Regine Miriklis knew from the moment she stepped into the room at the Cypriot Club that fateful day in 2007, that she had met the love of her life, Jack.
“It was literally that night for me. That night I walked in and it already felt familiar. Like this ‘I’m safe with you’ and even though I don’t know you, you’re my person kind of thing,” Ms Miriklis said.
Regine and Jack met in a way that some Greek parents would deem a dream come true.
“I was going along to a NUGAS Victoria AGM, so my first experience with them. I was going with George who was the president of the RMIT club…so he dragged me along that night and I said ‘yeah, I’ll come, sounds cool’,” said Ms Miriklis.
Her initial lack of enthusiasm flipped around once she set her eyes on Mr Miriklis.
“We walked into this place, and I had never met any of these people and the Victorian committee was sitting at a conference table and Jack was sitting at the head. I turned to George and go ‘ooh he’s a bit cute, who’s he?’ and he goes ‘ew, that is disgusting, he’s my cousin and he’s old’,” Ms Miriklis recalled laughing.
The four year age gap did not phase Ms Miriklis.
That night Ms Miriklis was voted into the NUGAS committee and her friend George foreshadowed the future, although they did not know it then.
“We were all hanging out afterwards and talking and I remember his cousin George just looked at us and said ‘oh my God, just getting married already’,” Ms Miriklis said.
After a year of building upon their friendship, travelling around interstate for events, two hour long phone calls and coffee catch ups, the couple decided to take the leap into a more romantic relationship.
Much like many classical fairytales, the pair had found their true love at a ball.
“Our committee held the big Greek ball that NUGAS puts on every year and we got together that night. We shared a kiss that night and started dating,” Ms Miriklis said.
There were always signs that the young lovebirds were keen to explore their relationship further.
Ms Miriklis started cottoning on when she noticed their long phone calls were exclusive to their friendship and that the coffee catch ups seemed to be missing a few people from the parea.
Three and a half years worth of dates later, Mr Miriklis popped the question whilst on a cruise around Vanuatu.
He had put together a photo compilation video with the couple’s favourite song, From this moment on by Shania Twain.
“Reggie always wants more photos of the two of us, I generally hate photos. She likes making photo boards and I’m terrible at making a photo board but I have a Mac and can make something in iMovie quite easily. So I got all the photos we had taken and put some backing music to it and we were off to the races,” Mr Miriklis said.
The wedding was a typical Greek bash, celebrating alongside family and friends. The magic touch included a nod to their origin story, as friends from the NUGAS committee from all across Australia joined them on their special day.
Reflecting on their relationship, the couple credits their strong foundation to their year of friendship and how their personalities balance each another out.
“She already knew all my bad points when I started,” laughed Mr Miriklis.
“I’m more serious and tightly wound, he’s more fun and carefree, we’re a really good mix. A lot of people thought it was really weird when we got together because we’re so different,” Ms Miriklis added.
In any relationship there are always going to be challenges, however the Miriklis’ see these moments in their lives as an opportunity to reassure one another and demonstrate how strong their love really is.
A year after their daughter Mia was born, Ms Miriklis had run into some health issues.
“I was diagnosed with a medical condition that would affect me for life and I said to him ‘are you sure you want to be around for this, it’s not very nice’ and he said ‘no, I’m here, we’re together, I’ll be there for you’. That was really quite special to me and to know that he’s got my back,” she said.
Another challenge for many Victorian families has of course been the strict lockdowns.
In that time the couple continues scheduling in their own date nights and family time, making sure everyone was able to decompress and keep on top of short tempers.
“It was all about bringing things back to basics. Some nights we’d order in a special dinner and share a cup of tea and sit on the couch together and just talk…It’s important to be a couple first and then be parents I think. That way we have a good foundation, to be good for her,” Ms Miriklis said.
“I feel if you’re happy in your relationship, you’re better parents as well.”
Looking to the future, Ms Miriklis hopes that little Mia will listen to her intuition when finding her own true love one day.
“Make sure you have that feeling in your gut, that tells you that that’s the person you want to be with. If you can’t stand the thought of not being with them, then that’s the right choice. Sometimes you get wrapped up in the emotion of things, but you need to think, when you’re 90 years old, that you still want to be with that person.”
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