Sex & Relationships

These Sweet Stories About Our Editors' Partners Will Make You Cry

In honour of National Husband Appreciation Day, we polled staffers about why they appreciate their partners so hard. Grab a tissue and get ready for some serious new #RelationshipGoals because these 17 husbands—and boyfriends and wives and girlfriends and partners—are so damn sweet we can't even.

It’s National Husband Appreciation Day! We like being a l’il bit more inclusive ’round here so let’s think of it as National Partner Appreciation Day, shall we? In honour of this holiday, we polled the FLARE and HELLO! Canada editors for their most awww-inducing, squee-evincing stories of why they appreciate their partners so hard. Get ready for some serious new relationship goals—these prize partners gave us all the feels. (I’m not crying, you’re crying.)

Relationship Goals: Lauren and Andrew

“About a year into dating, my now-husband Andrew went to India for three weeks. He wasn’t sure if he’d have access to e-mail so he set up a series of automated messages that I received every night with little jokes, funny stories and cute messages so I wouldn’t get lonely.” —Lauren Ufford, associate editor

Relationship Goals: Briony and Ben

“After two years of long, hard work in the dating mines of Toronto, I still was suffering all manner of horrendous f-ckboys, including one who pissed on my rug in a Jameson stupor. I decided that a change in tactics may net me some more quality dudes, and thus began the Ladylike Experiment of summer 2015. I stopped asking guys out, I avoided asking them too many questions or texting them back too fast, I attempted keeping it in my pants more, and I continued my practice of not bringing up my fancy job for fear of intimidating them and donning boy-approved outfits for dates (no crazy fashion get-ups or anything too revealing), and tamping down my curls into some semblance of order. I hated it. Not only did it feel anti-feminist and not sex-positive, but it was totally not me. Come 2016, I swore to be myself at all costs. Two weeks after the end of the Ladylike Experiment, I had a date with a babe named Ben. True to my pledge, I was 100% myself: I fessed up to a horrible hangover, I wore a Peace Collective sweatshirt over a tata-baring Reformation gown that I later removed saying that a gown was maybe too much for a first date but I really wanted to wear it and who doesn’t like boobs, and I teased him mercilessly. And he loved it all. He adores my big curly hair. And my big butt. He misses my extremely loud laugh when I am not around. He likes my jokes—and how forward I am. The weirder the outfit the better. He is proud that I have an interesting job. And he is kind, not cruel, about my shortcomings, cleaning my filthy sink and taking out the long-ripened garbage, cooking my take-out only ass beautiful vegetarian meals and packing me little healthy lunches, and cheering me on about going to the gym rather than sniping about any pounds put on. I once hesitated in telling him a rather unflattering anecdote from my past, but his answer is why he is the one for me, now and always. ‘You think these stories will make me love you less,’ he said. ‘But they only make me love you more.'” —Briony Smith, senior editor, culture

Relationship Goals: Laura and John

“Before John and I moved in together, I lived in a sauna-like little studio apartment above an old art gallery; it had no air conditioning and a host of other problems. A total dump. I was home alone one sticky Sunday morning in August, and told him I was feeling violently ill due to the extreme heat. I ended up falling asleep mid-texting and didn’t reply to his messages for a few hours, which, naturally, made him assume I was dead. Panicked, he came over to my apartment and, after knocking for several minutes (I passed out hard), he nearly kicked down the door.  It was all v. dramatic and unnecessary but it made me realize how much he cared for my wellbeing.” —Laura Hensley, staff writer

Relationship Goals: Maureen and Jeremy

“When I first started dating my future husband, Jeremy, I was in the throes of a serious Cherry Coke Zero addiction. At the time, you could only purchase this fine product in America. On our third or fourth date, I invited Jeremy over for lobster risotto and a dessert recipe I often made for boys that I referred to as sex brownies. (You can connect the dots.) That night, Jeremy showed up with a gym bag that was VERY heavy. Things had been going swimmingly up to this point—absolutely zero red flags—but when the bag landed with a thud on my hardwood floor, I began to fear for the worst. I had just seen a Sex and the City episode involving a sex swing, and it immediately popped into my head. (No flies on that, but sexcessories are not my thing.) Then Jeremy, with a huge smile, suggested that I unzip the bag.  And so I did, with great trepidation, to unveil…five cases of Cherry Coke Zero that he had driven four hours round-trip to procure. That was nearly 10 years ago. We’re married now, and Cherry Coke Zero is finally available in Canada. I think of Jeremy every time I crack open a can.” —Maureen Halushak, deputy editor

Relationship Goals: Jenn and Dustin

“When my mum got sick a couple of years ago and I temporarily moved home to help care for her, Dustin, my boyfriend of 10 years, was by my side almost constantly, sleeping on the inflatable mattress beside me, filling their fridge with my favourite foods and literally reminding me to eat. She was always fond of Dustin but in her final weeks, despite not being very verbal, she would often pat my hand and tell me that he was a keeper. Since her passing, Dustin has been a constant source of support for my dad, from literally driving from Toronto to Montreal to pick him up and drive him back to Toronto for Thanksgiving and being so involved in his apartment move that the professional movers were like ‘Dude, we should pay you’ to staying at his place when he’s in Montreal for work, no questions asked, and cooking dinner for the two of them. He always treats my dad like his own. I don’t think he’ll ever really understand how important those one-on-one dinners with my dad are to me—my dad has company (and homemade pasta sauce) and I have the comfort of knowing my two main men are together when my father needs it most. What can I say? My mum was pretty much always right.” —Jennifer Berry, staff writer

Relationship Goals: Tyler and Erica

“Tyler knows that we’re both at our worst when we’re hangry. I recently had to interview an actress on a Saturday, so I locked myself in my bedroom, researching and waiting for her to call from L.A. When I came out, he had already poured wine and had a delicious pasta dinner ready to go. He even greeted me in Italian. The fact that he’d just strung together unrelated Italian words (“thank you,” “table,” “beautiful”) didn’t even matter.” —Erica Cupido, staff writer

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Relationship Goals: Ally Dean

“Michael’s the man who will wink and smile at me when I say something foolish instead of kicking me under the table because I’ve just embarrassed him. And, even though he doesn’t drink it himself, he brings me a steaming cup of coffee—sprinkled with cinnamon, naturally—to coax me out of bed each morning.” —Ally Dean, fashion and beauty editor

Relationship Goals: Pete and Alanna

“Everything I love and appreciate about my partner Pete is captured in this photo. First, the dogs. One stares at him longingly through the window, the other not far from his side. Pete’s a natural dog whisperer—honestly, wherever we go, whether it’s walking down the street, or taking our own pup to the dog park, sweet pooches just can’t get enough of him. A dog is one of the best judges of character, and in Pete you’ll find one of the most stand-up guys around. Here, he’s listening as my stepdad teaches him how to tie a Parachute Adams fly to a fly-fishing rod. He’s about to find out my stepdad’s secret to casting in the river. You can see Pete’s sense of adventure and natural curiosity in this photo. But what you can’t see is the important backstory behind it. Pete had flown across the country just a day before to meet my stepdad for the first time. It would be the last time, because my stepdad passed away a little while after this. He’s always there for the people he loves and he truly can be counted upon, especially during tougher times. You can’t say that about most people, but everyone who knows Pete says that about him. He’s always game to learn about a person’s passions, too—no matter how intricate—and I love how much of an interest he took in one of my stepdad’s favourite things. I appreciate my partner most because of quiet moments like this, where he lifts everyone up around him and makes them feel special and heard.” —Alanna Evans, senior editor, features

Related: Secret Celebrity Weddings: 17 Couples Who Secretly Got Married

Relationship Goals: Philina and fam

(Photo: Rebecca Wood)

“A few days into being a new mom, I was running on no sleep, and my body finally gave up one night. After nursing our daughter in bed, I passed her to my husband Steve and mumbled “I can’t” then promptly buried myself under the blanket and peaced out. Unfortunately for Steve I had unknowingly trapped him to his side of the bed, which was pushed up against one wall to make room for the crib in our tiny, tiny bedroom. Eleanor fell asleep in his arms, but, in the process, his phone fell between the bed and the wall. He didn’t want to wake us up, so he sat in bed holding our sleeping baby and stared at the wall for five hours while we slept.” —Philina Chan, art director

Relationship Goals: Charlotte and Ali

“For the past few months, every weekend morning my partner Ali has woken up before me and ventured out to two different cafes (the one that has the good lattes and one that has the best pain au chocolat) so that he can bring me my fave treats in bed. I’ve had a lot of family stress over the past year and a chunk of my weekend is always spent driving out to the ‘burbs to take care of one thing or another—but those few minutes in the mornings sipping lattes in our sunny living room with our cat (who adorably licks croissant crumbs off our plates) are moments of pure joy and calm amidst what sometimes feels like a storm of stress and worry. And they’re all thanks to Ali.” —Charlotte Herrold, managing editor

Relationship Goals: Allison

“Scott loves to surprise me and the craziest one was a trip to Cuba for my birthday. We decided to go for stroll on the Cayo Coco beach to watch our first picturesque sunset. Right away, I stepped on a bee. Scott didn’t hesitate. Bending over, he deftly removed the back half of the insect from my foot. So quick and graceful were his movements, you’ve have thought he’d spent years training in bee-anatomy removal. Then he helped me back to our hotel room and removed the stinger with tweezers. Later on, we got to see the spectacular sunset from a sand bar—but then we had to flee the sand fleas and an impending thunderstorm. Love isn’t all perfect moments. It’s the imperfect ones that keep things fun and interesting, right?” —Alison Eastwood, editor-in-chief

Relationship Goals: Marko

“Lindsay has given me perspective on what’s really important. Lonnnnng story short, Lindsay was diagnosed with aplastic anemia last summer and received a bone marrow transplant in the fall. Throughout the past eight months, there have been a bajillion ups and downs. I’ve questioned whether or not I could be as strong. As cheesy as it sounds, she’s taught me that things could always be worse.” —Marko Popovic, deputy art director

Relationship Goals: Tara and Josh

“About two years into our relationship, Josh and I were having dinner with my parents, and my mom jokingly told him that I can be ‘a challenge.’ Correct, Mom. I mean, it’s not all garbage with me, but one of my main faults is I do tend to get worked up over small things. Josh is a pro at getting me to chill the eff out. I recently had a freak-out about a trip we’re going on this summer, and he sat me down and led me to a more rational place (i.e. I can afford it, and no one will die if I miss work). If I start over-analyzing something a friend did, he reminds me that it might not be as big of a deal as I think it is. He’s probably the most level-headed person I know, and without him, I’d defs have the blood pressure of an 80-year-old.” —Tara MacInnis, associate fashion and beauty editor

Relationship Goals: Lindsay and Todd

“My husband Todd was there for me during the loss of my dad (like a week into the relationship), and he integrated into my family in point-zero seconds. He’s sensitive and not afraid to cry (all it takes is a good Visa commercial), but it’s his humour that kills me. He has me in giggle fits every day and we have a growing vocabulary of words he’s accidentally made up that are so much better than the originals. Oh, and he once rescued our family dog from drowning in the dark. So also: hero.” —Lindsay Murrell, photo editor

Relationship Goals: Erinn and Alex

“It’s hard to pin-point one specific time when my BF, Alex, was the best ever, but the times I appreciate him the most are the times when he can calm me down (and put up with me) in my most stressful moments. Here’s an example. Two summers ago at WayHome Alex and I were packing up our campsite after three v. long, v. hot days of music festival-ing. At this point, we were running on little sleep, hated everyone and everything (including each other) and wanted to get the f-ck home. The car (my mom’s) was packed and we were ready to peace—but it wouldn’t start. I automatically went into panic mode (which for me means tears, and lots of them) and started spewing out worst-case scenarios along the lines of the car will never start again, my mother will disown me, we’ll be trapped in Burl’s Creek forever. Alex stayed calm AF and comforted me while I ugly-cried. Eventually, a friend of ours jumped our car and we got home safe and sound. I know it seems small and silly, but it’s times like that when I’m glad I have him by my side.” —Erinn Stewart, assistant fashion and beauty editor

Relationship Goals: Andrea and Nick

“My husband Nick is a great gift-giver; I receive items I didn’t even know I wanted and never hinted at, let alone asked for. When I was between jobs over the holidays, we agreed to just get each other a book in lieu of a bigger present, since we’re both voracious readers and it’d be easier on our wallets, given the situation. Come Christmas morning, I proudly gave Nick a Godfather companion notebook penned by Francis Ford Coppola—then he handed me an definitely-too-small-for-a-book box. Inside were tickets to Montreal for the weekend, timed to our first wedding anniversary. We’d long talked about going together, since we’ve both been several times on our own, and I was just tickled by his thoughtfulness…even though he cheated!” —Andrea Miller, associate editor, special projects

Relationship Goals: Pat Flynn

“What do I appreciate most about my partner? I appreciate almost everything about her! Rhonda is an incredibly smart, strong and driven woman. Remember I said ‘almost’? Well, unfortunately she’s a Colorado Avalanche fan—but sometimes she’ll pretend to cheer on the Leafs, just for me. Most of all, though, she puts up with me!” —Pat Flynn, managing editor

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