We are so glad you found us! Here’s the scoop on The Loveumentary, how it all got started, and what we’re hoping to accomplish.
In the beginning…
The Loveumentary first began as a project to help creator Nate Bagley work through his ever-growing feelings of cynicism and frustration with love. From the time he was 21, Nate felt a lot of societal pressure to get married:
“I was in college, I had a pretty good head on my shoulders, and the next logical step in life was to find myself a wife. I dated. I dated a lot. And it seemed like no matter how many girls I dated, things just never led to marriage. The years went by, and friends and family members were finding “The One,” and settling down to continue the next chapter of their lives. I continued to search for true love, but to no avail.
My frustrations continued to mount as I watched the marriages of close friends and family disintegrate. Suddenly, all of those divorce statistics had meaning. I began to wonder, “What’s the point of even trying? If roughly half of marriages end in divorce… and maybe half of those who stay married are actually happy, is marriage even something I want to be a part of?”
If it weren’t for the couples in my life that were truly happy, I might have lost all hope. But it was these couples that renewed my faith that healthy, long-lasting, loving relationships were possible.
I decided the best way to understand what true love really is, and how to attain it, my best bet was to go to the source. I needed to talk to the people who experienced it every day. My hope was that in my conversations with these amazing couples I would learn what separates them from all of the boring, stale, mediocre, and even failed relationships.”
The Loveumentary project began in November 2012. Since then, Nate recorded two dozen in-depth podcasts and weekly love-related content on the site.
…and then, there were two.
In June 2013, Nate was introduced to Melissa Joy Kong by a mutual friend. Melissa had a goal to capture 100 of the greatest love stories in America, and write a book about what she learned through the process:
“As a journalist, I grew frustrated listening to story after story talk about the negative side of love and marriage. How many of us haven’t heard the statistic that 50% of marriages end in divorce? I was curious: What about the other 50%? What story isn’t getting told? Millions of couples across America are building great relationships and happy families. While the fairytale romances are fun to listen to, I was more interested in creating a project that outlined the real story of love across America—including the stories laced with hardship and pain.
Of course, part of my desire to tell this story was personal. I was raised by an incredible single mom in New York City, but had no perspective on what a healthy marriage looked like—I never saw one growing up. I wanted to figure out what the healthiest, happiest couples do differently so I could pinpoint the patterns and apply them to my own relationship one day.
When I met Nate and realized we shared the same heartfelt mission, it was too serendipitous to ignore. We both knew almost immediately that we wanted to combine efforts and take The Loveumentary on the road. We didn’t meet in person until Day 1 of this project, when I flew out to Utah to begin the journey with Nate. Crazy? Maybe. But just like any relationship out there, the most worthwhile things in life require a huge leap of faith. I’m so glad Nate and I decided to take one together and bring this incredible project to the rest of America.”
What’s happening now:
Nate and Melissa are now embarking on a journey across America to record the 100+ greatest love stories in the country. By highlighting the relationships that are working, our ultimate goal is to reinvigorate the country’s faith in love, marriage, and one another. In addition to interviewing the most in-love couples we can find, we will also be interviewing relationship experts, marriage counselors, researchers, and psychologists who have dedicated their lives to the study of love and relationships. This journey is ultimately about intertwining storytelling and science to add context to our project.
The result: Over 50 more podcast episodes, an amazing print book and eBook, and daily web content. At the end of our two-month road trip across America, we’ll be releasing behind-the-scenes video and written content to share what we learned about love, relationships, ourselves, and one another along the way.
Interested in sponsoring this trip or supporting the book? Shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.