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This month, the story of Matt and Kyle, who are currently engaged, living in Seattle, and planning a big wedding in Seattle. (Image: Alexandra Celia)

Documenting Love: Matt & Kyle's Story

*Note from Seattle Refined: Every month, photographer/blogger/genius Alexandra Celia joins us to share some of 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. This month, the story of Matt and Kyle, who are currently engaged, living in Seattle, and planning a big wedding in Seattle.

Kyle
Matt and I first met at a charity dinner at a restaurant in Capitol Hill for the Dining Out for Life program (a charitable event that raises money for HIV/AIDS research). The seating assignment was random, and we happened to sit across from each other for dinner. I had just moved from New York City a few weeks before, and was still adjusting to life in Seattle. We got to talking, and ended up going out for a drink after the dinner. We stayed up until 3 a.m. that night talking and getting to know each other better.

Matt
When I first met Kyle, I was most of the way through planning a move to San Francisco. I had lived in Seattle for over 8 years at that point, and was ready to take the plunge and move to a bigger city that was farther away from home. I had already listed my car on Craigslist, interviewed with several companies in the Bay Area, and began my apartment hunt. This was a move that I had planned for years, and I was determined to finally make it happen. However, after three dates with Kyle, I knew there was no way that I could leave both the city and him. Without sounding like a sappy rom-com, I knew pretty much immediately that I wanted to marry Kyle. He was everything I had ever wanted in a partner – smart, ambitious, fun, caring, and energetic (not to mention ridiculously good looking). So after only three dates in two weeks, I called off my move to San Francisco and decided to stay in Seattle to give things with Kyle a shot. Turns out that that was one of the best decisions I had ever made!

Kyle
While I’ve had other relationships before, I’ve never dated someone who treated me as well as Matt does. He always goes out of his way to do nice things for me and surprise me several times a week with little gifts and love notes. I’ve never had that before, and it makes a huge difference. While we do argue and have our disagreements, we are always respectful to one another and work hard to see where the other person is coming from. Matt is kind, thoughtful, and always thinking of new ways to make me happy… I know he’ll always be someone I can lean on and trust. He’s also very good looking, which helps too.

Matt
I’m proud of Kyle for a number of reasons, but am most proud of him for how ambitious and driven he is. I love the fact that he chose a school for undergrad at SMU in Dallas that was far different than his home of La Jolla, CA. I also love that he moved to Minneapolis for a year to do Teach for America, something I could never do. I love that he worked for the Human Rights Campaign in New York City, and that he’s such a huge supporter of human rights in all capacities. I love that he got his MBA, and that he’s incredibly motivated at work and is always taking on new projects and responsibilities.

Kyle
I’m proud of Matt for being successful at a young age and for being very mature (more so than me). He is my better half and the person I go to for advice multiple times a day. He’s my rock and I admire how level-headed he is. I find that pretty sexy. Whenever we have disagreements (which happens now and then with planning a big wedding), we always take a step back and find a way to make the other person smile. No matter how serious the conversation, we find a way to get through it as a team. Once Matt reminds me, or I remind him, that we’re on the same side and only want the other one to be happy, it’s pretty hard to stay mad.

Matt
I knew I loved Kyle when I got back from a three week trip to Europe last July. I had planned the trip with a friends before I had ever met Kyle, and hadn’t planned on being away from him for such a long period of time so early in a relationship. Being nine hours ahead and thousands of miles away from Kyle was tough, and to be totally honest, I didn’t enjoy the trip as much as I should have – mainly because I missed him so much. I ended up spending the majority of the trip running from café to café, trying to find free wifi so that I could text him or send him a picture of whatever city I was in. When I got back to Seattle, he surprised me with a weekend getaway at a lodge about 30 minutes outside of the city. After spending three weeks apart, that weekend together made me realize how much I had missed him, and how much I needed him in my life. I told him that weekend that I loved him, and luckily he told me that he felt the same way.

Kyle
I knew I loved Matt when he was gone on a trip to Europe for three weeks in late June/early July. We had been dating for several months at that point, and not having him around for that time was really difficult. When he came back from his trip, I realized that I never wanted to be away from him for that long again.

Matt
When I look back on past relationships, the main thing that separates Kyle from previous boyfriends is communication. Kyle and I get along both as best friends and as partners, and I don’t think that would be possible without meaningful communication. Kyle and I argue from time to time, but even if it’s a serious subject, we never let it turn into a fight. We’re always trying to put ourselves in each other’s shoes, and to understand the other person’s viewpoint. I honestly feel like I can tell Kyle anything, and that to me is what makes this relationship so special. He also knows how to make me laugh harder than any other person alive, so I guess that helps too .

Kyle
Matt knows that I hate making the bed, so he always makes it in the morning after I’ve left for the gym. While it may sound stupid, that small gesture makes me feel so much better when I get home. It also makes me realize how lucky I am to have someone who proactively takes on household chores that I don’t like to do. In turn, I try my best to always wash the dishes . Matt cooks for me a lot, since I am less gifted when it comes to the culinary field. He also texts me every morning and tells me how much he loves me, which is the best way I could possibly start out my day.

Matt
My favorite times with Kyle are usually pretty uneventful – our lazy weekends together, our morning runs to Starbucks before the gym, our Netflix marathons, and dinners at our favorite restaurant, Cicchetti (it’s 100 feet from our apartment!) Even boring things like making the bed or doing laundry is fun with Kyle, and there is truly never a dull moment in our house. I know it sounds sappy, but he’s my best friend, and I never get sick of spending time with him. It’s still crazy to think that if I hadn’t gone to that dinner last April, I may have never met my future husband. Kyle and I are both firm believers in the saying “everything happens for a reason”, and I fully believe that we were supposed to meet each other that night. Kyle has changed my life in too many ways to count, and I’m so glad that I get to spend the rest of my life with him.

Kyle
We love binge-watching TV shows together when we get home from work. Additionally, we love trying new restaurants for our weekly date night. We also get Starbucks coffee every weekend morning, one of us usually wakes up the other one with an iced coffee, which is always a great experience. We go to the gym together on weekends and shop for clothes together. We always go to Costco every other weekend and see who ends up picking out the most bottles of wine to bring home. We have a lot of conversations about what our life will be like after we get married…how long we’ll wait before having children, where else we’d like to live other than Seattle. We also have a list of destinations around the world that we’d like to visit together. We find a lot of shared meaning by envisioning what it would be like to go on a road trip down the Pacific Coast Highway, or go scuba diving at the Great Barrier Reef, or go on a safari in Africa. There’s a lot of things we’d like to do in our life together, and envisioning that is what makes us excited for the future and find a shared meaning in our relationship.

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