Real Couples – Nikki and Whitney Graf

Photo courtesy of Nikki Graf
Photo courtesy of Nikki Graf

When and how’d you meet?

We met playing football for the Minnesota Vixen. Nikki was a linebacker and Whitney was a defensive back. For the longest time we didn’t know each other existed, and the times we did get a chance to talk it was so awkward! One time (Nikki) I had bronchitis and my throat was killing me, and Whitney was trying so hard to hold a conversation with me. Another time, Nikki was trying to talk to me and she was so nervous and the only thing she could talk about was grapes. She just went on and on about how much she liked them.. It was adorable but excruciating for both of us. Eventually, our paths crossed correctly and so did the conversation.

What do you love most about your partner?

Whitney: Nikki is the kindest, most giving person I have ever met. She is always doing so much for me, our family, and our community. She also is the easiest person to get along with.

Nikki: Oh gosh, this question is so hard because there are so many things! If I could pick one thing it is my wife’s authenticity. I have never met a person who is 1000% herself in all situations. She comes in every room as a kind, caring, and calming person. When she isn’t doing that, then she is weird, hilarious, and curious. She takes her space confidently and it’s one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen (and quite frankly, try to learn from).

What’s one quirk you’ve had to get used to?

Whitney: I’m not sure if this is a quirk, but her bubbly, outgoing, fearless nature is something I definitely had to get used to. I tend to be more reserved and introverted, and she is the exact opposite. Because of this, she is ALWAYS getting us to do things I would never actively do without her (like this interview ?). She has really helped me out of my comfort zone and given me so many experiences I wouldn’t have had on my own.

Nikki: Oh this one is fun! My wife has a really great internal dialogue. So much so that, in the middle of chatting with herself she will offer to include me. It is really common for her to be deep in thought and then look at me and say, “don’t you agree?” or “what do you think?”. Sometimes I can guess what might have been going on her mind, but often I can only respond with a blank stare. 

How would you describe your dynamic/energy?

Whitney: We met as teammates and that is what we continue to be. Everything we do, we do together. We plan, we dream, we raise kids together. We always make sure that we do everything together and when there is a time where one of us needs a break then we step in and hold it down until we can get back to being together again.

Nikki: I would describe our dynamic or energy as honest. There is a lot of learning and growing that we do individually or together and we can’t do a lot of that if we aren’t honest with each other. We give each other space to be honest about our feelings, our dreams, and our wants and that really allows us to be as big as we want to. I am always encouraging Whit to do whatever she wants to with her life without judgment and she does the same. 

What’s one thing you’re looking forward to, together?

Whitney: This may sound cheesy, but everything. I look forward to raising teenagers, family vacations, being grandmas, all the things! I look forward to every single thing and my wife being there with me.

Nikki: I agree. After being in a pandemic for two years and having the great privilege to see my wife every single day, I know wholeheartedly that she is the person I want to do everything with (including the hard stuff). I am looking forward to the good and bad.

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