Once I became aware, we were an ambiguous couple. However, when he went on another date, it dawned on me that I desired something beyond that.

Nicole Nabout and Jamie were not fully committed to each other. However, when Jamie went out with another woman, Nicole realized she wanted a more serious relationship.

In the early 90s, Jamie and I attended university together. I first met him through a friend who was doing a show with him. It was rumored that he had a crush on her. I encouraged her to pursue it because I thought he was attractive, but nothing ever came of it.
About two years later, we found ourselves at a party playing a drinking game. I wasn’t looking for a relationship, and after that party, our occasional dates didn’t turn into anything serious. He was focused on his law articles and living an adult life, while I was still involved in the theater world at Melbourne University. However, Jamie was persistent.
We casually dated for about a year before I received a travel grant to attend drama school in Paris. We decided to stay in touch and see how things would unfold. This was during a time when the internet didn’t exist, so our only means of communication were snail mail or landline calls. Looking back, I wonder how we managed, but I’m glad we did. After about a year, he got a work visa for the UK, and I joined him in Gloucester. However, I didn’t enjoy living in the UK and decided to return to Australia. Once again, we left our relationship open-ended.
Eventually, Jamie came back to Australia, and even though our commitment to each other was still unclear, we were somewhat considered a couple.
But then, while I was on a tour with a show, there was a night in Canberra when I desperately tried to reach him but couldn’t. When I spoke to him the next day, he told me he had been on a date. Although we had always been casual, in that moment, I knew that arrangement was no longer acceptable. I asked him to immediately call the other girl and end things with her. He did, and from that point on, we started taking our relationship much more seriously.
When I was growing up, I didn’t think much about who I would end up with; instead, I focused on what I wanted to do. I’m truly grateful that we took our time and allowed each other the space to pursue our own ambitions while supporting each other along the way.
We spent years together, dedicated to our careers, before we had our twins. By the time our children came, we seamlessly transitioned into sharing the responsibility without either of us having to sacrifice our professional endeavors – we truly shared the load equally.
Having small babies is always tiring, but having two at once is a whole different experience. I can vividly recall looking at Jamie in the middle of the night as he held one baby while I fed the other, and feeling overwhelmed with gratitude that he was the person I was going through this with. I looked at him and thought, “You are a wonderful person, and I am incredibly lucky.”
There are moments when you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with someone, but it’s the moments that happen while living that life that confirm you made the right choice.

Nicole Nabout stars in A Midsummer Night’s Dream by The Australian Shakespeare Company in Melbourne’s Royal Botanic Gardens, from 16 December 2023 to 17 February 2024.

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