While people around the world celebrate Valentine’s Day, romance blossoms right here at CSUN in an array of relationships. From getting married and living together, to overcoming obstacles and supporting one another, five campus couples share their stories.
Jason & Siobhan Moser
Jason and Siobhan Moser are both seniors majoring in recreation and tourism management. Now married, Jason, 36, and Siobhan, 27, met in a classic case of mistaken identity.
Jason met Siobhan’s twin sister in 2004 in a pool hall and had no interest in her. He then met Siobhan, who he thought was the same girl.
“I went up to her and started talking and she had no clue who I was. Then she said you must know my twin sister and I figured she was playing games,” Jason said. “As I was leaving, I saw her twin walking in, and I did a double take and went back in. I took them both to dinner and there was instant romantic connection with my wife because of her personality.”
The Mosers are part of the same major, take the same classes and plan on graduating together. They both work for the City of Calabasas recreation division, so recreation and tourism management made sense for both of them.
“After we got married, neither of us had a degree and we wanted to start a family, so getting a degree was important,” Jason said. “Taking classes together means we save money on books, we always have an instant study buddy, and we carpool which saves gas.”
The couple also offers relationship advice for the younger generation:
“If we begin more courting in marriage, there would be less marriages ending in courts,” Jason said.
Siobhan said having common interests is key.
“When you have like-minded interests, you not only have a spouse, but a best friend as well,” she said.
Eric Silva and Jessica Garcia
Junior English major Eric Silva, 25, and senior geography major, Jessica Garcia, 22, have been together for a year and a half. The couple moved from West Covina in August 2012 and now live together in Northridge.
Eric and Jessica both took a family and marriage science class prior to moving in with each other. The class bombarded them with discouraging statistics, but in their hearts they knew it felt right.
“If there is anyone that you would want to ideally live with, it would be Eric,” Garcia said. “It’s been a positive experience.”
However, just like any other couple, there was an adjustment period living together for the first time.
“Communication has a lot to do with it,” Silva said. “Everybody has their problems, but when we made this decision, we communicated, respected each other and just got through it. I just wish she would share the bathroom.”
Garcia also had to adapt to the new environment, as she initially moved out to Northridge by herself for a few months while Silva commuted.
“When I moved here [it was] me and my dog,” Garcia said. “It was cool but I was still by myself. When we both came I was able to enjoy life more because I can share fun moments with someone else.”
The couple also offers advice for couples who plan on living together.
“Try to keep the other person in mind and be more considerate,” Garcia said.
Silva said it’s all about adapting.
“If you make the decision to live together, you need to work at it,” Silva said. “If you love a person, you’ll do whatever it takes.”
Emmanuel Martinez and John Garcia
Senior English major Emmanuel Martinez, 23, and recent CSUN business law graduate John Garcia, 23, have been in a relationship for a year and eight months, but their courtship started in an odd way.
“I was friends with his ex,” Garcia said.
The circumstances surrounding their romance were a little awkward, which prompted Martinez to take matters into his own hands.
He invited Garcia to an Associated Students event he was coordinating in hopes of getting things started between the two of them.
“He didn’t know how to ask me out,” Martinez said.
The couple’s favorite moments together involve live performances, which the two are fond of. Garcia took Martinez to see “Billy Elliot.”
“It was great to experience my first show with the person I love,” Martinez said.
One of the secrets to making their relationship work is compromise, Martinez said.
Garcia is currently waiting on LSAT scores before applying to law school. If he does well he will consider schools on the East Coast and UCLA.
“I’m not opposed to the idea of moving,” Martinez said. “I want to see his dream come true.”
Martinez plans on being a writer, but is also interested in planning events, which he said can enable him to live anywhere.
One event that Martinez is interested in planning is a marathon. He is an avid runner and encourages Garcia to run with him. Contrary to his efforts, Martinez hasn’t been able to persuade Garcia into running a marathon just yet.
But Martinez still hasn’t given up hope.
“One day you’ll do it,” Martinez said. “You’ll do the New York one with me.”
Katie McInerney and Kevin Thomas
Senior psychology major Katie McInerney, 22, and her boyfriend Kevin Thomas, 21, a music composition major at Pierce College, have been in a relationship for more than a year and a half.
“The first time we hung out, when I walked into her apartment, she was playing Jethro Tull,” Thomas said. “I knew I was in love.”
Their romance blossomed from a friendship that began while working at Starbucks.
The couple said their relationship moved fast, but that it felt right. They note their prior friendship as the foundation for their romantic affair and open communication.
“It’s a very comfortable relationship,” Thomas said. “We’re very open with each other.”
The pair has a black kitten named Kookie, to round out their “K” family.
McInerney and Thomas moved in together on their one year anniversary, but said they only get to see each other late at night. They usually listen to music and cook together.
“We’re both really quirky and like to sing and dance a lot,” McInerney said.
For their Valentine’s Day plans, McInerney said she wants to go to BJ’s.
“I just want some cookies,” McInerney said. “They’ll be lots of cookie eating. Maybe some beer.”
Missy Dominguez and Charli Gross
When alumna Missy Dominguez, 22, had to leave her home after she came out to her mom as queer, her burgeoning relationship with her partner, junior Charli Gross, 20, saved her from homelessness.
“Long story short, I moved out or I was kicked out, or both,” Dominguez said. “I didn’t know where I was going to go.”
Gross said she received a phone call from her parents saying that Missy was distressed and in trouble. Fortunately for both Gross and Dominguez, Gross’ parents are accepting of her sexuality and supported Dominguez during that time.
“Both my parents treated Missy like their second daughter from the beginning,” Gross said.
That day, Gross told Dominguez to pack her bags and stay with her until they figured something out. Within a few days, Gross was able to help Dominguez get a job in housing and a place in the dorms.
The sudden change in living situations might be difficult for many, but the circumstances provided a way for the couple to develop trust and care for each other quickly.
“We were together for a little less than a semester when I came out to my mom,” Dominguez said. “We had to mature our relationship pretty fast.”
Before Dominguez graduated, she and Gross supported each other in school in different ways. Dominguez was able to introduce a young Gross to campus culture, and Gross was able to support Dominguez while she was finishing up her degree and applying to graduate school.
“Missy has always been a good student, so I never had to push her for those reasons,” Gross said. “But that period was very stressful for her so I was always telling her she would be okay and trying to take care of things for her so she could focus on what she needed to do. She graduated with honors, Magna Cum Laude.”
The couple agrees that when Dominguez graduated, it was a very special occasion and Dominguez’s photographer brother was able to capture the moment. Gross was yelling and cheering in the stands, balloons in hand.
As Dominguez walked out to get her diploma, she signed, “I love you.” Gross said she was so proud. At that moment, Dominguez signed, “I love you” just for her.