Ken + Kelly

Choosing one another, intentionally, everyday.

...when love just works

This tale of romance is older than time: A group of friends meet at a bar, mutual friends are also invited (Ken and Kelly) but are complete strangers. They notice each other but neither speak. Ken remembers being too shy, and the initial opportunity to connect completely passes them by. But, neither one could stop thinking about the other. Kelly was crushing on Ken so much so that she created a Twitter page just to find Ken and start following her. Although new to twitter, Kelly knew that liking Ken’s pictures would get her attention, and, of course, it did. After a few weeks of being social media friends, Ken slid into Kelly’s DMs with an Allen Iverson gif – and she scored!

Now, nearly two years later, their relationship persists through their intent of choosing, loving and learning each other every single day.

What has sustained your love for each other over the past two years?

Ken: I feel like, relationships are just a conscious choice. You just decide either you’re going to be in it or not.

Kelly: A big thing that we focused on from the beginning is learning each other’s love languages. Even though we have so many similarities, our love languages are different. Mine is quality time, so she makes sure to spend a lot of time with me. Hers, on the other hand, is words of affirmation. I make sure I acknowledge her positively. Everything else just kind of falls into place.

For Ken and Kelly, things have been falling into place from the beginning.

Ken: We just felt comfortable off rip. You know how you just feel like you’ve known someone all your life. Like a familiar stranger in a way. We must’ve known each other in a past lifetime. Like, we just clicked.

Kelly echoed Ken’s sentiments.

"A big thing that we focused on from the beginning is learning each other’s love languages."

Kelly: It started when we were texting each other. I really enjoyed how open minded she was. I felt like I knew her before. Her spirit was so familiar. She felt so familiar.

What’s most exciting about being loved by Kelly?

Ken: “Constantly learning each other because throughout the years you change. That’s what people do, and it’s like we just choose to learn the new person.”

Kelly’s answer centered a love rooted in freedom.

Kelly: She lets me be free with her. I’ve never experienced such freedom while being with someone.

While Kelly expressed excitement about the room Ken leaves her to be free, Ken shared how Kelly sees all of her and still chooses love.

Ken: I’m most proud of how she believes in me. When you battle depression and anxiety, that self doubt starts to creep in, but she’s really reassuring.

Ken emphasized the importance of discussing mental health with her partner.

Ken: We were both upfront. We shared triggers early in the game. You get nervous to talk to someone about that, but when they’re open as well, you feel safe. Some people think it’s too much or they look at you with pity, but it was none of that with us.

Interviewer: Why it’s so easy to see Ken and support her through challenges with mental health?

Kelly: I come from a place where I have chronic illnesses, quite a few of them, that are immobilizing and will worsen with age. She has seen me at my very bottom but wanted to take care from jump. Even within the first or second week of knowing me, before we even kissed, she wanted to take care of me. So when I see her experiencing anxiety or depression, I wanna give that back to her. We nurture each other back to being good.

While supporting each other through challenging times, Ken and Kelly continue to have fun and enjoy each other throughout their relationship.

Kelly: Playing Uno together is our thing. We went down to the beach for our first anniversary and played Uno.

Ken: Our crib is our happy place, and brunch is our thing. We always find time to do brunch together.

Both lovers stressed the importance of their time together yet remaining individuals.

Ken: I meditate a lot and I have the space and time to do that. I’m not interrupted. She likes to dance and listen to music, and I never interrupt her when she’s doing that. That’s important. We’re a unit, but we’re still individuals.

Kelly: I don’t feel like I have to think like her to be with her. I’m able to think like myself freely and share each other’s perspectives.

"Even within the first or second week of knowing me, before we even kissed, she wanted to take care of me."

What does it means to be loved by her?

Kelly: It means a lot more to me than I can really think of. I just feel so loved. I don’t wanna see myself without her love.

Ken: It means being free to be vulnerable. And being free to embrace and accept a good love.

Ken and Kelly share much more than a feeling. These lovers adore the love they’ve built together while also loving what each of them bring to their relationship. They share an experience, one that you only feel when love just works...

What does love look like, to you, when love just works?

Written by: myrie tyshay (@___myreee)