in partnership withKOMOnews.com
downtown-portland-fall-engagement-session-oregon-145_websize.jpg
(Image: Alexandra Celia)
SEE MORE

Documenting Love: Eric + Lauren's Story

Photographer/blogger/genius Alexandra Celia has devoted her career to documenting love in its purest and most original form — which you'll see in her photos. Now and then, she will share her work with couples: their love story, their commitment, their passion....and of course, their photos. Think of her as our Love Guru. She loves love and is here to share it with the rest of us.

Lauren
Eric and I met online, over Bumble, and our first date was at a casual bar in the Pearl District. It was summer, and I remember seeing a man in dark jeans and white polo with the most beautiful muscular arms, sitting out front, playing on his phone. I was thrilled about the arms but also excited that he was there early. It was the sign of a reliable person, I thought. The date itself left something to be desired. Eric ordered a kale salad and told me he hadn't had a sip of alcohol in three months. I ordered tater tots and Jameson on the rocks. He struck me as a bit boring, and I struck him as kind of a mess? Then he asked me why I was online dating, and I said, "I don't know, to see what comes my way?" Then he said, "I'm dating to find a wife and have kids." It was a lot for a couple of strangers. I was certain he'd never call. About a week later, he sent me an image of a bottle of Jameson and roses and said he had a gift for me and was hoping he could use it to bribe me to go with him to an outdoor concert. As they say, the rest is history.

Eric
I met Lauren through a match on Bumble. Our first conversation took place while I was at a bar talking to a married couple about how dating works nowadays. When Lauren reached out with a friendly, "Hello, how are you?" I demonstrated to my friends how to "pick up chicks" online through a series of thoughtful and clever responses and inquiries. I got her number and set up a date in-person. At our date, when I finally met Lauren, I remember being like, "Wow, she's a million times more beautiful than her pictures, don't say anything too stupid." I felt very relaxed with her and just really enjoyed getting to know her.

Lauren
I take so much pride in having Eric by my side. He's a truly incredible person and an even better partner. I didn't know people like him existed until I met him. For the first year of our relationship, friends and family were continually shocked by his age; everyone thought he was at least 10 years older than he is. He's done so much in his life and is such a strong, stable force in my life. I often visualize that I am the ocean, and he is my shore.

Eric
I am proud of how open and honest Lauren is when she communicates. I'm proud that she is always open-minded to new ideas. I'm also proud of the way she takes care of herself, in that she holds high standards when it comes to her health, physically, mentally and emotionally.

Lauren
After about a month of seeing each other, I had concerns about whether or not we would be a good match long-term and considered it might be best to end things. I sent Eric the "we need to talk text" at 8 a.m. on a workday, and he called me immediately. The sound of his voice alone made me feel that I was making a mistake, and his patience and a gentle receptiveness to the painful words I was sharing, made me feel all the more that this was a mistake. We decided to give me 24 hours of space to decide. The next day, I asked him to come over, that I didn't want to end this. When he showed up and held me in his arms, I knew with every cell in my being that I was meant to stay with him. I didn't yet know that he was the one, and I don't recall ever having a moment where I knew that he was "the one," but I do know that within a few months of dating, it was pretty clear that we were meant to be.

Eric
Lauren used to work on Sundays at a shop not too far from my apartment. I found myself, each Sunday, walking to her work (with my dog) to greet her when she got off (subsequently missing Sunday Football, which for anyone who knows me, is huge for me).

Lauren
Eric and I typically handle difficult situations by talking things through. When we met, I told him I wanted honesty in all things. We try to keep all subjects on the table, and nothing is banned from discussion. It's not always easy, but it's important. We also take breaks when discussions get heavy. Eric is much better at this than me, I always want to fix things as fast as possible, but he knows when the conversation is running in circles and calls it out. Usually, if we break and come back to it hours or days later, we find a new way to resolve it. In a bigger picture kind of way, we try to take as many little or big vacations as we can. This break from the day to day gives us room to connect, relax, let go of our schedules, and just be us.

Eric
We handle difficult situations through patience, listening, mutual respect and constructive conversation.

Lauren
Eric loves to cook, and he obsessively cleans. He's always doing the dishes, vacuuming; you name it. I actually have to fight him to let me do the dishes! He also is always there to pour me a glass of wine or bring me a piece of chocolate at the end of dinner. It's especially sweet if I've had a rough day and he walks into the living room with a glass for me. He will admit, he doesn't always have the right words to say, so these actionable things are how he shows his love.

Eric
Lauren shows her love for me on a daily basis. She's very expressive, physically, verbally and audibly. She often leaves me kind notes as well. She is very purposeful when she asks me my thoughts/how I'm doing/how my day was. Her questions always come from a very caring and sincere place, and I feel her love in that way.

Lauren
Before COVID, one of our favorite rituals was getting dressed up and going out to a fancier restaurant, maybe once a month. We both love the city, and it feels good to dress up and go on a nice date to a restaurant we don't regularly visit. Plus, the pre-funk at a fabulous bar doesn’t hurt either. Since COVID, things have become a bit less glamorous (although I'd be lying if I said this hasn't been a ritual for years). Every Sunday night at 8 p.m., we wind our weekend down with the hysterical reality show, "90 Day Fiance."

Eric

Lauren and I try to plan regular date nights where we dress up and go out. We often relax at home, taking turns rubbing each other's feet while we watch a show or movie. We spend a lot of time with our dogs, treating them as if they are our children.


col1_vertical_list_trending