Genna and Steven

Image 1 of Genna and Steven

How We Met

Steven and I lived in the same building complex at the time of our first date and we didn’t even know it! Our (very casual) first date was at a local bar in the midst of COVID–outdoors of course–and I was skeptical of meeting any type of germy stranger at the time. However, after spending two months living with my Grandparents in Florida and a few weeks of messaging back and forth on Hinge, I was excited to be home, safely quarantined, and take this leap of faith that would ultimately lead me to find my partner in life.

Despite not realizing the crossroads of our apartment complex, we only made the connection when we eventually saw each other’s packages in the main lobby, a few days after Steven moved out. Not only was our first date a total shot in the dark considering we were both only free to meet on a Tuesday in the middle of summer, but it was also the day before my 29th birthday.

Image 2 of Genna and Steven

To my surprise, we talked for almost three hours and in the middle, Steven even suggested we order dinner as we had sat there for so long–which led me to believe he was having equally as much of a good time as I was even if he did have 2 drinks to my 1 ratio, I’m a slow drinker especially on a weeknight! After drinks and dinner, Steven walked me to the corner of my building and we said goodnight, my sister was in complete shock that I had been gone that long but for me, the time flew by.

Steven was one of the first people to text me happy birthday the next morning and throughout the weeks that passed, he would continue to go out of his way to prioritize seeing each other and even make small comments about things that we would talk about (like my love of Ben & Jerry’s Cherry Garcia ice cream).

Our conversations never felt forced, but were intentional. We were patient and talked to each other in our own time and on our own schedules, but I always felt special by the way that he listened and made me feel important–and he continues to make me feel that way even to this day.

Image 3 of Genna and Steven

How They Asked

My parents got engaged after six months of dating, which I never understood how that could be possible in this day and age, until I met Steven. We talked about marriage like it was happening tomorrow and as the holiday season approached, I was getting more and more excited (and anxious) to marry my best friend.

With each family member I met of his, it hinted at the way he was raised to become the man I knew he was, and I admired the way he approached his career and life in general. I simply fell in love with him more and more in such a short time. We had only been dating a year, but in COVID times and working together in his small studio apartment felt like we had been together forever!

Our engagement was a year to the day that we had gone on (what I like to call) our “last first date” which was our last of 8 total dates in about 4 weeks, before I left to stay with a friend in Denver, Colorado for a month. This date, figuratively and literally, was a pivotal moment in our relationship where we were going to decide if we would continue talking while I was away, depending on who made the effort, or if this distance would lead us to the end our whirlwind romance.

Image 4 of Genna and Steven

As fate would have it, we missed each other more than we could’ve imagined and he ultimately ended up flying out to Colorado for a weekend even hardly knowing where this would go (or the best friends of mine that I was staying with), a true testament to his commitment and boundless love.

A year later Steven was planning a proposal leveraging the meaning behind that same date spot.

He planned to take me to a surprise dinner to celebrate our recent promotions (both of us!) and we went to dinner at the same restaurant exactly a year to the day. I didn’t even realize the date and I shamelessly complained about my day as we drank espresso martinis on a Wednesday night. After a summer full of weddings and travel, I was buckling down for a busy work season and was eagerly awaiting another round of relaxation over the holidays.

Image 5 of Genna and Steven

We walked back to his apartment to pick up his glasses before heading to sleep at my place, the regular back-and-forth routine of ours, but when I opened the door I noticed a collage of pictures on the kitchen counter with a giant bouquet of flowers behind it. A sticky note that said “flip me” led me to read a piece of our relationship like a timeline on the back of each picture, ending with the last picture saying that he had something to finally give me… I turned around and he was there smiling with the ring in hand, suddenly on one knee in the middle of the apartment where our love had grown so deep.

We popped a bottle of champagne from a vineyard that we had been to in Napa earlier in the year (such a thoughtful touch) and tried to soak up the moment before we headed to my parent’s apartment down the street to celebrate. I was so caught up in the moment that I only cried when he told me he had arranged our parents to meet for the first time at dinner together the next night, a special moment for our families that we had always talked about planning but was finally coming to fruition. Also affording me the ability to wear a white dress for any pictures since the proposal itself was intimate and just us–simple, thoughtful, and a moment shared solely by us two.

Image 6 of Genna and Steven

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