to stage IV cancer, it is bringing us closer together.”
What is the key to a happy relationship?
Robbie: “If you are looking out for your partner and making sure that they come before you and vice versa, then everyone is being taken care of. I have my eyes on her, and she has hers on me. Like for example this morning, I could tell she was craving her favorite breakfast, and so I drove fifteen minutes to go and get it, it’s a simple thing, but it makes her feel loved.”
Christie: “Putting each other first, always having each other’s back.”
What is Love?
Christie: “Someone who allows you to be yourself with no judgement, no pretence, no anything.”
Robbie: “I can’t imagine a life where she is not there with me, that for me is love.”
So what is their advice to anyone looking for love?
Christie: “My friends ask me how to find a man like Robbie. I always say, be open and don’t have any preconceived ideas about what you think you want in a partner. Robbie was the opposite of my type, but he ended up being everything I never knew I needed."
Robbie: “For me, what do you look for, quick answer is don’t look. Love happens naturally, it is not something that can be put in a spreadsheet or have a game plan for. I believe in soul-mates, wait long enough, and they will turn up. Don’t worry about settling down by a certain age, I got married when I was thirty-nine and I have had the best love story.”
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