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Chelsea ( @opensmother-lippedlover​ ) and I ( @jessjust​ ) met December 5, 2012 on Tumblr (Yup, I remember dates well). Immediately I noticed how sweet, polite, and interesting she was. We continued to talk here and there, and making our relationship official months later. We dated for about six-months. Initially everything was great, but the long-distance was awful and we were too young to know how to handle it. We called it off. We went our separate ways; fell in-love here and there with other people. 

Years later I was working for the Texas Legislature, near done with my undergrad degree, and with the flexibility to move anywhere. I then realized how much I kept thinking about her, wishing to share the precious memories I was making at my job, how supportive and uniquely proud she would be — and truly how much love I still had for her. Not knowing where she was in life I decided to reach out to her, told her how I felt and she left me waiting (lol) Some time later she finally came around and told me she felt the same way. Well the rest is really history. 

(The day she asked me to be her girlfriend)

We left Philadelphia and houston, and we moved to Chicago after I got a scholarship at DePaul Law School, and she began her education to become a Veterinarian. Most importantly we created our own little family with our baby Gatsby, a cavalier King Charles Spaniel. Now I’m proud to call her my fiancée. I would give my life for her. 


We’ve had bumps here and there like any other couple, but we love each other enough to fight for each other. That’s what’s important. And why I proposed December 17, 2016 at the art institute!

She may still get mad at me when I forget to place the new toilet paper in the holder and I may still get annoyed when she talks through a movie. All in all, that’s what a relationship is about loving each other and ironing out the little differences.

We want to share our little story with details sometimes left out by the media. With our relationship on the spotlight I hope this encourages others to love and work hard for their relationships ❤️ love is out there, it’s just hard to keep.

(This is an old video Chelsea’s dad filmed of the first time we saw each other again after years apart)

More photos of the engagement can be found in our Instagrams: Cnicolem_ and J.essrdgz

I don’t understand where this fandom mentality comes from that everyone has to like all the characters within a book/series/movie? And people start fighting you if you don’t like one character to the same extent as they do?

Like, be happy that people enjoy their favourite character (or ship). That they are so inspired by them that they write fanfic, draw fanart or develop headcanons for them. They share their love and you can do the same with your favourite characters - that’s the point of fandom.

But attacking other fans because they don’t include every single character for reasons that they are entirely their own? It doesn’t matter if you agree or not. Everyone has preferences and they are allowed to have them.

Seriously, since “Winter” was released, this fandom has become a minefield.
And I don’t mean that the character of Winter changed it, but it’s the tone of the discussions. It’s not so much about respectful, informative discussions anymore. It’s gotten nasty with a few people insulting and bullying other fans for their preferences with a self-righteousness that is seriously uncalled for.

Because now, if you don’t include a certain character, you are called out for whatever inane reason. I once got the question once why I didn’t include a certain ship for a story idea I had. Why is that any of their concern? It’s my story idea, either you like it or not but I’m not playing character bingo and include everyone just because the fandom thinks I have to because they are in the original story. That’s what fanfic is for, to expand on the characters you love, maybe all of them or just one of them, but that isn’t anyone’s business. If I see a story tagged with Character X, I’m not asking the author, “hey, where’s Character Y?” That story isn’t for me, so I move on to stories that are.

Because here’s the thing: No one owes you anything.

No one has to write a fic you enjoy.

No one has to draw a fanart that you can reblog.

No one has to spend their time of the day on characters they don’t like just because they feel pressured to do so.

But: Everyone deserves respect. Or, at least, just because someone has a different opinion, it doesn’t give you the right to insult them. Opinions are not facts.

You don’t have to agree with someone but it’s not too much to ask to treat them with a minimum of respect. Especially over something as personal and random as favourite characters/ships.

For next year, I do hope we leave this kind of mentality behind us, so people can resume creating content they enjoy for people who appreciate it, without being attacked for not doing it as some people might see fit. I’m not naive, I know there will always be drama and shipper wars or whatever. But this year, it was no fun being in the TLC fandom. And I say this especially in regard to the TLC shipweeks.

The creators of shipweeks are putting a lot of effort into it. The fans are putting a lot of effort into their work, too. So, if you are not happy that your character/ship/brotp isn’t as included as much as you would like, create your own content. Spread the love. But respect other people’s choices.

And for every other fan: Just have lots of fun with TLC, with your favourite characters and ships and don’t let anyone tell you that you aren’t allowed to.