Dear Beautiful Modern Married Readers,
I am uberliciously excited to present a truly heart-warming and inspiring interview with the founders of a project called “Lovumentary,” Nate and Melissa. They are travelling the country documenting what true love really looks like and teaching us all the secrets they discover about keeping love alive along the way. They are so passionate about sharing authentic love stories they make my heart smile.
You will find humor, wisdom, and faith in what love can be throughout today’s post. They have recently been featured on ABC News and Fast Company and I could not possibly be more excited to share their inspiring story with you today!
MM: Tell us about yourself in 5 sentences…
Nate: I’m 29 years old. I am simultaneously insatiably curious and terrified of love. My heros are Jim Henson, Fred Rogers, and Leo Buscaglia because they dedicated their lives to something virtuous and meaningful, and left this world a better place for having been here. If I could be a combination of those 3 men, I’d die a very happy human being.
Melissa: I’m 27 years old. I fell in love with journalism 16 years ago, and I’ve been pursuing a career in media ever since. I’m particularly passionate about startups and technology, and was most recently the CEO of a media and events company in Chicago called Technori. Here’s my list of 50 “impossible” things I want to do before I die. I’m already checking off #25 and #26 with Nate, the best partner in growth a woman could ever ask for.
MM: What is The Loveumentary?
Nate: The Loveumentary is a project dedicated to telling stories of real love without the influence of the unrealistic Disney princess love, or the overwhelmingly negative news stories and statistics. We want to show people what it takes to be in a genuinely happy, loving relationship that can withstand the test of time.
Melissa: We are currently embarking on a journey across America to record the 100+ greatest love stories in the country. By highlighting the relationships that are working, our ultimate goal is to reinvigorate the country’s faith in love, marriage, and one another.
In addition to interviewing the most in-love couples we can find, we will also be interviewing relationship experts, marriage counselors, researchers, and psychologists who have dedicated their lives to the study of love and relationships. This journey is ultimately about intertwining storytelling and science to add context to our project.
MM: How did it come about?
Nate: Two very curious souls in two very different parts of the country wanted to understand what separates the longest-lasting most love-filled relationships from all the rest. Melissa was in Chicago, and had a goal to interview 100 of the country’s most in-love couples, then write a book about what she learned. Nate was in Salt Lake interviewing couples on his podcast.
One serendipitous day, they were introduced to each other by a mutual friend and decided to join forces to help each other accomplish their goals and transform the way America views love and relationships. Melissa bought a plane ticket and flew to Salt Lake, and now we’re on the road documenting stories.
MM: Why is it so meaningful to you?
Nate: This project is meaningful to us because it is providing answers to questions that we’ve had for most of our adult lives… and we know we aren’t alone in wondering about the mysteries of love. It’s time to cut back on the cynicism surrounding commitment. It’s time to dial back on the drama, and ease up on the expectations and take a good, honest look at love, why it’s important, and how to nurture it in our lives.
Melissa: As a journalist, I’ve always wanted to tell the honest, comprehensive story about important cultural issues that no one else is telling. Marriage is one of those topics few seem to be capturing accurately. We experience significant love poverty in our country—on one hand, we’re force fed unrealistic notions of love via Disney movies and romantic comedies; on the other hand, we’re bombarded with a decidedly cynical view of marriage—celebrity breakups, abuse, infidelity, the high divorce rate.
Yet, millions of couples around the country are building fulfilling relationships and loving families. Those are the people whose stories Nate and I are interested in telling. We believe people tend to create more of what they know. If we learn from the best on what it takes to create extraordinary relationships, we’re better prepared to create our own.
MM: How can we help?
Nate: There are 3 ways to help!
a. Donate to our Kickstarter project. Everything we’ve done thus far has been out of our own bank accounts. If we’re going to keep telling these stories we need gas money to make it around the country. If you believe in true love, this is your chance to back a project with some heart.
b. Share the project with your friends and family. We can’t make a lasting impact on America unless America listens. You are among the first to hear about this little project. We need your help spreading the word if we’re going to make a dent in our country’s cynicism.
c. Write a love letter. We’re collecting hand-written love letters that answer the following question: If you could write one last letter to the love of your life, what would it say?
Write that letter. Then give it to the person you wrote it for. It will make you feel amazing. And if you’re feeling super daring, send us a copy of it (either a photo of it, or a scanned image). We’ll post it anonymously on our website in the hopes that it will encourage more people to write love letters to the important people in their lives.
MM: What do you know is true about love?
Nate: Love is unexplainable and miraculous. It’s the best thing we get to experience in this life… even better than dark chocolate with sea salt. To enjoy its constant presence, it requires practice, work, patience, forgiveness, honesty, respect, communication, a willingness to be vulnerable, and deep, abiding commitment. Those who foster these virtues get to regularly experience the miracle of love.
Melissa: I used to think true love was about finding the “right” person. I never quite believed in the idea that there is only one person out there for each of us, but I assumed the number of people we could build loving relationships with was limited—and anyone who found it should consider themselves lucky.
Now, I’m beginning to realize that it’s more about being personally ready to love someone wholeheartedly—with relatively unconditional commitment and unreserved enthusiasm for and about the other person. And, of course, finding someone who’s ready to do the same.
True love is about going into a relationship with your whole heart, having a genuine excitement about designing a committed relationship, and being the co-author of your future memories with a great partner. When two people come into a relationship ready to do those things, there’s no cap to the amount of love and fulfillment they can create in a relationship together.
MM: We talk a lot on this blog about re-defining marriage – how do you see this project helping people in their own relationships?
Nate: I’ve learned a good marriage is constantly undergoing redefinition. Dynamics are constantly changing. People are evolving. Priorities are shifting. The goal of this project is to help people get a realistic view of what love looks like… the ups and the downs, the good with the bad. When people have a better idea of what challenges to expect, they are more prepared to navigate upcoming obstacles with grace, love, and trust.
I dare you to not be inspired right now. Impossible right? There is nothing like a little trail-blazing to make you believe anything is possible with some love, a camera and a Kickstarter campaign. In fact, I love Nate and Melissa’s take on love and possibility so much, they will be back next week with more fresh-eyed wisdom. Can’t wait!
This week’s LoveWork is to write your honey a Love Letter. It can be short and sweet or long and sexy. Just put what you feel on a piece of paper and share it. Your honey will thank you. And smile.
If you found this post inspiring, please Like it! Pin It! or Tweet it! Our community of love and creativity grows thanks to inspired hearts likes yours. Now go love and be loved. XO