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  • Writer's pictureEmmaleen Muldoon

What is love? Giovana and John

Updated: Aug 9, 2019

"You have each other to count on, forever, knowing that, and believing that is the most important thing."

Giovana and John

Giovana and John live in North Carolina with their two children and two dogs. John grew up in Syracuse, New York. He moved to Hartford, Connecticut for work and lived there for four years. Giovana was raised in Americana, Brasil. She attended The University UNIARARAS in the town of Araras, which was the third-best University in Brasil. After Uni, Giovana moved to Longmeadow, Massachusetts to work as an au pair. It was whilst living and working in the States that she met John.

They were both at a bar in Springfield, Massachusetts one night. John had just got back from a trip to Honduras and was feeling confident with his Spanish, so he approached Giovana and asked if she would like a beer, in Spanish. Giovana replied, "I am from Brasil." John said, "I didn't know any Portuguese, and so I asked her in English." They exchanged numbers, and a few weeks later, they went on their first date. It was at Hu Ke Lau. John said, "I knew after that first date that there was something special about her. It was more than your average first date. I think it was the story about her getting in a fight with another girl in a basketball match. I came home and said to my roommate that I had found someone great."

I couldn't wait to speak to Giovana and John about what makes a successful relationship and see what love means to them.

Two years later, they were engaged. Giovana was driving home late and on her way to John's house. Once she arrived, he suggested going out to Hu Ke Lau. She had just driven past the restaurant to get to his place but agreed anyway. Once there, John pretended to drop the bill, and as he did, he pulled out a ring to propose. Giovana said, "I was so surprised, we had been planning on getting married anyway, but I wasn't expecting a ring, it's not commonplace to have an engagement ring in Brasil."

They married two days later in a simple ceremony at City Hall. They had a few close family members present. Giovana recalled, "Our wedding day was the best day of my life." They married on the 7th of May 2010. John said, "I wanted to choose a date straight after a holiday, so I would always have a reminder each year to get a card and a gift!" They had another wedding ceremony the following year, with Giovana's family being able to attend.

Giovana said, "It was in the summer of 2009 that I really started to let my feelings show. I loved him before, but I never let it show as I knew that I was here temporarily. He always made me feel at ease around his friends and was always a true gentleman. Soon we were together every night, we just couldn't stay apart."

Emmaleen: Can you tell us a loving story from your relationship?

Giovana: "We went to a wedding a few years ago in the Dominican Republic. We were renting a house with a group of friends in a private resort. One morning, John woke me up and took me out on a golf cart so that we could watch the sunrise on the beach. Seeing the sunrise over the ocean was beautiful."

What is the key to a happy relationship?

John: "Respecting each other and remembering the big picture and don't get upset about the little things. You have each other to count on forever, knowing that and believing that is the most important thing.

Giovana: "My host dad said to me on the morning of my wedding, something that I always keep in mind. 'No matter what you do, always remember to communicate with your husband. Tell each other what is on your mind.' Don't go to bed on an argument. You can't expect someone to know what you need without saying."

What is Love?

John: "When she makes me pork chops! No seriously, it is trusting each other."

Giovana: "Trust. John brings out the best in me. He challenges me to be a better person. Learning and giving more. Knowing that you can count on them without judgment and having someone to support you. What someone needs may change as the relationship grows, as we change as people, but continuing to be being there and supporting them throughout, that's love."

So what is their advice to anyone looking for love?

John: "Don't force it. You can't really say I will find my soul mate. You have to be okay with yourself first and think clearly so that when someone special is right there in front of you, you are ready. Otherwise, people can put pressure on themselves. Love yourself first and be okay with yourself and then you'll end up with someone who is okay with their selves. If you're looking when you're not okay, then you'll likely attract someone in the same mindset. You don't need to fix someone."

Giovana: "You are always responsible for your own happiness with any situation, especially when looking for love. They can't make you happy. Be open for change, but be true to yourself."

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