Our story does not start out differently from how others do, but what our story has is magic. Love found in a time where the world seemed all a little too negative, two souls found each other. We both have reeled from the trials and tribulation of dating in 2020, but in 2021 we decided to give it one more shot. In the era of social media and smart phones, we were left with few options, but found ourselves on a similar dating app. However, this is not how we knew each other, rewind to the fall of 2020, I started a new job in an office that Ben had already been working, and from that moment I was smitten. Navigating the challenges of face masks and social distancing, I knew there is something special about this man. From my minor interactions he was smart and hardworking, and very cute. But that was all it was in the beginning, glances here and there, chit chat in the cafeteria over the next couple months. Until the day in April 2021, I see the notification “you matched with Ben”. Ecstatic and overjoyed, I did what any rational person would do, overreact, and overthink, closing out the application and losing the match. Thankfully, my levelheaded, now Fiancé, also received notification that we matched, and chose to take the first step. The conversation flowed easily over the next couple days, to which it dawned on me, “I don’t think he knows who I am”. We passed each other in the hallways and at meetings, but I am not sure he knows that the Jen he is talking to on the app, is the Jen he is sitting across from in the meeting. On Friday 16 April, Ben sent a message “Well this is weird, because we work together”, all came rushing over him during a choice encounter passing one another in the office. Despite all the what ifs and reasons why we shouldn’t go on a date, we both took that leap of faith (one of many), and on 17 April 2021, we had our first date. As for what was to follow in the next year and a half, no one could have predicted, but it was a journey, and a story for the ages. Don’t worry, we are getting to the magic
The most important part of our relationship stems from our relationship with God, and that is what makes it so magical. By our third date we had the discussion about faith and the importance is has, and since then we have grown with each other in faith. The bond between the two of us is remarkable and affirming in the understanding that there is a greater plan at play. The two of us met when He wanted us to meet. This is something discussed regularly, because for over a year we lived less than two miles away from one another, we went to the same restaurants and bars, frequented the same running/biking path, yet we never met. We likely had passed each other multiple times, probably even glanced at one another in those fleeting moments, but we came to understand, it was not the right time for us to meet. We had our own paths to live for ourselves, before God could bring us together, and when He did, the magic began. To this day we take time to pray together and pray separately, pray for one another, and pray for family. We radiate magic, but what we are really radiating is the glory and love of God. We also stress that not everything is perfect, we encountered many ups and downs, but we realized it is easier to get back up when you have someone by your side. In fact, it was tragedy that brought us deeper together.
When Ben and I got together, we came with three little ones, I brought my beagle Bandit, and Ben had his two girls Pepper (a boxer lab mix) and Mo (a miniature pit bull). The girls were older, but still had a lot of spunk in them. However, in June 2021, Pepper fell ill with idiopathic vestibular disorder, and the world started to crumble around us. Ben had, had Pepper since she was four months old, and now at thirteen, it seemed too soon for them to say good-bye. While taking care of Pepper and Mo, it was overwhelming, so Bandit and I packed our bags, and moved in (temporarily). Pepper could not eat or walk, and it felt like every small step forward, was faced with two steps backwards. However, on a fateful day, when I was being faced with some medical challenges, I looked at Pepper and said, “woman to woman, please help me”, and she was able to get up and walk down the stairs for the first time in weeks. Pepper managed to recover, and we had an extra nine, beautiful months with her, but Pepper is what molded our bond. Despite how dark and scary that time was, we learned about trust, trust in one another, but trust in God. Everything happens for a reason; you just must believe. We learned that when the other is weak, the other needs to be strong, but most importantly, do not give up on one another, just because things are difficult. The road ahead has been challenging with fights, tears, and loneliness, but it has also been a road of happiness, laughter, love, and adventure. Ben and I always say, “you are my person”, because there is no other person for either of us.
Ben had been taking his time to carefully plan out the perfect proposal. Had my work trip to Paris not been cancelled, he had everything arranged, but now had to adjust – rapidly. I returned home from my business trip on 21 September, after a crucible of travel issues. Ben had planned out a romantic date on 22 September, since we had not had a date in over 100-days. Jet lagged, stressed, and tired, I was in rare form, very rare form. At one point during the day leading up to the date Ben asked, “do you want me to just cancel”. Me, being super considerate said “no, it’s fine, I can rally – but I am not washing my hair”. I did my makeup, put my hair in a poly tail, threw on some jeans, came around the corner and saw Ben in Khaki’s and collared shirt. Again, being my super delightful self said, “oh, so this is a “nice” date?”. May we all just take a moment and appreciate the patience that Ben has in this moment, because I was being very peculiar. So, I spiff up a bit, put on my fanciest pair of Spanx and my favorite pair of Loubotin high heels (because that is as fancy as it gets), and we head out to “our spot”. Parallel Wine Bar became our spot because it was perfectly placed in between the two of us, so it was easy for us to have a quick date. We arrive at Parallel, as we are led to our table, you can see our pictures were lining the banister and sitting in the middle was a 3D puzzle of Paris. After we finish our meal, Ben says that the reason he wanted us to come here was because he had a very important question to ask me. For anyone who has been in this moment, the world disappears, all the noise, the chaos, eliminated, and it is just you and your significant other. Ben got down on one knee and asked that question I’d been hoping he would ask, “Jen, will you marry me?”. An instantaneous Yes was said, and as we kissed for the first time as fiancés, the sound of the world rushes back, to our surprise it was loud applause and cheering.
Our story is just beginning, we started off with a strong first chapter, but if it highlights what is to come, then the rest of the story is going to be nothing short of amazing.