“Be the best version of yourself and you'll attract the best person for you.”
Lindsey and Stefano have been together for ten years and married for six; they live together in Long Island, New York, with their three children. Lindsey is from a small town on Vancouver Island, Canada and Stefano was born and raised in Queens, New York.
Lindsey moved to New York City in 2009 to complete a master's degree in Opera and Classical Voice at the Manhattan School of Music. Three weeks after moving to the big city, she met Stefano on social media. Lindsey reminisced, "I was attracted to his eloquent writing; we started emailing each other and soon enough spent hours on the phone. I'm from a very small town, and he's a big city guy, so I was blown away by all of his knowledge and life experience". Their relationship came easy, and Stefano constantly made her laugh.
I couldn't wait to speak to Lindsey and Stefano about what makes a successful relationship and see what love means to them.
They decided to meet for the first time a week later at the corner of 66th and Broadway. Lindsey recalled, "He was running really late, and I was sure I had been stood up." When he finally arrived he was almost an hour late, there was a pride parade that day, and he was stuck in traffic in his car, so he parked up the car and ran across the city to meet Lindsey.
Lindsey said, "From the moment I first set eyes upon him, I took an instant sigh of relief, I knew I was safe and that everything was going to be okay from here on out. He took me by the hand right away and moved me to the inside of the street like an old fashioned gentleman. It was such an odd thing to be linked fingers, holding hands with someone I had only just met, but it felt so familiar. From then on, he was home to me. "
They became engaged three years later. Stefano recalled, "I proposed to her at the very spot we met. I told her I'd pick her up after work to have dinner somewhere and that I was in a cab. I was actually in a limo watching her, driving her crazy as she was looking for me. When she passed by all flustered, I rolled down the tinted window and said, 'you looking for me?' She was shocked. I got out of the limo and went down on one knee and proposed.
Lindsey said, "I was getting quite frustrated because I couldn't see him anywhere. He told me he could see what I was wearing, and I was totally baffled. A moment later, I saw a stretch black limousine across the street with the window rolled down, it was Stefano. I started to tear up because I was overwhelmed. After he proposed the owner of the hotdog stand offered us a hotdog. Once in the limo we celebrated with pink champagne (my favorite) and headed to Park Avenue cafe where a red carpet and champagne was waiting for us. It was such an incredible night finished off with a limo ride around the city."
Stefano described how he knew that Lindsey was the one for him, he said, "I felt an instant affinity for her the very moment I saw her. Everything felt natural; nothing was awkward or felt forced. It seemed from the on onset we were meant for each other."
Lindsey explained, "I knew Stefano was the man for me from the very beginning. For me, it was love at first sight. He was so handsome and romantic and chivalrous. He made me laugh and was so shockingly blunt sometimes that I knew we'd get along. He reminded me of Mr. Darcy from Pride and Prejudice. He was so stubborn and tough on the outside, but when he let someone in, he loved them with his whole being. I felt so lucky that I was special enough to him that he let me in."
Emmaleen: Can you tell us a loving story from your relationship?
Lindsey: "In 2011 I went home to Canada for Christmas; I wasn't feeling great, so I went to see a doctor. I was told I had a tumor in my uterus and that I would need a hysterectomy as soon as possible. I called Stefano from the parking lot of the doctor in absolute despair. He reassured me and said that we'd have kids somehow, whether it be right now if we had to or later. I was upset as I was adopted as a baby and creating my own genetic family was very important to me. I came back to New York, and we found a doctor who was able to operate on me, within six weeks, I was able to save my uterus. I didn't have health insurance, so Stefano stepped in and covered a lot of my surgery expenses and looked after me back home in our apartment in the weeks that followed; he was amazing. After the surgery, we were told it might be hard to conceive, but we were lucky to get pregnant right after we were married, it's incredible that all of that and our children almost didn't happen."
Stefano: "There's a lot! But I think back to our first child being born, we both cried when hearing his first cry. It was a moment I'll never forget; realizing we were now parents, what she had gone through (being pregnant) and being so happy we were now a party of three."
What is the key to a happy relationship?
Stefano: "I don't think there is a 'key,' but I do believe that what you have in common isn't so important because Lindsey and I are opposites in almost every way. It comes down to truly liking who the person is, their beliefs, how they treat others, and how they value the relationship."
Lindsey: "I think the key would be laughter, find someone who can make you laugh at yourself when you take yourself too seriously, or you're feeling down. We have been so tired and snappy sometimes, and it always ends in laughter. It helps to know that when our kids drive us crazy that we're both going just as nuts."
What is Love?
Stefano: "My best definition would be that it's a multi-layered emotion that triggers a kind of overwhelming happiness and that you typically don't feel or experience."
Lindsey: "To me, love is that you can be the best and worst version of yourself and safe in the knowledge that you are still loved; but at the same time wanting to be your best for the other. It's a feeling inside of warmth and support. I always feel safe with Stefano. We have our moments, of course, where we may disagree, but I think there's a mutual respect and appreciation for what each of us brings to the table. I couldn't do it without him and the same for me to him. We don't have a lot of family around, and we have really become each other's best friend. I would be lost without him."
So what is their advice to anyone looking for love?
Lindsey: "Be the best version of yourself, and you'll attract the best person for you. If you're depressed or feeling down, you'll attract others who are down, or you'll repel good people. Be happy on your own but don't be too independent that you drive people away. What works for us isn't right for everyone, but it is how you feel deep down about the person that what counts. Relationships are hard work sometimes; don't be so quick to throw in the towel, especially once you're married. On our wedding day, the priest took us aside before we were wed and gave us the best advice: 'The most important thing you can do for your children is to love their mother and father respectively because you're both going to love your kids no matter what, but they need to see that you love each other.'"
Stefano: "I don't believe you can look for love. Love happens. You just need to be able to recognize it and be ready and willing to accept it."
If you like this story and want to hear more, subscribe to my mailing list. If you have a love tale that you would like to share, contact me here on my website.