How we met: ‘He was handsome, with a daddy vibe. And he lived in Wollongong!’

WWhen Nicholas first saw Trent, he didn’t expect to feel a glimmer of attraction. “I was recently divorced from a marriage,” he says. “I loved triathlons, so I went to Canberra with a group of friends to participate in a race.” The event took place on Australia Day 2017, which turned out to be one of the hottest days of the year. “Someone accidentally put diesel in the pace car and the race was delayed,” he says. As he waited to begin, Nicholas saw Trent. “I started talking to him because we didn’t know how long we would be held up,” he says.

Trent noted that Nicholas was “handsome” with a “daddy vibe”. “He was nice, but I was mostly focused on the race,” he says. “I tend not to talk much with my rivals on race days. I became more interested when he told me he lived in Wollongong because I grew up there. We had that connection right away.”

Nicholas soon realized that Trent was an accomplished athlete. “There I was, barking that I was a weekend runner,” he laughs. Towards the end of the race, they saw each other again and shared a smile. After they both completed the course, they congratulated each other. “I assumed one of the women he was with was his wife,” Trent says.

Though Nicholas wasn’t looking for love, something about Trent piqued his interest. He had always questioned his sexuality, but after he married young, it wasn’t something he explored. He found Trent online and added him as a friend on Facebook. “It took me two days to send him a short message,” he says. “I suggested meeting up for coffee or a run in Sydney, where he lived when I next visited.” When he got no answer, he assumed Trent wasn’t interested.

“I didn’t see the message until six weeks later, when I went to Wollongong for a race,” says Trent. “I wrote to him to ask if he would be there.” Since Nicholas was also participating, they exchanged numbers and agreed to meet for coffee after the event. Trent admits he wasn’t sure Nicholas was interested and took his brother with him. “I think I fell for him when we went to the cafe,” Nicholas says. “There was something about him that made me think he was the one for me. I asked him to come and show me his medals later.”

Trent was a bit more reserved. “I liked him a lot, but appreciated my brother’s input,” he says. “He thought Nicholas was definitely interested in me.” He went to Nicholas’s house later that day and immediately bonded with his dog. “While I was there Nicholas came in with a kiss. I was a little surprised, but I knew there was something between us.”

Working around Trent’s busy schedule, they agreed to go for a run together. “I was trying to discern that I was a better runner than I was,” Nicholas laughs. After that, they met regularly for bike rides, activities and brunch.

In May, Trent left Australia to travel and participate in races in the US and Canada. “The trip took a few months and I was upset because I really liked it,” Nicholas says. They kept in touch daily. “I even mailed him old-fashioned postcards,” Trent says. He returned in October and the couple moved in together in January 2018. “I told my parents about my relationship and a few months later my children,” Nicholas says. “Everyone was very happy for me.”

Nicholas works as a gardener, while Trent provides remedial massage therapy to help people avoid sports injuries. They recently moved to a house in Coffs Harbour, north of Sydney, where they live with their dog Astro and their rabbit Stella. The couple got engaged in 2020 and hope to get married now that the lockdowns have been lifted.

Nicholas says there’s nothing not to like about Trent. “He is honest, sweet and kind and never says a bad word about anyone.” Trent loves how thoughtful his partner is. “He always puts my needs first and is selfless. He is extremely caring.”

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