What is love? Dee and Dave
Updated: Jan 13
"Build up the courage to say hello. If you don't shoot, you'll never score."
Dee and Dave live in Greenwich, London, the place where time began. They have been married for nine years and have two beautiful girls. Dee grew up in Liverpool, and Dave grew up in nearby Northwich, Cheshire. The alphabet brought them together. It was Fresher’s Week in 2001 at the University of Liverpool, they were both eighteen years old and beginning their law degrees. They were thrown together while in the same queue to enroll in their University tutor groups. Both their last names started with the letter R. David turned to Dee and said, "So, what do you want to be? A barrister or a solicitor?”
I couldn’t wait to speak to Dee and Dave about what makes a successful relationship and see what love means to them.
They spent three years in Liverpool finishing their degrees. Dave lived in Halls of residence on the Penny Lane, Dee stayed at home while studying. In their first year, they were in a few lectures together; public and criminal law. They were thrown together to do a public law group presentation. As Dee recalls, "the other group member did all the work, and we both just sat there and flirted." Soon after Dave texted Dee to ask her out on a date. They went out to Liverpool for a drink.
They dated all through the summer term of the first year, and then exam season began. After the criminal law exam, Dave tried to hold Dee's hand, and She wasn't happy about that. Later she texted to say that they should just be friends. In the second year, they didn't really speak. In the third year, Dave came back from a holiday, and Dee noticed that he was "looking good." It was at the end of the third year at the Law Ball, they ended up meeting up, they then had an argument, and Dave ended up walking out into Liverpool. A mutual friend Paul turned to Dee and said: "You two are going to end up getting married one day.” Dee replied, "No, bloody way.”
On their graduation day they were briefly thrown together again, the same alphabetical last name scenario. They then went their separate ways and didn’t speak for several years. On 23rd December 2008, Dee texted everyone on her phone to say that she had passed the New York bar exam. Dave received the message from an unknown number and guessed that it was Dee. He texted back, and they went out on a date. This time it was different. Dee said, "Something kept bringing us back together. By now we had both grown up, I was no longer playing it cool”. By this point, Dave was working as a solicitor in London, and Dee was moving to London to work as a barrister. By June they were engaged. They were having a conversation in a pub on the road, asking where they saw each other in five years. Dave said that they should get married. “I thought this was more than just a feeling, this was love." They then told their parents they were getting married. Dave recalls, "my parents were shocked." It was an easy decision to get married. Dee said, "Whenever we were together we were happy. I felt when I looked at my future; I just couldn’t see it without him.”
They had an engagement ceremony in India in February 2010 and were married in the July in a Victorian Glass House in Liverpool.
Emmaleen: Can you tell us a loving story from your relationship?
Dee: “In 2009, I became quite sick, during that time, Dave would come to my flat and cook for me. I don’t think anyone had ever done that before.”
What is the key to a happy relationship?
Dave: Mutual respect and understanding.”
Dee: "We were (still are) polar opposites, but our core values are the same. Understanding, learning to listen, and not making assumptions are essential; particularly understanding that you are often looking at things from different angles. I am emotional, and he is logical. I used to think that sometimes he was cold, but now I know him better. Saying sorry and meaning it with humility. At the start, that was hard, but over time, you realize that the marriage is bigger than you individually. It's all about listening, it can heal so much.
What surprised me the most about Dave is just how well he assimilated with my family and into Indian culture generally.
What is Love?
Dave: “Putting their happiness above your own and that not being contingent on your feelings.”
Dee: "When you love someone so much, you are only content when they are."
So what is their advice to anyone looking for love?
Dee: “Keep an open mind. We as a society love preconceptions about who is good for us, emotionally or physically, but when you find that person, those assumptions are blown out of the water. When you’re looking for someone you think you want one scenario, you think that that is what matters, but it's not. It's not what you put down in dating profile; you will end up with someone different.”
Dave: Be open-minded and brave. Approach someone and start a conversation. If you see someone intriguing, start up a conversation. Build up the courage to say hello. If you don't shoot, you'll never score."
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