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Inspired Relationships

An Interview With HitchedMag.com

Hey readers, as you know we love anything to do with couples, love and marriage that is available as a resource on the interwebs. We sent a few questions off to the founder of HitchedMag.com to see what inspires him and his marriage. The site is online, magazine-style and written by a team of experts on everything from marriage to sex to romance and all that falls in between.

Below, Steve Cooper tells us a little bit about his website and gives us some marriage advice. Steve and his wife Jessica have been married for two years, but together for twelve.

Steve Cooper from Hitched Mag

When did you start Hitched Media?
I came up with the idea for Hitched in the late 1990s. It was originally going to launch as a print magazine and website, but we decided to scrap the magazine and launch exclusively online. The website officially launched July 1, 2006.

What inspired you to start Hitched Media?
I grew up in a stable and loving family with two working parents. In addition, just about all my friends came from families where both of their parents were together. When I moved away for college, however, it seemed just about everyone I met came from a divorced family; that’s when I saw a need for a marriage magazine. At the time I was studying journalism and began doing research to find out what kind of help and resources were out there. I also began to research the effects broken families had. There were obviously lots of books, therapy, and the like, but I saw an enormous need for an ongoing resource to not try to save broken marriages, but to address the happily ever after part. There were (and still are) a lot of publications that discuss marriage, but none focused exclusively on how to be happily married. I found it amazing that there were so many resources helping people land the perfect man or woman, how to plan the perfect wedding, how to be a parent, yet nothing focused on how to be married. So, I got my degree in journalism and eventually launched Hitchedmag.com with the help of life-long friend and co-founder Gabriel Lefrancois.

How can couples make the most out of the resources you’re providing them?
One of the things I take pride in is the fact that Hitched is for men and women. In fact, 48 percent of our readers are men, which surprises a lot of people. Both men and women want marriage to work, they just don’t always know how. So if some women think their husband won’t read it, they’re probably mistaken. So the first thing is I highly recommend sharing our content.

Second, our tagline is to “entertain, educate and inspire.” For people to take full advantage of Hitched, I’d recommend not to use it just as a resource to fix problem (although we have lots of great information for that), but also a place to get ideas. I refer to Hitched all the time to get ideas of things to do in my own marriage. It’s amazing how all the little things can add up over time. Obviously as the editor, I see every piece of content we produce so I can’t help but absorb what we do. For others, we try to make Hitched as accessible as possible from the articles, podcasts and the Married Life social network to our newsletters, Twitter and Facebook pages. I’d recommend that couples sign up for one (or all of these things) and check the site often. We’re constantly adding new sections and launching new features.

Lastly, I’d recommend that couples share this information with their friends and family. I believe things like good relationships are contagious. When your friends see that you and your spouse go out on dates and rave about how fun they are, they’ll want to follow suit. Marriage and relationships are very intimate so for many they don’t discuss it with others. I think you can gain a lot of support and motivation when you open up and get the ball rolling.

What is your most valuable piece of advice that you would like to pass on to couples about marriage?
If I had to offer one piece of advice it would be to maintain constant respectful communication. With the nearly 1,000 articles we have on our site at the core of most of them is open and proper communication. Of course there are many other facets to relationship issues, but being able to communicate properly is a huge first step. Of course, I also encourage couples to have fun and do what works for them as a couple. I know that if I recommend people to have a date night every Friday, that won’t work for many couples.

What do you think is the most difficult part of building a marriage?
I actually don’t think having a successful marriage is that hard. I think where most people fail is in deprioritizing their relationship. For too many couples, they give greater attention to their kids, cars, work, pets, you name it. I think too many people take their spouse for granted and then only make an effort once things have really gotten bad. To keep a marriage strong couples need to continue to appreciate and court each other. They need to make time to connect with each other, plan and execute goals. They need to also play together.

What strategies do you use in your own marriage to ensure you and your wife stay happy and loved-up?
One thing my wife and I deeply agree on is that we’re still individuals who need to do our own things. For example, I play poker with my friends on the weekends and my wife never gives me a hard time because she knows how much I enjoy spending that time with my friends. In fact, we both encourage each other to pursue our hobbies and interests. It’s these individual interests that make each of us who we are. It gives us things to talk about. As long as we continue to make time for each other and stay courteous in the process, this system has worked really well for us. Knowing that my wife is encouraging of my interests just makes them that much more enjoyable.

Do you two do date night? What’s your favourite thing to do together?
Yes, we do date nights all the time. At minimum we schedule a secret date night once a month where we rotate planning a secret date and surprising the other person. We even budget for these dates.

We’ve been on a lot of great dates over the years so it’s hard to pick out a best one. My wife and I both love sports and a few of my favorites involve sporting events. One date my wife won tickets from her work for box seats for a hockey game. It also included valet parking and money to spend on snacks. I was already a hockey fan, but my wife had never been to a live game before and she really enjoyed it. Another sporting event was a live mixed martial arts event–yes, my wife is a huge mma fan, as am I. We’ve been to lots of movies with dinners and walks, had a night at the arcade, played laser tag, gone to amusements parks, played miniature golf, tasted new restaurants, experienced Medieval Times, raced go-carts, gone to an art show, taken a stroll along a local lake, and more. Now that I’m thinking about it, one of my favorites was taking our entire date night budget and going to a local cheese shop and purchasing a spread of cheeses. When my wife came home from work I had already laid out the cheeses, lit candles and had some Dean Martin playing in the background.

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Author |

Writer, dating columnist, wife, coffee addict, foodie, fashionista... Melburnian through and through. Muser, dancer, blogger, tweeter. Likes to get her head on telly now and again. Sleeper, dreamer, a sucker for romance. And of course... a cheap date.


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