The Humans of Hofstra - Feb. 13, 2018
It’s the week of Valentine’s Day. For some, the romantic holiday is just a nuisance and a reminder of what has been or what seemingly never will be. For others, like seniors Emily Kilheeney and James Sweeney, the day is love-filled and serves as a special occasion to revel in the comfort and company of their significant other.
Kilheeney, a triple major – yes, triple – in political science, journalism and women’s studies, and Sweeney, a journalism major, started dating last September. As their relationship approaches its five-month mark, they told me, in voices saturated with adoration, all the details of how their love came to be.
“We lived in the same [dorm building] freshman year and we kind of knew each other, but didn’t know each other that well, and I think we took some classes together sophomore year,” Sweeney said. “We had a party at my house at the end of August in 2017 and we started talking and she spilled wine all over my shirt.”
“That’s not a crucial part of the story,” Kilheeney added with an embarrassed laugh.
“It is [crucial] because the next day she messaged me and was like, ‘Hey, can I clean your shirt?’ And I was like, ‘Yes,’ and then we kept talking and that’s how it happened.”
After initially messaging him to wash his shirt, Kilheeney said their conversations continued daily, sometimes keeping them awake into the wee hours of the morning. She said it was his comedic side that had her hooked.
“We just talked a lot and I was like, ‘Wow, he’s really funny.’ I was like, ‘That’s it, I like him a lot.’ Then we just continued; we hung out in person and it was very natural and I was very comfortable and it just escalated from there.”
Sweeney agreed, adding, “Once we [started talking], it just was always very comfortable and very easy and funny and I just thought it was right.”
The duo repeatedly stressed the importance of feeling comfortable with each other – the easygoing nature of their relationship was apparent for the entirety of the time I sat with them. If you were to meet the pair for the first time today, you might think they’ve been dating for years.
“I think we feel safe with each other and I think that makes it easy to express whatever we need to express,” Sweeney said in reply to my asking what makes their relationship work. “I think we just both work toward what’s best for the relationship a lot and we are very mindful of that.”
“We talk to each other about everything,” Kilheeney answered. “We love each other a lot and we show that to each other.”
They both agreed that keeping their relationship alive stems from open communication and keeping the love present. Awareness of where they are in their relationship is also a driving factor in their happiness together. In fact, relationship awareness is their best advice.
“Just be honest with yourself. If you’re in a really good relationship, be aware of that as much as possible and don’t take it for granted. I love actively, and if you don’t feel the potential for that, be honest with yourself about that too so you’re not just wasting your time and someone else’s time,” Sweeney said.
Kilheeney echoed his sentiment, “Be honest with yourself and check the relationship that you’re in and make sure that you’re happy. You deserve to be with someone who does love you so much and that you love to be with and that you’re so happy with.”