Caitlin and Ryan

How We Met: Ryan and I actually met online via Match.com. He came to visit me for our first date at the end of March my freshman year of college, and we had so much fun that our first date turned into a first date weekend–He stayed in Philadelphia overnight and we went to brunch the following morning. I’d never had such a connection with someone before–he made me laugh and smile and I just knew in my heart he was the one. A week later, I saw him again, and we officially started dating.

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I’ve never known a love like this before. Ryan is truly my soul mate. He is me in a male form; he makes me laugh, and always loves me no matter what we go through. We love each other unconditionally, and I know our life together will be more amazing every day.

How He Asked: Ryan and I decided last minute we wanted to take a road trip down to Washington DC for our five year anniversary. We wanted to go somewhere close, but somewhere we’d never been. I had sort-of been expecting a proposal, because the months leading up to our anniversary we had been looking at rings. We went through our whole weekend on a fun filled adventure, but there was no proposal in sight. Sure, there were several moments I thought were going to be it (at our romantic anniversary dinner, walking in front of the White House, on the step of the Lincoln Memorial or even just walking down the street), but nothing had happened.

All I had to do was be patient.

Sunday the 29th ended up being  beautiful day–still a little chilly considering Spring has just sprung, but I was excited to walk the memorials and see the Cherry Blossoms (though, lo and behold, the trees didn’t exactly bloom a week into Spring, so we walked the Potomac admiring bare trees). Ryan had bee acting funny, but not unusual. He wanted to walk specifically by the riverside, and kept walking from the sidewalk on the grass to the edge of the river, as if he was looking for something. Eventually, he asked if we could sit down, because his feet hurt from walking. We picked a quiet spot overlooking the Potomac, and he lied down to relax. As I sat overlooking the river, I quietly reflected on the weekend, and my twinge of disappointment.

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Then Ryan sat up and softly said my name.

“Caitlin,” he asked, with that iconic small black box in his hands, “will you marry me?” He flipped open the box to reveal our beautiful custom designed ring I had dreamed about for months. I looked the ring, then him, and I couldn’t speak. Not surprisingly, my first words were “Are you serious?”

“Yes, very serious. Will you marry me?”

I threw myself on him, tears of joy running down my eyes, laughing and crying and kissing him all at the same time. Of course that day I had decided to wear red lipstick, so when we sat up, my now FIANCE (aaaahh!!) had lip prints all over his mouth and face. Onlookers shouted their congratulations as we stood up, hugged and kissed, and witnessed me jumping up and down with joy.

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The first thing I did after we got engaged was call my grandfather.

My grandparents mean the world to me, and unfortunately, my grandmother has passed away in December right before Christmas. Before she passed, Ryan and I called to ask my grandparents blessing to use my grandmother’s diamond in my ring. The beautiful, 2.5 carat diamond has been in my family for generations, and with their permission, we designed the ring style around this gorgeous diamond.

This whole day made my heart so happy, and now I get to spend my life with not only the man of my dreams, but my best friend!