Hanley & William
Established- June 4th, 2016
What was your first date ever?
William: 1996, I saw Mission Impossible at the theater on 82nd and Broadway. Yeah, I just remember feeling embarrassed. It was fine, but when you're 14 your mind is crazy and you have a million thoughts. We went to Starbucks and saw the movie. That was it.
Hanley: Mine was a walk, with a guy who lived across the street from me. We were in middle school, I think 7th grade. He ask me to go on a walk, I remember going to this black grate that was suspended over the water behind my parents house. We sat and talked about how we liked each other.
4. What was your “type” when you were dating?
Hanley: Tall dark and handsome. Also, talented. When I would see someone who was really good at what they were doing. A musician, or athelete, seeing them do their own thing. Then if I talked to them and found out they were comfortable in their own skin I was like, give me your number.
William: Accepting and down, generally game for whatever. They had to have some sort of sublty or smarts. The number of times I answered the call across the room to discover that attractive packaging was lacking substance. If you can't have a conversation, but maybe you have something deeper, so you start prying for that and nothing. You know, generally, I like blondes.
2. Worst date you ever went on?
William: I saw "Tree of Life" with a Christian Scientist. It was such an emotional film, and I think we both had intense reactions to it in different ways. I think after it you're just sort of finished.
Hanley: I feel like mine were bad because of how the night ended, not because of the date itself, necessarily.
3. What did you like about being single?
William: I could do whatever the hell I wanted. That complete freedom. Also that energy when you are single that anything can happen. When you walk out the door to meet friends and you think, "tonight could be the night". Even if nothing happens it's putting on that energy. It's like that old shirt you hang onto that you don't want to give away, cause you might want to put it on for 5 minutes to feel that energy.
Hanley: Am I that old shirt?
William: No, going out is that old shirt you put on when anything can happen. Sometimes I have that when I go out, I'm like "What's gonna happen?" Then I'll tell you what's gonna happen, you're gonna be home by 11pm, eat some tacos, watch Netflix and fall asleep on the couch.
Hanley: It's that autonomy, that you're in charge of every moment of your life. That you're going to manifest your own destiny. That energy of potential and the excitement of the unknown. The only thing you're risking is yourself. There's an adventure in being single. I think also, in my life, I made a more concerted effort to build friendships and go out with my friends when I was single. There's also that spark with a stranger when you're out and you see each other and you're allowed to ask who are you, and they can ask you that. You carry that energy with you.
5. How did you meet?
Hanley: At an audition. Very typically, he was early, and I was right on time. I come barreling in, I remember him being the only one in the room.
William: There were two other women.
Hanley: So I apparently only noticed him. There was a signup sheet on the wall, so I signed my name and turned and promptly walked into the wall. I kept going and then we had a great conversation and I went in and then left. And that was it. Then we wound up booking another show together. And that's when sparks flew. We didn't officially date for a while after that. We went our separate ways for a while, which was good. The show we were doing was a romance so it was good to spend a few months apart and realize you still wanted to be around that person.
6. How did you describe the other person to your friends before you introduced them?
William: Perfect. She's amazing. The nicest person in the world. She's literally light.
Hanley: I was maybe not that complemetary early on. Maybe the first time I was like "I'm seeing this guy, I really like him, he's a little crazy." Everybody could tell it was different, I think in the tone I used. I'd mentioned people in the past, and the tone changed with William.
7. What do you remember about the “define the relationship” conversation?
William: She said, "Listen, I'm not seeing anyone else, but if you are I just hope you're being safe." With that I was like, you bet your ass I'm not going to see anyone else. It was so accepting. You're you and I don't want to have any control over you. I told my friends and they said, "She's playing some serious girl games" and I was like, "I don't think she is." So they were like, "Then she's fantastic!"
Hanley: My favorite conversation was a later stage. This was before we were even officially dating. I had figured out in my own mind that I was fully in love with this man. I wasn't going to tell him because he had a 100 mile race coming up and he'd ask me to be his crew lady, and I really wanted to do it, so I didn't want to risk him not being down with the love thing. So a few days later we were chatting at a bar and a very large, drunk, unhappy man came up to us and said, "you know he's going to cheat on you." And William, uncharacteristically, was quiet, so I dismissed him and turned to William and said something like "don't worry, I don't know how you feel, but I trust you." To which he yelled, "I'll tell you how I feel, I'm fucking in love with you!" To which I obviously replied, "I'm fucking in love with you too!"
8. Did anything about your relationship surprise you at first?
Hanley: Our relationship revealed myself to me. The more we spent time together the more comfortable I felt in my own skin. This relationship was peeling away layers of something I had put over myself as a result of this NY dating scene, or something. It was like every piece of me I revealed he would celebrate, when in the past that had always be squelched. We just fit togehter, physically, and metaphorically.
William: We don't fight. It's always a response of, "You're totally right, I wasn't thinking, thank you for bringing that to my attention and I want to work on that." I blather everything that is on my mind, and she just listens. She's not trying to make it into anything, she just let's me get my thoughts out and it can be random.
Hanley: With a lot of people in the past I was left guessing, and here he actually wanted to share what he was thinking. It makes things so much easier.
9. Did you give anything up for this relationship?
William: Maybe in the future when it comes to adding responsibility, like when we have kids. I think we've been pretty accomodating and understanding of each other. Like, if I don't do something physical pretty often I'll go nuts.
Hanley: And I need time to myself.
William: She needs to sit on the couch and play Zelda and order Seamless.
Hanley: That's the month of January.
William: Yeah, I don't think I really gave anything up.
Hanley: There's a part of me that was kind of ready to go down to Atlanta to pursue TV and Film, but there are other things that are more important to me than that, so it doesn't feel like a sacrifice. Also all the things that were fun when I was single, I was done with.
10. What do you think the most challenging moment in your relationship was up to now?
William: Planning the wedding was tough because it was across the country.
Hanley: What's weird was that as challenging as that was it was the relationship that made it all great and worth it.
William: I also think learning to deal with how much love her whole family gives me, sometimes that can be overwhelming.
Hanley: A thing that has required the most patience has been waiting for the relationship between my father and William develope naturally. The only thing they seem to have in common sometimes is how much they both love me.
11. What’s your favorite part of the relationship now?
William: Waking up next to each other. That's the best. It's the simplest most complete thing.
Hanley: Starting together.
12. What inspires you about your partner?
William: I think if I have the endurance to put myself through 45 min to 15 hours of hell ,physically, in any given day, Hanley has the endurance to do that by listening and being present and always being open and engaged. If there was a way I could get more of that kind of endurance I would love that, to just breath and take things in.
Hanley: Mine is two fold. On a practical level, he is one of the most disciplined people I know. When he sets a goal, he gives 1000%. He holds me accountable to my own ambitions in the way he holds himself accountable. It's an incredible daily example of being motivated, focused, adaptable and forgiving. On an interpersonal level, I think William is more thoughtful than I am moment to moment. I catch myself in a moment being snarky, when he would never do that, especially with me. He'll be the first to stop and say, "I'm doing this wrong, let me fix it" when a lot of times it is probably me. He's so careful with my heart.
13. What advice would you give to your single selves about relationships?
William: Don't worry about it. Keep being your own filter, go crazy. Just keep speaking. If you're yourself you will find people who will listen to you.
Hanley: Seek out the people who celebrate your weird, as opposed to put it down or try to control it. By the same token, don't try to control other people, let them be who they are. Seek out your tribe. The only way to do that is to be your true self.