In this new series, Neos Kosmos shares the love stories of everyday people in the community.
Cast your mind back to when you met your true love, when did you know they were the one?
For some it was love at first sight, for others it was a slow burn.
Patricia Papanastasiou and her husband Peter met in 1996 when she scored her first fulltime job at the age of 19 at an insurance company.
“My husband was 24 at the time and already working there. One of his friends actually applied for the position, but I got it instead, so it was meant to be!”
It did not take long for the pair to notice each other and so they began dating as Patricia approached her 20th birthday.
Before they knew it, the office could see their romance unfold, despite the couple trying to keep it on the hush.
Six years after their first date, Patricia and Peter found themselves sitting atop the Luna Park Ferris wheel, overlooking St Kilda.
“He stopped it at the top for me, at nighttime which was beautiful. Popped the question after six year and I was thinking ‘far out what’s taking so long?'” Patricia explained laughing.
Before the couple’s big day even came close to going ahead, some serious discussions we had surrounding what their future would look like.
“We overcame many obstacles because we’re two different nationalities to begin with, two religions as well…We made compromises and promises to each other before we got married. Everyone’s got different expectations and wants, so we made it clear from the start.”
Patricia is Italian and was raised within a Catholic household and like many interfaith couples, the conversation of ‘how will we raise the kids?’ came up.
“I think because we’ve overcome so many obstacles that would’ve broken a lot of people, it’s made us stronger knowing that we compromise where we were going to live, what the kids were going to be baptised. It also gave us a lot more respect for one another,” she said.
By the time the wedding rolled around all the kinks had been ironed out, una fatsa, una ratsa as the saying goes.
The couple shared their special day in both churches, before heading for a big traditional celebration at Tudor Court in Caulfield.
When you live with someone day in and day out, there are always new quirks that you discover about your partner. On many occasions however, you may let them teach you something about yourself.
“I was never a traveller, I didn’t have that in me but Peter said let’s go to Europe for our honeymoon. If it wasn’t for him I would have never travelled Europe and it was an awesome experiences. I got to meet his grandmother too which was beautiful,” Patricia said.
Looking over what makes their relationship so strong, Patricia notes their clear communication skills but also her admiration for Peter’s headstrong personality.
“He’s upfront, he’s probably more upfront than I am. Most of the time when he is upfront he has very valid points and I love that. I am more ‘oh don’t say that, it might be disrespectful, you might rub people up the wrong way’. But he will always voice his opinion, in a respectful manner. I wish I was a little more like that.”
Lockdown has left plenty of time to reminisce, but also plenty of time to look to the future.
When the time comes for their children to move out and find their own partners (perhaps in the office), Patricia hopes that she and Peter can rediscover themselves.
“I hope that we can just enjoy a nice retirement and find ourselves again. It’s very different on the other side of kids I’ve heard. That we get to do what we did pre kids and have a little less responsibility I suppose,” Patricia said.
There are all sorts of love in the world, between couples and friends, children and furry friends.
If you would like to share yours, send an email to email@example.com