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Who: Chris Bailey, 29, author and productivity researcher. Ardyn Nordstrom, 28, economist and PhD student
Relationship status: Dating since 2012
Partners in punctuality
Chris: We met while both of us were still in school in Ottawa. We worked at a tech company that is now Nokia.
Ardyn: I think the first time we bonded was during a lecture. He had this game on his cellphone. And he asked me out for sushi. We had a great time. I remember saying to my friends afterward – I have met this really great friend. I wasn’t necessarily thinking of it as a date.
Chris: I definitely thought it was a date! The next time we went out, I suggested an art gallery. They had this really cool exhibit on that is about clocks. This was 2012, before I had started my career in productivity. It feels fitting now.
Ardyn: We met up at the Apple store in the Rideau Mall and we were both 45 minutes early. I guess that was a sign.
Chris: Ha, right. We are both fans of extreme punctuality.
There’s no such thing as quantity time
Chris: When I started thinking about this idea of spending a year on different productivity experiments, a lot of people told me it was a crazy idea, but Ardyn was supportive from the start.
Ardyn: There were definitely some memorable moments. One week he was in total isolation, another he was slob.
Chris: At one point, there were three empty milk cartons sitting out in the kitchen.
Ardyn: People maybe think that being the partner of a productivity expert means that our life is really regimented, but it’s not. We try to be very deliberate about the time we spend together, which means we really enjoy it.
Chris: We recently took coding classes together, which was really cool. We have done knitting classes.
Ardyn: And we play a lot of cribbage. I keep of spreadsheet that documents every single game we have played. Not just who won, who lost, but the margin of victory. And people think he’s the bigger nerd.
Ardyn: I am not someone who likes things sprung on me. We had been together for six years, so we both had a sense that marriage was something we wanted to do.
Chris: There was never a day where one of us asked the other; it was more like, okay, this is the direction we want to go in together. To us, that made it more special.
Ardyn: We wanted it to reflect who we are. We are trying to invite the people who mean something to us and not to get caught up in what you are “supposed to” do.
Chris: We just kind of said, ‘What do we want that day to look like?’ and worked backward, which made things a lot more simple. And we’re doing it at a restaurant, so they’re handling a lot of the details. That’s helpful, too.