Following up on our previous post, we thought that it would be a good idea to get a little bit of background information on who exactly we are. So Angelo and I agreed to do a little Question and Answer “session”. We got these questions from friends and family who were interested in our lives, and we haven’t seen each other’s answers. So yeah, it’s safe to say that these are completely genuine.
- WHAT WAS IT LIKE GETTING MARRIED SO YOUNG?
Courtney : We got married when I was 22 and Angelo was 26. Naturally we have LOADS of doubters, people telling us not to do it, that we were making a mistake and all of that jazz. But honestly, getting married young was one of the best things! Not only do we get to grow old together, but we also get to grow up together. It’s like having your best friend with you everywhere you go. Now, that being said, it hasn’t always been sunshine and rainbows. Especially in Italy, a lot of people quite literally refuse to acknowledge that Angelo is my husband, they call him my boyfriend… whatever.
Angelo : The term “married young” really depends on cultural norms. In the USA we would have been a “normal” age to get married but in Italy there is nothing normal about getting married in your early 20’s. It was one of the best decisions I will ever make. It seemed illogical to many at the time, me being a student and Courtney not having a job yet, but sometimes you have to have faith. Being married has made my time here feel like a life not just like I am stuck in limbo until I graduate. I have a travel partner, a partner to go get pizza with, and someone to share the load of life with. It’s great. Largely because Courtney has embraced this whirlwind journey and has done everything she can to make it work.
- HOW DO YOU MANAGE TO SPEND TIME TOGETHER?
Courtney : I think that this is probably one of our most difficult things about being married to a student, because outside of actual holidays, like summer and public holidays, there isn’t much “down time”. If Angelo isn’t at university/hospital, the library or gym, he is often at home immersed in his books. Studying medicine is a full time job, I totally get that. I would be the first to admit that I am a bit of an attention-seeker, so this can be a bit difficult for me, but I try not to bother Angelo too much when he studies at home, so I generally just work on my blog or watch a movie.
We try to designate specific time for each other, so during meals, for example, we don’t have our phones near us. We use this time to catch up, just before we go to sleep, and then obviously we have specific date nights, which we try to do at least 1 night a week. During exams this can be difficult so we make it something quick and easy, like takeaway.
Angelo : As Courtney pointed out her “love language” is quality time, so this is of utmost importance. During exams you can almost forget about having any quality time. Yes, I might be at home studying with Courtney right there but it doesn’t actually feel like you are spending time together. The trick is to be intentional. Take some time, even if it’s just a walk to the mensa (cafeteria), to be alone with each other without distractions.
- HOW DID YOU MANAGE THE LONG DISTANCE?
Courtney : This was a tough one for me to handle. If I had any advice for people who were contemplating long distance relationships I would say, don’t do it. IT IS TOUGH PEOPLE!! If you are sure that you are in it for the long haul, make sure that it’s with someone who is worth it. Before Angelo left to go study in Italy, we had been dating for about 8 months. After about 1.5 years of dating, long distance included, we had a chat and we had to make a plan of where we saw this relationship going, because lets be honest, I wasn’t going to wait around. I had just finished my degree. My life was about to start.
To get back to the point, the long distance made communication crucial. We made time to Skype and text each other everyday. We had to be honest, because there was no option for body language or games, all we had was our honesty. So that’s what you have: communication. At all costs you have to try your best, which I was not initially very good at. I tend to bottle my emotions, which was never going to work.
Angelo : Long distance is tough! It isn’t ever going to be easy, and you should be aware of that beforehand. The thing that made me get through it was knowing there was an end in sight, that we were going to get married and that Courtney would move to Italy. I can’t imagine doing long distance without an end in sight.
- YOU ARE BOTH SO DIFFERENT. HOW DO YOU FIND COMMON GROUND?
Courtney : I find that because we are so incredibly different from one another it actually helps open up conversation. I’m a completely right- brained person. I love languages, art, music and movies. I really battle having to sit down and study something. Being a doctor does not interest me in the slightest.
Angelo also tends to ground me in my “wild dreams”. He brings a different point of view which I would probably never have thought of myself. So I think we balance each other out.
Angelo : Art galleries. Some times you have to go to art galleries, and if you engage you might actually find that you like some of the stuff. My point is, loving someone isn’t a feeling. It is doing things for them without expecting anything in return. So if your person is artsy and not interested in hearing about the latest robotic surgery techniques, then you have to make sure you compromise and show some interest in the things that interest them.
Although we don’t have a world of knowledge when it comes to relationships, or marriage. We like to help where we can, so if you have any questions, send us a message!