Feel the love: 10 couples we can’t get enough of

Photo: John Robinson Photo: John Robinson

What’s love got to do with it? For these 10 couples, everything. Most of them say they knew right away that they’d found “the one,” but it’s what comes after—the day to day experience of being with someone who bites his nails, leaves dirty clothes outside the hamper, and never turns off any lights in the house—that makes up a true love story. Love, after all, is the reason those things seem pretty insignificant in the big picture. So, yeah, no one has it all figured out, but these sweethearts have come pretty close.

Photo: John Robinson.

Together three and a half years

Having each been married once before, Aly and Zach say theirs is a love story borne of experience. “We let go of the romanticized notion that ‘feelings’ are what let you know if someone is the one for you,” Aly said. “Of course we feel love for each other, but for us, it was more about recognizing each other’s gifts of personality, common desires, values, goals, interests, and attraction that led us to the decision to share our lives together.”

Ages: 35
Occupations: Aly is the owner and manager of Aly B. Painting LLC; Zach is the owner and partner of Alloy Workshop.
Do you have kids? An 8-month-old daughter, Morgan Fern.
Married: February 12, 2011 at The Paramount Theater
How did you meet? Through work in 2001.
What’s your song? “If I Needed You” by Townes Van Zandt
What’s something you like to do together? Cook and eat.
What’s been your biggest relationship challenge? Finding time for our own independent interests, within our relationship, while owning businesses and having a young child.
What’s your morning routine? Zach takes a morning run, makes coffee, gets Morgan up and brings her and a cup of coffee to Aly. Then he eats breakfast and goes to work. Aly nurses Morgan, checks in with the paint crew, customers, and materials, drinks coffee from Zach, puts Morgan down for her morning nap, has breakfast, and starts the work day.
Who does the cooking? The cleaning? We share both tasks, with Zach more interested in cooking and Aly more interested in cleaning and desserts.
What’s the strangest thing you have in common? Neither one of us like artificial fragrances, like dryer sheets or perfume.
What was your first date? We went to Live Arts to see Eurydice, and ran into our fellow band mate from Straight Punch to the Crotch and his wife, and he said we were going to ruin the band by dating each other. Then we went to Kiki for margaritas and ended up talking until closing. It was very low key, uncomplicated, and nice.
What’s your best memory together? The moment Morgan was born.
Most embarrassing relationship moment? Zach says, “We had a date planned and I had to call Aly from the ER to postpone because I split my chin open while skateboarding.” Aly says, “I unknowingly had too many gin and tonics and puked in my bathroom sink, and Zach dutifully cleaned it up. I had honestly, never in my life, ever drunk so much that I got sick. And at 33 years old, that happened for the first time and I was horrified and Zach was wonderful about it.”
What’s something you like to do, but your partner doesn’t? Zach: Skateboard and camp out in cold weather; Aly: Pedicures.

Photo: John Robinson.

Together two and a half years

“We are all a little weird and life’s a little weird, and when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall in mutual weirdness and call it love,” wrote Robert Fulghum in his book of stories, True Love. For Laura and Andy, no statement could be more true. For instance, the couple says that, when they’re not making up tunes for their cats, their current “song” is the theme from “Sealab 2021.” Sounds silly, but it works. In fact, getting silly is what Laura says is their favorite thing to do together. “It inevitably happens no matter what we’re doing.”

Ages: Laura is 34; Andy is 37
Occupations: Laura works for Landers Underwriting and Lynne Goldman Elements; Andy is a GIS Specialist II for Albemarle County
How they met: At work. Laura used to work in Human Resources for Albemarle County Schools, and they had many co-worker friends in common.
What’s been your biggest relationship challenge so far? Moving our two households into one, which we’re in the middle of now. Luckily, our three cats (Andy’s two and Laura’s one—all boys) get along.
What’s your morning routine? The cats get antsy wanting to be fed and take turns talking at us and jumping on and off the bed. The alarm goes off. Andy opens his eyes and is immediately awake and ready to have a conversation and/or do a song-and-dance routine. Laura abuses the snooze button while wondering how someone can be so flippin’ hyper so early and mumbles encouragement at Andy to go feed the cats. Andy returns to awaken Laura by behaving cat-like and leaping onto the bed on all fours. (If Laura is still somehow only half-awake after this, he’ll also turn himself into a lamb in the shower, shampooing his hair into lamby ears and lathering up his beard. Seriously.) Laura laughs herself awake because it’s impossible not to.
Who does the cooking? The cleaning? We both do some of each. Laura loves to cook and bake and is the more seasoned chef. Andy is more experimental and will come up with some tasty results, often spotlighting the versatility of Old Bay and cumin. The cleaning plan is still being worked out since Laura is in the process of moving in, but we have the litter box schedule down to a science.
What was your first date? Andy’s friends in the band Gunchux were opening for J. Roddy Walston and the Business at the Southern on July 28, 2010. Andy asked Laura if she’d like to join him to check out the show and maybe get dinner beforehand, and Laura said she would. We met at Mono Loco for dinner after walking from the Albemarle County Office Building and sat outside on the patio, each ordering a beer and deciding to get an appetizer of the amazing yucca fries and a burrito to split. We sat, sipping beer, talking, and waiting for the appetizer when Laura asked, “So… is this a date? This seems like a date.” Andy replied in the affirmative and we clinked beer cans in a toast. Hooray! After dinner, we went along to the show and Andy introduced Laura to his friends; Laura bought a J. Roddy Walston and the Business CD (which we still enjoy) and we walked back to the County Office Building holding hands.
What’s something you like to do, but your partner doesn’t? Laura: I enjoy having a good cup of joe, but Andy totally abhors coffee (which is actually a blessing, since he already operates on a billion cylinders as soon as he opens his eyes in the morning); Andy: I like to watch superhero cartoons, but Laura isn’t as into it as I am, so she goes to make coffee instead.
When did you get the “this is the one” feeling? Laura: Before we decided our first date was a date. Maybe I have the shine, or maybe he just radiates awesome. Either way, I knew; Andy: Any time that we have an open and honest discussion.
What’s a habit of your partner’s you could do without? Laura: I could do without his immediate energy burst in the morning before my eyes are even open, but it sure beats a leaf blower in the face to get me up and going; Andy: When she kicks me in her sleep.

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