Steven— The first time I heard about Liana was through my mom, who was convinced she'd found the perfect woman for me. She, with my sister Lindsay, was at a college graduation party for one of Liana's brothers when Liana's parents walked up to her and started talking. The raging extrovert that my mom is quickly brought up the fact that her third son hadn't dated anyone all throughout college and had no prospects (thanks mom). Liana's mom related to that because Liana was in the same position. Liana jokingly asked if I was tall, and without skipping a beat my mom pulls out her phone and puts a picture of me in her face, getting very excited at the thought of setting the two of us up together. One thing was certain - Liana had made quite an impression on my mom, who was very excited to let me know when she got back from the party. She got Liana's number and for 3 days kept pestering me to text this woman (whom I'd never met) to go out on a date. Liana— I thought Steven’s Mom was so sweet and laughed off the number of times our families joked about arranging a marriage for us. Whoever this Steven guy was, I was sure he was great but he’d never text me and I would go to grad school in Oklahoma far away from this mystery man they kept talking about. Right? Steven— Finally, I gave in, deciding that my mom was trying to mortify me and I wasn't going to let her win. After spending a few days coming up with the perfect text, I sent it. I didn't have very high expectations for anything - but sent it anyways. Liana— Those who know me will agree that I generally don’t have anonymous numbers asking me out for dates, and so to my greatest surprise, I opened my phone one afternoon to a lovely text from Steven asking me if I’d go out with him! I gave the only natural response out there and threw my phone across the room with a yelp. I thankfully came to my senses though, and realized that, if Steven had the courage to ask, why not? Steven— We selected the most romantic of rustic Midwest small towns - Peru Illinois - because it was centrally located and each drove an hour to meet. Four hours later we left, having engaged in meaningful and fun conversation the whole time. Upon leaving, I told her I liked her but the idea of starting a long-distance relationship was too much and I didn't want to burden ourselves as we each began new chapters of life. Liana— I had no clue how fast four hours could go. I left our date with a stupid smile, even though Steven had just friend-zoned me (kindly, don’t worry), I couldn’t help being happy after spending time with someone who was so caring, intentional, and grounded. Steven— It took me about the hour of driving back home to realize how stupid that was and how I'd be an idiot if I didn't at least try pursuing this incredible, wonderful woman with whom I just had an awesome time with. I was blown away by her maturity, wisdom, and confidence. As soon as I got home I texted her telling her I was wrong, and I'd like to keep getting to know her if she was up for it. Liana— And I was! Three weeks later we started dating officially… Steven— …and 15 months later I asked her to marry me. Turns out my mom was spot on.