Nejla and Alex

How We Met

Alex and I have been in the same circle of friends for the last 8 years or so and our paths would cross every once in a while but it wasn’t until 5 years ago that we really acknowledged each other. Neither of us were at a point in our lives where we were ready for any kind of relationship and our lives were so busy that we just continued on with the way things were. It was almost 3 years ago that we started to become closer friends and officially started dating in the beginning of September of 2014. When we started dating, Alex had already been accepted to graduate school at Cambridge University in the UK and was planning on moving to England at the end of that month, however due to some visa challenges he had to push his move date to the end of October, which gave us just enough time to fall in love. He left for England at the end of October in 2014 and we had a very emotional good bye in this spot in Terminal 4 where the AirTrain lets out into the Terminal. About a week later I booked a flight to go visit and so our year and a half of long distance began. We spoke every day on FaceTime and we would leave each other short little videos, me at night and him in the morning, so that we would wake up to a video message from each other. We also never went more than 3 weeks without seeing each other because he would travel home or I would go and stay there and since I work for myself I had the flexibility to stay for two to three weeks at a time. Although it was challenging, I think this made our relationship stronger because we really built up our communication and learned to value the time we did have together. As soon as Alex finished his grad program in the UK he moved back to NYC and in with me. Ever since that teary good bye in October of 2014, we both knew that we would get married and start a family.

How He Asked

Cambridge University requires that the graduate be present at a graduation to accept their diploma otherwise they write in very large letters “granted in abstentia” at the bottom. So Alex and I planned a quick trip to England for the October 2016 graduation so he could receive his diploma and we figured since we were going to Europe and had already spent so much time in England that we should take the opportunity to explore another part of the region. We planned to go to the Amalfi Coast and Rome after the graduation and we had already been discussing marriage so I was pretty convinced he was going to propose in Italy. Our flight left in the evening of October 19th and Alex convinced me that the AirTrain would be far better than an Uber so we didn’t get stuck in any Wednesday evening rush hour traffic out of the city. Also, we might have to check our bags (we have both become expert travelers and pretty much avoid checked bags unless absolutely necessary) due to some restrictions on our ticket so we had to get to the airport even earlier. I’m a bit of a nervous traveler so this all made sense to me and no questions were asked, we left for the airport about 4 hours before our flight was scheduled to take off. Once we arrived to the airport I went into autopilot travel mode and started to beeline it for the ticket counter and almost walked right past that spot where we had had our first emotional goodbye almost exactly 2 years earlier. Alex managed to get my attention and stopped me right in the exact spot and dropped to one knee. I also fell to my knees out of shock and he said “this was the place I realized I was in love with you and it’s the place I want to ask you to spend the rest of your life with me.” I was in such shock that all I could do is stare at him with my hands over my mouth shaking my head YES! Then he pointed to the top of the stairs and there was both of our families watching and filming the whole thing. We spent the next hour and a half at a the diner in the Terminal 4 Arrivals hall eating dessert to celebrate with our families. Then we got on our flight for his graduation and a celebratory trip to the Amalfi Coast and Rome.