Triple the love

Juniors approach their three year anniversary


Photo contributed by Christina Quach

Juniors Christina Quach and Nathan Arndt end homecoming night by taking pictures at a rooftop downtown. Earlier, they ate together at Thai Spice.

In 2019, junior Christina Quach answered a happy birthday text on Instagram from a boy in her 8th grade English class that she had never talked to before. After she received that text, Quach and Arndt started to become friends because of their similar sense of humor and personality. Arndt really liked Quach because she was kind and he thought she was beautiful. She also began to like him and his sense of humor after he had been sending her memes. 

Now, Quach and Arndt have spent the last 3 years of their life together. They’ve been able to accept each other for their differences and learn from them.

‘‘It was like chemistry,” Arndt said. “We started talking, and we kept on talking.’’

They spent their first date getting ice cream at Dairy Queen and visiting the Southport Antique Mall. 

“It was a fun thing to do without spending a ton of money,’’ Quach said. ‘’It’s just a good way to explore because that would have been my first time in that area because I don’t really live in the Southport area.’’

As their friendship progressed into a relationship, Quach did not tell her parents at first. 

For her family, dating in general wasn’t what they wanted for her at such a young age.  Her parents wanted her to focus more on education than a relationship. 

When she finally got the courage to tell them, their reaction was not what she wanted to hear, which she expected.

‘‘They were like ‘no, not happening. You can wait till you’re 18,’” Quach said.

Eventually, she was able to get them used to the relationship by hanging out with him more in their presence. 

On the other hand, Arndt’s parents did not show any negative reaction. But, they were surprised to find out that she was Vietnamese because the majority of the Asian population in Perry Township are from Myanmar.

Throughout their relationship, Arndt learned about Vietnamese culture. He indulged in Vietnamese cuisine and learned some words of the language such as bà ngoại, which means grandma, ông ngoại, which means grandpa and mèo, which means cat. 

To Quach’s family, it is cute when he mispronounces these words because it shows that he is trying. 

Arndt has also tried to use chopsticks but had a hard time because he was used to western utensils. 

‘‘The first time I came over, they laughed because I couldn’t use chopsticks.’’ Arndt said. 

Being with Quach has helped him become more sensitive toward certain topics like racism. He always knew racism was bad, but it never directly affected him.

He remembers being on the bus with students who were making jokes about Asian people eating house pets. This made him upset because he knew it was wrong and thought about how it would make his girlfriend feel if they said that to her. 

As an interracial couple, they believe that there is no need for hate since it only matters if they love each other. Arndt feels that you should not date someone for their race because love is deeper than skin. 

According to Arndt and Quach, the key to their long-term relationship has been communication. Being able to share emotions on an issue is important for Quach because she is able to get negative feelings off her chest. 

“You have to be the bigger person. You’re going to have to apologize at times when you don’t feel like it,” Quach said. “Have high standards but also have respect for yourself and know that you just accept that you can be wrong sometimes.’’