Captivating Couples: Meet The Couples Who Stole Our Hearts This Valentine’s Day

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Photo by Brian Nager.

Christina & Krystal — Houston, TX

Christina Gilliam-Ferraz, Communication Consultant
Krystal Gilliam-Ferraz, Health Promotions Manager

In October 2018, Christina was scrolling through Tinder when she realized she had a match. She had no idea that her match, Krystal, would eventually become her bride-to-be. The two had an instant connection that only grew stronger, and Christina says their hearts knew they were meant to be together before their brains ever did.

“I knew Krystal was the one for me when I returned from a trip and realized how much I’d missed her,” Christina says. “She picked me up from the airport, and two months later, she blurted out she wanted to marry me. We still hadn’t said the ‘L word’ yet, so I burst into tears. We were both amused with my reaction.”

But despite their easy connection, the two are adamant that their relationship still takes work, especially when it comes to finding a good balance of family and self. “Our biggest challenge as a couple has been learning how to support our families while taking care of ourselves and our relationship; you can’t pour from an empty cup,” says Christina. “We had to shift our perspectives, manage our expectations, and establish boundaries for ourselves so we could be present, compassionate, and supportive for our relationship and families.”

While quarantine wasn’t how they envisioned spending their first year of marriage, Christina and Krystal have been able to prioritize themselves and their relationship thanks to the increased time together. “We’ve grown closer over the past year because quarantining made our home space our workspace as well,” said Krystal. “We learned new things about each other, and it’s been fun! I’ve loved every minute.”

Photo by Wiley Images.

Ivy & Terry — Portland, OR

Ivy Rebel, YouTuber
Terry Rebel, YouTuber

When Ivy and Terry matched with each other on Tinder in 2015, both women were initially drawn to the other’s personality and looks. Terry was instantly smitten with Ivy’s heart, and her affirming, welcoming energy; Ivy found herself captivated with Terry’s acceptance and encouragement to always live their best and truest lives.

Eventually, they were able to nurture their instant infatuation into a relationship that felt meant to be. Ivy says that the two seemed to know they were meant to be as soon as they realized that all of their goals and dreams just seemed to naturally match up. “It felt like we were a perfect match, and together, we could be a driving force to change the world,” Ivy says.

Certain that their love for each other would warm the hearts of others, the couple began their YouTube channel in 2018. Their goal with online videos is to document their journey as an LGBTQ+ family, as well as inspire other couples and families around the world. “Our ultimate goal is to be advocates for LGBTQ rights and make everyone feel loved and included.”

Both women love adventure, and it’s nearly impossible to hold either one back from trying something new  — even if the other doesn’t necessarily enjoy it. That’s the secret to their relationship’s success, though: they have a loving, close bond, but they also give each other a lot of freedom. “We push and encourage each other to do what makes us happy on our own and not just as a couple. By giving each other so much freedom it makes our love stronger.”

And in the past year, their love has only gotten stronger with the addition of a daughter to the family. “Our love is deeper, and we make an excellent team parenting,” Ivy says. “Since having a child, our commitment to one another has become even more important to us.” The new baby, along with their YouTube channel, has taken the most focus this past year, but the couple is overjoyed at the quality time they’ve been afforded with their new daughter.

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