Dara and Alex
How We Met
Alex and I are in that small, but steadily increasing, minority of online dating success stories. Specifically, a match.com success story. After several email exchanges on match.com’s platform, we met for our first date on an unseasonably warm November evening. The first thing I noticed about Alex was his fantastic hair, sharp blue eyes, and a sense of humour that I fell in love with long before the appetizers were delivered to the table. Our first date was nothing but fun, lively, and hilarious. Which truly set the tone for our entire relationship… constant laughter.
The next day, following our first date, around lunch time, Alex called. Actually called, called, to tell me what a fantastic time he had, and how he’d love to see me again. And so it began. For the next six weeks, we met up once or twice a week for fantastically planned dates, Alex always following up with an actual phone call the afternoon following a date. That is, until the very last night of Chanukah 2014 rolled around. I told him (boldly, it took every ounce of courage) I didn’t want to date anyone else, only him. And he replied that he had stopped seeing other people after our first date, and was glad I was finally on his page (swoooooon).
Once we were ‘officially’ together, the fun really began. It was a whirlwind of a romance. We spent so many weekends traveling to various cities across the country. We were both very serious about each other and the relationship from the get-go. Alex did a fantastic job of making that perfectly clear: he made me a key to his apartment, cleared out the second closest in his bedroom, and bought me a second set of toiletries to keep at his house — so I wouldn’t’ have to pack overnight bags — all within the first few weeks. By March, I was practically moved into his apartment — spending every night at his place until we hired movers in June. Was it fast? Sure. But when you know, you know.
Though we are complete polar opposites, and despite our nine year age gap, we have the best time together. We can talk for hours and hours, we have fun, lively, witty, interesting conversations. We share solid core values, and both very much invested in making a Jewish home together. He’s also my best friend. Early on in the relationship, we had talked about marriage. We were on the “four seasons” plan. Meaning we agreed to date for four full seasons before taking the next step: marriage.
How He Asked
Blink! It was December again, and we had just hit our one year, so I knew it was coming. But then January rolled around, and still no proposal. It had to have been coming — right? The anxiety of when nearly killed me as the days ticked by. Until one night, over dinner, mid-January, Alex told me that he loved me, wanted to marry me, but needs help because has no idea what to do (he is self admittedly not a romantic). What would I like? What’s my ideal proposal? Where do I want to get engaged? Which of the two engagement rings that we tried on together, would I want? What was my ring size again?
Giddy with excitement, we went over the details together, it was such an open and exhilarating talk — our proposal! We agreed a proposal weekend in Chicago made the most sense. After all, Chicago is where we took our very first trip together as a couple. Chicago is a place that holds very happy and fond memories for us.
By the time the next evening rolled around, the engagement ring (with its matching wedding band) was ordered, the hotel was booked, and plane tickets were purchased. The ring would be ready in a mere few days, where it sat in Alex’s sock drawer for two weeks. Oh, and we decided to keep this all a secret from everyone until he officially asked me to marry him. I was dying. All I wanted to do was call my mother!
And off to Chicago we went, just before Winter Storm Jonas hit the Mid-Atlantic Region (we were glad to have missed it!). Once in Chicago, we went to iO Chicago to see an improv show, ate / shopped and had a lovely day. This is the part of the weekend that was actually a surprise: Saturday afternoon (01-23-16) we went to the Nature Museum in Lincoln Park, Alex eagerly leading us into the butterfly conservatory. I’m too busy trying to photograph as many butterflies as I can to realize Alex is nervously sweating in a corner. He called me over, so I walked towards him, finding it odd that he had kept his winter jacket on, even inside the conservatory (it was SO hot in there), and as hundreds of butterflies fluttered around us, Alex pulled out a little black box from his winter coat, and asked me to be his wife. YES!
We had our engagement dinner at Spiaggia and spent the rest of the evening celebrating, while overlooking all of Chicago at The John Hancock Observatory Tower. The next morning, our friends joined us for celebratory brunch. And since our flight home was naturally cancelled due to the snowmageddon, we decided to drive home from Chicago to DC (10.5 hour drive… but oh did we have the best time) it was a fantastic weekend.