The best moments in life are the unexpected ones. When it comes to love, those unexpected surprises usually make their appearance once we stop trying to guide it. This was definitely true for Eddie and Kirsten Hollis Edwards—from the moment they met, a conscious decision to slow down and enjoy the present moment gave their relationship its start.
Kirsten describes that meeting as a metaphor for their overall relationship. Both women were participating in a hikers’ group, when Eddie inadvertently got lost. “After we had started dating,” she said, “Eddie admitted, ‘I was rushing through the woods trying to find you and I wasn’t enjoying the hike, but once I slowed down…just enjoyed the hike and the scenery, that’s when I finally found the group.’”
Tell me about when you first met.
K: We kind of met twice. The first time we met through a hikers’ group that I had formed. Then we met again. I answered an online post, and she answered back that we had already met though the hikers’ group. She asked if I wanted to go to dinner. I thought “why not?” After a few dates, I thought, “there may be something more here.”
E: I definitely noticed her the first time we met.
Tell me about your marriage ceremony.
K: We got married in the Rose Garden in the Zilker Botanical Gardens. We were engaged for about nine months. It wasn’t stressful. We didn’t go through any of the stress. It was very much about community—our friends and family really helped out.
Why get married in Texas?
E: There wasn’t a real political reason behind it. We, of course, knew it wasn’t legal here, but it was very much about our friends and family. For our honeymoon, we went to Vermont for a legal ceremony. It wasn’t as straightforward as we’d hoped. We thought you just went to the justice of the peace, but it was much more involved than that.
How did you know that she was “the one”?
K: I remember joking with her about the fact that we bought kayaks that only fit on her car and joking that “this kind of commits me to you”. It wasn’t an engagement ring, but it seemed that meant something more permanent.
E: After we took our first “big” trip—a road trip to Michfest—somewhere in the evolution (of our relationship), I just couldn’t imagine life without her. That trip really sealed it for me. I just felt that she was a part of my life.
What’s your secret to a strong, long-term relationship?
E: We communicate well and our values are similar. The things that we value make the difference.
K: Yeah, I think we are similar, but different enough to keep it interesting. We like to talk. We enjoy each other’s company. And doing something new with one another—it bonds us together—traveling, having a child…even cooking a new recipe.
How do you handle each other’s differences or flaws?
K: I have a lower threshold for tolerating clutter. Yet I realize she’s just forgotten to put something away; she’s not doing it on purpose.
E: With the baby coming, her moods can be unpredictable (both laugh).
What do you love most about your partner’s personality?
K: She’s patient as ever. Especially right now. But I also love what a good friend she is. It’s the quality that struck me as, “if she’s this good a friend to her friends, she’ll be great to me.” I completely trust her.
E: I love her large vocabulary. She’s always describing something so perfectly!
When is your anniversary? How will you celebrate?
K: September-ish is kind of our overall anniversary, really. We’ll have the baby soon, so it will be a little different, but “good-different.”
What’s your favorite place to visit as a couple?
E: We love to go to Michfest. It’s kind of a tradition. It’s forty acres where everything is done by women: film, classes, music, workshops. We’ll have to skip this year, but it’s for a good reason. We’re planning to go next year.
K: It’s an emotionally rich experience and sharing that with one another is very cool. It’s a great environment to be in and to be able to share. We’re really looking forward to taking a kiddo!
How do you feel that starting a family will affect (the spark in) the relationship?
E: Having a baby was a source of a lot of conversations for us. You know, have we gotten enough of a chance to be a romantic couple long enough before we bring a kid in?
K: Things sort of fell into place. We figured we wouldn’t get pregnant until it was time, and we got pregnant really fast, so it was like, “well, I guess it was time!” I don’t have a concern about the spark. Our lives are about to change hugely, but we talk about how we’re still going to connect with each other and make sure that we’re still nourishing our relationship. And still have time just to be us.
Do you have any gay couple role models?
E: Our friends, Deann and Ingrid, just had an anniversary and have been married for about 10 years or so. One of the keys of their relationship is their bond of the things they love and live for.
K: We know of some couples who are in their 70s… been together 30 or 40 years…and they’re so sweet to each other.
What is something else that readers
should know about you?
E: I think instead, I’d want to give them some advice: Never stop being excited to tell your partner all of the things that are going on in your life. If you stop talking and stop being excited about sharing that, that’s when things can go downhill and start becoming ordinary.
K: It can be hard to remember to do, but if you can— even just a tenth of the time—approach everything with the spirit that it’s an adventure, the scary things or the hard things, even a fight, as something new. Everything doesn’t have to be an effort. You definitely have to work at it, but everything doesn’t have to be “work”.
Describe your relationship in one word or phrase.
K: It feels like home.
Photo courtesy of the couple.