In our very first segment of Modern Love, where we highlight our amazing Elana Jovero Fine Jewelry clients and the unique love they share, we follow the polyamorous story of Sammy, Stephenie, and Jerry. In this interview, you’ll read about the ways they field common relationship issues, the stigma of polyamory, and how these three fell in love. Get some insight into the custom process with us, and how strongly your love can be represented in your custom ritual jewelry. Follow Modern Love to hear more stories about the ever evolving relationships of today, and what the new traditions of romance look like.
"i’ll admit, the memory of the rest of the words become a bit hazy as he got down on one knee, and said, “would you marry us?” —Sammy
How did you three meet?
Sammy: My first memories of Jerry and Steph are at the Renaissance Faire. My relationship developed with Jerry first, and my relationship with Steph evolved naturally, over time. I started talking [with Jerry] via Messenger and text about polyamory, sex, work, friends, everything, and though it happened slowly, our relationship was built on a D/s dynamic*. Steph and I really started talking when I started coming around their house and then ultimately moved in because circumstance led me to need a place to stay.
Tell me about your first or most memorable date?
Stephenie: With Sammy, it’d have to be when we went to the Italian restaurant, just me and her, we sat outside and had the most amazing time in this tiny little outdoor patio, filled with amazing cuisine and wine.
Sammy: With Steph, it was when we went to go adopt our cats. Most people wouldn’t think of it as a date—but any time I get alone time with Steph, it’s a date. You see, Steph had gone to the shelter earlier in the day and came home with a kitty. There were two siblings, a brother and sister that were shy and hissy, she opted to take the girl home cause she was less so, but took pictures of the boy. Later she showed me the pics and I looked at him, then looked in Steph’s eyes, and said, “We have to get her brother!” So together we went back, and told the shelter staff we wanted to adopt him. And well here we are, 4 years later, and they are absolute lovebugs, with their chosen people.
With Jerry, it’d have to be when he came to work with me one day. This was back when I was walking dogs for Tails of the City. We went on three different hikes with three different packs of dogs. We got lunch at my favorite hole-in-the-wall Chinese joint. I just remember it being so awesome that this man would accompany me on my work day, even if it was something like playing with dogs all day. We drove all over the city, and I showed him my favorite haunts and sites.
First kiss? First time said “I love you?”
Stephenie: First kiss with Jerry was at Great America, in line, waiting to ride for the Demon roller coaster. First time I told him I loved him was, when we were in Winters, he had just moved in with me, and we were laying in bed during a lazy, hot afternoon.
Sammy: It was after our first date, our first kiss happened in our hotel room—you kissed me good night and tucked me into bed. It was so sweet and so romantic. First time I said I love was on our 1 year anniversary.
When did you all know you were meant for each other?
Jerry: There was no particular moment, it was compilation of everything that happened over time.
Stephenie: I would have to say, it was when we got our kitties together. Though it wasn’t really just one instance, I just knew we were supposed to be together.
Sammy: I agree, there was never just one moment or instance….but a big one for me was when they asked me to marry them. I had never thought I would get married, and though it’s not a traditional wedding we have planned, the question they popped opened up so many possibilities for me, ones that I had only dreamed of.
Let’s talk about your ring for a moment. It’s a stacking wedding set comprised of three bands, where each ring can be worn separately—but when it comes together, it forms a daisy. We have a citrine set in the center, with eight white sapphires as the petals. What inspired the daisy ring? What are all the symbols and meanings behind it?
Daisies are my favorite flower, with sunflowers being my second and wildflowers being my third. But daisies hold a special meaning in my heart. Growing up there was a field of daisies near our home, that were super tall. That, as a child, I could literally hide in and be totally engulfed. It was a place I used to run to when I wanted to disappear and hide, and it was a place that made me feel safe and secure. I mentioned that Jerry and I’s relationship started out as a D/s dynamic. Well whenever entering into any kind of D/s relationship, one must talk safe words—a word that stops all play—and the focus becomes making the Dominant or submissive feel secure and safe again. Well, my word is Daisy. So that’s one reason. Another reason for the daisy, is because it reminds me of that field growing up, where I always felt safe and secure. And Stephenie and Jerry, among other things, make me feel safe and secure. I wanted a ring with three bands specifically because I wanted a band for each of us, hence the reason I reached out to you.
How did you enjoy the custom process with us and creating your own ring from start to finish?
I enjoyed the process very much! You were very communicative and showed me pictures of my ring along the way—that really made my day. You built up the anticipation and excitement until I could actually hold the ring in my hands and have it placed on my finger.
How did they propose?
Sammy: Jerry and Steph suggested we got to Santa Cruz after my work day, so I agreed. I had kind of a bad day at work and so was looking forward to seeing the ocean, I didn’t think anything of it, just wanted to go in jeans and a t-shirt. When I got home both of them were all dressed up—so I said I had to shower and change into clothes to at least match them. We drove over to Santa Cruz, singing songs on the radio along the way. We stopped at this cute pizza place for dinner, and when we arrived I saw that it was packed! Then Jerry worked his way to the counter and said “reservation for Sammy,” and I remember being kind of impressed by that. Here we were in the beachy town pizza joint, that was clearly abuzz, and we had reservations. The pizza was delicious and hot and ready and waiting for us. We even had a dessert pizza that was so rich and sweet.
After dinner, we drove to the lighthouse where we proceeded to watch the sun set. The smell of salt was in the air, the colors of the sky were painted beautifully, and the roar of the ocean could be heard beneath us. We opened a bottle of wine—that was honestly quite terrible—which we laughed and joked about, but still toasted with. Jerry then started saying the sweetest things to me, words that make me tear up, words like, “I’d never imagine that you’d come into our lives and mean so much to us, like I couldn’t picture our life without you,” or “we’ve watching you grown from this insecure, scared girl, into this confident woman, whose got a passion for animals that rival no other, and running her own store…” And I’ll admit, the memory of the rest of the words become a bit hazy as he got down on one knee, and said, “would you marry us?” A thousand possibilities passed before my eyes, things I’ve always wanted and had given up on, and the one thing I could focus on in the chaos of my mind was the word “yes.” And so I had answered the one question, I had given up on ever hearing, and they made me the happiest woman ever.
What challenges have you faced as a three person relationship?
Jerry: Three different people needing to be on the same page. It is hard enough in a standard two person relationship, adding another to the mix, makes things even more difficult.
Stephenie: Sometimes the sharing—being willing to share. If you’re not willing to share, it’s not going to work. You’ve got to be the type of person who is willing to be confident enough in one’s self worth and in the relationship. You’ve got to be considerate of each other and be willing to share in the love. It’s not about not getting jealous, it’s about not letting the jealousy get the best of you.
Sammy: I think the stigma is hard to deal with. So many people think it’s weird, or wrong, or even down right dirty, that it can be hard sometimes to tell people I’m engaged to two people. And though I want to scream it from the rooftops, I have to be picky about who I share my joy with. And the worst part is, it’s not even coming from family. I’m grateful that all three of our families love and adore this journey we have undertaken.
“it’s not always about the mushy gushy stuff, it’s also about fighting insecurities and working through jealousy, but in the end, it’s all worth it. commit, be open, be understanding, communicate, and love. always love” — sammy
What do you think are the best parts of being in a different kind of relationship?
Jerry: There’s more love to go around. We have even more of a support system.
Stephenie: I have two best friends, instead of one.
Sammy: Outside of all the love to give and go around, the support system we have set in place, the best part of being in a non-traditional relationship is the fact that I have a deeper understanding of what it means to love and be loved in return.
What advice would you like to share for others who want to be in a new type of conventional relationship?
Jerry: Communication is key. It all comes down to communication.
Stephenie: Patience, understanding, and communication. You need all of it to make it work. And most importantly, you need to love unconditionally.
Sammy: I’ll echo what my loves have said, and add that you have a right to your emotions. So share them. It’s not always about the mushy gushy stuff, it’s also about fighting insecurities and working through jealousy, but in the end, it’s all worth it. Commit, be open, be understanding, communicate, and love. Always love.
How has COVID impacted your wedding? What changes are being made, dates being set back, etc, and how are you feeling about them?
COVID has only impacted our wedding date. It is sad, but we are still together, and we will gladly wait for a time where we can share our love and celebrate publicly with dear family and friends.
What is your “covid love story?” How are you keeping the romance, intimacy, and companionship alive through this scary time? As things are changing, every couple is faced with new challenges and ways to interact and be with each other—and some are finding it easier than others.
Sammy: Well it’s been business as usual here, as we are all considered essential workers. So no special love story. Just the same old routines in place. Our wedding was supposed to happen the 25th of May—and while that obviously did not happen, what we did was go and take photos for our “engagement.” It was fun to get dressed up and drive to Briones Park to meet with a faire friend, while they took pictures of our love story.
What do you look forward to for the rest of your lives together? Your hopes and dreams as a couple?
Jerry: Sex, laughter, and stability.
Stephenie: Companionship, friendship, love, and support.
Sammy: I look forward to seeing wherever our adventure leads us. At some point it will include adopting children, and possibly starting an animal rescue…but that’s the dreamer in me. I already have a beautiful home, I’m surrounded by dogs and cats, I have my loves.
*For anyone who doesn’t know, a D/s dynamic is a BDSM dynamic called Dominant/submissive, where one partner is dominant over the other, as the submissive partners gives permission to be so. It’s not just sexual—though it can be—but usually a more caring relationship based on control and need.