Today is a day that is all about LOVE, and over here at The Firm LOVE is a key ingredient to everything we do. As we celebrate today, it seemed fitting to bring you our third and final love edition of 2018, Ben and Ted! TODAY, Valentine’s Day, is Ben and Ted’s 13th anniversary the beginning of their 14th year together! Ben and Ted share their secrets to love, work life balance, and why they work out together in their interview below!
1/ We know, it’s cliche, but how do you two meet?
Ted: We met in journalism school at Northwestern University. I was the anchor for the campus TV news station, and Ben was the news director, which made him my boss—he still is today.
Ben: I think I spotted Ted first. It had to have been late freshman or early sophomore year at Northwestern University. When I saw him walking down Sheridan Road in Evanston, Ill., I concluded he was one of the cutest guys on campus. I also learned he was in one of the cooler (read: bro-y) fraternities on campus. So I lost hope.
Fast-forward to September senior year and said frat boys appeared in my section at the Chili’s where I waited tables. Ugh! Apparently I made a good impression handling their drunken shenanigans because by Valentine’s Day, Ted was telling me he loved me.
2/ What was your first date like? Was there love in the air?
Ted: We had a lot of dates before we realized we were dating. I’m not sure we ever had an official “first date,” but I do recall a momentous conversation while gulping down “big cups,” giant plastic cups full of cheap bear at a glorious, and sadly now-closed dive bar in Evanston, Illinois. The bar was called The Keg of Evanston, a perfect name for a perfect bar.
Ben: Ted recalls the all-you-can drink beer night, as do I. I specifically recall asking him on a “proper” date for sushi in Chicago a couple nights later. I noticed he’d been quoting Rod Stewart’s Rhythm of my heart in his AIM away message so I burned it on a CD and played it as we drove home. I think I sealed the deal with that one. To show me he actually has better taste in music he burned me Bruce Springsteen “101” and “202” CDs. My graduation gift has been a life of Springsteen shows (14+ so far).
3/ How does your partner inspire you?
Ted: Ben inspires me to live with more grace. If living were an art, Ben would be considered a master in its performance. From the little things to the big things, and all the ups and downs in between, Ben handles life with constant grace and integrity.
Ben: Ted has an endlessly deep well of passion for the things he loves and enjoys. For someone like me who’s kind of a workaholic/steady-Eddy-type, it’s life-affirming to have someone to spark constant reminders about all that is rich in life. His brain and his intellectual versatility also inspire me—he’s gone from successful television reporter to my law partner seamlessly.
4/ You’re regulars around here on 2nd ave, how has working out together impacted your relationship?
Ted: Ben and I have two firms in our life: THE Firm and our own employment law firm we recently opened. That means we spend almost 24 hours of every day with each other, including working out. We have a friendly rivalry, and take great satisfaction ribbing each other. I enjoy bench pressing more than Ben. He enjoys destroying me in Kristin’s intervals class, or reminding me in cycle class that I am always several beats behind the music. The Firm is a source of healthy joy in our life. While we may only spend an hour or so a day at The Firm, the positivity and life-affirming philosophy of everyone there carry over into the rest of our lives—helping us personally and professionally.
Ben: Our workouts are a must! We primarily operate our employment discrimination law firm out of our home office—meaning we’re together 24/7. Ever since finally getting on the same schedule (he worked nights in TV), our workouts together (mostly Kiki’s lunch hour intervals and a quick lift here and there) have been a great way to break up our days.
5/ What inspired you to pick The Firm as your Fitness home?
Ted: Recommendations. So many recommendations. I heard over and over that The Firm is not one of those gyms where you walk in, anonymously swipe your card, and get saddled with a burdensome contract. Instead, I heard The Firm is more than a gym, it’s a community of people who genuinely care about you. Even when outside running on my own, or at home trying to eat healthier, I always feel like The Firm has got my back and is rooting for me.
Ben: You cannot beat the two-minute drive from Bryn Mawr! But time keeps telling me why I stay—the people are beyond supportive and kind. I’ve never felt as comfortable at a gym as I do at The Firm and as a direct result, I’ve never seen these kinds of personal improvements physically and mentally.
6/ How long have you been together?
Ted: Valentine’s Day starts our 14th year together!
Ben: February 14, 2018, marks our 13th anniversary together and the beginning of our 14th year. Maybe we’ll call it our “golden year” and make it the one we finally get married (we’re going on five years engaged…uh, we’re not planners).
7/ Hand in hand with that, what have you learned about love during your relationship?
Ted: Love is a supplement and a support. It makes the greatest moments of life even better, and it makes the hardest days a little easier.
Ben: Love takes work and that’s A-Okay. After 13 years together, we’ve seen the highs and lows. During the lows, it takes big doses of honesty and empathy packaged in care (not criticism) to work through issues and put feelings like resentment at bay. Gotta get rid of that stuff!
Also, love is the best thing in the world! Ted has shown me love I never knew possible and I wouldn’t want to live without it.
We LOVE you Ben and Ted, thanks for being a part of our Firm Family! ❤ ❤