Jamie and Benjamin

Jamie's Proposal in Chapel Hill, North Carolina

How We Met

So often people say everything happens for a reason, we were never a believer in that saying, until we met. Then so so suddenly, at midnight, exhausted, surrounded by good friends, while eating a bag of stale M&Ms we locked eyes and have never been so thankful for being at the right place at the right time. It was UNC Wilmington, February of 2017 when Ben and I both ended up at a conference for Resident Advisors (RAs). After one long day of programming, Ben and I both had programs selected to be in the Top 8. Of 40 program presented, this recognition meant that we needed to present our individual programs again. Under pressure, and full of nerves I talked to Ben outside of our adjacent programming rooms, at go-time, with no one present in my programming room, I rushed into Ben’s room and saw that he had people, and ran right back out. If you ask Ben, this is when he knew he wanted to be with me.

Just a few days later, fate brought us together once more when a mutual friend of Ben’s at his university (we attended different schools) commented about a picture she saw of the two of us together. She explained to Ben that she went to high school with me. This was the little push that Ben needed to reach out to me. After days and days of hour-long phone calls and endless conversations, Ben made the 4-hour trek to my school and we had our first date – we watched Friends and ate Ben & Jerry’s. The next day, March 4, Ben asked if I would be his girlfriend. Some might say that we have gone through our journey at lightning speed. I would say however that when God makes something so perfect and magical happen in your life, it is up to you to act on it.

How He Asked

Open When You’re Ready for a New Adventure: When Jamie and I started dating, we attended universities that were 4 hours away from each other, albeit a long drive, certainly worth it. We figured out how we could travel to see each other as much as possible, while both still serving in our roles as Resident Assistants. Following my graduation, we got a glimpse of life together, without a distance, during the summer of 2017. When I moved to Maine, to start grad school, I left Jamie with a “LDR (Long Distance Relationship) Jar” filled with letters which instructed her to “open when…” different things happened in life, such as being sick, having a test, when we were missing each other, and more.

When I knew it was time to ask Jamie to spend her life with me, a new envelope appeared in her jar, titled “Open When You’re Ready for a New Adventure.” This envelope contained instructions to get dressed in her cutest outfit, that we were going on a date, and leaving AT 2:30 p.m. Jamie didn’t open this card until 2 p.m. which had me impressed that at 2:29 p.m., she was ready for our date. Clearly astonished by this feat, I told Jamie that we had some extra time before we went to campus, so I asked if we could walk through the Arboretum, Jamie’s favorite place on campus. As we made our way through the foliage covered arches, I began to slow down, to which Jamie pulled on my arm telling me we couldn’t stop, this was a walkway and what was I doing?!

Where to Propose in Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Finally, with some hesitation and confusion as to why we were stopping, I pulled Jamie close, whispered in her ear, got down on one knee, and asked her to marry me. “Yes Yes a million times YES!” was what I heard as Jamie pulled me in close. Along with a proposal in her favorite place, I had one of her best friends hiding in the bushes, taking pictures of the moment.

After taking some pictures, calling our parents, and praying together (an important staple in our relationship), I had one more surprise for Jamie. We headed back into town, where two of her best friends were waiting in a cute coffee shop, to give hugs, see her ring, and hear all about the proposal, which they had kept secret for over a month!

Jamie’s LDR Jar will continue to have letters appear inside it, until this summer when our relationship changes from date nights on Facetime, to date nights together, in our new home.

Special Thanks

Emily Sullivan
Photographer