Discovering Your Own Strengths Through Your Partner

Writing by Maddie Bui and Sean Clemens


“The one thing that I cherish most about Sean is that he is not only my better half, but also my best friend. I find myself getting luckier by the day as I’m able to share an irreplaceable connection that continues to grow with someone who is my significant other and also my best friend.” 

“I still remember stutter stepping when I first saw her as I walked through the door at work”

“Never in a million years did I believe in love at first sight. The thought of finding someone entirely perfect for you at one glance seemed silly. Then I met Sean. The first time I met him, I felt an indescribable attraction to him that knocked me off my feet. A feeling that was so unique, so pure, so special. It was like magic. Never have I felt so connected to someone by just a smile.”

“I still remember stutter stepping when I first saw her as I walked through the door at work. I was in a rush and late…. She looked up and smiled at me…. and I haven’t been the same since”.

“I’ve never met someone who has believed in me as much as Sean does. I’ve learned to see the full potential and strength in myself. There’s not a day that goes by where he doesn’t continue to inspire me to be my best.”

“Maddie pushes me to do better all the time. I don’t think she knows how much she does. Since I met Maddie she has brought the best out of me. I’ve never met anyone like her, who I love as much as I do. Which, I think pushes me more than anything.”

“When we are both 90 years old, I hope that my kids and grandkids find someone to share the unconditional love that Sean and I do. A love so deep, the flame will never go out. A love that brings you joy, from the minute you met that has no end. Because all you need is love.”

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Making Their Relationship Their Own

Writing by Kathrina Addison


“From our first date, our connection was on fire. Borderline corny. I was living in Queen Anne and Ryon was in Puyallup when we began dating. We wanted to see each other all-the-time, even if it meant driving hours in traffic. But as electric as our energy was together; we also learned early-on in our relationship that we are both quite headstrong (*ahem* stubborn in our own beliefs) which is challenging when we don’t see eye to eye. It’s really rare that we fight, but when we disagree – it can be an oil and water situation. With that said, we have worked really hard at learning each other’s communication style. Learning what works and what doesn’t, and adjusting ourselves in the situation to reach a compromise. And while we may not completely agree with each other in the scenario, there is always a sense of respect.” 

“I believe that respect is one of the most important pillars of a healthy relationship along with being able to be 110% yourself. Embrace your partner’s differences, support each other’s interests and dreams – even if they can be completely opposite from your own.” 

“Our relationship has been through many stages; starting as friends in college, to dating almost 10 years later, to being engaged, and now to being married – we’ve helped each other grow as individuals and certainly together in our relationship. Ryon encourages me to be me, supports me through all my endeavors – creative and professional. I am his partner and equal in life.”

“My Ryon, the only one that can make me tear up thinking about all the memories we share together and the relationship we have built through the years. 14 years ago, when I met Ryon freshman year at WSU, did I think we would end up dating, much less get married? Heck no. But thanks to a little Facebook stalking and a baseball game, look at us now. I am so proud to not only be his wife, but his best friend and partner in this crazy adventure we call life.”

“Ryon has the kindest soul. He sees the good in everyone and never puts himself first. I tend to get so caught up in the grind, always moving so fast I can forget to stop and smell the roses. It’s no secret that I am a sucker for fancy shoes, frilly dresses and capturing that perfect Instagram picture. With that said, I cherish my husband’s ability to slow me down and focus on the simple pleasures in life. We’ll skip out on fancy brunches in exchange for home cooked pancakes and bacon. He’ll pick out random neighborhoods in Seattle for us to talk long, slow walks…pretending to house hunt and find that perfect white bungalow that we’ll grow old in together. And on many nights, we turn our kitchen into a dance floor while we take turns playing DJ.”
“Growing up, you wonder, “Who am I going to marry?” You have these expectations of your dream partner, someone to sweep you off your feet and build this fairy-tale life together. Never did I think I would actually find my real-life dream guy, but that is Ryon for me. I never imagined having a love so strong for someone, and feeling that love reciprocated.”
“After 14 years of knowing each other, 5 years of dating, and almost 2 years of marriage – to this day, I still pinch myself that I am married to Ryon. Ryon is a complete sweetheart (as long as he’s not hungry. “Hangry” is real with this one). Ryon’s not one for grandiose gestures – it’s more of what he does on the daily to keep my heart full. Kisses on the forehead when I am having a bad day, dates nights on given day of the week without notice, coffee deliveries on Saturday mornings before I even have time to brush my teeth. It’s the little gestures to let me know he’s always thinking about me. While on a guys’ trip to New Orleans, Ryon escaped from the dudes for a few hours, hitting the NOLA boutique scene on a quest to find a perfectly boho-glam macramé wall hanging to bring home to me.”
“I do believe in perfect timing. Ryon and I actually met freshman year at WSU. My first impression of Ryon – skinny athletic looking dude that didn’t talk much. In fact, my girls and I lovingly nicknamed him, “the Mute”. How nice of us! But I definitely noticed those dreamy eyes right away. We never dated in college, not even close. Fast forward to 10 years later, we reconnected on Facebook and decided to meet up at my brother’s baseball game close to where Ryon was living at the time. For some reason, I was so nervous to see him again after all those years! So nervous, that I got way too dressed up for a college baseball game. Therefore, Ryon’s impression of me that day was: DIVA. I guess the Gucci shades and Louis bag were a bit much (both items have since been retired). He took me out to lunch after the baseball game, and I even forgot my wallet. Clearly, he had an effect on me that I haven’t been able to shake.”
“It felt like we got to meet each other all over again. He was no longer that skinny, shy kid that I knew in college. And I wasn’t that wannabe Regina George (mean girls are so out). We were surprised to discover similar our interests and values were – we both loved working out and sports, each had our tight-knit group of friends and were equally super close with our families.”

“After we have grown old together, I hope that we will have travelled, ate well, and started a family along the way.”

“As our relationship grows, we’ve come up with our own traditions. This one is probably more me than him, but we’ve started traditions to celebrate important milestones in our relationship. I’m not sure if #engagementversary is a thing, but we made it one. Every year, we go back to Portland to celebrate the weekend Ryon proposed. We stay at the same hotel, visit the same bars in order, snap a photo in the same spot on the rooftop where he popped the question, and split an order of the Kim Chee Fried Chicken from Tasty N Alder on our way back to Seattle. And of course, the annual Palm Springs escape to celebrate our honeymoon. I don’t know how many more years we’ll be able to afford The Parker though. I truly cherish these times that it’s just Ryon and I, and every memory is so special to me!”
“Ryon and I are lucky enough to have jobs that keep us challenged and interested; jobs that pay the bills and allow us to self-fund our love for checking out (all the) trendy restaurants around Seattle and (just barely) afford a wine club membership. But ultimately, our true love is travelling together. Our favorite vacation spots so far have been Palm Springs, Scottsdale, San Diego and Costa Rica. The hotter the better. Ryon has a lot of family in Hawaii, so we’re lucky to be able to visit the Islands frequently.”
“By day, we’re both Account Managers. By night/in our dreams, we are professional-poolside-margarita-sampling-tanning-champions. I kid you not when I say, I once took a conference call while floating the lazy river in Scottsdale (sans margarita). Every since we started dating, we book a few trips throughout the year to satisfy our sun cravings. We pick a city, book a cute (Instagrammable) boutique hotel, and then spend our days at the pool and our nights eating our way through the city. If we had all the money in the world, we’d travel our little hearts out. We definitely lean towards “experiences” over “things” 99% of the time. But hey, fancy shoes get us every now and then…” 
“After we have grown old together, I hope that we will have travelled, ate well, and started a family along the way. And that we have some badass pictures to leave behind to our children and grandchildren. There is no one else in this world that fulfills me more than Ryon and I couldn’t imagine having life any other way.”

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