A few years ago I noticed that the majority conversations surrounding relationships fall into one of two categories. They are typically either super negative conversations focusing on divorce, infidelity, celebrity scandals, etc. Or they are hyper-emotional, and unrealistic stories like those seen in Twilight, Disney movies, The Bachelor.

I got really sick of being force fed these warped and unrealistic expectations of love. I didn't think Chris Brown, Athony Weiner, or Tiger Woods deserved to be the spokespeople for relationships... but they seemed to be the only ones getting any relationship-related air time. So, rather than complain about it, I figured I'd hunt down the most amazing couples I could find and give them the microphone.

My hope was that through talking to these couples, some patterns would emerge... or that I would at least get some pro tips on how to have a successful long-term relationship for myself down the road.

I was not prepared for the world that I was about to discover, or amazing stories I was about to be exposed to.

I've interviewed gay couples, straight couples, rich couples, poor couples, religious couples, atheist couples, couples who have been together for a short time, and couples who have been together for over 70 years. I've even interviewed couples in arranged marriages and polygamous couples,

Want to know what I learned? Ask me anything.

If you're interested in listening to some of the interviews, you can check them out here.

Proof: https://twitter.com/loveumentary/status/433606662948405248

Edit: You have crashed my website... and I am eternally grateful. If you want to listen to interviews, I've uploaded a bunch of them on SoundCloud.

Edit #2: Some of you are asking what I'm up to now. I just launched a new project called Unbox Love. It's a subscription service for a monthly date-in-a-box.

The idea is that most peoples' lives are full to the brim with obligations, commitments, to-dos, errands, bills, and chores. And they're not getting any less busy anytime soon.

You clock out of work, get in your car and realize, "Oh crap. It's date night, and I have planned nothing... I guess it's just dinner and a movie again."

I hate dinner and a movie. It's a copout. Eating average food in a noisy restaurant surrounded by strangers, followed by sitting for 3 hours in a dark room in silence doesn't make anyones relationship more interesting. It doesn't build connection. It doesn't create memories.

So, we take care of the creativity for you. We plan activities that allow couples to learn about each other, experience something new together, and make memories that will last. Check out the website to get notified of our first box if you're interested.

Edit #3: All of this would not be possible were it not for the generosity of Couple App. It's a free app to download, and they're giving away a bunch of awesome Reddit stickers today to anyone who signs up. Get on it, Reddit!

Comments: 2011 • Responses: 67  • Date: 

tessyfink496 karma

Did you find that there were universal characteristics that make a relationship successful across all groups, regardless of religion, sexual orientation, money, etc?

bigbags1457 karma

Absolutely. This was actually one of the most surprising things I learned on the journey.

Self Love

The happiest couples always consisted of two (sometimes more) emotionally healthy and independently happy individuals. These people practiced self-love. They treated themselves with the same type of care that they treated their partner... or at least they tried to.

Emotionally healthy people know how to forgive, they are able to acknowledge their part in any disagreement or conflict and take responsibility for it. They are self-aware enough to be assertive, to pull their weight, and to give love when it's most difficult.


After that emotional health came an unquestioning level of commitment. The happiest couples knew that if shit got real, their significant other wasn't going to walk out on them. They knew that even if things got hard - no, especially if things got hard - they were better off together. The sum of the parts is greater than the whole.


Happy couples trust each other... and they have earned each others' trust. They don't worry about the other person trying to undermine them or sabotage them, because they've proven over and over again that they are each other's biggest advocate. That trust is built through actions, not words. It's day after day after day of fidelity, service, emotional security, reliability.

Establish that foundation, and you're in good shape.


This is the icing on the cake. There's a difference between the couple who drives through the rainstorm and the couple who pulls their car to the side of the road to make out in the rain. (Yes, that's a true story.) There's a difference between the couple who kisses for 10 seconds or longer when they say goodbye to each other rather than just giving each other a peck... or nothing at all. There's a difference between the couples who encourage each other to pursue their personal goals at the expense of their own discomfort or inconvenience... even if it means their partner has to stage kiss another woman.

The couples who try on a daily basis to experience some sort of meaningful connection, or create a fun memory are the couples who shattered my perception of what was possible in a loving relationship.

cattimusrex876 karma

I love the idea of intentionality. I think that this is what is missing in many relationships.

My parents always told me that love is making sure that, when you get up from the couch, you always ask the other person if they need anything while you're up. They also taught me that love is a conscious decision you make every damn day, not some flighty feeling that just happens to you.

Edit- My parents have been together for over 30 years.

bigbags24 karma

Beautifully said.

Parictis476 karma

Why do you think we focus on romantic couples as the definition and goal of love rather than platonic couples? Why is it that two lovers being together for 50 years is more interesting than two friends?

bigbags931 karma

We model our lives and behavior off of the examples we're given. For decades, Hollywood has glorified the romantic aspects of relationships. It's definitely changed what people expect from a long-term relationship now... which is sad.

Ironically - after talking to literally scores of couples about their relationships - the partnerships with the most passion after years and years of togetherness are those who have a strong and undying friendship. It's not about the sex so much as it is about the way their level of undying commitment, their endless support of each other, the way they laugh at each others jokes, and forgive each others wrongdoings.

The thing that makes an amazing best friend is what also makes an amazing partner... add in the romance and you take it to the next level. (We tend to do it backwards in our society, we start with the sex, then panic, and try to add in the friendship... which rarely works.)

Obdami393 karma

Did you observe a statistically significant age gap, I.e., similar ages, five or more years, etc.?

bigbags434 karma

Haven't really looked into it. But now I will... good call.

Hemmingways356 karma

How many times during this period did you think " stupid happy people, i wish you all would die in a fire...why does no one love me??!?!" ?

misc412351 karma

What was the best advice that a couple gave you?

bigbags1782 karma

One woman in Georgia gave some pretty amazing advice. She and and her husband have been married for over 60 years, and after being asked what her best relationship advice would be, she paused and said...

Don't be afraid to be the one who loves the most.

derpydoodaa263 karma

So your last year was spent like this?

bigbags276 karma

You can't imagine how sore my neck is...

vegor257 karma

As an interviewee I can say that talking with /u/bigbags was a blast. Great project. You guys should all check out his podcast.

SuperLowKey34 karma

Were you part of his interview as one of the couples he is speaking of?

vegor59 karma

My wife and I were interviewed for the podcast in spring of 2013. Looks like the site isn't working at the moment or I would provide the link.

eskimo1239 karma

Do those with similar personalities or dissimilar personalities seem to last the longest, or did that really not have any bearing on whether the relationship worked?

bigbags576 karma

That was actually one of the things I was most curious about when I started my journey, and also one of the things that surprised me most.

It was honestly almost a 50/50 split. Some people swore that opposites attract, and really needed to have similar interests and personalities. Others were convinced that birds of a feather flock together, and that you need to compliment and balance each other out..

I think what was most important was not so much that people had the surface stuff in common, but that they had the same values, and similar goals. (ie: someone who is dedicated to personal growth was rarely found with someone who was happy to be complacent, someone who didn't want kids was never found with someone who did.)

Values superseded interests.

ethanisok225 karma

Did the amount of financial security the couples had effect how strong their relationship appeared to be?

bigbags479 karma

Most of the strongest couples had undergone times of extreme hardship, many of which included poverty.

For example: Reed and Allene went bankrupt, and ended up selling spoons door-to-door to avoid losing absolutely everything.

What separated couples like Reed and Allene from others is that when hardship hit them, they had each others' backs, and they went to work and did what needed to be done. Marriage (or any sort of long-term commitment) is about team work, fighting for each other, and using each other to lean on in the hard times.

Finances has very little to do with quality of love. Actions have everything to do with quality of love.

magimack209 karma

On the topic of arranged marriages, what did you notice (aside from the obvious that they didn't choose to be a couple) was different about their relationships? Was there even something different?

bigbags807 karma

The biggest difference was, I think, their attitude. They both entered the relationship as mature, well-educated individuals. They met, and a week later were married. Rather than be terrified (like most of us from the Western world would be), they looked at it as an adventure.

At one point she said, "Most people get to know each other before they get married. We got married and then got to spend years getting to know each other. It was an adventure."

They also both entered the relationship with an inherent attitude of selflessness. I know we've all probably heard it over and over and over, but it was the idea that "If she's happy, I'm happy." (or vice versa).

When I asked them why they thought so many relationships fail, they said, "Your expectation is that you're expecting stuff, not giving stuff."

They entered their relationship expecting to give. I think that's pretty awesome.

Doctors_hate_him171 karma

Favorite couple you met?

bigbags681 karma

I have different favorites for different reasons. The must surprisingly amazing couple was probably Ty and Terri from Omaha. We weren't even supposed to interview them, but someone we met the night before introduced us. We showed up at their house at 9:00 at night expecting to do a quick 1 hour interview and ended up laughing, crying, and telling stories until like 2:00 am. It was an unbelievable experience.

My other favorite couple was probably Josh and Jenny from Kansas City. They are the couple whose life I'd like to steal if I could. They live more intentionally than anyone I've ever seen. They are the kind of couple who does the dishes together every night and then slow dances in the kitchen. They randomly surprise each other with breakfast in bed. They make out in the rain for no reason other than to create a memory. They are awesome. Their story will be published in a few weeks, and it will rock your socks.

Also, Kiran and MeiMei made me realize how in a love a couple can be. One of my favorite quotes of the entire trip was when they said that being married was like a 24/7 slumber party. Every young couple should have a chance to sit down and talk with them for an hour before they tie the knot. They would be so much better off for it.

edit: Added things.

Nerdicorn166 karma

What was the most important thing you took away from your experiences? I will continue to read through the interview great job!

bigbags582 karma

The most important thing I learned was 2-fold.

First, I learned that a long-term relationship isn't about making you happy. It's about personal growth. To put it overly simply, the happiness that we all desire is a result of overcoming challenges and obstacles together and experiencing the thrills of victory and achievement.

I always thought that once I was unhappy in a relationship, something was wrong and the relationship wasn't meant to be. Classic rookie mistake.

The other thing I learned is that the majority of relationships are ignorant to how mediocre they are. They have absolutely NO idea the levels of happiness, connection, and joy they are capable of experiencing... but it's only because they don't know it's possible.

Most couples don't realize that with 5 minutes of effort or creativity every day, they could completely raise the level of their relationship in a way that could drastically change their lives.

It's a matter of changing how we think. For example: Instead of asking "How was your day?" at the end of every day, try asking a question that proves you actually care about the answer. "What made you laugh the hardest today?" or "Was there a point today when you felt alone?" or "What was your biggest personal victory today?"

One couple made it a goal that whenever they kiss goodbye, their kiss will last longer than 10 seconds. They are committed to keeping that romantic passion alive in their relationship... and all it takes is 10 seconds.

tenshiemi162 karma

Did you notice any patterns for how successful couples handle disagreements? Any advice?

bigbags431 karma

Yes! Resolving disagreements was one of the topics that came up the most.

Here's what I learned:

Don't Fight To Win

A huge number of couples talked about how they didn't fight against each other. I mean, if you're in love, you should be playing for the same team. Your goal should be to resolve the issue, not to emerge victorious over the love of your life... and let's be honest, you just feel guilty when you win anyway.

Seek to Understand

If you're having a hard time playing on the same team, stop fighting and instead try to understand why your partner is upset. Typically what's being talked about isn't the real issue. People are inherently bad at being vulnerable, especially in threatening situations. Be willing to ask sincere questions. Let the answers sink in. If she is complaining that you're spending too much time at work, maybe the real issue is that she misses you, and wants to feel connected with you. Rather than arguing about how you're providing for the family, and she needs to respect how hard you work, try to listen to what she's really saying. Then hold her. Come home early one day, and surprise her with a date, or some special one-on-one time. Reassure her that she, and your relationship, are a priority for you. If you don't want that same issue to arise again, keep investing in the solution.

Just Be Nice To Each Other Seriously. Don't be a jerk. Don't call names. Don't take jabs. Don't try to hurt the other person. Argue naked if it helps... but just be kind and civil ad respectful. It will prevent so many bad things from happening.

TheDingusMan150 karma

Did you ever feel jealous or sad when meeting happy couples while you were single? I know I'd be :p

bigbags365 karma

More than I thought I would. It was sometimes hard to sit at the feet of couples that obviously had something amazing that I would honestly love to have one day.

It was days like that that I felt the most confusing feelings of my life. I had this overpowering love combined with overwhelming loneliness. It was pretty weird.

thegrassygnome144 karma

How were you able to finance your year long journey? What advice would you give someone who is attempting to break out of the daily grind and explore the world?

bigbags293 karma

I used my life savings, and also raised money through Kickstarter.

If you want to break out of the daily grind, get curious about something. Get passionate about something. I worked on The Loveumentary concept for years before getting the courage to dive in. I learned how to build my own website. I learned a little bit about design. I learned about interviewing. And if you listen to the podcasts, you'll see that I'm still learning about audio stuff... I'm definitely no pro.

And most importantly, you need to be willing to take the risk. The hardest part is often the first step. Plunging into the unknown. Taking the leap of faith. Your body and your mind will scream in resistance. They crave security and predictability. The moment I quit my job, though, shit got real.

When you start to move, if it's right, the world will get out of your way and create a path for you. The right doors will open.

Every day for me is still a risk. I have very little money. I'm living in my parents basement for the time being. But I have never experienced something more rewarding in my life.

BlankTrack140 karma

What are your thoughts on the Divorce Rate these days? 53% in the USA in 2013.

bigbags468 karma

Divorce statistics are one of the biggest myths we subscribe to in our culture. You'll notice that whenever someone tosses out that statistic they don't have a good source to back it up.

It started when the Census Bureau noticed that during one year, there were 2.4 million marriages and 1.2 million divorces. Someone caught wind of it, and decided that if you have twice as many marriages as divorces, the divorce rate must be 50%.

Because the media doesn't fact check themselves, and they love to regurgitate sensationalized statistics, the divorce rate has become somewhat of a self-fulfilling prophecy. Now couples get married with the idea that they only really have a 50% chance of really working out, and if things go wrong, they can opt for a divorce.

So now we're faced with a new issue, because divorce has become a cultural norm. The leading cause of divorce in America is "irreconcilable differences"... which more often than not means, "we stopped getting along," or "we grew apart." Some would argue that excuse is kind of a cop out. (Not trying to knock you if you fit into that category. I realize everyone's situation is different.)

So... to answer your question, I think that divorce statistic is sad. I wish people knew that marriage wasn't a coin toss, and that they have far more control over whether or not they stay married - and happily married, for that matter - than a misquoted statistic.

saltingthatsnail131 karma

How did kids affect marriages? Did they seem to be a foundation in later relationships?

bigbags237 karma

I've often heard people say that when you have kids, your relationship takes a back seat. The couples I spoke with almost overwhelmingly said this was false.

Do you have to sacrifice to have kids? Yes.

Does your relationship need to take a back seat? Absolutely not.

If anything, (most of the time) they bring a new dynamic and a new layer of love into the relationship.

kaizerdouken103 karma

Write a book dude

bigbags216 karma


icepick314100 karma

Do you think that appearance (ie how you look) has significant factor in getting people together?

like "That woman/man 'looks' nice...I think I'll go talk to her."...

in most animal kingdom, looks are what attracts potential mates...like bigger feathers, larger manes, brighter colors, ect ect...

bigbags180 karma

I think that's absolutely the case, yes. Though there are those who don't experience overwhelming physical attraction from the get-go. Their attraction builds as their friendship builds.

Baschoen2392 karma

So after interviewing all of those people, do you believe in true love?

bigbags183 karma

Yes. I very much do.

skittling88 karma

Very interesting subject. I have a few questions... 1) How did you choose the couples you were going to interview? 2) What criteria did you use to determine that they were "amazing"? 3) Did some couples turn out to be not as great as they first appeared (or tried to appear)?

bigbags66 karma

1 and 2. It's not too hard to choose the right couples in a situation like mine. You'd be surprised to know how many people said "no" to an interview. If they weren't incredibly comfortable with the quality of their relationship, I don't believe they would have volunteered to participate.

Also, I found that the couples that I considered to be "not as great" tended to be the couples that had relationships that were different from the type of relationship I desire to have one day. It didn't take long to realize that just because their love was different didn't make it worse or less admirable.

WeeniePistols80 karma


bigbags421 karma

I don't believe in the concept of "meant to be."

I think people surrender too much of their life up to "the powers that be." You have the ability to create an amazing life as a single person. You can pursue the things you love. You can serve and lift others and make a difference in the world.

You will find the love of your life when you are living the life you love.

Once you're in a relationship, it's your job to make sure that things are "meant to be." You have the power to create excitement and spontaneity. You have the power to show up every day and choose make yourself the most valuable asset in your partner's life.

If you find someone else who will show up for you as well, then you are "meant to be"... whatever that means.

theotherduke76 karma

What a cool project! My wife and I walked 3100 miles across america in 2012, and the trip had profoundly positive impacts on our relationship. I would have loved to be interviewed by you. Keep up the good work!

bigbags56 karma

PM me! Love this story!

lacecorsetdolly72 karma

Are you still single after experiencing all these different couples? How has this changed your view on dating?

bigbags411 karma

Yeah, I'm still single... and it's made dating a bit more complicated for 2 reasons.

  1. Some girls hear about what I've done and get really skewed expectations. Many seem to think I'm going to be an amazing (and maybe flawless?) boyfriend. They forget that I'm still just a dude, not some white knight. I say stupid things, I act selfishly, I screw up.

  2. "You play in the league you practice for." After seeing so many amazing couples, I don't want to play in little league. I want to play in the World series, and I'm practicing hard to be ready for it. The problem is that there aren't many people who practice for the World Series, which limits selection.

Did that analogy even make sense?

VallleyNL69 karma

What job did you quit?

bigbags83 karma

I was managing the internet marketing at the corporate offices of an international restaurant chain.

VallleyNL37 karma

Oke, did you go back to the job or did you not want to go back?

bigbags140 karma

I never want to go back! Interviewing couples who are in love is WAY better than sitting in a cube.

I_HAVE_NO_DICK68 karma

Out of all the couples you've interviewed what specific event/story were you told about that made you think, "Oh, hot damn. THIS is what love is."

bigbags301 karma

This quote from this interview was the exact moment that I experienced that feeling:

"At the end of Ty’s life, I want him to be able to say, 'Terri was the greatest earthly blessing in my life - the best thing that ever happened to me - and that I’m a better man because of how she loved me. And that’s the goal that I live with every day. That’s how I want to love this man.'"

bombinthebeehive113 karma


bigbags72 karma

You have no idea.

officialskylar66 karma

Did you find that religion had a role to play in any of the relationships? My family members who have been together through it all say they owe it to God, and that my boyfriend and I (five years running!) need to get right with God before we get married.

I do not stand where they do on this, but were any of the couples you interviewed religious or spiritual in any significant way?

bigbags110 karma

I believe couples choose what is important to them. Religious couples who attributed their success to God were no more happy or prosperous than atheists or agnostics.

WarperLoko64 karma

Do you think polyamory relationships are possible? I have been trying for about two years, but I loose all my partners to jealousy, so I'm starting to have my doubts about if it can work or not, what are your thoughts on it?

bigbags115 karma

I absolutely think they can work... but it's pretty rare. Those feelings of jealousy seem to creep in a lot. If you want a great example of how to have an amazing relationship with multiple partners, listen to this family talk about their experience with polygamy. It's not identical to polyamory, but I believe the same principles apply.

Here's a link to a blog post I wrote about the 8 most important things I learned from talking to these guys. Click the link for details:

1. Commitment shouldn’t change based on your happiness level

2. It’s more important to be trusted than to be loved.

3. You need others to come to know yourself.

4. Jealousy is the cancer of love.

5. You’re never fully prepared for love.

6. Money represents your competing values.

7. Don’t take your problems outside your relationship.

8. Romance doesn’t make for a good relationship foundation.

Hope that helps! Good luck with your love pursuits. Learning to manage that jealousy can be really tough, but it's possible.

PoshSpiceBurger58 karma

who were the weirdest couple you met?

bigbags118 karma

What do you mean by weird? Are we talking non-traditional?

I mean I talked to one couple who just sold their house, retired early, bought a trailer home and is spending the next decade of their lives exploring the country. That's pretty atypical.

I interviewed another couple who travels the world shooting documentary films.

The best couples are the weirdest couples.

parttimeher0ine50 karma


bigbags41 karma

I love you.

FrizzelM49 karma


bigbags103 karma

Thanks Reddit. sigh

loubird1250049 karma

How did you select the couples to interview?

bigbags71 karma

Mostly through friends and family. Also, we came across a lot of couples by talking to people about the project. The typical response was, "Wow, that's really cool. I know the perfect couple for this!"

Typically if a couple was willing to sit down and talk about their most intimate relationship with the knowledge that it was going to be put on the internet for the world to see, I was pretty confident that they had a great relationship.

Anadyne48 karma

What was the best place you ate while on your endeavor? What'd you get and would you recommend it?

bigbags100 karma

Hands down, the best food I ate was at Oklahoma Joe's in Kansas City. That place blew my mind. You won't be disappointed with anything you put in your mouth at that place.

fuck_your_diploma45 karma

What is love?

bigbags158 karma

Baby don't hurt me...

damnhustle45 karma

you quit your job? How are you eating?

joker15139 karma

Will you make a documentary about the people you meet?

bigbags50 karma

We recorded podcast episodes. I'm planning to go back out and do video with more couples in the future if I can get funding.

farmscientist33 karma

Do you plan on continuing your travels and interviewing more couples or sticking with the hundred you have now? Also, how would you plan on financing this if you do plan on sticking to it? I wouldn't be against backing something like this if that was ever an option

Edit: just thought of another question. How many of these couples were long term friends before being in a relationship? I'm talking childhood/grown up together levels of closeness

bigbags43 karma

I'd love to do this for the rest of my foreseeable future. I'm working on securing sponsors for the podcast, and even potentially doing another trip that includes video. PM me if you want more details.

With regards to your other question, absolutely. Most couples established a solid, long-term friendship over time before adding in the romance. One of my favorite couples - MeiMei and Kiran - met , and then built a relationship over email for several years before getting involved in a serious relationship.

eh-lyssa31 karma

How about transgender couples?

bigbags51 karma

I'm open to interviewing transgender couples. Just haven't come across any who are interested in being interviewed yet.

FlexibleMuscles26 karma

I got three questions for you:

  1. Do you believe we can only be in love with one person at a time or do you think polygamy holds some truth to itself?

  2. What does marriage mean to you?

  3. Do you think it's possible for people to be in love with each other forever? If not, do you think there is any point in getting married?

Best of luck to you in your future endeavors!

bigbags42 karma

  1. No, I believe you can be in love with multiple people at the same time. Polygamy is the most widely practiced relationship type in history.

  2. Marriage is a lifetime commitment to the growth and happiness of another person. It should mean a lot...

  3. I do think it's possible to be in love with someone forever, though I think that how people experience that love evolves over time. I also don't think marriage is for everyone, but there's definitely a point to it.

bonkerfied2326 karma

The age old question "How did you meet". Was there any trends on how healthy relationships start.

bigbags57 karma

Almost 100% of the time they started with a slow burn. Friendship first... sometimes a platonic friendship that lasted years and years.

RealSinJax25 karma

what is one thing you can take away from this and apply to your future relationships? Like what do you find as the best advice to keep a relationship thriving. also will check out your stuff when im out of the doctors!

bigbags87 karma

It's not about what you get, it's about what you give.

burgerdog22 karma

How do you take your eggs? And on that note, Coffee or Tea?

bigbags61 karma

Scrambled. Orange Juice.

credible_sport21 karma

Is internet a master key in those couple's life?

bigbags30 karma

For some yes, for others no. Some people who are on the podcast still probably have no idea what a podcast is...

mikayakatnt19 karma

What type of hats do you like to wear?

bigbags71 karma

I don't wear hats aside from the occasional beanie when it's cold outside.

No, I don't wear a fedora.

t0mwank516 karma

This is awesome man. I'm crying over here reading this. I had a relationship that just recently ended that I poured all my love into but it just wasn't meant to be. I'm more confident now that I can find the one I can spend the rest of my life with the way that these awesome couples live their lives.

bigbags12 karma

You're a good soul. Never give up on love. Ever. With that kind of commitment, you'll find that which you seek.

flabbydangle15 karma

A lot of the questions I've been seeing have been about the couples, but I have a question for you as I am also a single guy. What did your adventures show you about being single? Did it put it into a negative light, or did it make you excited for when you finally are not longer single? Did it help you to know what to look for and get to know yourself better?

bigbags38 karma

Honestly, I've learned that the best types of people to have in a relationship are the people who are happy whether they're in one or not. I'm a very happy single person.

I'm living an awesome, happy life. I would much rather be happy and single for the rest of my life than married and miserable... so I'm taking my time with the whole marriage decision. I want to make sure I make the right choice, and that I'm as prepared as possible for when I enter into that commitment.

It can be a lot of fun preparing too, for what it's worth. :D

LadyPhoenyx14 karma

Were there any times you surprised yourself with your own emotional responses to the couples' stories in your interviews?

bigbags42 karma

I cried way more than I thought I would.

Bethesdakid12 karma

What gave you the most motivation to just say "fuck it, I'm doing it."?

bigbags31 karma

This idea had been nagging at me for years. I realized I wasn't getting any younger, and that the worst case scenario would be that I'd lose everything. Then I realized that wasn't really a big deal, I could get a job and rebuild my savings, and it wouldn't really affect me in the long run. If I waited, and then got into a serious relationship and maybe started a family, I'd lose that window of opportunity, and the risk would increase significantly.

So I jumped.

howardhus10 karma

The most important traits a SO should have?

Is humor or trust more important.. I mean if you should have to set one as more important than the other..

bigbags40 karma

You tell me what's important to you, and I'll tell you the answer.

abk1298 karma

How old were you when you quit your job to travel?

bigbags11 karma


RissaWasTaken7 karma

You say you talked to 'polygamous couples', by that, can I assume you mean families or some other word for more-than-two-people?

Did you talk to a wide variety of non-monogamous people, or was your focus mainly on the religious/pseudo-religious one-man-with-many-women compound sorts of relationships?

bigbags13 karma

The majority of the couples I interviewed fell into the traditional bucket... but they also represent the majority of couples out there. I did my best to interview as many non-traditional couples/relationships as possible, and I'm still open to interviewing more in the future.

If you know of any that are willing, PM me.

Miguelad917 karma

Can love be conditional in a good relationship?

bigbags30 karma

Absolutely. The healthiest love is conditional. There should always be limits to what is unacceptable in any relationship.

Team-K-Stew5 karma

Being that you're single and frequently interviewing happy couples about loving relationships, does your job ever make you feel lonely?

bigbags10 karma


n0tspencer4 karma

Did you interview Bill and Melinda Gates? Or Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie? I am genuinely curious about their passion for one another and how it relates to their passion for helping humanity!

bigbags7 karma

Bill and Melinda are on my bucket list of couples to interview. I'd love to talk to more prominent couples who've been able to nurture a loving relationship under the magnifying glass of the media.

ilikenewpasswords1 karma

Did you interview any wrestlers or people in the wrestling industry? If so, how was that?

bigbags1 karma

No, but I totally would if given the opportunity. Oh yeaaaaaah!

Chaseyoudown1 karma

Could you describe a relationship in one sentence?

bigbags0 karma

Two (or more) people deeply committed to each other's personal growth and happiness.

Mekebra1 karma

How on earth do you afford spending a year without working?

bigbags2 karma

I'm frugal, I had some savings piled up, and a lot of generous people donated a chunk of money to me via Kickstarter to keep doing what I was doing.

Pangokat0 karma

Did you ever get sad interviewing happy couples?

bigbags0 karma

Not so much sad as lonely.

Mobib-2 karma

Did you take note of these couples birthdays? I am curious if the whole astrological signs and numerology couple compatibility holds any statistics to it.

bigbags5 karma

I've never been interested in astrology or numerology... so no.