The moment I knew: ‘As we embraced, he suggested we get burgers’

From the start, Rhys Nicholson and his current spouse Kyran’s relationship was based on minutiae—the kind of small details that have a huge impact.
When I initially met Kyran, I appeared hideous. In 2011, Zan Rowe celebrated his 33rd birthday, with the theme being “come as your favourite album.” At the age of 21, I was invited to a cool party with radio people and didn’t know enough about music to make a choice.

My brilliant idea was to dress up as a “greatest hits” album, complete with fake blood and bruises. Though I found it hilarious, I found myself having to explain the idea to everyone I met in an awkward way. Next, I met Kyran, who was incredibly cool despite not even being dressed in costume.

I had a major crush on him right away after we clung to each other that evening, the way you do at a party full of strangers when you find a kindred spirit.

I thought I was doing a great job of expressing my interest in the weeks that followed, staying up late texting him while he worked the graveyard shift at Triple J. He still maintains that he didn’t understand and assumed I was just a bored night owl.

My advances went unanswered until finally a friend got involved. Because he had free tickets from work, we saw the Vines on our first date and ended up back at his place. One day, as I paced nervously through his bedroom, I noticed a figurine of the Muppet. Although I wish this were not a true story, I felt forced to use this awkward moment to the fullest extent possible, sharing on my phone a video of Big Bird singing It’s Not Easy Being Green at Jim Henson’s memorial while openly crying.

Thankfully, Kyran didn’t leave town to avoid me, and from that point on, our relationship took a nosedive. After a few months, we both decided to move in together while looking for a place to live. One very, very hangover morning in our little house was when I realized that this might not be something that lasts forever. He suggested we get burgers as we happened to cross paths in the hallway and gave each other a hug for support during the terrifying aftermath of whatever party we’d attended. “I could spend the rest of my life with this person who knows what I want to eat and will hug me and make me feel better,” was my thought.

This level of minutiae is the foundation of our relationship. The little things that have a big impact.

We’ve grown up together because we got together so young. We recognize each other’s entire context and acknowledge that there are moments when things lean toward codependency. However, I don’t think that’s always a bad thing. We are totally smitten with one another, but not in a cheesy, deranged way.

The greatest rumors I had ever heard were when I made the decision to ask him to marry me. I tried to hide it from the one person I shared everything with for weeks, but after a wild night at a friend’s wedding, I gave up. I was really excited about getting a ring and doing it right,

About a month ago, we tied the knot after 13 years of courtship. Fairytales never felt like they were for me growing up queer in the 1990s, but I found my prince. I truly enjoy being able to call him my husband and selecting the “married” option on drop-down menus, despite the fact that it makes me feel absurdly traditional.

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