Queer Love Stories

Melony & Gia Prove That Couples Who Grow Together, Stay Together

“She’s become my comfort place.”

t_kimura/Getty Images

Welcome to Queer Love Stories, a series dedicated to celebrating the colourful joy of LGBTQ+ relationships. This week we meet 27-year-old photographer Melony Lemon and 25-year-old musician Gia Ford, who currently live in Sheffield. They have been a couple since 2018, and they met on Tinder. Naturally, as nosey editors, we wanted to dig deeper into their love story and quizzed them on everything they know about each other. We asked each couple to answer questions separately from their partner, including what their partner’s favourite colour, their green flags, what their first date was really like, and what they think their partner’s best attributes are. Get ready to be in your feels.

Hey Gia and Melony. How did you two lovebirds meet?

Gia: We met on Tinder!

Melony: Gia and I met on Tinder. I was in Germany at the time, preparing to move back to London and I had Tinder Gold, so that I could swipe outside of where I was and I saw that she “superliked” me. So we started talking and then I took it to Instagram to talk there. A few days later, I moved back to London and on the same day, we had dinner together in New Cross.

What was your first date like?

Gia: It was fun. I think we were both quite shy around each other, but Melanie brought her friend along which made it quite informal and comical. We went for food at a Thai restaurant (that ended up being on the road where we would eventually live a year later, in our first flat!). We went to a friend’s flat and we hung out, being awkward, tentative, and flirty... it was sweet.

Melony: It was lovely! I brought a friend with me because I was super nervous. We had dinner and I acted all cool, and dressed all cool just to impress her.

I thought Melony was hot and interesting, and unlike anyone else I’d met before. She was like a movie girl.

What were your first impressions?

Gia: I thought she was hot and interesting, and unlike anyone else I’d met before. Quite stubborn from the get go, which I thought was charming. I thought she was cool too, much cooler than I was. She had this big bag of clothes with her and was into styling them for a seemingly small event like going for pizza – she was a bit like a movie girl.

Melony: Oh my god, she’s so tall! From her Instagram, she looked like she was quite short. I thought she was 5ft5 but it turns out she’s 5ft11. Also she had a D&G vest on and a coat, and I just thought, wow, is she not cold? I think I was too nervous to take in anything that wasn’t surface level.

How long have you been together?

Gia: Just over four years!

Melony: Four years going on five!

Describe your partner in three words

Gia: Eccentric, intelligent, and generous.

Melony: Talented, enchanting, and kind-hearted.

If you could choose a song that reminds you of your partner, what would it be?

Gia: “Breathe On Me” by Britney Spears.

Melony: Ahhh, I did this trend on TikTok the other week where you paired your partner with images that describe them. There are soo many songs that remind me of her because Gia is a musician, so she’s always playing music. I’d say “Night in White Satin” by The Moody Blues is the one that I instantly think about her when it comes on.

What’s your favourite memory with your partner?

Gia: We went to Majorca a couple of years ago and it was really fun. We didn’t do anything particularly interesting but we went to this funny beach bar and we had iced coffees with those sparkly decorations in them, and paella. The whole holiday was really fun in a way I hadn’t expected; we did lots of walking around with no obligations or expectations, laughing a lot, and just enjoying each other’s company.

Melony: We have soo many good ones, but I’d say probably when we shot her first music video “Turbo Dreams” together. It was so much fun and we both were really challenged to step outside of our comfort zones.

What’s the worst thing you’ve argued about, and how did you make up?

Gia: We had a bad rift in the first lockdown that came from a codependency we’d sort of developed that I think made both of us feel a bit worthless to one another. In hindsight we obviously weren’t, otherwise we wouldn’t have cared so much about it. We went to therapy and talked about it a lot – and at home – and just gradually started changing our behaviours in order to preserve the relationship.

Melony: Codependency, and we went to couples therapy for that. I have gone through a lot of trauma in my childhood that caused me to fear abandonment, plus living in a country where I have no family, I relied a lot on my partner and my friends and eventually led to me becoming codependent. It was not only the worst thing we argued about but also a beginning of a new and more positive change for me and my path in healing. To be honest, I am super proud of us for working really hard on our relationship in our own ways. We barely argue and when we do, we sit down and talk out and work towards fixing the problem right away.

What were the green flags when you first met?

Gia: I honestly wasn’t searching for a relationship when we first met, but I think I was drawn to her for some reason I can’t quite say. Her personality intrigued me and I just kept thinking about her, about being around her. She just had a comfy/exciting mood about her. I don’t know how to explain it but I was just drawn to her.

Melony: The biggest green flag to me is that we grow together. Not just physically, but in every aspect of life, such as career, mental health etc.

Gia makes me less scared of the world. She makes me feel secure, not only within our relationship but also within myself.

What’s your partner’s best attribute?

Gia: I think her ability to change, and accept change as part of life’s natural course. She’s a big thinker and I think she’s really good at reasoning with things and unpicking them in order to just be better in life, all the time. She’s good at seeing the inner workings of people and situations, including herself. I think that’s a rare trait that I could definitely be better at.

Melony: Gia is confident around people. This is one of her qualities I really wish I possess. She literally lights up the room, gives everyone in the room the time of day, and is so good at holding conversations and making people around her feel comfortable.

What date did you make your relationship official, and what’s your partner’s favourite colour and film?

Gia: I always forget the exact day but I want to say February 11? We both forget it all the time! Melony definitely doesn’t have a favourite colour, but I think if she had to say, it would be purple. I don’t actually know what her favourite film is. I’m going to say Real Housewives even though that isn’t a film.

Melony: Wow, you really caught me here. It’s either January 10 or February, I think. Gia’s favourite colour is green. And her favourite film is, um, Moulin Rouge? I am so bad at this, because I usually get to pick what we watch!

Did you get them right?

Gia: Yes, but my favourite film is Kalifornia!

Melony: Yeah, but my favourite film is Mean Girls.

What would you say your partner brings out in you?

Gia: The ability to push myself through my insecurities, and to see my work for what it is and really believe in it.

Melony: First of all, she makes me less scared of the world. She makes me feel secure, not only within our relationship but also within myself. Being a Sagittarius, Gia definitely brings out the more relaxed and adventurous side of my Virgo self that constantly feels the need to have every aspect of my life held together and planned out.

How does your partner make you feel accepted?

Gia: She’s become my comfort place – and that’s a place where I can be who I am without any of the labels I attach to myself.

Melony: Gia is someone who makes a lot of effort to understand not only me, but also people around her. Since we first met on Tinder, we talked about things like how I navigate being mixed race and my panic disorder.

Do you have a joy-filled love story that you’d like to share with Bustle UK? Email jessica.morgan@bustle.com with Queer Love Stories in the subject line to be featured.