Katy (27) and Luke (28) grew up in Texas, and went to the same high school, but they didn’t really get to know each other until years later. Before they got together, Luke was having some trouble with the law in Texas. He had been on probation for a long time for a non-violent crime he’d committed as a minor:

I was failing drug tests for weed, so I was getting in trouble and ended up moving to Houston. I cut off everyone I was friends with because I was concerned about them turning me into the police. … I stopped reporting in for my probation. They issued a warrant for my arrest and I was on the run like some fugitive. If I got pulled over, I was going to jail.

Luke Thurston and Katy Thrailkille at their home in New Orleans in 2015

And he did – and went to jail for 10 months. When he got out in 2009, he rebooted his social network, reached out to Katy, among others. Katy told us, “I think I always had feelings for him, but I sensed now was the time that he was interested back.” Their friendship gradually turned romantic.

Two years later, in 2011, Luke was arrested for marijuana possession and due to his previous record he was held pending trial. He was looking at a sentence of 3 to 20 years. He was given an offer of 3 years. Here’s Luke:

“I was in jail for 3 months thinking I was going to prison for 3 years, I thought our relationship was over, because, I’m going to prison for 3 years. You can’t ask somebody to wait and live that life. I had already been in before for 10 months and I saw what it did to my parents and my friends … She was about to graduate with her bachelor’s, I was about to go to prison. How was I going to say ‘Hold it down for me, babe’?”

But Katy had already decided: “Why wouldn’t I [stay with him]? Why not stay with someone? This is some trivial shit in the long run. [If] Luke is that person for me, what is 2-3 years? I was going to be busy for 2-3 years in a grad program.”

Unwilling to accept what she saw as an unjust sentence, Katy wrote a letter to the District Attorney and was granted a meeting regarding Luke’s case. The result of her meeting with the DA made a deal that reduced his three years in prison to what ended up being 67 days in jail. Luke said, “That was when in my mind my idea of what love can be started to expand. I thought I loved her already, but that’s like, I don’t have a stronger connection with anybody than somebody that’s down for that.”

Luke delved deeper into this realization speaking with Brooke one-on-one:

I didn’t know that somebody could do that for me. I’ve had small moments ever since then when I realize, I’ll do something that she’s shown me or taught me, and I say ‘I would never have known this if I hadn’t had this relationship.’ I’m a better person because of these things. You don’t think about that when you’re like 20 years old. … I thought I loved her, but shit, after that, I’m ready to go!

Both seemed relaxed and calm in our interview – they spoke with effervescent passion. Luke’s sense of humor is seamlessly woven into his conversations:

If somebody’s having a hard time I would say, find out how you can order the lemon berry mascarpone cake from Sysco – yes – that crazy gigantic food company. They sell it at Envie down in the french quarter. It’s the most delicious thing you’ve ever eaten in your life, and it will make that moment better. But as far as love, I don’t know. Ask yourself what you really want in a partner in your life. You’ve got to figure out what’s valuable to you.

When we asked Katy about what she likes about Luke she cited his sense of humor first:

Luke and Katy in their home in New Orleans in 2015

It was his sense of humor immediately. In the long term, he was someone I could be goofy with, but also be serious with … I didn’t have to hide anything from him because it got to the point of ‘what’s the reason?’ It’s just going to make things harder … Everything became so transparent  and then everything became so easy. He’s fun to be around.

She went  on to explain that they like the same activities and have compatible views on politics, religion, children, marriage. Here’s more from Katy about her feelings for Luke:

I still have a crush on Luke. You know what I mean? When you just really want to be around somebody, and you get giddy, and you want to be in their presence all the time. But his impact on me is more long term. We’re at the point in our relationship where you get to know someone so well, that more so than ever in the past you become like one unit. You’re like the left hand and right hand of each other. He can be so similar to me, but also so different in a way that complements me in the right ways. It makes me feel better about myself, and it makes me feel better about my future because I get to spend it with someone [I want to spend it with and whose company I really enjoy.]

When you speak to these two, you feel immediately that they’re on the same page. They push each other to be better people and to develop themselves personally. Their love lasts through a realization of the love the other is capable of, and that loving the other person is its own reward.

With all of Luke’s legal trouble finally behind him, he and Katy decided to move to New Orleans, just because they wanted to.

They’ve now been together for five years, and they intend to stay that way for many more.

Has there been a situation or moment that has helped to solidify your relationship with your partner? What acts has s/he done for you that have helped you understand what love is?

Share it in a comment below!

Daniel is a founding author of How Love Lasts.

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