We love festive days because they are excuses to celebrate the people we love most in our lives, and Valentine’s Day is probably our favorite. We know that love is universal, yet no two relationships are the same, so we talked to 5 of the coolest couples we know to learn more about their courtships, their quirks, and how two people decide to keep choosing each other every day.
How did you guys meet?
Davena: We knew of each other and had crossed paths; but didn’t actually chat to each other until he crashed a Visvim party I was doing in April 2007.
Lance: Yes… and usually being an introvert, that night, I got so intoxicated that I built up the confidence to go to the super exclusive afterparty with my friend Stephen. Note, the only people there were some of the most influential Japanese streetwear designers and somehow, we made our way in. Obviously, Davena diverted us to the side to save her clients from dealing with these two drunken fools… and we ended up hanging out the whole night.
Funnily enough, because our mutual friends kept saying “Don’t mess it up with Davena,” I avoided her like the plague for a few weeks after that night, as I was so shy and intimidated by her reputation — and, also because I wanted to still get into the cool parties at the time haha.
What was the most memorable date you had?
D: On our third date, he met me in the street and I burst into tears as I just found out I had a huge fibroid growing outside my uterus and needed to remove it. Lance was so calm and caring, and took me to hospital — even though he hardly knew me (and soon, might not have a uterus)!
L: Our third date turned into an unexpected emergency run to the hospital for a fibroid operation. I stood alongside her the whole night and after, making sure she was ok as she had no family in HK. I guess seeing me so supportive at that time, barely knowing her, lead me to win her over for life. This part of us was definitely written in the cards.
What is your favourite quality about your partner?
D: He has the biggest heart.
L: How she is the oil to the family. She keeps us all in check and running on a perfect schedule. This family is a well-oiled machine because and only because of her. I just sit here and look pretty.
Describe your partner in 3 words
D: Sensitive. Storyteller. Collector.
L: Meticulous. Organised. Driven.
What is the most embarrassing thing you did when you were dating that you can laugh about now?
L: When I just was still between NYC and living at my parents’ place in HK, we’d be chatting on the phone, and she would be talking dirty and I’d be acting all normal… all while my mom would be running around in the background… and she’d go, “Is that your mom?!”
D: He once tried to kiss me in Dragon-I when we were not officially dating yet. I was like, Whoah, no PDA dude. You just my buddy right now, right?
Lance, what is the most annoying thing about being married to a business owner?
L: Being at the bottom of the totem pole after the kids, herself, and her work (ha ha). I’m the last baby for her to worry about.
What is your favourite dish to eat at home and who cooks it?
L: Chicken wings, garlic mash, and fried pork chop, all done by our amazing helper SuSu!
D: I just want to declare that our favourite family meal time is… taco party!
Where is your favourite shared holiday destination / hangout and why?
D: Phuket – where we had the most unforgettable wedding/party!
L: Phuket! Where we got married and celebrated our union with family and so many good friends.
What is the most annoying thing (could be weird or funny) about your partner?
L: Curtains being straight, sheets perfect, things orderly… but to an impeccable level. It’s both amazing and funny to watch.
D: He loves collecting (and accumulating, and stockpiling, and stacking) stuff. Whereas I’m more #mariekondo style.
What is the most romantic thing your partner has ever done for you?
D: Him proposing to me under a red (blood) moon while we were at a friend’s beach wedding in 2009…
L: I was at my first jujitsu competition, and Davena and the kids got a plastic trophy for me and put #1 Dad on it, to surprise me and celebrate my hard work. They knew I’d been training so hard for it and did it to inspire the kids on setting a goal and facing your fears. I could have gone home empty-handed to just that trophy and I would have still been over the moon.
What activity do you both share and love?
D: Being parents to Lovella and Dante, and just hanging out together.
L: Simple things. It’s one of the reasons why she is my other half. No matter the outcome, rich or poor, we always remind ourselves that it’s about simple things in life. From just sitting in the park and watching the kids, to the simple hugs and kisses we get from our babies, to just dancing around the house and being silly together.
How has having children made your relationship different? Are there qualities you have seen that you didn’t know existed prior to this?
L: Children change everything. They really make you focus on what really matters in life and help you streamline yourself to be as efficient and purposeful as possible. They also force you to take responsibilities with much higher regard because every move you make influences the kid, from how we treat other human beings to how Davena and I interact. Oh, and you value sleep way more than ever.
D: I think our children make our hearts grow even bigger, beyond anything we could even imagine. And that love just keeps growing.
What is the one secret to keeping your relationship healthy and loving with each other?
L: Growth. People always speak about the perfect relationship. I don’t see that. I see the perfect partnership. You find someone who you complement and work together to better yourself and one another. You also need to be able to stand on your own as well. I am a true believer that you must learn to love yourself before you can truly love another. All being said, find new things that you both have interests in: do them, discover together, problem solve together, and develop together. That all leads to a strong bond and not just one that is romantically strong but spiritually and mentally as well.
D: To accept that you’re different people, and that you’ll both continually evolve. Yet, you can stay together forever if you both decide that you want to head in the same direction in life.