Tommy DiDario & ABC’s Gio Benitez: a Modern-day Fairytale

It’s been a little more than a year since I married the love of my life. Our story is a bit of a modern-day fairytale romance. We met on Instagram, went on our first date a week later, moved in together in three weeks, were engaged seven months later and got married 15 months after we met. The moment we sat across from each other for the first time at one of our favorite Hell’s Kitchen spots, Añejo, we knew that we couldn’t spend one more day apart. The last year has been a whirlwind of endless laughter, unconditional love, and special memories. There are a few things I have learned along the way that help keep our marriage full of love, respect, excitement and admiration – qualities important in being able to thrive together.

There is always time to make for adventure. We realized early in our marriage it’s important to make the time to get out and have experiences that will make memories to last a lifetime. We love to travel (last year we explored Bali and London) and those are some of the most sentimental memories we have. But you don’t need to travel far to have adventure. Whether it’s as simple as going to the movies for a date night, a spa day, experiencing a new restaurant that just opened, taking a weekend road trip to escape the city or trying a new fitness program (like upside down aerial yoga which we attempted and it was so much fun), there are so many ways to keep your sense of wonder together as a couple.

You never want to stop doing for your other half. It’s important to do little romantic things to let your spouse know that they are always at the top of your mind. For example, for our first wedding anniversary, I secretly reached out to our friends and family and asked them to film themselves answering the question, “What is Love?” I then edited a five-minute video together with everyone’s responses and put mine at the end. I gave it to Gio the morning of our anniversary and we both were in tears. A simple gesture to make a milestone day special had more value than anything I could’ve bought for him because he knew how much love I put into the gift. Life gets busy and we both have careers that pull us in 20 different directions, but it’s important to make time to do little things that put a smile on your spouse’s face, because that moment is most meaningful.

Lastly, as a couple, it’s important to surround yourselves with people who inspire and lift you – positive and loving friends and family. You are the company you keep. Since we want nothing but the best for everyone we love, we have learned to surround ourselves with people who want the same for us. You always want people to be your champions as individuals, but perhaps more importantly, as a couple, rooting you on and wishing you a journey of happiness. If someone can’t be happy for you as a couple and brings negativity and drama into your lives, then it’s a good idea to evaluate those friendships.