From Hot Hookup To A Happy Life Together: How This Couple Makes It Work

You never really know who is going to have a massive impact on your lives. That’s what’s great about the twosome we have featured in our latest Instinct Couple series as what began as simply physical turned into something much bigger for them in the years to come.


Meet Steve Neville & Jon Gould, a beautiful couple who reside in the Windy City of Chicago. I am a firm believer in that everything happens for a reason and these two are a prime definition of that. 

Their love for one another is very inspiring. One of the two (you’ll find out more about this later) was able to make the other feel comfortable in being a gay man at a time where they were barely out of the closet. Now it appears to be a sky’s the limit kind of thing for them as their future may include entering the world of parenting together. How exciting!

Read more about their wonderful journey below.


How did you two initially meet and was it love at first sight?

Steve: It was pretty crazy actually. Jon is originally from Minnesota but was a youth pastor at the time in southern Kentucky. I’m from Canada but was spending a summer in Nashville. To be honest the first time we met was the timeless love story of boy meets boy on Grindr, So “lust at first sight” is probably more accurate, but I wouldn’t change that meeting for anything.  We’ve never been apart since that day after more than 5 years. I even took him back to that street where I first laid eyes on him to propose when the time came.

Jon: I don’t know if it was love at first sight. I will say that I was very newly discovering I was gay, and coming from that Christian background, I knew that that may destroy my life. Steve came in at just the right time to help walk me through the whole ‘coming out’ thing. He made me feel immediately safe, in a time where a lot of stuff was scary. So he was a safe place immediately for me, but it very quickly became love. 


What is your favorite thing to love about each other? 

Steve: Looking at him it’s pretty easy to get lost in his looks. I still have to shake myself into believing that my husband actually looks like Ryan Phillipe and Kellan Lutz’s love child. But, beyond that, it’s impossible to not fall in love with his compassion and love for everyone. A lot of people might think that comes from being a pastor, but it’s truly just him. He’s the most caring person I know. 

John: Steve has a tattoo on his shoulder that basically says, “I will find a way, or I will make my own” in Latin. And that’s so true of who he is. We’ve been through a lot of ups and downs in the last five years, but even when things seem overwhelming or we’re making big decisions that we don’t know will work out, I know that Steve is going to find a way. I love his drive. I love his passion. I love his leadership. Also he’s incredibly sexy- he has the best body, he’s incredibly handsome… I mean, the guy’s just a catch overall.


Are you monogamous or in an open relationship? How do you make either work?

Steve: Hmmmm. Let’s just say that what happened for us behind closed doors is something we keep a little more private than most (BORING I KNOW). But I can tell you that NO ONE is left wanting. Read into that what you will!

Jon: Yeah, we have a good time. All sorts of good times. But always a good time.


What has COVID been like for the two of you? Has it brought you closer together?

Steve: I think like everyone we have went through the ups and downs of this whole thing. We have taken turns having mini breakdowns here and there, but for the most part we’ve been able to focus on the good parts. The best part for us is that we love our friends and we have been able to really spend more quality time with some of our best ones here in Chicago. (Hi, Will and Jesse!). You don’t realize how many intimate and wonderful stories you miss out on when you are always in a loud bar.

Jon: I think that quarantine has been great for us. I mean, we definitely have days where we need our alone time, but I think that it’s been really interesting to be able to spend so much time together. Its kind of laid bare our relational weak points, but also really highlighted our strong points. And I think that we’ve been really good about reevaluating our needs and wants together. I think that whenever this all ends (2021? 2034?) we’re going to come out the other end closer and stronger.


Has the topic of adopting or having kids via surrogate ever come up?

Steve: It has come up SO many times. I don’t want to jinx it, but we are really hoping that 2021 is our year. Jon has such a large and wonderful family and my brother Danny and his husband Matt (Yes, my brother is gay too) had a beautiful baby girl just under a year ago so we are really excited to give her a little cousin!

Jon: The tea is if we could do it the ole’ heterosexual way, we’d already have a child. But we’re working really hard to make it happen! I know for myself I’ve wanted to be a dad since I was a kid, and I know Steve would be the best papa. For the record- I’m gonna be the fun one and Steve is gonna be the one who lays down the law. Sorry bubs!


What is the best advice you would give to anyone who is looking for love out there but hasn’t found it?

Steve: Say yes to things. All kinds of things. You never know where you might meet someone, or what new activity might introduce you to a new group. My best friend Brooke Lynn Hytes suggested I come visit her for the summer in Nashville back in 2015 and look what happened to me! I got me a damn husband. 

Jon: Be open to it! I don’t think there is actually any tips on finding love- it kind of just happens, like being struck by lightning. But I CAN say, if you aren’t open to it- if you’re emotionally guarded, or too busy with your own baggage to notice- you’re going to miss it. And don’t ever say ‘now’s not the right time!’ Again, I was barely out, leaving a super conservative Christian world, and going through a bit of a crisis of faith when I met Steve… but we stuck it out! And my entire life has changed exponentially for the better.