Finding the person you are meant to be with can take some time. It can be weeks, months or even years before you truly discover that this is the one you want to grow old with. What’s even more incredible is when they have been a focal part of your daily being even before you attempt to enter into the world of being a relationship with them.
This was the case for Joe & Rolando Ordinario, the latest duo to be featured in our ongoing Instinct Couple Series. It was a work environment for the two lovebirds before Cupid took over and they decided to move forward into something much more intimate.
Now they excel in both the personal and professional aspects of their lives together as they run a popular real estate business in Hawaii all while keeping a happy home outside the 9-5. And things look to be going swimmingly between them just based on how passionately they spoke about one another during my exclusive interview with them.
How did you two initially meet and was it love at first sight?
Joe: In 2010, I met Rolando at our college’s Hip-Hop Dance Crew Auditions. I was the organization’s advisor and was coming in to be a guest judge. I was currently in a relationship so I didn’t have wandering eyes for anything or anyone other than having one goal that day: to pick the best of the best…for the dance crew. I didn’t know I was going to meet the champion of my life. Truthfully, it wasn’t love at first sight, it was strictly platonic. The cool thing was, Rolando was actually one the best auditionees and was super sweet. In 2 years, we built a friendship, eventually I phased out of my previous relationship, and with the blessing of the universe, he also phased out of his. I’m grateful we got to work on the Hip-Hop Dance crew as fellow leaders and ran an organization and essentially, a business, together. So when our infatuation started, then bloomed, and the romance got crazy hot, we knew it was for real. We had known each other already, so there were no surprises about who we were or what we wanted in a partner. We chose each other.
Rolando: I met Joe at our Dance Crew Auditions at Cal State Northridge. At that time, I was watching a lot of MTV’s America’s Best Dance Crew YouTube videos, clips, and interviews. So when Joe walked in (commanding attention, respect, and had obvious stage presence), I was a little bit of a fangirl, because JUST THAT DAY, I was watching him on YouTube interviewing the dance crews that inspired me. I definitely thought he was super cute, outgoing and famous. At auditions, it was very business and professional, and personally for me, it was a big thing to be joining my first official dance crew. I served as a Director, Choreographer and Leader on the team alongside Joe. We had a ton of memories performing, traveling, and learning about each other. At first, I didn’t really like him after I became a Director. At that time, he was very business, straight to the point, and direct. So I found him a little rude and loud. Eventually, we started working collaborating more and we learned to respect and appreciate it each other. I definitely didn’t think I was going to meet the love of my life that day and yet, I did.
What is your favorite thing to love about each other?
Joe: This one is easy. My favorite thing to love about Rolando is his kindness. His heart. His deep emotion to care for me and his family. His ability to be the calm in the storm, his super power to be my rock and him being the puzzle piece that balances our love and our life together. Rolando is the nicest person I’ve ever met and LITERALLY showed me that I was worthy of love. The thing is, Rolando is this way with everyone and anyone. He is caring, kind and thinks about his words and actions first. He is the true definition of grace and love. So whether it was being on the dance team together, moving to 3 different states in the time span of 8 years, taking care of family members, going on a fitness and health journey, and starting a Real Estate business from the ground up and being successful, Rolando is the best co-pilot, partner in crime, and co-author of our life. And he loves himself at a high level to where he doesn’t settle for less, he doesn’t accept disrespect and has a strong standard of who he allows an energy exchange with, business or personal. I love this man, y’all!
Rolando: Joe has this ability to be himself and allow others to be themselves around him. It doesn’t matter if you’ve met him for 5 minutes or you’ve known him for years, he is a great listener, he is fun, he creates a space, an experience, where it’s safe to say and do anything because there’s no judgement. Joe has encouraged me to go beyond my own limits albeit with traveling, trying new things, and just being adventurous all together. And honestly, he’s just fun to watch. He’s my type of crazy and fun – he’s my person.
Are you monogamous or in an open relationship? How do you make either work?
Joe: Before Rolando, I thought I wasn’t capable of monogamy. I allowed my family history to define me and I played a victim to my environment. Then something magical happens when you grow to love yourself. Naturally, your heart makes room for true love and my version of true love is him. We’re absolutely monogamous. It works for us and it’s what we choose. Do we enjoy traveling, meeting new people and doing adventurous things? Absolutely. Adventures together are always very fun.
Rolando: We’re monogamous. As a gay couple in modern times, we’ve had conversations on how we choose to create our relationship. That’s the beauty of being with your one true love: honesty. So, we’ve discussed boundaries and what that looks like for us, and ultimately, it was a blessing to realize that we both agreed on what page we were on. Communication is really key and we choose each other daily. We’ve definitely grown our love for each other, and our curiosity for love and passion and sexual experiences. Our decisions are always mutual and consenting and I wouldn’t have it any other way. It’s the awesome balance of safe and adventure rolled into one.
What has COVID been like for the two of you? Has it brought you closer together?
Joe: Quick backstory for y’all: on our 2 year wedding anniversary, 12/21/2019, Rolando and I moved to Honolulu, Hawaii – our most happiest place in the world, (we’d been visiting every year the last 5 years to Oahu and fell in love with the true ALOHA breath of life, here), and we started our Real Estate business The O Team, Keller Williams Honolulu. Our big grand opening event was on the Friday before Hawaii’s shutdown. So COVID definitely made things that much more interesting. If COVID did anything to our relationship, it made us stronger as a partnership because it was “do or die” time. The thing is, Rolando and I our soulmates. I mean that. We can have a whole vacation planned minute by minute, or we can spend a lazy weekend just eating, and sleeping, and having fun doing nothing at all. So when COVID hit, it was more about what we were going to do for our business and it was how we were going to stay active, involved, and genuinely growing with the community. Having more time together, it was two-fold: we got to experience the island like we were vacationing again, and yet, we got to get really purposeful with our business plan and our habits and actions as new business owners in a new market. I could talk about these for days. I get excited when I mastermind about our life and what Rolando and I are able to give. We operate on a law: “Life By Design.” Every action and re-action, every learned lesson and success is directly dependent on YOU first, and then, each other. It’s empowering and it allows us to live in gratitude on a very high-level.
Rolando: COVID definitely brought us together on many levels. There were days where we’d spend sessions with the topic of, “Remember when…” and we’d talk about our first times we visited Hawaii, and come to the reality that we live here now. There were days where we’d go heavy on our fitness regimen, and there were days where we pigged out like crazy. Then there were weeks where we pushed hard with our Real Estate business. The O Team is our labor of love. The “O” in O Team stands for our last names, ‘Ordinario’. It’s kind of cool that we also use powerful words like, “Ohana” and “Oahu” and “outstanding,” when we talk about our company values. It’s been a stressful and scary year for everyone, including us. And yet, the reason we’re able to hangout in this space of gratitude is because that’s who Joe and I are. We’ve experienced some memorable things as a couple from our past. There was a time where we ate only Ramen for an entire month a couple of years back when we were in between jobs, we’ve been there for each other when family members passed away, and we dove deep with our move to Hawaii and all the scary, crazy things that could happen. So, when I think of it, COVID and 2020 didn’t really change us in some weird way or anything – It actually revealed who we really were: hardworking, grateful, blessed, in love, and still fun and crazy.
Has the topic of adopting or having kids via surrogate ever come up?
Joe: Early on in our relationship, specifically after we got married, we explored the topic of adopting and even thought about having family members help with the surrogacy options. And yet, after a year passed, and we started having very real conversations about family, kids, and legacy, we’ve decided that we don’t have aspirations of being parents. Right now, our Real Estate company is our baby. We’re nurturing and growing it. And I am understanding even more that my legacy, Rolando’s legacy, our legacy – is about the people we’ve helped. It’s about how we treat others on this earth, and we hope that they take that kindness and love and ripple effect it into their families and their communities.
Rolando: I love my nieces and nephews so much. I’m excited to be that cool uncle who visits or they come visit and we go on awesome explorations around the world together. If I remember correctly, Joe and I spoke pretty extensively on the topic of kids, and adoption and being parents, and what all of that looks like to us. And let’s be honest, what that would also make us look like. And it just came down to being on the same page with both of us creating a life of travel and business and enjoying ourselves and having a lot of fun still partying and living life to the fullest. For us, that’s what intentional living is. We’re awesome uncles, and we’ll be even awesome dog parents (we’ll definitely have at least two dogs), so, we’re happy and content with not being parents to kids.
What is the best advice you would give to anyone who is looking for love out there but hasn’t found it?
Joe: Follow your curiosity. If Rolando and I can be any example, it’s that when finding love, it doesn’t always have a bunch of flashing lights, it doesn’t necessarily have an organized flash mob, and it might not be the perfect timing. That’s okay. Allow yourself grace and trust that you ARE DESERVING OF LOVE and that you are capable of giving and receiving love. And really, YOU CREATE THE LOVE you will thrive in. So go meet people. Go live whole-heartedly. Go create your values and harness in your awesome super powers. Because your love, the love that is yours, will accept you for you. And while there are no guarantees in life, LOVE HARD still. Give it your all every time. At the very least you’ll learn about yourself and you’ll create and discover some magic. And promise yourself: when you do find love, CHOOSE IT EVERY DAY. People ask me all the time, how do you know that Rolando is “The One?” Here’s my truth on that: Rolando is the one because I make him THE ONE, everyday. I choose him, every second of my life. And y’all know with two minds and two hearts, and two different personalities, there will naturally be disagreement and opposition. I’m grateful we get to be ourselves authentically, and we learn and grow everyday.
Rolando: If you’re looking for love and haven’t found it yet, I’d ask you, is it love that you’re really looking for? Or could it be something else? Joe and I have known each other for 10 years. Out of those 10 years, we were friends for the first 2, dated for 4 years, engaged for 2, and we’ll be celebrating our 3rd year wedding anniversary this December 31, 2020 – my point is, we were looking for love. We were going through life playing the roles of who we were in our circles of family, friends, and work, and really, we just wanted to find someone who we can be ourselves with and still grow into more – and that ‘more’ was different every year. It’s awesome that both Joe and I were able to create and grow and learn about ourselves, together. Was it always easy? Of course not. It was always worth it though. And remember, love looks different for all of us. It could be self love, it could companion/friendship love, it could be marriage, kids, and 5 dogs. Whatever it is, it’s there for you. So go follow your heart to wherever and to whomever that leads you to. Because most likely, wherever your heart leads you, is where you’re exactly supposed to be.