Life Love
  • Facebook
    Facebook
  • Twitter
    Twitter
  • Pinterest
    Pinterest
  • +
  • Linkedin
    Linkedin
  • WhatsApp
    WhatsApp
  • Email
    Email
SHARE THIS
  • Facebook
    Facebook
  • Twitter
    Twitter
  • Pinterest
    Pinterest
  • Linkedin
    Linkedin
  • WhatsApp
    WhatsApp
  • Email
    Email

Montreal couple Alain Chanoine and Audrey Tousignant-Maurice have dog sled, kung-fued and filleted their way around the world on Season 2 of The Amazing Race Canada (TARC). But on the eighth leg, they gave us a new reason to cheer when Alain, 32, got down on one knee and asked Audrey, 31, to marry him. In Paris. In front of Jon Montgomery. And a mime. (Spoiler alert: She said oui, and we all wept.)

It’s pretty remarkable that Chanoine and Tousignant-Maurice were able to take their relationship to the next level in the midst of the highest-stakes competition on television. Clearly, these two must know a thing or two about love, so we turned to the soon-to-be Mrs. for some tried-and-true relationship advice. We were in luck.

Crushing hard? Make your move!

Making the leap from friends to lovers is never easy. It’s a challenge Tousignant-Maurice knows all too well. Though she’s known Alain for 10 years, they’ve only been dating for two. “When you feel that way, you have to find out what they’re thinking,” she says. “Just do it. Be subtle about it. Nothing bad can happen. If it doesn’t work, you’re going to deal with it.”

Set ground rules, fast

As your relationship progresses from casual dating to something more serious, don’t tiptoe around issues. Be up front about what’s important to you. “After dating seriously for six months, we moved in together. Right away we set ground rules. We’re at an age now where we know what we want.”

Want to put your relationship to the test? Try renovating together

Everyone says that travelling as a couple can make or break a relationship — it clearly made Chanoine and Tousignant-Maurice’s — but she says renovating is just as intense. “Renovating will show you that you’re either going to be together forever or you’re not meant to be,” she says. The couple renovated their place for three months in the summer; they gutted the place and had to live elsewhere until it was completed. “It was hard. He learned how intense I was because when I want something done, I want it now. Communication was key. Whenever he had enough he’d tell me and vice versa.”

Planning ahead is sexy

Haven’t been spending enough quality time with your significant other? Grab a Sharpie and start planning. “We have a board where we put names of activities we want to do. Once it’s done, we just swipe it out,” says Tousignant-Maurice. “Right now, our board says we want to kite surf, jet ski and go horseback riding. In the morning, when we have a free day, we just pick something on the board and go do it.”

It was the stress of renovating that first inspired Chanoine and Tousignant-Maurice not only to make goals, but also to stick to them. “I was like ‘OK, I want this to be done by Friday’ and then once it was done, we were asking ourselves ‘What’s next?’ So, that helped us talk about our future and what we wanted.”

They’ve been living at their newly-renovated place for a year and have a new goal: “Now, we want to rent it out and buy a house. That is our next project, and we put an expiry date on it: six months,” she said. “Adding goals helps us stay focused on everything else.”

If you’re the expert, take charge

“You have to have your department(s). Since I’m a realtor, finance is my department. So the idea of buying our own house, fell under me. We still make decisions together and whenever one of us wants to do something, we talk and go back and forth about the pros and cons until a decision is made.”

Forget the chocolate and flowers. Rub her feet instead

“Flowers are for when you’ve done something bad,” says Tousignant-Maurice, laughing. “Yeah, he can bring you a box of chocolate. But if he’s not spending time with you, you’re going to be eating the chocolate alone… It’s more about time than spending money. Alain is romantic in different ways. My feet are always hurting for some reason, so at night, when we’re watching a movie, he’s always rubs them; and in turn, I crack his back a few times a week,” she says. “It’s those small, funny things that you don’t notice often enough, but then, at the end of the day, you’re like ‘Wow, how lucky am I?'”

Laughter is everything

Want a girl to fall head-over-heels for you? Make her laugh: “[Alain] is the funniest. You have no idea how much he cracks me up,” says Tousignant-Maurice. “It’s one of the things that made me fall in love with him. We laugh a lot and it’s so important.”

Want more Audrey and Alain? Catch them on The Amazing Race Canada, Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET on CTV.