Jennea and Andreas
How We Met
We kept it hush hush for the first part of our relationship, but we met on a dating app. Both of us had loosely explored online dating and it’s funny how quickly into the process we were when we met each other. We took our time with our relationship but discussed our long-term intentions on the second date. We sat on the cold sandy beach of Salmon Creek, wrapped in blankets as we discussed what each of us was looking for in a partner, a sort of “character investigation” as we like to call it.
He brought me wildflowers he handpicked for at least the first ten dates we had. It was sweet. We talked about our lives and realized we had many similarities, as well as surprises… I’m from a small town not many know the name of, and during my senior year of high school he moved from Southern CA to not only the same town, but just a quarter mile down the road from my childhood home. His running route took him by my house, running daily in front of the place I was raised, not knowing that his future wife was behind that picket fence. When I graduated high school, I moved to Costa Rica for a year to work on my fluency in Spanish. When he was little, he lived in the same province of Costa Rica that I had lived in, only 20 years before.
Falling in love was a journey. We came from different worlds and our conversations lead us to learn and understand where each of us was from. Andreas pushes me to step out into the unknown to succeed on my own while providing the safety net of him to fall back on. When he encouraged me to go on a grand European trip I was hesitant to go on, he made sure I booked my flight. Even when I got pneumonia and bronchitis simultaneously on that trip, he and I had international phone calls as he translated cough syrup labels from Dutch/German/Italian as I sat criss-cross in foreign pharmacies. Even from overseas, he still took care of me.
I came back from my trip with the assumption I would probably marry him one day. We went long distance a month after I got back, with him in LA and me in NorCal. This last year has been full of state-long road trips, delayed flights, and pixelated Facetime calls. And through all of the effort, it’s taken to keep our relationship strong, we’ve never wavered on if it was worth it. There have been times when it’s been hard, and one of us has to carry the other one through the trials that come with being long distance, but we’ve both said that the distance actually made us closer. Out of sight and out of mind have never been true for us, out of sight and close to heart is much more accurate. For as difficult as long distance can be, it made it clear that our relationship was worth fighting for. I’m still in shock that I landed a guy like him, and I can’t wait for our kids to have his eyes.
How He Asked
Last year, Andreas was in a bad car accident. The large truck he was in with a friend hit black ice, slid across the desolate road they were on, and the truck flipped. He called me seconds after getting confirmation that first responders were on the way, still in shock, with his voice wavering in a way I’d never heard, a far cry from the steady voice I’d grown to love. He’s described it to me as everything flashing before his eyes, but also the moment he realized that he really needed to make me his wife. He came out safe, and walked away from what could have been something much worse, while also being prepared to propose sooner rather than later.
We had been apart for over a month from long distance at that point. When we finally saw each other, there were happy tears for the first two hours. It was that night that Andreas told me he wanted to marry me, but wanted to ask for our parents consent first. He gave me a gift in place of the engagement ring he’d yet to get, a necklace from his late grandfather that he’d been waiting to give his wife. The next week, we got the blessing from both pairs of parents, and were welcomed with happiness on both sides. We designed my engagement ring soon after with the diamond from my late grandmother’s ring, someone who was the most dear to me. He got down on one knee a month and a half later, and even though I knew the proposal was coming any day, I still cried, still said yes probably dozens of times, and was so elated to have found the husband of my dreams.