Stephanie and Alex
How We Met
Alex and I met the first few weeks into our freshman year of high school. I was dating someone else at the time Alex had a few classes with, so we met initially that way but ended up in the same group of friends. My relationship ended shortly after school started but Alex and I didn’t start to talk until the summer going into our junior year. My relationship with someone else had ended badly, and I was NOT thinking of dating anyone for a long time but in Alex’s words “he has game” and what was meant to be, happened.
Alex, a group of friends and I all had been together hanging out one night, and we started to talk and flirt with each other. I was kinda bummed because he was leaving for a week to visit family in another state but we kept in touch via aol instant messager (before texting was unlimited and you had to pay for each text). Our chats were always super flirty and I started to fall for him. We had made plans to go into Chicago the weekend he came home so we could hang out. We went to Navy Pier on July 30th for our unofficial first date together, even though it was a friend group date. He took me on the Farris wheel, hesitantly put his arm around me and I thought he’d go in for a kiss, but he waited until the end of the night when we were in the car alone. We hung out together for a few months before he officially asked me to be his girlfriend on Oct 1st 2005. We went to dinner and the riverwalk in Naperville. On our walk, I knew he was going to ask me, so I assumed when we stopped on the bridge it was going to happen, but it didn’t so we kept walking for a bit before he finally asked near a bunch of picnic tables. It’s been a running joke ever since how he got scared and missed the bridge opportunity. Every year for four years until we moved away for college, we went to the same place for our anniversary dinners, because it was our place.
How He Asked
For the past 5 years or so for our anniversary we go on a trip to celebrate. We’ve been to so many amazing places together; Marco Island, Bahamas, Punta Cana, Antigua and Barbuda. For our 12th anniversary, we planned my dream vacation to the Maldives.
This year my best friends little sister was getting married the week of our usual vacation time, so we decided to leave after so we didn’t miss it. So for the first time in several years we were going to be in town on our anniversary. A few weeks before I suggested we go to Naperville and relive our first official date, have dinner at the same restaurant and walk along the riverwalk. We haven’t been back out there in 7 years. We moved to Chicago after college and spent our anniversaries at different restaurants around the city before our trips started so it wasn’t a red flag we were going out there because it was my idea.
On Saturday, The day before our anniversary I got a text from my nail girl asking to move my appointment to Sunday instead of Monday for a family matter. I asked Alex if he was ok with sitting in a nail salon on our anniversary, he agreed (little I knew he was behind the reschedule the whole time, he told me later he’d gone in my phone for her number). After nails and brunch, we headed out to Naperville and went straight to the riverwalk. We walked along the same path we’d taken 12 years prior reminiscing about everything that has happened throughout our lives together. We laughed about Alex’s bridge scare and as we got to the middle of that bridge, opposite side to where I thought he’d ask me to be his girlfriend we stopped for a bit just looking around at everything that changed since the time we’d last been. Before we started to walk away, he held my hand and turned me as he got down and said “ You know that I love you and want to spend the rest of my life with you. 12 years ago I should have asked you to be my girlfriend on this bridge, today I want to ask you to be my wife will you marry me?” Of course I said yes!!
One week later, we left for our maldives trip. It was three celebrations in one. Our 12th anniversary, my 29th birthday and our engagement. We had the most amazing trip celebrating! I can’t wait to start planning the day I get to marry this man!