When tempted to embark on an office romance, conventional wisdom generally advises against it. But when T. Tara Turk and Scott Haynes met in their New York workplace, there was definitely a spark—though romance wasn’t on the immediate agenda.
“He was so fine, he took my breath in the elevator when I first saw him,” Tara recalls, while Scott admits, “I think I knew at first sight that I was attracted to her.”
Attraction aside, Tara was otherwise engaged—literally. “I was at the tail end of a bad engagement at the time. Scott was part of a group of work friends I had fun with,” she shares, adding: “I was trying to figure out who he needed to be with from my friend group!”
Scott’s interest, however, was in Tara. “She was my opposite and opposites attract. She was a lot more worldly than I was,” he shares.
In fact, it was an overseas trip that ironically proved pivotal in bringing this not-so-odd couple together.
“I ended up going on a trip with my ex to Italy, Paris, and London since my ex was officiating a wedding in Italy,” Tara explains. “The whole trip was miserable for me, though I was grateful to be in those lovely places for such a great occasion. I came back un-engaged for several reasons, which eventually led to a breakup.”
“I told our friends that if she didn’t come back from that trip married, all bets were off,” Scott quips.
That was the end of 2007—and things quickly solidified between the two. Despite being newly single, Tara says she fell in love with Scott “pretty early on.”
“He was so forthcoming. He laid so much out on the line. He wasn’t looking to just casually date,” she says.
“I always wanted to be in serious relationships and my question was whether or not she wanted to be in a serious relationship,” Scott explains. “Love came after the conversations—and there were many that we had.”
“We talked so much about so many things that you usually never talk about or talk about like years in,” Tara adds. “My friends thought I was crazy because I was just out of another relationship and into this one, but it just felt right. And I kept saying, ‘If this doesn’t work, it’s the greatest love story for me!’ I mean, I wasn’t looking so…”
What followed was a blissful quickly committed courtship which included a cross-country relocation to Los Angeles—where, by sheer coincidence, the couple once again landed in the same workplace, albeit in different departments. Tara, also a writer, is VP of DEI and Talent Management at their shared company while Scott is Facilities Director .
Another coincidence? The full-circle moment that occurred when Scott accompanied Tara on a work trip to Paris.
“Beforehand, we were like, ‘That would be so fresh to get married in Paris.’” she recounts. “We knew it would be small—like microscopic—and probably not official, but it was the symbolism. I got my dress and everything prior to getting there. We walked around looking for a good place because our original place—the [Pont des Arts] bridge with the locks of love on it—was terrible.”
“It had swastikas on it. Nobody’s trying to do that,” Scott explains. “Plus, we wanted something we could return to.” (A prescient choice, since the locks were removed from the Ponts des Arts the following year.)
They ultimately found the famed Palais Garnier opera house, where on November 7, 2014, they were secretly married in front of three close friends who flew in for the occasion...for which Tara wore a tutu. Nine days later, they invited friends and family over for an engagement party in LA that turned out to be a surprise second ceremony.
“She changed her dress midway and everything,” says Scott. “Her brother married us. It was nice. We have two wedding anniversaries.”
“Just perfect for us,” Tara adds.
Indeed, two ceremonies do seem especially fitting for a couple who consider themselves opposites—a quality Scott continues to appreciate. “[She’s] carefree and she can afford to be that way,” he says, while Tara discloses that Scott’s not as reserved as he may seem on the surface. “He makes ME laugh. He’s not like that with everyone. It feels special.”
Still, the couple readily acknowledges that navigating occasional conflicts as two very different personalities isn’t seamless. “It’s always a work in progress,” says Scott, who adds that they find their way “through lot of transparency and communication. You should always be talking about what your future entails so you can make sure you are staying on course together,” he adds.
Tara agrees, noting: “I definitely feel like you have to not be afraid to have the conversations that are important to you, which he encouraged early on. Money, politics, geography—all of that is important. Also, if you feel like you are working overtime in the dating phase, you may want to step back,” she advises. “It gets more complex from there, so if it’s too much then, it’s not gonna calm down.”
She also shares that she and Scott have found counseling to be helpful, “because we don’t communicate the same. I always go back to ‘what does he hear vs. what I am saying?’”
But ultimately, married life for the two has been “Epic,” to use Scott’s word. “[I] never thought I would get married, so to have found someone and be with her was beyond my life plan,” he adds.
With the world opening back up, the two are looking forward to embarking on more adventures together...and seeing where they lead.
“Seeing the world,” says Scott. “Finding our piece of paradise.”
“More seeing the world with him as my partner,” Tara agrees. “I just so enjoy any journey we are on together for so many reasons.”
You can read prior installments of “How We Do” here.