Anita and Raumil

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how we met

“Hanging out with my friends and family, traveling, cooking and eating” – Anita sounded like every other person that creates a dating profile app. She looked cute in her pictures so I thought “why not?” and hit the like button. I hit “like” on so much of a whim that my buddy had to convince me not to wear shorts for my first date – that’s very unlike me, but that Texas heat had me thinking all sorts of weird. I walked into the coffee shop a few minutes before our date and waited by the entrance. When I caught eye of Anita through the glass door, my heart skipped a beat – she was gorgeous. And I remember thinking “thank God I wore pants.”

We moved from the coffee shop to grab something a little stronger and the hours flew by, 6 to be exact. We just clicked – it was amazing. I probably should have set up a second date as I walked her back to her car, but I figured I’d wait since I knew it was a guarantee. I was wrong. She gave me a super awkward side hug, got in her car, and drove away.

I got home and did what most other people do: over-analyzed the entire situation. I replayed the entire date line by line in my head; was it the odd joke that was received with a pity laugh, or was it the fact that I got bit by a monkey, or maybe I just revealed too much too soon? I couldn’t put my finger on any one thing. Oh God, what if it was more than one thing?! I texted that buddy that told me to wear pants, and replayed it for him. We were going to get to the bottom of this – what could I have said or done to not even get a decent hug? The struggle was just way too real.

I went to work the next day and continued to replay the date over and over again. No luck. There was only one way I was going to figure this out – I had to talk to her. Hands shaking and heart pounding, I worked up the courage to call her. I wanted answers, but I was really praying for her voicemail. She picked up, I made some dumb small talk, avoided the burning question, and decided to ask her out again. She responded without hesitation, “I’d love to.”

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It was probably about 7 months after meeting Anita when I knew that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with her. I wish I could pinpoint the exact reason that made me want to put a ring on it, but instead there were endless discussions with friends and family to try to understand how to know if you’ve found “the one.” The conclusion was that *stop the presses* there isn’t a set of criteria to check against.

She laughs at my [corny] jokes, she makes sure to always give me the first slice of pizza, she’s a sucker for anything sweet, she has the heart of a thousand people, she answers all of my questions, she gives me the same smile whenever she sees me, she falls asleep on me, she puts everyone else first, she’s affectionate, she has a mean left jab which she reminds me of every time I hit snooze a second time, she’s smart, she roots for horrible teams, she’s beautiful, but most importantly she makes me happy. Is she “the one?” Absolutely.

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how they asked

The hopeless romantic in me had been putting thought into how I would one day propose for years, but knew it would have to be tailored to the lucky lady. Cue Anita. This was her first time in DC, so we spent the entire day playing tourist. It was awesome to see her so excited to finally be able to check out the memorials, monuments, and the White House – everything she had seen on TGIT and House of Cards, she now saw in person. The evening though was going to be quite different. I had planned date night, but little did she know, this was not going to be like any other date night.

I’ll rewind a bit because setting up for this moment was insane! Having never lived in DC, I didn’t know the perfect location, I almost didn’t get the ring, I had to find a local photographer (or two J), the ring box didn’t fit in my pocket, I had to make sure Anita’s dress was perfect, she had matching heels, and her nails had to be done (otherwise she would have killed me), and I obviously had to look fly. Clearly, not an ordinary date night.

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Here we go. Ring box in sock, check. Date night selfie, check. Getting to the Georgetown Waterfront on time, not so much. When we finally got to the area, I ran into the Starbucks to ‘nonchalantly’ put the ring in my back pocket (because lifting up your pant leg before proposing isn’t that romantic) and texted Marirosa & Kir to share my ETA. The sun was setting as we walked onto the boardwalk and the views probably could not have been any more perfect. I was nervous, my heart was racing, and I pretty much forgot everything I had planned to say, but this was it, there were no re-do’s. In the distance, I saw the spot that Marirosa and I selected through multiple annotated Google Maps screenshots and I knew life was about to get real. We stopped by the tree, reminisced about how far we’ve come, spoke about a future, and I asked her the one question I had been dying to know the answer to.

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Special Thanks

Photography by Marirosa
 | photographer
Kir2Ben Photography
 | photographer