Despite falling in love on national television and traveling around the world to make it happen, Ali and Roberto are no exception for what it takes to make a relationship work. Their love story is surely unique, but they have faced the same challenges that any couple would face as they continue to grow together. Here are a few words of advice from Ali.
Ali admits that before Roberto she was prone to being a little controlling in her relationships. With Roberto, she says, "I love him so much, and I truly love him for who he is, that I don't want him to not do things he wants to do."
While she does want him to be happy, she also doesn't want to be hurt by anything he does. So she's learned to not respond to that fear with the 20 questions of, "Who's going? You'd better leave if your friend brings a bunch of girls home at three in the morning." This immediatly puts your guy on the defensive.
Instead, she approaches it as a calm conversation. "Let's say that happens -- what do you feel is the right thing to do? What do you feel is the appropriate thing for our relationship?" The result? "He will always choose the right thing on his own."
"I am definitely learning more about his culture," says Ali. "He's super, super close with his family and I sort of knew that before, but I didn't know the extent. I continued to learn that through seeing him interact with them."
By continuing to spend time together, as well as with his family, she has learned more about the role of faith in his life. She also recalls how happy he was when his brother came to visit and it's things like that that keep binding them as a couple.
Ali and Roberto have had to postpone their big day because of Ali's knee injury. "It's heartbreaking, and it's really sad, but guess what? I'm with him every day, I live with him, we share our lives together. In my mind, we are married. I don't need a piece of paper to tell me that right now."
Per Ali's advice, if you're dating someone you see a future with, just focus on being together. If you're in a hurry to get married, you're probably missing out on the simple pleasures of being a couple. Just sit back and smell the flowers. You may not be in Fiji, but love will continue to blossom with or without a formal "I do."
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