Victoria Martin-Tay and Bryan Tay are a force to be reckoned with in the fitness world. The two, who have been married for almost two years now, are the founders of Boom, a boutique boxing gym in Singapore’s CBD.
The duo knew they wanted to be together almost immediately into the relationship. “We knew we wanted to get married as early as a month after we officially started dating,” says Victoria. Bryan proposed a year and a half into the relationship. “We just fit so well together and complemented each other in the best way,” he explains.
The two met at a friend’s barbeque. “Bryan taught me how to make a perfectly roasted marshmallow for s’mores, impressing me by making doubly long skewers so I could get close to the flames without feeling the heat.”
It’s clear the both of them have immense respect for each other. When asked about the one thing they like about each other, both praise each other’s propensity for kindness. Victoria says, “He can deal with me on my moody days, and never judges nor makes me feel bad for it.” Bryan, on the other hand, waxes lyrical about her strong moral compass and desire to do something about any injustices she sees. Despite their young age (Victoria is 29 and Bryan is 30 years old), the two describe themselves as an old married couple, as their favourite activities include going on long walks and catching up on Netflix after date nights at their favourite restaurant.
When asked what they’re up to this Valentine’s Day, Bryan quips cheekily: “Victoria’s on this thread — no way you’re getting the scoop on that!”
What’s an everyday gesture you do to show your partner love?
Victoria: Understanding your partner’s love language is important. For Bryan, he appreciates words of affirmation. I make it a point to thank Bryan for something and to show my appreciation for the little things he does for me. And I also make sure to tell him “I love you” in the morning and before we go to sleep. If we’re working at opposite ends of the studio, or in separate rooms at home, I make it a point to call out and remind him with a simple “I love you” yet again.
Bryan: I open every door for her! Car doors, room doors, automatic doors, I’ve got them.
What attracted you to your spouse?
Victoria: Bryan’s cool as a cucumber and his easy-going nature always put me at ease. I’m the first to admit what a highly strung person I am, and what can I say — opposites do attract! He’s so quirky and weird sometimes, and never fails to make me laugh. I’m never bored with him around.
Bryan: Victoria was unlike anyone I’ve met before. She’s smart, beautiful, dressed really well and was just a joy to be around.
Was there a single moment that determined that he or she was the one for you?
Victoria: When we are in the car, we both involuntarily say “hello!” or wave at dogs on the street. This might be silly to most people but it’s a reaction we both have because we love dogs so much and are so excited to cross paths with them. When I noticed he did that too, my heart absolutely melted. Realising how much we appreciated and mirrored each other’s idiosyncrasies, I knew he was proper soulmate material.
Bryan: I don’t think there was a single moment when I thought she was the one, but rather a collection of moments where she solidified her position as the one for me. Victoria gets me for who I am, from the terrible jokes that I tell, to my quirks and weird habits (of which there are many).
What’s a typical date night?
Victoria: Dinner at our new favourite Bar Cicheti, and very boringly, back home immediately to get onto Netflix.
Bryan: We get pretty busy and work odd hours so it’s tough to get time off for date nights. We do, however, spend all our time together and try to make a date out of anything we do, such as shopping trips to Ikea or quick lunches.
What’s a relationship rule you live by?
Victoria: Even though love is a necessary backbone, it alone is never enough. Every couple needs to talk about and understand the practical aspects of their relationship, from logistics, to finances, to personal values, to personal needs and so on. It does not do either side any good to avoid communication regarding mundane or uncomfortable topics and focus on only the lovey-dovey part of the relationship.
Bryan: Don’t go to bed angry. We only get angrier the next day.
What’s the most romantic thing that your spouse has ever done for you?
Victoria: It’s the small things that count. When we eat, Bryan always saves the best part of the dish for me, or the part he thinks I enjoy the most. He opens every door for me. When I throw and stuff clothes in my luggage, he’ll sometimes fold those things. Whenever I’m cold, without hesitating, he’ll offer up his jacket. And when my feet really hurt, he always offers to carry me. With Bryan, chivalry is not dead.
Bryan: I appreciate the little things she does for me on a daily basis. She affirms me and tells me she loves me multiple times a day and that’s better than any grand gesture that I can ask for.
Do you have a Valentine’s Day ritual?
Victoria: Honestly not really, just the things that make us happy — food and quality time. If our schedule permits, understanding that some times it absolutely doesn’t, we’ll go out for dinner, and perhaps take a stroll after, or even go for a couples massage.
Bryan: Not really. I’ll get her flowers, but other than that, we keep it pretty low-key.
All photos are credited to Victoria Martin-Tay and Bryan Tay