Michael and I met on Hinge, “The Dating App Designed to Be Deleted.” I was in dental school and he was (and still is) in medical school. He swiped right after seeing one of my hiking photos, which had me sporting a “The Force is Female” shirt. I guess he really likes Star Wars? Two days later we were on our first date, at a brewery in Greenville called Pitt Street. We hit it off, and somehow, despite not growing up in the same towns or attending the same colleges, we had numerous connections and “small world” moments throughout the date. I knew from a few minutes after we sat down with our drinks that we had a connection, and that this relationship would be different than any that either of us had ever been in before. It would be less than two years later that Michael would propose and we would take the next step in our commitment to each other.
It wasn’t long into our relationship that I knew Rebecca was my soulmate, but I was cautious. Our relationship progressed rapidly in our first few months together, and soon enough we were seeing each other every day. After we had been together for a year, I knew it was time for me to solidify my commitment to her. After ring shopping and some (gentle) nudging, I put a plan together to get down on one knee in New York City, where we had planned to visit after Christmas. Two weeks before our trip though, my mother called me and offered me an alternative: propose at the Christmas lights put on at Daniel Stowe Botanical Gardens. This sounded like a good option (since my sister could take the photos and I wouldn’t have to carry a tripod around Manhattan), but as fate would have it, was not meant to be. The morning of my intended proposal, the Gardens informed everyone that due to cold weather, they would be closed. After discretely ensuring Rebecca was bundled in about five layers of clothing and had 30 hand warmers in her pockets, I switched the plan to a proposal at the Christmas lights in Ballantyne. It was here, in the freezing cold and surrounded by thousands of sparkling LED’s, that I would propose and Rebecca would accept, launching us onto the next leg of our journey toward a lifetime of love and adventure.